Sunday, January 31, 2010

Descent

And to round off this day's series, a gorgeous abstract shot by the latest addition to my relatively small list of Flickr friends, SteffenTuck. I came across her artistic stream thanks to another Flickr friend, katemellersh. This particular photograph drew me in, and I am sure there will be more of her work to feature in my blog the coming months.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Breakfast in the wild

The unavoidable (fortunately) contribution to any series of Flickr favourites by my favourite photographer on Flickr, aftab. A magnificent piece of brutal wild life from his Namibia trip, with this bird of prey feasting on a freshly killed small bird. The bokeh is simply breathtaking.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

There they go-o-o!

A recent fave, albeit an older shot (October 2006), by my Flickr friend peggyhr. This fantastic daisy study just received a well-deserved third place finish in the prestigious Telegraph Kate Day photo contest, with the theme 'white'. Ms. Day commented: "And finally, I loved Peggy Reimchen’s macro shot of a dandelion head. She is also looking up and has got down really low to play with the perspective in this picture. A nice take on a popular shot." Fully agree.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

In his element

Let's close out January with another Flickr Favourites Sunday: four very different shots I recently faved at Flicker. We start with a spectacular action photograph by my Flickr friend sannesu. She has posted a series of great surfer's shots over the past few weeks, but this one has it all, composition, stance, expression, brilliant shapes of the waves, sense of dynamics. A master piece.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Illustrated

Or do you still call it published if your shots are used in internet news sites? Anyway, it still amuses me when I see my photographs being used that way. Two fairly recent examples. The left one is an article on the Dutch World Radio Network site, accompanying a piece on contagious diseases of goats and sheep, using my You lookin' at me?, one of my most faved shots. The right one is an article on the Houston real estate site Swamplot, about the closure of Borders book stores in Houston, taking my Borders in the rain as illustration.

Men in film

The male counterpart to the recently posted magnificent video of dozens of actresses, morphed into one another expertly, by the same creator. You will see in sequence the faces of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, Laurence Olivier, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, William Holden, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Rock Hudson, Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn, Gregory Peck, Richard Burton, Jack Lemmon, Sean Connery, Sidney Poitier, Charlton Heston, Steve McQueen, Peter O'Toole, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, Warren Beatty, Dennis Hopper, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Harrison Ford, Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Christopher Walken, Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, John Travolta, Antonio Banderas, Tim Robbins, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, and George Clooney. With more Bach as background. A treat.

YouTube

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spiral staircases

Spiral staircases are amongst the most interesting (if over-used) photographic subjects. This entry in WebUrbanist gives a dizzying overview with 101 superb variations on the theme.

link

Dennis Stock

It was not widely published, but earlier this month, American photographer Dennis Stock (1928-2010) died of cancer. A protege of Henri Cartier Bresson and chronicler of post-war Hollywood, Stock is mainly remembered for the iconic photograph of James Dean on Times Square from 1955, depicted above. Quickly nicknamed Boulevard of broken dreams by publishers, this emotional shot has decorated the bedrooms of many American teens.

More on Stock in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Audrey Manga

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member Mia9182 for the Vintage Hollywood Manga 3 contest - depicting celebrities as manga figurines. Of course, any Audrey Hepburn image will draw my attention, and in this one I also get a fascinating association with one of my favourite TV series when I was a kid - the Thunderbirds.

All rights retained by the creator.

Worth1000

Help Haiti

Haiti has not featured on my blog yet, because the thousands of news photographs that have been published do a terrific and terrifying job in documenting the sheer horror of the disaster, but there is no art angle to them. This one though is not only more positive (it depicts a worker's face caked with flour as he unloads bags of food aid in Port-au-Prince) but is also an excellent photograph by itself. Here's to everyone helping the poor people of Haiti, be it financially or like this guy, by working very hard.

All rights retained by the photographer.

web site

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holocaust

Few classical music works have touched me so much as Gorecki's third symphony from 1976, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Here, on international holocaust remembrance day, is the third movement by soprano Isabel Bayrakdaraian, and the Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod. Images were taken from "HOLOCAUST - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz". For the first time since its liberation, permission was granted for music to be heard in Auschwitz and a number of leading musicians were brought there to perform music for the film. Spine chilling.

