Photography Travel and places

What do you think of this: Tel-Aviv beach trip

We were on vacation recently. It was more of a stay-cation – we are new to Israel so it was a perfect time for some local tourism. Instead of renting a car and heading to some holiday resort, we slept at home and took day trips. We spent the afternoon of our third day at a terrific beach in Tel-Aviv at the Tel-Aviv Port. It was my first time in the ocean here and I couldn’t believe how warm the water was. I’m not usually a beach person but I think that could change.

We left the beach shortly before it closed and moved up to the boardwalk where we had something to eat and took some photos. I like how some of these came out and I’d love to get some feedback if you have any.

Busy Tel Aviv beach

I had my 18-55mm kit lens and my f1.8 50mm lens with me and I shot this with the kit lens. I’d like to buy a f1.8 35mm lens for the wider angle stuff but the kit lens works pretty well in good light. I like this shot mostly because of the way the beach line almost takes your eyes out to see. This next one does a better job of that and the curvature from the zoom adds something to the shot that I like:

This next one was an experiment with a slower shutter speed. I usually shoot in Aperture priority mode and switched to Shutter Speed priority. I like the effect on the waves but I think there is probably too much motion in the photo to save it. I don’t usually shoot much with a slower shutter speed but I get the feeling a shot needs more prominent, static reference points to prevent the motion from just looking like a blurred shot:

The sun was setting so I spent a bit of time taking photos of the sunset. I like the railing in this photo which I took with my iPhone 5 and debated whether to switch to my DSLR and my 50mm lens with its shallower depth of focus to highlight the railing. That said, this photo didn’t work out too badly:

It sometimes amazes me that my iPhone can take such great photos. I use the VSCOCam app which is a great photo capture and editing app. Here is another photo that I took with my iPhone which came out nicely:

When I looked at this next sunset shot to add to this post I thought it was from my DSLR but its actually another iPhone photo. This kind of quality is why camera quality will always guide my phone choices:

My full set is on Flickr if you’d like to see more. In the meantime, I’d appreciate feedback on the photos, technical or otherwise.

Devices Travel and places

Just give me a bigger phone, keep the iPad

Om Malik published an interesting post about Apple’s iPhone sales and the impact the iPhone 6+ seems to be having on iPad sales. He singled out the larger iPhone 6+ in particular:

If you want to see the impact of the iPhone 6+, look no further than iPad sales: about $9 billion during the quarter, which is down 22 percent, from $11.5 billion during the same quarter in 2013. The iPad as a percentage of overall Apple revenues was down to 12 percent from 20 percent a year ago. Apple saw an 18 percent year-over-year decline in iPad unit sales during the quarter. Of the total iPads sold during the quarter, 45 percent were iPad Minis, down from 49 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013. The iPad mini sales were about $4 billion during the quarter, down from about $5.7 billion a year ago. These numbers provide anecdotal evidence of my earlier contention that the iPhone 6+ is going to cannibalize the iPad mini. Not that there is anything wrong with that: Apple is perfectly okay with eating its old and rejuvenating itself with new products. Year-over-year quarterly iPod sales declined by almost half: 3.3 million units versus 6 million a year ago.

I’ve thought about which device would work best for me since I started commuting daily by train and bus to work and my iPad is less and less useful to me. It is a great form factor for some things (I created a great diagram in the Paper app recently which I couldn’t do on an iPhone) but most of what I do on a mobile device lately doesn’t need something as big as an iPad.

I usually listen to music, read feeds, skim through updates and take photos on the go. I don’t have a data SIM in my iPad so I have to connect it to wifi and that is touch and go. My phone is always connected and with me so its a better option for most of what I need to do. My iPhone 5 is just a bit on the small side when it comes to reading on screen so bigger phones have become really appealing to me (along with better battery life).

If I had cash in my pocket to buy a new phone today, I’d probably be torn between a great Android phone like the Sony Experia and one of the newer iPhone models. I’ve held the iPhone 6+ and it is a pretty big phone but not impossibly so for me. The one thing that dissuades me from going with a huge phone isn’t so much using it, its more the likelihood of the device fitting into my jeans pockets!

What I am pretty sure about, though, is that I want a bigger phone in the future and, once I have that, I probably won’t use my iPad nearly as much as I do now.

Image credit: “iPhone 6 Plus, MacBook Air, Thunderbolt monitor” by Dylan, licensed CC BY 2.0

Useful stuff

Prevent iPhoto from launching when you connect your iPhone in Yosemite

You may have noticed that iPhoto launches automatically when you connect your iPhone to your Mac. iPhoto started launched on my Mac even though my iPhoto settings didn’t enable this. It turns out you need to change your settings in the Image Capture app if iPhoto (or Aperture, as the case may be) has the option disabled in its settings.


The key is in the panel in the bottom left of the Image Capture window which you may need to expand by clicking on the little icon in that corner.


That should fix it for you.

Photography Travel and places

Heading north on the Gautrain

I’m heading to Centurion with my wife this morning for some civil service admin and, hopefully, a more efficient process.

I’m using the trip as an opportunity to capture more Gautrain images for my collection. I managed to delete my RAW files from my Rhodesfield collection (I still cringe when I think about it).

I think the Centurion platform is one of my favourites. Here are a couple HDR shots I took with TrueHDR a this morning. I have more on my Nikon which I’ll work on later.

Update: I started working through my DSLR photos and picked out these two to share in the meantime. I’m presenting at a conference next week so I’ll have to finish the photoset off in the next couple days.


Mobile HDR photography

I’m intrigued by how iPhone camera apps handle HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. The default camera app has a pretty decent HDR setting which I use routinely. It tends to result in much richer images than without the setting enabled.

I thought I’d try out the TrueHDR app which I’ve had on my phone for a while and forgot about for much of that time. You can definitely see the difference between the two and I think I may start using TrueHDR more going forward.


Taken with TrueHDR
Taken with TrueHDR

iOS Camera app (iPhone 5):

Taken with the iPhone Camera app (HDR enabled)
Taken with the iPhone Camera app (HDR enabled)

At least I hope I didn’t confuse them … The results from both are pretty appealing, especially for a mobile phone camera.

Social Web Useful stuff

BitTorrent Sync for file transfers from your iPhone to your Mac

Just when I was lamenting not being able to easily send files from my iPhone to my Mac, I realised I could just use BitTorrent Sync … it’s what AirDrop should be. Just waiting for the iPad app and I’m set for file transfers.