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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Links of the 2010s is so, so good. Via Andy Baio.

Alastair Humphreys is starting a podcast titled Living Adventurously. Subscribed.

Xavi Bou’s time-lapse bird path project is so cool. via Kottke.

Heron in the rain – November 2019

It was getting dark and had begun to rain so I was wrapping up a photowalk and as I’m sitting in my car texting Eliza this heron lands just outside my car window. I managed to get a few snaps in before he disappeared into the brush.

Texting while driving

Bloomberg:

The data support the generally-accepted wisdom that despite laws, penalties and reminders of the hazards of cell phone distractions while behind the wheel, drivers continue to put themselves and others on America’s roads in grave danger.

Do the world a favor. Grab a nearby friend or family member and show them how to turn on Do Not Disturb while driving settings for iOS or Android. Both operating systems have very good features around this now. There is no excuse at all not to have this on by default at this point.

Spread the word. It saves lives. It could save a life today.

Recent Snowbirds – Fall 2019

Trudging through the first snows of the season to find small bird havens has been a delight. I managed to find a pile of grass clippings that a nearby grounds-keeper tries to hide away behind some evergreens – the birds love to pick through the pile for insects and seeds.

Finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A fast-paced read. Would make a great fun movie.

Finished reading Mutation by Robin Cook. ⭐⭐⭐ – Barely three stars, really. Interesting premise but predictable.

Brent Simmons on why he listens to podcasts at 1x. I’d quote some of it, but you should just read the entire thing. He echoes so many things I’ve covered here on the blog over the years.

I almost lost the majority of today’s work. Walked away for a bit. Came back and restored it in two clicks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this over my career. Especially with programming challenges. Walking away is a pro tip.

Speaking of podcasts, I’m really enjoying BirdNote – a very short daily podcast about birds full of great bird sounds.

Yes! The episode of How I Built It with Joe Casabona that I’m featured in is now live! We recorded it in early-September and it was worth the wait. Well produced, tons of links. If you’re into blogging check it out.

After further study, what I photographed was an American Mink and not a Fisher. I’ll have to provide an update.

Adrian (aows) on Photography

Adrian (aows):

An imperfect composition, a rather dark or bright image, and less than ideal conditions could be ingredients for a great image.

His Instagram account is one of my favorites. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea at first glance, but if you read his FAQ you’ll see what his goal is for his photography. He writes:

I’m not trying to reproduce reality. Every image I make is an attempt at expressing myself and showing what that place, object, whatever, means to me.

I believe his images do exactly that.

In case you missed it, I published an episode of my podcast that tells the story behind these three photographs. Some of my favorite that I’ve taken in the last month.

How to enjoy a long winter

Jason Kottke:

I decided that because I live in Vermont, there is nothing I can do about it being winter, so it was unhelpful for me to be upset about it. I stopped complaining about it getting cold and dark, I stopped dreading the arrival of snow. I told myself that I just wasn’t going to feel like I felt in the summer and that’s ok — winter is a time for different feelings.

I’ve decided the same long before I read Jason’s post but it was a good reminder for me. I’m also going to make the best of winter. I’m going to embrace the differences this season brings and I’m now looking forward to that. Also, the worse the winter the more I’ll enjoy spring!

Lackawanna River American Mink – November 2019

This is a special episode. This is the first time I set out with a specific objective in mind (rather than just exploring or wandering) and I accomplished it!

The animal in the first image is, I’ve now learned more accurately, an American Mink (not a Fisher or Skink as I thought previously). It is in the weasel family and I can’t believe I found him.

Please enjoy this episode. I know I enjoyed recording it.

Edit: In the audio I misidentify this animal several times. I use mink, weasel, skink (which is a lizard) and fisher! Nearly in the same breath! Sorry about that. I had to get back and carefully look through the photos and compare them with what I’ve found online to figure out this was a mink after all.

Pano from 12 images
f/22 ∙ 1/60sec ∙ 55mm ∙ ISO 400
f/16 ∙ 1/160sec ∙ 250mm ∙ ISO 400

Greenfield Road – October 2019

These images, and this audio, are from the very first episode of Photowalking with Colin. At the time of the recording I was experimenting with a new app, a setup, a process. I had never published the images! So I thought I’d get around to that today.

If you haven’t already listened to the audio, you’ll hear that I stop and ask a nearby neighbor, who I now know as Walt, for access to his property to shoot a few photos. The story of his property, being somewhere that people used to pay $1 a car to park and swim some 60 or so years ago, was unexpected.

I think it was this experience, over any other, that led me to continue and create the podcast. I’m glad I did because I’m really enjoying it.

👋 to the 1 person in Japan that listened to the most recent episode of my podcast. I see you.

Two recent modern frustrations: Open an app I had open previously, it opens to its default view rather than where I was. Hit the back button in my browser, the page is no longer the same as it was when I was there. This is a regression of how things used to be.

The latest episode of Photowalking with Colin is getting a fair number of listens. Cheekily looking at the stats and the drone episode is now the most popular with the testing the iPhone 11 Pro Max episode coming in second. Oh, and new cover art now!

I didn’t realize Disney+ had profiles until Mike Haynes mentioned it. Excellent.

Ryan Barrett switched to Twitter Lists

Ryan Barrett:

A few days ago, I unfollowed everyone on Twitter, added them all to a list, and I now read that list instead. It’s shockingly better. Only their own tweets and retweets, in order. No ads, no “liked by,” no “people you may know,” no engagement hacking crap. It’s glorious.

I do not believe I’d be able to use Twitter without Lists.

See also.

Lots of chatter that Instagram will be doing a test where they hide like counts on some US-based accounts this week. I say turn them all off right now.

The iOS home screen is pretty terrible. Very difficult to move apps around. Hasn’t been updated much since very early versions. I much prefer Android’s home screen options.

iPhone 11 Pro Max ∙ f/1.8 ∙ 1/120sec ∙ 4.25mm – Live Photo
iPhone 11 Pro Max ∙ f/1.8 ∙ 1/1000sec ∙ 4.25mm ∙ ISO 32 (Keenlake)
f/4.5 ∙ 79mm ∙ 1/80sec ∙ ISO 1600
f/4.5 ∙ 55mm ∙ 1/15sec ∙ ISO 400
iPhone 11 Pro Max ∙ f/1.18 ∙ 1/75sec ∙ 4.25mm ∙ ISO 125
f/5.6 ∙ 1/20sec ∙ 250mm ∙ ISO 1600

Seelyville Dam – November 2019

On my way to the pub with a few friends I stopped by a nearby dam to shoot photos. I was surprised that just above the dam was a small marshy area filled with ducks, geese, beavers and birds. I managed to fire off just a few photos before the light faded.

There is one photo of Keenlake Campground’s adorable tunnel that I quickly stopped by to shoot as the sun was setting through it.

Richard Bernabe on Twitter

Richard Bernabe, in an otherwise good interview on his photography, says this about Twitter:

I like Twitter, even if it does represent both the best and worst the Internet has to offer. If you’re there to argue politics with other humans, it most certainly is a dystopian hellscape that will make your life a dark, dark place. Don’t do that, ok? But even if you’re not a content creator, it’s the best and easiest way to consume news and information that touches on your life’s interests. Just remember to stay narrowly focused on the things that make you happy. If you want to wade into the planet’s biggest virtual town square and discuss world events, do so gently and don’t take anything too personal.

Ooof. He isn’t wrong though. And at over 1M followers, he knows.

I still get value out of Twitter but I have to work very hard to get it. I have a private and public account. I create Lists and hand curate them based on my interests. And I’m able to interact with companies very easily. But, again, it is work to avoid the dark shadows.

Brent Simmons’ blog turns 20

Brent Simmons’ blog has turned 20 years old. A fantastic milestone! But, it was this bit that I wanted to comment on:

It‘s tempting to think that The Thing of my career has been NetNewsWire. And that’s kinda true. But the thing I’ve done the longest, love the most, and am most proud of is this blog.

I’ve long held that the most important and impactful thing I’ve made has been my blog. Not helping with 9rules, Viddler, Barley, etc.

The coolest thing about me is my blog.

Manton Reece also commented on this same bit from Brent, adding:

The great thing about a personal blog is that if you stick with it, your blog will very likely span multiple jobs and even major life changes. You don’t need to know where you’re going to be in 20 years to start a blog today and post to it regularly. Writing about the journey — and looking back on the posts later to reflect on where you’ve been — is part of why blogging is still so special.

Being able to look back through my blog’s archives is something I hope I’ll be able to do long into he future.

See also.

An update on how to listen to my podcast Photowalking with Colin

The first few episodes of my new photography podcast have been a learning experience for me. How should I record, edit, distribute these episodes? With each episode I’ve been able to improve that process and make some decisions along the way.

Me, on location

While I’m hoping to continue to improve the audio quality, the speed at which I can create these episodes, and how the audience consumes both the audio and the photos I make during each episode – I think I’ve settled in on how to publish these episodes. So today, I’ve made those adjustments to my site.

I’ve drawn inspiration from many sources including James Bell, @Miraz on Micro.blog, Joe Greer and others.

I went back through each episode and added the audio files to each post and moved them into their own category. This way people can listen to the audio right on the page with the photos. I have no doubt that this will render my Anchor* analytics useless but I don’t care. I’d much prefer people have a better listening experience.

So, in addition to subscribing to the podcast on just about any service or app of your choice, you can also just subscribe to this blog and be delivered each episode with the photos into your RSS reader. Or, come directly to each page as I link to them from Twitter or something and listen to the episode and view the photos at the same time.

* Anchor is the app I use to create and distribute the podcast. They collate all of the analytics together for me. Which is nice, but I don’t really care about analytics.

Whoa, the UK (and many other countries) won’t get The Mandalorian for 4 months? Expect piracy to be through the roof for the show.