Thursday, September 29, 2011

Learn composition by example: Silhouettes

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. Previous posts on this subject can be found here:
Leading lines
Negative space
The S-curve
Recently, he posted his thoughts on silhouettes as a composition technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle and thought provoking uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend aftab (She did it), which Rick commented on as follows: "As a foreground silhouette can provide context in a scene without distracting from the main subject, so a series of silhouettes can be used to emphasise the visual depth of a scene. The trick here is that the eye sees light rather than dark. As such, the gaps are not seen, only inferred (you don't see the lack of information). This evening scene is naturally beautiful. The range of tones in both sky and water are so very peaceful. The addition - or, visually, subtraction - of the silhouetted pillars give context to the water's surface, very clearly showing just how fast it recedes into the distance. While the colours are nice, without the silhouetted structure, the depth would at best be guessed at. And, the eye never stops on the silhouettes themselves… they are the absence of information, so - while seen in the larger context - they are skipped over in the details." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

web site

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PhotoFunia [4]

I have blogged about this interesting site three times before, but they keep on adding so many new features that I think another post is warranted - even more so, since the previous post is one of the most watched of the year in my blog. This website is an endless source of fun. It gives you the opportunity to see your own photographs in predestined surroundings, such as billboards, TV screens, or magazine covers. One of the features is face recognition, by which they can transpose the face of someone you select very professsionally in a chosen set-up. In this case, I took a photograph of my wife and had her transformed into Bond. Jane Bond.

web site

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Army dreamers

One of my favourite Kate Bush singles, and one of my favourite Kate Bush covers, focusing on her beauty in a great colour scheme, and with title and artist included as if dedicated by the artist on a fan photograph. More about Kate Bush on the linked wikipedia page.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer 2011

An appropriate shot to mark the end of summer - quite possibly the worst summer I have ever experienced in terms of weather, wet and cold. I shot this one a few weeks ago at home, after another deluge. I quite like the outcome, and it got good reactions at Flickr as well.

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 43/2 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, September 19, 2011


As a child I was once given a small kaleidoscope by my parents - a real treasure. When I stumbled upon the linked web site, I was hooked for pure nostalgia. Not for everyone, but the way you create different moving kaleidoscopes by rearranging your mouse really made my day.

web site

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pearls before breakfast

Chances are you have heard this story before, but if not, it is well worth reading it in the original version (see link). At the request of the Washington Post, one of the best violinists of the world, Joshua Bell, played some of the most beautiful pieces Bach ever composed for that instrument in the Washington subway - on a multimillion dollar violin. He hardly got any attention and collected a grand total of 32 USD from the rushing commuters, most of whom did not even bother to stand and listen for a while. It says a lot about our society.

web site

Monday, September 12, 2011

Autobahn (the cover)

A logical follow-up of the day before yesterday's post. The Kraftwerk album that heralded their breakthrough in Europe, with a gorgeous neo art deco cover. I think I recall a more simple one when the album was released in 1974, maybe this one was created for the CD version.

All Music

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Autobahn (the song)

This song, reflecting where we will be for six hours or so today, brings back memories of my late teens. A gigantic hit in the summer of 1974, that was a must to include on my holiday MP3 mix USB stick... Kraftwerk were far ahead of their time, for sure. And although I like the full 22 minutes album version even better, the single edit is well worth while.
Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player)


Thursday, September 08, 2011


It's been far too long since I showed the other side of my wife's art: black and white drawings in Chinese ink. This is a unique procedure: every stroke has to be right first time. In these drawings she merges the ancient Chinese technique, which she studied at the Beijing University, with a more modern western approach of the choice of themes.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Blue on orange with white

After my Flickr friend caeciliametella had posted four or five of these breathtaking Rothko-esque abstracts, I had planned to post them all - after all, I faved them all as well.... However, she keeps posting more and more of these gems (eight and counting), so in the end I decided to pick the one I liked best and let you look at the others in her stream.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Links [10]

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.

Incredible Snapshots of Silhouetted Animals.
Bear Portraits by Jill Greenberg.
International Sand Sculpture Festival: Welcome to Hell.
Museums Get Creative with Their Permanent Collections.
Burning Man Festival 2011.
Stunning Birds Captured in Action Photography.

Friday, September 02, 2011

A century of London style

This is such a fun entertaining video - and very professionally done. An overview of a century of London fashion style, set against suitable music, in just over a minute.