Archive for November, 2015

Rebar Indictment

Posted: November 25, 2015 in Art photography, Events

REBAR
The Ai Weiwei exhibition at London’s Royal Academy fills eight large galleries with artworks.  The largest work is “Straight”,  90 tons of steel reinforcing rods which Weiwei and his assistants secretly collected from the rubble of buildings which collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. A large percentage of the collapsed buildings were schools, many of which failed while nearby buildings survived. On the walls of the gallery are written 5250 names of children who died during the earthquake as a result of substandard buildings.  The work is a silent indictment of China’s construction industry and the government’s failure to enforce standards.  On exhibit through December 13.

~Paul

Billion Here and There

Posted: November 21, 2015 in Environment

city warehouse
First snow fall of the season and I took the opportunity to cruise in downtown St. Louis. This old freight depot is destined for the wrecking ball to be replaced by a monster-size publicly-funded football stadium.  Scheduled to cost close to a billion dollars — guess there are no more pressing issues in the St. Louis Metro area.

~John

Black Lives Mattered Then and Now

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Events, Photography
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Univeristy of Missouri demonstration
Not sure this ever made the newspaper — I was a budding journalism student at the University of Missouri in the early 1970s and seemed like change was in the air… Forty years later and we are still facing the same struggles.
~John

London Calling

Posted: November 18, 2015 in London, UK

Wei Wei

“Grass roots”  project, 770 hand carved pieces, clumps of grass and a marble baby carriage by Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most influential artists. At the Royal Academy of Art through December 13th.

~Paul

Selfie – No Exclusions

Posted: November 14, 2015 in Art photography, London, Photography, UK
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Laura Knight self portrait
In the National Portrait Gallery in London, we were attracted to this self portrait by British artist Laura Knight, who painted this partly out of protest from being excluded from classes with nude models because she was female.

~Paul

rainy day
My apologies to Bob Dylan on the song/title variant. When does an out-of-focus picture taken with a $5000 camera-lens combo become “art”?  Photo hint — don’t let the elements keep you from getting out and making pictures (D610 wrapped in simple plastic bag with draw string on the end of the 80-400mm lens).

~john

Funky Fall Foliage

Posted: November 4, 2015 in Environment, Photography

Big Spring Missouri

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is prime leaf-peeping country and like any photographer — who can resist the lure of Fall color everywhere. Apparently, not me. Upon seeing Big Spring, which releases an average daily flow of 286 million gallons of water into the Current River near Van Buren, Missouri, I chose to accent the color of the water. This was done by setting the white balance on the camera to “tungsten” which adds the monochromatic blue cast to the background and emphasizes the H2O. A slow shutter speed on a tripod mounted Nikon D90 shows the powerful motion of the water. I drew attention to the foreground by using an a Nikkor 10-24mm wide angle lens and retained the natural color of the moss-covered rocks by using an off-camera SB600 speedlight with an 81B gel (what photographers now call CTO “color temperature orange”) to match the exisiting white balance/color temperature.

~John

Boo to You

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Delmar Loop, London, Photography, UK
Singapore girl

Singapore bat-girl and ghoul friend in London

scary girl London

Scary little Londoner with “halo”Halloween Saint LouisHalloween revelers in the Delmar Loop St. Louis

Here is our Halloween wrap-up. Paul was struck that the old concept of British ‘reserve’ still seems to be with us. Compared to celebrations in New York, New Orleans, Memphis, and Chapel Hill, those in the UK have not embraced the opportunity to display their inner demons or fantasies.  John took a quick stroll through his neighborhood and found few participants as well (might have  had a different result if he hadn’t sacked-out at 8pm).