Where My Freelensing Journey Began

THE DETACHED LENS

Freelensing was first introduced to me over two years ago on a photography forum I belong to. Someone shared her experience of experimenting with detaching her lens to take pictures, and I marveled at what she came up with. The works were dreamy, flawed, blurry, photographic prose. I immediately grabbed my Nikon to try it out.

But…it didn’t work. I couldn’t see through the viewfinder, and only saw a black screen when I pressed the shutter button. What was going on?

Coming together on the forum, we soon discovered the problem: the aperture on my Nikkor lens was scrunching closed whenever I removed it from the camera. The only solution was to tape it open, or rig it with a piece of folded paper.

Annoyed, I gave it up for a while.

A few months (?) later, everything changed. I discovered the work of Irene Suchocki, and my interest…

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Q: Do you always need to feel inspired to create?

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The Artist Diaries

I’ve been feeling very unmotivated recently when it comes to painting.

To be completely honest, I just feel like I can’t be bothered. I feel lethargic and ‘heavy’ when I think about it, like it’s too much effort for so little in return (meaning either an unfinished painting or worse — a painting I dislike).

Lying in bed last night I remembered several conversations I’ve had over the past couple of years about the nature of motivation and inspiration, and how our feelings aren’t actually the most reliable gauge in terms of whether or not we should do something.

Feeling lethargic and unmotivated doesn’t have to stop me from being creative. In fact, no feeling has the power to prevent me from doing anything without my complicity.

I can complain of feeling horribly uninspired and still put paint on a canvas. I can feel moody and bored and still doodle on a…

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The Miniatures of Joshua Smith 

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ARCHatlas

Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.

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In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.

miniature-urban-architecture-joshua-smith-7See more of his work here.

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Artsy Fartsy – Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue – What are your thoughts?

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Image result for Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue

According  to CNN, “Fearless Girl” was installed Tuesday by State Street Global Advisors as part of the asset-manager’s campaign to increase the number of women on their clients’ corporate boards. 

A group of women who work together also came to the financial district to see the statue on International Women’s Day. “We really like the little girl standing up to the bull,” one said. 

A man who works nearby said, “I have two daughters and I thought it was pretty impressive that they have this up here.”

Image result for Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue

“Fearless Girl” wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by attention. The woman who created her, artist Kristen Visbal, says she’s been inundated with calls and emails from fans. 

Visbal said that team behind the campaign,which includes the advertising agency McCann NY, approached her to design a statue of a young girl. “We were focusing on making a statement about the future of Wall Street,” she said. “We wanted this wonderful contrast,” she said, between the delicate child and the aggressive bull. 

“I think the fact that she’s a child makes the figure much more endearing.” 

Visbal was particularly moved by an image of young girl wearing a cape and posing beside the statue. 

“The whole project is about girl power,” she said. “I love that phrase, because it makes us a lot stronger if we are in unison.” 

Anne McNally, SSGA’s head of public relations for North America, told CNNMoney that the group has a permit that allows the statue to remain in place for one week, but that they are seeking an extension that would keep “Fearless Girl” in place for a month. 

“After that, it’s up to the city,” she said. “We would be very supportive of a permanent installation as a piece of art.”

What are your thoughts on the statue?

Artsy Fartsy – Freedom from want by Norman Rockwell

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Freedom from Want, also known as The Thanksgiving Picture or I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is the third of the Four Freedoms series of four oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in ArlingtonVermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. The work depicts a group of people gathered around a dinner table for a holiday meal. Having been partially created on Thanksgiving Day to depict the celebration, it has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.

Three generations circle the food—a nuclear family more rarely seen today, but still existing in some hearts and minds as an ideal. (If Rockwell were painting now in 2013, what might that modern American family look like racially or even in terms of sexual orientation?) From the lower right corner, in the finest Renaissance tradition of painting, a young man looks out at you directly—the classic challenge to the viewer posed by the painter and his painting. His smile asks you to join in with the wonder at the bounty set before them, but is that all it asks? After more than a decade of overseas wars draining of us blood and treasure and an economic downturn further depleting our reserves of good will and thankfulness, that young man’s smile reminds us that the Thanksgiving thanks are not necessarily for abundant protein and four kinds of vegetables. Instead, the thankfulness is for having each other and the enduring capacity of people to free one another from all kinds of want—physical, emotional, and even spiritual.

Credit: Wikipedia

Forget me not – John Lennon “You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.”

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john-lennon

John Ono LennonMBE, born John Winston Lennon; (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980), was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock bandthe Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.

Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero“. After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.

According to Rolling Stone during a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross ShowPaul McCartneyrecounted how he found out about the death of John LennonThe Beatle was murdered outside of his New York City apartment 34 years ago today.

“I was at home, and I got a phone call,” McCartney told the talk-show host. “It was early in the morning…. I think it was like that for everyone. It was just so horrific that you couldn’t take it in – I couldn’t take it in. Just for days, you just couldn’t think that he was gone. So, yeah, it was just a huge shock and then I had to tell Linda and the kids. It was very difficult. It was really difficult for everyone. That was like a really big shock, I think, in most people’s lives. A bit like Kennedy, there were certain moments like that.”

Credit: Wikipedia

Artsy Fartsy – Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell

rockwell_thanksgiving_sm

Freedom from Want, also known as The Thanksgiving Picture or I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is the third of the Four Freedoms series of four oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in Arlington, Vermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. The work depicts a group of people gathered around a dinner table for a holiday meal. Having been partially created on Thanksgiving Day to depict the celebration, it has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.

