I recently came across a segment on NPR where they interviewed Eric Carle, the famous children’s book designer. Carle became well known for his style of using colored paper to piece together colorful and elaborate illustrations. Various techniques are used to create vastly different looks – the work is quite amazing.
In a time where many of us (including myself) use computers as the sole device for creative production, I find it very grounding to see how much can be done off a computer that would be unbelievably time-consuming to produce on a computer. Perhaps now is the time to ditch your desktop/laptop for just a few minutes (I know, it’s scary) to play with some pencils and/or crayons. Who knows, it might even be more fun than the carpal-tunnel-producing, eye-strain-creating fun box known as your computer.
I have been quite vocal on my lack of regard for online advertising and have even spent some time writing about how I think it could be improved. While it may not be in the online world, it is good to see some companies trying to improve the advertising we are exposed to. Our good friends at Google are interested in making TV advertising “useful” for its viewers. I assume this model will be loosely based on their highly successful Adsense program. After spending my youth watching TV and subsequently ridding my life of TV after living on my own, I can understand how some people think TV advertising could get a little smarter…
According to this article, Google is planning on making $11 billion in ad sales – not too shabby. It is not a secret that Adsense is a success from many different standpoints. I would definitely like to see online advertising go even further in its usefulness and site-by-site basis, but I recognize how large of a leap Adsense made to online advertising. Old media advertising could definitely use a shot in the arm at this point – and who better to go it than one of the best success-stories in new media. Still, it will be interesting if new media ideas still work in a different medium. Old media definitely will be eventually making the slow transition to new media – perhaps that evolution will take care of the problem on its own.
I spend a lot of time trying to take photography that is interesting aesthetically – however, the most powerful photos rarely ever are what most would deem artistic. This rule is definitely the case with this year’s Photo of the Year which was taken in Lebanon during the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. This photo shows the unbelievable scene of a young, hip group driving through a demolished scene in their convertible. They do not quite enjoy what they see either. The dichotomy of the characters, the setting and the context are priceless – hence the fact that it is Photo of the Year for 2006.
This really begs the question of how much photography is about a perfectly composed scene with vibrant colors and an engaging perspective compared to a compelling scene that speaks for itself. With each passing day, I am greatly leaning towards the latter. Visually interesting photos can pique a person’s interest, but a compelling and powerful scene captured on film can define or encapsulate a generation. In recent months, I have seen myself less interested in the details of composition and much more interested in searching for a captivating scene and then doing my best to capture it in its fullest. I have yet to succeed in this endeavor, but I am trying.
What are your thoughts? Is it all about the composition of a scene, the scene itself or a little of both?