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Saturday, 28 October 2023


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Regarding Sri Lanka, you got it backwards. It was formerly known as Ceylon and is now called Sri Lanka.

Just upgraded to 15 pro max. I never much liked phone photography - just couldn’t cope with using the screen as both the viewfinder and the shutter button and holding the dang thing so I could compose. The new action button had completely changed that. Press and hold for camera. Thumb taps focus point on screen. Press shutter as per every other camera I’ve owned. Voilà! Love it. Now I just need to learn which lens option supports what sensor resolution …

Many years ago, I read a book about serendipity in science. My favorite example was how Louis Pasteur was on vacation in southern France and was asked to find a method to clean wine barrels from deposit of tartaric acid. Not sure if he found a way to do that, but he discovered that tartaric acid crystallizes in 2 different forms which deviate the plane of polarized light in different direction. That is due to the carbon atom having 4 chemical bonds that can be arranged in 2 different ways, one the mirror image of the other. That started the entire field of organic chemistry.

I know it’s a very geeky story…

Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka.

I recently acquired an iPhone, and a guide to Snapseed, which appears to be one of the best image processing apps for the phone, even though it's a Google program running on Apple. I'll give it a year to see if it can produce some "keepers." Did your iphone tutor use any particular app?

Horace Walpole was the son of the man who is regarded as Britain's (that is England, Ireland and Scotland (America too)) first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole.
The Walpole family was pretty wealthy and young Horace was not only eccentric, he had a great eye too.
What does a man do when so equipped, whilst some will while away their time drinking and making merry, young Horace built himself a house.
The house is at Strawberry Hill, close to Richmond on Thames in Surrey, it is some house. Over the years it gradually eroded away to pretty much a ruin.
We had a television series, which I seem to remember was hosted by Baldric from Blackadder (Sir Tony Robinson), it was called Restoration, and the semi ruined house was featured. The publicity encouraged various people and authorities to begin its restoration.
During this project, the house and gardens were open to the public and I went a couple of times with my wife and later my sister in law and witnessed its progress.
In all, it is a wonderful experience and a delight, with something extraordinary at every turn.


Worth mentioning the words serendipitiosity and serendipititious coined by John Cusak in the 20 year old romcom Christmas Eve movie SEERENDIPITY.

Incidentally I hail from Kerala, a state on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and very near to the island nation Sreelanka, Ceyon or Serendip!

Kerala (known as God's Own Country) is very similar to Ceylon in Climate, weather, landscapes and culture, however we speak the language Malayalam (an anagram) while people of Ceylon are two ethnic groups Tamil and Sinhalese. I am also glad to let you know that I have been following your blog for a very long time, for more than ten years!

In fact, I read your blog every day!

Just one comment Mike about the iPhone portion of your post - I believe now that not only can “portrait mode” bokeh levels be adjusted after the shot, functionality which has been around for a while, but now on some or all of the iPhone 15 models, “portrait mode” and the level of bokeh can be post-selected in editing mode after the shot has been taken in normal “Photo mode”, if there is a human subject in the frame. Haven’t tried it myself but have seen this new functionality talked about in iPhone 15 reviews.

And there you are in the picture, taking the picture.

One of the Astro photo of the Milky Way was done if you have a tripod (or anything that stable the phone down) and take a 30s photo. A lot of these floating away in my telescope group. Crazy.

Another look at malls-

Speaking of the iPhone15, weren't you going to publish a column (written by someone else) a couple of weeks ago?

I have an iPhone13 but might upgrade if the camera functions & quality are significantly better - so would like to see the artical.

"I'd write more about the iPhone but I never have the latest model, and not everyone uses Apple."

Why would this stop you from writing about using an iPhone for photography?

Mike, you are an intellectual. That is about thinking ... not "intelligence" (stop thinking about intelligence, but if you do, look at Howard Gardner and realize it is best represented by a matrix (interdependence between different parts) and not a vector (as he theorizes).

You need to open the door to living abroad. Consider South America (Cuenca, Ecuador anyone?). I will join you in a few years and we will play cards (Rook anyone) and you will do photography of beautiful people-scapes that you will enjoy. Xander will visit because it is a great vacation destination (you pick up the flight tab). Healthcare is much cheaper (sorry, unless you have an unusual medical condition, healthcare abroad is much cheaper. This is your retirement (ok, you will work periodically but...)

Sorry, I guess I'm the curmudgeon in this discussion but I HATE most iPhone photos that attempt to be "serious" photography. iPhones are great for "snappy pix" and price labels but they're hard to hold and even my 13ProMax photos are easily seen as technically mediocre.

I'll be the first to say that folks should have fun, and enjoy whatever image making device they wish to use, from Minox to iPhone, to 8x10 view camera; whatever floats your boat as they say, but let's not confuse mediocrity and ease of use with what most of the readers of this blog do on a regular basis.

[I think iPhone photos look truly good, as long as you look at them...on an iPhone. When and if you try to do much else with them, I agree with you. --Mike]

I just got back from a photo trip (bird photos!) Someone allowed my fancy 100-500 Canon R lens to drop in the sand, day #3 of 7, ruining it and mostly spoiling the last 4 days of the trip as I am a nature and bird photographer. Our favorite lenses differ from the typical TOP reader-white lenses are a necessity. But that loss was almost made up by our naturalists/photo helpers and the NatGeo photographer who travelled with us. He has 5 iPhones (yep 5) and a 4/3 olympus rig, all of which he swears by. He used the iPhones as much as the 4/3 for a promotional video&stills for NatGeo. He was most generous of his time, tips and setups, especially regarding the iPhone. I use it less for my usual subjects but was glad to find there is an AF/AE lock if one puts a finger on the subject for 3 seconds.

Way behind on my website update- Mike taught me how to procrastinate.

Malls everywhere are dying. Many are being converted into housing and/or professional offices. Blame/thank the Internet.

Great photograph of the photo seminar!

I am pretty sure still photo quality suffers with Live images. I am not an iPhone Photo expert by any means, but I took a picture of a wild horse near Tonopah, NV. Unbeknownst to me, it was a live image. It is clearly pixelated and poor resolution, as if it was averaging several of the video frames.

It is not a *horrible* effect, but certainly not what I wanted.

Mike, is there a way of locating your Mac Mini that it is further away from where the dog hairs build up? Perhaps elevate it onto a shelf or something so it's not so vulnerable.

What you describe as the "very effective ventilation" of the Mac Studio means it has more holes for more fluff and crud to enter and take up residence inside. A well specced M2 Mini is so powerful it would probably be more than capable enough for most people, even with 3D CAD or stitching big files.

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