Vivian Maier Stole My Heart

A thumbnail of one of Vivian Maier's images

Chris Bertram of Crooked Timber posted a link that has captivated me.

I’m almost reluctant to add to the hype, but the story is so unusual, and the pictures so good, that I think I’ll overcome that. In brief, then: Chicago is about to see the first exhibition of the photography of Vivian Maier, a recently-deceased, partly-French, nanny who seems to have neither sought nor received any exposure or recognition in her lifetime. Thousands of negatives were then bought by a real-estate agent at a flea market. Astonished at what he found, he’s now promoting her work, making a documentary film, putting a book together and so on. Well, I know, it all sounds too good to be true. But the pictures (at least the ones we’ve seen) are superb.

Another crude thumbnail of an image from Vivian Maier. Please go look at more of her work

He is correct – they are superb. The thumbnails in this post do not do her or the originals justice. Please go check out the links at Chris’s post, and the others at the NYTimes slideshow he links to.

One aspect of these images I must note. Maier used a twin-lens reflex, which keeps the camera at waist-height, a wonderful angle for viewing these subjects. To get the same angle with an SLR means the photographer must crouch, which is likely to draw more attention, which is less than preferable. Some DSLRs have adjustable, real-time preview viewscreens which can swivel to allow a similar angle for the photographer without the crouch. This is making me seriously consider an upgrade from my present camera.

Regardless. You’ll want to go grab your camera. I promise.

Local News

The coffee was extra good for some reason today – maybe the preceding 9.5 hours of sleep helped. Gracie goes briefly to the vet for routine maintenance, I go pick up some newly-dry-mounted artwork at the bro-in-law’s frame shop, and we visit the neighbor who’s in the hospital (she’s just fine. Whew.). Then tonight to Manuel’s Tavern for another friend’s improv show. Life is so good at the moment.

Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: McSweeney’s Recommends

This is the cryptic and odd image that McSweeney's uses for its logo.

I went googling for something or other and one of the links was to this.

Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: McSweeney’s Recommends.

I regained my sense of time after several minutes, and had only scrolled about a third of the page. This is a huge list of podcasts, books, movies, foods, music, experiences, and ideas. You’ll recognize some of them, and think the list is smart, so you’ll keep scrolling to find more familiar items. In the meantime, you’ll find out about more things worth checking into. An honorable time sink.

Macworld | An iPhoneographer’s six favorite apps

Gracie poses for my iPhone

I used to check this site regularly, but I’ve gotten away from paying as much attention to my iPhone photos.

There are 2,920 photography apps available in the App Store, and more are being added every day. Sorting through and testing each new release—every faux film filter, cropping, and tilt-shift tool—could amount to a full time job. Thankfully, Glyn Evans narrows it down for you on his site iPhoneography.com.

via An iPhoneographer’s six favorite apps.

I wanted to make note of this, though, to look at the recommended apps and think through the ones I’ve already invested in. The pic above wasn’t edited on my iPhone, but in Imagewell, which I also used to SFTP the image up here.