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Joel Meyerowitz: entre chien et loup.

The BBC has a slideshow of some fascinating photos by American photographer Joel Meyerowitz.

“Photography is brilliant at describing and yet not letting you know.”

Sometimes it’s the little things: Anglepoise fail

So I’ve been shopping around for a desk lamp recently. I just want something solid and reliable and convenient to use. Not a complicated problem, one might think.

I want something like the Anglepoise lamp my father bought back in the 1960s. This is a two-arm sprung lamp that holds its position wherever you point it. (Americans who don’t know this brand - think of the Luxo Jr film by Pixar. Anglepoise licensed the spring design to Norwegian firm Luxo, which was later immortalised in the early CGI short.)

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Gigi Giannuzzi

I just heard the news that Gigi Giannuzzi, the founder of Trolley Books, died last month. Very sad to hear.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with him on two or three occasions. I pitched a book project to him once. He never went for it - I suspect because my work is insufficiently grim and serious for his particular artistic tastes - but he himself was unflaggingly cheerful and enthusiastic. The last time I saw him was the middle of last year. I’d just wandered into his new gallery space on Riding House Street in London. “Come in! Have a look downstairs!”

A big loss to publishing.

Roger Cicala’s Law of New Product Introduction

Awesome.

The Lens continues to get rave reviews!

Reviews of The Lens are a-comin’ in.

“Seriously, The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer is one of the most fascinating photography books that I’ve ever read. It belongs on every photographer’s bookshelf or coffee table, because it’s the kind of book that has something for everyone.”

    - Dan Bailey. Dan Bailey’s Adventure Photography Blog.

“Well written and beautifully illustrated, the book offers not only the nuts and bolts and interior workings of lens(es) but shows numerous top-quality photographs that visually capture the essence of the technical explanations.”

    - Si Dunn. Books, Books, and More New Books.

“All the way through there a beautiful examples of how these different lenses and settings perform, helping you to make a decision through actually seeing the result, not just from what you are told in words.”

    - ePHOTOzine

“There’s so much information in here that even if you think you know all your stuff, you might be surprised.”

    - Jade Price. Photography Monthly.

“A great guide with practical advice on a topic that should get a lot more attention from anyone with a camera that can mount different lenses. Bravo!”

    - Imaging Resource.

“We like The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer because it summarizes in one place a lot of information about interchangeable lenses.”

    - RainyDayPhotography.

“Maybe the Only Book You’ll Need on the Subject”

    - John Jacobson, Amazon reviewer.

Jessops: 1934-2012

Another sad victim of online sales in Britain - Jessops, the high street photography chain, is no more. Jessops joins Jacobs, which shut down in June 2012.

Sadly, this isn’t entirely surprising. The primary market for Jessops was the average consumer. People who had no idea about photography but wanted something for their snapshots, or who wanted prints made up. The thing is, everybody uses their phones now. The average consumer no longer wants to carry a point and shoot around. And it’s easier to share a photo online than mess around with prints.

Meanwhile the high end of the market is split between professionals, who often shell out for the support from companies like Calumet or Fixation, or advanced amateurs, who shop around and then buy the cheapest thing online.

Either way, the end result is the low end in photographic retail is gone. Probably won’t be missed by the average photographer - I have a now-useless £20 gift certificate lying around the place that someone gave me years ago and which I never got around to spending. But a tragedy for the thousands of laid-off staff, and photographers who funded their way through life by working in a shop.

Powershot N

Well, this is an interesting one. For years camera makers have been releasing cameras that, well, seem a bit on the unimaginative side. They sort of parrot generations of previous designs with some little design tweaks here and there.

But the Powershot N looks quite interesting. I don’t know how practical or actually usable it is, never having tried one, but it’s definitely a case of a camera manufacturer having a little sit down and coming up with something new and unusual!

Basically it’s a small compact camera, square from the front, which can be used from any orientation. It has a flip-up touchscreen display, and some fun user interface tricks like a rotating ring for adjusting zoom.

Sigma Dock

Okay, so this is old news - the product was apparently announced last September. But I missed it. Still, very cool idea. Naturally it only supports Sigma lenses, and a recent subset of Sigma lenses at that, but hopefully other manufacturers will produce similar products. Not a ton of people will want to fiddle with their lens firmware like this, but for those who do, it’s an awesome concept!