My Blog and Soapbox

To help order and sort some of the things in my mind, it often helps me to write them down. And this is the place I do just that. Not always related to photography. Not always in English. Manchmal auch auf Deutsch.
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my new blog:
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my old blog:


tfttf_wiki_logo.gifWOW. WOW. WOW. Is this really true? Chris, you've stuck to this for five and three quarter years, you've done it more than once a week, and you have released five hundred episodes of Tips from the Top Floor.

Okay, that's not really true. Matt has released them, put them up on the feed and kept the tfttf blog that hosts the show in good shape. I have only produced them. But thinking about it, even that is not entirely true. There were a few episodes that were produced by the community.

I think what I want to say is that Tips from the Top Floor wouldn't be anything without the people who listen to the show, the people who are subscribed, the people who send in questions and comments and feedback and show openers. Chances are you are one of them. If not, what are you waiting for?

Five hundred episodes. This show has really changed my life. It has changed a lot of other things too. Over and over has it given me a reason to do research, to try out things, to immerse myself in photography, to read about other photographers, to surround myself with things photography, to lead a photographic life. Without Tips from the Top Floor it wouldn't have happened like this.

Five hundred episodes. This show is one of the things in my life that I have stuck to longest. Tips from the Top Floor is my way of giving myself a kick in the butt and do something. It's my therapy against procrastination.

Five hundred episodes. This show has been an enabler for me on so many levels. It has allowed me to find an audience and this audience has made it possible for me to travel to interesting places, meet great people, hold workshops, and do what I love to do (which includes talking lots ;))

Five hundred episodes. This show has allowed me to see places that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. It got me on a train ride through Switzerland, right in front with the train driver. It has allowed me to hike up to 18,500 feet. It has even made me run into an electric fence. And a cactus. On air. Ouch.

Five hundred episodes. Above all, doing this has allowed me to meet so many great people, to make friends with so many of you all over the planet. Whenever I meet people who tell me that they've listened to me for years, and that they have pursued a career in photography because of Tips from the Top Floor or even just that they appreciate what I do, then I know why I'm kicking myself in the butt every week to do another show.

You are the absolutely awesomnest audience and friends that anyone could wish for!

Thanks for everything.


» TFTTF: Episode 500

» Video: Unboxing of the "You Know What"

» Pics: The "You Know What" pictures


PocketChris Fun Fact #8: How much is enough?

iPhone4AppIcon.pngHow much information is enough? And how much is too much?

In the context of PocketChris this was a question that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out.

If you have ever been on one of the workshops, you know that getting me to talk about photography is a lot easier than getting me to stop talking.

After having built several test versions with different chapter lengths and after carrying them around on my iPhone for a while, about 1000 words per chapter felt about right. Short enough to provide for a quick five-minute information snack, but long enough to feel like you got your money's worth.

This is actually a huge problem that a lot of writers face. Writing a lot of text is easy. Expressing an idea in many words is simple. Simple for the writer that is. It places most of the strain on the reader, who has to sift through more text to pick out the good information.

So less words in a PocketChris article does not mean that I was too lazy to write more. It means that more time has gone into making the chapter contain all the important information in an as easy to digest way and in as little writing as necessary. One thousand words to be precise.

There are audiobooks that cost a lot more in their abridged form just for that reason. Time is a valuable good in today's world as much as I don't want my own time to be wasted, I don't want to waste anybody else's time.

I didn't always manage to hit the 1000-word mark. Some of the articles are over 1200 words long, but I still feel comfortable that I've managed to boil things down enough to give you your money's worth.


Best app for writers. But the logo...

scrivenerlogo.pngI write. Articles, chapters for PocketChris, notes for podcasts. A lot of this writing needs to be managed, some chapters for PocketChris are in draft, some in review, some at the editor, some ready for testing. It has a tendency to turn into a real mess.

Things have been a lot easier since I found Scrivener. It helps me structure the work and it helps me track status. It helps me output my work into a clean format. It is not a word processor, it's a writing tool.

There's just one thing that keeps bugging me, one thing that I keep tripping over again and again, several times a day, and it happens while I'm not even using the application.

It's the icon.

Or rather a side-effect of it. It's not that I don't like it. This is about the way it interacts with the OSX dock.

The dock has been designed among other things to give you one important piece of information at a glance: if an application is running or not. For a while now, OSX has been doing that by placing a bright dot below the icon.

Here's the Lightroom icon with the app not running:


And here it is while Lightroom is on.


Here is the Scrivener icon with the application not running:


And here it is with Scrivener running:


Do you see the difference? The reflection of the white dot/apostrophe/comma of the Scrivener icon almost looks like the dot OSX adds when the app is running. The placement of the reflection is almost exactly where the dot is. And it's bright enough that almost every time I look at the dock I do a double take to see if Scrivener is running or not.

It's a minor thing. It's small. It's really not important. Most people will never notice it.

It drives me nuts.

(I still love you Scrivener)

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