The photos, taken by Harris with an Olympic Stylus 35mm film camera (he’s gone through six), document his battle with cancer, encounters with celebrities (he has them take his portrait), highs and lows – a life well lived.
The Photorito is a protective lens wrap that looks like a burrito. Why a burrito, you ask? Well… why not?
The faux-tortilla wrap is ‘made of super-tough Tyvek (the stuff hazmat suits are made of) and cushioned with neoprene.’ Made by Photojojo, whose headquarters are located in the ‘Burrito Capital of San Francisco’, they explain on their site ‘you know your lens will be safe even if you drop your bag off a cliff, get attacked by a pack of wild honey badgers, or get bored and need something to toss around. Plus, a clever burrito disguise means potential thieves will never suspect that you’re packing glass instead of pico de gallo.’ (But what if the thieves are looking to steal Mexican food?)
Photojojo are selling the Photorito for twenty dollars through their site. Mouth-watering?
A health insurance company in Germany are promoting their non-smoking initiative with a clever calendar communicating the positive effects of quitting smoking for one year…
For many people, the beginning of a new year means New Year’s resolutions – a recent study found that ninety-five per cent of Britons will endeavour to keep some sort of resolution – and top of many lists will be a vow to quit smoking.
AOK, a health insurance company in Germany, are promoting their non-smoking initiative with the Nichtraucher-kalender, a calendar communicating the positive effects of quitting smoking for one year. Each month the typographic art calendar shows a black pair of smoker’s lungs. Using an innovative laser technology, the lungs have a filigree pattern cut out of them, with the underlying pages also visible. As the pages are removed, the lungs become lighter and lighter until, in December, the lungs are almost clear.
A concept bicycle that doubles as a camera tripod…
The T-Bike is a concept bicycle by designer Reza Rachmat Sumirat inspired by the camera tripod. The bike has three sliding bars that can be adjusted to the rider’s preferences, and also doubles as a tripod for active outdoor photography. The handlebars provide a tripod mount, and the kickstand on the front wheels helps stabilise the shot.
I think it’s an interesting idea, but with those tiny wheels it looks like a circus clown bike – you might be better off rigging a tripod across the handlebars of your own normal-sized bike (which you would have to do – it’s only a concept design after all). But what do you think?
New cameras with new modes: photograph a sleeping person without rousing them from their slumber, or give a friend a digital nip/tuck…
Canon’s new line of ELPH cameras have a Sleeping Face Recognition mode that turns off the flash, assist beam and sounds when it detects that you’re attempting to photograph someone sleeping. As you do. Arguably worth having, as one among many modes, but perhaps the kind of gimmick better left to an iPhone app.
Olympus’ new VR-340 has a Beauty Make-Up Mode that offers eighteen in-camera ‘enhancements’. If you know someone, a friend, say, who is somewhat … unprepossessing … you can do them a favour by whitening their teeth, shrinking their double chin or erasing the bags under their eyes with your digitised make-up and plastic surgery kit.
Historical revisionism with Photoshop. Two projects – one funny, the other serious – digitally remove the subjects of iconic images…
Jean-Marie Delbes and Hatim el Hihi have digitally removed dead band members from famous album covers for a project called LIVE! – Abbey Road without John and George, Tommy Ramone cutting a lonely figure for the Ramones’ self-titled debut album. Funny yet strangely sad – ‘rock and roll’ stars die young, researchers have proved it – and a demonstration of virtuoso Photoshop skills.
The Ramones, The Ramones.
Return to the 36 Chambers, Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
A project also concerned with digital erasure, visual artist Pavel Maria Smjkal has removed the subjects from iconic photographs. With his project Fatescapes, Smjkal forces us to question the veracity of historical images and the photojournalist’s role, their images more trusted in a pre-Photoshop era as accurate representations of reality.
CREDIT: Pavel Maria Smjkal. Beijing. Without the Tank Man, or the advancing column of tanks.
‘Using a simple Photoshop tool, Mr. Smejkal has reshaped these images and challenged us to confront the relationship of photographer, image and history in a manner that is profoundly unsettling’, wrote the New York Times. ‘Viewing Fatescapes encourages you to wonder if it even matters whether Mr. Adams’s general was misrepresented (a claim made by the photographer) or if Mr. Capa’s photo was not what it purported to be.’
On the Photoshop note, Jesse Rosten’s soon-to-be viral spoof cosmetics ad takes aim at the questionable claims of beauty products.
CREDIT: A glitch with a Canon G5. Phillip Stearns.
Year of the Glitch is a 366 day project by Phillip Stearns collecting various instances of glitches, intentional or otherwise, produced by electronic systems – digital cameras, camcorders, electronic displays and scanners on the fritz, as well as manipulated or corrupted files. The project is part of the glitch art ‘movement’, which finds beauty in the blockiness and crystaline fragmention of digital errors.
