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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

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.

To someone that may not know the context, “Google Open Sources Cardboard” must be a head-scratching headline.

The latest update to the VSCO app is everything I wish Instagram would be. No likes. No follower counts. High resolution images. Reposts. Excellent update. Follow me there.

I love to see what @Miraz is doing with sound + photos. Very reminiscent of my podcast. Except from New Zealand! More people should do this.

Testing the iPhone 11 Pro Max – November 2019

For behind-the-scenes audio of these photos please subscribe to Photowalking with Colin.

In this post I was testing the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s cameras while walking around Honesdale, PA at lunch time. I wish I had had more time on this day as I was just hitting my stride.

Following my watching of the Elsa Dorfman doc, I watched Seeing Daylight, which is about Dorothy Bohm. So much inspiration to be found in bodies of work rather than singular images.

Watched The B-Side, Errol Morris’ doc about Elsa Dorfman and her excellent Polaroid portraits on Netflix. Be sure to see her website.

22mm ∙ f/22 ∙ 1/15s ∙ ISO 100
22mm ∙ f/20 ∙ 1/40s ∙ ISO 100
22mm ∙ f/20 ∙ 1/50s ∙ ISO 100

Culm dunes – October 2019

You can listen behind the scenes as I make these photographs in an episode of Photowalking with Colin titled Culm dunes.

I’d been wanting to use the Monochrome picture style in my Canon camera but hadn’t found the right subject. Until this day, when the sun was still relatively high in the sky, and I remembered how Nick Carver took advantage of these less than stellar photographic conditions to make black and white photos in the desert. I don’t have sand dunes or cacti available to me so I thought of using these anthracite culm piles as my sand dunes.

I am happy with how the first photograph came out. But I’d like another crack at these, and a few different compositions, with a lens hood.

.new

Google:

With .new, you can help people take action faster. We hope to see .new shortcuts for all the things people frequently do online.

For instance, Playlist.new will create a new Spotify playlist for you. Docs.new will create a new Google Doc for you, etc.

I don’t think my younger self could have predicted that .new would be a thing.

CaptionBot

Microsoft:

CaptionBot.ai is powered by machine learning technology that identifies and captions your photos. When you upload a photo, it is sent to Microsoft for image analysis to return a caption. We won’t store, publish, or let other people use your images.

I uploaded a few images. It works pretty well.

I’m unsure of this particular bot’s purpose but you can likely see its cousin running in Windows 10’s Photos app – that will automatically discover things like mountains, rivers, dogs, etc. in photos.

Google, Apple, Facebook all have similar technology for discovering things or people within images. I believe the only ones that do this on device, though, are Apple and Microsoft. The others rely on the image making it to cloud servers to be “scanned”.

/via James Gurney.

I have several blog posts that get thousands of pageviews per week for years running. For the first time, my podcast page is in the top spot. Thanks to all those that have subscribed. More episodes coming. And improved audio too.

Nick Carver on his photographs

Nick Carver, in an interview by Cody Schultz in early 2018:

Certain artworks I’ve seen throughout my life have had a powerful impact on me. When I look at a painting by Kenton Nelson or a sculpture by Michael Heizer, I feel something deep in my psyche that I can’t put words to. I can’t describe the feeling, but I know I love the effect it has on me. I hope that my photography can have that effect on other people.

If you listen to my podcast, you’ll know that Nick Carver’s work – and notably his YouTube channel – has had a profound effect on my photography.

Because Nick’s hobby is large format film landscape photography, his approach to exposing film is far different than my approach with digital photography. Or, at least how my approach used to be.

For years I’ve followed digital and even mobile photographers that recommend shooting hundreds of photographs in the hopes of capturing a few you like. With large format film you really can’t do that. Not only isn’t there enough time in a day to expose hundreds of slides of film, but also it would cost you a fortune.

This forces the photographer to slow down, strongly consider their composition, be certain of their light metering to determine the camera’s exposure settings, and be more mindful of each and every photo. I’ve been trying lately to find the balance between those two worlds. How can I be more purposeful in my digital exposures – yet still leverage the ease and inexpensive use of the tools I have on hand? I’m still trying to find that balance. But it is because of Nick Carver that I am trying to find it.

Colin Walker on personal blogging

Colin Walker:

Call it an inferiority complex, a belief that my life isn’t interesting as I don’t do that much. But, as Adam says, it’s the ordinary lives, the “random glimpses into humanity” that pique your interest, not just the grand gestures.

My favorite blogs tend to be those that are informal, unedited, and reflect the author’s voice and experiences. Rarely are they those that have grandiose lives or try to make them seem so. I truly adore a personal blog.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail – October 2019

Earlier this month we visited Kentucky (just about 18-months since our last visit) with some friends to explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail again. It was a fantastic week.

I was able to update my podcast’s page with a link to subscribe on Pocket Casts (my app of choice) and a few other apps. I edited the content, order of the apps, and added an image too.

I’m starting to see my photography skills grow. It may not seem like it, from recent captures compared to those in the past, but I’m doing things I’ve never done before. It is like making an entirely new recipe rather than the one you’ve made 100 times.

State Game Lands – October 2019

To get the story behind these photos, listen to the State Game Lands episode of Photowalking with Colin. Be sure to subscribe!

I had an amazing evening capturing these photos.