Drinking in color

Image by Wells Baum

“I’ve never been able to take a picture after a drink. It just doesn’t work. Maybe — I don’t know what it is. It’s not like I’m too drunk to take a picture. I just — the whole idea of it just goes away after one or two drinks.”

— William Eggleston, the godfather of color photography

Finding Vivian Maier

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gif via Fast Company

The 19th-century French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said to be “be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Vivian Maier took this to heart. No one ever knew this nanny was an artist of her own.

She took over 100,000 photos, mostly street photographs of downtown Chicago, and kept them for her own viewing, including her selfies. Taking pictures was her happy place, a creative outlet, that allowed her to see the world with a third eye. She wrote with light.

Today, Maier would’ve been an Instagram and VSCO sensation. While she may have resisted social media given her inclination as a loner, she probably would’ve enjoyed connecting with others who shared the same passion. The internet unleashes the weirdness in all of us, motivating us to share our work.

Van Gogh only sold one piece of artwork in his life, to his brother. His posthumous reputation speaks for itself, as does Maier’s.

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Camera obscura

Photo by Jeremy Yap
Sometimes it’s the written word. Other times, it’s a still photo. If the camera is too revealing, we can communicate via video or sound. Said filmmaker Robert Bresson’s in his 1975 book Notes on the Cinematograph: “A locomotive’s whistle imprints in us a whole railroad station.”
 
Communication is a game of elements. Film is the art of combining images and sounds; it excludes what overexplains or impresses.”One should not use the camera as if it were a broom.” A good filmmaker lets the mind dance with imagination.
 
A movie is a both a creative and viewing experience. It can be dull and instantly lively, like the pendulum of our everyday lives.
 
“My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.”
 

Beyond filters

Processed with VSCO with d2 preset
Processed with VSCO with d2 preset

Nobody uses filters anymore, at least in their original function. The overall consensus seems to be that #nofilter is just fine. But it’s also partly because people are better editors — mobile apps like VSCO and Instagram offer free toolkits that make it easy to adjust contrast, exposure, and saturation. You can also tweak the strength of the filter; a feature VSCO had all along, and Instagram has since copied.

Filters aren’t dead, though; they’re just evolving to meet visual means of communication and an appreciation for aesthetic. When Snapchat introduced facial lenses, users wanted to make their images more personal and playful. Meanwhile, Prisma’s popularity demonstrates the appetite to revert photos into pieces of art.

Smartphone users and social media enthusiasts love to dabble in photography. Having a good eye is not enough. Your images won’t stand out in the feeds unless they provide interesting  context or are reimagined enhancements of reality.

Processed with VSCO with d1 preset
Processed with VSCO with d1 preset

If you’re into new presets, be sure to download the limited edition Distortia Preset Pack from VSCO. Released to celebrate the company’s 5th anniversary, you can “reimagine the boundaries of color with these presets, created for unconventional looks and customizations.”

And while you’re at it, play with the with Mars effect of the Nike Sportswear filter as well.

Long on filters, or presets, whatever we call such special effects.

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A walk around the corner

Take a walk around the corner in any neighborhood. It can be a street or any other property that hides beyond your vision.

What do you see? Did you discover anything new like a barbershop, an abandoned building, or an alleyway of trash cans?

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A photo posted by Wells Baum (@bombtune) on Oct 26, 2016 at 3:22pm PDT

 

You don’t have to travel far to explore the world. Some of the most interesting stuff is in your own backyard. Even the light shines differently back there.

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🙇 #motionstills

A post shared by Wells Baum (@bombtune) on

The farther you go, the more interesting it gets. Through walking you discover.

“The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.” – Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Cats (musical) logo contains dancers in its eyeballs?

cats musical logo

Cats is the fourth-longest musical in Broadway history, playing for 18 consecutive years from 1982-2000.  But did you know that the logo, designed by the Really Useful Group for the 1981 show’s premiere in London, had dancers in its eyeballs? Hat tip to @aten for the spot.

A collection of chair designs by famous modern architects

Chairs by Architects Agata Toromanoff

“Almost everyone I spoke to says that a chair is a way of demonstrating an architect’s credentials as a designer to a wider audience.” — Agata Toromanoff, art historian

The chair represents the essence of work. It is where we put our asses down to get stuff done. Perhaps that is why famous architects have each been inspired to design their own chairs.

In her book Chairs by Architects, Toromanoff pairs the custom-made chairs of 55 modern architects next to building styles that inspired them. She says “that chairs afford architects an opportunity to distill their techniques, innovations, and style into a new medium.”

Toromanoff’s favorite chair is the Kuki Chair by Zaha Hadid. As you can see below, Hadid demonstrated her obsession with the movement of geometric curves that came to characterize her style–the chair looks similar to her dynamic yet fluid Galaxy SOHO building in Beijing.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsCourtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

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“There are three hundred and fifty-nine other degrees. Why limit yourself to one?” – Zaha Hadid

Toromanoff’s book illustrates how architects can construct their design styles onto a different, much smaller format: in this case, a chair.