The year is drawing to a close, the next issue of Biryulek will be released in 2021. Usually, in such cases, it is customary to summarize, share plans, but we will definitely not do this. The results of 2020 are published in separate articles for each of the directions, and there will be more than a dozen such materials, we are still only half way.
Therefore, the issue will be familiar, but I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. I will save my wishes for the last lines of Spillikins, so as not to start the release on a high note. And we will start the usual text about life, technology and you and me. Go!
- The disappearing profession of photographer – documentary photography
- And again about AirPods Max – the opinion of Mikhail Borzenkov
- MacBook Pro 2020 on Apple M1 – about the operating time and other little things
- Books. Anders Hansen, “On the Digital Needle”
The disappearing profession of photographer – documentary photography
In one of our sitcoms (“The Ideal Family”), a mother asks her daughter: “Who do you want to be?” In response, it is heard that there are many professions in the world, you can become a blogger, photographer, prostitute. Most of all, the mother is upset that the child wants to become a blogger. You can ironically about this for as long as you like, but the world has changed, and many children sincerely want to become bloggers, as a beautiful life awaits them, dolce vita without any discounts. Children do not understand that this is a beautiful story, which often has nothing real behind it.
My close friend works with the media, including bloggers, sees the inside of this world, how individual media stars are begged in the truest sense of the word. She is a source of income for them, as she posts advertising integrations on social networks. But her child believes that life was a success for them, since the picture looks attractive, and the reality, due to the lack of life experience, is incomprehensible. The world has changed a lot, and social networks have made other people’s “lives” available to us, now the competition in vanity takes place not at the level of a village or urban area, but in fact with the whole world. And by definition, it is impossible to win in this competition, and in my opinion, even the very attempt of such a game is doomed to failure – there is no goal, there is no point in participating in this. But this is my reasoning about everyday life, young people, of course, think exactly the opposite. But youth is an ephemeral substance, and it quickly ends, and then real life begins with all the roughness and sharp turns.
Let’s leave bloggers aside, since hundreds of people were able to do this by profession, for the rest it is a pursuit of an unattainable ideal. Let’s talk about such a profession as a photographer, because in many ways it has turned into a disappearing nature, albeit with certain reservations. Photographers today in some ways repeat the fate of artists at the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, there are too many of them, and the emerging photography has supplanted fine art, largely removed its applied meaning. The layman could henceforth choose what he wants to see in his living room, a ceremonial portrait of a family or a photograph. The pictures were not publicly available, but they outperformed the paintings both in price and in image realism. Modern technologies take away the bread from professional photographers, as they allow you to get high-quality photos even on a regular phone. But the quality of the pictures is not so important here, what is important is that it was the phones that taught thousands of people to take pictures and not be afraid of this process. The raid of a certain mystery flew from the profession. And the advent of digital photography simplified the process as much as possible, the need to fiddle with the film, refuel the developer tank in the dark, dry the film and then, locked in the bathroom, print pictures, dropping the paper into the cuvettes with the developer, and then with the fixer, disappeared. My childhood was spent in the bathroom, where on Saturday I could put Leningrad-2 and print pictures; on other days there was no time for that. I was looking forward to the weekend, as it was possible to snap off one film (36 frames!), Develop the film from the previous week and tinker with the pictures. The aesthetics of black-and-white photography mercilessly highlights all the flaws of the frame, teaches us to look at the world a little differently. In addition to the fact that my grandfather and father were fond of photography and the availability of all the tools became an opportunity for me to immerse myself in this world, it attracted me myself. As a child, I dreamed of learning to draw, but I never managed to draw the way I wanted. Photography has replaced drawing for me, made it possible to work with the outside world, the ability to capture a picture and how I see the world itself. Of course, for myself, and not for some contests, awards and the like. Hobby, if I may say so.
