We wish all our Malaysian members a happy Malaysia Day 2013!
We wish all our Malaysian members a happy Malaysia Day 2013!
When most people travel, they typically come home with countless photos: selfies, playful poses with friends, iconic landmarks, etc. But when photographer Michael Hughes is abroad, he goes about it a little differently. Breaking away from a picture perfect postcard, Michael inserts cheap local souvenirs in his shots; resulting in memorable, hilarious photos.
“My images are fun because I really like to play with them,” Michael says in the accompanying video. “I like to play with the way people look at my images, and I’m always up for a joke!”
The idea came to Michael back in 1999 while on a trip to the Rhine in Germany. It was a late November day, and he was standing on a famous cliff overlooking the river.
“I remembered that I had a postcard for my daughter in my pocket,” Michael recalls. “When I pulled it out, I noticed that I was standing exactly where the photographer had been when he was taking the picture for the postcard. So I started playing with it and I managed to fit it exactly into the scene. When I got back to my computer and looked at my pictures, I could see there was something really good going on.”
A few weeks later, Michael went to New York City and decided to take a ferry around Manhattan. On his way to the pier, he bought postcards of the New York skyline to mimic his photo from Germany. In his mind, Michael was already brainstorming a “picture within a picture” photo series. Minutes later on the ferry, however, his idea evolved into something unexpected.
“When I boarded the ferry, I bought a cup of coffee,” Michael explains. “We went past the Statue of Liberty, and I suddenly realized the coffee cup had a picture of the Statue of Liberty on it. So I threw out the contents of the cup, held it up and it fit right in front of the statue. It was perfect! And it was at that point I realized I didn’t have to use postcards, but it could be any kind of souvenir… and that was the start of it!”
Michael created a set of rules for his new souvenir series. First, he wasn’t allowed to take anything (a prop, an object, etc.) to his destinations. Second, Michael had to buy a souvenir on the spot.
“The rules worked well because it put me in a bit of a tricky situation,” Michael says. “You might turn up somewhere and there might not be a good souvenir, so you have to be creative. I like a bit of risk. I also like involving people into the photos as well. People who are standing around adds to the fun.”
One of his favorites photos was taken at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
“My wife came over and showed me this multi-colored lollipop that she’d found,” Michael explains. “My daughter was also there, so I set it up that she was supposed to lick the lollipop. I really love it because it’s a nice family moment. The lollipop fits perfectly, and there’s a lovely violet sky.”
Michael admits the crazier the souvenir, the better the photo. Throughout the years, he has come across several strange objects: an Elvis bobblehead in Graceland, a Don Quixote figurine in Spain and a mini croissant magnet in Paris.
One of his favorites was a transparent plexiglass Jesus the Redeemer he bought in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“It was the funniest thing in that you could put batteries in it, and it would light up in all sorts of colors,” Michael says. “When I went to see the Jesus the Redeemer, I was standing in front of it and looking at it from a bit away. When I held up my souvenir, it looked like some tourists in the background were actually looking up at my souvenir instead of the real thing! It was very cool.”
Michael’s received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement since posting his photos on Flickr. What he likes about his series is that it plays into people’s perception about travel.
“What I like is giving people a question. I think it’s fun to make people think about the world we live in and get them excited to see it. But more importantly, it’s great to have a joke with them at the same time.”
Visit Michael’s photostream to see more of his photography.
As announced, we are currently moving the pandas to a new, greener environment. Both Flickr and the API are not reachable, but our image farms continue serving your images elsewhere if you have embedded them using static URLs (e.g. on your blog).
What are you doing #WhileFlickrIsDown? Tell us on Twitter and Tumblr. We’ll curate our favorite contributions, including tweets, posts, comments, drawings, paintings, and photos throughout the outage on whileflickrisdown.tumblr.com.
Update, 13 Sept, 6:05am PST We are back for 100% of you. If you notice any issues, please come over to the help forum and let us know. Thank you for your patience and all the great contributions to #WhileFlickrIsDown.
