at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

So retro it’s now!

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

The truth be told, for every trend there is a counter trend waiting just off it’s heels. This is part of what makes life so interesting. It’s also part of why the fast-follower approach to innovation doesn’t work as well as it used to. When everyone has an iPhone it reaches a decible level where folks start checking out the Jitterbug. Likewise, when Ashton Kutcher punks everyone into buying a little digital camera to document their own existence…then you know it is about time for Blackbird, fly. A new dual lens reflex, $200 camera out of Japan to start hitting the shores.

I do believe the analogue days are coming and I think it’s starting to rear it’s head in categories such as apparel and personal care. Now if only they could do something about the automotive industry. I could go for a Shelby Cobra about now.

Can you have a brand resurgence while a business is in decline?

In Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy, trends on October 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

I bemoaned the passing of Polaroid’s Instant Film a few months back which will cease making it’s namesake product shortly.  I was further saddened when, at a party I hosted a few weeks ago, I pulled out my camera to realize that some of my film had started to turn bad. I felt like it was the end of an era.

The economic model never really made sense (over a buck a photo) in the digital age and of course they were an environmental disaster…but so much fun. And the people having their picture taken always seem to have more fun.

SwissMiss cheered me up today by posting POLADROID. A free app that lets you recreate your favorite images as if they were taken on the spur of the moment, with money to burn and free of life’s cares. Personally, I think all photos should look like that.

As for Polaroid, I hope someone can buy the license and figure out how to bring prices down while keeping the technology around so the brand may continue in its current form.

Automotive Monogamy

In Consumers, trends on May 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

As a firm believer in the anti-trend and a photography lover, I’m drawn to the photographic project of aptly named Matteo Ferrari. In an age when consumer goods are often renewed as frequently as the sweater box is brought out from under the bed, it’s great to see the faces of those drivers who have stuck with their car over the years. What other product categories have fostered such loyalty and become such a definitive and emotional part of the users identity?  Watches, jewelry, furniture perhaps…but the list isn’t long.

hat tip to new favorite CupOfJoe

Beautiful Russia

In communications, culture, Design, photo, trends on April 16, 2008 at 5:34 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

By accounts of the designers and artists that I spoke with in Moscow, the culture of design and art there is going through a renaissance. Ten years ago it was about mimicking the design language of the West. Then there was a period of transition. The Russian artists of today speak with great excitement about the new opportunities they have to create a whole new design language for the country and to generate pride in the design coming out of the the Russian Federation.

I was fortunate to be in Moscow for the wonderful and amazing photography show. The images were really quite nice but I was particularly struck by a short video by the 25-year-old director Natasha Pavlovskaya. It captured the intersection of photography and video in a way that reminded us photographers that sometimes no image is more powerful than the next and that it is the moment that should be preserved.

I can’t find a postable version of the film but I’ve linked to it here. I encourage you to check it out as it does a great job of capturing the mood, movement and moment of a forgotten Russian print house and those who work there.

My Love Of The Circus

In photo on February 21, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I never really wanted to run away with the circus when I was a kid. I think my town was too small to get the proper circus exposure in my blood. And by the time I was older, circuses and fairs started to look sadder than they were ever intended to. Slipshod to the point that you’re nervous about the ferris wheel and think that the Ring of Death may actually be from a newspaper article from the future rather than just a colorful name.

I’ve still remained fascinated by their blatant contradiction though. All florescent and smiley in the big ring and drug-addled and alcohol-slurred behind the curtains. Until I’m invited backstage, I’ll be obsessed with taking pictures of the front of the house. Here are a few of them that I’ve taken while on various trips around the world….

Polaroid Fades To Black

In Brands, Consumers, photo on February 11, 2008 at 11:26 am

my best polaroid ever ….
Originally uploaded by james m

The Washington Post announced today that Polaroid is shuttering its factories

“Polaroid, based in Waltham, Mass., is shutting down factories in the United States and abroad as the company abandons the technology that made the instant photo possible, the Boston Globe reported yesterday. The company will cease production of its film by next year.”

This essentially means that I have to start stocking up now. Polaroids, while environmentally unfriendly, are little bits of pleasure to me. Whether by livening up a party or bringing smiles to the faces of kids I meet in places like Ivory Coast, Polaroids have long been a big part of my photographic life. Somehow printed snapshots just don’t do justice to the spontaneity of life captured through the plastic lens.