Thursday, June 30, 2011

Olympus PEN E-P3

Through several of the past updates from the Micro 4/3rds camp, some of lamented the lack of chance in the subsequent iterations. However, pioneers Olympus release an update-worthy model with their PEN E-P3. The most glaring changes are seen under the redesigned body as a dual-core processor allows for razor quick focus thanks to internal adjustments of 120 times a second. From the exterior, a removable handgrip as well as a discrete pop-up flash ensure an enhanced user experience.The legacy of the PEN’s aesthetics are preserved and unlike other brands, Olympus has a powerful heritage to draw upon when going to the drawing board. To round out the features, a new built-in autofocus illuminator light helps with focusing with 1080i60 video recording. The PEN E-P3 with kit lens will release with street price of $900 and is currently available for pre-order at various locations.

Source: dpreview

CHA CAL

Inexorable Violence 2: Carlos The Jackal

Just before 12 o’clock on the 21st of December, 1975, a six-member terror squad stormed a conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. During a gunfight, an Austrian detective, an Iraqi security officer and the Libyan delegate Jusuf al-Azmarly were killed. A man later identified as the terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein was wounded. The terrorists, under the leadership of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez alias “Carlos” took about 70 hostages, among whom are eleven oil-ministers from OPEC countries.

The plan was to ransom most of the ministers for the cash the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) desperately needed, but to murder the ministers representing Saudi Arabia and Iran, because those two countries were insufficiently dedicated to the Palestinian cause and to the cause of higher oil prices. Eventually the terrorists flew to Algeria with their hostages, all of whom were released after a ransom was paid, estimated at between $20 and $50 million.

Carlos was forced out of the PFLP by Wadi Haddadshortly after the OPEC kidnapping because he ransomed the Saudi and Iranian ministers instead of killing them, and because he was suspected of keeping part of the ransom for himself.

After leaving the PFLP, Carlos started up a sort of terrorist-for-hire business that he succinctly called "Organization of the Armed Arab Struggle–Arm of the Arab Revolution." In fact, it had nothing to do with the Arab struggle and everything to do with lining his own pockets. During this time he operated mostly out of eastern Europe, but traveled on diplomatic passports helpfully provided by various Arab nations, such as Syria and South Yemen. The Soviet satellites mostly tolerated his presence (perhaps fearing repercussions if they turned him away), but they did little to actively help him. An exception was Romania, whose secret police (the Securitate) hired him to kill Romanian dissidents in France and to blow up the Radio Free Europe offices in Munich.

In 1982, his wife Magdalena Kopp was arrested in Paris for possession of explosives and was sentenced to four years in prison. Carlos began a terror campaign to pressure France into freeing her, and over the next several years he bombed civilian targets inside France and French diplomatic targets overseas. More than twenty people were killed, but it did not suffice to free his wife. She was released a few months early in 1985, but that was because of good behavior on her part, not her husband’s terror bombings. Her release seems to have marked the end of his direct involvement in terrorism. He and his wife moved to Damascus, but Syria forced him to give up terrorism after the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. A few reports had hinted at his participation in that attack, but they turned out to be false.

Hoping for better relations with the West, Syria passed on his new location (Sudan) to the U.S. The CIA sent agents to Khartoum to verify his presence there, and then alerted the French. In return for Iran’s influence in getting Carlos from Sudan, France–in violation of treaty terms–released two Iranian terrorists instead of extraditing them to Switzerland where they were wanted for murder. Under pressure from Iran, Sudan agreed to help. It didn’t hurt that France sold Sudan military communications equipment it needed for its civil war when other Western countries wouldn’t.

While Carlos was still groggy from surgery for a painful varicocele, the Sudanese government told him of a murder plot against him and whisked away to a country house outside Khartoum. Later, away from witnesses, he was drugged, handcuffed, put into a sack, and taken to the airport where theFrench DST picked him up and flew him to France. This French operation was strictly illegal, since there was no extradition agreement, and the arrest warrant was invalid outside France. This little technicality was swept under the rug easily enough. The authorities maintained the fiction that Carlos had drugged and handcuffed himself, tied himself in the sack, and boarded the plane of his own free will. He has remained in French custody to this day.

Carlos the Jackal: Trail of Terror, Parts 1 and 2

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

9five Eyewear Presents "Who Murked Beardo?" 2010 Lookbook from Mike Metcalf on Vimeo.

Skateboard Kings 1978 part 7 of 7

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Leica & Magnum - Portrait of Alex Majoli from leica camera on Vimeo.

In 2003, Magnum photographer Alex Majoli shot some big stories for Newsweek magazine.

He spent a month in China shooting documentary images of daily life. He was in Congo for two weeks and Iraq for almost two months. In those two places he was shooting war.

Majoli's images for all three stories drew rave notices, and they earned him some of photojournalism's most prestigious awards in 2004, including the U.S. National Press Photographers Association's Best of PhotojournalismMagazine Photographer of the Year Award and the U.S. Overseas Press Club's Feature Photography Award.

It would seem reasonable to guess that all that award-winning work in remote and frequently dangerous places must have been shot with big, fast, bulletproof pro SLR cameras. But in fact, Majoli shot every frame with Olympus C-5050 digital point-and-shoots -- the same camera your snap happy Uncle Maury takes to Disney World.

More recently he's been using the Olympus C-8080, along with his older C-5050 and C-5060 cameras, for many of his assignments, including shooting in Israel for Vanity Fair and the U.S. presidential elections for Newsweek.

