Three years ago, I made the spur of the moment decision to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia to photograph the adaptive reuses of French colonial architecture. The main focus of the trip was photography and I had every intention of dragging along a couple dslrs and a laptop on my southeast Asian adventure. When I was planning that trip, Apple introduced the original iPad and piqued my curiosity. Could I possibly get away with an iPad instead of a $2000, multi pound laptop? Despite the whining from the tech press that the original iPad wasn’t powerful, didn’t have extensive connectivity, etc, I plunked down $500 the day before I left for Ho Chi Minh City. That iPad has been in near constant use for three years. Barely a morning has passed when I haven’t fired her up to read the news. Despite the now underpowered hardware, my iPad 1 has been a loyal friend.
Today I received my iPad’s replacement: a new iPad mini and I’m simply stunned. It is insanely nimble, is virtually weightless in comparison to the iPad 1, and is just… plain cool.
Although image not exactly one to condone anthropomorphism for consumer electronics, I now fully understand it. The iPad is… a spunky little friend I can’t seem to stop hanging out with.
And POOF! – just like that it is October and I live in Wisconsin again. After a year of self-loathing and savings spending in Los Angeles, I’ve returned to the midwest and now live 5 blocks from Lake Michigan in beautiful Milwaukee. Although my waistline remains unchanged, I am significantly lighter in other areas – specifically photography gear. The 5D MKII has been ditched along with every other piece of “high-end” or “pro” gear I owned. In their place I have returned to the simplest possible setup I could think of – one Canon A1 35mm camera and a 50mm standard lens. Although I’m not one to extol the virtues of forced minimalism, I’m enjoying the set up so far. Gone is the desire to quickly and casually document everything… and in its place is a calm and focused way of seeing the world through a photographic apparatus. I know each exposure costs me and I know that what I produce will not have the whiz-bang of a full-frame sensor, but… the affinity I feel for this humble imaging device is remarkable, lovely, and invigorating.
With late summer in full swing in Southern California, I have been applying for a few teaching positions and reconnecting with printmakers I used to share studio time with at the U of M. Ben Etten was an undergrad at the U when I was working my way through the print program. Here are a few of his incredibly detailed, beautifully printed etchings that have me wishing I was in a print studio right now. He also has some pretty great drawing’s at his portfolio site…