Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

29th August
2012
written by Jeff

I know, it’s been a while, but the truth is I didn’t want to write a long rant on Facebook and this seems the best place for it, even if it is so long abandoned it feels like a ghost town. Woooooooooo…

This image was posted on Facebook today by a photography group called Light Stalking. It was reposted by a friend and I added a couple of comments. It dovetails nicely into an argument I’ve had with people for the last five to ten years about the suspicion and even outright disdain many show for experts. I’ve noticed it a lot in music and photography, but it is clearly visible in science, for example, as well. The recent gaffe by Todd Akin would be a good example.

For the purposes of this particular post, I’m going to focus on photography and the idea that it isn’t the gear that makes a photographer good, but the skill of the photographer and I agree in the most simplistic sense that the logic is accurate. There is no more annoying comment to a photographer than, “That’s a beautiful photo. You must have a nice camera.” Um, yeah, dipshit, that’s what it was. It had nothing to do with my abilities, just a really expensive camera.

It reminded me of a gig years ago. After I got done playing, another musician approached me impressed with the sound of my bass. She and another person had been debating what made it sound so good. They speculated I tuned it differently or that the bass and/or amp were very expensive, none of which was true and, when I told them this, they just shrugged and said, “Yeah, we couldn’t figure it out.” I guess it’s not possible that it was THE MOTHERFUCKER PLAYING THE BASS.

Anyhoo…

My only concern with the logic in the graphic is the implication that anyone with an iPhone can be Ansel Adams. It is true that great photos can be taken with very inexpensive and technologically inferior equipment. People have been doing it for decades. There were wondrous images embossed on tin types from the 1800s that were taken with something akin to a magnifying glass attached to a cardboard box.

However, as I pointed out in the post on Facebook, NASA astronauts traveled to the moon using technology not even powerful enough to power a decent calculator today, but it doesn’t mean they would pass on using modern technology now simply because they COULD do without.

The essence of being great at anything is the ability to combine real talent with creativity, intelligence, work ethic and the right tools for the job. The best athletes to ever play sports had serious talent, competitive drive like few others, incredible awareness on the court or field and constantly evolving creativity. But, they were also blessed with real, God-given machinery in the form of musculature and reflexes that the vast majority of us simply don’t have. Their equipment was vastly superior and they spent their lives learning how to master the use of it.

In photography, the best of the best not only take great shots, they know how to replicate them and how to react quickly to changing environments. And, yes, they could probably take a substantially better photo with an iPhone than a novice could with a $3000 camera, but pros don’t show up at photo shoots with point-and-shoot cameras because they want to be able to have every tool at their disposal. You COULD build a house with a hammer and hand saw, but why wouldn’t you use power tools if they were available to you?

I guess this sort of thing tweaks me because I know how much time and effort and money is put into being great at something and it is often overlooked because technology has expanded so dramatically in the last decade. Virtually anyone can make music or shoot photos or create logos or manage a sports team using modern technology, but it doesn’t mean they can do those things well.

And even if someone produces a stunning work of art with a mobile phone, that doesn’t make him/her a great artist. A great artist could do it again and again and again. To reference sports again, it isn’t a single great performance that defines and athlete. It is the ability to duplicate and even improve on that performance over and over and over again. Photographers are no different.

This is not to discourage anyone from following their creative instincts. In fact, just the opposite. If you like to take pictures, GREAT! Welcome to the club. But bear in mind that while gear isn’t the be-all-end-all of photography, it is an essential aspect of growing both as a skilled technician and an artist. Very few true artists are able to do what they do without the benefit of good gear. Maybe you are one of those exceptions, but it is more likely your best bet is to get some good equipment and learn how to use it.

It won’t necessarily make you great, but it will make it tougher to suck.

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31st August
2009
written by Jeff

iPhone 3GSA lot has changed for me in the past two months. I’m living in a new house. I lost a cat (sadly). I paid off my debts. I ate a block of cheese in one sitting. I became a ninja. I fired a shotgun in your general direction.

But, of FAR greater importance than any of these – and much more important than my discovery that I am telepathic (I know what you are thinking and, no, it is NOT ok to do that with hamsters!) – is the two new additions to my family. Not pets. Not children (God help me). Not even more women for my harem.

No, it’s an iPhone and a MacBook Pro.

I’m an Apple guy (especially the granny smiths, nyuk nyuk) and, despite that, I had long resisted the move to the iPhone. Let’s just say I had a negative experience with a Blackberry. I would not recommend trying to eat one of those, fyi.

To complicate matters, my business partner and I were seemingly locked into a contract with T-Mobile even though he had no cell service at his house and I had virtually none in my new place. After much discussion and work by my business partner – thanks go to the folks in T-Mobile customer service as well – we wrangled our way out of the contract and I immediately went to an iPhone.

I have to tell you that it really has altered how I do things. Getting mail on my phone, using Twitter, sending messages are all significantly easier with this phone. Maybe even more importantly, the iPhone is the best cell phone I have ever owned by a very wide margin. It’s really not even close. It’s got a super loud earpiece, a completely intuitive interface and voicemail recorded directly on the phone.

The apps are a whole other ballgame. I can’t really even begin to describe just how many cool apps are available on this thing, but it’s mind boggling and completely awesome.

Many people told me it would change my life and, frankly, I didn’t believe them. But, after only a couple weeks with the phone, I’m a convert…to Buddhism and the iPhone. Namaste.

MacBook ProMy new MacBook Pro is really a business expense. My wonderful MacBook I bought in 2006 has been struggling of late and it was time for an upgrade. With the sale of the house, one of my planned purchases was a new laptop and a large monitor to use when I’m working in my office.

By going with the 13″ MacBook Pro, I saved money and got a more portable machine and, in this case, size doesn’t matter when you’ve got a big, thick, hard, 23″ monitor on your desk. Wait, you weren’t thinking about penises were you? Good LORD, you are nasty.

Anyway, the combo of the laptop, the monitor and a new Airport Express (mine was almost 6 years old), it’s like having a completely different experience, particularly on the web where everything is faster and easier to use.

In a way, it’s like Steve Jobs is living with me giving me mini keynote addresses every day, which is really stupid and I wish he would quit. I mean, come on, Steve! Do you really have to talk THAT much? I stopped listening like three days ago.

My point is that Apple rules and you drool and you know it’s totally the truth!

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