The 4S from Grid is a piece of artwork made up of the individual parts of an old iPhone 4S put on display. Around forty pieces, the components are individually placed and glued on a white background, complete with measurements and labels so you know exactly what the components are.
The hard part will be deciding on where to put this gorgeous display of Apple tech.
Satisfaction and technology for me is rare. When it comes to gadgets, I long to have the latest and greatest, especially with a personal computer, or camera. For far too long though, I’ve had to make do with the minimum, the cheapest, the hodge-lodge collection of gadgets. These were frustrating to me as I had to discover workarounds to overcome my lofty expectations.
Recently, I’ve decided to purchase top shelf devices that would meet my performance, productivity and aesthetic needs. These devices need to be designed to look great, have modern tech specs, last a long time and create joy (thanks Marie Kondo.)
Over the past year I sold off my old gear and slowly upgraded to what I wanted. A refurbished MacBook Air from 2015 for a 2021 MacBook Pro. An iPhone 8 to the new iPhone 12 Pro. Apple this and that, Nikon to Sony camera etc etc. All upgraded and designed to last. All bought and paid for upfront.
I looked at upgrading the iPhone 12 to the as-yet-to-be-released 13 next week. You know what? I am content. My current is that good. It’ll be good for at least 3-4 more years.
I am finally happy where I am and don’t feel the need to move to something else anytime soon.
It is liberating not to have to think about my computer setup anymore and just use my computer setup. Things can always be better, and I can guarantee new things will be coming that will make all of my devices feel obsolete.
But that doesn’t mean that they are no longer useful or can no longer make me happy as they have always done. The most significant benefit of being content with my computer is that most times, I don’t think about it anymore; I just use it. Worrying or contemplating what else I could get that is better no longer crosses my mind.
But contentment is something I will continue to strive for. As for now though, I am there. Finally.
These devices are used daily. Most of my work comes from these beautifully designed tools. It’s fair to say that after years of frustration with Windows and Android, I am drinking the Apple-flavored kool-aid.
A few moments after loading the Kodak TMax 35mm film I realized why I had not taken Nikita out before. She needs a battery for the internal light meter (see the needle pointing way up?)
After a few disastrous mistakes I was able to adjust and recover some of the remaining exposures. The first two images shown below are from when the film was exposed to light during install. Live and learn.
This pandemic is really taking a toll on my desire to walk downtown and capture people in street photography. So, I’ll just write and share images and remind myself of some basics when I finally do get back out there and face the public.
Get out. Find those outdoor public areas that have people out enjoying life.
Every human is beautiful and photographers make interesting anthropologists, documenting human nature.
There will always be something of interest. Look for it. Work the scene.
Experimentation breeds creativity
Take a smaller camera or mobile device. DSLRs get heavy after awhile.
Experiment in jpeg format, keepers get the RAW treatment.
Color or black and white? Find an aethestic and own it. I like both color and B&W. BW for me has to be high contrast, deep shadows. Color can be muted with moody contrasts to match the backdrop.
Street photography can be risky and your experiences my vary.
The risks can be worth the reward.
Street photography is usually best going alone but a photo walk with friends can be more fun. Find a partner.
After re-acquiring Nadia, the Nikon D90 this weekend, I was getting nostalgic of the images made in the past and reminding myself of ideas, tips, tricks and techniques that helped guide me through the years. These reminders are things that I wished I knew back then and can be applied at any time.
Film photography one day, digital next day.
Try more black and white. Perfect for almost every image.
A prime lens is the best lens you can take with you.￼￼￼
There is always something to shoot. Even if it is the same old thing. Try different angles and lighting.
The iPad is an amazing post processing digital lab.
Rotate your cameras for different shooting sessions. Use a different lens. Change it up.
Drop social media. Who cares what they think?
Enjoy the benefits of exercise, fun and photography. With trail hikes, or city streets stop and snap.
Bad photos are better than no photos.
Is this image good enough to print and hang in your room? No? Keep going.
Street photography is best when the streets are active or not in a small town.
Keep shooting, striving.
Invest in photo software that fits your workflow, not the other way around.
Maintain your website with a blend of your past favorites as well as your modern images. Share thoughts behind each image.
Ask yourself why you shoot. Editorial? Documenting life? Memories?
Photo walks are fun. Do this often.
Photo road trips are worth it. Do this often.
Going on on the photography road trip is a very productive practice.
Go back to the basics with film photography. It makes us better digital photographers.
Revisit older work with new eyes. Learn from it.
Keep striving for that perfect image. You’ll never find it but, if you do, sell your camera and walk away.
Stop wondering about other’s opinions.
Master the art of composition.￼
Stop buying gear, use what you have, master it.
Organize and archive your images now. Don’t wait until you have thirty years worth of images that have been stored on multiple drives, duplicated four times on each drive, uploaded to various cloud accounts, shared on social media. Save yourself the frustration and get it all together now. Organize on one massive hard drive and then back it up to a second hard drive too.
Photographers are an isolated lot and we desire to do things our own way, for our own edification. Naysayers will tell you that everything that can be captured in a photograph has already been done so why bother? Well I don’t subscribe to that. Going my own way has always been the goal and there will always be new, creative perspectives to be discovered.
We’ve allowed ourselves to forgo curiosity and exploring in favor of a skewed view of what it means to be self-taught. Let’s be honest, watching tutorial videos on YouTube, or imitating other’s work from social media platforms does not make you self-taught.
We’ve been programmed to squash our creativity by algorithms, “Likes”, and followers and have lost our ability to think for ourselves. Take the risk and explore or lose the chance. It’s time to disconnect ourselves from the algorithms, delete Instagram and innovate. We photographers are independent so why do we rely on superficial kudos from strangers?
Isolating myself from all of that has been helpful to me. The time it takes for me to develop an image I am proud of is better spent than time spent throwing something up on someone else’s platform. The best remedy for improving ourselves is investing more time creating for ourselves than consuming from others.
A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.
I say try a different route. Go your own way, start a blog and add your personal thoughts along with your art. During down days, revisit your older work and revise, recycle into something new.
Think less of other’s thoughts and think more of our own.
So there I was, in a meeting while working from home and this rooster decided to jump up on the window sill with a loud cluck. This isn’t something I see everyday even though the rooster and chickens live in a community garden across the street.
Say hello to Nikita, the 1965 Nikon FT N 35mm film camera I grabbed today. She features a 50mm prime lens, and a 2x teleconverter. I also grabbed 2 packs of Lomography Metropolis and Purple 35mm film and cannot wait to break her in. She’ll be an excellent companion to Penelope.
Apple’s focus on privacy in keeping customer’s data safe has increased and I am loving it. I believe that data privacy should be every digital citizen’s right. It’s exhausting that other companies, websites and software apps attempt to get as much of my personal information to line their pockets.
New features are coming to the Apple ecosystem such as Apple Mail, Siri, iCloud and app tracking this year. When we receive an email there is almost always a 1×1 size pixel hidden in the footer that can track IP addresses, when you open to read, location and other identifying info. In Mail, Apple is getting a feature called Mail Privacy Protection. With this I can hide my IP address, block read receipts and more.
ICloud+ , the new VPN-like Private Relay that will encrypt all data. Goodbye cookies and trackers. iCloud+ users will continue to enjoy the Hide My Email feature that generates a random email address to help prevent tracking and companies selling your data. Example: email@example.com will read as WiUf31DV339FXX@privaterelay.appleid.com. The next website will use a different random address that Apple will generate for me. Neat. Reader mode in Safari means no more ads or annoying pop-ups blocking your reading or viewing.
App tracking ruffled a lot of feathers in the advertising community, especially Facebook. With App tracking, Apple gives us the option to block a telltale device ID that cookies and trackers can grab and identify you and your browsing habits. No thank you, I’ll just activate App tracking and deny them every time. This denies data abusers like Facebook, Google, Amazon most of your browsing habits so they won’t track you.
Mail Privacy Protection, iCloud+, are coming soon to iOS 15 while others like App tracking, Hide My Email, Reader, Sign In with Apple ID are all available now. I downloaded the beta version of iOS 15 on my devices because I wanted those features as soon as possible and I am loving them.
Apple’s privacy initiative is a great benefit to anyone who values their data and browsing history.