Happy Inc.

Visiting the American Dream
 
We are not shy from asking difficult questions to our inner selves here on Stuck In Plastic, and both Shelly and me touched upon our influences with Big Inc. in a variety of posts, including this latest one where I wondered if having a boardroom exposition at Shell would be off limits.
 
This weekend I had the pleasure to visit the history of another Big Inc. in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. One that turns universal happiness into a bottle of fizzing pleasure, and while my European roots sometimes got an overdose of too much sweet and happiness, it was an awesome journey through The Coca Cola Company history.
 
An history that started with an artist pharmacist called John Pemberton and a fantastic marketeer listening to the name of Asa Candler.
 
A story that may have had a hidden reference to Van Gogh but given that I was so overwhelmed with the happiness inside, this only dawned on me once I was outside again.


Howard Finster at the World Of Coca Cola

The Coca Cola Company is for sure part of Big Inc. yet it plays its role in the art scene.

From being a major pop culture sponsor today over art projects like the 1996 Olympics when more than 70 artists around the world, including Howard Finster turned their cow bottle into art to using advertising artists of the highest level with people like Haddon Sundblom to create a complete generation of pop art culture (or should I say pin up) around the American Dream.

I am still very much fascinated by the influence of Big Inc. on the Art scene.

An influence that goes far beyond sponsering an exhibition or endorsing an artist on a new product release.

Big Inc.

To be continued.

Me2.

Graffiti

The Sjaman in action over morning coffee …

When we woke up this morning in Alta we found a trace of red paint outside the Camper.

An ancient red paint with traces of copper and ox blood mixed into it (did you know that red was the very first color which got its own name ?)

It didn’t take long before the Ladies found a hidden track behind the Camper and took the whole Crew on a morning walk into the protected World Heritage Site of Rock Art at Alta.

Boats 4K years ago …

The Sjaman on duty explained the true secret of of the Northern Light would be revealed if we traveled to a small fisherman village up in the North listening to the name of Geirsver.

Without hesitation we returned to the Camper and continued our quest up to the village completely impressed by this prehistoric graffiti and the promise of getting yet another clue in our adventure.

On the road up North we took a few detours to do a mandatory check in on Facebook in the city of Hammerfest, the very first city in Europe to have electrical street lights and made some stops to collect Pebbles.

Pebbles on the road …

Pebbles seems to be a key ingredient in our quest …

Right now the Crew is out and about shooting some magic in the last midnight sun covering the village of Geirsver.

Lets keep our fingers crossed we can post some stunning HDR over the coffee when we take a deeper look why we are at Nordkapp  …

Me2 and Crew …

My Unikitty Alter Ego.

Today I felt like Angry Unikitty for much of the day. Whenever I feel like this I’m tempted to post cutting remarks on various social media platforms but then I remember the immortal words of Mark Twain…

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Words to live by.
~ xxsjc
Have you ever posted something you regretted to a social media site?
Have you ever read something posted by someone else that really pissed you off? 
Do you try to be a positive influence on social media sites or just speak your mind? 

What Is Your Inspiration?

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. – Man Ray

I could spend my time explaining photography technique, talking camera gear or trading tips on editing apps…but I think a more interesting question is why do we (all of us toy photographers) take photographs of Lego mini figures.

I did not grow up with the toy, it is not a part of my history, it is not a big part of my cultural heritage. In fact I am probably one of the most inept brick builders on the planet. Think Emmet at the beginning of the Lego movie. My greatest skill I bring to my family’s Lego obsession (their’s not mine) is my impeccable sorting skills.

So what is so attractive about these little plastic friends? Is it our ability to project our own thoughts and dreams on the many different characters created? Is it a need to revisit our child hood and rediscover the joy of play? Is it sheer boredom? Is it a release from the stresses and pressures of life? Is it simply proximity and easy access?

What is your inspiration? What keeps you motivated and moving forward photographically?

Once you know this, life will not be able to side track you, no matter how hard it tries.

