Top 25 Mobile Photos of 2014 at Flickr

My photo, “Summer’s Requiem” is #14 – woohoo!

Well, this is quite an honor. Of the 500 million+ photos uploaded to Flickr in 2014, one of mine was in the mobile top 25 according to their blog (#14, shown below), along with 24 other really great images — and one of only 5 black and whites. Thanks, Flickr!

flickr2014topmobile25Here’s what I say about this image at its page on Flickr:

On the first day of fall, I was headed into a building for an early morning appointment. I looked down and noticed this leaf with the morning dew when walking in, but did not get a shot. After the appointment, it was still there with the glistening morning dew, and I stopped in my tracks so as not to miss it. The heart-shaped leaf and tear-like droplets framed by the concrete sidewalk all made the perfect metaphor at the changing of the seasons: happy reflections on the season past… maybe even sadness at its passing. But ahead of that: lovely things to come. To me, the best compositions are musical; you can almost hear them hum when you study them. So naturally, this would be a requiem. I converted to grayscale, added a slight vignette at the top and sharpened just a bit to highlight the macro-vision detail of the leaf’s veins, amplified by the water.

Thanks again for this incredible honor. Go follow me there and follow the Flickr Blog for a regular curated stream of consistently cool imagery.

 

Masters of Photography Art Feature

Many thanks to Masters of Photography for featuring my art! The site regularly features many excellent artists with a great layout, too. Very honored!

Originally posted on Mírame y sé color:

Richard Smith explores unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage. Working with elements from nature, pedestrian objects, specially-commissioned photos, and scenes from his travels and neighborhood, he fuses these components into ethereal yet cohesive views that transcend their origins. A self-taught graphic artist with 20+ years of professional experience, Smith incorporates assimilated photographic techniques and modern photomanipulation approaches into his hand-craftedcompositions.

Smith has been recognized globally for his photomontage art, with his pieces being shared across several U.S. and international creative venues.

View original

 

Add Now Playing Song to Playlist in iPhone

How hard would it be to include an “add to playlist” option for a currently playing song on an iPhone?

Apple Add To PlaylistThe near-largest technology company in the world, and the most profitable (Apple, duh) has yet to muster the resources to make this happen.

I’m not asking for anything fancy – maybe just tap and hold the artwork for a song in music? Or maybe use that menu in the top right? Easy!

iPhone owners have been asking for this for years. And years. And years.

I used to be able to do this on my iPod 4, for goodness sake. I’d hear a song, think “hey, that’s good for this playlist” and add it. Boom, done.

As of this writing, the only way to add songs to playlists is a cumbersome procedure of selecting the playlist first, navigating to a track, then manually adding that track.

Yes, more important threaten humanity, but this has gotta be in like… at least the top 50, right?

Please, Apple — add this feature in iOS for us. 

And to anyone reading who agrees, please request this from Apple feedback, or at my post on the Apple boards here. Thanks. 

We Can Land A Probe on a Comet, But…

We can’t seem to get the hang of text transcription.

WSJ2

In a mind-blowing feat of scientific achievement, the European Space Agency successfully landed a probe on a comet this week. That’s amazing. In its video coverage, the Wall Street Journal assembled a video wrap-up with a transcription that was well, interesting…

WSJ1The transcribing robot is clearly on something and needs to go home. I picture its voice like that of Slater from the film Dazed and Confused in a finer moment.

Here’s a summary of the event at the official Flickr blog, which links to the ESA’s Flickr stream which, as you might guess, is full of some dazzling imagery and updates from the Rosetta probe these days.

