Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Let's end the halloween posts on a light note. Betty Boop all dressed up, as seen in a toy shop in the small Dutch town of Muiden. Isn't she lovely?

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 63 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Photoshop 7.0 (oval shape), Picasa 3.0


Meerkat Manor of Horrors

And one more of the same type - but just a bit more halloweeny. Zombie meerkats feed on pumpkin brains at Bristol Zoo Gardens in Bristol, England.

All rights retained by the photographer.

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Pumpkin munching

Pumpkins and halloween are linked together forever, but rather than posting a boring Michael Jackson carved out pumpkin from the news, I went for a natural use of it. Elephant Felix enjoys his pumpkin at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

All rights retained by the photographer.

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What better moment to start a new topic in my blog: movie posters worth noticing. This one is of course John Carpenter's 1976 Halloween with Jamie-Lee Curtis making her debut. In this case the movie itself was not bad either: far more subtle than many of its successors in the slasher genre. The poster is very effective with its suggestion of knife movement. Poster design by B.D. Fox Independent, artwork by Bob Gleason. More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

Friday, October 30, 2009

To the Sea of Ghosts

To set the mood for a series of Halloween posts tomorrow, here we have an older image on Flickr that I came across just recently. Fellow Flickrite Eric Vondy transformed a seaside shot taken near San Diego into an awesome haunting shot with a perfect title.

All rights retained by the photographer.



More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is another original shot created by their member Thegardener for the Re(n)union 3 contest - combining two or more old masters into one new painting. In this beautiful example, the artist has merged well-known works by Monet and Millais to a very convincing result.

All rights retained by the creator.


A gentleman's excuse me

The title track of former Marillion singer Fish' first solo album Vigil in a wilderness of mirrors from 1990 is amazing, but the soft ballad called A gentleman's excuse me is also quite worthwhile. Fish combines a touchy melody with sophisticated lyrics about a couple where the down-to-earth man is tired of the romantic woman's fantasies - for a while I thought that the lyrics could have a double meaning and hint at suicide ("Can't you get it inside your head, I'm tired of dancing"), but I have not been able to find anything on internet to support that. The piano play and orchestration are exquisite.
Art Rock score: 9/10 (very strong song, one of 650 best songs of all time)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Falling apart

The original title is Portrait, but I improvised something a bit more standing out in the topic list. This gem is by fellow Flickrite PamAnna, a beautiful example what a creative artist can do with a camera and photoshop.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Air Force Academy Chapel Colarado

The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colarado was completed as early as 1962 - even though its futuristic design by architect Walter Netsch suggests a far more recent date. The Cadet Chapel is 46 m high, 85 m long, and 26 m wide. Its main striking feature is the row of 17 spires, resembling delta wings of jet fighters.

More on this building can be found in the wikipedia link below.

Steve McCurry

Some photographers are doomed to be remembered for one single picture - or in the case of American Steve McCurry (born 1950) for two. His portrait of a 12 years old Afghan girl, which first appeared in National Geographic in 1985, became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, a sumbol for refugees world-wide. In January 2002, a National Geographic team traveled to Afghanistan to locate the subject of the now-famous photograph, and finally found her, then around the age of 30, in a remote region of Afghanistan. She vividly recalled being photographed—it was the first and only time she had ever had her picture taken, although the fame and symbolic character of her portrait were completely unknown to her. McCurry was given the opportunity to photograph her again, creating a diptych that is probably unique in the history of photography.

More on McCurry in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Modern Art Museum

One of my own favourite photographs of the year. I shot this in the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, a perfect example of using the frame-within-a-frame composition technique. My 31st photograph to reach Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day.

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/2.4
Focal Length: 7.2 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


LU Biscuits

Another great vintage poster, at the occasion of my wife Lu leaving for Shanghai. The French biscuits manufacturers LU (Lefevre-Utile) commissioned some of the most beautiful art nouveau posters and decorations of all time, often calling on the talent of the famous artist Alphonse Mucha. His 1897 creation Ceres for a LU calendar is perhaps the most famous of them all.

Vintage Posters

The model city

With my wife returning to Shanghai today for about six weeks, I picked this shot of visitors looking at a huge model of that wonderful city as displayed at the local Urban Planning museum. The display was created to mark the upcoming World Expo in Shanghai, which will start May 2010.

