Sunseeker – Know Where the Sun Will Be for Your Photo Shoot

I recently received a comment on my (currently) most viewed YouTube video about the Goal Zero Yeti 200x and Nomad 50.

The commentor mentioned that the wattage gained from the Nomad 50 was much higher in Panama than here in the United States.

Kake then went on to recommend the app Sunseeker.

Sunseeker

This app is amazing!

If you look at the screenshots above, you can look up a location (or your current location) and see where the sun will be in advance. The more I have filmed over the years, the more I realize that I need (or want) to know where the sun will be when I am shooting.

Some of the reviews talk about how useful it is when/if you are looking to buy or rent a new house…as you can use this to see when the sun hits your house at various times of the day.

If I am not going out to shoot at golden hour, then this app will be in my tool belt for sure. It does cost $9.99…but for something so useful, I think it’s worth it.

If you want to download it or are curious, I recommend at least checking it out.

Download on the App Store

THE Next Vlogging Lens for the Canon R6: The Rokinon 14mm f2.8 RF

It might be yours too…

I have written numerous times here how much I would love to be able to own the super expensive Canon 15-35mm f2.8 RF lens. But let’s be honest…if I purchased that today, tomorrow my wife would probably murder me. Ha!

damn that is a good looking piece of glass

So when I had some birthday funds come my way (Amazon gift cards are amazing), I started browsing for what I could actually afford…and came across this.

Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm f.28 RF

first ever 3rd party autofocus lens for Canon RF mount!

I’m not quite sure at how I stumbled across this…I think I just searched “Canon RF lens” in Amazon and this was one of the results.

  • Good Amazon reviews? Check
  • Good YouTube reviews? Check
  • RF mount for my Canon R6? Check
  • Constant fast aperture at f2.8? Check
  • Wide angle for vlogging? Check
  • Autofocus works well? Check
  • Good build quality? Check
  • Within my budget?…

Check!!!

I have used Canon’s 10-18mm EF-S lens for many years now…it is fantastic. I’ve probably made over 100 videos using that lens alone and it is durable, clear, has great image quality, and is very tough.

That lens basically lives on my camera.

Until now?

There are a few reasons why I am feel confident that this will be my next “every day” lens.

  1. I prefer wide angle photography and videography (purely preference…but I’ve always been a sucker for wide angle shots and have owned multiple wide angle lenses over the years)
  2. I want an RF mount lens (the EF to RF lens adapter series are great, but I can’t use my 120 fps filming on my R6 unless I have an RF lens on it)
  3. Prime lenses let you focus (I never really fiddled with the 10-18mm range much unless I had a polarizer on it and had to zoom in to avoid getting the edges of the filter in my shot due to the wide angle and front filter…so being fixed at 14mm will remove that decision from me)
  4. The Rokinon has a back filter (What is that you ask? Check out the video below…but it eliminates that pesky “filter too small” issue I mentioned)

Price

This lens is a bargain for what you get!!!

It is currently going for $629 on Amazon…although I snagged an Amazon Refurbished one for $545…which made me feel better about the Haida ND Filter Kit I bought at the same time. No more worrying about filming on sunny days!!

So for 1/3 of the price of my dream Canon lens, I was able to get a lens with a fixed focal length that I would use it at 90% of the time anyways, a set of ND filters…and hopefully some wiggle room to snag a gimbal in the future.

And I would still have money left over.

I am excited to get this soon and start using it…you better believe I’ll be writing more about it here.

Setapp: The Superhero App Subscription Service for Mac and iOS

It saves me just in time…every time…

It seems that every time I write about Setapp it is when it saves my day. Yep, Setapp saved my bacon right when I needed it most…again.

Simon Sinek has a podcast called A Bit of Optimism and I have been making my way through every single episode. Like most things of his, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out…a free, 30 minute podcast, that will uplift anyone who listens to it. Guaranteed.

the most recent Simon Sinek podcast

This podcast has caused me to think a lot more about what “life lessons” I have learned over my career. Specifically in leadership, service, and how to leave a positive impact on the world.

Last Thursday, as I’m thinking about capturing these thoughts, I opened up Ulysses to start jotting down notes and I get a “Subscribe monthly or yearly” screen. My notes were now read only and I couldn’t add any content to it.

Subscriptions

Now don’t get me wrong. I COMPLETELY understand why developers have moved to a subscription based model and I harbor no ill will towards them at all. There is no such thing as a free lunch right? These folks have to make a living too.

What this shift has caused me to do though, is really scrutinize what apps are most important to me. Ulysses is normally one of those apps. I used it through my Master’s Degree program, I keep future writing ideas in it, I use it to publish here 99% of the time, and it really is a pleasure to use.

Ulysses pricing is quite reasonable for all it gives you across Mac and iOS and if I were to subscribe to one or two services…it would be Ulysses and my todo app of choice.

As I was starting to put together the reasons I was going to tell my wife why I wanted to spend $50 to subscribe to an app that I love using, use often, but that has not given me a monetary return on investment (yet) – I remembered Setapp. In fact, Setapp has Ulysses amongst its suite of available applications that is covered in its Netflix-like subscription model.

BINGO!!

I open up Setapp on my Mac and search for Ulysses.

I download the app to my Mac, open it up, and boom! All of my notes are there, ready to be edited. I can now delete the Mac App Store version of Ulysses and I’m ready to go.

Now to figure out how to get this to work on my iOS Ulysses app…since it still seemed to be tied to my now expired subscription.

Well…Setapp has that figured out too.

Notice that little iOS app button?

Setapp thought of that and I was surprised at how easy they make it to get your iOS app to sync up with your Setapp subscription apps. I just clicked on that little iOS app button, Setapp gave me two QR codes to scan with my iPhone – first to download the app and second to open it under the Setapp subscription account.

Viola!

I was now up and running. SO FREAKING SIMPLE.

Setapp For the Win

There you have it. Not only did Setapp make switching my subscription simple…it did it with one of the highest quality writing applications available for Mac and iOS.

Spoiler alert…I do NOT have any sort of affiliate association with Setapp, so I don’t get anything if you click any links or sign up to try the free trial. I just think they are an amazing service that has A LOT of great applications available.

Maybe you will too. 🙌🏻

The iPhone 12 Review Everyone Reads

Daring Fireball…

I try to keep two distinct readers in mind with these annual reviews of new iPhones. First, you, today — you probably want insight to help you decide, to some degree, whether you should upgrade from whatever iPhone you currently own (and you probably do own an iPhone already) to one of this year’s new ones, and if so, which one? Second, me, in the future — I want to look back and use what I write now as a resource to remember what was new with the 2020 iPhones.

As always…great review over at DF.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

What if 80’s Movies Were Filmed With the Canon R5?

ignoring the overheating issue…

There has been a myriad of Sony vs Canon camera reviews released recently. If you watch an occasional YouTube video or Vlog at all, then I guarantee you have seen them.

Recently my wife and I have been making our way through some classic 80’s movie series like Beverly Hills Cop (I never knew #3 was so bad), Lethal Weapon, Tom Cruise flicks…and more.

Watching each of these in close succession, I noticed how the image got sharper as we got later in a series. Even before digital cameras, film making progressed in picture quality. Beverly Hills Cop is classic Eddie Murphy comedy and 80’s action all artfully crafted together. However, the third movie in that series, I literally couldn’t make it past the first 5 minutes before I had to turn it off. IT-IS-AWFUL.

What struck me about this particular movie was that the picture quality was MUCH higher than the very first Beverly Hills Cop…but Eddie Murphy’s stardom couldn’t overcome the choppy editing and horrendous dialogue.

Here…try watching a couple minutes of the very beginning of the movie.

Beverly Hill Cop 3 opening scene

I know right!!!

Who in the world did they get to put this together?

I know that people say it all the time, the tech doesn’t matter…the story does. This dichotomy between the first and third movies was a clear example of that to me. I don’t know why that fact jumped out to me so much, but it did.

Partly this makes me feel better…it should make you feel better too. Newer and “better” camera gear WILL NOT automatically make your vlogs, short films, videos better.

So what if these movies were filmed with the Canon R5?…Answer: It wouldn’t change a thing.

Story is paramount. (and in big films acting matters too)

I’ll leave you with the opening scene of Beverly Hills Cop 1…in all it’s grainy humor and glory.

even the credits are fun to watch!

