Friday, April 30, 2010
May's wallpaper was created in collaboration with the awesome illustrator and my dear friend Adam Howie... who took my picture and enhanced it... by seeing the lost souls who were residing there.
This time the wallpaper comes in four flavours ::
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Found another fantastic video on Kitsune Noir (Bobby is on fire!)... this time it features Brooklyn:
"I have never been to Brooklyn, but in my mind it possesses an almost mythic status and encapsulates everything that is holistically artistic, effortlessly cool and divergent from the mainstream. In his short film/documentary “Breukelen”, “Afropean” filmmaker Ofa brings to life the Brooklyn of my imagination."Absolutely brilliant... so beautiful to watch and very inspiring.
We Have Band - Divisive from We Have Band on Vimeo.
Thanks to Kitsune Noir for the heads up to this fantastic tune and brilliant video. I will be checking out we have band.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I have featured the art of the Good News Bible before but I felt it fitting to come back to it after buying a mint condition copy in a charityshop for 50p.
I grew up with the Good News Bible and cherish the simple illustrations from the Swiss artist Annie Vallotton. When I featured the artwork... I couldn't find much on Ms Vallotton herself. I have, however, found an interview with her on this fantastic blog :: the Bible illustration blog. The interview is first class and I would encourage you to check it out.
That said, one question really stood out to me...
Can you remember how long it took you to illustrate the Good News Bible?
I can't remember. It took me a long long time I must say, I didn't want to have illustrations with many lines. My desire was to have just the main lines. This is why I did some of the drawings 80-90 times before I achieved the one I wanted. I wanted to simplify them the most I could. I wanted to get to the truth...the most important thing!
I like that sentiment.
Here are a few examples to demonstrate why I love the art of the GNB:
Awesome... and very inspirational to me.
More scanned imagery to come in this infrequent series on illustrated Bibles.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Here is another wee mixtape for your aural pleasure... featuring a real "salad bowl" of folky acoustic sounds... including a fair few netlabel tracks. Full tracklisting below:
I have to say... I really do enjoy compiling or curating these mixes. I love the whole finding tracks... and sequencing/prioritising them. I find the output becomes the soundtrack to my weekend.
I hope its something you appreciate. If you do... please let me know.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Been following the work of Neil Milton aka beneath us, the waves... since he DJ'd at the first Twestival in Glasgow. I am particularly fond of the track elegy for tramway and featured it on my first mixtape.
Anyway... Neil & co held their first live performance on the 1st April 2010... and have released the tracks recorded "by an off-stage stereo microphone" as a bootleg download.
Well worth checking out here. Can't wait to hear the album when its released.
I take photos of food... so much so its become a thing of legend for my friends and colleagues alike. I remember getting a whole heap of stick out on my third trip to Philly... but I didn't care... because its something I do. Its my way of being grateful.
Anyway... my food photographing antics have reached a new level with my discovery (thanks to psfk.com) of the fab site eat.ly. The purpose of the site is to provide a visual reminder to folks of what they have eaten... and seek to encourage participants to think about what they eat.
Things I have noticed since starting this journey:
- I like a spoonful of honey with my porridge
- As a family, we do like chips...
- but also salads and veg. This Scotsman's diet isn't all fried.
- We eat regularly as a family... I know this because said family make fun of me taking yet more pics of food.
- I don't record everything I eat... only major meals. I do consider coffee to be a major food group but not necessarily worth recording every time.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Its been a long time since I was on a skateboard... but skateboarding has left a lasting impression on me. This evening... as I was waiting for some software to load on my MBP... I took the opportunity to browse a wee bit of youtube and found the two videos that you may have already viewed.
I love both styles of skating. I so want to hang with Tony Alva (53) and skate bowls... and yet I am so inspired by Rodney Mullen (43) and his apparent defiance of laws of physics.
That's the thing I loved and still love about skating... it was a "both/and" scenario for me and never an "if/but". Neither style featured above was / is better than the other. I remember watching three styles - ramp, street & freestyle - before street & freestyle kind of mutated and evolved into the kind of *wow* that Mullen is capable of.
Skating was a broad church... where everyone who skated had their space to skate... in the manner they were most comfortable. I was most comfortable skating in the streets... because it was an expression of my reality... where I was at the time.
Maybe I'm being all rose-coloured-glasses about this but that's how I remember it.