Color photography was an unattainable ideal, my father mastered the process, but did not like to tinker, too long and dreary. I was not allowed to go to this, and when I grew up, somehow by itself it was not up to that, and a huge number of automated laboratories appeared, where they printed color photographs from your film. The dreary printing process was removed from brackets, it was simplified as much as possible. Digital photography has simplified everything even more, but most importantly, it has taught many people not to be afraid to take pictures, and has brought them into the profession.
Someone began to shoot weddings, someone – to try to create and take interesting pictures of the world around them. There are a lot of good photographers around us, there are hundreds, if not thousands of them. There are dozens of genius photographers all over the planet, but that’s okay. At photo exhibitions where photographs from the 50s and 60s are exhibited, visitors’ comments are often heard: I can do this too, what is special about this photo?
People do not understand that the technology of that time did not allow getting a snapshot, they had to tinker with the exposure, aperture, and set everything in manual mode. Today, most of the settings are done for us by automation, and the manual mode is extremely rare even for a few.
A photographer needs to have a name in order to earn his living with this craft. This means participating in contests, winning, being active in the get-together. The history of art salons is being repeated, in which the destinies of artists were decided and their value in the market was determined. Today there is something similar with photographers, there is a surplus of them, and as such there is no work for the majority. You can blame the pandemic for this, but it all started much earlier, and this crisis just accelerated the process.
A great illustration of the crisis of photography as a craft is a story that happened to me in Los Angeles. One day I got out to the Art District for another batch of new graffiti, which the area abounds in. Dropped the car outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall, took the camera on his shoulder, and walked downstairs to Little Tokyo. I love downtown, I love to wander here and I know it well. By the time I got to the corner of the art district, I was ripe for coffee. There is just a small coffee shop on the edge, a trendy establishment with all kinds of pastries, tricky names for coffee drinks and a few tables outside. Noon is not the time when tourists fill these streets, there are more of them by about three o’clock, but for now, one might say, there is a change, a quiet hour, when there are not many people around.
I am wearing an LA baseball cap, a T-shirt with the words “Love NY”, a large camera over my shoulder. The counter for ordering is inside, I enter the semi-darkness of the cafe. A woman jumps out from there and starts chattering that I was late and they were waiting for me an hour ago! She drags me to the table, on it a subject stage for shooting, around the lamp. He waves his hand at all this splendor and says that we urgently need to remove all their cupcakes, cookies and other such nonsense, otherwise everything is lost. It is absolutely impossible to insert even a word, but I squeeze in and say that there is some mistake. In response, I hear that there is only one mistake in this world, and that is me, and they need to get photos as quickly as possible, otherwise everything is lost! I start to like this game of someone else’s life, I start shooting, I get involved, and an hour later endless rows of sweets are filmed. In the evening, Gloria should have the processed images, otherwise, as you know, a disaster.
I have no time and desire to take pictures, I find a volunteer on Craiglist who is ready to process pictures, remove technical flaws and the like for a hundred dollars. I save 25 dollars on the fact that Gloria feeds me after the photo session and gives me her signature coffee, and at the same time gives me a glass to take with her.
We exchange coordinates, this is the first time she is surprised that my name is Al, and not Stan, with whom she seemed to agree. He writes off on forgetfulness and asks to send PayPal, which he will throw off the money as soon as he gets the job. Begs to send everything as quickly as possible.
Even before the evening I forward the link to the photos, $ 250 falls on the account, in a letter Gloria writes: “You were late and let me down personally, so the amount is less than we agreed, but the photos suit us, thank you, and until next time.” In less than two hours, I get $ 250 plus sweets, minus the hundred dollars that I spent to process my pictures.
A habitually crazy story that I got into, and while I was photographing, I was waiting for a real photographer to appear who would lead me out into the open and accuse me of taking his order. It’s good that this did not happen. It was curious to get used to someone else’s image, to play a kind of game.
Product photography is becoming important for a huge number of businesses, and it allows those who put it on stream to survive. A craft that can feed, but this work cannot be called satisfying. There are too many applicants around to do such simple things, special skills are no longer needed here.
