Posts in the General category
Excuse the lack of posting, but as you can see above, I have a good reason.
In other news, Skip Town is getting a make-over which may take a few weeks to complete. For notification, please sign up to our much neglected mailing list, which will be springing to life before too long (fingers crossed!)
Happy New Year!
The psychedelic hues of the Winkworth Arboretum* in Surrey, UK, definitely call for some extended picnic time, preferably spent reclining on a Pratesi wool blanket** with a Son Valise portable speaker on hand. Plus, this must be the only place in the world where a dip-dyed denim shirt (from Minimal) could feasibly serve as camouflage!
*Image by Geoffrey Swain via The Telegraph.
**The blanket is apparently called “Bruce” – fantastic!
*Images courtesy National Library of New Zealand
Hello! I’m in Queenstown at the moment visiting a friend. Yesterday’s weather was pretty dire, so I spent some time digging up these old ski-field images – I want to BE that girl in the gingham shirt! But obviously it’s Spring right now, so rather than skiing I’ve been “tramping” about the hillsides, eating nice food at Vudu and trying (unsuccessfully) to identity various Lord of the Rings locations! Oh yeah, and I bungy-jumped off a bridge this morning! Initially I was all “adventure sports – NO WAY!” but somehow it happened and well, I’m still here.
It’s only now, after several twenty-plus degree days in a row that I’m ready to declare summer on it’s way! I may not be heading to Capri, but these Madewell Crisscross Boardwalk Sandals, Benah Beach Bag and copy of the New York Times’ 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe will do just as well for a trip down the Great Ocean Road.
On a recent, too-short visit to Hobart, the city I called home for 8 years, the thing I was most looking forward to, apart from seeing friends and breathing in the fresh, icy air, was to finally visit the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). Along with the rest of the community, for several years I had watched the museum construction from afar, looking on as the small peninsular jutting into the Derwent River was exposed, tunnelled and sculpted, before being closed up once more behind thick, concrete walls. I thought the Fender Katsalidis structure looked like a bank vault, and wondered what treasures were being installed as I went about my daily life. At the time it just seemed like such a fantastical thing to happen to little Hobart, but now it’s clear that Australia’s southern-most city is the perfect location; reminiscent in its remoteness of the excellent Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan.
The story of the man behind the museum is equally intriguing, so if you haven’t already heard it, enjoy.
The current exhibition, Theatre of the World, is a collaboration between Mona and the more traditional Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Together they present a seemingly random collision of ancient artefacts, colonial paintings and fiercely modern art that, in its highly curated eclecticism, allows you to see everything in a new light. But that’s true of Mona’s entire concept – take, for example, Egyptian mummies displayed alongside ‘Fat Car’, the morbidly obese sports car sculpture by Erwin Wurm, or the positioning of the beetle-covered ‘Skull’ by Jane Fabre beneath a colonial-era painting of a jaguar. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a collection of tribal bommy-knockers look so sophisticated – the lighting is superb!
Of course, there’s a lot more to Mona, both in content and theory. So much that I’m not even going to attempt to delve into it here – let’s just say Mona is just a big ol’ weird, wonderful, morbid, entertaining and above all, rich, experience.
Rather than printed artist information within the museum, admission includes catalogue-loaded iPod.
The enormous ‘Snake’ by Sidney Nolan.
‘Cloaca’ by Wim Delvoye
All photography by Sean Fennessy
I’ve been gabbing on about the search for the perfect camera bag for some time now – lamenting how difficult it is to find the perfect combination of style, functionality and discretion. But I have to say, that gap is slowing but surely being filled by start-ups like Langly. Although still in development, I like this bag, I really do. I like how it just looks like a regular back-pack, and how it unzips in the centre for easy access to equipment while leaving room for personal stuff on top. Plus neatly fitting a laptop! With all this, I think it must be a lot heavier than the waifish models in the demo video are letting on, but still, Evan Lane has done well with this design. The crowd-sourcing community evidently thought so too, judging by how significantly he overshot his thirty-thousand dollar Kickstarter goal. I’m looking forward to seeing this fledgling business succeed!
1. Wellington has quietly but firmly established itself on my travel wish-list, and should I someday make it across the Tasman Sea I’ll definitely be consulting Broadsheet’s guide to a weekend in “Wellywood”.
2. The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn got my attention with that fantastic red neon sign, but typography aside, this restored factory on the Williamsburg waterfront looks pretty special.
3. If my neighbourhood, Brunswick, had a logo it would probably be a wheeled shopping cart (lots of Nonnas around here) but these Japanese town logos, via Pink Tentacle, are ever so much more refined!
4. Theron Humphrey has This Wild Idea. He wants to tell the stories of everyday Americans, so he’s travelling around the United States photographing and profiling a different person every day for a 365 days. So far he’s driven 60785 miles and taken 88450 photographs – epic! There are only 8 days to go, so visit now.
5. Travelteq have created, as far as I can tell, the ideal travel towel. Super high-quality linen (meaning quick-dry and sand repellent) with a pocket for your effects and, most unusual for a travel towel, it’s really, really big.
6. The team at Aether Apparel are city-based outdoor enthusiasts who create functional yet stylish clothing options. Finally!
7. No guessing how I came across this recent Sun Valley tourism campaign, ‘Skip Town’ by Eleven Inc. Designed to give urbanites a taste of what they’re missing, they (get this) built a ROBOT who, at the click of a mouse, skips stones on a pristine, mountain-fringed lake!
