Archive for August, 2015

Smart Style for Small Spaces: 12 Compact Sets & Modules

31 Aug

[ By Steph in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

compact apartment accordion shelves

City dwellers are making do with smaller and smaller spaces these days, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style and function. From bathroom fittings that clamp onto a towel bar to luggage-like portable kitchens and even furniture that folds down as small as a notebook, these 12 clever designs for compact spaces make the most of the limited square footage that tiny apartments have to offer.

Bathroom in a Box

compact apartment bathroom in a box

compact apartment bathroom in a box 2

Inspired by the cabins on ships, this wooden all-in-one bathroom design looks like a wardrobe when it’s closed, but opens to reveal a sink, mirror, towel holders, drawers and shelves for all of your toiletries. It’s small enough to fit inside most standard bathrooms, so the only other items you need are a toilet and shower.

Simplify: Flexible Bathroom Fittings

compact apartment bathroom set 2

compact apartmetn bathroom set

A space-saving set that’s easy to adapt to virtually any existing bathroom, the ‘Simplify’ set by Groupworks slots small accessories onto a special towel bar to keep them up out of the way. There’s a soap dish, a vessel for small items like rings, and a larger box that can hold toothbrushes and combs.

Make the Most of Balcony Space

compact apartments balcony set

compact apartments balcony set 2 compact apartments balcony set 3

Even apartment dwellers who are lucky enough to get access to a balcony usually don’t have enough space for tables and chairs, planters and clothes drying racks all at once. The ’Sigh’ set by Spanish designer Pola Clapés is made specifically for such small outdoor spaces and includes tables in three sizes, a three-tier hanging planter and a clothesline, all of which easily hook onto a standard railing.

Luggage-Like Modular Kitchen Set

compact apartment modular kitchen

compact apartment modular kitchen 2

Literally any space with plumbing and a bathroom can become a studio apartment with the addition of the ‘Gali’ module by designer Ana Arana, which makes most basic kitchen functions portable. Four luggage-like modules come together to offer an induction cooktop, refrigerator, sink, drawers and a combination prep/dining table. The idea is that single people who do minimal cooking can just take their kitchen with them from one living space to another, and don’t have to sacrifice precious square footage for functions they don’t need.

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Smart Style For Small Spaces 12 Compact Sets Modules

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[ By Steph in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

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Brace Yourself, it’s Time for Back to School!

31 Aug

Headed back to school, or know someone who is? Well, it’s time to prep yourself for the most photogenic year ever!

Check out our list of school supplies that are sure to put the cool in Back to School.

Read the rest of Brace Yourself, it’s Time for Back to School! (22 words)

© Erin for Photojojo, 2015. |
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Kosovo: Eine Familie, 50 € im Monat

31 Aug

Ein junge streichelt ein kleines Hündchen

Heute bin ich mit Bersat, der in Kosovo viele arme Familien betreut, und Sara unterwegs. Wir fahren zu Familie Morina, die in der Nähe von Kline wohnt. Dort hat die Caritas Kosova vor fünf Jahren begonnen, nach und nach ein Haus zu bauen – ein Stall für eine Kuh soll noch folgen.
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Car-Free Paris: French Capital Bans Motor Vehicles for 1 Day

31 Aug

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ]

car free paris

For a single day next month, locals and visitors will be able to experience Paris without motorized traffic, giving the city over to pedestrians and bikers. Free of traffic congestion, noise pollution and vehicle emissions, the Day Without Cars will transform the physical and auditory landscape, enabling views and revealing ambient sounds ordinarily drowned out by the urban cacophony on September 27th.

car free parks pedestrians

Timed to coincide with a United Nations climate conference and European Mobility Week, the move is partially a display of possibilities for car-free cities as well as a statement about the environment. The 1st through 7th, 10th and 11th arrondissements (city sections) will all participate; monuments and gathering spaces such as the Champs Élysées, the Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower are included as well.

car free city

Other metropolitan areas around the world including Montreal, Bogota, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City are following France’s lead and instituting similar vehicular restrictions to various degrees. In such cities, photographers will be able to stand in the streets, capturing unique shots of urban architecture and infrastructure without the risk of being run over. Facing increased traffic, cities like London and Los Angeles are already considering ways in which to permanently reduce congestion and give over areas to mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

desert city from scratch

Some cities have longer-term visions for a car-free future as well. In China, plans and budgets have been established for a car-free city built from scratch. In Abu Dhabi, a car-free, self-sufficient city is also in the works, though some question its feasibility. Meanwhile, Hamburg has firmly committed to a 20-year plan to eliminate cars, keeping routes for public transportation and emergency vehicles but otherwise handing city streets over to paths and trails for walkers and bikers.

