Which Three Terms Describe Yourself?

I can see my life by way of several extended moments and, over time, how I’d describe myself has changed and expanded—from perhaps just one term to two—and deepened insofar as the descriptions arguably better articulate who I am.

For the past several months I’ve been reflecting on the terms that likely best briefly describe me. As it stands, I think that the current stage of my life is best captured as: policy wonk, street photographer, and Torontonian. And not necessarily in that order!

Each term speaks to less what I aspire to be—there are lots of terms I could use there!!—and more to who I am, by way of the actions I undertake on a daily or at least highly regular basis.

What three terms best describe you, today?

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2022.11.16

Trying out the new AirPods Pro 2 and the fit with the smallest sized earbuds is far superior to the previous version. I still need to assess if they’re going to work longer term but I can’t manage to shake them loose, they don’t fall out when I’m eating something, and they don’t dislodge after walking outside for 20 minutes or so. My longer weekend photowalk will probably help clarify if I’ll keep them or return them.

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2022.11.11

A whole generation of journalists and semi-public individuals (myself included) are watching one of the ways we communicated with one another, and developed as professionals, is negligently being burned down. And so a lot of electrons are being tortured into describing our collective experiences.

My question, though, is this: what is the next system or platform that younger generations will use? Will it be YouTube or TikTok or is there another, still very small or yet to be created, platform that will do the same? Will we see a recursion back to things like Tumblr or blogs and RSS more generally? Will newsletters or email become a thing?

I’m genuinely curious while, simultaneously, a bit sad that a service that I’ve very successfully used to propel my career is almost certainly in steep decline.

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2022.9.18

A couple thoughts after shooting with the iPhone 14 Pro for a day, as an amateur photographer coming from an iPhone 12 Pro and who also uses a Ricoh GR and Fuji X100F.

  1. The 48 megapixel 24mm (equiv.) lens is nearly useless for street photography, when capturing images at 48 megapixels. It takes 1+ seconds to capture an image at this resolution. That’s not great for trying to catch a subject or scene at just the right moment. (To me, this says very, very bad things about what Apple Silicon can actually do.) Set the captured resolution to 12 megapixels in ProRAW if you’re shooting fast-moving or fast-changing subjects/scenes.
  2. The 78mm (equiv.) telephoto is pretty great. It really opens a new way of seeing the world for me. I also think it’s great for starting street photographers who aren’t comfortable being as close as 28mm or 35mm might require.
  3. The new form factor means the MagSafe-compatible battery I use doesn’t fit. Which was a pretty big surprise and leads into item 4…
  4. Capturing 48 megapixel images, at full resolution, while using your phone in bright daylight (and thus raising the screen to full brightness), absolutely destroys battery life. Which means you’re likely to need a battery pack to charge your phone during extended photoshoots. Make sure you choose one that’s the right size!
  5. I like the ability to use the photographic styles. But it really sucks that you can’t see what effect they’d have on monochrome/black and white images. I shoot 95-99% in monochrome; this is likely less of an issue for other folks.
  6. The camera app desperately needs an update and reorganization. It is kludgy and a pain in the ass to use if you need to change settings quickly on the street. Do. Not. Like. It’s embarrassing Apple continues to ship such a poor application.

I haven’t taken the phone out to shoot extensively at night, though some staged shots at home at night showcase how much better night mode is compared to that in the iPhone 12 Pro.

Anyway, early thoughts. More complete ones will follow in the coming week or so.

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2022.7.31

Fungi by Christopher Parsons

After spending far too much time agonizing over what to get printed I finally put in an order for 21 prints. Most are black and white from the past 2-3 years, and will be used to create 1-2 gallery walls and refresh another wall.

Untitled by Christopher Parsons

I’m looking forward to getting them through I’m working with a new printer so have some minor degrees of anxiety over what I’ll end up with. I’ve generally had good luck with local printers but the past few personal photo books I’ve had printed (albeit from international companies) have been disappointing when I’ve gotten them in my hands.

The next step will be to purchase a raft of frames for all the prints. And then, finally, actually add them all to my walls!

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2022.4.9

I’ve been doing my own IT for a long while, as well as small tasks for others. But I haven’t had to do an email migration—while ensuring pretty well no downtime—in a long while.

Fortunately the shift from Google Mail (due to the deprecation of grandfathered accounts that offered free custom domain integration) to Apple’s iCloud+ was remarkably smooth and easy. Apple’s instructions were helpful as were those of the host I was dealing with. Downtime was a couple seconds, at most, though there was definitely a brief moment of holding my breath in fear that the transition hadn’t quite taken.

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2021.10.14

I’m liking the incremental update to the Photos application on iOS and iPadOS in the newest release of the operating systems. The ability to easily add titles to my photos and also access the EXIF metadata helps to maintain a (slightly) more organized photo library. Access to this information also makes it easier to share out photos straight from the Photos app, since I can copy the title of an image as part of sharing it.

However, I’m still missing the ability to create Smart Folders. Specifically I want to be able to have folders that are accessible, on iOS devices, and which sort based on the camera that took a given set of images. It’s been in MacOS for a very, very long time and it’s nuts that this kind of feature parity hasn’t been reached between operating systems.

I haven’t seen evidence that the newest version of iOS has fixed the green flare issue (which I first encountered when reviewing my iPhone 11 Pro). I know it was in an earlier beta but haven’t yet seen it implemented in a production release.