I've long had my reservations about Uber and their ilk. I used to drive Cabs while I was at University. But Uber eats is so convenient. Until things go wrong, which they did recently. I am awaiting some response to my query about the outcome of a recent order that went pear shaped. In the process of trying to wok out how to complain using a desktop computer, I found this site.
It's a place for Uber workers to hang out and "network". Interesting reading. Making a complaint on an iPhone is dumbed down to an FAQ. If the FAQ does not have a suitable respose you can then submit a query in a form with a single input field.
The Uber app itself is an app that works well on a phone, provided things go well. When unexpected things occur, mysteriously cancelled orders for example, the ability to find some recourse is impossible. The app designers make the arrogant assumption that everyone always knows how to use the app and never consider something may go wrong. Even getting help on the phone app is truncated to a single field input value. This field does not allow for a long and complicated explanation. I wrote my complaint in an email. I then to tried email it with no luck as the email  bounced. Then I just cut and pasted the complaint in the single form field on the website version in the FAQ section. Try doing all that on an iPhone!

A single input field, no clarification on how many characters
or any way of reviewing it
Edit 12:38
I have had my issue resolved. Still the process was not as easy and intuitive as it could be. I also didn't get the real reimbursement I felt I deserved. The first cancelled order had a discount code applied. The second was full priced. I was reimbursed the cheaper of the two meals.

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It's all about the light!

Kensington, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2012-09-26 15:18:03
This picture was made on a solo photo-stroll in 2012 using only my humble iPhone. It was a pleasant surprise, as I trawled my archive looking for something to upload to flickr on Saturday morning. This is how I treat my flickr stream as a reverse order gallery hang. A stream of consciousness approach to displaying imagery in a screen based context.

What struck me as I looked at it was the delicate play of light and how the scene was almost luminous. A rare treat in the southern hemisphere and a real technical bonus for digital capture devices.

Software like Lightroom means that I can locate and manipulate these kinds of picture easily. As software improves then our ability to find and edit them also improves. Archives have always been important to me. Digital ones are easy to search and keep organised with a minimum of fuss.

Another reason I like to use flickr to upload and share work is the way I can draw connections between images. This image for example is in several 'albums'. Albums are a way to organise your photographs into larger ideas, from the most simple like date, to camera, or some other idea behind the image. The albums this picture is in are, 2012, psychogeography, still life, vertical, iPhone/s, it doesn't get any bigger than this.

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Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline 2019-06-12 14:44:06
When I am driving round places I’m not familiar with and am not a driver, I like to make pictures of the view as I go and see what things look like photographed. Gary Winogrand is famously quoted for this idea. What difference does it make though when the element of chance is added by pressing the shutter button and not really being sure of what you are capturing?

This is an experiment I attempt when I’m a passenger. Occasionally I receive some interesting results. I like in this instance how the flag is floating freely on the left and the flag on the  flagpole on the right is not moving. The black black adverting sign adds to the mystery I feel.
I have to confess it is difficult to make good and interesting pictures when visiting a foreign city as a tourist. In fact if I am at the mercy of guides and other people, or English is not the first language, I find it very difficult to make good pictures. However in a city where English is the standard language, and I feel comfortable enough to wander aimlessly, then sometimes I rewarded with good pictures. Our recent trip to New York City, should have provided this, sadly though we ran out of time.

Some observations about New York City. This was our third visit with a high likelihood of I being our last. Each trip was too short even though they got longer each time, with the most current one being 12 days. There seems to be large swathes of empty blocks once you were far enough away from areas like Times Square. The amount of homelessness was by far the most apparent this trip. We encountered several local New Yorkers in service industries like restaurants. Some shops and stores seemed to employ men who looked as old if not older than me. In a country where the minimum wage is quite low, I’m taken aback by this. Sadly I never got the chance to speak at length to these people. We met and spoke at length to Laticia. She was living in Brooklyn, and was working in a chemist chain store called CVS. Very funny with lots of interesting things to say. We probably spent more money there than needed but it was so much fun. We also went on a 'Crime Tour', led by a former NYC policeman. He had lived in Little Italy, in the east Village all his life along with several generations of his family. He claimed his grandfather sold alcohol during prohibition. Had seen several crime figures in his life as a teenager running errands and as a cop. All good fun.

I got to visit some great exhibitions while in NYC and may share some thoughts on them in the future. Let me say this much I have a much greater respect now for Robert Mapplethorpe after seeing his retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim. It was weird seeing Gary Winogrand’s work in colour at the Brooklyn Museum, and Jeff Wall’s current exhibition on at the Gagoisian was 98% gold, one picture felt contrite the rest huge and inspiring.
Gary Winnogrand's famous Brooklyn Zoo image in colour!

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Call for submissions?