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2 Clumsy Mistakes To Avoid When Meeting With Potential Customers

31 Aug

You recently received an inquiry from someone who really likes your work, is interested in hiring you for a shoot, and wants to meet in person (or on the phone) to discuss more details. Naturally, you’re pretty excited. The thought of booking an event is something that thrills all of us. Then, as soon as the meeting starts, the two cardinal sins of salesmanship rear their ugly heads. What are they?

Talking too much and not listening enough.

Two Clumsy Mistakes Banner

Sure enough, once the prospect asks you a question, it’s as if you’ve suddenly been put in front of a classroom with the responsibility to lecture on photography for the next 25 minutes, flood gates thrown open. And because you want so badly to make the sale, you don’t leave anything out – linking your statements from one benefit to the next, emphasizing personal strengths, advantages, until you’ve suddenly dominated the conversation with what YOU wanted to say and talk about, not what THEY needed to hear.

This is the first massive mistake, and is actually the primary cause for the second mistake. Whether you are just starting to charge for your photography services, or wanting to increase and grow your existing photography business, you cannot allow yourself to command the conversation. When you do this, you miss uncovering the real concerns of the client, what they really want in the end, and ultimately it makes them feel as though they weren’t really heard. Remember, it’s not about YOU – it’s about THEM.

One way to turn this scenario around is to start asking them questions, turn the table. Get them talking about what their vision for the shoot is, what concerns they may have, how they view the end result. A great trick to get them to start talking is to say something like this, “____ (name), I’m fully prepared to discuss the event/project in detail with you, but first I want to get your perspective on it so that we can focus our time together on the things that interest you most.”

Meeting Cafe

By announcing that you’re prepared, you demonstrate your competence and responsibility – and by demonstrating your preparation, you build immediate credibility. Furthermore, by inviting your customer to articulate what’s most important to them, you recognize and validate their importance. In other words, it shows that you care about their thoughts and concerns, and that you want to work together to provide a solution that works for both of you.

The next step is to keep them talking. Again, this is all about them, not you. An easy way to do this is to keep asking questions that are easy to answer such as:

  • Tell me more about
  • What else should I know about?
  • Could you please expand on..?

It’s imperative that you uncover as many of their fears, concerns, wants, desires as you can. Consider asking questions like:

  • What worries you most about this?
  • I can tell that you are frustrated about that – how come?
  • You mentioned that you tried that in the past. Why didn’t it work so well that time? What could have been done differently?

Meeting Consult

The primary benefit of asking all these questions is to uncover what’s really important to them. This is the treasure chest, what they are really after. Once you know what’s most important to them, you can then frame your offer according to the specific desires of that client, which will skyrocket your chance of booking the shoot.

But all of these questions are worth nothing – if you don’t listen to what they’re saying. There are four primary elements to Active Listening:

  1. Attentive body language (nod, make eye contact, smile, etc.)
  2. Verbal attends (uh-huh, okay, sure)
  3. Ask leading questions (open-ended questions that encourage them to talk more)
  4. Restating back to the person what they just said


Active Listening is not simply waiting for your turn to talk, and it’s certainly not interrupting them to demonstrate that you already know what they’re talking about. Active Listening is nothing more than allowing the customer to completely share their story with you, then playing back that story to them asking for confirmation and clarification. “Is that right? Did I miss anything?”

With any new skill, it takes time to get down pat. But this is something that will have an immediate effect on your ability to book more events because you are validating the concerns of your potential clients, and linking your services to their exact wants and goals.

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The post 2 Clumsy Mistakes To Avoid When Meeting With Potential Customers by Mark Thackeray appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Dry Doc: 10 Abandoned Walk-in Public Health Clinics

30 Aug

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

It’s prognosis negative (and not in a good way) for these abandoned walk-in clinics – obviously everyone within walking distance was perfectly healthy.


