Archive for the ‘photography’ Category
Finally, a new podcast episode from JPG, number 12, with episode 13 already done and queued.
- Continuing on from 2013’s only episode regarding Superhero movies, we round it off with another discussion with the Marvel and D.C. movies, and characters that we’ve seen since 2013.
- Then we talk about our expectations with these movies, how we discover the details and how they can be ruined for us with all the information available to us for today.
- We slide quickly into Expendables 3 with Adam addressing its flaws.
- Our positive thoughts on how good Captain America Two is even with its contrivances. How will a third one work?
- We briefly talk TV shows that I’m in the various stages of viewing, such as Futurama, Homeland and Game of Thrones.
- Adam takes issue with Robert Downey Jnr’s earnings. The consequences of watching popular youtube channels such as Cinema Sins and How It Should Have Ended.
- To mirror our satisfaction with CA2 we call out Thor 2 as being a bit sucky.
- We end on a small mention about the new podcast format as well.
Music provided by Versus Music Official.
(Adam has a new Blue Yeti mic, but it came with a bit of echo, we will work it out when I get my own. Also I think the silly bastard was clicking his pen. Oh dear).
This is a month’s worth of living in Hong Kong while wearing a respro mask.
You can see the results of the filter collecting air pollution, dust from construction sites (there are many here) and other bits from the roadside.
What I find that irks me, is that it is enough to know this is the quality of the air in HK and I bought a mask to prevent sucking up this crap. To me it was a logical choice, wear the mask or develop problems later. 3000 people die early due to the air quality in Hong Kong.
Yet two things happen as I walk the streets here:
People stare at me for lengths of time beyond what is comfortable. Sometimes I try to stare them out to see what happens, most just keep staring, they don’t care. Others will take pictures on the sly, some will pretend they are not talking about me, actually I’ve seen it all.
Many other people are continuously covering their mouths with tissue paper, hands and hankies. So they know this shit is fo real!
Personally, I’ve seen one other pedestrian wear such a mask, one person stop and ask me where they can buy a respro mask and another person got upset that I’m wearing a mask. The issue there was that I upset them because it served as an insult to her homeland. Another person I spoke with said they would wear a mask if everybody else did. She recognised it was a problem, but was too self-conscious about it.
Being a fan of Jim Jarmusch’s previous films, I knew what to expect with his easy going, uncomplicated, predictable, shooting style. It’s most welcome (he’s doing his thing, but with Vampires and more layers than ‘Broken Flowers’)! He’s a film maker with an intimate, minimalist and considered approach that isn’t exposition heavy. I believe he’s letting audiences sit back and giving them time to think, while watching his movies. The characters and scenes will speak for themselves on that subjective interpretation. Jarmusch, shows rather than tells and I always find myself talking about his characters after watching his movies. That’s his take and his brand I enjoy.*
Jarmusch creates two rich and very fleshed (pun unintended) out vampire characters that are ironically very human, the focus isn’t on their supernatural powers, It’s a given that they have them since they are vampires and the genre is well explored by film makers over the years. It’s safe to assume they do have them, they just aren’t worth focusing on, and they aren’t necessary for 99% of the movie. The focus is on their individual natures, personalities and the lives they live, Adam and Eve seem like a couple who need their time together as much as their time apart.
What makes them interesting is what they have given and taken in their long relationship with human beings. Adam is the music obsessive and recluse, secretly passing on his works through others over the ages, thereby (maybe without realising) providing entertainment for those he hates. Eve, the nature lover and one interested in ‘feeling’ history, actually somebody who is very human and caring of others, oddly, somebody without a heartbeat seems to have a big heart. Without realising, they have become the things they eat.
Those insensitive to subtly in their movies will say in conversation that “nothing really happens” in ‘Only Lovers Left Behind’, think how “nothing happens” in ‘Lost in Translation’ or ‘Broken Flowers’, except here, even though we are just watching a few people living and interacting without some great great drama or hero’s climax, there is something for us to digest and be entertained with. If you can accept that, the themes and the mirrors that Jarmusch sets up, soon bleed out (pun intended). If not, you’ll think it sucks and leave halfway through, as many people did at my screening.
*I’m tired of movies that try to explain everything with too much exposition or have a pace which is constantly directing your attention. Though don’t go too far in the opposite direction either, like with Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’, with its hugely ambiguous narrative, I can’t survive cinema if all films were like that.
The music in OLLA is very special, special to me in that it’s all new and refreshing to me and I want to hear more of it. So that’s what I did and googled for all the tracks. If you want to find the music, here is the song list (copied from the indiewire blog [but they don't provide links like to the songs like I do]):
All the Songs In “Only Lovers Left Alive”, are mostly iTunes links. The individual songs below either don’t exist on the official album or are not in their original form.
“Funnel Of Love” – Wanda Jackson
“Harissa” – Kasbah Rockers
“Caprice No. 5 in A Minor” – Charles Yang (itunes doesn’t have Charles Yang as the composer for the purists out there).
“Gamil” – Y.A.S.
“Can’t Hardly Stand It” – Charlie Feathers
“Trapped By A Thing Called Love” – Denise LaSalle
“Soul Dracula” – Hot Blood
“Under Skin Or By Name” – White Hills
“Red Eyes And Tears” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
“Little Village” – Bill Laswell (free download).
The soundtrack album which are mostly SQÜRL songs, can be found here.
Have you realised how many people will come out of the wood work to call out a youtube video or an image they think is photoshopped if they suspect it’s fake in some way (but maybe isn’t), but can accept everything mainstream media outlets tell them?
The Verge proudly states for its headline ‘Michel Gondry talks technology, his latest film ‘Mood Indigo,’ and why he can’t use an iPhone’.
This reads as really interesting right? A successful, imaginative and quirky film director can’t use an iPhone, knowing Gondry, this could be an insightful discussion as it’s been seven years since the iPhone has been released, surely he should know?
Here are some of his views based on Carl Fransen’s question:
A lot of people have used Vine to create stop-motion.
See, I don’t have an iPhone, so I really go to YouTube and Vimeo on the net. So I miss out on a lot of things. But I can’t use an iPhone, because I can’t work out the touchscreen. – Italics is mine.
Did you read all that? Or was it a case of tl:dr?
Because it’s in the title, there’s an expectation that whatever Gondry had to say about the iPhone was an important part of the article. However it’s not. Gondry had 13 words to say about the iPhone, beyond not having one. His views were held till the end of the article, so it isn’t actually important at all, it feels like click bait. I expect honesty from The Verge as they didn’t need to do this, Gondry is interesting all in himself.
After I wrote my 10,000 word review of the Fuji X100 and after I finished my Masters Degree, I sold it. I needed the money in order to get to Hong Kong. Us photographers are a poor bunch.
Anyway, I wanted another once I had settled down here. I got myself the beauty below.
I bagged the lens last week for $1,680 HKD, (£125) in a random shop in Wan Chai, and oddly I find myself still looking for the Teleconverter here in Hong Kong. It’s odd because this IS Hong Kong, where you can have anything. I’m seriously thinking of importing one from stateside. None of the retailers, even the official fuji 3rd party dealers just don’t stock it or know about it. Amazon US and UK stock both lenses.
Anyway, that’s my problem, I’ll update later with some comparison pictures.
As I’m discovering I have more time, I find myself coming back to my original blog, my long form outlet to express myself. At the moment I’ve been living on tumblr as the investment isn’t as much. I’ve missed writing here, especially after the highs of blogging in 2010-2012. This place has been in maintenance mode, thankfully, some people still visit everyday.
The JPG podcast is coming back real soon as well.
So continuing with the theme of ‘retracing’ something, I wanted to share this story I found on Petapixel – Photographer Looks to Retrace the Footsteps of Robert Frank in ‘The Americans’
I’ve thought about wanting to commit to a project like this as well, this is probably where my interest comes from with this story. My problem is that I won’t ever hit US soil until they stop fingerprinting all foreign nationals as they enter the country. Instead I have a similar project here in Hong Kong.
So I like this idea, and how it’s a kickstarter project. I can’t help but feel though that there isn’t a bigger reason to do this other than that Robert Frank did it. It’s not exactly original is it?
With that, there is the idea in my mind that Trenton Moore will try to do it better or follow Frank’s work on some level beyond the retracing of Frank’s steps, he has something to compete against, whereas Frank’s work was original, pure.
The larger problem I have is that Moore is an American. One of the reasons Robert Frank was so successful was because he was an outsider with no affiliations to the US. I would say a foreigner is a better person, especially if the objective is to retrace, re-critique to re-shoot. You can’t just retrace the actions, I think the entire process should be done again, it would be more interesting for me anyway.
The end result is a project to reflect on, and the discussion and analysis from that will be different. I love how Robert Frank was from Switzerland, a country famous for its neutrality.
It’s the difference between saying, ‘let me tell you what I think’ vs ‘tell us what you think’, it’s self-critism vs criticism.
At the moment I’m massively addicted to perspective, the perspective of others, while Moore does have one and I wish him all the best, my interest wanes after that.
So I’m wondering if a kickstarter project could have invited somebody to come the the US instead or somebody outside the US had kickstarted this.
I just listened to the the latest episode of ‘The Paleo Solution’, a fine show that went a little further in the topics I usually geek out on. Topics like proper posture and understanding the different processes around us that maybe culturally we’ve allowed ourselves to be distant from like toilet squatting or pale eating. Nutrition has become a hobby of mine in the last few years, accelerated having gone Paleo back in December 2013.
The guest was Katy Bowman (her blog), I’ve never heard of her before, but will start following her online and grab a copy of her book when it comes out. She’s a biomechanist, somebody ‘… who studies Newtonian physics like pressures and gravities and stuff like that as applied to biological systems’.
In practical terms, a biomechanist will assess a person’s form and posture in order to correct a bodily imbalance or to improve performance in a particular athletic exercise.
With that said, Robb and Katy covered a number of topics together, the hour flew by (it usually does when you listen on x1.5 speed, but thats beside the point) where they touched on:
- Using our bodies to our advantage:
Moving properly, maximising our bodies abilities and therefore potential, when most of us actually don’t in any way, this later impacts our life because our bodies adapt to how we live. Illustrating the processes that occur with say sitting down all day, how the body adapts to that and also how it’s wrong to assume our bodies will be okay once we walk around for a bit, i guess to stretch. The 8 hours of sitting at work out weigh the 2 hours of standing, most of which is spent in a densely populated setting, commuting.
Here is a great quote:
Well yeah it [making reference to muscle tissue] actually goes through a process called sarcomere lysis where there’s no point in maintaining muscle mass that’s used to achieve a range of motion that you never go through. So you lose it. So now your metabolism is lower, your joint range of motion is slower. You have adapted and I think the fallacy is that we keep using the term adaptation to imply improvement. But you’ve – but adaptation is really adjusting the tissues in your body so that what you do most frequently is easier on you in the short term. It doesn’t really imply that you’ve become better in the long term.
- The recent court case with Vibrum where they were in a class action lawsuit because the claims they made weren’t true. The Vibram links to the previous discussion about posture and proper movement and how Vibrams have offered something that can seem misleading if not oversimplified when it comes to advertising their shoes.
The podcast then goes into what Katy calls ‘Free time things’. Things we can do very easily with it impacting on on that great limiter we call time.
- Affective footwear as they make a massive difference. (I love the suggestion of eliminating heels. They are fucking nasty things for women to wear and yet sadly it’s kind of enforced in the form of peer pressure and that seems to override the fact they will fuck up one’s feet for life).
- Sitting on the floor. I have actually been thinking of ditching the sofa.
While a lot of these concepts seem weird and to use their words ‘counter culture’, (it is) there is a lot to take from this podcast about how there are many mechanisms in life we don’t know about and if we can partake in as many of them as we can, we can live better, healthier lives.
The issue of squatting is without humour brought up again and I’m glad, so many people don’t realise the benefits of just pooping in a different way simply because they use what they already have grown up with.
One aspect of the discussion that really interested me was that we don’t age at the same rate, I don’t me you vs me, I mean me vs me or you vs you. Our bodies age at different rates depending on how we utilise those body parts. Fascinating and slightly worrying at the same time.
Anyway, you have to check it out, it never gets over-the-top sciencey, they keep it all in layman’s terms for every bodies benefit. Download it now here.