If you’re into Instagram or are curious about alternatives, see this guest post I wrote for Inkifi, a print maker of Instagram images. I cover five decent alternatives in detail (for bonus points, add me as rsmithing if you’re already on ‘em: 1,2,3,4,5). And please take a moment to comment at the Inkifi post if you can — thanks!
Over the past few years of exploring art and developing my own creations through Instagram and smartphone apps like Hipstamatic and Dynamic Light, I’ve come to appreciate the merits of different websites for purposes of expression and curation. Here’s a look at my top 5.
On each of these sites I house some variation of images I make, and I also explore them daily for inspiration. Following is my take on what makes each special and how I get the most from them with their unique characteristics:
500px: The Premiere Gallery
I use 500px.com exclusively to house all my photomontage art. It has the fastest, cleanest, and overall best display, where the focus is on the art with the community and everything else coming after that. There’s a simple mechanism for favoriting, liking and commenting if that’s what you’re into, but primarily the site is about experiencing the art, and there’s generally more refined content than other image-sharing websites. http://500px.com/rsmithing
Pinterest: Mass Consumption Imagery
Pinterest is where I tap into a huge image-appreciating community, sharing my montages and other creations that happen along the way on a board called “My Creations.” Not everything there is totally fleshed out, but it’s decent enough to be on display, and interesting enough to repin and share across other boards. lt’s more transient and fleeting than other venues, but feedback in the form of repins and likes helps keep me interested. Plus, I follow a ton of cool boards there along the likes of what I produce, so it’s great visual candy for when the mood to browse strikes, or if I just want to curate some dreamy images or other photomontages. http://pinterest.com/rsmithing/my-creations
Instagram: Keeping Things Fun
It’s funny; Instagram is what got me started on this journey of creation and exploration, yet it’s not the ultimate destination for me that it once was. Don’t get me wrong; I find and enjoy many great creations there, but I don’t share my most refined stuff there. The site has so quickly become so saturated, complete with spam and terms of service issues, leading me to keep a certain kind of profile there, and that’s fine. I’ll occasionally post a fully completed photomontage, but I tend to keep it light and more experimental on Instagram. http://instagram.com/rsmithing
Flickr: The Mother Lode
For me, Flickr has truly evolved into a fantastic tool and a force to be reckoned with. My photostream there is a hodgepodge of montages, original source material, experiments, and a running log of stuff that may or may not fall into any of these categories or even see the light of day. I’ve had a Flickr account for many years, but have only recently delved into the full experience it offers – chiefly because it’s such an excellent tool to share Instagram images on Pinterest and other sites like Tumblr. Plus, you can’t beat its sets/galleries/collections organization, curated groups, favorites browsing and full-size resolution viewing options. http://flickr.com/rsmithing
Tumblr: A Curated Garden
And finally, there’s Tumblr, the place where I highlight everything I like, pin and favorite on all these sites, mainly through automation and RSS feeds via ifttt.com, but also through the occasional upload and reblogging of something cool I come across there. It’s taken me a while to get into Tumblr, but I’ve found a ton of great stuff there and have managed to be featured at some cool Tumblr-based blogs like Lensblr and Minus Manhattan, which is always a great feeling, reaching folks with an interest in the kind of art I like to make. http://rsmithing.tumblr.com
What do you think? Do you employ different websites along the same reasons but for different executions? Are you on any image sharing websites? Have you heard of these already, and what’s your experience been like on them? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- 10 Reasons to Use the Flickr App (momathonblog.typepad.com)
- The 10 Fastest Growing Apps This Year (mashable.com)
- Woman gets deleted from Instagram after posting controversial photo (huffingtonpost.com)
- Point, shoot, share: 10 alternatives to Instagram and Facebook (macworld.com)
- Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram Available on Home (newsroom.fb.com)
- Flickr Commons – My destination for cool free images! (organiclyricism.wordpress.com)
- My Social Media Strategy: Pinterest and Instagram (christainnewyork.com)
And let it set you free.
This is a play on the phrase by Charles Bukowski, “find what you love and let it kill you.” I like his phrase, but I also like the idea of setting something free or being set free in the name of love. This is a montage I assembled on my iPhone using a shot of a couple of treetops at sunset (with the moon rising), a roadside view of some wildflowers, and a gash of peeling paint in a parking deck. I also consider it to be in the style of my favorite visual artist, Jerry Uelsmann, whose work is endlessly inspiring to me. Click to see the originals and full-size version in greater detail at my Flickr photostream.
What do you think? Are there any litereary quotes that have stuck with you through time? Have you ever been inspired visually by something from literature? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Visual Review 2: The Photographer (karswagg.wordpress.com)
- Learning From The Masters (rsmithing.com)
- so you want to be a writer? poem by Charles Bukowski (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
- Marian Bantjes, Ed Emberley, Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor (kingakowalczyk.com)
- Writing is something that you don’t know how to do – Charles Bukowski (fireflydance.net)
- All Things Will Kill You (stilllifewithnobody.wordpress.com)
Young boy takes an interest in an older gentleman’s drawing of a sculpture. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Detail here.
I snapped this earlier in the year on a visit to the museum. The man was rendering a highly detailed drawing of a sculpture when the boy stopped to check it out. It was great seeing the man directly engage the boy’s curiosity – two personalities growing for a moment toward each other, through art.
Shot with my iPhone 5 via Hipstamatic.
- Trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (josephckimart.wordpress.com)
- Sketchbooking (acrossthepondandbackagain.wordpress.com)
- 40,000 Artworks from 250 Museums, Now Viewable for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project (openculture.com)
- Link Love: Art Online (keciaadamsauthor.wordpress.com)
An elegant, natural montage between man and nature, generations in the making. As one who appreciates montages, I find it remarkable to spot one in the wild. And highly enjoyable.
- Livable Exoplanets Could Be ‘Very Different From Earth,’ MIT Scientist Says (latinospost.com)
- Greenhouse effect (dooce.com)
- 1988 Expert Opinion : Manhattan To Submerge By 2008 (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
Saw these guys last weekend. Got this photo. What a gig. One of my favorite bands ever.
I was seriously not expecting to like this as much as I do, but holy cow; this really is great. Nine Inch Nails is some of my favorite music ever, and I also enjoy a good pop hook. This combines them both in a crazy, mind-expanding… and extremely catchy way. I’d love to know what Trent Reznor or Carly Rae Jespsen think of this.
Here’s my favorite interpretation so far, via k2b at Gawker:
“First thought – this is a charming combo because it mixes up presumed oil and water in a fun and silly way that makes it hard to take it too seriously. I like fun and silly, and avoid taking things like pop songs too seriously. Second thought – it kind of suits, because I liked NIN as much as anybody in my teens and twenties and still enjoy it from time to time, but not as much, because I am older and do not relate to it so much. And I realized that the mashup doesn’t offend me, because the level of emotional maturity involved in both songs is so similar that the juxtaposition really strikes me as one of style – they are two sides of the same coin. In short: it’s all angsty teenager/YA stuff, even if one is more poetical.”
Image by rsmithing w/pics by Lunchbox LP & ClintJCL via Flickr. Free for use via Creative Commons.
The Connection? The Producer!
The music to Call Me Maybe was produced by Dave “Rave” Ogilvie — industrial music legend, and collaborator of… wait for it… NINE INCH NAILS! Yes, the one-time Skinny Puppy member now uses his musical powers to assail radio with four-on-the-floor kick drums. My jaw literally dropped when I learned this at boingboing.net via user OtherMichael. Absolutely astounding.
Read the mind-boggling, intricate craftsmanship Ogilvie applied to this track.
What do you think? Are you a fan of mashups, Nine Inch Nails or Call Me Maybe? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Call Me Maybe, Trent Reznor? (animalnewyork.com)
- Trent Reznor Announces the Return of Nine Inch Nails: Extensive Touring for 2013 and 2014 (pitchfork.com)
- Trent Reznor Reboots Nine Inch Nails With Members of Jane’s Addiction, King Crimson + More (loudwire.com)
- Today in Internet victory: This Carly Rae Jepsen/Nine Inch Nails mash-up (music-mix.ew.com)
- Nine Inch Nails “Closer” – Classic Tracks (soundonsound.com)
Two things I’ve been doing lately: travelling and listening to Beats Antique (often simultaneously). The music is, for me, a perfect mood-setter: stimulating, forward moving, and compelling without lyrics. I saw the band twice in 2012, and captured this image of Zoe Jakes at a gig in Asheville, NC. This snapshot makes the perfect foreground for this vista from above the clouds off Florida’s Gulf Coast, brought together via iPhone with the masks & textures of Photoforge2.
Update 3/3: Now Featured by WeAreJUXT
Big thanks to the folks at WeAreJUXT for including this image in their weekly showcase! This is the second image of mine featured there (here’s the first) and I’m totally flattered, since they constantly and consistently highlight such great creations with insights from their creators (and I’m not just saying that because I’m there). You should definitely check out the whole JUXT site. Here’s what I say about this image over there:
My favorite art is the kind that gets the viewer to consider things in new ways. I believe that’s the most exciting thing about sharing creativity: the opportunity for a mind-expanding experience. That can happen for me through words, music, or with visual art as in the works of my favorite artists, Salvador Dalí and Jerry Uelsmann. The story behind this image is that I was on a business trip last month and happened to be in the air at just the right time to capture a glorious sunrise from above the clouds. I knew I wanted to remember the moment, but didn’t know what form that would take. This week, the vision hit me: a dancer amid the clouds with selective lighting and textures was what I wanted to make happen. I instantly thought of this silhouette image I shot last year at a show by one of my favorite bands, Beats Antique, which happen to be on heavy rotation during my recent travels. The mysterious form in the foreground is the troupe’s Zoe Jakes as shown backlit from behind a screen with exotic costume accents. The spell-casting pose along with textures, layer modes and and masking in Photoforge2 makes the mind-expansion thing happen.
- ArtStack: Curation and Social Image Sharing Refined. Interview with Co-Founder, Ezra Konvitz (rsmithing.com)
- Your Own Personal Grammys (rsmithing.com)
- Laughing Seed Café in Asheville, NC, is Looking for Local Artists to Hang Their Work (carolinaartsnews.wordpress.com)
- #WeAreOne (one2oneyouthkenya.wordpress.com)
- BookmarksAre Us (catsandlife.wordpress.com)
- BEATS ANTIQUE Introduce “Beelzebub” Featuring Les Claypool of Primus (thedirtydrop.com)
Important: My vehicle was NOT in motion when this was taken! In fact, this was during a total standstill, which happened to afford a glimpse of resting gulls amid a view of leading lines in reverse juxtaposed with a pause in forward motion. Briefly. Shot with my iPhone, processed with the TTV Photo Studio app.