Make the print

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I had a wonderful day with Lauren and the kids. And it was also a day to be reflective. 

It is no secret, photography has had a massive impact on me.

Sharing photographs and connecting online with others has deeply influenced my professional investments and has enriched my personal life a great deal. 

The overwhelming benefits are too lengthy to describe in this post. It’s obvious with the massive rise in photography that many of us feel the same way.

We have figured out how to create, publish and connect. And many have figured out how to back up and archive.

But there is something missing. Backing up is critical but I’m not convinced it’s sufficient. When I leave this planet how will my children and future grandchildren browse my photographs. Will they want to comb through Adobe Lightroom files on my computer? Or go through countless JPEG and RAW files?

It doesn’t feel like they will want to do that. 

So I’m thinking backing up is really for me and for right now. It’s less compelling to others in the future.

I think the thing missing are the prints. Photographs need to be printed. Hand someone a print and watch their reaction.

I confess I am out of practice when it comes to making prints with any regularity. Printing is much harder than a quick post on your favorite social network. My closest printing attempt is the annual holiday photo calendar I make for my parents and Lauren’s mom each Christmas

But I’m going to make a new start.

Each month I’m going to pick my favorite 36 photographs. Sometimes it might be less. But not more than 36.

Then at the end of the year I am going to make a photo book with these photographs. And that will be the thing we can have to enjoy, cherish, smile and cry. 

I am happy we are all taking so many photographs. It’s wonderful we are getting more creative as a connected society. Just don’t forget to make the prints.

Some thoughts about Apple

Over the Christmas holiday we were in New Zealand and at one point I wanted to write a quick post but there was an issue with the wifi in my room.

So I went down to the lobby and wrote the post on the HP computer in the lobby that was set up for hotel guests.

It was a relatively new machine but the display was unbearable poor. My photographs looked absolutely awful and it made me so uncomfortable to look at them in that environment. It was jarring. 

The quality of Apple products is something we often take for granted. 

That leads me to some thoughts about Apple’s latest products — the new 12″ Macbook and the Apple Watch.

These products won’t work for everyone to be sure. And in fact, most people will be uncomfortable buying these first generation machines.

But I don’t think that is the important thing to consider with these latest products.

The important thing is Apple is the most valuable and profitable technology company on the planet with the largest balance sheet we have seen. And they are still making bold products that are as daring & risky as ever.

This is the same company that added a Firewire port before everyone, the same company that nuked the floppy, and very the same company that removed the optical disk drive. It’s the same company that risk cannibalizing their successful products with new categories all the time.

It would be easy for them to sit back, count the profits and provide incremental new product releases. Or announcing products that never make it to market. 

But they aren’t doing that. They are putting their reputation on the line and trying to deliver the goods. 

I recently listened to the John Gruber’s podcast, The Talk Show when he interviewed Phil Schiller, Apple’s long time Vice President of Marketing. It’s a compelling interview and I encourage you all to listen to it. 

The most memorable part for me was this passionate sentiment from Phil, via the transcript on iMore:

What the design team first envisioned when we started working on MacBook was to say, “If all we do is incremental, slight change—where’s the excitement, and where’s the value of Apple pushing things forward? We need to take bold risks. If people don’t like it, well they can keep buying the MacBook Air, they can keep buying the MacBook Pro—but why don’t we design a product that’s around this wireless world, that has, really, no physical connection that you need. You can get by without ever needing that. Wouldn’t that be a better world?”

And in doing that, we realized “Yeah, but we do need to charge it, so let’s go create this one port that can charge, and be USB, and be your video out, and that way, if you need to connect, you can—you’re not giving that up—but this is really designed…” And if you do that, how far can you push it? How thin can it get, how light can it get, how aggressive a design can it be?

And I think if… I’m in my job for one reason: because I’m a customer like all of you. I love these products. I love this company. I want this company to be the best Apple can ever be. And one of the ways it can be the best Apple can ever be is to take bold risks, and try to think of new things that others aren’t willing to do.

“Wouldn’t that be a better world”

I love that line.

Keep in mind Phil has been with at Apple during its darkest moments all the way to it’s current day raging success story. He obviously does not need to work anymore. But he cares, a great deal. You can feel it in this sentiment above and during the entire interview. And he is part of a company that is pushing forward with bold ideas when they don’t have to. 

That is so inspiring to me.

Now to be clear, I am not an Apple fan boy. I use gmail, chrome, hangout, calendar all day and every day. I’m absolutely delighted with those products. 

But if I had to pick one company that I admire a great deal right now it’s Apple. 

When a watch beats a phone

I have been using an Apple Watch for the past month. I thought I wouldn’t care for it since I adore mechanical watches.

The iPhone is easily my favorite consumer product of all time. It’s hard to describe how much of an impact it has brought and continues to deliver on a daily basis.

But there are times when a watch beats a phone. In my personal experience here are the experiences when that is true:

-Apple Passport. Using your wrist for TSA and to board a plane is amazing.

-Maps. Getting turn by turn notifications and physical taps on your wrist feels so natural and helpful.

-Receiving txt messages and responding with brief preset messages or emoji is a huge improvement.

-Siri on Apple Watch beats Siri on my phone. No idea why but I use Siri a ton more

-Controlling music. I listen to music every day on my phone. Being able to skip a track, control the audio and see the artist and song information on my wrist is great.

-Foursquare notifications. Getting push notification when I am walking near a restaurant or into a restaurant with a tip feels truly magical.

-Fitness stuff. No brainier. Little watch is way better than dealing with a big honking phone on a run.

-Telling the time :)

And for a first generation product, that ain’t bad.