Kenji Yamaguchi’s shop could be mistaken for Sid’s workbench from Toy Story, a place where mangled lenses and broken shutters crowd out bare areas of his workspace. His office is tucked away in the basement of National Geographic, behind a grease-covered floor filled with drill presses and electric saws. Surrounded by robotic motors, modified macro lenses, and custom flashes, Kenji builds contraptions that can’t be bought. When a photographer needs to fasten a camera onto a thirty-foot pole to capture a bird in her nest, or build a wide-angle macro lense to identify pollen on a flower with mountains in the background, he’ll call Kenji.   The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry | PROOF.

Google’s new design language, material design, makes its debut this week in Lollipop, the latest version of Android. It brings a bright new look to phones and tablets. But to hear Google’s designers explain it, material design is something far more ambitious than a new coat of pixels. By combining relevant rules from the world of graphic design with new ideas about interfaces and input, Google is aiming to establish some best practices for the fledgling field of interactive design at large. Material design is a few things. It’s a makeover—a “sweeping, well-reasoned, and often beautiful redesign” as we said earlier this year. It’s a new way of understanding user interfaces, in which UI elements get stacked like physical objects[…]

More people are picking up on the changes that are coming in the whole app ecosystem because form factors and operating systems are about to go through another period of flourishing innovation. Here’s a a very interesting take on it, with some very good insight and analysis behind it. The End Of Apps As We Know Them – Inside Intercom.

Brilliant piece by Ian Bogost in the Altantic. It’s been seven years since the first launch of the iPhone. Before that, smartphones were a curiosity, mostly an affectation of would-be executives—Blackberry and Treo and so forth. Not even a decade ago, they were wild and feral. Today, smartphones are fully domesticated. Tigers made kittens, which we now pet ceaselessly. Over two-thirds of Americans own them, and they have become the primary form of computing. But along with that domestication comes the inescapability of docility. Have you not accepted your smartphone’s reign over you, rather than lamenting it? Stroking our glass screens is just what we do now, even if it also feels sinful. The hope and promise of new computer[…]

Amidst all the hoopla over the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and their motion processors, faster CPUs, and larger screens, it was also announced that Apple’s latest smartphones would have a much better camera. And while that’s great news for those looking to take less-wack selfies at the bar, the new video features that come along with it mean something else: a high-quality camera filmmakers—and those who aspire to be—can keep in their pockets. Not that they didn’t have that before. iPhones have been used to make shorts and other types of films before—there are even multiple iPhone film festivals—but what the iPhone 6 offers is what Apple’s Phil Schiller called “technology used by high-end DSLRs” during yesterday’s[…]