Wednesday, November 26, 2008

cottage industry

Winter's early arrival in Lund, Sweden. (2008). Buy cards and wall art of this shot and many others at the dingobear photography online art store.

And now, a quick word from starfish and waffles corporate headquarters.

The revamped dingobear photography online art store is now open for business, just in time for the holiday season! Scientifically proven to be at least 33% better* than ever before, our popular e-store is your exclusive stop for archive-quality (we're actually serious about the quality) cards, posters, prints, and wall art of your favourite pictures seen here on starfish and waffles. To ensure shipping and delivery by Christmas, order now!

And, as usual, for those of you interested in stock photography, my work continues to be represented at Alamy Images and Corbis SnapVillage. All work listed there is available for licensing in a variety of commercial and editorial uses including books, billboards, newspapers, magazines, websites, and advertising.

If you have any questions or special requests, just drop us a line.

End communication.

* Real science may not have actually been used. Degrees of increased realized awesomeness may vary.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

six ways from sunday: fine lines

Lone pine on Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy. (2008).

In the faceless crush of the city, a man sits on a bench and stares into space while everything around him - sun, clouds, traffic, and crowds - speeds by in time-lapse fast forward. Is he the calm in the eye of an urban storm or an outcast outsider excluded from the hurry of the consensus normal? For all the artistic, split-toned cinematography, I don't know. But maybe any question which seeks to map the dominion of the normal is inherently unfair anyway. After all, these are things drawn and separated by fine lines.

So, about the man on the bench: sometimes, when life swirls at a clip unsynchronized with everything else, a tired and lonely mind results. But one has to figure, like the fleetingness of blue-sky rain, things look to get better from here.

This motion picture is in need of a soundtrack, which is why we're here. As is customary with our (now) regular Six Ways from Sunday music column, active links below lead to full-length, YouTube clips of a six-pack mix tape. Happy listening, wherever you are.

1. Let Go :: Frou Frou :: Details (2002). Imogen Heap's lush and expressive vocals layer Guy Sigsworth's ambient production values in Let Go, a track best known for its inclusion in the soundtrack of Garden State, a generation-defining independent film starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. (Rent it, if you haven't seen it yet). "So, let go ... so, let go / Jump in / Oh well, whatcha waiting for? / It's all right / 'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown."

2. Such Great Heights :: Iron & Wine :: Such Great Heights (2003). Samuel Beam's slowdown, heart-wrenching, acoustic cover of the Postal Service's very different electro-pop original (whose riffs scored several UPS TV commercials that aired in North America). "True, it may seem like a stretch / But it's thoughts like this / That catch my troubled head / When you're away, when I am missing you to death."

3. Breathe Me :: Sia :: Colour the Small One (2004). Once a backup singer for Jamiroquai, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Australian Sia Furler stuns centre stage with the piano-driven melody, Breathe Me. The track featured prominently in the finale of the cult-hit HBO series, Six Feet Under. "Help, I have done it again / I have been here many times before / Hurt myself again today / And, the worst part is there's no one else to blame."

4. In the Waiting Line :: Zero 7 :: Simple Things (2001). The soothing, soulful voice of Sophie Barker buttresses the jazzy, sophisticated, trip-hop of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. "Do you believe in what you see? / Motionless wheel, nothing is real / Wasting my time in the waiting line."

5. Pink Moon :: Nick Drake :: Pink Moon (1972). Nick Drake embodies the mood of this post more than any other on the list. Lonely, clinically depressed, and wildly talented, the English folk-rocker died from an overdose of anti-depressants in 1974. Like many an artist, posthumous success has found Drake. Volkswagen licensed Pink Moon for a well-received TV commercial around a decade ago, which added to Drake's growing legend. "I saw it written and I saw it say / Pink moon is on the way / And none of you stand so tall / Pink moon gonna get you all."

