Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I usually upgrade my operating system soon after a new version has been released and the discovery of any problems have been reported. Even so, I did have a problem with Snow Leopard OS 10.6 because the install instructions failed to warn users to turn off Time Machine before installing and my result was a burned out Mac and external hard drive. Apple replaced the Mac, but I am still inclined to upgrade to at least keep up with my readers, or ahead of them. But with Lion after reading all of the Apple documentation as well as respected expert commentary, I am not going to upgrade to OS 10.7.
I think I have good practical reasons. One is that most older software applications without Intel processor support that rely on Rosetta to run, may not be useable; and even many more applications may have serious problems including quite a number of Adobe recent versions, not to mention problems even with Microsoft’s Office Suite for the Mac. The second reason is that Apple’s obvious interest and OS design of Lion was to integrate iOS for iPhones and the iPad and the desktop computer system. Well that makes business sense because that would make an Apple desktop computer a lot friendlier and more attractive to the millions of iPhone and iPad users. Interestingly as iPhones and iPads are becoming more popular in business use, experts in the IT industry are writing the most favorable comments about the Lion 10.7 Operating System. My third reason is that many of the internal utilities in the new Lion OS 10.7 are radically changed and more like their counterparts in the iPhone and iPad. This is superficially sensible, but does Apple Mail need to be made simpler and less useful compared to the current 10.6 version users. And finally, do I want or need the navigation “style” of an iPhone that favors use on the run, when my computer never leaves my desk? No I don’t want to re-learn the navigation habits I have refined over the last 20 years.
The one exception of course is if you need to purchase a new Apple Mac you will get Lion like it or not. But there are some reasons then to like it because all the performance advantages in Lion like the more efficient Thunderbolt connectivity system are supported by new hardware improvements that make Lion more truly an advantage.
But still, the majority of iPhone and iPad users are a younger population then the more established Apple desktop computer users. So, is a marriage between a 20 year old and a 40 year old a good match for a happy, stable life? No, it’s even a cultural mismatch. There used to be obvious generation gaps between the young and the old, but that conflict has disappeared because today each generation lives in a different universe.   

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I have a book of essays by photographers about photography in my library that goes back to the early 1890s. Since then numerous photographers and scholars have attempted to define what photography is including Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Susan Sontag, Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes and many more; none of which are in agreement. So there really is not a universal and accepted definition of what photography is. I can only speak of my own understanding of what what photography is through what photography has been to me.
Of course half a century ago when I was beginning my life’s work as a photographer I looked to others for guidance and acceptance. But more than once I was confronted by the old axiom “Art is in the eye of the beholder”, which at first I took as an insult and later realized is an excuse for the observer and says nothing about your images. Yes, I participated in shows and exhibitions in my early days seeking recognition, eavesdropping on the comments of my audiences, and I began to realize others do not recognize anything in common with the images of the world I see. Little by little I gave up showing my work, and I sometimes wonder why my colleagues keep showing theirs.
Of course I publish some of my images within the articles I write about photography, but they have a practical purpose of illustrating graphically what the story is about. What are the results of my tests of tools photographic. So of course I choose those images pragmatically for what they display of what has been done technically. They do not represent what I choose to photograph to express what I see of life and this world.
Upon reflecting on over a half century as a photographer I have come to realize for me photography is my way of engaging life, of connecting with people, places and events. So my photographs are reflections of what I see and recognize in this world that has meaning for me. That others have quite different visions is not a surprise to me, we each live in our own worlds of experience. Sure we share mutually recognized elements, as everyone does except those sad few who hate people and this world we live in. We each have our own strengths in how we engage as we all have different talents and sensibilities. Isn’t that what is expressed in the diversity in all the arts. They express the fact we are all individuals separated from each other by our own uniqueness. But shouldn’t that provide a good reason to appreciate the expressions of others and treasure its diversity? If we all made the same images, spoke the same language, sang the same songs, danced the same steps, life would be an appalling bore and not the exciting challenge to engage that it is.