Gannon Burgett

Clicks is a BlackBerry-style iPhone keyboard case designed for creators — The Verge

“A new company called Clicks Technology has announced an iPhone case with a built-in keyboard on the bottom.”

Time is a flat circle. Now we need someone to bring back T9 with physical cases. I’m sure my muscle memory would get me back to typing out T9 messages in no time. Who knows how many hours I spent perfecting the art in middle school and high school so I could sneakily type under the desk without looking.


Decisions, Decisions

How do you come to terms with not being able to do everything, everywhere, all at once?

I enjoy taking photos. I’m fascinated with collecting rocks. I adore making memories with my children. I cherish taking in walks with my wife. And I forever strive to soak in small moments of solitude in the beautiful places I travel to. But how do I figure out which reasonable combination of these things to do at a given time?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of our family goals this past year (and for next year) is to travel around Michigan. More specifically, travel around Michigan with the intention of walking along the beaches of the Great Lakes to collect various rocks and fossils, a hobby often referred to as rock hounding.

Something I struggle with though, not only during these adventures but other travels as well, is figuring out how to spend my time when we’re out and about. Realistically, I can only do one, maybe two tasks at a time. So, using the aforementioned examples, do I spend the time walking along the beach trying to corral the children while occasionally picking up a rock or two (and having a fear of missing out (FOMO) that I might miss a beautiful agate)? Or do I enjoy the walk with my wife and snap a few photos along the way? Should I be recording video of the kids as they look for rocks worth keeping? Or should I take a still photograph of them instead? Do I use a 35mm film camera or my 120 Contax 645? 50mm or 105mm?

So many decisions, both before and during every single activity. And that’s to say nothing of dealing with the FOMO that making one decision altered what could’ve been the better one after the fact.

I know I’m not the only one to feel this way; my wife expressed feeling the same way during our adventures (we’re both very multifaceted people with more hobbies and interests than is likely reasonable) and I’ve talked with others who feel this way in varying capacities. But it really does wear on me in ways that I don’t often realize until after the fact when I’m in a decompression stage much later on.

I’ve always considered myself to be someone who understands tradeoffs, opportunity costs, and cost-benefit analyses of both business and personal endeavors. But I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I struggle much more with the latter.

In my work life, I seem to have no problem making a decision amongst seemingly endless possibilities and doing it with little to no second guessing. But that aptitude doesn’t appear to translate well into my personal life. I’m not sure why, and I certainly don’t have an answer, but this post is my “thinking out loud” exercise I hope to be able to reference months or years from know when I eventually make some progress on this matter.


Nostalgia

An early-00s F-150 and a late 90s Roadmaster trike. Captured this past summer at my in-laws house.

Photographed on a Nikon FM2 with a 50mm F1.4 lens on expired (early 2010s) Kodak Gold 200.


Muskegon on Tri-X

One of our family goals this past year was to explore more of Michigan, the state we proudly call home. While traveling with two young children is far from convenient, we managed to make it to nearly every corner of the lower peninsula.

One of our family goals going into 2024 is to further explore Michigan and The Great Lakes that surround us. Specifically, we hope to make it to the upper peninsula as a family. I had the opportunity to explore some of the U.P. this year thanks to a work trip, but I was only briefly able to see the beauty and solitude it affords. Now it’s time to explore it with my wife and two ever-curious children.

These shots are a few black-and-white photographs I captured on one of the aforementioned trips—specifically, a trip to Muskegon, Michigan. They were shot on a Nikon FM2 with Tri-X 400 exposed at the rated ISO. I’ve been exploring a bit with Acros II over the past year or two after I picked up a few dozen rolls at an unbeatable price, but I always come back to Tri-X when I’m looking for flexibility. It can be pushed, pulled, and adjusted during development to no end and always comes out with the results I’m expecting. The perfect utilitarian film stock.


Popping Day/Nyquil like candy and using Afrin to gain some semblance of breathing back isn’t how I intendeded to spend the week between Christmas and New Years. But of all weeks to be sick, this is probably one of the better ones given work is all but off and all the kids are home from school.


You Should Have a Research Question

“By occasionally picking things to go deep on, you balance out the otherwise broad information diet we all get by default by being on the internet, consuming media, and just kind of being a modern human.”

A wonderful suggestion from Allen Pike I needed to hear, particularly going into 2024. I certainly don’t mind knowing a little bit about a lot (I feel like being a jack-of-all is my MO), but I do burn unnecessary amounts of time perusing through superficial information that doesn’t pay quality dividends relative to the time investment.


County Fairs

A close-up shot of a Ferris wheel at a fair, showing colorful cabins decorated with strings of lights. The sky is clear with a few clouds, and the top of a tree can be seen at the bottom of the frame.

I’ve never been much of a fan of county or state fairs. I’m not exactly sure of the source of my aversion, but it’s probably a safe bet to assume it has something to do with mostly unwillingly going to them as a child living in small-town Indiana.

Despite my general disdain for a variety of reasons, I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t enjoy them for the collage of colors and characters they bring out—even more so when you shoot it with some expired Fujifilm Superior 200 stock from the freezer.

These particular images were taken at a small-town Ohio county fair, where we go to annually in the town my wife was born and raised in. Not seen in this series are the adorable photos I snapped of my kids and wife having a wonderful time on rides. But those are destined for the frames in the living room family scrapbook, not my blog.

An action shot of a fairground ride in motion, with chairs suspended on chains swinging out. The ride is multicolored, and trees frame the top of the image against a backdrop of a blue sky with soft clouds. A food stall at the fair with signs for 'Aunt Bee's Funnel Cakes' and 'Texas Tenderloin.' There's a crowd of people in the foreground, some blurred, with a focus on the colorful stall that also advertises deep-fried Oreos. A carnival ride operator standing at the exit gate of a ride, which is painted red and yellow. The ride is not in motion, and there's a crowd of fairgoers in the background behind a metal barrier. A queue of people waiting at a lemon-shaped food trailer. The booth is bright yellow with a green tip, resembling a lemon, and is set against a busy fairground background. A bustling fairground scene with a food stall in the foreground advertising 'Corn Dogs,' 'Nachos,' 'Tacos,' and more. People are walking by in various directions, and there's a colorful banner overhead. A dynamic image of a thrill ride called 'Freak Out' at its peak motion, with seats filled with riders flung into the air. The ride is brightly colored with yellow, red, blue, and green, and the name of the ride is prominently displayed in a stylized font with lights.

Spent some time tinkering around with this old thrift store find that needed a bit of work. The front lens cover had some fungus on the inside. A heat gun, a cheap metal pick, and a quick cleaning later solved the problem.

Now to put some film through this lovely little 35mm point-and-shoot.


One down, (at least) three to go

While the final grades are technically pending, I have finished all my coursework and examinations for what is effectively my first semester of college1.

I never intended to return to school, but the stars aligned enough to justify taking on the extra workload. It’s been a doozy with full-time work, freelance work, and the ever-important work of being a father to two young children, but it’s been a solid experience so far.

And, for the first time in my life, I’ve ended the semester with a 4.0. I don’t expect that to carry on throughout the remainder of my degree, but hopefully, I can sneak through with a 3.5 or higher GPA when all is said and done—a vast improvement over the 2.8 I left high school with.

Update (December 14, 2023): The grades are officially in my transcript: 4.0 across the board.


  1. The credits I acquired from my previous two years of university I dropped out of over a decade ago didn’t transfer, so I’m more or less starting over as a freshman ↩︎


iA Notebook

This looks like a beautiful little product. I’m not short on notebooks at the moment, but I might just have to pick one of these up when they become available.


