Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

Christmas albums usually do not stand out well in terms of cover art, but here we have an exception to the rule. The 2003 seasonal offering by prog rock band Jethro Tull comes with a beautiful stylish cover, resembling old Dutch paintings, and depicting lead singer/flautist Ian Anderson in the bottom left corner. Excellent choice of font as well. I could not retrieve information on the design, word has it that it was an "inside job".

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas lights

Here is an original Christmas pop/rock song that you have probably never heard. I know of the band My Favourite Tragedy because I have known one of its members for over 12 years on he internet. This is a really lovely song, which deserves to be better known. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vogue December 1927

A Christmas-themed vintage Vogue cover created by one of the best cover artists of the era: Eduardo Garcia Benito. Sublime Art Deco.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Abstracting reality part 7: miscellaneous situations

Of the recurring topics in my photography, abstract images tend to stand out. This has inspired me to write a series of blog posts on the subject, as seen through my lay-man's eyes (I never received any formal training on photography). In these posts, I will tackle the following six (not mutually exclusive) themes: distorted reflections, architectural abstracts, wear and tear, zooming in, abstracted art, and miscellaneous situations. A general introduction was posted here; the first contribution (on distorted reflections) was posted here, the second contribution (on architectural abstracts) was posted here, the third contribution (on wear and tear) was posted here, the fourth contribution (on zooming in) was posted here, the fifth contribution (on abstracted art) was posted here.

Miscellaneous situations refers to pictures that do not fall under the first five themes themes (or at least less clearly). What they have in common is that you can encounter these opportunities all around you if you keep an open eye. Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Copacabana requiem

One of the strong points of photojournalism is that it can bring us news items that did not make the headlines world wide in a compelling way. A case in point is this shot of crosses planted by the NGO Rio de Paz (Peace Rio) on Copacabana beach in memory of police officers killed in Rio de Janeiro in the last two years. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Sergio Moraes/Reuters).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Elmer Fryer

One of many talented Hollywood photographers of yesteryear: Elmer Fryer (1898-1944). He worked for Warner Brothers, portraying their stars such as Kay Francis (shown above), Dolores Del Rio, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, James Cagney, and Errol Flynn. More about Fryer in the linked site.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Memento mori

Apologies for a bit of overkill on the subject of my photography. However, this shot of a grave within a local church became an unexpected hit at Flickr recently: my 74th to reach Flickr explore.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 10.9 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vienna leather gloves

This beautiful 1930 vintage poster by Franz Griessler appears to be advertising leather gloves (and leather trousers) made in Vienna in general, rather than one specific brand.

Vintage Posters

Friday, December 12, 2014

Unusual concertos [82]: Zhongruan

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 80+ this time.

The eighty-second concerto deals with the zhongruan (image credit). This is a Chinese plucked string instrument, which has been likened to the Western lute and guitar. Contemporary Chinese composers apply it occasionally, and there is at least one (recorded) concerto for it, by Liu Xing, who plays the instrument on a CD with the Voronezh State Symphony Orchestra under Mak Ka-Lok.

Go here

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Woman reading at table

I came across this painting at the blog The 20th century in pictures last week, and I was impressed. Jane Peterson (1876–1965) was an American artist, whose Wikipedia entry does not give much more information (I found much more here). Her style has elements of  impressionism, fauvism, and art nouveau. The painting shown here dates from around 1920. More about Peterson in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Dance January 1928

Another gem from the Jazz Age, this 1928 cover for the magazine The Dance. I could not find the name of the designer/illustrator.


Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Another candidate for the traditional year-end overview of my 12 best of the year. This is a typically found abstract, similar to the ones posted here and here.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 125
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, December 08, 2014

Lost painting found in Stuart Little

This is a truly remarkable story. An art historian watching the movie Stuart Little suddenly spotted a long lost Hungarian masterpiece in the background: Sleeping Lady with Black Vase, a 1927–28 artwork by Hungarian painter Robert Bereny, It turned out to be the real thing, not a copy, purchased for next to nothing by the set designer. For the full story, see the link.

web site

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Twin Sails bridge Poole

This elegant and original bridge spanning the the Backwater Channel has been constructed in Poole (Dorset, UK). It was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and was opened in 2012. The sail-like shape gets formed when the bridge opens. More on this building can be found in the Wikipedia link below.

Saturday, December 06, 2014


This Kenneth Branagh directed version of the well-known fairy-tale will hit the cinemas in 2015. The poster is an absolute dream - no wonder, when you know that Annie Leibovitz is the photographer.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Labyrinth 2

Taken from a collection of imaginary movie posters for sequels that were never made. This is a beautiful creation by an internet user named iam8bit for a sequel to the 1986 movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.

web site

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Territories by Didier Massard

No, this is not digital manipulation: the fascinating sceneries created by Didier Massard are real. The worlds he imagines are translated into sets and props that take months to build in his studio. Then they are carefully arranged and layered in diorama style, enhanced with subtle lighting, and captured on camera. As always, all rights retained by the artist.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Excelsior Kampen

This is a recent shot of the Kampen bridge near our home, shooting straight up under one of the pillars. The deviating viewpoint makes the shot interesting - in fact interesting enough to make Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day, my 73d to get that honour. With close to 200 faves and over 13000 views, it has become one of my three most popular shots of all time.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Park assist by Volkswagen

Using animals in advertising is a well-established way of doing things, but I have seldom seen such an original and creative version. Fun image, and spot on to convey the message. Excellent work by advertising agency DDB Tribal Berlin, Germany.

Creative Ads

Monday, December 01, 2014


American indie/emo band Death cab for cutie is a recent discovery of mine, and I like what I heard so far. Plans is their album from 2005, with an outstanding moody yet simple cover design. The art work is credited to Adde Russell.