I recently discovered the HDR setting (a very rudimentary version of real HDR) on the camera app of my (non-phone) iPhone, and have been playing with its unpredictability. Apparently it takes multiple images simultaneously with different exposures and juxtaposes them together in order to arrive at the “best” exposure. It also seems to make things extremely and artificially sharp. This generally results in a bleached-out, highly textured image. I also noticed some very slight double exposed portions of the photographs, especially evident along contours and thin lines. I realized soon that this was because if the camera moves at all while the picture is being taken (processed), the different versions (exposures) of the photo are set into the frame at different points within the composition. But because this is HDR, nothing is blurry. So some sections are a bit off-set, and slightly translucent. Therefore, significantly moving the camera while taking a photograph results in some very strange ghost-like versions of various sections of the image. Lens flares are also accentuated, which I like quite a lot.
That said, I find that this shoddy iPhone version of HDR produces photographs which strongly portray exaggerated, dream-like aspects of the summer—or at least ones with which I’ve been interested over the years—such as shimmering foliage, sun-bleached vegetation, the pressing, omnipresence of light and the heat it produces, strong contrasts of dark shadows on white-out dirt roads and certainly images that conjure sounds of birdsong choruses and the massed aural punctuations of insect noise. A lot of this imagery is due in part to my memories of summers as a child in Vermont, my fondness of de Chirico paintings and the descriptions of the beach in Camus’ The Stranger.
Once again, this by no means is a “best of 2013″ list, but instead a list of things I stumbled upon and stuck with me. I found myself impressed with a lot of mainstream pop music this year, but only listed a few here. There’s so much I missed that I hope to investigate in 2014, such as the vast array of wildly differing 2013 Richard Youngs releases (I mean, seriously, what is up with that guy ?), all the awesome things that Devonté Hynes did, much of the Improv and/or composed music (etc) I missed out on, and a lot of early electronic/Musique Concrète reissues.
Most of my year was spent settling in Portland, after kind of throwing myself into a new city with absolutely no connections, after zigzagging Texas, the Southwest and California for three months. Since being here, becoming more connected with gardening, farm animals, working with kids, exploring the amazing state of Oregon and becoming involved with the Creative Music Guild has all been very engaging.
All of the album titles are linked to either a Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube or Discogs page which contains some or all of the music contained within said album/single.
In no particular order, other than roughly sectioned by genre:
Grammies – Award Winning (self-released)
｡-_-｡)a – Soundcloud
Arca – Fader Mix
Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin)
Abigail Wyles – Mantra (MTA Records)
Laura Welsh – Cold Front (CFCF Remix) (Polydor / Outsiders)