Settling Into Simplicity

I’m unsure why, but as time goes on, the less and less I enjoy being away from home. Our family went on a little trip this week, stretching merely Monday-Wednesday. It was an absolute joy and the kids had a blast, but I couldn’t help but want to be back at home having the usual evening routine after only 24 hours.

I’ve always considered myself a homebody—an introvert to a high degree. But, at the same time, I’ve always enjoyed being in the car on a road trip or exploring and learning about new places. Now though, it feels as though that is coming to an end in some capacity. Or, at the very least, undergoing a serious transition. I crave routine. I crave the simple, almost boring evenings at home with my wife watching our favorite shows, playing our favorite video games next to each other, and snacking on our favorite treats after tucking in the kids for bed.

It feels strange to be so complacent with the mundane. But it also feels like the inevitable after the first 30 years of my life, which saw me move more than 15 times, attend 12 schools from pre-K through college, and go through cancer at the age of 19 (which coincided with a then-gutting breakup that more or less altered my entire social life).

After all of that, simple feels safe and solitude feels sublime. It’s taken a decade of active measures to get to a place where simple is achievable and solitude is obtainable (as much as is possible with a five-year-old and four-year-old at home). So, for now, I’ll embrace this stage of life and continue to embrace the minimal stress and complications it affords.


“Time flows in a strange way on Sundays."

– Haruki Murakami


Shrinking

The older I get, the more I want to work on smaller screens.

I started writing on my glorious little 13” plastic white MacBook, moved up to a 27” iMac and continued to explore various multi-monitor solutions in every configuration imaginable. Now all I want is a cozy mechanical keyboard (my Keychron K2), a comfortable mouse (my Logi Ego M575), and a reasonably-sized screen (my 11” pre-M1 iPad Pro).

Larger displays only lead to more room for distractions and if there’s one thing I don’t need any help with it’s getting even more distracted than I do in the best circumstances.


Lucid Air Sapphire

I previously mentioned I was at Virginia International Raceway as part of Car and Driver’s annual Lightning Lap event. While my driving of fast, expensive cars was mostly limited to hauling them from one side of the track to another at no more than 30mph, I did manage to sneak in a hot lap as a passenger inside the Air Sapphire, a ridiculous EV made by Lucid.

I’ve loved fast cars all my life and have spent years shooting them trackside. But I haven’t gotten to ride in too many cars at high speed. Combine that with the fact I, until this event, had never ridden inside a fully electric vehicle, my breadth of experience is limited. That said, the Lucid Air Sapphire, at least at speed, was unlike any other car I’ve been in.

The amount of torque the Air Sapphire puts out on acceleration is incredible and taking high-speed turns felt like cutting through recently-Zamboni’d ice with a fresh pair of skates—on edge while still having just the right amount of grip. It’s clear why they named this vehicle the “Air.” No oversteer, no wheelspin—just pure speed and the grip to keep it all between the lines (with some help from our talented driver, Car and Driver Technical Editor, Dan Edmunds. Granted, you’d expect this from a $250,000 EV, but actually feeling it in action was an experience I won’t soon forget.

The above photo is one I snapped of the Air Sapphire as it sat after a hot lap around VIR’s Grand Course. It was shot on Kodak Gold 200 inside my Contax 645 with a 80mm F2 Zeiss lens and developed/scanned by Nice Film Club out of Brooklyn, NY. I’m not sure what magical elements all came together to get the exact look if I’m being honest, but the green tint to the glass, the soft purple shadows, and the colorful reflections instantly made me think of the iconic work of Saul Leiter, who photographed much of his color New York street photography on Kodachrome (his black and white work is incredible as well).

Leiter has always been a photographer whose work I’ve come back to time and time again and Kodachrome is a film stock I’ve always wished I’d had the opportunity to shoot with before it was declared dead, so to get this look with a modern film stock is a nice surprise.


Every single day I manage to completely forget a word I’m looking for while writing. I know exactly what I want to say conceptually, but the specific word alludes me.

Today, that word was “impromptu.”