One small soft box from top left and one small soft box on the background. That's all we could do in the space.

For Samsung Project in NYC.

If you click on the image you can see it bigger and I think that makes this better...

OT: An amazing day on the stock market. Congratulations to those folks who bought Apple Computer stock last year. Or the year before. Or the year before. Or.....

I remember sitting in a meeting for vendors, at one of Apple's main competitors back in the 1990s, when the CEO was asked (in a Q&A session) about Apple as a competitor. The young and brash CEO chuckled and said that Apple was on the way out and if their management was rational they would give the cash and assets on hand back to the shareholders and turn out the lights. That was then....

Today the company run by that CEO has a current market cap of about $39 billion while Apple hit a record today with a market cap of $1.3 trillion. Apple, as a company is now worth nearly 40 times what  that particular competitor is worth today. And, with just cash on hand, Apple could buy that company outright. It's an interesting turn of events. Apparently, beautifully designed products really do matter to a very large swath of consumers. So much for specsmanship and racing to the bottom with pricing. 

So, in March of 2019 you could have bought say, 6,000 shares of Apple at $142 for around $852,000 and now, less than one year later, your investment would be worth $1,800,000, not even factoring in Apple's ongoing dividends to shareholders. That's a better return than one could expect from even a decent photography business!

Of course past results are no guarantee of future performance and what goes up usually comes back down. It's just an interesting time and I took note of it because one of my friends who used to be a photographer called me today to breathlessly talk about his good fortune. I wish we were all so clairvoyant? Strategic? ...... Lucky? 

I just wish Apple would make a camera other than the ones in iPhones. I'd probably buy one...

Off to a good start this year. I hit the pool this morning for the 8:15-9:30 a.m. workout and it was sublime.

WHAC Masters a.m. workout.

Coach Jimmy was on deck today and he wrote out a daunting set on the white board. 800 yards of warm-up, followed by a 300 yard pull set, then a 200 yard mixed I.M. and freestyle set, and then 20 X 75s on 1:10 followed by 20 x 25s on :30 followed by a couple hundred yards of shooters (try to make each 25 yard length completely underwater/no breaths. We knocked out about 3500 yards in an hour and 25 minutes and then surrendered the pool to Ian Crocker's (gold medal Olympian and past world record holder in the 100 butterfly) elite group of younger swimmers (high school)

So of us were a bit worse for wear for having been out of the water since Sunday morning but nobody dropped out. No one drowned.

Before firing up the new computer I did some dry land exercises here in the studio: 25 crunches, 25 push-ups and some work with hand weights. Hey, if you're going to buy heavy cameras you'll probably want to get in some weight training, right?

Now I'm off to clean and organize for our first photo shoot of the year: tomorrow. 

A contingent from our Masters team started the year off New Year's morning with a plunge into the cool waters at Barton Springs. Not so dramatic yesterday with an air temperature of 56(f) but in years past it's been as cold as 24 and we still had some brave participants...

Swimming Pool in breeze.

No lofty resolutions here, just the same daily practice we've done nearly everyday since childhood. If you never stop you never have to go through the agony of starting up again. Hope you're moving and moving happy. KT

A Few Quick Observations about The New VSL Computer, the iMac Pro...

 Trying a softer look. Just for fun.

Belinda remarked to me yesterday, as I was grappling with the idea of spending money on a new computer, that I think nothing of buying camera bodies that are about the same price, sometimes in lots of two or more, and yet I've been nursing along an iMac 27 inch computer that first hit the market in late 2013. Sure, it has 16 gigabytes of memory and it's been solid and reliable but she was quick to point out that I'd save a lot more time and money by getting a new computer rather than impulse shopping for more cameras....

I brought the iMac Pro home last night and got to work migrating all the apps and files from the old machine to the new one. I knew the iMacPro would be much faster but what I did not expect was that the screen (a 5K Retina) would be so much better than the screen on the older machine.

The improved image almost immediately pushed me into looking at old files on the new system. I was amazed at how much more revealing the higher resolution is (and the wider gamut). I'm happy I've bought a few new cameras that create nearly 50 megapixel files because the new monitor allows me to see some artifacts in shadows I never saw before as well as some color casts that I thought I'd taken care of by calibrating the old screen every once in a while. It also brings home to me the advantages of working with bigger files. Now I can see more profound differences between cameras.

Just as getting new cameras and lenses seems to supercharge my interest in getting out and taking more photographs getting a much more capable desktop is pushing me to dive into post processing with greater diligence than I brought to the digital darkroom before.

Also, I tested the new system against the old in a task that I do nearly every week. That's to convert batches of corrected files from raw to jpeg in Lightroom. I selected a folder with 650 24 megapixel raw files and converted them to large, fine Jpegs on each system. As I anticipated, the task took the better part of a half hour on the older machine and about four minutes on the new one. That's enough improvement right there to make me sit up, take notice, and then pat myself on my own back for my smart purchase.

I've also bought a couple of external 1 terabyte SSD drives to use as scratch and "in process" disks. That makes everything go faster as well. I can hardly wait for our first job of the year to come through the door on Friday. I'll be spending Friday evening with a big smile on my face in fast, post processing paradise....