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!

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











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