Seesaws for giants →

August 27, 2014 |

Marcin Wichary:

Chicago is a city of bridges but, more importantly for that one weekend day in April 2011, Chicago is a city of movable bridges. Every spring, a few times a week, twenty-seven bridges open in sequence to allow the boats to get to the lake… and every fall that sequence is reversed.

Really cool story. Via Coudal Partners.

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Why Shooting Wide is Best for Street Photography →

August 26, 2014 |

In order to get what you usually want to capture in your final scene, chances are that you’re going to have to get close up and personal to your subject. Oftentimes, this means within a few feet. The longest focal length equivalent you should be using is 50mm; and in general 28mm or 35mm can be ideal. These lenses can put your viewer mostly in the experience and more or less mimic what the human eye sees. So all you’ll need to do is put the camera to your eye and shoot–then what you see is what you get.

Excellent advice. I love street photography and I’m trying to get better at it, but I often find it hard to get close enough to the subject to capture the image I want. For some reason, it feels like I’m invading their privacy, and that strikes me as disrespectful. This reluctancy to get close makes me tempted to go for longer focal lengths, so that I can capture my subjects without intruding.

However, if I give in to that shyness, my composition will suffer, and my images will ultimately be less compelling.

The only way out of this situation is to overcome my shyness and prove to myself that it really is ok to take a picture of someone in the street, and that I should not feel ashamed by it. This is something I need to persevere at if I want to become a better photographer, and it all starts by going out on the streets and taking the next picture. And the one after that.

With a wide-angle lens, of course.

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Conjecture Regarding Larger iPhone Displays →

August 26, 2014 |

John Gruber has published an amazingly in-depth analysis about the hypothetical display resolutions that could work well for the upcoming new iPhone models, which are rumored to sport bigger displays, at 4.7 and 5.5 inches.

Gruber’s logic is sound, and I agree with his conclusions. It all hinges on this:

But what they have never done, and I believe never will do, is redefine the virtual point to something other than 1/44th the recommended minimum tap target size for every device.

Tap target size has been a constant since the original iPhone, and with good reason. After all, your fingers haven’t gotten any smaller in the past 8 years, have they?

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Ars Technica reviews the Mi4 →

August 25, 2014 |

This is just surreal:

Everything here is top notch: The best specs, fantastic build quality, a beautiful screen, a dirt cheap price, and software that, while different, works both aesthetically and functionally. If only the company came up with its own hardware design. If Xiaomi ever does apply itself with some original designs, look out world, because this company will be going places.

If you’re going to copy Apple, this is the way to do it: shamelessly, and with zero regard for any possible legal repercussions. When you don’t have to work too hard on the design, you can focus relentlessly on execution. Samsung could learn a thing or two from these guys.

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History of an Icon: La Vespa →

August 22, 2014 |

Barry Lillie:

Only in Italy could an ugly U.S. military motorcycle be the catalyst that led to the creation of a style icon. With over 16 million scooters sold, the Vespa has become synonymous with style, freedom and all things Italian. The name alone conjures up images of beautiful people in beautiful places, an image that was further propagated by Fellini, who had the sultry Anita Ekberg ride one in his cinematic masterpiece La Dolce Vita.

Fascinating read.

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The Phoblographer reviews the new Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 for Micro Four Thirds →

August 22, 2014 |

They seem to like it:

This has to be by far the most solid feeling Micro Four Thirds lens that we’ve ever handled. It feels every bit as solid and well constructed as a Leica lens would–and indeed it is co-branded with a Leica badge. However, it isn’t weather sealed so we need to keep that in mind when shooting.

It clearly looks like a great portrait lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, and almost every reviewer is saying so. However, I find it a bit odd that this review doesn’t mention the Voigtlander 42.5mm f0.95 lens, which in my opinion is the closest competitor of the Nocticron.

Voigtlander lenses are famous for their tank-like build. They’re actually every bit as solid and well-built as the M-mount Voigtlander lenses for the full-frame Leica M system. I have held both lenses in my hand and, while the build quality of the Nocticron is exceptional, it’s still quite a while short of the Voigtlander.

Granted, it’s manual-focus only, but ignoring this lens in such a review feels somewhat wrong.

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