I have to say... I don't ever remember the church being like that... and it isn't to this day. We are so divided about what's "right" that we've forgotten how to live right and... in some cases... what right even means. Its as if we've become so obsessed with "the word" that we've forgotten about "the word made flesh".
Do you think Tony Alva could argue that what Rodney Mullen is doing isn't true skateboarding? Similarly... do you think Mullen could put Alva in a box labeled "heretic"? Simply put... no.
As long as both are riding a board... how they do what they do is surely secondary?
In this vein... as long as we are loving Jesus & seeking His grace... does it matter how we are doing this?
Why are we so divided and so divisive? Where is our "both/and"? Where have we gone wrong? Why is church so "if/but"?
Think about it.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Here is my latest mixtape... a wee celebration of Spring... featuring Sigur Ros, Efterklang, The Album Leaf, and Eluvium... to name but a few. Full tracklisting below...
Enjoy... and support the artists featured. Oh and let me know what you think of the mixtape.
I think there was a mis-link above... I have corrected it. Sorry!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
...is happening right now. I need to check some stuff out during my lunchbreaks over the next couple of weeks... and The Skinny has picked, in their opinion, the cream of the crop.
Will check them out, as best I can, and report back. In the meantime, are there any recommendations from the ol' nanolog community?
Yesterday I posted my 100th blip on blipfoto.com. I signed up for blipfoto a while ago and have been slowly adding my "project365" pic (on the days the pic doesn't have a border). I received a number of comments, a remarkable number of views and even got featured on the site's "spotlight" page.
I am suitably delighted with this... but wanted to share a wee bit about the photo... something the more astute amongst you may have noticed from the pic's metadata:
FinePix A500 : f/8.5 : 1/800" : 6.4mm : ISO 100The pic wasn't taken with my digital SLRs... nor was it taken with one of my "cult" 35mm cameras such as the Olympus Trip 35 or the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim... it was taken with a 5mp FujiFilm "point-and-click".
Now... before you say it... yes, I have enhanced the pic with Adobe's Lightroom... but you can't enhance what you don't have. I was in the right place at the right time... and I saw the opportunity presented.
As I've said before... there are 4 things a photographer needs:
- An eye for a photo
- An opportunity
- A camera
- The right amount of time
What is more important is that you develop your eye... and be open to the opportunities around you... whilst carrying what you have with you. If, as you develop... grow... evolve... as a photographer, you wish to expand your technical abilities through the mastery of more complex equipment then so-be-it... but having an SLR, for example, is secondary to having the eye and being open to your opportunities.
Develop your eye by shooting at every given moment... snapping as many of the opportunities presented to you... regardless with what you capture the moment with. This is a craft where experience is key.
Here's the original for you to see what I mean...
Friday, April 16, 2010
Tomorrow is Recordstore Day and I'm heading into Glasgow to check out what Avalanche Records has in store.
The annual event is to remind folks of the joy of shopping in a local, independent recordstore... and a means of showcasing all that they have to offer.
Personally... I'm after some tunes from Jonsi, the Album Leaf, Passion Pit & Jamie Liddell.
I'll let you know how I get on tomorrow.
I've started a new blog :: headphonaught loves photography :: to showcase my rather large collection of photos within Flickr. Its still evolving... mutating... but the premise is to post one photo per day... and learn to choose my very best. Its an exercise in self-editing and self-control... about giving my best.
I will set up the rss-to-twitter malarky in due course.
Check it out and *hopefully* enjoy.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Friend of of the podcast & all-round good guy, Kevin D. Hendricks has a book coming out that shares his adoption journey via the medium of Twitter...
"A work-at-home dad turns to Twitter to share updates about kids, causes and life. It’s a curated selection of bizarre quotes, funny stories and temper tantrums. Woven between potty-training woes and breakfast time songs is a family growing through adoption and learning how to change the world, one status update at a time."The book is available to pre-order from here from April 13th to 20th for a buck less than the final price on Amazon.
I have been given a .pdf version of the book and intend to share snippets from it in the coming days... but for now, please check it out and support a likeminded soul.
