Is there anything more synonymous with the notion of “America the Beautiful” than the images of Ansel Adams? In this day it seems that traditional landscape photography has fallen somewhat by the wayside, but I still find myself inspired by his majestic imagery. How can you not be proud to live in this country that he has captured with such intriguing lighting and proportions?
Not to be irreverent during this time of celebrating the USA’s birth, but I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose Adams’ respectful awe of our country with some contemporary photographers’ work that combines cultural commentary with landscape:
Top image by Eirik Johnson
Top image by Daniel Shea
Top image by Justin James Reed
Top image by Daniel Shea
I first saw this photography project over on DesignLoveFest and found it so intriguing that I just had to share.
As a self-proclaimed “nosey photographer” with a love for retro pictures, Irina Werning found herself wondering how people would look reenacting their old photos, so she decided to actually do it. The detail that goes into these is crazy mind blowing.
As a family photo connoisseur myself, I love to see how much (or little) my friends and family look like they did when they were younger. Like this guy above – I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look so much like their baby self! Creepy.
It’s also interesting to see the subtle changes in the backgrounds as the years have gone by. Or not so subtle, in the case of the Berlin Wall. It was really hard to choose my favorites, so I recommend making a visit to the site to view them all.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Maddie the Coonhound, but I have a severe weakness for animals, and dogs in particular. So I can’t help but give props to what has to be the most tolerant and well-mannered dog in existence – two qualities that are especially appreciated when you happen to have a dog with the opposite disposition. If I had a mere quarter of the balance of this dog, I would be several hundred dollars richer, minus a fractured ankle and dead tooth.
Last weekend marked a very notable first for me. In my biggest act of spontaneity to date, I made a last minute trip to New York City booked the weekend beforehand. It seems to be the unfortunate events in life that inspire us to live in the moment, and perhaps this is why the bad is a necessary compliment to the good. Nonetheless, after the joy of this weekend I’ve resolved to embrace my more impulsive tendencies.
NYC during Christmas is just special. The extravagant lengths storefronts go to with their decor is spectacular. Of course, one of my favorites was the bejeweled Harry Winston.
One of the best things about New York is the little surprises you find going from one place to the next. For me, the subway is one of the best and worst aspects of the city. While sometimes it’s a difficult pain in the ass, it also forces you to interact with your surroundings more so than transportation via car.
During one of my days exploring, I went to the High Line – a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the West Side. Next time you’re in NYC, you should make it a point to visit. They’ve done a great job integrating original aspects of the rail line with nature in an extremely well-designed manner.
Another plus to the High Line: gorgeous views of the city. Great use of materials and providing creative ways to sit and take everything in.
I’m so glad I finally got to see Bushwick, the Brooklyn neighborhood my friends have been residing in. They’ve taken graffiti there to a new level, and it adds so much to the area. Full of creativity and delicious food and drinks, I fell in love with all of the places we managed to find despite the prevalent lack of exterior signage.
And the icing on the cake: finally seeing George Balanchine’s Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Courtesy of my sweet friend who knows me too well. As you can see, we walked away inspired. Thanks again to my amazing hosts and tour guides for making my most spontaneous weekend unforgettable!
Fact: I have an undying love for The Nutcracker ballet. In a not normal, know every note to the entire score, had a nutcracker doll, still watch my 80′s VHS tape of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland every single Christmas kind of way. If you haven’t seen that version and you like The Nutcracker even a little bit, watch it. Two of the best dancers of all time (pictured above) in the most romantic, swoon-worthy interpretation of the ballet you’ll ever see. Which resulted in Baryshnikov (nowadays he’s probably better known as “the Russian” from Sex and the City) being one of my two first crushes ever. In case you’re wondering, Kirk Cameron was the other.
Anyways, this past weekend we saw the “Moscow ballet” perform it here in Dallas. In my naiveté I was expecting the world-renowned Bolshoi Moscow ballet. I was wrong. It was nice and a fun thing to do, but definitely not the Bolshoi. This got me trying to remember the last time I went to the Nutcracker and didn’t walk away slightly disappointed. It hasn’t been since childhood, which I found strange and a little disturbing. After thinking on it, I blame the fact that we saw the spectacular Viennese ballet in it’s breathtaking opera house a few years back, coupled with my favorite Baryshnikov / Kirkland version being forever burned into my memory. It’s interesting how after experiencing the best of something, lesser versions will inevitably leave you with that “eh” feeling. But whether it’s food, art, dance or whatever – isn’t the goal to do the best at some point in our lives? Although it’s impractical to think we can always eat / see / experience the best of the best, doesn’t it kind of suck that everything else after the fact seems “eh”? Not trying to sound like a brat here, just being honest. Sorry that took an unexpected philosophical turn – too deep for a Monday?
*Amendment: My friend made a comment on my Facebook page that I wish I had better articulated here, so I’ll quote her wise words as a reflection of my own thoughts: “I suppose we’re lucky to have had the chance to witness the best of something at all, even though experiencing the best makes everything else seem ‘eh.’ ” Well said, Britt.
Gelsey Kirkland / Mikhail Baryshnikov
Photographs from Amy Friend’s collection, Daré all a Lucé.
Impressionistic photography by Edward Steichen and Allison Scarpulla.
My friend Britt shared these photos with me, and they instantly brought me back to our childhood obsession with Grease and Danny Zuko. We knew every lyric and dance move to Greased Lightning (and every other song in the movie). I find it really amusing to watch the movie now and see all the sexual innuendo that went completely over our heads at the time. I’m actually surprised my mom let me watch it, considering that Saved by the Bell was banned in our house. Don’t ask.
Anyways, these got me thinking about how we look back at the 50s like it was the golden age of morality, with their sweater sets and advertisements full of smiling families. But the same stuff was happening then that is now – it was just more taboo to talk about. It’s funny how each generation the kids are declared worse than ever before. Granted, things like the internet and cell phones have introduced issues that weren’t issues back then. But that’s exactly it: each new generation brings change, and change is scary. As it turns out, Elvis’s gyrating hips didn’t create a generation of depraved sex fiends. Just like the internet won’t (hopefully).
On a lighter note, how awesome is greaser style? I kinda dig the ducktail. Here’s some greaser-inspired finds.
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PHOTOS VIA FLAVORWIRE
Hi guys, sorry I was a bit of a lazy blogger last week. I got into one of those no-one-reads-my-blog-so-who-really-cares funks. Woe is me. But I’m back.
How could I not be cheered up by these adorable images? While it’s kind of amazing that we as people can muster the courage to blindly follow a loved one to an unknown place for whatever reason, it’s even more amazing that animals do the same thing. At least we have verbal communication and reasoning skills – they do so purely through an innate sense of faith.
IMAGES VIA BEACH PLUM