Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Curators

The enormity of the interweb boggles my mind:  It is massive and it is packed full of imagery, some of it great, quite a lot of it good, and much of it awful.  But that's the nature of the open source, unedited, digital world that we live in these days - anybody can put their photography on a website or social media platform and then anybody else can share, re-post, or sadly sometimes steal that imagery.  Once it's out there it's off the leash and can go anywhere and everywhere.  But let's not dwell on the less positive aspects of photography on the internet; there's so much good and truly inspirational stuff and I'd like to share with you some of the tumblr photo blogs that I often use as virtual mood boards, turning to them for inspiration or when I just need to get some good stuff in my eyes.  These aren't photo blogs featuring the work of a single artist (using a tumblr site as a quick-fix additional website or online portfolio is a popular choice for many photographers, myself included) or run by a brand further consolidating its image and expressing an aesthetic.  Rather, they are collections of images each curated by someone with an exceptional eye.  Some are for personal use as online moodboards whilst others are, as far as I can tell, run purely for the enjoyment of sourcing, collecting and sharing great imagery.  These people are curators; modern day digital disseminators of often inspirational imagery.  Many tumblr blogs are very good but sometimes feature a bit too much religious chatter, nationalistic flag waving, firearms or worst of all photos of the backs of peoples heads (often wearing a red beanie) somewhere in the Pacific North West for my liking.  I'll still follow them for the odd gem that they throw up, but I won't feature them here.  The five listed below consistently offer, in my opinion, a varied selection of tasteful images that remind me that the world is a beautiful place and fills me with the urge to make the most of my time on it.      

The Weekend Digest is an offshoot of the General Consumption blog run by a gentleman with an eye for style who goes by the name of Marky P - and it's a visual feast.  Mid-century inspired, it is a celebration of surfing in the sunshine, living outdoors, classic cars, the human body, wholesome food and timeless fashion.  

Oh, Pioneer!  This will make you want to get outside.  America-centric it is chock-full of open-canoes, axes, fly fishing, vintage motorcycles and hiking - with a solid dose of big landscapes with big skies to remind you that outdoors is better than indoors.

I'm guessing that The Yard is curated by a female because it's fairly heavy on portraits of handsome young families, animals and the odd quote about relationships.  The imagery on here is for the most part desaturated, wonderfully high contrast, and beautiful in a bright, misty morning kind of way.  It's a mood board for a creative and damned wholesome lifestyle with an old wooden kitchen table and a vegetable patch.

David Woodman is a Director of Photography who I met in London a year or so ago when he was working part time in the Patagonia store.  I asked him a lot of questions about climbing photography and tried my best to answer some of his questions about surf photography.  His Stolen Moments blog is a collection of imagery based around classic cinema, colour palettes, wilderness explorers, mountaineering, custom motorcycles, surfing and bicycles.  It's well worth a scroll.  

Soul Surfer is a rolling montage of surf and associated lifestyle photography that covers a lot of bases and tends to avoid getting stuck in niches.  It's a great overview of what is "now" in the wide world of surf with brief forays into snowboarding, skating, coffee and fashion - all sunshine, youthful smiles, carefree attitudes and sequences of big airs.

I'd like to thank all of the curators out there who collate all of the great photography floating around out there, pulling it together into beautiful and engaging blogs.  There're plenty of them and I've only featured a handful of my favourites, but take a dig around - check out the tumblrs of individual photographers or brands whose style you like.  You'll probably end up with a massive list of things that you want to get out and do as a result, and not enough time to ever do it all, but it's good to get inspired.

As a final plug, An Tor Orth An Mor's visual younger sibling is called "Where The Land Meets The Sea" and you can find it here.

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