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:

Testing the Marquardt International Pinhole

Update: I just posted the first picture out of the MIP

Update 2: The official Marquardt International Pinhole website is now online


Here's the first official test of the homebrew International Pinhole, complete with proper exposure times (I hope), taking reciprocity into account, even including me freezing off my fingers, as a tough photographer should do (the other choice would be to throw myself on the ground, but that was even colder).

ยป see how this camera was made

Some background info: aperture of the pinhole is f/200, focal length of the camera is 60mm, it accepts international (graflok) backs, which includes 4x5" film cassettes, Polaroid backs, roll film backs and more. To be installed: mechanism to hold the backs in place, soon to come.

Next up: develop and scan the pics. And post if they're any good..


15 feet USB

I did some research, then got myself a long 5-meter/15-feet USB cable that has a USB amplifier built in. It allows me to take tethered pictures from my camera right into Lightroom. And it works no matter if I press the shutter button in Lightroom or on the camera. In both cases the picture ends up on the computer a few seconds later.

It's the ideal teaching tool along the lines of PocketChris! Instead of explaining and painting pictures of what happens when you do this or that with your camera, I can now simply take the shot and it'll show up on the monitor for all workshop participants to see.

Learning by seeing what happens. I like it. It's brilliant!

Not my idea though, I saw it first on Joe McNally's workshop in Dobbs Ferry last year.

Taking the 2011 workshops to the next level, step by step.

Dirty little iPhone secret

Non-photography infrastructure time! I listened to the German Bits und so tech podcast the other day and they talked about apps automatically starting in the background when you boot your iPhone 4 - and potentially other multitasking iPhones.

Wait a minute.

I was under the assumption that only Apple stuff was starting up during an iPhone boot, such as the mail system, and various other daemons (that's how background processes are called in the unix world, and iOS is a unix-type operating system).

So I did a little testing using iStats, an iOS app that will give you a list of running processes.

Here are my findings - and they explain why even the very fast iPhone 4 tends to get a bit slower over time, depending on what you install:

Skype: starts up in the background automatically after reboot if it's been running at shut down time. If you kill Skype and then reboot, it won't automatically start.Pocket Informant: seems to start up in the background automatically as long as it's installed. Haven't found a way to keep it from doing that.Google Latitude: starts up in the background as long as you are logged in inside the app.

These were the processes that were obvious to me, I might have missed some though.

Fact is, there apparently is a mechanism for apps to automatically start up when you boot the iPhone. They then consume RAM and CPU without you being aware of it, which will result in some form of slowdown and battery drain.

On the one hand I am totally for making this device a black box, the user shouldn't have to know about processes, daemons, background execution and so forth. On the other hand I'm enough of a geek to want to know why my iPhone gets a bit sluggish from time to time.

It obviously makes sense for something like Skype to run in the background, so you can receive calls, but in case of Google Latitude I was under the assumption that if I didn't start it, it wouldn't run. Now I finally understand why Google keeps sending me emails reminding me that I've got Latitude running. They want to make sure this doesn't turn into some form of shitstorm.

I'm still a bit surprised that it took me so long to find out about this.
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