Phil Lewis: Blog en-us (C) Phil Lewis (Phil Lewis) Tue, 16 Mar 2021 21:43:00 GMT Tue, 16 Mar 2021 21:43:00 GMT Phil Lewis: Blog 80 120 Video Rendering on my new Apple Macbook Pro with Apple Silicon (non-intel) Yesterday, I posted about my experience getting my Adobe products functional on my new MacBook Pro.  Today, I tested a very brief video, just to see how well Davinci Resolve 14 would work (free version).  I was pleasantly surprised how fast and bulletproof everything worked.  This short little video rendered in around 5 seconds.  Preview in Davinci was flawless, no jumpiness at all.  I would not hesitate to use it on a bigger video project.
Quick Sample Video with audioFrom a 2020 hike.

Music credit: 

Old River Boat (ID 1368)

by Lobo Loco

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Go to Tribe of noise PRO 

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(Phil Lewis) Apple Davinci Resolve Macbook Pro render sample test video Tue, 16 Mar 2021 16:32:00 GMT
How the Apple M1 Impacts My Workflow You're reading reports of how great the M1 (aka apple silicon) works with all kinds of creative workflows.  Me too, and I was super excited to get one. HOWEVER, initially I wondered if I had made a big mistake. Most of the apps I want to use are going to run using an emulator called rosetta.

When I tried to open Photoshop, it did the dock-bounce ....bounce, bounce, bounce...and eventually...didn't open. So I rebooted and tried again.  No dice, so when in doubt, uninstall / reinstall, right?  I opened the Creative Cloud app to uninstall, but that too was almost immediately unresponsive - no clicks, no nothing, and I couldn't get out of it either. There's no polite error messages or anything...just a dead computer. I had to hold the button down to power off the machine. 

So I used the adobe cleaner utility (look it up, it's a thing) and uninstalled everything, rebooted and reinstalled. Guess what? It didn't help.  I had to crash out again.  So I uninstalled again, and reinstalled. Again. By this time, I was getting nervous.  But third time's a charm - everything worked as expected, and all my creative cloud apps now work. Because I'm interested in how it's going to work for my employees, I also downloaded and tested Indesign. I didn't get very far - Microsoft Teams popped up with a message, and when I went back to Indesign, it was non-responsive, so again, I had to crash out. After restarting, I was able to work along pretty well in Indesign, so I think it's probably going to be fine.   As you can imagine, that hour of screwing around with crashing apps on my new computer was stressful.

So, what can you expect to be a noticeable improvement? It's fast, right? Yes, it is super, noticeably fast. One of the pokiest things on my old 2012 MBP was the "Edit In" workflow, switching from lightroom to photoshop, Nik apps, or alien skin (exposure 6). It used to be painfully slow.  Sometimes I wondered if it was going to work at all.

 I can often finish an image in lightroom, but sometimes I need to do some output sharpening, or advanced cleanup in photoshop or effects in exposure.  That is now a super fast switch, hardly noticeable at all.

Everything Apple is fast - Safari is smokin' fast, as is the new M1 version of Google Chrome.  But non-apple things, like Microsoft Remote Desktop are noticeably faster, too even though they are emulated by Rosetta. 

Overall I am very pleased with my decision.  My biggest mistake was blindly believing that, "Adobe has worked out the details and put out an M1 version." What?  Why would I think that. Nope, not yet.  My Photoshop install alerted me that I was installing an intel-based version of the app that would run with Rosetta until a new M1 version was released. You know what they say, "Never assume."


(Phil Lewis) adobe Alien Apple bleeding edge Intel Lightroom M1 Mac Macbook Pro rosetta upgrade Workflow Tue, 16 Mar 2021 02:42:19 GMT
Creature of habit I don’t know how old I was when I heard that birds have a very limited range and flight pattern, but that information impacted me; my train of thought went something like, “if I were a bird, I’d go someplace different every day. I’d be free.”

As a photographer, I want to see.  I want to go.  I want to see moments of light and shadow that are striking and unique.  But the reality is, I’m like a bird, going to the same places, seeing the same things.   Necessity seems to keep me within a 10 mile radius of my house.  Or when I do go for a day hike, I choose the same places.  Apart from work and other necessities, there’s something else, subtle, in the back of my mind, like the restraining bolt on R2D2, I can’t seem to think new thoughts about new places... this weekend, or maybe in the fall.  Covid-19 doesn't help.

So, true to form, here are some local black and white images from familiar haunts.  What's special? This is FILM, shot on a Hasselblad 500c, mostly with 80mm or 50mm lenses, maybe a cropped 150mm. Ilford PF+ ISO 50 film. Hover to see controls below.

