Tip tap tappy – Writing on the iPad

So much of my writing on here has been about my iPad workflow and software (apps). This is a very quick post about my latest additions to my iPad and they are actually not apps!

Since I got the M1 based iPad Pro I had been using a Gold and Cherry keyboard along with my older series 1 Magic Mouse. The keys on the Gold and Cherry were quite good (I would say on a par with most apple keyboards) but the trackpad had a few annoying issues which swapped apps or called up the task window if scrolling near the top of the pad.

This trip I have updated to a Brydge Max+ keyboard and Magic Mouse 2

The upgrade is a revelation!

Brydge Max+ on iPad 12.9 Pro

I would go so far as saying this is the best keyboard that i have used on any apple based device – be that a desktop, laptop or iPad. The keys have a lovely tactile surface and a really good amount of travel. The trackpad is large and very smooth.

The keyboard starts up he connects to the iPad almost instantly (unlike the gold and cherry) and with Face ID enabled the iPad unlocks as soon as the home key is pressed.

Tap-to-click settings

Being made of Aluminium the keyboard adds a lot of weight to the iPad but it does mean it is more balanced on the lap or table when in use.

The trackpad is a lovely size, smooth and with tap to click enabled, a joy to use with many of the iPad gestures available on the pad. The only issue I have suffered so far is my palm moving the cursor once or twice as I typed, but then I used to suffer that on my Macbook Pro when I first got it also.

I have mentioned the Magic Mouse 2 here as this also offers improvements with the iPad over the Magic Mouse 1. Firstly it is smoother but most importantly, the scroll function of the mouse works (which it does not on the series 1).

Looking at the image above it takes a double take to see that this is an iPad and not a laptop. With it set up this way it begs the question “why stick with the less functional iPad over a Macbook, say a Macbook Air?”

Well, first of all I like the simplicity – I am less likely to go down a “rabbit hole” playing with different softwares and configurations.

Secondly, I like the versatility – on a train or in another tight space I can lift the iPad off of the keyboard and work with just a mouse.

Thirdly, the apps (software) are getting more and more versatile and powerful every day. Working with Photoshop (which is developing rapidly) using the Apple Pencil directly on the image is a joy. I also use affinity Photo and Publisher in this way.

Finally, it is just a lot less fiddly. My iPad is on a contract, I get upgrades, it’s on a mobile network 24/7 meaning I can send directly from it without worrying about tethering and cables etc.

With the M1 chip, high speed thunderbolt connection & direct internet its just a great platform when on the road.

A post (card) from Venice

Hopefully you have noticed that I have started posting a little more often – I am trying to get back into the “write every Monday” habit. It’s not quite there yet but I am making more of an effort.

I am writing this in the press room at Venice Film Festival (those of you that follow my social media will have seen I have been here since the 2nd). I planned the trip as a quick smash and grab; come over for a busy part of the festival, get some shots and go home before the end. Yesterday and today are a little respite before my final day tomorrow and trip home.

Photographers are reflected in the glass doors of the The Palazzo del Cinema before the Premiere of SUNDOWN during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Sunday 5 September 2021 at The Palazzo del Cinema, Lido di Venezia, Venice. Picture by Julie Edwards

I always say that we (photographers) are paid to wait till that moment we can make the image. Sometimes the wait can be long.

This is now the 3rd trip I have made away in these interesting times (covid times); Cannes a few months ago and Venice a year ago. It’s fascinating to see how things have changed in the past year.

A year ago we had masks and 2M distancing for photographers working on the carpet but no other measures. (The wearing of masks generally over here seems very well adhered to, especially on public transport). Now we have not only masks but also attendees need a Green Pass, which in Italy is either proof of double vaccination or a proof of a negative test within 48 hours. There seems to be more responsibility placed on the individual though, whereas I have been used to (in the UK and France) to need to show this pass before entering, here they reply on spot checks and social responsibility, which means things flow far more smoothly.

Line 20: From Venice to The Palazzo del Cinema, Lido di Venezia.

I stay in the main city of Venice, taking the Line 20 from St Marks to Lido twice a day. The Vaporetto (water busses) are mostly old and noisy but its a lovely 20 minute ride, especially if I manage to get the rear facing outside seats giving the view above.

Anya Taylor-Joy poses on the red carpet for LAST NIGHT IN SOHO during the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Picture by Julie Edwards.

With red carpet events being few and far between over the past 18 months it seems a few photographers were a little more “vocal” than normal when Anya hit the carpet for the well-received Last Night in Soho, so much so that she walked away for a while after asking for a bit more calm. I like to think I would have done the same. I have often heard the argument that the person on the carpet should not get upset because its their job but I always counter how would you feel if if were your daughter or partner being shouted out like that?

Very few photographers in the media positions have been the other side, walking the carpet and to be honest, its horrible (even if its not you thats being photographed), the lights and the shouting has to be experienced to be understood. It might be their job but it is almost impossible to look at every photographer and besides, the skill of the photographer is actually catching that split second, or as in this case, making an image that does not need it. It should not be a case of Who can shout the loudest.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac poses on the red carpet for SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Saturday 4 September 2021 at The Palazzo del Cinema, Lido di Venezia, Venice. . Picture by Julie Edwards.

I started this post with no plan, I was not really sure what I was going to write about. It’s always interesting how the thoughts and words flow and sometimes you just have to go with it to see where it leads; hopefully it’s a worthwhile exercise.

More soon.


Berlin Wall

With one more week to go of February I can look back on a bit of a “mad month”. Awards season is over and it saw me shooting at the The Critics Circle Awards, the BAFTA’s, the Oscars and this week I am in Berlin for 10 days covering Berlinale – The Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : iPhone 11 Pro Max

I need to write about the awards and especially The Oscars but today I felt compelled to write a small entry after visiting The Wall so this entry is slightly unusual, having no technical point in addition to having photos shot on the iPhone in addition to those shot on Fuji.

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : X-T3 + 27mm/2.8 @F8

This morning, between photocalls, I had a couple of hours spare and as it is not even 15 minutes walk away, I headed over to The Wall. Although I have visited Berlin a number of times over the years on business, I have never managed to make time to visit. To say I found the experience moving is an understatement and I plan to go back later in the week when I have more time.

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : X-T3 + 27mm/2.8 @F8

Although I was not directly affected, I remember the “night” the wall came down very clearly. At the time I was a “photography enthusiast” living in Crawley in my first house. Next door lived a single guy who was (shock horror) a press photographer. I must admit, I was probably a nightmare neighbour always asking questions about assignments and kit. I can’t remember his name for the life of me and I sometimes wonder what happened to him and wether we have met since without realising.

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : iPhone 11 Pro Max

With expectations that thew wall was to come down that day, he was flown to Berlin that day to document the night the wall fell. We chatted a few days later, with him showing me images shot on an ultra-wide “I really got in their faces” he said.

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : X-T3 + 27mm/2.8

I remember feeling jealous and how I wanted his job….. I got there in the end ….

The Berlin Wall Monument on Sunday 23 February 2020 : X-T3 + 27mm/2.8

Reminders of the wall are dotted about the city, this segment within 5 minutes walk of the festival hub in PotsdamerPlaz..

The Berlin Wall Segment on Sunday 23 February 2020 : X-T3 + 27mm/2.8

Visiting the wall not only reminded me of that conversation though, it brought back memories of the divided time which I grew up, of east and west. Despite my best intentions always to keep politics and beliefs from my work and this blog, I could not help but worry that maybe as I head into later life and I watch my son forge his future that we are headed back into divided times.

I sincerely hope not.