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Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Some standout photography, video and multimedia stories from around the Web to discover this week.  Take a peek.  Enchant yourself.  And feel free to send me cool stuff to check out.  I’d be grateful.

Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul by Orlando Von Einseidel
If I were actually a cool girl, I’d be a skater-photographer-filmmaker-designer-brand maker.  Alas, I only fulfill the girl part, without the cool.  That’s OK because, for a moment, as I watched “Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul,” I felt pretty cool.  Sometimes the world works in ways that just make me flutter in delight.  On Monday, I sent a link to one of my bosses about Skateistan, and remembered the NYT story last year and then went nuts reading whatever I could find about this topic.  My colleague Albert Lee actually already included this piece in a previous Best of the Web, but I loved it so much, I had to repeat his efforts.  I know it’s a little lame considering how much awesomeness is going on out there, but I just couldn’t help myself.   This short film with captivating imagery, a mood and tone so utterly infectious and the story that is downright hopeful is electrifying. And, yes, I did cry a little bit.  The characters, these skate kids touch the spirit and remind me that they are kids not so much different than the teenagers I know, but then again, they are so different according to the mere circumstances they are forced to face daily.   This is truly a fine piece of visual storytelling.  And the bonus was where the fluttering came to play for me is that today is my friend Katy’s birthday, so naturally I would leave a Facebook birthday wish for her.  And guess what happens to just catch a glimpse onto my curious eyeballs?  On her wall, there is this inspiring short film posted. I did screech a little, but then again, I’m not surprised, as Katy has excellent taste and is totally in the visual know.

 

Mirror by Joachim Ladefoged/VII

Stunning, stunning opening.  Oh my goodness… absolutely, graphically stunning.  That was three stunnings and if I was not writing this, but rather speaking with you, I would be gushing even more profusely.  VII, [that’s seven in case you didn’t get the roman numeral thing], The Magazine has put this piece up by awesome VII photographer/filmmaker, Joachim Ladefoged called Mirror. It is a powerful visual look at….  Well, take a look at the piece for yourself.  The way this was made is jaw-droppingly gorgeous and I’m not into this subject matter at all, but I want everyone I know to see this.  It is so artful, abstract and beautiful.  And the sound … don’t get me started on the sound.  Basically, hauntingly awesome, it gave me chills.  Actually, the editor’s note even states, “This film is best appreciated with your volume cranked up.”  I recommends the sound to be cranked up too for the full all emotional effect.  I also recommend on most everything to go full-screen, I especially recommend full-screen for this.  It will knock you over.  As odd as this may sound, I could see this playing in a large-scale form at a uber-hip club or on the video panels of the Cosmopolitan Hotel lobby in Las Vegas.  That would be insane in a good way.   The lighting, the direction, each perfectly calculated frame, the mood… Oooooh, the intense mood… I admire it all.  I only wish I could hear what these characters sound like. Gawd, I’m dying to hear their voice. But in some ways, the mystery is probably better than the reality.  Still stunning.

 

Meet JR: Video interview of 2011 TED Prize winner
I’m a fan of everything JR touches.  He has style.  He makes pictures in that special sort of way and presents them in that even more special sort of way.  I really dig his approach and the fact that it seems ultra-organic, untainted and with little apprehension or fear of any possible negative consequences.  His portraits are fearless, bold and riveting stories born from his unsanitized creativity of the voiceless communities worldwide.  I read somewhere he calls himself a photograffeur, a combo of photographer and graffiti artist.  That sounds cool.   I presume he’s a very cool human being.  I admire what he does, how he does it and why he does it.  The impact that his photography pieces clearly have on a true global reach that is somewhat beyond comprehension as his audience is extraordinarily diverse. His anonymity is charming and in an honest way pushes his work to be exclusively about his subjects.  What he does is important.  How he goes about it is magical.  This video interview is a sliver about this guy doing his part in the world in his voice.

 

Ark Hotel construction

Time-lapse videos are really neat.  For some reason, every time I see one, I mostly like it.  I think it’s the fact that I see a process of something happening from almost nothing to a completion in some form.  It’s fascinating.  I get a feeling after watching this one that the Chinese are on to something.  I mean, six days for a building  to go up.  I understand the regulations over there might be a tad different and, well, there are a lot of them in the world, but six days?  Really?  That’s just something to really write home about or at least share the link since no one ever writes home about anything I imagine.  It’s fun to see it all come together, not for any stellar visual presentation, but because it’s impressive and a decent conversation piece.  The music is a little draining, but it’s short enough that it probably won’t get to you.  I watched it at least four times and found out from the informative popup bubbles, which is always a good time, that you’ll be happy to know they said not a single injury to workers occurred during the construction of this hotel.  And Gizmodo, if you didn’t already know is a great source for gadget information. They’ll tell us in their promo video, which just happens to be below the time-lapse.  I know you visual people are all about gadgets, so go ahead, bookmark them, but then again, I would bet that most of you are cooler than me and already have them bookmarked.  Sorry for being redundant if that’s the case.

 

Caption: Screen grabs from [upper left]: “Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul” by Orlando Von Einseidel,  “Diesel New Voices” videos;  [upper right]: “Mirror” by Joachim Ladefoged, VII; [lower left]: Meet JR: Video interview of 2011 TED Prize Winner; [lower right]: Ark Hotel construction, Gizmodo

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