Sony releases new FE-mount lenses for A7 series cameras →

March 05, 2015 |

The Sony A7 series just got a whole lot more interesting. Sony has released a few more native lenses for their full frame mirrorless cameras, including an affordable 28mm f/2 Sony lens and a mouth-watering Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 lens which, according to Steve Huff, is the best 35mm lens he’s ever shot with.

I’ve always liked the A7 series but up until now, I’d never really considered them a viable choice for me. That was in no small part for the lack of a truly outstanding 35mm lens for the system, which is the single biggest complaint I still have about Micro Four Thirds. With this release, Sony scores a huge win in my book. Next time I’m in the market for a serious camera, I’ll make sure I take a good long look at them, because this changes everything.

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The Escalating Scale of Drunkenness →

March 05, 2015 |

Ryan D’Agostino, Esquire Magazine:

Empirically, there is no better number of drinks than three. Three drinks shoves you right up to the blurry border between you and drunkenness, a line in the sand that’s been washed over by a wave — you can still see it, but barely. It’s a thrilling place to be. You’re flying, feeling it, maybe spitting out the wrong word every now and then, maybe calling your sister for no reason, but you could still operate a forklift if you really had to. You can still hit the dartboard. One fewer and you’re drinking responsibly; one more and you’re walking on your knees and suggesting everybody go for karaoke.

Sounds like a solid approach to me. Via Mark Bylok.

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The allure of smoke →

March 04, 2015 |

Matt Gemmell:

It damages us, and we’re better off without it; the debate has long since concluded. But it’s also evocative, and beautiful.

Tobacco smoke is the smell of a fading age, drawn in darker colours and more elegant lines.

Agreed, so very much. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and yet, somehow, there’s something about the imagery of smoking I’ve always found deeply fascinating.

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Humans suck at everything that’s important →

March 04, 2015 |

David Cain:

Essentially, this higher territory is what we call morality, and I think we tend to greatly overestimate how good we are at it. We’re a species who, as I point out frequently, can barely uphold our New Year’s commitments to ourselves, yet we seem to expect everyone else to be more or less upstanding and incorruptible. Why am I so frequently appalled by how thoughtlessly other people park their cars, when I don’t think twice about spending thirty dollars on beer instead of feeding the starving?

Food for thought.

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The depressing rise of Squiggletecture →

March 03, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen takes the NEP Bridge competition to the woodshed:

What is up with these squiggles?! It’s perfectly fine to think out of the box. Not much gets accomplished if you don’t. But there is a clear, and perhaps, disturbing trend which I have hereby dubbed Squiggletecture. There is an alarming number of renderings that have discarded straight lines.

What is a bridge? Isn’t it just a vital mobility link from one side of a body of water to another? Isn’t that really the baseline for every decent bridge in history? Look at a map of Paris or any other city with bridges. They are straight. From one shore to the other. Providing no-nonsense A to B for the people using it. Only then do differences in design and aesthetics come into play.

Look at the selection of designs, above. A2Bism had a cement block chained to its feet and it was thrown into the river. It’s sleeping with the fishes.

I’ve long been a skeptic of modern architectural design. Every time an architect starts thinking outside the box, I tremble in fear. Some of these bridge designs are so unbelievably awful that they even cross the line into technical incompetence:

The ramps. Seriously. Look at all those squiggletecture ramps. Round and round we go, slowly descending to the river bank like a flower petal on a summer breeze. Not exactly what any human in a city wants, now is it? Then look at some of those sharp turns on the bicycle ramps. Best Practice for grade and curves on bicycle infrastructure has been around for almost a century. Would it have hurt to spend a little while on Google? Or on a bicycle? Unbelievable.

Unbelievable, indeed.

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Federico Viticci’s Life After Cancer →

March 03, 2015 |

Federico Viticci tells the story of his incredible, life-altering experience of dealing with cancer at a young age, and how the iPhone is helping him adopt a healthy lifestyle.

There are iPhones and iPads and many other devices in the article but more than anything, this is a story about life, and how nothing should be taken for granted.

If you can only read one thing today, let it be this.

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Michael Fraser goes to Italy →

March 02, 2015 |

Great trip, gorgeous photographs:

For this trip, I decided to pack three cameras and three lenses:

  1. The Leica M-E with the Canon 50 f/1.4,
  2. The Leica MP with the Voigtlander Nokton 35 f/1.4, and
  3. The Hasselblad 500c/m with the Zeiss 80 f/2.8 CF Planar

Michael makes a very compelling case that film and digital should’t be mutually exclusive. If you can enjoy both formats for what they are, theres’s really no reason to limit yourself to one of them.

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‘Bicycle Diaries’, by David Byrne →

March 02, 2015 |

I came across this book while doing some research for a bicycle-related photography project I’m dreaming up for the next few months. From the official website:

Since the early 1980s, David has been riding a bike as his principal means of transportation in New York City. Two decades ago, he discovered folding bikes and started taking them with him when travelling around the world. DB’s choice was initially made out of convenience rather than political motivation, but the more cities he saw from his bicycle, the more he became hooked on this mode of transport and the sense of liberation, exhilaration, and connection it provided. This point of view, from his bike seat, became his panoramic window on urban life, a magical way of opening one’s eyes to the inner workings and rhythms of a city’s geography and population.

I ordered it on Amazon as soon as I read that. I have a feeling this is going to be a great read. Stay tuned for more detailed commentary; I’ll probably have a lot to say when I’m done reading it.

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Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ photo gallery →

March 02, 2015 |

You’ve probably seen this already, especially considering that John Gruber linked to it and even Tim Cook himself tweeted about it, but I had to post it anyway. This is an amazing photo gallery of pictures shot exclusively on the new iPhone 6.

Some of these are so good that it’s hard to believe they came out of a smartphone camera, but the great thing about them is not that they’re technically great pictures, but that they’re creatively amazing as well.

It’s good to know that the iPhone 6 camera is technically impressive, but no amount of camera gear will ever be able to replace a photographer’s creativity and artistic vision. Apple’s gallery does a fantastic job of telling that story.

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‘Dress Color’ by xkcd →

February 27, 2015 |

For the past 24 hours, the entire Internet has been up in arms over a dress. More specifically, over the color of a dress. I kid you not. Here’s the offending image:

Apparently, about half the people on the Internet look at that image and swear — swear, I tell you — that the dress is white and gold. The other half, however, are just as passionate when they claim the dress is blue and black. Whatever camp you’re in, something is off. Clearly the Internet loves a heated discussion, but how can this be? Luckily, xkcd has the answer to this puzzling enigma:

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