The Camera Obscura in Modern Times

10/26/2012 § Leave a comment

So today I was talking to my coworkers about the amazing optical phenomenon that is the camera obscura. I went online to look for some examples and I came across the work of photographer Abelardo Morell.

Abelardo has been taking these “travel” photographs since the early 90′s starting with black and white film moving into color and finally digital photography. He uses this optical device first discovered in the 5th century B.C. to fuse the inside with the outside creating literal yet ethereal images. From Times Square to Florence’s Baptistry, Abelardo has traveled the world documenting these camera obscuras.

Manhattan View Looking South in Large Room, 1996 (Abelardo Morell)

The Brooklyn Bridge in bedroom, 1997 (Abelardo Morell)

Umbrian Landscape in Empty Room, Umbertide, Italy 2000 (Abelardo Morell)

Castle Courtyard in Bedroom, Italy 1999 (Abelardo Morell)

Havana Looking Southeast in Room with Ladder, 2002 (Abelardo Morell)

Grand Canal Looking West Toward the Accademia Bridge in Palazzo Room Under Construction, 2007 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Central Park Looking North-Summer, 2008 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Landscape Outside Florence in Room With Bookcase, 2009 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: 5:04 AM Sunrise Over the Atlantic Ocean. Rockport, Massachusetts, June 17th, 2009 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Times Square in Hotel Room, 2010 (Abelardo Morell)

The camera obscura is created by blocking out all the light in a room and then creating a pinhole (small hole) on one of the sides (that faces the view you want to capture) allowing the view outside to be projected onto the opposite wall, upside down. Why does this happen? Light travels in straight lines and when some rays reflected from a bright object pass  through a small opening with a thin surface, instead of dispersing, these rays reconstruct as an upside down image on the flat surface opposite the hole.

Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci used the camera obscura as a drawing tool using it to project views onto the canvas/paper and sketching over them. There is a much disputed debate about whether advances in realism in the art of the early Renaissance occurred due to the aid of optical devices such as the camera obscura (Hockney-Falco thesis).

To learn how to make your own camera obscura click here!

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Photo Experiments vol. 4

10/04/2011 § Leave a comment

How Is it Already September 2011?!

09/24/2011 § Leave a comment

I feel I MUST explain my silence but instead I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to for the past couple months!

“Goin’ to the chapel and they’re gonna get married” – Yep, that’s right guys love is in the air since my big sister is going to the chapel next month. Except it won’t be a chapel it’ll be a big building. We threw her a couples shower a la tiffany-blue-vintage-Rio that I’ll be sharing photos of!

Since I’m planning on moving to another part of town I’ve started documenting my neighborhood in Miami Beach using black and white film, my digital SLR, and a polaroid  camera.

I’ve also photographed several new interior design projects for Dkor Interiors in the past months that I’ll be uploading for your viewing pleasure!

And, of course, there’s all the inspiration that comes along the way!

I’M DIGGING: Summer Lovin’, NYC Farming + Timeless Objects

07/09/2011 § Leave a comment

1. Okay so browsing through my bookmarks of favorite blogs I came across thismodernromance and was reminded of how stunning and truly romantic is the work of this husband + wife team of photographers. I insist, you must browse their portfolio of latest work for a dose of this sweetness!

2. Last month Hospitality Design Magazine released their 2011 Design Awards and this laid-back industrial-cool New York spot stole a Best Green/Sustainable Project Award. Bell Book & Candle, designed by Grade Architecture & Interior Design, has an aeroponic roof-top tower garden where they grow 60% of the fresh produce that goes into their dishes. Their menus also constantly change according to what’s growing upstairs. Talk about vertical farming!

3. So last but not least, while shopping for a client on my day job this week I spruced on up into this gorgeous store in Miami’s Design District only to find an amazing collection of the most beautiful and sophisticated furniture and accessories! Even if you have no plans to purchase it’s honestly worth a “window-shop” for any interior-design enthusiast! Michael Dawkins Home.

Have a beautiful weekend!


THE SHOP: Plant the Future

GIO PONTI: The 20th Century’s Renaissance Man

HOLGA, WHO?: Toy Cameras

EDWARD WESTON: Clouds, Trees, Water

07/02/2011 § 3 Comments

Artist Feature, vol. 6

Though Weston is mostly known for his still lifes of inanimate objects such as peppers and cabbage leaves, his landscapes explored the same subject of form that guided most of his work. Here, in Clouds, Trees, Water Weston captured the flora and scenery at Point Lobos,CA and the desert landscape of Oceano,CA.

If you look closely through his images you’ll note why Edward was a part of the f/64 group (which included legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams). His images often employed the use of deep depth of field allowing for all planes of the images to be crisp and in focus (achieved through closing the aperture to f-stop 64). As in his still lifes, curves, cracks and shadows seem to bring the objects to life as Weston’s compositions create movement, contrast, and texture.

Perhaps intentionally, or not, you can start to see traces of human characteristics in these images. Limbs within clouds. Bodies within trunks. Faces within stones. You back up to recognize your imagination is playing with your sight but nonetheless clues suggesting anthropomorphism are in place. Now I wonder, did Weston see the same mirages and were they what drove him to take these photographs in the first place?

Oak, 1929

Iceburg Lake, 1937

Oregon Coast, 1939

Cypress, Point Lobos, 1929

Cypress, Point Lobos 1930

Rain over Modoc Lava Beds, 1937

White Sands, 1946

Oceano, 1936

Tracks in Sand

Untitled Rock Formations

Stonecrop and Cypress, Point Lobos, 1941

White Dune

Surf, 1938





The Case Study Houses

06/25/2011 § Leave a comment

In post-war Southern California the residential housing boom inspired a group of prominent architects sponsored by Arts and Architecture Magazine to tackle what they saw as the current issues in the typical American home. Each architect was to deal with one of these problems and resolve it in the best way they saw fit using materials and methods that would be readily available and easily duplicated. The program that was to be known as the Case Study Houses ran from 1945 up until 1966.

The group of architects included many of the big names of Mid-Century Modern design. These included Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Rodney Walker, and JR Davidson. Many of the Houses (such as #22 on the left) were shot for the magazine by the now infamous photographer, Julias Shulman.

The Case Study Homes changed the way Americans lived and built their homes. These West Coast models were soon transported throughout the country. The Stahl residence (#22), probably the most well-known of the Case Study homes, became an icon of American design and the new optimistic “Modern” way of life.

The homes generally sought to blur the lines between inside and outside by using innovative curtain wall building technologies that would allow for wide spans of glass. By placing load-bearing steel columns on a grid on the interior of the home, the facades would be free of structural responsibilities. The floor plan of the American home was Modernized by opening up walls and blending functions into large spaces; thus the marriage of the living, dining and kitchen to create the Great Room. The architects also extended the living space to the exterior by incorporating elements such as pools, large overhangs and paved decks that would further encourage the use of the outdoor room.

House #22 by Pierre Koenig

House #22 by Pierre Koenig

House #22 by Pierre Koenig

House #22 by Pierre Koenig

House #22 by Pierre Koenig

House #21 by Pierre Koenig

House #21 by Pierre Koenig

House #21 by Pierre Koenig

House #20 by Pierre Koenig

House #20 by Pierre Koenig

House #16 by Rodney Walker

House #16 by Rodney Walker

House #16 by Rodney Walker

House #9 by Eames and Saarineen

House #9 by Eames & Saarinen

House #9 by Eames & Saarinen

House #9 Eames & Saarinen

House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames

House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames

House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames

House #7 by Thornton Abell

House #7 by Thornton Abell

House #6 by Richard Neutra

House #6 by Richard Neutra

House #5 by Whitney R. Smith

House #4 by Ralph Rapson

House #3 by Wurster & Bernardi

House #2 by Spaulding & Rex

House #1 by J.R. Davidson


06/14/2011 § Leave a comment












05/09/2011 § Leave a comment

SO WHAT’S GOING ON IN ART AND DESIGN THIS MONTH? First of all, May is Miami Museum Month! The deal is you buy one ticket and get another free (for your buddy, date, lover, sister, grandma, etc.) and if you join one museum you join them all (for this month only of course).

There are plenty of intriguing lectures lined up like the MDPL‘s series on historic green buildings and the Coral Gables Museum’s feature on the work of Cezanne. If you’re in the mood to get those fingers wet the Bass Museum offers awesome Saturday classes! This month’s classes focus on drawing from the masters and watercolor. If you really want to dedicate your time to expressing that creativity MOCA and the Miami Beach Art Center offer an array of them from figure drawing to printmaking.

And for those of you who are really in it for the fun, there’ll be plenty of that too: May 6th is the Miami AIA‘s yearly golf tournament and every Friday the Bass Museum is hosting happy hours with complimentary cocktails and beats by Desiree .

