Monday, 29 April 2013

Inside Giorgio Armani's Milan home


Giorgio Armani's home is like a fortress: gates, massive front courtyard and all. Not only does this cluster of buildings house his home, but it also encompasses Armani’s design, communications, and marketing offices; the sizable underground theater where he used to present his collections; an indoor pool—plus a garden for good measure.

Each room is full of art and artifacts, antique rugs and elephant tusks, ceremonial costumes, books, and family portraits.

The mirrored doors of the dressing area open to reveal a wardrobe that is almost entirely white, black, gray and navy.
Photos of him in his youth are interspersed with sketches in his bathroom.
The master bedroom is the sparest space in the house.

The narrow, densely packed library contains nearly 3,000 books on fashion, art, film and design.

This sitting area highlights his obsession with lighting.

 A checkerboard marks the spot for the rarely used dining room set.

 (Courtesy In Style Magazine).

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

10 tips on Street Photography

1.Always carry your camera with you

I always carry a camera with me. A great street picture you can find anywhere, then we always have a camera with us. The technology comes to us with cameras more compactand transportable. No matter that it's a mirrorless, an old 35mm or an iphone. It will be obvious to say but the best camera is the one that uses more.

2.Be ready with your camera

The instances don't repeat themselves in street photography. Be ready to shoot is a commandment in our genre. So our camera settings should be ready in a few seconds tocapture every situation: zone focus, hyperfocal, program can be effective solutions. If ourcamera is slow to start we can consider to keep it turned on: mandatory in this case atleast one spare battery. Also a wrist strap is an ideal solution to be ready to shoot.

3.Use a inconspicuous camera bag

It is a matter of personal safety, but also not to draw attention to us. I have chosen ThinkTank Photo and in particular the series Retrospective. I think it is the perfect choice for street photographers.

4.Choose a real interesting subject

Sometimes we can see great compositions but the subjects are not so strong. For example it is not enough, in my opinion, a photo in an arcade with light and shade without subjects interesting.We must strive to find characters or special postures, really interesting situations.

5.Wide angle prime lens

Street Photography is not a safari. So forget those zoom lenses. We must be in the sceneand a telephoto lens does not allow it. And then you will look even more conspicuous inpublic holding a huge zoom lens.If you still have doubts, ask yourself why all the great reportage photographers were usingor use normal or wide angle lenses.

6.Get close

"If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough." Robert CapaUsing a wide-angle prime lens (as mentioned in the before point), you will be forced to getclose to your subjects. Street Photography is mental, emotional and physical involvementof the photographer.We can not think of doing good street photography if we remain distant.

7.Think positive!

As said Blake Andrews in the interview published in this blog: If you walk around thinkingyou're not going to see anything, it'll become a self fulfilling prophecy. You won't seeanything. But if you walk around with the expectation that a photo can be anywhere, thatone will pop up around the next corner, you will see things. The environment is exactly thesame in both cases. It's the mental outlook that matters. Every single time I go outshooting I see the potential for at least one world-class photo. They are always out there.But being in the right mental state to capture them is sometimes difficult, especiallybecause street photography can involves long periods where not much happens. Sodeveloping that faith and keeping it with you at all times is important. The world will provideif you trust it to.And don't forget to smile! With a smile, people usually respond with a smile!

8.Interesting situations, more than one single shot!

When the situation and the subject are interesting when you can make more shots.

9.Keen observer of the street life

To be a street photographer is be extremely attentive to the frenetic activity in publicspaces. The situations change sharply even in the same place. While walking down the street you will come across a variety of events,acts, postures, gestures, scenes,expressions, subjects, etc.There is a multitude of possibilities in the street for the photographer but we must be alert. Remember that photography is above all to observe.Street Photography is capturing the activities happening by the roadside, street concerts,traffic signals, billboards, hoardings, fences, trees, birds, cats, dogs, similarities andassociations, the vertiginous heels of a woman, a man smoking a cigar while waiting forthe tram. To quote Bruce Gilden if it smells of the street is street photography.

10.Be respectful

Respect of the subject should be the basis of our pictures. If you really want to represent some physical defect, worry that the subject is not recognizable. And remember that only if we photograph with respect will we do good photos.

(From Street Photography - an ebook by Alex Coghe)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Peridot & Pink

Upcoming Nigerian Interior Designer, Jokotade Bamiro is the Creative Designer at Peridot & Pink, an Interior Decor Outfit located in Lagos, Nigeria.

Jokotade's style which is predominatly contemporary is expressed through a mix of rich and vibrant colours and themes.

All her furniture pieces are locally made.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Using Balance as a Decor Tool

Spaces usually call for symmetrical balance where the space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other. For example, two chairs on either side of a coffee table can be said to be symmetrically balanced. This kind of balance is easy to achieve as design elements are repeated on each side. Care should be taken to avoid monotony.

Personally I prefer to spice things up with an unexpected twist such as a feature chair in a totally different fabric/colour or a colourful painting thrown in to upset the equilibrium and give the eye something to rest on.

In the image below, the four mirrors are are balance out to create a uniform look
 Also in the children's room below the name frames and mirrors also create balance.


In the image below, there are 2 lamps, one on each side of the bed

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Aknac Hotel, Legon, Ghana

The Aknac Hotel, is a family owned boutique hotel located away from the hustle and bustle of Accra's city centre in the prestigious East Legon.

 The hotel comprises 52 rooms spread over two floors and a further eight rooms located in traditionally thatched roof chalets.

Each of these stylishly designed rooms evoke a contemporary and relaxing feel, ideal for business or leisure breaks.

The majority of Aknac's furnishing comprises bespoke pieces designed by a team of in-house local craftsmen.

With its simple and chic decor, the hotel exudes contemporary Ghana at its finest. With cool grey walls, bespoke velvet sofas, shimmering crystal chandeliers and African art, Aknac exudes a personalized space for all guests to feel at home.

Four Points Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria

The Four Points by Sheraton forms part of the 9 brands under Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Bringing a new level of style and comfort, it has 41 suites all with private balconies, offering guests magnificent views of the city and the Lagos Lagoon.

International and multi award winning South African Interior Designer, Dorothy van Riet's flair and professionalism can be clearly seen in the elgeant decor at the hotel.