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10th October 2010 at 10 am.

10th of October 2010 fell on a Sunday. Sunday’s are normally “lazy Sundays” where I am hitting the playgrounds with Tian or, as lately, we go and see the water puppet show and then stroll around Saigon Zoo. Finished serving late breakfast or early brunch, I picked up the camera and looked for inspiration as the time drew closer to 10 am.

This is it:

Tian's reindeer, natural light at ISO 1600.

10/10/10 or 101010 in binary code equals 42.

Cube 1:

  • According to Douglas Adam fans, the number 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.
  • 42. The absolute truth about life. 2 Die. A die got 6 sides and all sides add up to 21. 21 times 2 equals 42 hence 2 Die.
  • The eight digits of pi beginning from 242,422 places after the decimal point are 42424242.

Cube 2:

  • The glyph, or character, corresponding to the number 42 in the ASCII character set, is *, the asterisk, commonly known as the wildcard character. For example, when used in a Unix command such as “rm -fr /*”, * means “everything”.
  • 42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabalistic tradition.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has 42 illustrations.

Cube 3:

  • In A Clockwork Orange Alex browses through records in a record store and we see a record of the, at this time fictional, band Level 42.
  • Tower 42 is a skyscraper in the City of London, formerly known as the NatWest Tower.
  • The designation within ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7 of its working group on Architecture was chosen to be “WG 42” because architecture is the answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything”, skipping over designations 26 through 41.

What’s up with the “Cube” sub headings?

Given 27 same-size cubes whose nominal values progress from 1 to 27, a 3×3×3 magic cube can be constructed such that every row, column, and corridor, and every diagonal passing through the center, comprises 3 cubes whose sum of values is 42.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_(number)

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Scandinavian design from the shores of Vietnam.

Fronterra furniture design photographed by Studio MadsMonsen in Vietnam.

Asia, the heart of manufacturing these days. Ideas can be created anywhere, however, when the ideas are about to be realized and manufactured, then Asia is the place to be. One of my clients, Fronterra, have their designers in Scandinavia, or more precisely, Denmark. The Norwegians and the Danes have a good relationship. Denmark is still a popular holiday destination for Norwegians.

I remember from my childhood days we would get up early in the morning, load the car with suitcases and snacks and hit the road. From Bergen to Oslo and then the ferry to Frederikshavn or the other route to Kristiansand and the ferry to Hirtshals. Either way, we got to see the countryside and pass over the mountain range, have a ferry ride and then entering the almost flat country with the famous red hot dogs. We would visit Fårup Sommerland and of course, being an avid lego builder, Legoland itself, in Billund. Even my firstname is Danish. According to the family history, relatives on my father side emigrated from Denmark to Norway roughly 200 years ago and kept the tradition of naming the firstborn son Mads.

The Norwegian language Bokmål, is based on the Danish language and is commonly used in the south and in particular the larger cities while NyNorsk, the second official language, is used elsewhere in the country. All official communication is printed in both Bokmål and NyNorsk. Total population of around 4,5 million people. Feels like there are more motorbikes on the streets of Saigon than there are Norwegians in this world.

Finally, some more samples of their products that we have photographed for them here in Vietnam.

Fronterra furniture design photographed by Studio MadsMonsen in Vietnam.

Fronterra furniture design photographed by Studio MadsMonsen in Vietnam.

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Why nine lives are not enough for a copycat…

Dalat train station

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, however as a visitor to Dalat’s old train station, my enticement to buy a souvenir for my son, who happens to love Thomas the tank engine, vanished as hot steam in the air as I walked into the shop.

I could have been in Saigon, Hanoi, Nha Trang or even Bangkok. They had the same inventory. The same. “Same same” as they sometimes say. This time “same same” was “same same”. It was not “same same but different”. It was not being told that the Polo shirt from the street stall was exactly the same Polo shirt that retails for x amounts more. It looks the same, but is not the same.

Railway carriage.

Here I was at a train station and the only souvenir I could find depicting a train was a white t-shirt with a black silhouette train. I could get wooden cyclo’s, the usual t-shirts and lacquer ware and all the other items I would find elsewhere. I was at loss. You’ve got a good location that attracts new tourists on a regular basis. They all come to see the old station and the old train. They also want to take a train ride.

The old train.

Recap. So you have a good location and you have a steady stream of potential customers and you want to sell them souvenirs. So far so good. Then you look at what others offers of souvenirs and you fill your store with exactly the same goods. Something just derailed. Back on track. Filled with exactly the same goods? So when your customer arrive in Bangkok and see something of interest and purchase it, do you really think the same customer wants to purchase the very same goods from you? How far down the food chain is Dalat?

I am amazed that the shop was not filled with trains. People come to see trains. It is a train station. It is in the guidebooks. It got something that is different and you don’t sell train souvenirs? Except for a lousy t-shirt. Low quality. Almost like an afterthought.

Almost needless to say, we did not buy anything except for water bottles and ice-cream and that was from the other kiosk.

It is always easy to copy what you see others are doing and thinking it will be a successful business, but it will never be the same. The souvenir shop will go through their “nine lives” unless they start innovating.

Quoting from Vietnam Talking Points:

“Now, despite being very entrepreneurial in one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, Vietnamese folks are not very innovative, especially in the fields of sciences and technologies. The 2009 Global Innovation Index ranks Vietnam as #73 out of 110 countries with scores of -1.09 and -0.16 for Innovation Input and Innovation Performance.”

It is clearly room for improvement as copycats are everywhere and copying has been here for a long time, including the art museums and institutions.

VietNamNet posted an article about: Learning or imitating? and the WildWildEastdallies recently posted: Stealing ads? Let’s shoot somebody’!

Photocopied Esquire edition.

Finally, via Mr 720’s tweets, I had to see it before my own eyes to believe it, a copied magazine! Elle and Esquire got photocopied. In colour. Only to run a full ad for Bobby Brewers, the very place that have them available for their patrons to read. I guess it is cheaper to get the local shop to do a colour copy of the magazine than to actual purchase the advertising space. Back covers are not cheap. German Elle rates outside back cover at Euro 37,000.

Photocopied Elle magazine.

At an average price of 50,000 VND or roughly Euro 1,90 per cup of coffee, over 20,000 cups sold are needed to cover a real ad. That’s a lot of coffee. With the imminent launch of Elle Vietnam (October 21st 2010), I believe Bobby Brewers would prefer to sell more coffee and buy the real deal.

Magazine copied completely with ads intact.

Photocopied fashion spread.

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The “100 Faces” photography project and the Vietnamese contribution

“The project is a book in which sale proceeds will be donated to The Global Hunger Project.
We are collecting an array of portraits from different photographers around the world.

The Goal of this Project: Gain exposure for photographers and the art of photography,
raise money for global affairs addressing children poverty, expose the world to the different
perspectives of Beauty amongst different cultures.

We are asking each contributing photographer to submit 1-10 portraits of women
between ages 18-32 which are considered to be beautiful in their local culture.

The brief in short. Received by email. Sounded interesting. Profits to be donated to charity. We can support that. The following Facebook status update went out: “Participating in a world wide charity project about women’s beauty. Need to submit images of ten Vietnamese women. Anyone interested? “

Who would heed the call? 6 women did and here’s the result:

Martina

Thuy

Quynh

Senda

Thy

An Tran

Then came the follow up email:

“Dear Photographers,

I am very sad to be writing this email today and I have developed relationships with many of you
over the past months. I am writing to you because the 100 Faces photography project has been
indefinitely suspended due to lack of funds. “

Sad news indeed, but that should not stop us from ever trying. We tried and got the results above and we would not have had them if we never got the brief.

Yes, disappointed that the project didn’t proceed further and grateful for the opportunity to create the work above.

It was a fun experience as we had to use natural light and James’ helping hands with the reflector to follow the photography guidelines.

Overall, a good experience.

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“Puppets that dance on water” – Múa rối nước

Showtime. Or so we hope. At the ticket counter they wouldn’t sell us tickets, instead they told us to take a seat and wait in hope. Hope that more than ten souls were willing to spend half an hour to watch an art form that dates all the way back to the 11th century. Welcome to the world of water puppetry in 2010.

We were lucky. More than ten arrived and we were asked to purchase tickets. Around 50.000 VND for an adult and a child ticket. Finally show time.

