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Between one second and the next

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Over the past couple of years photography has increasingly become a more important part of my life. I use it as a part of my job as a graphic designer but I’m also using it more and more outside of the professional sphere to take images that give me pleasure or capture a moment in time. Drawing and painting are truly pleasurable activities too but there’s something about photographs & photography in general that is really beginning to dominate my free time.

Only a camera can capture that instant in time, that vital moment between one second and the next and record it forever. There’s something thrilling about that and I find it increasingly addictive.

Maybe as I’m getting older I notice how time appears to slide by at an alarming rate of knots these days. Possibly this is my futile attempt to freeze time, slow it down to a moment and hold it there for good.

The more images I take, the more I realise I have so much more to learn. I’m currently looking at the work of Saul Leiter and Cartier-Bresson, two masters of the art. I recommend their work if you like me have an interest in photography.

If you want to take a look at a few of my images then they can found on my Flickr site. I would be delighted if you paid them a visit and added a comment here and there.

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Tony Ben RIP 14 March 2014

Tony Ben RIP 14 March 2014

Tony Ben
http://bit.ly/1oSZYUn

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March 14, 2014 · 10:22 am

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A farewell to Waterstones, Bold Street, Liverpool

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I’m seldom moved by the closure of something so mundane as a shop, after all they do come and go on the high street, these days with ever increasing frequency. But this is different, this is personal.

I discovered the sad news via Twitter that my favourite bookshop and coffee bar is to close in February 2014. I suppose the writing was on the wall. The academic section on the top floor has been empty for a while and Waterstones had opened a ‘flagship’ store in Liverpool One. This new bookstore is large and well-stocked but it just doesn’t have, for want of a better word, ‘soul’ like the Bold Street bookshop. It’s too clinical and corporate – too spacious even. For me the old Bold Street Waterstones had everything a good bookshop should have. Multiple floors, well-stocked shelves, a good choice and an excellent children’s section. The staff were always helpful and the place had a small and ‘family’ feel about it.

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Over the years I have always spent time there every week, often to buy books for myself, my wife Gina or close friends. I made a point of purchasing my Christmas gifts there in the last few years as I wanted to give the place a fighting chance. Not that my small endeavours would ever amount to a rescue package – but I did make the attempt. I would even see a book I wanted on line, make a copy of the ISBN no etc and order it from the book counter at Waterstones Bold Street. They would even send me a text once it had arrived. Sure, it was a slower way of getting my books, but so what – the shop was far more important.

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But all this has been to no avail and the fine old place is to close after all. I’m devastated and looking at the torrent of tweets I’m not alone.

I can only hope that the staff in the bookshop and in the Costas coffee bar all manage to find work elsewhere.

Bold Street has lost a jewel and will never be the same again. So farewell Waterstones you will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

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Ernst Haeckel’s Christmas Cards

Ernst Haeckel’s Christmas Cards

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

The image is from Ernst Haeckel’s Christmas Cards via Retronaut

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December 19, 2013 · 10:44 am

Glass half…

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

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Wise Words on Wednesdays

Graphic design is one of the last free professions that is not forced into the corset of a career structure and thus inhibited by standards and guidelines. There is no career structure upon which the state could accompany designers with examinations and checks, and of course also with certificates and prizes, with awards and titles. A graphic designer is a graphic designer.

Otl Aicher
The world as design, 1994

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