SFMOMA to Launch Impressive Photography Exhibition in 2016

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art plans to launch a new photography exhibit in 2016. The exhibit will be the biggest area for photography in any art museum within the United States.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Center for Photography is named after its lead donors, John and Lisa Pritzker.


“The Bay Area has always played an important role in the history of photography and is home to a uniquely vibrant and engaged community of enthusiasts and private collectors,” John Pritzker  said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to support San Francisco and SFMOMA as the preeminent center for all things photography and to further cement the museum’s long-standing leadership in the study of a medium that’s such a far-reaching and powerful cultural force.”

Over 15,500 square feet of space will be used for The John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography. The $610 million renovation expenses almost triple the present exhibition space and will reopen in 2016.



3D Street Artist: Leon Keer

Leon Keer is a dutch pop-surrealist artist born in the Netherlands in 1970. Leon learned how to paint from  years of creating advertising murals for companies such as Coca-Cola. While producing advertising murals, he began experimenting with different textiles and styles.

His work has been shown at art fairs and shows throughout Europe. He works with a variety of materials such as acrylic paints, adhesives, solvents, primers and tar. Leon enjoys creating live street art, so people can enjoy the process with him. The production of his street art is truly its own performance.

Leon creates mesmerizing 3-D street art around the world. His latest work is at EPFL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland with a Space Invaders theme.  For those unfamiliar with Space Invader, it’s classic arcade game created in the late 1970′s.

Leon shared his thoughts about street art, “Every street art piece is unique and belongs to the street and its residents, the temporary fact about this artform strengthens its existence.” Leon is considered one of the world’s top anamorphic street artist.



NASA’s Lightning Photography

We’ve all seen what thunderstorms do below the clouds, but what occurs beyond the clouds? What exactly happens above a thunderstorm? In an effort to develop the scientific exploration into the tops of thunderstorms, the “Firestation” experiment was created. NASA’s International Space Station recently released this photo:

NASA Firestation

The photo was taken with a Nikon D3s with a 85mm lens

Lightning flashes about 50 times per second across Earth’s atmosphere. The specific purpose for Firestation is for scientists to observe and dissect at least a few of those lightning bolts every day.

According to NASA Science News, “The space station’s orbit will carry Firestation directly above thousands of active thunderstorms during the one-year lifetime of the experiment,” says principal investigator Doug Rowland at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  “The ISS is perfect for this kind of research.”

Before you plan on packing up your camera equipment and heading straight into a disastrous thunderstorm, please educate yourself on the dangers and take the necessary precautions.

According to National Geographic, “Lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States. Most people do not realize that they can be struck by lightning even when the center of a thunderstorm is 10 miles (16 kilometers) away and there are blue skies overhead.”

The National Weather Service says, “You can tell how close you are to a lightning strike by counting the seconds between seeing the flash and hearing the thunder. For every five seconds you count, the lightning is one mile away. If you see a flash and instantly hear the thunder, the lightning strike is very close. Take shelter immediately.”

Keep in mind when photographing lightning:

  • Manual mode is a must
  • Frame your shot and include something interesting in your photo (trees, buildings, bridge, etc.)
  • Weather proof your camera, equipment and yourself

Lightning, however beautiful, can be extremely harmful and even deadly. Be aware of the risks before attempting any photography involving the unpredictable forces of nature. 


Forever Stamp for Jimi Hendrix


A new Forever stamp honoring Jimi Hendrix was recently released by The United States Postal Service. A ceremony dedicated for the stamp took place in Austin, Texas at the South by Southwest festival.

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (1942-1970): Jimi learned to play guitar when he was 13 years old from the help of his father. In high school, Jimi chose to serve his country, enlisted in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged after being injured during training. With dreams of entering the music industry, he moved to New York City.

Greenwich Village was the center of the Harlem music scene in New York City during the 1960’s. Jimi experienced Greenwich Village with his friend, Curtis Knight, a fellow aspiring musician. Curtis is recognized for his band, The Squires, and his affiliation with helping to make Jimi a star. He was on the road to stardom after signing with well-known record producer, Ed Chaplin, but Jimi quickly changed his course and chose to travel his own path. Jimi departed from NYC and embarked to England to create The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Jimi performed at Woodstock festival on August 17, 1969  near Bethel, New York. Initially planned to be the closing headline act, he had to wait to perform until the morning of the final day. Only 25,000 people of the original 400,000 stayed to watch Jimi and his band close the festival.