It is worth seeing. Period. If you have children and live in Vietnam it is worth seeing more than once. First time I went with Tian was on an outing arranged by the kindergarten and he loved it. We sat at the back as he was still a bit skeptical to the puppets. However, the second visit it was front row and the show is still as mesmerizing as the first time.

Water puppet show.

The quick summary: Water sprouting dragons turning on their fire and smoke, farmers protecting their ducks only to fail, children swimming and performing acrobatics and men and women catching fish the hard way.

Water puppet show.

Water puppet show.

Water puppet show.

Splashing water, the screams from children when hit by water droplets and the traditional music pouring over the loudspeaker system interspersed with laughter make the 30 minutes experience seem like only 5.

Afterwards you have the option of touring the museum, enjoy drinks or ice cream at Ozo or venture further into Saigon Zoo next door.

Water puppet show.

Address:

The Historical museum, 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (Next to Saigon Zoo)

They do morning and afternoon shows. We went in the afternoon. 2pm, 3pm or 4pm.

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The colorful ones – Saigon brightens up

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Talking about Vietnamese fashion, the Ao Dai comes to mind, however, the real deal is something practical and often quite outstanding, in terms of colour that is. How come? Are bright colours the equivalent to the reflective safety vests?

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Walking the streets of Saigon you will not easily become the next Sartorialist as the most fashionable dressed people simply do not walk the streets, especially not under the sun. Tourists are seen walking, office workers during lunch time can sometimes be spotted and street vendors plying the streets. The rest, they travel around by motorbikes or cars, stopping outside their destinations, spending as little time walking the streets as they have to.

People literally park their motorbikes at shop entrances. Valet parking service is common at more fashionable shopping establishments. Walking is simply done in the morning, 5.30am at the park, if you are into public exercising.

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Colourful Saigon, street style.

Public eye and public space. People are not so shy in public, from squeezing zits or picking noses to men unzipping behind electrical poles, marking it doggy style, so when wearing your pajamas, nobody raises their eyebrows as it is old school style.

Pajamas old school style.

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same” Coco Chanel.

It sums up the final image, Mr Style, walking the street.

"Fashion fades, only style remains the same."

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The masked riders of Saigon’s streets.

One of Saigon's masked riders stopped for texting, actually a rare, but welcomed sight, as the majority multi-tasks while riding.

Motorbikes are plentiful in Saigon. Over 4 millions according to travelers websites, and in 2000 alone, 1.4 million units were produced locally and sold. According to a survey from 2008, 26 million vehicles are registered in Vietnam, 95% of them are motorbikes. Over 9000 new motorbike registrations daily.

An Arizona cowboy. Digital ID: 1610053. New York Public Library

The numbers are just numbers until you meet the herd. Unlike the masked riders of the Old Wild West, riders of the East have less space and more riders and faster means of transportations. The Old West could be lawless and preach the “survival for the fittest” mantra and it has more or less not changed here.

Bikes have to give way for bigger vehicles and bus drivers are regularly referred to as “Devils on wheels” and don’t even start talking about lorry drivers. With horns that blow you off the road if you are lucky or under the wheels when you are not.

Late 2007, the Vietnamese government made the second attempt at introducing mandatory helmets for all motorbike riders. The first attempt failed within the cities as people rather paid the fine than to “destroy their fashionable look” by wearing helmets. The second attempt was better, however, the law had to later be amended to include reference to how the strap should be secured as many simply put the helmet on when they noticed the traffic police. Others were riding with the strap too loose, and it is still common to see riders stop to pick up their helmets as they flew off their heads while riding at higher speed on the highway.

Despite getting people to wear helmets and the efforts to get them to wear them correctly, too many have opted for sub-standard helmets that you can pick up for around US$2 and upwards. 80% of helmets in circulation are reported to fail standards.

Some still refuse to wear them at all as seen below.

Still refusing to wear a helmet while riding a motorbike.

All hooded up. Hoods are always in fashion amongst bike riders, especially female, as hoods help them to cover up from the sun. Hoods with text/lettering on can be of endless amusement due to numerous spelling mistakes and/or subject matter. Ignorance can be bliss sometimes and the topic is worthy of its own blog post.

Hooding up.

Wearing a hood with English text.

Despite the hot climate, gloves are being used to shield the sun rays. Even boys can be seen riding with their wrists turned upwards to “minimize” their exposure and sometimes people ride with umbrellas as shield. Colourful socks worn in flip-flops are also part of the sun protection kit.