(Phil Lewis) covid film hasselblad haunts ilford photography tacoma Sat, 01 Aug 2020 21:21:53 GMT
Frankie Frankie is learning to model.  He kinda knows what's up when I tell him to stay in one location and start posing him. And since he's always ALLways looking for a hand-out, a simple raised treat-hand, and a "look at this," and he's putty in my hands. 

I was trying out a new Glow 48" deep octagon from Adorama tonight.  

(Phil Lewis) 55mm a7rii dof dog f/1.8 light pet photography shallow softbox sony terrier Fri, 01 Nov 2019 03:38:06 GMT
A Simple Approach to a High-Key Portrait high-key portrait using 60 inch umbrellaA high-key self-portraitThis dead-simple high key portrait was achieved with a 60" umbrella and a couple of reflectors.   high-key portrait using an umbrellaBlack and white high-key self portraitBlack and white high-key self portrait using a 60" umbrella and a couple reflectors.

This is not an elaborate tutorial - you don't need a lot to accomplish this, and this post won't talk about editing or lightroom settings. 

If you have a large umbrella with a diffuser, you can accomplish a really decent high-key head shot portrait. in this self portrait, I'm using a 60" umbrella with a diffuser and a flashpoint studio 400, which is obscured by my body and head.  In front of me to the right is the silver side of a  5 in 1 reflector on a stand, and to the left, a rectangular piece of foam core on a stand, pictured here:

You can achieve some interesting catch-light effects depending on how close or far apart you put the reflectors.  You may want to try this with symmetrical reflectors - two rectangles or v-flats I think would be ideal.

Leave a message if you've used this method, or with other ideas.

Thanks for stopping by!

(Phil Lewis) headshot high key home studio photography portrait small studio v-flats Sun, 08 Sep 2019 19:51:47 GMT
My Hike Movement backpacking, hiking, wildernessPitching by the trailPitching in the twilight. All the spots are taken, so these two stopped and pitched next to the trail. Last Friday - just 3 days ago - I headed to one of my favorite places in the wilderness.  I was there earlier this year when there was still snow in a lot of places on the trail.  But last week, as Summer ended and the last of the mosquitos died, a newer, bigger Autumn enthusiasm arrived once again for the wild places of the PNW. 

My impression is that the weekend backpacking hobby has begun to sprawl, encompassing entire weeks.  I spoke to a fellow on the trail on Friday who had camped at a particular lake on Thursday night, and he said there were at least 50 tents. Since most of us hike with a friend, that’s maybe 100 people - a tiny town - converging on that little remote lake in the wilderness on a Thursday night. It’s a site to see.

joy, hiking, mountains, azure, lake, wilderness, tentsEvening at a wilderness lake in Washington State.First Fall weekend in 2019. A shared joy.

Hashtagged #thehikemovement, the best way to observe it is to participate in it. And that’s what I have been doing for the last 6 years.  And being the haunted, overthinking man that I am, I think a lot about motives - mine and others.  At first I examined my own reasons for my sense of urgency to disappear into the wilderness and abuse my saggy late-middle-aged body, climbing mountains and developing over-sized leg muscles that look and work a lot better than the rest of me. Early on, it was not hard to detect my own “instagram” motives; the harder thing was to admit it and abandon them entirely. 

After I killed all my social media accounts (twitter was spared because I never used it), my compulsion to head out at 4am didn’t go away. As I kept hiking and thinking about why, especially on really difficult hikes, I came to realize that one of the better, more virtuous motives is joy. There are others, but largely, my own “hike movement” is fueled by the joy of an early morning forest, pants and boots wet with dew, so early that I’m knocking down spiderwebs and catching first light and morning mists; it’s fueled by sitting and staring into a remote camp fire (legal only); and by waking up in the wilderness.

(Phil Lewis) backpacking hike movement instagram joy motives REI wilderness Mon, 02 Sep 2019 19:46:25 GMT
Lights I took over a room in our house for a small studio, and I've got lights and modifiers, etc.  But the bedroom light was the typical fixture and it was always in the way and getting bumped.  So I installed a round LED light from Home Depot, thinking it would just be a utility, flush to the ceiling.  But it is color balanced and bright, so last night I grabbed my camera and Noble and took some shots to see how it would turn out.  Pretty good light but needs a fill light and maybe a reflector to provide a catch-light.  I was too quick with my settings; I set my aperture at f/2.8 and my ISO to 800, but in retrospect I could have turned that around, or kept aperture low and used a tripod.  It was just a quick, "hey, Noble, sit in my chair" situation.

