Benuo Leather Folio for the iPad Pro

I picked up a new leather folio for my 10.5" iPad Pro. This one is from Benuo, normally it is $52 on Amazon, currently it is on sale for only 25.99 (, so I figured why not?!

The case has all the cut-outs for the speakers, microphones, headphone jack, camera/flash, and of course the Lightning connector. It is made of quality leather on the outside, with a rubber mold to hold the iPad in the case, and a soft inside so it doesn't scratch the iPad while it is in the folio. The cover activates the sleep/wake function of the iPad as well.

You can fold the front cover back for different viewing angles. Either prop it up to watch videos, or lay it down in "typing mode" while using it on your desk.

This case also has a slot for the Apple Pencil as well, and the best thing about this Pencil slot is it doesn't stick out on the side of the case, it located on the inside, so when you fold the folio to close it, it feels more natural, almost like the Pencil isn't even there.

It doesn't add any extra bulk to the iPad, it still feels thin, and light.

The case does need to be broken-in for a few days so that the front cover is not so tight when you want to prop it open. After a few days the case will prop up without issue, and the outside will show those terrific "worn leather" look too.

If you are looking for a folio for your iPad Pro, one that also holds the Apple Pencil, this is one I would not have a problem recommending!


  • Minimalist Business Style: Specially for the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Ultra slim profile, handcrafted with top notch leather, a user-friendly companion for on-the-go use, perfectly takes your iPad to meet a client or attend a business meeting.
  • Built-in Apple Pencil Holder: Unlike other Pro cases, Our case features the built-in slot inside for grabbing the Apple Pencil safely and snugly. Never again will you worry it gets lost.
  • Smart Cover and Stand Feature: Handy auto sleep/wake functionality prevents unnecessary power consumption. Tri-fold cover converts into optimal orientation for reading, videos watching and Face Time. Also supports views for typing and drawing.
  • Rugged Protective Case: Soft microfiber interior and air cushion rubber back holder empowers it to defend your tablet from bumps, accidental impacts, scratches and dust. Extend edges protects the raised camera when facing up on the desk.
  • Precise Cutout: Full quick access to camera, flash, speakers, lightning port, earphone jack, microphone ensures you have hassle-free time while using your device.

Budget Keyboard Case for the 10.5" iPad Pro from KuGi

If you are wanting a budget keyboard case for your 10.5" iPad Pro, then the case from KuGi might be the case you are looking for. It is Bluetooth, so it doesn't connect to the iPad as easily as the Samrt Keyboard; but, it only takes a few seconds to connect the keyboard to the iPad Pro by turning on Bluetooth. 

The Pros:
Protects the front and back of the iPad
Has a case for the Apple Pencil
Works great
Battery life is decent

Doesn't use the Smart Connector on the iPad
Getting the iPad out of the case is a pain

Yes, I recommend the keyboard case. It is worth the money in my opinion. It isn't as nice as the Smart Keyboard Case from Apple, but it is a 1/5 of the price.

BUY on Amazon:

KuGi Keyboard case only $32.95:

Colored Cases from KuGi only $37.95;

AnsTOP Lanyard for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

This lanyard is really handy if you want something to bring to the gym with you so your iPhone or S8+ doesn't fall out of you pocket while you're working out. What if you don't have any pockets at all? This is what you need then, now you can keep your phone with you at all times and not worry about losing it while on the exercise bike, or riding a mountain bike, etc.

Universal Fit - Compatible with Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, , 6, 6S, 6S Plus, 6Plus, 5, 5S, 5C, 4, 4S, Samsung Galaxy S Series, Note Series, Edge Series, LG Phones, Motorolla Phones, Nokia Phones, HTC Phones, Asus Phones, Huawei Phones. Any phones that are from 3.5 inches to 6.5 inches.

$9.99 Single Pack:
$15.99 Double Pack:

Apple Watch Gear

If you want to add some color to your Apple Watch, these cases and bands will do the trick. Fintie also has some other dope bands for the Apple Watch as well, be sure to check them out!

($13.99) Fintie Apple Watch band:
($9.99) Fintie Apple Watch cases:

JETech "SmartCase" for the 10.5" iPad Pro

Buy the JETech "SmartCase" for only $13.99:

If you have been wanting a full case, similar to the old Apple SmartCase, for your 10.5" iPad Pro, then checkout this JETech case. It offers full front and back scratch protection. Keep those scratches to a minimum!

A few thoughts: It does NOT add any bulk to the iPad, it still feels just as thin and light as it does without the case. While it doesn't offer the most protection for the iPad Pro, it offers enough if you take good care of your iPad. The Sleep/Wake function works perfectly.

How to layer text behind an image in Affinity Photo for iPad

For the last two weeks or so, I have been digging down into Affinity Photo on the iPad. While it is not a Photoshop on the Mac replacement for me, it is the closet thing to Photoshop on the iPad.

In this video below, I am showing you how to add text between and object in an image and the background of the same picture. This is the same workflow I would use in Photoshop on my Mac, more or less, and it works quite nicely on the iPad. Here is how you do it:

The workflow to achieve something like this isn’t much different from what I would do on my Mac in Photoshop, although it is a few more steps. It is a bit more cumbersome to navigate to open the different settings panels, whereas in Photoshop on my Mac, I can arrange workspace and have to panels open and ready for adjustments. But, that doesn’t mean Affinity Photo is any worse to use, it just means it takes some more getting used to doing so.

