Tag Archives: art

Solarized Tree – Rainy Day Inspiration and Flickr Feature

Solarized Tree, by rsmithing

One good thing about rainy afternoons is how the ordinary can take on more beauty. Here’s a snapshot of a tree I noticed in the post-rain haze of my neighborhood. It takes on new depth thanks to the Dynamic Light app’s “solarize” function and some finishing touches with the TtV Photo Studio app.

Flickr Explore PageUpdate: We Made Flickr’s Explore Page!

About 24 hours after this post, I visit the source image at Flickr to respond to any comments, and whaddya know: it’s featured on Flickr’s Explore: Recent Photos gallery!

Flickr’s “Explore” galleries are curated collections of 500 select photos each day. Considering the site gets photos uploaded by the thousands every minute, that’s very flattering. Other categories include “The Commons,” and “Galleries” – and all are fun ways to discover interesting new art and artists.

What an honor – thanks, Flickr!

What do you think? Have you ever been inspired to turn the ordinary into art by way of a rainy day? What are your “go-to” apps for photo editing? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Vintage Cameras Are Cool

Old School

Photo taken at Cookie’s Shabbytiques, Winston-Salem, NC. via iPhone.
Click to see more of my iPhoneography at Pinterest.

There’s a lot to appreciate about old cameras. I think they’re an art form unto themselves, having to achieve a goal (photography) in a certain way (conveniently, effectively), with a certain set of rules (workable by human hands). The more I explore photography, the more I’m drawn to these classic designs as a way of connecting with history.

Collecting Classic Cameras = Cool

I left the above comment on Down The Road, a blog by Jim Grey in Indiana. He did an excellent post earlier this year on why he collects vintage cameras, and I re-read it again today. Since that time, I’ve taken the above photo, and have become even more obsessed with photographic shooting techniques, cameras, iPhoneography, photo apps, artists… the list goes on. I say even more obsessed, because I was already far gone in the first place. Here’s what Jim says in return:

These classic designs are absolutely a link to history. Imagining what the world was like at the time one of my old cameras was new is part of what makes me collect!

I like the idea that mechanics, functionality and design all come together in these devices from the past, each of which were the height of technology at some point, and that we can still appreciate them today. And even now, as I’ve pretty much ditched my point-and-shoot camera for my iPhone, the trend continues. I view these vestiges with respect and fascination.

What do you think? Ever owned or operated a vintage camera? Do you collect any vintage gear such as these, vintage suitcases, or any other type of antique? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Vintage Travelers

A view of some well-traveled old souls from the local antique mall. When people carried their bags, dressed for travel, and wore hats. Shot via iPhone using Hipstamatic with Blanko film & John S. Lens.

Have you ever owned this style of suitcase? Do you have memories of your parents or grandparents having such? Ever find anything cool at an antique mall (and if so, what)? Let us hear from you in the comments.

20120226-154334.jpg

Macro view of a nail in the laundry room. Shot with my iPhone using a Photojojo macro lens and the Hipstamatic app, using its Buckhorst lens and Blanko film settings. I also raised the saturation and sharpened slightly in Photoforge 2. The untouched version of this image made the honor roll in a recent Instagram challenge, which inspired me to extend from my usual style and see what could be done within the limitations set by the contest, which indeed proved challenging, yet rewarding.

A Snapshot in Time: the Kodak Disc Camera

Kodak 4000 Disc Camera by Capt. Kodak

Kodak 4000 Disc Camera by Capt. Kodak

On hearing of Kodak’s bankruptcy recently, I’m nostalgic, as I’m sure many of us are. I easily remember the excitement of discovering photography for the first time as a child and seeing the Kodak logo everywhere, from film, to cameras, to the envelopes my prints were mailed back to me in (remember “sending off” or “dropping off” your film?). This is best summarized for me now by remembering Kodak’s Disc camera.

What’s a Kodak Disc?

For their time, the Kodak Disc cameras were very innovative. It could easily slide in your pocket, came with a built-in flash, and even the film was compact. Sure the picture quality wasn’t great, but for the ease of use and relative affordability, it was a decent experience. Snapshots of life as a kid for me came through the lens of this camera, and I’m intrigued by the parallels of our gadget-obsessed consumer society. I still have prints from my Disc camera, and as I record HD video with my phone today, I wonder what 20 years from now will make us regard even this activity as primitive.

Says Capt. Kodak:

Manufactured from 1982 to 1989 by Eastman Kodak Co. When introduced, they made a big splash—in less than 10 years, they were gone. They featured a 15 exposure flat “disc” of film using new film technology to get acceptable images from it 8x10mm negative size. Some of this film technology was later introduced into the 35mm line of films making them even sharper and producing better images on a bigger negative. Ironically, that improvement and Kodak’s own introduction of inexpensive 35mm cameras may have led to the Disc camera’s demise.

iPhone Ancestor?

iPhone Ancestry

iPhone decal, Disc style

Back when I rocked the iPhone 4 bumper, my swag was enhanced by this awesome Kodak Disc iPhone skin. The symbolic convergence of technology and art through photography on so many levels with this simple decal is so poignant to me. Though no longer available from this manufacturer (another similarity with the actual camera), I truly appreciate how this is a tribute to digital ancestry in consumer electronics and photography. Like the gadget that inspired it, this decal goes along with you in your pocket, attached to your camera that also makes phone calls, sends SMS messages, surfs the Internet, is your GPS, Yellow Pages, day planner, entertainment hub… um, while fun, the Disc didn’t do all that.

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Sure, I love my iPhone and applications like Hipstamatic for their high-quality and instant gratification. Yet it’s so interesting to me how nostalgia in the form of apps like Hipstamatic or digital photo booths is enjoying popularity now. And the Disc’s portability and ease of use can’t help but come to mind these days when I’m whipping out the iPhone for some snapshots with a retro-camera app.

I also love the ease and fun of social networks like Instagram and management tools like Flickr for making sharing our snapshots so easy and ubiquitous. In fact, I fully credit Instagram for reigniting my own interest in photography these days — which happen to be directly traceable to the days when I was posing my Star Wars action figures for some action shots with my trusty Kodak Disc.

What do you think? Are you sad to see Kodak’s demise? Did you or anyone you know ever work for Kodak? Do you use any Kodak products today (paper, digital, etc.) What lessons are there to be gained by the fall of a once-great innovating company? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Photo Credit: Kodak 4000 Disc Camera, by Capt. Kodak

Vacation’s Vision, Via Hipstamatic

All photos from Hipstamatic via iPhone

Click to see more from this trip, mainly in Hipstamatic, at Flickr. 

There’s nothing quite so satisfying for a creative person as executing a vision. To have an idea, see the steps in your mind, then follow through with all of them to bring into reality a concept existing only in your brain… into something you and everyone else can touch and see from then on — it’s a deeply, deeply fulfilling experience in many ways.

On a recent vacation, I made it a point to document choice moments with Hipstamatic — in this case, when celebrating with a beverage. We took off to Cabo San Lucas for a week last month (don’t get the wrong idea; jetsetters we ain’t), and while there I had the vision to capture occasions in Hipstamatic to be assembled in a collage frame upon return. I picked one of these frames up at Michael’s last week (for $12 on sale!), finally wrapped up the printing today, and am thrilled with the result. It hangs on the wall next to me as I type this.

Is That All You Did on Vacation?

Haha. Please note that we did many, many other things on this trip, and these are only 12 photos from the course of a week, and adults who have made the informed decision to consume alcohol should only do so in a responsible manner. That said, this vision turned out beautifully by my standards, and I encourage you to do the same on your own adventure, especially with Hipstamatic.

Have you ever done something similar to document your own vacation or life event? Do you print your own photos, or do you prefer to send off for prints? Ever used Hipstamatic on vacation? What were the results? Let us hear from you in the comments.