This week has been a huge one in the tech community. Yahoo purchased Tumblr in cold hard cash for $1.1 billion and rolling out a brand new interface for Flickr the very same day. Personally, I’m still digesting all the changes to Flickr. The reaction I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook from friends in the photography and design communities has been totally mixed and incredibly emotional. Clearly the new design has touched a nerve. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments here or over on Twitter!

When I first joined Flickr back in 2005, it had just been acquired by Yahoo. It was such a cool user experience – totally different than other sites on the web – and it blew its competitors out of the water. Though the site has undergone a number of updates over the years, the basic design hasn’t changed in FOREVER – despite the fact that in the meantime, mobile technology and a multitude of new devices have fundamentally changed the way we interact with the digital world. Is this the final design of Flickr forever and ever? Most likely not. I’m certain that Flickr’s leaders are listening to all the feedback – both positive AND negative – as a way to inform the evolution of their site design.

I’m also certain that regardless of whatever way the powers that be choose to revamp Flickr, there is an enormous amount of talent found on its pages. This very site was inspired by all the wonderful photographers I have met over the years, predominantly through Flickr. Once upon a time, its sense of community was second to none and I personally have learned magnitudes through its groups and forums. I’m really hoping this redesign is the first step towards truly making it awesome again. Even if there are growing pains along the way.

In celebration of the talent out there, here are a few recent photographs that have caught my eye in the Flickr group pool. Enjoy!

Untitled, by Anthony Fine:
Untitled

“Jane’s Carousel at Sunset,” by MKC609:
Jane's Carousel at sunset

“BBG Bluebells,” by Marie Viljoen:
bbg bluebells

“Spring Day – Coney Island,” by Terry Murphy:
Spring Day - Coney Island

“Windy,” by Gisele D, AKA The Windsor Terrorist:
Windy

“The Way of the Brooklynite,” by St├ęphane Missier:
The Way of the Brooklynite

“Checker Cab on Nostrand Av,” by Mortimer Slomo:
Checker cab on Nostrand Av

The Dude Abides (with a Widelux)

May 13th, 2013 | Posted by Jill in film - (2 Comments)

Last week Adam Lerner shared a great link on his Facebook page to this awesome interview with actor Jeff Bridges, who has been an avid film photographer for nearly 30 years. This mini documentary, produced by the International Center of Photography, is a retrospective of his work primarily with the unique Widelux film camera. Bridges claims to have shot each movie he’s worked on since 1984 in this wide cinematographic-style format, and the photos featured in the short are fantastic. I’m especially in love with the two faces series he does — you have to see for yourself!

Plus, for The Big Lebowski fans out there — don’t miss the story at the end. Classic. Enjoy!

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One of the very first things that Zach and I did when we moved to Crown Heights was invest in a membership to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’d never visited the gardens before moving to this side of Prospect Park, nor did I ever consider myself the kind of person who would wander aimlessly under the canopy of trees. Boy, was I wrong.

Every year now, I can hardly contain myself as I wait for the glorious display of cherry blossoms. This year, I started checking the CherryWatch page in mid-March, hoping for signs of an early bloom. Finally, five weeks later, the cherries are starting to pop. As long as we don’t get much stormy weather or wind this week, I predict that next weekend’s celebration is going to be a doozy. In a really good way. Of course I’m going to be out of town. Figures.

cherry blossoms foreverweeping cherries

ANYWAY. Over the last couple of years after many meandering walks through the garden, I’ve thought a lot about the concept of Hanami. Initially, I always thought of hanami in a very literal sense: stop everything, get thee to the garden, see the flowers, and take photos to try and capture a piece of the magical cherry blossoms.

In the last couple of years though, it has evolved moreso into a rite of passage for spring. It’s almost become an emotional spring cleaning for me, because it seems to satisfy my need to cross a bunch of stuff off my checklist. The cherry blossoms give me my annual assignment:

– Get out of the house!
– Get your act together for the year’s gardening plans!
– Go see your friends and family. Don’t be a recluse!
– Be active! Ride your bike! Get to the gym! Get moving!
– COME SEE US AT THE GARDEN!

The cherry blossoms are very practical blossoms. It’s hard to argue with their logic.

promise of spring

So this weekend, I did as I was told and tore the house apart for a round of spring cleaning. I also managed to do a lot of yoga, purged a boatload of paperwork, and got to see the cherry blossoms through the eyes of my five-month old baby cousin, Olivia. The gardening plans are starting to form slowly but surely and I’m confident they’ll come together. (I want to try my hand at roses. Thanks a lot, Marie.)

I don’t know that I owe all of the productivity to Hanami, or to the cherry blossoms, or even to our upcoming vacation this week. But I do think that that it’s a concept I should try and embrace more in my life. The practice of simple appreciation, of gratitude for the beauty which surrounds, of slowing down and being more present — these are all things which really require practice.

And I need lots of practice.

Untitledshinto spring
heavenly

That Moment

April 11th, 2013 | Posted by Jill in slow down - (1 Comments)

that moment

Sometimes you turn a corner and there she is: the whole city laid out before you, bathed in golden light.

And your heart swells.