Object No. 14 v1

Object No. 14

After a brief hiatus for the Object series I am happy to start things off again with a new object. Well, in this case it’s a pair. Apparently it’s common for casinos in Vegas to sell off used cards and dice after using them and regularly rotate their stock to avoid cheaters scamming the place. While I personally have never placed a single dollar on a Casino floor table I did find these minimal red dice unmistakably lovely and seeing as they were the single cheapest thing available for sale in the gift shop I figured why not pick up a pair? Who knows, someone may have won big of these.

I have a couple different versions this time around, both were shot at a high ISO, something I have been experimenting more with to see how usable or aesthetically pleasing the digital noise is from the Fuji X-Pro1. I’m still on the fence about it and plan on continuing to mess around with higher than I am used to ISO settings to see what I can get away with before things start to fall apart. Links to wallpaper versions below.

Object No. 14 v2

Kerouac

Kerouac

The image above was taken at a studio we were borrowing for an afternoon to experiment with flash and portraits, something I want to have a better understanding of. This ladder being used as a casual bookshelf of sorts was begging to be photographed and as I approached it I noticed there must be a fan of Kerouac that works in the space.

I’ve always wanted to dive into the books of Kerouac, at least his classics, but the few times I have tried I could never find myself pulled into the story or the characters enough to want to finish them. The two I have cracked open were Dharma Bums and On The Road, both well acclaimed works of fiction that I feel as though, based on my personal taste, I should really enjoy but neither have been able to grab hold of my imagination. I’m sure I will pick them up again eventually but for now they can simply sit among my collection.

When it comes to books and reading I more or less only read fiction. The only non-fiction books I read are typically product manuals (which I always read or at least glance through), and occasionally a book on photography or a good indie book such as the few offerings from Patrick Rhone.

Fiction inspires me in a way non-fiction can not. My creative thinking is very much emotionally driven and novels provide an emotive backdrop that makes me want to create. Non-fiction provides lessons worth learning but history only supplies a guideline for what has worked or not for others, valuable information but rarely gives me the raw energy that it takes to make me want to create and explore the world. So I often gravitate to fiction when I want to create, and non-fiction when I need to learn. Huh, comme ci comme ça, I’m sure there are plenty of opinions on the matter, either way, enjoy the new desktop!

Black Tap Coffee

Black Tap Coffee

While in Charleston a few weeks back we visited this amazing little coffee shop tucked away in a nondescript building called Black Tap Coffee and could not help but go back at least three times while in town for a couple of days for more. The inside of the space has a beautifully light tone to it causing you to feel right at home and the coffee is, not surprisingly, fantastic. The shop features a namesake black tap that dispenses iced coffee which is honestly one of the best cups of iced coffee I have ever had and is well worth the trip so if you ever find yourself in or around Charleston by all means, stop by and see for yourself.

Processed with VSCOcam with e2 preset

Neon Graveyard

Some of you may remember that I spent some time in Vegas recently for a big industry trade show and while I did not have a lot of free time to explore the city we did make time early one morning to see something I have long wanted to check out, The Neon Museum. A humble but fun corner of Vegas where many of the old signage from casinos have gone to spend the rest of their existence as a homage to the rapidly evolving face of the city.

The signs here are from an era that has all but vanished from Vegas which has turned to giant LED displays instead of classic neon and bulbs for obvious reasons. Evolve or be left behind. It’s great knowing there are people committed to preserving these signs in a way we can all enjoy. The thought of them sitting in a dump somewhere is just depressing.

The only way to visit the museum is by guided tour, mostly due to liability I’m sure. It’s a playground full of broken glass and old rusty metal, not exactly a place you want to allow people to run loose in. Especially considering how eager photographers are to crawl around for JUST the right shot. A couple in my group were so over eager and snap happy I swear they must have taken a few thousand photos on the short tour. On that note, the museum is surprisingly stern on photographers and only allow a minimal amount of camera gear on the general tours yet offer photography specific sessions and the ability to rent the space for photo shoots at a higher rate.

I took my usual minimal approach and brought along my X-Pro1 and iPhone though I sure wish I had a wider lens for the Fuji! I managed well enough considering and captured a few detail shots that I thought you guys could enjoy as desktops. The sunlight was unbearably bright (and hot) as we took the tour, a scenario where the iPhone excels by the way. The top two photos on this post were shot and edited with VSCO Cam on my 5s and for anyone interested, here are the full resolution output of those shots (first / second) if you would like to use them as a wallpaper, they are too small to crop for regular use but why not share.

The museum is well worth seeking out if you are in Vegas at any point, the history lesson alone is worth the price of admission and there is a lot more to see than this modest little collection. In the mean time, enjoy the colorful decay of these classic Vegas signs and I will see you guys here again soon! As usual, the images are available through download links at the bottom of the post, in order that they appear below as well as in a big zip file with desktop, iPad, and iPhone versions all in one place.

Blue

Green

H

Of

Ote

Yellow

Zen

Elephant

Elephant

At home we have a new miniature garden and I found a great moment to capture it late one afternoon just as dusk was settling in. It was taken on one of those days where my desire to shoot weighed on my mind yet my ability to get out somewhere fresh to capture was limited so I turned to the corners of our apartment and searched for light. The plant photographed here is called an elephant plant. I have had a few desktop requests for this one after posting it to YWO so I thought I would take this slow afternoon and toss this up for everyone, enjoy!

