March 9 2013: a blazing hot Saturday afternoon at the Henderson Valley Studios. With Jeff Smith directing, and a small crew standing by with handfuls of softened tomatoes, Chris Knox and Rackets went to work on a new video. The track is called 'Gagarin' and is credited to Knoxious. It was first released on Record Store day last year, but will be re-released again soon. Turn up the volume and go full screen to enjoy the high-def slo-mo video and animation, before checking out some 'behind the scenes' photos from the video shoot.
Capture is two! That happened quickly.
We seem to still be having fun, and you all keep posting fantastic photos in the comments, and generally supporting us with your awesomeness, so we might keep it going, if that's alright with the rest of you.
Although this is our anniversary post, and later we'll talk about a competition, we do like to have a theme, so today we're focusing on travel photography.
Much has been written about the propensity for antipodeans to venture forth into the wild on their OEs. Europe, the Americas, or increasingly into Asia, for both work and play, before settling down at home (or abroad).
We would like to see your memories of such travels, which might require dragging out the scanner, or they could be recent trips taken on holidays.
Because we're an inclusive bunch, you could also post travel photography from within New Zealand (or Australia - I said 'inclusive').
Photo series intro.
The first half below are photos taken during 9 months travel through North America and Europe in 1993. Good times.
A short trip to Nevada City and San Francisco last year resulted in a bunch of photos malingering on my computer. In amongst all the pictures of American Cats and and American Meals there are at least a few of interesting details that caught my eye. I was amazed at the number of Psychic businesses I saw in San Francisco. I'd forgotten that pharmacies are drugstores in the US.
As we did last year, we'll run the photo competition for a month until 21 December, and then hopefully get the prize to the winner for Christmas.
Hit us with your best travel shots.
This seems kind of obvious this year. The winner will receive a copy of the wonderful book Self-Portrait by Marti Friedlander, from AUP. As some of you may already have this, we'll include an exchange card from the awesome people at Time Out Bookstore.
Kahurangi - The coolest house on the street.
When I noticed one of my favourite houses in Auckland was up for sale, I posted it on Twitter to the @MadPropsNZ account, and it created quite a stir amongst the PAS crew. We thought we might have a whip round and buy it as a Club House. You're all up for that, eh? We should only need a million, or so. Maybe mil' and a half. This is Auckland.
This is more than just any old dreamy Art Deco house though. Niel and Jette de Jong of Heritage Design Group, and Ebode Housing, who bought the house in 1991, have not only expanded the floor plan dramatically - including building a basement self-contained unit, a 20 seat cinema, and three car garaging - in 2006 they retro-fitted the latest sustainable technology to the house.
This includes 10,000 litre rain water retention tanks, that incorporate a first flush system, twin filtration and a black light steriliser before it reaches the taps. The hot water is provided by a roof-top solar heating system, and there is a grid connected 1.3KW photovoltaic solar power system. This is with Meridian, who give credit for the power generated, which dramatically reduces the power bill each month.
There's a lot of detail in all these features, and for anyone genuinely interested you could contact the estate agent, and they'll send you a full run down of all the features.
The true story of the house though is the way in which Niel and Jette, with their young family, put their personal touch on it. This was really a labour of love, down to the wonderful carved wall of the bathroom (shown above), which was a special gift from Niel to Jette, and the hand selected lighting throughout the house.
Niel, Jette and the family actually moved to the country a year or so ago, and I must admit visiting the house again this week you could really sense their absence. I'm a firm believer in the concept of a house not being made of only bricks and mortar, but with the heart and soul of its inhabitants. This is a house screaming for someone to bring back the sound of children tap dancing on the theatre stage.
Is that you?
For more on the house view the Trade Me Listing.
They came, they saw, they captured. Tens of thousands of people were thronging through Western Park in Ponsonby last Friday and Saturday night (Thursday was cancelled due to the weather) for the annual Art In The Dark festival. Almost everyone had their phones and cameras out to try and grab something of this fantastic spectacle ... including us.
The comments are open to add your own images and stories of art in the dark.
The Monochrome Set
"Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected." —Robert Frank
My first roll of 35mm film was black and white, on a borrowed Canonette camera. I took moody photos of the water at the bottom of a waterfall, and gothic portraits in front of an open grave. You can probably blame Morrissey for that one.
My love of black and white photography has never really resulted in mastering it as an art form though. I've certainly done a lot of it over the years, and learnt to develop and print in the University of Auckland darkroom, many moons ago. But when I got into colour photography around 1989, it became one of those things you did when you remembered the b & w film hiding in the back of the fridge.
Now with digital cameras, including the ubiquitous phone camera, having either software or apps that can switch your rather flat looking colour photo to contrasty, brooding black and white, there's really no excuse not to give it a go.
But what makes a good black and white photograph?
I'll let Jonathan answer that.
Like Jackson, I have shot a lot of black and white film, sometimes getting a pleasing result, but never felt like I was anywhere close to mastering the medium. There's so many variables - the light, the film, the development. But now that we're in the dying days of film (apparently) I still want to shoot a roll of film, develop and scan it carefully in the hope that I'll hit that magic combination of composition and lighting, with the subtle shifts of tone, contrast and balance that make a pleasing black and white image.
But what makes a good black and white photograph?
You know it when you see it.
Oh, Monochrome. Shimmering, subtle, silvery. 40's movie stars, lit for beauty and drama. Landscapes transformed into breathtaking magical images. Hard lines emphasised, shadow plunging into midnight darkness, highlights glowing moon-like. Over many years I've tried to catch even a little of this potential in black and white film, using roughshod methods and a whole lot of enthusiasm. Labouring in smelly makeshift 'darkrooms', getting results ranging from complete failure through to 'that'll do!'
Enter the digital camera. I'm an instant convert. I can see pretty much what I'm getting and can try again if need be. I'm so technically lazy I can't be bothered tweaking pictures in photoshop, yet I don't like the flat toned range of greys of the default monochrome setting on my camera. Thank goodness the camera provides a 'soot & chalk' setting. I'm away, happy-snapping a stream of black and whites.
We'd love to see your shades of grey, so Capture away.