Category Archives: photographs

Can Elephant Art Save the Species?

Art has been known to increase the quality of a human’s life, but, in some cases, art is saving the lives of animals.

Have you ever heard of elephant art?

This type of art ranges from a photograph taken of an elephant to a picture painted by the intelligent mammal. However, let it be known that elephant art never involves their ivory tusks. Throughout the world elephants are being poached because of their tusks. This is causing the population of African and Asian elephants to dwindle. Much of the time, ivory is used to create works of art. To encourage the growth of elephant populations many countries have banned the importation and sale of ivory.

Other than poaching, elephants are a threatened species because their habitats are shrinking. Because of their large size, elephants need a lot of food, water and land to roam. The development of elephant habitats is cutting in on their space and limiting the basic necessities they need for survival.

What would the world be like without elephants? Many of us cannot imagine this reality and several artists are dedicated to avoiding this threat through creative activism.

Elephant Parade

Mike Spits’s father was in Chiang Mai when he met an elephant that lost her leg to a landmine. The hospital treating the elephant wanted to give her a prosthetic leg someday but such a surgery would be very expensive. Touched by the need, Mike Spits’s father wanted to help but he didn’t want to write a onetime check. He wanted to create a sustainable fund that could help elephants for years to come. From this desire, Elephant Parade was born. Now, Mike Spits operates the social enterprise on funds brought in through painted elephant statues.

Artists Against Ivory

Operating on the vision of “helping elephants live forever,” Artists Against Ivory creates wearable art including t-shits and jewelry, as well as wall art. Through elephant inspired art, this enterprise raises money and empowers the cause of elephants throughout the world.

Mae Taeng Elephant Camp

Elephant habitats in Thailand were being encroached upon when the Chailert family created a camp to protect the species. Later, they opened a clinic to rehabilitate injured animals. They support the park and clinic by opening their doors to visitors who want to get up close and personal with the gentle giants. More so, they sell artwork created by the elephants. At Mae Taeng, elephants begin painting at the age of three.

Will art save the elephants? We can only hope this genre of art is raising awareness of the threat they face. Embrace the art that comes from elephants and share the art elephants create.

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Segmation is the art of pieceful imaging.  Our Elephant pattern set includes many photographs of elephants in their nature settings standing in grassy fields, dirt roads, and reflecting in water ponds. Click on the banner above to see all 20 patterns.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Sea

Baby Art Creates Dreamy Photographs

Cold Case Paintings: When Mystery and Art Collide

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Food Never Looked So Good

Food Never Looked So GoodIn America, numerous grocery stores line a single street and entire television networks are dedicated to cooking shows. Alarm about nutrition labels and fad diets constantly have the spotlight of public attention. As a nation, Americans are obsessed with food.

This preoccupation allows little time to actually think about what is inside food. We seem to care less about the look, feel, taste and emotion that is associated with food than we do about the nutrition label. Even cultures that coalesce around foods they love to create, like Italians, may not fully grasp the entirety of what is inside their meals.

However, with the help of a culinary creative director and professional photographer, we are beginning to see what truly exists in every bite.

The Truth Behind ‘Cut Food’

Beth Galton and Charlotte Omnés are the masterminds behind a series of photos titled, “Cut Food.” To fully grasp the concept of this series, take the title seriously. This compilation of artwork involves food that is cut down the middle, giving viewers an inside look at the symmetry that lies in the middle of every bite.

In an NPR article, Maria Godoy recaps some of the most popular photographs. She writes, “… ‘Cut Food’ is a photo series that literally cleaves into edibles — hot dogs, ice cream, fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy — to reveal gorgeous geometric patterns tucked within.”

Many of their photographs have gone viral and are shared throughout the world. The foods they split and capture are common; most can be found in the grocer’s freezer. In fact, these pictures may even spark cravings.

Photographing Food

While photographing some food items seem harder to capture than others, Beth and Charlotte claim there is “little trickery” involved. This statement can be validated by the fact that these images, to be honest, are not entirely unique.

The ladies have put a spin on one of John Dominis’ pieces. In 1966, the late artist worked with beef rolls to discover and display the art that lay inside.

More recently, a research lab in Washington state published a six-volume resource book titled, “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.” Researchers used cutaway shots that were said to be “jaw-dropping.” Unfortunately, the price tag was jaw-dropping too. The book first retailed at $625.

