>> Sunday, May 31, 2009

Australian Hobby, also known as Little Falcon.

Nankeen Kestrel, also known as Australian Hawk and Sparrowhawk.

Osprey, also known as Fish Hawk.

Black Kite, also known as Kite-Hawk.




Queen Jacqueline Last Saturday night I was SO EXCITED because it was going to be my favourite Brother's Birthday in the morning! After my free time when I play with the AnonyFamily for as long as possible in the freedom of the house, *bobbing up and down* I just couldn't hide my Brother's SURPRISE Birthday Present any longer!!!!

Here it is.

You think YOU'RE surprised!?!

Unfortunately, four nights later the second tiny bundle of joy landed and cracked inside a juice lid. It was an ACCIDENT!

There's an egg in there!





It's time to leave the Pool Party. We've been enjoying the party since January!



On Edge - Karin Apollonia Müller

Well, the short wait was definitely worth it. I got back after the weekend and Karin Apollonia Müller's new book On Edge was waiting for me in the mailbox.

First of all it's a lovely production by Nazraeli Press - large, but not too large (12"x15") and at 48 pages very easy to hold, which for me is important in a book of photographs. A classically simple cover in the Nazraeli style (the translucent wrapper is a nice touch), and the reproduction and colour is very very good. In fact the colour is gorgeous - in a very understated way (more on that shortly).

And no words - apart from the usual title and isbn stuff. Which is surprisingly refreshing, although me being me, I always want to know more about the work. Though as I think on it now, while I have some photo books with fantastic or important introductions and essays, often returned to, I probably have far more where the writing is somewhat helpful, but just not in the same class as the photographs.

But back to the content. In these photographs it feels like Müller has become less the visitor and more the settler or immigrant. Still not at home, but more at ease. In the course of this her pictures have become in some ways more effectively veiled while her colour has become more full (which could also be partly a function of the printing?) but still retaining the translucency that characterized her earlier book. And her eye has become both more subtle and more penetrating - even more aware of the incongruous, (though not without the odd touch of humour).

I like the way that the view M
üller presents is more often than not from above ground level, sometimes far above ground level. As well, the incongruity in so much of what she sees, woven carefully into the tapestry of the overall image. Is that house on the hillside twisted and uneven because the ground has been swept away from beneath it? Or is it the result of a local architects attempt at a postmodern Gehry like design? Is that really a very large cabbage painted on the side of that building? Why does the tattered cocoon on a building under construction appear to have been put on upside down. Her photographs aren't purely - or even - didactic.

She shows us a place where people really shouldn't really be living - at least with the current constraints of our unimaginative, budget level building and construction methods, poor planning and our insatiable desire for space.

The work shows many places - in one of the worlds most well know cities - that seem entirely provisional - on edge. Dwellings that are considered permanent, yet which are anything but, and which nature (often with our unthoughtful help) quickly make transient and temporary.

Müller also shows us so many of the in between spaces, the terrain vague, of the city where nature wages a constant campaign to retake this place in whatever way it can - gradually by vegetation or rapidly by fire or erosion.

I think of some of the villages and towns in Italy and Greece which, for a few hundred years or so, seem to have managed to find ways to co-exist with such landscapes and wonder why this isn't so here.

The book presents us with a very contemporary sublime - not Turner's or Cozens' sublime of the awe-full, unknown Alps - but a sublime constructed of our own dreamlike fantasies of "civilization" projected onto a landscape which constantly resists our imposition.

On Edge is certainly one of my favourite photo books of the year so far.




(William Eggleston 4.7)

I came across a flurry of posts recently about the AQUINE system - a not terribly good acronym for Aesthetic Quality Inference Engine - which is supposed to give "intelligent, unbiased and instant assessment of photos".

It is described as a machine-learning based online system for computer-based prediction of aesthetic quality for colour natural(??) photographs and is also supposed to shows that computers can learn about and exhibit "emotional responses" to visual stimuli like humans do.

Unfortunately, however, it seems right now that the folks at Penn State seem to have based it on the " algorithm". If you compare its top rated photographs with the top rated on, it's pretty hard to tell them apart. Among other things, lots of overdone HDR will get your picture a good rating...

(Atget 5.0)

Bearing in mind that Ctein found at least one pretty substantial flaw in it - that if his linked photos had a frame they scored dramatically higher than if they didn't - I decided to through it few spin balls to see how it rated some of my favourite photographers. Which means for one thing I was throwing it a good few B&W images rather than colour.

(Walker Evans 42.7)

As I had guessed, most didn't do too well - poor old Atget on got about a 5 for one 12 for another, and Egglston's tricycle got about the lowest at 4.7 (that should please a good few of the folks on APUG). Most were somewhere in the 30's or 40's - Walker Evans, Struth, Friedlander, Sugimoto. After that (yes, I know they aren't photographs exactly - well, photographs of paintings), I tried Picasso, Van Gogh - again, the poor things only scored around 20 or 30. Although Turner's 'The Fighting Temeraire' - voted the most popular painting in Britain got a 70.0.

(Van Gogh 22.7)

The only three I did get with high scores were Sudek at 91.8 (not surprising when at his most romantic, plus it has a nice black frame) and, a little more unexpected, Andreas Gursky who got 85.8. Lynne Cohen also got 87.0 - but that one also had "nice" colours in it.

(Andreas Gursky 85.8)

Now I wonder, as it is supposed to learn (and I have almost no understand of the computing aspects of this kind of artificial intelligence), that if a concerted effort was made to flood it with Eggleston, Struth, Parr, Graham etc etc photos, would it start to learn and become biased towards a sort of late 20th century New Color aesthetic instead?

But for now, if you want to work out where your work stands on a sort of 1980's Photo Club aesthetic scale, I think this is the place to go.

(Sudek 91.9)



Birdsfoot Trefoil

Bladder Campion

Blue Flower

Crown Vetch


Pink Flower

True Forget Me Not


Amazing And Unbelievable Photos

Unbelievable Pictures 01

Beautiful set of unique photos that you have probably never seen before in unique settings such as the migration of sting rays to the thousand hand buddha performance. Lovely photos that would intrigue anyone if they would take a more detailed look.

Check out more of amazing and unbelievable photos with 24 more pics after the jump.

Source: News World

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