The new 10.5” iPad Pro is very powerful, and while you can use Affinity Photo on older iPad’s, I think it was built with this new iPad Pro in mind, which means it runs great. I have not had the first crash running Affinity Photo on my new iPad Pro, and if you are looking for a great image editor on the iPad, then I highly recommend you checkout Affinity Photo on the iPad:

Also, if you watched the above demo video, I mentioned an app called Trigraphy, if you are interested in checking that app out, it is free to download in the App Store:

Affinity Photo for iPad: How To Remove A Background From An Image

Affinity Photo is only $19.99 (currently) in the App Store:

This is a quick tip on how to remove a background from an image in Affinity Photo for the iPad. This relatively easy to do; but, please keep in mind that some images/photos will be a tad more difficult, and require a bit more work to get the background removed completely. I may do a more in-depth tutorial on how to remove the background from a more detailed photo at a later date. For now, this is just a basic tutorial on how to remove a background from a simple image, with a nice dark black outline!

iPad Pro Smart Cover (10.5")

iPad Pro (10.5”) Smart Cover from Apple

I decided to grab a Smart Cover for my iPad Pro today, I have always had a Smart Cover for every iPad I have owned, starting with the iPad 2, and I have always liked them!

This is a simple cover that will help protect your iPad from scratches, it will not protect it from drops, in most cases —no pun intended. You can pick up a Smart Cover on Amazon, or in an Apple Store. There are 7 colors to choose from: Mist Blue, Pollen, Flamingo, White, Pink Sand, Midnight Blue, and Charcoal Gray (which is what I bought).

“This beautiful Smart Cover protects your iPad Pro screen. Open it and your iPad Pro wakes up. Close it and it goes to sleep. Available in a variety of colors that match your other Apple accessories.”

Buy a Smart Cover on Amazon: ($49.99)

ProCase Sleeve for iPad Pro

ProCase Sleeve for 10.5" iPad Pro, on sale starting at $10.99:

My iPad Pro Amazon Haul Video:

As I said in my Apple Leather Sleeve video, there are plenty of cheap options for a sleeve for the iPad Pro, this ProCase sleeve is a perfect example of that. It will protect your iPad in the same manner you will pay a small fraction of the price!

Take my word for it, this sleeve is worth every bit of the $12 or so you will pay for it! Free shipping with Amazon Prime too!

Case Specs:

  • Internal dimension: 10.24" x 6.89". Compatible with 9 - 10.1 Inch tablet: 9.7" Apple iPad Pro (also fit with Smart Keyboard), iPad Pro 10.5 Inch, iPad Air 2, iPad Air and Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" tablet.
  • Premium quality felt exterior and flannel interior provide great protection against dust, scratches and bumps
  • Slim fit yet practical, light weight yet durable; Velcro secures the closure, keeps tablet tightly in place
  • One large front pocket and two back pockets for documents, cellphone, keys and small devices
  • Built-in an elastic pen holder inside the main compartment for Apple pencil or stylus pen

Follow my new iPad Blog on Medium:
Follow my new iPad only Twitter:

Smart Keyboard vs Magic Keyboard and MacBook Pro Keyboard (size comparison)

This video is to show the size differences between the Smart Keyboard for the 10.5" iPad Pro vs. the Apple Magic Keyboard and the keyboard on my 15" MacBook Pro.

I feel the Smart Keyboard is still too small to use for anything long form. It is fine for Twitter, but, for any serious writing, I will probably connect my Apple Magic Keyboard to my iPad Pro and type on that. Of course, this is my personal opinion, so results may vary!

Buy the Smart Keyboard for the 10.5" iPad Pro:

How To Change Text Color In Affinity Photo On The iPad

It is not obvious how to change the text color in Affinity Photo, I really wish the developers would move the color wheel to the text selection panel, or at least link to it from there. The way they have hidden the color wheel is not very intuitive!

Buy Affinity Photo for iPad:

Will the iPad Pro w/ Smart Keyboard fit inside the Leather Sleeve?

Yes, the 10.5" iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard will fit inside the Leather Sleeve. It is snug and it will stretch the leather, so be careful, that Leather Sleeve is expensive.

Buy the Smart Keyboard:

Buy Leather Sleeve on Amazon:
Buy Leather Sleeve from Apple:

Leather Sleeve for iPad Pro (from Apple)

(In the video I said the Leather Sleeve comes in 3 colors, it comes in 4: Brown, Taupe, Black, Navy Blue.)

I like the sleeve, I don't mind paying the price as I know it is a quality leather product. I am not saying it is worth $129, I am saying that I don't mind paying $129 for the Leather Sleeve!

Buy on Amazon:
Buy from Apple:

Affinity Photo for iPad

Affinity Photo is only $19.99 in the App Store:

Affinity Photo is hands down the best photo editing application on the iPad, or any mobile device for that matter. No other mobile app comes as close to a desktop experience as Affinity Photo!

Luminar Neptune - The new Accent AI Filter with Quick & Easy Workspace

Macphun has released a massive update to Luminar, which they are calling Neptune. The main feature of this update is called the Accent AI Filter, and what this filter does is it takes a photo and analyzes different areas of the image; such as the dark and light areas of the image, the structure, colors, and other parameters. The Accent AI Filter will automatically make adjustments to intelligently fine-tune what the image needs to create a stunning photo. Thus, making the work of the non-professional and professionals alike easier with a much more simplified user-interface. The best part is the Accent AI Filter is that it only requires a single slider; slide from the left to the right on the Accent AI Filter and choose the desired amount of the effect and the Accent AI Filter will do the rest.

To simplify the user-interface, Luminar now as a new workspace called Quick & Awesome, which takes advantage of the new Accent AI Filter. This simplifies Luminar so that you don’t feel overwhelmed when you are editing you photos. You are presented with 3 filter options: Accent AI, Saturation/Vibrance, and Clarity. Of course, if you need a more advanced workspace, those options still exist inside of Luminar Neptune as well!

“The Accent AI Filter emerged as a ground-breaking way to make perfect images instantly, incorporating the power of dozens of filters into one convenient tool. This is something other photo software is missing; and what’s more important, it’s something that all photographers will greatly benefit from,”

I have been using Luminar Neptune for about two weeks now —with a review version of the application— and I can honestly say this is a terrific update to Luminar. Not only because Luminar now offers a simpler UI for novices; but, also because the Accent AI Filter actually works very well. You can take a photo and let the software do all the hard work, while you only need to make a few minor adjustments to ultimately turn your flat image into a spectacular photo!

Along with the new Quick & Awesome workspace and the Accent AI Filter, the Macphun team also added some more powerful features to Luminar, such as: plugin integration with Aurora HDR, a crop tool update that allows you to specify crop sizes, local history which allows you to have a separate provisioning history while in denoise, transform, and clone & stamp modes, along with several other feature updates highlighted below.

New feature highlights in Luminar Neptune:

● Accent AI filter – Uses artificial intelligence to create stunning images with a single slider movement, tapping into the power of dozens of filters.
● Quick & Awesome workspace – A workspace consisting of the Accent AI Filter, Saturation & Vibrance and Clarity filters. Perfect for achieving great results in a fun and easy way within seconds.
● Plug-in integration with Creative Kit and Aurora HDR 2017 – Seamlessly access favorite features from Macphun’s other photo editing tools.
● Brush, Gradient and Radial Gradient tools – Dramatically faster performance yields smoother selective editing.
● Vignette filter – Addition of Vignette Styles, Place Center and Pre- and Post-Crop modes delivers even more flexibility to this popular photo finishing tool.
● Memory management – Increased overall performance for large files and 5+ simultaneous open images.
● User Interface changes – Extensive improvements to in-app animation and mode transitions make for a more pleasing editing experience.
● Crop tool update – Ability to specify custom crop sizes bring the ultimate usefulness to cropping.
● Local history – Provision for reviewing separate history while in Transform, Denoise, Clone & Stamp modes helps optimize editing.

If you have not yet purchased Luminar, you can do so by visiting the Macphun website, or by following this affiliate link (which gives me some credit for pointing you in the right direction) and purchasing Luminar for only $60:

Videoshop for iPad and iPhone

Buy in the App Store for only $1.99:

If you are looking for a feature-packed mobile video editing application for your iPhone or iPad, then checkout Videoshop. I feel for the money, only $1.99, Videoshop is the best bang for the buck!

Android version;

Noble Monochromatic Preset Pack for Luminar

The Noble Monochromatic Preset Pack for Luminar is a $6.99 preset pack that features 9 filter/effects that can be applied to your photo inside of Luminar.

With this monochromatic preset pack, the ideal photos would be architecture or portrait, in my opinion; but, of course you can apply to any photo you feel is worthy of the effect. I do like the black/white look that the effects in this bundle offer. I enjoy applying these effects on aerial shots of buildings or architecture. Check my demo video above for an example of all the effects that are included in this preset pack.

“9 monochrome presets that will give you precise control of detail, shadows, highlights, and delicate tonality. Macphun Team collaborated with pro photographers to create this pack for perfect black & white photos.”

You can purchase the Noble Monochromatic Preset from the Macphun website:

Essentials Preset Pack for Luminar

The Essentials preset pack comes bundled with 13 high-quality presets for only $8.99.

“Over a dozen high-quality presets for instant detail enhancement, monochrome conversion, dreamy effect, outdoor photography and much more. This pack was developed by Macphun Team in collaboration with pro photographers, and works great with all types of images.”

The Essentials preset pack is probably my favorite of the preset bundles that I have installed on my machine. I think the effects look great out of the box. Most of the effects are ready to go, where I don’t have to make any additional adjustments other than maybe toning down the overall effect of whichever effect I chose to apply to my photo.

If you want to purchase the Essentials Preset Pack for Luminar, you can find the Preset bundle here:

If you would like to know more about Luminar, check my written and my video review of the Luminar:

Purchase Luminar (discounted bundle):

Review of the Insta Inspiration Preset Pack:

Insta Inspiration Preset Pack for Luminar

"30 authentic presets inspired by Instagram community. Developed by pro photographer and imaging researcher Jason Odell, exclusively for Luminar."

Buy Insta Inspiration: All Preset Available for Luminar:
Luminar Deal:
Luminar first look:


If you want to up your game on Instagram, quit editing your photos inside of the Instagram app, edit them on your Mac, then share them out to your iPhone or Android phone and upload them. Edit them in a professional editor and take your Instagram game to that next level — just insert ( #InstagramBoss ) tags and be on your way!

A Better YouTube

Speaking of Safari, this is why I use Safari for YouTube, and not Chrome!

YouTube has become exactly what I hated about television; nothing but fucking ads. The content is becoming watered down too; 5,000 videos on the exact same topic, everybody thinking they are Casey fucking Neistat, and terrible discovery of quality content.

Every person who uploads a video with 7 followers thinks they need to turn ads on for their videos. Which leads me to giving the video a thumbs down and clicking off of their video. Nobody cares about the user-experience when they upload their content, they are worried about making $3.01 a month. This is also why I spend 5 hours a day on Vimeo and maybe 30 minutes a day on YouTube.

Anyway, this plugin works great in Safari:

There is also a Chrome and Firefox version as well, I am not sure how they work though in those browsers. 

Safari is better than Chrome

I use Blogger for this site, and I have for quite a while; but, using Blogger in Safari is impossible! My choices are either suffer with poor battery life, a bad user-experience and use Chrome, or switch back to Tumblr. Looks like it is Tumblr.

Which brings me to this article:

"I think Safari is a terrific browser. It remains the one and only browser for the Mac that behaves like a native Mac app through and through. It may not be the fastest browser but it is fast. And its energy performance puts Chrome to shame. If you use a Mac laptop, using Chrome instead of Safari can cost you an hour or more of battery life per day."

I do not dislike Chrome, I do use it; but, mostly for when using a Google service because for whatever reason, they run like shit inside of Safari (see Blogger). This is sort of funny; YouTube, my most used Google service, I actually use Safari. The main reason is because of this excellent plugin which blocks all ads on YouTube. I dislike blocking ads; but, the ads on YouTube have become extremely annoying on every single video, especially when videos over 10 minutes long have commercials in the middle of the video, so this plugin blocks all those ads!