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BIFB 2019

Liu Bolin, Balloon No. 1, 2012 [detail]
This years program for the Ballarat International Photo Biennale has been announced. The headline Artis this year is LIU BOLIN. An artist whose work I am familiar with albeit on a small scale. As for the general paying public maybe not so much, and at $18.00 we shall see. It forms part of the core program.  I enjoyed David Lachapples work in 2017, also part of the core program, there were no surprises in his work however. I can imagine that Liu’s work will have a similar appeal to many people again this year.

I have been attending the Biennalle since it first opened in Daylesford. It was 2007. The venues were varied and iconoclastic, I remember old mills partially open to the air and small shops and even pubs, housing exhibitions across the region. Jeff Moorfoot was the man responsible and what a great advocate for photography he was and remains to this day. Over the years there has been some amazing work and the festival continues to go from strength to strength. A new National Centre of photography is being built in Ballarat as well, at 4 Lydiard St South, Ballarat. The Biennale is a feature on the calendar of the Photographic art wold here in Victoria, if not Australia. Next year we are also having another large photography festival Photo 2020. International Festival of Photography 23.4 - 10.5.2020 Melbourne and beyond. All in all a great couple of years on the horizon.

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All 16 books I purchased

Photobooks form a large part of my creative practice. This has been the case since the late 1980s. I was first introduced to photobooks at University by my lecturers there. Photobooks have continued to be a driving force and inspiration in much of my work. They of course also allow me to access photographer’s monographs and bodies of work even before the internet expanded that access. On a recent trip to New York City I took the opportunity to access the vast supply of books available to me at both galleries and bookshops. I came home with about 16 books. Some new, some second hand and one book that I had never thought I would see again after lending my copy to a former student.

The books are:-
  • The Secret Paris of the 30's [Brassai]
  • The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston…
  • Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Stages for Being
  • Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills
  • Robert Mapplethorpe: Polaroids
  • Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs
  • Joel Sternfeld: iDubai
  • Color Photography: A Working Manual by Henry Horenstein
  • Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960
  • Martin Parr: Life's a Beach
  • Richard Ross: Architecture of Authority
  • Robert Frank: Hold Still, Keep Going
  • Down to Earth: Boyle Family in New Zealand
  • Bill Wood's Business: Text by Diane Keaton, Marvin Heiferman
  •  Ed Ruscha: Los Angeles Apartments
Once I have time to digest their contents I may share some thoughts here.

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TYAT [rinse and repeat]

2009-06-06 07:53:39

Ten years ago today I was obviously in Hong Kong. I was also fortunate enough to be able to spend most of my time walking and photographing. A rarity when I travel with my gorgeous wife. My iPhone and Canon G11 are still 12 months away. I think I may have even shot film on this trip? Some of which has made it to flickr of course!

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Chelsea, NYC

2019-06-04 14:14:19

Chelsea Market in Chelsea New York City, New York, is an upscale market in a revamped industrial building in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. Chelsea Market was constructed in the 1890s and was originally the site of the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory complex where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced. The complex was redeveloped in the 1990s and features a retail concourse at ground level with office space above. Chelsea Market is currently owned by Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google.*

We wandered through on a Monday, early afternoon and the place seem busy enough. I personally would describe the place as hipster, or at worst a tourist cliche. The space is highly designed in a way I feel that perhaps 10 years ago was new and ground breaking but now is a little predictable. The vendors seemed to be predominantly food vendors with Mexican, Italian and other food styles well represented. Outside this building however, I see many empty shops. Leaving me to wonder about the state of the economy in the USA.

Despite all this I felt compelled to take out my phone camera and make this picture. I was drawn by the  retro analogue TV with it's white noise. No doubt chosen for its retro look. I felt it surmised the space well as just that, white noise. It wasn't until the next day the I realised the woman on the right was wearing glasses on her head.

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TYAT [Hong Kong]

Hong Kong 2009-06-05 08:10:16
This image made ten years ago reminds me of the mental state I was in at the time. Not yet at the bottom but sinking fast. It also formed part of my book, The Ericsson Files [A mobile phone camera journal 2007~2009]. It was the last image in the book. Its title:- "You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down... Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The title is a quote from one of my favourite movies, Bladerunner. A movie which questions the definition of humanity. A question most of my work attempts to address.

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Answers found;

Urban landscape from my archives; location unknwn

...even when not really looking is a pure gift.
I’ve never found pure wilderness very interesting. Walking through Tasmania or the South Island of New Zealand is very beautiful but not actually interesting to me. But coming across a pair of old stone gates in an overgrown landscape on the outskirts of Rome, that’s kinda sexy.’
Bill Henson
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TYAT [White Noise]

2009-06-01 09:01:52
Ten years ago today, this humble picture was made with my then state of the art Sony Ericsson Phone camera. It was also the only picture I made. A far cry from where I am today! 2010 was the beginning of my digital camera explorations in earnest; it was also the year I bought my first iPhone.

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