Dec 4 2014

motion exposure images

love this new series of light motion by artist and photographer, stephen orlando. the artist uses programmable LED nightsticks and has recently attached them to oars, paddles and people in movement – the newer images interacting with water are really magical and reminiscent of contemporary architectural forms. reminded me of this project from Oslo who used LED to measure wifi signals across the city

see more here

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May 4 2013

backstage requests

love this series of musicians backstage requests (or ‘riders’, ‘addendums’) for food items that the photographer, henry hargreaves,  has shot in a style of the flemish masters. Each of the requests that accompany Hargreaves’ photographs are taken directly from the contracts, and the spelling is verbatim from the riders. the artist says what attracted him to the series was “the way their requests manage to say something about the performers personality that words struggle to,” and the way they “were able identify with them through what they chose to eat and drink.”


highlights of the slideshow below include:

Frank Sinatra: “One bottle each: Absolute, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, white wine, red wine. Twenty-four chilled jumbo shrimp, Life Savers, cough drops.”
Foo Fighters: “Big-a** kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious.”
Billy Idol: “One tub ‘I can’t believe it’s not Butter!’, Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
Axl Rose: “Fresh Wonder Bread (white), Dom Perignon”
Prince: “Coffee and tea setup, including honey, lemon, sugar, cream, fresh ginger root. Physician will be used to administer a B-12 injection.”
Rihanna: “Hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, at any time throughout the day. Please be prepared!”
Britney Spears: “Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.”
Van Halen: “Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M’s (Warning: absolutely no brown ones).”
Marilyn Manson: “Gummi bears.”
Busta Rhymes: “Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness.”
Beyoncé: “Juicy baked chicken, heavily seasoned: garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Beyoncé can only have Pepsi products.”

in an interview with vice, hargreaves notes, “I initially thought I would try and shoot all of the items listed on the catering riders but quickly realized that this would become an exercise in wasting money. So I decided to focus on the quirkiest requests and shoot them in a Flemish Baroque still-life style because I felt that there was a direct connection between the themes in these types of paintings and the riders: the idea of time passing and the ultimate mortality of a musician’s career as the limelight inevitably fades—they only have a short time in which they are able to make these demands and have them fulfilled.”

This American Life had an episode about the fineprint of riders:

Ira Glass – The way I always heard the story was that Van Halen had something in the contract that they used when they toured that said that everywhere that they went, in every city, in every dressing room on their tour, there had to be a bowl of M&Ms, and that the brown M&Ms had to be removed. It’s kind of a well-known story, I think. And the way that I understood it is that it showed what divas rock stars could be, that any whim that they had would have to be met, no matter how petty. You hate brown M&Ms? Poof! They will cease to exist in your world.
And then a couple of years ago, we had this band, They Might Be Giants, on our radio show….And I remember John Flansburgh saying to me, no, no, no, no, no. I had the meaning of the story totally wrong.

John Flansburgh – The thing that the average rock fan doesn’t realize is that, in the itinerant life of somebody in a rock band, they’re relying on a promoter– probably a different promoter every day– to give them everything. And a contract rider is basically the entire show from beginning to end. I mean, you’re talking about personnel. You’re talking about the PA. So a lot of it’s very prosaic stuff. People really focus on the dressing room stuff, but actually most of it is just making sure that there’s literally enough electricity in the venue so that the show doesn’t end after 10 minutes.

Ira Glass – And this, Flansburgh says, was what was so ingenious about the brown M&Ms. Van Halen had this huge setup with lots of gear, and if the local promoter didn’t carefully read the contract rider, stuff could collapse. It could be dangerous. So the brown M&Ms were like the canary in the coal mine. The contract rider said the brown M&Ms were not supposed to be there. If they were there, look out.

Ira Glass – “We’d pull up with nine 18-wheeler trucks full of gear in places where the standard was three trucks max. And there were many, many technical errors, whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through. The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages, because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in article number 126, in the middle of nowhere was, quote, ‘There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area upon pain of forfeiture of the show with full compensation,’ end quote.”