I don't like the look or feel of Chrome, especially in fullscreen. The tabs are hidden, my favorites are hidden — that makes using Chrome tedious and a bad user-experience. What I mean by that is I have to hover my mouse cursor over the top (hidden) menu bar waiting for the tabs or my favorites bar to show up, which is super annoying. It is also time consuming because instead of clicking on my favorite, I have to wait a second or two for my favorites to show up, then I have to click the favicon of the website I have saved to my favorites bar. All of which is so much easier in Safari in fullscreen! Yes, I use Safari among other apps exclusively in fullscreen, I prefer to swipe between screens and that is how I have used my Mac since Apple implemented the fullscreen app feature!

I know there are keyboard shortcuts for switching between open tabs; but, I don't want to switch between the 20 or 100 tabs I may or may not have open at anytime throughout my normal day, especially when I want to quickly close a tab that has audio playing in the background. I want to look up at my open tabs, see the speaker icon and close that tab!

Anyway, I prefer Safari for numerous reasons, most of my reasons because I just feel it is the better browser for me, not that it is the better browser!

My Gear Vault

Here is a terrific, free application that you can download on your iPhone that will help you manage your camera gear.

My Gear vault will help you manage your camera gear, keep up with receipts of purchase, as well as the serial number of your gear, in case of theft or damage.

I've been keeping up with my info in Notes on my Mac, it's not ideal though. This app is nice and much easier to sort than in my Notes app. Plus, I have a lot of equipment. This app has most of it already listed, I just search the device and the details auto-fill, minus serial and receipt.

"MyGearVault is a FREE app designed to help photographers and videographers from professionals, to amateurs, to even hobbyists, know what they have and what it’s worth."

Download for the iPhone, free in the App Store:

*** An Android version is coming soon. ***

Luminar - Professional Photo Editing

Luminar for Mac

Luminar for the Mac1 is a professional video editing application with over 300 tools and features that will allow you to edit your photography in a professional manner. Luminar has native RAW processing support, and Luminar supports over a dozen different cameras; DSLR, Point and Shoot, GoPro or action cam, iPhone, and Drone images, you name it. Luminar only cost $69, you can read more about Luminar or purchase Luminar by visiting the MacPhun website.

Think of Luminar as a digital darkroom on your Mac. Luminar picks up the slack that was felt for Mac users when Apple did away with Aperture over two years ago. Apple did launch Photos on the Mac; but, Photos is not up to par with more advanced photo editing. Photos is nice for managing your photos on your Mac; but, you need an application like Luminar if you want more advanced photo editing features, which Luminar has those.

Luminar as a Photos extension

A neat feature built into Luminar is that Luminar will work as an extension in Photos on the Mac. What that will allow you do, you can continue to use Photos to manage your images, but, you can open up Luminar right inside the Photos app to edit your images with the more powerful Luminar, then you can save your work right back into Photos.

Touch Bar

Another feature in Luminar is that it offers Touch Bar support and Force Touch support for the new MacBook Pro that Apple launched last year. I have a new 15” MBP, and I love the fact that Luminar supports the Touch Bar as I have started using the Touch Bar more and more on my MBP. Two of my most used Touch Bar buttons are the Quick Preview (allows you to see the original photo vs. the edited image) and the Filters button on the Touch Bar. When I tap the Filters button on the Touch Bar it opens up all the filter options quickly. This keeps me from needing to scroll over to the Add Filter button on the screen; sometimes you have to scroll to the get to button depending how many filters you are working with. The Touch Bar buttons are more convenient for some options when editing my images.

Touch Bar Support


I want to mention the Presets that come bundled with Luminar, there are 6 Preset options: Basic, Street, Outdoor, Travel, Portrait, and Dramatic. These Presets are similar to Instagram filters in that you can easily add an effect to your image, without having to adjust the curves, brightness, or adding vignette to your image, as an example. The Presets take the hard work out of editing and allow you to choose some pre-made filters to spice up your images. If you like a certain effect that you have applied; but, you feel that the effect is too strong, you can easily adjust the amount of the effect applied to the image. Not only that, you can still further edit your image even after adding the Preset effect/filter. Inside each Preset option, there are a handful of effects/filters to choose from. As an example; Basic has 13 filter effects you can add to your image. If you want more effects than what ships with Luminar, you are in luck. Macphun has a Preset store where you can download a few free Presets, and they also have some paid Presets as well; those Presets range in price from only $5.99 to $9.99. One of the Preset packs I recommend is the Insta Inspiration, which is an Instagram inspired Preset pack that mimics the Instagram filters that you find on the mobile app.


A few other tidbits I’d like to mention in this review; Luminar supports up to 5 Macs. In other words if you have more than 1 Mac in your household you can install Luminar on four additional machines, at no additional cost. Another important tidbit is that all of your edits in Luminar are non-destructive, what that means is you can edit an image and the edits you make will not harm the original image. The original image will remain unedited, only your exported image will show any effects you have applied to it.


  • Clone & Stamp
  • Eraser (Object removal)
  • Transform
  • Crop
  • Image Resizing
  • Noise reduction
  • Photo Effects
  • Blend Modes for Filters
  • Masking with Filters
  • Change the order of applied filters
  • Favorite Filters
  • Filter categories
  • Search
  • Built-in descriptions
  • Image examples
  • Reset Filters

Final Thoughts

I have been using Luminar for about 3 weeks now and I foresee myself using Luminar for a long time to come. If you have been shopping for a photo editing application for your Mac then I can highly recommend you give Luminar a look. Luminar is feature packed, it has every tool I can think of that most photographers would need to process their images. If Luminar is missing something, Macphun, the company behind Luminar has a suite of image editing applications to choose from. I feel that for most photographers, or photography enthusiasts who want to quickly and easily edit their images, Luminar is more than enough to satisfy their need. The Presets are great, the tools are all there. Luminar has a beautiful, uncluttered UI, it has that Mac feel to it. If you don’t want to take more word for it, visit the Macphun website and download the free trial for yourself, and give Luminar a spin.