~ xxsjc

Total Meltdown

Total Meltdown

When Shelly opened up the pandora box of where do you want to take your editing I felt the complete scala of rainbow colors (and beyond) passing by and was actually pretty close to a total meltdown experience.

The question is maybe too large to answer in our life time but it is still a question we have to ask ourselves and is for sure part of every photographers inner monologue and will pop up here once in a while at #stuckinplastic (and we even may find its own #hashtag for it).

When IG (instagram for those of you who are not into acronyms) took filtering and direct feel good snapshots to the next level on the iPhone, we actually took the quick snapshots into the next level and added some magic to it that was previously only reserved to the inner crowd.

And that is great, and we should embrace it, explore it, extend it, use it, filter the heck out of it ….

Now, at the same time it is actually just that, taking your picture to the next level.
It is liberating the inner beauty of what is already there.
It is extrapolating it, magnifying, making it more visible.
But it can only do as much with the RAW (pun intended) material we present it.
A bad composition will not turn into a masterpiece because we apply a Hefe (not the beer, the filter) or a Lord Kelvin to it.

And sometimes we will push a good composition and well lit balance over the edge and ruin the experience with post processing and filters.

I love HDR (especially the kind that takes a tripod, a golden hour, 3 exposures and some heavy post processing in the studio and when you post it no one actually thinks it’s HDR and just loves the scene), I love filters, I love artificial lightening, I love cleanup as ultimately the picture needs to be telling the story, be magic, pulling you in, regardless of the tools used …

Now at the same time I love a low ISO, an f stop that gives me a bokeh I cannot artificially recreate and glass that allows me to blow up my pictures full frame without the need to crop (you know the whole macro discussion) and deep down I believe in craft to reach art …

So, will we discuss “technique” here on #stuckinplastic ?

Yes, for sure (unless you tell us to shut up and tell us you only want the pictures).

So whenever it make sense or Shelly decides to open up the box of magic we may be taking a deep dive in filters and techniques …

Let us know in the comments below what you think about “post processing” …

Totally M.

Insufferable Arrogance

“The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men’s apples and head their cabbages.”  Cyrano de Bergerac

In our supreme arrogance we may also think we are alone in the universe, we are the only ones pursuing a particular dream or that we alone have the answers; I am not that person. I know I am only one piece of the puzzle as I strive to find my place. I want to create that which will compliment and expand the human experience.

 – xxsjc

Gandalf …

The last few days we have been deep down in strategy discussions with Darth and team on how to take Deathstar Inc. to the next level. And while I cannot go into all the details here on the different color codes of the strategic Deathstar levels (his favorite color is white) we did touch on #stuckinplastic and a possible art exhibition in the board room of Deathstar Inc. in the coming months.



Gandalf™

While I took quite some pictures of the team exploring the dungeons of the Deathstar (I will post some other later as they really connect with Shelly fundamental truth on the need for exploration) I love the facial expression of Gandalf (who joined the team last minute to advice the bcg dudes) when he explored the force field in lower dungeons …

Time to get back to the break out sessions …

Ketchup™

Ketchup™.
The final frontier.

Like Shelly mentioned we are having a great bumpy start here with getting things rolling. Now do read on, as things are not as bad as they may seem from the outside but we have to get our NDA out and about …

Aye, NDA or Non Disclosure Agreements (and so not the DNA aka Deoxyribonucleic acid stuff we all have inside us) as Darth, Vasa and M all need to agree to be mentioned here on #stuckinplastic before we can share the stories with you …

I had a great time in coaching M with all his go lives the last few weeks and his debute around the globe has been pretty successful yet we did not secure an official go from the HQ to show you the behind the scene pictures so I can only recommend “another” great M ovie .

Darth on the other side, really loved the project and was all for in getting us up and rolling as long as we made sure we took some green tea along next time we visit the Death Star … (note to self to pass by Harrods before traveling back to the DS)’

As I mentioned to Lady S. I will keep you all up to date on the progress (or lack there of) of Sir D. and his green tea …

Me2