On the other hand, the viral images of “Cut Food” can make the jaw-drop and mouth water at the same time.

A Universal Love of Food

The images Beth and Charlotte capture travel throughout the world. The artists’ marvel at the attention they get from people abroad. In a short video that follows the creative process behind “Cut Food” art, they say that the “universality [of their project] is amazing to watch.”

Their art is amazing for many reasons, but universality isn’t the first reason that comes to mind. After all, every people group, culture, tribe and tongue has to eat. Food is all around us. And more often than not, we love it.

Cut Food from Beth Galton Studio on Vimeo.

Read more Segmation blog posts about food art:

A New Art Form that Involves your Favorite Beverages

Simple, Creative Super Bowl Snack Ideas

The Color Red and its Many Meanings

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Art Illuminates Science

Fabian_Oefner_Dancing_Colors_08_1500Until recently, common technology could not capture the fine details of life. A new age is upon us now. The slim and sleek devices many people carry in their back pockets are able to capture information and images that were unavailable a few years ago.

One man uses advancements in technology to artistically illuminate science. He is getting a lot of attention as a unique individual who is scientifically astute and creatively brilliant.

Merging Science and Art

Many people have thought this merger was near impossible thanks to a common misconception that humans either think with the right side of their brains or the left. As the saying goes, people are either smart with numbers and figures or see the world to creative lenses. Clearly, this is not the case anymore.

Fabian Oefner is a Swiss photographer who is contradicting this inescapable myth. Oefner goes to great lengths to put the intricacies of the world on display for all to see and experience. Using art and intelligence, he is bringing science to the public in a very creative way.

A Photographer’s Connection

He acknowledged the misnomer mentioned above in a recent TED Talk. He said, “If you look at science, science is a very rational approach, whereas art on the other hand is usually an emotional approach to its surroundings.” In recognizing this, he has made it his goal to merge these scenes and create a single image. He wants the collaboration of art and science to move a person by activating his or her mind and emotions.

Two of Oefner’s art pieces, of many, include the visibility of a sound wave and the combustion of flammable alcohol. He records the science projects with a state-of-the-art “camera that shoots 3,000 frames per second.”

Visualizing Sound: Oefner sets tiny, multi-colored crystals atop a piece of foil that rests on a speaker. When the music moves the crystals his camera captures the art of sound.

Capturing Combustion: In a second piece of artwork, he uses items a person may find in his or her home to create an explosive shot. Setting fire to a bottle of whiskey, he freezes a flame.

Fabian Oefner does not stop there. He continues to mesmerize the world with the reality of science through the vehicle of art.

More of his pieces can be viewed on this CBS news slideshow: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-205_162-10018481.html.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Science:

Extracting Art from Science

Art and Science – A Genius Combination

Art and Science – A Genius Combination

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Photography Returns to Its Roots

When you thumb through your favorite magazine, how many images do you see that you assume have not been highly processed through technology? More than likely your answer is none. The truth is that retouching images using digital tools has been the name of the photography game for the past several years. In many cases, photos all over the media do not reflect anything that is real or “organic,” but rather what is fanciful and ideal. These qualities are not necessarily bad, but in some ways have lessened the value of raw, genuine photography. But all this is changing.

Photographers who have leaned heavily upon digital tools for the past few years are beginning to gravitate back toward totally or partially un-retouched images. Post-processing techniques that have been majorly employed by photographers are now becoming more and more shunned as artists seek to bring photography back to its roots. But among all of these changes, there is something to remember: there is nothing intrinsically wrong with utilizing technology in photography.

The problem was never in the technology (the post-processing techniques, digitalization, etc.) used to enhance images. David Allen Brandt, commercial photographer, commented, “The problem was that the images themselves, the backbone of the art presented, weren’t great to begin with.” So the issue is not that the technology used to transform images is “un-artistic” or negative. Rather, the core of a piece of photographic art (the photograph itself) needs to be high quality before post-processing techniques are used. Technology shouldn’t be the means a photographer uses to ensure an image is artful; it is more appropriate for it to be used to enhance an already-excellent photo.