  1. Luminar:
  2. Luminar Presets:
  3. Luminar User Manual:
  4. Luminar Video Tutorials:

  1. Soon available on Windows too ↩︎

Final Cut Pro X: Should You Purchase Motion 5 and Compressor?

In this video I talk about Motion 5 and Compressor, and if you should buy either program if you also have bought Final Cut Pro X. While I do recommend both programs, I don’t think both are necessary, I think both do compliment Final Cut Pro X, to make FCP X a more robust editing tool; but, both Motion and/or Compressor might not be needed.

Buy Motion 5:
Buy Compressor:
Buy Final Cut Pro X:
Try FCP X:


If you want to learn about Motion 5, I recommend following these channels here on YouTube for some awesome Motion 5 tutorials:

Ripple Training (Highly Recommended):

Motion 5 Q&A:

Simple Video Making:

How To Add A Fake Depth Of Field To Your Video In FCP X

This is an easy technique that will teach you how you can easily apply a fake depth of field to a video in Final Cut Pro X. Feel free to ask question on the YouTube video page.

Panols iPhone App for Instagram

Download Panols in the iOS App Store:

"Panols allows photographers to share the panoramic photos taken with their iPhone, as well as other photos stored in their Photo Library, with Instagram users everywhere. The app takes the Panorama shots stored in the device's Photo Library, and accurately splits the wide-shot into three separate shots, allowing users to take advantage of the Instagram profile display grid to showcase them in their full glory via the social network's standard three-across display view."

Panols Website:

Final Cut Pro X: Basics for Beginners - Exporting to YouTube

In this video I talk about the easiest way to export directly from Final Cut Pro X to YouTube. This is the best way for beginners to Final Cut Pro X, to get their content online to YouTube. It automatically adds the recommended encoding settings for YouTube in the direct upload, making sure your video is encoding properly for viewing on YouTube.

Recommended Links: 
YouTube Recommended Encoding Settings:

YouTube Supported File Formats:

FCP X: Basics for Beginners Playlist:

Why We Should Share

I read this post online today, from a member of a Final Cut Pro X group I am in.

"One of the biggest accomplishments in this great journey was having my store added to Apple’s Final Cut Pro Resource Page. When this had happened it brought me tears of happiness and joy. To have a highly valued company such as Apple add my little online store to a long list of amazingly talented people and businesses is incredibly gratifying."

My personal belief is that all art should be free, I don't mean you should work for free, I mean you should NEVER put a price on your passion. Anything creative I do, either I give it away, or I tell the person to give me whatever they want. I never put a price on anything.

Currently I am doing my first music video for a local artist, who also happens to be signed to a decently sized record label. My price for doing this video? NOT A SINGLE PENNY. All I asked for was a shoutout on the video page! I have actually spent $700 of my own money on additional equipment to shoot this video. Whatever your passion is, money shouldn't matter in achieving those goals! Spending money on equipment is my way of saying that I believe in myself and my talents, even if others don't. Doing something for free isn't really doing something for free, it is a chance to prove myself to people who might not know what I am capable of doing.

I might not be the next Spike Jonze; but, I'll never find out if I don't try!

Final Cut Pro X: Basics for Beginners - How to Add Sound Effects

In this tutorial video I am showing you how to add custom sound effects to your video projects, to make your videos or clips stand out. Most of the sound effects I have installed on my machine either came with Final Cut Pro X, or with Logic Pro X. You can also use third-party sounds as well.

FCP X: Basics for Beginners Playlist:


If you don't own FCP X, you can either purchase or download the trial version;



Download the Final Cut Pro X Help Guide:


Recommended FCP X Books:
FPC X 10.2 (older version; but, still helpful):
Pro Workflow;

KingYou Earbuds

Looking for an inexpensive pair of earbuds, or replacement earbuds? These KingYou earbuds are only $14.99, and they sound fantastic. They also come with replacement ear tips, a clip to attach to  your shirt when jogging, a microfiber cleaning cloth, a handy carrying pouch, and of course the no tangle earbuds. The KingYou earbuds come in five colors: gold, shiny gold, rose gold, silver, and black.

Did I mention they are noise cancelling? Yes, they do a pretty great job at that as well!

KingYou Earbuds:

Final Cut Pro X: Basics for Beginners - How To Use Transitions

In this tutorial video I am showing you how to apply transitions to your FCP X project, how to adjust those transitions to achieve the desired look, as well as one of my favorite third-party plugins for transitions.

One of my favorite places to purchase plugins or templates for Final Cut Pro X is motionVFX.

Here is a demo of mTransition Zoom for FCP X:

Buy mTransition Zoom:

Checkout my Final Cut Pro X: Basics for Beginners videos on YouTube:

If you like what you see, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss any of my FCP X videos: Subscribe;

LUMIX G 20mm F1.7 II ASPH - Test Footage

Footage was shot with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, the lens used was the Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm F1.7 II. I shot this in Quechee, Vermont.

Some Color Correction in FCP X, as well as setting the Log Processing to Blackmagic Design Film 4K:

The reason behind these posts is so I can compare settings, and quality of footage, as well as share them with the public or anybody who might have an interested in the camera or the lenses that I am using.

If you have issues with the Vimeo player, I have also uploaded the same footage to YouTube as well:

FCP X Basics For Beginners - How to Adjust Titles and Text

This is a tutorial for beginners, or users just starting out with editing in Final Cut Pro X. This is a very basic tutorial about adding titles or text to your videos, and how to adjust the parameters of those titles and text within Final Cut Pro X. I have started to upload a series on my YouTube channel for Final Cut Pro X for beginners, you can find the playlists for those videos here:
FCP X Basics for Beginners Playlist;


A website that will quickly allow you to figure out the crop factor for you camera/lenses. Works well; simply punch in mm size, F-stop, and sensor size and then press calculate, a second later you get your almost exact results!

Another thing I like is in the results it does a good job of explaining the crop factor and what is  going on with the crop, and does so in a way that anyone can understand; but, also links to more complex explanations of crop factors and sensor sizes.


