Looking down on Beijing

China Next Year?

I’ve gone to China every year for the last four or five or so. But I may skip it this time. The pollution in the cities is so bad that it literally makes me not feel good towards the end of the trip. Of course when I arrive, I am so excited to go! And I keep that excitement for a long time… but then the last few days I’m just dragging… it’s too much for me… so maybe I will fill that hole with something else – maybe like just staying at home in New Zealand where there is negative pollution! :)

Daily Photo – Looking down on Beijing

Here is a view of the master-planned roadway system from the top of one of Beijing’s tallest buildings in the CBD (Central Business District). I notice something funny about the way Chinese governments name areas. They are always so literal and formally translated that there is no magic in the names. One building might be called “Tower of Office” and another would have the name “Newspaper Building”.

Looking down on Beijing

Looking down on Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2013 at 9:36am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length84.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A Child in a New Hutong

What does the Fox Say in Google Glass

My daughter Scarlett loves to use glass to watch music videos and sing or dance around… in this case, she did a voice search for “What does the fox say” and this happened. She can hear it fine, btw… the music is playing clearly by vibrating into her skull through her occipital bone.

My sorry golf clubs

I’ve been playing more and more golf lately. I’m not good. That’s not the direction I’m going with this; I’m going in the direction of having a very old and scattered set of clubs. I think I must have irons and woods from at least six different makers, and many of the key ones are missing. 7-iron? Gone. 4-iron? Gone. But I do have all these other strange clubs that I have never even found the occasion to use – even one with a wooden shaft. I have to pilfer my son’s new clubs to fill the gaps… I haven’t taken it upon myself to get a new set yet because I don’t think my game warrants it… but maybe some day! :)

Daily Photo – A Child in a New Hutong

Hutongs are older, family, communal areas in China. There are thousands of them scattered all around Beijing, for example. Most are old and classical, but some of them have gone through modern renovations and are now a mix between the old and the new. This one had some trendy furniture stores, a theater, and a little coffee shop on one half while the other half was still old-school and classical. I saw this child resting on top of a ramp to a theater.

A Child in a New Hutong

A Child in a New Hutong

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 26, 2013 at 8:03am
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Questions Answered Regarding the switch from Nikon to Sony

Questions about switching from Nikon to Sony – Jump to the answer!

I’m not going to embed the video here, because the Q&A Interface won’t work right, so Go Watch The Video Here.

After you press click on the link above and press play, , you can click on the questions on the right to jump forward to the answer! Actually, this is REALLY COOL that you can do this… this Q&A layer on top of YouTube is really slick!

If you want to know more, go ready my Sony NEX-7 Review.

Some of you may have already seen some of this, but if not, once inside, here are some of the questions & answers you can jump to!

- How are you able to get the quality of images you are getting with such a tiny camera?

- What was the impetus behind you deciding to try switching to the NEX?

- Why go with the NEX / APS-C size sensor? Why not go down to the Micro Four Thirds format with a slightly smaller sensor but with a better lens selection?

- What about photographers with clients? Is the perception of carrying a big camera vs small camera an issue?

- Bokeh…Talk about the differences there.

- What are the quality trade-offs?

- Durability…what are some of the differences there?

- I’ve noticed a different look to your edits since you’ve started using the mirrorless system. Is this intended or just the way your photos have come naturally?

- Did you find yourself shooting more with the NEX once the firmware update for auto bracketing was released?

- Trey, in your article, you stated you use the NEX6 for day to day and the NEX7 for your epic landscapes. Do you find the NEX7′s slow focus the cause for that?

- How do you carry your gear?

- Going back to your Nikons, with companies releasing adapters for lenses for other brands, do you see yourself grabbing a Nikon to NEX speedbooster to use your lenses on your NEX system?

- In your article you mentioned apps on the Sony. Do the new Android cameras like the recently announced Samsung NX1000 excite you in that department?

- Parting thoughts. Regarding advanced amateur photographers, what would you advise them if they’ve already spent thousands on DSLR gear or not , should they switch to mirrorless?

and lastly but not leastly:

- What would you rather photograph – Tennis or Water Polo?

Daily Photo – NEX in China

Here’s another photo I took while in China when in the middle of my Sony NEX experimentation. We went to an older area in the middle of Beihei to see this ancient scene, like time had stopped hundreds of years ago…

China Girl

NEX in China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2013 at 7:57am
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length65.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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RAW Photos in the Cloud – now on Google+

An interesting development!

I just found out today that Google+ now supports the uploading of RAW files — as far as I know, this is the only social network to allow this – cool! I have tried it now with a few different images, including this one below. They support RAW files from over 70 different cameras, and I can only assume they will add more as time goes on. I have a few thoughts on this. I have a lot of questions too, but sometimes good questions are more interesting! So, when I uploaded some RAW files to G+, they worked perfectly. I was then able to go in and edit the photo using the just-released photo editing tools. These have all come online recently because of Google’s acquisition of Nik. Those guys have not just been sitting around. What started as a little side-project, Snapseed, has now become a new way to edit photos in the cloud. In fact, the Snapseed “meme” is spreading across all the Google products, from the Android to the web.

HDR Photo

An Adobe Disruptor?

I think so! It will be a while, but we can already see the stepping stones for Google stepping on the stones of Adobe. I know I know… you guys think I am crazy, but think long term. To think that you’ll definitely be using Adobe products in five or ten years seems short-sighted. Remember back in 1997 when we thought for sure we’d be using Microsoft Word forever? There has never really been a compelling competitor for Adobe Photoshop. Sure, there’s GIMP, but that is such an edge-case that most professionals don’t take it seriously. But when Google bought Nik, I think they wanted to disrupt the whole way of thinking about photography and workflow. Nik Software is used by professionals, and the whole team is full of serious photographers. Nik Software lacked a lot of the things that Adobe Photoshop provided that most professionals need. All we need is layers and a few more vital tools, and we can all switch to Google’s toolset.

Just in the cloud?

I don’t think so. Personally, I keep all my RAWs in Adobe Lightroom and it is too cumbersome to upload them all and edit online. I just checked my Lightroom, and I have over 260,000 RAW files. I need full-on speed and responsiveness. However, based on the tea leaves I am bullish that my workflow will change in the next few years.

Nik in Android and the Web

I guess we should just calling them “Nik,” yeah? Google, okay… So the Snapseed software is now part of Android, and the editing tools on my Android phone and tablet are at least twice as robust as the web tools. I assume this is because they have only released version 1 of the web tools, and we’ll see all the functionality move over to the web too. But, I hope we end up seeing MORE functionality in the web interface. After all, it’s a full-screen environment that is better for creative professionals.

The Coming Future

I believe we’re headed to a hybrid environment – one in which we slide our SD cards into the side of the computer and we have Chrome-based client software that does all the essential stuff that Photoshop provides (layers, masking, other tools) — all client side! In the meantime, RAW files are being privately backed up to the web as well as all of our levels of undo. We can all look back at how our workflow has changed over the last five years. In fact, it’s probably changed multiple times! To think it won’t change many more times in the next few years is not realistic. Lord knows we’re all dealing with the same post-processing workflow and organizational problems – so I am happy that so many hardcore photographers at Google are also working on this problem. And yes, I think it will all be free.

More stepping stones I’d like to see

The current RAW upload is a little strange. Here are some issues (questions) I have: – After I upload the RAW file, there is no easy way to “edit” the file. I have to scroll to the bottom of the album (which takes a while with hundreds of photos), find it, click it, then click edit. – Albums currently max out at 1,000 – so this will be a problem for anyone that wants to upload a ton of RAW for Google to keep. – Question: When I use the new Edit tool, am I editing a JPG conversion that has already been made, or is it using the RAW? For example, when I pull up the “Shadows” in the “Tune” dialog, is it getting the light data from the RAW or from the flattened JPG (I hope the former!)

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The Mighty Templegate

Khan Academy

Man, Khan Academy just gets better and better. I use it a lot with the kids to help with math, but it also has a lot more now… everything from Computer Science to the History of Art. Even if you’re a grownup, I think you’ll find some cool stuff over there.

Daily Photo – The Mighty Templegate

If I am going to shoot photos in the middle of the day, these are my absolute favorite kinds of clouds. These are usually hot days and the big clouds are angry and want to form a storm, but they just can’t get it done, so they roil about and look dramatic.

This is one of the many temple complexes around the ancient town of Lijiang. There were hundreds of different ways and places to shoot, so I often find the process of choosing just a few to be an interesting challenge.

Temple Gate

The Mighty Templegate

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/180
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

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