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Star Wars Night Pictures, Suntrust Park V Turner Field

Star Wars Night Pictures

Star Wars night was excellent. We got to the park a little later than we wanted, but still early enough to walk around a little bit. I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I wanted because I had my 50mm lens which on a cropped sensor really is closer to an 85mm lens. That’s why I’d like to move down to a 35mm equivalent or a 50mm equivalent. Here are my pictures and read below the pictures to see what I thought about Suntrust Park vs Turner Field.


Suntrust Park V Turner Field

I’ve been to quite a few games at Turner Field. I went to Smoltzie’s 3,000th strikeout. We went to Bobby Cox’s last game. We’ve been to a few. We even went to this game:

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/47072280/v27209709/must-c-crushed-justin-upton-launches-a-grand-slam

That was the longest home run I’ve ever seen.

But when it comes to parks, Turner Field was just alright. It had horrible parking, it was a pain to get to, and it was made for the Olympics and then turned in to a baseball field. It may have always had Turner Field in it’s mind, but it was made as an 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium.

It was a good park. It was solid. Food wasn’t bad and it was big. When the chop was going, it was a killer park. But living in the suburbs meant taking the hike to the stadium. It could take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours. I hated driving down there, especially knowing that Atlanta has the 8th worst traffic in the world. Which is also why saying, “Well, Suntrust will have bad traffic” is ridiculous. All of Atlanta will have bad traffic, but Suntrust won’t be as bad.

Suntrust Park is way better than Turner Field to me. Putting aside all the controversy surrounding how Suntrust is being paid, those concerns are justified, the park is everything Turner Field was not. Here’s what the AJC said about what Turner Field was hoped to be:

Turner Field, about 2 miles south of Centennial Olympic Park, is not really downtown — but rather south of downtown. Surrounded, even cut off by highways, the area doesn’t blend into the city. And the communities around Turner Field never flourished as hoped.

The lack of easy access to public transportation was an ongoing, nagging issue. The Braves shuttle was far from ideal.

In addition, the Braves wanted to control and develop city-owned property around Turner Field in hopes of turning it into a mixed-use development that would buzz with activity even when the ballpark is empty.

The area around Turner was empty. It never flourished. The area around Suntrust is buzzing already. I left in rush hour, on a Saturday night, to a sold out game, and it took me 48 minutes to get to the park. That would have been an hour and 48 minutes to Turner Field.

Suntrust Park was built from the ground up for one thing: baseball. It shows. The park is beautiful and has so many little details. The lineup card is at the entrance:

The clubhouse store is huge. There are tons of places for food. Good food. Ton’s of things for kids. And there’s parking. Oh boy is there parking. 14,000 spaces compared to around 7,500 for Turner Field. We parked and walked over 75 to get to the park. It was an easy walk.

And then there’s the Battery. You’ve got the Roxy, tons of store and more restaurants coming including:

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Yeah, they’re bringing a Wahlburgers. Marky Mark himself even said they’re excited to come to The Battery.

If you haven’t been to The Battery or Suntrust Park, go. It’s excellent. You’ll love it. It reminds me of Downtown Disney.

-Woody

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Star Wars Day & Finn’s Name, Polarr App, Scanbot App

Star Wars Day & Finn’s Name

So today is Star Wars day, May the 4th, and I thought I’d take a moment to talk about how Finn got his name.

The day that The Force Awakens came out, Jenn and I still had not decided on a boy’s name. We had a thousand girls names that we agreed on, but for boys we just couldn’t agree on one. We had a shared Wunderlist of boys names that was 15 names long and we couldn’t pick one.

There’s little Finn!

While we were watching The Force Awakens on opening night with a BFF (boys can say that too right?) we felt Finn kick for the first time. I knew he would be a Star Wars fan! But during the movie I kept hearing Poe talk to FN2187 or Finn. I kept hearing that name and just loving the way it sounded. Jenn had put the name Finley on our list. I never really stuck with that name, but hearing Finn sounded great.

A week had gone by and I couldn’t get the name Finn out of my head. So we were driving down the name and I turned to Jenn and said, “Let’s name him Finley. We can call him Finn.” She was ecstatic. We decided to choose my favorite name, Truman named after my Grandfather, as his middle name.

This was last year. Finn with his hunk of junk!

So we didn’t directly name him Finn after Finn from the movie, but Star Wars was the deciding thing that pushed me to go with the name Finn. So Finn has close ties with Star Wars. He even has a small plush Millennium Falcon that he loves to play with.

So that’s our Star Wars day story.

Polarr App

If you haven’t heard of the app Polarr then you need to go check it out. It’s a photo editing app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It edits RAW and has about every single option for editing that you can think of. It even has the ability to do local adjustments with the Apple Pencil on the iPad which is what many photographers have asked for.

My one hang up is the UI. I just don’t really like it. Swiping through the filters, which aren’t super great, is horrible. It’s such a pain to navigate most things too. Compared to Snapseed it’s a chore to do anything it seems. Snapseed seems so natural to use whereas Polarr just is not that great. Now, it’s super functional. Don’t get me wrong. It has everything you could want, but it isn’t beautiful.

All the buttons at the bottom are just too small.

One thing it has that I just discovered is the ability to save a preset. Even Lightroom doesn’t have this option. So I edited a photo tonight and saved the preset and used it on other photos and it works perfectly. It even syncs between devices. That’s pretty hot.

So I’m trying to use it more for editing, but not for it’s pre-made filters. I just don’t really like them. I don’t know why, but they seem a bit more extreme. VSCO, RNI, and Filmborn’s filters are a bit more subtle which I’m seeming to like more now.

I’ll keep giving it a try this week and report back on if it makes it to my first page of apps.

Scanbot App

Scanbot is an app you need. I don’t care who you are, but this is an app you need. It’s just a simple scanning app, but it works perfectly. Any, I mean absolutely any, important paper I get that I don’t want to forget I immediately scan it in to Scanbot. Scanbot has the best scanning technology and it immediately turns it in to a PDF and pushes it to iCloud and Dropbox as well as keeps it in the app. It can then use OCR (optical character recognition) to read numbers and text for you to copy. It’s insane.


Recently Scanbot added the ability to fax from the app. Yep, you can now fax something you scanned in. Jenn and I have to often fax papers in for Finn’s medical bills and what not. This will be helpful. We haven’t tried it yet, but I will be trying it tomorrow.

There’s something super comforting about scanning in every piece of paper and always having it with you. Business cards, bills, packets of information, everything. I scan it all in. We get lots of packets of info regarding Finn every time we go to the Cystic Fibrosis Center downtown. I scan them all in. I will then go in to Dropbox and take them out of the Scanbot folder and store it an the appropriate folder.

Scanbot is the app that I never knew I needed, but now it sits on page 1 of my iPhone and I use it all the time. It’s an app you definitely need. Go check it out now.

-Woody

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Fixed Lens vs Interchangeable Lens & Freedom In Restrictions, Star Wars Night

Fixed Lens vs Interchangeable Lens

I’ve been trying to make this decision for a while. I’m saving up for an every day carry camera. You know. That one camera that will never leave my side. Sort of like my iPhone, but a full camera. My iPhone is always with me, but there are certain limitations with a super small sensor.

Too many choices can be a bad thing. I worry too much about choices.

So I’m trying to make the decision between a fixed lens every day camera or an interchangeable lens every day carry. I’m leaning towards fixed lens. I feel like having an ILC (interchangeable lens) camera would make me want to get more lenses and I wouldn’t be focusing on just taking photos, but rather I should buy a new lens or not. I wouldn’t be completely content with what I have. That brings me to a second point…

Freedom In Restrictions

I often find that I can have more freedom when there are more restrictions. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I like having rules. I used to work in retail, Aplle Retail, and there were tons of rules that we had to follow. I didn’t realize how much I liked the rules until I started working at a more corporate style salaried job with very few rules. It seemingly has more freedom here. I make my own schedule, I work where I want, I make my own rules. Turns out that it’s really hard to create your own rules and follow them, lol. Having all the rules of Apple, more restrictions, allowed me to just worry about work and working with the customers. I actually had less to worry about. One style isn’t better, they’re different.

It’s the same with cameras to me. Having a camera with more restrictions, fixed lens, would allow me to stop worrying about lenses and bodies and focus more on taking pictures. That’s why I’m leaning towards a fixed lens. Imposing restrictions will give me greater freedom because I can stop worrying.

The X100 is one of the most beautiful cameras around.

I’m mainly leaning towards the LX100 or X100S. The RX100 is still an option because it’s so insanely portable, but I would rather have a sensor larger than 1″.

Star Wars Night

Not much to say here except that Jenn and I are going to a Braves game this Saturday at the new Suntrust Park and it will be Star Wars night. I’ll definitely be bringing my A6000 and will be taking some good pictures. I will post them here when I’m done.

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Baby ducks, The iPhone As An Image Editor, Shooting In JPEG

Baby Ducks

There’s something pretty fun about seeing baby ducks. I don’t know why, but it seems like something from a book for kids, lol. We have some ducks that were born at work in our lake. It’s great walking in to work and seeing them. I mean could there be anything cuter than a baby duck?


That’s all I really have to say about that. I love ducks.

The iPhone As An Image Editor

The iPhone is becoming a very capable image editor. It can process RAW photos and in many ways is comparable to some, not all, desktop solutions. Snapseed, Lightroom Mobile, RNI Films, Max Curves, and Polarr are all extremely good editors that are getting better.

Tonight I took a few pictures of Jenn holding Finn and used Snapseed to edit them. Because Jenn was sitting by a light, I used the camera app to lock the exposure and focus and then lowered the exposure so the light wasn’t as harsh. You can recover shadows, you can’t recover blown highlights. I then took the photos in to Snapseed and was able to create a much better image. Here are the before and after.



It went from a dark image to a more dynamic image. This is also the type of image that would best to not use a filter with. Some images that are well lit are much better to use a filter on, but with a photo on the iPhone that didn’t have much light, adding a filter can often show more noise.

