May Day

 

May 1st is in a lot of countries around the world (except the US) Labour Day and while some of us recover from a long night of partying others go out and march for labour rights and commemorate the Labour movement and the achievements of equal rights.

May 1st 2014 will also be remembered as the day the infamous working class hero family of Homer Simpsons joined our world in full force and are as of now ethernally stuck in plastic.

Homer and family passed by today at The Studio™for the annual May 1st Beers and Donuts, and young Bart was wearing a red shirt … 

No clue if it was symbolic or just the last clean one he had available.

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 12 in my personal challenge (and this picture will end up in the dark room on G+)

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

Spring is in the air …

https://flic.kr/p/nan7n2

Walpurgis, or the preparation for trick and treat in six months time from now on All Hallows’ Eve kicks off the Spring Season in this segment of the world.

It is most interesting to see that the pagan celebration of nature elements is popping up  in our pictures once in a while.

Must be the sun and the golden hour
Maybe something we should explore in more depth.

Pagan, turning of the tides, Christian calendar and great shooting moments …

Enjoy Vappu / Valborg / Spring / Walpurgis …. and let us know what you captured now that spring is starting in this part of the world !

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 11 in my personal challenge.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice on the pagan topic …

K. I. S. S.

K. I. S. S. stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.

I was reminded of that simple phrase when +Christoffer Östberg posted this photo of Embo to G+ today. When you are editing photos on an iPad or iPhone it is so convenient to whip out an effects app to create a little mystery or a little sparkle.

It was inspiring to hear Christoffer say this mysterious effect was simply the smoke rising from a recently extinguished match. It was great to see him take advantage of the macro format as well as the unpredictable element of the rising smoke.

So not only did I walk away with a great reminder of one of the basic tenants of photography, I was also inspired to try something new.

Oh…and did I mention that I now have a serious case of mini figure envy.

~ xxsjc

No Selfie

Today I had the great pleasure to be invited to a small reception where I had the opportunity to meet the King and the Queen of the country I call mine (I am living in my second home country).

While most of the time I am surrounded with NDA and other corporate agreements and these kind of opportunities just only make it as a backdrop in my shoots (unless the personalities walk into The Studio™ off-course) and so it was great to hear the royal protocol did allow for some discreet pictures, but we were explicitly asked to not take any “selfies“…

It was a unique experience (no pictures though as I want to respect the royal protocol) and I promise tomorrows post will include a gorgeous shoot for you to enjoy.

Me2
 

Footnotes to self:

Day 10 in my personal challenge (and the first without a picture)

While this my sound more like a tweet, this blog post will proof it historical value.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …

Kodak

Yesterday I posted a quick #selfie from the 2012 archive showing me with some classic Gevaert paper from my grandfathers collection which triggered Shelly to ask for your influences in a very strong post (do read the full story on the buffalo posting as it gives a great insight in the political inspired photo work that also this generation is not afraid of).

For me one of my key foundation influences is that I grew up in a family of passionate photographers and spent quite some time in supporting developing film in the dark room or long afternoons in diapositive working sessions.

So photography has always been there as a medium and became a natural language for me.

A language which further developed into a way of expressing myself.

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 9 in my personal challenge (soon we are in double digits)

This is only the first post in who influenced me, but for sure Kodak and Gevaert did contribute like a toddler gets formed by kindergarten games.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …

Who are your influences?

We are all influenced in our work, whether we are aware of it or not.

Last fall I had to write an artists statement about my work that included its origins and influences. I named the usually suspects like Sally Man and Jock Sturges because I am first and foremost a figure photographer. These two photographers have been very influential in my work over the years, but I needed to bring my figurative work around to toy photography. As I wracked my brain one image came to mind immediately. 

Untitled (falling buffalo) 1988-89 by David Wojnarowicz

I remembered when I first saw this image in Aperture Magazine and it’s always stuck with me.  I think it may be the original seed planted way back in the dark ages of my youth that has blossomed into my current plastic passion. When I revisited this image I was startled to find out it was not a toy photograph at all. I had originally misinterpreted (or conveniently forgot) its origins. This was an image taken by David Wojnarowicz of a museum diorama in the late 1980’s. (For an excellent analysis of this deceptively simple photography go here.)
The humanity, agony and tragedy captured in this one off image quickly taken in a museum with a film camera with poor lighting before a guard stopped him is a very powerful image to me.  It’s one I turn too over and over again in the hopes that I too can create an image as powerful and simple as this one that will stand the test of time. 
So the question I ask you to consider is this: who inspires you? Who are your influences? What are the images that you have seen (in any relevant medium) that inspire you to do your best work?
If you care to share please leave a comment. I would love to know what stokes your creative fire.  
~ xxsjc

Gevaert

It has been hectic this week.

