Photographs that make me feel Jealous

LESSON :

“If you want to grow, step out of your comfort zone.” Well, jealousy is pretty discomforting. I feel a sense of envy when I come across certain pictures which I could have created as well with the gear I had. I feel envious of pictures which were clicked at the same location as I was, in the same lighting I had. I feel envious of situations which I came across but never taught to capture. Better pictures by my Junior photographer.

Now, there are some saints who don’t feel this emotion. But imperfect people like me tend to feel a sense of it, every now & then. Now generally, you would choose to ignore it.

Instead, I choose to save these photographs. Now you can argue on the motivational drive from jealousy. But what I am interested in is the fact that these pictures are essentially in my reach. In photography, the equipment available to you plays a big role. Hence, consuming pictures which are achievable with current resources is of paramount importance. 

Hence, I dissect these pictures from the thought to camera settings to final editing. The fact is: these pictures are the most direct examples of the very next step into growing my photography.

The emotion of Jealousy is a sign. Someone asked me recently, ” I want to consume pictures that will help me grow my perspective.” Well, you can start with pictures that make you feel jealous.

REMEMBER, REMEMBER :

  • Try to understand the new tricks applied and the purpose. And when you yourself apply these tricks, first check if it serves the purpose.
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iPhone X is in its first gen. Should you buy one?

iPhone X is so drastically different from the previous iPhones, that it just didn’t feel right to treat it as the next iteration. It is the final chapter to the first installment into what the future of Apple Ecosystem will look like. Apple thinks that iPhone X marks the next stage of Smartphones and is accordingly priced and named. And that makes me wanna look for the first gen. signs in this new genre i.e. the iPhone X. Let’s Go.

16:9:Notch Display

Are we gonna live in a world where 16:9 Rich Content is covered by a notch? I hope not. And assuming Apple doesn’t see it as an ideal scenario either, I am hoping it will be either hidden by great engineering or accommodated by better design, that is to say, the Sensors & Status icons appended to a 16:9 display like the  Essential Phone. For now, the software will just put black bars all around your content to skip the notch.

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Continue reading “iPhone X is in its first gen. Should you buy one?”

What thin phones & no audio jacks taught us about Consumers?

Recently, I have been using an LG v20 and though it was launched 8 months ago, nobody knows about it. It was one of the unpopular phones. It didn’t receive much attention, & why would it? It wasn’t the thinnest phone with beautiful colors, it made no controversial decisions like removing audio jacks, and it had V20 stamped on the back, not Apple. In fact, LG V20 was launched a day before the iPhone 7. LG marketing team must definitely be fired.

And by now, you are convinced that I am an Android fan boy invariably hating on Apple. And I can’t blame you for that. You were aware of this popular thing, procured information that comfortably proves this thing and made your decision. Well, this is how most people buy phones as well. And the thing is often the iPhone or the S8.

It’s always a comfortable, quicker purchase if a popular phone happens to be a well-recieved phone.

One of my friends bought a OnePlus 5 few days after launch and everybody wanted to check it out. And almost everyone commented how awesomely thin the phone feels. That gave my friend a big smile, his latest phone got all the ‘likes’, and 10 minutes later he dropped it. Why? Because the phone was too thin to securely grip. Inevitably, he bought a phone case and took it off whenever he wanted to show off his latest toy. Smiles & Security!

Smiles & Security – This is characteristic to jewelry. But smartphones are no jewelry, it is an incredibly powerful tool designed to change the way we live, while gold is still gold. Don’t get me wrong. Designing your smartphone like a jewelry isn’t blasphemy. In fact, designing electronics like jewelry majorly helped Apple make technology from intimidating to friendly for consumers. It is what made these devices “trending”, winning the attention that these devices need to be adapted to the human lifestyle.

