iPad Pro 2021

The thrill of seeing your images on an iPad, is a beautiful experience. This 5th generation Pro model, with the new Apple M1 chip is amazing. The speed, the screen, the 5G connectivity all combined to help me process and publish my images faster.

Adobe Lightroom on the iPad Pro

The mobile photo studio just got an upgrade today and I am loving the process. The experience of viewing, selecting and processing your photos on this thing is much more enjoyable than on my MacBook Pro (M1.)

3rd Gen AirPods

Holy wow, these new earbuds are brilliant. Gyroscopes and accelerometers in AirPods work together to track your head movements so it sounds like you’re in the center of songs. Combine this with Apple Music’s offering of lossless, Dolby Atmos and spatial sound and I imagine these things will be in my ears all day.


Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max and post-processed in Lightroom CC

My approach to iPhone photography (phonetography) is unabashedly simple, minimal, and practical. Acquiring the best equipment, with little to carry, process everywhere I go, and publish on the go for me is best.

Yes, there are four items here, but the keyboard and pencil magnetically attach to the iPad, effectively making it only two pieces of gear I need to carry and one of them go in my pocket. This is the ideal setup for my mobile studio and photo lab to create the best phonetography images I want.

iPad Pro For Photography

Digital Contact Sheet
Analog Film Contact Sheet

Ever notice how the Photos app resembles a film negative contact sheet? I am amazed with the viewing experience from the iPad/iPhone/Mac and all the information that is built into it. My workflow is simple: Take images with the iPhone, let them sync to the cloud and they are visible on any device you want to view or edit. I can also shoot images on my digital camera, load the SD card into the reader, insert reader into my device and transfer there for post-processing.

Why do I prefer the iPad to do this with? First, the experience of viewing, choosing, and editing your photos on an iPad is much more fun and interactive than just seeing them on your laptop. I can take my digital photo lab with me everywhere. And seeing my photos on a brilliant screen is more intimate for me. I am able to hold my digital images in my hand and interact with them, flag, post-process, and even sketch the composition.

Sketching composition lines with Apple Pencil on iPad
EXIF data. So much more than analog film information.

Book Track

In an effort to keep my library and current reads organized, I purchased Book Track. It is a simple but gorgeous app that is easy to use. Just take a picture of the ISBN barcode on your book and it does the rest. You can mark the progress of your reading, create a wish list and more. My collection and reading progress is not up to date but I hope to change this soon. Eventually I’ll get to the point where my Library page and this app will be in sync. In the future, I’m considering doing book reviews with notes that I have added.

Less Books, More Reading

A few days ago I mentioned I am back in minimalist mode. I want to reduce the amount of possessions, or stuff that I do not need and appreciate what I have. I want to make everything I have useful and appreciate it. I’ve had a lot of success, donating clothes, shoes and trading in physical media like record albums, movie discs and yes, books. I know, I know. Getting rid of books is tantamount to blasphemy to some.

I enjoy reading, always have. If I am not reading a book, then I am reading content online or e-books. But I am drawn to books because of the tactile nature. The feel, the smell and the looks of them. Drop me off at a library or bookstore and pick me hours later.

Reading books transports me to the places I want to go and explore, it stimulates my mind, they relax me right before I go to sleep and they have been comforting while in my home office when I take a break, grab something from the bookshelf, sit in the comfy chair and relax.

I’m learning to let go of physical books for long periods of time. I don’t need an anti-library. But the process of removing them was easier than I hoped. I sorted what I wanted and parted with those I don’t. During a move across country, I would squeeze my vast library into about 25 totes that were a burden to carry and transport. I am down to sixteen physical books after ruthlessly culling the herd.

The winter season is almost here and I anticipate a lot of free time will be spent reading. So my thinking is to plan what to read specifically for the next few months.

A minimalist’s approach to reading can be just as rewarding as having your own physical library but without all the occupied space.

Screenshot from Libby, the public library app

Here’s what I plan to do:

  • Purge those books I haven’t gotten around to reading or are a one-time use.
  • Borrow from the library, either physical or digital books.
  • Seek and find books from the Little Free Library systems
  • Sell, trade or give away the rest of the books I no longer need.
  • Get comfortable reading from the iPad.
  • Organize my digital library using my BookTrack software much like a librarian, or curator would. I can enjoy thousands of books on one space-saving, portable device wherever I go.
  • I will no longer purchase digital books. After closing my Amazon and Google accounts a few years ago, I lost all ability to read them because I purchased a license and not a product.
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Screenshot of one of my bookshelves in BookTrack

Early this year I covered RSS and Read-It-Later apps in the past but I’ll be relying on these tools even more now.

I’ve mentioned books in this post but the same can be applied to all physical media like record albums, DVDs, etc. Streaming or borrowing digital media on multiple devices is quite liberating and minimal.