Movie Director Portraits →

March 18, 2015 |

Whoa. These portraits of legendary movie directors Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, drawn by Julian Rentzch, are absolutely mesmerizing. If you’d like one — and let’s be honest, you probably do — the limited edition prints can be purchased at Stellavie for 90€ each.

Via Coudal.

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The Photographers who Documented the Birth of Street Style →

March 17, 2015 |

Rozena Crossman, writing at Messy Nessy Chic, tells the remarkable story of the Séeberger brothers:

No one would have guessed that Jules, Louis and Henri were of modest origins, originally fine art students until 1903 when Jules began shooting photos around Montmartre.

Eventually his brothers tagged along, as younger siblings do. Jules and Henri entered Paris’ annual photo contest in 1904; by 1905, the three of them created a family-run photography atelier at 33 rue de Charbrol in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Postcards were their trade, and they traveled around France to capture the country at the turn of the century.

Four years later they were discovered by the head of the fashion magazine La Mode Pratique. Looking for a way to keep up with the latest trends, the magazine commissioned the Séebergers to shoot photos of socialites showing off their impeccable taste at the races in the Bois de Boulogne. The brothers called their new work “instantanés de Haute-Mode” or “snapshots of high fashion.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Is the Full Frame Mirrorless System Really Smaller and Lighter? →

March 17, 2015 |

Great article by Simon Patterson over at FStop Lounge that seriously trolls Betteridge’s Law of Headlines:

For example, the Sony A7R weighs less than half a Nikon D810 and the Sony A7II takes up about half as much space in the camera bag than a Canon 5D MK III. If we only want a smaller and lighter full-frame camera body, we’d definitely go for the mirrorless camera. But this is only part of the story. What about the lenses?

Much has been said about the advantages of mirrorless cameras but at the end of the day, a full frame lens is a full frame lens no matter how you slice it. And what that means, sadly, is that when you account for the lenses, you don’t get to save much in the way of size and weight by picking a Sony A7 II over a DSLR.

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Glenn Fleishman on newsletters and podcasts →

March 16, 2015 |

Glenn Fleishman, writing on Six Colors:

The ability to have a relatively high degree of leverage — if one can attract good numbers of listeners and those listeners have an interest in the goods and services — makes an editorial site as much an advertisement for listening to the podcast as the other way around.

This is an interesting point. When you think of shows like ATP or The Talk Show, that generate multi-thousand dollar revenues per episode, is it still realistic to consider them side businesses? At what point do those shows eclipse their respective creators’ “main gigs”?

The tech industry is still shifting to accommodate podcasts — and, to a lesser extent, newsletters — in our consciousness. We still don’t have a well defined role for them and there’s not universal agreement on what their long-term significance in the great scheme of things will be, but it’s safe to say they’re not playing second fiddle to any other medium anymore, and that’s a wonderful thing.

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Inside the Mad, Mad World of TripAdvisor →

March 16, 2015 |

Tom Vanderbilt has a great article on the meteoric rise of TripAdvisor:

Those reviews carry demonstrable weight. A study by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research found that for every percentage point a hotel improves its online reputation, its “RevPAR” (revenue per available room) goes up by 1.4 percent; for every point its reputation improves on a five-point scale, a hotel can raise prices by 11 percent without seeing bookings fall off. This has been a boon for smaller, midpriced, independently owned hotels. “Twenty years ago, the brands owned the sense of quality,” says Bjorn Hanson, a professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. “If I stayed at a big-name hotel, I knew what I was getting.” That sense of confidence in quality, argues Hanson, has been supplanted by TripAdvisor. Not only can there be variation within a brand, but suddenly that quirky hotel that was once the obscure favorite of a single guidebook gets lifted to market prominence.

There’s a flip side to this story. TripAdvisor has a huge influence over hotels, to the point where it sometimes may be considered unfair. This has become an industry where negative TripAdvisor reviews routinely cost people their jobs. A good friend of mine works as a hotel director and she always tells me that the single thing they fear most is a negative review on TripAdvisor. Due to the way ratings work, a pissed-off customer can single-handedly ruin a small hotel’s reputation on a whim, and they’re basically defenseless against that.

Via The Loop.

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The Evolution of Steve Jobs →

March 16, 2015 |

Rick Tetzeli, co-author of the upcoming book Becoming Steve Jobs, aptly dismantles the many myths surrounding Jobs’s public persona in a fantastic piece for Fast Company:

What emerged from these exclusive interviews—with Jony Ive and Tim Cook, Bill Gates and Bob Iger, and others, including Steve’s widow, Laurene Powell Jobs—was a very different picture of Jobs. Steve was someone with a deep hunger for learning, who breathed in an education wherever he could find it, from his youthful pilgrimage to India to his key mentors and his longtime colleagues at NeXT, Pixar, and Apple. Powell Jobs goes so far as to call him a “learning machine.” He learned from his many failures and relentlessly applied those lessons. This wasn’t an obvious process—Steve always preferred to talk about the future rather than the past, so there are very few examples of him reflecting on his triumphs and missteps, or acknowledging a lesson learned. But like most of us, he tried to use what he learned to take better advantage of his strengths and temper his weaknesses. It was a lifelong effort, and, like most of us, he succeeded in some ways and failed in others.

A fascinating read.

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The Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 vs the 14mm and 20mm pancakes →

March 13, 2015 |

Interesting comparison by Tyson Robichaud:

I think the 15mm is more a replacement for a lens like the 14mm or 17mm’s of the system, but seeing as I also have the Pana-Leica 25mm lens, I can more easily justify passing the 20mm along as well. I’ve already sold and reacquired my older, original 20mm, which I then sold again after getting the newer version 2, so I do have some type of connection to that lens as I feel it has been one of the best balances of size, speed and quality for the system since it’s original release all those years ago. That said, I think this new 15mm, coupled with my ownership of that 25mm lens, will not allow the 20mm to get the exercise it deserves, but that isn’t to say that we couldn’t also be having a conversation that for a more budget minded shooter, the 20mm could be an ample replacement for both the PL 15mm f/1.7 and PL 25mm f/1.4, so having to deal with these types of quandaries in a system is pretty awesome.

If you own several lenses in a similar focal length, streamlining your kit is always a good thing to consider.

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Bill Watterson on the new ‘Exploring Calvin and Hobbes’ →

March 12, 2015 |

Great article by Michael Cavna for The Washington Post. “Exploring Calvin and Hobbes” is a new book by Bill Watterson and Robb Jenny which is meant as a companion to the extensive Calvin and Hobbes exhibition at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at Ohio State University. The book is a wonderful trip down memory lane but perhaps best of all, it includes the first truly comprehensive interview with Bill Watterson in over 20 years:

For years, the cartoonist didn’t make public comments. Now, in a single wide-ranging and revealing and illuminating and engrossing and self-deprecating and poignant and, of course, deeply funny interview, Watterson has proved more generous than we perhaps could have ever hoped for.

Bill Watterson has delivered a gift, a trip down memory lane that is populated densely on each side with personal and professional insights — some grippingly specific, some that ring universal, many that resonate as both.

If this isn’t an instant buy, I don’t know what is.

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