A way to provide support and encouragement to continue my work as a blogger!

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0 thoughts on “Tips

  1. I have 78 Guru Picks and 757 All Star Achievements but have been stuck on Master for ages. Having read thru these posts I’m going to try continuously voting on one of my photos that starts off with a bang. I remain hopeful that one day I’ll win a challenge based on the merit of my photo and make Guru!

  2. Great post. I see a lot of myself in these words. In my career, I did very well, with a large team and high position. But I never liked it or really wanted it. It just happened, and it was never my goal to climb the ladder. I was surrounded by many whose only passion (it seemed) was to climb higher and higher—at any cost. I realized that I just didn’t want to be like that. I *like* being average, and was so glad to retire a few years ago so that I could go back to being average.

    Thanks for sharing this. It really spoke to me.

  3. I’ve not used 500px before, so thanks for the write-up(s). My photography waxes and wanes, much like my blogging, but I want to start shooting again. This might be a good choice.

  4. I remember. I used Aperture back in the day. It was similar to Lightroom. I liked it a lot, and I wish Apple would resurrect it. Then again, these days I just use Google Photos, not even Lightroom. But when I do get my “real” camera out and make photos (versus just take pictures), then I want the big full featured apps like Aperture or Lightroom. Unfortunately, our Nikon DSLR died last year. If I had a chunk of cash to replace it, I’d be more inclined to just buy an iPhone 11 Pro!

  5. iOS 13 Reminders is FAR worse than the previous OS versions. Other than the new categories, actually entering reminders is more difficult, the way it updates and snoozes reminders is worse, the UI on desktop is way worse.

  6. Good thoughts. So do you use the smart keyboard by Apple to type your blogs, or do you use a third party bluetooth keyboard? And do you use the WordPress iOS app for blogging or do you use WordPress via the Safari browser?? Thanks! My two big reasons for switching to Chromebook were pricing and keyboarding.

      1. Wow! I truly used to type on the glass keyboard often. And it worked surprisingly well. But I do prefer the tactile feedback of physical keys. So which screen size is your iPad, 11”? Mine was 9.7” so the glass keyboard was cramped.

        I liked using the WordPress app too. Not perfect and not 100%. But now it can do the Gutenberg editor I think. I use the app on my iPhone a lot.

  7. Same. I thought iPhone 6 antenna lines were bad aesthetic design. I don’t like notches or camera bumps either. The iPhone 4/5 series’ were my faves. Prefer metal/aluminum back over glass back.

  8. That seems a curious choice if you’re using WordPress. I use WordPress too (self-hosted in my case, but that doesn’t make a difference). I send the feed to, and I get some interaction from people there.

    I could see the point of stopping if you were paying for hosting and not seeing any advantages, but you can use it for free, simply as another way to spread your thoughts.

    Your choice, of course, but why cut a link that costs you nothing?


    1. You know what? You are completely right. And since, I wrote my blog post, I realize that I could simply keep using the free version as you describe. I’m still thinking about all this.

  9. Hi there. My main site wasn’t hit on the 8th, no. But 2 smaller ones were. I’ve been looking for a fix for days. Boosting site speed hasn’t helped the two that went down, but has helped the one that’s still good. I’m starting to think that this ” update” wasn’t an update at all. I’m thinking this is related to a tech problem originating outside Google.

  10. I am in dire need of some help,here. I have been stuck at Expert levels for months and I almost always finish in All Star and I have a bunch of Top 100 pics. What am I missing here? All I need is a Guru pick and it never happens. Plenty of top 10 percent etc….

  11. I have enjoyed GuruShots. I have made it to Master and only need to win a challenge to be Guru. I’ve used the game to learn new compositions, new terminology and what to set for my goals. I’m not getting stressed out over not reaching the top; what I’ve gained in my photography from this game is priceless.

  12. Apple will give its financial results on the 30th of october, so it looks highly unlikely there’s gonna be a special event this day too.

  13. Hello everyone, so happy to see people are discussing this issue. I am a iOS 13.1.3 user and importing images works as excepted with SD card reader from my Canon EOS R and Fujifilm X-H1 – it just takes much longer until the iPhone 8 Plus or iPad Air 3 recognize the SD Card reader – sometime it helps to open Files and dig deeper into the card file system and return to, in case the SD card reader Import tab doesnt show images directly.
    Now my Issue: It seems like VSCO, Photo.APP etc mainly all applications don’t handle anymore the RAW images – i even not sure if the RAW+JPG files are imported at all. Can anyone explain to me why is that happening? Is Apple aware of it? It was working beautifully on iOS 12 – but iOS 13 is a total mess in handling RAW files – so sad 🙁

  14. Congratulations! I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more. I haven’t been as good at regularly posting on my blog, but you give me inspiration.

