cats and µ4:3rds and iphone and wordpress – oh my



I’m doing this because I’ve got all this camera gear lying around, yet I still find myself lusting after something newer and very expensive, like the Pen F, E-M1 Mk II, and the GH5. I’ve got digital camera equipment that goes back to 2009 and the Olympus 4:3rds system, and film equipment that goes back even further to the early 1980s. For this work I took a very “classic” 4:3rds system Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens and mounted it on an E-M10 Mark 1 via a Panasonic 4:3rds to µ4:3rds adapter (DMW-MA1), then went around trying to produce some “interesting” photos of the kittehs with the 30mm nearly wide open for that “pleasing bokeh” effect. That’s Ellipses at top followed by Luke the Gingersnap.

All focusing was manual because the 30mm Sigma lens, already glacially slow to begin with on 4:3rd systems, is a joke when it comes to auto focus on any of my µ4:3rds Olympus bodies, starting with my E-P2. I put the lens in manual focus mode and used the E-M10’s back screen to carefully focus. The camera was set to a custom color mode (Muted picture mode, contrast -1, sharpness 0, saturation -1, and high key) that provided a more pastel-like color palette and character than the heavily saturated overly sharp look I tend towards. I then set the lens to f/1.8 and went out stalking the cats. Well, more like following and cajoling. They, of course, cooperated only on their own terms…

Once something was duly captured, I used the Olympus OI.Share app to move the JPEGs over from the E-M10 to my iPhone. Just a little bit of trimming in Snapseed, then I opened a new post in the WordPress app and selected the three images to go into the post. Then I closed the post as a draft and re-opened it in my MBP using the web-based WordPress editor.

A bit complicated, especially that last part, but once you get into the flow it flows pretty quickly. It keeps my cellphone as my “creative center”. I’m thinking I’m going to give both Scrivener and Ulysses an opportunity Real Soon Now to write and post to my blog.

My complaints against the WordPress iOS app on the iPhone are growing. I’ve noticed that you can’t set the size or the location of the photo when you import the photo. When I check the photos using the web-based editor they’re full size and not centered at all. I have to do some cleanup to get the images how I want them on the page. This might work if all you do is write for, and read from, smartphones exclusively, but I also check to see how my blogging looks on tablets (iPads and Android) as well as regular PC browsers.

But hey, that’s why we’re doing this. It’s a “learning experience.”

working beyond familiar boundaries

The rubber ducky photo is courtesy of the iPhone 7 Plus, its dual lens camera, and the built-in Apple app. Using the app I selected the the short telephoto, square aspect ratio, HDR, and Instant live photo filter. 

That ducky has been in this house since my oldest adult daughter was two. Out of respect for her I won’t say how long I’ve had it.

I was attempting to write this entire post using the WordPress iOS app on the iPhone and the Microsoft folding portable Bluetooth keyboard. This isn’t the first time I’ve used or written about the keyboard. The problem is I’ve rarely used the keyboard/iPhone combination, far less than I originally intended. I bought that keyboard so that I could write just about any time, anywhere. We can all see how that turned out…

Unfortunately when I sat down tonight to try and use it, the WordPress app was rather uncooperative. It let me select my lovely rubber ducky photo and upload it to my blog, even associating it with the initial start of the entry. But when I attempted to try and write anything, the app seemed to think I wanted to modify the photo. In the end the entry just “went away” from me, and I couldn’t tell using the iOS app on the iPhone if the entry had gone to the draft side of things, or if it had just simply been deleted. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you view this, it had gone off to become a draft. The only way to continue to edit it was to open up my WordPress blog using the web-based view in Chrome on my MBP.

I have several entries using this combination, all successfully entered, so this isn’t something new for me. The only problem is I wrote them back when I had my iPhone 6S Plus, under iOS 9, and earlier releases of the WordPress app. Going forward I really do want to use my iPhone exclusively to create content for my blog. The iPhone is an incredibly powerful overall creative tool, the camera an excellent tool for documenting and providing supporting photography to my writing. The Microsoft keyboard syncs up quickly and flawlessly, and works quite well with other tools that need textual input. It’s just that when I mix everything together to write up an entry that the results are less than what I’ve experienced in the past.

I consider these minor challenges to be overcome. I want to “turn on” the writing so that I’m at least creating at least one post/day. I want to focus on the “web log” aspect of the blog. It’s not here for marketing, it’s here to log the next 365 days of 2017. I have a deep feeling there’s going to be a lot to cover. My rubber ducky seems to feel that as well.

widely wordpress theme is a keeper (for at least a while)

One key feature that makes this theme a keeper is its rendering of in-post source code. Look at the immediate post to this one with its Go code. That same article renders correctly now on my iPhone and iPad. I know I wrote I wanted to add some things to the overall look and feel, but I think I’ll just leave well enough alone. It’s simple, clean, and everything Just Works the way I’ve always wanted it to.

i think i like this theme

This is the Widely Theme from WordPress. I like it. Here’s why:

  1. It’s a quite minimal theme, with very little that gets in the way of the content.
  2. I like the way I can write content without photos, which allows me to capture thoughts and ideas without having to go through supporting visual “elaboration.”
  3. I’m also looking forward to actually adding features in instead of trying to turn unwanted features off.

Unless something sexier comes along, I may stick with this for a while.

messing around

It’s that infrequent time again where I go back into the WordPress themes and start “trying on” the various free ones. It was also time to remove Lucy’s photo from the masthead. Lucy was the former Arcane Science Lab Cat. I kept that photo on the masthead to lament my personal loss of her. After nearly a year (I put her to sleep last June) I felt it was time to begin to look for a new blog look. I also felt it was time to start giving more attention to all the other creatures still living in this household. I doubt there’ll be another Lab Cat, which is just as well. But there are plenty of Lab Denizens.

And the theme will continue to change for a while. I’m not quite satisfied yet.