Tag Archives: photography

Retronaut: Mr. Popper’s Penguins on the Loose? In Real Life? Maybe?

This week I am obsessed with Retronaut.co.

This is one of the reasons for my obsession, featured on one of their Historic WTF posts.

Also in love with Famous People Hanging Out posts.

And there’s just so much more. For example: Tips For Single Women (1938). “The last straw is to pass out from too much liquor.”



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Filed under General Hilarity

Electronic Shutter Audio Rant

First of all, if something—anything—has no need to make noise… why would making an artificial noise even be an option? That is just annoying. Adding to noise pollution.

I mean really, what is the purpose?

Furthermore, why is it that the default setting always “audio on.” Specifically, “shutter audio on.”

First of all, one of the best things about digital cameras is stealth photography—or at least unobtrusive photography in environments where a click, click, click is not acceptable. Just look at Halloween or Williamsburg? I bet the majority of those images are the result of stealth camera work.

Further, furthermore, why is the name of all that is good in the world do cell phone camera functions feel the need to audibly click?

Seriously. Cell phone cameras are the pinnacle of poor man’s stealth photography. We all have that friend (or are that friend) who continually pretends to text at an awkward phone-to-eye ratio, but is really documenting every single moment of awkwardness, amazingness, entertainingness, or intriguingness that abounds at the bar, in the subway, on the street…

I mean really, no one is expecting to win major accolades for photos taken on a phone. Rarely is one really trying to frame up that moment artistically. Mostly, one is really trying to get a quick snap of something (or more likely someone) without being caught.

Even when it is not a high stealth situation. Even when I am just at the garden center with my mom, helping to plan out plantings for the next season, taking a couple snaps of possible botanical contenders, I do not need the media audio setting on my phone to send an artificial shutter audio echoing down the aisles. Just because I want to be able to watch the occasional episode of Mad Men on my Netflix app (thus turning on the media audio setting), does not mean the camera should have license to be more annoying that words can express (although I am doing a pretty decent job of making words do the trick in this moment).

Rant. Rant. Rant.


And for the record, the unnecessary audio on my (now defunct, thanks Montana mountain trail) digital camera makes me want to scream as well. Every time it dies and feels the need to reset all its settings and infos… there. it. is. That dreadful, shrill beep followed by an enhanced fake click.

Dear camera. Why are you making noise?

Why, why, why?


In slightly related news, I am now in the market for a new camera and researching which one to go with may quite possibly be more stressful than applying to graduate school. Seriously.

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Filed under Really.

Stuff You Should Be Seeing: Cinemagraphs, Antique Prints & Psychedelic Collages

These things might be old news to you, but they recently surfaced new and cool to me.

Let us begin with the cinemagraph gifs featured on Jamie Beck’s “From Me to You” Tumblr. In April, a post on My Modern Met featured Beck’s work. Shortly thereafter, a more in-depth article further illuminated the work she does with partner Kevin Burg to combine film and photography into awesomeness.

Now, five months later, I am arriving at the party.

Anyway, I find the mini-movies mesmerizing. One of my favorites is the never-ending train pulling into (or out of) the Rockefeller Center subway station. I wish I could tell if it is my old nemesis the F train.


Next up, another great art/design blog: BilbiOdyssey. I came across the site when a Lost At E Minor post about the blog featured an antique print of squid. Squid freak me out; therefore, I am inexplicably drawn to them as design. I have a similar love/hate relationship with jellyfish (which, by the way, as a group may be referred to as a smack of jellyfish).

Basically, BibliOdyssey presents scans of vintage and antique book illustrations ranging from scientific illustrations and diagrams of cephalopods to nineteenth-century Japanese woodblock prints (the current headliners) to eighteenth-century fashion satire etchings. Entries include historical background on the works in question and a plethora of high quality, large-scale images. It’s a great resource for those interested in design, history, printing, or just looking for some extraordinary images for inspiration, stimulation and entertainment. Scroll through the blog chronologically or start by clicking on a topic tag at the bottom of the main page and see where you end up. It is addictive.

Wang Pou (Oho) visits a grave during a storm


And lastly, something you can buy on Etsy: Fantastical collages by Living Feral. I always like to think that if I wanted to make really cool collages, I totally could—but I never do, and most likely they would never be as bizarrely captivating as these occasionally Dali-esque dreamscapes by Tracy Jager. I might need to clear up some wall space…

They Only Had A Moment

She Called It Freedom

You could buy this one for me, if you really wanted to. I wouldn’t mind in the least.

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Filed under Commenting, General Joy, Photo Gallery Links

Pardon the Hiatus, It’s Almost Over

Dear readers,

I regret to admit that I have been on an unannounced hiatus from Words to Bumble. I have been traveling and otherwise consumed with other regrettably more pressing tasks.

On the note of travel, I will soon have some lovely photos from journeys Montana and Wyoming up on my Flickr.

I may even enlighten you with numerous scintillating vocabulary items which have entered into my life thanks to the lengthy standardized test of my choice.

And of course, cocktails will be up and running again by next week. I have not had the joy of mixing my own cocktail in weeks.


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Filed under Informative

Hand Held: Attending the Chicago Premiere of a New Documentary by Don Hahn and Michael Carroll

On April 2, I attended the Chicago premiere of Hand Held, a documentary film directed and produced by Don Hahn (of animated and Disney Nature fame), which tells the story of photographer Michael Carroll and his crusade to help the children of Romania in the aftermath of the fall of communism through Carroll’s award-winning photography.

The film was screened by The Center for Religion and Public Discourse at Saint Xavier University as the inaugural Sweeney Family Lecture series. Hahn and Carroll were on hand for a Q&A session after the film, signing copies of the companion book Picturing the Possible and chatting at a small reception where university VIPs and special guests mingled with the filmmakers.

Hand Held does a brilliant job of using Carroll’s amazingly emotive photography to tell the story of his initial journey to Romania and the subsequent founding of his charity foundations: Romanian Children’s Relief and the Fondatia Incocenti (based in Romania).

The story begins on December 25, 1989–the day brutal dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were ousted and executed. Carroll made his first trip shortly after in February of 1990 with AmeriCares. As part of their mission the group visited the horrific government orphanages, each housing hundreds of children, many of whom were victims of pediatric AIDS, all of whom were malnourished and neglected.

It is a grim topic, but the agonizing fate of Romanian children told through Carroll’s stunning photography documenting the aid efforts of the RCR provides a balance in the documentary narrative. Carroll’s everyman heroics reveal a story of hope in the face of cruel adversary.

The melding of art and activism sets Hand Held apart from the array of inspiring documentaries out there. The focus on Carroll as an ordinary man on a mission proves that anyone can work for change, even with a lack of resources, know-how or a firm plan setting out.

The most striking part of the story—for me—was the grassroots beginning of RCR. The gathering of friends in Carroll’s home, trying to figure out a realistic way to help, collecting donations in-kind from doctor and neighbors, and the relatively low-budget of an organization based in the United States as well as Romania, helping thousands of children over the course of twenty years. It made me realize just how possible it is to help people, if you are really committed to working for change.

During the Q&A, Hahn and Carroll were quite forthcoming about the Hand Held experience. The audience was very engaged and brought a range of questions to the table, from inquiring further into the history of the orphanages to the current day-to-day of the RCR and Fondatia Inocenti, which are now primarily involved in fostering programs and programs for handicapped children in Romania.

The event not only brought out faculty, staff, students and others associated with Saint Xavier University, but a number of neighborhood community members including a young Romanian woman raised in an orphanage, who struggled for years to realize her dream of emigrating to the United States. Attending the screening was a difficult decision for her; in the end it seems that part of the reason she chose to come was in order to speak with Hahn and Carroll about putting the RCR in touch with some of her family members back in Romania who would be interested in getting involved with the Fondatia Inocenti.

Most of the RCR’s operations run out of the Romanian branch of the charity, recent years have focused on getting the local community in cities such as Bucharest involved in raising money and running programming for orphans and handicapped children.

Seeing Hand Held was a great experience, both for the inspiring story and the striking photography. The documentary is currently touring film festivals and university campuses. Hahn and Carroll seem very open to arranging screenings such as the one I attended, their contact information is on the Hand Held website. Additional clips of them movie are posted on YouTube.

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Filed under Commenting, Informative, Out & About

Ice Capades, Chicago 1963: A Vintage Chicago Photo Blog

I recently came upon this gem of a photo on John Chuckman’s Chicago Nostalgia & Memorabilia Blog.

I always wanted to go the Ice Capades. This lovely lady was photographed on the 1963 tour at Chicago Stadium.

Sometimes I wish that Stars on Ice was the Ice Capades. Ice Capades just sounds so fun! The tour was founded in 1940, and after several years of rough times finally closed in 1995.

But she doesn’t know about that.

From some research I’ve done, this may be a photo of Catherine (Cathy) Machado, the first Hispanic athlete to compete for the U.S. Olympic team in 1956.

Or it may not.

But it might be.

She was on tour in 1963, and the face looks similar to some photos I found of Machado. The costume does not match up to video from 1963 Ice Capades available of YouTube… but we all know that figure skating requires a lot of costumes changes.

Care for some vintage footage? Sure.

Anyways, in addition to that boss vintage photo, Chuckman’s blog has lots of neat historical photographs of Chicago, definitely worth checking out.

Yeah, I said “boss.”

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Filed under Informative, Photo Gallery Links, [Obscure] Winter Sports

Stars On Ice 2011 Photo Gallery, Part 2

March 12, 2011, Chicago (Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL)

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Related Galleries

Stars On Ice 2011 Photo Gallery, Part 1

Stars on Ice 2010

Ice Theatre New York, 2010

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Filed under Photo Gallery Links, [Obscure] Winter Sports