Noble Noble Noble Noble  

Self PortraitSelfie, Sony A7rII, Sony 55mm f/1.8


(Phil Lewis) LED light portrait Sony Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:38:03 GMT
R.I.P. Instagram, facebook. Breaking up with you was the best thing I've done in 2018. It may sound like I'm still obsessed with IG if I'm still talking about it two months later, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I only bring it up because I noticed my May post about it, and thought I should offer a follow-up.

What can I say?  I don't miss it.  I would make the same decision today. I am still hiking, still photographing.  But I'm also free of the anxiety to get something posted all. the. time. That was so dysfunctional. 

(Phil Lewis) instagram photography social media Thu, 28 Jun 2018 02:16:26 GMT
Great glass: Sony G-Master lenses Have you ever rented or borrowed an amazing lens? I borrowed the Sony FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM lens from a (good) friend today.  I'm speechless.  I want to say, "There's no going back" but there's really no way forward.  I just have to enjoy it while I have it.

I already own the F/4, and the differences, I'm sorry to say, go way beyond the f stop.  The zoom and focus rings on the GM are amazing in their ease of use and responsiveness.  The clarity and IQ are leaps and bounds ahead of the lowly G lens.

I also rented the FE 24-70 F/2.8 GM and I'll have it through the weekend.  All of this amazing glass is here to help me shoot my first and maybe last wedding.  My mom is getting married on Thursday, and I am going to be the photographer. So wish me well.



(Phil Lewis) bokeh fe glass gm gmaster lenses photography pixels sony tulip weddings Wed, 09 May 2018 02:51:54 GMT
3 reasons why I killed my Instagram In 2017 I read more than one blog post or article about how Instagram is killing stuff, impacting things, etc.  I've seen several themes:    

IG is negatively impacting The Wilderness:  Trails are getting overrun by would-be adventurers.  People are ending up needing to be rescued from cliffs and ledges and mountain tops because they came unprepared with one thing in mind - getting a shot for instagram.

IG is ruining creativity: Instagrammers aren't "adventuring," they're not looking for the next amazing place, they're going for the same shot with which dozens of others have gotten a million likes.   They still want to go get a killer shot of #VCB and #RowenaCrest (guilty).

IG is shaping photography: Serious amateur and professional photographers are finding themselves awash in kids with really serious gear taking pictures of everything from daily life, street, espresso, you name it, and a lot of them are pulling it off.  It makes us wonder, "what is the future and direction of photography?" and in 2018, the answer to that question must involve social media.  It's not a perception, it's reality: our relationship with photography cannot be described without the word instagram.  

If that's true and I'm serious about photography, why in the world would I click the button to delete my instagram accounts?  Here are my honest answers:

1.  Motives.  When I plan my photographic life around what my little IG audience will 'like', what does that mean?  I asked this question a lot for 3 years, but I never answered honestly, so I never acted on it. This year, I had to face it:  I planned my outings and adventures and hikes with instagram in mind, and it really started to bug me.

2.  Phone addiction. I gave up a couple of things this year for Lent.  One was coffee, and the other was social media on my iPhone.  I read an article, maybe you saw it, by the former google employees essentially blowing the whistle on the overt efforts by social media giants to make their interfaces as addictive as possible, to get you addicted to notifications and red banners, likes, affirmations, etc. etc.  It really resonated with me. So I didn't hesitate, I long-clicked the icons for Instagram and facebook, deleting both off my phone.  

After a few hours, I was a little 'itchy,' but after a day, after a week, I realized I was really going to like it.  I started forgetting my phone.  A Lot.  Even now, weeks later, I still pull it out, stare at it for a second, realize I don't need to do anything on it, and put it away.  

After 40 days of lent, I knew one thing for certain.  I was not going to put Instagram back on my phone.  No way.  I had found extra hours in my day, and I wasn't giving them up.  I was really enjoying the peace of mind that came from being free from phone addiction. 

A week went by, then two, and finally last week, I decided that there was only one thing to do: Install Instagram, post a pic with a message that my adventure was continuing without Instagram, and about an hour later, I pulled the plug; I deleted my accounts and uninstalled the app for the last time.  And the world did not end.

3.  Most importantly, the answer involves the question:  Who am I as a photographer?  I need to find out if my obsession with photography can survive walking away from Instagram.  I enjoy photography and I have nice gear. I love to hike; I daydream about it all the time, and I intend to hit it hard when the snow melts.  But what will be my outlet?  Who is my target audience?  Who will 'Like' my photos now?  What am I going to do with my photography?  This became a driving reason to remove Instagram from my life:  quit taking images that fit nicely in a square, and start thinking about what the heck I'm doing.

I forgot my phone at home twice this week, and I hardly missed it.

(Phil Lewis) addiction hashtags honesty instagram motives photography smartphone Thu, 03 May 2018 05:12:44 GMT