Saturday, November 26, 2011

10 Lessons for Young Photographers and Designers

To my students: take note of these lessons from Wieden+Kennedy’s Executive Creative Director, John C Jay:

1. Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time to stop listening to others on what you should do.

2. Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.

3. Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.

4. Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.

5. Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don’t know.

6. Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.

7. Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them.

8. Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.

9. The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.

10. If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.

Listen. To. This.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Computer Program Knows "Good vs Bad" Photographs

Xerox research labs just developed a program that supposedly can spot a "good" or a "bad" photograph. It's called the "Aesthetic Image Search Program," and it is "trying to learn what makes an image special, and makes photo enthusiasts mark it as high quality."

The software has different themes, like beaches, portraits, skies or flowers. The algorithm uses different parameters to evaluate the photos according to that subject matter.

Below is what it came up with in the category of "birds" and "portraits."

Does this software work? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Early "Mechanical" Light Meter


At first glance this is just a small rectangular plate, about 13 x 8 cm, covered with dense scribbles, with seven pointers fixed to its frame. Then you realize that the pointers are not fixed, but can slide on the frame… and then you note that they are somehow interconnected -- moving any of the small ones will move the larger one this way or that. Strange.

Kaufmann’s Posographe is nothing less than an analog mechanical computer for calculating six-variable functions. Specifically, it computes the exposure time (Temps de Pose) for taking photographs indoors or out (depending on which side you use). The input variables are set up on the six small pointers; the large pointer then gives you the correct time. The variables are very detailed, yet endearingly colloquial. For outdoors, they include the setting -- with values like “Snowy scene”, “Greenery with expanse of water”, or “Very narrow old street”; the state of the sky -- including “Cloudy and somber”, “Blue with white clouds”, or “Purest blue”; The month of the year and hour of the day; the illumination of the subject; and of course the aperture (f-number).

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Corinne Vionnet on 20x200

Corinne Vionnet just had a print go up for sale on 20x200, and I'm trilled! Who is Corinne and what is 20x200? Let me explain.

I posted about some of Corinne's photos here on my blog back in March. They're a successful version of something I was trying to do with my childhood memories. Her photos are beautiful and have a great conceptual edge. Mine version of this idea that I tried 4 years ago looked like hot crap.

20x200 is a site where you can buy prints from small editions of different artists' work. Here's a bit from David from 20x200:

20x200 is an online art retailer, and our goal is to make art affordable and accesible to everyone. Our limited editions start at $20, and since we split all revenues 50/50 with our artists, our collectors are true patrons through their purchases.

They usually offer 8"x10" editions of 100 for $10, 11"x14" editions of 500 for $50, and 16"x20" editions of 20 for $200 (many artists have larger prints available as well).

Corinne Vionnet just had this image go up on 20x200:

Zipping through 20x200, I found other familiar up-and-coming artists that I've admired for a while.

Like Todd McLellan:

Old Typewriter

And Jenny Odell:

144 Empty Parking Lots

As well as work by Carlo Van de Roer, Rachel Papo (who I met in New Mexico), Keith Taylor, Brian Ulrich, and Karolina Karlic (a friend from my time in grad school).

So check out Corinne Vionnet on 20x200 and order your prints before they're all sold out. Here's the direct link to Corinne Vionnet's print on 20x200. Happy art buying!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

...looking for people to do their job without pay...


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