Everything Needs a Dark Theme

Listen here. Dark mode isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s what stops you from burning your eyes out in the night at 2am.

All apps and websites need to have a dark theme that’s optional. Because not only does it make me appreciate and love you a little more, it means my eyelids don’t suddenly shut themselves closed in shock of all the white light that just violated my damn retina.

But more importantly, it means that you can design this dark theme however you want. People won’t attempt to fix and consequently violate the beautiful design you painstakingly slaved away on.

Example of people creating a fix that doesn’t work well for every site:

A Chrome extension called TLV Night Mode.

It usually holds up well on its basic task of making the background black and turning the text into fancy colours so they’re legible, but everything else like web animations and text boxes just turn into an eyesore.

Here’s some evidence of how some beautifully crafted websites are being destroyed because we want dark mode.

Exhibit A: Evernote

I can’t deny that Evernote slipping the dark mode function into their Premium plan was sneaky and does tick me off, and I’ve had to experiment with a couple of themes when it came to this website.

Normal Evernote, nothing strange here.

After:

Exhibit B: WordPress

I write quite late in the night, between 11pm – 2am. And in those times my eyes want to die and there’s only so much f.lux can do, so dark mode is my only solution.

…well, that or just write it at another time but there’s no fun in that.

Before:

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

After:

Text section is all white, which kinda defeats the purpose of why I need the dark mode here, and the darkness cuts off randomly in the middle. It’s a real pain, that’s for sure.

“Yeah but what does this prove?”

To the devs, I’m just trying to prove that adding your own dark theme option is way better as it doesn’t destroy your design and it’s easier on the eyes too.

I had no intentions towards dissing this extension, in fact it works really well if you get the colour theme right for you. The best one I’ve seen requires a “small donation” which gives me terrible flashbacks of seeing someone buy £1 worth of virtual diamonds for a horrible life-consuming mobile game that they’ll probably uninstall tomorrow.

(yeah that was aimed at you – you know who you are.)

This extension does work really well, and helps fill in the gaps that most websites don’t bother to do. There are some worse versions out there, believe me. It’s certainly not the greatest thing, but it’ll do.

Anything to stop my eyes from being stabbed by bright lights and blue wavelengths of light that apparently steal whatever sleep I had in the first place.

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LastPass – The Best Password Manager Ever

Specifically, LastPass is the best Password Manager ever, for everyone and everybody inhabiting this earth and have a password that needs to be remembered.

A year and a bit ago, I made a post on using 1Password and LastPass together for a better (and free) experience to having your precious deets on devices. I guess that post is now irrelevant considering that in November 2016, LastPass declared that you could access your passwords on all devices for free.

I’ve definitely joined late to this party, and realisation about this feature existing pretty much dazzled my mind yesterday whilst clearing things up. Upon realisation I also went nuts and deleted my 1Password account immediately.

I think it’s awesome. I’ve always had this thought that having such important details should be accessible to any device for free, it was only a logical albeit a risky financial move too. But they bit that damn bullet. Now I love LastPass even more, probably more than I should love a software. (it’s 2017 – I knew I’d succumb to this someday)

My main fear is that it’s too good to be true, you’re getting a whole lot more goodness that isn’t offered in most password managers and it makes me wonder what their main income is. What’s the catch?

LASTPASS PRICING: an absolute steal.

By the looks of their pricing scheme, it seems that what you get for Premium seems good for the digital frenzy worker so there’s a chance a lot of people choose that plan. There’s also a Team and Business plan which might be popular for companies, and this could explain why we’re getting free access on all devices. But it could be anything really.

Or that they’re just awesome. Probably this reason.

TL;DR

Here’s some things to keep in mind:

  • LastPass now enables access to your passwords on all devices for free
  • This as a result makes it awesome
  • This also makes my blog post irrelevant.
  • You’ll never see that blog again.

Photographers, Bring Your Own Bag

Okay look, I’m serious about this one my fellow photo friends, there are tons of threats out there in the world. I can only name a handful:

  • First-world problems
  • Not being able to play through fields of wheat
  • Having a camera bag with expensive gear

Today, we concentrate on the 3rd point as the first one is self-explanatory and the second is too intense and mentally straining for me to even attempt to cover.

As convenient as camera bags can be with the quick access zippers, the customisable inserts and the general feeling of having a solid, reliable camera bag on you. But there’s a couple of issues with having a bag solely made to hold your camera.

And I mean, if you do have a bag which completely fits the criteria below that I think are lacking in most bags, please do share what bag you use in the comments and just feel free to ignore everything I said.

Once again, I’ll try to explain this in a way in which (hopefully) doesn’t turn into a rant.

1. those damn thieves.

There are some anti-theft camera bags, but boy are those expensive. Most CBs, however, aren’t, and they look quite theft-worthy. I mean there are some that are subtle, but their looks and branding can give it away too; it’s worse when the branding is obnoxious as hell.

This is a robber’s thought process (or I would assume it’s like this):

*sees a nice bag – which is a “subtle” bag holding tons of camera gear* 

“mmmm dat bag looks gud, if they got a nice bag they must have nice things”

*proceeds to snatch your bag*

And bam, there goes camera gear worth more than your life taken by an outlaw who thought your bag “looks gud”.

There are some truly beautiful camera bags that can prove deadly as they’re too beautiful to be exposed in public. Sorry folks.

2. Your bag packs cameras, yes… what else can it hold?

Well? From my experiences, not very much. After 7 months of using the Lowepro D100AW and some other camera bags, I’d say that camera bags can’t do very much beyond holding camera. Maybe your keys, phone, boarding tickets, ID card… then?

Companies have been trying FOR YEARS to integrate an all-rounder bag which can serve for camera gear and for other extra stuff but the conventional camera cube proves to be incredibly difficult to work around.

Now don’t get me wrong here, such bags bring forward a whole new level of organisation.

It’s absolute genius but it isn’t a stable solution, only the thought process of something big that is soon to come.

SOLUTION

Just use a normal bag dude, one that is quite popular – Hershel’s Supply and Co or even a casual Adidas backpack – and use an insert. There are really good inserts by Tenba’s BYOB series which I definitely suggest you look at. If you’re traveling, this is great to keep your camera gear safe and remain low profile to thieves whilst ensuring your camera is adequately padded.

If you can’t live without the quick access, just get yourself a Capture Clip from Peak Design and feel free to slap your camera there and pray for the likeliness that no one knows how to steal it. Slightly inconvenient as everyone can see it but still, it works I guess \_(ツ)_/

If you’re a mirrorless user or just someone who prefers carrying the minimal gear, you can always try out Tenba’s Tool Box series, it’s just a smaller padded insert to put in whatever your heart desires.

I mean, your heart’s desires must be within reasonable size as the Tool Box can’t hol… I’ll stop. But it does save space and your non-camera-specialised bag can fit more now.

Also, may I just add that I am not sponsored or paid in any way by Tenba, they just make good stuff.

A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER TO MY POINTS ARRIVE:

Peak Design can be an exception, as their Everyday series really does live up to it’s standards. I love the side compartments of the Everyday Backpack because I can throw so much in there, but the backpack doesn’t truly utilise all the space you find in the main compartment of the Everyday Backpack – nothing fits nice and snug.

I can throw in a camera body, a couple of lenses and some accessories but I’d still be hesitant to put my lunch in there. It’s either because I’m afraid my camera is gonna smell like pasta sauce and could be possibly drenched in it too or my gear is gonna bounce around as I walk.

Another reason PD also challenges my points is because their bags are subtle enough so that you wouldn’t think about stealing it (I would, mind you, because I know it’s a PD bag hehe watch out). The Everyday Messengers are in your view and difficult to pickpocket so you’re safe there. And the Everyday Backpack does have some zip anchors made to stump thieves and though it’s not foolproof, it might save you from the casual drive-by snatch.

Something to keep in mind is that PD is brimming with so much potential and revolutionising the photography industry by a milestone, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they do fix up on these sorts of concerns too. Peak Design is a company you want to keep an eye on.

And scene

I hope this kinda brought awareness over how much of a vulnerable position your camera gear is in, and how crappy having a camera bag can be too due to a waste of space.

But I wouldn’t totally mind if you had Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack, though my only concern is if someone is bothered enough to rob it.