the brandenblog

Branden Frederick is a San Jose-based nerd, technology manager, and photographer.

technology
forest green lightroom preset: color grading

forest green lightroom preset: color grading

869
21 Nov 2020
Lightroom (despite Adobe's attempts to sabotage it) remains the best photo workflow and editing software in existence. A recent update replaced one of the most powerful tools, Split Toning, with an even more powerful tool, Color Grading. I go through the steps of using this tool to create a new preset called "Forest Greens" (which you can freely download). Read more.

my next kindle will be an iPad

my next kindle will be an iPad

861
27 Oct 2020
I am the exact target audience for the Amazon Kindle e-reader: a) I read a lot of text-only books, usually several at the same time; b) I am a nerd who has lots of gadgets; c) I read anywhere and everywhere; and d) I am already buying nearly all my books from Amazon. So it is no surprise that I have had three different Kindle devices over the years. But no more – each Kindle has been worse than the one before it, and I'm calling it quits. Read more.

explore on Flickr is a trick

explore on Flickr is a trick

1332
20 Oct 2020
Flickr is the internet's biggest photographer-centric social media website. Hobbyist and professional photographers go there to share photos and talk about how they made them. "Explore" is the official Flickr daily magazine, where the 500 most "interesting" photos are sorted and featured. For the user, a photo being selected for Explore is the best way to get their work seen. And so, the Flickr community places huge value on being listing in Explore, as if being featured equates to being validated as a photographer. But Explore isn't about photography at all, it's a trick to keep people engaged. Read more.

Windows 10 cranky setup checklist

1453
11 Sep 2020
Because of my poor life choices, I have to frequently install operating systems on my computers. Out of the box, Windows 10 comes loaded with booby traps, unwanted software, the worst default settings imaginable, and shitty design choices. Here is my secret recipe for neutering the worst parts. Read more.

off-camera lighting on a shoestring

off-camera lighting on a shoestring

1028
7 May 2020
Want to get started with off-camera lighting, but don't want to waste money buying junk gear? Want to know what parts of the setup you can safely cheap out on? Here's my researched and tried shopping list to get a powerful, portable, flexible three-light off-camera studio setup for under $500. This gear will work with any brand of camera. Read more.

linux love letter

linux love letter

1384
6 Mar 2020
I've been a *nix user since high school, but never as my primary system. I've been running web servers on Linux for ever. I've experimented with Linux as a desktop operating system, but it was never compelling enough to replace Windows or macOS – until now. Here's why and how I made Ubuntu work for me. Read more.

the dumb story of APS film

the dumb story of APS film

forever haunted by 1996

1253
17 Feb 2020
The Advanced Photo System ("APS"), aka Kodak Advantix, had a brief, dumb existence. Claiming to be an upgrade to 35mm film, APS was actually the opposite, making the entire format dead on delivery. Flawed as APS was, it was also launched in 1996, simultaneous to the first digital cameras. Even though digital photo sharing was nascent, digital photography grabbed people's attention in precisely the way that APS did not. APS is dead, but it has had one lingering stain that nobody has been able to wash away: the digital sensor size "APS-C". Let's look into the details. Read more.

tranquility

tranquility

2158
18 Nov 2019
I just completed the fourth major version of the program I use to manage websites. This program – collection of scripts, really – is 561kb of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Miva, all handwritten by me over over a period of 23 years. I call this "Tranquility". Using Tranquility, I can instantly create a new website with a custom theme and any number of static or dynamic pages, including blogs, photo albums, and forms. It is how this blog you're reading right now is powered. To find out how I got to this point, read on. Read more.

twitchcon 2018: dispatches from video game streaming culture

twitchcon 2018: dispatches from video game streaming culture

1391
30 Oct 2018
I returned to TwitchCon this weekend, aiming to update myself on the world of hardware, video games, and streaming culture. Last attending in 2015, I am apparently interested in video game streaming even though I'm a decade too old to participate in it. Here's my notes, as an outsider looking in. Read more.

I rode an app-based rental scooter

I rode an app-based rental scooter

895
28 Oct 2018
Two pay-by-the-minute scooter rental Apps have popped up in my neighborhood. I got my gigantic self on one for the first time yesterday, and rode it for 4 miles. This was my experience. Read more.

how to: set up a classroom cart of MacBooks

1015
18 Oct 2018
My task is to set up a portable classroom set of 26 MacBook Airs so that each user always has a clean logon. To accomplish that, I take advantage of the Guest user logon on MacOS, which is a special logon which is always reset on logoff. The difficulty is, how do you customize a user account that never saves changes? These are the steps, as of MacOS Mojave. Read more.

thoughts on de-googling my life

1528
11 Oct 2018
How hard would it be to cut ties with the Black Google of the Internet with a Thousand Young? Ever since Google tore down their slogan "don't be evil" and replaced it with "well, maybe a little", the deal has been altered, and I've been praying they don't alter it any further. Read more.

cell phone cameras

cell phone cameras

a review

1057
24 Jun 2018
I read yet another article yesterday about how technology in cell phone cameras has surpassed that of dedicated cameras and "wow! look at these photos where you can barely tell which camera made the image!" *barf* Read more.
I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice