Writings

May 13, 2022

A Remembrance: Jony Ive's Eulogy for Steve Jobs

Today, while on a hunt for some old photographs to use on the "My Story" section of my website, I re-discovered a file where I'd transcribed Jony Ive's eulogy for Steve Jobs. The spirit of Jony's words, while specific to his best friend, St...

Steve used to say to me (and he used to say this a lot), "Hey Jony, here's a dopey idea." And sometimes they were — really dopey. Sometimes they were truly dreadful. But sometimes they took the air from the room, and they left us both completely silent. Bold, crazy, magnificent ideas. Or quiet, simple ones which, in their subtlety, their detail, were utterly profound. And just as Steve loved ideas, and loved making stuff, he treated the process of creativity with a rare and a wonderful reverence. I think he, better than anyone, understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished. I loved the way that he listened so intently. I loved his perception, his remarkable sensitivity, and his surgically precise opinion. I really believe there was a beauty in how singular, how keen his insight was, even though sometimes it could sting. As I'm sure many of you know, Steve didn't confine his sense of excellence to making products. When we travelled together, we would check in and I'd go up to my room. And I'd leave my bags very neatly by the door. And I wouldn't unpack. And I would go and sit on the bed. I would go and sit on the bed next to the phone. And I would wait for the inevitable phone call: "Hey Jony, this hotel sucks. Let's go." He used to joke that the lunatics had taken over the asylum, as we shared a giddy excitement spending months and months working on a part of a product that nobody would ever see. Not with their eyes. We did it because we really believed it was right because we cared. He believed that there was a gravity, almost a sense of civic responsibility, to care way beyond any sort of functional imperative. While the work hopefully appeared inevitable, appeared simple and easy, it really cost. It cost us all, didn't it? But you know what? It cost him most. He cared the most. He worried the most deeply. He constantly questioned, "Is this good enough? Is this right?" And despite all his successes, all his achievements, he never assumed that we would get there in the end. When the ideas didn't come, and when the prototypes failed, it was with great intent, with faith, that he decided to believe we would eventually make something great. But the joy of getting there! I loved his enthusiasm, his simple delight (often, I think, mixed with some relief) that, yeah, we got there. We got there in the end and it was good. You can see his smile, can't you? The celebration of making something great for everybody, enjoying the defeat of cynicism, the rejection of reason, the rejection of being told a hundred times, "You can't do that." So his, I think, was a victory for beauty, for purity, and, as he would say, for giving a damn. He was my closest and my most loyal friend. We worked together for nearly fifteen years. (And he still laughed at the way I say "aluminium".) For the past two weeks, we've all been struggling to find ways to say goodbye. This morning I simply want to end by saying, "Thank you, Steve." Thank you for your remarkable vision, which has united and inspired this extraordinary group of people. For all that we have learned from you, and for all that we will continue to learn from each other: Thank you, Steve.

December 27, 2019

Reflections

Reflections

Hi. I am a field note blog entry....

November 15, 2019

Emulation: Musings on a Guy from Florida

When learning something new, particularly, something we desire to become good at, at some point, we emulate. For the novice, emulation is often a natural response to inspiration, being moved by someone else’s mastery of the subject we’re in...

November 1, 2019

When Inspiration Cuts Deep: Agnes Martin

The photograph here is my favorite from a summer adventure into Los Angeles last year with my daughter, Ashlyn. We played tourists hitting food hotspots on Sunset Boulevard, ascending the winding roads to Griffith Park, and shopping the 3rd...

February 10, 2017

Duty in the Age of Trump

So far 2017 has been painful for me. I’ve never felt such concern and trepidation over a new administration. My birthday was January 19th, President Barack Obama’s last day in office. There was no celebration. January 20th, as Donald Trump ...

January 29, 2017

Ode to Ruth Bernhard

“My quest, through the magic of light and shadow, is to isolate, to simplify and to give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity.” — Ruth Bernhard I have a 3-story ascent of stairs in my home. It’s great daily exercise. And occasionally...

January 4, 2017

Endings and Beginnings

Hello 2017. Could it get any more cliché to welcome you as a new beginning? Well, for once, this cliché isn’t some resolution-filled false promise I’d break in two weeks. That’s right. With 2017, this shit gets real. Two weeks ago my life i...

May 8, 2016

Sheeple

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” – Rita Mae Brown Sunset, Canyon Junction, Zion National Park. On any given weekend, Spring, Summer, or Fall, photographers gather before dusk on the bridge facing south t...

January 4, 2016

White River Falls

White River Falls

It's always fun to rediscover forgotten images. Especially ones you really like! I spent the first two days of 2016 tidying up a rather bloated <a href="http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html">Adobe Lightroom</a> image libra...

November 21, 2015

Reverence

<a href="/images/craft/stone-concretions-large.jpg"></a> Somewhere in Zion. Eight stone concretions. Natural forms born of ancient dunes. A magic blend of iron oxide and quartz sand grains forged by water, compression, and time. Harder in c...

Inspirations

Photography is not easy. You know it takes a painter or a sculpture or a musician years to perfect their technique. Then they're free to make an expression in a matter of moments. It takes moments for a photographer to perfect his technique. And then it takes years for him to make it into something that is truly creative and worthwhile.

Paul Caponigro

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