8. Anyone off to Japan in the near future? If so you might like to download this free Japanese language wallet reference from Fodor’s.
A lot of travel photography focuses on the big picture, ambitiously attempting to capture an entire destination. Other travel photography, like today’s series by Brooklyn-based Brian Ferry, is much more personal. This series was shot in (and around) L.A, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. It’s a side of the city that most outsiders would not be familiar with, a side that only really shows itself through the help of local guides, which Brian was lucky enough to have. The result is a quiet series that communicates not only the essence of the destination, but also the personal experience of the traveller.
Scroll down for interview.
California: In April, I visited southern California for the first time. My first solo exhibition was opening at a shop in L.A. called Standard Goods, and so I decided to make a trip out of it, visiting friends near Encinitas and then poking around L.A. for just over a week – I did a few shoots while I was there for personal projects, which allowed me to visit the homes of some really interesting and creative people living in and around L.A. I also had some really great tour guides, so I think I saw only the best side of L.A! I was really surprised to discover how much I enjoyed L.A. in particular. Photographically, the light in southern CA was amazing and I was really inspired by the architecture and the city itself.
What was your last travel destination?
I visited Encinitas and then L.A. for about 10 days, and then I flew to Vancouver to shoot client work there.
Name a place or experience that you really loved.
In 2011, I spent part of my holiday in Camogli, Italy – a small fishing village in Liguria. It was the most beautiful place – wonderful little spots for eating & drinking, cliffs that rose out of the sea, friendly people, nice places to stay – I haven’t been that relaxed or inspired by a vacation in a long time. I was able to hike in the hills and swim in the ocean, eat Foccaccia di Recco and lots of pesto, nap by a pool, explore the harbor of Portofino in a boat, drink good wine, nap in the sun. And I shot some of my best work there, I think. I really want to go back soon.
How do you decide what gear to bring (bodies, lenses, flash, tripod, bags)? Do you try to pack light? What’s your minimum must-have gear?
I am a minimalist when I shoot photos most of the time (i.e. I never use flash, rarely use a tripod, etc.). But I do shoot with some heavy analog equipment. I usually bring a medium-format camera with me (a Hasselblad 500c/m or a Pentax 6×7, which I’ve been borrowing from a friend). I also bring a 35mm camera – most often, my Nikon F100. Each of these cameras has a small bag that I pack it in, to protect them while in transit. I bring one lens per camera if I’m bringing multiple cameras. I always bring a point-and-shoot film camera with me (usually my Contax T2: this is perfect for traveling because it takes great photos and fits in my back pocket if necessary). I bring a handheld light meter, and I also bring film with me, of course — but if I’m sure I can buy my preferred film at my destination, I will usually pack less and buy more once I arrive (to reduce the number of times the film goes through an x-ray machine…I don’t have much luck with hand-inspection or lead bags, for some reason. I guess I look sketchy to airport personnel?).
Have you ever planned a series before you left, or do you just wait and see what happens?
Yes, I have planned a series (quite roughly) before I left – but I only do that if I’m traveling somewhere with a project or a shoot on my agenda while I’m there. For example, I traveled back to the UK in March and shot all of the photos for my L.A. exhibition while I was there. I had a general idea about what I wanted to shoot in terms of the concept and the vibe/aesthetic – but no specific subjects or locations in mind, really. That’s pretty rare though. Most of the photos I shoot while I am traveling are simply a reflection of what I see once I’m there – I try to distill my experience and the vibe of a place through my photographs. Beforehand, I might try to identify people or neighborhoods to visit for good photographs. But I try to avoid having preconceived ideas about a place and what I will shoot there before arriving, I think it hurts the photographs I can take in a new place.
What do you do with your photos when you get home? Would you ever use them in your portfolio? Have you ever landed any commercial work because of your travel shots?
That depends largely on what I shoot while I’m there. I don’t look at my work as personal vs. commercial – I treat it the same – so while I am traveling, I’m trying to take interesting photos that mean something to me — and if they are strong, then I will use them in my portfolio. Normally, people approach me to shoot photos that are similar to my “personal” work – and they want me to create a similar look for them. Traveling is very important to my work, because new places and new experiences really feed my creativity. So I guess I travel to be inspired, I shoot lots of photos, and then I figure out what to do with them all. I don’t always categorize my photos as “travel” and “non-travel” photos. But to the extent that my “travel” photos make up a large part of my current portfolio, then yes – they certainly do help me to get more work and more commissions.
What would be your ultimate travel photography destination?
Tough question! I don’t have 1 single destination in mind. But two places where I’d love to spend some time taking photographs are Japan and Scandinavia. I’ve been to Japan previously (but very briefly) and I’m itching to go back for a longer trip to see much more of the country. I’d love to visit Scandinavia because I have this idea that the light will be so different and will really inspire my work.
The search for the perfect suitcase began, strangely, with the discovery of the perfect suitcase. See the classy blue and beige numbers below? Globetrotter is the brand, and they make classic suitcases like no-one else in the industry. But unless you’ve got a spare $2000 to spend on luggage you’ll probably want to know what other options are out there. So, I warmed up my clicking finger and went on an internet search that, while not exhaustive, has hopefully unearthed a few gems (all under $600) that you can add to your luggage short-list.
The Classic Suitcase: Globetrotter 33″ Extra Deep Suitcase with Wheels.