Back on

puddling swallowtails

I’m back from the wilds of the Sierra Nevada, and have brought about 500 photos with me. That is some gorgeous country! (The area we stayed at is about 12 miles from the Yosemite National Park boundary.)

After testing the system, I can now say that an iPad, a camera, and an iPad Camera Connector Kit make an unbeatable combination. I could download each day’s photos onto my iPad for viewing, editing/discarding, and showing (the built-in slide show feature is pretty slick), while maintaining the originals on my camera’s memory card as a backup. Since the card is 8GB, I never maxed it out and thus arrived home with two copies of my photo collection — a major plus for a data-paranoid person like me. (I’m one of those people who keeps not one but two external drive backups, plus an online backup, of all my files.)

Besides the security of having multiple copies, I loved being able to swiftly download the day’s photos and see them in full gorgeous color on the iPad. It enabled me to travel without my laptop and still have full control over my images. That meant a smaller, lighter load and much less dependency on power outlets, both big advantages when staying in a wild location.

If Apple comes out with an iOS version of Aperture, my poor laptop may never come on another trip.

(The above photo is of swallowtail butterflies “puddling,” a behavior in which males drink from moist sand or rocks at the edge of a body of water. The water deposits contain salts and minerals which are unavailable in nectar, and which are incorporated into the butterflies’ sperm. After copulation, the salts and minerals are then introduced into the eggs, increasing their viability. I took this at the edge of Pinecrest Lake.)


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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12 Responses to Back on

  1. Ana_ñ says:

    Welcome back to the planet!

    Congratulations for the complete success of the mission, Captain OEx. You have returned from the outer wilds with 500 specimens collected with the state-of-the-art equipment you were entrusted to test. Well done!
    In view of this spectacular first evidence, I am looking forward to seeing more materials (with their corresponding explanations, of course) 🙂

    • oregon expat says:

      Thank you! I shall do my best, though I had no more spectacular butterfly encounters. I did, however, encounter a marmot — which persisted in staying far enough away to be a mere brown blob in all of my photos. Drat it.

  2. Alma says:

    Way cool butterfly behavior! And pretty, too!

    What does Aperture do? I’ve never bothered to try to find out, it seemed to complicated… but you’re good at explaining techy stuff understandably.

    • oregon expat says:

      Aperture is a) iPhoto on steroids and b) Apple’s answer to Adobe’s Lightroom. It allows far more complex sorting/organizing than iPhoto, multiple libraries, a robust keywording system, and batch changes of all sorts of metadata and/or photo tweaks. It also enables the user to do much more complex post-processing. I still haven’t learned how to take full advantage of the post-processing capabilities, but that’s because my photos are already good enough out of the camera. [wink]

      • Alma says:

        That sounds awesome except I have no idea what most of those words mean 😉 What’s metadata? Post-processing? Do you mean that you can actually modify your photos in it? Like the crappy Adjust feature in iPhoto, only good?

        • oregon expat says:

          Metadata: all of the info attached to your photo, such as date, time, keywords, caption, location, copyright, etc. Some of it is automatically recorded by modern cameras, but not things like keywords and captions.

          Post-processing: yup, that means ways to modify your photos. In this regard, Aperture is to iPhoto as Pages is to TextEdit.

          • Alma says:

            Sounds nice. But my copy has expired and needs buying now. I’ve had my computer for four-and-a-half years and never even opened that app… :$

          • Paulo says:

            Leaving out an important detail: Aperture strikes me as the Old Testament God of MacBook apps:

            “Thou shalt have no other programs before me”;

            “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Aperture thy Program am a jealous Program, visiting the iniquity of the CPUs upon the kernels unto the third and fourth thread of them that dare to run at the same time as me”

            Or something like that.

          • oregon expat says:

            snort! There’s some truth to that.

  3. Power Wench says:

    Terrific photo! Looking forward to soon seeing calendars featuring Oregon Expat’s nature shots.

  4. I think that all the future wallpapers placed here should be photos taken by our OEx. 🙂

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