The Work of Work is Work.

…That’s why they call it work.

The “Buy The WordPress Theme I Want, Using Money I Have And Am Eager To Spend” saga ended poorly. PayPal won’t let me use the credit card that was attached to my PP account when I canceled it, the only alternative method of payment that Theme Forest accepts is a European transactor that I don’t exactly trust (despite the fact that it appears to be aboveboard), it wouldn’t let me use the burner prepaid VISA card I bought for this purpose, I don’t want to expose my debit card number to any online vendor, and the makers of the theme aren’t allowed to sell directly to me.

So.

Yah.

A Twitter follower has been following this saga and offered to purchase Literary himself, email me the .ZIP, and trust that my expressions of gratitude will include “reimbursement for the cost of the theme.” I’ll think this over. I imagine that there’s an 80% chance that Literary is just what I’m looking for. The extra 20% provokes me to wonder if it’s worth dragging an innocent bystander into the problem.

I turn my attention to real work. This week, God willing, I will finally ship my review of Nokia’s Lumia 1020 phone. This is the phone with the absolutely bonkers-nuts 41 megapixel image sensor. I’m really excited about this device and I’ve been having mucho fun testing it out over the past month. Partly this was to make sure I know the limitations of its camera but mostly? I was just having fun taking pictures. With a phone. That’s truly groundbreaking stuff!

Park Street Church (1)

I’ll also (GW) be shipping my review of the Moto X. Unlike the 1020, this phone is about much more than the camera. But I’m spending lots of time taking pictures with it because this phone brings a new approach to mobile photography. It has an “auto HDR” feature that’s switched on by default. If the camera thinks it needs to bring multiple-exposure-followed-by-lots-of-math whupass to the fight, then it’ll go ahead and do that.

In a great many cases, this approach allows the Moto to take great photos where every other phone (including the iPhone 5 and even the 1020) just have no hope. Viz:

Moto X Beacon Hill Fountain (Photoshop)

In some cases, this results in slightly weird-looking pictures.

I think this is why some of the earlier reviewers have claimed that it’s an awful camera. I’ve been performing lots of experiments to figure out what’s going on. Friday, I did the most ridiculously-extensive comparison test I’ve ever done, involving almost every current phone I have in the office, plus the iPad Mini and Nexus 7. Yes, I looked like a dork shooting the same photos eight times, but that’s the only way. When I see problems with the photo I shot with Moto X, and then I see the same sort of problems in other devices and even the Micro Four Thirds camera I include as a control…okay, that’s valuable.

I think I’m getting a bead on it. A great thought came on Friday night as I was scrutinizing my photos. Yes, it woulda been better if the thought came on Friday afternoon, when I could have made an adjustment and performed a reshoot. But I think I know what I need to do in order to lock down my opinion.

Meanwhile, I’m sorting through hundreds of sample photos, for purposes of comparison and to select images to use in my reviews. I’ve been spending so much time in Aperture over the past week that I keep hitting the “V” button when I’m looking at a photo on a website, expecting that this will switch from thumbnail to fullsize view. Yeesh.