Speaking at NMX 2013

I’m excited to share that I’ve been selected to present at NMX in January in Las Vegas.

NMX (formerly known as BlogWorld & New Media Expo) is the leading conference for those with a professional or personal interest in blogging, podcasting, social media, and other “new” media topics.

I’ll be presenting a session titled “You’re a Better Photographer Than You Realize: Photography Tips for New Media”. Whether it’s with a DSLR, smartphone, or point-and-shoot camera, pretty much everyone doing social media is creating photographs of some sort. In my hourlong session we’ll dive into practical tips on exposure, composition, lighting, and other techniques to make interesting images.

I’ve really enjoyed my past experiences attending and speaking at BlogWorld; I’m looking forward to NMX and I hope to see you there! With the location being at the Rio in Vegas, the NMX folks offer a great program for a low fee when compared with other similar events.

Register Now for NMX 2013 in Las Vegas, Jan 6-8!

I’d Like to Buy an 8″ iPad Now, Please…

Apple LogoWe’ve all heard the rumors of Apple producing an 8″ iPad – something a bit smaller, and a smidge bigger than the current Kindle Fire, Nook, and Nexus 7 models that seem to be doing well. Here’s my take on a tablet smaller than the iPad and how I’ve reached my conclusion that I want one.

I’ve owned an iPad since day one. I still have the original 16gb wifi model and haven’t upgraded to the iPad 2 or “the new iPad” (more on reasons below). I love the device. Prior to September 2011, I used the iPad frequently for:

  • email, Twitter, and the web while at conferences
  • email, Twitter, writing, and the web while at coffee shops
  • acting as my main computer while traveling
  • reading articles via Instapaper
  • reading RSS feeds via Reeder
  • reading ebooks as PDFs
  • reading ebooks via the Kindle app.
  • managing tasks via OmniFocus
  • playing the occasional game

In September 2011 I bought an 11″ MacBook Air, which has become my primary computer for conferences, travel, and coffee shops. In November 2011 I got a Kindle. These two devices have taken over many of the duties once performed by my iPad. The MacBook Air is far more versatile for typing and multitasking quickly, and the Kindle is a great device that for reading Kindle ebooks at home.

With the addition of these two devices, my iPad use dropped quite a bit, such that my current iPad use cases are:

  • reading articles via Instapaper
  • reading RSS feeds via Reeder
  • reading ebooks as PDFs
  • managing tasks via OmniFocus
  • playing the occasional game

I’d love to get a new iPad that’s a bit faster and perhaps has a higher-density screne, but given my current uses I’m not sure I can justify $500 for what’s become a reading/game device.

As I see folks like MG Siegler and Dan Benjamin talk about how much they like the Nexus 7’s size, I’m bullish on Apple producing an iPad of a similar form factor. If Apple brings one to market, priced around $249, I’ll jump on it. Honestly I’d grab a Nexus 7 today if it could run OmniFocus…

Three Little Words that Trigger Disappointment

Piled TechThree little words tell me so much about someone’s attitude about their software values.

The conversation usally happens after I mention an app or web service provider. Perhaps I mention how much I like Instacast. Or maybe I show how I love the Instapaper iPad app. Possibly I’m blabbing about how SmugMug is a great way to show off and sell photos.

And then it happens. The first words out of their mouth. Or maybe not the first words, but it’s usually not far behind.

Is it free?

I sigh. Sometimes audibly, sometimes internally. I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that we’ve reached a situation where free has become the standard by which comparisons are made. Software is hard. Applications and web services represent the results of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of hours of work. And the response when I suggest a great $2 application often begins with “is it free?” This response comes from someone usually carrying a $200 smartphone for which they’re paying $40-100 each month.

The software or services in my examples will help you keep up with news and entertainment, improve your reading experience, or allow you to archive and present your creative works in a beautiful way. And you sit and hem and haw about whether or not it’s worth the price of a coffee.

The Oatmeal said it well.

The Retina-Savvy Photographer

Looking upward at the top of the 125-foot-tall Astoria Column.The new iPad should start arriving in folks’ hands tomorrow, offering a nice “retina” display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels.

At what resolution are you posting your images to the web?

John Gruber notes:

…most graphics and images on the web are behind the curve, as of today. Text looks great in Safari, but non-retina images look slightly blurry. The iPad display is so good that it shows, like no device before it, just how crummy most images on the web are.

How is your photography going to look on the web? I know that my SmugMug galleries contain high-res images that are resized as appropriate, but I’ll be evaluating my photos elsewhere.

What does this mean for those who are paranoid about image theft to the point where they only post low-resolution imagery to the web?

Are your clients, friends, and fans going to find your photos look great at high-resolution on their new tablets, or will they wonder why things are so small or fuzzy?

iPhoto for the iPad: My Question (and Reaction)

Update: iPhoto was in fact announced. Further thoughts at the bottom of this original article.

Please do not handle.  At Pike Place Market in Seattle.Some well-reasoned pundit speculation about the hours-away iPad 3 announcement indicates we may see iPhoto announced for the iPad. You’d think I’d be all excited about that as a photographer, right?

I’m an Adobe Lightroom user who’s found the experience of editing photos on the iPad to be clunky, awkward, and slow. These problems weren’t because of software, but because a finger-touch system is a crappy way to make precise photo edits. iPhoto won’t fix that.

Why should I care about a system that will involve importing photos from some external camera device, editing them in a clunky interface, and managing them in a system which isn’t compatible with Lightroom?

What am I missing?

Update after the announcement: Apple did announce iPhoto for iOS (both iPad and iPhone). I might load it on my iPhone, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never really use it on the iPad. As I mentioned when I wrote this piece last night, the issue isn’t software – it’s hardware and workflow. I don’t capture images on my iPad… so if I’m going to spend the time to import images onto another device for editing, why would I import to the iPad (with a limited set of photo editing tools) instead of my MacBook Air (with Lightroom)? And when I’m done editing and want to share the photos online, would I rather do that from the iPad one-app-at-a-time interface where sharing/uploads are often clunky, or would I rather do that as a Lightroom export including the various publish services?