Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Morning mood in the park

One of my favourite images of the past few months, even though Explore once more snubbed it. I shot this during an early morning walk with the dog in the park near our home, when the morning fog and the first rays of the sun combined for a perfect moment. It makes a great wallpaper as well.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 96 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Monday, April 26, 2010

Like the last eight

Apparently Dajiang are considered to be one of the best rock bands of China of the last ten years, and judging from their ninth album, which was released last week, quite deservedly so. You can't deny that this trio has a good sense of humour as well, given the title of this release. And it must be said, there is not a change of direction whatsoever here, based on snippets of their earlier work on YouTube. Straightforward rock, guitar dominated songs of under 4 minutes, sung in accent-free English. Not very original maybe, but a great listen and definitely preferable to a lot of garbage that scores higher on the charts in the West. Try them.

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 Dajiang.
[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 Barack Obama: We are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Five in a row, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Andreas Pen MF Bold 60 White and Chinese Takeaway 60 black, 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.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A shower of light

Although peggyhr has been a Flickr friend for quite some time, there was a lot of her stream I had never seen with plenty of great shots. I simply love this one, a study of seeds unlike any other.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Ke morey dakibe kachhe

Not surprisingly, I discovered a number of new faves going back through the stream of my flickr friend aftab, and this was one of the best. Wonderful primary colours, amazing depth of field and stunning contrast between stone and nature.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Thinly veiled

Here is a shot by my Flickr friend andy_57 that I had seen before but now faved in hindsight. Even in his fabulous series of model shoots, this girl stands out - whereas she actually is not even a model: she is a make-up artist involved in his shoots and fortunately was also willing to appear in front of the camera.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Circling around the realisation

Moving on to another of those fascinating abstracts by kate mellersh. For me the clincher whether an abstract photograph is successful is whether I could see it hanging in a museum - and this one I definitely could. Sheer brilliance that spot of blue.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Hippy

A special edition of Flickr Favourites Sunday. Lately I created a series of galleries on Flickr as tributes to some of my Flickr friends: 18 of their best shots collected on one page. In doing so, I went back though their streams and encountered a few jewels I had not faved before. We start with jenny downing, dear Flickr friend and blog contributor. I love the contrast of the razor sharp rose bud and that gorgeous soft warm-toned bokeh.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In the mood for love

One of the favourite movies of my wife, and one that I am reminded of every day when I check the activity on my Flickr account. My photograph with the same title (incidentally one of my own favourites from my stream) gets a few views every day from people googling for this movie title. As a matter of fact, image googling for "In the mood for love" yields my photograph already at page 2. Wonderfully atmospheric poster as well.

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Close your eyes

Listening to the new Stacey Kent right now, I decided to feature one of her earlier albums in this series. This beautiful New York lady is my favourite soft jazz singer, and we have all her albums. Close your eyes is her 1997 debut album, and the cover is very interesting, focusing on her eyes only in an effective grainy setting.

All Music

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Almere tower abstraction

Last year I had dozens of my photographs ending up in Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day, this year I am stuck at two so far. Even this one, which recived 2-3 times more faves in a short period than many that got explored last year did not make it. Never mind, I still like it. It is a shot of a new high-rise office building in my home town, where the slant and zoom creates an abstract feeling, one of my candidates for the 12 best shots of the year end of December.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/13.0
Focal Length: 31 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bells

She has been absent from my blog for a while, but here is a fantastic masterpiece by my dear Flickr friend Ambreen (story.teller). Brilliant composition and viewpoint, wonderful dof, and the texture on the lower bell is the icing on the cake.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Words left hanging

A fascinating piece of art perfectly photographed by my Flickr friend SteffenTuck. Being a chemist by training, this piece has additional interest for me, as it depicts chemical molecules.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

The passion lurks, until you surrender

A regular feature in these Flickr Favourite post series is my Flickr friend kate mellersh, and here is yet another one of her abstract masterpieces. She has such an amazing eye for opportunities.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Enter the station

Yet another masterpiece by my Flickr friend yushimoto_02 [christian]. Taken in the Munich subway, a dazzling composition of leading lines, wonderful colours and an isolated human interest.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Old man

Time for that Art for Art's sake tradition: Flickr Favourites Sunday. Five very different shots I recently faved on Flickr. We start with my Flickr friend Pavel M. To quote the creator: This photo was taken by Marek, because I wanted to have my photo without a camera in my face and I had no tripod. Marek sent me a Tiff (he has Canon, I have Nikon) and I did my processing. This is a reflection in a part of a black shiny poster. A fascinating reault, which reminds me of modern paintings.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hekla

With air traffic being brought to a standstill all over Northern and Western Europe due to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano earlier this week, a good occasion to showcase a symphonic poem by one of the most underrated classical composers of all time, Iceland's Jon Leifs (1899-1968). His Hekla, inspired by witnessing an eruption of that country's most famous active volcano, is an amazing tour-de-force, and definitely not your standard music for millions stuff. Great video as well.

YouTube

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Light play

A shot I took on the Friday before Easter in my brother's home. Fascinating play of light, partially directly illuminating the carpet, partially reflected via crystal chandeliers.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 78 mm
ISO speed 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sky 1

Most of the Flickr faves I post are by my Flickr friends, as these are the streams I regularly check. Occasionally though I come across beautiful images by others, when I am browsing special groups. A recent example is this brilliant study of sky and reflection by fellow Flickrite tenisgolfruning. A great choice for black and white as well, giving this an Ansel Adams style feeling.

All rights retained by the photographer (Marc Jacobs).

Flickr

Self portrait: Light, shadow and transparency

Photographing your own shadow is one of the oldest tricks in the Flickr book - it was one of the first shots I put there as well. Leave it to my Flickr friend peggyhr to come up with such a fascinating variation on that theme. The deviating colour, the contrast with the white background and the razor sharp contours of the shadow - perfection.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Insignificant beauty

An interesting Scottish beachscape by my Flickr friend pommysheilah. The tones, the scenery, and to top it off that lonesome figure - it all comes together.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Temporary Art

A perfect title for a perfect shot by my Flickr friend sannesu. A beautiful find, expertly photographed. As I stated in my original comment: If this were crystal, I'd love to use it as an ornament in our house.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Dancing in red

My Flickr friend word artist has a very broad range of subjects in his streams. This close-up of a water drop falling from a berry is surely one of his best, not in the least because of the beautiful dof.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Time

Time for another Flickr favourites Sunday - six very different images recently faved on Flickr. We start with my Flickr friend aftab. New Zealand is my favourite country in the world, but even given the sheer magnificence of the subject, his take on it is marvellous.

All rights retained by the photographer.

Flickr

Friday, April 09, 2010

Gotcha!

Another post inspired by our recent Paris trip. I liked this movie when it was released in 1985, I liked it when it was on TV earlier this year, never mind the miscellaneous critiques. The spy story itself is interesting, the locations great (including Paris and East Berlin during the Cold War), and Linda Fiorentino playing Sasha ranks for me as one of the sexiest roles of all time. The poster displays a Paris hotel room, including that perennial Hollywood gaffe that every Paris hotel room has a brilliant view on the Eifel tower....

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

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Hounds of love

At the occasion of my birthday, a gorgeous cover of one of the best songs ever recorded by my all-time favourite female singer, Kate Bush. A fantastically artistic cover design, far superior to the album cover. More about Kate Bush on the linked wikipedia page.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Jazz in Paris

It's been a while since I posted a photograph of our own dog Jazz - and I thought this would fit well with today's preceding posts. I took this one on the Pont des Arts bridge near the Louvre - and he rarely poses so obediently as here.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 42 mm
ISO speed 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr