I loved the updates that came out of Apple this week, when my iTouch goes bang I will have to get the new version with camera and 64gb of storage.
However, the release of the new version of Apple TV has been a bit underwhelming to say the least, I was hoping for something much more ground breaking, it resulted in a bit of “pub chat” around the media business and then on how the big established businesses are generally reacting to new business models.
It is clear that the Movie companies (Hollywood) the TV Companies and the Music Companies are in a panic over their strangle hold over the distribution of content being taken away from them. Over the past few years the scramble to create ever more complex delivery channels that they (the big Media) control but operate in the same manner as the Movie theatre, the TV station and even the newspaper has been carrying on with the public not falling for it. A much quoted example of the effort of protectionism is that of Murdoch who is currently charging for a subscription to the online version of The Times newspaper, he believes that pointing to content on his free versions of on-line publications via search engines like Google is theft. The man is a deluded but powerful media mogul and will attempt to twist the internet and the devices we use to restrict the access to specific types of content (charging rates for access to music, images, newspapers, email etc etc) making sure that he owns the delivery and will charge us and any intermediary for the privilege. This stifles freedom to create content and ultimately freedom of speech. I don’t want my politicians having to be in the pocket of a media mogul.
So I thought that the Apple TV would provide a number of things that cut through all this even though it’s still a restricted apple environment and uppermost would be apps, with maybe HBO, ABC, Pixar, BBC (love the BBC) but also independent content from the individual content providers as well as aggregated apps that would allow us to choose and pay for content. We could even pre pay before content is created. Take for example some bands that have already taken subscriptions from their fans to pay for the production of an album, I could see fans of a book converting that to a film, trekkies would certainly pay to get another series of the ground. Maybe Abrams wouldn’t have to go to Universal to make his next series he would ask the fans to subscribe. Now maybe PING is the start of this but signing up to a social networking area that is in a walled garden sticks in the throat somewhat but I can see where it is going.
So, will I buy the little black hockey puck that is the Apple TV, well I have to confess that I still have a CRT TV, a great telly that I bought nearly 10 years ago and I will not buy a flat screen HD TV until that goes bang or the proposition makes me want to. Basically it’s all about the content.
There is still nothing to beat pouring over a great large format photo book something by Cartier Bresson, or Nick Knight or similar, wonderfully printed on amazing paper, in your hands and a delight to the eye these provide inspiration for projects or ideas for a paid shoot.
As taking a big heavy book with me on the train which, and also thinking about it, it would be a bit conspicuous me keenly focusing on an image in a big book at my desk, is a little impractical at best. I have like most people used lunch time, early morning and those 5 minute breaks to look at various blogs and websites for inspiration. Nose pressed up against lap top. In the evening I take myself to my lovely iMac screen and gaze and read at leisure.
I have hundreds of websites and blogs tagged and I love browsing peoples work to see what they are up to, how busy they are and what challenges are being dealt with. It’s a weird mixture of interaction and, almost, voyeurism. I love seeing the amazing images, styles and enthusiasm that is being generated by a variety of image makers, geeks, wedding planners, style gurus and futurologists (is that really a word?)
So having said that I need to give some recommendations I guess. People I keep coming back to are the wonderful Jeff Ascough who provides wonderful wedding images http://jeffascough.typepad.com/ and advice on photo bags J (got to be a fetish). I always come back to Jessica Weiser I love her images http://www.fideliophotography.com/ have a look at the blog page and lovely image of the child holding a plate up, I love it.
The other blog/website I visit regularly (in my top 3) is http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/about/ which is amazing and brings out entirely the wrong emotions in a 6 foot 5 inch bloke. I wish I had this advice 5 years ago at our wedding.
So with a couple more weddings, portraits and children (existing and due) to capture in the coming months I am sure these guys will influence my style.
It’s an odd thing that when you have a baby, from the very first seconds their lives are recorded. I took the first picture of our little boy Luke when he was only seconds old and now I have literally thousands of pictures of him. We have our second baby due in November and I expect the number of shots to equal those of Luke. As with any photo shoot when you go in for the second opportunity the lessons of the first are learnt and I will be looking for ever more dynamic, creative shots. Maybe Lisa will bat me back from the photo journo action shots though, if you get my drift.
We have just come back from a week at Centerparcs and it was lovely, even though it rained torrents for a couple of days it didn’t seem to matter. Luke was far too excited by the Ducks, Squirrels, and Dinner out with Mum and Dad and of course the exciting swimming pool (slides, wave machine etc etc) to be bothered by a little thing like rain.
I didn’t take more than my LX3 it’s a great camera and in my view the thing you take on a family holiday. I got a few family movies lots of pictures of Luke on the back of my bike and some of squirrels and light dappling through the trees (couldn’t help myself) though what made me chuckle were the number of men (no women) wandering around with a massive lens and camera equipment. I saw many groups of kids and mums being set up for a shot and bemused Ducks with a lens shoved in their bills as Dads were going for the nature shot. More power to them of course, it’s their holiday too and if they want to take their camera and get some great family shots then why not. Though, I wonder if the family group shots may resemble the shots taken in the forties and fifties, you know the type five or six stiff and bored people waiting for the shot to be taken.
Anyway, I will pack two full frame bodies, 5 lenses, a couple of flashes, three tripods and some neat backgrounds for the birth. Will I get away with that???