"If there is one direction modern society has been moving in during the last century, it is convenience. That pretty much sums up the last 100 years or so: washers & dryers, cars, airplanes, TVs, microwaves, personal computers and the Internet revolution, fast food, agribusinesses, frozen food, dishwashers, machines and modernizations of any kind.../mnmlist.com - the price of convenience
/... I once said we should unautomate, and it’s a thought that we should come back to often. It’s inconvenient to hang dry clothes, but it’s also pleasant and sustainable. Having a small home garden is not as convenient as relying on agribusiness, and yet it’s worth the price of inconvenience. Walking, biking, and taking mass transit isn’t so convenient, but it’s much more enjoyable and sustainable than relying on cars."
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I finally got an opportunity to put a roll of film (Kodak ColorPlus ISO200) through the Voigtlander Vito CL that was given to me by John & Margaret... an elderly couple in my church community.
I found the camera a joy to use. The camera feels good in the hand, is easy to control and its selenium light meter is more informative than the Olympus Trip 35 which enabled me to keep exposure to near enough the right level. It also had an unintentional vignetting... which adds to the feel of the pics.
The only downside, for me, was focussing... requiring an awareness of the distance between you and the subject. I am spoilt with the four focal planes of the Olympus Trip 35 or the autofocus of my dSLRs... and tended, as a result, to keep it on infinity. I think only one pic wasn't as sharp as it could be as a result.
All in... it is a fab wee camera that I will bring out again. I've included three pics from this set to give you a flavour of the output... please go to the set to see all 26 pics.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I'm not the most patient person in the world... and it is doubtful that I will ever make it in the "Wildlife" genre of photography. I waited all afternoon to take a pic of one of the blue tits who habitually come back to our nesting box. I eventually gave up. I took the camera inside... but figured I should keep at it... and put it up in our diningroom.
My persistance paid off...
I used to think photography revolved around three things:
- The photographer and his/her "eye".
- The camera.
- The opportunity.
... but I think there is another factor... a fourth factor... and that is time. I always assumed that the opportunity was that instant... that moment in time... that split-second, binary, on/off, go/don't go moment.
But an opportunity isn't always immediate. Sometimes the opportunity needs time... it requires a period of waiting... a period of patience.
I struggle with waiting... and yet I have a romantic notion of "real time". Its part of the duality of me.
Travelling by train... drinking coffee from grounds... shooting with 35mm film... baking rock buns... and vinyl records have an attraction to me for some silly reason.
They make me wait.
I can't speed in a train. Coffee from granules tastes like dishwater. Pictures take their time to develop. Rock buns need to rise. You can't skip tracks on a record without some hassle.
They make me wait... for a reason.
They make me wait... because sometimes its good to wait. Sometimes good things take time... and are worth the wait.
I think we all need to learn to wait... by finding the things worth waiting for.
"There's nothing wrong with singing worship songs and reading the Scriptures. Both are important and have their place. It's when that's ALL we focus on i think we miss out on the true nature of worship as a way of life."Existential Punk - the tao of worship
I couldn't agree more with my friend Adele's post... which makes me think of "worth-ship".
I like the serendipitous form of discovery... where a post in my RSS reader directs me to a website and, from there, I find something wonderful. It is a joyous experience, in my view.
This afternoon... I followed a link on Forest Gospel's review of Pausal's new recording... to the recordlabel, Type... to their mixcasts aka "Typecasts"... and then to details about the new album release from Jóhann Jóhannsson being released on Type.
Breaking that journey down...
- Forest Gospel is a fab blog that represents / reviews the kind of leftfield abstract sounds that I just soak up... its a "goto" if you are into that kind of music.
- Type Records is a new recordlabel to me... that has a focus on the kind of soundtrack ambience that I love. I intend to explore their catalogue and roster of talent over the next wee while.
- They present a series of mixtapes entitled "Typecasts" that have intrigued me... I have downloaded for offline consumption: "Summer Trips", "Pausal Mix", and "Makefulness" because of their instant appeal... after a wee listen on the Soundcloud widget. I am really into "mixtapes" at the moment and am really excited by what I've heard here so far.
- Oh and they are releasing the new album from one of my favourite musicians :: Jóhann Jóhannsson :: entitled "And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees" . It is released on the 12th April (this coming Monday) on download, CD & LP. I've had a wee listen to it via the Soundcloud widget and I am very impressed... it builds upon his earlier releases and has a wonderful consistency about it. It is, in fact, an actual soundtrack... it serves as the accompaniment to Marc Craste’s animated film ‘Varmints’ (trailer). I can't wait to pick it up.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I had a roll of film (fujifilm superia xtra) developed today... and I was very pleased with the results. The pic above is my fave of the roll... a random opportunity in Glasgow last Saturday.
Whereas this pic of Dayna was taken... into the sun... at Strathclyde Park.
The remainder of the set can be viewed here.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
"Storytelling is the oldest of human skills, but it's never been more relevant. Perhaps everyone needs a refresher course on the golden rules of story telling. As we all gain the technological ability to tell our own stories, perhaps there's a gap that could be filled by some smart educational brands and new entities, to teach. Maybe this could be a role taken on by journalists, photographers and film-makers.../"Influx Insights
This is what we are about on the something beautiful podcast ... helping people tell their stories. I am a firm believer that everyone... each and every person out there... has a story to tell - how they got to where they are at... how they became the people they are today... how they make sense of the world and their place in it.
However, underpinning this belief is the firm acknowledgement that everyone has value. Don't get me wrong, I am human and there are some people who have more value to me than others - Olly... Dayna... Miriam... my folks... my twurch... my friends at work... etc etc... mean more to me than someone I don't know... like that Justin Bieber chap. That doesn't mean he doesn't have value - I believe that we ALL have intrinsic value - its just that I don't know or I can't see his value as much as I can those people I surround myself with.
Nothing reinforces this thought more than my time spent out with the Bellshill Salvation Army's Street Project. Spending time with the folks that come to the soup van has clarified to me... in an absolute way... than even the folks that have been left behind and rejected by society have value... and have a story to tell. Through listening... through "being there"... I have come to know and catch a glimpse of the value they have.
I guess that's why the work Mark Horvath does with Invisible People is so important. He is providing an opportunity for folks to tell their story... to speak out... and allow viewers to catch a glimpse of the person's value. I'd love to do what he does... in Glasgow. Maybe one day.
But the thing is... we don't need video cameras to gain an insight into the value of others. All we need is to stop and listen... to be approachable... to put down whatever screen is coming between you and the world (literally & metaphorically)... and reach out.
Do you know the names of the folks you see on your daily commute? In fact, do you take the time to notice the folks you commute with... in order for their faces to be familiar? If not, why not? I am challenging myself with this as much as I am challenging you.
Do you "de-bud" when you are in line at the supermarket? Do you say "how you getting on" and look for a response?
At the end of the day... we can't expect to hear a person's story if we aren't able/willing to listen. We can refresh the world on how to tell a story all we want... but if no one is listening... its a pointless task. This is where Mark Horvath succeeds... he stops and listens.
I'm currently watching Escape to Witch Mountain and thought the title sequence was first class... so, thanks to the wonder that is youtube, I thought I'd share them. Fun.
Now... back to the film.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Its true... moving pictures make me smile like an 18 month old child. They make me smile like my Godson, Nathan Solo. So I thought I'd put together a wee mixtape with some fantastic soundtrack music... hopefully you'll recognise some of the tunes.
Go here to download 103mb of sonic wonder.
Oh and I'm not publishing the tracklisting because I want it to be a wee surprise.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
...does death have the last word?Rob Bell
is it truly, honestly, actually dark
and so whatever light we do see
whatever good we do stumble upon
are those just blips on the radar?
momentary interruptions in an otherwise meaningless existence?
because if that’s the case then despair is the
only reasonable response...
Saturday, April 03, 2010
I am a huge fan of photojojo.com and was delighted to read their latest article... photojojo's ultimate hipstamatic guide.
Hipstamatic is the fab wee photography app for the iPhone that I have mentioned before... and have become rather obsessed with. It has 6 lenses AND 7 flash options AND 8 films... which equates to 336 different combinations... that, in turn, equates to a whole heap of choice!
Friday, April 02, 2010
"There are words, pictures and verse, but all of them tell a story — a redemption story."To celebrate Easter and give something back to our listeners... Stewart has pulled together a fab ebook with contributions from Adele Sakler, Ben & Joy Thomas, Laura Bridge, Jason Duke, Adam Howie, Christine McIntosh, Trent Yaconelli, Angus S. Mathie, Paula Spur and Rob Griggs-Taylor... as well as JD and myself.
Go here for more...
Thursday, April 01, 2010
I found out about Noel Kerns on boing boing and was blown away! He is a Dallas-based photographer who specialises in capturing Texas’ ghost towns, decommissioned military installations, and industrial abandonments at night.
Truly awesome... and very inspirational to me.