Microsoft Desktop Backgrounds

After the upgrade to Fedora 22 last night, I was looking for a new desktop background image, to change the mood.  Surprisingly, one of the top search results pointed me to the Microsoft website, which has a selection of some really good background images.   Backyard bonfire works well for me.

Backyard bonfire
Backyard bonfire


Illustrations by Jason Seiler

Via this blog post I came across an amazing artist – Jason Seiler.  Being an amateur photographer, I am not much into paintings.  I always thought that most paintings miss the details and accuracy of the photographs.  A lot of Jason Seiler’s art doesn’t have that problem.  Some of the images are breathtakingly similar to photographs and only the caricaturist distortion suggests that these are actually drawings.  Have a look at this image of Bill Murray, for example.

Or at this absolutely wonderful black and white portrait:

More images are available at Jason Seiler’s website and in his blog.  I’m an instant fan now.

Inglourious Basterds, art, Haiti

UnrealityMag runs a post with a whole bunch of posters for “Inglourious Basterds” movie.  These posters were drawn by various artists and are now collected into an exhibition.  But not only that!  Quentin Tarantino himself, signs the posters, which are being sold and all the money donated to help with the recent Haiti disaster.  Is that cool or what?  Check the link for more posters.

Photography education anyone?

Via Digg  I came across this nicely written piece called “Photography Students Are Being Taught — But What Are They Really Learning Today?“.  While I’m more of a lazy guy with a camera rather than anything of a photographer, I still can relate to what Mike Sheil writes:

 So there am I looking at work which looked very similar to what I was doing 40 years ago and being told that this is now the real cutting edge of creative photography. It certainly had that rather off-centered, badly composed and poorly lit look that my work had 40 years ago — wide-angle shots of people’s heads, girls with sullen/bored expressions, oddly focused shots and peculiar distressed colours. In all truth, I think my work owed its peculiarities to the fact I did not know what I was doing and anyhow had just started smoking pot, whereas the modern idiom seems to owe an awful lot to a desperate desire to be different — and hence ending up turning out the same mediocre rubbish as everyone else who is also trying to be different.

But what can we do about it?

Amateurs like myself learn most of what they know from numerous tutorials on the web and from looking at a lot of pictures.  And I mean a lot of pictures. (Thank you, Flickr.)  While this certainly helps, it doesn’t offer a base that formal education provides.  And if formal education is getting worse by the year, where is the hope?  Where can one go to learn the “real stuff”?