We’re all set for our planned outage taking place in less than a day.
Since the site is going to be unavailable for around 8 hours, we’d love to see and hear from you what you are doing #WhileFlickrIsDown: Take a photo (or a series of them documenting your activities), write a poem or short story, paint, draw or scribble, or come up with a shortlist of activities. We know how creative you are and are already excited about your contributions before and during the outage.
While we will keep you updated on the progress on Twitter, we’d love to put you in charge of the entertaining part of the downtime: Tag your tweets and posts #WhileFlickrIsDown, and we will share your activities during the server move. Once we are back up, also upload your photos and scans to your photostream using the tag WhileFlickrIsDown so we can feature a selection right here on the blog.
We’ll be back later today as we are getting closer to switching off the lights.
Photo from saimad.
New York Fashion Week is more than what you see on the runway — it’s about what happens behind the scenes, after hours, and on the streets outside of Lincoln Center. In addition to the pros it takes to pull off a runway show — designers, models, makeup artists, hairstylists, manicurists, sound engineers, lighting crews, caterers, security — there’s also a frenzy of journalists, bloggers, photographers, fashionistas, celebs and fans buzzing about the event. Fashion editors Joanna Douglas and Jennifer Fox of Yahoo Shine caught these players in their element, as did members of our various Fashion Week groups. So live vicariously, and enjoy your front-row seat to Fashion Week!
After continuing our travels from Georgia we made our way up to Washington D.C. to host a workshop in Alexandria and to explore some American history. We hosted our D.C. workshop at the beautiful Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria where we had four amazing photographers come out and explore the ruins of the forts with us for a fun filled day of laughs and shooting.
Then we headed off to New York City for our last stop of the tour to host a workshop in Central Park.
This was to be our biggest and last workshop of this summer with twelve talented photographers in attendance. We focused on storytelling, sharing passions, and most of all sharing the happiness of being with such a great group of people. Everyone was busy smiling, shooting, and exploring all of what the park had to offer amongst the flowers and Belvedere Castle.
We’re happy to announce that The California Historical Society (CHS) joins the Commons on Flickr today. The CHS is a membership-based, non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. Founded in 1871, CHS was reorganized and revived in 1922 by a small group of distinguished San Franciscans, among them California bibliophile C. Templeton Crocker. To support the Society’s fledging library, Crocker deposited his superb private collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, and periodicals in rooms adjacent to CHS headquarters. Formally acquired by the Society in 1940, the Crocker Collection – with its emphasis on voyages of discovery, Western overland travel, California’s transition from a Mexican province to statehood, and the Gold Rush – remains at the heart of the CHS library collection today.
The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people. Collection materials include: 50,000 volumes of books and pamphlets; 4,000 manuscript collections; 500,000 photographs; printed ephemera, periodicals, posters, broadsides, maps, and newspapers; the Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing; 5,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, and lithographs; and numerous artifacts and costumes, of which you can now see a portion in the society’s Flickr account.
If you are in the San Francisco area, the CHS Library is located at the Society’s San Francisco headquarters at 678 Mission Street and open to the public, free of charge, between noon and 5 pm Wednesday through Friday. We’d like to encourage you to visit the Library and explore hands-on the rich history of the Golden State. In the meantime, enjoy the photographs already uploaded and contribute your knowledge about the shown images and scenes by adding tags and comments that will help make the content more discoverable.
One of Dan’s favorites was Zach Galifianakis. The photo was shot at the height of his fame, right after ‘The Hangover’.
“He ended his set by ripping off his outer clothes, to reveal that he’d been wearing this Annie outfit all along,” Dan says. “Zach’s sense of irony and absurdity is so cute, that he’s perfectly happy in a dress with furry legs.”
“In my career, I’ve been so fortunate to see and meet many of them backstage,” he tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “And I know what they’re really like.”
Dan grew up as what’s now considered a “comedy nerd”: collecting vinyl, watching Saturday Night Live and immersing himself in all things comedy related.
