Thursday, March 3, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop

I don't know if you all have heard of a little thing called street art. It's graffiti as far as the law is concerned and is a crime. But some of them can be quite interesting and beautiful.

Sweeping it under the rug
Artists can create street art in various ways, using stickers, stencils, paint, basically any type of media to leave a mark.  Gangs use graffiti to mark territory and artists use street art to make a political point or to make their city more beautiful.  Personally, I don't think it's vandalism if it's tasteful, but the owner's of the buildings say otherwise.

Art or Vandalism

During the Oscar season, you may have heard of a British artist known as Banksy.  Banksy doesn't seem to be a fan of making art to sell it. He pokes fun at the art market a little in his documentary Exit Though the Gift Shop.  It's a movie about a French film maker, Thierry Guetta, that takes a stab at street art himself and comes up with the alter ego of Mr. Brainwash.

Thierry Guetta AKA Mr. Brainwash (MBW)

As Mr. Brainwash he has a large show, after Banksy tells him to make art and have a show while he fixes the movie Thierry was making.  Thierry does repetitive images of celebrities with Marilyn Monroe hair and Elvis with a toy gun in different colors.  To me all of his "work" looks the same and is produced on a mass scale.  MBW's intent was to sell the items for a LARGE profit (a few thousand each).  In the film, Banksy makes a comment that he used to tell everyone to do art, but after having created MBW he doesn't do that anymore.  
Banksy, he's very secretive

After watching MBW try to sell his "art" for thousands of dollars, one might have the idea that this is a hoax.  When I searched Mr. Brainwash on Google, it autofilled with "hoax" at the end. I decided to follow this link, but found no proof.  Is Exit Through the Gift Shop an elaborate hoax with a Borat-like actor to poke fun at the art world? No one knows except Banksy and the others involved in creating this film.  I would like to hope that it is and that MBW isn't as dumb as he seems.  Either way, check out Exit Through the Gift Shop and enjoy it for its entertainment value and street art that is shown.  

Banksy - Art Outlaw

And if you find any street art, snap a couple pictures!  Get it before it's gone!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts on my iPhone

I really love my camera, and I mean LOVE; just ask Jayme, my girlfriend, she'll tell you. But I have really come to enjoy my iPhone as a camera.
May not be the best quality
As I tackle this 365 project I have given myself, I find that I use my phone for most of them. I always have it with me, and I have great apps like hipstamatic that keep on providing great shots.
Hipstamatic shot
 I can even write this blog on my phone (I'm doing it right now while on the El)! Before, I would have hardly ever used my phone as a camera, but after moving to Chicago and having ample opportunity to take pictures, it has become my weapon of choice. I feel guilty for leaving the Canon at home so often, but if I'm not planning on taking pictures, it's just not something I want to carry around.  
Blocked Door
So I hope you like Hipstamatic as much as I do, because I have a feeling there are going to be lot of them during this project.
Sneaky Sneaky!!
Not to mention, it's way easier to be stealthy when doing street photography, unfortunately, the quality isn't as good. Happy shooting and enjoy my 365 Project!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day quickly approaches (tomorrow) some of us can't help but to feel utterly lonely.  However, I am lucky enough to have someone for this holiday for lovers.  For those of you that are alone on this holiday, spend it with your camera!
Camera Love
What better way to show your love for your camera and photography than to take it on a nice date?  Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to take pictures of couples being cute and lovey with each other (don't be creepy tho!).  If you haven't tried street photography or not sure how to not look like a creep, then check out Eric Kim's 3 Tips How NOT to Look Like a “Creep” when Shooting in the Streets.  If you follow these tips you can get some greats shots
like this...
and this...
You may not feel better about your relationship situation after taking these photos, but your camera skills will thank you for the wonderful date.
Thanks for the great time!
But for those of us lucky enough to have a significant other, I don't recommend bringing your camera on your date.  Spend it with her/him and take pictures another day (or while their gone).  

