February 05, 2011
Blue Bottle Siphon Coffee Brewing
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:
October 13, 2010
[Update: Sorry, I accidentally flagged the video as private. It's now public.]
Looking for some serenity? This is what greeted me when I came to work this morning.
Be sure to view it in HD. Shot with a Canon PowerShot G12, edited in iMovie.
April 07, 2010
Talking about G10/G11 Book on MacVoices
On a recent MacVoices podcast, I joined Chuck Joiner to talk about the making of my (almost ridiculously long-titled) book "Canon PowerShot G10/G11: From Snapshots to Great Shots." What's great about this episode is that we were joined by photographers Jeff Lynch and Justin Van Leeuwen, who contributed photos for the book through an experimental crowd-sourcing process using Flickr.
From Chuck's description: "The team talk about how the project came together, the decision to publclly solicit photographs, and why so many shooters decided to get involved. The project took on a life of its own, and the conversation covers it all, from the social networking aspects of digital photography to an explanation of what makes this book different than other instructional and coffee table books, to some good old photographer geek talk."
Listen to the podcast here.
March 26, 2010
Love This Photo of Coffee and Tylenol
Marco Arment (developer of Tumblr and Instapaper) has a cold. And a really great photo illustrating how he's fighting it:
February 08, 2010
This May Be My Fave Photo Ever
Okay, I'm biased by the fact that I just shot it the other day without giving the image any distance, but I really really love this shot.
It's even better when viewed large.
January 31, 2010
A Day of (Anonymous) Fame
On Wednesday, Glenn Fleishman and I caught an early flight to San Francisco to attend Apple's media event where the company introduced the iPad. It was fun to be there for the announcement, not just because it's a new Apple product but because there's a lot of energy and interest among the assembled journalists. (I put together a photo essay at TidBITS documenting the day: Photo Tour of Apple's iPad Introduction, which you can also view as a slideshow on Flickr.)
The iPad is impressive, speedy, and responsive. It's also very experiential: you get a better sense of it when actually using it, versus reading about its specifications and features. I think Apple will sell a ton of them, mostly to customers who aren't "computer people." Glenn and I wrote about our impressions in "Hands-On Impressions of the iPad" for TidBITS.
We had only a short window of time to use the iPads—those were unfinished prototypes, with some software features missing (such as the iBooks Store and many app preferences, for example). So as a journalist, I spent much of my time trying to think of what features to absorb and which questions to ask. At one point, I launched the iPod app and played some music. Since the room was filled with clamoring (literally, at first) people, I couldn't hear the music well, so I lifted the iPad up to my ear.
(I couldn't tell how good the speaker was, though I definitely felt the bass thumping at the back of the unit through my fingers.)
When I did, Justin Sullivan of Getty Images snapped a photo of me. I didn't notice at the time, of course; as you can see in the photo at right, many people had cameras.
After the event, Glenn and I caught a 6 p.m. flight back to Seattle.
The next day, I received an email from a friend saying she thought she saw me on The Huffington Post Web site. And sure enough, there I was! No doubt the photo was chosen because it looks like I'm having a special romantic moment with the iPad.
Soon after, a bigger surprise arrived via Twitter: someone said the photo appeared on the cover of the print edition of USA Today. I jumped in my car and drove to the nearest grocery store to see for myself (and buy a half gallon of milk). Here's a shot of me with the evidence:
You can view a PDF version of the cover here.
But wait, there was one more appearance: Not only did the photo appear in the Wall Street Journal, it occupied most of the above-the-fold first page of the Marketplace section.
(Sullivan also included another photo of me holding the iPad in the batch of Getty photos from the event, but it's not nearly as good as the first one.)
I can't really claim "fame" from the photo, just exposure. But still! There are plenty of unsavory ways to appear on the cover of a national newspaper. I like this method better.
June 03, 2009
Recover Erased Photos from a Memory Card
Have you done the bone-headed thing I did recently? I erased a memory card in my camera, and then realized I hadn't transferred the latest photos to my computer. Fortunately, they're easy to recover as I write about in an article at TidBITS: Recover Erased Photos from a Memory Card (2009-06-03).
I look at four programs that can get the job done, each with their pluses and minuses: Data Rescue II, Klix, Photo Recovery for Mac, and Image Rescue.