Design is alive and well in Prague. There seems to be a very strong street poster scene there and unlike in San Francisco, the posters are actually well designed. I am not sure if this is a function of the fact that most designers in California are busy at agencies doing web design or that Prague just happens to produce great print designers. Whatever the case may be, it was great to be able to walk around and observe my favorite design medium in it’s natural habitat: pasted up on walls and poles, wet, decaying, torn, and looking magnificent. The great part is that no one seems to be taking down older posters so in some places the posters were stacked almost two inches thick. Some of the front layers would be torn away exposing layer after layer of old posters beneath, amazing stuff.
After going though all the shots from Prague I realized how many I had to posters so I decided to split the post off into two parts. I will be posting the other shots from Prague tomorrow.
My brother and I made the long journey home from London via Chicago today. I’m now safely back in San Francisco sitting in the studio wondering where to start; so much to do after such a long time away. Always sort of bittersweet to come home after seeing so many beautiful things in so many new places. But it is nice to do some laundry and take a decent shower. My friend Franklin made a good point tonight: traveling somehow makes you at once appreciate your home and long to travel more. Sort a paradox I guess, or wait, is that a Catch 22? I met so many people while I was away who would ask where I was from and when I told them they would almost always say how beautiful it was here or how they had always wanted to visit. It made me realize that I probably don’t get out and appreciate the city I live in as much as I should. I spent every day I had in those other cities trying to cram in as much as I could, to "see it all", meanwhile I probably haven’t even begun to experience half of what San Francisco has to offer. Such is life I guess, the grass is always greener, or perhaps we juts desire the strange and unfamiliar.
I still haven’t posted the shots from London and Prague as the past week has been really hectic moving around a lot with spotty internet access. But I will be sure to get them posted over the next couple days. Prague and London were incredible, so many amazing things to see and photograph. I can’t wait to start sorting through the shots and processing them, but sleep comes first. I don’t think I’ve had a decent night of it in over a month. The shot above is from Prague, they have a really cool street poster scene there, lot’s of great stuff plastered up all over the place….More to come.
Stockholm really was an incredible city, definitely a highlight of this trip. I didn’t get as many chances to get out and take pictures as some of the other cities though, we were only there for 4 days and a lot of that time was spent preparing for the workshop. We went to the Bern Hotel and saw Unit 4 play live, it was really quite a night. The fashions I saw there were great, everything is done just right, people really know how to cultivate a look in Stockholm. I wish I had my camera with me that night, would have been like an endless fashion shoot in that place.
Leaving Prague for London tomorrow, always wanted to go there so pretty excited for it. Unfortunately we’ll only be in town for a couple days. My friend Mikael from Stockholm suggested an area called Brick Lane so we should be exploring around there hopefully. Got some great shots in Prague which I will be posting shortly.
Amsterdam is really an incredible place. Unfortunately it rained a lot this time around so I didn’t get as many shots as I had hoped. I wanted to make up for when I was there last year; my Lomo broke down and I dropped and broke my Nikon digital in Spain so I came home with only one roll of usable film. The sun did come out on the last day when we rode out to the Amsterdamse Bos and visited Museum Plein so not all was lost. The clouds there are something else, like a painting. I have to admit, I am not quite as inspired but the scenery there as I was by the things I saw in Asia, but that’s probably due to how similar in appearance and feeling Amsterdam is to San Francisco. The last shot is of my friend and fellow designer / photographer Jorge Calleja and was taken by my brother Dane. That’s also Jorge’s Eames chair up top.
I am writing this from my hotel room in Prague where it’s a bit overcast but otherwise dry and a lot warmer than I had expected, looking forward to getting some good shots here. I’ll be preparing a post on Sweden as time permits.
If you ride about an hour outside of Amsterdam you’ll find a very large forest park called the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Woods). It really is an incredible space; a vast network of open grass fields that seem to extend to the horizon punctuated by strips of densely wooded forest and murky canals. The above panorama was taken in five shots on one of the larger fields at the center of the forest. I’m in the process of going through all the shots from Amsterdam, will be posting more soon.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the workshop last night. I had a great time and it was a pleasure meeting so many people who are so passionate about art and design. Thanks also to Gimlet, SMUG, Grafiskt Forum, and Adobe for having me out and hosting the event. I hope to return soon, it was truly an honor to be able to speak here in Stockholm.
Another city, another cliche aerial shot from the wing. Flew into Stockholm this evening, haven’t seen much of the city yet but it seems like a very interesting place. It’s rather cold for what I am used to, I think it’s nearly freezing outside; about 0°C. This place really drives home the weakness of the US Dollar: I walked by a McDonalds tonight and noticed that a Big Mac will run you 60 SEK, the equivalent of about $10 USD. Yes, $10 Big Macs. Will be posting some shots from Amsterdam soon, they had the most beautiful clouds there.
On our last night in Tokyo we stayed up all night to go to the Tsukiji Fish market:
"The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, commonly known as Tsukiji fish market (Japanese: 築地市場, Tsukiji shijō) is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind." Wikipedia
We got there around around 3:00, well before the actual auctions started at 5:00, so we were able to see a lot of behind the scenes work and preparations. The people there were surprisingly accommodating, they let us pass in and out of any areas we pleased and even helped with directions. Everyone was hustling around working so I was amazed they didn’t just tell us to get lost. The place was like a bee hive, energy everywhere, people zipping around in these small transport carts moving the catch from the docks to the market area. Some of it was downright gruesome, the top picture was of a guy we found way in the back. He was butchering live fish one by one using some strange method involving a spinal rod and a large knife. I seriously can’t believe that much ocean life gets pulled out of the sea every day just in one place, sort of disconcerting to think this is going on everywhere around the world every day, can’t imagine that could go on very much longer.
At any rate, the experience is highly recommended and free. Your best bet is to just stay up all night and go really early to catch the more interesting stuff and beat the 5:00 rush of tourists (which actually wasn’t too bad).
It’s another rainy day in Amsterdam, been hard to get as many pictures as I would like. Tomorrow is supposed to be clear so hopefully I can play some catch-up.