Regarding Yosemite’s Icons

Yosemite has all new icons. The rules this time seems to be orthographic projection and round or tilted rectangles, less gloss and shine.

hdicon

If Apple really is serious about it’s new non-skeuomorphic UI design style, then why hold on to spinning platter Hard Drive icon? Especially since many new macs use SSD’s as their boot drive?

Moreover, this particular icon is not awfully appealing. The lighting is is unattractive. (Those screws by the way, what are they? They don’t look like torx screws) The label reads:

Internal Hard Disk
Handle the hard drive carefully to avoid damaging the circuit board. Make sure you are properly grounded

While this is a sound advice for handling internal hard drives, it’s plain silly to have it in icon.

facetimeicon

Facetime icon instead is simply confusing. The telephone effectively obscures what appears to be a video camera in the background. It’s hard to understand what this program would do just by looking at the icon.

 

quicktimeicon

And, poor, poor Quicktime. It seems nobody loves you. This just doesn’t look good although it is recognisable.

garageband

 

Garageband’s icon is one of the more successful (and intricate!) ones. It has tons of detail including strings and even wood grain in the guitar if you look closely. If this is not skeuomorphism then I don’t know what it is.

preview
The beloved Preview has a photo of a generic shore and a loupe, again orthographic projection with no perspective. There is some a photo of generic dry pebbles on behind. It’s not a bad icon and loupe makes sense, but preview can preview much more than photos.

activitymon

Activity monitor is my favourite. It has that nice CRT kind of looking glow, it’s simple and makes sense. It also is not a detailed image representing a heart monitor, but a screen which refers generally to monitoring innards of something.

These icons are massive in size and look great in Retina Macs even when zoomed in to crazy proportions. As result, these naturally also will take more storage space and add to the sizes of apps.

I just wonder, why such hardcore realism is needed? Wouldn’t more simple reference to the applications be enough? As result this inconsistent icon design of Yosemite leaves me feeling confused. I really hope there will be update which improves the icon design.

It’s been a while..

hiyayaakko_last of chocolate theme

I’ve longed for something more simple and honest. I got tired of the dark style and all that coolness. I think WP Chocolate is a good theme, but it’s just not for me anymore.

I need something more simple, light and honest. So I decided I will make my own website. I frankly don’t care that much about SEO optimisation or whether I can update the site while I’m go.

This was the last version of the old design. New version is coming soon. There is a slideshow of some of my latest images now in: http://www.hiyayaakko.com

So then, this blog became my only and primary one.

hiyayaakko_last of chocolate theme

Why Photo?

10697277_593056657466974_7101738219912725504_o

I think it’s really important to be honest. Especially when you try to explain core values; matters of the heart. So by writing this I hope I am able to do just that. Be rigorously honest.

Photography is a form of purification for me. It’s spiritual experience. By taking photo I’m able to express something deep inside me what I cannot by other means. There is this thing inside me, like this tiny stone, that leaves my body when I press the shutter. And it makes me free.

About my work, those who don’t know, I can tell you this. It takes a lot of effort. You wouldn’t believe. It’s like digging up these huge stones from the soil. You know, my father is a farmer, and he taught me how to clean up entire field from stones. Much like him, I am preparing my grave. He brought a shovel. I brought a camera.

I was born naked to this world and my mother held me against her breasts. So I became alive. I became Jaakko. Without my mother’s love, I would not exist. There would be no world of Jaakko.

So why nudes then? Wouldn’t taking picture of a butterfly be sufficient? It might, and that is actually another kind of nude photography..

In my case, I just happen to love women. I feel comfortable to be around with them and it’s definably easier and more fun than taking photo of an insect.

I used to hang out in bars and one of the most common question I was asked regarding my photos was “did you get a hard on?”. I try not to mind, and I sometimes just laughed and said “Of course!”. But in my heart I guess those comments always hurted me. These people have no idea.

So let me return a question. Imagine you climb on a mountain during night and see this huge aurora. Seeing the huge colorful curtain vibrating before you, you feel like you are looking at cosmos, and it stares back at you. You weep in astonishment. Do you get a hard on?

Of course there will always be people who can’t understand photography. My photography is not meant for those people. And quite honestly I don’t care. Life is amazing journey, and one day we will all die. We are born to this world with love, and we will die knowing love.

Jaakko Saari in Yokohama,
October 10, 2014

 

Angry Inch

How many of us replaces a watch every two years? iPhone 5 for example is kind of made like a watch. It’s extremely well made object. But so many people in Japan for example always want the latest and greatest, thus they abandon their extremely well designed and manufactured aluminium and glass iPhone 5 for the latest thing. What a pity, really.

I honestly think 4 inch iPhone 5 is perfect size for me. I don’t want it any bigger. It’s just right for me. It’s easy to handle and works perfectly. If I need to read or write a long article I’ll probably use Mac or iPad. Smaller device is also more discreet. And if I need to do something what I can’t do with 4 inch screen, I would still probably feel uncomfortable doing with 5 or 6 inch screen.

Gadget buying is kind of like having a fever. I admit it, honestly I would like to have Leica M6 with a really nice Leica lens. It would be amazing.. But I know if I would buy it I would probably soon get used to it. I would probably keep using it, but the pleasure of my shiny new camera would soon diminish. To be honest, actually my Voigtlander is probably almost as good as Leica. The experience of shooting isn’t that different. Instead of worrying about buying new shiny things, I focus on shooting more pictures.

Eric Kim has brilliant article, Happiness and Street Photography. Number one on his list “What hasn’t brought me happiness in street photography” is Cameras and equipment. I concur, Eric.

It’s good idea to use the money for experiences rather than material.

And you know, when we die we can’t bring any of that stuff with us.

Ommwriter

If there was one program that I could say that has significantly improved my life and conciousness, it would be Ommwriter.
The app allows me to write without distraction, and it has significantly improved my ability to concentrate and write.
It is just beautiful.
You can freely adjust the writing space on your screen, and the app comfortably hides everything else on your screen. There is super simple menu that appears when you move mouse, and it quickly disappears when you start writing. Very well designed.
The new version of the app for Mac is optimized for Retina screen. The soft background images and changing color and soothing beautiful ambient background really help to forget distraction and just write.
The music in the new version is more melodic than the tracks in earlier version.
Even the keystroke sounds actually work, they in fact somehow help me to focus. They are just so cute and lovely, especially the one that sounds like I’m tapping a glass screen. Music and keystroke sounds however only make sense when using headphones.
I really recommend trying Ommwriter.

Regarding 4K

Many creators are discovering that downrezzing 4K footage to 1080p for example, will yield better image quality than if shot with native 1080p camera. Especially in terms of overall sharpness, dynamic range and detail. For what I have seen, I concur, with a pinch of salt.

Before we throw our 5D Mark II and expensive lens collection to dust bin, I think  there are couple of things to consider.

  • Overhead of conversion of 4K files, practical aspect of editing
  • Optical quality of the lens
  • Available lens selection
  • Quality of the sensor of the camera
  • Camera rig / audio / etc.

If all these are taken into account and the workflow is practical, why not? However, I still think nothing beats optical qualities of the lens, mainly aperture size, bokeh quality etc. in DSLR filmmaking.

Jinmo

jinmo

My dear friend, and a mentor. A true creator without limits. Meeting him really changed my life and my understanding of life and art, “self” and “soul”.

Usually artists seem to shy technology, especially digital. Artists seem to often choose what’s classic, antique or well documented. Jinmo instead embraces all new technologies in his acoustic and optic art, he absorbs anything what helps him to create, including using foc.us transcranial headset when composing music and his super modern Jinmoid guitar. Or his use of wireless microscope in his Nano Zen work in our joint exhibition “Rapport of Super Senses” last year. He is a true pioneer.

I find it so refreshing how his music can be both purely avant-garde but also melodic. This intriguing combination can be heard in his earlier album series “For my new friends”. For My New Friends Vol 1. starts with song St.Mika, organic seven minutes long ambient piece. “Takako” is a dreamy, huge piece with haunting vocal. Then “Sky Church” is something more casual, although original and typically “Jinmo”.

I find it beautiful how Jinmo also uses elements of Japanese traditional arts in his works, calligraphy, for example played important role in his work “Ascension Spectacle”. The way how he incorporates these elements is so honest. He doesn’t hide his Japanese roots. Then, in his optic works, it’s easy to see influence for H.R. Giger. He is like this huge filter picking anything he likes, and then creating original new work. He is a true conductor.

If there would be any barrier or obstacle between him and his creation,  he would just walk around it never stopping.

My preconceived notion about tortured artist, especially in world of avant-garde, couldn’t have been more misplaced. My first impression from his was a man who has true balance. He is a funny guy to be around with, and he truly seems to enjoy his everyday work and life. This is very very rare in the world of artists.

I am putting together a movie of interviews and events surrounding Jinmo. Please check out for more: https://vimeo.com/73071711

Jinmo’s official site: http://www.jinmo.com