The August 17 performance, which lasted just under five minutes, featured Hendrix manipulating his guitar’s sound by employing distortion and whammy-bar techniques. The end result was a remarkably realistic imitation of several war sounds, including machine gunfire and explosions.

Just over halfway through the performance, Hendrix briefly plays the “Taps,” which is what the American Military plays during an honorary burial. By getting his anti-war message out through the unique manipulation of his guitar, Hendrix appealed to the thousands of concert-goers who came together for peace. –Alexander E. Hopkins, The International Student Journal 

Kids Sports Photography

Tomorrow marks the first official day of spring. With the start of spring comes the beginning of spring sports: golf, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, tennis, track, baseball, softball, ultimate frisbee, etc…The list goes on and on and the after school and weekend activities fill up all our time.

Sometimes as parents, the most time we spend with our kids as they grow older is watching them from the sidelines. Memorable moments of scoring the winning goal, sliding into third base, crossing the finish line and a birdie for the win can be captured on camera. These moments in our lives can’t be recreated, but we can definitely reproduce them. Turn your life into art!

You already post, tweet and pin these captured moments, so why not show them off in your home or office?

Imagine showcasing your canvas art during your next party, instead of breaking out that dusty photo album. Stumbling upon the right words to describe your kid’s athletic accomplishments may be difficult, but canvas artwork makes it possible for you to tell your story and actually show it.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Get close to the action:
Unless you have a really long lens, you are going to want to get as close to the action as possible and crop in tight. You don’t want a distracting background that will draw your eye away from the action. You can definitely crop your photo afterwards with your editing software, but once you start cropping, you’ll lose pixels. If you plan to blow a picture up to a much larger size, it can affect the quality. -Michelle Nahom, Click it up a Notch

Use continuous shooting:
Continuous shooting helps you get the whole sequence of action. I don’t save every picture, but by taking the whole sequence, I’m practically guaranteed to get the important one! -Michelle Nahom, Click it up a Notch

Staging the scene or designing your own photoshoot area is a great alternative to photographing during the big game:

Share your photos with us for a chance to win a free 16×20 canvas print! Send your photos and story to our Social Media Manager, Paige J. –> Email: [email protected]


Calvin and Hobbes Creator to be in Upcoming Documentary

Newspaper cartoon and comic strip readers  fell in love with a mischievous boy and his stuffed tiger in 1985. Bill Watterson,  creator of Calvin and Hobbes is considered one of the best cartoonists’ of all time.

Calvin is a six-year-old boy with a big vocabulary.  His furry companion, Hobbes, is an anthropomorphic tiger from Calvin’s perspective, but appears to be a stuffed tiger to everyone else.  Calvin gets into trouble with Hobbes, yet grows through learning valuable life lessons along the way.

Bill Watterson,  creator of Calvin and Hobbes was published in about 250 newspapers during its first year of syndication. With integrity, Watterson refused to commercialize Calvin and Hobbes through touring, special appearances and merchandise. The fight for publication grew quickly and viciously as comic strip space in newspapers continued to decrease in the 90′s. After ten beloved years, Watterson said goodbye to Calvin and Hobbes. He wrote the following letter to newspaper editors in 1995:

Dear Reader:

I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue.

That so many newspapers would carry Calvin and Hobbes is an honor I’ll long be proud of, and I’ve greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last decade. Drawing this comic strip has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.

Bill Watterson

After 18 obscure years and countless landscape paintings, Watterson finally accepted an interview. His first publicly recorded interview will be in, Stripped, an upcoming documentary about cartoonists. The film is described as a “love letter to comic strips” with commentary from over 60 cartoonists.

Stripped, by Dave Kellett, webcartoonist, and fellow L.A.-based filmmaker Frederick Schroeder, features more than 60 cartoonists who talk about the state of the comic-strip industry. In the film, Watterson eloquently speaks to the emotional bond that readers form with comic-strip characters as a function of the daily strip ritual.” -The Washington Post

To show his delight with Stripped, he chose to draw the poster for the film too. Watterson’s commentary in the film is highly anticipated. Stripped will be released on April 2 thanks to efforts made through Kickstarter.


5 Easy Photography Techniques

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take excellent photos. Our 5 easy photography techniques will supply you with the inspiration you’ve been searching for to take artistic photos. “Wow” your friends and family with incredible photos using the following simple photography techniques.


The significance of high speed photography is capturing the movement of an object. This type of photography details anything that is typically limited by the human eye. From the military, to scientists and sports photographers, high speed photography sustains a variety of uses.


Choosing the correct subject to shoot is a key factor in black and white photography. When looking through your viewfinder, visualize the color you see in black and white. Pay close attention to shapes, textures and tones.


Also known as time exposure photography, long exposure, is commonly incorporated into landscape photography. It’s important to balance the image with something in the foreground and background. Start with a one to three minute exposure of running water and let us know how it goes.


Subjects large and small deserve the attention of motion blur photography. Remember to slow down your shutter speed, the exact speed depends on the speed of your object. In motion blur photography, you can choose to steady your camera and shoot a moving objects, move your camera and shoot a still objects or both.


It sounds simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind when photographing at night. Night photography refers to photographs taken outside between dusk and dawn. Popular night photography includes shots of the moon, stars and LED signs. It’s important to steady your camera, so you can shoot from difficult angles. Don’t forget your lens hood to minimize, lens flares from light coming into angles out of the frame.

Feature Friday: Olivia Arthur, Magnum Photographer

Magnum Photographer, Olivia Arthur, has shot all over the world from Italy to India. Born in London in 1980, Olivia grew up the the UK and studied photojournalism at the London College of Printing.

Olivia moved to Delhi in 2003, where she established a career in photography. She stayed in India for two and a half years, where she pursued her passion.

SAUDI ARABIA. Jeddah. Students at Effat Women's University. 2009

SAUDI ARABIA. Jeddah. Students at Effat Women’s University. 2009

Courtesy Magnum Photography

In an interview with IdeasTap, Olivia said, “The best thin for me was getting out of London.” Going to India opened up opportunities Olivia would not have found in London. Her journey through India focused on different stories from the lives of young women. Her photography showcases the role of women and the differences between eastern and western cultures.

In an interview with IdeasTap, Olivia said, “One of the things I really enjoy about photography…you set out with ‘this what I’m going go and look for’ and actually in the end you get something often very different…”

Olivia has been recognized by the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum and OjodePeze-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values.

Olivia was recruited by Magnum Photos, an international photographic co-operative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer-members from around the world.

About Magnum Photos
The Magnum Photos library is a living archive updated daily with new work from across the globe. The library houses all the work produced by Magnum photographers and some special collections by non-members. There are approximately one million photographs in both print and transparency in the physical library, with over 500,000 images available online.

Watch her Interview with IdeasTap

Feature Friday in Tokyo: Andy Warhol Pop-up Cafe



The Mori Art Museum in Tokyo celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a special exhibition featuring works by Andy Warhol.

The American Pop Artist became famous for his work and was considered the head of the pop art movement in the 1960s. He is mostly recognized for his paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, but created hundreds of other works including films and advertisements.

The exhibit, 15 Minutes Eternal, displays 300 personal items from his “time capsules,” which include letters, gifts and magazines he started to collect during his first trip to Japan in 1974. The cafe is serving burgers, hot dogs and a selection of fruits.

“Fascinated by the glitterati, Warhol remains a complex and often misunderstood persona 25 years after his death, whose artwork depicting consumer objects such as Heinz ketchup boxes, and paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Mao Tse-Tung have been imprinted into our collective consciousness,” said Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol.

If you happen to be traveling through Tokyo from March 4 – May 6, don’t forget to visit the Mori Art Museum and check out the Andy Warhol Cafe.

“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.”  -Andy Warhol

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

Many of you are familiar with the term “upcycle” and have transformed it into a hobby. This week we wanted to give a background and a few tutorials into upcycling items you can find around the house. Don’t forget to share your upcycled projects with us on our Facebook page!

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

The word ”upcycle” began to build recognition in the mid 1990′s. Upcycling burst into popular culture, when William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s book ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ was published in 2002.

Both McDonough and Braungart advocated for people to reuse and repurpose every product possible. Simply put, upcycling is taking an unwanted object and transforming it into something new that’s practical and innovative.

William McDonough is an architect and the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, Architecture and Community Design, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. From 1994 to 1999 he served as dean of the school of architecture at the University of Virginia. In 1999 Timemagazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that — in demonstrable and practical ways — is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the highest environmental honor given by the United States.

Michael Braungart is a chemist and the founder of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg, Germany. Prior to starting EPEA, he was the director of the chemistry section for Greenpeace. Since 1984 he has been lecturing at universities, businesses, and institutions around the world on critical new concepts for ecological chemistry and materials flow management. Dr. Braungart is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and fellowships from the Heinz Endowment, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and other organizations.

Examples of Upcycling:

Upcycled Spool to Coffee Table from Country Living

Upcycled Spool to Coffee Table from Country Living

Upcycled Ladder from HelloSociety Blog

Upcycled Ladder from HelloSociety Blog