Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bat Cave

Introducing the latest addition to my rather small group (on purpose) of Flickr friends: auribins. His pictures made my admin's pick of the day a number of times on the Life Thru a Lenz group, but this one really stood out. It is the type of abstract I love to try myself: converting the shapes of a modern building into an abstracted image. This one is perfect, with the small deviations from the symmetry adding to the quality, and with a magnificent title to boot.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Transition

A different abstract compared to the ones my Flickr friend sannesu has been producing lately. Absolutely love the shapes, colours and textures here. Very much like a modern art painting.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Happiness

Three more abstracts to continue last Sunday's theme. First off, another rare abstract by my Flickr friend aftab. Beautiful pastel colour and wonderful curves in this extreme flower macro.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Friday, July 30, 2010

Milliner's Shop

An appropriate follow-up of the previous post: here is one of the famous hat shop paintings by that German Expressionist grandmaster August Macke (1887-1914). This one dates back to 1913, one year before he fell in the Great War. More on Macke in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Advanced line play

Walking back home from the garage last week (where I had dumped the car for the yearly inspection), I passed the same new high rise office building again that has featured a couple of times in my stream this year. And of course, I had my camera with me. And you know what? After five months without a picture reaching Flickr Explore (the 500 most interesting shots of the day), this became my 49th shot to do so. Rumour has it by the way that Flickr changed their algorithm to determine these 500 - I am not the only one who suddenly went through a dry spell without substantial changes in comments and faves on their shots.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 51 mm
ISO speed 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Enjoying life

One of the largest paintings my wife made, and one of her personal favourites. A subdued but very elegant colour scheme, and a couple whose stance really matches the title.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nuclear war is unsettling

Austrian DJ Otto Kittel is a big hit in Germany right now, with his million selling album Nuclear war is unsettling - time for him to try to repeat that success world-wide. And why not? His trance remixes of samples of Kraftwerk and various New Wave acts, looped together in an ingenious fashion, are amongst the best available in that genre. Give him a try.

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 Otto Kittel.
[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 Walter Goodman: The idea of all-out nuclear war is unsettling.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Abstraction in primary colours, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were BattleLines 55 Blue and Magneto Bold 60 Yellow, 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.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inspired by Kate

After yesterday's spree of abstracts, this one seems appropriate. Last weekend I started going though my old shots again, to see whether there would be anything useful that I had not posted yet. This one is almost 3 years old, and with some cropping I created an abstract which in my mind is a bit in the style of kate mellersh - although not of that quality. It got quite some response though on Flickr.

Camera: Konica Minolta KD-400Z 4 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.022 sec (1/45)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 8 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tranquility in shade

To round off the abstract shots of today, here is another masterpiece by my Flickr friend SteffenTuck. She can convert flower shots to beautiful abstracts like no-one else.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Origin

A beautiful exquisite abstract by my Flickr friend sannesu. Love the limited colour range, and the sensuous curves.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Yesterday

Abstract shots are not that common in the stream of my Flickr friend aftab. This one qualifies though, the postprocessing converting the original dreamy shot of leaves in a fog to a snowy abstraction.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Cinematic: green

Introducing the latest addition to my rather small group (on purpose) of Flickr friends: Caecilia Metella. The first, but surely not the last of her shots to feature in my blog. This abstract is actually the reflection of green walls in the toilet-roll dispenser of a cinema - only a real photographer would spot and shoot this!

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Salvation comes in many different forms

A very special Flickr Favourites Sunday: five of the best abstract shots I have seen in recent weeks on Flickr. Here is one by the queen of this art form, my Flickr friend kate mellersh. Beautiful lines and curves in a white/grey palette, and the presence of a quite recognizable handrail does not take away anything from the abstract character of this shot.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Distant storms

A landscape of surreal beauty, captured by my Flickr friend Adrian (adrians_art). This is the type of scenery that inspired Constable and especially Turner to their masterpieces.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Friday, July 23, 2010

A matter of hearts

Flower shots are ten a penny on Flickr, and most of them I will hardly look at. Trust my Flickr friend aftab to come up with a real stunner. No colour palette to catch our eyes, but what magnificent shapes - and a great title to boot

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Tag Galaxy

An interesting site that allows you to look for tags in Flickr, providing connected tags as well, and spherical summaries of the tag you selected. An example is shown above for a number of my own shots.

link

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The positive side of negative space

Another one of those fabulous portraits that my Flickr friend andy_57 specializes in. We have encountered the model, Souveche, before in this blog in a different setting. Top notch composition, bringing out those fabulous eyes.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Stamitz, Mannheim Master

The classical period (1730-1820) is a perennial favourite with the crowds, but almost exclusively due to the two grandmasters Mozart and Haydn - Beethoven and Schubert are better remembered for their later romantic works. Other composers like Gluck, Weber and Hummel get airplay, but there are also countless masters from this period whose neglect in public performances is shameful. Perhaps none more than Carl Stamitz (1745-1801), German composer from Czech ancestry, and prominent representative of the second generation of the so-called Mannheim School. I especially like his three cello concertos - also because Mozart never ventured into this type, and because the two known Haydn ones are inferior to Stamitz in my opinion. This Naxos CD, which I have in my own collection, brings these three wonderful works together in excellent performances, with conductor Christian Benda on cello and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. A real bargain.

Amazon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flourish

This is such an amazing abstract floral image, with its wonderful shapes and pastel colours. Sheer perfection. Kudos to my Flickr friend SteffenTuck, who really should feature more often in my blog.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

La terrasse

My Flickr friend jenny downing is not just a regular contributor of ideas for my blogs, but also an excellent photographer, who has featured numerous times in my blog under the heading Flickr Favourites. This recent creation may well be the best shot in her stream, taking one of her regular themes (glasses with reflections) to perfection.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Monday, July 19, 2010

Broken

An example of a recent favourite that I encountered in one of the Flickr groups I frequent rather than in the updates on my Flickr friends. In this case the Life Thru a Lenz group, where fellow Flickrite werxtracoo posted this gorgeous black and white shot. I selected it as my admin's pick of the day. Beautiful composition and excellent tones.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

The making of "I'm not in love"

One of my favourite songs of all time, 10CC's unique masterpiece I'm not in love from the seventies. I came across this video detailing how it actually was produced, including fragments that did not make it to the final version. Fascinating stuff to listen to - the video itself is useless unfortunately.

YouTube

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spirit of the lake

Time for another shot by my Flickr friend word artist. In his own words: "I found myself in Poznan with not a lot to do. So a walk ensued, culminating in finding this spot with its good foreground from which to try to take a sunset picture. Of course, there wasn't much of a sunset, at least insofar as interesting colouration of the sky goes. So the one I waited for never materialised. But at least here the spirit showed itself." Personally, I think a spectacular technicolor sunset would only have taken away from the beauty and tranquillity of this place. I love it as is.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

The tempest

I was surprised to see that I had not featured Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) yet in my blog. Here he is with one of his signature works, a 1914 self portrait expressing his unrequited love for Alma Mahler, widow of composer Gustav Mahler. The work's subtitle, Bride of the Wind, is touchingly romantic.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A touch of Jean Harlow

Whenever my Flickr friend andy_57 embarks on a photoshoot with a model, you know you are in for a treat. Even though blondes in general do not appeal to me, and even though I usually do not like the selective colouring technique, I immediately faved this shot. The model's vampish look, stressed by the touch of red of her lips in the monochrome setting, indeed reminds me of Jean Harlow as Andy himself suggested. Brilliant portrait.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Green mist

A somewhat less recent shot by my Flickr friend jenny downing, which I had not gotten around posting in my blog yet. I hardly ever fave flower shots, but this one is absolutely exquisite, thanks to the stunning shapes and colours.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr