I had a dream about traveling on a global birding expedition with one backpack, my trusty new Nikon Trailbrazer binoculars and the Leica Q3. But don’t pass out, the Leica was just this strange, pointy-in-parts, orb of some sort that was just a visual placeholder for what the Q3 might actually be. And no, I have no plans to buy one. However, this does speak to several important things. First, dreaming is really cool. Second, going on a global birding expedition with one backpack, my binocs and a Leica Q3, whatever it may be, sounds like something that I want to do. The Q3, or Q of any sort for that matter, might sound like the worst camera to take on a global birding mission because what on Earth are you going to do with a 28mm. The answer, plenty. And in fact, I would use that camera to make a style of picture and story that are more me than anything else.
I am buying into the long lens birding world because I find it incredibly challenging, AND I have a new project idea that I will start work on in the coming months. This project is based entirely in New Mexico and will see me travel extensively statewide. I will be using the long glass to attempt to catalog as many species as possible, hence the need for something like this. However, there is another side to this story. The part about the atmosphere of birding. The locations, the travel, the people, and THIS side of the story is where something like a Q would be a perfect fit. Small, light and easy to get through airport security. The last time I flew through a Latin American airport, security was on the hunt for people with camera gear. They knew that tons of people with cameras were transiting the area, and for security this means money. They asked if I had “X” amount of equipment or a laptop computer. I took a chance and said “No.” This is a game I now find myself having to play again and again. So having one tiny body with a built in lens holds strategic advantage. But again, THIS WAS ONLY A DREAM. DON’T START WRITING ME ABOUT MY LEICA Q3. I DON’T HAVE ONE.
I have also been putting serious thought toward what I want my online life to be. My online life will be an honest reflection of my real life, warts and all. Photography, Blurb, cycling, birding, hiking, paddling, fishing, exploring, reading, etc. This site will remain the hub but should see more love in the form of both free and paid newsletters. I have an idea for what I want the paid newsletter to be. I am also contemplating a departure from YouTube to a paid subscription service for my films. I know this means I will lose almost everyone, but I feel like I both need to prove an alternative method and because YouTube feels like it has become little more than a site controlled by an inhumane algorithm. Don’t believe me, just take a look at what some of the most successful YouTubers are saying.
I have also begun imagining my entire life run from an iPad Pro. For those of you who know my insanely bad track record with all things electronic, you must be shaking your head and uttering horrible things. Of all the Apple products I’ve had, going back over thirty years, the iPad Pro is–by far–my favorite device. I use it every single day, multiple times for multiple uses, and my particular unit is about to turn six-years-old, which in the span of an Apple product is legendary. The touchscreen and pen are life and work changing. Yes, Apple continues to threaten a touchscreen laptop but we’ve been hearing this for over a decade. (I had Windows touchscreen tablet with full keyboard, stylus pen and ports and it was the best device I’ve ever had, except that it was Windows.) And yes, Apple continues to bottleneck the application side of the iPad so that people don’t stop buying laptops. The iPad Pro hangs in the balance but hear me out.
Again, this is as much for others as it is for me, proving an alternative method to things I hear so many complaints about. The idea would be to switch to Lumafusion for my video editing needs. This is a simple yet robust application tailor-made for the iPad. And it’s a ONE TIME fee. No need for a subscription which I hear grief about on a daily basis. I would also ditch Lightroom for the Affinity Suite of Photo, Design, Publish. Again, a ONE TIME fee with no subscription required. The iPads are blazing fast and can easily handle multi-channel, 4k editing. And I don’t even do multi-channel, 4k editing. Yet.
I also want to use the iPad for all my audio recording sessions instead of using my external recorder, EV mics, stands, etc. This saves a huge amount of weight and space when it comes to travel. I normally travel with an entire bag of audio kit, and it has worked well, but I want to switch to something much smaller and lighter. I tried this years ago, before we had options like today, and the kit was just not up to par, but I feel like today we have everything we need. I want to sit with someone for an interview with small lavalier mics and the iPad while using some sort of recording application I’ve yet to land on. I know going in this isn’t a perfect system or a perfect world but the challenge feels right.
I can’t sit still. There is so much to learn and so much to experiment with and I really feel like this is part of my job. What will I do with my Discord channel? Short answer, don’t know. I would love to hear from anyone with anything to say. Good, bad or indifferent. I feel a responsibility to work against the inertia that the traditional model of being creative still tends to run by. The old ways aren’t good enough for me, and I don’t like many of the platforms that people use to support their careers. There has to be another way and the challenge of it all is what makes by blood flow.
The app you’re looking for to record podcasts is ferrite. By far the best podcast editor on any platform.
Oooooh, thank you.! I literaly woke up thinking about this. I just realized my old mics, the tiny lavs I used to use with my iPhone, aren’t compatible but I they were so fragile and temperamental I want to find something new, small but new.
For the mics, you should be able to make the rode Videomic Go II work with the right adapterS (you need the apple one for the USB-C to jack, and a Rode one that’s iPhone compatible because it’s not the same jack as a camera). It separates L and R stereo tracks on two wireless mics that you can use with or without lavaliers, then in Ferrite there’s a hidden setting that allows you to treat them as mono tracks. Never tried it directly like that but it should work no problem.