“I saw my first standup show when I was 14 years-old and developed a huge respect for it,” Dan says. “I love their art, their craft and I think what they do is magical.”
Dan started work as a portrait photographer when he was 18 years-old. After college, he established himself as a performing arts portraiture of comedians, taking promo shots at comedy clubs. A few years later, Dan became the house photographer of the legendary San Francisco Fillmore at the age of 24 years-old.
Visually, Dan loves comedians’ faces – specifically the variety of expressions.
“Comedians are the smartest people I know,” Dan admits. “They are the best conversationalists and they’re great to hang out with. Their expressions, their smiles, their life lessons that have made them who they are and got them where they are now. It’s great.”
Dan’s approach to his shoots is unique. He doesn’t ask them to do wacky and outlandish things. Instead, he develops a trust with them and in turn they trust him.
“So often photographers make comedians look like clowns, but if you can make them look smart, you’ve got a friend for life,” Dan says. “The best time to shoot is right after they get off stage. It’s when they let their guard down, when they stop mugging. I like to just be relaxed, hang out for a little bit, talk about their friends. I want the shot when they are who they are. And before they know it, the shoot is over.”
“Another of my favorites is Jerry Seinfeld,” Dan explains. “New York’s more elegant comedy club, Gotham is wrapped with my portraits. When Seinfeld saw the exhibition, he wanted to be a part of it, so when he came to Oakland, he agreed to a backstage shoot. When we shot, I felt like he’s the person you see in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Relaxed, friendly, cooperative. He was very accessible, conversational, just a regular guy, hanging out, talking comedy.”
Dan’s photographed over a thousand portraits and he admits he’s always prided himself on keeping his cool. But when he shot Steve Martin, a comedy legend to him since he was 13 years-old, even the most seasoned pro can get starstruck.
“This was a very brief session but extremely memorable,” Dan recalls, “We talked about regular things, we talked about vintage banjos, San Francisco in the 70′s. He was very amenable, very professional.”
Dan loves his job because he feels he’s creating an archive of comedy.
“I’m not a comedian myself, but this has allowed me to become a respected part of their community,” Dan explains. “This is backstage. This is the lifestyle. This is comedy. What makes it even better is they appreciate what I do, which is more important than any audience member, magazine, or anything. And I love it!”
Visit Dan’s photostream to see more of his photos.
Also from comedic icons to music icons, check out Scott Dudelson’s incredible photos.
Our last Flickr Friday theme was #DreamsCanComeTrue. This is a selection of our favorites from your submissions.
The things we most cherish are those that come when we close our eyes and listen to our heart. Today we invite you to get in touch with all those special things that make you smile because they already happened or because there is a little flame that tells you are going to go after them. Whether it’s a precious friend to share your adventures with, or that significant other who joins you for a fantastic journey. You shared with us how important dreams are to fulfill the engine of life. See and explore more of this meaningful theme in our FlickrFriday group pool.
For our next theme, we want you to tell us what surrounds your #BusinessAsUsual. It could be you that gives us a different perspective about your daily life or a funny approach to it. We will be waiting for all your submissions and the selection of your images will be showcased right here on the Flickr Blog next Friday. If you would like to invite your friends to take part in this week’s challenge retweet us or share our status.
We want to let you know that Flickr will be unavailable due to planned server maintenance next week Thursday and/or Friday (depending on your timezone). The outage will last around 8 hours from 12 Sep 9pm – 13 Sep 5am Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7). If you’re not on the U.S.’s West Coast, these links might be helpful for you:
During that time, Flickr will be unavailable and the API will not be reachable. Nevertheless, our image farms will still be online and keep serving your images elsewhere if you have embedded them using static URLs (e.g. on your blog).
Why is this happening, you ask? All those photos need a lot of servers to store them. After five years with only minor updates to our infrastructure, we are performing important upgrades and moving equipment to highly energy efficient data centers (which Yahoo has pioneered over the past several years). Don’t worry, even though Flickr will be greener on Friday we promise your photos won’t be.
We will post another announcement next week when we’re closer to the event.