6. I Will Follow You Into the Dark :: Death Cab for Cutie :: Plans (2005). The Pacific Northwest, indie-rock stylings of Ben Gibbard and Company soundtrack an instant YouTube video classic. Everyone loves the rabbits. "If heaven and hell decide / That they both are satisfied / Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs / If there's no one beside you / When your soul embarks / Then I'll follow you into the dark."

Friday, November 14, 2008

tilt / shift

After the rain in Marsaxlokk, Malta. (2008).

Tilt your head around my way, we'll see this to the end;
Because I can no longer fight you where
Our thoughts and words leave little spared
But karmas bruised and hearts despaired
With nothing to defend.

So waste no time, let's float away
These high-wield hatchets, divisive ways;
To far-off places around the globe
Where tempests fade and harbours save
Our faint-lit hopes for better days.

Shift your green eyes onto mine, just think what we'll discover here;
Soul and silence, Swedish summer,
Sleepless dreams for one another
Resurrected without cover,
Soaring through our stratosphere.

We'll share broad vistas, perfect views
Of horizons lost in shades of blue,
Sunbeamed flowers after rain,
These cool-cleansed skies speak truth again,
Memories wax and moments wane, through all the years I'll still love you.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

compass notes

Big city, Legoland giraffe at Potsdamer Platz. Berlin, Germany. (2008). The giraffe was life-size, maybe about 15 feet (5 metres) tall. We didn't have time to actually go into Legoland, which is something I will deeply regret for years.

"That way," points Sarah, without even glancing once at the befuddling city map full of sidestreets, bus stops, and U-Bahn stations. See, the beautiful thing about traveling with a group of geographers is the uncanny sense of direction, the impossibility of getting lost. Now, this, is something I can get used to.

For a European city, Berlin sprawls like you wouldn't expect. In fact, the German capital covers nine(!) times more square mileage than Paris and, on this day, it feels like we've walked the surface nine times over. Not that I'm complaining though as, really, I wouldn't have it any other way. Transport on wheels is for losers.

We turn the corner at the British Embassy, and chase the setting sun through the Brandenburg Gate. Then it's up the elevator to the roof of the Bundestag, good for admiring night views and rubbing elbows with the moon. Nice.

"This way," motions Sarah. Double-decker bus to Alexanderplatz. U-bahn to Eberswalder Strauße. I shrug; the geographers, on the other hand, know the way. Let's run with it.

Classic gentrificaton? Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the inner city borough of Prenzlauer Berg has gone bohemian and upmarket. Pubs, cafés, restaurants, and boutique shops bracket the tree-lined streets. African is the choice for late-night dinner. Anna sticks to vegetarian. I opt for the ostrich. Joachim, who eats no red meat, does the same. I say nothing. Hehehe.

Last call is at a wine bar (still in Prenzlauer, I think?) where you buy the services of a glass for one euro and then help yourself to a wide selection white, red and rosé tipple until you're seeing double. The honour system applies: upon exit, you return your wine glass and make a "fair" donation. We're students, this seems like a good deal.


One row behind the freshly renovated, street-facing facades of Prenzlauer Berg, lie apartment buildings more reminiscent of the pre-Berlin Wall period. Berlin, Germany. (2008).

Strange brew: urban geography students at an animal farm owned by squatters' in the inner city borough of Kreuzberg. Berlin, German. (2008). I never would have expected to see horses, goats, ducks and chickens in central Berlin. From left to right: Jan, Cécile, Ralitsa, Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Christophe.

Walking toward the setting sun behind the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz. Berlin, Germany. (2008). From left to right: Kajsa, Sarah, Joachim, Anna, Kerstin, and Sean.

Joachim and Vanna over a couple of beers at a pub in Kreuzberg. Berlin, Germany. (2008).

Something of a rare shot of Sarah looking somewhat confused. Berlin, Germany. (2008).

Looking toward Potsdamer Platz from the roof of the Bundestag. Berlin, Germany. (2008).