Alex Koplin is one of the veteran commenters on ISO50 blog, while he’s been working on graduating he’s also had time to work on a few collages and some free desktops for everyone. I talked to him over the phone before I posted this and he shared that Adrift by ISO50 was an influence on the work which I thought was a good choice always to look at before working mostly anything.
I’ve always been fascinated by collage. It’s a visceral technique that emerged in the early 20th century as a form of pop art, involving the assemblage of a variety of different sources of color and texture. Inspired by a few recent projects, I set out to experiment and develop my own technique for collage. These collage/number studies are the result of my first concerted effort, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. What excites me even more is the potential to apply this technique in future projects, using different color and texture palettes, and new layout techniques. I learned about how layout and order of placement dictate the motion and flow of the collage, which can be especially noted viewing the piece at a small size, or from far-away. It’s especially interesting to think about collage in this case as a digital approach to replicating a technique that traditionally relied on the physical sourcing, cutting and gluing of materials. The affordances of applications like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and the abundance of pixels to source from the internet allow us to replicate these processes without all the mess, but is this still giving us the experience of bonding with the materials as we combine and re-contextualize them to form something new, expressive, and ultimately our own? I can say I did get a taste of this feeling, but there is still a barrier that existed between me and this final result that beckons me to somehow bring this sort of technique into the material world.
You may recognize Alex Koplin(not to be confused with the Alex who writes for this blog), aka H34dup, as a frequent commenter here. I was checking out his blog today and came across this wonderful image which I just mistook for a vintage piece that Alex had simply blogged about. But after reading on I realized that this was actually created by Alex for Typcut. I see people use textures and aging techniques all the time, but they’re usually pretty transparent and obvious. This, on the other hand, is spot on authentic. Loving the color, type, and composition. This would feel right at home on my kitchen wall or a wine store in the Rhône.
I’ve spent a good portion of my career working on distressing and aging techniques. It’s one of those things that you just shouldn’t even be doing unless you can totally nail it (and that’s not to say I’ve always gotten it right; I cringe at the sight of some of my older stuff). I see people try to use Photoshop brushes to achieve this sort of style but I think if you’re using brushes to distress, you need to turn back because that path leads nowhere. Who knows, maybe it’s possible to get decent results with brushes, I’ve just never never seen it done. That is to say, whenever I see work done with brushes, it always screams “hey, look at these brushes”. Anyways, Alex’s piece is a great example of how to do it right. Now here’s the part where Alex comments and says he did use brushes and I look like an idiot.
You may remember seeing the first Lytro light field camera here on the blog back in 2011. If its unconventional box-like shape wasn’t enough to catch your eye, the astounding technology that enabled photographers to adjust the focal point of the image after it had already been captured surely would have. Check out an example below, you can click to change the focal point and scroll to zoom in and out. There are more samples on Lytro’s Gallery page.
Well, now Lytro is back with the next evolution of the light field camera: the Lytro Illum. Physically, it appears much more in-line with traditional point-and-shoot cameras than its radical predecessor, with an angled display screen that gives the profile of the camera big points on both character factor and, I’d imagine, ergonomics. I’ve also read in some hands-on reviews that it feels remarkably light, weighing in at less than two pounds…yes, that lens that looks like a cumbersome beast apparently weights only half a pound.
As pretty as the Illum is on the outside, it isn’t until you take a look at what’s inside that you can get a sense for how revolutionary this camera really is. The Illum uses a patented micro-lens array that captures data about color, light direction and intensity, storing this data for later use. This is the key difference between light field cameras and other cameras, which generally don’t give you much control over the photo once it’s been taken. A special Lytro button enables a helpful UI overlay that outlines the contours of objects in the shot, giving a sense of depth and a preview of how the image’s focus will be able to be adjusted by its viewers.
Perhaps the biggest kicker of all is the price tag. Looking at a piece of technology as revolutionary as this, you might instantly assume that it’s going to run tens of thousands of dollars. Wrong. It’s being listed at around $1,599 USD, which isn’t exactly cheap, but in the photography field it actually is very affordable. In his original post, Jon finished it off by opening the table for ideas on how this technology could be applied to great effect. One can’t help but think of all the possibilities when you look at technology like this: how would you use the Lytro Illum differently than you would your usual camera? Or, which of your favorite photographers would you like to see use a camera like this?
Started a new disco edit series on Moodgadget, we’re actually taking demos(info below), i’ll keep posting them on the blog, with art direction from longtime ISO50 commenter H34dUp.
Moodgadget presents a new series of split singles, featuring disco edits from Brooklyn Bass helmsman Evan Michael, and introducing the secret edit project of veteran Moodgadget designer, Alex Koplin, as Choplin. An update to one of the SOS Band’s classic hits, “After All” adds a bass heavy push and pull with minor chords and glitzy arpeggiation creating a new dynamic. “Never Forget” presents a re-working of Dexter Wansel honing in on an impeccable groove you might have inadvertently passed over in the original. – Moodgadget
To submit a demo to the series: info at moodgadget dot com
Flyer for the August 30th ISO50 / Moodgadget Showcase in Brooklyn, NY
ISO50 presents a Moodgadget Showcase including an upcoming event and a FREE compilation to download. The event is taking place at The Glasslands on August 30th, i’ll be djing along side Alex Koplin(who has offered his services by creating the flyer and collabing with me on the shirt/cover art) inbetween these blooming talented acts, timeslots(people love knowing the slots) below.
free shirt giveaway at the door - limited shirt, only 100 pressed
The night of we are giving away an EXCLUSIVE Under The Mountain tee(limited to 100, probably 20x of each size) these are only for the Brooklyn show, no repressings, free at the door while supplies last, so probably come early. Sizes S-XL available.
Since i’ve known Zach Saginaw aka Shigeto and saw him play live I had a feeling early on he was one of those guys that was going to give beat producers a run for their money, the man is a performer and can drum with more dynamics than any other producer I know. You can listen to songs like Look At All The Smiling Faces and get the understanding that this isn’t someone thats looking to just produce beats for fun, the man wants to do this as a living because he cares about the sound and was born to take this sound to the next level and not only on a album but more importantly on stage.
If you’re a vinyl head then this is your piece, the vinyl comes with a art sleeve by Mike Cina and the CD slid in there too, you can pick it up at The Ghostly Store.
Below is a quick run thru of the whole LP, just a few seconds of each song that was done by Alex Koplin aka H34dUp and who comments on the blog regularly.
Thanks to everyone who made it out last night, I had an incredible time and the energy was great. I really appreciate you all sticking around until 2:30am on a sunday night, you’re probably hating me this morning though, wish I could buy you a coffee. It was great to be able to check out the other bands too, I’ve been meaning to see all of them live for a while now.
Shigeto turned in an amazing performance with his drums with some great backing visuals by Alex Headup, Adam Hunt, and Martin Thoburn. A Sunny Day in Glasgow came with some really dreamy stuff and they were a perfect counterpoint to the decidedly electronic vibe of the other acts on the bill. The highlight of the night for me was Casino Versus Japan’s set. He very rarely plays shows (I think the last one was like 6 years ago?) so it was a rare treat to say the least. I had the honor of doing visuals for him during his set which was really a great experience. I rarely get to just do visuals for other artists so it was nice to be able to focus on that side of things. As you might imagine, his set was super mellow and ambient. The energy ebbed and flowed perfectly and made for a very moving experience. Hopefully he starts playing more shows because I doubt you’ll see anything like that again any time soon.
All in all it was a great time, I hope to be back again soon. This was my last show for a while as I’ll be focusing on wrapping up the new album through the early part of the year but as soon as that’s ready I’ll be getting back out.