Monday, April 30, 2007

...the writing is on the wall...

Sort of an ominous title for a Monday I know. I'll get to the "why" in a second.

Today’s topic: Graffiti... or. as s0m3 pre7er, "8treet art"

I want to make my opinion about graffiti as clear as mud. There are two highly energetic opinions on this form of expression. It is NOT hard to tell which is which. There are those that call it vandalism. There are those that refer to it as art. Who is right? And more importantly what do you think? It seems that you really can't be on both sides of this debate. It is either criminal to perform, or criminal to prevent graffiti from happening.

Regardless of your opinion about graffiti, it is out there. And people take pictures of it. And unless you live far from "civilization", you see it quite often. There is no denying that some of these colorful expressions of spray paint on concrete are better than others. I will say that destruction of someone else’s property is not a good way to live. If someone scratched their picture into the paint of my car, I don't care how incredibly detailed it is, you just destroyed what I considered beautiful. (even if my car is a 1996 nissan sentra)

Despite all the back and forth that could go on over this, here is why it is the topic of the day. My friend that I helped move (mentioned on Friday) rented a BRAND NEW Rental truck for his move to the east coast. He rented it early Saturday morning, we filled it all day Saturday, and around 2am, some opportunistic "artists" left their mark. Now my friend had purchased the full level insurance, which covers graffiti, so he was spared the expense of re-painting the truck. But this truck was brand new. Less than 300 miles on it. I didn't get to see the piece myself, so I can't comment on how "good" it was. But this got me thinking about the whole thing.

Now we come to the point. I want this blog to be a place that can honor artistry in all its forms. There is no question that the creators of many of these urban tapestries have immense skill. But should this form of art be recognized in the art community? Please weigh in. In order to get the thought process going, here are today's top ten pictures of Graffiti

Can you keep a secret?
by Cynthia D. Photography

Prepare yourself! pt.2__2
by SoLidal

Optimus Prime - South Rd, Edwardstown

by witness 1

Searching Man

by alexhrdr

graffiti w starej mleczarni

by DruhScoff

Noll and Wilson Street, Brooklyn, New York City, 11237 (Ocean Wall)

by kezam


by i y e r s

zame - EKS


2nd Home, Sweet Home

by JoeJoeSmoe NYC - Brooklyn: Ebbets Field mural

by wallyg

So, what do you think? Please use the comment feature on this blog, or "flickr mail" me. Let me know... What do you guys think. Graffiti artists, why should you be allowed to destroy other peoples property? Anti-grafiti artists/photographers, why is this form of art less credible than another one? I want to hear your thoughts.

Finally, here is a poem on Authors Den by Safi Abdi

When the saint and the sinner are one and the same

When king and subject are similar in intent

When the evening shadow gulps down the morning star

When small beings destabilize their habitats

When your designs clash with the Lord’s Plans

Then dawns the annals of the written.

The earth’s chockfull of visitors’ flakes.

Yesterday he hoarded; a perfect nuisance unrepentant.

Before that he was only a speck, a bird’s bite; toss-able by the wind

Afterwards just a heap of sorrowfulness;

Excess baggage…that’s the hindrance catastrophic

If man had any wits at all he’d apologize to his host

Or read his story to his ego.

Copyright 2006, Safi Abdi, all rights reserved.

Regardless of what you think... Enjoi

Saturday, April 28, 2007

...the darkest hour...

Yes, the darkest hour is always just before the dawn. And with the dawn comes the sunrise. There is something about a new day dawning that awakens something refreshing. You can smell something fresh in the air. You know that good things are coming!! For any of you out there that feel like you are ready to give up because the darkness is going to close in on you for good, look for your sunrise.

Todays Topic: the Sunrise.

A couple of thoughts. First, I am realizing some things about this blog as it is developing:

1. There is no way that I can do this every night of every week. Ergo, I will be taking Sundays off (at least at first) Whenever possible, like today, Saturday's post will have 20, thats right, twenty pictures instead of ten. That should make up for tomorrow. If you are accustomed to getting 10 new pictures everyday than only look at ten today, and tomorrow the other ten will be there!!

2. These topics are going to start getting more specific (I think) Yesterday as I was looking at all the amazing beach shots, I realized I needed to do a sunset/sunrise topic. Today I realized that I could do just sunrises (thus the topic). While I was picking todays pics, I realized even further that I could get more specific (beach sunrises, snow sunrises, etc) Anyway, we will see how that develops!

3. I need your help. Actually I have known this from the beginning. I need you to suggest categories, send me pictures that you like (email me the link would be best so that I can find it), and give me some recomendations of what would make this better, more fun, whatever. So send me your thoughts. For those of you that have expressed appreciation, thank you. Even more thanks to guys like Ricardo (Sr.) who mentioned that he "saw this picture on" with a link to this blog!!! THANK YOU!! This is a great help!

4. I have changed the link format a little bit. Where the name of the artist is mentioned; as in: by toptenpicturesblog I now place a link to their photostream. Clicking on the picture will still take you to that individual picture in their stream. Thanks

More realizations to come.

On to the pictures. Something that I would like to mention. Actually someone. This guy deserves a standing ovation. When you get to his photo "Sunrise 070428" take a little extra time to look at his profile. (hint, I put his picture first). Unless I am severely mistaken, taduque wakes up every morning (or almost every morning) to take pictures of the sunrise. He has three years of sunrise pictures posted, and they are all good. My hat is off to you sir and we are all incredibly grateful to you for your sacrifice. Way to go!

Here they are, for your viewing pleasure, the Top 20 pictures of sunrises.


Sunrise 070428
by taduque

by a.mercurio

Golden Dreams 3
by marylea

by s_h_a_w_n_g_13

Colored Clouds
by Miharbi

by NetDep

Dream Tree #10
by danr_co

palmyra dawn
by mrtoes

Silhouette & Sunrise
by dogwoodtree

Sunrise from our Balcony
by Ted Jones



Tidal Basin

by timkelley

Mount Kinabalu

by kasper1s

April 28th sunrise 2

by R Hammitt's Howard County Scenes

Nubes de fuego (Fire Clouds I think... anyone?)
by Felipe Guerra

Sunrise - شروق الشمس
by 【Qatari】™

Smoke on the Water...
by so little time...

Mirror rorriM
by Damgaard

Sun Beat Down
by Thomas Hawk

Just the sun

by 8230This&That

Wiki-sunrise anyone?

The colors of the sky, throughout the day and at sunrise and sunset, are explained by the phenomena of both Rayleigh Scattering and Mie Scattering. The red hues of the sky at sunset and sunrise are caused by Mie Scattering, not Rayleigh Scattering. The hues of blue, violet, and green in the sky are due to Rayleigh Scattering. Rayleigh Scattering is scattering of shorter wavelength light, (e.g. blue & violet), by air atoms and molecules, (not statistical variations in density of the Earth's atmosphere). The magnitude or strength of Rayleigh Scattering varies by the reciprocal of the wavelength raised to the fourth power, and hence, does not explain the beautiful variations of reds, purples, oranges, and peachy colors. The latter colors arise from Mie Scattering, low angle scattering of light off of dust, soot, smoke, and ash particles. Mie Scattering, (producing the colors of sunset and sunrise), is beautifully recognizable down-wind of and after dust storms, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions that inject large quantities of fine particulate matter into the atmosphere. A number of eruptions in recent times, such as those of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and Krakatoa in 1883, have been sufficiently large to produce remarkable sunsets and sunrises all over the world. Sometimes just before sunrise or after sunset a green flash can be seen.

And finally, the "song of the day" was inpired by NetDep's picture and the comment of DecaBoy who said, "Hello darkness my old friend, heheBeautiful sky line" Which got "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel playing over and over in my head (*followed by once on my ipod). And then I simply had to look up the words. So here they are in case you want to sing along to the music now playing in your head (*or ipod)

Hello darkness, my old friend,
Ive come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
Fools said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.
So, there you have it. I hope this will be enough to sustain you for two days. I will be back monday night.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Let's go to the beach!!!

Well everybody, it's friday! And about time. For those of us who DON'T make millions taking photographs (irony intentional) for a living, but rather push our way through a 9-5 existence (by the way when did that turn into 9-6?), this is the golden hour! We have the whole weekend in front of us. 60 unbridled hours of doing nothing or everything. (whichever one we WANT to do) Here in L.A. where I live it has been getting warm again (today it got up to the mid-90's) so I really would like to go to the beach! I think I am helping a friend move though... maybe after.
Anyway, that got me thinking of all the good times that the beach has brought.

Todays theme: The beach

Todays post has a little more design than normal. The first three pictures are sunrise shots. I grew up in N.J. so #2 holds a special place for me. Note: It is Long Beach Island, not Long Island. (special heartfelt thanks to singedweasel) That being said, the next two shots are "jumping in" shots. You got to get in if you are going to have any fun at all. No fun just sitting on the sand watching! The next three are some fun rides in progress. and the last two are sunsets. Props to you sunrise picture takers... It is much harder to wake up early enough to capture the sun coming up than it is to roll out to the beach in the early evening for a sunset shot. (another reason I love living in So. Cal.)


Rudee jetty sunrise
by buzzhayes

Long Beach Island NJ Sunrise
by singedweasel

Ocean on Fire
by Native Floridian

Leap of Faith - Durban, South Africa
by thinkingpicture

Dive Right In
by zodmczod

Wedge Barrel3
by tylerdurden1

Board Meeting #3
by acastellano

by Ricardo (Sr.)

Sunset waves

Wikipedia: Click here to see the Wiki-version of the beach

I know there are a lot of surfing resources, but SURFING Magazine has a pretty good site if you haven't already seen it Click here

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

...she was blinded by the light...

