Well, it's Friday evening and I've recovered my good humor after that last post. I just need to thrash about a bit before I break down and buy a 5k iMac, that's all. I've been going through this since the Power Mac G4 Cube; I always think that this time I'm going to split the CPU and the monitor, and then each time I cheap out and buy the all-in-one. I've been using all-in-one Macs at home since 1984. People have their patterns.
As you know, there are two kinds of people in the world—those who divide everything into two kinds, and those who don't. As you also know, there are two kinds of good design: the good design that makes something into more of a work of art, and the good design that makes something more versatile, practical, and useful. Sometimes the two coexist; sometimes, [arty] design can subvert [useful] design or vice-versa. What I think happened to the new MacBook Pros where photographers are concerned is that good [arty] design took a bite out of good [useful] design, to the detriment of, well, us.
I just think it's much more elegant to have things built-in. I much prefer built-in diopter control to the screw-on types, for example. There's another important practical aspect nobody mentions: if a functionality is built in to the device, it can't be outmoded as the device ages. Try getting a diopter correction lens for certain antique cameras, for instance—they're so rare they might as well not exist. Cameras with diopter correction built in will never have that problem.
I saw a placard about this—the tension between the two kinds of good design, I mean—in the Contemporary section of the Corning Museum of Glass the last time I was there. Glass is definitely a material that has an artistic as well as a practical side.
Jim noted in the Comments that practical good design also took a hit in the iPhone 7 when Apple did away with the headphone jack, which is indeed a peculiar move from the maker of the iPod. What's the advantage there? Do any customers really think the iPhone 7's appearance is improved by the lack of a little hole in its side?
But they're fun cameras, no doubt. Before I wish you a good weekend I wanted to link to a review of the iPhone 7 by photographer Benjamin Lowy at Bloomberg. (I hope everyone can see that.) That guy is just dripping talent; I've never been particularly taken with his chosen style, but he's so good at it.
The CMoG is a perfect environment for iPhone snaps. I love shooting with the iPhone there. I could do a whole project that way. The photo opportunities are limitless and people just ignore you. (I did ask the young lady in the picture below to pose for me, to provide a little human presence in the picture. She's an employee.)
On Monday we'll talk about World Press Photo's new "Creative Documentary Photography" contest, which will allow manipulated and Photoshopped images without restriction.
Oh, and don't forget that our current half-price book sale, of Keith Davis's The Origins of Modern Photography, is ongoing (and doing great—well over 200 copies sold so far). Please do me a favor and tell all your friends, forums, and photo-groups.
And do have a nice weekend!
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Featured Comments from:
Ben Rosengart: "Apple design leadership clearly believes that wired data transfer is less and less necessary, as wireless technology improves. I'm more conservative and don't entirely agree, but there's no doubt in my mind that there's a coherent philosophy behind the deprecation of CD/DVD drives, headphone jacks, and SD slots. (I work for Apple, but I don't know these people and am only speculating. I don't speak for Apple.)"
Mike replies: That's apropos, because I don't really speak for people who have a beef with Apple. Overall I'm a pretty satisfied and certainly very loyal customer...actually, I might even be one of the Cool-Aid-drinkers who follow Apple sheep-like wherever it leads.
My complaint where this issue is concerned is that I don't understand why Apple has to inconvenience me each time it decides its proletariat are going to have to start doing things differently. Someone brought up the issue of the old floppy disk—well, yes, eventually we migrated away from that; they were right. But I had to use a peripheral floppy drive for a couple of years before it was actually outmoded. Same with the USB-C ports on the new MacBook Pros. Maybe we're transitioning to USB-C and it will eventually seem ordinary and normal. But we're not there yet; so since we're in the transition, why not give us a transitional machine with some of the new ports and some of the old ones?
The real problem is probably that photographers are niche users of computers and computers aren't made for us. At least I never switched to Aperture...I learned my lesson with MacWrite.
Hugh Crawford: "I've been using iPhones since the first day it was on sale (bought it at 3 a.m. at the Fifth Avenue store in NYC that's open 24 hours a day and it was among the most bizarre scenes I have seen in NYC, and that's saying a lot), and have never used the earphone jack. My kids seem to use it almost continuously however."