A Week Off

I took a week off. I took my camera out to a few places.

Like here, at a Pilot Coffee.

I got my nails done. And got a pastry from the French place on the Danforth.

Zach from Inez is way too kind.

This butterfly stopped to pose. It let me take as many pictures as I wanted. What a nice guy.

This is probably some multi-level marketing scheme. Definitely sus.

I took my camera downtown. Gotta do the tourist thing sometimes and hit the alley.

Toronto’s architecture aesthetic is historical building halfway-consumed by alien fortress.” Sometimes you get to see the facade first before the glass nonsense appears. Yonge Street.

I’m a sucker for a gimmick cocktail.

Turns out I’m totally useless at claw machines. My wife won me something cute though.

Just to throw this on at the end: I hate how photos works on the iPhone. I organize my photos in OneDrive, but this complaint works for people who have their photos in anything but iCloud. In order to post a photo to any service, that photo needs to live in your iCloud Photo library. I thought I could just use the Files” app, where I could theoretically get at my OneDrive folders. But no. If I want to post a photo anywhere, I first have to download the photo, then post. That’s an annoying one.

Anyways, it was a good week.

Photo Management 2020

I still take photos with my iphone and camera, and those automatically upload into a Onedrive folder using the Onedrive iPhone app. Once a month, I cull it. I delete photos that aren’t great, and I either delete or move screenshots. You’d be surprised how many things end up in your camera roll just from using your phone normally. That usually leaves me with a small batch of photos for each month. Those photos go into a folder named after the month, and that folder goes into another folder for the year. This lives in Onedrive, and on an external hard drive.

Sometimes I think I’m behind on backups, but I almost never am. I’ve been doing this routine for over ten years and it works. I set a reminder for the first of the month, and I take the hour.

I don’t exactly remember where I picked up the habit and I don’t know exactly when I began, but I have month folders going back to 2008. It’s not unlike this video — How to Remember Your Life - YouTube. That’s actually a much more professional and poetic look at the process.

But once I’ve taken and then culled and organized the photos, what the hell do I do with them? Up until recently, I didn’t have a great answer for this. Onedrive and/or the Windows Photos app is only okay at holding optional metadata, like faces and captions. And Onedrive has an on this day” feature, but I found it super random and not well programmed. It would lift photos from anywhere in my onedrive, which includes all sorts of image styles from work projects. Not terribly useful.

Essentially, photo sharing happens through apps, which means it happens through my iPhone. Instagram still doesn’t super work on Windows (hacks abound, though), so the phone still has to be the place where a photo you own becomes a photo someone else can see.

iCloud and the built-in Photos app should probably be where my photos are. But I don’t want to just keep my photos on my iPhone. Enter iCloud Drive for Windows. It now has the same year/month folder setup Onedrive has. It acts as a third backup point, but more importantly, it fills the Photo app and populates it with actionable stuff. It’ll show me featured photos, auto-create events, and let me search by person.

So now, once a month, I delete the unorganized photos from iCloud Drive, then add back in the month folder. This does two things: keep organizational parity everywhere, and eliminate live” photos, which are okay for when you take them but somewhat useless years later.

If you have an iPhone and haven’t used a widget yet, try out the Photos widget. Once an hour or so, it’ll show you a new photo. It doesn’t feel like a big deal but it is. It was one of the nicest things about a Windows Phone and now it’s one of the nicest parts of an iPhone.

Nokia Lumia 1020

just like the Lumia 800, I wanted to write a little blog post about an old phone. This one was important to me.

The 1020 is the only Windows Phone that ever mattered. It was filled with compromises, as all Windows Phones were. It had fewer apps, it was a little slower than the competition, and the downsides of the camera (and camera bump, which in 2013 seemed ghastly but today seems quaint) were real. It barely sold. It barely mattered. But it mattered to me. And it’s the only Windows Phone anyone should ever remember, because it was audacious and insane. Other Windows Phones tried to fit in the market at the time. Similar specs as other android phones. Similar cameras to the iPhone. They tried to make them seem like equal choices. This failed. The 1020 failed too, but not for lack of distinction.

All Black Everything. I liked to remove colour from the screen on Windows Phone. Keeping things stark seemed to match the matte black of the 1020 (it also came in white and yellow. The yellow was ugly. The white was cool).