* May 2 – The Floating Stage at the Miami Marine Stadium Awards Ceremony

Join The Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, DawnTown, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Dade Heritage Trust, and the AIA Chapter of Miami, for an evening on Key Biscayne where they will present unique and inventive design ideas for The Floating Stage at Miami Marine Stadium 2011 DawnTown Competition Awards Ceremony.

Ceremony is to take place at The Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy, Key Biscayne, FL 33149.  5:30 – 6:30pm – Cocktail hour, cash bar, entries displayed 6:30 – 7:30pm – 3 Course Dinner @ $30.00 a seat 7:30 – 9:00pm – Awards Ceremony Presentation Tickets for the event must be purchased by April 25th.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the Dade Heritage Trust at 305.358.9572

* May 6 – 18th Annual AIA Miami Golf Tournament

@ the Melreese Country Club

It’ll be a great day of golf, networking and refreshments followed by a banquet dinner with prizes and awards. Sponsorship opportunities. Please call the AIA Miami office for more information 305.448.7488

* May 6 – Beats After Sunset

Friday, 8:00 – 10:00 pm @ the Bass Art Museum

The Bass Museum’s First Friday Happy Hour! A new exhibition will be on view so you’ll have the opportunity to glance over the new pieces.

* free to members!
* cost of museum admission for non-members $8
* complimentary mixologist and magners irish cider (21+)
* beats by desiree

for more info
call: 305.673.7530 x1001

* May 7 – Designed for Learning

10:30 am @ the Wolfsonian

Do the buildings where learning takes place matter as much as the teachers in them? Can a “smartly” designed building improve students’ education? Join Jos Boys, PhD, senior research fellow in Learning Spaces at the University of Brighton, UK, and Anne P. Taylor, PhD, Hon. AIA, ACSA distinguished professor and regents professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico, for a discussion addressing the relationships between learning and the spaces in which it takes place. Reception and book signing with Anne Taylor and Jos Boys to follow in The Dynamo Museum Shop. Co-presented with Architecture Club– AIA Miami. CEU credits available. Free.

* May 7 – Pablo Cano: The Seven Wonders of the Modern World

4:00 pm @ the MOCA

Advance Ticket Purchase Required.
Members $10,  Non-members $15: Children under 12: $3

* May 7 – Art Center’s Annual Raffle Fundraiser

7:00 – 10:00 PM @ the Art Center on Lincoln Road

ArtCenter’s annual raffle fundraiser, Winning Art!, features 40 works of ArtCenter/ South Florida resident artists. Join us for our annual benefit raffle exhibit, Winning Art!, a show where our talented artists-in-residence created special art just for you. Explore the visual variety of the artists that make ArtCenter/ South Florida and purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win a unique piece of art. Celebrate with us on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 7 – 10 p.m. for an evening of music, fabulous fare, complimentary cocktails, a silent auction and raffle drawing for over 40 winners! Purchase your raffle ticket today for only $10. Artwork is on view from April 8 to May 8, 2011 at the ArtCenter Gallery located at 800 Lincoln Road. Winning Art! On View / April 8 to May 8, 2011. Annual Benefit Raffle Drawing & Closing Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 7 – 10 p.m.
*A minimum donation of $10 to the ArtCenter or a purchase of (one) raffle ticket will admit you into the closing reception on May 7, 2011.  If you already purchased a raffle ticket prior to the closing reception, bring your ticket stub to gain admittance into the event.

* May 11 – Revit Architecture Course (Earn 24 CEUs)

Revit Architecture three day course taught by Digital Drafting Systems will be held at the AIA Miami Chapter office, 275 University Drive. Coral Gables. Registration limited to 8 students, first six students laptop is included. RSVP required. Please call the AIA Miami office for more information 305.448.7488

* May 12 – En Route Pour AixEnProvence

3:00 – 5:00 PM @ the Lowe Art Museum

A lecture by featured artist Alice Goldhagen about her work. $5 admission. Free for Museum members.