Layered head wear, colorful socks and hand gloves, all set to combat sun rays.

The habit of stopping, sometimes on the pavement in order to text or call, is picking up, especially if you have an expensive phone. Yes, the majority of riders are still using their phone while riding, however, others can easily ride up alongside and snatch the phone. Once you have had one or a few phones stolen, you start thinking security and for optimal security, you park on the pavement.

Optimal security stance, texting on pavement.

An unwritten rule it seems, the following rider combinations are commonly used. Single riders, self explanatory. Dual riders, the obvious options: two females or two males. Then, when you start mixing, you will notice, male rider and female passenger, more or less all the time. The most typical exception to spot in District 1, female rider and expat male passenger, either newly arrived or too scared to ride.

Following the unwritten rule, male motorbike rider with female passenger.

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Packed like sardines as accidents do happen

Traffic jam

The image above was captured on the road from Phu My Hung heading towards district 4. A motorbike carrying building bricks had slammed into a SUV and consequently fell on the road, breaking most of the bricks. Police at the scene filling in forms while the traffic jam is building up as the SUV was parked in the bike lane and the motorbike was dragged onto the pavement. One single accident and the cars piled up a few kilometers behind. Welcome to the fragility of Saigon’s road infrastructure.

Road accident

The man with the tie ran red light and tried to get in front of the oncoming traffic but got hit just before he made it. Accidents like these happens every day. Hit and run. Only when the bikes or the riders sustain considerable damage they will involve the traffic police. In this case, the business man got on his bike and drove off with a broken plastic cover and bruised ego. All done in less than two minutes.

Future investment, when parents fail.

As a parent myself, it both saddens me and angers me when I see parents taking children on motorbikes without helmets. In this case, the father is wearing the helmet while his son is not. Even at slow speed, a head impact can be lethal. I know that first hand. Bike riding on a racing bicycle at around 35-40 km an hour, my tires tripped me up on a cobblestoned road and I went head first hitting the road surface. A 1 cm imprint on the helmet from the stones, fractured neck, split lip and broken teeth. Was told by the doctor that stitched me up that the helmet was the only reason I was still alive. A good helmet is priceless.

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A weekend of spiritual wellness for the photographic soul

What better start on the weekend to pay visits to pagodas and take in their atmosphere. Parking the motorbike in the courtyard and see people walking slowly without any haste is a welcomed relief from the traffic mayhem that goes on outside. First stop is the Jade Emperor Pagoda on 73 Mai Thi Luu street. Beautiful sunshine outside, however, once you move inside, the light falls off fast and even at a high ISO setting you will worry about potential camera shake and a tripod is highly recommended. Despite the technical challenge, it is possible to photograph handheld.

By the courtyard entrance of the Jade Emperor Pagoda

By the courtyard wall of the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Inside the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Inside the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Inside the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Close by, on 34 Vo Thi Sau street, we find the Tran Hung Dao Temple, and the parking attendants indicate the parking area for the motorbike that is right next to one of the offering furnaces. It doesn’t take long before the bike is completely covered in thin layer of white ash. Another challenge is light, or rather the lack of available light coming in to the temple, taking handheld photography to a higher level of steadiness exercise.

Detail from Tran Hung Dao Temple

Detail from Tran Hung Dao Temple

Final stop before lunchtime, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda on 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghi street. On the premises there is a great vegetarian restaurant, Viet Chay, perfect place to end the half day tour.

Detail from Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Detail from Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

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“Now I stand here” – A simplistic guide to Polaroid transfer

Now I stand here

Where the ocean’s blueness

Is without limit

The haiku that inspired a trip to Bournemouth, England, and the following examples of Polaroid transfer.

Polaroid transfer, Bournemouth beach, England.

Polaroid has been a long lasting love relationship of mine that came to abrupt when Polaroid decided to stop producing their films. My all time favorite, Polaroid 669, was discontinued and the new and improved version did not work well as a polaroid transfer medium.

I still got the Polaroid camera with interchangeable lenses, the Polaroid bucket for large format polaroid films to be stored on location, the Polaroid Polaprinter, even the 8×10 Polaroid developer and more.

Experimenting with Polaroids was great. The roughness, the imperfections, the random results, all of that by using hands on techniques appealed to me.

– First step. Be prepared.

– You will need Polaroid film, now possible by the Impossible Project. (Disclaimer, I have not used the new films yet.)

– Have a small roller ready, some 2-3mm thick foam board, smooth surface. I found those the best. Cut them down to size.

– Get something interesting to photograph and take out the polaroid.

– Let it develop between 10-15 seconds before peeling of the emulsion and placing it on the foam board.

– Use the roller to transfer the dyes into the foam board surface.

– Wait.

– Remove the emulsion and you have now done an emulsion transfer.

The transfer is different to the lift technique.

The lift technique involves separating the Polaroid surface from the base and place it on your new base of choice, often paper. The separation takes place in water and requires a lot of patience as well as a steady hand, otherwise you will rip it apart. I have to dig further in my archive to find some.

Here is a link to a PDF book about Polaroid transfer that I found online.

Enjoy!

Polaroid transfer, Bournemouth beach, England.

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Road trip with Jamie, first stop, Phu My bridge.

Anybody can conceive an idea, only a few realise them. That sums it all up.

Jamie and I have long talked about taking a road trip together, photographing what we would discover along the ride. This year, the celebration of Liberation Day and the First of May made it possible to set aside a day of motorbike riding and really “go with the flow.”

Monday (the first of May) we set out and about and the following images are from one of our many stops, Phu My bridge in District 7 (Phu My Hung).

Phu My bridge, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

However, before entered the bridge, we just had to stop and capture the two guards setting up the own small canteen underneath the bridge.

Guards having lunch under the bridge

The view itself from the top of the bridge. The Saigon river flowing below.

The view from Phu My bridge

Close up of the two boats seen in the above image.

Boats on Saigon river as seen from Phu My bridge

Of course, we needed to include an image of the bridge being used itself by one of the many trucks. According to Vietnam News, 30.000 trucks are passing through everyday and they believe the number will increase to 100.000 per day. The Phu My bridge is quite step, so modern trucks are needed, otherwise they will break down as the older ones do frequently on Saigon Bridge in District 2, causing long queues.

Overloaded trucks with old engines over a bridge often equals overheated engine. Once a vehicle breaks down, it is seldom removed and mechanics will arrive by motorbike to fix it on the spot. (It is worthy of a blog post itself.)

Truck on Phu My bridge

Back to the bridge, here are a few detail images…

Phu My bridge detail

Phu My bridge detail

Phu My bridge detail

… and the nearby scenery.

Nearby landscape

Nearby landscape

A road trip like this is good for the photographic soul, has to be undertaken more frequently, yay!

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Project Charity

The charity project is something that has been on and off. First time we started it, was around 2003. We found 5 different, privately run orphanages and visited them. We interviewed and photographed, went back home and wrote articles about them that were then posted online on a now forgotten portal site. However, the years they were up, they generated interest and gifts for the orphanages.

The stories we were told back then, are stories that we can never forget. It seems that in this world, no matter how hard you think you have had it, there is always someone who has had a harder life.

What can you do when you are few hours old and are being left outside an unknown house…

The people who care for the orphans have put tremendous effort and love into their operations, no matter how poor they are themselves.

You open up your own house, sell all your furniture so you can support more children and give up your own privacy just for the sake of helping others…

You meet these people face to face and leave humbled.

After setting up my photography studio again, the orphanage project kept coming back in my mind. Still the same concept; visit, document and raise awareness. I added some self imposed rules, only to bring a camera and a lens, maybe a reflector, but that’s about it. Back to basic photography.

My plan this time is to visit 8-10 orphanages and create enough visual imagery for a book and an exhibition in order to raise both awareness and funds for them.

The project is trotting slowly along, I have been to 4 already together with a journalist friend of mine who helps with the interviews.

All the places that we have visited are more or less unknown to the general public. There are quite a few organisations, NGO’s that are internationally funded and staffed with both ex-pats and locals, but we are not including them as they already are receiving exposure. Our aim is to help the ones that even with US$ 10 extra, makes a huge difference.

Below are some samples from the recent visits.

Orphanage Project

Orphanage Project

Orphanage Project

Orphanage Project

Orphanage Project

Orphanage Project

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“The ‘Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about it.” William Gibson


Spook Country by William Gibson

Spook Country by William Gibson

Spook country by William Gibson. Gibson has always been one of my favourite authors, mostly due to the way he incorporate technology into his novels. I cannot recall where I read it but someone once said that for immediate news read the papers but for future change, read contemporary  novels. They are picking up the undercurrent of change before it hits the main stream media. I always liked that thought. The main stream media has no longer got the luxury of time. Look at CNN for instance. They only report what they see. If an incident take place it takes a long time before you will get deeper facts but already by then they have had hundred plus of updates to their news bulletin. I rather watch national geographic than CNN. Contemporary novels over main stream media. Last, but not least, industry blogs and social networks.

With William Gibsons novels readers are expecting the latest in technology applied in an realistic manner. I read an interview with William Gibson where he said readers suggested the interaction between the book and the Internet. Hyperlinks embedded. To that he replied that he’s already doing that. Try googling some of the references and you get to another level of the book. Let your neurons fire, a thought leads to another and more. Before you know it, you have taken a mental road trip, discovering tidbits you didn’t know before. It’s a ride well worth taking similar to the long forgotten Sunday stroll.  Discoveries can be a good thing. Wired did so here in this interview.

However, the current obsession about new technology advances and the rumours of new gadgets before they are launched can take it’s toll and distract focus no matter how much anti shake you put on.

Before the digital revolution, you bought a camera body and stocked up with prime lenses. Glass has always been an investment. The camera body would almost last a lifetime. If the shutter played up, you replaced it and it was good as new. The capture media was the film itself, and you always had access to the latest in film technology.

With digital, your camera body starts to become obsolete the moment you buy it. Every new camera upgrade creates something better, but unlike buying a new roll of film, you have to buy a whole new camera. Suddenly having access to the latest technology became very expensive. In that context, suggestions of camera systems with upgradable sensors make sense from a consumer point of view. For medium format systems you can upgrade the back, but then you also get tempted to upgrade the body too when they have a new and improved model available.

Unless you have unlimited funds available, there is a point where you use what you got in the best way you can. Want that panorama image, try stitching. Only got one flash, start bouncing light with reflectors and mirrors. Don’t let the equipment you want to have put you off shooting in the first place.

Do we need the 60 million pixels? Someone said that with so many pixels you have a lot of lee way when you crop the image. To me it sounds a bit sloppy. I’m old fashioned in that sense that I prefer to crop in camera than after. Why? One example, when I was working as an art director and the editor brought me the images from a beauty session I could only see the full face shots and not the detail shots of the eye and lips. I asked for the missing images only to be told that we could crop from the full headshot. Yes, we can do a crop but it’s a lazy option and not a creative one. You will not get the same quality and feel from a crop that you get with a close up macro shot. With the macro shot you get to play with depth of field and you can create different angles. Why would I use the same image three times when I can have three different and more compelling images. Of course I ordered a re-shoot of the session and made sure that every consequent session had individual shots and not just one headshot.

Quality always matter.

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52 weeks = 52 books = New Year resolution

This is the first blog post for Studio MadsMonsen and I thought it would be good to end the old year with a new year resolution. I got the inspiration from http://52on52.blogspot.com/ and the first book that I finished is well fitting for any photographer:

Book cover of Annie Leibovitz's book "At Work"

It was an interesting read, but you get more anecdotes from it than technical knowledge. This is not a book of Annie Leibovitz’s techniques, however, I found her thoughts on the switch from colour transparencies to colour negatives and then to digital interesting. Digital technology has come a long way, but a lot of the old, analogue techniques are getting lost.

I smiled when I read about the Polaroid pre-tests and when the pre-test was finally there, it was difficult to re-create that on film, especially when working with people. I agree, these days you do your pre-tests on your digital system and you still have a usable file to work with as opposed to a Polaroid that needs to be scanned. Don’t get me wrong, I do love polaroids, I am very happy for the revival project of Polaroid film (http://www.the-impossible-project.com/) but when you have a 31 million pixels RAW file or more versus a 6×7 Polaroid print, the RAW file will give you a better quality. Digressing. I found the book worthwhile reading and I admire Annie Leibovitz’s work. Full disclosure. So with that, Happy New Year and 51 more books awaiting, yay!

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