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Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 5 photography apps

Last week in my digital marketing class, we were discussing how smart phones and apps have changed our lifestyles and how we interact with each other. And one of the students in class said now she takes more pictures than before using a camera on her smart phone. I assume she is not the only one who takes pictures of whatever captures her/his eyes everyday. As I was thinking about how my smart phone and using a variety of apps has influenced my life, I realized how using photography apps on my cellphone has kept me more intrigued in taking photos and sharing them with others in my daily routines.

So, today I decided to recommend some of the photography apps I found are fascinating for those who like taking pictures with their smart phones. Here are the top 5 android apps I personally think are the best and therefore recommend you to use.

1. PicsArt-Photo Studio (free)

Rating: 4/7/5
Users: 263,653 (android users)

This app is by far the best photography app I have ever used. This one has the best features (among the apps I have used) and the functionality includes magic effects (e.g., Lomo, Cartonizer..etc), drawing effects, and editing tools (e.g., stickers, red eye remover..etc).. and so on.

Picture taken at Chelsea Market and modified by PicsArt-Photo Studio 

For more information, visit PicsArt-Photo Studio

2. Pixlr-o-matic (free)

Rating: 4/7/5
Users: 63,090 (android users)

I downloaded this app recently. Pixlr-o-matic is great because of its Radomizer feature.  Whenever you use a photography app that offers tons of variety of features, choosing the right effects for your photo can be overwhelming. But this one helps you save time because its Randomizer functionality autamatically choses the proper effects for your picture. All you have to do is just swipe and wait for its suggestions.

Picture taken in Soho and transformed by Pixlr-o-matic
Taken in Brooklyn and modified by Instagram

3. Instagram (free)

Rating: 4/6/5
Users: 1,360,872 (android users)

This app is the most widely used app among photography lovers. This one lets you choose from a variety of filters and posts them instant on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.

4. Cartoon camera (free)

Rating: 4.5/5
Users: 86,711 (android users)

This one turns your photos into cartoon pictures. It would be fun to enhance your photos using the 6 effects they offer(e.g., Color Drawing, Sephia, White strokes..etc.)

Check out the video below.

via Hipstamatic
5. Hipstamatic ($1.99 for iPhone)

Rating: 4+
Users: not published

If you want to turn your digital photos into analogue photos, use this app. You can change your lens, flash, or film and add a unique effects to bring different looks to your pictures.  

For more information, visit Hipstamatic

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bill Cunningham (street photographer)

Yesterday, I watched a documentary of a New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. My friend recommended this and I really enjoyed watching it.

To give you a brief description of the photographer, he is a fashion photographer for The  New York Times, who is known for his candid street photography. He photographs people on the streets of Manhattan everyday and he has been doing that for more than half a century. He is a renowned photographer, and despite his fame in the fashion photography industry among celebrities, models, socialists, and fashion personalities, he leads a very frugal lifestyle.

I was really surprised to find out that he lives in a tiny room in Carnegie Hall and he doesn't even have his own bathroom. He is not in the least interested in money he could make out of his work. What keeps him going out to the streets every day on his bicycle and take pictures of people is simply the fact that he loves doing it.

In the documentary, a lady said to him "You are working in your own party." And he answered "It's not work. It is pleasure". And he continued to say  "I don't work. I only know how to have fun every day."

And this is his definition of fashion - the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.

Via Zeitgeist Films
It was truly impressive and inspirational to see how a 83 year old man can be so energetic and passionate about  what he does. And I could see how happy he is doing what he does by looking at him smiling and laughing all the time while photographing people's lives.

Below you can find the trailer of the documentary.

Also, I found it very interesting that in the On The Street section of the New York Times, you can hear Bill Cunningham's comments on the photos he himself took and the upcoming fashion trends.

You can find more about the photographer and the documentary in the Zeitgestfilm website. If you want to be inspired by a New York street photographer, check out this documentary.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The LomoKino - lomography in motion

If you think that this video was recorded by a video camera, you will be surprised to hear this. This video was filmed by a film camera - the Lomography LomoKino - which allows you to shoot 144 frames on any 35mm film. It means that you will direct your own Lomographic movies using this camera.

I didn't know about this camera until I stumbled upon an analogue movie that was filmed by the Lomokino on the internet . I was surprised to find out that this kind of camera exists, and that made me want to share this with you through my blog.  You can watch other Lomokino movies here.

To make this lomographic movie all you need is a 35mm film (whether it is color negative, slide, black or white) and the camera. That's it. The price of the camera ranges from $80 to $90

To mention some of the cool features of the Lomokino, you can check how much film you have left on the roll, focus up to 0.6m by using the close-up button in front of the camera, lighten up your movie by using the flashes, and easily adjust the aperture settings..etc.

Along with these cool features the camera has, you can also watch your developed Lomokino movies using the Lomokinoscope and also digitize your movies by attaching your smartphone and the Lomokinoscope to the smartphone viewer.

I love the LomoKino. It would be amazing to make your own one-of-a kind analogue movies on your special days.

