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Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Dreamscapes

In Art, Photography, Surreal on June 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris: Landscape and Nature photographer extraordinaire. The first photograph I saw of his portfolio would be above and it just drew me in with it’s effortless beauty. Winning a slew of photography awards ( including National Geographic’s photographer of the Year 2011) for his jaw-dropping views of the earth’s surface, he’s easily one of my favourite photographers. There is not a single photograph that I dislike, which was what made it difficult for me to choose which pictures to post here. What’s amazing is that he captures such a rare side of nature that we never see- it comes off rather abstract and other-worldly. And the best part of it all is that it’s all real, and all around us.

Just some of my favourites that I found on his website:

Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye, Scotland photo

Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland photoBow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie, Moray, Scotland photo

Burr Trail, Utah, U.S.A. photo

Capitol Reef, Utah, U.S.A. photo

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A. photo

Bow lake, Icefields Parkway, Alberta photo

Emerald lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada photo

Diavolleza, Engadin, Switzerland photo

Oneonta Gorge, Oregon, U.S.A. photo

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA photo

There’s just too many beautiful landscapes! Take a look at his website at http://www.emmanuelcoupe.com/ you could spend hours just staring at everything.

Mont Saint Michel

In Architecture, Surreal on June 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I paid a visit to a mystical place recently- Mont Saint Michel. It is rocky tidal island which is part of Normandy, France and is located approximately 1 km from the country’s north-western coast. I just loved the idea of an island (with a medieval castle no less) that is only accessible on a single path at certain times of the day. It is cut off from the rest of the world once the tide rises and it is surrounded by the sea.

When I arrived, it was breathtaking. It is everything you want a ancient castle on a lone island surrounded by water, to be. A little haunting, but yet idyllic and calm, the entire place is small and quaint. It used to be a monastery and once you get to the top of the tower, you can see why it is a place of meditation- boundless views of the sea and mist is the view from the top and it is so peaceful up there. Its location is so special, almost utopian in its manner of wanting to be away from everything else.

Fun facts that I’ve siphoned from wikipedia:

1. The 1985 IMAX film Chronos has several scenes of Mont-Saint-Michel and the surrounding tides advancing and retreating around it.

2. French composer Claude Debussy frequented the island and possibly drew inspiration from not only the legend of the mythical city of Ys, but also Mont-Saint-Michel’s cathedral for his piano prelude La Cathedrale Engloutie.

3. In 2001, Cornish electronic musician Aphex Twin included a track entitled “Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount” on his double-album drukQs.

4. One of the Multiplayer Maps in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a replica of Mont Saint-Michel. (Exactly what I thought it seemed like when I arrived! Uncanny resemblance…) It also appears in the game as an encore.

5. In a 2004 Disney direct to DVD film called Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Mickey is locked away in Mont Saint-Michel and left to drown when the tide rises.

Here are some more beautiful pictures I found on the net:

I took some pictures of my own. Here it is from the mainland:

Here it is on the long walk up to the gate.

I noticed a small house at the edge of the island and thought it was the most charming thing.

Inside the monastery, there is a beautiful square garden which you can pace around.

Take a trip down there- it is definitely worth the visit: http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/accueil.htm

Relics of a Different World

In Architecture, Art, Photography, Post-Apocalyptic, Surreal on June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

Just came back from a short trip to Amsterdam and was really taken in by this one bookshop called Joot (stands for ‘Just Out Of Time’). I really liked this bookshop for its strange and varied collection. Somewhat small in size, but very cosy and selling primarily art books and small selection of old vintage pieces, what I found refreshing about this store was that it was very well curated- every single book in that store was considered and the collection became very unique.  They also have an online store at http://joot.nl/ and ships internationally (hooray!).

I was so lucky to get two amazing finds! Both of which are photography books of JAN KEMPENAERS, an Antwerp-based photographer who hits exactly the sweet spot of the style and content of photograph that I obsess with. He takes extremely picturesque shots with a strange dream-like quality.

Above is the cover of his book ‘Spomenik’ which instantly caught my eye as I walked into Joot. What are these? Alien structures? I couldn’t believe that they actually exist on this planet but they do. These ‘Spomeniks’ are monuments in former Yugoslavia, surviving and weathered by the elements. So beautiful and mystical as these sculptures that they could belong to a whole different universe altogether. Kempenaers also did an excellent job on capturing these in such a romantic dreamy way. Unbelievable. Here are some of his photographs which I love:

I could not resist getting his other book ‘Picturesque’ either. A compilation of architecture and landscape work, they reflect Kempenaer’s research into the theme of ‘Contemporary Picturesque’ where land alterations by man has forestalled nostalgia and forces the viewer to take in the beauty of the present as it is while pondering the implications of the future on the environment. I especially love the colouring of his work.

Definitely worth a look through and if you would like to order his books, they are available on his site at http://www.jankempenaers.info/

 

Best Tailor in the Sea

In Art, Design, Fashion, Surreal on June 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Now this is what I call craftsmanship. On the first look, I assumed that the mermaid tail was photoshopped into the photograph. I mean, what isn’t nowadays? You would think that, yes that’s the most effective way to go about it. The Mertailor thinks otherwise.

Eric Ducharme, the original Mertailor (he probably has a team to help him with the workload now) decided to make the tails himself. These are mermaid tails, handmade from quality Latex, Spandex and Silicone materials and are available to buy from the Mertailor’s online shop: www.themertailor.com. So impressive are these tails, that they have been requested countless times to make these specially for movie productions and sets. These tails are also available to rent should you wish to transform yourself into a fantastical underwater creature. They come in beautiful colours and sizes (including kid-sized versions), along with various mermaid accessories like shell bra-tops.

I think what fascinates me besides the astounding detail in the workmanship, is how this rather niche product has become a huge business. Who would have thought there would be a market for mermaid tails?

They have even branched out into making their first MerQueen special- the first ever Drag Queen mermaid calendar!

I have complete admiration for the craft and the talent that goes into making these tails. They are absolutely beautiful. If we don’t solve this looming global-warming situation and the world sinks, I hope at least we would evolve to have tails as pretty as these ones.

Here’s some more pictures that I found on the net for you to gawk over:

The Mertailor himself!

Time stopped

In Photography, Surreal on June 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Found this photograph the other day and really felt the need to share it. I’m not too sure who took this or what the photograph was for but it sure looks stunning. Time waited for no wave.