  15. I have found for guru picks, the best time is join before voting starts, then use a fill 30 mins before voting begins. Its human nature for a guru to be looking at the start of his/her challenge. If they dont see it they cant pick it. I got to master in 8 days without spending any money BUT I did spend a LOT of time playing. Your images have to be of a reasonable quality too 🙂

    1. I was in the lead for days in one challenge right up to where there was only 47mins left ..yep in the lead with only 47mins left….I thought…But in the end I finished in 15th..15TH ??????? WTF…what happened ???

      1. Their system is rigged. It takes a combination of triggers (keys, swaps and fills) to win a challenge. Those triggers are not free. You either have to buy them, or participate in enough challenges to earn them – huge waste of time. Unsuspecting newbies entering this game have no idea what hit them. By the time they figure out the algorithms and win (if they are smart and lucky enough), they would have wasted A LOT of money and time. And then GS changes the algorithms. They are not upfront about this either. It’s like walking into a casino, where the dice are loaded and all the games are rigged. That’s why, in order to play the game, you have to agree to their terms, which state that they can only be prosecuted in the state of Israel. This type of pyramid scam in the US would earn them hefty jail terms instead of 3.5 million dollars of yearly revenue (that’s for the company of about 10 people). To win you need to enter at the peak voting time. You’ll need a key for this. This may not be ideal for your time zone, so prepare yourself for about 3 days and nights without sleep. Once you’ve reached maximum amount of votes possible – voting on your picture have ended and you are in # 1 position (you may need several swaps and fills to get there) – swap your picture out of the contest. Let the meter run all the way down and swap your winning image back in about 30 – 7 minutes before end of the challenge (this depends on the exposure algorithm of the challenge you are playing, they are different, fast and slow. Time is shorter for “fast” challenges, which accumulate votes faster.). Once your image is back in, hit the auto-fill button and watch the results. You have a decent chance of winning or at least getting in the top 10.
        The question is: why would anyone want to do all that?

  16. Haven’t read everything yet. But lovin the photo info. I still am using my iPhone 7. Still thinking of switching to Android in future. But since the iPhone 11 came out, I’m also thinking of upgrading to it instead. The camera system is so good now! I love how easy they make the camera app zoom between the three lenses. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Apple Arcade and TV+, no thanks. Nice, good deals I guess, just not interested.

    Disney+ with Star Wars and Marvel and more for my kids, for $7/mo, that might get me to subscribe.

  18. Going from 7 to 11 Pro will be a huge jump! I’m still using my iPhone 7. The new iPhones are tempting, but the prices are not. But if I did, of the Pros I’d take green! And of the regular 11 it’d be…a tough choice for color!

    The always on watch feature is one of the top 3 I want if I were to buy a watch. But starting at $400, no way. I may need a phone, but I don’t need a watch. That said, $200 for the series 3? That is tempting and much more reasonable for cost. But I’d rather invest that $200 in a new phone. My iPhone 7 battery health is at 85%, guess that’s okay.

  19. I’ve seen this trend for a while now. Convenience bests quality. Cameraphones are so good now, especially the low-light and bokeh effects. Plus all their connectivity and apps! Our only DSLR, an old Nikon D60, finally died this year. I mostly just use my iPhone 7 anyways.

  20. Good observations. It’s a big surprise! Yet it makes sense to compete on the web. So…I can use Apple Music on my Chromebook?! Never woulda thought that! I plan to stick with Google Play Music (or YouTube Music), but it’s nice to have the option of Apple Music. I thought I also heard that iCloud in the web itself was also getting a revamp. All good news for progress and competition.

  21. Apple Maps is really good. I used it exclusively for a couple years. The navigation while driving is great. Whatever problems it had at launch have long been corrected as far as I could tell. I did miss Street View though. But that will soon be changed. And Google Maps is also on par. I think both are very good yet imperfect and will have mistakes. I’ve switched back to Google Maps since I got a Chromebook. There are great upgrades to Apple Maps coming in iOS13, but what makes me scratch my head is why hasn’t Apple made an online website for their maps like Google? That, I think, would extend its adoption; more people would likely try it. Apple does have online map data via DuckDuckGo search, so why not extend that to a dedicated website? Or did I miss such an announcement?

  22. how is it possible that some challenger stay days on the same counter; i used a flashlight symbol and nothing change spectacular, this is not possible that nobodys like uor pictures at that time, very strange do you have an explanation

  23. I have updated my iPad to iPadOS too, however, I can’t really import photos directly to the now straight from the SD card reader. It used to have the ‘Import’ tab popped up in the And now I can’t really find where to import the photos.

    Do you mind briefly explaining to me how to import photos now in iPadOS? Thanks.

    1. To my knowledge, supports importing photos from the camera kit that Apple still sells. No other way than this for But, with a USB-C hub with a card reader, you’ll be able to import from just like regular files. Hope this help. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  24. On the photo, I really like the color gradient of what I believe is a sunset. I like the silhouettes of people above the horizon. But the two people on the left are merged so it’s confusing who is snapping a photo there or what they’re doing. The whole image invokes a feeling of tranquility.

  25. Did you Deactivate or Delete your account? If the former, your stuff always returns when you log back in. If the latter, your stuff deletes unless you log back in within a time frame like 30 days. But who knows what Facebook truly does. I’d not be surprised if they keep your data in the shadow profile. Facebook itself is a cancer and needs to be eradicated. People are the hosts Facebook uses to grow and spread like a virus.

      1. I delete Facebook but not Messenger. I might be in the same boat as you. But I don’t want to check and find out I accidentally logged in. I don’t trust Facebook either.

  26. Hi All. Is nice to read about Gurushots. Thanks for the Tips.
    One question. To win a challenge Is it a “must” make a swap?

    Thanks and best luck for all

  27. I would like to ask about how to recive the prize in gurushots. My friend won twice and doesn’t know what to do to get the money. I will be gratefull for the answer.

  28. Hope the change will be for the better. I’d like to see not sacrificing anything for the sake of thinness. No more camera bumps. I’d even prefer a little bezel over the notch. And a little more color, depth, and button-looking icons in iOS.

    For radical new devices, could we ever see an iOS clamshell laptop? What is the 16” MaBook rumored? Is that the last Jony Ive design, or is it the first post-Ive design??

  29. Oh I’ve said “No” to Libra. A super emphatic “No way not ever!” Let’s say I am adamantly opposed to Facebook getting involved with currency in any way, shape, or form! Break up Facebook! Don’t let it get more power. Facebook has more people, power, and persuasion than anyone should have; don’t add payments to Facebook.

  30. I wish iWork was more popular. It’s a good tool set. I use Numbers on iPad for simple stuff. And I’ve enjoyed Pages too. I don’t need them much, but I’m so glad Apple has not abandoned their first-party office apps like they did Aperture.

  31. I have got to upgrade from iPad Air 2 so I can try Pixelmator Photo! Direct import of RAW files to it? So nice! Thanks for sharing some of the details to this workflow. I just don’t wanna go back to a slow old Windows PC running Lightroom Classic. Keep it simple.

  32. I have been stuck on Champion level now for month. When you have a change can you take a peek at my profile and suggest any feedback. As others are stating-I entered contests and had an amazing amount of votes and shots with less votes, less of a quality of a picture has won. I want to know what is that key that I need to get me a guru pick. Thank you for your time.

    1. I’m sorry but I cannot do individual check on profiles. As for Guru picks, this is a matter of luck more than anything… as far as my experience shows. Really sorry.

  33. I like this one too. Something about it. Nice lighting. I would go back to the park at dusk and reframe the same basic shot and experiment to make it better. Less sky maybe…more foreground maybe…subtle colors or dynamic range between light and shadow maybe… In the process, you’ll likely figure out what you like about it, what makes it work. It has an element working for sure.

    1. The environment in this place is full of small buildings and houses… the framing was done this way in order to make them disappear. This explains in part the “lot of sky”… plus the rule of thirds. 🙂

  34. WordPress has several thousand themes and plugins. some plugins have amazing features that are not possible for a single developer if he provides code on a website for marketing purposes.

  35. Intriguing post and well thought out! I love a good “what-if” question. My brain immediately goes, “whoa…”

    First thought: This might be a bad idea now due to the ‘big-tech’ anti-trust stuff in the air. Apple acquiring such a big well established web presence would raise eyebrows or red flags.

    That’s unfortunate, because the idea otherwise seems awesome to me! I remember iWeb and wishing I owned a Mac at the time so I could use it. A CMS run by Apple could be super nice.

    Some titles for it: iPress, YouPress, AppPress.

    I think it could be crazy and cool if the comments section of an Apple CMS integrated iMessage for its front and back ends! Like, comments would look like iMessage bubbles and know your contacts and all that. Of course it would be encrypted all around.

    There are many possibilities.

    But social is not in Apple’s DNA (remember Ping).

    Good stuff. I’ll wanna think about it more.

    1. The idea is to get WordPress software and built a platform from it (fork from current WordPress release)… this cannot put a red flag as the current WordPress would stay the same…

      Why not name it: Apple Press ? 🤓

  36. That is an impressive lens, congratulations with your buy!

    New or used… for my Canon 77D I recently bought a used Canon 28-135 lens, of course after reading numerous reviews. It was a real bargain (which suits my budget) and in mint condition.
    So yes, used gear, why not 🙂

    Looking forward to your photos!

  37. The problem nothing comes even close to Aperture. Everything else has convoluted and clumsy workflows, ridiculous subscription schemes, endless duplication of files and/or modification of originals.

    The idea of never touching originals, and simply storing parameters of modification, along with a cached preview of the edits, was ground breaking. Any edit could be done at any time, no need to “redevelop” RAW files, and then do all the edits again. Nope, simply change some parameters of the RAW conversion, and everything else stays in sync, etc.

    If they didn’t want to develop it further, they should just have made it open-source for the community to develop. To destroy it and sit on the corpse, that’s pretty much malevolence.

