Jul 28, 2010

Aboard The Death Star

"And now, your highness, we shall discuss the location of the secret rebel base."

Jul 24, 2010

Papercraft Rocket Ship

I've never tried my hand at papercraft (printing out plans for paper models on your printer, and then assembling them), but if any project would get me to try it this would; a really neat rocket ship! Just print out the plans and follow the instructions. 

The website Tor.com is where you'll find this; check it out HERE.

Jul 21, 2010

Escher's Relativity - The Interactive Version

One of M.C. Escher's most famous works, Relativity, has been turned into an awesome interactive 360 degree picture by Nico Roig that you can explore from all angles. To learn more about Escher, click HERE.

The original print, and the interactive version below:

Tribute to Escher in Barcelona

Photography In Public Places Is Not A Crime

As a photographer as well as an artist, one of the things that gets me riled up the most is the increasing amount of harassment photographers (and people with cameras in general) are experiencing for taking pictures in public. 

People have a right to take pictures in public, regardless of whether this makes some people uncomfortable or not. Terrorism is often cited by poorly educated security officers or police as a justification for restricting photography, even though there has never been any evidence shown that terrorists take pictures of their targets.The rise of terrorism legislation has led to an increase in attacks against photographers, even though none of this legislation restricts photography at all.

The increasing amount of intimidation and harassment photographers are facing represent a real and tangible threat to American civil liberties and the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy. Popular Mechanics has an excellent article about this subject that is worth reading. The blog Photography Is Not A Crime by Carlos Miller also does an excellent job documenting the increase in confrontations.

Photographers have rights. I carry this handy sheet with em whenever I'm out taking pictures.  It's a flyer written by a lawyer that spells out the legal rights photographers have to take pictures in public. Get it here: The Photographer's Right.

ABC News has an article about this issue HERE. Anthony Graber, a staff Sergent for the Maryland Air National Guard, is facing an incredible sixteen years in prison for recording a traffic stop. The state's charges: illegal wiretapping.  The police videotape civilians during traffic stops, but are increasingly preventing people from doing the same. Graber has set up a Facebook page which you can visit HERE.

UPDATE: On 9/27/2010, Harford County Circuit Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr dismissed all the charges against Graber, declaring flatly that "“The encounter in this case took place on a public highway in full view of the public. Under such circumstances, I cannot, by any stretch, conclude that the Troopers has any reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation with the Defendant which society would be prepared to recognize as reasonable.”

My favorite part of this ruling is the following: “Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation." To read the ACLU's full press release about this important decision (which will no doubt have an effect on other similar cases), click HERE.and HERE.

Predictably, the state attorney who brought the charges criticized the decision, saying it would make it harder for police to do their jobs (a dubious assertion at best). Police throughout Maryland have used this law to confiscate cameras and video cameras of people videotaping their activities, in public, and this case was being watched closely.

If you're interested, below is the 3:37 minute video shot by Graber, who was undoubtedly speeding, but still had a right to record his encounter.

The good news is that this problem is attracting greater attention; Congressman Edolphus Towns  has introduced a bill that would forbid arrests and prosecutions for photographing and videotaping police. The police may find it harder to justify their abuse of a constitutionally protected right as more people become aware of this trend. Read about the legislation HERE.

The Protecting Freedom category in the Magnum Arts blog is a newer category, to educate artists about the threats to artistic freedom. If you do not know what your rights are, someone else will dictate them.

Jul 17, 2010

Original Photography

The Secret Life Of Dolls
Dolls can be creepy, weird, and intriguing subjects. Here are some of my favorite pictures from this series.


Various Subjects

Grand Central Terminal, time exposure with colored polarizing filter

Coat and flag, taken after photographing a local fire department parade

Colorado mountaintop, Steamboat Springs, with colored polarizing filter

This image is not Photoshopped. It was a happy accident. Before leaving New York, I took a self portrait sitting on a bench in lower Manhattan (lower right picture). I rewound the slide film back into the canister so I could use the rest later. When I put the roll back in, I advanced to what I thought was well beyond the last picture, and took a self portrait of myself standing on a sandbar on Lake Champlain, Vermont. I had accidentally double exposed the film, and this miraculous shot is the result!

A bottle in my apartment on a cold winter morning

A late-afternoon ball game, Port Chester New York

An abandon truck and farm silo, North Hero, Vermont

These fireworks pictures were unplanned; I didn't even use a tripod! Still, some of them came out much better than I expected. See for yourself!


Jul 14, 2010

Star Wars Artwork


In preparation for Celebration 5, the insanely huge convention of all-things Star Wars, I was asked to create high-res images of Jawas for a 'droid obstacle course. The images will be printed and attached to foam core board, and the 'droids will have to maneuver around them.

And in a shameless bit of self-promotion, I present a flier I created to generate interest in drawing lessons, to help raise enough money so I can attend both Celebration V and Dragoncon this year. Because going to both is not cheap.