In the most recent issue of Monocle there was a really great, little article on the rise of snail farming in Bulgaria. In 2009 they exported around 850 tons of snail meat, six times more than 2008, and that figure is supposed to double in 2010. The reason for this sudden boom is the demand for snail flesh and shells to be used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as the fact that people are hungry. Crafty farmers have started to create flavored snails that taste like carrot or mint, giving a whole new spin on the slimy little buggers.
They also happen to be a totally green food; everything is handled by hand and there are no chemicals involved in the cultivation. So would you sit down to a plate of minty delicious snails?
The National Board of Review had their annual awards ceremony last night and one of the honorees was Wes Anderson, who won a “Special Filmmaking Achievement” award for his movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Instead of going to the event and giving a standard speech, Mr. Anderson decided to create a stop-motion acceptance, taking up the role of the weasel that he played in the movie. It’s a clever way to go about it, and makes me want to watch the movie all over again.
Hey-o, hope you’re having a nice morning so far. This week’s wallpaper comes from Uk illustrator and one of my favorites right now, Matt Lyon aka C86 aka Matt Lyon. Matt popped up on my radar a few months back and I’ve been digging his style since then. He does a lot of really random, abstract shapes and somehow molds them into these large, beautiful pieces filled with color and textures.
This week’s wallpaper is no different as you can see, filled with what look like (at least to me) little castles in the sky. I feel like the mixture of bright and dull colors really make these neat, and it’s fun to try and follow all the little paths going everywhere.
The architects at Barbosa e Guimaraes Arquitectos are clearly trying to show the Japanese that they’re not the only one who can create beautifully minimal buildings. They’ve created the amazing building you see above for Vodafone in Porto, Portugal where it acts as their main office. I’m totally smitten with this building. Though the materials are simply, the dimensions of the building definitely are not. The building starts to look like a giant, faceted jewel, the angles coming in and out seemingly randomly. Inside it’s just as minimal with recessed lighting that looks to me like glowing cracks in the facade.
I think it would be great to work in a building like this. I think every morning I’d walk up with a bit of a smile on my face. Photos by Fernando Guerra.
I think a lot of people these days simply pick up a camera and start documenting their lives. It’s an easy thing to do, especially with digital cameras getting nicer and cheaper. But that doesn’t mean you can take a good picture. You need an artistic eye for that, similar to what Todd Richardson has.
Going through his photos you see photos of rather mundane things; walls, tires, gardens, perhaps a windowsill. But there’s something about the way that he photographs the mundane that really makes it seem quite special. He also does a great job of combining photos of one place to give you a sense of it. For example, the photos above were all taken in San Deigo, CA. They all have a similar feeling and color palette and I just want to stare at them and get as much information out of them as I possibly can.
Be sure to visit his site so you can see more examples of this. He’s been to places like Chicago, New York, London, Washington DC, Rome, Florence, Venice… you get the idea.
Update: Patrick asked in the comments asked how Todd processed his photos, so I asked him and here is his response. I figure you might like a little behind-the-scenes information:
I do all of my post-processing in Photoshop. I try to apply the same treatment – or variations thereof – to all of my photos. Some of these treatments originated from a Photoshop action I came across a while back. Over time, and from much trial and error, I was able to develop a post-processing regimen that provides the effect I’ve always wanted for my work – a kind of warm, vintage Polaroid look. I like soft tones and low saturation – nothing too loud.
Specifically, my post-processing routine consists of adding a fill layer (magenta), sepia de-saturation, and a vignette affect (depending on the photograph). Saturation and contrast are also adjusted. This is all pretty standard in digital manipulation. You might notice that a few of my photographs look slightly washed-out in the center; this effect is achieved through a center fill light.
I apply the same treatment to all of my work for consistency. I want my work to have a particular aesthetic. I find it distracting when a photographer employs several dissimilar effects across their portfolio, and distraction can sabotage some really great work. Ultimately, a photograph is only as good as its composition. I want the compositions to be the focus.