It’s Christmas morning here in New Zealand. James was a bit anxious about being away Christmas morning. Would Santa still find him?

The only thing we could think of was to write Santa and tell him what’s going on in advance. And wouldn’t you know, Santa came a few days before we left. Good old Santa.

It’s a bit funny being away from the cold this time of year. We do try to our best to get away from it but at the same time to hear holiday music in shorts feels so strange to me still after all these years.

Right now the clock says 7am local time. I’ve been up for hours as my body still hasn’t fully adjusted to all the time zones we crossed.

I’m going to go get some coffee (“flat whites”) for me and lauren and then tackle the kids in bed to wake them up so we can find out what this day has in store for us.

Merry Christmas everyone!

* * *
I’ve been shooting film mostly on this trip so it will take some time before I have photos to share. I took this one of a lovely beach near the place we are staying

For as long as I can remember my dad has been making photographs. Whether they were still photographs or moving photographs, digital or film he was behind the lens.

My brother and I have the same fascination. So it was a long time coming but we decided to make a trip to New Mexico. Just the three of us. A photographic adventure.

I decided to only shoot film on this trip. My first time going on an analog vacation except for a handful of iphone snaps like the one above. I’ll share some more photos from the trip when it comes back from the lab.

We arrived on Friday and will leave this morning. In Albuquerque we flew in a hot air balloon at sunrise along with 600 other balloons. We then headed north to Sante Fe and beyond. Each morning we watched the sunrise, explored during the day and then watched the sun set each night in this amazing part of the country. We took countless photographs between the three of us.

But more than making photographs it was a special time for us. Time to connect, reflect and enjoy each other’s company. I am sorry it took so long to make a trip like this happen but we did it and I’m happy we will always have had this time together.

Some thoughts on updated apps with iPhone 6 & iOS 8

(disclaimer: This isn’t meant to be an sort of extensive review of the iPhone 6 or iOS 8. Just some thoughts on using my new phone and OS for the last few days with some apps i’ve used for a long time)

I received my iPhone 6 Friday morning like many readers of this blog. 

The short review: it’s the best mobile device I’ve ever owned.

It’s interesting that many apps I’ve used for a long time feel so different in this new form factor (ie bigger screen + iOS 8) while others do not. Just some quick observations of some better known apps that released updates on Friday in time with the new phone and OS.


The new Tumblr for iOS 8 and the bigger screen is absolutely stunning. Photographs bleed edge to edge and text renders beautifully. Everything is in it’s right place. It’s a pleasure to see the team continue to execute a year or so after the Yahoo acquisition. 


I’m an Instagram user but I must say Instagram now looks dated on my new device. Photographs don’t look as good as they did previously. I see many users posting non-square cropped images thanks to 3rd party apps like this. I imagine the square format at Instagram is as sacred as 140 characters at Twitter. Nevertheless it would be a huge improvement if they allowed for full screen mode of the photos. Maybe a long tap a la Snapchat would be a good way to do it. 


I’m loving the new profile page on Twitter for iOS. They look great. I discovered a little bug in the timeline. Tap on a photo and it fills the screen. Rotate your phone to landscape the photo doesn’t fill the screen. Otherwise it’s another really nice refined improvement to my darling Twitter. 


Facebook on iPhone 6 now looks just like using it on an Android device. I’m sure it was intentional but I think it’s a mistake. I prefer apps on iOS that look native for iOS. 

Hype Machine

This app wasn’t updated on Friday but it looks even more gorgeous on the big screen. Kudos to Anthony and team for designing such a wonderful product. 


I like how Evernote created a widget for iOS 8. I like having their tool bar within one swipe. Love to see Swarm, Trello and Runkeeper widgets in the future. 


I’ve tried a number of 3rd party keyboards. I still the native iOS 8 keyboard. It’s substantially better than iOS7’s keyboard and feels smoother than 3rd party alternatives. 


The new version is a game changer with iOS 8 

That’s it for now. How ya liking the bigger screen and OS?