Category Archives: Events

Music collaboration from the ISS

The Barenaked Ladies, a children’s choir, and Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station. Put them together and what do you get? The first space-to-earth musical collaboration. The song, “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) was commissioned by CBCMusic.ca and The Coalition for Music Education with the Canadian Space Agency to celebrate music education in schools across Canada.

This is brilliant. Zoom it out. Turn it up.

Consider how far technology has come that we can have this kind of collaboration in real time with no delay from space. I know groups in the same room that don’t have this kind of timing.

Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design

The Getty Center is having a show: The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design which I just saw and highly recommend.

One of my favorite photographers and artists, Frederick Sommer was represented in the show. Not this image, which was from a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York but similar work done at the Institute of Design in Chicago where many of the folks in this show worked.

Frederick Sommer

Bill Lauf tuning before concert

Bill Lauf tuning before concert

Milton, Connecticut. My good friend Bill Lauf did a concert last night at Milton Hall and as always, it was a great time. Bill has a full time job and is on the road for work quite a bit yet he manages to write and record a lot of great music in his (little) spare time. He plays tenor guitar and he has a large collection of them, all present at the show last night. He has them tuned differently and he uses them selectively on different songs.

I missed having a DSLR in the low light of Milton Hall at night. The G15 did fine at 1600 ISO and my old 5D would have choked on it but the newer bodies can easily handle 1600 and above with little problem.

Notes on Sandy

Just a quick note here to let anyone who follows this blog know that we lost cable and so, our internet connection during Hurricane Sandy and I’m not sure when it will be restored. We do have power although it blinks every now and then and may be turned off at any moment as they work on poles and lines upstream of us.

Our cable company is in New York and both New York and the Connecticut coast are still digging out from the storm so it may be a while until we’re back online.

The fact that we have electricity and can shower, cook, clean up, and have light makes this storm aftermath much less stressful than last year’s October snow storm that took our power out for a week.

Stay tuned, we’ll be back to posting soon.

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has just opened what looks like a great photography exhibit.

The urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself—only the methods have changed. Nearly every type of manipulation we now associate with digital photography was also part of the medium’s pre-digital repertoire: smoothing away wrinkles, slimming waistlines, adding people to a scene (or removing them)—even fabricating events that never took place.

This international loan exhibition traces the history of manipulated photography from the 1840s through the early 1990s, when the computer replaced manual techniques as the dominant means of doctoring photographs. Most of the two hundred pictures on view were altered after the negative was exposed—through photomontage, combination printing, overpainting, retouching, or, as is often the case, a blend of several processes. In every instance, the final image differs significantly from what stood before the camera at any given moment.

Tony Scott dies

Tony Scott dies at 68; a film career in retrospective

Director Tony Scott has died in an apparent suicide. Scott directed some of my favorite action movies of all time, movies that I watch enough so that I own high end DVD copies of them and have them ripped on my iPad.

Top Gun, True Romance, The Last Boy Scout, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, and many others. These are great action films that can bear repeated watching even when you know them by heart.

Man on Fire stands out: Denzel Washington (in many Scott movies), Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning (as a young girl), the editing, the music, the sense of place (Mexico), the gun tech and violence.

Walken’s character, Rayburn:

A man can be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasey’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece.

Tidbit: if you listen at the beginning of many Tony Scott films there is a signature sound Easter egg, a synthetic car horn sound blended in with the other sounds and underneath music. It’s in Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Enemy of the State, Unstoppable, and maybe others. This sound is a prelude to some of the best sound editing in movies. The sound in Tony Scott films is an important part of the sensory landscape and adds to the unease created by lots of hand-held visual shots.

As Ron Howard tweeted this morning: “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day.”

My condolences to Tony Scott’s family as well as his brother, Ridley Scott.

Curiosity has landed

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) (201208050013HQ)

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. The MSL Rover named Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Most excellent!

The complex landing went off without a hitch and the vehicle is sitting on the surface of Mars. Incredible.

Here’s NASA’s Photostream at Flickr.

Update: Here’s the Curiosity team during the landing:

Curiosity just days away from Mars

Curiosity just days away from mars

A spectacular set of images of the building and launching of the Mars rover Curiosity. I’m guessing when this contraception enters the Mars atmosphere a lot of people (me included) are going to be glued to our TV sets, computers, tablets, smartphones, and radios.

Amazing how the number of things glued to has increased since the Apollo Moon landing.

Here’s a an excellent video on how the landing is supposed to work on August 5th:

Fireworks, behind the scenes

Fireworks, behind the scenes

Click the image above to start a slide show of the various image in this set. The slide show application has various tools including a button at bottom right to zoom to full screen. Let go of your mouse or trackpad and the slideshow will run automatically to the end or until you stop it.

I pushed this up to today for your viewing pleasure. This was shot four years ago but the technique remains the same…

2008, Danbury Airport, Danbury, Connecticut. This was the largest fireworks show in Connecticut that year. The pyrotechnician who put on this show saw my shot of a fireworks show he’d put on on Lake Waramaug in 2005 and asked me if I wanted to shoot this show, from start to finish. I jumped at the chance and made over 1000 images, less of the actual show, more of the preparation.

This is what goes into putting on a medium sized fireworks display. The setup took two full days and they worked right up until the show started.

The cult of TED

The cult of TED

Excellent BBC News magazine piece on the TED Conference.

Many people think TED is an elitist organization: it’s expensive to attend, one must apply, not just pay, no questions during lectures, and all the lectures are available online for free which means attending isn’t necessarily about the lectures.

Maybe attending is as much about networking with the kinds of folks who are admitted to TED conferences as it is about hearing the lectures live.

It may be that TED is elitist but sometimes it takes making an event like this exclusive to filter out the chaff. The question is, does filtering amplify and support only one prevailing viewpoint, making the conference an exercise in intellectual eugenics. There may be strands of this in Chris Anderson’s script for deciding which ideas are worth spreading and which are not, but so far, as a fan of TED I have to say that almost every time I watch a TED talk I’m stimulated and inspired.

[via Jon Moss]

The Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe

The Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe

Based in Nantes, France, the street theatre company Royal de Luxe performs around the world, primarily using gigantic, elaborate marionettes to tell stories that take place over several days and wind through entire cities. Puppeteers maneuver the huge marionettes — some as tall as 12 meters (40 ft) — through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way. Gathered here are images of several recent Royal de Luxe performances, from Belgium, Mexico, Germany, Chile, and England.

Absolutely incredible and great photography too. I must see this live at some time in my life. Wow.

Royal de Luxe on Wikipedia

Pioneer photography

Postcards from the dawn of photography

For the creative pioneers who embraced early photographic technology, producing “art” was very much a matter of trial and error. As Anne Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh senior curator of photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, tells me, chemical treatments and exposure times were experimental and inexact; given the circumstances, “it was a miracle if they got anything at all.”

Great interview with the curators of a new photo show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Silver, Salt, and Sunlight including a slide show of some of the images.

Guess I’m going to Boston soon to see this show, sounds spectacular.

[via Gary Sharp]

iPhone mute switch kerfuffle

Ringing Finally Ended, but There’s No Button to Stop Shame

The unmistakably jarring sound of an iPhone marimba ring interrupted the soft and spiritual final measures of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at the New York Philharmonic on Tuesday night. The conductor, Alan Gilbert, did something almost unheard-of in a concert hall: He stopped the performance. But the ringing kept on going, prompting increasingly angry shouts in the audience directed at the malefactor.

After words from Mr. Gilbert, and what seemed like weeks, the cellphone owner finally silenced his device. After the audience cheered, the concert resumed. Internet vitriol ensued.

Many people have been commenting on this event for a while now and Marco Arment pulls many of the various issues and sub-issues together here: Designing “Mute”.

No doubt how the mute switch works relative to all sounds is a meaningful design discussion but what interests me is that few if any of these discussions about the event recommend turning the phone off. Turning electronics off not only solves the unexpected alarm/ring problem, it also solves the problem of people silently texting their friends during a concert.

If I spend the money to go to a concert at Avery Fisher Hall the last thing I want is to be sitting next to someone with a lit up smartphone texting his or her friends.

The answer here is to turn off all electronic devices at a concert like this. Not sleep, not mute, but power down. That takes care of the texting problem and users who don’t know that they’ve set up an alarm to go off during a concert.

Getty Center Abstractions Show

Getty Center abstraction

I never posted the “official” show announcement for the show I have coming up. Here it is for those of you who might be close enough to come. I’ve been printing and framing and getting the images together and I must say I’m pleased.

Getty Center Abstractions
Photographs by Richard Wanderman

Opening Saturday, January 7, 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Artist’s talk: 3:45 pm followed by reception

January 7 – April 14, 2012
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm

Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery
Wisdom House
229 East Litchfield Rd.
Litchfield, CT 06759
860-567-3163
www.wisdomhouse.org