Sunday, July 31, 2011

Links [8]

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.

The National Countryside Photography Competition 2011.
25 Abandoned Yugoslav Communist Monuments.
Could Art Vandalism Become the New Terrorism?
Like-for-like Photos of Life in Mumbai and NYC.
Photographs of Animals in Motion.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learn composition by example: Negative space

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, on triangles, and on anchoring were blogged earlier herehere, here, herehere and here. His seventh post appeared last weekend, tackling the subject of negative space as a compositional 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 uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend aftab (You walk with me), which Rick commented on as follows: "An intriguing double instance of negative space here. The obvious one is the space in the top portion of the image, where emptiness provides a vertical balance to the action and truncated foreground. The second instance of negative space is the rock-strewn emptiness the man and boy are moving towards - the space for direction. This double space, with the subjects, create quite a serene image." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

web site

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rehab (IM Amy Winehouse)

Can't say I was a big fan of Amy Winehouse, but I thought her music represented a fresh breath in a stale pop music climate. Can't say that I was surprised of the news of her death today at 27, but still I am sad to see someone die this young. She joins the famous club of 27 - after Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. Rest in peace. The song I selected is the obvious choice for today.
Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Fire up, Alex!

Another abstract masterpiece by my Flickr friend caeciliametella: a fascinating study of peeling paint. It shows once more that mundane subjects come to life once they are spotted and digitized by a great photographer.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Crusell, champion of the clarinet

Twenty years ago, Emma Johnson's recording of the three Crusell clarinet concertos caused quite a stir. Who was this composer, who had written some of the most beautiful concertos of all time for the instrument? Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775-1838) is now recognized as Finland's most important composer before Sibelius. A master clarinet player himself (he introduced the Mozart concerto to the Scandinavian audiences), his best works are for that instrument: three gorgeous clarinet quartets and three beautiful concertos - in both cases, they would qualify for my top 10 in that genre, outranking the works by the likes of von Weber and Spohr. Style-wise, these are firmly rooted in Mozart's classicism, but still with their own sound. The Naxos CD I selected brings together the three clarinet concertos in excellent performances by Per Billman and the Uppsala University Chamber Orchestra under Gerard Korsten. A real treasure troves of hauntingly beautiful melodies. Perfect to listen to with all attention, but perfect as background music as well. Most warmly recommended.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


One of my more recent faves at Flickr, a shot that combines a wonderful playfulness with expert photographing technique. It was taken near Montmartre, and if you cannot figure out how it was done (no photoshop, no mirrors), the original post reveals the trick. A masterpiece by my Flickr friend Philipp Klinger.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Links [7]

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.

Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century.
Record Breaking Bridges.
Lego Album Covers.
Monkey Steals Camera and Takes Self Portrait.
Quirky Animal Pictures by Joanne Williams.
Abandoned Houses of Detroit - a Photo Report.
Gallery of Famous Art Crimes.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Moonlit night

I had never heard of Dutch artist Jan Sluijters (1881 - 1957) until my wife came across him in a book recently. I was enchanted by his work, which ranges over time from post-impressionism via fauvism and expressionism to realism. A good example of his work is this moonlit landscape from 1912, with obvious fauvist influences. More on Sluijters in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, July 08, 2011

The scarves of my wife

I have posted before about the line of silk and pashmina scarves based on my wife's art that are now available in high end fashion stores in Shanghai, but I return to the subject because we got hold of better photographs. The above is a sample, more can be seen on the linked page (part of her web site).

The Art of Lu Schaper

Monday, July 04, 2011


Asia is a band that is close to my general line of preference, but that I somehow really do not like. On the other hand, their covers were excellent. This one, for the 1985 album Astra, was designed by Roger Dean himself using photography by Willie Christie.

All Music

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Permanently self-enlarging experience

When I saw the title of this album, the Steve Wilson project Incredible Expanding Mindfuck immediately came to mind - and it was not a surprise when the first sounds came from my speakers that this debut album by Townsend Thunderbird is in the same electronic vein. Soundscapes ranging from ambient to dance floor drones and back and forth - it has all been done before, and to be honest, it has all been done better. Give this one a pass.

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 Townsend Thunderbird.
[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 M. Scott Peck: Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Rhapsody in Blue, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Underground 45 Yellow and Delirium 40 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.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Window in the Provence

A summer shot from many years ago (2007 to be precise), the reason for this post being that this one has been blogged and re-blogged in over 50 different blogs the past few weeks. I can't take too much credit for it: anybody would have clicked on the camera when presented with such a beautiful colourful scene.

Camera: Konica Minolta Digital Revio KD-400Z 4 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.002 sec (21/10000)
Aperture: f/4.7
Focal Length: 8 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 2.0