Categories
Business Culture Photography Social Media

Taste at first sight

“The first taste is always with your eyes.”

Everything is contrived, from the glowing burger buns, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, to the juicy fresh meat. Video takes food advertising even further, making it come alive from its static state.

Table top advertising or food marketing is no different than any other product marketing: the illusion never matches with the reality of creating it. In reality, the food has been dressed up and augmented to look fresh and mouth watering like those lobsters in Red Lobster commercials.

Fashion advertising is similar. The model is always more enticing wearing makeup and sporting a six pack. When models make commercials, they never smile. Bad assery sells.

Not surprisingly, food porn and selfies are huge on Instagram too, the people’s marketing platform. A little bit of shoot preparation and filters make both food and faces look better than they actually are.

Today, anyone can use technology to create a Hollywood look. Everyone’s deceiving and buying lies at the same time. We all desire better versions of ourselves, including what appears on our plates.

Learn more

Categories
Arts Photography

Vladimir Lagrange, photo artist

Vladimir Lagrange, Tomorrow Morning, 1969

Vladimir Lagrange took artistic photos of ordinary Russians for the “Soviet Union” Magazine. He also captured a bunch of personal photos that never saw the day of light because of Moscow’s censorship.

In reading up on Vladimir and looking at some of his pictures, it reminded me of this Bertolt Brecht line from War Primer (1955):

“The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter.”

The rise of mobile photography unleashes the citizen reporter, making it even harder to assess truth from propaganda. The world speaks in images to which people latch on to their own cocoon. Beware the blind spots.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Photography

More than a job

The photographer’s job is to capture. They get a pass on intrusion, as does the scientist on dangerous experimentation.

The maker needs no excuse to have skin in the game but feels free to explore an aura of invisibility that demands to connect the seemingly unconnected.

We do things that make us bolder, including our jobs. We live to be more than proactive, thinking beyond the creative sheath of obviousness.

Should palette beget the pedestal, it’s only because we decided that what we did mattered.

Categories
Arts Books Photography

19th century algae prints by Anna Atkins

These algae prints were misattributed for more than a century before art historian Larry Schaaf discovered that they were the work of British botanist Anna Atkins.

As a pioneer of cyanotype photograms, a process in which sunlight (not a camera) imprints over objects on a piece of coated paper, Atkins produced the blueprints for a book entitled Manual of British Algæ in 1841. She just never got any credit.

Thanks to Larry Schaaf’s book of Atkins’s work, promptly titled Sun Gardens: Victorian Photogramsher work continues to see the light of day.

Categories
Creativity Photography Travel

Urban stimulants

Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)

There’s a compelling story everywhere you go. But some places (e.g. New York) are more content rich than others.

All you need to do is walk a few blocks and observe with the cerebration of your senses.

The graffiti scrawled on the outside of million dollar apartments, the street smoke billowing out from the sewers, the smell of hot dogs and nuts from the street vendors, the sound of delivery trucks running through potholes, and the scratch you get from someone’s suitcase as they rush by you.

Everything is attractive, a potential a souvenir of the present moment.

New York manufactures an excess of content and inspiration, much like the Internet. Such hyperactivity is overwhelming and hard to parse — some thrive on The City’s ubiquitous stimulus, others feel compelled to escape to Florida to refuel.

External provocation is integral to any environment. After all, that’s why we travel — to be astounded by newness.

If boredom is your enemy, seeking interesting places with variable rewards may be your calling. But that last thing you want is to get abused by the infinite. It’s better to scroll with intention to coalesce out of the void of 24/7 distraction.

Categories
Arts Photography

RIP Photographer Michael Wolf

RIP photographer Michael Wolf, who’s photography of mega cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo continue to amaze.

Thanks Eileen Chengyin Chow for the beautiful Twitter thread honoring his work.