So, David Lee Roth writes, “When I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl, well, line check the entire production, guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed, you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to destroy the whole show. Sometimes literally life threatening.”

listen the entire episode here




Feb 6 2013

3D mapping software

I have started experimenting with 123D Catch software that allows you to take multiple shots of an object or space and have the photos stitched together into a 3d model. The ability to crunch the data is handled on autodesk’s cloud website and within minutes – the final 3d model is posted for you. With it – you can export the model and bring it into a scene or better yet – print a 3d model of it…

Oct 27 2012

geometry of fruit

this collection of photos by Turkish artist and photographer, Şakir Gökçebağ, are so very simple but magnificent in their obviousness. if someone gave you some pieces of fruit, a knife and a camera – imagine what you might create. I am struck with the idea of re-creating each one of these images exactly as they are since I cannot thing of what I would do differently – I find them perfectly considered, realized and captured in time…

the artist website is here

Nov 10 2011

opportunity green gathering

we had a great kickoff to this year’s opportunity green conference – at the greenberg-green ‘green’ house in the hollywood hills just above doheny drive. the newly renovate eco-designed green house was also full of a favorite RISD alumni’s photography work, jill greenberg (’89). I had seen some of her work at the venice biennale a few years back and I have always love the haunting starkness and surreal quality of her images.

read the LA Times article on the house and view some panoramas inside

Feb 20 2011

photo opportunities

I love this series by artist, corinne vionnet, superimposing dozens of photographs by tourists of landmark locations around the globe. I suppose it could be unnerving even upsetting to find we are not at all unique when confronted with great moments of beauty, design and initial confrontation. the beauty of the series is the subtlety of these moments, the soft edges of movement and choice that we make when we compose a shot. the blurriness is where our authenticity lays…

from the artist’s website:

Photo Opportunities by Madeline Yale
For most, to sightsee is to photograph. Embarking on treasure hunts to tourist destinations renowned for monuments of grandeur, we pursue the extraordinary. Framing sites of mass tourism in our viewfinders, we create photographic souvenirs that are integral to the touristic experience. These products, coined “photograph-trophies”i by Susan Sontag, separate our leisurely pleasures from the real everyday experiences of work and life, validating that we had fun on vacation and were in exotic locales where exists the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, or Niagara Falls.

Conducting online keyword searches for monuments, Swiss/French artist Corinne Vionnet culled thousands of tourists’ snapshots for her series Photo Opportunities. Working with several hundred photographs of a single monument, the artist weaves together small sections of the appropriated images to create each layered, ethereal structure. Famed landmarks appear to float gently in a dream-like haze of blue sky. Each construction espouses the “touristic gaze”i, its distorted visual referent functions as a device for memory transport by funneling many experiences into one familiar locale.

What is remarkable about Vionnet’s findings is the consistency in online iterations of the travelers’ gaze. It makes one wonder, how do we determine the optimum spot to photograph landmarks? Maybe we stand at the gateway to the Taj Mahal to render its architectural façade in perfect symmetry, or we stand where we can frame all four American presidents in equal scale at Mount Rushmore. Perhaps we instinctively choose how to photograph known monuments as we are socially conditioned to take pictures we have seen before – images popularized through film, television, postcards, and the Internet.

Not so long ago, people would often organize their tourist snapshots into travelogues. Today, the travelogue is less likely to be a tangible album found in our homes than it is an online directory of digital images. When placed in the public realm, the travel souvenirs become anonymous products of tourism, searchable by the keywords ascribed to them by their makers. These meeting points, as Vionnet describes the sourced snapshots, may be inspiration for your next photo opportunity.

Madeline Yale is an independent curator and writer based in London and Dubai, where she is conducting research on the emerging photography community in the Middle East. Previously she served as the executive director and curator for the Houston Center for Photography and manager of the Evans Gallery/ Photographic Estate of Todd Webb.

i Sontag, S. 1977. On Photography. New York: Picador, p. 9.
ii Urry, J. 2002. The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies London: Sage.

Jan 13 2011

juice box camera

great stealthy kitsch simple camera – a juicebox sized and shaped 35 mm camera which uses the straw to control the shutter…

from their website:
You can only push your peas into happy faces and sculpt mashed potatoes into mountain ranges so many times. Your lunch hour has reached a creative stalemate. Here’s a refreshing take on lunch breaks: The Juice Box Camera! It’s a 35mm camera disguised as a your fave childhood beverage. So how exactly does it work? The straw is actually a shutter.Twist the straw to open the shutter, and push it down to snap a photo. The plastic lens delivers a deliciously lo-fi look, while the 28mm wide angle lens frames every photo with gorgeous vignetting. read more…

Dec 30 2010

electrospark photos

I love this collection of vintage photos, personal images, 1950’s and 60’s advertising and period graphic design on flickr
check it out here:  electrospark

Dec 4 2010

testing the leica

you can plan great shots and use the best equipment but a shot like this just happens…right when you are going to put the camera away and then you get it by chance

Dec 4 2010

leica d-lux 5

i have been thoroughly pleased with my small, non-descript and handy leica d-lux 5 the past 2 weeks since purchasing. it has an incredible lens and range of functions…and a red dot.