Time Travel

It isn’t just saving ideas. It’s about having conversations with your past and future self, so you can develop ideas over time.

I’ve been experimenting with several PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) tools such as Bear Notes and Obsidian. This includes a relatively new feature called back links where you can attach several similar notes to each other. By using double brackets such as [[Photography]] in any note related to photographs each relevant note can be pulled up and referenced easily.

This has been a huge timesaver for me as I’ll jot down notes, messages or links for reference. In its own way, I can go back in time and pull out these notes and develop my chain of thoughts more accurately.

An example of notes backlinked to each other in Obsidian

Walking Along The Seashells

A visual journey on the Texas/Mexico Coastline.

It was time to recalibrate and reset my mind, body and soul and take a vacation. Having been denied a trip to the Chihuahuan desert plains near Terlingqua and Big Bend National park twice, once to COVID and the second time due to wildfire, I had to think of another destination. The idea being somewhere I haven’t been, remote and less people. So let’s head down to the Boca Chica Beach on the Mexican border.

Along with MissAdventure, we drove down all the way through Texas with visits to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, South Padre Island and finally, Boca Chica.

Texas/Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico

Beaches are considered as highways in Texas so of course I decided to do just that and ended up stuck in the sand for ten minutes until we wedged it out. Next time, go for the compacted sand closer to the water. Later on we did just that. Rolling down the windows, beers in hand while driving the maximum speed allowed of 15 mph. I enjoyed every minute of it but was mindful of the rising tides and driving up closer to the deeper bits of sand on the beach so we turned back.

The Ford Edge, affectionately named the Mule

Having parked our little mule on the tarmac we then set foot south for three miles towards the Mexican border and the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we were treated to the most concentrated collection of sea shells I have ever seen dumped onto the shores. We even discovered five washed up Portuguese Man O’ War jellyfish, er, hydrozoan, excuse me, and catfish. Did you know that there were PMOWs and catfish in the Gulf of Mexico? I didn’t, and this added to the adventure. Finally we reached the river that divides two countries and waved to the vacationing Mexicans on the other side. Life is different when you see it from this perspective. What are boundaries? Why are they needed? Why do we still use the term “foreigners” and who the hell wants to put up a wall that prevents us from being proper neighbors? 

After time spent on the border we decided to trek the three mile stroll back. At one point we had the whole beach to ourselves and it was glorious. 

Due to the high winds and rising tide we decided not to set up the tent on the beach or start a fire, opting instead to spend the night in the SUV. We were treated to views of the Space-X launch facility and workers assembling the Starship overnight.

The next morning I woke up early to see the crews still maintaining the spacecraft in preparation for a test launch. After finding suitable restroom facilities in the dark and behind a sand dune, we treated ourselves to the sunrise coming in over the ocean and then fed the seagulls and grackles their bread breakfast and decided it was time to head back before Space-X had the road closed for two days. Too bad we weren’t allowed to stay on the beach any longer.

Goodbye Adobe

Since 2006, I’ve enjoyed utilizing Adobe Lightroom to organize and post-process my images. Adobe’s software has since gone from a one-time purchase to a subscription plan for photographers. Earlier today I received an email stating it was to time to resubscribe and it got me thinking, “Do I need this anymore?”

Utilizing their photography software has been a joy but after much consideration, I decided to remove my images from their cloud servers, delete their programs and not renew.

These past few months I have been looking for ways to simplify my photography and not get hung up on the technical side of it. Other software alternatives have developed so well that I took another look at them and decided they will do just fine in comparison.

With the capability to capture raw images on my Canon DSLR and the iPhone, the ability to process them on my Apple devices, and then publish them on the go it made sense to me to give this simpler workflow a try.

San Jose mission, San Antonio Texas captured on Canon, processed in Darkroom

Bedtime Procrastination

I’ve always found myself staying up late even if I was tired or had to get up early because I wanted more me time. It’s called revenge bedtime procrastination and people who do it gain a sense of control back in their life. This is especially true on Sunday nights before the next work day or the night before I travel.

Where Did The Photographer Go?

When I was starting out using my first DSLR cameraI I took it with me everywhere and shot anything of interest. One, to break the camera in and two, to explore what my interests were. I didn’t have a genre yet and was figuring out what I liked to shoot. I believe I captured at least 2,000 images in a few months. Traveling to new places helped. Exploring a city I had just moved to did as well. Finally, I settled in on portrait photography as my focus.

Lately, I have been shooting less. The pandemic hasn’t helped and neither has switching genres. I am done with portraits for a while to look at other areas again. But inspiration has been lacking.

My cameras have been acquiring dust because my primary camera nowadays is also a phone. Handy.

I’ve walked by potential photo subjects recently because I have made similar images in the past. Culling decades of images on the hard drive recently has helped me realize most of those I thought important at the time really wasn’t.

I am hoping this road trip back to Texas next week will help inspire new passion for my chosen hobby.

The Hipstamatic

I’ve been enjoying the Hipstamatic camera app for almost 10 years now and in my opinion, this is one of the most fun film emulators you can use.

Digital photography has never looked so analog. You can swipe and choose over 100 lenses, film stocks, camera bodies and flashes to get that beautiful film look.

I wouldn’t call it a replacement for my film cameras by any means, but you also won’t have to wait hours or days to enjoy the results either.

Hipstamatic has made it even more fun by adding a built in Passport that rewards you for taking daily snaps and gently reminds you to go out and take some pics during “Snappy Hour.”

Currently Reading 3/16/2021

The Book Buddy app

As usual, the library has my desired titles on hold for weeks, and then seems to release them all at once. If I don’t check them out promptly, they’ll go to the next patron and I’ll need to wait for even more weeks.

This week, there are four titles that I am reading all at once. I just finished one so make it three more to go.

Side note: I’m enjoying the Book Buddy iOS app that allows me to log what I am reading and have read. More on this later.

A New Focus

After almost twenty years of portrait photography I have decided to switch to a new challenge in landscape photography. I’ll also throw in some street photography as well.

Photographing nature and cityscapes will be a difficult new genre to learn but I know I’ll have fun doing it.

See more on the Photo Denbow website.