Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus is an on going photo project by photographer Jesse Rieser. This project of Jesse’s has to be one of my all time favorite projects because deep, deep down I am a Christmas fanatic (I’ll just never show it). This series captures a wide array of Christmas traditions across America. Everything from families who seem to never have enough Christmas decorations for their front lawn to an obscure gas station’s simple approach to the holiday season you would never bat an eye at. My favorite is the first image because I’m a sucker for weird, slightly dilapidated, isolated Americana imagery.
Check out the rest of Jesse’s series here: Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America.
Happy Holidays to all of our readers! We wish you a safe and joyful holiday season!
Rarely does an artist’s work speak to me on such a profound level that I must own, at least try to, as many originals as I can. In this case, Danny Heller brings that sensation to me. I can’t explain how Danny’s work speaks to me. Danny’s work floods me with nostalgic memories of very specific moments in my life that have happened. They weren’t epic moments of anything crazy. Just life. There’s a calm, simple, serenity to his work that reassures me that the choices I’ve made living in Southern California couldn’t have been better. The above examples are mostly studies of Palm Springs, CA but it’s his LA Visions series that first won me over.
Danny Heller is an oil painter (yes, painter) who was born and raised in Southern California and it clearly shows in his work. Check out his impressive portfolio or drop by a gallery and have your mind blown at the near hyper realism of his paintings in person. If you’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley, you’ll probably have experienced a day like one of Danny’s paintings. http://dannyhellerart.com
Besides approaching the most pressing issue of our time from a very interesting perspective, this video by Markus Kayser is absolutely stunning from a visual perspective. Kayser harnesses raw solar energy to produce glass objects using via a 3D printing process.
Fascinating. It’s visuals like these (and these) that make me realize I need to spend a lot more time in the desert taking pictures.
Solar Sinter Project via Robert Andersen
The always great Tim Navis updates from the Mojave Desert with some striking images. These would be great on the wall at large scale.
So after years of being goaded by my friends I finally took the plunge and went to Burning Man. I figured it would be a good idea to bring a camera but I had heard that the dust could wreak havoc on the delicate inner-workings of a DSLR so I decided to leave the D80 at home and bring my little SD780 Elph. It ended up working out great, that little thing surprised me every time I used it. But this being my first time, I wanted to focus more on the experience and not be worrying about getting shots the whole time. Consequently, I didn’t come home with a whole lot of material, but I was really happy with what I did manage to get. Next year I am definitely going to bring the D80 (or whatever I’m shooting with at that time) and focus more on shooting, the place is a photographer’s dream.
Above are some examples of the shots I did get; all have been post-processed and most are multiple-exposures. As you can see, the place was downright otherworldly in terms of aesthetics; the beauty of the desert (a place I’ve spent very little time in my life) was absolutely breathtaking. The texture of the sand (which was extremely fine, almost like talcum powder) seemed like what I’d imagine the moon to be like. As the images above will attest, I was somewhat preoccupied with the sun, but you’ll have to forgive me as the sunrises and sunsets were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever witnessed. Some of the photos are available for purchase as prints at the ISO50 Photographic site.
As for the experience itself, I could go on and on but I’ll spare you the details and just say that is was without question a high point for me. The music, people, and artwork were all incredible. I brought with me a lot of preconceived notions about what Burning Man is and the kind of people who go there, but within the first hour or so of being out there in the desert with 50,000 people, every one of those notions were proven to be completely wrong. Try to make it out there if you have the opportunity, it’s really something special to be a part of.
Edit: I’ve discussed the process of creating these images a little in the comments.
Edit: ZX asked in the comments if I could post an unprocessed image, the example below is the raw output from the camera. After processing it became the top-most image above (this one). I really had a great time working with these images and I think I am closer than ever to becoming a Canon convert with my next DSLR purchase.