esa

And here’s the full text of the Wall Street Journal transcription. Remember to picture it read in stoner voice:

a tiny robot called feline meet St day … this means to buy a few that … shows the man to just three km above the surface of the call for many of the scientists who work there has been a ticking along with another crucial moment has finally come … feel that has landed … it is the first time in history … as a spacecraft landed … on the alien landscape awful cough the the the uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh the the who believe that most of whom the YouTube is … nobody looks great it and as of this of this … sickness who looked as though one more crucial with the head … up to seven not descend from its mother ship present or … feel a let’s get to work … the job is to learn as much as it can about the comic and as quickly as possible its ten instruments will be taken back to that the errors that … feel as cameras will take high resolution images of its new home into a … the lender will analyze the composition and structure of the comments of this material … has also driven system that will be the material for twenty centimeters below the surface … there will also analyze the water and comic be sixty seven to see if it’s the same chemical flavor as that found on a … if this is confirmed … it would bolster the theory that the sum of its Walker … could have been brought him back on its … beelining also collects valuable data as the sixty seven was closer to the sun … in particular the question of dimensions of life … why has the right to marriage on the ears … oh … and the process by which like the marriage … of a generic in the mirror so specific thrust on us to send … the speedo mammal these critical questions and luckily in the comments have the … the way to offer a clue statistic for that … whatever happens to the land … was at the will continue to travel alongside the comic and take measurements … for Keystone of eighteen months …

-Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014

What do you think? Ever had any funny experiences with text-to-speech software? What are your thoughts on human beings being able to successfully send photos from the surface of a comet? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Jimi Hendrix: Hear His Excellence And Legacy

hendrix

Here’s nearly two hours of Hendrix music and compelling interview clips in support of the release of a previously unearthed batch of recordings. It’s a fascinating listen.

As a guitarist growing up, it didn’t take long for me to fall under the spell of Jimi Hendrix. And to this day, decades later, he’s cemented in my mind as the greatest rock guitarist of all time. Others before and since have certainly been great and influential, but to me, the massive confluence of creativity, talent and ambition in Hendrix can never again be matched.

Jimi Hendrix.promoFB.0307-13That’s why I recently revisited this amazing two-hour broadcast from NPR’s World Cafe, published around the time of a new release of some previously unheard recordings of his studio sketches — which, of course, sound to us like complete compositions, but who knows what Hendrix may have had in mind. Regardless, this is a well-produced and highly enjoyable broadcast.

Besides the music, there are also great clips of interviews with Hendrix’s sister, his contemporaries from his time of performing, and several other fine artists with interesting perspectives on his music and legacy. It’s so enjoyable as a Hendrix fan to get a generous heap of quality music previously unheard, blended with color from other voices also worth hearing. 

What do you think? Are you a Hendrix fan? What artists influenced you and are they still relevant to you today? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Scattershot And All

A new photomontage blended from disparate compelling images:

Scattershot And All

Scattershot And All

Treetops from the west, Chiroptera from the east. This is the combined view of an overlook at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles juxtaposed with a bat skeleton from the Nature Science Center in my home state of North Carolina, all shot and assembled over a scattered period of time. See the originals at Flickr. Musical accompaniment: “All Is Not Lost” by OK Go. Poetry accompaniment by William Carlos Williams.

Spring and All
By William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

What do you think? Ever seen a bat skeleton? Are you a fan of OK Go or William Carlos Williams (or both, like me)? What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Never More Than A Dream

This is a lyric from one of my favorite songs, “Sweeter Than Anything,” by PJ Harvey. It’s also the title of my most popular Pinterest board.

I love everything about the track — its ethereal, almost haunted atmosphere; its darkly timbred instrumentation; and of course Polly Jean’s smoldering, longing delivery. The Lordes and Lana Del Reys of today owe everything to Harvey (and Kate Bush, and Tori Amos… etc.) and this track illustrates exactly why.

nmtad02The line, “You were never more than a dream” appears near the end, as an intonation of understanding, right before Harvey sings the title. A perfect, gentle ending to a swirling story of longing and reflection.

So that’s why “Never More Than A Dream” seems to me the ideal collection of words as a title, befitting this Pinterest board I’ve been growing for some time. The images there are generally mysterious, vintage, artful, or fleeting in some way. This board also happens to be a repository for images I find just plain interesting. It’s the most active board I keep on Pinterest, and if you’re a fan of this blog (hey, you’ve read this far…), you will probably enjoy what’s there as well.

nmtad01What do you think? Are you active on Pinterest? Do you have any themed collections of images or music you keep coming back to or that resonate with others? Let us hear from you in the comments.