Henri Cartier-Bresson “Pen, Brush and Camera”

This is a terrific documentary on the life and work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, arguably one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century (to which he humbly says: “bullshit!”).

It’s close to an hour long so make the time for it and I can say without a doubt that it’s well worth seeing.

Cartier-Bresson had a background in fine arts which informed his work but he was also a great humanist which also informed his work. He was a founder of Magnum one of the top photo agencies in the world.

He remains one of my favorite photographers and personalities: a humble man who has influenced generations of photographers and people in all branches of the arts.

[via PetaPixel]

Is Netflix about to drop DVDs (again)?

Let me preface this by saying I love Netflix: I love the process, I love the depth of their DVD library, I love their new streaming content, and coupled with AppleTV it’s a great service. When Netflix works right it’s one of the best services out there.

That said, in the past year they’ve been moving toward demoting their DVD service and it looks like they’re working on a way to drop it without causing as much of a stir as they did the last time they tried this (remember Qwikster?).

For a detailed history: Wikipedia: Netflix.

On their web site, the DVD queue is now a separate list and that part of their web site is at dvd.netflix.com.

When I called Netflix to report a problem getting DVDs in my queue I first got connected to someone from the streaming end, then I waited with muzak while they transferred me to the DVD end. This seems to point to the idea that they are less concerned with the DVD service than they have been in the past.

When I told Netflix about slow service they pointed to the US Post Office and it may be true that the Post Office is responsible for the slowness but its not responsible for the web site and the support phone tree. Something is going on.

One thing that’s happened in the past year is the US Post Office’s various services have changed, consolidated, and gotten worse. I love the Post Office and use it a lot but it doesn’t take heavy use to see that either they’re being starved by a Congress who won’t adequately fund them, and/or, they’re simply not a well run organization, or most probably, a bit of both.

In the old days (mid year last) the DVD disc turn around for Netflix was almost overnight for me. That has slid to a week or more.

Netflix says they’re working with the Post Office to resolve this but my guess is Reed Hastings (CEO) who tried to dump DVDs before and undid the change because of universal negative user feedback now has the cover to dump DVDs and I think he’s gearing up to do it.

This would be a shame because Netflix does not offer the depth in their streaming service that they do through DVDs. This is partly because the internet is feeling the strain of so much streaming, and partly because distribution agreements don’t allow streaming of all content.

If Netflix is going to offer a service, it ought to work correctly or they should fix it, and if they can’t fix it then drop it. This slowly cutting off the oxygen to the DVD service is a bad idea. Netflix has great content, but in my mind, the process is at least part of their product.

Fulton Center staircase and reflection

Fulton Center staircase and reflection

Fulton Center staircase, ceiling, and reflection taken with Ricoh GR

This is one of many images I recently shot of the Fulton Center subway hub in lower Manhattan.

This was shot under the circular staircase which from this angle looks flat. The right side is a reflection of the rotunda on the glass outer wall of the elevator.

The hub is easy to get to on a variety of subways and it’s location is at the heart of all sorts of interesting photo walks in New York: City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Center, Battery Park, Wall Street and much more.

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Anne coming up a steep section of trail, Sony RX100 III

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

My wife swore she’d never hike in the snow or go snowshoeing. But, over the past year she’s been hiking a lot in this great place right down the road from our house. So, what better way to get her to experiment with snowshoeing than to do it at a familiar place.

I figured we’d walk around the hayfield there but we made it all the way to the top. Not a long hike and one she’s done dozens of times before, but in snow it’s a bit tougher. She did very well and I hope she’ll continue with this.

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Anne on top of Waramaug Rock coming down to the edge for a better view, Sony RX100 III

Apple updates Yosemite and iOS 8

For those of you who are Mac OS Yosemite and/or iOS 8 users, the two software updates that Apple posted yesterday seem (to me) to have fixed many if not all of the problems I was having with both my computer and my iPhone 5S and iPad Air 2.

Mac OS X version 10.10.2 is the update and it can be gotten through the App store and software update.

My computer wasn’t re-connecting to my network after sleeping and I was restarting it multiple times a day to remain connected. That problem is gone now; wake from sleep is faster and the network connection is solid.

iOS 8.1.3 seems to have fixed the networking problems I was having with both my iPhone and my iPad and I’m remaining connected to iCloud (so far). I had random disconnects on my iPhone. Time will tell if that got fixed.

I’m delighted that Apple released the Mac OS update given the fact that they sold 74 million iPhones last quarter and the iPhone made up 69% of Apple amazing revenue, it’s a wonder anyone at Apple is paying attention to the Mac anymore but they are and I’m delighted as I’m a Mac user first and foremost, an iOS user second. Of course, no matter how much revenue an Apple device brings in, it should work as well as possible at all times and software updates to get rid of bugs are important. Thank you Apple.

For more on Apple’s fiscal Q1 statement, see this amazing list at 9to5Mac. Wow.