Friday, 24 December 2010

Nitty Gritty

The National Gallery London has been forced to invest in specialist chloride-free grit for Trafalgar Square and the surrounding area. It has been discovered that normal grit (10x cheaper per bag) releases fumes damaging to artworks as it evaporates in the galleries, after being brought in on visitors' shoes.

BBC Article here.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Frozen Lighthouse

Largest Panoramic Photo in the World...

Check out this incredible 80 gigapixel high definition interactive photo of London...

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Mini NYC

The photoshop technique emulating tilt-shift lenses, to create very shallow depth of field, creating a 'miniature' effect has become pretty popular recently.

However - here it has been combined with time-lapse film, to create an astonishing short - great fun!

For more on the techniques used in this film, see here. 

For a general discussion of the 'tilt-shift' effect, and Photoshop tutorials, see here. 


Monday, 13 December 2010

Britain's New Tallest Building

'Shard London Bridge', the shard of glass skyscraper, has just overtaken the current British record-holding skyscraper One Canary Wharf - and it is only partially complete.

When complete, the building will be 310m high, and it will contain shops, offices and a hotel.

It's designed by famous architect Renzo Piano (see the initially controversial and now much-loved Centre Pompidou).

For articles on the recent build, see here and here.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

New Greg Crewdson work

Many of you will already be familiar with Greg Crewdson's work - his dramatically stage-lit scenes of small town America, often with a B-movie sci-fi feel to them:

However, an exhibition of his latest work is currently on display at the White Cube Gallery, Mason's Yard  (free entry, until 8th Jan 2011).

In a fascinating twist on his usual work, Crewdson has turned to an actual film studio in Rome, exploring the uncanny, crumbling sets which mix an array of histories.  It felt like something of a reversal - instead of introducing artifice into the real world, Crewdson instead captures natural light in an artificial setting, with astonishing results.

Well worth a visit.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Tarkovsky - Polaroids

I've long been a huge fan of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, but perhaps more accessible are his astonishing, eerie and atmospheric polaroids, 'instant' photographs.

You can find a great selection of his polaroid work here (and also more fully here, although being in Russian, this website is a little more tricky to navigate!)

"Polaroid" film actually went out of business fairly recently (see the wiki article here) although another supplier bought the rights to developing instant film - and created the 'Impossible Project'.

Their film is expensive - it works out at around £3/£4 per shot, but it's a very different experience to using digital. Cameras are still reasonably available - you could look on ebay, or used (very affordable) through Amazon Marketplace. Enthusiasts frequently collect long-expired film on ebay, excited by the random moments of serendipity it can create.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Paper Cut

Peter Callesen takes the art of paper-cutting to an extraordinary new level.

Although some of his work is on an enormous scale (see below), I prefer the works created simply from a single sheet of A4 paper, the 'object' built up only using paper 'freed' from the two dimensional surface. The fact that the remaining spaces left on the paper are often equally crafted makes them really quite beautiful.

NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is currently on show in South Kensington at the Natural History Museum (newly-sponsored following attacks and protests against its prior sponsor, Shell oil).

Although in my humble opinion it's always slightly formulaic year-to-year, there are some undeniably incredible images every time which make it worth the visit.

Overall winner:

Young Photographer winner:

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

You'll likely struggle to catch a screening, but it's well worth looking into Sophie Fiennes recent limited release docu-film on the work and studio of artist Anselm Kiefer, 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow'.

Kiefer's studio is more of an enormous installation, with caves, woods, tunnels and complex interconnected structures.

The film combines a 'tour' of this constructed labyrinth, with interviews and footage of Kiefer at work producing his immense paintings.

Official Trailer:

Short extract:


Don Kenn's posts daily drawings of monsters on his blog, here.

Good quirky fun - but technically quite attractive, especially given the limitations of only using post-it notes!

"It's All Good"

The unlikely pairing of a graffiti artist and a songwriter have been putting their distinctive mark onto the Dublin streets.

'Maser' has been combining his retro typefaces with singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey's lyrics in a spirited project to enhance the city streets they have grown up around. 

For an excellent article in the Independent, follow this link.

National Geographic Photography 2010

Follow this link to check out some of the most popular entries for this year's National Geographic Photographic Competition.  

You can vote for your own favourites here, where you can see many more of the submissions. 

Unbelievable animation...

COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis (2 times loop) from blu on Vimeo.

271 Picasso paintings discovered

A French electrician faces a huge legal battle after revealing a stash of 271 previously unknown works by Pablo Picasso.  He claims the works were all given to him as gifts from the artist over a period of three years, while he was installing burglar alarm systems in the artist's various homes: a story disputed by the Picasso Estate.

The paintings are valued at an initial estimate of over £50m.

BBC Article here
Telegraph analysis here