Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

29 JANUARY, 2009

Lights, Camera, Ticket

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Time-lapsing across the Atlantic, or what airline bankruptcy has to do with ethereal photography.

Most people hate those dreadful red-eye flights. But the true sign of a creative mind is the ability to take suckiness and twist it into brilliance. Case in point: Amsterdam-based architect James Leng, a.k.a. Ettubrute.

timelapse On a recent overnight flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco, James noticed that the lights from the cities the plane was flying over were making the clouds glow with a soft, ethereal light. So he got the rather brilliant idea of propping a camera on an empty window seat, setting it at ISO 1600, and playing with a range of exposures over the 3 hours between the Rockies and San Fran.

The end result was this stunning, hypnotizing time-lapse video, on which every light squiggle and flicker is an actual town or city the plane flew over.

Here’s to the demise of the airline industry, which makes half-empty flights the playground of creative minds.

via BoingBoing

16 JANUARY, 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Word-of-Mouths

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Salt mines, German sanatoriums, and how a social media rescue mission saved one lovable photographic underdog.

JPG logo Print is dying. You hear it everywhere. And over the past couple of years, a number of excellent publications have indeed folded. (Business 2.0 and JANE, we’re looking at you.) But the latest title to be kicked into a publishing coma, JPG Magazine, ended up as a weird ray of light for the relationship between traditional and new media.

Here’s the story in a nutshell.

JPG Magazine In 2005, husband and wife duo Heather Champ and Derek Powazek set out to found a magazine where the content was completely user-created and voted on by other users, so that the best of the best ends up in the print publication. (Published photos receive $100 to stash with their pride and glory.) A truly democratic magazine, if you will.

A magazine that brought us the alphabet in the sky…

type in the sky

…and the aerial wonder (yep, we’re going at it again) of Utah’s salt mines…

Moab salt mine

…and the beautiful decay of an early 20th century German sanatorium.

blue.

Unsurprisingly, JPG amassed a significant base of dedicated loyalists over the years — people passionate about both photography and the idea of an inclusive arena for photographic excellence open to more than just the handful of professional photographers circulating all the other photo pubs. A place for up-and-coming talent to truly showcase their work.

But in late 2008, something left JPG supporters utterly distraught: Editor Laura Brunow Miler announced the magazine was folding under the pressure of funding.

Issue 19: Faith That’s when the social media rescue mission started. Supporters quickly launched SaveJPG.com and unleashed a flurry of Twitter and Flickr buzz that eventually landed JPG several big-time acquisition offers. As a result, the magazine was resurrected and just launched into a new future with the latest issue, appropriately titled Faith.

And while we love a good underdog story as much as the next guy, we must admit there was one wonderful upside to the temporary downside of JPG’s existence: One motivated fan, Derek Steen, put together a comprehensive PDF archive of every JPG issue ever published — 223.4MB of free goodness — so grab yours and start catching up, or head over to the Faith issue and see what all the fuss was about.

via Photojojo

28 NOVEMBER, 2008

Small World, Big Bite

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The big picture painted through smallness and sprinkles.

Here’s a paradox: Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude for what we have, a kind of humbling appreciation of our blessings, but somehow me manage to turn it into a celebration of gluttony.

Photographer Matthew Carden‘s Small World collection offers a particularly timely poke at the irony. Just a cool bunch of macro photographs on the surface, the project actually digs deeper with a more thoughtful exploration of our dichotomous relationship with food — part necessary play therapy, part unnecessary excess and wastefulness.

Carden is also working with the Slow Food Foundation on a fascinating project to save the Gravenstein Apple, one of the last foods grown by farmers who truly nurture their crop from tree to table.

The collection both captures the labor-of-love production process that puts food on our plates and reminds us of our own smallness in the natural world that we so freely take from.

Plus, we’d just love to slalom down a sprinkles-covered hill.

via Inhabitat

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