"the boss"
A picture is worth a thousand words... Pictures capture our best and our worst. Raw emotion. Unspeakable beauty. From the grandeur of nature to the synthetic perfection of everything man-made, pictures communicate to us. Sometimes they whisper a quiet, peaceful message that uplifts our soul. Sometimes they scream at us with impassioned joy or heated rage.
The beauty of the internet is that there are millions of these incredible communiqués at the click of a button. This blog is devoted to these glossy images and everything they stand for.Every post will be categorized in some fashion or another by a theme. For instance, top 10 pictures of cars, top 10 pictures of guitars, top 10 pictures of sunsets, etc.
Today's Post: Light. I know it sounds a lot like yesterday's post "night" but "sounds like" isn't the same thing. Light can be used several different ways. Sunlight, moonlight, candle light, well you get the idea. So here, for your viewing pleasure, the Top Ten Pictures of Light.
Also at the bottom I am including the lyrics to "blinded by the light" by Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) and "shine" by Collective Soul. Why? Just cuz. So there.
And of course (and please don't ask me why) what does Wikipedia say about light?
Alright, enough from me, here you go: Pictures of Light.

The Sun Rises Twice

Moonlit Cruise
by konaboy

Flying Into The Light
by 'SeraphimC

Okay for those of you observant types, you may have noticed that there were a few more pictures today than the usual ten. What you may not have noticed is that yesterday there were only 9. To make up for that I have posted 12 tonight. I think that balances the equation well. Why only 9 yesterday? I don't know, Blogger ate my picture. I put it on, I posted it, then when I was looking at it, it was gone! I tried to add a link in this paragraph and that disappeared. I give up.

Here is the Wikipedia Definition I promised:

Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength[1]. The elementary particle that defines light is the photon. The three basic dimensions of light (i.e., all electromagnetic radiation) are:
Intensity, or alternatively amplitude, which is related to the perception of brightness of the light,
Frequency, or alternatively wavelength, perceived by humans as the color of the light, and
Polarization (angle of vibration), which is only weakly perceptible by humans under ordinary circumstances.
Due to the wave–particle duality of matter, light simultaneously exhibits properties of both waves and particles. The precise nature of light is one of the key questions of modern physics.

As always, Thank you very much Wikipedia. I've said it once, I'll say it again... I would rather let the pictures define light for me.

And now, as promised lyrics to the song "blinded by the light"

Madman drummers bummers and indians in the summer with a teenage diplomatIn the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hatWith a boulder on my shoulder feelin kinda older I tripped the merry-go-roundWith this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the groundSome all-hot half-shot was headin for the hot spot snappin his fingers clappin his handsAnd some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lovers knot with a whatnot in her handAnd now young scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sandAnd some bloodshot forget-menot whispers daddys within earshot save the buckshot turn up the bandAnd she was blinded by the light. cut loose like a deuceAnother runner in the night. blinded by the lightShe got down but she never got tight, but shell make it alrightSome brimstone baritone anticyclone rolling stone preacher from the eastHe says: dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, thats where they expect it leastAnd some new-mown chaperone was standin in the corner all alone watchin the young girls danceAnd some fresh-sown moonstone was messin with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romanceYeah he was blinded by the light. cut loose like a deuceAnother runner in the night. blinded by the lightHe got down but she never got tight, but hes gonna make it tonightSome silicone sister with her managers mister told me I got what it takesShe said Ill turn you on sonny to something strong if you play that song with the funky breakAnd go-cart mozart was checkin out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outsideAnd little early-pearly came in by her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a rideOh, some hazard from harvard was skunked on beer playin backyard bombardierYes and scotland yard was trying hard, they sent a dude with a calling card,He said, do what you like, but dont do it hereWell I jumped up, spit in the air, fell on the ground, asked wich was the way back homeHe said take a right at the light, keep going straight until right, and then boy youre on your ownAnd now in zanzibar a shootin star was ridin in a side car hummin a lunar tuneYes, and the avatar said blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar, were gonna teach those boys to laugh too soonAnd some kidnapped handicap was complaining that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last nightWell I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw a gap but hed figured hed be all rightHe was just blinded by the light. cut loose like a deuceAnother runner in the night. blinded by the lightMama always told me not to look into the sights of the sunOh but mama thats where the fun is

Well, that is hard to read... but it makes it kind of fun?

And one of my favorites, "shine"

Give me a wordGive me a signShow me where to lookTell what will I find ( will I find )Lay me on the groundFly me in the skyShow me where to lookTell me what will I find ( will I find )Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)Love is in the waterLove is in the airShow me where to goTell me will love be there ( love be there )Teach me how to speakTeach me how to shareTeach me where to goTell me will love be there ( love be there )Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)Im going to let it shine (x2)Heavens little light gonna shine on meYea yea heavens little light gonna shine on meIts gonna shine, shine on meIts gonna shine, come on in shine

By the way, please do not ask me "isn't that the Dolly Parton song?" I will answer that here, now:

"Shine" is the first hit single by post-grunge band Collective Soul. Released in 1993 on the album Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, "Shine" became the #1 Album Rock Song of 1994, and won a Billboard award for Top Rock Track.[citation needed]
In 2001, Dolly Parton recorded a Bluegrass cover of "Shine". Parton's recording of the song earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

So, yes she sang the song, but it was originaly written by Collective Soul.

Great songs, great pictures

Everybody Enjoi.