Photographs for documents became a refuge for photographers of the old formation. There is a photo studio near my house, but mostly they take photographs for documents. One and the same photographer, we have known each other for about twenty years. Alas, I don’t even know him by name, somehow it didn’t work out. But I constantly take photographs for visas and passports. I’m probably a good client, because every time I take new photos, I don’t print the pictures that I have (although I also have a printer, the quality is not worse, but the tradition and habit are completely different for me).
Over these twenty years, the development of digital photography has gradually withdrawn customers from this studio. Previously, there was an interior for portrait photography, gradually all additional items disappeared as unnecessary. This year, things went really badly, as they even stopped taking photographs for documents. A few years ago, an average of 25 people came a day to take a photo for documents, now one or two at most. No travel to other countries, no need to be photographed for visas. Basically, those who need to get or change a passport come, exactly the same story as mine. And now the photographer ponders that it is time to retire, to take care of himself, since it is pointless to sit all day and wait for clients, the era is over. I don’t want this out of habit, but I understand that business as such is absent here, it no longer exists.
The profession of a photographer will remain relatively in demand, the same media need photojournalists, but more and more often they are replaced by ordinary journalists, even if they do not take such beautiful pictures, this is enough for many. It is impossible to say that the profession is disappearing. After all, the artists have not disappeared anywhere. But there is no doubt that there is not much space left for photographers. And sales of professional or semi-professional equipment clearly hint at this. This is a great hobby, a passion for a good pastime, but not something that for most can become a lifelong affair. On the other hand, if a person feels the need for photography, then he will succeed in this business, there would be desire and perseverance.
And again about AirPods Max – the opinion of Mikhail Borzenkov
“Don’t touch Apple,” is how you can summarize the groan of the company’s fans in response to my thoughts on the AirPods Max. More than two dozen people “listened” to the headphones and wrote me philippics, in which someone directly, someone indirectly cursed my ears, sneezed a bear that stepped on them. To quote one such message: “After B&W, Beyedymanic, Sennheiser for Hrellion Maxs are perfect, every note in its place. The bass is just an orgasm. Headphones are not for lospeeds like you, the best sound in the world. ”
Now let’s turn to the opinion of a man who cannot be caught meeting a bear, the former editor-in-chief of Stereo & Video and What Hi-Fi? Mikhail Borzenkov listened to Apple headphones, compared them with competitors in his video. Here are a few quotes that shed light on the sound quality well (headphones are about sound, right?). So, a word to Michael:
“… There is some kind of sound, but from the point of view of elaboration, detail, range, timbres, it’s just some kind of shame. Because the sound quality of these headphones, I’m not kidding guys now, is at the level of normal wired headphones for three thousand rubles. Three thousand rubles, not sixty-three thousand rubles! If we talk about some of the most inexpensive wireless full sizes, they will cost ten thousand with the same sound level. Ten! Not sixty-three.
How could this be done? We managed to surprise. I knew right away that Apple bought Beats. I immediately recognize no sound for big money. But the most amazing thing is that here they managed to surpass the Beats, because in these headphones there is not even a bloated monstrous bass. Not only is there no sound, but there is no bass either. ”
How so? A certain anonymous writer wrote to me that an orgasm and each note are in their place. And Mikhail Borzenkov suddenly joined the chorus of those who claim that the king is naked? Watch the full video with Mikhail, it’s definitely worth it. One thing I can say: people who buy Apple for that kind of money suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. And reading “Anxious People” by Frederick Buckman, I can not only recommend this light book for mood, but also quote one passage: “For all of us, Stockholm is not so much a city as an expression for all those who get on our nerves and do not give live a calm happy life. Those who consider themselves better than us. Bankers who do not give loans; psychologists who ask questions instead of prescribing sleeping pills; buyers who get our favorite apartment; and the rabbits that take our wives away. All those who do not notice us, do not understand, and those who are indifferent to us. Every Stockholmer is different, and even real Stockholmis have their own – “those who live in New York”, or “politicians from Brussels,” or other idiots from anywhere else where people think they are even better than Stockholmis … there is also a syndrome. “
MacBook Pro 2020 on Apple M1 – about the operating time and other little things
In the past “Spillikins” I began to talk about what I like or dislike about the new MacBook Pro on the M1 processor, it’s time to continue the story.
So let’s continue our tour of how my new laptop works. For me, the browser is a working tool, since various add-ons are configured in it (for example, Evernote for saving web pages). I use Chrome, as it is convenient on mobile devices, although it eats up the battery with memory.
You have the choice of which version of Chrome to download, a regular browser for x86 processors or a version for ARM, the latter being preferred.
I have a version for Apple Silicon, the browser weighs about 500 MB, which, of course, is amazing. For the first time in many years, I faced the fact that the browser crashes spontaneously, an error message appears. I have caught this trouble a dozen times already, annoying, since the reason is never clear.
It seems to me that we are very spoiled, as we react to what ten years ago was the norm. I can’t remember when applications crashed or something spontaneously closed on both my computer and smartphones. You quickly get used to good things, and it looks like something basic. Although problems with the quality of applications existed quite recently, they were somehow quietly solved for the vast majority of devices and operating systems. Here you can blame everything on the novelty of the processor, on the fact that the software was not completely finished. I am sure that these rough edges will be cleaned out over time, there will be nothing like this, this is a technical issue. Irritating, but you can work, does not cause huge torment.
It’s time to talk about the operating time, since it is a strong side of the laptop.
Each of us has our own scenarios for using a computer, I have mail, work with texts, at least YouTube, but there are also calls to Zoom or Google Meet. You can view the operating time in the “Battery” utility (“Settings”). Unfortunately, in MacOS there is no time since the last charge, you can see it in 24 hours or in the last ten days. The utility, just like in iOS, loves to lie about the time, so when using the same Google Meet, for some reason, the time doubles! But if we discard the curvature of the software, in practice it turns out up to 10 hours of screen operation on a single charge (the brightness is about 40-50%).
For me, this means that you can not use the charge for about two days (actually, less, but now I also use an old laptop). These are excellent results, records in every sense compared to what other x86-based notebooks show.
For a long time I stopped paying attention to the statement about the operating time of each laptop manufacturer, since the time on paper grows, in practice it turns out to be plus or minus the same. On average, most similar laptops run about 5 hours for me on the same tasks (including MacBook Pro on Intel). Here the gain in time is twice, this is pure time. And this is a huge plus for the Apple M1, since the ARM architecture provides such an advantage.
Not once in a couple of weeks did I hear a fan turn on, no active cooling was used. But I didn’t have any “hard” tasks. Therefore, the operating time should be recorded as big, fat pluses. This machine is perfect for those who are looking for autonomy, first of all looking at this parameter.
In BigSur, I can’t find / remember how to change the default path for saving files in the Pages text editor, I constantly offer to save to iCloud, but I need to do it on my desktop. I looked for a solution in Google, somehow I did not find it, rummaging in the settings, I also did not find it. Perhaps the solution lies on the surface, but I can’t see it point-blank. I will be glad if you describe the algorithm of actions in the comments so that all files are initially saved in another folder. Thank.
Books. Anders Hansen, “On the Digital Needle”
Wandering in the bookstore and choosing gifts (a book is the best gift, I am more and more convinced of this), I came across this book.
It was impossible to pass by, because the topic, as they say, is my own, so I bought it. You can, of course, whine that the books are starting to cost strangely, I do not understand their pricing: next to it is a thick book with the same print level and illustrations for 500 rubles, but this one – for almost 800 rubles. I understand that books, with their small print runs, are an expensive pleasure and not accessible to everyone (hence the conditional rise of electronic formats), but still, the difference in price between books from different publishers is sometimes confusing.
Anders Hansen is a psychiatrist from Stockholm, this is not his first book, the previous work is about the work of the human brain. Alas, I missed that work, I did not catch my eye. This book promises to reveal the effect of gadgets on our habits, brain and health. The description sounds good, the book is 220 pages, except for the table of contents and footnotes, is small, it will last for one evening.
