the very best portable power bank

This little thing is simply awesome and this is why;

Unlike many power banks out there promising to charge your phone twice (even thrice), this one actually lives up to the promise. It manages to charge my iPhone 6s almost twice. I believe the promise is 1.5x but the Anker Astro E1, with it's 5200 mAh of juice, has got my phone to 1.8x at one point.

It's so small it fits into any pocket. I usually pop it into the same pocket as my phone, with the charging cable connected. Though light weight, it has a solid, high quality feel to it. The proprietary PowerIQ technology means it charges compatible devices like iPhones very quickly indeed. Most of the latest Android phones will also charge very quickly with this tech.

The one things that may annoy some is the glossy piano-black finish which attracts a lot of fingerprints. However it has a fabric pouch that prevents this. I normally prefer a matte finish, and would have enjoyed this product more had it been matte, but it's not …

out shooting with iPhone only

It's been a very long time since I've gone shooting with my iPhone. I normally shoot with whatever camera I'm reviewing at the time, or with my Olympus 35RC. It wasn't actually intentional - i forgot to pack the RC on the way out and since it's so light, I didn't realise.  Instead of not shooting, I decided to use the iPhone as my camera of the day, after such a long time.

As the saying goes "the best camera is the one you have with you". That was the iPhone 6S for me. To be fair, the camera on the iPhone 6S is nothing shorty of amazing, technically speaking. The photos come out looking crisp and pleasant in most cases. Where I think the iPhone suffers, like most smartphones, is dynamic range. There's the option of shooting HDR, but I really don't like that. I usually try as much as possible to shoot scenes where the dynamic range isn't too wide. As such, I don't like shooting with the iPhone when the sun is out.

Another weakness of s…

best photo book ever

I once wrote about the importance of backing up your data, and printing your favourite photos for safekeeping. I have very recently been reminded of really how important a backup is, and I have been extremely grateful that I do have prints.

What happened? Well, both my drives failed at the same time! So not only did I lose the original photos, I also lost the backup. Unfortunately for these particular photos, I had no online (cloud) storage versions because I have recently deleted my Flickr account and cleaned out my multiple online storage amidst data privacy and security fears. I had the previous 3 months of photos stored on those two disks and there was frankly no way of getting them back without having to pay between £500 - 2000 with no assurance that anything would be recovered.
However, I have not really felt the loss this time. The reason is, I had already picked my favourite photos from the lot, and made my monthly physical prints. Sure, I was a little upset to lose hard disk…

apple magic mouse 2 cheap alternative

I know Apple is not known for the best mouse design, but I for one love Apple’s Magic mouse series. I've got one that came with my iMac and I absolutely love it. I love the simple design as well as the way it feels in the hand.

Unfortunately the MacBook is not shipped with a mouse. That’s understandable because it does come with a pretty good inbuilt trackpad, which is sufficient for most people. I find I really need a mouse though, especially when doing things like editing videos or photos.

The ideal scenario would be to buy a Magic Mouse 2 and use that with the MacBook. Being an Apple product, it would work perfectly in every aspect with the Mac - no need to worry about incompatibilities. Somehow, Apple has also figured out the latency issue when it comes to bluetooth devices - be it the mouse, earphones or what have you. I have edited hundreds of hours of video without any issue with the Magic Mouse wireless mouse.

Having said that, the Apple Magic Mouse 2, like most Apple pro…

great alternative to fizzy drinks

I made this video on YouTube talking about sugar. In it I said I was cutting sugar from my diet. 

I haven't had fizzy drinks in a while, but when I did, I drank a lot of Fanta. If you are finding this out for the first time, you may struggle to believe how much sugar is in drinks like Fanta and Coke. It's not just the sugar, however, there are other harmful things in the mix. Your best bet is simply to stop drinking this stuff.

I mainly drink black tea, black coffee and a bubbly concoction that satisfies my need for fizzy liquids. This drink is healthy and in time tastes better than any fizzy drink out there.

Here's what you need;
Sparkling water1 lime or lemonMint leaves That's it!

For the limes/lemons, you can squeeze by hand as I do, but to get the most out of it, use this.

I made this video about it;

3 ways to protect them

If you've ever been around little ones, you'll know what I'm taking about. The energy! The restlessness and the drive to constantly be on the go, touching, feeling, tasting, grabbing, pulling, poking, e.t.c. It's how they explore their new world. Everything is new to them and they find the most mundane (to us) things absolutely fascinating.

Unfortunately some objects they will encounter are not very benign to them, as they are to us. We have learnt to navigate our surroundings through experience - they haven't. Simple things like sharp edges, wet surfaces or hot liquids that we take for granted could do them a lot of harm.

Thankfully, there are many ways to make their environment safer of which I bring you three. These are amongst the cheapest, yet most protective items that can really up the safety of an environment for a little one.

1. Corner Protectors.

These are small soft bits that can be attached to the corners of structures like tables and chairs with sharp …

so grateful for the simple things in life

This past Sunday was the warmest day of the year so far in London. Temperatures reached up to 23 degrees Celsius in my part. Being a weekend day, most people made the most of it. I always say that 18 degrees feels warmer in Spring than it does in Autumn. It's a relativity thing.
Having just moved away from the very urban inner-city into serenity, I spent the day taking a break from renovations and connecting with my inner pensioner afew decades early :)

Good Lord! There are some simple life pleasures you miss out on while living caged up in those city boxes. Many of these come from having your own private garden. Simple things like airing your laundry on a clothes line outside in the sun. Simple things like a nice cup of tea in the warm breeze while watching robins, squirrels and the neighbours cat take turns landing on your freshly cut grass.
On Sunday I was very grateful for these simple things.