Maggots are apparently nature’s microscopic walrus.
Check out these nifty electron microscope pictures, featuring all kinds of tiny weirdos.
Helsinki, Finland © Tarja Trygg
Solargraphy is a technique that uses a pinhole camera to capture the path of the sun over time, through days, weeks, or even months. These solar images by Tarja Trygg are completely mesmerizing.
Buenos Aires, Argentina © Tarja Trygg
Agadir, Morocco © Tarja Trygg
It seems every artist is different in finding sources of inspiration or ideas that inform their work. It’s such a personal experience and really is the basis for not only what we do but why we bother — what it is that drives us to make anything at all.
For me it often comes spontaneously in moments of contemplation or quiet. Occasionally if I’m in a relaxed or meditative state I’ll suddenly get a flood of images. One of the most common points of inspiration for me is during the in between times of falling asleep or waking up.
Sometimes, though, it seems inspiration can come directly from a source of influence — and in this regard, when it rains it can really pour.
In New Zealand, long drives would often involve listening to Alan Watts. For anyone who might not be familiar with Mr. Watts, he was a philosopher who was incredibly good at translating Eastern thought for Western understanding, but without being academically stuffy or a taking on the role of a guru. He taught at a handful of universities where his teachings were often recorded, and in recent years his son has made some of Watts’ talks available in podcast form, which are for sale at alanwatts.net. The site also offers the talks broken up into 15 minute segments as a free podcast.
I remember a particular drive home from Golden Bay, winding through lush green mountain roads and listening to the first part of Following The Middle Way, which you can listen to here (ignore the lame “video” element and just listen). Something about it struck the right cord with me that day, and those first 15 minutes inspired three eventual images. Mostly for my own curiosity, here are the pictures with the words that inspired them:
“To feel yourself as a separate ego, a source of action and awareness that is entirely separate and independent from the rest of the world, somehow locked up inside a bag of skin, is seen as a hallucination. That you are not a stranger in the earth that comes into this world either as a result of a natural fluke or being a sort of spirit that comes from somewhere else altogether, but that you in your fundamental existence, you are the total energy that constitutes this universe, playing that it’s you. Playing that it’s this particular organism, and even playing that it’s this particular person. Because the fundamental game of the world is a game of hide and seek.”
“The basis of life is spectrum. … All sensation, all feeling, all experience whatsoever is moving through spectra. You don’t only have the spectrum of color, you have the spectrum of sound, you have various complex spectra of texture, of smell, of taste and you’re constantly operating through all the possible variations of experience. And it implies that you can’t know one end of the spectrum without also knowing the other. … And behind everything that we experience, all our various sensations of sound, of color, of shape, of touch, there’s the white light. And I’m using the phrase ‘the white light’ rather symbolically, I don’t mean it literally. But there is common to all sensations what you might call the basic sense. And if you explore back into your sensations and reduce them all to the basic sense, you’re on your way to reality, to what underlies everything, to what is the ground of being, the basic energy. And to the extent that you realize this, and know that you ARE it, you transcend, you overcome, you surpass the illusion that you are simply John Doe, Mary Smith or what have you.”
Again, all quotes are excerpts from Following The Middle Way, by Alan Watts.
© John Cranford
Last night I happened to notice that Wilmington, NC based photographer John Cranford had started following me on Twitter (follow him! @withfilm) and fortunately clicked through to his website. I was immediately taken with his Airstream series, everything from the water caught in mid-air globs to his choice of rich black and white tones. Also be sure not to miss his ongoing documentary project Circle Acres, about sustainable living.
© John Cranford
I look forward to keeping up with his work, with thanks to the good ol’ social interwebs.
© John Cranford
Don’t go away without first clicking through to John’s portfolio website.
This post will probably make your eyes hurt.
For the second image in the project on color I’ve been thinking about, I was inspired by my local co-op grocery store’s display of these chioggia beets. I thought they were totally peculiar looking and immediately wanted to make something with them. I took an iPhone picture to refer back to and held off on buying any until I knew what I wanted the picture to look like.
Eventually the idea of comparing the red & white natural beets to a man made candystripe pattern came to mind. I found just the right piece of fabric, gave it a good ironing and attached it to a board for the background.
I shot this in my garage using an old wooden table, sunlight and a reflector. I’m a fan of makeshift studios—do what you gotta! When the beets are cold and dry, their color fades; to keep the color rich they needed to be damp, which in the desert meant wiping them down with a wet paper towel every couple exposures.
Here’s the final image in all its wacky glory:
And then I ate them. Num num num.
In case you haven’t noticed, A Nightmare on Elm Street is on Netflix Instant. I just watched it last night for the first time. The telephone tongue was definitely my favorite part, but the bathtub scene is a close second.
While I was making Alchemy, I couldn’t get an image of balancing scales out of my mind. I originally started with the idea of balancing earth & fire; I tried it once and wasn’t totally happy with it, so I kept experimenting. Between 2008 and 2009, I went through two sets of brass scales and made probably 10 attempts with various bad ideas before I got what I was looking for. Here are a few outtakes with the final picture.
Almost, but no.
Welcome to my crazy.
(If you’re reading this on the Tumblr dashboard, I know, the video isn’t showing. Look at my Tumblr page to watch it.)
(moving pictures by Mr. Sutter)
I probably posted this video a while back, but I just have to watch it every once in a while and reminisce. Milford Sound remains at the top of my list of Most Incredible Shit I’ve Ever Seen. It always seemed like there would be a dinosaur just around the bend. Ah, memories.
Also, now you know what it’s like to have me breathe in your face. Mm-mm-mmm.
© Steffanie Halley
Perusing her portfolio, I definitely picked up on the palette and foliage of the southeastern coastline. Having spent summers on the beaches of South Carolina as a kid, it haunted me as I looked through her pictures. Though there’s not much info on her website, it appears she’s based out of Savannah. I’ve been there only once and was entranced by the soft sand beaches in spots like Tybee Island; her images bring back a lot of sensory memories, and make me want to visit again.
© Steffanie Halley
© Steffanie Halley
I’m having a hard week. Existential anxiety or something. So let’s all just appreciate this hamster while I try and scrape my shit back together.