At first glance you might expect Joe Stevens’ collection of van photos — Vans and the places they were — to be another nostalgic overdose of 70′s camp, but on closer inspection you’ll find some beautiful photos that transcend the limited scope of the series. I love the color composition and processing; I almost feel like I’m looking at some hyperrealist version of a Kevin Cyr painting. This is probably also the only other time you could get away with hanging a picture of a van conversion on your wall and convincing all your friends that it’s art. The best part of it all is that they don’t seem to be staged at all; they all seem to be random finds which makes the quality of the shots all the more incredible.
Sidenote: Looks like Joe’s site was built on Arlo Sites, a portfolio platform that looks pretty interesting. Not sure how it stacks up to Cargo or Squarespace though, this is the first I’ve seen of it.
I’m headed to Tokyo again in May and I’m getting all psyched for bouncing around the city with my camera. I’ve been via-linking my way around photography blogs for inspiration and found Color Berlin, a cool photo set by Matthias Heiderich. They feel like paintings to me — probably due to the heavy saturation, and flat compositional style. I’ve only been to Berlin once, but I don’t remember seeing colors like this! Best keep my eyes open next time. More on his Flickr page.
Some excellent photography by Greg White. The mood of his pieces reminded me of some of Kim Holtermand’s recent works. I like pictures of deserted places that are normally really busy. You can sense a lingering human presence, but are confronted with the total absence of life. The result of which is captivating images such as these, that are as spooky as they are beautiful.
Happy 11/11! For us in The States it’s Veterans Day (Armistice Day for much of Europe), I’m not sure if anyone besides students and librarians get the day off, but it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the state of affairs in our world and to show our appreciation (regardless of political stance) for the men and women who walk the line for us every day of the year. Although not all that related, Smashing Magazine’s piece on aerial photography seemed like a fitting post. Seeing shots like this always seems to give some perspective on things.
Aerial photography has always fascinated me, unfortunately it’s prohibitively expensive. You pretty much have to be a pro to even get near these sorts of photo ops. I always have my D80 close at hand when I fly just in case something presents itself, but it seems like polarization or a random overhead light always ruins the moment. I think this is the closest I ever got to anything halfway decent.
Anybody here have any experience with aerial stuff? I’ve heard they rent ultralights out in Davis, CA. Seems like it would be worth it just to go up with a decent camera.
Some cool shots from Jonathan Mutch. Really like the color and vibe of his stuff; very authentic, filmic style. Every time I see stuff like this and check the EXIF I realize my next camera should probably be a Canon. Also, apparently I need to visit Banff. Check out the depth in that third shot, beautiful! You can find some more of Jon’s work at his Flickr
Jon: Care to elaborate on your process in the comments?
I’m back in San Francisco after a very long trip home (around 20 hours over three flights) from Tromsø, Norway. It was great doing the workshop and playing at Insomnia; I really appreciate everyone coming out. Unfortunately I was sick almost the whole time so I didn’t get to see and do as much as I’d have liked while in this amazing place. But thanks to my gracious hosts — Annette and Simen, who went out of their way to show me around — I was able to get out and experience some of what Tromsø has to offer. I honestly had no idea what to expect from this place; I’d been so busy that I never had the chance to do any research before I left. Saying I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement to say the least — Tromsø is absolutely one of the most interesting and beautiful places I’ve ever had the good fortune to visit. It’s the sort of alpine paradise that conjures up idealized notions of northern Europe in the 60′s. In fact, Röyksopp hail from Tromsø and it certainly shows in their Epel video (below). I felt like I was living it when I took the gondola up the mountain.
For starters, it’s a city rich in quality design and typography, thanks in part to Tank (pronounced “Tonk”), an Oslo-based design shop founded by Tromsø natives who have now returned and formed a satellite office in their home town. They’ve designed everything from packaging for the locally brewed Mack beer to the beautifully executed branding for local cafe Kaffebønna (which now sits squarely in my top 5 worldwide list for best coffee shops — worth a visit for the awesome pricing signage alone). Incidentally, Tank’s Tromsø office sits directly above another excellent cafe, Circa, which serves up some of the best sandwiches and tea I’ve had in a while. And by the way, all that amazing furniture we have to pay and arm and a leg for here in the states? It’s everywhere in Norway… Even the smallest cafe will have some incredible couch chilling in the corner that only rich art director types have over here.
But beyond all of the man-made fare, the real attraction is the natural beauty. Tromsø is situated right above the arctic circle and, as a result, the scenery is nothing short of stunning. Sharp, snow-covered mountain peaks jutting out from sea-level make for some of the most dramatic and breathtaking scenery I’ve ever laid eyes or lens on. Sadly, the days are very short at this time of the year. That, coupled with the fact that I spent most of my time sweating out a fever in bed, means I only got a couple hours of shooting in. But that’s all the more reason for a return trip, which I’ve already begun planning.
So thanks again to everyone from Tromsø for showing me a great time. And if you have the chance, I highly recommend a visit — I feel very lucky to have stumbled into this incredible place. Oh, and if you don’t have time to visit, you can live the experience vicariously through one of my all time favorite music videos:
P.S. Anyone know where I can buy these Fribol Herbal Drops in the US? I got them in Norway, they’re amazing and I can’t find a similar alternative here. Although I assume since they actually work and contain neither sugar nor drugs, they’re most certainly illegal in the states.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to the workshop last night, I had a great time talking with you and meeting everyone afterwards. Also thanks to Heydays who spoke at the event and designed the die-cut poster (above); very inspiring work which I’ll be posting more on soon.
I haven’t had a chance to take many pictures yet but I did get to tour the offices of Tank Design who had some very interesting artifacts all around.
It’s been a great time so far — in spite of my being sick the whole time. I’m resting up for the Tycho set at Insomnia tonight, hope to see you out there!
Jakub’s recent post about his mystery images inspired me to do a little sleuthing of my own. I’ve had the top image on my desktop for a long while now labeled “awesome_findit” and never had any idea where it came from. Turns out it was part of a (now a few years old) series of photographs by Asako Narahashi.
I’m a big fan of the whole half awake and half asleep in the water series — concept and execution. I have always been fascinated by the ocean, and bobbing about idly in the waves is one of my favorite things to do. Her photos simultaneously capture the tranquility of this wonderfully lazy activity, while still maintaining the dynamism of an ocean swell. I also really enjoy how heavy the water looks — reminds me of that Keane album title Under the Iron Sea.