Before we begin, let me say that I’m a big fan of Peter McKinnon. He’s just over to the right in the blogroll. I like his photography, I like his vlogs, I like his attitude, I like his down to earth personality.

(there’s a but coming up, isn’t there?)

(told you so.)

His latest pack of presets for Adobe Lightroom is priced a little steeply, I feel.

$30 is R436 today. And that’s a lot of money. But it’s not just a lot of money because Cyril broke the economy again. It’s a lot of money because $30 is a lot of money to begin with.

With all those lovely qualities I mentioned above, it’s no surprise that PMcK has quickly reached 2.5million subscribers on YouTube (and 1.2 million on Instagram). But is that really enough to be charging thirty bucks for a 38.7kB file? And that FALL 2018 tag opens it up nicely for four packs a year.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate his undoubted talent. I understand that he’s probably put a lot of work into fine-tuning them to make them exactly as he wants them to look. But is there really any justification for that exorbitant price? I just feel that some settings for your photo editing software are massively personal and unlikely to be for everyone.

Full disclosure: I bought his last lot of presets, but only because they were on offer – down from $10 to $5. I likely wouldn’t have considered $10, let alone $30. I’ve probably only used a couple of them.

So, this feels a bit like like someone cashing in on his fame. And while I appreciate that there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a bit sad the first time someone you thought wouldn’t be into that sort of thing, does that sort of thing.

I know the answer – don’t buy them – and I won’t buy them.

It just seems like commercialism hit hard and he’s testing the waters to see what he can get away with. Maybe I’m way out of touch, but it feels like he might have pushed too far.

That lifestyle though…

Apparently, it’s been a year since photographer/videographer Peter McKinnon became Youtuber Peter McKinnon. And while there are many individuals with far higher follower counts on that platform, it seems to me (at least as one of his 1.8 million followers) that there surely can’t be too many of them who are as genuine, down to earth and just plain “nice” as he is.

Here’s his short review of his first year on Youtube:

I love the shoes motif. The excitement of new beginnings, but safely protecting the old memories.

So here’s to another year of adventure, exploration, seeing the world, staying grounded, staying motivated, staying happy…

I’ve always been good at staying grounded, (mostly) motivated and (generally) happy. It’s the other bits I need to work on.

But if the rewards of these attributes are basically jetting around the world and taking amazing photos, I’m willing give it a go.

Peter says…

In his latest video, photographer, cinematographer, vlogger and all round nice chap Peter McKinnon (Youtube, IG) tells us why he chose to drop his popular Two Minute Tuesday tutorial uploads:

I created two minute Tuesday because I just wanted a video that I could make every week that was only two minutes and I could make it about anything I wanted: an easy way to make content, a consistent way to get content.

But then:

It started to become this assumed… that every Tuesday it would be something that you would learn… something that I would teach. And the problem with that is that there’s a limit to everything that I know!
I ran out of ideas. There’s times when I’m sitting there thinking to myself “what could I possibly teach today? I feel like I’ve done everything. I’ve got nothing else to give.”

What follows is an introspective session debating whether it is better to make content merely to stick to a schedule or whether the real aim is to make what you want, when you want to. And for Peter, that was an easy question to answer, and that’s why he dropped Two Minute Tuesday.

That clearly makes sense for someone in Peter’s position. It’s his job; it’s how he makes his living, and so yes, he has to produce high quality results in order to maintain standards and so keep earning money from it.

I have to do the same thing with my job. And I do.

But this blog isn’t my job.  And besides which, there’s more to this whole “forced” versus “organic” content debate – a very important more:

You want to put out a constant stream of content so that your fans, people that enjoy consuming that content get used to coming back every week and seeing the stuff that you’re making.

Yep – audience expectancy. Because there will always be some percentage of the people who watch your videos or read your posts who want a continual stream of content, rather than one or two (perceived) high quality pieces here or there. And because I can’t ever guarantee time, inclination, effort or ability to be able to produce those one or two gems every week (or whenever), you get saddled with “something” every day.

Sorry for you.

But I have to say, people keep coming back. They might come back and be regularly disappointed, but they do keep coming back. (I’m not sure what sort of people these are when I look at it this way, but still…)

And guess what? Peter has given up on giving up of his Two Minute Tuesdays and is now following my lead:

I’ve decided to start doing them again; it’s just not going to be tutorials every week. It could be pretty random… It could be just anything and everything.

Which, considering he’s never even seen it, sums up this blog pretty well.

Welcome back, Two Minute Tuesday. We’ve missed you.

In my bag

Well, not actually my bag, but that of Canadian photographer, vlogger and all-round nice guy Peter McKinnon. Last night, he released a video just ahead of a(nother) trip abroad showing us exactly what equipment he was taking with him:

I have to say that I’m a bit jealous. He has a lot of lovely kit. But then, he is a professional photographer. I’m not. I’m a professional microbiologist and yes, I have some great lab equipment. But there are times (many of them) when I’d much rather be travelling all over the world with my drone and some very, very expensive cameras and lenses than poking TB in the laboratory.

And, while we’re on this envy trip, can I just point out Peter’s irritatingly amazing abilities in photo and video editing? “Hashtag goals”.

I was busy writing this post when suddenly, as if to complete the trifecta of covetousness, he casually dropped this tweet this morning:

[6000 mutters several (or more) swear words under his breath]

Given his talent and that place, we’re likely to get some very special images in the near future. Something I’m really looking forward to.

It’s still sickening though.

Which Lightroom?

I bought a maintenance plan along with my laptop. I didn’t know that I had done this, but apparently, it was a perk of the purchase. I’m always wary of maintenance plans, but this one seems to have paid off. So far, anyway.
I spent 75 minutes on the phone to Ron in the Philippines yesterday, and we decided that before sending someone out to fix my continuing connectivity problems, a full factory reset was required.
I’ve never reset a computer before. Phones, sure. My router, often. But never a computer.
It’s worryingly easy to do. (Although, to be honest, you’re very unlikely to slip and fall on your keyboard and reset your PC, so don’t panic.)

Last night, I began the process of reinstalling stuff. And first on my list was Lightroom.

But which Lightroom?

I don’t recall there being two Lightrooms when I installed it just a few weeks ago. Suddenly there’s Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC (which is the new name for Lightroom CC).

I looked at several websites which attempted to explain the difference to me, but they didn’t do it very well. I was still completely lost.

Thankfully, there’s a new voice in town (for me, at least) when I need to find out about all thing photography. Step forward Peter McKinnon. Popping onto his youtube channel, I was delighted to see this offering:

Sadly, I was less impressed when he actually started speaking:

I want to talk about Lightroom versus Lightroom. The new version versus the… the new version versus the old version which is the new version. It’s confusing. It’s super confusing. I was confused when I was sitting in the audience at Adobe Max while they were trying to explain it to me.


Fortunately, he does manage to elucidate on the differences between the two, and fortunately, it seems like I had (somewhat inadvertently) picked the right one to download and install (which is good, because these aren’t small programs and the internet in South Africa isn’t as fast as yours).

Basically it comes down to whether you want your photos on the cloud, and therefore being available to edit available wherever, whenever and on any device (in which case, Lightroom CC); or if you prefer “old skool” desktop and hard drive editing and storage (in which case Lightroom Classic CC). There are a few other small technical differences, but that cloud vs desktop is the main thing and should be the basis for your decision. I prefer the latter, but given the speed of the internet and price of data in SA, it’s kind of academic anyway.

I only lost a few recently added files when I reset my machine (always back up, folks!), but only one major thing. And I’m fairly sure that I can redo that anyway. On the plus side, the reset seems to have sorted the connection problem (touch wood) and there’s the excitement of having a brand new laptop again – even though it’s actually really just the old laptop rebranded as Laptop Classic CC.