Some may say that Valentine's Day is overrated, but when you find the one that is worth the time and effort, you'll enjoy this holiday for love.  Enjoy your Valentine's Day and spread the love!!
Don't forget the flowers

All images are taken from Flickr

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Attack Dog

Today is day one of my challenge/project that I have assigned myself for the year.  I walked around my neighborhood in Chicago, and I practiced shooting from the hip and my street photography skills.  This is the photo I have chosen for my first picture out of 175 that I shot on the day.  Hope you enjoy it, and this photo along with the future photos will be in my Flickr Photostream.
"Attack Dog"

New Project

It seems that everyone and their dog is doing a photography project or another type of project for a year, a month, or 90 days.  I've been cruising other blogs and websites, and I have decided to do my own little project, something simple.  For a year (Feb 9, 2011 - Feb 9, 2012) I am going to take at least one photo everyday.  It could be something on my phone
The Christmas tree in Daley Plaza in Chicago
on hipstamatic
Seats at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts)
or my Canon Rebel T1i
One of the first pictures I took with my Canon Rebel T1i
This not only will give me something to occupy my time, but I will get to do something I love every day!

I don't have a theme for my project yet, but in my mind, I think I will do different themes each month.  Perhaps for the rest of February, I might have the theme of snow (because Chicago is buried in it right now).  
Hard work
I've also been really inspired by Eric Kim and his street photography.  I think this theme will be present in my year long project too. He shoots with digital and film and his candids of strangers on the street are absolutely terrific.  I also came across a 365 day project on Flickr where they shoot an object everyday.  I hope you enjoy my 365 photos that are to come, and I will post them on my Flickr page.  I'll continue regular posts as well as updates on my project.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

ANOTHER iPhone app must have

Sorry for two iPhone app posts in a row, but I recently came across this one and had to share it. It's called Old Photo Pro, and it does just what the name suggests, makes your photos appear old and aged.
A clock in downtown Chicago
I found it just yesterday, and I really like it.  You have the option to even rough up the edges on the photo and different choices of "paper" for your photo.  I have tried to get a similar look on my photos using sepia tone and editing on my computer.  This app does all the work for me!
The El tracks
Along with being able to edit the photo in contrast, tone, and color, there is an option for cyanotype.
Like this
Personally, I'm partial to the sepia tone; overly blue pictures aren't really my thing.  And the best part about this app's FREE!!  If you want you can pay $1.99 to remove the itty bitty ads at the bottom and for "HD".  Personally, I think the app works just find in regular definition and with ads.  These photos look good; however, after being on the iPhone, the images are reduced in size.  Too bad, because I would really like to print some of these.  The photos taken on my Canon Rebel T1i are able to be posters, but these might be able to be 5x7, and that's a pretty big MIGHT.
Lake Springfield back at home
Nevertheless, I like the app and the pictures still look good on Facebook, this blog, and as backgrounds on my iPhone!  If you have an iPhone or would just like more information on this awesome app, check out this website.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Have you ever heard of lomography?
Lomography is popular with the "hipsters" right now.  Lomography takes a different approach to photography in that its not about getting the "perfect" shot.  Every shot taken is art and has potential to be great.  Be a sharp shooter and take a shot from the hip; lomography is about having fun and making some cool pictures in the process!  It is usually shot using a plastic camera that sells for around $60 and uses 35mm film (dead technology).  There are various cameras available with different lens, flashes, film, etc.

Tools of the trade
However, you don't have to carry around these bulky cameras to achieve these effects!  For the lucky ones that have an iPhone, there is an app for that, and it's called hipstamatic!  Through hipstamatic you can switch out lenses, flashes, and even pick a film.

My first hipstamatic shot
The only thing I don't like about the app is having to purchase the bundles for the extra lenses, etc.  But it sure beats spending $60 every time I want to try out something different!  My very first day and week with this app, I couldn't put it down. I was taking pictures of the most random things, that I normally wouldn't.

While I was a work!
I had lomography fever!  I even took pictures of rubber bands!

My proof - "The Rubber Bands"
Nothing was safe from my hipstamatic app and my love for photography.  I purchased almost all of the lenses and add-ons the app had to offer.  Even though I have just about everything, I still use hipstamatic all the time.  I used it today when we went to the Art Institute, and tested my skills on

a knight and horse in armor

"The Bean" in Millennium Park.
The pictures are never the same and the various combinations of lenses and flashes ensures that.  I am just beginning to get into lomography and would like to be one of the guys carrying around that bulky plastic camera some time.  I hope I have piqued your interest in lomography and have inspired you to try something new today. 

It's a beautiful thing
Check out the rest of my hispstamatic shots on my Picasa Photostream on the right side of the page and feel free to send me some of your shots here! And for more information on this awesome app CLICK HERE!!