    And that while Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro are maintained, photographers get shafted.
    I wonder what underhanded deal they made with Adobe.

    And the plug-in system for Photos sucks, and users are back at the mercy of third party plug-in makers to keep supporting their products and not going out of business, or else…

  38. I echo what you’ve said here. So. Much. Stuff! Is there anything they didn’t mention but could have? It’s still a lot to take in. 2019 for Apple is crazy with all this new software and the coming services for Arcade and TV+. Huge year for Apple. And we have not even seen new iPhones, a new watch, or AirPods 2.0!

  39. Hard to believe after all these years that iTunes is no more. Like others, I’m really curious what they’ll do for iTunes in Windows! Will it be no more? Or will it be replaced with 3 new windows apps, or 4 if you include a Finder like sync app? I doubt that. What if Apple just kills it like they no longer offer Safari on Windows?? Love the iTunes logos in the graphic by the way.

    1. I expect them to keep iTunes on Windows for a while … just enough to make it work… in a way, this is like saying: if you want the full experience, come over to the mac side…

  40. Even though Apple has added multi-tasking and other power user features (hello, Files), the iPad remains a simple device. Is it a computer or a tablet? Yes! It’s a tablet computer. Simplicity is its strength. Somehow it can do a lot yet allow the user to focus on a single task at a time. At most, as a mild power user, I get two apps side by side or one full screen plus one in slide-over. I love how it works.

  41. Nice blog, thanks for your blog, apple provides the overall direction of their products and services, their relationship with the development community and consumers.

  42. Can the display do inputs of different devices such as an Apple TV or PS4 with the right adapters now that it has two Thunderbolt ports?

  43. Thanks for the review. I was thinking about getting one of these. I, too, have just been using virtual desktops on my MacBook Pro, but am finding that I want a bit more.

    I’m trying to decide between this and the 27” 5K display. Tough choice.

      1. I bought one of these last week. I love it! I set the resolution to scale to 2560×1440 as well and it’s awesome. I compared the 27” to this one in the Apple store, and sure, the 27” is nice, but to me, not $700 nicer! This is perfect!

  44. Apple got big, and fast. It’s complex now. They could really use some simplifying.

    Good article. I would add an example of naming products. Come on. iPhone X, XS, XR, XS MAX?? They can do better.

    On the Macbook keyboards, I think they over-engineered! They took something that was not broken and tried to fix it! The butterfly mech didn’t solve a problem with the old scissors. Unless people complained about keycaps being imperfectly slanted when pressed. But now the butterflies are causing more problems than they’re solving.

    Making things thin is nice. But if a half millimeter thicker makes my iPhone battery last an hour longer, that’s a fair trade off! Apple could revolutionize battery life by adding a little more phone to the phone, which would also make them “grippier than ever.”

    But maybe we’re picking nits. Apple is doing a lot of good and cool things. Overall, they’re still the best in the game.

  45. 3D touch has some cool uses. Like peaking at links. But Gruber is right. Since it never came to iPad, it was half-baked, and developers couldn’t count on it.

    Really, I don’t think the tech added any new capabilities to iPhone. It just made existing features easier or quicker to access, in most cases.

    So technically it’s superfluous. Add to that the fact it’s not discoverable to most users, it’s easy to see why it didn’t catch on.

  46. I am liking what I’m seeing online about iOS13 finally getting less flat. The pendulum swung too far from skeuomorphism too flat, bland… I would like to feel like I’m tapping buttons instead of links. And I’d like more fun or whimsy back.

  47. I’ve got enough Guru Picks, All Star Ranks and GS Points to move into Master rank but I’m stuck at Champion because I can’t seem to get any Top 5% ranks. Any advice for that specifically?

  48. I’ve considered jining Medium before. Never got around to really trying. I’m on the fence about it. Your post piques my interest. So I’ll be looking at Medium… Thanks!

    1. I’ll keep posting about this adventure on my blog too so you’ll have a better idea I hope. I’m finishing a big post on Apple (more than 1100 words)… That I’ll put on Medium after publishing it first (of course!)

      1. So, if you don’t mind me asking, you get income from some posts if enough readers clap? I’m kinda clueless here. You can DM me on Twitter or email if you prefer to answer. Thx.

  49. iPad first here. Rarely use my PC. My day job requires a PC though for AutoCAD and related 3D CAD software. I need/want to upgrade my iPad Air 2! I use an Anker BT keyboard for writing. And I’m planning to go all-in with photography on iPad instead of the rare uses of Lightroom Classic on my PC. iOS is great. Maybe if iOS 13 has mouse support, then it could be better for CAD.

  50. I’m a big fan of the iPad, too. I’ve switched to using it pretty much exclusively, and have been so glad I did. I haven’t used my Mac in a couple months!

    I am also looking forward to iOS 13, though I’ve purposely not read any of the “what’s coming” stuff, preferring instead to wait to see what’s really there.

    You make a great point about hoping Apple doesn’t add a bunch of complexity to the “baseline” experience. I’ve been really happy with how they’ve added multi-tasking, drag/drop, etc. in the past, by not forcing these concepts onto all users. It’s a great approach and I hope they continue to add advanced features this way, so that the simplicity doesn’t get lost.

  51. Excellent choice for Top Guru Pick, I would have very much liked to take this photo myself! As for the winning photo by popular vote, hum….

  52. I’ll keep my eye on Flickr to see how it might grow once it’s fully switched over to SmugMug’s care. It may resurge as a better alternative to Instagram or Facebook for photo sharing online.

      1. What I love about Flickr is the focus has always been on photos, not so much on the social craze. It’s photography lovers networking, not celebrities with selfies…

  53. Interesting as my main interest is birds and wildlife my interchangeable DSLR gives the reach I can’t get with a phone cam.

  54. Oh, also, I looked at my Lightroom catalog earlier this year and filtered it by camera. Basically, when smartphone cams got good enough around 2012, the number of pictures from my trusty Canon dwindled over the years to almost nothin’. It actually made me kinda sad. But it also speaks to the hard fact that smartphone camera convenience and web connection overrules most features of a dedicated shooter.

  55. Interesting to see that current digi cam numbers now about equal the numbers back in the beginning around 2001!

    I love the idea of my iPhone being all/the only camera I need. The simplicity of that is very attractive. But sometimes I still want the creative flexibility of my Canon S5 or the quality of our Nikon DSLR…

    I have never tried an iPhone with the second lens (2x optical) and wonder how much better or more that could do for me.

    Then there’s the rumor of a 3 lens iPhone later this year. Ultra wide, 2x zoom, and normal. But you know what would get my cash? If the iPhone made a macro lens for super close up stuff. I would be all over that!

    1. I understand your concerns… but at the same time… with the Photography plan, you get: Photoshop, Lr on Mac and iPad, 20 GB cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio… to me, as a photo enthousiast, this is kind of a deal… and Adobe keep updaing their stuff (they don’t have a choice anyways)… so…

  56. Nice post, written well! I share your sentiments. I miss what Instagram was. I preferred it when the focus was on photography, not on social mania. When it was about landscapes, not selfies! Bokeh looks like it will be a mix but aims to improve on the social aspect. That could be great. I’m willing to give it a shot! I might jump on the beta bandwagon too!

  57. For schools, they need to add the smart connector to the $329 iPad and offer the smart keyboard for a reasonable $99! Overall lineup is nice. It’s now got a low, middle, and high end.

  58. Yes for better iOS software and API’s. Just don’t add too much complexity and thereby undermine the core strength of iOS – simplicity! It’s a tricky tight rope to walk. But I agree, the hardware is so powerful now, the software is holding it back. Also, it’s new stuff that gets me excited. What if…Springboard changed so that it was no longer just a grid of apps? What if it was more flexible like on Android!?

    1. I’d like to see an application drawer (current app grid) easily accessible via an icon on the new “workspace”… the new home view on the device with a search field, and simply widgets like a clock… someyhing reminiscent of the traditional computer… the application drawer could be the default view for new users… I’m thinking of writing something along those line in a future blog post…

  59. I enjoyed this. What did you use to create the graphic? I try to keep my photo-flow simple. But it needs improvement. First, I want to be all-in with iOS only. Mostly I am. LR CC costs more than I want to pay each month. You may need to update your flow in a new post with Pixelmator Photo. I no longer use Flickr even though SmugMug is at the helm. I do not use Instagram. Currently, I only post my pix on my blog. For personal stuff, I email or iMessage family photos. I might try shared albums…

    1. You will never know what app I used for this diagram…. Keynote, from Apple. One of the best illustration app for me. Done on the Mac. Faster than on iPad but you could do that too on the iPad. I’m still evaluating how Pixelmator Photo fits my workflow.

  60. I like learning of new workflows. I’ve never used Things but have heard good things about it. No pun intended. I prefer all first party apps by Apple… I don’t add 3rd party apps lightly. I love the Notes app, for example. But, crazy enough, I’m *thinking different* and really liking Ulysses! So, you never know I guess. BTW I hear that the Reminders app might get updated in iOS 13. I think it could really use improvement in its UI/UX. The faux cards thing is OK if you have few of them. But the design language does not match other apps like Mail and Notes. Hope it does in iOS 13.

    1. iOS 13 cannot do worst with Reminders, trust me! Any chances will be for the better. I use Ulysses for my writing needs… long text only. Notes, on my iPad Pro with the pencil works so well… use it all the time at the office. I’m pretty sure I’ll convince you to upgrade your iPad! 🙂

  61. Yes! I want this. $5 seems like a steal. So with your stairs photo, the perspective geometry was fixed in Pixelmator Photo? Is it called Distortion or another name? Oh, and I love the fact that images are labeled as RAW or Modified. I am a long-time Lightroom user and want a suitable replacement on my iPad without an expensive monthly subscription!

  62. I like the idea of a pro mode in the camera app. The default can be the simple auto features for most people. An option for RAW files would be nice. But I recall the early days of big leaps in photo quality and features on iPhone. I think one of the biggest hardware things they could do now is add a true optical zoom! Even if it’s only 3 to 5x zoom! And now there are smartphones that have this by using a periscope type lens set up.

  63. I wish iWork was more popular/common. Especially numbers. But most people who don’t go with MS Office instead choose Google’s office web apps. But I’m an Apple first guy, so… I decoupled from Google a lot and will do so more as I can.

  64. I still scratch my head over Apple abandoning Aperture. I guess “focus.” One Photos app. Simple. But they seemed to cede the Prosumer market for the mass market.

  65. I really like Lightroom and wanted to use LR CC on my iPad but did not want the subscription fee. I want to buy Pixelmator Photo, but first must buy a newer iPad..!

  66. From what I’ve read online, the best Apple keyboard currently *might* be the Smart Keyboard for iPad! You can pour dust or water on it, no problem. Also, it’s very quiet. But it’s missing a function row and a keypad. But iOS mitigates lack of function row, I think.

  67. Great post! Yes, the Writing goals/metrics! Thanks for the links to others’ Ulysses workflows. I started my 14 day trial yesterday. BTW I just sent like 20 of your posts to my reading list. Nice to meet ya. Take care.

  68. Thank you for your much appreciated tips and tricks!
    I noticed that watermarks are not favourite for Guru picks, which of course is understandable.
    I used to watermark my photos too but know now it doesn’t make sense 😉

  69. To be honest I think that there is an element of collusion especially when you get to the end of a challenge and all the winners are gurus.

    The family challenge that recently ended you might as well used cardboard cutouts as there was little or no human interaction. The lucky shots challenge all staged or heavily edited in post production nothing “lucky” about them.

    I haven’t been on Gurushots long maybe a week to get to expert. Addictive but starting to get the feeling it is a waste of time.

    Great blog by the way.

  70. I would like to ask about how to recive the prize in gurushots. My friend won twice and doesn’t know what to do to get the money. I will be gratefull for the answer.

  71. Lousy contest, has nothing to do with real talent, I’ve seen horrible photos score higher than fine photos, people vote blindly to fill their meters, just a terrible contest, more of a game of chance!

  72. Thank you for your help! I am enjoying submitting my pics and I am always learning in the field of photography. Would love to find you & follow you, I will try. Thanks again.

  73. Most companies misbehave. Look towards Apple and patent infringements, or Samsung blatantly copying the design of the iPhone… And then there is massive tax avoidance. In some cases, I as an individual in the UK, pay more income tax than certain companies do in corporation tax due to their offshore dealings. Don’t trust any of them.

      1. OK Jean-François, je viens de vous trouver. De très belles photos, ce sera un plaisir de vous suivre 🙂

      1. Indeed 🙂 Seems that my second message was lost, so I’l say again that you have some great pics and that I will enjoy following you, here and on Gurushots. À bientôt!

  74. I’ve been a GuruShots player for about 3 weeks, I achieved Expert quite soon but could not move on. And then, the first day I started to follow your tips I received my first Guru’s Pick and became a Champion. It’s really awsome, thank you!

  75. Emptiness challenge has ended.
    I watched it very closely, suddenly (last 13 min or so) a Guru appeared, Anja Heinrich with more than 100 votes more than the first (2700 something) then…she disappeared (swapped out?) then, in the last MINUTE she reappeared with a huge amount of votes (2873), 100 more than she had before.
    How is this possible NC? How is it possible that another user, Valeria Schmidt (, won countless challenges with an impossible number of votes and, I’m sorry to say, crappy pictures (she has much better in her profile) such as this one

    Misteries to solve 🙂

      1. to swap two times hasn’t good results to me never, but I’ll try again.
        Otherwise I think the new reward system is more frustrating than ever

      2. Hi NC I do know the mechanism but what puzzles me is that what happened is this:
        1 – 15 minutes until the end, no trace of the winner (Anja) whatsoever, in any of the first 20 positions
        2 – suddenly Anja appears with an advantage of more than 100 votes over the first contender, she is first now in plain sight.
        3 – suddenly again she disappears (swapped out), her figure was at that time 2700 votes, I noticed it because I kept going back and forth from 40th position to 41th without any changes, and was watching this challenge very closely.
        4 – at the very end (last 4 or 3 minutes) Anja reappears, this time with ALREADY more than 2800 votes. I want to underline that between point 2 and 4 she was swapped out
        5 – She wins

        a) how did she appear with such amount of votes in the first time without appearing among the first contenders?
        b) how did she appear a second time having gained more than 100 votes while being swapped out?

        I witnessed it with my eyes, I simply cannot explain it, it is the same thing that happened to me while I was first in the “Faceless” challenge.

        I am missing something.

      3. I gonna try some hard things to get to win maybe this probe that the system is made to invest and don’t to make great pictures:
        1 good quality themed photos (some top 100 and gurupicks in previous challenges)
        1 lots and basting voting
        2 as many swaps as I can afford
        3 fills with every swap
        if I dont win this challenge I gonna quit, is imposible to get to Guru.

  76. Would love an iPhone similar in design and form factor to SE. After the 8 Plus, I had to choose between an SE or XS – I opted for SE. Size trumped features. Budget wasn’t was never an issue (I’m a business owner).

  77. I’m stuck basically at the same point. I’ve been on GS for some time, ranked up to Master, got 14 Guru Picks (once I got 3 out of 4 in one single challenge) but I still find it extremely difficult to win a challenge and it feels like I’ll be stuck there forever, it’s tons of all-star and high ranking (so I reached 380k points) but no way I can beat this.

    It is kind of frustrating.

      1. Thanks a lot, could you give me some insight on the reply I’m about to write to the other user down?
        What do you think about that?

    1. I have the same problem being a Master. I am getting frustrated, too and close about to think if to quit, because I cannot go further. I reached uncountable tops 100, 10, 20, 30, gurus picks. The only to get to guru is to win a challenge, but no way. And now, the “reward” idea makes it even worse, because you always have to wait 12hrs to get rewarded and in many cases with cheap “fills”, which do not help much. I will not pay for fills, swaps and keys, because this is not the right way to win with a proud merit. Its like you would pay for your medal without putting your own hard work while first making your picture then voting, filling, etc… . A bad photographer pays for his pictures in form from fills, keys, swaps, because he has no other chance to get more votes. After all, it is the bad one, who has more chances for Guru. He pays. The honest photographer works hard with low chances to be on the top, because he does not pay.

      1. Hi Alex, hi NC, today I tried something and, with my surprise, it worked, in a strange and somewhat counterintuitive way.
        I participated in a single picture challenge, my pic was well on theme and I reached 4th until 3 hours remained to the end.
        And that’s what happens, with my meter maxed out my odds were decided, that was my score. In short the usual Gurus surpassed me and pictures that were there for a long time kept on getting voted while mine was inexplicably halted.
        I believe this scenario is quite common to Alex is it not?
        Except this time, instead of simply waiting for the gauge to go down and then vote to max it up again I simply CONTINUED voting…and guess what happened…I kept racing. I wasn’t crippled anymore as every other time but kept on competing, tens of votes at a time they were slowly but sturdy increasing as long as I kept on voting.
        I adopted a pattern of 20 votes and a submit and ade sure to be really fast.

        Guess what, I reached FIRST until 4 minutes to the end…then…a Russian Guru, out of nowhere skyrocketed first surpassing me by more than 100 votes (I was beating the second of 20 votes or so) and I ended SECOND, my best achievement so far.

        this is the link to the challenge, i posted a nice picture but nothing exceptional.

        Please note the delta between the first contender and me.

        Now, it beats me how this guy made it and I’m going to ask him plainly, but the point is “it is my FIRM opinion that one of the best kept secrets of GS is that YOU NEED TO KEEP VOTING no matter how max your gauge is.
        In the last few minutes GS takes the form of a horse race and the faster you are (voting) the better it is.
        I strongly believe that almost every Guru knows that and this answers, in a fairly convincing way, almost all of the doubts I had until now as I witnessed strange patterns take place. And while taking good pictures will always be the (starting) point I believe that without the proper transparency all the info we’ve been fed are BS and we’re not competing fairly.
        Being a data scientist I’m keen to data analysis and as more people do this so the whole of visualizations increases and the algorithm is there to compensate, it makes some numeric sense, only I didn’t expect THAT much.

      1. What a strange change this week. Must be a fluke but I got two guru pics! Finally off to champion level and just need one more pick to mi e past that. Maybe that will be another year. Good luck

  78. Thank you for this article. I have a couple of questions:
    Here is a scenario: Let’s say a Dominant Blue challenge (4 photos) is going to end in 2 hours.
    – I joined exactly 2 hr before close. What is the best time you would join? I know it is all about timing, so I am asking for the precise time! 🙂 No worries if you can’t answer.
    – What is the order for swapping? Fill>boost>Swap or Boost>Fill>Swap?
    — Also, what happens if I swap my best performing image (after votes have stabilized) when the exposure meter is high and it has boost?

    1. Hi,
      It is hard to say when is the right time to join… one thing is sure, they now require a key in order to join a challenge 24 hrs or less before the end of the challenge. If you don’t have a key, you can’t join unless you buy one. For sure, if you join in the last few hours of a challenge, you will no really affect your final score as long as you maintain your exposure to the max level.

      For the second question, the best order, for me at least, is : fill first. swap the least performing photos… and near the end, boost your best shot.
      Hope this helps.

  79. Agreed on climate change. That’s one aspect of social media in the tech space that always leaves me queasy and lately I’ve been really turning away from more tech-oriented media because of it. While tech nerds complain about the newest branding change (Slack) and talk to themselves about the latest iPhone rumor, etc… we are literally destroying our future ability to inhabit the Earth. We and future generations will look back at this time and wonder what it was that people were thinking that they did not have climate change front and center. It should be the talk of the day and it should be a major focus of individuals, communities, nation states and any other social construct. I rarely touch on it on my tech blog but over the years it has been a focus on my other blog, Beardy Star Stuff.

  80. Draw a little bit, every day, even if just for five minutes when you can squeeze it in!
    You’ll improve slowly, but it’ll be worth it.

  81. I think there’s another side to this though: the non-techies that use iPads. We know that many millions of iPads are sold every year. Let’s just say 40 million a year but I’m sure it’s higher. Anecdotally I can say that in my family alone non-techies make up the majority of iPad users. My mom, dad, aunt, uncle, sister, niece, granny… all of them are using iPads as their primary computers every day but they’re not professionals. They’re just people that want an easy to use computer for email, web browsing, games, and the occasional document.

    I think the tech community has forgotten that they are likely not just a minority of users but very possibly a VERY TINY minority of users. It just so happens that they are the loudest because they write tech blogs and do tech podcasts. And they listen and read each other all the time.

    But stepping outside of the “community” is important in understanding other people’s needs and preferences. I can tell you, my family are not only happy with iOS in its current state but they prefer a slower pace of updates. Non-techies are happy when their devices just work as expected. They don’t care about the latest and greatest updates because that often just means they have to learn new things about the device. In fact, for them, updates often mean things are broken because they no longer work in the way they did previously.

    All that said, as a “pro” user, that has relied on my iPad as my primary computer for almost 3 years, I am actually quite satisfied with the state of iOS. I’m generally happy with Apple’s default Mail and Calendar apps. Notes is excellent and reminders, while a bit plain, still works pretty well. iOS itself is, in my opinion, fantastic. I enjoy using it every day. Of course there are improvements I’d like to see but in my use case, if Apple did nothing with iOS for the next year or two I would be okay. I bought and use the iPad for what it is today and it’s such a delight to use!

    Is iOS perfect? Certainly not. But I also don’t think of it as having fallen behind or lacking in any important way.

  82. An excellent post! Another key ingredient that I think I would emphasize, perhaps THE key ingredient: proper human management of the technology and the process. People are the base of the variety of problems you mention and they are also the solution. iPads are just tools like any other. If you give a tool (especially a powerful computing tool) to someone to use you need to offer proper ongoing instruction and support. No doubt, there are technical aspects to the solution. But much of what I see you writing about here comes down to a school staff that is either not prepared, not supported or not interested. Likely a mix of all three.

    Regarding Apple’s offering, no doubt they playing catch-up with iCloud and their management apps such as Classroom and Homework. They took a big step in the right direction with their March 2018 education event. Let’s hope they continue with ongoing improvements. If they expect to be taken seriously in education they have a lot of work to do. That said, it’s also on school staff to take the responsibility of integrating technology properly.

    Thinking about content and applications, that would seem to be a much deeper post and possibly the topic of not just a whole blog post but a whole blog! But I would hope that schools that adopt technology like the iPad would have support staff on hand that help teachers with finding and implementing apps for classes. If it’s left to individual teachers to sort it out then that goes back to the point of a human and organizational failure on the part of the school.

    1. Excellent comment ! I’m working myself in Information Technology and I’m always telling my customers: this is not a technological problem, it is a human problem. And this thing about the iPad in schools, is exactly this as you mention. Thanks for reading my post! 🙂

  83. Yup, a fantastic computer! I got the 12.9 and as a previous user of the Smart Keyboard I was pretty excited about the new folio and I have to say, it’s lived up to my expectations. Fantastic. So much more stable. It feels like a laptop now only much better because I can easily pull the iPad and use it as a tablet! I do about 95% of my computing on the iPad which includes web and graphic design so I decided to go with the cellular model and am so glad I did. I’d previously been using tethering and my too-slow home office satellite internet. The always on LTE is just so much faster. I couldn’t be happier with this iPad.

      1. I LOVE the Affinity Apps. Had used them previously on the Mac, now on iPad. Those are for web design assets and some print work. Typically 1-2 page designs such as postcards, posters, flyers. Pages is my stand-in for InDesign and it really is a powerful app. I’ve probably reduced my InDesign usage by 80% thanks to Pages.

  84. Agreed. I really hope they step it up with a release of Final Cut and Logic for iPad. Heck, I’d also love to see them finally bring the iOS version of Pages up to feature parity with the Mac version. I use Pages from my iPad all the time for client projects such as annual reports, newsletters, and brochures. It’s close but there is a handful of features still missing that require that I go to the Mac every so often and they are features that don’t seem all that complicated. They’ve made great progress but there’s still more they could do.

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