Sorry, Rode wireless Go II, not the videomic
I already have those. And love them. What I was thinking was more me having an external mic for recording things like Zoom interviews. So many just a small desktop mic on a stand. For in person interviews I use my on camera mic, the Rode and I have a Rode lav mic that plugs into the Wireless go. Then just one person on camera with me off camera asking questions.
OK so I just tried and you can actually plug the receiver directly in USB-C to the iPad, it works flawlessly.
But for audio only….this could work.
The wireless Go would actually probably work connected to USB for a zoom call, but if I had to buy a great mic for my laptop (and didn’t already have a Rodecaster Pro connected to my computer with a microphone so good it would make you cry), I’d get the Rode NT USB+, which is an amazing USB-C mic. I will never ever buy anything anymore that is not USB-C from every side, so I can just carry a bunch of similar cables for everything (looking at you iPhone and AirPods Pro hum hum…). Not that big, amazing sound quality, seems easy to carry everywhere. And did I mention it’s USB-C?
I think I’ve had a similar dream on multiple occasions, too. A Leica Q-whatever and an iPad Pro as my only set up. I have an iPad Pro from 2018 and it’s still going strong. I use it for everything everyday.
Lumafusion and Affinity are great too but I’d probably need Lightroom for iPad to manage multiple photos and just edit in Affinity because they don’t have any decent file management software yet.
Oh, and I’d happily pay a subscription for your content.
That’s good to know. My workflow is so stupidly simple. Edit, select edits, apply preset, export. Am hoping I can do this in Affinity.
You can only edit photos one by one in Affinity at the moment and I can’t for the life of me find a way to save a preset in the raw developing part of the software (for iPad) so I often use it alongside Pixelmator Photo for iPad which I bought before they changed, I believe, to a subscription model.
I did some searching and found a way to batch in Affinity. It’s not as easy as Photoshop, or Lightroom for that matter, but it’s there. I need to apply a preset then export, so I’m hoping that is doable.
Do you use a keyboard with your ipad? Being able to just use that would be a dream, but I can’t get my head around it. I have an ancient ipad that I didn’t use much. I know we’re talking about different beasts with respect to capabilities…but my dumb brain still needs a keyboard (I think), and I can’t imagine editing video on a touch screen.
You can buy it with what is called a “magic keyboard.” It’s Apple so it’s crazy expensive, but you can also use any Bluetooth, wireless keyboard AND you can use a mouse. And an external monitor, so when you are home you can use it ALMOST like a laptop in terms of external devices.
I use a Logitech keyboard designed for iPad. It’s much cheaper than the Apple keyboard that I used to use. But you can basically use any keyboard you like that has Bluetooth.
There are so many good bluetooth keyboards now. I would probably get the magic as well only because I am on the road so much and need something streamlined and fits as an all-in-one.
First let me say that I would gladly pay for a newsletter and films from you. I have learned so much from your films, posts, and podcasts for free that I almost feel guilty. While I still have a long way to go, my books are so much better thanks to your advice.
Second, those binoculars look awesome. I’ve been in the market for a pair for a long time and this appear to be very affordable.
Lastly, the opening of this was really great! Almost like an action film!
My work laptop died about a year after I retired eight years ago and I never replaced it. I bought the first ipad when they came out and have upgraded and replaced as necessary, on the fifth one now, a pro I have had about four years. My wife gets the hand me downs, as she is still a laptop person. I do not miss having a laptop in the least, and have no real need for a separate keyboard, being a two finger typist. I much prefer your website to youtube for content. I recently got back on youtube to research affordable medium format film cameras, and couldn’t get off fast enough. This coincidentally triggered a camera dream of my own about the fujifilm gf670, a camera way out of my price range, and a meeting with Sally Mann of some sort, and she was making fun of my small bellows. There’s probably a whole therapist session in there somewhere.
I’m really interested in the direction this goes in the future and you can count me in!
We’ve chatted briefly about this off-line but we know from Craig Mod’s work that membership subscriptions work (https://craigmod.com/essays/memberships_work/)
Talking of which, Craig would be a great guest for your Conversations series…
Craig is a machine. He’s always on my radar because he does SO MUCH seemingly on his own. What’s he’s made is nearly impossible for someone like me but there is so much to learn from him. I’d love to do the interview but not sure he would afford me the luxury.
I bought a Q2 when they first came out which coincided with the birth of my son and have found the fast 28mil to be perfect for documenting daily family life; I still use the Fujis for paid work and although Leica and Fuji are different systems they do seem to gel. I’m able to travel with the Q2 and iPad Pro with no probs whatsoever. If the iPad could handle Bookwright, Transmission and Handbrake I would be 100% iPad only. Bookwright for iPad would be massive for me to create more books on the go as I’m time poor and can’t spend the time I would like to make more books. I’m sure Dan can have a word with the Blurb boffins 😉
Wow, that sounds pretty good. Yes, we need a new online tool for Bookwright. I’d welcome that as well.
Would definitely pay for whatever you’re offering! Substack might be an option too — paid newsletter subscriptions and you can do podcasts with private feeds and also videos.
Very nice of you. Yes, one of the things I would like to do is to create some community behind the scenes.