OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) and Audio Out Changes

Yesterday I ran into a new Yosemite feature that annoyed me a bit. After changing the input on my Dell 27" display from DisplayPort to HDMI, the screen turned black on my 27" iMac, and audio stopped. Forcing a reboot (holding the power button for >4 seconds) was needed to get the iMac's display back.

But from that point on, the audio was greyed-out in the menu bar. Changing the volume on the (Apple) keyboard gave a disabled icon on screen. Also, no audio was playing over my external speakers.

My first thoughts were that the earlier crash had corrupted something on my system, so I did an additional reboot. Nothing. After that a PRAM reset (power off, power-on and hold command-option-P-R until you have heard two start-up 'boings'). The start-up sounds were there, so the actual audio hardware was just fine.

When the desktop loaded still no audio control, until I unplugged my DisplayPort connector on the Dell 27" monitor. Audio (controls) came back instantaneous.

So, with DisplayPort connected to the external monitor: no audio (controls), and without the DisplayPort: audio (controls).

Turns out that with Yosemite, the audio is channelled BY DEFAULT over a DisplayPort connection (to a external monitor). In my case, the Dell also has an audio out connector, and I guess that is 'advertised' over the DisplayPort.

Changing the default behaviour is done in the System Preferences -> Sound

The first image shows the default (at least in my case). Changing the settings to the second image gave me back the audio and volume control.

I have no idea if this was also possible with Mavericks (or even earlier versions of OSX), but it's definitely a (default) feature that annoyes the hell out of me.

Even though I tackeled the audio problem, the issue with loosing the display when I change the video input on the external monitor still remains. But only if the desktop is extended to the second screen. It doesn't occur when the screen is mirrored.

Posted on November 18, 2014 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Operating Systems, Tips'n Tricks.

Jordan Holiday

Two weeks ago, we went to Jordan for our holiday. Something we had planned to do a couple of years ago, but was postponed a couple of times due to the events (Arab Spring) in the Middle-East. Something that turned out to be completely unnecessary.

Jordan is a stable (semi) democratic Middle-Eastern kingdom surrounded by some of the most dangerous countries in the region. Especially with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq which share a border with Jordan on the north/east, things COULD turn ugly relatively fast... But then again, were are you 100% safe?
You can also be shot from the skies over the Ukraine while going on holiday (MH17), or your train can be blown up in a train station in Madrid, or spotting planes on the World Trade Centre (Twin Towers) can result in death and mayhem. While staying at home is also not without risks. How many people die in the bathroom by slipping over a couple of drops of water?

So more than enough reasons not to stay at home and taste the culture of Jordan during an 8 day trip.

Posted on November 12, 2014 and filed under Photography, Personal.

Loonse en Drunense Duinen in the Fog

Autumn is the season with good chances of morning fog in the Netherlands. Fog and sunrise can create mystical photos, so this weekend we went early in the morning to the Loonse en Drunense Duinen in Noord-Brabant. The weather forecast predicted morning fog, followed by a nice sunny day. All the ingredients we needed for some nice photos.

We arrived just before sunrise, but unfortunately, the area suffered from a thick fog that blocked the sun for hours. So no magical fog and sun ray photos. Instead just foggy photos.

Posted on September 29, 2014 and filed under Photography, Personal.

Why RAW instead of JPG?

The RAW file format holds much more information than you can see with your eyes. Sure, shooting in in JPEG leaves you with smaller size photos (in terms of storage), which results in more photos on your memory cards. This results in faster transfers to your PC, and Photoshop is more responsive to smaller files. So there are numerous occasions where JPEG seems more than enough, until you do need that (little) extra RAW information....

Just watch the following video.

Nuff said, I think.

Posted on September 29, 2014 and filed under Personal, Photography, Tips'n Tricks.

Long Exposure Photography With 16 Stops ND

A while back I investigated the possibility of using the Lee filter system on my Fujifilm X-T1. As you can see, I invested in two Lee ND filters;

  • Lee Big Stopper (110ND / 10 stops Neutral Density Grey filter)
  • Lee Little Stopper (106ND / 6 stops Neutral Density Grey filter)

The thing with ND filters is that they reduce the light evenly. This results in (depending on the greyness of the filter) longer exposure times. With enough 'stops' in front of your lens, you can stretch the exposure from 1/200s to 10 or 15 minutes. Shooting with exposure times of minutes instead of the usual fraction of seconds results in motion blur in the photos (assuming that you're not shooting a stationary object indoors). Expose long enough, and the movement becomes a silky haze.

Posted on September 29, 2014 and filed under Gear, Photography, Tips'n Tricks.