Thursday, October 27, 2011

Analogue Photography Outing; The Door

This shoot is of a door from the salvage yard at Whitby. I conceived the idea originally to say something about the environment. That it is not us our selves, but the environment that shapes and defines us. 
In the end the pictures said something about the passage of time, how we can go from one place to the next and close the door on the past as if it was never there. 
I used a model for this shoot where originally, when I conceived the idea for shooting a door, I was only going to shoot an inanimate object, the door itself, as my main subject. 
This formed part of the process as originally I had intended to work fully independent of anybody else. 
It was very important to get a door with a frame attached to it. I was lucky. I set out to get one like that because I wanted to say something about how the environment shapes us, and if we change the environment, we change ourselves, I wanted to take the inside, out, to demonstrate this point. 
These are multiple exposures shot on Ilford HP 400 black & White film, developed and printed with chemicals onto silver gelatine paper. 
The old fashioned way is softer, you are not staring at hard edged pixels but the infinite analog production of film photography, although these images obviously are digital scans I wanted to use an analogue medium that reflected the infinite story of time.


Vicky going through The Door

Door Time Travel

Vicky through The Door

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Nazi Occupation and Alphonse Mucha

March 15, 1939 Nazi troops occupied Czechoslovakia, the arrests began and the persecution of intellectuals. Alphonse Mucha was arrested but still a sick old man was soon released. Nevertheless, his country had been undermined, and July 14, 1939 he died.

In the aftermath World War I, artist and designer Alphonse Mucha helped define the image of the newly independent country of Czechoslovakia. Born in Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), Mucha was a devoted Czech patriot and developed a unique artistic style that he firmly believed embodied the larger tradition of his his country and he encouraged his peers to define and strengthen a true Czech style. It’s appropriate then, that he was the man who the country turned to as they constructed their national identity.

On October 28, 1918, the Republic of Czechoslovakia was born and Mucha, patriot that he was, was determined to do everything he could to help the development of his new nation. When the government asked him for help designing documents, he immediately agreed. Mucha’s first project for his country was Czechoslovakia’s first postage stamps. Mucha completed the design in 24 hours: a panorama of the eclectic Hradcany Castle (also known as the Prague Castle), surrounded by the natural lacework for which the artist had become so well known. Mucha explains why he selected Prague Castle:

“Every nation has a palladium of its own embodying past and future history. Ever since my boyhood I felt and saw in the architectural lines of St. Vitus Cathedral built so close to the castle, a powerful interpretation of our national symbol. I could, therefore, select no other subject for my design than Hradcany Castle and the surrounding architecture of the Middle Ages.”

With over a billion printed between 1918 and 1992, when the union dissolved into two countries (Czech Republic and Slovakia), the Mucha stamp is by far the artist’s most widely reproduced work of art, a work for which the artist made no money, asking for only enough to cover his expenses.

In 1919 Mucha started making money for his country. Literally. He designed their money. While it may be true that money can’t buy happiness, Mucha’s son Jirí recalled the joy that his father felt at the opportunity to “talk in my own way to the spirit of the nation, to its eyes which carry thoughts most quickly to the consciousness.” All of this work was done free of charge in order to support the nascent nation. His 100 korun denomination, which entered circulation in 1919, was followed by six additional notes that would enter circulation over the next 10 years. So urgently did the country needs its banknotes, that Mucha did not have the luxury of fretting over the design and reused a portrait of Josephine Crane Bradley for the image of Slavia, the symbolic representation of a unified Slavic state.

Mucha’s work for Czechoslovakia wasn’t limited to the country’s stamps and banknotes. He also designed a new coat-of-arms, in use until 1961, as well as the various governmental documents and forms needed by any good bureaucracy. His work wasn’t limited to paper goods though: Alphonse Mucha also designed new police uniforms for the newly independent state.

Even before World War I, Mucha had contributed to the image of the Czech people when he was commissioned in 1910 to design the ornament for Lord Mayor’s Hall in the Obecní Dum (Municipal House), a newly created public building for civic events designed by architects Antonín Balšánek and Osvald Polívka. Mucha’s murals were created to celebrate the heroic history of the Czech people while expressing a strong belief in the nation’s unified future.

When Mucha was asked by the government to help create their identity, which would be distributed across Europe on envelopes and in currency, he was perhaps the most famous artist in the country. He was celebrated for his distinctive style of flowing natural forms, and his depictions of serene women in diaphanous robes surrounded by abstracted halo of flowers giving them an almost mythical quality. Mucha enshrines these women in a delicate, oraganic framework that sometimes made from the spiraling forms of their own hair, which curls and spirals into abstractions inspired by natural forms.

Though he believed his art was rooted in local tradition, the rest of the world often associated  him with the Art Nouveau movement. Indeed, it could be said that Mucha accidentally pioneered the style when in 1895, by complete chance, he got the opportunity to design a poster for a production of Gismonda, starring Sarah Bernhardt. The poster was an immediate hit — so popular in Paris that the posters were being stolen off the streets by the enchanted public – and it began a long and fruitful collaboration between Bernhardt and Mucha. Mucha’s rise to prominence continued through his posters and other commercial graphics, and ultimately became a household name when a printing company started reproducing his illustrations for calendars, posters, postcards, and other publications. His posters are still popular today, just as common in college dorm rooms as they were on the streets of Paris and Prague.

For Mucha, it’s likely that this commercial work was just as important as the government work. Mucha believed in the transformative power of art, the idea that art should be made for the people and should contribute to their spiritual and cultural evolution. The more ways he could reach the citizens of Czechoslovakia, the better. So it makes sense that he would want his illustrations to be reproduced on something as common as a matchbox. The stamps and the banknotes, then, are the ultimate evolution of his populist, national art form.

Unfortunately, Mucha’s story has a sad end. His fierce and outspoken nationalism made him an early target of the Gestapo when the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. Though he was released after days of interrogation, Mucha’s health deteriorated rapidly during his imprisonment, eventually leading to his death from pneumonia in 1939, while the country he so loved was once again under the control of outside forces.

Rare Video Shows Colour Models 1920's

Stunning colour fashion feature from 1928 - discovered by film archivist Murray Glass. The image of the flapper had given way to much more sophisticated styles in women's dresses and hats, including the famous cloche hat, made popular in recent years by Angelina Jolie.Features lovely examples if women's beauty looks from the 1920s. Women featured are Corliss Palmer,Rachel Torres,Laura la Plante and Ruth Elder.   

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Model posing in Alphonse Mucha Studio 1902

Model posing in Mucha’s studio, Paris, 1902.

Double Exposure and Levitation Photography

Double exposure and post processing

Alphonse Mucha Studio Photography

Alphonse Mucha - Studio photography

Bombing for Peace

Let Me Show You How Democracy Works

Monkey Fur

Burberry's Monkey Fur. As seen worn by Kate Moss. Fakes now on Sale in TKMAXX. Thankfully. Fake. A horrible trend for monkey fur was very popular in the 1960's and 70's along with pet lepoards and such like, must have accessories. Now we just need to ban zoo's and I'll be happy.



Two Doors

The Two Doors Dream Like Photography or Nightmare Hell

Doors. Dream like, and not in a good way, a claustrophobic place to live, excellent photography.

Going Clutter Free

Hangars: A space saver all round. Up is usually the best place to store stuff, off the floor and on to the ceiling. That's the way wee need to make space. Get a rail, hang your clothes, and get rid of clunky furniture that uses valuable floor space like huge wardrobes and chests of drawers, shelves too, they're ok, Cupboards too, off the floor onto the walls but even better the ceiling. Clutter free.

Grace Kelly

Darling of the silver screen and apple of Alfred Hitchcock’s eye, Grace Kelly was one of the most popular film actresses in the Fifties, but gave up her illustrious career to become Princess of Monaco in 1956.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Art as a means of opposing the stimulus of ambition, greed and power

Art as a means of opposing the stimulus of ambition, greed and power. by

Violence and fascism are silent phenomena. You come along on slippers. They play on the piano, the Hail Mary. There are the good guys who destroy the world (Achternbusch).
The idler, the customized, thinking lazy.

The Thirties teach us how arises a norm from the group dynamics of belief in authority and adaptation. And, finally, even mass murder of many people appear normal by internalization, habituation and training.
In true perception of our recent two state systems, we can sharpen similarities and perplexities. We recognize that old antagonisms have become often questionable: right - left, outsiders - Leader, achievers - disabled ...

Work sets you free. But does any (non-specific) wage-labor really free? Do we have some in discipline and order of the exclusionary censorship system degrade our children still have to pay and numbers? 1925 tapferten the black camisole - Schutzstaffeln our Flicks, Krupp and Thyssen with chainsaw and gas cylinder around the Haus der Deutschen Kunst ... (Today with crane and wrecking ball) and sang Nix know see nothing, only koofen?

