Apple, hiking, photos

Pixelmator Pro photo editing

With Kraig’s encouragement I tried and then bought ($29.39 CAD) an Apple only photo editing package.

I’ll continue to use free built-in Apple photos to organize my many pics. BUT switch to Pixelmator Pro for editing the best of the best.

I started posting daily to Instagram. My best hiking photos.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

photos, product endorsements

Editing PHOTOS with Pixelmator Pro

Kraig recommended this software. And I’m going to buy it. CAD $55.

Pixelmator Pro is Mac only. It supports the new (2020) M1-chip and macOS Big Sur.

Below is a Pixelmator edit of an iPhone X 4K original. I followed the official tutorials.

What you see below is a smaller version for web. But if you click on it — you’ll be able to see the full size original.

I’d long wanted to quit free Apple Photos software that comes with every Mac. Never liked it. Unfortunately Apple keeps you locked into the ecosystem. Happily, Pixelmator Pro works hand in hand with the Photos app. No conflict.

I’m also tested the Sony Imaging Edge software (horrible) and Capture One 20 Express (free). But Capture One 20 non-Express is too expensive – at least $10 / month.

I have Gimp (free) but find it pretty complicated.

This video show the fantastic interface of Pixelmator Pro.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

blogs, photos

Photo quality on this site

When you upload photos to the internet, sites often reduce quality to make the page load faster.

Here I’ll upload the same original photo in three resolutions to see if the FINAL displayed image improves.

5472×3080 pixels original

1280×721 pixels original

640 by 361 pixels original

I can see a big difference between the original being 5472 as opposed to 640 pixels wide.

But the 1280 pixel version is pretty close to the 5472. When I checked, WordPress display default had reduced both the top two: 885 pixels wide.

IF I link to the original photos, however, someone keen enough to click could get a copy of the highest resolution available.

Some recommend I upload at about 1280 pixels. 80Kb-100Kb file size, at most.

If and when I switch to a theme that allows full-width images, WordPress recommends those be uploaded as originals with at least 2000 x 1200 pixels.

I’ll keep experimenting.

blogs, photos, product endorsements Block Editor

38% of the web is built on WordPress.

More bloggers, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies use WordPress than all other options combined.

All my sites are hosted on and I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

As a long time user, I’ve been reluctant to switch to the BLOCK EDITOR when writing these post. I stuck with the Classic Editor, as did many others.

In this post I’m again testing the BLOCK EDITOR based on a recent WordPress.TV tutorial

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Making rows like those above are much easier. Choosing colours easier, as well.

That line above is easy to add, as well.

One thing I like about the Block Editor is being able to more easily make a photo gallery. These images are all provided free through the Block Editor.

With the old editor I didn’t have much control over images.

Using the Block Editor I can more easily edit this image, for example.

That said — many of us feel forced by the host company to use something called the Block Editor to write posts like this rather than the Classic Editor we used in the past.

cycling, hiking, photos, product endorsements, video

UBeesize 54-inch Selfie Stick Tripod

For hiking I’m not often going to be carrying a full tripod.  Too big.  Too heavy.

But for cycling, I’ll often bring this one along.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours videotaping from tripods. But — until now — have never used one as an extended selfie stick.

Of many similar options, I got the Selfie Stick Tripod, UBeesize 51″ Extendable Tripod Stand with Bluetooth Remote for iPhone & Android Phone.   I won’t be using the Bluetooth Remote.

  • CAD $33
  • 610 Grams
  • suggested max weight is about 2.2 lbs/1Kg.
  • 1/4” screw thread (fits my GoPro, Sony camera, OM 4 gimbal)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch some of my tests on YouTube.

Apple, photos, video

You CAN replace an iPhone battery

Like everyone, my iPhone battery life progressively died until it was nearly unusable.

A local shop wanted CAD $112 plus tax to replace the battery.

Apple Canada charged CAD $88 plus tax plus shipping.  About $100 total.

3 months warranty.

It’s a bit of work backing up and then restoring the phone.  But not confusing.  It worked well.

I’ll now be using two iPhones:

  1. 2020 SE for day-to-day
  2. iPhone X for video / photo on my OM 4 gimbal





photos, product endorsements

A review of my new Sony ZV-1


I wanna be a 📸 PHOTOGRAPHER.

I have tens of thousands of photos posted online, yet knew almost nothing about photography.

What’s an F-Stop?

Unable to travel as much as in the past, I decided to buy a real camera and — finallylearn how they work.  I have plenty of time.

I decided on the Sony ZV-1, their much hyped new vlogging camera.

So far, I’m liking it.

At 10.4 oz (294 g) without the handle remote, it’s small enough to carry on my hip wherever I go.  Fires up quickly.  Point and shoot.  Ideal for travel.

In fact, this is primarily a video camera.  But I’m happy with the photos, as well.

You can take a photo while the camera is videotaping.  It’s also easy to grab a digital still from video after the fact.

Biggest problem for me is lack of much optical zoom.  

The alternative is to shoot a photo with up to 20 Megapixels — then crop.

Here are three I shot at 5472 × 3648 pixels.

Note: software running this site takes the original and reduces size and quality to display online.  Click for larger versions.

New to me is the options of blurring out the background.  I do like it, once in a while.  Especially on closeups.

It’s good in low light — Gymnastics clubs, for example.  Much better than phones.

Made for vloggers, the ZV-1 works portrait or landscape equally well.

Base price is about CAD $1000.  Adding the Vlogger Kit, extra batteries, 128 GB memory card, tax, etc … I paid something close to CAD $1500.

I really like the bluetooth wireless remote handle.  It works from up to 45m away if you have the camera on a tripod.

As a selfie stick, most vloggers find it too short.  I’ll use a lightweight tripod, instead, starting and stopping with the Sony remote.

Getting started as a Dummy was not easy.  There’s too much information on the internet.

Best for me was the too detailed Sony Help Guide online.

I’ve watched many hours of YouTube videos, as well.

Click PLAY or watch a skeptical review on YouTube.

 Is it truly better than your phone or GoPro? 

Click PLAY or see the Wireless Remote on YouTube.


Sony ZV-1 photos

I’m experimenting with the settings on my new Sony ZV-1.

The original sunset was 5472 × 3648 pixels. The crop beneath 3772 × 1454.

Click any image to see a larger size.

click for larger versions

This forest original (different settings) was captured at 3772 × 1454.

click for larger versions

The software running this site does two things with original photos:

      1. Reduces the size / quality for faster loading
      2. Resizes to fit the page. This crop I made square, for example.