Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

10 FEBRUARY, 2009

Perroquet: Photography, Science, Slow-Motion Beauty

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How three worlds of fascination collide through negative space and positive brilliance.

The most talented of artists are, without a doubt, tremendously curious by nature, which results in an incredibly eclectic and diverse pool of inspiration. Fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø fully embodies this notion — his latest experimental project, Perroquet, is infused with Sundsbø’s lifelong fascination with science photography and nature documentaries, blended through the lavish and colorful aesthetic sensibility of fashion imagery.

Fascinated by the movement of a bird in flight, Sundsbø set out to stitch together a series of “frozen moments” from the flight of a perroquet, a small, slender, long-tailed parrot. Shot with high-speed cameras in a controlled studio environment, the slow-motion shorts capture the graceful silhouette of the bird mid-flight in a series of abstract images, brimming with cropped viewpoints and a wonderful play on negative space.

The resulting series of 8 short films is absolutely stunning, a beautiful convergence of aesthetic design, science, and motion graphics.

via BoingBoing

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