The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 45: Photo Editing Applications

Photoactive 400Maybe you’ve used Apple Photos and are looking for more editing features, or perhaps you’re in the Lightroom ecosystem and weary of subscription pricing. In this episode, Kirk and Jeff chat about other photo editing applications you may not be aware of.

Listen to PhotoActive, Episode 45: Photo Editing Applications.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 88: Flash, Incognito Mode, Porn, and a Malware Extravaganza

This week, as we are at Midsummer’s Day, we look at the final nail in Adobe Flash’s coffin, a new Chrome incognito mode feature, the UK’s porn block, and a bunch of new malware.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

The Next Track, Episode #152 – Flogging a Dead App: Is it Really the Death of iTunes?

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400px“iTunes is dead!!!” claim a number of websites and publications. Even on the TV news they were saying that “Apple has discontinued iTunes,” that “it’s the end of an era.” Apple made big announcements at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in early June. Did they really kill off iTunes? We look at this subject, yet again, for what will be the last episode about the future of iTunes, at least until the next one.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #152 – Flogging a Dead App: Is it Really the Death of iTunes?
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Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Zen of Everything Podcast: Episode 1, Cats, Lawyers, Health, Women, and Roshis

Zen of everything artwork smallThe Zen of Everything presents a zen take on life, love, laughter, and everything else. With Jundo Cohen, a real zen master, and Kirk McElhearn, a guy who knows a bit about zen.

For the first episode of The Zen of Everything, we explain why we started this podcast, and what we plan to do. We then explore whether cats are zen masters, discuss Buddhist lawyers, talk about practicing zen with health problems, explore the idea of calling the Buddha a “she,” and explain what a roshi is.

Listen to the latest episode of The Zen of Everything.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 87: Privacy Policies Can Be as Complicated as Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

We discuss running iOS and macOS betas, the new iPod touch, Firefox’s coming subscription service, Safari auto-submitting user names and passwords, and how some companies’ private policies can be as complicated as Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

New Security and Privacy Features in macOS Catalina and iOS 13

Apple previewed its new operating systems this week at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and among the many features presented, there is a wide range of new security and privacy tools. Here’s an overview of what’s coming this fall.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

The Composition of Michael Kenna’s Photographs: Leading Lines

Michael Kenna is one of the most important living black and white landscape photographers. With a career stretching more than 45 years, his work has been exposed in hundreds of exhibitions, and, to his count, he has published 72 books, with more in the works.

I recently had an opportunity to meet Michael Kenna and interview him for the PhotoActive podcast, just before the opening of a 45-Year Retrospective Exhibition at Bosham Gallery, on the southern coast of England. One thing I took away from our discussion – both during the interview and afterwards – was the carefully refined composition of his photos. Thinking about this, and looking over his work in the dozen books I own, I’ve isolated a number of types of composition in Kenna’s photos.

In this article, I will discuss Michael Kenna’s use of leading lines. This is one of his primary compositional elements, and looking at a collection of his work, even the one in this exhibition (which contained about 40 photos), it’s clear how he uses this technique. I don’t need to go very far to find examples, and, to discuss leading lines, I’ve decided to limit myself to the photos that were in this exhibition, though there are plenty of other examples throughout his work.

Leading lines are a common element of composition. The eye is drawn by the lines which generally stretch from the foreground to the distance. These lines may be straight, crooked, or angled, and light can affect how they are perceived. There is something satisfying about leading lines, as they give the viewer a path to follow in an image. Sometimes, lines lead the viewer to a main subject; other times, which is common in Kenna’s photos, they lead into the distance, often into a vanishing point of nothingness. Leading lines don’t always have to be straight lines, and can sometimes be implied by elements of a photo.

Here’s a photo from the exhibition: Winding Wall, Mont St. Michel, France 2004.

Winding wall mont st michel france 2004

This is a very simple image, but it represents the most typical use of leading lines in Kenna’s photography. Here’s what he said to me about the above photo:

"I think with many of my images I have pathways, I have directions, I have tunnels of trees… I have boardwalks that go out because I’m creating something of a stage for the viewer to go onto and to be on their own, to be solitary. Naturally, in a black and white photograph, you go from dark to light, it’s the way we see. So you come in here [bottom right] and you wander along and you go out here [top left]. And this is the lightest part; it’s not by coincidence. Everything guides you to that corner and out, into a place […] we don’t know what’s there. And I love that, because there’s a question mark. We are naturally inquisitive animals and we want to see what’s behind there. It’s that enigma, that illusion, that use of our own creative imagination that’s very important to me."

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Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review Recordings

Rolling thunderIn 1974, Bob Dylan returned to touring after a long absence. It had been eight years since he had semi-retired after his 1966 motorcycle accident, and he went out in 1974 with The Band, the group that had backed him on his extensive 1966 tour, and performed 40 concerts.

But he wanted to do something different, and came up with the idea of the Rolling Thunder Review. He wanted to play in small venues in smaller towns, and assembled a ragtag group of musicians to join him. This wasn’t a Dylan tour; the concerts each lasted about four hours, with Dylan on stage only for the last 90 minutes or so. The group included Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, Ronee Blakely, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Neuwirth, and violinist Scarlet Rivera whose sound defined the album Desire, that had yet to be released.

On the first leg of the tour, which included thirty performances, some of the concerts were professionally filmed and recorded, and, while some of the best takes were released previously on The Bootleg Series, Volume 5: Bob Dylan Live, 1975 (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), we’ve only just gotten a release of five complete Dylan concerts, along with three discs of rehearsals and a bonus disc with some disparate recordings from the period.

The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) is one of the more fascinating “bootleg” releases by Bob Dylan. There’s an energy that isn’t in all of the other live recordings, in part because of the interesting concept of the traveling minstrel show. Playing in small venues made everything different, and these performances show Dylan at a pivotal period: just after the major release of Blood on the Tracks, which brought Dylan back as the pre-eminent singer-songwriter, and with the new material from Desire, including classics like Sara, Hurricane, One More Cup of Coffee, and Romance in Durango, all now classics.

If you’re a Dylan fan, it’s clear that you want this set. While the five concerts are pretty similar, there are some different songs in each one, and the recording quality, and the energy, is ideal. You can’t listen to this on the streaming services – at least not yet – there’s just a one-disc sampler available.

So get The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) and enjoy this great period. And check out the Martin Scorcese-directed documentary that is available on Netflix from today.

Locations of Media Files in macOS Catalina

With macOS 10.15 Catalina, and the splitting of iTunes into three apps (Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV), media files will be handled a bit differently. Here’s where the various files will be located.

  • Music: By default, these files will be stored in ~/Music . (~ is a shortcut for your home folder, the one with the house icon and your user name.)
  • Apple TV: For TV shows and movies, the default location is ~/Movies . Music Videos, however, will stay in the Music app.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts are stored in a cache folder in ~/Library/Group Containers/243LU875E5.groups.com.apple.podcasts . This is not designed to be user accessible, and the podcast files do not display the original file names. You can, however, drag podcast files from the Podcasts app to the Desktop or to a folder.
  • Books: Since Apple spun off the Books app, ebooks have been stored in a folder in your Library folder: com.apple.BKAgentService. This folder will contain both ebooks and audiobooks. As with podcasts, you’re not intended to visit this folder, and ebook files do not have their original names, though audiobooks do display their names. However, if you select a file and press the space bar to view it in Quick Look, you will see its cover. (This is not currently the case with podcasts; using Quick Look on a podcast file lets you listen to it, but there is no album artwork attached.)

When you upgrade from macOS Mojave, both the Music and Apple TV apps will remember the location of your existing media, if you are using a different folder than the default. And each of these apps has an Advanced preference allowing you to choose a location for its media folder. This means that you can store your music on one volume and your movies and TV shows on another volume, which can be practical for many people with large libraries.

Note that macOS Catalina is just a beta, and this information is subject to change.