Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walk in the park

Another fantastic portrait shoot by my recently added Flickr friend Renee Rocket. She takes full advantage of the beauty of her model, but the postprocessing really turns this shot into a gorgeous piece of art.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Men in black and pink heads

Another shot by a Flickr friend who has become a regular feature in my blog in recent months: peggyhr. This particular photograph is a bit outside her usual topics, but it is a gorgeous atmospheric shot, with a very impressionist feeling to it.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Et poivre

I'll repeat what I said last time: not only a regular contributor to my blogs, but also a very fine photographer: my Flickr friend jenny downing. A typical example of her style, tackling everyday scenes with a cutting edge dof and bokeh generator. I love how you can still clearly make out the contours of the pepper mill in the background.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Precious

Another stunner from the stream of my favourite photographer on Flickr, aftab. The effect of the glowing mineral in its natural surrounding, with great tectures in the dark, is breathtaking.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

At every turn

Here we have another marvellous abstract shot by my Flickr friend SteffenTuck. Shots like these looks deceptively simple but it takes real genius to work out which minimalist composition will really work as an abstract. Exquisite.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Tickle under the chin!

Let's have another Flickr Favourites Sunday, six very different images that I recently faved. We kick off with my British Flickr friend Adrian (adrians_art), who was one of the very first friends I made on Flickr actually. This unique horse shot is more drole and less romantic than most of his output - and I love it.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Friday, February 26, 2010

Morning sun

A snapshot taken in the park during an early morning walk with the dog, capturing geese against the morning sky. I hesitated to put it on Flickr, but I'm glad I did, because it received a lot of positive reactions.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/11.0
Focal Length: 200 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

One of the better singles of U2, one of my favourite groups of all time. This track from the 1987 album The Joshua tree was a deserved world-wide hit. A very classy cover as well, in subdued black and white tones. More about U2 on the linked wikipedia page.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Art for Art's sake

A fascinating experiment. Delgado, a successful progressive rock band from Bilbao, Spain, have released a concept album unlike any other for their fifth studio CD. They have taken seven UK chart hits from the seventies, made by artists who flirted with prog but never fully got there, and gave these songs a full-blown prog rock treatment - none of these covers last under 10 minutes. And no matter which one you try, you have to admire their musicality and good taste - and enjoy the result. On this album you will find their versions of 10CC's Art for art's sake, Bowie's Heroes, ELO's Rockaria!, Queen's Somebody to love, Supertramp's Dreamer, Roxy Music's Angel eyes, and Alan Parsons Project's Lucifer. My favourite record of recent months.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Delgado.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by E.M. Forster: Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don't believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art's sake . (I could not believe my eyes that this one actually came up).
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, China Now 5, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Backhand brush 50 White and Subway 85 Black, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You never came

Let's round off the series with a new name. One of the most recent additions to my small list of Flickr friends is amy_B123. She is a master in the use of textures to enhance the qualities of her shots. Whether or not the effect here is a texture (or completely natural fog), the result is an incredibly atmospheric winterscape in the city - with a perfect title. Exquisite piece of art.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Water art: no rules

I have dubbed her "Queen of the water colours" before, for her fascinating series of abstracted water reflections. This recent shot shows that my Flickr friend peggyhr is also a master of the upside-down water reflection. The technique as such as not new (I have a few of them in my stream as well), but the effect in this shot is gorgeous, like an impressionist painting.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Vortex

A debut in my blog for a recently added Flickr friend - but we have already encountered her name in the geisha series of Andy_57 last Wednesday, where she was involved in the concept, make-up and wardrobe. Here is one of her own photographs, demonstrating that Renee Rocket can compete with the best of them in this point as well. Beautiful model, and stunning feeling of motion.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Softy...

High time for yet another appearance in my blog by my Flickr friend aftab. This may well be the most impressive flower macro I have ever seen, a symphony of droplets ad depth of field. Absolutely amazing shot.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Hole in the ice

My Flickr friend tina_manthorpe is one of those gifted photographers who can see opportunities most people would pass by. This shot of a hole in the ice makes a stunning abstract - like an eye in the sky.

