Marius Masalar

Photographer, Technology Writer, Podcaster

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All The Things →

Things is a deeper app than it seems at first glance.

Today, the Sweet Setup launched All The Things, an in-depth course on using the app productively. Having gone through the course (and contributed a few tidbits ?), I can recommend it to anyone who’s picked up Things but feels like they’re not getting the most out of it yet.

The core of the program is a detailed walkthrough of the app’s capabilities, plus some setup interviews and workflow tricks. The Pro tier includes that, plus an app-agnostic guide discussing Shawn’s hybrid, analogue/digital approach to productivity. It also features in-depth interviews with six productivity experts for some additional perspective.

The basic content costs $29 USD. You can snag the Pro edition of the course, with the additional productivity content, for $49 (or less, if you hurry—it’s 20% off during launch week). Lastly, you can buy just the

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Hello (Again) to Svbtle

A refuge for the modern blogger

I left Svbtle 4 years ago, seeking greener pastures on other platforms. The landscape of blogging was different then; still nourishing, still hopeful.

Today, blogging as we knew it has been largely subsumed—along with traditional news—into monolithic castles of content.

They have their perks, and I still believe that great content transcends platforms, but as the industry of personal blogging collapses in on itself, my desires have changed. Where I once sought community, I now seek individuality. In place of power, I want permanence.

All of this has brought me, hat in hand, back to Svbtle.

 What Matters in a Platform

Over those same four years, I discovered a deep-seated appreciation for companies and services that temper their progress with patience. The Basecamps and Things of the world.

Svbtle made a promise to bloggers: it promised to stick

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“A Slime Trail of Data” Leigh Alexander on Algorithms →

I could listen to Leigh Alexander talk about her grocery list; she’s one of my favourite thinkers across any field.

In this segment from episode 116 of the Kotaku Splitscreen podcast, she joins the hosts in discussing the pitfalls of a society that trusts too readily in its technology.

I was struck by the mention of how children growing up today look at traditional commercials with confusion, thinking they’re some sort of absurdly-short TV show because they’re not used to seeing advertising in that form.

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iPad Photography Workflows →


The iPad has been on my mind a lot lately.

I bought my first in 2011, and it’s remarkable to see how far the device and my impressions of it have evolved over the years. In particular, the advent of the iPad Pro has accelerated a process that was already well underway: me moving more and more of my computing to the iPad.

This year, iOS 11 (and the arrival of a few amazing professional apps) allowed me to move portions of my photography workflow to the iPad as well. Having spent a few months honing that workflow, I’ve come to the conclusion that the iPad is a fantastic companion to a desktop computer for photography (not replacement…yet), and an effective replacement for a laptop for managing images while travelling.

My (debut!) article on The Sweet Setup digs into the details.

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Eight Months With Things 3

Long-term use notes and the workflow I’ve settled into


I first wrote about Things 3 in May, shortly after I got access to it.

At the time, I was still swept up in its good looks, smooth operation, and refreshingly non-punitive take on carrying over incomplete tasks to the next day.

Nearly a year later, I’m still using Things. This makes it the only task management app to have successfully dethroned Todoist for more than a couple of months.

It’s given me time to settle into a workflow and analyze the long-term nuances of the app, especially in terms of how it compares to Todoist.

 How I Use Things

In a word: very simply. Over time, I’ve whittled away a lot of unnecessary busywork in my usage pattern:

  • I use Areas to segregate tasks into broad “containers” like Personal, Blog, Work, Photography, etc. I have only six Areas, and part of my New Years re-organization will likely reduce

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A review of the editing console for Adobe Lightroom


I like dedicated hardware.

Instead of reading on my iPad or iPhone, I use ereaders. Instead of gaming on my computer, I buy consoles. So it’s not surprising that the Kickstarted LoupeDeck editing console for Adobe Lightroom caught my eye when it was first announced.

Having now spent several months with it, I wanted to share some thoughts on how it’s affected my workflow and whether or not it represents good value for money.

 The Promise

LoupeDeck’s appeal is that you have dedicated hardware knobs to manipulate controls in Lightroom.

Everything from catalogue-based tasks like picking and rating, to Develop module work involving HSL adjustments, Highlight/Shadow, etc. can be accomplished without mousing around.


Critics have pointed out that this has been possible for years using cheap MIDI controllers that you map yourself. This

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Ulysses vs. iA Writer: A New Comparison

Perfecting the minimal writing environment


It’s novel season, which has me thinking about the ways we write and the tools we use to get it done.

A couple of years ago, I compared the two front-runners: iA Writer and Ulysses. These continue to be, in my estimation, the finest plain-text writing environments out there. And each of them has come a long way in the intervening months.

With everyone sharpening their digital pencils, I figured it was time to dive in and see how their respective changes have improved the experience of using and trusting them with our words.

 My Approach

To make it easier to follow along with my impressions, it helps to understand where I’m coming from as a writer and what my priorities are.

When I last compared these two, I identified my criteria as follows:

  1. Beautiful, clutter-free interface
  2. Flexible, cross-platform workflow
  3. Powerful export options


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Canon 1D Mark III Review

10 years on, yesterday’s flagship is still capable and reliable today


I don’t know why, but something about the 1D camera bodies from Canon has always held a strange appeal for me.

As the flagship model designation, the 1D series has remained firmly out of reach of most non-professional photographers, myself included. But it’s not like you have to buy the newest and most expensive version. When an opportunity came up for me to snag a 1D Mark III, I took a chance on the old thing to see how it fares in the modern camera landscape.

It turns out that even ten years after its release, the 1D Mark III remains a powerful, quick, and virtually indestructible imaging tool.


 Colour & Output

When this camera hit the market, Canon was still working on convincing film shooters that digital could replace the colour fidelity, detail, and character of their film bodies.


The original 5D is

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Kenya & Tanzania: A Travelogue →

From the Masai Mara to the Serengeti: stories from my two weeks camping across East Africa’s most amazing natural wonders


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TP-Link Whole Home WiFi

Simple, secure mesh networking


It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Network setup and maintenance used to be something that required a tech savvy person. Port forwarding, QOS, bridge mode—oh my! Modern networking has different priorities: reliable throughput, stability, and security.

In the last year, we’ve seen quite a few mesh systems emerge from major consumer electronics brands, and TP-Link’s take on the system is called Deco. Described as a “Whole Home WiFi” system, Deco is a focused, attractive proposition. They want to empower everyone to set up and manage their own network without hassle, while keeping homes secure in an era of smart devices.

Simple and secure…let’s see how they did.

 Mesh Networking

In the past, you’d likely have a modem connected to a single router that distributed the internet service throughout your home. This works perfectly fine in apartments and small

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