Taking over Leica USA’s Instagram

leicaSLI have the honor of taking over Leica USA’s Instagram account for two days — today and tomorrow. They are sharing photos made by me on recent trips to Iceland, Japan and the Pacific Northwest. Most of these are made with the y trusted Leica SL and Lecia M-Monochrome M246. As someone who has been trying to make sense of this hobby, it is great to to get this shot in the arm from a company whose products are my preferred tools. Thanks Leica USA!

Snap’s Silver Lining

Time Spent per DAU.pngSnap’s first quarterly earnings has taken a toll on the stock, thanks to Facebook and it’s all out assault on the company. User growth was more modest than expected. The company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of about $188 million during the quarter, a number you find out if you look past the $2.4 billion loss headline. However, there are some silver linings on these dark clouds: the company is still second to Facebook in terms of time spent in app by its 166 million daily active users — at more than 30 minutes per day. It used to be about 25 minutes. Facebook users spend around 37 minutes on the service, according to Morgan Stanley data, though Facebook itself doesn’t reveal those numbers. Instagram daily active usage is about 22 minutes. Twitter is ten minutes! It might not be enough to stop the bleeding, but it shows for Continue reading "Snap’s Silver Lining"

The Om Show Podcast: w/guest Shakil Khan

7C2ACCC8-8ABB-4A5B-BD6A-4873333C9D4D.jpg Shakil Khan, the head of special projects at Spotify and co-founder of Student.com is one of the fixtures in Internet circles. And connected as he is — is the guy who got many of my peers to support CharityWater — no one really knows him. These days he is Spotify’s special ambassador and a wellknown and beloved fixture in tech circles. He is “Shak,” not “Shaq.” It is hard to describe this tall, British-Pakistani guy who starts his Sunday by sharing some amazing desi songs from Spotify’s vast library of music with me and a handful of friends of South Asian heritage.  He is always there to help his friends, make impossible happen. He hides behind an easy smile, putting his rolodex towork for others and tweeting links to some of the best desi (aka South Asian) music. I met Shak ten years ago and we have become Continue reading "The Om Show Podcast: w/guest Shakil Khan"

Dies Slowly 

He who does not travel,
who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
dies slowly.

Pablo Neruda, Dies Slowly

On Apple’s Portrait Mode Ads

Apple’s latest ads for the iPhone 7+ are touting the “Portrait Mode.” As I have written in the past, I love the bokeh-like capabilities of this mode which blurs out the background elements. Sure it isn’t the same as the real lens on a real camera (like my old Leica Summicron 50mm on my Monochrome) but still not bad on a phone. I have argued that it’s like having a brand new camera.  That said, portrait mode is a hit-and-miss feature. It works about three out of five times. The distance from the subject and light requirements are not predictable, and as a photographer I am always searching for the sweet spot make the photo. If you try and let the phone take the photo, often the subject itself gets blurred out. In other words, the portrait mode is still work in progress.It needs more polishing. 
Continue reading "On Apple’s Portrait Mode Ads"

Coffee, Camera, Conversation…

Sometimes I get together with fellow camera nerds, drink coffee and we talk about photography, life and Instagram, which by the way has 700 million users! Photos (top) by Chris Michel & (below) by Felix!

Netflix now has 100 million subscribers

In January 2017, it was estimated that if all goes well, then Netflix will pass the 100 million subscriber point sometime in April 2017. Right on time, the company CEO Reed Hastings announced that the streaming video giant had passed the 100 million subscriber milestone. He celebrated by having a steak dinner at Denny’s, just like he did when Netflix passed one million subscribers. Given the international footprint, I think it is yet another reason for Apple to seriously consider Netflix as an acquisition. Apple was the first one to build a global content marketplace with iTunes. There are just so many synergies in these companies — except from what I am told, Reed is an Android man!