Monday, August 29, 2011

Blanco y Negro 1932

Blanco y Negro was a Portuguese magazine in the thirties, with some excellent cover designs. I picked this one as a first introduction in my blog.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beethoven symphonies cycle Haitink

A beautiful choice for the cover of the box with all nine Beethoven symphonies in live rendition by the London Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink. Like the covers of the infividual CD's, this cover is based on body parts photography of Gautier Deblonde, complemented with simple but effective fonts for the title information - and of course that excellent LSO symbol that I have blogged about before here.

All Music

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The art installation is very interesting by itself, but converting it to a photograph, with the helpful addition of a lone figure to provide interaction and a sense of scale, really makes it work. The ominous sky as background is a clear bonus. A fairly recent gem by my Flickr friend auribins.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ye Olde Shanghai

Inspired by the photographic art of Martin Becks (blogged here), my own attempt at creating a surreal landscape by making a modern architecture shot look ancient. I took this shot of the Shanghai Pudong skyline earlier this year, and applied some rigorous post-processing in Picasa (black and white conversion, high contrast) and Picnik (Holga effect), topped off with a texture taken from the stream of fellow Flickrite SkeletalMess. I like the result - and so do a lot of other people, based on comments and faves.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/11.0
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0, Picnik, texture


Monday, August 22, 2011

Reich bows to protest of 9/11 CD cover art

A story which surprised me personally. Composer Steve Reich had selected one of the iconic images of the 9/11 attack for the cover of his composition WTC 9/11, a piece about the process of dealing with tragedy: the way people gradually work the overwhelming reality of what happened to them on that day into a story that can be told and made their own. Fitting though it may seem to many, it caused an uproar and Reich decided to have it changed. The full story, including thoughtful comments by the writer Anne Midgette in the link. Recommended.

web site

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Links [9]

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.

Amazing Long-Exposure Photographs.
People Looking at Art.
Pulitzer Winning Imаgеs оf thе Last 30 Years.
History of Graffiti.
101 Awesome Examples Of Aerial Photography.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The deer hunter

A classic movie - one of the best I have ever seen - with a great performance by Robert de Niro directed by Michael Cimino. A classic poster as well, zooming in on one of the most poignant scenes of the movie, in a tricolor version that is quite effective.

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Out of sync

Another brilliant effort by my Flickr friend sannesu, posted at Flickr a few weeks ago. I love this photograph. The light effects, the bokeh, and the contrasting shapes - it all comes together.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Learn composition by example: the S-curve

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 seven posts, on leading lines, on layers, on borders, on framing, on triangles, on anchoring, and on negative space, were blogged earlier herehere, here, herehere, here and here. His eighth post appeared last weekend, tackling the subject of the S-curve 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 andy57 (A dancer's pose), which Rick commented on as follows: "Another example of how the malleability of the human form can create strong S-curves, this image would be very appealing with only the diagonal of leg through torso. But the addition of the crooked leg adds a second dimension, allowing us to explore the width as well. Indeed, so strong is it that the straight leg is relegated to an leading line anchor and the dynamic of the image is that strong, sharp S-form." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

web site

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


World-wide, German singer Nena is only known for her smash hit 99 Luftballons (99 red balloons), but in Germany she scored plenty of top 10 hits. One of her best singles is Leuchtturm (Lighthouse), which also has an excellent cover - very minimalist, emphasizing the beauty of the singer (Gabriele Susanne Kerner). More about Nena on the linked wikipedia page.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The New Yorker April 1926 [2]

Another beautiful and stylish cover for theNew York based magazine of years gone by. The [2] in the heading refers to the posting earlier of another cover from the same month - the disadvantage of including a weekly magazine under this heading.... A pity that the site does not list more information about this gem.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Why do we hate contemporary classical music?

The linked article by Alex Ross in the Guardian of November last year is a good introduction on this subject, which draws more heated discussion between classical music lovers than any other (image from Wikipedia stated to be in public domain). This is witnessed once more in the widely varying comments this article received. Personally I prefer to explore this subset of classical music as I do all others: with interest and an open mind, saving the gems and discarding the parts I do not like. Well worth reading.

web site

Thursday, August 11, 2011


This gem really has to be seen large (please click the link for that option) to fully appreciate its beauty. A fascinating study of dof, combined with a fabulous colours scheme. One of the best in the excellent stream of my Flickr friend jenny downing.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Sunday, August 07, 2011


The last few months I have been spending less and less time on Flickr - and one of the consequences is that my blog's category Flickr favourites is also less used than in the past. A case in point: this is one of the last 8 shots I faved and that was actually four weeks ago.... A brilliant example of how a tilt/shift lens can turn an ordinary New York Central Park scene into something magical. Courtecy of my Flickr friend aftab.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Vogue December 1930

Another art deco masterpiece for the December 1930 edition of Vogue. Posting a wintersport edition shot in August? Well, it's not much of a summer we are having this year....


Friday, August 05, 2011

Memento mori

One of my favourite shots of the last few months. It is a grave inside a church in Medemblik. Thanks to the diagonal composition, it effectively creates a diptych symbolizing life and death.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 78 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Thursday, August 04, 2011


Thanks to my Flickr friend andy57 who reminded me of this gem by posting a photograph resembling it. This Wishbone Ash cover from 1972 is an absolute classic - as is the album. The design was an early effort by the famous Hipgnosis group, who were also responsible for many Pink Floyd, ELO, ELP and 10CC albums .

All Music