As mentioned, photography is returning to its origins. It is mainly making this journey via photographers/artists who are choosing to allow “raw” images to be a primary source of art. These artists view image processing tools as just that: tools. Rather than counting on those tools to make an image into a quality piece of art, these photographers are taking artful images and making them better by using post-processing techniques and other technological helps. Amazing teachers are also shaping this next generation of artists by teaching photography techniques that do not emphasize digital manipulation.

Note: The image represented in this post does not belong to Segmation; it was found at http://www.photography.ca/blog/tag/lens/.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/10/living/fine-art-photography-manipulation/index.html?iphoneemail

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Lighthouses are Examples of Beauty, Symmetry, and Strength

Lighthouses – Beacons of Hope

Lighthouses have long been viewed as beacons of hope and symbols of beauty and strength. Today lighthouses are mainly symbolic and intended more for decoration than function. However, in the past they were quite useful and, in some cases, lifesaving, being navigational tools for maritime pilots.

Lighthouses have traditionally been scattered across coastlines, reefs, and shoals that may present danger to someone. Lighthouses are also popular due to their representation of service to others in spite of impending danger.

The Lighthouse’s Rich History

The lighthouse’s history is quite fascinating. In ancient times, mariners relied on fires built high upon hilltops to guide them safely to shore. Over time, the fires began to be built upon platforms to improve people’s ability to see them from afar. While ancient lighthouses were used for safety purposes, they were mostly intended to mark ports.

The season of modern lighthouses began with the construction of the primary Eddystone lighthouse in 1695. America’s first lighthouse was located in Boston Harbor in 1716. As maritime activity in America increased, so did the presence of lighthouses.  

Lighthouses Represented in Art

Many people have received so much inspiration from lighthouses that they have sought pieces of artwork that represent them. Here are just a couple forms of art that often feature lighthouses:

Paintings – There are a number of famous paintings with lighthouses as their main subject. One such painting is Monet’s The Seine Estuary at Honfleur. Others include Stormy Sea with Lighthouse by Karl Blechen, Seascape with Lighthouse by Charles Codman, and Ceyx and Alcyone by Richard Wilson.

Photography – Many photographers have been captivated by lighthouses and have made it their aim to capture them in photography. One such photographer is Jean Guichard. Guichard began to focus heavily on lighthouses in 1989, and since then has taken many pictures of the greatly loved shelters.

Become a Painter of Lighthouses

Are you a lighthouse lover? If so, have you ever considered painting them for yourself? Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you can be one today – see more details here).
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Where Urban Life Meets Natural Art

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The image above may look like a gardening project gone wrong, or a lot of effort to set up a unique photograph. However, neither of these options can explain the image.

Art can take on many forms and serve many purposes. The photograph above showcases the collaboration of art and nature. It serves as a medium for discussing the importance of growing awareness for both nature and art in urban areas.

This photograph is just a tiny piece of a larger project. The French village of Jaujae celebrated the 10th year of its Arts and Nature Trail program by spreading 1,400 feet of living turf throughout the community.

In this urban city there is little room for art or nature. This extensive stretch of turf weaves its way throughout the city; up stairs, around corners and down streets calling one and all to experience both nature and art.

The 3.5 tons of natural, living turf grass is meant to bring both art and nature into an urban area that would otherwise be overwhelmed by its stone structures. The goal is to provide urban dwellers with a link to all things artistic and shine light on the beauty of the natural world. This winding band of grass serves as a connection for the individuals of Jaujae with the place where art and nature meet.

This endeavor forces individuals to take a moment away from their everyday activities and appreciate that which is creative. It urges the public to support both the arts and projects that bring the natural world into the city. This creative, artistic idea definitely calls for attention and support in a way that a simple garden never could.  It literally attempts to use art to connect man with the environment.

The grass path that runs throughout the city is only a temporary installation. However, it will be interesting to see how this artistic effort works to inspire not only the people of Jaujae, but also others who wish to discover artistic ways of bringing communities together through nature.

Image made available by Web Urbanist – Local Designs to Global Destinations

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Baby Art Creates Dreamy Photographs

Image: Book cover for "When My Baby Dreams"

A familiar adage says, “A baby changes everything.” For one young mother, the birth of her baby also birthed a career in photography.

