What Would You Do With That Object?

Artist Christophe Niemann calls himself a visual storyteller. He takes everyday objects and translates them into something fresh. Each simple piece tells a story without ever using a word. What do those scissors look like to you except a pair of scissors? To Niemann, they become a sophisticated woman with her legs crossed, reading the newspaper.

Niemann is one of many artists to use Instagram as  a medium to share his art, and I must admit, he is someone I’ve been following for quite some time. His ideas are whimsical and always interesting, and they add a touch of joy to the everyday.

bearHow about this wonderful paper cup bear? And this was just a simple photo taken mid-flight somewhere.  You can find out more about his work on his website here.

The next time you pick up a paper clip, or a hairbrush, I bet you’ll look at it in a brand new way. How can you tell a story today in a new way?

 

 

Get Out and Take a Picture!

springfacebookThe nice weather has everyone outside (finally!). And you’ve probably noticed a lot of people taking pictures, either with their phones, or a real camera. If you’re serious about photography, you might be trying to improve your photos, and improvement begins with knowledge.

We have plenty of great books in the library on both digital photography, and traditional SLR photography (or both). There are many great online resources as well, and if you don’t use Instagram, you might want to start an account. It’s a wonderful resource for inspiring photos, especially when you start following photographers you admire.

But what if you’re just starting out and you don’t know anything about photo jargon? All those words can be confusing….aperture, bokeh, field of vision? I came across a great website recently that breaks down the basics for you in a really easy way. I can almost guarantee your photos will improve just knowing these things. Not Dressed As A Lamb is a fashion blogger, but she makes this idea simple for anyone. Spend a few minutes on the link, and bookmark it to come back later…..you’ll learn as you go, and might need a refresher.

Most of all, have fun out there taking photos! It’ll show in your work.

This Day

Nikon says it best:  “Each day is a milestone in human history.” Their website let’s you travel through time to remember some of those past milestones (we probably didn’t even know they were important yet).

Nikon : This Day

 

nikon-this-day-flash-web-app

If you have a few minutes, this is a wonderful site that makes it feel like it’s transporting you back through the ages, day by day. Enjoy it, and learn something along the way!

Frivolous Friday – May Edition!

For me, May is all about planning for our summer programs and displays. I can’t even begin to think about these things until all of my other programs are wrapped up and put away. And to keep things fresh, I like to look for new things to do each summer, so I scour the web looking for ideas. This week, I stumbled upon a great link for Scavenger Hunt ideas….including funny photo ideas and videos to make.

A few of my favourites?  Have the kids get their photo on a fire truck…with a fireman. (We did this last summer with our gnome mascot..okay, so he wasn’t exactly on the truck, but you get it).

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Another funny picture?  At least two kids in a doghouse (and yes, make sure the dog is out of the house, first.)

And one more idea for a scavenger hunt?  Finding a buy one-get one free coupon.

If you’re looking for ideas for a fun summer program, or maybe just a tween birthday party, make up a list, grab some disposable cameras (or let them use their cellphones), and plan on laughing….a lot!

 

Day at the Museum

Each summer, we plan a fabulous visit to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum here in Carleton Place.  If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. For those who think local museums are stodgy old places filled with relics that you’re not really interested in, nothing could be further from the truth about this museum.  It’s a living, breathing, always-changing venue brought to life under the hard work of Jennifer Irwin and her staff. They never cease to amaze me with the interesting objects, photos and history they pull from a mass of boxes upstairs and place into the main part of the museum so that the public can enjoy their relevance. Great care is taken to preserve our history and you’d be wise to take an afternoon during the regular season to pop in and see what they have on display. With funding scarce when it comes to historical venues such as this, they might not be around forever.

Lucky for us, there is always a changing display on view at the library. The “museum people” drop in every so often wearing white gloves and carefully placing each object in the locked display cabinet. After, we often huddle around it to see just what gorgeous creation they’ve come up with, usually based on the current season. It’s a special part of our library and we think we’re very lucky to be able to have something like this available to our patrons.

For the entire month of November, Jennifer has graciously put together a wonderful collection of photographs in a series she calls “Carleton Place Then and Now” and we have them on display. There are amazing transformation photos showing buildings in our town as they once were, and as they are today. Believe me, there are some huge changes.  Drop by to see them up close and take a few minutes to compare the present and the past. 

A BIG thanks to Jennifer for the eye-catching display this month!

The Underground Library

Most libraries are housed in buildings or online. They are in one place, one time and easy to find. But Ourit Ben-Haim, a street photographer in New York City, decided that she couldn’t pass this opportunity by—people reading on the New York Subway.  She takes photos of the readers and posts what they’re reading, which become part of her Underground New York Public Library.

She even has a Sunday Bible posting.  It’s really a fascinating look at different people and different books. You’ll find yourself going back to the blog to see more of the photos and you might even find yourself picking up one of the books as a suggestion. Great idea!

Trains

It was about last year at this time when my husband and I went on the Wakefield Steam Train for the first (and sadly, probably the last) time. It was a wonderful crisp morning, the first snowfall of the year and we were booked on the brunch trip which took us to Wakefield while we were served a lavish and elegant brunch. After all the flooding this year, part of the track was destroyed and due to many other financial reasons as well, they decided not to run. It remains to be seen whether or not the train will be back up and running next year. However, I recently came across some (mostly)vintage photos of steam trains at night and was reminded of the beauty of these old machines.

The photos are lovely and ethereal in many ways. Take a few minutes to flip through the photos here and transport yourself to another time and place. Just a nice way to forget about your busy week for a few minutes.