#Trending – In the age of Social Media, what’s trending is what’s being bought. You don’t need me to tell you that. The goal of a good marketing campaign is to popularize a piece of information and make the consumers believe that the information is complete and enough to make the purchase. This belief is stronger when propagated by consumers, instead of the “evil companies” and in today’s social media, consumers have a louder voice than ever before. That’s what makes this trends VIRAL.

Now when you don’t conform to these trends, you miss out on your place in this pop phenomena. You’re like the weird dude not dancing to Chainsmokers. That can be unsettling when online media plays such a crucial role in our social lives. For example, I get a lot of hate for not preferring something about the awesome new iPhone.

When they removed the Audio Jack, I expressed my dislike. When it comes to Audio, I wanted to see Apple fit a really high-quality DAC/Amp inside the phone to power the awesome headphones created by legendary companies like Sennheiser or Audio Technica. The technology is there. LG v20 has it. But Apple didn’t opt it. And well they had a damn good argument. They wanted to popularize Wireless headphones.

But observe a trend here: Wireless Tech, Thin phones. This is the ‘cutting edge’ technology that can be advertised on billboards. The kind of things that makes you believe that Apple is selling you the latest & greatest mobile tech. When people check out my LG v20, they try to get a feel of the tech inside it. They ‘feel’ the phone, take pictures and see how it all looks on the ‘big beautiful’ display and forms a notion of the tech inside it.

Companies know these. That’s why the buzz words are: rich high definition Display, best Camera Quality, professionally-crafted Phone Case & great Slo-Mo Videos. But while our videos look better & better, they still sound shit. This is what I had against Apple. They could’ve popularized buzz words like “Real Sound”. But well, Apple made no such noble promises. And it’s fine as long as we buy the phone that serves our purposes.

Except, we don’t. The modern smartphone was born & always been consumed in this Viral culture. And what goes viral? The “latest” tech. Except that there’s no such thing as the most advanced smartphone, nor that there needs to be one. In fact, Smartphones are the most personal computing devices ever built. Your choice of smartphone should simply satisfy your specific needs. Put simply, Apple telling everybody needs an iPhone is them telling one size fits all.

Now, Apple is not entirely wrong. The iPhone does appeal to a wide audience. But that’s where the problem lies. In this viral culture, every company wants to make a phone that satisfies the common needs of the widest audience. To go trending, to sell.

Companies can design their phones, include & omit features to adhere to a specific demographic. But then these phones won’t find itself in the “Trends.” And that’s a problem for a company like Samsung. While SPen is useful to only a certain demographic, Samsung wants to advertise that the new Note 8 will help everybody. Dear Samsung, I know the Note packs all the latest & greatest tech, but has it occurred to you that I don’t need it. It’s been 10 years since the original iPhone, and my buying decisions are no longer controlled by owning the latest smartphone but owning the smartphone I need. I know what I do with a Mobile computer.

But Samsung, Apple, or LG, they all want to make the same statement – “we have the latest & greatest flagship device.” They want to appeal to a wider audience. In doing that, they make compromises that were otherwise prized by a niche demographic. For example, people who want the High Fidelity Audio or Manual Controls for Video often have specific routines which demand things like removable batteries, extendable storages, etc which are being discarded in the name of Appealing Design.

It’s fine if you only have common needs from a smartphone. Thankfully, today you can meet these needs very reliably at a very economical price from companies like the OnePlus. The year is 2017. And companies must have a line up of, say, a Business Smartphone, a Designer’s Smartphone, a Filmmaker’s Smartphone and not just running after the “latest & greatest” Flagship Smartphone. Make your choice you rich consumers!

The Next Stage in the Evolution of Smartphones

No matter how much these companies try to convince you that their LATEST phone is going to change your life, smartphones have reached a Plateau. The five basics of Smartphone: Build, Display, Camera, Performance & Battery have matured to a stage, where they can do mostly everything we hope to do with our phones, even for the next 2-3 years. And I think this is not something to be disappointed about, but something that should be celebrated. It allows for the smartphone industry to fine tune the various inventions made over the years, most importantly to be able to integrate these little pieces of ‘magic’ into the very strata of human lifestyle. And this is perhaps the most exciting part… as Smartphones’ true potential lies in the democracy that it brings to Personal Computing, weaving the Next Billion into this stage of civilization.

