Shot for the Day (30 July 2015)

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Whilst in Europe earlier this month, I visited Città di San Marino, a medieval settlement situated on the slopes Monte Titano, over 700m above sea level.  San Marino was added to the Unesco World Heritage list in 2008 and walking around the hilltop enclave, it was very easy to see why.

San Marino, situated close to the Adriatic coast, is the third smallest state in Europe after the Vatican and Monaco and claims to be the world’s oldest republic, being established in 301 AD by a Christian stonemason named Marinus, who, once climbing climbed Mt. Titano, found a small community of Christians, persecuted for their faith by the Emperor Diocletian.

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The Republic of San Marino is made up of a few towns dotted around Mount Titano and the capital. The city walled city has three distinct towers that overlook the rest of the country and are visible for miles around.

This is a reverse view of the central fort from the top of the previous hilltop fort, looking down over most of the Republic of San Marino.

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Shot for the Day (9 July 2015)

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Out walking around downtown Singapore a week ago and grabbed a shot of the cityscape just after the sun had dropped below the horizon.  Still over thirty degrees even past 8pm but that’s life one degree from the equator.

Nokia Gulp – Work from the archive

Back in 2012, my team at Wieden + Kennedy created Nokia Gulp, shot solely on a Nokia N8 handset.  The plot as based on a Jonah-style adventure of a fisherman getting caught in a belly of a giant fish.  It was the successor to Nokia Dot, the smallest animation ever, which W+K also made with Sumo Science and Aardman, again using a Nokia N8 handset.

Here is a look behind the scenes how the world’s largest animation is shot on a Nokia phone handset.  We needed an army of locals to help us prepare the beach everyday for the shoot.

The advert was release across Europe initially and then globally.  It has since become a favourite on Vimeo and still enjoys good ratings years after making it.

Useful links:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulp_(film)
Wired: http://www.wired.com/2011/08/gulp-stop-motion-animation/
Creative Review: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2011/august/nokia-gulp-wieden-kennedy
DesignBoom: http://www.designboom.com/art/gulp-worlds-largest-stop-motion-animation/

Shot for the Day (25 June 2015)

This disappearing past

This disappearing past
This weekend, I went for a walk with my family in a place called Bukit Brown Cemetery.  It is a secluded, overgrown graveyard in Singapore.  It is unique in that you are in the middle of a metropolis that is Singapore but be standing in the solitude of a rainforest.

Bukit Brown Cemetery is also known to the local community as Kopi Sua or Coffee Hill.  It is a Chinese cemetery, established in the early 20th Century and was the biggest Chinese graveyard outside China.  The cemetery was named after its first owner, George Henry Brown, who was a ship owner and arrived in Singapore from Calcutta in the 1840s.  He bought the area and named it Mount Pleasant.

Looking back in peace
As I wondered around this oasis of nature and calmness, it was very distressing to see all the construction work underway, something very common in Singapore.  The issue here is that Bukit Brown Cemetery is slowly but sure being sacrificed to the god of progress.  Large swathes of land have already been dug up and this beautify setting will soon be replaced by suburbia, concrete and glass.

Face the fear
In a place like Singapore, where such places are rare and revered, it is a shame that such a tranquil and spiritual place is being ruined to make way for apartments and the MRT (underground system).

If you are keen to see this wonderful place before it disappears forever, you can find it located between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, off Sime Road and Kheam Hock Road.

The vanishing past
For further information about Bukit Brown Cemetery, here are some links, including a site to help save it from extinction:
1) Information about the cemetery: http://bukitbrown.com/main/
2) Save the cemetery site: https://sosbukitbrown.wordpress.com/
3) Preserving the history of Bukit Brown: http://www.bukitbrown.info/

Shot for the Day (23 June 2015)

Dawn on Vancouver Island

Dawn on a stretch of beach a few miles south of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.  No another person around for miles, just the gentle lapping of the Pacific ocean against the shore.  Mist was rising from the land, creating a very other-worldly effect.

Holiday season was well over and the temperature was only a just in double digits. Still, one of my favourite beaches in Canada.

Shot for the Day (19 June 2015)

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Just over 35 years ago, on May 31, 1970, an undersea earthquake off the coast of Peru triggered a catastrophic avalanche, that wiped out the entire highland town of Yungay,completely off the map, killing most of its 25,000 inhabitants.

Yungay was a small highland town in the picturesque Callejon de Huaylas, close to Huaraz high in the Peruvian Andes. Founded by Domingo Santo Tomás in 1540, the town was over 400 years old. However, the earthquake off the coast triggered an even greater incident. It destabilised the glacier on the north face of Mount Huascarán, the tallest mountain in the region, causing 10 million cubic meters of rock, ice and snow to detach and collapse down its slope at more than 120 miles per hour.

As the debris descended, it picked up more mass from glacial deposits. By the time it reached the valley, barely three minutes later, the 1km wide wave was estimated to have consisted of about 80 million cubic meters of ice, mud and rocks.

The town of Yungay and its 25,000 inhabitants were buried under the landslide. Many of the inhabitants had sought refuge in the church ,to pray once the earthquake struck. What remains today, captured in this image, is a reproduction of the church facia, along with the lone surviving palm trees in the Yungay cemetery. This monument has been dedicated to all those souls who lost their lives that fateful day.

In Yungay, only 350 residents survived, a poultry 0.014% of the total population. However, in a fortuitous twist of fate, 300 of these survivors were children had been taken to the circus at the local stadium, set on higher ground on the outskirts of the town.

The government has prohibited excavation of the site, so to this day, it remains as an eerie reminder of how powerful nature truly is.

Shot for the Day (16 June 2015)

Langkawi end of days

Bit of eye candy for today’s image.  End of my first day on Langkawi, I was wondering along the beach with my camera and tripod.  The scene was beautiful but it was the delicate hues of different colours that I recall.  The faint orange juxtaposed next to the pale yellow.

I wish I were there right now…

Shot for the Day (14 June 2015)

High in the Dolomites

A few years ago, I went to the Dolomites, the Italian part of the Alps, to do some via ferrata and trekking.  We had just descended form a glacier and were traversing along the mountain line, before dropping down into the valley below.  Even though it was mid summer, there was still snow on the ground in places.

If I recall correctly, I think we were around 3000m altitude.  We stayed in a large refugio a did day long treks.  One key memory I have of this trip was that I did not know any of the group and spent much of the days lost in deep thought.  Where better to have an euphony?

Shot for the Day (13 June 2015)

The open road ahead

The open road ahead

In the mountains of Peru, on the road to nowhere, I stood with a friend, surveying the eerie landscape in solitude.  We ended up trekking up to 5000m and walking on the glacier you can see in the distance a couple of hours later, when the clouds cleared and the sun bathed the landscape.

High on a mountain

I have fond memories of walking up to the glacier above, undaunted by altitude sickness or concerned with the cold.  My companion had to remind me that a T shirt at that altitude and level of cold was not in keeping with an efficient circulation.

I will always have fond recollections of the mountains o South America, with Peru, Bolivia and Chile in particular.  All were familiar but unique in their own special way.

Bizarrely, both images above is about the size of my negative (6cm x 12cm).