Finland native Adele Enersen was just another excited new mom taking photographs of her sleeping baby girl and posting them on her blog for family members to enjoy. Who would have thought this hobby could turn into so much more? Before long, her creative style of photography was drawing millions of fans. Her pictures were being compared to the work of baby photographer Anne Geddes. With such success, Enersen began looking for a book deal.

Image: Baby Mila as an astronaut

It all began when Enersen discovered her baby girl was a heavy sleeper — even at nap time. She slept heavy enough for Enersen to create dream-like environments around her and snap photographs.

This excited mother to baby Mila, who couldn’t tear her eyes off her sleeping child. She started to imagine what her baby girl might be dreaming about during the hours she slept so sound. Enersen’s imagination prompted her to start constructing the dream scenes around her daughter.

All credit goes to Adele Enersen whose creativity and imagination makes the dreams of children come alive. All of the dream scenes are created from items around her home. Enersen has a knack for manipulating fabric and for turning everyday items into elaborate sets. She has used stuffed animals to create forest scenes and found inspiration in clothing and pillows.

Image: Baby Mila as a bookworm

Enersen’s photographs of Mila have been collected in a book titled “When My Baby Sleeps” that recently became available for purchase. She never considered herself a serious photographer, just a mother enjoying her baby and trying to share her joy with friends and family. When at first she was overwhelmed with the popularity of her photographs she relied on that simple joy to be her foundation. She desires for her photographs of Mila to combat many of the negative things people are surrounded by every day. 

To read more about Enersen’s story, view some of her photographs of baby Mila, now a toddler, and to hear her thoughts about future projects visit:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45816601/ns/today-books/#.TzqG47EgcsI

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Romare Bearden and Abstract Expressionist Art

Romare Bearden was an artist whose personal style went against the “mainstream” of art in the post World War II era. Overtime, Bearden’s style did not change as other artists’ did. He remained consistent in his abstract and expressive approach.  This is evident in all of his paintings and even more so in his collages.

Being an abstract expressionist, Bearden’s individual style developed over time.  At first he drew cartoons for magazines, then he began to paint and finally he started making collages.  All of his art was influenced by locations, people, and culture. His many travels along the east coast of the United States influenced his art work, along with his loyalty to his heritage.

The culture of African American life was a large focus for him. He shed much light on the oppression of African American people from the time of the Great Depression, through the Civil Rights Movement and onto their advancements toward equality.  He also concentrated on his heritage, depicting slaves and their migration to the north.

In addition to this, another common theme of his art was jazz music.  This greatly advanced his individual style. His art relayed one common theme but his style was advanced by his personal interpretation of jazz music.  Bearden constructed collages in the same way jazz musicians created a song — with many staccato notes played by multiple instruments. In the same sense, Bearden cut and pasted many small excerpts of paintings and photographs to create a larger work of art.

He also added paint to his collages making many pieces a hybrid of two art forms; half of the piece was painted and the other half was cut and pasted. Such creativity earned him the title of an abstract expressionist artist. While abstract elements were painted, the collage portions were realistic images taken from photographs.

The reason Bearden used this technique was because he felt that art portraying the lives of African American’s did not give full value to the individual.  This is why he used collages. In doing so he was able to combine abstract art with real images so that people of different cultures could grasp the subject matter of the African American culture: The people. This is why his theme always exemplified people of color.

Through the work of Romare Bearden, many lives were affected and individuals were better positioned to understand the struggles that African Americans faced throughout the 20th century.  The heritage of African American’s influenced an entire movement that advanced human equality.  Their struggle produced freedom.  In effect, the outside the box thinking of Romare Bearden created his unique style. A freedom all of its own.

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Did you love this Segmation blog post? If yes, great! Here are a few more posts you will enjoy:

— How the Father of Abstract Expressionism Forsook Fame to Pursue Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/how-father-abstract-expressionism-forsook-fame-pursue-art/

— The Beauty of Abstract Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/paint-by-number-kits-create-thousands-artists/

— Knitting Is More Than an Art, It Is a Cause
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/knitting-more-than-art-cause/

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Face the Fact, Technology Creates Art

In the 21st century, technology creates all things useful… including art. We have to face the fact that gone are the days when art belonged on an canvas, was formed between the hands of a potter, appeared from inside a slab of granite, or was developed with the intention of advancing culture.

Now there are even more dimensions of art to embrace. We can do this by recognizing how technology allows everyone to become artists by producing visual representations of who we are, as individuals and what we care about.

An online program that allows anyone to create a work-of-art is Picasa. This is Google’s free photo editing software that transforms our every day pictures into artistic masterpieces.

The newest version, Picasa 3.8, has the ability to turn anyone into an artist — or a video producer for that matter. For some time, Google’s Picasa has been an easy tool that makes photo organization and editing a breeze. It allows individuals the ability to create online albums that are easily shared with friends and family members throughout the world. Check out the Face Movie Segmation produced with it:

(If the video does not appear on this screen, visit Youtube to view Segmation’s feature Picasa film: http://youtu.be/16JPgeF5y5U)

Creating A Face Movie

It’s easy to create a Face Movie like this one. Picasa 3.8 can instruct you with step by step directions. However, it is a process that is completed with just a few clicks of a button. The program analyzes faces in the photos you want featured. Then, it couples them with the smoothest transitions in ways of facial expressions and/or poses. The different technique Face Movie uses, creating noticeably different movies, is overlaying photos organized by similar qualities, like expressions or poses. You can start creating your Face Movie today by clicking here.

Benefits of Picasa 3.8

But wait… it gets easier. With Picasa, you don’t need to scramble to find the pictures you want to use. It organizes all the photos on your PC, even those scattered throughout your system. Then, they can be easily organized into web albums.

Name Tags

Google understands that the people captured in photographs are what matter in a picture. This is why they created a collection system based on name-tags. It is a lot like the Facebook feature, “tagging.” By placing a box around an individuals face, one is able write their name and easily store all pictures where he or she has been tagged. This is also available with places, or “geo-tags,” where one can mark the exact location of the picture using Google maps.

Sharing

From there it is easy to publish your favorite photos online. You can choose to share single images or an entire album. This also allows you to connect with friends and family members and set notification settings when those you’ve set as “Favorites” post new photos.

Editing 

And you don’t need to worry about showing pictures that are sub-par. Picasa also includes an editing systems that can improve any picture. By having control of red-eye correction, lighting, and other abnormalities, you are sure to collect and share pictures you’re proud of.

The abilities of Google’s Picasa 3.8 are numerous, but you don’t have to believe us. Explore the free program and see for yourself.

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Bauhaus Art School

Are you impressed to learn about the invention of Op-Art?

The modern art style, best associated with the art and theory of Josef Albers, influenced an artistic evolution throughout the 20th century, and continues to impact the 21st century as well.

But did you know that this trendy new art form started in Germany in the early 1900’s? Even more, it was created and taught at a school that was also a forerunner for architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

The famous school of art, called Bauhaus, existed in three different parts of Germany between the years of 1919 and 1933. This seems like a short period of time to have such a strong influence on the world. However, the principal thoughts and practices that encouraged artists at Bauhaus traveled with them and spread throughout the world when many of the practicing students and teachers had to emigrate during Nazi control.

The Bauhaus art school was known as a “House of Construction” or a “School of Building.” Even though studies in architecture were not implemented until later, the school built its values on the idea that creating a “total” work of art incorporates multiple elements of art.

A good example of this is optical art’s use of three types of elements: optical illusions, canvas painting, and color. Perhaps it was this concept of completeness that catapulted the Bauhaus style into success, becoming one of the most influential styles in modern art, design and architecture.

Another thought that contributed to the success of Bauhaus was the founding philosophical principle of constructivism. This term originated in Russia and commonly associated with the idea that art could contribute to a better society. With major political and economic shifts happening all over the world, especially in Europe, people learned they could express themselves and propel a positive message with art. Even though there was a negative atmosphere in the world during the time of World War I and leading up to World War II, individual artists knew that art had the power to carry the significant message of peace.

In a war-torn society, Bauhaus school had much to teach. Here are some common art forms that excelled and were mastered by artists at the school between 1919 and 1933:

  • Woodworking
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Work with Metal
  • Ceramics
  • Weaving
  • Printing and typography
  • Theater
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Architecture
Bauhaus art school existed at a poignant time in history. It’s location in the world and foundational European thought are two of the many reasons why it is still a reputable resource for art history today. The other reasons are artists, styles and creations that were consistently produced by the school. These are the pieces that influence modern art today, and will continue to do so evermore.