If you are able to be in the Bay Area on the first Sunday of the month, I definitely recommend checking out Antiques by the Bay, the Alameda flea market. There is a ton of furniture, clothing and, as evidenced by my photos, lots of collections.
Sorry to bring up a bummer, but China is doing all it can to make sure you forget this image. But, it’s pretty important that we remember the things totalitarian states want us to forget. One awesome thing about the internets is that they’ve moved us past the era when technology helped a totalitarian state achieve absolute control over the distribution of information (as it was for much of the twentieth century) to an era when technology actively helps resist totalitarianism.
The NYT Lens blog has a good expurgation and analysis of this and three other photographers’ images of Tiananmen Square, including how the photographers smuggled the film out of a country already deadset on erasing the memory of the event.
Thought I’d share with you all my new chair. Funny how a new piece of furniture can bring me so much joy. If you like vintage furniture as much as I do, definitely check out Amandromeda online!
I find these shots by Shinichi Maruyama absolutely stunning. He photographs (extremely fast) midair combinations of water and black ink. Not only is the subject matter a reference to traditional sumi paintings and calligraphy, but formally an exploration of the variety of ways the two – light/dark, opaque/clear – oppose and combine with each other, making them an apt metaphor for just about everything. I love the thoroughness of this exploration almost as much as the beauty of the individual pieces.
Lots more, and higher-res, at shinichimaruyama.com.
Thought I’d do a little post with some old photos I’d taken while out and about in San Francisco. Funny how these photos were all taken at completely different places/times, but they somehow all go together. Happy Monday!
If I ever get married, I would love to have Max Wanger do the photography. I love that the personalities of each couple comes through in each of his photo sessions (and that the majority of them are done outdoors).
In case you haven’t already seen this on 100 other blogs (e.g. itsnicethat) it’s a collaboration between designer Craig Ward and photographer Jason Tozer. They both have some pretty amazing stuff in their portfolios, though this one really gets me. Here’s a writeup on the making of it.
When I saw You Blow Me Away a few weeks back, I was reminded of another photographer whose frozen explosions are pretty phenomenal: Martin Klimas. I was first introduced to him via the always-fantastic Morning News galleries (which feature several works + an interview with a different visual artist, regularly updated: hundreds of ’em since 2001!)
Inspired by looking at these artists’ work, I looked on flickr for high speed photography, to try to collect my thoughts, when I found this lovely lovely shot by Aden Tranter that to this designer’s eye is a few words of type away from being an amazing album cover, say for this single for the Handsome Family.
I had nothing to say on Christmas day when you threw all your clothes in the snow. When you burnt your hair, knocked over chairs, I just tried to stay out of your way.
But when you fell asleep, with blood on your teeth, I got in my car and drove away. Listen to me, Butterfly, there’s only so much wine you can drink in one life, and it will never be enough to save you from the bottom of your glass.
What is it about these shots that impresses me so? Certainly content has something to do with it: Ward and Tozer’s shattering of that phrase of type, and Klimas’ shattering of kung fu figurines each add layers of delicious meaning… And though Tranter’s shot is of a simple bottle, his choice of reddened water and a dull green backdrop are critical, and if you were to crop the Jim Beam logo out leaving only liquid and glass, some the resonance with drunken abandon is lost.
But content aside, I think the root of the appeal can be found in the design-professor-favorite phrase “happy accidents.” Photography and design both involve impeccable, balanced, beautiful composition/layout — and it is usually achieved through careful planning, staging, grid and so forth. And yet sometimes you have a happy accident — whether it’s mistakenly dropping in the wrong cropping of an image or splashing ink or a light leak — which makes the composition work, usually by virtue of its unpredictable disorderliness.
What these high-speed photographers have done is carefully arranged happy accidents. They can’t be assured how the pane of glass, figurine or bottle will break… but they can capture, and then exercise their judicious cropping and editing on, the compositions that the physics of destruction create. The process must be tiresome, messy to clean up and aggravating at times, but when you can catch something as beautiful as these, it is totally worth it.
Aaron Ruell is probably best known as Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. He also happens to be a talented photographer and director (of many things, including short films, ads and music videos for bands like The Postal Service). The things I love most about his photography are his use of color and how he finds beauty in the mundane.
On my walk to the bus after handmade nation.