I’ve seen some really cool 360 drone shots. I would love to play there a bit more. I think today’s photo would have been totally radical in 360! 🙂
Daily Photo – Serene Lake Hayes
I was doing a run around this lake (it’s about 8 km and a little bit hilly as you can see there on the right), and I noticed how still everything was. It’s not always like this… so halfway through the run, I decided to call my assistant Tane and have him bring out my quadcopter and meet me at the terminus. We quickly launched the quad and got some shots like this. I believe this is a panorama made up of four different photos.
I’m always updating my SmugMug Portfolio so be sure to pop over there to see the latest!
Live on The New Screen Savers!
I had a fun time talking about Plotagraph on The New Screensavers with Leo and Scott. You can see the episode here. I splash onto the scene at the 17:50 mark. Enjoy!
Daily Photo – Amazing Tokyo
I know I’ve been posting a bunch of photos of downtown Tokyo! But I took so many and a lot of them turned out pretty cool. They’ve all been a thrill to edit in the new Aurora HDR 2018 as well. The tool gets better and faster each year, so it saves me a ton of time during the editing phase. And now, I’m pretty sure I can get results that are different than I used to be able to create.
I had a lot of fun flying the drone through this factory. Wow did it throw up a lot of dust! I can’t wait to see how the final footage turns out.
Daily Photo – The Abandoned Rubber Factory
This was one of the strangest places we visited in St. Petersburg. I’m not sure how Olya knew about this place. I guess this is just the kind of place that Russians hang out in. There certainly were a bunch of others around there! It was kind of dangerous, actually… I’m not really much of an adventure-seeker in these abandoned places that are falling down all around you. But it was fun for a bit of hardcore HDR action!
Here’s a favorite photo I took from the top of the Gondola here in Queenstown one night. I should really go up there more, you know? It’s kind of expensive… and I guess I always cheap-out a little bit because I live here. I’d actually like to go up here one night and spend the whole night, doing time-lapses and maybe seeing the Aurora. That would be epic… I wonder if I’m allowed to?
After several months of studio work, the Norwegian artist is now ready to unveil a new body of work which will also include several of his iconic past images. On top of that, Martin also spent some time creating installations and sculptures which will feature his unique world. The show is curated by Rom Levy.
To celebrate the opening, Martin Whatson will be releasing 4 new prints, each from an edition of 35 will be available during the opening night, a total of 100 prints available. Stricly one per person.
An additional FREE mini-print will be raflled to everyone registering during the opening. A total of 30 FREE mini-prints by Martin Whatson will be available.
The year 1968 began uneasily in Czechoslovakia. The previous October, a group of students in Prague’s Technical University staged a demonstration to protest electricity cuts at their dormitories; their shouts of “More light!” were a pointed rebuke towards the stifling rule by the Communist party. So, when the new year came, the party yielded by electing a new First Secretary, Alexander Dubček.
The 47-year old was a compromise candidate — Dubček had carefully cultivated his bland and ambiguous personality for years. Now, finally with power, he changed positions. A reform program — timid by international standards, but ambitious in the eyes of Communist cadres — was launched to create ‘‘Communism with a human face.’’ The flowering of freedom of speech and press, freedom to travel abroad, and relaxation of secret police activities followed, but it was brief. A worried Soviet Union rolled its tanks into Czechoslovakia in August 1968.
On the first day of invasion, German photographer Hilmar Pabel took the photo above of a distraught woman carrying a photo of Dubcek and Czechoslovak President Ludvík Svoboda. Pabel was a man whose stature as a humanist photographer would have been greater had he not been a propagandist for Nazism during the Second World War. In a photoessay for Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, Pabel documented Jews living in the Lublin Ghetto as shifty and avaricious: living in dirt and hiding consumer goods and foods in the cellars.
After the war, Pabel was briefly imprisoned for his work, but got out to work with Red Cross to photograph children displaced by war to help them reunite with their parents and family. By the 50s and 60s, his reputation has recovered, and his works were published by Life, Paris Match, and Stern. In 1961, he was the recipient of the Cultural Prize of the German Society for Photography, followed by two World Press Photo awards. Two photoessays he filed from Vietnam (Story of the Little Orchid, 1964 and Thuan Lives Again, 1968) were widely praised, although some critics scoffed that he was reaching back into his propagandist past to portray American army hospital staff as Good Samaritans.
Diamond Dogs, David Bowie’s eighth studio album released in 1974, was the first Bowie album I heard. I had just turned 13.
The album represents Bowie’s attempt to create his own post-apocalyptic soundscape after the George Orwell estate refused him the rights to 1984 for a TV musical. However, Bowie references Orwell through songs like Big Brother, We Are the Dead and, of course, 1984:
They’ll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air, and tell you that you’re 80, but brother, you won’t care, you’ll be shooting up on anything, tomorrow’s never there.
But despite its dystopian themes there is something wonderfully hopeful about Diamond Dogs. The album followed Aladdin Sane (1973) and Ziggy Stardust (1972), the latter having established Bowie as a star(man), come to deliver us from the emptiness, the dreariness, the heteronormative fetters of English suburban life. Like these albums, only more so, Diamond Dogs homed in on that other-worldly quality that Bowie seemed both to embody and so sublimely express.
As was typical of Bowie, sound was preceded by vision. On Diamond Dogs, the extraterrestrial messiah that was Ziggy is gone and we encounter Bowie as half-man, half-dog. Perhaps more preternatural than supernatural (though in European times past the dog symbolised the devil), the image is arresting. Yet, in Bowie’s hands, somehow urgent, necessary. Through the image he appears to embrace hybridity, difference, to move beyond our limited conception of what it means to be human.
And how he delighted in it! He did ambiguity with such certainty and style that it no longer seemed adequate to be “normal”, which was fine and dandy with me. Bowie carved out a space for us freaks and it was both overwhelming and delicious.
As a young trans person, long before “trans” had any real cultural currency, that is, before I could name myself, listening to Diamond Dogs changed everything. Like Bowie, I’d “found a door which let’s me out” (When You Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me). At first, I was semantically shocked (“something kind of hit me today” – We Are the Dead), then undone. It was simultaneously: recognition, connection and hope, that moment when we sense something more, something different, something richer.
Musically, the album creates a tension between dark and light, sinister, yet seductive. Positioned somewhere between glam rock (or in Bowie’s case art rock), soul/funk and the soon-to-arrive punk, Diamond Dogs is a transitional album. Bowie was always on the move.
It’s not an album for purists or genre-junkies, but that was never Bowie’s shtick. Rather, Diamond Dogs is an assemblage of styles, a montage. It is symphony and cacophony. It opens with spoken word accompanied by synths (Future Legend), pays homage to the Stones (Diamond Dogs), and closes with the hypnotic Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family. In betwixt, we move from Frank Sinatra-like crooning to German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. When you listen to Diamond Dogs, it ain’t just your mother who’s in a whirl.
The best part of Diamond Dogs, and arguably the greatest piece of music Bowie ever produced, is the nine-minute triptych that lies in the middle of side one: Sweet Thing, Candidate, Sweet Thing (Reprise). These songs are highly emotional. They trade in vulnerability and longing, but they also transport and delight. This is Bowie at his best, accompanied by Mike Garson’s sublime piano. “If you want it, boys, get it here, thing.”
Diamond Dogs creates a sense of vertigo, an out-of-kilter state through which we gain access to something sacred. Vocally, Bowie sweeps from a deep register to a soaring falsetto.
The album is lyrically opaque. In the past Bowie had relied on his own dreams, a practice that was both instinctive (think Hunky Dory 1971) and consolidated by his familiarity with the writings of psychoanalyst Carl Jung (see Memory, Dreams, Reflections 1965). Diamond Dogs marked a shift in Bowie’s approach to writing. From here on in he would adopt the cut-up technique (where a previous text is rearranged) popularised by William Burroughs.
Bowie is the tasteful thief and the studied faker, laughing at the hubris of the hippies and the prog rockers, at their illusions of “authenticity”. Yet, while preferring surface to depth, he captures a deeper embodied truth, one we feel riff after riff. It just feels so right. The fragmentation of his music and his lyrics are us. They point both to the multiplicity of who we are and who we might become. They call us to move beyond ourselves, our received identities. This is especially so in relation to gender and sexuality, themes that loom large on the album.
For me, Diamond Dogs was a mirror experience. Listening to it today, “I’m in tears again” (When You Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me).
Alex Sharpe does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
Photo I took from a chart on display at the Walt Disney Family History Museum
As has come before; many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…Please bare with us as we traverse the abstract canals of audio musings.
This weekend I have a filmmaking friend in town visiting me in the Bay Area from LA. During the trip we’ve visited Lucasfilm, Pixar, The Walt Disney Family History Museum and later today, the Charles M. Schulz Museum. It’s been a great reminder of how many disparate pieces there are that come together in the creation of a piece of entertainment media such as a film or video game. When we were exploring the Walt Disney Family History Museum there was a particular “creative flow-chart” which caught my attention. There’s a detail shot at the head of this post but here’s the whole thing.
This beautiful chart can help give some perspective to the work that some of us do that is often lost when we attend a specialist school or college where everyone is studying the same thing, or when we engage in our social-media-spheres or attend meet-ups with those who exist solely within our field, or when we work for a specialist service company, or remotely as a freelancer cut-off from the rest of the content producers, or when we work in post-production and we’re the only ones left on the project.
It’s easy to get lost in our own world and when I see people (myself included) preaching the importance and underutilized power of sound, perhaps also bemoaning it’s neglect, I remind myself that we’re just one part of the process and it’s not about the sound, music, art, the words on the script, but about the story or experience as a whole. I try and keep this in mind whenever I work directly with a director or game designer, this sense of perspective. That while I will through conversations, exposure and experimentation, develop an strong appreciation for the purpose of the work and my place within it, I won’t approach the same level of innate understanding for what is “right” or “wrong” for the project than those who created that which I serve.
After a batch of small places, it is a time for something bigger. This spacious villa is definitely something special.
Iside, you can find a beautiful mix of natural wood tone gray color and a combination of both modern and exotic decor.
These two decor styles fit together perfectly and it makes the atmosphere quite unique and special. I really love the atmosphere here even I am not a big fan of wood ceilings and prefer white here it totally works as there is plenty of light coming through the extensive number of windows.