Portrait of downtown Austin.

The Crane. Official bird of Austin.

A popular blogger has written a blog in which he implores camera makers to let him consult. For free. Hmmmm. Not sure I want that.

Jules. The on site photographer at the Graffiti Park.

Note: if you are coming here because someone posted the link on DPReview and you disagree with what I've written,  please be advised that: 1. I have read the blog article in question quite thoroughly --- and more than once. 2. I have used "hyperbole" (exaggeration) to make a point. 3. You are welcome to comment but if you just came here to act poorly I will, of course, delete any comment you make...this is NOT a DPReview forum...

Hubris is a cool word that basically means you think you've got more superpowers that you really do, and it's just a matter of time before you try to fly and hit the sidewalk. At least that's my translation. Blogger Ming Thein wrote a piece that he posted last night cataloging many of the failures of the mirrorless cameras on the market. In his estimation either the manufacturers are stupid, out of touch, reticent to admit failure or....they just don't understand photography. Or cameras. He provided a list of all the things every camera maker should include on their products in order to pass muster. It was a long and detailed list along the lines of..."My perfect car would get 100 miles to the gallon and go 150 miles per hour, it would seat eight comfortably but still fit in the compact spaces..., the interior would be as cleanly designed as an Apple phone but would have 30 cup holders. etc. etc.

Some of the points he makes are obvious. We all wish every camera had as good an image stabilization system as the Olympus. But what if the trade off for IS performance is sensor size? The smaller sensor with smaller mass is easier to control. Full frame cameras will always be a few steps behind. Instant start up is desirable, of course, and as soon as the entire supply pipeline is filled with faster micro controllers all the cameras will start up quicker. Most people want weatherproofing which adds to the cost and complexity of the product. But doesn't everyone also want prices to fall?

I hate to burst his bubble but the reason there isn't a "perfect" mirrorless camera on the market is precisely because everyone seems to want their version to be customized to their wants and needs rather than being a universal design with all the compromises that entails. I want my m4:3 cameras be bigger. Most people I know love that they are small. I love the EVFs in all the cameras but

Still chuckling after re-reading Andrew Molitor's fabulous blog post a second time. It's well worth reading.

Here's a link: http://photothunk.blogspot.ch/2015/11/science-she-is-hard.html#comment-form

Have we been measuring things all wrong?

The importance of taking the down time.

If you had come by the house yesterday afternoon around four p.m. you would have caught me napping on the couch with Studio Dog. But I don't feel at all guilty about my indulgence. On the contrary, I know I've earned it. The months of September and October were two of the busiest months my business has enjoyed in nearly a decade. Lots of projects got done, lots of office work got done and lots of construction supervision got done. How busy was I? Here's a shocking revelation: I was too busy to swim with the WHAC masters team for the month of September. Clients just didn't appreciate my need to carve out the time from 7-8:15 a.m. for my swim practice.

I tried to compensate. More push ups in the evening. More planking between post production spurts and lots of swims, by myself, at odd times of the day. But man, it sure felt good to get back into the water with the pack. The daily competition and discipline was like a breath of fresh air.

I think there is a compulsion among all self-employed people to stay constantly busy. Part of it is the fear that nothing will be coming down the road, work-wise, if we aren't constantly priming the pump and part of it is habit; we tend to work when there is work. The work compulsion is a mixed blessing at best. Yes, we have cash flow, but at what cost?

One of the features of freelance work that nearly everyone mentions is the ability to have flexible time, but so few people take advantage of it. We live in a society where the mantra seems to be, "always push forward." There is an old adage from the Tao Ching that says, "Keep filling your glass and it will spill." Another is: "Keep sharpening your blade and it will become dull." When we are busy we tend to settle into comfortable grooves and do the same thing over and over again. When we get into that rut we tend not to try new things, not to take risks (how could we schedule around the failures?) and not to have fun.

I hit the pool at 7 this morning and loved it. Even when I got clobbered on the side of the head by Anne's errant butterfly stroke recovery I loved it. Then I ate steel cut oatmeal with fresh raspberries and walnuts and I loved that. But I loved it all even more because I didn't need to rush off right after and "get stuff done." I'm slowly unpacking the gear from yesterday while making lunch appointments with friends for open days this week and next. After I have BBQ with a friend today I'm pretty sure I'll be heading right back home to take one of those delicious naps with Studio Dog.

I'll start thinking about work again around mid-day on Weds. But even that is just a planning meeting. I could do all sorts of marketing this week or get cracking on some judicious financial planning. But I think I'll put it off and see how a week of leisure suits me. It seems novel now....

Freelancing is a funny thing. You can't really plan your schedule the way you would with a real, steady job. You take the good stuff that comes through the door and, hopefully, over time you start to recognize the jobs that make you crazy and take up all your time and energy. If you get over the fear of not working then those are the jobs you decline. It's the stuff you turn down that really makes your business work. It's tough, sometimes, to stay centered but it sure makes what we do more effective. Both for us and for our clients.