July Print Sale starts tomorrow! N/t.
Even more sprawling: So I made an offer on a new house yesterday, and it was accepted! (Now you know why it's been a bit quiet around here for a couple of days.) The new house is on the far side of town, so the neighborhood and its environs will be new to us, but the house itself has literally everything on my checklist—not only of needs, but of nice-to-haves as well*. There's a big back yard for the dogs. (I've been scoping out web pages like this.)
Most notably, my home office space will increase greatly. The new house has a finished, dry basement which will be the new TOP Planetary Headquarters for my continuing plan of becoming an Internet tycoon—and it actually is kind of sprawling, if you can believe it. (Blogging from the basement flirts with an uncomfortable cliché, but oh well, if the shoe fits.) My realtor didn't have her nifty laser measuring device with her yesterday, so I can't report the square footage of the new office, but it's at least five times larger than what I have now. Maybe more. (Thanks again to all you print buyers and donors from the "Help TOP Move" sale!)
I really can't post a photo yet. It's a privacy issue—the people who are selling the house still own it. I'll post plenty of pictures as soon as we close in August, however.
No more Aperture: You've probably heard that Apple has announced it will cease development of Aperture, in favor of a replacement called "Photos." (And could they have picked a worse name? I'll be waiting for their new apps "And" and "To," because those will be even harder to specify in a search. Or maybe they'll call their next app "National Geographic," because there's no famous magazine by that name. Oh, wait....) Here's an article on TechCrunch telling you all about it.
(Personally I feel somewhat vindicated, because this is why this former AppleWorks loyalist decided against going with Aperture when I checked it out a few years back. Say what you will about Photoshop—and granted it has changed enormously, although that's one of the good things about it—but I've been using it since 1996.)
Camera Day: So did you have any idea that June 27th was National Camera Day? Me neither. But Nicole Lewis at Flickr Blog made a nice short post with pictures of various cameras and some photographs made with them. Not a lot new for most of us, but pleasant and nicely done just the same. (Stamatovic & Son apparently has no website, in case you're wondering.) [UPDATE: Yes they do, it's just called something different than the company name so it doesn't come up in a search for the latter. Thanks to Johan Verhulst. —Ed.]
Ut by Terakopian: If I were a photography collector, I'd probably collect portraits of photographers—even without trying, I've accumulated a few nice ones over the years, and I enjoy good ones I come across online. Speaking of the latter, check out Edmond Tarakopian's portrait of Nick Ut.
John Wilson comments: "And here's my portrait of Edmond Terakopian."
Sony A7 back: I've heard of several projects like this. Chiek Imaging in Seoul, South Korea, uses the Sony A7r as the basis for a megapixel camera with view camera movements. People are definitely having fun with the A7's.
New TOP: Also on the TOP news front, Hugh Crawford is making splendid progress porting us over to Wordpress. We don't quite have light at the end of the tunnel yet, but there has been great progress.
Hugh Crawford comments: "We may not have light at the end of the tunnel, but the oncoming train problem has been pretty much eliminated."
Fascination: Three days ago there was a very interesting article by Arthur Lubow published at the World's Best Photography Magazine, a.k.a. the NYT. It's all about posthumous redaction of photographers' work, centering around Vivian Maier and Garry Winogrand.
Personally I'd like to see Leo Rubinfien's Winogrand show at the Met, because I have yet to see a single posthumous Winogrand I thought was any good. To me it's a sow's ear that has soaked up way too much hopeful effort to make it into a silk purse*. I remain open to the possibility, however. Just in case.
(Thanks to numerous tipsters)
P.S. Xander's latest video: Five Bar Bets You'll Always Win (his entry into a Mike's Hard Lemonade contest).
Open Mike is the Op/Ed page of TOP. Usually, it's off-topic. Not so much today.
*Even, I belatedly realized, a little heated room off the garage that's separated from the rest of the house that could have been custom-designed as a good place for coffee roasting. A surprising bonus. I actually didn't even see that room on my first tour of the house.
Coffee roasting is generally a pretty messy business—it smokes heavily, gets chaff all over everywhere, and results in a powerful smell that takes a while to clear. The coffee roaster I use has a catalytic converter in it, which takes care of most of the smoke (it can still set off the smoke alarm in the hallway if I don’t close the door to the kitchen, however), and the chaff is taken care of with a Shop-Vac that currently resides under our kitchen table, and the smell normally goes away almost entirely after 3-4 hours. But having a room that’s separated from the house, and ventilated to the outdoors, and sort of “workroom-like” so it doesn’t have to be kept pristine, is ideal.
**For non-native English speakers, "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear" is an old expression that dates from 1579 in England. Wictionary defines it as "to produce something refined, admirable, or valuable from something which is unrefined, unpleasant, or of little or no value." Although if you try hard enough....
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Cyrus: "Regarding the Winogrand show, I saw it in D.C. as part of the 'See a Show This Year' challenge. My thoughts are on my blog, and to summarize, see it if you want to view the familiar images on paper rather than on a screen, but don't expect too much from the new selection."
tex andrews: "Congratulations on moving up in the realm of slavery...ahem, I mean home ownership! BTW, Cambo is also on the way with a view camera using the A7/r series. Should be around by August, about $1500(?). Worth it, I would think...."
James Sinks: "I have to ask...why on earth would you stick a tilt-shift lens on a bellows? The T/S lens already has movements, for crying out loud!"
Simon Naisbitt replies to James: "In response to James Sinks's comment: tilt-shift lenses usually have image circles that are larger than those of other lenses. A larger image circle allows a greater range of adjustment to be made (using either the tilt-shift mechanism of the lens or, in this case, using the bellows) without causing excessive vignetting."
Bill Tyler replies to James: "Congratulations on the new house! In partial response to James Sinks, there is a good reason for having movements both at the back and front. Geometrically, either place is enough, but in practice, you need much less extreme adjustments if you have both front and back movements.
"Consider, for instance, the problem of sharply imaging a sidewalk, looking down along its length. You can either tilt the front or the back. But they have different effects. Tilting the front leaves perspective more or less normal. Tilting the back gives extra magnification to close-up objects and less to far-away objects. To get the back tilt effect using only front movements, you'd first have to point the camera down, then shift the lens way up, then tilt it backwards so it regains a vertical axis. In doing this, you can't see even approximate framing until you're done shifting the lens. It's much easier to do with a tilting back. There you can frame approximately with all movements neutral, tilt the back, then refine the framing to taste."
GRJ: "Congrats on the new HQ. I'm glad it's working out for you.
"Re: Winogrand, I wonder if there's any chance of minds being changed, if minds are made up. I'm young enough that all Winogrand is new-ish to me, so I was able to approach the show in D.C. with a more-or-less open mind (though with familiarity with details about Winogrand's life and superficial knowledge of his work). To me, the late work included in the show is merely different—not necessarily worse—than the early work. The later work is somehow emptier. If one's mind is made up that busy/New York Winogrand is good, then melancholy/detached Winogrand simply won't have any appeal. After seeing the show, I thought the late work stands on its own, but with different strengths than the earlier work. But who am I to challenge the Gospel of Saint John (S.)?"
Mike replies: I always used to say "I have a right to respond to art as if encountering it was an important experience for me." It's yours when you experience it. No one has the right to tell you how to feel about it. "Suggest," maybe, but "dictate," no. St. John is just telling you how he feels about it, not how you must.
Oh, and thanks for your perspective.