Sunday, 31 August 2008

Tin What????

Here is something that the photographic community has been waiting for since the digital revolution on.

What is TinEye?

TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology. Given an image to search for, TinEye tells you where and how that image appears all over the web—even if it has been modified.

Just as you are familiar with entering text in a regular search engine such as Google to find web pages that contain that text, TinEye lets you submit an image to find web pages that contain that image.

How does TinEye work?

Every day TinEye's spiders crawl the web for additional images. Using sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature or 'fingerprint' for each one and adds it to the index.

When you want to find out where an image is being used on the web, you submit it to TinEye. The attributes of the image are analyzed instantly, and its fingerprint is compared to the fingerprint of every single image in the TinEye search index. The result? A detailed list of any websites using that image, worldwide.

Use TinEye to find out where and how an image appears on the web, even if it has been cropped or heavily modified..... read on.

Photography by Natalia Skobeeva.

Carolina Munoz: LPA Competition Winner

Still Life: Series Gold Winner Carolina Munoz

Carolina's Still Life series is an ongoing project which she has been working on since 2005. Of the winning images, she says: "Initially, my use of the still life came about as a formal exercise in photography. In August 2003 I participated in a "Photographic Cloister" (Claustro Fotográfico) consisting of a group of people spending five consecutive days and nights at the premises of a photography school in Caracas (ONG - Taller de Fotografía Nelson Garrido) to develop independent photography work. My readings into the genre in classical painting, as well as the images created at this intense workshop, set the platform to later define it as one of my main art projects.

"Wanting to incorporate objects and traditional Venezuelan foods as carriers of meaning beyond their function, I have been exploring themes of social and cultural decay. For me, the still life enables me to express urgent preoccupations with my country's present circumstances. However, my intention and purpose for these images is not to offer a clear road for interpretation. I am very interested in contradiction, ambiguity and the creation of personal metaphors to interpret an image."

Carolina's main interests centre around her sense of place as a Venezuelan while being curious about other cultures. She has spent much of her life living abroad. Her background in graphic design and art direction in advertising has meant that photography has always been an important part of her profession. Going to a photographer's studio was always "a thrill and the icing on the cake with any graphics job," she says.

Whilst still working in advertising in 2002, Carolina started to take photographic courses as a way of self-expression. Years later, she redefined herself as an artist and made a career change into commercial photography to support her art projects. She is about to begin teaching a photography course as a professor's assistant. Her immediate goal is to continue to strengthen her commercial photography skills and experience, while also focusing on her photographic fine art: "Specifically, newer fine art projects include a multidisciplinary work about Venezuela's 1999 mud slide, which involves photographing objects and landscapes, creating photograms and the use of cartography. Another project is photographing some neighbourhoods of Caracas, showing the frantic and chaotic architectural changes they are subjected to. My still lifes will continue as an ongoing project and in the future I wish to publish them into a book."

Carolina explains more about her work: "For my fine art photography I use medium format film so I am not limited in the final output of my images; however, I have also used digital point and shoot cameras and images exposed directly to photographic paper. Basically, I think any type of camera is good as along as the photograph reflects an honest approach to image making."

Carolina's Still Life series has been exhibited in Venezuela and México and is part of a few private collections. Entering the LPA competition was, she says, a step forward to exposing it to a wider audience.

"This is the first time I have entered an LPA competition and I did so out of sheer curiosity to expose my work. After receiving the notice that I was given the Gold Award for my series I was very surprised and of course thrilled at such unexpected recognition! For me, awards and competitions are a way to promote one's work in wider circles, for future publication, exhibits and commissions."

Caroline's LPA Folio.

David Knight: LPA competition winner

The Nude: LPA Series Gold Winner David Knight.

David's winning images were taken in 2007 as part of a solo exhibition which took place in Sydney, where he is based. Saatchi & Saatchi, a long standing client of David's, lent him their amazing reception area as a gallery. It overlooks the Sydney Opera House and is virtually under the Harbour Bridge

David makes his living as an Advertising Photographer. He explains: "This often means delivering on a very rigid brief. At the time of the competition, I hadn't worked on any personal projects for a long while, so was looking for an antidote to the confines of advertising. With this project, I went right back to basics and kept everything as simplistic as possible. I opted for a black background, and used the modeling light from a broncolor pulso G head. As a result, a longer shutter speed was required. When coupled with the movement of the model and dropping the lens in and out of focus, this added a great deal of randomness to the whole process. What I like about working in this way is that you can end up with something very interesting and unexpected."

David decided to enter the LPA's "The Nude" competition when a fellow photographer mentioned it to him. She had attended the opening night of his exhibition and suggested it would be a good competition for him to enter.

David joined the LPA as part of a drive to increase his profile internationally. He feels that the combined effect of winning The Nude and doing well in other competitions and awards can only boost his profile. He now intends to devote more time to personal projects, and would like to exhibit more in the coming years. On the value of entering competitions, David says: "I realise now that awards and competitions can have a huge impact on the success of your business, so I will endeavour to be more proactive and enter as many awards and competitions as I can in the future!"

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

A Life In Pictures...

This collection of polaroid images has spread like wildfire across photography blogs recently, so I'm sure by this point some of you must have stumbled across it.  Flicking through the collection, that is accompanied by no additional information, you realise that not only is everything dated and categorised into months, but in fact there is one image for every day between the years of 1979 and 1997.  Day by day, month by month, you become drawn into the collection with voyeuristic delight.  The collection belongs to Jamie Livingston, who in 1979 as a young film student, decided to take one Polaroid everyday of his life.  Looking through the images you get a sense of that you shouldn't be there, like glancing though someone's journal, as you are presented with flashes of faces, small details, silent moments, picnics and parties.   The shots are hardly 'composed' yet retain a sense of humour and become quietly moving.  You begin to familiarise yourself with the photographer as faces reoccur, and the collection not only becomes a collection of his life, but a document of the time- 80s haircuts, the World Trade Centre, the colour changing as the seasons and fashions change, television shots (particularly telling is one image of Diana on the day she died).

In 1997 however, the images take a darker turn as images begin to crop up of the photographer in hospital, then of a large scar across his head.  It becomes obvious theat the photograper is ill.  In October an image, possibly the most poignant of all, of a single gold wedding ring appears.  Later on that month the images of the photographer in hospital occur again.  On 25th October 1997 the collection abruptly halts.  The photographer has died.

The collection is at once sporadic and mundane, touching, poignant and infused with a bright sense of humour.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Tim Walker

Tim Walker, has made his name through his gloriously decadent fashion story fantasies. His shoots are lavish stage shows that draw reference from children’s stories, fairy tales and ideas of English heritage. His current exhibition at the Design Museum is a curious insight into his working methods; from the first stages of his research and sketchbooks to the polaroids and contact sheets from the shoots (yes, he apparently still works on film), to the giant props littered throughout the show to the impressive finished prints.

Walkers images play with the unattainable elements of fashion couture- the sheer extravagance of the clothes for many being something of daydreams-unreachable, bringing out childlike fantasies of dressing up boxes, of fairytales.  His images juxtapose everything from the absurd to the sublime, doing so in a refined and suberbly beautiful manner.  Saccharine hues blear through windows of English mansions, models walk out of the pages of magazines, snow floods through open windows coating heritage homes in a blinding whiteness, cascading dresses fall down staircases.  One image is set in a palatial drawing room that has been shaken by an earthquake; paint peels from the walls, the ceiling is splintering and Lily Cole protrudes from peacock feathers that are embellishing the walls.  The images are rich in their references as their are in their imagination, taking cues from Beaton and Parkinson as he nods to art, literature, and fashion photography itself (see models in boxes made to look like manufactured dolls, models literally walking out of the pages of Vogue).

The show is on until 28th September, go and get lost in Walker's world...