Medium’s Improvements

I am a forcibly retired editorial photographer writer living in the 21st century where the twin mantras are:

The best price is free.

Good enough is good enough.

With paid journalism moribund I sit at home, read, garden, write my daily blog and transfer some of them to the Medium platform.

I remember that as a magazine photographer I was more than competitive in the 80s and 90s because I had (and have) a medium format Mamiya RB-67. For assignments the camera’s revolving back gave me pictures that fit perfectly as full-page bleeds or in horizontal mode for two-page spreads.

Then came the advent of the Mac and art directors and designers went wild with its design possibilities. To make things easy for themselves they started designing around square photographs and illustrations. This way there was no fear of having to call a photographer or illustrator to find out if there was a vertical picture available as the magazine’s layout had changed. Squares fit nicely everywhere.

As these designers started fidgeting they had fun with the idea that many little pictures were better than one very good one.

Many a classically-trained designer noticed how this led to a decline in neatness and clarity.

The Medium that I remember from a few years ago was easy to use. One recent improvement that I find amazing (it does not always work) is the import story feature. Since I write a blog every day (I “publish”, how that word has declined in meaning!) it is easy to use the import story. I like that.

But I must point out that the folks at Medium are so eager to improve that they are losing sight of what is elegant simplicity.

I am an Argentine and in Spanish we have a saying :

Cuando el diablo no tiene nada que hacer, con el rabo espanta moscas.

This translates as:

When the devil is bored he swats flies with his tail.

I figure this might be a good cautionary tale for the improvement folks at Medium.

Squaring off with Instagrams

The perfect square

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

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