Mirror mirror on the wall, mirrorless or mirrored, which is fairest of them all?

Mirrorless DSLR

Mmmhh mirrorless DSLRs certainly are increasingly popular

My first commercial shoot was with a ‘mirrorless’ camera – not that the term was invented then, perhaps you’d call it a compact camera these days, not sure, anyway it was an Olympus c8080. It had a flip out live view screen and the electronic viewfinder was just about useful enough. Electronic viewfinders are fantastic nowadays of course and offer the advantage that you get exactly what you see through the viewfinder – makes sense!

Are mirrorless cameras the right choice for all photographers? Lets put budget aside for a moment and weight up the pros and cons.

Mirrorless camera bodies and lenses bodies are smaller – so more covert (I don’t like how people are wary of big cameras in public spaces), they shoot a much higher frame rate, and are better set-up for video, oh and they are pretty damn cool looking bits of kit that is for sure.

I think mirrorless makes perfect sense particularly when you are trying to shoot outside without looking like paparazzi.

However are they right for everyone, for example if you shoot stills in an indoor studio with strobe – would you say thee would be any advantage to think about mirrorless are there any advantages in a studio environment?

Blade Runner 2049 blue and orange colour theory

Terrahawks Blade Runner 2049

The general consensus is that Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy sequel to the 1982 cult sci-fi masterpiece, I am the first in the queue to agree.

My biggest gripe about modern Sci-Fi is that through the overuse of CGI it ends up not feeling at all real (might as well be watching a computer game), the original Blade Runner used no CGI of course and I believe that accounts for a great deal of it’s charm and visual depth.

Once the CGI genie has been released from the lamp it’s impossible to put it back, but thankfully Blade Runner 2049 manages to use CGI sparingly (and creating models and real sets in many cases) and finely balance CGI into a form that reflects the grimy realism of the original.

There has been a lot of interest and in the new Blade Runner 2049’s sophisticated and deeply considered use of colour. I think I have found the source of inspiration… also a Sci-fi classic, the DVD box set artwork from British kids ‘Terrahawks’ show from Gerry Anderson & Christopher Burr.

Safari Bookmarks Alphabetical

Safari Sort

For literally years I have been frustrated that there is no built-in feature to tame bookmarks by sorting alphabetically. Having tried a few software solutions to achieve this …the most recent was ‘Bookmaster’, but that is overly complicated and requires far too much thought – I don’t have time for that.. crikey I simply want to sort my bookmarks alphabetically… I just need a simple solution.

Safari Sort

Today my prayers have been answered with ‘Safari Sort’. Install app, open app and decide how you want it sorting and job done! .

It’s free to use, or should I say a ‘donate what you can app’ – that is super-simple and works exactly how it should. Just had to share this!

Safari Sort

Try it: Authors site: safarisort.com – or download from macupdate: Safari Sort


RoboForm missing from Safari

After a RoboForm update I find the RoboForm link / icons can disappear from Safari, which slows me down !

Show roboform bar

First in Safari go to View > and check that its RoboForm bar is set to ‘Hide’ i.e. its currently showing.


Roboform missing from SafariThen goto RoboForm preferences, choose ‘Updates’ and use the ‘Reinstall plug-ins button.

If its still not showing go back to Safari and check RoboForm bar is not being hidden, which it can default to after an update.

Wired Apple Magic Mouse

Wired Magic Mouse

It is just me who prefers a wired mouse? Why rely on glitchy wireless thats going to run out of juice when you are 5 minutes from a deadline, when you could have a super-reliable mouse that’s just great at being a mouse?


Removing the cable from electronic devices is usually beneficial; phones, drills, laptops… but removing the cable from a mouse, what is the actual advantage? You’d assume it will allow us to use it where-ever we choose? But realistically where are we going to be using the mouse if it isn’t centimetres from the computer? Same for the keyboard – why does it need to be wireless?

Wire-less proved not so pain-less.

I really like the features of the Magic Mouse, but having tried it and being tired of the extra hassle of keeping it charged I eventually went back to the old wired mac Mighty Mouse, and though it lacks the advanced gesture controls of the Magic Mouse I currently use a Logitech laser mouse which works fine and is really accurate, but I would love to buy a Wired Apple Magic Mouse… anyone agree with me out there?

Hey and perhaps a wireless mouse should really be called a ‘hamster’?

Free images, yes even for commercial use

Tired of telling your clients we can’t use images they have sourced from Google images? And then having to hunt for more stock photos?

Well actually if you do a images search in Google, click the cog symbol top right, and choose ‘Advanced search’ you can set the type of ‘usage rights’ you need.

If you choose ‘free to use, share or modify, even commercially’ this limits the results but what you are left with you can safely use in your projects (and if anyone says otherwise tell them to take it up with Google). You can read the lowdown here: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/29508?p=ws_images_usagerights&hl=en-GB&rd=1

What’s my Google+ username ?

Google Plus username

Wondering how to link to your Google+ page? Looked high and low but none the wiser?

The solution is here… Google Plus don’t give you a nice simple username or alias, so to find yours login to Google+ go, then choose ‘Profile’ which appears under the ‘Home’ menu (top-left). Now  take a look in the URL bar you’ll see a long unfriendly string of numbers, copy these, and paste then between the brackets below

http://plus.google.com[insert your string of numbers here]/posts

– this is the path to your Google Plus page to link to from your website.

Black rectangle on 1st generation Apple TV …solution

AppleTV black rectangle

I was trying to enjoy Gravity at the weekend and my viewing pleasure was affected by an annoying black rectangle that was fixed low down in the centre of the screen. I tried everything but it wasn’t going to be shifted, so had to try to forget it was there.

Ron Burgundy captions AppleTVAlso Ron Burgundy was also affected when a caption remained onscreen long after it was meant to.

I trawled the web for a solution but I gather its an issue with the software on board the AppleTV, and unless a firmware update is released its not going to go away. However as its so old I don’t think Apple are obliged to support it so it looked like a brick wall.

I came across a couple of suggestions that seemed to be successful for others which focussed on the settings, these didn’t work for me but with some experimenting I found a solution that required two changes in the settings.

Apple TV black rectangle solution

Go into the settings > Audio & Video >

1) Set thesubtitle language is set to ‘English’ (perhaps other languages work ) but as far as I can tell – the main thing is that its not set to ‘Off”.

2) Then set ‘Closed Captioning’ to ‘Enhanced’.

This solution worked for me, hope it works for you?


Open Office CSVs in Chinese!

Open Office CSVs in Chinese!

Open office is great – better than Excel for opening CSV files, fast, uncluttered business-like interface and no feature bloat. Life was good and then something weir happened, it stopped opening CSVs and all I get now is a load of Chinese characters. I have uninstalled and reinstalled and its all the same.. I have had to downgrade to Microsoft Excel meanwhile!