The Lathe: Friday, May 28 2021

Photo workflows, blogging, and coffee

The Lathe: Friday, May 28 2021

Well hello!

The past couple of days have been full of changes to my photo processing workflow, updates to my blog(s), and a renewed appreciation for better coffee.


I recently posted about using Adobe’s Lightroom Classic for managing and editing photos. In “A reluctant Lightroom user” I wrote:

I’ve never loved editing photos in Adobe’s Lightroom (Classic). It does the job fine, and it has all the tools one might need, but it’s no fun. I prefer editing with Capture One Pro.

I just couldn’t shake that feeling of Lightroom being stuffy and somehow wrong for me. I wasn’t feeling it, you know? But, I’d already decided that it has the features I need and is “good enough”, so I trudged on. It’s fine.

Then Capture One announced that they’d released an update supporting Apple Silicon. I should at least test it, right? 😋.

When I launched the new version of Capture One, the same thing happened that always happens; I breathed a sigh of relief. C1 just feels better than Lightroom. I prefer how it looks, acts, and works. Most importantly, I like how it processes my raw files by default. With one click I’m usually 90% of the way there.

Oh, and the M1 version? It feels significantly faster. Previously, I’d often experience lag and even the occasional beach ball. With version 14.2 I’ve not felt any of that.

So the short version is that I’ve rejiggered my workflow and am back, thankfully, in Capture One Pro. Previously, I would first use Photo Mechanic to ingest, cull, keyword, rename, and upload. This time I’m trying to get along without Photo Mechanic. I’m in the throes of this transition now, and will try writing a post about it once I’ve dialed it in a bit more.

Choosing a blog theme is a nightmare for me. I suffer from an affliction that causes me to grow weary of whatever theme I’m using, go looking for something fresh, find something that feels right, install it, tweak it, and do it all again a month or two later.

The problems I have with themes is mostly caused by wanting them to work with two very different types of posts. The things I write about are either dry and nerdy or fluffy and visual. Themes can accommodate these, but rarely do both well. Also, I am in two different “modes” when writing. Sometimes I prefer the WSYWIG, drag and drop convenience of WordPress. Other times, I want to use simple, statically-rendered text files and edit them in Emacs. I’ve tried combining these modes in one blog many times, but one of them is always lacking.

So I’ve split things up again. I’m back to using copingmechanism.com for photography or other creative posts. I’ve gone back to the old “Hive” theme, which is wildly overdone, but I like it anyway. It’s fancy. For the dry and nerdy posts I’m once again using a statically-rendered Hugo-based blog at v6.baty.net. I thought for a minute I’d be able to combine things, but nope. This is better for me.

And finally, coffee. I’m no coffee nerd, but I’ve tried all sorts of brewing methods, mostly pour-over. Last year I got lazy and bought a drip coffee maker and I love it. It’s a Moccamaster and it works great. As a bonus, looks pretty cool.

My laziness continued, so, gasp!, I started buying pre-ground beans. You know what? They’re fine. I chalked it up to the Moccamaster. However, I recently bought whole beans for a change, ground them, and made a nice, leisurely cup using the Chemex. Um, it was better coffee. Like, significantly better. I did a few comparisons, and concluded that the biggest difference was due to freshly-ground beans. I think using the Chemex improves things a little, but grinding beans is the thing. I have a cheap grinder, and it’s started smelling hot when it runs and I kind of hate it. I’m upgrading to the entry-level Baratza Encore burr grinder, which should be plenty good enough for me.

I like that both the Moccamaster and the Baratza are known to be durable and they are both easily repairable and should last for years.

That’s it for today. I’ll leave you with a photo of Alice. She just sits and stares at me for the longest time, so here she is staring at you.

Be good!

Jack