7. February 2009

Ars Electronica Festival 2008: Photos, Impressions and Links

Ars Electronica 2008

Last year, I was at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. Unfortunately, I was too busy with beyond vision to post my impressions immediately, but now I’m going to make up for it. In the months that have passed, my memory of the event has faded a bit, but I’ll do my best to convey an adequate overview, with the help of tons of pictures.

All in all I was not as impressed by the festival in 2008 as I was in 2007. In part, this is because I visited the Ars Electronica Center exhebition for the first time in 2007. That exhibition is one of the greatest, but it did not change a lot from 2007 to 2008, so it was kinda “old news” for me this time.

By the way, visiting the Ars Electronica Festival on a saturday turned out not to be a problem. At first I was worried that the exhibitions would be overcrowded on the weekend, but it wasn’t much different than on the weekday the year before. The decision not to buy a day ticket was also right. I spent much less on single exhebition fees than a day ticket would have cost.

And now for the pictures…

» read on!

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: Ars ElectronicaartAustriaexhibitionfestivalLinzphotosreport

3. September 2008

Atmospheric Railroad Photos by Kevin Scanlon

Eisenbahnromantik von Kevin Scanlon

I stumbled over a beautiful photo set by Kevin Scanlon. Bearing the simple title “Railroad” it shows diverse impressions of railroad scenery.

I’m not particularly drawn to railroads, but these photos are really beautiful. Especially the numerous shots with backlight produce a wonderful atmosphere.

» “Railroad” by Kevin Scanlon

Why Kevin Scanlon presents such beautiful images on such a not beautiful website is beyond my comprehension, though. :)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: photosrailroad

22. August 2008

Photo-Compositing Step by Step

Webseite von Taylor James

Recently I stumbled over the site of Taylor James. He has step-by-step illustrations of the different photo editing stages involved in creating complex compositions.

» Taylor James (see Retouching > Case Studies)

I am especially fascinated by the amount of manipulation that is involved in each picture. Usually I only wonder how certain outstanding elements have been inserted into a picture. But in this step-by-step show you can see that almost nothing originates from the same picture. Backgrounds and even floors are composited from numerous completely different photos.

Some but few of these compositions have accompanying explanations which are also very enlighting.

I am wondering what the source is for all those single parts that make up the whole image. Buying them from stock photo agencies would be excitingly expensive – but traveling around to photograph them by oneself wouldn’t be much cheaper.

(via The Reaction)

(This article is also available in German)

4. May 2008

Winning Photography Contests


For aspiring photographers, photography contests are an interesting way to get some exposure. Though winning them is „slightly” tricky. Usually it is not quite clear by which standards the images will be judged.

Haje, member of a photo contest jury, took some time to explain in a lengthy articles which factors guide him during the judgement. He structures his advice for winning photography contests into seven points. These points are no revolutionary news, but they are useful thoughts which can’t be wrong to be recalled:

  1. Stick to the topic
  2. Know the rules – then break them
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Tell a powerful story
  5. Technical perfection in pair with strong vision
  6. The X factor
  7. Develop your own style

» How to win photography competitions

By the Way

You should always take a good look at the contests in that you want to participate. Quite a lot contests have conditions of participation which are nothing more than pure exploitation.

For instance, never submit photos when the contest seizes all rights to them no matter whether you win or not.

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: competitionsphotographyphotos

5. February 2008

Photos of Weird Communist Monuments in Yugoslavia

3 Yugoslavian monuments

Jan Kempenaers created some really beautiful photographs. Especially striking are those of several monuments in Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, there isn’t much background information included on the photos, but according to Boing Boing they originate from the communist era.

To me, they have this wonderfully weird and freaky atmosphere. I would not have thought that someone would go through such effort to build strange things. The monument in the left photo, “Spomenik #1“, looks like it has been directly taken from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. :)

All these places seem to be abandoned and very remote. This makes the eerie atmosphere even more impressive.

Weird House in the Woods

Also cool, but probably not a monument is this building, which can be found in the same photo gallery. Why don’t people build more such beautiful structures? :)

» Jan Kempenaers @ Crown Gallery

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: monumentsphotosweird

3. February 2008

Photos of Flying Bed Sheets by William Hundley

William Hundleys Stoffhüpftuchbilder

Again a simple idea with a stunning effect: William Hundley makes people jump into the air, covered in large sheets of cloth. The “models” are completely covered in cloth, so only a ghostly flowing piece of cloth remains in the photo.

William developed several photo series from this idea. In some photos the sheets are the only subjects; sometimes there are also visible human models in the shot.
Here are some of the series:

» Entoptic Phenomena
» Funny City

» William Hundley

(via Kreativrauschen.de via Photojojo via Boing Boing)

Topics: clothinspirationphotographyphotos

14. December 2007

Panographies – Panoramas with Creative Chaos

Usually you see panoramas only as cleanly cut photos in ultra wide format (like this one for example). They are commonly created from several separate shots, but overlapping parts are removed.

Panographie von Photojojo

Not so with “panographies”. They utilize the creative chaos as distinctive element. Hard intersections are deliberate and essential. The more, the better.

There is a short tutorial at Photojojo which shows how to create such panographies. Following this tutorial, you more or less have to puzzle the images together in photoshop.

I hope there are easier ways. Some panorama programs (like hugin+autopano for example) can align panoramas automatically and output them as photoshop file with seperate layers. I think this could save some work with panographies – I did not test that, though.

More Panographies

» Photojojo
» Flickr group „Panography“

(via Kreativrauschen.de)

Topics: chaospanographypanoramaphotographyphotos

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