If you shoot JPEGS on your camera or only need light editing, I would definitely use the iPhone. If you are doing a lot of editing of RAW images, than you might be able to use the iPhone, but it won’t be quite as good as desktop software. But it depends. I could probably be ok using Snapseed, Lightroom Mobile, or Polarr, but it would take some adjusting. Which leads me to my next topic.

Shooting In JPEG

I’m going to start shooting mostly in JPEG. I’m doing this because I love editing on my iPhone and I’m going to start editing some more on my iPhone. Unless I know I’m going to be shooting in low light situations, than I’ll be shooting in JPEG only. For work I think I’ll shoot RAW+JPEG, but for personal I’ll mainly be shooting JPEG. Sony has great JPEGS, but from what I’ve heard Fuji has the best JPEGS which isn’t hard to believe considering what I’ve seen. I’ll let you know how it goes.
-Woody

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Disney Crossy Roads Mini Figs, Micro Four Thirds, Picktorial

Disney Crossy Roads

So Disney just released little mini-figs that are based on the Disney Crossy Roads characters from their game. Basically they look like little 8-bit characters from Disney. It’s amazing! I had to have one! I also just love mystery mini-figs in general. It takes me back to when I would open baseball cards and see what I got. I always looked for either Ken Griffey Jr. or Deion Sanders.

Well, my wife went by Target and I asked her to get me a few. Luckily they are just $2.99. So she found them and got two. She got home and we opened them up. There are a possible 40 to get. We got Mickey and Donald! Two classics! On the little paper insert they give you they show you all the mini-figs you can get. They also let you know which ones are “rare”. Apparently Donald is rare. Jackpot! Really, I just love putting these in my work area. They are fun to look at and play with when I get bored. Sort of like a fidget-cube, but Disney. I have a bunch of The Simpsons Lego mini-figs.

If you haven’t seen these, go get some! I’m going to have to get some more soon.

Micro Four-Thirds

I’m still saving up about $500-600-ish for a personal everyday walk around camera. I’m super intrigued with the micro four-thirds system. I don’t know why. I think I like them because they are just mini DSLRs with a ton of technology in them. They produce amazing images and their lenses are cheap. The only major downside is that they just aren’t as good in low light. They are still good, but not as good as APS-C and of course not as good as a full frame.

Screenshot 2017-04-30 23.24.24.png

The EM10 looks like a tiny film camera. What’s not to love about that?

Now some of them have 5-axis image stabilization which helps a ton and so does a fast lens. But even a basic Sony A6000 will beat most of the MFT (micro four-thirds) cameras. The good thing is you can get a really really good MFT body for under $400. You can get a used OMD EM10 for around $400 and a Panasonic 20/1.7 lens for $250. That’s $650 for a killer combo. Not to mention that the MFT bodies look super retro. I have my eye on a few MFT cameras and really might consider getting one. It all depends on pricing when I get my money saved up.

Picktorial

I recently got Picktorial for work. Picktorial is a RAW photo editor for Mac. It’s made by a small design team and they had a big 3.0 release recently. I really like it. It looks great. The only big downside right now is that they don’t have a noise reduction slider. They have a denoise brush, but I would much rather have a slider with options.

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From Picktorial.com. Picktorial has a beautiful UI that is joy to use.

I really really like Picktorial though and hope to keep trying to work it in to my workflow. Right now I can import photos in to either Photos or Lightroom and Picktorial can see them. So I don’t import photos in to Picktorial. It’s more of a plugin style. I like that. A buddy of mine over at Finding Middle Earth has talked to the developers and says they are working on a slider for noise reduction. They seem like a great team of people that are really active on their app. That’s what will keep my coming back to it. I love it.

-Woody

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Sippy Cup, Pretty Little Liars, RNI Films

 Sippy Cup

Finn has been able to hold his sippy cups for a while, but he’s chosen not to. He will take it and hold it and flip it upside and start biting the bottom, lol. Occasionally he will drink from it while holding it, but today he really started holding it better.


It makes things ten times easier when they can start holding and drinking by themselves. I’m so glad he started and I can’t wait to see him get better.

Pretty Little Liars

So Jenn and I are picking up Pretty Little Liars again. We’ve watched a ton of it and I’ve noticed a few things.

The girls miss A LOT of school and no one seems to care. They are NEVER in class! The skip class like they were in community college. I went to both public and private school and both of them required that you be in class. These girls had to have missed like 60 days or more of school in a year. Not to mention that they never wear the same thing twice and they always have brand new clothes and their hair is always perfect. They have probably spent $30,000+ in clothes and haircuts.

Anyways, it’s a fun show.

RNI Films

This app is amazing. It’s from the company called RNI or Really Nice Images. They make Lightroom film presets just like Mastin Labs or VSCO. But so far, both Mastin Labs and RNI make apps that, I believe, are better than VSCO.

Here’s a picture of Finn I took today and the second picture is the Kodak Ektar 100 film preset with the RNI Films app. I love the result.



I much prefer to have presets that are based on an actual film rather than just a number. VSCO is moving to this, but it’s still far behind. I also don’t like having to import photos in to VSCO where they just sit there for no reason taking up extra space. RNI and Filmborn take the photo, edit it, and you can overwrite the original or save a new copy. Far superior to VSCO.

-Woody

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