Archives For Photography

Standing Room Only

May 27, 2013 — 5 Comments
Our H.O. Studley Toolchest talk at Handworks was well-attended.

Our H.O. Studley Toolchest talk at Handworks in Amana, IA was well-attended this weekend.
I took this iPhone panorama during Don’s presentation.

My favorite moments? The absolute silence in a barn full of roughly 600 people (so I’m told) during the 15-image slide sequence at the end of my presentation. Seeing some good friends that I don’t get to see often enough. But also getting to meet the many of you who came up to me and introduced yourselves afterwards. Glad you enjoyed the talk.

Henry at Handworks

May 21, 2013 — 2 Comments

This Saturday morning, I will be speaking along with Don Williams and Christopher Schwarz in Amana, Iowa at Handworks, a formidable gathering of people interested in woodworking tools and traditions.

I’m a late addition to the speaker lineup, which is perhaps appropriate because actually–I won’t be speaking that much. Doing most of the speaking for me will be a small selection of the thousands of images I’ve taken in the last two years of the Henry O. Studley Toolchest project. This will be the first time the public has ever seen most of these images, which will likely not be seen again until they are featured in Virtuoso, a book being written by the aforementioned Don Williams and published by Lost Art Press

The Studley Toolchest

I’ve written before about this project and my involvement with it, but I can’t say enough how great it is to work with Don and with Chris (again) and to have the privilege of examining and documenting this national treasure. I’m excited to share that experience and some of its results-to-date with the Handworks audience on Saturday.

Best. Progress. Bar. Ever.

February 15, 2013 — 1 Comment

One of the nice things to come out of the “boutique” app ecosystem is that apps as a whole feel less…corporate. Nothing crushes creativity more than a corporation’s tendency to try and appease everyone not offend anyone (evidence: office art). If a one-person software company wants to make someone smile, they don’t have to go through Legal. Not a lot of smiles in Legal. Lots of hand-wringing and Xanex. There are, however, lots of smiles in HR. But HR smiles are mandated by the people in Legal. It’s a vicious circle.

This screenshot of a progress bar from Acorn (an image editor I use often) is a great example of the kind of thing you can pull off if your approach to products is driven first and foremost by a desire to delight humans:

bit crush

For what it’s worth, I now probably only spend about 25% of my image editing time (both professionally and personally) in Photoshop. That 25% is largely dedicated to print pre-production and advanced image compositing. Photographically, I try to get everything right in the camera, so Aperture’s relatively modest image editing toolset suits me just fine. For everything else, and especially non-photographic imagemaking work, it’s small(ish) Mac apps like Acorn. PixelMator‘s another good one (though for me a little over-designed). Hell, lots of what needs to be done can actually be done in OS X’s Preview these days.

It’s not that Photoshop is a bad tool. It’s the only game in town for that 25%. The other 75%, though, can easily be done in other smaller, cheaper, faster, and more delightful tools. Tools that make me smile. Tools that don’t take an hour to install and six hours to remove. Tools that still have a single-minded sense of purpose, that still work as if doing one thing really, really well is orders of magnitude better than taking a mediocre approach to everything. Tools whose creators or product managers have enough conviction in their product’s longer-term vision (as well as the requisite backbone) to know how to say “no” to feature requests, even if it costs them a sale. Tools whose creators take PayPal and trust you even before that. It’s just like the shareware days but with a real checkout counter.

Don’t even ask me what I use for wireframing. It’s sacrilege.

Harem Skylight, Topkapi Palace

September 11, 2007 — 2 Comments