I Could Do That

This is a brilliant video from PBS Digital Studios that examines the common reaction to at least some artwork: I could do that, or, my 4 year old could do that.

There has probably always been a cultural bias favoring things that are made that require obvious technical skill and practice (and maybe what we call “talent”). Of course, just because someone has skill, doesn’t mean that the things they make will be useful or aesthetically pleasing. Being able to draw realistically is a great skill but choosing what to draw is just if not more important.

Same with photography: knowing how to adjust the camera to get a perfectly exposed image doesn’t in any way give you the skill to point the camera in the right direction and push the shutter button at the right time.

And, in this world of social media and popularity contests, just because something is popular online doesn’t mean it’s a work of art. On the other hand, not all works of art that are put on a pedestal deserve to remain on their pedestals.

Oh boy…

[via PetaPixel]

Morning clouds over Los Angeles

Morning clouds

Los Angeles, California.

For the past few years my routine trips to LA to visit my mother have been on United in “economy plus” which gives a bit more legroom. I used to get regular business class upgrades but United started charging both miles and money so I skip them.

I have to have an aisle seat; at my age I can’t make it across without using the restroom at least once. This flight was overbooked and after everyone got settled a gate agent came on board and moved me to a remaining business-class seat which was a window but which I gladly took. While getting up to pee mid-flight involved intricate gymnastics to climb over my deeply sleeping row-mate, I did get to do a bit of shooting out the window which I enjoyed doing in years past and missed.

Taking off from LAX on a 6:00 am flight affords some great morning light. Even though the right wing and engine was in my way I knew the Ricoh GR had enough resolution to afford cropping so all I really had to do was get the metering right so the wing and engine didn’t affect what I wanted from the clouds and make sure the camera didn’t focus on the window.

Small squall, small island

Two Kinds of People

João Rocha’s fun Tumbler blog: Two Kinds of People.

Core77 has a great post on both the designer and the idea of the blog: What Does the Way That You Interact With Objects Say About Your Personality?

I didn’t respond to all of them but here’s my list:

  • #034: I have a relatively clean desktop on my Mac
  • #029: I try to shoot landscape with my iPhone
  • #028: I rarely use “I’m feeling lucky”
  • #027: I store my photographs digitally and in print form
  • #026: I try to rename files I’ve downloaded so they make sense to me later
  • #025: I put ketchup on the side of fries (not on top)
  • #022: I like toilet paper over, not under
  • #021: I eat the point of the pizza first
  • #017: Over the ear, not buds
  • #016: Richard and Anne’s House (network name)
  • #015: Tabs, not new windows in browser
  • #014: Apple case on iPhone
  • #013: Watch more on HD TV/Apple TV than computer or iPad although watch on iPad on planes
  • #012: Cut sandwiches both ways although mostly perpendicular to side of bread
  • #010: Bookmarks, not dog ears
  • #009: Own automatic and stick but prefer automatic (although old enough so that wasn’t always the case)
  • #008: Break chocolate off square, no biting
  • #007: Fork although enjoy chopsticks from time to time
  • #005: Analog watch (if I had an Apple Watch it would have an analog face)
  • #004: Some iOS home screen icons have badges showing (not all)
  • #003: One alarm, no snooze
  • #001: Mixed icons and folders on iPhone and iPad