Thursday, June 30, 2011

Learn composition by example: Anchoring

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. His first five posts, on leading lines, on layers, on borders, on framing, and on triangles, were blogged earlier herehere, here, here and here. His sixth post appeared last weekend, tackling the subject of anchoring as a compositional technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging once more from the most basic to the advanced very subtle uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by fellow Flickrite ben.pearson.007 (White rope in black and white), which Rick used as the most basic illustration of the anchoring concept. In his words: "The rope reaching away from the coil, to the corner, is classic anchoring. It gives meaning to the subject - not just a coil for the sake of it, but storage of the loose end of a working rope. The position into the corner also holds the tilt of the shot in place, giving reason to the angle of the pier". Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

web site

Sunday, June 26, 2011

As butterflies

High time for some colour in the blog, and with summer starting for real today, what better way than post one of the gorgeous poppy shots by my Flickr friend jenny downing. Even in her excellent stream, this one stands out as one of the best. A perfect rendition, thanks to the bokeh that echoes the poppy's shapes and colours.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Links [6]

Once more an overview of interesting links on topics related to the blog, that I encountered recently (some undoubtedly via a Jenny Downing buzz), but that will probably not make the blog as separate entries. The picture above is by myself.

David Lachapelle Interview.
Before and After Pictures of the Tsunami Clean-up.
Putin Employs Former Model as Photographer.
What Are Artists Really Saying with Artist Statements?
Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous Works of Art.
10 Pictures that Shocked the World.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture

I first heard about this elusive piece 20 years ago, and thanks to YouTube I finally heard (and saw) it today: Malcolm Arnold's notorious A Grand, Grand Overture composed for vacuum cleaners, a floor polisher, assorted rifles and orchestra. It is a piece that is more than a musical joke, even though it was commissioned by Gerard Hoffnung for his hilarious music festivals. Beyond the weirdness, Arnold's natural gift for melody and orchestration shines through. An ideal vehicle for a Last Night of the Proms concert.


When the tigers broke free

A beautiful artistic Pink Floyd cover for the single When the tigers broke free, making use of the stunning art work of the movie The Wall itself. Remarkable how the record company did not even bother to put the song title on the cover. More about Pink Floyd on the linked wikipedia page.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Abstraction in the net

A first appearance in my blog for the most recent addition to my select list of Flickr friends: pannaphotos. Excellent contrast between the razor sharp black net lines and the whirling colour extravaganza in the background. A fascinating shot.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Raff, Master and Servant

Today we highlight the perhaps most criminally neglected composer of all time: German master Joachim Raff (1822-1882). Although he was one of the most popular composers of his time, he was quickly forgotten, except for his contributions as assistant and occasional orchestrator of Franz Liszt (one suspects that he had an even greater part in Liszt's orchestrations than the great man admitted himself). Only in recent years, he is starting to get the attention he deserves as one of the best romantic masters, highly skilled in orchestration and a continuous source of wonderful themes, thanks to enterprising labels like Tudor, CPO and Naxos. I have listened to all his 11 symphonies and concertos, and a good part of his chamber music, and personally I rate him higher than Liszt. His masterpiece is the spooky Lenore symphony (his 5th), one of the best in the genre of programmatic symphonies. Since that one is not yet in the Naxos catalogue, I have selected the monumental first symphony, titled To the fatherland, over 70 minutes of unashamed romanticism, and an excellent introduction to his work. The Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic Orchestra under Samuel Friedmann does a great job here, and this disc is warmly recommended. If you check out only one new composer in 2011, you could hardly make a better choice than Raff (provided you do not already know him of course).


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jazz piano delight

Several years ago we bought an 8CD box entitled The Jazz Collection. The music is great, but the cover design of the separate CD's is even better, and none more than this beauty I selected for today's post. These covers all are based on the art work of Katsumi Aoyama, to whose site I link below.

All Music

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I still got the blues for you

I posted this one on Flickr a few weeks ago to good response. Many people wondered what they were actually looking at. Well, it is a glass ornament at my brother's place, but with the shot turned upside down for more effect. I particularly liked one comment: "Like a haiku about grey and blue".

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 200 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, June 13, 2011

Rising sun

Max Pechstein (1881-1955) is one of the few leading German expressionists that have not featured yet in my blog. His style is typical for the members of the group Die Bruecke (The bridge), bold colours, influenced by both van Gogh and the French fauvists. He suffered like many of his colleagues from the repression of "degenerate art" by the Nazi regime, but has rightfully taken his place in the history of 20th century art. This painting is my favourite in his oeuvre, an exuberant ode to the sun. More on Pechstein in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mademoiselle Poirot

A blog that I have been following for quite a while now - Mademoiselle Poirot's musings and photographs. In her own words: "Originally from Paris and now trying to find my feet in London, I have set up this blog to collect and share all the things that inspire me. I hope you'll enjoy them too." Well, I certainly do. It is always refreshing to see her post on elegant subjects, usually taken from her own daily life, and illustrated by her own photography or selected samples from the internet. Recommended for sure.

web site

Links [5]

Once more an overview of interesting links on topics related to the blog, that I encountered recently (some undoubtedly via a Jenny Downing buzz), but that will probably not make the blog as separate entries. The picture above is by myself.

A Riot in aA Jam Jar: Controversial Artworks by Jimmy Cauty.
Steve Martin Victim to German Art Forgery Ring.
Is This Art or Rubbish?
Rare Colour Photographs of the Depression Era.
The 30 Most Incredible Photographs of Volcanic Eruptions.
Behind the Scenes of Classic Films.

Friday, June 10, 2011

42nd Street

I came across this fantastic art deco movie poster earlier this week, and just had to post it. This 1933 classical musical comedy is well worth watching, but the poster, with that fascinating repeating sensual motive, is one of the very best.

More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tokhon amai naiba mone rakhle

Beautiful black and white landscape photography of Namibia. A relatively recent masterpiece in the rich photostream of my Flickr friend aftab, with beautiful line play throughout the shot.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Friday, June 03, 2011

Harvesting near Newark Priory (Ripley, Surrey)

This is not exactly the usual style of paintings that I like, but it is very much fitting for the occasion, as we will be dwelling through this Surrey landscape today. The artist is Frederick William Hulme (1816 - 1884), famous for his landscapes particularly from this region of the UK. More on Hulme in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Attracted by light

This is such a beautiful macro shot. Wonderful control of dof, a fantastic combination of shapes, echoed in the bokeh and fabulous pastel colours. A real masterpiece by my Flickr friend sannesu.

All rights retained by the photographer.