Three generations circle the food—a nuclear family more rarely seen today, but still existing in some hearts and minds as an ideal. (If Rockwell were painting now in 2013, what might that modern American family look like racially or even in terms of sexual orientation?) From the lower right corner, in the finest Renaissance tradition of painting, a young man looks out at you directly—the classic challenge to the viewer posed by the painter and his painting. His smile asks you to join in with the wonder at the bounty set before them, but is that all it asks? After more than a decade of overseas wars draining of us blood and treasure and an economic downturn further depleting our reserves of good will and thankfulness, that young man’s smile reminds us that the Thanksgiving thanks are not necessarily for abundant protein and four kinds of vegetables. Instead, the thankfulness is for having each other and the enduring capacity of people to free one another from all kinds of want—physical, emotional, and even spiritual.

Credit: Wikipedia

Artsy Fartsy -Yoko Ono and John Lennon “Bed-In” World Peace demonstration (Peace in Paris)

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Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702 – later renovated and became 902) at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 25 and 31, inviting the world’s press into their hotel room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. After their other stunts, such as the nude cover of the Two Virgins album, the press were expecting them to be having sex, but instead the couple were sitting in bed—in John’s words “like angels”—talking about peace with signs over their bed reading “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace”. After seven days, they flew to Vienna, Austria, where they held a Bagism press conference.

During April 1969, John and Yoko sent acorns to the heads of state in various countries around the world in hopes that they would plant them as a symbol of peace. For eight months, the couple was not granted a single visit with any world leader. Their marriage (“You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain”), the first Bed-In (“Talking in our beds for a week”), the Vienna press conference (“Made a lightning trip to Vienna…The newspapers said…”), and the acorns (“Fifty acorns tied in a sack”) were all mentioned in the song “The Ballad of John and Yoko“.

Due to John and Yoko’s very public image, the Amsterdam Bed-In was greeted by fans, and received a great deal of press coverage. Following the event, when asked if he thought the Bed-In had been successful, John became rather frustrated. He insisted that the failure of the press to take the couple seriously was part of what he and Yoko wanted: “It’s part of our policy not to be taken seriously. Our opposition, whoever they may be, in all manifest forms, don’t know how to handle humour. And we are humorous.

Credit: Wikipedia

Don’t let the weather stop your Fun – Rainy day activities

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LACMA
In case you haven’t yet heard, kids and their parents get free admission to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art any old time they want to go. Art for NexGen is the nation’s only free youth membership program, offering free admission to anyone 17 and under along with one accompanying adult. To join, print an enrollment form and bring it to the museum with you – and then hit the Boone Children’s Gallery anytime you want.

California Science Center
There is so much to do at the Science Center it’s just crazy – including visiting the new exhibit housing the space shuttle Endeavor. Naturally the Science Center greatly appreciates contributions at the door when you can afford to make them, but when you can’t you’re just as welcome, with no questions asked; the “admission” price is a suggestion only.

Griffith Observatory
Although there is a cost to attend the films offered at the Observatory (and they are worth every penny), there is plenty to do at Griffith Observatory without spending a cent. The many interesting interactive exhibits, the epic views, and even the remarkable building itself make the trip a Los Angeles must-do.

Paley Center for Media
This is so LA; formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center has recordings of old TV and radio shows running during opening hours, plus a library where you can request a private screening of any show in history. Like the Science Center, the Paley has a suggested donation posted, but admission is free every day.

Wells Fargo History Museum
The free Wells Fargo History Museum connects the bank’s history to the Gold Rush and early southern California, with displays that include an 1868 Wells Fargo stagecoach and rare gold coins and nuggets. A telegraph machine in the corner on the first floor allows kids to send messages between two tables using a Morse code chart.

Glendale College Planetarium Public Shows
A series of free astronomy presentations for both the GCC community and the general public covers a variety of topics every Wednesday (Spring 2013) from 12:30pm-1pm in the GCC planetarium (CS257). Topics for the different presentations explore our solar system, lunar phases, and the possibility of life on other planets.

SAMO The Whale
Santa Monica Place has a free play area called SAMO’s Clubhouse, designed by the same team that brought us the Skirball’s Noah’s Ark. The enormous play-on, play-in, play-around whale is built to scale, created using recycled materials, and keeps kids up to age 8 or so entertained for a surprisingly long time. The whale is on the top floor, in the food court, with plenty of natural light and plenty of seating for parents.

Watch a hockey game or figure skating at the Toyota Sports Center
The Toyota Sports Center has three different ice rinks with constant action, and two of them are observable from a heated cafe area above the rinks. Check the schedule; if you time it right, one rink could have an action-packed hockey game going on while the other has top-level figure skaters in a freestyle practice session. You can watch both for free, or spend a few coins on hot chocolate and arcade games while you watch.

Getty Center or Villa
The key to either Getty museum is that the seemingly hefty price is only for parking. This means that if you can get a ride, carpool, or take the bus, a day at the Getty can be free – and there is plenty going on at both locations to fill a lot more than a day.

The Fashion Institute of Design Museum
Admission is always free for families to check out the historical garments and costumes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum. Expect to see literally thousands of threads worn in movies through the ages.

Credit: Mommy Poppins

Forget me not – John Lennon “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”

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john-lennon

John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon; (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980), was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock band the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.

Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero“. After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.

According to Rolling Stone during a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Paul McCartney recounted how he found out about the death of John Lennon. The Beatle was murdered outside of his New York City apartment 34 years ago today.

“I was at home, and I got a phone call,” McCartney told the talk-show host. “It was early in the morning…. I think it was like that for everyone. It was just so horrific that you couldn’t take it in – I couldn’t take it in. Just for days, you just couldn’t think that he was gone. So, yeah, it was just a huge shock and then I had to tell Linda and the kids. It was very difficult. It was really difficult for everyone. That was like a really big shock, I think, in most people’s lives. A bit like Kennedy, there were certain moments like that.”

Credit: Wikipedia

Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon