Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Ikea Cookbook

I found this a while ago and just forgot to post about it.  I love love love how the ingredients in this Swedish Ikea Cookbook Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade is Best) are laid out.

These are the ingredients for Gingerbread people!

Here are a few more.

This becomes Vanilla Horns:

This becomes Almond Tarts:

Here are a few more of just ingredients (they just look so cool!!):

Photos by Carl Kleiner (who you should really go check out! I didn’t know his work before these images, but he has done some really cool things!)

Styled by Evelina Bratell.

[via craft]

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Kodachrome curtains

So I’m conflicted.

I stumbled onto this a while back.  And I have to say, I love the look of these curtains.

Kodachrome curtains

Kodachrome curtains by yarnzombie

But the archivist in me weeps for the fact by using the slides in this awesome way, they are going to be destroyed by the sun.  They’ll last a while, but direct sunlight is brutal on slide film (on any film really!).  First they’ll start to color shift towards yellow/orange and then they’ll just fade away.

Kodachrome curtain detail 1

Kodachrome curtain detail 1 by yarnzombie

I guess the question is which part of something like this is more valuable – the temporary enjoyment of the art or the long term preservation of a part of photographic history.  They don’t make Kodachrome film any more. Does that make these old slides more valuable?  From a scarcity standpoint, yes.  In the same way that after daguerreotypes went out of fashion, they became cool art objects to collect.  It didn’t matter who was in the picture, just that it was a daguerreotype was enough to make it desirable.

And what about the pictures themselves? This is someone’s family history. Then again, these slides were found in an antique shop and there is little chance there was anything that would have identified the the photographer with them.  Sure, many of the photos have people in them, but do you know how many people there are?  At last count, billions.  And more than 300 million in the US alone.  Even if you could figure out where these photos were taken and of who, most were taken in the 50s and 60s.  If that young woman on the horse was 20 in that photo and it was taken in 1960, she’d be 70 now.  The older person in the slide next to her is most likely dead. Do they care about the images? If they did, I doubt they would have ended up in an antique shop.  Are old slides going to be the carte de visite of this generation? Walk into any antique store worth its salt and you can find a box or two or ten of old carte de visite portrait cards from the turn of the last century. Most don’t have names on them and are often referred to as “instant ancestors.” Because really, if you framed a photo at random and put it on your wall, who would know that isn’t your Great Uncle Roy? Will we find piles and piles of instant ancestors in slide form now?

So.  I am conflicted.  It looks so cool, but…

What do you think, dear reader?  Does the awesome factor out weigh the destruction of history factor?  Or is that such an non-issue that no one but me even cares?

Stop Motion Animation

I love love love stop motion animation.  I’ve played with it for years, I’ve taught it to elementary and middle school kids and the more I do it, the more I love it.  I especially love seeing what other artists are doing with the medium.  Here is a new favorite and a few classics.

This film uses a moving, layered approach to stop motion that I find absolutely captivating.  It also makes me a little emotional.  The older I get, the more aware I am of how quickly time passes.  And to see it all sped up like this, well, gosh. Its a bit overwhelming. But sentimentality aside, this film really is a little piece of brilliance.

A lot of the techniques used in the previous film have been experimented with for years.  Here is an earlier work in a similar vein done entirely with polaroids.

And finally, this is one of my all time favorites. This is the music video for Oren Lavie’s song Her Morning Elegance. I love the whimsy and the very happy/sad quality of the whole thing.

My favorites list on youtube contains lots and lots of stop motion animation. I’m thinking I might have to make a stop motion animation week to share all of my favorites with you, dear readers.  Sound good?

Maine Rogue Photographers Association

Still too hot to think properly.  We Mainahs are just not built for this kind of heat.  So maybe today is a good day to talk about what I think Maine really is about.

Back in 2007, Matt (my husband) and I were talking with our friend Sergei about what it really was to be a photographer in Maine.  We are all big fans of the photo site flickr, but we were frustrated that all the Maine groups on flickr were about moose and lighthouses and scenic vistas.  Now don’t get me wrong, all that pretty is a big part of why we love living here.  But Maine is so much more than that.  So we decided to incorporate the Maine Rogue Photographers Association, a flickr group dedicated to all the other parts of Maine.  We posted this as our description:

The State of Maine, located as far northeast as you can go in the USA, is incredibly photogenic. Wide open ocean in one direction, forests in another, majestic mountains in a third, it is little wonder we have so many landscape photographers in this state! And yet just out of frame is a trailer home with twenty rusting cars surrounding it guarded by an alcoholic with a shotgun. Just past the trailer is a multi-million dollar mansion owned by a New York City lawyer who stays there two weeks out of the year. Maine is a place of contradictions, where incredible beauty lives 180 degrees from utter despair. It is a place that people live because they love it here, or because they’re trapped here.

We’re Maine’s Rogue Photographers. We see what the tourists don’t see. We know there’s more to photographing Maine than landscape photography, and we’re not afraid to share it.

The group has been going for more than three years now and has maintained a sizable pool of contributors (considering the restrictions on what can be posted).  Here are a few of my favorites from the group pool:

Drake's Island

Drake’s Island by brookehartley

Howland Tannery

Howland Tannery by muncadunc

untitled by e.teel

Tahir Saleh

Tahir Saleh by Sergei Chaparin

Playground

Playground by jess_leclair

Yes, this last one is one of mine.  I mentioned before that I am a big fan of the strange and unusual and this little playground out in Machiasport certainly qualified.

I know some people find the idea of this group distasteful or even disrespectful.  I have to disagree.  I think to acknowledge only the beautiful about Maine is to do it a great disservice.  It’s like pretending the only part of a person that has value is their pretty face.  There is so much more to a person that makes them whole and the same is true with our awesome state o’ Maine.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Wonderland

I had much grander ambitions for today’s post, but it is soooooooo hot here.  Maine doesn’t usually have super hot summers.  Some times in August we’ll have one really hot week.  But this is July!  And today the temperature hit 97 degrees!  And 80% humidity!  My cats were mostly puddles on my kitchen floor.  Poor things.  At least I could seek out an air conditioned coffee shop.  But even that was warmer than it should have been – the a/c just couldn’t keep up with the heat.

ANYwho, instead of what I was going to photograph and share with you all, I’m going to share one of my favorite works from a very interesting photographer.  His name is Yeondoo Jung and he lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.  The project is called Wonderland.  What he has done is taken drawings from elementary school kids and made them a reality:

Afternoon Nap, C-print, 2004

I want to be a singer, c-print, 2004

Miss Sparkle Sprinkles the Magic, c-print, 2005

I love that he really manages to capture each kid’s wonderfully skewed perspective and make it believable.  It really feels like the drawing has come to life.  He has taken the child’s sense of wonder and added his own to make some really fabulously bizarre and sweet photographs.

Another take on this idea comes from Bill Zeman and his daughter who he has dubbed the Tiny Art Director.  Basically he takes direction for his illustrations from his two-(now five)-year-old.  Her directions are often a word or two and her critiques of the finished work are hilarious and scathing.  So, about what you’d get from an adult art director. I also think it is fabulous that he has been doing this for so many years with her.  It is really cool to see her change and grow through her father’s eyes.  Her demands have become more specific and she has reached a point where she has decided she can draw what she wants better than her dad.  So often he posts her work alongside his.  Which is just so cool!

I love collaboration between adults and kids.  I think the work on each side is richer for the other.  A kid’s imagination hasn’t been truly reigned in by anything yet so everything is still possible.  And a grown-up has to work really hard to live up to that.

As part of a class in vector graphics, my husband will often have his college students do an Imaginary Friend Project.  He will pair them up with a 2nd or 3rd grade student (we have several friends who teach art in elementary schools) give the following directions:

If you are planning a career as an artist-for-hire, you’ll be creating art to other’s specifications all the time. Frequently this will come as a doodle on a cocktail napkin, done by the owner of the ad agency (who has no training as an artist whatsoever) while drinking with the client. From this you have to extrapolate a final, finished piece of that will make the client (who is probably paying tens of thousands of $ for it) (although you’ll be lucky to see $100 of that) and your boss happy. Fortunately, in this case, your clients are more accomplished artists than you’ll usually work for. They’ve provided more detailed sketches of their concepts than you’ll usually get, too. Your mission this time around is, starting with your client’s sketch as the initial idea, create a finished, polished work of art, depicting just what their imaginary friend really looks like.

From one of his previous classes, this is one of my favorites:


How awesome is that?!

Finding the beautiful

There is a storm drain in the parking lot behind our apartment that routinely blocks up and floods.  Pretty much every time it rains, we are guaranteed a big puddle.  Usually it is unremarkable.  But a few weeks ago, a big rainstorm happened to coincide with lots and lots of recently released pollen in the air.  It all seemed to settle into the big puddle in our parking lot. And it was really beautiful!  I know, pollen in a puddle doesn’t really sound all that awesome.  But the bright yellow pollen rested lightly on the slightly oily surface of the water, creating a really beautiful marbled pattern.

pollen and water 02

pollen and water 03

pollen and water 01

The patterns are just so stunning.  I love how jagged the edges of the swirls are.

The next day it was even better!  The water had drained away, leaving a sort of topo map of pollen rings around the drain.

pollen 01

pollen 02

pollen 03

In this last one the pollen almost looks like chalk.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these yet, but that is part of the fun, right?  Taking beautiful images just to take them.  With all the book making I’ve been doing lately, maybe I’ll just make end papers out of a print of one of the really marbled looking ones.  I love finding the beautiful in otherwise boring or uninteresting sounding things!