YouTube

Survivor

I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like as a survivor of the Nazi death camps to return to Auschwitz and re-live those nightmare days. Still people like Jadwiga Bogucka (84) summoned up the courage to do so this year, to speak to the world under the ominous entrance sign to the camp. And one look at her face is worth a thousand words - powerful photography as well.

All rights retained by the photographer.

web site

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day - marking the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) by Soviet troops. One of the most emotional moments in my life was our visit in the spring of 2008 to the remains of said concentration camp. For today's anniversary, I prepared this collage of shots I took at that occasion. Lest we forget.

Hanging on by Daniel Arsham

Intriguing art by New York based artist Daniel Arsham - and intriguing how little information comes with it on a number of sites. It took me a few through-clicks, based on an original link sent in by Jenny Downing, to end up at his web site. Fascinating minimalist work.

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Order and chaos

Here is another recent shot where, based on comments and faves, I thought I had a decent chance on Flickr Explore, but without success. I took this one last weekend in the park near our home, whilst walking the dog, after a fresh batch of snow. The first time I noticed the contrast between the vertical order and horizontal chaos in this group of trees.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 154 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hotel Marques de Riscal Elciego

No points for guessing the architect of this Spanish luxury hotel, but it is interesting to know that if you like Frank Gehry's masterpieces (such as the Bilbao Guggenheim), you can actually book a room in one of them since its opening 2006. First seen here; more on this building can be found in the link below (the hotel's official site as it has not made wikipedia yet).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Uninterrupted pour

This set of pyrex champagne flute glasses does not come cheap (500 USD), but it is a fun combination that allows you to pour a complete bottle in one go.

web site

Olympic winter games 1932

For the third winter games, we move to the USA. The official poster is simple but effective, and I particularly like the way the map of the USA doubles up as inverted mountains contours.

Vintage Posters

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Noir

One of those film noir like images that my friend Il malmostoso excels in. This one saw more post-processing than usual, and to great effect. Left titleless by its creator, I improvised one.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Chhaya chhaya nibhu nibhu alo'r rekha

The obligatory inclusion of my favourite photographer on Flickr, aftab. The title is derived from a bangladeshi song, but more importantly, the shot itself is a masterly example of defining tranquility in two dimensions.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Monkshood

One of my favourite Flickr friends, both in terms of photography and general interaction (not to mention contributions to my blogs), is jenny downing. Here is a recent example of her great flower shots. The bee is a nice bonus, but what makes that shot for me is the fabulous combination of colours. And the feeling of a much desired spring it evokes.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Up in the heavens!

An atmospheric foggy shot demonstrating the versality of my British Flickr friend Adrian (adrians_art), who recently featured in my blog with a still life and one of his trademark landscapes with magnificent skies. To quote the photographer: "it feels as if those horses were floating in the sky or Up in the heavens!".

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Late in the afternoon

Let's have another Flickr Favourites Sunday - five recent and very diffrent shots I faved on Flickr. We kick off with the third gorgeous portrait in my blog this month by my great Flickr friend andy_57. This is so far the best in an intriguing series with the model Cynthia Muse. The lighting is as perfect as ever, and I particularly like the pose of the model in this shot.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Women in film

Back in October 2008, I posted a stunning video about women in art, by Philip Scott Johnson who managed to take 90 women depicted by famous painters and let them morph slowly but irresistably from one to the other. Well, he has been at it again, this time using famous actresses, to wit (takes deep breath) Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivien Leigh, Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Deborah Kerr, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, Lauren Bacall, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Ann Margret, Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch, Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry. More Bach as background music, and another absolute masterpiece. A must see.

YouTube

Frida Kahlo by Alex Queral

One of those subjects that are on the fence between this blog and Art's Potpourri, but in the end I found this artistic enough to feature here. Alex Queral is a Philadelphian sculptor who takes old phone books as his material to carve their pages into celebrities faces, like Barack Obama, Jack Nicholson, Frida Kahlo and John Goodman. The process takes at least a couple of weeks to complete.

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Frontline

A stunning ad by Frontline, one of the best sold anti-flea products, in what must be one of the largest advertisements around. The drawback of course is that you can only appreciate it from the higher levels.

Creative Ads