Jack Baty

Jack Baty - Director of Unspecified Services

Monday, May 16, 2022

I'm feeling very analog today. This is the opposite of how I felt yesterday, and likely the opposite of how I'll feel tomorrow.

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Today's setup

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Who should I let manage my photos?

I have for many years kept my photos properly named and in a dated folder hierarchy on my hard drive: /2020/12-December 2020/2020-12-02-Alice.dng This requires that I import my photos from a card, then add metadata (Title and Caption), then rename them with the capture date and title, then put them into the proper folder, where they live forever. Whew! Another step later in my process is to “burn” a copy of each edited RAW file to a JPEG that lives right beside the original.

The Leica APO-Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens

I recently bought a used, 5-year-old Leica SL . I didn’t buy any new lenses at the time, as I wasn’t sure I’d even like the camera. Turns out I liked the camera very much, so I ordered a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 zoom. I figured the zoom would cover my bases but I also bought the Leica M-to-L adapter so I could use my Leica M lenses. The M lenses work flawlessly on the SL, and are even easier to focus on it, given the super bright EVF and focus peaking.

The Leica SL2-S = InstaBuy!

When I bought a used Leica SL(601) recently instead of the newer SL2 , it was mostly because I didn’t want to spend $6,000 on a camera that I wasn’t sure I’d love. But it was also partly because I really don’t need a 47-megapixel sensor. Who’s got the time and space to manage 80MB per image photos? I’ve had the SL for a month and that’s long enough to know that I love it.

Daily minutiae and record keeping

mi·​nu·​tia (noun) – a minute or minor detail—usually used in plural I like the word “minutia”. I’ve been thinking about the various little things that happen throughout a typical day as daily minutiae. Things like “Paid the gas bill” or “Had a minor headache” or “Changed oil in the car”. It’s all trivial and boring, but I find that I value having a record of these things. But where to record all of this minutiae?

TiddlyWiki is more fun than Roam

I fell in love with TiddlyWiki almost exactly 2 years ago . I wrote in it almost daily until late August, 2020 , when I moved full-time into a public Roam database. Roam is great and I love it. I’ve tried everything else, and nothing beats Roam for easily taking, linking, and re-using notes. I’m still using a private Roam database for work projects and CRM-type stuff, and it’s great for that.

All-in with Flickr (again)

I joined Flickr in 2004 and have been posting photos there, on and off, ever since. For years, Flickr was the place to share photos and discuss photography. Then Yahoo neglected and thus helped ruin it. And of course Instagram eventually finished the job. I dislike Instagram so much. Tiny, compressed photos. No good way to post from my computer. Terrible search. An unfathomable algorithm. Fucking hashtags everywhere. And yet, Instagram is where everyone is.

Not film

To make this simple self-portrait, I didn’t spend an hour setting up the Wista, loading sheets of film, processing with half-expired C-41 chemistry, crossing my fingers, drying, scanning, spotting, inverting, storing, and on and on. Instead, I set a digital camera on a tripod and triggered the shutter with my iPhone. The whole thing from idea to upload took less than 10 minutes. I used to look at a shot like that on film, amazed that I hit focus and got the color somewhere close to what I remembered and there weren’t any distracting dust spots or light leaks or water spots.

My new (5-year-old) Leica SL

When I first saw the Leica SL, I was amazed by its brutalist audacity. Coming from the M series, this was not what I pictured when thinking “Leica”. Leica SL, the brutalist beauty" Leica SL, the brutalist beauty And yet the SL appealed to me immediately. It was powerful, flexible, beautiful, and very, very expensive. In fact, it was so expensive that I eventually stopped thinking about it. Then, when the SL2 came out last year it all came rushing back.

Am I losing interest in shooting film?

Film photography is a lot of work. Not so much the actual shooting part, that’s work no matter what the medium, but lately I find the rest of the process (developing, scanning, storing) to be more trouble than it’s worth. Thing is, I enjoy spending time in the darkroom, processing film. It’s meditative; the perfect hobby for an introvert. I have various wonderful old cameras, which are often reason enough to shoot film.

Manual Schmanual

I’ve prided myself on my ability to shoot a Leica M3 or Hasselblad 500C/M with no meter, no auto-focus, and no auto-exposure. Who needs it? Real photographers certainly don’t! Plus, being fully mechanical means that the cameras require no batteries and should be repairable forever. It’s a badge of honor. Except, and maybe I’m getting lazy in my old age, I’ve grown to like letting the camera do at least some of the work.