You know there’s a chronic public health crisis when the local public clinic’s doctor high-tails it outta town and the clinic itself has been abandoned for years. The photos above, taken by Mike DuBose of UMNS during the height of the 2015 Ebola outbreak, features fisherman and village elder Boh Lion at an abandoned health clinic in Monogaga, Côte d’Ivoire. It’s not stated whether Lion owns the sleeping dog and small goat in the first photo.

Kissimmee Goodbye




Does The Walking Dead need a new shooting location? Flickr users AsherXIII and Adxm Petersxn captured this rather generic Kissimmee, Florida “Walk-In Clinic” in July of 2012 and February of 2014, respectively. Rumor has it the clinic was the scene of a drive-by shooting in late 2006… at least the victims, if any, were in the right place at the wrong time.

Clinically Creepy



Haikyo explorer and blogger Jordy Meow of Totoro Times visited the former mining town (and current ghost town) of Nichitsu in December of 2011, and he brought his figurine “friends” Yoko and Haruhi along for the adventure. Though the town’s clinic is in very bad shape due to the elements and local vandals, much remains from what must have been a hasty evacuation… and by “remains”, we mean human remains preserved in formaldehyde-filled glass containers.



That’s Haruhi above, posing with a glass jar containing a human ear… how sweet. Located in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo, Nichitsu was abandoned around 30 years ago when the mine played out.


According to Jordy Meow, visitors to the ex-clinic occasionally abscond with a medical sample or two. The most famous, er, infamous missing sample is the legendary “Nichitsu Brain”. Now who in their right mind would want to steal a brain?

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Dry Doc 10 Abandoned Walk In Public Health Clinics

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30. August 2015

30 Aug

Das Bild des Tages von: fresch energy


Im Ausblick: Go, Trabi, go!
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How to Compose Brilliant Black and White Photos

30 Aug

Composition in black and white photography

Brilliant black and white photos are created in two steps. The second of these is post-processing, and is very important. But before you get to that stage, you have to learn how to see and compose photos in black and white. This is just as important as processing – it doesn’t matter how creative or clever you are in Lightroom or Photoshop, if the image is badly composed, or the subject just isn’t suitable for black and white, then you are going to struggle to make a half-way decent monochrome conversion, let alone a great one.

I thought it would be interesting for you to look at some of my favourite black and white photos and learn why they work in terms of composition.

Wooden boats – Puerto Aysen, Chile

Composition in black and white photography

Puerto Aysen is a small port town in south-west Chile. The weather is often cold and miserable, even in summer. It rains a lot. I was wandering around the outskirts of the town when I came across these old wooden boats. Initially I was attracted to the atmosphere of the scene – there was a soft rain, and in the original uncropped photo you can see the hills on the horizon fading through the drizzle. The scene worked in colour (see below), but in the post-processing stage I also realized that it would come out beautifully in monochrome.

Composition in black and white photography

The reasons the image works well in black and white are:

  • Tonal contrast: The boats are painted light tones and the background is mainly comprised of dark tones. The eye is naturally pulled to the largest boat in the scene which becomes the focal point of the photo.
  • Texture: The weathered surfaces of the boats and the grass are beautiful textures which tend to be more effective in black and white than colour. This image wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if the boats were brand new.
  • Lines: The position of the boats in the scene creates two diagonal lines. The first moves from the bottom left through to the top right, and the second line, formed by the rowboat, creates a second diagonal line that meets the first. Diagonal lines pull the viewer’s eye through the photo and help add a sense of movement to the composition.
  • Panoramic crop: I decided the hills in the distance were a distraction and cropped the photo to concentrate attention on the boats. This took place in post-processing and strengthened the composition by focusing attention on the boats.

Chairman Mao watch – Shanghai, China

Composition in black and white photography

I went to Dongtai Road antiques market in Shanghai, an open-air street market comprised of stalls and shops where you can buy a variety of genuine and fake antiques, plus kitsch ornaments and souvenirs. I found the watch that this vendor was offering quite amusing. I didn’t want to buy the watch, but I asked if I could take a photo. The answer was yes.

Why the image works in black and white:

  • Strong use of shape: The watch face is a circle. It is placed in the centre of the composition and dominates it.
  • Lots of texture. The textures of the watch and the vendor’s hand are very strong.
  • Strong diagonal lines. The vendor’s fingers create lines that pull the viewer’s eye up from the bottom of the frame. I deliberately framed the photo so the fingers ran at an angle across the frame rather than parallel with the edges. This creates a more dynamic composition.
  • Simple composition. I moved in close to create a simple composition that emphasized shape, line and texture, the dominant elements of the photo. Another benefit of moving in close and using a wide aperture was that the background went out of focus, eliminating potential distractions.

John – Wellington, New Zealand

Composition in black and white photography

I got in contact with John via Model Mayhem and we arranged a portrait shoot. The setup was simple – I used an 85mm lens (with a full-frame camera) and a wide aperture of f/2.8 to blur the background. The portrait is lit by natural light – John stood underneath an archway so the light fell from his left (camera right).

Men can be great subjects for black and white portraits because there is no pressure to retouch skin. Black and white emphasizes texture – the texture of skin can be a beautiful thing that doesn’t (or perhaps shouldn’t) need retouching as often as some people think it does.

Why this photo works in black and white:

  • Strong eye contact. The strength of this portrait is in the eye contact. John is gazing directly at the camera which creates a powerful connection with the viewer. His face is level with the camera so I could use a wide aperture to defocus the background, while keeping both eyes in sharp focus.
  • Texture. The texture of John’s skin, especially in the sharpest areas around his eyes, renders beautifully in black and white. The background is out of focus and lacks texture, and this sets up a contrast between the sharp areas of the model’s face and the heavily blurred background.
  • Tonal contrast. The model’s face is a lighter tone than the background. Light tones pull the eye, and the tonal contrast here (combined with the strong eye contact) establishes the model’s face as the focal point of the composition. The side lighting effect, created by asking the model to stand in an archway, means that one side of his face is lighter than the other. This creates depth, by revealing the shape of this face.

Common themes

Analyzing these photos is a simple exercise but it brings up several elements that work well in most black and white photos – texture, line, shape, tonal contrast, and simple composition. When you find a subject where these elements come together, you know you have the potential for a great black and white photo.

What do you think is important for a brilliant black and white photo? Please let us know in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Editor’s Note: We recently ran a series of articles this week featuring black and white photography tips. Look for more on this topic below.

  • 5 Simple Ways to Create Expressive Photos in Black and White
  • Tips for Black and White Wildlife Photography
  • 7 Tips for Black and White Portrait Photography
  • 28 Images with Strong Black and White Compositions
  • Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Techniques
  • Tips for Black and White Wildlife Photography
  • How to Convert Images to Black and White and Add a Color Tint in Photoshop
  • Shooting all Black and White for a Day to Improve Your Photographic Eye
  • Split Toning Black and White Images in Lightroom
  • Processing Black and White Photos with OnOne Perfect B&W
  • Color or Black and White for Street Photography?

Mastering Composition ebookMastering Composition

My new ebook Mastering Composition will help you learn to see and compose photos better. It takes you on a journey beyond the rule of thirds, exploring the principles of composition you need to understand in order to make beautiful images.

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The post How to Compose Brilliant Black and White Photos by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Readers’ Showcase: Tony Eckersley

30 Aug

You may remember DPR reader Tony Eckersley by his impressive photo of the Las Vegas skyline featured recently. From the Pacific coast to the American Southwest, Tony spends his weekends in National Parks photographing desert vistas and rocky coastlines. Find out more about him and take a look at some of his work. Read more

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Die 5 Videos des Monats

30 Aug

Urban Media Festival © Aileen Wessely

Nach dem kwerfeldein-Award ist vor dem kwerfeldein-Award: Nachdem wir von Euch mit wirklich guten Einsendungen für unseren Wettbewerb unter dem Titel „Träume“ (die Gewinner und die nicht minder spannenden Plätze 4-10) überhäuft wurden, planen wir schon die nächste Runde. Ihr dürft gespannt sein – und in der Zwischenzeit die mal heißen und mal verregneten Sommertage mit ein paar Videoinhalten ausklingen lassen. Film ab für die Videos des Monats.
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