Photographing stickers without losing context

August 8th, 2013 | By | 3 Comments »
GATS in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

GATS in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

The difficulty with photographing sticker art or graffiti stickers is that it’s really difficult to provide context for the sticker without losing all the details that might make it interesting to begin with. This context versus context struggle exists when photographing just about any sort of street art or graffiti, but it’s especially true with stickers. They are usually so small that you have to get inches away for a good photo, but then it’s hardly clear if the sticker is on a busy street or in a leafy suburb, surrounded by other interesting things or the lone bit of culture for an entire block. This is especially important with illegal work like stickers where an artist is taking a risk to put something in a particular location of their choice (okay admittedly stickers are not all that risky). Understanding the context of the piece can really add to my appreciation for it. I don’t know if I’ve the first person or the thousandth to figure this out and I don’t consider myself a serious photographer, but I think I’ve stumbling across an interesting way to take photos of stickers that balances context and content: Panorama mode.

AVOID pi in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

AVOID pi in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

My iPhone has a panorama mode that I don’t think I’d ever used until earlier this summer, when I accidentally realized it could be useful for photographing stickers. I was just fooling around with my iPhone, seeing if the panorama mode could work if you had something up very close and also something far away that both needed to be in focus. So I tested it by photographing a sticker and trying to move from the sticker to some background elements across the street. I saw the resulting image and suddenly I hardly cared about my little experiment. I saw a photograph that captured the details of a sticker while still giving context to its placement, and I fell instantly in love with the technique.

Kosbe in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

Kosbe and more in Brooklyn. Click to view large.

Obviously taking photos with a wide angle lens or in panorama mode is nothing new, but I can’t remember ever having seen it used for this purpose before. If anyone wants to prove me wrong, please leave a comment. I’d love to see what other people have been doing with this technique.

Click to view large

xleos (I’m guessing) in West Philadelphia. Click to view large.

What do you think of this technique? Does it is balance content and context well enough? These are just some early shots by me, and I’m no photographer, so if you think you can take this further and do it better, please do and let me know how it goes. I would love to see others improve upon this. For me, it’s made documenting stickers so much more fun and fulfilling. Anyone can photograph another printed André the Giant sticker, but this technique highlights how context can make even printed stickers unique so long as the placement is interesting.

Shepard Fairey in. Click to view large.

Shepard Fairey in Philadelphia. Click to view large.

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Web hosting craziness link-o-rama

March 12th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
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Photo by Luna Park

For the last week or so until today, we’ve been in the process changing Vandalog’s web hosts. No need to get into the technical details, but now the site should run more smoothly and with less downtime. Unfortunately it means that we haven’t been able to write anything new on the site since that process began (everything that’s gone online was pre-scheduled). So this is a mega-link-o-rama combining the usual weekend link-o-rama content with stuff that I could have written about last week even if I’d had the time.

Photo by Luna Park


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Klughaus Gallery Presents “Home for the Holidays” with Grotesk, Greg Lamarche, Faust, Fuzz One & more

December 16th, 2011 | By | 1 Comment »
Where Manhattan’s Lower East Side meets Chinatown, Klughaus Gallery recently launched its first exhibit, “Home for the Holidays,” featuring a wide range of artwork by an eclectic mix of artists. We stopped by this morning and loved what we saw. Here is a small sampling:

Installation by Grotesk (pictured); Sure tribute by Faust

 

"Vandal at Heart" by Greg Lamarche

by Seb Gorey (one of many stunning pieces executed w/ watercolor, pencil & ink)

 

by Fuzz One

Other artists whose work is featured include: Jasper Patch. Katsu, Mr. Kiji, Michael Alan, Moody, Tom Gould, Topske, Veefer and Vor 138.  The exhibit continues through December 31st @ 47 Monroe Street and is well worth a visit if you are anywhere near NYC.

Photos by Lois Stavsky


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Faust, Fairey, Katsu and Skullphone at Mallick Williams

March 24th, 2011 | By | No Comments »

New York is (slowly) recovering from what one could call its monochromatic season. So as much as I’m ready for all the black and white and grey to be over with, I still ended up catching Mallick Williams‘ grayscale show Hueless a couple days ago before it closes on April 13th. Turns out, in some cases, lack of color isn’t so bad.

Opening just over a month ago, Hueless is a “monochromatic exhibition” with some paradoxical diversity. It’s got black and white and grey, but also silver, cream, brown-black and pretty much every non-pigmented hue in between. With work from Shephard Fairey, Faust, Katsu, Skullphone, and others, the work under color-constraints was (thankfully) more unified than most group shows, and showed off medium/form (there was sculpture, a neon sign, screenprint, paper cut and painting) and content in color’s absence.

There was a requisite Andre the Giant (not for sale, just for show), but the other two pieces from Fairey were among my favorites.

Fairey's "Glass Houses" and "Rise Above Control."

Katsu's "Self Portrait."

Also enjoyed Skullphone’s “Here’s Your Nightmare.” It’s enamel on aluminum, but in person looked sort of like a micro, non-electronic version of his billboards.

Skullphone's piece, photo via Arrested Motion.

"I Want to Go Home" by Distort.

"Tree" paper cut by Nathan Pickett.

Hueless runs through  April 13th, and the gallery opens the color-themed group show Spectrum on April 21st, with pieces from Word to Mother, Erik Otto, and others.

Skullphone photo by Arrested Motion, other photos by Frances Corry.


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Hueless: A group show in grayscale

February 28th, 2011 | By | No Comments »

A taste of Hueless

The latest show at the relatively new gallery Mallick Williams & Co is Hueless, a group show of 21 artists, but all the artwork is in black, white and shades of gray. The show opens this Friday, March 4th. I chanced across the last show at Mallick Williams & Co when I was last in NYC and really enjoyed it. With Hueless, the line up looks strong once again, with highlights including Shepard Fairey, Skullphone, Faust and Katsu (yes, the writers Faust and Katsu!). Here’s the flyer:

Photocollage courtesy of Mallick Williams & Co


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Random link-o-rama

December 7th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Sure and Faust. Photo by euniyah

I’ve been out of the loop and stuck in libraries lately (and then in Miami for the weekend), and that’s led to me miss posting about a lot of things. I’ve got some catching up to do, so here’s the start of that:

Photo by euniyah


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