I admit that we are spoiled by good authors from all over the world, but Hansen is clearly a doctor, and if this book were written by hand, it would have been necessary to read the scribbles that doctors leave on the prescriptions. In no way is it a claim as such, there is simply no lightness of the syllable, and thoughts jump a little. The layout of the book is such that sometimes it seems that this is an illustration of a distraction, since in the chapters there are cut-ins that break the fabric of the narrative, you have to switch attention back and forth.
The book is filled with an interesting texture, but the latter is poorly connected and disclosed, there are not enough vivid examples, there is no ease of presentation. The book is probably good as a starting point, especially if you don’t know anything about this area (dopamine, how it affects our decisions, the appeal of smartphones and brain biochemistry). You shouldn’t wait for discoveries here, but digital habits are really talked about. The main idea is simple – we live in a world to which our brain is not accustomed, since millions of years of evolution have formed a different attitude to the world around us. And out of 10000 points that can be used to depict the history of mankind, only one point is the time of smartphones and social networks. And of course, we are a mistake in the history of mankind, and our organisms are simply not ready for this. Obvious and trite, but for many it will be a revelation.
A doctor’s perspective on the use of smartphones is useful, since there is a full range of descriptions of neuroses, insomnia and the reasons that cause them. Why did Steve Jobs restrict his children from communicating with Apple-designed devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. This, by the way, is what many people in the industry do, because they understand the harm that devices bring to children. I was amazed in the book by some figures, for example, the fact that two-year-olds are active Internet users! And the period of access to the Internet is constantly decreasing, which poses completely different tasks for us, and child psychologists ask to return children to childhood and toys so that they can develop normally. Not all parents are ready for this.
As a set of facts on the topic, the book is interesting and worth paying attention to. Probably, first of all, for those who are raising children or expecting them, as well as if you notice that your mood is jumping and you spend a lot of time on your phone. This is another voice highlighting the challenges of the digital world that we face directly.
PS He promised a Happy New Year, so read on! On behalf of myself and on behalf of the entire team, I wish you a Happy New Year. We will definitely do it again, and more than once, but I can’t resist mentioning this in Spillikins.
It is said that 2020 was a difficult year. For most, the year was really difficult, many events happened, not always with a plus sign. Regardless, in 2020 we have become stronger because we have begun to rely on ourselves, our loved ones, family and friends again. Any crisis is an opportunity to throw off the husk and become a little better, to focus on what is really important and is the basis of our lives. In this aspect, the year was definitely good, as it brought us the opportunity not to run like a squirrel in a wheel, but to look around.
In the new year, I wish all of us to preserve the human relations that we have, to remain human regardless of what is happening. To think, to turn on the head in all situations, not to be easy money for scammers of all kinds who sing so sweetly. In our area, we always try to warn and protect you, talk about any scammers and their schemes, which often does not find understanding, but such is life. Those who are deceived sincerely want to be deceived and defend the fraudsters with all their fervor. It seems that this is incredible, but it has always been like this, and nothing changes here.
There are many changes ahead, I hope that they will all be for the better. The main thing that cannot be done is to give up, whatever the situation may be now. Tomorrow will definitely be better. And these are not just words, but a life experience that has never let me down. It is definitely not worth expecting that in 2021 everything will work out in the blink of an eye, as if there is no crisis, pandemic and other problems. We all need to be realistic and soberly assess the situation around. But don’t panic, because at the moment there are simply no prerequisites for this. You need to study, work, do your job as well as possible for you. And only in this way can we overcome all troubles, become better and stronger.
I sincerely wish you time to prepare for the New Year, find the very words and, possibly, gifts for loved ones. Complete unfinished business and leave all negativity in 2020 in order to come to the new year with renewed vigor for new achievements. Have a successful year, thank you for being with us and so active. Happiness and good luck in good deeds.
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