All three winners of the Easter Egg Hunt have been announced on IG (no more pink posts today) and the proof printing has been succesfully completed amongst others.

No big, long or deep posts from me today (I think I may have a few interesting topics lined up for next week) just this old #selfie from 2012 which really felt right to close this weekend from my end.

Old and new paper coming together.

I will leave the deep thoughts for Shelly post later today …

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 8 in my personal challenge.
As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …

Big Is Better

When Shelly mentioned a while ago you should shoot in RAW on the largest format of your DSLR she was of course completely right, but she left a critical piece of information hidden from all of us.

You should not only shoot big, you should also print big on a regular basis.

Printing your pictures on a reasonable “big” size (so not the IG 620*620 size) is your own best and hardest judge.

It will tell you if your shoot really holds out and is ready to be put against your wall.
From your own bedroom over your local coffee shop to your spotlight in the MoMa.

Blowing up your pictures to a reasonable A4 or US letter (we all have a vivid HP printer somewhere to start with and then we can use local print stores as well) and have them printed out on paper not only for that art exhibition we all dream off but also for our own education and continuous improvement.

Prints will give you direct (harsh) feedback on the quality of your shoot you may not see directly on your digital media of choice (iPhone, iPad, iMonitor, …).

We have been doing some extended proof printing here over the weekend on our latest addition and even blow up some shoots beyond the A4 size, and what looks good on a 620*620 canvas on IG is not always that attractive on a full blown A2 printed size and will need rework.

So, if your only goal is to share pictures on a 72 dpi screen on the internet, printing big is maybe not for you, but if you secretly (or openly) want to fill some walls and conquer the real word you should not only shoot big but also print big on a regular base …

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 7 in my personal challenge.

Our Ski Trooper came along to check out the paper and ink we will be using for the limited edition Easter egg print we organized and saw everything was under control (the above image was just a working proof picture and not the final result)
Image shot with iPhone 5

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

Cliff H.

TGIF …

I always thought animated GIFs was a cool thing of the future and PNG sounded pretty much like an X-rated movie to me, but I never understood TGIF.

Until recently …

Another fantastic roller coaster week has flew by, and some may have wondered what happened to the Easter Give Away we started a month ago.

And yes, this weekend it is all coming together.

We have the three names of the Easter Egg Hunt safely tucked away and Thanks IG it is Friday for all of us, so we have the weekend to get everything under control.

Three winners, three prints, I am just not sure if I should go for the signed limited edition of our Stormtrooper above in an exclusive 3 printed and signed version, or should let the winners choose their print.

If you would be one of the three exclusive Winners what would you prefer ?

A dedicated, exclusive 3 prints only Stormtrooper signed for you exclusively, or choosing a print from the collections ?

Let us know in the comments below or on your preferred social media platform of choice what you would like to see happen if you are one of the winners …

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 6 in my personal challenge.
A hectic weekend ahead of us …

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

Ouch

Yesterday I shared with you my near win of Captain James T. Kirk and explained why I had recovered it from my mental trash bin after seeing the TED of Sarah Lewis.

As part of my little workflow I had uploaded it to Flickr so I could share it here with you, but could not be bothered by adding tags, sets or submitting it to groups.

Is was after all a near win.

When I returned later today from a set of successful working sessions buried away miles under the sea in a Faraday cage and I unlocked my screen I was surprised to see a lot of favs on Flickr.

Was my Easter Bunny still popular, or did I had a good friend who decided to take a personal like tour on some of my older shots ?

I can tell you I was completely flabbergasted when I discovered James T. Kirk made it to the explore page and I had friendly strangers congratulating me on the “explore” and reached a good 4K views and 59 favs (my average is normally around 400 views and 5 to 10 favs on Flickr).

And this was my near win.

Sweet success on the mystery road to mastery …

Thank you, mystery Flickr algorithm for selecting me on your explore page today it was a sweet experience !

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 5 in my personal challenge.
Picture above shot with an iPhone 5S
Don’t forget to check out the near win of Shelly, but please note that viewers discretion is advised.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …