SmugMug is a photo-sharing website and image hosting service which allows users to upload both photos and videos to their SmugMug websites. The site is designed with both individuals and professionals in mind, it’s beautiful and very flexible at the same time. As Trey Ratcliff likes to say “It’s like dating a hot yoga instructor“.

SmugMug is very affordable and at only $40 per year for unlimited data storage it offers an incredible value. Not only that, but it offers awesome website building tools that make your online galleries even more amazing. Look at my photography website here.

By using the link below you will save 20% of your first year subscription, so the first year is only $32 for the basic plan. As always, there is a 14 day trial, so you have every chance to try it before you buy.

So head over to SmugMug and register now.  You will love it!

After admiring my Sony NEX-6 and its replacement Sony A6000 for some time, I have finally given in and bought the Sony A7 II last week. I didn’t have much of a chance to use the camera during the week but this weekend I gave it a bit of a run for its money.

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There are a few things that I’m really impressed and some others that I’m somewhat disappointed.

The image quality is amazing, the IS (OSS) is doing a brilliant job, the camera feels nicely in hands and the controls layout is pretty good. Having said that, the front and rear dials are a bit out of place, or rather awkward to reach when shooting, but I guess it may be a matter of getting used to twisting my hands a bit.  The exposure compensation dial is also something I didn’t quite like, but I was able to program the rear control wheel to do that task for me. The battery life time is even worse than on A6000, much worse in fact. But it has its reasons.

Good news is that I was able to use my Yongnuo remote triggers and flashes with the A7 II and that all my E-mount (APS-C) lenses can be used as well, with some compromises, though. I’ll write about these topics shortly.

For now, here is one portrait I took today. Wait until I tell you what lens I used, you’ll be impressed…

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This article was originally written in 2006, but the solution below still (in 2015) applies to Mac computers with optical drive.

Earlier this evening I inserted a blank DVD into my MacBook Pro wanting to burn some files. However, OS X never recognised the disc, nothing on the desktop, nothing in the Finder, not even in the Disk Utility. I pressed the Eject button, pressed and held F12 for a few seconds, but the disk was stuck.

I had a DVD stuck once before, even though recognised by the system, and I got it out after tilting the computer 45 degrees forward. But this time, whatever I did there was no eject mechanism sound at all, just a very quiet sound of the disk spinning up and slowing down every few seconds.

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So I decided to use good old trick of holding down the mouse button while booting the computer up. Rebooted, held the trackpad button down – but nothing. Even more interesting is that the computer wouldn’t start up at all.

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If you miss the beautiful colour icons in the Finder sidebar, it’s time to get them back. Simon Barnett has developed SideEffects, a small application that does exactly that – replaces the boring grey sidebar icons in your Finder sidebar with a beautiful set of colour icons.

SideEffects works on both OSX Lion 10.7 and Mountain Lion 10.8.

The application is free, but there is a link on Simon’s site to PayPal page that helps you in showing your appreciation for his work.

If you would like to add application to the Dock in OS X you can do it in three ways:

  • Open Finder and navigate to your Applications folder. Now select the application you wish to add and click and drag the icon to the Dock. You can place it anywhere, the other  icons will nicely move out of the way and make room for the new one.
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  • Open Finder and navigate to your Applications folder. Double-click the application you wish to add to the dock. This will open the application and add it to the Dock temporarily, until it’s closed. Select the application icon in the Dock and move it to a different location, anywhere will do. Once you move it the application will stay in the Dock even after you close it.
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  • Open Finder and navigate to your Applications folder. Double-click the application you wish to add to the dock. This will open the application and add it to the Dock temporarily, until it’s closed. Right-click on the application icon in the Dock and select Options > Keep in Dock.  If you are not running Lion (10.7) then right-click and select Keep in Dock.
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If you wish to remove the application from the dock simply click and drag its icon off the Dock and it will disappear in a puff of smoke. Note: This will only remove the application from the Dock, it will not remove it from your Applications folder.

 

You already know how to use the QuickView in OS X, select the document or image and either click the QuickView icon in Finder or press the space bar.

However, once the file is displayed you can either view it in the default size (fit to window) or in full screen view.

There is another way to zoom the view, though. Once the file is displayed hold the Option key on your keyboard to display magnifier pointer and click somewhere on the displayed file. The file will zoom-in to where you just clicked.

You can click 10 times to zoom in 10% increments to a maximum 200% magnification. At any stage you can let go off the Option key and move the image around within the window.

To zoom out simply hold Option+Shift and click on the file, again in 10 steps.