Saturday, October 11, 2014

Downgrade for a better phone!

I bought an Android smartphone in the spring when my ancient dumb phone finally expired. (The battery physically expanded until the back cover couldn't be attached, and it held less than a day's charge.) But as usual I went the cheapest possible route: a pay-as-you-go top-up "plan" with an out-of-date almost free phone.

As an Android newbie I gleefully configured my new to me (but actually rather old) Huawei Y215 with everything I could think of. I frequently updated all the apps, both pre-installed and some I downloaded. I learned that when you get the "insufficient memory" message it was time to clear all the app caches. I was a wizard.

But the phone slowed down. I frequently had to wait for it to come out of an apparent coma when I tried to launch apps. Eventually even simply turning it on was a chore and it would very often ignore my frantic stabs at the screen. I had to reboot it daily (or more) and it recently started crashing randomly -- even while sleeping in my pocket -- or producing the weirdest garbled UI screens you can imagine.

I started to think that perhaps I should contact somebody about a warranty exchange or hardware repair or something (do these cheapies even have warranties?). But then I remembered that it's always a good idea to try a factory reset first. So I Googled it and found out you can do a neat trick with the volume up and power buttons after pulling the battery, so I tried it.

Amazeballs! All kinds of memory freed up, messaging has returned to the Facebook app, everything runs faster again, and so far -- touch imitation wood grain vinyl -- it hasn't crashed or bluescreened. Too good to be true, but I'll take it.

Lesson learned: under no circumstances am I to update any apps. I have disabled all the updates and notifications. I will only install the bare minimum of extra, non-builtin, apps. So far just Instagram since Gmail, Twitter and Facebook are all standard -- though obsolete -- pre-installed apps.

So there you go folks: one of the very few occasions where a complete and utter downgrade has netted me a vastly improved user experience. I hope that this thing gives me a few more years of reasonable service before succumbing to the "Sorry, you need a new widget to play" doom.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Advice for aspiring photographers

35 Magnum Photographers Give Their Advice to Aspiring Photographers

Eric Kim took a Magnum blog post (with permission) and illustrated with each photographers' work.

"Be yourself" is often suggested, along with the need for good shoes. There's a strong PJ slant, imho, but it's a good thought-provoking read.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Above The Fold

Newspaper Dresses
Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses Newspaper Dresses

Newspaper dresses by Layla Azer

Designer: Layla Azer
Model: Samantha Liana
Model: Krista Adler
Makeup: Chantelle Krupka
Hair: Nadia Amir
Photo, retouch: Bruce Walker



I had a lovely test shoot with local Toronto emerging actor Patri Erdei on Thursday morning. So far Patri has had a number of background appearances in TV and film, but has no portfolio to speak of yet. She had also never shot in a studio before yesterday.

I shot several different lighting styles from ambient window through contrasty spotlight over three and a half hours. This portrait caught my eye while reviewing the days catch.

Neewer TT560 in Westcott Apollo 28" softbox C-L front; TT560 in Apollo Strip with 40 degree grid C-R behind, Pentax AF540FGZ with 1/8" Honl Speedgrid aimed at black background C-R. Silver reflector C-R.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014



I have been going through my archives of to-be-retouched and decided to go fashion-forward with this one, which dates from March 2012.

Model: Julia Hooker MM# 781034
MUA: Christine Chan
Retoucher: Bruce Walker MM #1440574

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Origami by Bruce M Walker
Origami, a photo by Bruce M Walker on Flickr.
Gavin Canning of FoldIT Creations with one of his earrings that he hand-makes from folded fine Japanese paper, at Artisans of the Metropolis.