LomoKino MUBI addition

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rineke Dijkstra; A Restrospect (Upper East Side)

What do you see in these photos? What are these teenagers doing on the seashore? There is a photographer who was captivated by the unsettling, transitional beauty of teenagers. Her name is Rineke Dijkstra. This Dutch photographer started making portraits of adolescents posed on beaches in America, Poland, Britain, Ukraine and Croatia. And "Beach Portraints" (1992-2002), the artist's most celebrated series of shots in which swim suited boys and girls on shores, brought her to international prominence after it was exhibited in 1997 in the annual show of new photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

"Rineke Dijkstra; A Restrospect" is now on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from June 29 through October 12, 2012. What's interesting about the photographer is that she captures moments of people experiencing physical exertion in situations like mothers immediately after giving birth, teens being inducted into the Israeli army, and Portuguese bullfighters from the ring..etc.

I like how she depicts and brings out the beauty out of plain subjects. Her work is subtle and her subjects are plain, and yet her photos have a profound meaning. I found strength and purity in their insecure and vulnerable moments/phase in life.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Christopher Boffoli "Edible Worlds" 2 (8/10)

<Review: 8 out of 10>

Last Thursday I visited Winston Wachter Fine Art gallery to check out Christopher Boffoli's exhibition entitled "Edible Worlds." The gallery was located in Chelsea-one of my favorite areas in the city. 

As you can see in the pictures below, the gallery was relatively small, but I liked its simplicity and the neatly arranged photos. Overall, I enjoyed this exhibition. And I think that Christopher Boffoli's idea of putting human miniatures on food items is very creative. I especially loved his description for each photo he took. His witty&hilarious comments made my gallery visit pleasant.

 This one is my favorite because of the caption written below it was hilarious.

Even though I enjoyed this exhibition, I couldn't help feeling that some things were lacking. First, there weren't many photos to look at. The photos on display were certainly interesting, but it would have been better if they had more photos. Second, some of the photos were not ready to be displayed. As you can see below, some photos were just sitting around on the floor, and I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be part of the exhibition or not. This exhibition has been going on for a while (since June), and  I didn't understand why the photos are still not completely ready to be displayed for the visitors. But in any case, it was a fun experience. I recommend you this exhibition to you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"It Happened In Brooklyn" exhibition (Brooklyn)

Via Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn historical Society is presenting a photo exhibition entitled "It Happened In Brooklyn."  I love Brooklyn not just because I live there, but because this area has distinctive colors and cultures that are different from what you can experience in the city (Manhattan). I would say Brooklyn has its own charm and beauty, even though it can be less convenient or less modernized.

If you get to know more about Brooklyn's history and the native settlers of this area, this photo exhibition is a perfect opportunity. The exhibition highlights key moments in the history of America and how they affected Brooklyn and the people who lived in here.

You will see the photos taken on Brooklyn's shores during the Revolutionary war, early immigrants&settlers, the women who worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War 2, and Brooklynites who worked to abolish slavery. 

It would be interesting to learn how Brooklyn transformed itself through this nation's history. The Brooklyn Historical Society covers 400 years of Brooklyn's development through photographs, paintings, memorabilia and interactive exhibitions. Also the museum is located in Dumbo-my favorite area in Brooklyn.  I can't wait to see it :)

Location: 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn

Top 5 photo galleries in NYC

There are many things that make New York amazing. Having a number of great photo galleries is certainly one of them. I haven't been to all the great galleries in New York yet. However, I can recommend some of the best galleries (I think) for those who want to go gallery hopping in the city.

These are the list of galleries I think are amazing, and therefore, I recommend to you.

1. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Location: 11W. 53rd St.

Of all the galleries I have been to in NYC, MOMA is my all time favorite. You can enjoy a wide range of photographs, paintings, and sculptures from the 19th and the 20th century, as well as contemporary arts and films. They always present interesting exhibitions and events, and I always get fresh inspirations every time I visit there.

2. International Center of photography

Location: 1133 6th Ave. 43rd St.
International Center of Photography

International Center of photography is located in the center of Midtown (5 min from our NYU building). I like that they display a wide variety of black and white photos and documentary photos. The scale of the gallery is relatively small, but they have quality exhibitions and education programs. At the gift shop in the gallery are there cameras,gifts, and camera accessories etc. Donation admission is available on Fridays between 5-8 pm.

3. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Location: 1000 5th Ave. 82nd St.

Ever since the Met acquired the Howard Gillman Collection of 19th- and 20th-century photographs(the largest such collection in private hands), the museum became a serious place to view photos. I have visited their more than three times so far, but they never disappoint me, and I am always impressed by their scale.

4. Christopher Henry Gallery

Location: 127 Elizabeth St.

Christopher Henry Gallery is in a renovated church. The gallery displays emerging contemporary art. I especially like their Polaroid photography and street art.

5. Aperture Foundation Gallery

Location: 547 W 27th St.

Like MoMA, Aperture was a pioneer in promoting fine-art photography.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Christopher Boffoli "Edible Worlds" (Chelsea)

Winston Wachter Fine Art gallery is presenting Christopher Boffoli's vividly colored images of food and miniatures. The exhibition is entitled "Edible Worlds" and it runs from June 21st through August 24th. The artist Christopher Boffoli is a Seatle-based photographer, writer, and filmmaker. At home in Seattle, he works as a writer and photojournalist, producing both feature stories and covering breaking news.  Christopher’s work has been published – online and in print – in more than 90 countries.

Boffoli features snapshots of massive food items and the miniatures standing on those items. This juxtaposition of scale has been inspired by films and television from the 70's and 80's (e.g., I Shrunk the Kids, and The Incredible Shrinking Woman) and the the 18th century fable, “Gulliver’s Travels.” I remember growing up watching those kind of movies and televisions shows. And those nostalgic memories I have, combined with the humorous captions underneath the pieces, are the reasons why I find this exhibition interesting and amusing.

By peeking in on these tidy figures' daily routines and stories, I found humor and felt a sense of humanity in them. I am planning to visit the gallery and see these tiny cute people in their "Edible Worlds."

Cone Camping 

Pop Tart Fracking

Pasta Pipefitters via Design Boom

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I have several friends who are really into cameras. Walking around the city, my friends make it a point to draw attention to every Leica they see. And we've seen quite a few this past week. If you don't know what Leica is, it's a German company that manufactures a line of classic rangefinder cameras.

Although I could blog about Leica and its line of cameras in detail, I want to focus more on the type of camera Leica primarily produces: rangefinders. If you're interested in mirrorless, SLR, or toy cameras, you can check my previous posts. 
Leica M9-P (Via highsnobeity.com)

What makes a rangefinder camera stand out from the other types is the way it focuses images.  These cameras use a built-in rangefinder device to measure the distance of the object and lock it in focus. Unlike an SLR, it does not need to use a flipping mirror to reflect light to focus. Since flipping mirrors tend to vibrate, rangefinders provide higher quality and sharper images. Also, due to the simplicity of its design, the cameras are quieter, lighter and more compact than clunky SLRs. 

Hasselblad X-Pan II (Via opticalcollimator.com)
With all it's pros, it's really difficult to find any glaring disadvantages when compared to an SLR. There are a few, however. Even though rangefinder lenses are usually of the utmost quality, the cameras do not offer the same macro shooting capabilities as an SLR. Rangefinders rarely focus in distances of less than two feet. SLRs also have the advantage in auto-focusing, which makes it easier to shoot quick actions such as sports.

Another big disadvantage for the casual consumer is the high price. While it varies from camera to camera, rangefinders are a niche market geared towards enthusiasts and professionals. A rangefinder, especially of the ones pictured here, can cost you in the thousands of dollars. You can see from the photos above that the construction and build quality is of high standards.

Oh, if only I had thousands lying around to spend on a camera... A girl can dream.

Toy Cameras

I remember when I saw toy cameras for the first time in the lomography store in Greenwich Village. At first, I thought they were really just 'toys' but they are not. In fact, they are 'real' cameras that are functional and capable of taking photos. 

Among toy cameras, the Diana, Holga, and the Lomo LC-A were/are the most widely used ones.

The Diana camera first appeared during the early 1960s as a inexpensive box camera. Originally, the Diana camera was designed for children. But later on, professional photographers started using these cameras to take soft-focus, impressionistic photos.

These the Diana cameras that I have been eyeing on to buy.
Via Urbanoutfitters

The Hoga cameras came out as another inexpensive box camera of similar concept. The Holga was created to target an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class people.

Via Plastic Fantastic Supreme
The Lomo LC-A (Lomo Kompakt Autormat) was introduced in 1984, and the original Lomo  LC-A was replaced by the LC-A+ in 2006. 

Via Lomography

Monday, July 2, 2012

Photoville 2 (9.5/10)

<Review: 9.5 out of 10>

Last Thursday, I checked out the Photoville exhibition in Brooklyn Bridge Park. And I would say it was the most interesting photo exhibition I have ever been to. I highly recommend people to go see it because it is totally worth it (but the event ended on July 10th, so you will have to wait until the next one). Below are the reasons why I thought this exhibition was particularly unique and interesting.

 Flowers and plants made from plastic cameras by Andre Feliciano
  • Since it was an outdoor photo exhibition, it attracted many people including those who came to see the park or to exercise. I think it is a good way to promote the event because even those who didn't know about the event could enjoy it. And above all, there was no admission fee.
  • Photos in shipping containers? Isn't that amazing?
Lomography gallery

  • There was a stage and a little bar where you can grab a cold beer watching photo videos. You can even dance if you feel like it :)
  • The exhibition opens late (at 4pm) and runs through the night until 10 pm during the week. So, people can come out and enjoy it after work. Also, we don't have to exhaust ourselves under the scorching sun
  • Its location has a killer view. It is right next to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. You  will enjoy the night view of Manhattan, as you walk along the Photoville fence

The walk towards Pier 3, where the exhibition is held

Downtown skyline from Pier 3

How can you not love this city? I love summer in NYC :)