* May 14 – Basslab for Emerging Artists Drawing from Art History – Techniques of the Masters

Saturday 2-4pm @ the Bass Museum of Art

basslab for emerging artists: finding your own style and language of expression
this week: drawing from art history- techniques of the masters

work with instructor to improve your art skills and develop ideas that will define your personal creativity. classes are open to students at any skill level, ages 13 through adult. class size is limited. advance registration is recommended.

to register or for more information call 305-673-7530 x1001

members and basspass members: $10
non-members: $15

* May 15 – MAM’s “Regarding Nature” Gallery Tours

2:00 – 3:00 pm @ the MAM

Miami Art Museum will offer docent-led tours of “The Wilderness” and “Anchor Gallery: Mark Dion” every first and third Sunday at 2pm. Visitors will explore the boundaries between tamed and untamed nature as well as human attempts to control the South Florida ecosystem. Tours are free with museum admission. For more information, contact or 305.375.4073.

* May 16 – Sister Cities International Young Artist Showcase

Opening Reception Monday, 6:00 – 9:00 pm @ the MDPL
Exhibit Tuesday, May 17th – Friday, May 27th 9:30 – 5:00 PM
Since 1988, the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase has encouraged youth from around the globe to consider the honorable mission of Sister Cities International and express their interpretation of that mission promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, cooperation through one individual, one community at a time. Hundreds of artists have shared their talent with the sister cities community over the past 20 years
Goals: Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. We strive to build global cooperation at the municipal level, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development.

* May 18 – International Museum Day

12:00 – 5:00 pm @ the Bass Museum of Art

* May 19 – Cezanne’s Trail

7:00 PM @ the Coral Gables Museum

A lecture by Alice Goldhagen on the life and work of French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, resident of Aix-en- Provence, sister city to Coral Gables.$5 admission. Free for Museum members.

* May 19 – MDPL Lecture Series: Green Historic Buildings

Thursday, 7:00 PM @ the Art Deco Welcome Center

The lecture series outlines how preservation and the green revolution are coming together to revitalize Miami Beach’s historic properties. This month, Ira Giller, president of Giller & Giller Architects, and Patricia Calasich, LEED AP (Accredited Professional) and president of Altiva Architecture, speak on “Case Studies of The Villa Maria Housing Project & The Waldorf Hotel. Selecting Green Building Materials for Historic Structures”

* May 21 – Wine Wander Wonder Tour & Discussion of Apulian Vases

3:00 – 5:00 pm @ the Bass Museum of Art

members and basspass members: free
non-members: cost of museum admission
$8 | $6 students & seniors

For registration/info call 305.673.7530 x1001 or email:

* May 25 – Arts for All: Wangetchi Mutu Collaged Figures

7:00 pm @ the MOCA

RSVP suggested. Members,$10, Non-members $15 Students with ID $3

* May 28 – Basslab for Emerging Artists Watercolor Techniques

Saturday 2-4pm @ the Bass Museum of Art

basslab for emerging artists: finding your own style and language of expression
this week: watercolor techniques

work with instructor to improve your art skills and develop ideas that will define your personal creativity. classes are open to students at any skill level, ages 13 through adult. class size is limited. advance registration is recommended.

to register or for more information call 305-673-7530 x1001

members and basspass members: $10
non-members: $15

*Miami Museum Month *

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE — During May, all visitors and locals will be offered “Buy One, Get One Free” admission at participating museums.

JOIN ONE, SEE THEM ALL — During this month-long program, membership at any one of these participating museums will work as a free pass to any of the other museums.

Whether you just joined or have been a member for years, this is an incredible opportunity to museum hop and experience the Miami cultural scene. The cultural scene in Greater Miami and the Beaches is unique and diverse. During May, celebrate Miami Museum Month. This is an incredible opportunity to experience the area’s inspiring museums.

Participating Museums:

¤ Ancient Spanish Monastery
¤ Art Center/South Florida
¤ Bass Museum of Art
¤ Black Police Precinct & Court House Museum
¤ Coral Gables Merrick House
¤ Coral Gables Museum
¤ The Haitian Heritage Museum
¤ HistoryMiami
¤ Jewish Museum of Florida
¤ Lowe Art Museum
¤ Miami Art Museum
¤ Miami Children’s Museum
¤ Miami Science Museum
¤ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
¤ The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
¤ Wings Over Miami Air Museum
¤ The Wolfsonian—FIU

WALK THROUGHS: Modern Ocean Penthouse

03/23/2011 § Leave a comment

These are photos from one of the most recent projects from Miami based interior design firm DKOR Interiors.

The design of the ocean-front penthouse borrows from the seashore nearby it’s curvilinear forms, organic textures and abundant light accentuated with the repetition of white. The result? An airy modern beach house in the sky.

Photos by Renata Bastos


03/20/2011 § Leave a comment

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