20 years later is the German national anthem: We did not know anything. Today: Can you do anything?
What to do. As much money is verballert research bodies and advertising agencies: You are Germany.
But solidarity and sense of community can not be imposed by the state. They are based in individual education and understanding personal experience. Could art be the vehicle to recognize and strengthen their own sensibility and individuality the hidden structures of violence: Art as a means of opposing impulses of lust for power, lust for power and - on the other hand - to compensate for submission longing? Patient Germany: not cosmetically cover the conflict. But to solve looking for.
Tackling instead abkacken how the youth says.
You are Holocaust. But you are also risk and opportunity.

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Explosion for Collage

I remember choosing the explosions for collage for people sat around casually enjoying the world blowing up.

Canteen Troops Re-Enactment

I took this picture at War Time Weekend at Pickering which is held annually in October, the American Troops gather round a van and drink tea probably not too dissimilar from the the activities of soldiers in WWII.
View more of my photos from Wartime Weekend on Flickr

Reflectons Graveyard and Carefuly Positioned Cameras

The melancholy of a photo such as this is perfect for lomography. The emotive sadness, like a still life, in her face, not smiling, porcelain like skin tones, minimal tone, high contrast, the statue in reflection, the use of black and white for added drama.

Water Colour Birds

wildlfe, water colour, fine liners and ink splats what a winnng combination

I use a light box and trace to get my image on to thick water colour paper then carefuly trace the image with a water colour (disolving) pencil before eventualy gong over with a fine liner and then applying water colour, less is more, and water goes a long way, waiting in between colours for the pant to dry can help prevent muddy colours. used the Autograph Tracer available at Amazon, Sakura micron 005 pens, and windsor and Newton Professional Quality Paint

Paper Cut and Silk Paper

For creating an image like this one, a hand held cutter like the x acto knife can be all you need but for creating more complex cut outs, the Silhouette Portrait is a great machine that is fully able to work with your computer to create exact and precise cuts. Creating silk paper using silk fibres and silk paper textile medium will enable you to make creative sketch book pieces such as this one or whole garments, I made a silk paper dress. For more on Silk Paper Making go to George Weil
Silk Paper and Silk Papermaking Supplies
Silk Paper created with hand-dyed silk hankiesSilk papermaking or silk fusion is a paper-mache type technique for creating textured paper/fabric or 3d objects using silk fibres combined with an adhesive medium such as paste made from Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) or an acrylic based silk paper medium.,86,-1,-1

Text in Art: Juxtaposition

The use of text in art is great for juxtaposition, you can easily add a witty or sarcastic statement to give an image more depth and poignancy and it looks good too, with the rise of apps such as instagram and inspirational quotes being the norm, it is refreshing to see some more angsty commentary being added to images by modern day artists who are all to happy to dabble in different mediums. Taking images from the past such as the Victorian images of people in Halloween costumes such as paper masks, like this rabbit mask seen here, with words that juxtapose against the image can add humour and other cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.

Floating: Levitation Photography

Floating is one effect that is simple to do in post editing or in camera using applications such as Float It's all too easy to make levitation photography not to have a go. So go get the app, get the step ladders, and have a go. For more information on levitation photography, the link below, has lot's of photos and tutorials for further inspiration.

The Owl and the Bird


untitled on Flickr.

Digital Collage


Buamai - All sizes | Disfigured |

Space Mask Summer


robot 2 by jennifer.geometry on Flickr.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Black Swan

img126 on Flickr.

Man is Self Obsessed

Man is the most elevated of creatures, Woman the most sublime of ideals.
God made for man a throne; for woman an altar.
The throne exalts, the altar sanctifies.
Man is the brain, Woman, the heart.
The brain creates light, the heart, Love. Light engenders, Love resurrects.
Because of reason Man is strong, because of tears Woman is invincible.
Reason is convincing, tears moving.
Man is capable of all heroism, Woman of all martyrdom.
Heroism ennobles, martyrdom sublimates.
Man has supremacy, Woman, preference.
Supremacy is strength, preference is the right.
Man is a genius, Woman, an angel.
Genius is immeasurable, the angel undefinable.
The aspiration of man is supreme glory,
The aspiration of woman is extreme virtue.
Glory creates all that is great; virtue, all that is divine.
Man is a code, Woman a gospel.
A code corrects, the gospel perfects.
Man thinks, Woman dreams.
To think is to have a worm in the brain,
to dream is to have a halo on the brow.
Man is an ocean, Woman a lake.
The ocean has the adorning pearl, the lake, dazzling poetry.
Man is the flying eagle, Woman, the singing nightingale.
To fly is to conquer space. To sing is to conquer the Soul.
Man is a temple, Woman a shrine.
Before the temple we discover ourselves, before the shrine we kneel.
In short, man is found where earth finishes, woman where heaven begins.
Man and Woman by Victor Hugo


