Terry David Mulligan Hands FreeMonday, May 16, 2011
It was at least 12 years ago that TV Guide (it was sold recently for $1.00) hired me to photograph the local luminary music man and ex RCMP officer, Terry David Mulligan. I went to his house in West Vancouver and he told me that he had to pick up his dog at the grooming salon and that I jump into his van. I was most impressed when his phone rang and he pressed something in his steering wheel and he began to talk. The person who had called seemed to be talking from his car radio. After the call Mulligan explained to me that he received many calls while driving and he thought that this system was perfect for him.
All those years later I read in my NY Times yesterday about something called a computer safety assistant. This device when installed into a car gives you pointers on alertness if you happen to be using your cell phone. It might casually say, “Careful Alex, you are approaching a light. Concentrate!” It seems that people will not stop using a cell phone while driving and that even hands free talking can be so distracting you’re your possibility of being in an accident is increased. This system is supposed to help.
The powers that be at the NY Times have a funny feature attached to the column which is called Bits – Highlights from Bits, the technology blog updated all day at nytimes.com/bits. This feature is a comment from some person who usually has a negative (perhaps rational is a better word). The comment follows the announcement of this latest blockbuster technological advancement. The comment in question was so good that I immediately knew I had to write a blog about it. The other option is one that I would never exercise and that is to put a comment in What’s on your mind? In facebook that would read, “Hey guys, check this link. It’s hilarious. Then a few of my “friends” would not comment but just click on the “likes this” button.
The comment: So let me get this straight: we have reached the evolutionary point where we need to develop intelligent technology to prevent us from stupidly using technology. – Bill, Tinley Park, Ilinois, May 9.
All that brings to mind the problem that my friend Paul Leisz has with his epensive Canon DSLR. It has been taking oversaturated pictures for about a year. In flash mode the pictures are so dark that Leisz has to double and triple the ISO rating of his camera to get sort of properly exposed pictures. After not getting any satisfaction from any of the local camera stores he repeatedly approached Canon Canada. Eventually they replied and asked him to send sample jpgs. The answer to the problem seems to be perhaps a faulty CMOS sensor. Leisz if a frugal Hungarian so he told me, “ Alex that is the most expensive part of my camera.” He must now send his camera to Mississauga and he has been told to expect a four to five week turnaround. My wife told me upon hearing Leisz’s problem, “Mississauga is about an hour away from Toronto airport. It is not in the Far East!”
I told Leisz, when he complained that he would be virtually camera less (he has an inexpensive point and shoot), that in my business all these years I have always had at least another camera, just in case. I love my Mamiya RB-67 so I have a backup and a third one for parts. “Isn’t that expensive?” Leisz asked. Yes it is expensive but that was part of the obligation any professional photographer had in that rapidly receding time when magazines and newspapers paid for photographs. Now with free content on the internet and pictures that are offered for free or for ridiculously low remuneration a photographer has to deal with Mississauga which, in spite of what Rosemary said, is about as far as the Far East.
And that is where intelligent technology has brought us to.