Alex Majoli points and shoots

by Eamon Hickey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

KEITH RICHARDS WITH JACK AND COORS. 1972


Ira Cohen obituary

Doyen of the Beat generation feted for his psychedelic photos from the underground


    Jimi Hendrix
    Ira Cohen's surrealistic photograph of Jimi Hendrix, taken in the late 1960s in the Mylar chamber at his loft in New York. Photograph: Ira Cohen

    Ira Cohen, who has died of renal failure aged 76, participated in the 1960s artistic counterculture as a poet, publisher, film-maker and raconteur. In the middle of the decade, he took up photography seriously. At his loft in Jefferson Street, New York, Cohen built a chamber with walls and ceilings made from sheets of Mylar, a reflective polyester film. Inside this chamber, he took portraits of William Burroughs, Jimi Hendrix, Alejandro Jodorowsky and the steady stream of hipsters who visited the loft.

    Rather than photograph his subjects directly, he took pictures of their distorted reflections on the chamber's walls and ceiling. The surrealistic and psychedelic results were described by Hendrix as "like looking through butterfly wings". The photographer and film-maker Gerard Malanga called the Mylar chamber "a kaleidoscope where the reflections being photographed constantly changed". Life magazine, in its final issue of the 1960s, praised how close Cohen's photographs came to "explaining the euphoric distortions of hallucinogenics".

    Cohen was born to deaf parents, Lester and Faye, in the Bronx, New York. He learned sign language before he could read and write. He attended Horace Mann school and Cornell University, where he took writing classes from Vladimir Nabokov. At Columbia University, he became involved in the jazz and avant-garde scenes of New York's Lower East Side.

    In 1961 he boarded a freighter to Morocco where he spent time with Burroughs and the writers Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles. He embarked on publishing a literary magazine, Gnaoua, centred on the Beat scene in Tangier. In 1964, the only volume of Gnaoua was published, with contributions including a preview of Burroughs's cut-up novel Nova Express, photographs by Jack Smith and Allen Ginsberg's reflections on totalitarianism. A copy of Gnaoua can be seen on the cover of Bob Dylan's album Bringing it All Back Home.

    Ira Cohen Cohen embodied a bohemian intent on doing his own thing. Photograph: Ira Landgarten

    In 1966, having returned to New York, Cohen edited and published – under the nom de plume Panama Rose – The Hashish Cookbook, with recipes ranging from cakes and puddings to soups and drinks. He also produced Jilala, an album of Moroccan trance music.

    Cohen was a pioneer of the loft scene in the Lower East Side, where the low rents and vast spaces attracted artists, musicians, actors and writers. Happenings were organised in lofts, and he became part of the burgeoning underground which was successfully commercialised by Andy Warhol. Cohen himself was never able to deal with art or writing in any commercial way. He advocated that artists and poets should have patrons and be supported.

    One story typifies Cohen's haphazard luck. Having disturbed a burglar at his loft, he struck up a conversation, explaining the Mylar chamber and his lifestyle. The burglar left but soon returned with a Bolex 16mm film camera and a box of prism lenses, which he sold to Cohen for almost nothing.

    In 1968, using the Bolex, Cohen made the film The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, a psychedelic romp that features the Mylar chamber and scenes inspired by the work of Julian Beck's Living Theatre company. He also produced a documentary about the Living Theatre's US tour of the play Paradise Now, which involved audience participation and scenes of mass nudity, leading to arrests for indecency.

    In 1970 Cohen's Mylar chamber photographs were used on the cover of the album Twelve Dreams of Dr Sardonicus by the psychedelic rock band Spirit and on the jacket of the first novel by Burroughs's son, William Jr, entitled Speed. Cohen then departed to Nepal with the Living Theatre actor Petra Vogt and began a small press, Bardo Matrix, publishing books and broadsheets on handmade rice paper, including works by Bowles, Gregory Corso and Angus MacLise. He also published his own poetry, including the collections Gilded Splinters and Poems from the Cosmic Crypt.

    Cohen later directed the film Kings With Straw Mats (1998), a documentary about the Kumbh Mela gathering in India, and released the album The Majoon Traveller, featuring the music of MacLise, Ornette Coleman and Master Musicians of Joujouka, mixed with his readings. In his later years, he was feted by a new generation of the counterculture, as The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda and Paradise Now were released on DVD. In 2006, the Whitney Museum of American Art's biennial featured his photographs of Smith.

    I first met Cohen in 1992 when he participated in a Burroughs and Gysin exhibition in Dublin, displaying his Mylar images and other work. He took a central role in the event, hosting daily readings. When it came to publishing, he was enthusiastic and generous. On being asked for a contribution for a book, he was likely to also offer a piece by Bowles or Anne Waldman which had been left over from one of the many publications he had edited. In his personal attire (such as his long kaftan and bead-strewn beard) and his manner, he always embodied a bohemian intent on doing his own thing.

    In the mid-1950s he married Arlene Bond, with whom he had two children. He later married Carolina Gosselin, with whom he had a daughter. Both marriages ended in divorce. He also had a son from another relationship. He is survived by his children and his sister, Janice.

    • Ira Cohen, photographer, poet, publisher and film-maker, born 3 February 1935; died 25 April 2011

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brand information: adidas

It was in the 1920s when the two brothers Adold and Rudolf Dassler manufactured sportshoes in the laundry of their mother. But after an argument between the two they separated. Adolf, who was also called Adi, founded adidas in 1949. The three stripes – until today the worldwide trade mark – were immediately copyrighted by him. After the german football nationalteam won the world championship in 1954 adidas became a legend. The shoes with cleats, which was a revolutionary technology, gave the team around Fritz Walter in the rainy final the decisive edge. Nowadays adidas produces equipment for all olympic sports except horse riding. The Originals clothing-line honors of the long adidas history and stands for an extravagant lifestyle.

Saturday, June 11, 2011