EasyBlog for iPhone (Blogger/Blogspot)

Google recently removed the Blogger app from the iOS App Store, and rightfully so. The Blogger app had not been updated in a really long time. Enter EasyBlog for iPhone.

EasyBlog is a Blogger/Blogspot application for the iPhone that will allow you to easily manage your Blogger content; compose a draft, write a new post, make an edit to a post already published.

This application is a version 1.0, so it is very limited. Currently you cannot add images or embed a YouTube video; but, you can write a post and add a URL link, make bulleted list, add keywords to a post, publish a new post, and revert a published post back to a draft.

The interface is modern and beautiful, and even though the app has a few shortcomings or lacking a few features, EasyBlog still allows you add content to your Blogger website from your phone while on the go. Plus, it is free to download, there are no in-app purchases or ads in the app, currently.

Download: EasyBlog for Blogger/Blogspot.

Six Colors of Apple (Watch Band)

That's what's up! Super dope band, I just don't feel for the price that I would get enough usage out of it. I would wear it, just not every single day!

Buy it here;

"Other than showing the brilliant colours we're doing for the Apple Watch, as the only brand offering premium, hard anodized aluminum, we're donating $20 for each sale of this Ligero model to Amnesty International to help their fight against discrimination."

You can read about that here;

FCP X Basics For Beginners - Basic Editing (part 2)

This video is the very basics of editing in FCP X; how to add text, how to slice your clips, how to add generators, etc.

Hopefully I did an okay job with this video, I feel like I was rambling on; but, that is what happens when you talk for 20 minutes straight. I tried to touch on the important aspects of editing in FCP X.

***Note; everybody has a different style of editing, the way I edit might be different than someone else. Neither way is wrong, I feel you should edit the way that you are comfortable with editing. I have used Final Cut Pro since FCP 7, for about 10 years. While a lot has changed, one thing that hasn't is my habit for how I edit. ***

How to delete Chrome apps on a Mac

One of the most annoying things about using Google Chrome is that Chrome will install a bunch of quick-launch apps on your machine, without asking you if you want them! I guess that is the price of using a free browser, along with giving away all your personal browsing data; but, that is a topic for another day…

How to Delete:
  1. Open the Home folder on your Mac.
  2. Now open the Applications folder.
  3. Inside the Applications folder you will find all the app icons, you can either click and drag them to your Trash bin, or you can right-click on them and select Move to Trash.
  4. After you have moved them to the Trash bin, right-click on your Trash bin, and select Empty Trash.

This is what your Home folder looks like (yours will have a different name):

This is what the Google Chrome Apps folder will look like: 

This is what the Google Chrome apps look like that you will want to delete:

Vermont - Illustration

This was a Vermont skyline I created in Adobe Illustrator, I have included the .ai file below if you want to download it and make changes to it, or use it as your own design. I have altered this image a bunch, mostly changing the colors from what you see below.

Download the .ai file;

Boston Terrier - Illustratration

I am going to start uploading all my Illustrator projects here to my blog. This particular illustration was for a friend of mine, it is his Boston Terrier; Snowball.

Below you will also find a link to my Google Drive folder where you can download all the .ai files so that you can open them in Adobe Illustrator and edit them yourself. If you have any questions about this illustration, feel free to comment below.

Download the .ai file HERE.

A new Apple Watch and Apple Watch Bands

One of my favorite aspects of the Apple Watch is the easily replaceable bands for the Apple Watch. I have quite a few different bands, all varying in colors and styles. I currently have the stainless steel Apple Watch (series 0), or the original Apple Watch. While I don’t think I really need to update the Watch, as watchOS 3 has made my Apple Watch almost like a new device; I really do want the porcelain Apple Watch. I think the white porcelain Apple Watch Edition is beautiful.

If Apple announces a new Series 3 (4th generation) Apple Watch at WWDC, and there is a porcelain version available, that might be my next big purchase from Apple.

Here are the current bands that I own:

I have my eye on one of the new Nike bands, as well as this Spring edition band that Apple just launched. Hopefully if Apple does announce a new Watch at WWDC or even in the fall, that the new Watch will work with the bands from the older Apple Watches.

Still an iMac fan at heart

I have found myself using my iMac once again more and more every single day. I don't mean I moved away from it; but, for the last couple of months I have only been using my MacBook Pro.

The small screen size of my MacBook Pro (15") in comparison to the large screen on my iMac (27") is one thing; but, the performance is another issue as well. Anytime I start to push the MBP the fans ramp up and it feels like it starts to stutter a tad.

Even though my iMac is three years older, I still feel it is the better machine for what I want to do. I am not shitting on my MBP, I just think I am more of an iMac fan, thus I can't wait for the new iMac or iMac Pro – whatever Apple announces — to launch. I might sell my MacBook Pro and invest in a new iMac, or I might just keep the MBP and upgrade my current iMac instead.

I do love the portability of the MacBook Pro, I just tend to feel more productive on the larger screen of the iMac when I am at home. I just hope if Apple does announce an iMac Pro that it is everything I want and need!

What I would like to see:
  1. 2x USB-A slots
  2. SD Card Slot (even though I use externals mostly, it is still nice to have the slot)
  3. 4x USB-C slots  
  4. 1x Thunderbolt 1/2 slot
I highly doubt Apple will ship a new machine with those slots, one can wish though. While I am living in a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 world now, I still have a lot of external devices that use the older port technologies. I wouldn't even be upset if Apple removed the SD card slot; but, maybe added 1x USB-A slot and 1x Thunderbolt 1/2 port. I use an external SD card reader so I don't really care too much about the SD card slot on the iMac, it is always annoying trying to reach around [giggity] the back of the iMac to find the slot to insert the card, which is why I bought the external reader; as well as I have several different sized cards for different devices I use. 

If Apple goes all USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, I hope they add at least 6 slots. Right now my current iMac has 2 Thunderbolt ports, 4 USB ports, 1 SD card slot, 1 Mini DisplayPort, and 1 3.5mm headphone jack port. I assume they will keep the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iMac, just as they did with the new MacBook Pro with TouchBar. Maybe they will add an HDMI out to replace the Mini DisplayPort, for use with a second monitor? I would be okay with that as well.

Anyway, we are about 6 weeks away from WWDC. I have a feeling this year is going to be a huge year for Apple at WWDC; in terms of announcements! This might be the most excited I have been for a WWDC event in about 5 or 6 years, I have not been this excited since Steve was alive and on stage!

Two of my favorite Safari Extensions

There are always the first extensions I install on a new Mac, or if I do a clean install on one of my older machines. As of writing this, they both still work without any issues.

Clean URLs:

Removes all sorts of un-necessary junk for the URL so that you can easily copy the URL for sharing. Removes things like: utm_source=, etc.

Minimal Status Bar:

"This is an extension to provide a minimal (Google Chrome-like) status bar for Safari. It also has built-in longurl support to convert those pesky and opaque short urls to long ones again."

FCP X Basics For Beginners - Library, Event, and Projects (part 1)

This is part 1 of my Final Cut Pro X Basics for Beginners series. In this episode I go over Libraries, Events, and Projects. How to use them, what they are, and how to manage them within FCP X.


Follow the FCP X Basics for Beginners Playlist;

I also recommend looking at an Editors Keys Keyboard for FCP X shortcuts! Buy the keyboard on Amazon;

You can also checkout my written review of the Editors Keys, which you can find here; Got notifications turned on? Why not turn them on for my channel so you do not miss any of my FCP X tutorials?!

Additional information about Final Cut Pro X Libraries, Events, and Projects can be found via an Apple white paper:

Additional FCP X Playlist here on my YouTube channel;

How to Round Corners in Adobe Illustrator


This is a quick tip on how-to round corners in Adobe Illustrator. In the video I show you how to round all four corners, or if you only want to round certain corners I show you how to do that as well.

If you have any questions or comments feel free ask below.

If you haven't done so yet, feel free to subscribe to my tips channel on YouTube;

Adobe Illustrator Cartoon Character Shapes

These are the 3 basic shapes for creating cartoon characters in Adobe illustrator. The circle and the square are easy to create on your own, the oblong oval is the one beginners might have trouble with, so I created it for you.

Simply unzip the folder > Open the .ai file in illustrator > start creating

Download from Google Drive:

NOTE: you can easily change the colors of the shapes by selecting a shape and then choosing a different color from the color palette.

iPad Pro or MacBook Pro with Apple Pencil support?

Just a few thoughts on wanting an iPad Pro; but, I would rather have a MacBook Pro that supported the Apple Pencil, at least in theory I would!

I’m in the market for an iPad Pro (12.9”); but, I’m going to wait until WWDC with the hopes Apple announces something new, I also know they’ll wait until the fall for an iPad announcement. I am just holding out hope we get something in a couple of months.

I still think the patent/rumor last year about the new MacBook Pro w/Touch Bar that would have a trackpad that supported the Apple Pencil ( might be something we may see this year, it is surely big enough.

Then there is the patent showing an iPhone/iPad connecting to the MBP ( as well, to be used where the trackpad should be. I think both of those rumors might be correct; but, I don’t think they’ll look like the diagrams at all.

Maybe a trackpad that looks and functions like an iPad/iPhone. The trackpad is already glass and the Touch Bar is already using iOS!

Anyway, I just want something that works without input lag, so I can draw and transfer my work easily to Illustrator. Yes, I know Wacom has some nice devices; but, the few I have owned have never really worked too great. The devices that Wacom does sell that I have heard nothing but great things about are really expensive, I am not that invested in my hobby to spend that type of cash for a device I will use casually. Plus, I live in an Apple world so I would rather have something from Apple, that is just my preference.

broccoli t-shirt for sale

You can order these custom designed t-shirts from TeeSpring; broccoli is life.

Price is $24.99. They come in sizes from XS to 3X. They are hight quality American Apparel t-shirts. The only color available is white.

These will only be available for the next 3 days. Order now!

iPhone Wallpaper

Download full rez;  iPhone Wallpaper

Download full rez;  iPhone Wallpaper 2

Personal digital artwork

I have been getting back into digital artwork with Photoshop and Illustrator, lately I have been browsing through Behance for ideas and inspiration. Here are some of my recent creations within Photoshop.

This is a personal project for myself, I am only sharing the work here on this blog because it is a part of me, all my other artwork can be found here;

How to change the eye color on any photo in Adobe Photoshop

This is a quick tutorial showing you how to adjust or change the eye color of an image in Adobe Photoshop.

Issues with the new MacBook Pro

I don't hate my new MacBook Pro, I actually like it a lot. But, I agree with quite a few things Colin says in the above video, I also disagree with a lot of what he says. Most of his complaints are subjective, so when I say disagree I just mean I don't have the same complaints, not that he is wrong.

For me the Track Pad is fucking annoying, it is way too big and it gets in my way more than not. I want to smash my MacBook Pro over the head of whoever thought making this fucker so obnoxiously big was a good idea. If it had Apple Pencil support, that would have been one thing. It doesn't so it is needlessly big! There is nothing better about this trackpad being so big, matter of fact it is worse because it causes so many unwarranted mistakes when typing.

The keyboard is okay, I don't hate it, but the trackpad makes the keyboard annoying sometimes. I have resorted to using my Magic Keyboard with my MBP, which I prefer anyway.

Everything else he mentions, I didn't really have an issue with. Battery life is okay for me, most of the time. Performance is fine. Touch Bar is fine, although I don't use it much.

Better Touch Tool with Touch Bar Support

If you have a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, then Better Touch Tool is a must have. You can customize the Touch Bar with a ton of shortcuts that you can't customize it with by default in macOS.

As an example, I can open Motion 5 with shortcut of instructions to open Motion with a 1920x1080 project with 24FPS with a 7 second duration all with one tap. It will open up my empty template and is ready to go.

