My favorite refrigerator magnet, or why I'm excited about this weekend
Maryam has all sorts of magnets and sayings on the side of our refrigerator. My favorite one is pictured below.
Looking at the timeline of my life at http://memolane.com/scobleizer/Personal%20Lane
on +Memolane - share the story of your life.
(Great service, by the way). I see that 2011 had so many interesting moments. Whether it was meeting Steve Jobs at the iPad 2 launch, getting a term sheet from +Bill Gross
(which I later turned down), interviewing +Michael Dell
, among others, at the World Economic Forum, having an awesome dinner in Paris with +Loic Le Meur
, or just sitting on the floor of my home studio and listening to the folks from 955Dreams talking about making their app, Band of the Day, which later was named one of the best apps of the year by Apple.
There are so many moments I don't know where to start to pick the best ones. It's not my style to look back too much, either. I far prefer looking forward to tomorrow than at yesterday. Tomorrow is far more interesting, because it's moments undiscovered and tomorrow's technology almost always is more interesting than yesterday's.
One thing, while I look through that timeline, is just how much more interesting the videos and photos are of my life than anything I said on Twitter or on Google+.
It's why I'm looking forward to this weekend.
See, all this technology is really going someplace: to let us share our lives with each other.
And this is why I am just giddy tonight thinking about the trip to Yosemite. You can see a whole bunch of us Google+'ers are going (look at the search for Yosemite to see just some of who is: https://plus.google.com/s/Yosemite
Photographers carry around amazing machines that I only dreamed of when I was a kid. Back then here's what making a simple black and white photo meant:
1. Going to the camera store and buying film, that had weird names. My favorite was 400 ISO Tri-X.
2. Shooting that, while doing the black art of exposing it properly (remember, you didn't have a little LCD screen so you could see if you were exposing it properly).
3. Hoping you didn't rip the film (I did on a shot of Ronald Reagan I did -- I knew I ripped it in camera, so I left the camera closed until I got back to the darkroom to open it properly. The photo that came right after the rip won several awards in college journalism contests and still hangs in the Republican Headquarters in Silicon Valley today).
4. Putting your hands inside a black bag to take the film out, and spool it onto a contraption inside a canister so you could chemically develop it.
5. Properly measuring your chemicals, which had names like D76, Stop, and Fix. Making sure the temperature of them was stable, etc.
6. The process of developing the film took about an hour (you could rush it a little bit in drying phase, with a hair drier (we used that a lot if we were on deadline).
7. But you weren't done then, although at least you knew you had done the first steps properly. Then you stuck the negative into an enlarger in a dark room (which was lit with an amber light that photo paper wasn't sensitive to).
8. You did some exposure tests with the enlarger, developed those, just to figure out how many seconds you'd need to expose your paper for. Oh, and make sure you focused the enlarger properly
9. Then you'd bang out a print or two by turning on the enlarger for something like 30 seconds. Take the exposed paper over to a set of trays with developer, named Dektol, stop bath, and fixer, and then wash the prints for a few minutes before hanging them up to dry.
10. And even then you couldn't distribute it to the world unless you convinced two committees to do that: the local newspaper's editors and the editors at the Associated Press, who owned most of the infrastructure for distributing photos and images around the world.
The entire process usually took three hours, sometimes less if you rushed things along. If you really were doing art work, you might work at it a lot longer than that. Ansel Adams' son, Michael, took me into his darkroom and explained that Ansel would spend weeks just exposing one image in his darkroom and he took meticulous notes about how he set everything up in the enlarger and how he'd dodge and burn each part of the print (his enlarger was installed on train tracks, by the way, quite an amazing piece of equipment -- but today each of us has better tools, even if we use free stuff on the web).
Today that "moment" can be shared with everyone in a few seconds. We don't stop and remember just how special the technology is that we hold in our hands and how much it can change the world.
That's why I'm looking forward to a few fleeting moments on Sunday and Monday, hanging out with Google+'ers from around the world who are traveling now to Yosemite ( +Trey Ratcliff
already posted an awesome image he made on his way to the park).
It's a celebration of everything I love:
My family (who'll be there).
Friendship with people I've known for years (like +Thomas Hawk
Technology discussions galore.
Helping new friends discover one of the world's greatest parks ( MySpace' founder, +Tom Anderson
has never been there).
And we get to share it all with you. When we get to the lodge we'll find out how much bandwidth is available (usually it's not easy to broadcast from Yosemite). If there's enough, we'll do a hangout. But probably we'll have to do with some videos that I'll get up next week when we return, along with a constant stream of photos from our phones.
Thank you to everyone who shares their favorite moments with all of us. The stuff I see scrolling down my screen brings me great joy.
Happy New Years!