Smartphones have to overcome their Socio-Economic hurdles, be as robustly accessible and consumed as, say, ELECTRICITY.

For this to happen, smartphones have to overcome their Socio-Economic hurdles, be as robustly accessible as, say, ELECTRICITY.  And that can’t be sufficed by great engineering. For that, companies have to catapult the socio-economic nature of smartphone age.

One key aspect is : “contagious adoption”. This, in the shadow of modern networking, has never had featured such INFLUENTIAL levels.  And what we call, the Information Age, is literal to the phenomena like OnePlus, or Justin Bieber.

Continue reading “The Next Stage in the Evolution of Smartphones”

How Apple should’ve eliminated the Audio Jack!

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It created a lot of chaos and trolls when Apple removed the Audio Jack. It is hard to get rid of a port which has been a standard for over a century. And yes, it took courage. But this is what big companies are supposed to do : pioneer new trends in the industry!

This is what Apple was always known for. For being unapologetic about their decisions against all critics. Be it the elimination of the physical keyboard on phones, optical disk drives, flash support etc. Time and time they were proven right, and the Apple standard became the industry standard. And this was because they did it RIGHT, Steve Jobs did it right! But I am afraid this time Apple didn’t quite play the right symphony on it’s magic pipe.

Continue reading “How Apple should’ve eliminated the Audio Jack!”

If you’re an Indian, Apple Music is the Streaming service to go for

I am a music lover. I mean, Who isn’t? I am one of those who likes to have a song for every moment in my life. I like to give every type of music a moment in my life. And that’s why I want every song ever recorded on my fingerprints. Born & brought up in West of India, parents from East of india, and now living in South, I am living through a phase of great cultural mix. Add to these the Internet, and I have a full course of  culture.  And Apple Music serves it in the best manner. How?

Inavailability of Major Streaming Services

In India, we don’t have Spotify or Pandora or Google Play Music. And our in-house streaming services like Gaana or Saavn, don’t really complete the job of delivering the foreign songs & playlists like Spotify does. I used Spotify via VPN for 2 weeks and I fell in love with it. Also, none of them has a desktop application which means I can’t save songs offline on my laptop and play to my stereo. And the music player in general,SUCKs.

Apple Music is available with none of those flaws & at just INR 120/month (about USD 2.00). It has the foreign collection. But it really sucks at delivering Indian Music. It misses songs from biggest music label T-Series among others. So why Apple Music? Continue reading “If you’re an Indian, Apple Music is the Streaming service to go for”

Battle of IMs – BBM vs WhatsApp vs hike vs FB Messenger

IM BBM vs WhatsApp vs hike vs Facebook Messenger

The table clearly shows that BBM is different in terms of Security. It starts with the unique email-password combination and then gives a unique pin like a unique user ID. Except the PIN is unique to the device too. But the question here is: Do you need this?

If you are constantly bugged by people having your numbers, then you can switch to BBM which allows only those people to send you a message, whose request you’ve accepted. But then, this people can bug you by other means too. Most people like to publicly declare their BBM Pin. Well, in that case you will be bugged by people’s requests, anyways. It’s better on WhatsApp or hike, where you can block this contacts without them knowing about it.

BBM can help you when you want to IM with a person but don’t wanna give your number. We all have various friends whom you just IM and not talk. But, for most of such instances, I am happy to give my number otherwise you always have Facebook or also Google Hangouts, if you want.

hike is the only one to offer a unified SMS/IM coversation thread. Other IMs offer a SMS support but in hike, the conversation threads are merged into one. If you live in India, this threads also combine the free SMS that you can send via hike over the Internet.

Continue reading “Battle of IMs – BBM vs WhatsApp vs hike vs FB Messenger”