All rights retained by the photographer (tina negus).

Flickr

Remembrance

Time for another Flickr favourites Sunday, six recent faves, six very different shots. The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is a fascinating piece of art - but it takes a real artist like my Flickr friend yushimoto_02 [christian] to add that symbolic touch of red that makes this such a brilliant capture.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heads hanging

One of my own favourites of recent weeks, and given the large number of comments and faves, I was surprised that it did not end up on Explore. The art (ink on 12 paper scrolls) is by Cai Guangbin, it is titled All together one, and was created in 2006. We saw this as part of the Red Storm exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. I think taking the shot from the side rather than the more conventional straight-on approach worked rather well.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO speed 1600
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Lemuria

Covers of albums of metal bands tend to be interesting if prone to cheesiness. However, there is nothing cheesy about this beautiful cover of Sweden's progessive death metal band Therion's 2004 album Lemuria.

All Music

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Badass Geisha on a Harley with a red parasol

Recapitulating as this one will show up first in the blog: a Flickr favourites wednesday is unusual in my blog, what is even more unusual is that these seven shots are by the same photographer, from one shoot. Given that I do not fave that often on Flickr (maybe 2 per day), it is a unique occurence for anyone on Flickr to post seven shots in a row over a few days and have them all end up in my favourites. Just that feat was accomplished by my highly esteemed Flickr friend andy_57. The model (Clarissa) is beautiful, the setting and props are stunning (kudos to another Flickr friend involved in the concept, make-up and wardrobe, Renee Rocket). This final one has a Dali-esque title that is very appropriate for the slightly surreal setting, which features one of the most unlikely prop combinations I have ever seen: a Harley and a parasol. And yet it works. The end of a fascinating shoot that the photographer should be very proud of. Bravo Andy! And bravo Renee as well.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Fan Club

What a fan-tastic shot again (OK, enough with the puns). The composition is flawless, the atmosphere serene, and the colours unbelievable.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Poetry

In such an embarassment of riches that is this photoshoot, it is difficult to pinpoint your favourite of favourites - but I guess this one is it. Very apt title for a fantastic portrait with that emphasis on the eyes, and just a hint of the setting (flower and fan).

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Red Kimono

Perhaps the most conventional of the series, but working so well. The colours are a riot, her expression is perfect. The whole setting reeminds me of Chinese opera for some reason.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Badass Geisha takes it easy

The third of the series mixes the first two in terms of setting and attitude to great effect. That touch of colour from her dress works perfectly. My original comment at the time was "I'll end up faving this whole shooting, I guess." - I was right.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

American Geisha

The contrast with the first shot could hardly be any higher. Very classical oriental look full of softness - as I commented originally, I think these two together would make a great diptych. Of course, at that point I did not know that so many more gems were going to be posted.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Badass Geisha

A Flickr favourites wednesday is unusual in my blog, what is even more unusual is that these seven shots are by the same photographer, from one shoot. Given that I do not fave that often on Flickr (maybe 2 per day), it is a unique occurence for anyone on Flickr to post seven shots in a row over a few days and have them all end up in my favourites. Just that feat was accomplished by my highly esteemed Flickr friend andy_57. The model (Clarissa) is beautiful, the setting and props are stunning (kudos to another Flickr friend involved in the concept, make-up and wardrobe, Renee Rocket). In this first one, which immediately got me hooked on the series, I love the composition, and the contrast of the badass attitude (amplified by the Harley) with the flowers in her hair.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nightmare

Taking photographs of paintings is in my opinion only valid if you add some ingredient. Here I think the inclusion of a spectator (my wife) facing the full angriness of the depicted figures works rather well. The painting is by Luo Jie, it is titled Angry young men, and was created in 2007. We saw this as part of the Red Storm exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. And after a bit of a dry spell, it became my 48th shot to make Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO speed 1600
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Drinking

For the occasion of the start of the year of the tiger, an appropriate animal shot by my Flickr friend Lars VanDe Goor Photography Art. The details in this shot, especially that tongue, are simply magnificent.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr