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All the Pretty Horses

Monday, 10 September, 2018

Pretty Scarteen horse

“They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pastureland. The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a lope. The lights fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.” — Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses


Bos Taurus bossing

Monday, 13 August, 2018

The genus of wild and domestic cattle is called Bos, from the Latin bōs: cow, ox, bull. Arguably, the best known Bos Taurus breed is the black Angus from Scotland.

Bos Taurus

The Black Angus Bull

Out there in the paddock I hear the black bull
He never stops bellowing when the moon is full
I wonder does the moon affect him in some strange way
For I’ve never heard him bellow in the light of the day
The full moon does affect people ’tis said
It has an unsettling effect in the head
And if a mental weakness in humans the full moon can find
Why not it too affect the animal kind
He has his herd of cows with him yet I do wonder why
He bellows all night when the moon’s in the sky
During the hours of day he is always so quiet
And I’ve never heard him bellow on a dark night
But he never stops bellowing when the moon is full
Out there in the paddock the black Angus bull.

Francis Duggan


Let there be Light

Tuesday, 24 July, 2018

Last week, Light.co, which makes a computational photography camera, raised $121 million from SoftBank and Leica. “The new funding will allow Light to expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography and into security, robotic, automotive, aerial and industrial imaging applications,” says the press release, and then comes the really interesting sentence: “Later this year, the first mobile phone incorporating Light’s technology will be available to consumers around the world. It will shatter the expectations of mobile photography.”

The venerable Leica camera was introduced to the world at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair and the brand became synonymous with first-class photography, but the company can see which way the wind is blowing. Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Leica Supervisory Board, says: “With the rapid development of the computational photography, partnering with the innovators at Light ensures Leica to extend its tradition of excellence into the computational photography era.”

Light

While we wait for “the first mobile phone incorporating Light’s technology”, which “will shatter the expectations of mobile photography,” the Light L16 Camera can be yours for a mere €2,050. It allows users to captures a scene at multiple focal lengths and then uses “sophisticated algorithms to combine 10+ images into a single, high-resolution photo.”


No Man’s Land

Friday, 20 July, 2018

How would a world without humans look? A world in which animals have taken the place of people in a kind of neo-Orwellian Animal Farm minus the oppressors. The Belgian photographer Henk Van Rensenbergen goes there with images of animals set in the ruins of our consumer culture. A cow on an escalator of an abandoned mall gazes at the viewer in the way only a cow can. A melancholy lion stares out the window of an empty villa. Two hens named Thelma and Louise take a roadtrip around a vacant hotel in No Man’s Land.

No Man's Land

The notion of a post-human future is one that’s popular with certain types of “intellectual” and among organizations like PETA who despair about the state of our world today. They are uniformly anti-capitalist and terrifyingly utopian. Luckily for animals and humans, they remain powerless.


Photo of the Day

Wednesday, 6 June, 2018

Bernard Weber, Founder of New7Wonders, celebrating the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) symbol of peace, while presenting a flower version of the symbol to CND and the Quakers Elders at the Manchester Friends Meeting House today.

Bernard Weber CND


Up top

Thursday, 10 May, 2018 0 Comments

According to the Urban Dictionary, “Up top” is an exclamation made just before giving a high five to someone to indicate that the high five is coming. Example:

Donald: “So I told Angela that I was going to kick Putin’s ass if he tried to pull another Crimea move while I’m in charge here.”
Emmanuel: “Up top!”

Up top


Rainy Day in the Galtee Mountains

Friday, 20 April, 2018 0 Comments

Regular reader and intermittent poet, Liam Murray, is so captivated by this blog’s title and header photo that he has combined the two in verse. The Galtee Mountains pictured above were the fons et origo of our great mother, God rest her soul, and they remain our spiritual home. The Golden Vale mentioned below was a tract of nearby pasture land that represented a form of earthly paradise for mother and father, who cultivated their own fields and gardens as if they, too, were golden. And they were.

Rainy Day in the Galtee Mountains

The gathering clouds announce a change
The Galtee Mountains turn a shadowed blue
Quieter birds in hedge rows sense the mood
Distant rolling thunder fills the ear.

Clouds carrying rivers of rain
Continue to flow across the plain
Bushes shake in windy salute,
In the moist filled air across the Golden Vale.

The deluge pours on expectant fields
Blades of grass glisten; laced with rain drops
Sails of cloud continue to unfurl,
Above it all the sun still shines.

Liam Murray

Cullane Garden


Window on the world above the Yellow River

Sunday, 11 March, 2018 0 Comments

There’s only one Chinese photographer among the World Press Photo nominees this year, but Li Huaifeng’s image of two elderly brothers delighted by a laptop in their yaodong dwelling on the Loess Plateau is really beautiful. Those who say technology is destroying society should check their privileges.

World Press Photo


The World Obscura: Taj Mahal

Thursday, 8 March, 2018 0 Comments

Simon Mulvaney says he’s currently on a round-the-world trip, “working my way east from India to the United Kingdom.” You can follow his adventures on smulvaney.tv. His visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the New7Wonders of the World, was “consumed by a fascination of it’s visitors desperation to capture their moments on camera.” Apropos our obsession with recording every moment of every experience:

“As I myself spent most of my time capturing their moments, it became brutally clear to me that neither this film, nor their photographs can ever capture the heart-wrenching beauty of that stunning building, yet only succeed in completely detaching us from the moment itself.”


The Black and White Quest winner

Thursday, 15 February, 2018 0 Comments

For its Black and White Quest, 500px asked for submissions that were stronger without colour. The winner is Michail Christodoulopoulos with this evocative Semana Santa image. Why did the judges pick it? “This is a perfect use of black and white — it emphasizes its mood and tone. The shallow depth of field and composition makes the viewer’s eye go back and forth through this line of men and their expressions.”

Semana Santa

And the story behind the winning entry: “This photo was taken in Malaga last year during the Semana Santa / Holy Week,” says Christodoulopoulos. “I’ve been living in Spain for almost 14 years, but I never miss the processions from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, where the confraternities of Malaga carry their floats, representing the Passion of Christ from His entry into Jerusalem to His Resurrection.”


The Eyes of the City

Saturday, 10 February, 2018 0 Comments

Writing for LensCulture about Richard Sandler’s book The Eyes of the City, Serge J-F. Levy says: “The images, made in New York City and Boston, are an emphatic reminder of the sharp edges of humanity lurking around every corner. Richard’s book is a journey that winds through 24 years of circumambulating airports, ferries, night clubs, up Fifth Avenue, down Madison Avenue, into the subways, inside and outside of political conventions and deep into the fraught core of civilization.”

The Eyes of the City