All rights retained by the photographer.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Abstract 21-08-1995

When I posted a painting by Yan Pei Ming recently, I noticed to my surprise that after the purge of my blog a year ago, I had not featured the greatest living Chinese artist yet. Well, here we have an example of the beautiful abstracts of Zao Wou Ki (Zhao Wuji), born in 1921 and currently living in Paris, where I had the pleasure to meet him at an exhibition in 2004. His abstracts recall Chinese landscapes without actually depicting them. More on Zao in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Sidney Lanier Bridge Georgia

The Sidney Lanier Bridge (after the poet of that name) is a 160 m high 2.4 km long cable-stayed bridge that spans the South Brunswick River in Brunswick, Georgia (USA). The current bridge was opened in 2003 as a replacement to the original lift bridge completed in 1956, which was twice disastrously struck by ships. More on this bridge in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Slivers of darkness still escaped sometimes

One of my top 10 photographers on Flickr is my Flickr friend kate mellersh. She sees opportunities no-one else sees, more often than not leading to abstracts that are simply beautiful. This one is a clear example of her style. Even better when viewed on a completely black background.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Uncertain smile

An interesting cover for a single by an interesting band. The The is the group formed around Matt Johnson. Their 1983 debut album Soul mining was received well, although it was relatively simple compared to some of Johnsons later experiments. The highlight off the album is the love song Uncertain Smile, with its bouncy drum beat and sparkling guitar countering the sweet-but-sour lyrics like "As street lamps pour orange coloured shapes through your windows - a broken soul stares from a pair of watering eyes - Uncertain emotions force an uncertain smile". Unfortunately, the record company butchered the single version. The album track has one of the most impressive piano solos of all times in rock music to close out the song... so they cut that from the single to replace it with some lame flute sounds. But it does have a great cover. More about The The on the linked wikipedia page.


The last few days of our recent trip to France we spent in Rouen, where we lived from mid 2002 until end 2004. Whilst we were there, we collected about 30 paintings of my wife that were still hanging in the office building where I worked at the time, paintings we had left because she was not particularly satisfied with them. It was a pleasant surprise to see them again, and realize that for several of them that judgement had been far too harsh. This abstract, an early example of her more expressionist style, is a case in point. Glad we got it back.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Time is running out

For over a year, the Flickr group Life thru a Lenz has been sporting a monthly assignment on a selected theme - and this is the first time a shot of mine is amongst the winners. The September theme was "Chaos" and my entry landed on the second place. I shot this at a market in Montmartre. It is actually a coffee table decoration, which raises the question whether I can claim this as my shot in the first place. Still, I chose the angle, the crop and the post-processing, so I am giving myself the benefit of the doubt.

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1600)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 16.1 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Snow in St. Petersburg

While Holland is still enjoying nice autumn weather, parts of Europe have already had their first taste of winter. Maybe not the most newsworthy item for photojournalism, but the shot itself, taken in St. Petersburg (Russia) earlier this month, is beautiful.

All rights retained by the photographer.

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By the light of the moon

My admiration of the creations of the Spanish architect Calatrava is well documented in this blog, but this may be the single most impressive photograph of them that I have seen so far. Fellow Flickrite Unai Redondo captured this stunning view of Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, bathed in gorgeous moonlight.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Dali's clock

OK, this year I fell for it - it took me a while to realize this morning that the clocks had changed from summer to winter time. An appropriate post for the day, an artistic clock, inspired by Dali's famous painting. And affordable at 45 USD.

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Slow down mama....

Sometimes you come across really great images on the web, but without information attached to them. I decided to start a new subject for these, titled A is for anonymous. I will include the link where I found the shot, and anybody who can provide more information on these pictures, please leave a comment or mail me. Stumble upon guided me to this picture on the web, which came without further information. I have seen plenty of snail macro's, but this is the first one to include a young snail - and such a tiny one too. Marvellous image.


Porcelain waterfall

Visitors admired a waterfall sculpture made of recycled toilet bowls and urinals at a park in Foshan, Guangdong province, China, last Sunday. The sculpture is about 100 m long and 5 m tall. It is part of a local trade show for pottery and porcelain products, according to China Daily - no name of the artist was given.

All rights retained by the photographer.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rust abstract with leaves

Let's do one more on the autumn theme - here is a gorgeous shot I faved just a few hours ago. My Flickr friend tina_manthorpe spotted this beauty at a rusty digger at Greatford. Wonderful combination of colours and shapes, and perhaps the best fall shot I have seen.

All rights retained by the photographer (tina negus).