Shortcuts for Duck Duck Go

At first glance I said…huh?

I have been using DuckDuckGo for several years now. Recently I was talking to a friend about this, and she explained that while she likes the idea of DuckDuckGo, she still thinks she would occasionally need Google. “Then just bang Google,” I responded, and she looked at me like I just got off a spaceship.

Such useful trick if you don’t want Google to know everything you ever search the internet for. Duck Duck Go is a solid search engine for the privacy it gives you…knowing these shortcuts make it that much better.

Duck Duck Go Bangs — MacSparky

SETAPP for the Save…Again!

Such a great service…

I’ve written about Setapp a couple times…and that is because it keeps saving me money on applications that I use so often.

Just the other day a mac app that I use on a daily basis, Better Touch Tool, had a paid upgrade come up. Well I’ve been trying to pinch pennies recently, and wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay for the upgrade. I checked Setapp…and there it was! Part of the every growing library of applications.

About 5 minutes later I got the new version downloaded and running and all without costing me anything more than what Setapp already costs.

So amazing. This “Netflix of Apps” service is becoming more worth it every day.

I don’t get anything from writing about Setapp…I just really like their service.

Better Touch Tool

How To Transfer Playlists Between Music Services

One of those quietly amazing apps…

Ever heard of Songshift?

My guess is probably not.

Have you every wanted to transfer a music playlist from one streaming music service to another?

Yup…me too.

I discovered Songshift a couple years ago and I absolutely love it. To be honest I am still surprised that some of these big stream service companies have not shut off access to the free service since it makes it super easy for me to transfer good Spotify playlists to Apple Music (where I subscribe).

In a weird way, there is not a lot for me to write about. This is an app that makes it easy to connect various music services like YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Digster, Tidal…yes Tidal is apparently still around.

The process is intuitive, straightforward, and you can even combine a bunch of playlists in to one massive playlist if you like. Plus, once you set it up to do these transfers, each time you open the app it will scan the original playlist for any updates, then send those new songs over to the playlist you previously set up (if you want it to).

Pretty slick if you ask me.

There’s some upgrade options, but you don’t need them if you’re just looking for a quick solution on how to get your favorite playlist from Spotify to another service.

Check it out their website for the links to go download it.

Links of the Week (7/13/2020)

Climbing and travel planning…who wouldn’t want to read these links?

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

This mantra looped in my head as I led out on some of the worst stone I’ve encountered in my 24 years of climbing.

I have my own mantra I use while climbing…luckily it was never this ☝️. Great story and makes me miss home.

Wild Kingdom: Katie Lambert Explores the Remote, Seldom-Visited Citadel


As a climber who doesn’t plan on breaking any records or even leading a 5.12 any time soon, I seek out the 5.10-and-under climbs at my local cliffs. I like climbs that don’t make me contemplate my mortality on every move, as I suspect most of us do as well. Still, the media so often focuses on the climbers ticking 5.15s—the Adam Ondras and Margo Hayeses—when so few of us attain these grades. Perhaps the climbers who make it possible for us to enjoy mellower climbs—our favorite 5.8, 5.9, and 5.10 sport routes—also deserve credit.

Amen to that!

The Mod Squad: The Tireless Climbers Establishing Moderate Sport Routes Around the Country


For my trip planning, I almost exclusively use Gaia GPS for researching, routing and tracking my adventures. I will go through some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way, along with some of the features of Gaia GPS.

I really enjoy Gaia GPS and subscribe to it for all of the MVUM (motor vehicle use maps) stuff. This is an article I’ll be referencing for a while.

So you want to map your adventure with Gaia GPS… — Explore4R


Thomas Frank’s productivity videos are watched by nearly 2 million subscribers. For every video, he writes scripts, collects b-roll and manages distribution so that every video is high quality and finds the right audience. Notion helps him and his growing team organize all these moving parts, freeing up more time for him to focus on the creative work.

Notion is one of those apps that I wanted to use but couldn’t find a use for….well that has ended for me. Notion has now replaced Noto, a note taking app that I was particularly enthralled with for a short period but it’s short comings started driving me crazy.

I’ll be writing about Notion more, but in the meantime you should check it out. (spoiler…I partly use it to plan trips in conjunction with Gaia maps)

Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.