Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Zebra finches

My long-time Flickr friend Rainer Blankermann (previously known as knirps2007) excels in high quality zoo shots. I love this one of three zebra finches on a branch - beautiful depth of field and great composition. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 22. Losing my religion (REM)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #22, we find REM with Losing my religion (#1 in 1991). This track from the album Out of time is still one of their signature tunes, and a regular feature in list of all-time favourite songs all over the world. The title itself initiated much, and until today unresolved, discussion. Was it just an old Southern saying that sounded good? Total gibberish? Or an admission of something more personal by singer and lyricist Michael Stipe? The melody is among the best in their vast repertoire whilst the instrumentation, with acoustic plucked string instruments dominating, is great. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, July 24, 2015

Whirling

Here is another one of my favourite shots of the year so far. I took this photograph earlier this month in a famous modern interior decoration shop in Naarden. It is a close-up of a light element. Once more, not selected for Explore in spite of good responses at Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cafe Severin

A somewhat older painting by my wife (probably from 2004), in an intermediate style before she really found her Shanghai Expressionism style. The bicycle in a French setting  makes it especially suited as the Tour de France draws to a close.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 23. One of us (ABBA)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #23, we find Sweden's main export product ABBA with One of us (#1 in 1982). This single was their last major international hit. The carefree days of songs like WaterlooRing ring and Mamma Mia were clearly light years behind them. Personal conflicts, leading to divorces of both couples that made up the band, had unavoidably taken their toll and their songs started to show it. That said, One of us is one of their best songs, and its bitter theme about separation still strikes a chord like few others. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nostalgia

A great example of a female pop/rock star who ages with grace and is not afraid to show it. Annie Lennox turned 60 last year and on the album cover for her 2014 release Nostalgia (a collection of covers) she does not hide it behind layers of Photoshop. The result is a strong and dignified image that is very striking. Photography by Robert Sebree.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Art abstraction

One of my own favourites of the year. It is a close-up of a larger art piece by Julia Winter, who is currently exhibiting near our home, creating a powerful abstract. Good reactions on Flickr, but not explored.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 24. Twilight zone (Golden Earring)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #24, we find Dutch band Golden Earring with Twilight Zone (#1 in 1982). Although internationally known for two songs only, they had five #1 hits in the Netherlands, and 27 top10 hits. Warning: the video clip contains nudity and is not safe for work. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Monday, July 06, 2015

People meeting

It's been far too long since I last posted a painting by German expressionist grandmaster August Macke in the blog. This beauty was created in 1914. shortly before he fell in the Great War. More on Macke in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 25. Driver's seat (Sniff 'n' the Tears)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #25, we find British band Sniff 'n' the Tears with Driver's seat (#1 in 1991, second release), the lead off song from their 1978 debut album Fickle heart. This is one of the ultimate songs to play whilst driving, a great melodic rock song, with excellent singing by front man Paul Roberts, who incidentally also produced the beautiful artwork used for the cover of their albums. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Echoes of the Golden Age

The astonishing qualities of my wife as an artistic photographer tend to get less attention because of her paintings, but once in a while I will highlight them in the blog. She shot this beautiful image last Saturday at the opening of an art exhibition in a nearby 14th century city gate. The way she captured this fellow visitor of the exhibition instantly reminds one of the works of artists from the Dutch Golden Age.

The Art of Lu Schaper