Also, if you have purchased Better Touch Tool in the past you can update for free, if you have purchased Better Snap Tool (which I own) then you can download Better Touch Tool for free also. The developer has a "pay what you want model" with the minimum being $4.50. Personally, I would give this dev at least $10 as this is an extremely powerful Mac app and he deserves as much.

Download the 45 day trial here;
how to;


The huge trackpad on the MacBook Pro

I have been using my new MacBook Pro for exactly 2 weeks as of today; I wanted to discuss this new huge trackpad. Let me just get this out of the way: I am not in love with it!

I have noticed the palm rejection sometimes causes issues when I am typing. It seems like it will select entire paragraphs and move them around, or completely select and delete entire paragraphs. I am not even sure how in the hell it is deleting things? It doesn’t cause issues all of the time; but, it has caused enough issues for me to take notice. The problem lies with my palms resting on top of the trackpad. I believe that when I go to use something in the Touch Bar that my palms are sliding on the trackpad and it thinks that I am swiping on it; or at least that is what I assume is happening?

The funny thing about the trackpad, I can put my palms on the trackpad and move them around and the cursor never moves! But when I start typing all of sudden it magically activates at certain times. Then other times I can place my palms on the trackpad and it activates the cursor causing it to jump all over the screen. Weird!

A friend suggested I turn off Tap to Click and see it that helps. So far it does seem to be doing much better with Tap to Click disabled, although I am used to using Tap to Click as I used it on my MacBook Air as well as my iMac when I use the Magic Trackpad.

I am also am having to learn to adjust to Force Touch on the new trackpad. A lot of times I will press too hard on a folder and it will open a quick-view window showing me the contents inside the folder that I am clicking on. I have noticed this happening when I am trying to move a folder to the trash or just relocate it on my Home screen. The problem is not with Force Touch on the trackpad, it is just me not being used to using it. It works exactly the same on the iPhone (3D Touch); on the trackpad you need to do a light ‘half’ click to move the item you are clicking on. I do feel the Force Touch on the trackpad is something I will adjust to as I use it more.

The gestures are much easier to use with the huge trackpad but I honestly don’t think I had an issue with gestures on the much smaller trackpad on my 11” MacBook Air. I do know one thing, I never had an issue with palm rejection on my 11” MacBook Air!

Hopefully the issues I am having are just software based and Apple can release an update to tweak the trackpad so as to give it better palm rejection detection. The palm detection works okay most of the time, the times it doesn’t though are very frustrating.

One thing I have noticed is even though the trackpad has issues sometimes, I have found myself using the trackpad more than my Magic Mouse 2. I find that odd as I always used a mouse with my MacBook Air and my iMac. I do use the Magic Trackpad with my iMac but not to move the cursor or navigate within macOS. Most of my uses with the Magic Trackpad were for using the gestures; such as opening Mission Control, swiping between open apps, launching Launchpad, swiping between desktops, or to show all of the open apps that I was running. Now I am using the trackpad more to just navigate on the machine.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that I do really like this new MacBook Pro. I have thoroughly enjoyed using it and it is hands down the best laptop I have ever owned. With that said, it does have a learning curve; the trackpad, keyboard, and Touch Bar are all things that I am having to adjust to using. I would have no problem recommending the new MacBook Pro to anyone looking at buying a new Mac!

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Battery Life

I have been using the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for over a week now and the battery life has been really good. This was one of the things I was worried about when deciding to buy the new MacBook Pro, as I read so many articles stating the opposite. There was the whole Consumer Report debacle, in which CR did some crazy testing which caused the battery life to be very sporadic in their testing.
Marco Arment claims he was not getting the 10-hours of battery life that Apple was claiming users should get:
“Apple claims it lasts 10 hours, but I’ve never gotten that — in a fairly light web-productivity workload, I average around 5–7 hours, and if I’m using Xcode, I’m lucky to get 4–5 hours. This seems common — many other customers and reviewers have noted similarly disappointing battery life in the 5-hour range.”
Of course everybody users their machines in different ways with different applications running which would cause battery life to greatly differ from user to user. I have noticed a couple of applications that cause my battery to drain at a much quicker rate than normal — Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 being the two biggest culprits. Even those two applications are only causing the battery to drain faster depending on what I am doing inside the applications. Just having them open isn’t causing battery life to drop drastically, mostly when I am exporting large files or I am creating complex animations in Motion will I see the battery life start to act up.

Other users have also seen the great results that I am seeing, such as John Gruber:
“Speaking of battery life, it has been amazing. I watched Game 7 of the World Series with the 13-inch Touch Bar-equipped model open on my lap, for following Twitter and messaging a few friends about the game. It was a long game, over four hours, and I had the brightness on the display set as high as I wanted. (Maximum brightness would have been way too bright.) When the game ended the MacBook Pro still had 70 percent of its battery remaining. That’s probably the definition of “light use”, but my two-year-old MacBook Pro never got that much battery life under similar conditions.”
I am getting the same sort of battery life experience that Gruber is getting on the new MacBook Pro. I launch Safari, view Twitter in 1 tab, I have YouTube open in another, a few tech sites that I read daily open in others, I have iTunes opened on another desktop playing music, I have Chess open in another desktop, I have iA Writer open in another desktop, maybe Day One opened as well, this is my typical day-to-day use on my MacBook Pro. For me, battery life has been phenomenal, probably about as good as one would get on an iPad, maybe even better? All I know is I am able to go all day without the need of plugging my MBP into an power source, which is all I could ask for.

Here is some food for thought, you can do the dishes. If you’re thinking about buying a new MacBook Pro; but, if you’re concerned about battery life then remember this; you have 2 weeks to decide if you want to keep the MacBook Pro or not. If you are not getting the battery life you need out of the machine, take it back to Apple and get a refund. You will know after a few days what you can expect to get out of the machine. As for me, I am getting a better experience than what I thought I would, battery life has been fantastic!