Saturday, February 10, 2018

(The Big Disrupt) Apps: Lesser-Known Apps for Photographers

There is an old saying among all photographers, "The best camera is the one you have with you.” This is absolutely true because when perfect moment comes up, any camera is better than having no camera at all, right? Since we all carry our smartphones in our pockets everywhere we go, the best camera we have is usually our smartphone. The cameras on the recently launched smartphones are almost as good as yesterday's DSLRs and paired with some great apps, sky is the limit.  

There are plenty of apps that can improve your photography game, but finding the right ones can be time consuming and exhausting. That's why we created this list of the most useful apps for photographers. This is not your typical list, here you won't find popular apps like Instagram, Photoshop or Camera+. We decided to focus on less popular ones which can make a huge difference when it comes to stepping up your photography game. 

The weather is a very important factor for photographers who do a lot of outdoor photography, so having the right weather app can make a difference. app supports more than 10 million locations from all around the world and you can also use its GPS function, so the app could find the weather forecast for your nearest location. This is a lot more accurate than manually typing the name of the nearby city. The app is proven to be one of the most accurate ones when it comes to hourly predictions and it has a beautiful and simple user interface. 

Price: Free 
Available on: iOS and Android 

PDF Converter Ultimate 

If you happen to have a lot of pictures trapped in PDFs or you have some PDF brochures from which you would like to extract pictures, then PDF Converter Ultimate is the right choice for you. With the help of this handy app, you can convert all your PDF pictures to JPEG format in a matter of seconds for better editing later. Alongside JPEG format, the app supports conversions to more than 20 popular file formats and vice versa. It can even convert scanned documents because it uses industry leading OCR technology. It could be said that this app covers all the bases and it also has a user-friendly interface, so there shouldn't be any inconveniences.  

Price: Free 
Available on: iOS and Android 

Pocket Light Meter 

When you want to calculate exposure, there is no better tool than a light meter. Because of its bulky design, it is not suitable for carrying it around with you all the time. Wouldn't be great if you could use your phone as a light meter? Well, with Pocket Light Meter you can. As the name suggests, this app measures the light using your phone's camera and lets you tweak shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in order to see how it will affect exposure in your image so you can adjust your settings accordingly. 

Price: Free 
Available on: iOS and Android  


If you have a lot of clients and do a lot of commercial photo sessions, than this app can come in handy. When next time your clients require you to recreate some previous shoots you did together, there is no need to pick your brain in order to remember what the lightning was. Sylights lets you create lighting diagrams so you can thoughtfully note where everything was on the your shooting day and when another opportunity comes you can easily use your phone to refresh your memory. The app can also be used as a reminder, you just open the diagram and see what equipment you need to pack. 

Price: Free 
Available on: iOS 

My Tide Times 

Like tells you what the weather will be like on the desired locations, My Tide Times tells you heights and times of the tides for every location you need. The app can be very handy when shooting near the see and will also keep you safe. It supports more than 9K tidal stations in over 40 countries so your desired location will likely be covered.  

Price: Free 
Available on: iOS 


In this article we talked about some of the most useful apps that do everything except taking pictures. This list is just the beginning, and we would appreciate your suggestions for other great apps photographers could use. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

(The Big Disrupt) Amazon: Why Amazon May Regret Making Its 2nd HQ Bidding Process Public

Large companies since the beginning of time have been using their scale to extract tax breaks and other incentives out of increasingly desperate states but never has this age-old practice been so naked, public and shameless as Amazon effectively pitting every city of note in country against each other for which may end up being a bag bargain in the long run  

Rarely have so many proud states, cities and towns fall over themselves to woo a single company offering them eye watering tax and other incentives that has had critics tag the whole process as a "race to the bottom", a term usually reserved to describe small to mid-size nation states offering super business friendly incentives to attract large multinational companies like Amazon usually at the expense of the taxpayer and crucial investment such as infrastructure or education. 

IAmerica's worst kept secret that Amazon is slowly becoming the most powerful member of the gang of four (Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple) and while the other three could have mayors falling over themselves to persuade them to build new HQ's in their cities, neither of these companies wouldn't dream of starting a public bidding war that displays just how powerful these companies really are. 

All four companies go to the lengths of earth to obfuscate their vast monopoly power but out of the four, Amazon is by far the least shy about flexing their considerable muscle despite possibly being the biggest target out of the quartet to be broken up. 

The balance of power between states, cities and large corporation has long been in favor of the latter with large corporations using their influence (ether through the jobs it creates or economic activity it stimulates in the local area) for tax breaks, subsidies, or favorable legislation but Amazon has effectively made this practice a very public and ugly spectacle that could come back to haunt them. 

It should come as no surprise that 238 states, cities and metropolitan areas threw their hat in the ring as many languish in growing municipal debt overburdened by obligations they barely can afford to meet. 

The palpable desperation among America cities was hard to ignore as cities like Gary, that had no chance of landing Amazon's new HQ based on Amazon's population requirements alone, played its long odds anyway. 

Nothing signaled just how dire things have become for Gary and many troubled small and mid-sized cities like it with their mayor taking an ad out in the New York Times effectively begging Amazon to consider them despite Gary shrinking population and its high unemployment and crime rates making the ailing city arguably the most investment proof city in the union. 

For a company that prides itself on "doing hard things well"regenerating small and mid-sized cites with a new HQ would be one mighty challenge that Amazon would be highly credited for taking on and would go a long way to taking the antitrust target off its back but Amazon won't and never will because they don't have to and can get a better deal elsewhere. 
This is no slight on Amazon as it would take a lot more than five billion in capital investment and 50,000 high paying jobs to fix the chronic problem that plague cites much larger and richer than Gary plagued with similar problems. 

However, for a company that leans on its well-earned reputation for innovation and disruption, rebuilding troubled American cities such as Gary and Detroit would arguably be the best thing the company has ever done in its 24-year history. 

In sum, Amazon may come to regret making the selection process so public and brazen but in the short-term Amazon look set to win either way


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