July 26, 2012
Announcing the OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide!
This doesn't directly relate to the iPad and photography, but I'm excited to announce that my latest book, OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide, is now available. It covers all of Apple's new operating system, is packed as full of tips as I could make it, and all in just 264 pages. Best of all, the print is and Kindle editions are just $10, and the iBookstore ebook is just $4.99! (Update: The Kindle edition is now just $4.99!)
Even if you already know everything about OS X, I'm sure you have a friend or relative that can benefit from the information. (I wrote about Mountain Lion in my latest Seattle Times column, which was published a few days before the update became available: Pros and cons of pouncing on Apple's Mountain Lion update.)
Here are links to buy the book:
- iBookstore ebook
- Amazon Kindle ebook
- Amazon print book
- Barnes & Noble print and ebook
- Peachpit print and ebook (currently offering 35% off with the coupon code MTNLION)
April 11, 2012
"iPad Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition" now on Kindle
Just one week after I finished The iPad for Photographers, Apple announced the third-generation iPad and I embarked on a heads-down, super fast update of my iPad Pocket Guide. The paper version of that book is still being printed, but I noticed today that the Kindle ebook is now available from Amazon! It's only $9.59, and covers all the important information about the new iPad and the latest iOS 5.1.
September 02, 2011
Great Review of ‘Take Control of Media on Your iPad’
My wonderful editor Tonya Engst sent along a clipping—yes, paper!—of a review of my book Take Control of Media on Your iPad, Second Edition that appeared in the August 2011 issue of Recording magazine. It’s a fun review by Mike Metlay, with several quotable gems:
Take Control of Media on Your iPad (v2.0) is 158 pages of good advice, step-by-step tutorials, background information, occasional snarky comments about digital rights limitations and stupid design blunders, and sneaky workarounds to the above (with at least one carefully boxed sidebar entitled “Is It Legal?”)—all concerning the iPad as a media consumption device.
and this extensive bit:
I fancied myself a decently-knowledgeable iPad media user before I picked up this book, certainly on the basics of “easy stuff” like watching movies and listening to music. By the time I put it down, I had to hang my head in shame, because I’d learned a good twenty or thirty tricks that would have saved me hours of sweat and a fair bit of money, too. Did you know there’s a freeware program specifically designed to help you import movies from your DVD collection to your computer, with optimization settings for iPad use? (See the “Is It Legal?” sidebar first, naturally.) What’s the difference between the PDF and EPUB formats for electronic document delivery, and in which areas does one format win over the other? And are you aware of the seemingly innocuous dialog box in iTunes that can pop up when you’re adding a video to your library that can destroy everything on your iPad before you know it? How about “The Best iPad Camera Tip Ever”?
Reviews are good (yes, even critical ones) and I have to admit that even after publishing dozens of books and probably hundreds of articles in this electronic age, getting a review as a clipping, tri-folded in a #10 envelope (and better, nestled against a royalty check) gave me a little electric thrill. It was like a delicate artifact had been transported from the past.
August 27, 2011
Ye Olden Days: My Adobe Magazine Articles
Back when I first started as a full-time freelance writer, I was fortunate enough to begin publishing articles in Adobe Magazine. It was a great gig, and eventually turned into a column before Adobe pulled the plug. I was a Web designer as well as a writer back then, and covered the early days of HTML and the World Wide Web. Thanks to a pointer from my friend Glenn Fleishman, I see that those articles are archived and available for reading as PDF files.
For example, here's an article I wrote in 2000 about using mobile devices to work in areas outside the office such as coffee shops, which was also the first time I was ever the subject of a photo shoot. The photographer, my editor, and I took the Seattle—Bainbridge ferry probably three times while getting various shots of me working.
March 16, 2011
My Review of iMovie for iOS 1.2 at Macworld
A stomach bug kept me from completing this a day earlier, but now my review of iMovie for iOS 1.2, the latest version that works on the iPad 2, iPhone 4, and fourth-generation iPod touch, is now online: Review: iMovie for iOS 1.2. I found some holes and limitations, but overall it's a great, friendly app.
Keep Up with My Articles at uFollow
I've had great intentions in the past for posting new articles that I write here on my blog, but often when something appears, I'm busy working on something else, and I forget. Today I received an email from a free service called uFollow that tracks articles and blog posts from authors. Go to the page about me to see what I've published recently. It doesn't appear that you can follow an RSS feed of the page, which would be nice, but I'm guessing the point of their business is for people to set up tracking lists on their service. I don't have any relationship with the company other than suggesting a rewrite of my bio, but I wish them well and hope the service is useful for readers.
March 11, 2011
My book, Meet the iPad 2, now at the iBookstore!
I'm ecstatic to announce that the first ebook about the iPad 2 on Apple's iBookstore is my book, "Meet the iPad 2"! It contains 48 pages of essential iPad 2 information, and costs just $1.99. Follow this link to view more information, or, go to iBooks on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, tap the Store button, and do a search for "iPad 2" or "Meet the iPad 2". (You can also download a free sample to check out before you decide to purchase the book.)
(Note that this link takes you to a Web page about the book; you need to find it in the iBookstore via iBooks on your iOS device. However, as of March 18, Apple was promoting the book on the front page of the iBookstore; scroll down and click the button.)
Honestly, I'm amazed it was available on the launch day of the iPad 2. I expected it would take longer to work through the iBookstore process of submission and approval. (The iBookstore isn't exactly known for being responsive sometimes.)
However, in this case I give a huge amount of credit to my publisher, Peachpit Press. They have a great working relationship with Apple and the iBookstore team. Apple was eager to have an iPad 2 title available quickly, and my editors at Peachpit and I were able to make it happen.
As a result, I submitted the final book to Peachpit yesterday afternoon as Adobe InDesign CS5 files; their in-house team did the EPUB conversion quickly and submitted it to Apple; and the iBookstore folks made the book available.
The ebook is based on material from my iPad 2 Pocket Guide, which I'm working night and day to finish to get into bookstores and e-bookstores as soon as possible. The larger book contains a lot more information about using the iPad 2, from using Mail and Safari to playing media, streaming via AirPlay, being productive with the iWork suite, and much, much more.
(Update: The book is now available for preorder through Amazon; I'll add a link to it at Barnes & Noble when it appears.)
If you're waiting for your iPad 2 to ship, or if you're waiting in line at an Apple Store today to buy one in person, tap over to the iBookstore and buy the book for just $1.99. Thanks!
February 03, 2011
My PowerShot G12 Book Is Now Available!
It's a book!* I returned to the office to find a stack of author copies of my new book "Canon PowerShot G12: From Snapshots to Great Shots". It looks great: Full color, high quality printing, and wow, look at that cover! (Okay, I'm biased; that's my photo on the front. But I think it really pops well.)
The book is an update of my book on the G10/G11, and includes details specific to the G12. For example, did you know that the G12 has a setting that waits to fire the shutter until everyone in the frame is smiling? Or that there's a new scene mode that shoots good HDR images?
The book also includes a brand new chapter about shooting video, since the G12's ability to shoot 720p HD video is one of the camera's biggest new features. You'll also find a new section devoted to shooting with an external flash using the G12's hot shoe.
As with the previous edition, the book contains lots of photos shot by contributors to the Flickr groups we set up to find great images, and I'm thrilled at the high level of quality and broad range of images we were fortunate enough to use. If you buy the book, do make sure to check out the photographers who appear—you'll find links listed on page xi of the introductory chapter.
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble currently list the book for about $16 (37% off); there's also a Kindle version, though I'm sure it's grayscale. I imagine an iBooks version will also appear at some point.
* The "It's a book!" exclamation originated in a shared office I used to inhabit years ago. Now it's become a tradition to say when the first copy arrives. Pity my poor officemates.
November 08, 2010
Two Recent MacVoices Appearances
One of the fun parts of my job is being able to talk to people about new stuff. In this case, I recently did two podcast recordings with Chuck Joiner to talk about the new iMovie ’11 and Photoshop Elements 9. Take a listen:
Jeff Carlson is the author of two new books, Photoshop Elements 9 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide and Photoshop Elements 9 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide, both focusing on the new version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Jeff explains why he and Peachpit decided separate books were best even though there is parity between the two platform versions of Adobe’s approachable photo editing software. New to this version of Elements is the Organizer; Jeff explains what it is, what you can do with it, and how it differs from Bridge. Jeff also talks about why Elements and iPhoto shouldn’t be compared, and what each does best, explains the new content-aware healing technology that is the shining star of Elements 9, and more.
Jeff Carlson has been spending lots of time with the new iMovie ‘11, and has discovered a number of useful, cool and largely undocumented features. Jeff discusses the under-publicized return of the timeline (even if it isn’t called a timeline), the usefulness of Movie Trailer and other effects, and then dives into things you didn’t know, including rolling shutter fix, morse code in a theme, and several other minor but tasteful additions. iMovie ‘11 still isn’t good with interlaced video; Jeff explains what that means to you and how to work around it, and why iMovie ‘11 is finally almost like the long-dead iMovie HD.
October 27, 2010
My Macworld iMovie ’11 Review
Macworld has now posted my review of iMovie ’11. I gave it 4.5 mice, up from the 4 mice I gave iMovie ’09 largely due to the inclusion of audio editing features that have finally caught up (and slightly exceeded) those of the late, lamented iMovie HD 6.
Putting together a video last night drove that home: I was able to isolate some sections where the shutter click from my still camera was overwhelming. To do so, I selected the portion of the audio where a spike appeared in the waveform, and dragged the Volume bar down to zero. However, that left a noticeable gap of silence.
So, instead I selected the clip, detached the audio, then trimmed it down so that just a section of background noise was active. The video clip is automatically muted when you detach the audio, so I un-muted it, placed the background noise clip over the shutter click, and lastly reduced the volume where the spike occurs. Here's the finished product:
The green waveform at the bottom of the screenshot belongs to the background music track; I've reduced the volume to about 40 percent so it isn't competing with the audio from the video. (I tried turning on ducking for the video clips, which reduces other tracks automatically, but doing so negated the purple background noise fragment clips. It was easier to adjust the background track volume where I needed it.)
Here's the finished video: