You’ve got a wide lens and a not so wide lens. Apple keep calling it a telephoto but its not really. It’s a mid-range prime I guess. Apple doesn’t see it as 2 cameras or the ability to swap lenses. Apple sees the dual camera functionality as a zoom lens. The way it works is that every time you open the camera app it defaults to 1x, to the 28mm-ish wide lens. To get to the 56mm-ish lens you have to tap the 1x button changing it to a 2x lens. It’s not wide and zoom. It’s 1x zoom and 2x zoom, like on a bridge camera. I guess I’ve been using primes for too long so I see this more like the ability to switch between lenses but Apple have chosen a different way of thinking about it. I guess its a more consumer focused way of thinking about it.
So Instagram blatantly stole Snapchats best feature, the stories feature. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and my conclusion is that good artists copy, great artists steal. Maybe.
I’ve been a fan of Snapchat since its early days. I read an article that justified its existence in a very simple way. It’s freedom. Almost every social network retains the content you create on it apart from Snapchat. Everything is archived for that day later in life when you or someone else needs it. Now that’s handy but it also means you can’t relax and you can only post the absolutely best things ever. Not with Snapchat. With Snapchat you can post anything and it’s gone a day later. You are free to be silly and stupid. That’s why it’s such a big hit with younger people and confusing for older types. We have to get back into a mindset of being able to enjoy the freedom of being silly. That’s Snapchats key feature and I love it for that. Confusing UI, sure. Annoying content from media you detest, yeah. But an ability to be silly without worry? Amazing.
The other day Andy Adams from FlakPhoto tweeted “I think we’d all agree, #photobook culture is alive and well. But #photoblog culture…?”. It’s a good question. For one it made me wonder when was the last time I actually visited FlakPhoto’s website as I get everything I need from the Twitter or Instagram feed. That is possible where the problem lies. Alternative means of communication.
Earlier this year I was invited to a bloggers event at Sony HQ in London. I think everyone there would agree that blogging is not dead. I guess they are right. There’s probably more Apple bloggers now than in 2004. I know of many people who have made a living from being a pro blogger or a writer with their own space to publish on.
I feel like I’ve lost something. Flickr recently had a redesign but it doesn’t feel like home. It hasn’t for a number of years. Is it due to the design changes or the lack of a community feeling I lost there years ago?
I look around at the new photo sharing sites. 500px, Instagram, Google something something, Facebook (kinda). 500px isn’t home. It’s nicely designed but I don’t feel at home there. Instagram is fun but not home either. It’s a stream of photos by people I follow, which you could argue Flickr is too but Flickr used to have a sense of community that Instagram doesn’t appear to have. Also I look at Instagram with confusion. I don’t understand how someone can get 71,000 followers without posting cat photos constantly and without tagging. Are they bought? How do you even do that? I don’t understand Instagram in that way. Flickr you could sort of understand that people played a game of add to 1,000 groups and toy with tags to get into Explore. I see some people play that on Instagram with tags but when someone hasn’t done that but has a huge following I wonder. Then there’s Facebook. Facebook I keep at arms length. I don’t trust what they’re doing and again it doesn’t feel like home in the way that forums used to. Too high a noise to signal ratio perhaps?
The Futurist cinema on Lime Street. Opened in September 1912, closed in 1982. Photo taken during the 2010 Biennial. The text “Think about your future” is an installation by artist Emese Benczur.
Is this currently the most talked about building in Liverpool? Could the artist Emese Benczur have known how relevant their words would become?
The Futurist is at the centre of a regeneration project on Lime Street by developers Neptune. The developers say that the Futurist will be lost in this regeneration. It’s too costly, too far gone to be saved. So the plan is student flats and retail units. Could it be more than that? Shouldn’t it be more than that? If someone at the other end of the train line thinks “Hey! Cheap tickets to Liverpool this weekend on the train. Lets go!” and travels up here to see our great city, shouldn’t they be welcomed by our great city? They’ll see the grand St Georges Hall and the beautiful new front of Lime Street station but then they would see the new Sainsburys in St Johns. Turning ever so slightly they would see a Tesco or a Costa. “Look ma! Brands.” I don’t know about you but my first impressions of a city shouldn’t be “Yay a Tesco.”
I don’t have resolutions. I believe they’re just trendy ideas with no solid foundation. I’d rather not have a list of things I want to fail at. So I’ve got a list of things I’d like to do this year.
- Make more personal work.
- Try and start my gamer project.
- Exhibit in Look/15.
- 1 roll of film per month.
- Decide whether Baltic is a project or an essay.
- Review the year post in Dec.
- Journal daily. Even if it’s just a photo. DayOne app is brilliant.
- Disconnect and enjoy nothing more than music. Headphones on. Kick back with tunes.
- Photograph more architecture. Properly. No silly angles.
- Blog more. I used to post daily. It would be nice to do more blogging.
I read a post by Matt Gemmell on the issue of blogging with an audience. It echoed my worries about blogging. Second guessing content, focus and direction for the site. So the site will simply be my space and we’ll see where that goes.
That said, what do I want to be known for? Crap street photography? People walking around at f/1.8 with great bokeh and nothing at all happening but the processing hides that? HDR? Over processing? Uber wide angle photos on a 35 degree angle? I’ve done all of these things in the past but in 2015 what do I want to do and be known for?
It’s the start of the new year and I’ve seen a few people start a 365 project. Even though I’ve done one I’m left wondering why?
It took me a few failed attempts to start a 365 and on my 31st birthday I was determined to start and off I went. I ended up accidentally documenting the year I started going out with my wife to be. So I know just how interesting the 365 journey can be.
That said my issue with the 365 in today’s world is that we almost all do a 365 with Instagram. We’ve always got a camera with us to document that random moment. So why even bother to take up a photo diary 365 and post bad photos of crisp packets, the cat doing cute things because you needed a photo or that coffee in Starbucks? You don’t need the pressure of a 365 to force you to take that photo. It’s what we do now. I just photographed my morning cuppa.