I carry them with me wherever I go — camera manuals. Soft copies. Loaded up on my Dropbox account so that I can get at them from any device and most any location. And the reason? My cameras are very complex machines. And they are also very complicated to operate.

Mark Dubovoy has an excellent piece on simplicity at Luminous Landscape:

Simplicity in a design is one of the hardest things to achieve. It implies that one has managed to implement every conceivable necessary function in an effective and efficient way. It also means that all superfluous or unnecessary functions have been eliminated. Simplicity by its very nature requires superb engineering in hardware and software design as well as a deep understanding of customer needs. But there is more, the whole device must feel aesthetically pleasing while at the same time providing state of the art performance and a sense of purpose. It is only when all these things come together that one can claim that simplicity has been achieved.

…even expert, technically inclined photographers have to spend hours reading a manual for a typical DSLR before they can properly use it. Often times they even need to take a manual in the field to figure out how to do certain things that are too hard to memorize. Pretty silly, isn’t it?

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