Captiva

Captiva

Finding good ambient music seems to be getting harder. Not because there is any shortage of it, but because it’s hard to find interesting new takes on the genera. While I don’t need music to constantly break new ground I do like it when I come across something refreshing  enough to go beyond my expectations going in. That said, this new release by Stephen Vitello and Taylor Deupree is really hitting the spot.

I have always had a soft spot for field recordings and Captiva is full of them. Recorded while in residence at a beautiful looking guesthouse/studio in Florida you will hear sounds of birds, water, shells and other samples from the ocean fall intimately together with guitar, piano and synthesizers. The music found here is not something that will grab ahold of your attention and stick in your head. It’s more suggestive and leads your mind through various moods and landscapes as it evolves.

I find it perfect for stolen moments of meditative time at home or while at work during a stressful day. While this release is available digitally they only pressed 300 copies of the double 10” vinyl so if your interested don’t wait to pick up a copy of your own. A great addition to any collection and one I am sure to be putting on for a long time to come.

Release page on 12k with more information.

Warning

Warning

A couple years ago I was traveling to San Francisco and took a photograph of a bridge platform control board and always enjoyed the photo, it was candid and from the hip quickly. On a recent trip to Las Vegas I discovered another control panel of a similar make and jumped at the opportunity to get another photo so I dug down into my bag for my camera and snapped this shot just as I was stepping onto the plane. Maybe it’s the warm colors and nice window light that makes it for me but I enjoyed this shot and figured I would share it with everyone as a desktop. Hope to get more new ones up this week so check back soon.

Dust

Dust

For years now one of my biggest inspirations to start working on more print projects has been the enduring and creative output of Phil Elverum through his P.W. Elverum & Sun record label/shop. Most know him through his work as either Mount Eerie or The Microphones as he creates music that straddles calm frozen landscapes and roaring oceans. I saw him perform years ago at a free show in the lawn of a university and after casually picking up a cd that night I was hooked. His music and philosophy sunk into the emotional mess that I was at that time in my life and pushed me along in surprising ways.

I followed along as he broke away from K Records to pursue his own independent label through which he has released a number of albums of his own music and others. They are often paired with photography and art inside books, on oversized prints, or through other creative printing techniques. I have often looked on with a fond admiration that has left me with a number of ideas for projects that I am still patiently waiting to have time and resources to get off the ground.

Dust Inside

His most recent release is a book of photographs called Dust. Inside you will find a loose yet cohesive collection of images taken all over the world, no doubt during his travels as a musician. In the rear of the book you will find a list of the locations for each photograph as well as an addendum in the form of a smaller softcover book also full of photographs.

To describe his photographic work I feel the best place to start would be by examining his music and the emotions he explores therein. He has long examined loneliness and the joy of being found by getting lost and coming to terms with the ghosts that surround us from day to day. The beauty of his vision of the world is not always seen through rays of sunlight but through foggy landscapes where nature and man collide.

The photos in this collection are dark and seem to stray away from current trends in photography and processing offering a viewpoint all their own in a delicate way thats hard to put into words. Both candid yet well considered he explores dusk and the fine line between light and darkness. The places he explores seem nearly forgotten and un-noticed by most that pass them by with exception of a handful of beautiful landscape photos of mountains lost among the clouds and moments stolen with friends.

It’s a wonderful book that I’m excited to have in my collection. The cover is bound in a semi-course linen on which the cover and spine graphic were pressed with a somewhat rubberized texture using a process I have not come across yet as far as I can remember. The printing is gorgeous considering the challenges involved in printing these photographs, many of which are dark and low in contrast, a tricky combination to get right.

I can easily recommend that any fans of Phil’s other work not even think twice about picking up a copy and anyone who loves independently printed and distributed work as much as I do have a closer look. It’s a beautiful collection well worth your support. For more information and to order this book (and a few records while you’re at it)  visit his online shop here.

Dust Inside Dust Inside Dust Inside Dust Addendum

Glass Lake

Glass Lake

Last friday I unexpectedly found myself with a free afternoon and being met with beautiful weather I decided it would be a perfect chance to get out to the lake. YoungDoo, my brother, and I rented a few kayaks and set out for somewhere around five hours on the lake, a much needed respite  after a string of busy weeks. This is the same lake I have been revisiting for years and years and I always manage to find new ways to photograph it. Ive seen it in the snow, the pouring rain and completely empty during a drought yet it never fails to entertain my need for calm.

This shot has an odd focus to it, the camera was touching the water as I held it over the edge of the kayak and focused somewhere just shy of infinity. The water was nearly dead still as we paddled back to the dock giving it a beautiful glass like appearance I won’t soon forget. After a couple of requests to post this as a desktop I found some time today to get this up for you guys, enjoy!

(On a somewhat related note, I took a bunch of iPhone 5s video clips that afternoon and in a moment of downtime yesterday I used iMovie on the phone to make a “trailer” for the desktop, you can see that here if your interested)

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