The Screen. OLED is cool, but you have to know how to use it. The iPhone X has OLED but nobody notices. Android has no idea what to do with it either. I haven’t noticed OLED since Windows Phone. OLEDs best trick is that the blacks are black, and it looks like the screen is off. Software shouldn’t fill the screen using OLED. It should utilize huge amounts of white space around its elements. Windows Phone did that. Long before light/dark modes became standard on iOS and Android, Windows Phone’s default was dark mode, with massive sections of white space acting as the chrome around content.

The Camera. This was the reason this phone mattered. At 41 megapixels (real output was more like 34, but, like, still) the files this phone created were and still are insane. That came with major caveats, though. For one, even though the phone had stabilization, your hands need to be fucking steady. The 1020 would take several seconds to take each picture, so if your hand moved at all, you’d get blur. But when it worked, it was always worth the trouble.

No, but the camera though. I’m still having trouble taking pictures as good as I did on the Lumia. I had a camera grip accessory for it, which added not only a nice bug button for focusing and shooting, but also extra battery life. That always helped things, and I feel like in retrospect it should have just been part of the phone. I’ll make another post showing off some of the better shots I’ve taken with the 1020. It was a finicky process, but when it worked, nothing could touch it.

Windows Phone always had limits. It had a lot of trouble catching up to Android and iPhone, and failed horribly. It succeeded whenever it went in the opposite direction. The less Windows Phone focused on apps and more on categorical actions, the better it was. So, it was terrible at facebook and twitter, but it was great at giving you a list of your contacts and showing you what they were up to across a number of social networks (at least, the social networks that were prevalent in 2011). Instagram never worked, but the experience of intermingling your own photos and everyone else’s (so long as they were on Facebook or Flickr) was superb. And while other phones made marginal photography gains year over year, Nokia leapfrogged. You can be the same and worse, or you could be different. It was nice, for a time, being different.

Photos from The Summit

Photos taken on the August 10 The Summit” all-women’s wrestling show at the Midtown Event Theatre.

Rosemary

A tender moment

Shotzi Blackheart

Shotzi Blackheart vs Delilhah Doom

Shotzi Blackheart vs Delilhah Doom

Shotzi Blackheart vs Delilhah Doom

Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas

Zoe Lucas

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Zoe Lucas vs Aerial Monroe

Bull Nakano

Bull Nakano

Aerial Monroe

Aerial Monroe

Aerial Monroe

Priscilla Kelly

Lufisto

Lufisto vs Allysin Kay vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Priscilla Kelly

Lufisto vs Allysin Kay vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Priscilla Kelly

Lufisto vs Allysin Kay vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Priscilla Kelly

Lufisto vs Allysin Kay vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Priscilla Kelly

Lufisto vs Allysin Kay vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Priscilla Kelly

Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez vs Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez vs Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez vs Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez vs Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez vs Jordynne Grace

Mercedes Martinez

Nicole Savoy vs Nicole Matthews

Nicole Savoy vs Nicole Matthews

Nicole Savoy vs Nicole Matthews

Nicole Savoy vs Nicole Matthews

Nicole Savoy vs Nicole Matthews

Nicole Savoy and Aerial Monroe

Nicole Savoy and Aerial Monroe, Nicole Matthews in foreground

Nicole Savoy

Nicole Savoy and Aerial Monroe

Lumia 800

This was the first Windows Phone that was worth a damn. It’s certainly the only Windows Phone 7 Series that’s worth a damn.

3.7″ screen. 16gb of storage. Glorious, glorious AMOLED. It still looks better than any LCD on any iPhone.

This model was my wife’s. Mine was cyan, and broke on the day I proposed. I smashed the screen, but the ring was in my pocket. I didn’t care.

It amazes me how much of Windows Phone 7, and the Zune HD interface that preceeded it, is still present in Windows 10.

The FM radio app was unchanged from the Zune HD. The Music app was upgraded to allow direct downloads from the store, if you had a Zune Pass (today known as Apple Music, or Spotify, or whatever).

It was this beautiful small thing. Slightly larger than an original iPhone, but felt so much smaller in the hand. More like a pebble than the Palm Pre. Elegent.

I know it was a smartphone,” but the Lumia 800 felt more like a Zune HD 2. Limited, sure, but stunning.

Impact Wrestling Photos and GIFs

I don’t normally keep the live” part of the photos I take with my iPhone. I generally just back up my photos to Onedrive, which only keeps the still anyway. But sometimes the live photo is useful, like when you go to a wrestling show and the performers move very fast. I was at the April 28 Impact Wrestling show at the Rebel Complex in Toronto, and I think I got some good ones.

I made these using Gifwrapped.

Below are select Gifs and photos I took. You can see more of the Gifs at my Giphy page.

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