On the Year of the Glitch site, the Brooklyn-based Stearns quotes from an essay by academic Hugh S. Manon and artist Daniel Temkin. ‘What makes good glitch art good is that, amidst a seemingly endless flood of images, it maintains a sense of the wilderness within the computer’. An interesting read, if words like ‘ontology’ and ‘liminal’ don’t make you feel dizzy.
According to Manon and Temkin, glitch art has important precursors such as Nam June Paik, John Cage, and Anni Albers, and proto-glitch artists include Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter. And yet, they argue, ‘glitch art was not born in any particular location or moment’. It was ‘discovered (and continues to be discovered) at a thousand points simultaneously. The nascent glitch artist is seduced by a chance encounter: one witnesses, perhaps for the first time, the momentary failure of a digitally transcoded text—a fractured JPEG image, for instance, or a compressed video file losing traction with itself. The error is perceived as provocative, strange and beautiful.’ What do you think? Provocative, strange and beautiful? Or time to get your camera repaired?
Art by day, light by night, the Polaboy is a giant luminous Polaroid frame. Cool but costly, one of these installations will set you back up to $6500.
Polaboys, made by the German company Lightboys, are enlarged Polaroids to a scale of 10:1. The authentically washed-out-looking Polaroid image is backlit by LEDs and mounted in a silver wooden frame.
A limited edition run of Polaboys come with a print included, by artists such as professional skateborder/artist Ed Templeton and fashion photographer Terry Richardson. The prints are being sold through French shop Colette, and the print/frame combination costs up to $6500. But you can also use your own art. Send Lightboys either a print or a digital file, and they’ll print the image and send you a Polaboy for $3000.
PopPhoto.com suggest the Polaboy is probably something you could knock up yourself for a much lower price. All you would need to do is pick up a large LED-powered backlight and get your image printed on a sufficiently large transparency. ‘It might not be quite as slick, but it would be remarkably affordable, and have a DIY aesthetic that any true lomographer would love.’
The ‘Polaroid Look’ has set the benchmark for authenticity in photography. The Image Source Monitor team set out to indentify the rules for authentic imagery, the Art Of Realism. An exponent of the authentic ‘Polaroidal’ look is the fStop, a brand represented by Image Source. View the collection here.
CREDIT: Screenshot of Obama’s Instagram
President Barack Obama has joined the insanely popular photo sharing site Instagram, a favourite of Hipsters. The first uploaded picture, posted by the U.S. President’s staff, shows Obama video-conferencing with supporters at the Iowa caucus.
The Instagram app allows the user – in this case the leader of the free world (or his staff) – to apply retro filters that make the image look like it was taken with an antique camera. The photos can then be instantly posted to the user’s Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts. Obama has been called everything from the Facebook President (he was the first POTUS to join the social network) to the YouTube President (when he came to office Obama began posting weekly ‘fireside’ chats on his YouTube channel). Now with Instagram, people are calling Obama the Hipster President.
In the short time the Instagram account (@barackobama) has been live Obama has posted six images, and amassed over 50,000 followers, though he isn’t following anyone (think of all the retro images of cats he’s missing out on).
The Daily Mail newspaper have ‘used the popular iPhone app’ (I think that’s a bit of a fib; they probably used Photoshop) to ‘give a vintage look to some favourite White House moments’. The writer enthuses about the Instagram treatment, the distinctly hazy Sixties and Seventies feel to the images, and how relatively ordinary moments seem more important, almost like historical documents. Imagine if you gave extraordinary moments the Instagram treatment. How important would they seem then?
One of our twelve predictions for 2012 (rendered in twenty words) was that, with the Presidential election dominating the news cycle, images of political figures and Americana – stars and stripes, bald eagles etc. – are inescapable. We stand by the prediction, though we didn’t expect the images to be quite so hazy.
And for super-sharp, non-retro images of political figures, look no further than our politics stock photos.
CREDIT: Hipstamatic Disposable Series
The company behind the popular Hipstamatic camera app, Synthetic Corp, has unveiled a new app that simulates the one-use disposable camera with a 24-exposure ‘digital roll of film’.
The new D-series allows a group of friends to share the same virtual roll of film. The first user selects the camera and invites friends to join. Invited photographers shoot with the app, each user seeing a shared shot count. Once all the exposures on the roll have been used, then, and only then, can invited users see the photos. A fun idea, no? A shared experience, and one that replicates the sense of surprise and delight you had in a pre-digital era of getting, all in one go, your holiday or party snaps back from the shop developed.
Holidays and parties were my first thought, but Mashable have a more left-field take on the new app: its potential use in documenting protests. ‘Let’s say you’re at a public rally you expect to get hot. You have a few friends on the ground, but want to make sure no matter what happens all of your photos make it out … if you have your iPhone taken away or lose it, the photos are still safe.’