Creative: For What It’s Worth Episode 009

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We’ve got a loaded lineup this week people. First up, another lie about newsletters. A bit more about my Patrick Swayze obsession. Then we hit up the pros of cons of the Julian Assange situation, a recap of my recent nightmare involving tigers, a description of my time at a Catchlight portfolio reviews and your thoughts on online photo education. Finally, I hit on National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore and his Photo Ark Project, Apple apologists and a quick question about Gnarbox. It’s a long one. Here’s hoping your flight is delayed.

Comments 10

  1. Hey Dan,

    A couple points on the tech stuff.

    Gnarbox: I think it’s a possibly good solution. I’m going to put one through it’s paces in a few weeks and I’ll let you know how it fares. That is if it arrives on time. They are still on pre-order and my local shop here in Austin doesn’t have any in stock or know when they will arrive. So, there’s that.

    Mac vs. PC: Loads of issues on both platforms as my experience shows. I needed to upgrade and did get an iMac Pro thinking it would be great. Not so much, or at least mine wasn’t. It went back to Apple within 30 days. Tried a high end PC and it went back in 30 days as well. Host of technical glitches, power problems and similar reliability issues I had with the iMac. I’m currently using an Apple tower from 2003 and it still works. Slow… Doesn’t allow me to use new gear but my scanner still works and I can scan film, which is problematic on the newer laptops and desktops regardless of the manufacturer.

    And this raises a host of other issues, or potential issues for photography down the road. What happens when no more desktops are being built? Not sure if it will happen but the trend suggests it might. And what happens when all you have to work on your images is based on a mobile device with limited storage and capabilities? Again, not sure when it happens but I can certainly see it happening.

    I’m not sure what my solution will end up looking like. But it will need to have some sort of ability to keep working for a number of years. And that, again raises a level of concern I have no answers for.


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      Going to wait and see about Gnarbox at Palm Springs Photo Festival. Computers are evil is, I think, the moral here.

  2. For me, 2010 Mac Pro (cheese grater model) is the last good Mac. Just got another one to hot rod at a fraction of the cost of a mini. Pcie startup ssd and rocket ship graphics cards available now that the bitmining craze has slowed down. Also holds 6 harddrives if you want. Figure I’m good for another 3 years but after that who knows. Not interested in something I can’t open the hood on. (Yes, I do repair my own cars, so there’s that to keep in mind)

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      Those were mostly solid. I still have one of those too. Mine, however, came with inherent bug Apple admitted they could not fix. This was after my Macbook with faulty hard drive and iMac with faulty power supply, both of which exploded with great fanfare. The first two iPads Blurb issued to me all died within six months. I quit asking after that. And now I’m down to my trusty, Blurb 2015 MacBook Pro but it gets so hot rendering motion that I have to prop it up on a piece of metal and then light candles to the Gods of Heat. Take compassion on me. Sure, all of this stuff looks great. But performance and longevity are another thing. My Leica still works fine and it’s 50 years old.

  3. Hi Daniel,
    I’ve been a Apple guy for over 20 years, initially attracted because the company was marketing to “creatives.” But that is not the case any more. The are building consumer hardware and I’m often frustrated with these limitations. I flirted about getting a Surface Pro for my next computer and will probably switch to Windows when my MacBook dies or software cannot be upgraded. It’s not that I am attracted to Windows, as I still find the operating system bloated, but Microsoft appears to be developing hardware that is more flexible.

    -12 inch MacBook
    -iPad Pro 11 inch
    -iPhone SE

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      Hey James,
      Thanks for commenting. Let me first remind everyone my body puts off a death ray that kills all electronics. I’m not joking, sadly. My SE died quickly and spectacularly. I’m on my fourth iPad. Thankfully I only paid for one. It still works. The rest of my Apple life has been rife with faulty parts. Never an issue with software. Just the nuts and bolts that either came faulty or broke soon thereafter. I too ventured to Microsoft store and within ten minutes looked at seven or eight options that seemed FAR beyond anything that Apple offers. Microsoft Studio, Surface Pro, Surface Book, Dell XPS 13 with 4k touchscreen and real keyboard, Lenovo Yoga, etc. I too am off put by Windows. I just don’t know it, and not sure I want to take the time to learn it. Although, my life is mostly Adobe products and Gmail. And this damn site. There are some Apple specific programs I use that might be tough to replace. Not sure yet.

  4. Hey Daniel,

    Re computers: I’ve been using Apple products for years and have had a few problems, maybe less than others. The SSD portion of the Fusion Drive in my iMac recently fried and I was down a computer for a few days while Apple replaced it. The online support to help me with this was great though. For mobile, I am using an iPad Pro. It recently died and Apple replaced it for me. The main thing that I have found is that it really helps to have Apple Care for each product. If something does go wrong, they seem to offer extra assistance and give the benefit of the doubt. For me, this is one of the benefits of working with Apple. I won’t buy a current MacBook due to all of the keyboard issues.

    Re photo lessons: Most online lessons seem to deal with the ‘how’ of photography. These are great when there is a particular issue that needs to be addressed. There are, however, a few people who are also very good at the ‘why’ of photography. I subscribe to Lynda/Linkedin because of this. For me, Creative Live is ok, but the “live” aspect of the recordings is sort of disconnected from the online audience. Also, the audience generally looks like people who are paid to sit there rather than people who are genuinely interested in the subject. But that’s just my opinion.

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      Good to know. Thanks for taking time to share. I’m using my Blurb computer still so I’m good for now. However, it suffers anytime I do imaging of any sort, so at some point it will explode. There have been issues with it but Blurb IT is really solid and they have brought this baby back time and time again.

  5. Hi Dan, I’m way behind the curve here. I discovered ‘For What It’s Worth’ only recently, but I’m enjoying catching up. These comments may now be redundant, but I’m someone who finds it hard not to give an opinion on any subject so here goes.

    Julian Assange: we need Wikileaks or something like it, I just wish it didn’t come with Mr Assange attached.

    Apple: I’ve been a Mac user for about ten years. I’ve had a few niggly problems but nothing serious and objectively no more than I expect I’d get from a PC. I work on my desktop all day, five days a week. I used to have a Mac mini that was getting too old to do any heavy lifting and certainly too slow to run Capture One. So I bought a refurbished, hi-spec, 2009 MacPro from a dealer here in the UK. I have no regrets they completely rebuild to the latest specs and for less than half the price for a similar spec new Mac. I only use my laptop for email, surfing and blog posts; it’s a 2011 MacBook Pro, that I’ve upgraded as necessary, and it’s okay for that. If I had to buy a new laptop, I’d struggle to justify the money Apple is asking, especially as they’re not easy for the user to upgrade. If I bought a new laptop now, I’d probably look at one of the Microsoft machines.

    Online photo training: I’ve paid for a couple of Creative Live courses, one by Dan Brouillette on Environmental Portraits was particularly useful. Apart from that, I’ve found little that inspires me in the online world. The only online training I’d be interested in now would be something focusing in documentary approach, editing and story making rather than technical aspects. You didn’t say why you were asking. I think there’s a gap for a longer-term relationship with a documentary tutor/mentor – I’d be interested in that. However, it seems anything I’ve seen on that line is an opportunity to get personal time with a celebrity photographer – that’s not for me.

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      Hey Nigel,
      Thank you for taking time to write. Ah, computers. Not sure what to do. Mac Mini is on the list. With maybe a PC laptop. I can’t buy something with a keyboard that doesn’t work, which eliminates Apple. Not to mention those missing ports. It really appears Apple doesn’t even want to make laptops anymore. I’ve taught two Creative Lives classes in the past, maybe three, which were fun to make and I think successful.

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