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.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vogue January 1925

Sometimes one post automatically triggers the next. When I posted yesterday's vintage Fiat poster featuring a classy car and a girl, I was sure that I had recently seen a similar theme on a Vogue cover. And indeed, here it is. Splendid design by Georges Lepape.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cold Heineken

With the tropical weather we have in Holland right now, an appropriate commercial. I see this one every day a few times on large billboards. Creative and effective, like most Heineken commercials. Cheers!

Creative Ads

Fiat Balilla

Another find in the Art Deco book that I posted about yesterday: this beautiful vintage art deco poster for the Fiat Balilla, dating back to around 1930. Very elegant indeed, this combination of classic automobile and the lady dressed in the thirties' style.

Vintage Posters

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Lights and Shadows of Manhattan

Special designs of the vintage variety (1927). I came across this beautiful coffee set in an Art Deco book in the library last Friday. The designer is Denmark's Erik Magnussen. A marvelous piece of cubist art deco in metal, with an imaginative title to boot.

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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.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cement eclipses by Isaac Cordal

A fascinating art project that I came across at the Twistedsifter site. To quote the artist, Isaac Cordal: "Cement eclipses is a research project of urban space that runs between the fields of sculpture and photography. The sculpture is used as a starting point and photography as a witness to the execution of installations for later viewing or exhibition. The small pieces (25 cm. Approx) are made in cement, of which copies are reproduced using silicone molds. These are small figures representing a kind of metamorphosis in which the man leaves his roles as citizens camouflaging themselves with the city and slowly becomes part of furniture. In this way confirms the voluntary isolation of human being with regard to nature, hidden among the sidewalks, streets, walls, etc., becoming the urban environment in their natural habitat." I love the idea and the execution, in particular in the one I selected, entitled "Electoral campaign".

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2011

Another recent news shot with an art angle: The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2011 has opened its doors for the public. This photograph shows one of the visitors interacting with an untitled fibreglass and paint work by Anish Kapoor.

All rights retained by the photographer (Eddie Mulholland).

web site

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Swan song

Sometimes you come across really great images on the web, but without information attached to them. I decided to start a subject for these, titled A is for anonymous. I will include the link where I found the shot, and anybody who can provide more information on these pictures, please leave a comment or mail me. I came across this gem on the Mendel's soup site. A fascinating shot, with the origami swan causing a ripple in the sheet music. excellent idea, flawless execution.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Junk mail portraits by Sandhi Schimmel Gold

Using unusual materials for "art" will typically land you in Art's Potpourri rather than in this blog. Unless of course the resulting art is outstanding, and that is certainly the case here. American artist Sandhi Schimmel Gold makes fantastic collage portraits from junk mail, combining the concept of turning useless rubbish into art with a really exquisite result. The link gives more examples, and I love them all.

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


A nice cold image for the start of summer today: more photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member Rungue for the Vanishing Point 2 contest. What makes this image so special is that it was made basically from scratch. Only the general form was prescribed.

All rights retained by the creator.


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.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Art Basel 2011

Another topical photojournalist shot - a visitor of the Art Basel 2011, the world's biggest contemporary art fair, passing one of the exhibits (a sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan). The link is part of a series of 18 shots of the event.

All rights retained by the photographer (AFP/Getty).

web site

Social March 1927

An unknown magazine, issued in Cuba, but what a fabulous art deco cover. Unfortunately I have not been able to find more information on its creator, or the magazine itself for that matter.


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).


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sink into me

The apocalyptic visions of Josh Graham, available in poster format, really appeal to me. I picked this one from a recent collection (see link), but any other would have done as well.

All rights retained by the creator.


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

Sea pink

My favourite type of photojournalism for this blog: with an art angle. A man inspects the sculpture "Sea pink" during the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark, last Friday.

All rights retained by the photographer (Darren Staples/Reuters).

web site

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.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ophelia Overdose

This web page, part of the worthwhile Beautiful Life blog, gives an astonishing overview of the modelling talent of Germany's Ophelia Overdose, who is not only a professional model, but also designer and performer. Close to 50 photographs displaying a bewildering change of moods. Highly recommended.

web site