Collage, Fabric, Wallpaper

Cats Eyes

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ladybower Reservoir

Ladybower Reservoir

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ladybower Reservoir
Ladybower Reservoir from Bamford Edge(seen in the foreground), the wall can be seen in the bottom left and the Ashopton Viaduct in the top centre
LocationUpper Derwent Valley,Derbyshire
Coordinates53°23′N 1°43′WCoordinates53°23′N 1°43′W
Lake typereservoir
Primary inflowsRiver AshopRiver Derwent
Primary outflowsRiver Derwent
Catchment area6,364 acres (2,575 ha)
Basin countriesUnited Kingdom
Max. length2.5 mi (4.0 km)
Max. width1,950 ft (590 m)
Surface area210 ha (520 acres)[1]
Average depth95 ft (29 m)
Max. depth135 ft (41 m)
Water volume27,800,000 m3(6.1×109 imp gal)[1]
Shore length113 mi (21 km)
Surface elevation668 ft (204 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
Ladybower Reservoir is a large Y-shaped reservoir, the lowest of three in the Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, England. TheRiver Ashop flows into the reservoir from the west; the River Derwent flows south, initially through Howden Reservoir, then Derwent Reservoir, and finally through Ladybower Reservoir.
The area is now a tourist attraction, with the Fairholmes visitors' centre located at the northern tip of Ladybower.
Ladybower was built between 1935 and 1943 by the Derwent Valley Water Board to supplement the other two reservoirs in supplying the water needs of the East Midlands. It took a further two years to fill (1945). The dam differs from the Howden Reservoir and Derwent Reservoir in that it is a clay-cored earth embankment, and not a solid masonry dam. Below the dam is a cut-off trench 180 feet (55 m) deep and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide filled with concrete, stretching 500 feet (150 m) into the hills each side, to stop water leaking round the dam. The dam wall was built by Richard Baillie and Sons, a Scottish company. The two viaducts, Ashopton and Ladybower, needed to carry the trunk roads over the reservoir were built by the London firm of Holloways, using a steel frame clad in concrete. The project was delayed when the Second World War broke out in 1939, making labour and raw materials scarce. But construction was continued due to the strategic importance of maintaining supplies. King George VI, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth, formally opened the reservoir on 25 September 1945.
During the 1990s the wall was raised and strengthened to reduce the risk of over-topping in a major flood. The original dam wall contains 100,000 tons of concrete, over one million tons of earth and 100,000 tons of clay for the core. The upstream face is stone faced. Materials were brought to the site on the Derwent Valley Water Board's own branch line and their sidings off the main line in the Hope Valley.
The dam's design is unusual in having two totally enclosed bellmouth overflows[3] (locally named the "plugholes") at the side of the wall. These are stone and of 80 feet (24 m) diameter with outlets of 15 feet (4.6 m) diameter. Each discharges via its own valve house at the base of the dam. The overflows originally had walkways around them but they were dismantled many years ago. The bell mouths are often completely out of the water and are only rarely submerged, often after heavy rainfall or flooding.
The water is used for river control and to compensate for the water retained by all three dams, along with supply into the drinking water system and hydroelectricity generation.[4] Drinking water must be pumped to treatment works rather than using gravity flow as in the other two reservoirs, increasing costs.[5] The drinking water is treated at Bamford water treatment works by Severn Trent Water. Treated water flows south down the 28 miles (45 km) long Derwent Valley Aqueduct to a covered service reservoir at Ambergate to supply clean water to the cities of Derby and Leicester in the East Midlands of England. The aqueduct passes through the park of Chatsworth House. The path of the aqueduct is marked by a series of valve houses built of stone and domed steel access chambers. A tunnel carries some of the water from the Derwent Valley eastwards through the hill and into the lower of the two Rivelin Dams to supply Sheffield.