TBT Photo Nerd: " 52 Week Photography Challenge 2017" – Tampabay.com

TBT Photo Nerd – A weekly All Eyes blog post brought to you by an advanced hobbyist, Emmitt Lane, aimed at connecting the photo enthusiast in all of us through the sharing of practical photography tips and news.

Topic:” 52 Week Photography Challenge 2017″

I recently discovered an article written by Dale Foshe, “Shoot This 52 Week Photo Challenge in 2017 to Improve Your Skills,” on the PetaPixel.com website. I found it useful because it allows you to put your creativity and technical knowledge to the test. This challenge, unlike many I’ve seen, has a higher difficulty level. Each week is designed to challenge 1 of 3 areas: the ability to tell a story with a photograph, the technical aptitude of the photographer, and the artistic impression of a photo. Another great feature of this challenge is it can be started at any time. I hope you find this challenging as well! – Emmitt Lane

Emmitt Lane

Tampa Bay resident and Air Force reservist, Emmitt Lane currently works as a logistics analyst for a defense contractor company. Growing up as a military dependent, Emmitt was fortunate to live and travel to different places around the world, fueling his interest in photography. As an adult he took to photographing the sites he visited. However, it wasn’t until he purchased his first DSLR a few years ago that his passion and desire to develop his craft for photography started to really grow. Emmitt photographs in all genres but what he enjoys most is landscape and night photography. Check in on his photographic journey.

Instagram: Instagram-@el3fotografie

Emmitt Lane

TBT Photo Nerd: ” 52 Week Photography Challenge 2017″ 01/31/17

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 4:27pm]

Photo reprints | Article reprints

Gabrielle Union Ventures into Beauty Business with 'Flawless' Haircare Line – Forbes


Gabrielle Union Ventures into Beauty Business with 'Flawless' Haircare Line
Star of BET series Being Mary Jane, Gabrielle Union, is expanding her horizons. Following an acting career which has lasted for more than two decades, the actress is now making her first steps as a beauty entrepreneur. Flawless by Gabrielle Union, …
Gabrielle Union Set to Launch Hair-Care Brand at Ulta BeautyWWD

all 22 news articles »

Swing’s Coffee Bar Opening 14th and G St, NW Monday Feb. 6th

From a press release:

“This past year has indeed been a grand one for Swing’s Coffee Roasters. After celebrating its landmark 100-year anniversary in 2016, Swing’s is opening a new coffee bar in downtown D.C. at 640 14th Street NW, located in Metropolitan Square. Opening February 6th, Swing’s shop hours will be 7AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday, 8AM – 3 PM on Saturdays. The venerable coffee roaster is proud to be located in the same neighborhood as a few of the District’s famous hospitality landmarks, such as the Old Ebbitt Grill and the Hamilton. The new location for Swing’s is just a couple of blocks away from the historic “MESCo Building” where Swing’s roasted coffee from its beginnings until 1989.

At Swings’ new storefront, customers can expect coffee quality and service that generations of patrons have appreciated for the past one-hundred years, with a decidedly progressive approach to coffee sourcing and preparation methods. Features of the 14th Street coffee bar include ethically sourced coffees via Swing’s Home Grown Sourcing Initiative, a rotating selection of single origin pour overs produced on a Poursteady, as well as espresso beverages pulled from two espresso machines: a customized La Marzocco GB5 and a Victoria Arduino lever machine. A variety of cold beverages will be available on tap, including cold-brewed coffee, nitro cold-brewed coffee, and nitro draft lattes. Swing’s seasonal beverages will mirror those of its Del Ray coffee bar and pastries produced from various local bakeries will also be available.

In keeping with the aesthetic of the neighborhood, the new location has a traditional appearance with deco influences. Swing’s brought to life the concepts and design from Core Architects, combining Swing’s historic lineage with the classic design of its Metropolitan Square location. The decor includes beautiful stained hardwood, traditional tin tile ceiling, white Italian Carrera marble countertops, and an intricately patterned mosaic tile floor made up of Swing’s branded colors of black, red, and white.

“Given our milestone of 100 years in 2016, it’s fitting that we open a shop just a couple of blocks away from the landmark MESCo building. This location will serve as a benchmark for us as we start planning the opening of our G Street location on the other side of the White House,” states Mark Warmuth, owner of Swing’s.

Swing’s is a wholesale/retail roaster operating coffee bars in DC and Virginia, with a coffee roastery located in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters, founded by Michael Edward Swing, first opened in Washington, D.C. in 1916, forming a long and rich history in the District of Columbia. Through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and economic recessions, Swing’s has kept its doors open to provide sustainably sourced coffee and highly personable service to generations of loyal customers. This commitment to ethical business practices and community support has established Swing’s as a formidable D.C. institution.”

Cuban artists paint garments, not canvases for 'Fashion Art' show – Reuters

HAVANA A fantastical blue bird emerges from leaves in the latest work by Manuel Mendive, considered Cuba’s top living artist. But this isn’t a framed canvas, it’s a painting on a dress, for the exhibit “Fashion Art Havana” that opened on Tuesday.

In creations by other Cuban artists, a ghostly face seems to scream out from a dark cape, a red and blue matryoshka doll is painted onto a dress, while a bubble-shaped frock is covered with wooden spikes.

The show is the latest in the “Fashion Art” series by Spanish designer Manuel Fernandez, who has worked with artists all over the world to create one-off garments at the intersection of both disciplines.

“Art doesn’t have to always be hung on walls, it could also be on floor tiles, earrings, tights or many other places,” Fernandez said in an interview.

Participating artists said at the opening they had high hopes the exhibit would help fashion become viewed in Communist-ruled Cuba as more than a mere consumerist indulgence.

“Fashion is also art, and this is a concept we need to start understanding here,” said Jorge Perugorría, who painted a graphic black and white design on his dress.

Fernandez said he first designs a garment for an artist, letting their work and personality inspire the form. He leaves the fabric blank though, like a canvas for them to then paint.

Given that he lets the artists paint whatever they wish, he has no idea what his shows will look like until the very last minute – a nail-biting experience.

In the case of “Fashion Art Havana”, which will run in Havana’s sumptuous, neo-baroque Gran Teatro until Feb. 11, Fernandez said he was struck with how two painters ended up drawing on Russian themes.

This testified to the strong influence the Soviet Union had on Cuba during their Cold War alliance, something you would not find in other Latin American cultures.

Eduardo Abela, son of the Cuban artist of the same name, daubed a matryoshka doll onto his dress, while Gustavo Echevarría, known as “Cuty,” stained his scarlet, then painted communist symbols like a hammer and sickle on it.

“Cuba remains a Communist country, yet at the same there is the sensuality of the dress and the consumerism of the designs – there is a contradiction there that in this case coexist perfectly,” Cuty said.

With this show, Fernandez said he decided to juxtapose the new Cuban creations with works from previous collections by Puerto Rican and Spanish artists like Antonio Martorell and Rafael Canogar.

Since embarking on his “Fashion Art” project in 1998, he has worked with 300 artists worldwide with a particular focus on Latin America although his next exhibit will be in Zimbabwe, in May. His long-term aim is to create a museum for his collection, currently stored between Spain and Panama.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Scientists Discover Female Beauty Isn't Just for Hooking Up – Inverse

Our pre-date primping rituals are a distillation of all of our assumptions about the animal kingdom: The hotter you look tonight, the more likely you’ll get laid. Nature’s babes usually have markings that separate them from their less sexy peers, and it was always thought that gave them a leg up in finding mates. While that might be true for male animals, a new study shows it’s not the only reason beauty exists in females.

Take, for example, the striped plateau lizard that the biologists who recently published in the journal Evolution bring up: Females in this species develop bright red-orange patches on their necks when they’re ready to hook up — sort of like the way someone might wear red lipstick to seem more appealing. Researchers have observed in the past that males seem to prefer females with brighter spots, which seems to make sense. But when they actually looked at the numbers, they realized that the bright-orange babes didn’t have that much of a sexual advantage. Why, then, do the “beautiful” bright spots exist?

“For females, the benefits of beauty likely go beyond their success in the dating and mating market,” the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researchers wrote in a statement.

This blue female crab didn’t paint its claws red for no man.

Unlike with females, the reasons male hotness exists in evolution are pretty clear: In nature, dudes are always showing off their flashy traits — lions have their manes, goats have their horns, peacocks literally peacock — to catch the eye of local females. But can the same be said for females? Scientists have always assumed that “beauty” in animals evolved because prettier girls got the guy (and therefore passed on their pretty genes), but apparently this is not the case.

When the researchers took data about the romantic success of pretty females over their less cute counterparts and plugged it into a mathematical model to test the theory that hot females developed their beautiful traits because it made mating easier, they discovered something that wasn’t entirely consistent with what evolutionary biologists have assumed about beauty. Attractive females didn’t really have much of an “evolutionary edge over their plainer counterparts — even when their good looks help them snag superior mates,” they write. So much for the old, male-centric theory!

What then, led to the evolution of female beauty, such as the scarlet-tipped claws of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus or the frilly-legged dance flies, if not an increased ability to make babies? This is where the researchers remind us that survival is a little more complicated than simply hooking up and making babies: individual animals need to survive long enough to get to that point, and for that, they need friends, food, and shelter, too. One leading theory, known as “social selection” hypothesis, is that having “beautiful” traits resulted in certain females getting better protection from predators or increased access to resources. In other words, they were better able to look out for themselves.

“First, our model is a formal reminder that to conflate male mate choice with sexual selection on females is to draw a false equivalency,” the authors write. Reminder two is that male choice doesn’t necessarily drive the development of female traits we’ve come to think of as beautiful or sexy “even when there is variation in male quality.” In light of this research, calling these traits “sexy” seems misguided, but may we suggest “empowered” instead?

Meet Isabella Springmuhl, a 19-Year-Old Fashion Designer With Down Syndrome – Yahoo Food

She’s one of the most recognized fashion designers in all of Guatemala, and she’s just 19 years old. But her age is not the only thing that makes Isabella Springmuhl stand out in the fashion world. She also has Down syndrome.

The talented teen was the first designer with Down syndrome ever to show her work at London Fashion Week, according to the BBC, which recently included her on its list of 100 inspirational women.

Springmuhl expressed an interest in design when she was in high school, she told Metro. Her influences reach back to her grandmother, who had an atelier that made clothing using traditional Guatemalan fabrics, which are known for their vivid hues and vibrant designs. But because of her chromosome disorder, Springmuhl hasn’t had an easy road pursuing her passion.

The girl was rejected by two design schools, her mother, Isabel Tejada, told the BBC, both of which felt that she “would not be able to cope.” Though angry, Tejada didn’t let that hold her back from encouraging her child’s creativity and talent. “I was furious that these institutions did not give Isabella a chance to learn. It was so sad, but it made her change everything. She then decided she wanted to learn sewing, so I took her to a sewing academy for women,” Tejada told the publication.

A quick study, she soon became fluent in digital pattern-making. Her process, as she explained to Metro, includes drawing designs in her “mannequin book,” coloring them, and then using special software to create three-dimensional printouts. After that, it’s off to the atelier, where she instructs the seamstresses and embroiderers to transform her visions into tangible garments.

Springmuhl launched Down to Xjabelle — “Down because I have Down syndrome. Xjabelle was the name of my granny’s atelier,” she says — where she has sold one official collection, “Peace and Love,” and has another on the way. Her clothing is unique to her specific aesthetic, which includes modern silhouettes, floral embroidery, and plenty of playful, one-of-a-kind Guatemalan fabrics, which she describes as “carefree … just like me” on her website.

The textiles, which she gets from a supplier in Antigua, “are woven by Mayan indigenous women who live in the rural areas of my beautiful Guatemala. Each community in Guatemala has different patterns and colors that identify them,” she says, adding, “Using the Mayan textiles in my designs, I honor all these women that for ages and ages have been weaving Guatemala’s history in clothing and textiles.”


On her site, she says, “I wish that every garment I so lovingly work on warms the dreams of other youngsters who have different abilities … we can do it!”

When she’s not mingling with her peers and design mentors or showing her work at fashion week, Springmuhl spends her time taking sewing lessons and Zumba classes, and going horseback riding, she tells Metro. “In the afternoon, I learn more about fashion design on the Internet.”

Springmuhl, whose signature pieces include embroidered bolero jackets, ponchos, handbags, and cushions, has high aspirations. “I want to export my brand Down to Xjabelle all over the world,” she told the BBC. “I want people to know my designs and to know that people with Down syndrome can do what they set out to do … I want people to know me for my work, and what is inside my heart.”

And Springmuhl is grateful for what she’s achieved thus far. She tells Metro, “I feel happy for all the love that I receive from so many people worldwide.”

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.


WhatsApp sued by German watchdog group over privacy – CNET

Jaap Arriens/Getty Images

In an odd twist, Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app — which won applause last year when it turned on end-to-end encryption by default — is being sued in German court over privacy concerns related to the way it collects and shares data with Facebook.

That’s because in August, WhatsApp changed its terms and privacy policy, saying it would coordinate more with parent company Facebook, allowing WhatsApp “to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp,” the messaging company wrote in a blog post. “And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.”

Privacy advocates in the European Union weren’t amused.

In September, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information ordered Facebook to stop collecting and storing WhatsApp data from Germany’s 35 million users. In December, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to Facebook alleging the world’s largest social network gave “incorrect or misleading information” about the possibility of linking users’ accounts during a 2014 review of its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp.

Now the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, or VZBV) is asking the Berlin county court for an injunction to stop the data sharing, and to force Facebook to delete any data WhatsApp has given it. The VZBV accused the companies of abusing users’ trust.

WhatsApp’s “privacy policy and terms updates comply with applicable law,” the company said in an emailed statement. “The updates also comply with guidelines issued by EU regulators. As ever we remain open to working collaboratively to address their questions.”

Life, disrupted: In Europe, millions of refugees are still searching for a safe place to settle. Tech should be part of the solution. But is it? CNET investigates.

Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.

Sarah Silverman coming to MGM National Harbor – Tickets on Sale Friday

MGM National Harbor – Photo Credit: Stephen Wilkes

From a press release:

“One of the most versatile talents in entertainment, two-time Emmy Award-winning comedian SARAH SILVERMAN will take the stage at The Theater at MGM National Harbor for a comedic performance April 22 at 8 p.m.

On and off stage, Silverman continues to assert herself as a force in standup comedy. Set for release later this year, Silverman will show off her acting chops in both The Book of Henry and The Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Movie.

The Theater at MGM National Harbor offers an experience unlike any other in the region, providing fans the opportunity to see world-class entertainment in an intimate setting. The recently opened Theater features seven VIP suites and flexible seating designs, accommodating 3,000 guests for reserved-seating events and a little more than 4,000 for general admission shows.

Tickets for Silverman’s performance range from $59.50 to $85, including applicable service charges, and go on sale Friday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. EST. Tickets can be purchased online at mgmnationalharbor.com or ticketmaster.com. For more show and ticket information, visit mgmnationalharbor.com or call (844) 346-4664.

Silverman’s comedy career launched when she joined Saturday Night Live in 1993 as a writer and feature performer. She’s made memorable guest appearances on notable television shows including Monk, which earned her a 2008 Primetime Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” She also appeared in The Good Wife, The Larry Sanders Show, Mr. Show with Bob and David and Seinfeld.

In 2009, Silverman was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series,” where she fictionalized versions of herself in the Comedy Central series The Sarah Silverman Program. Shortly after, “The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee,” Silverman’s memoir, earned the 2010 New York Times Bestseller distinction.

Silverman continues to lend her voice to the Emmy-nominated, FOX animated series Bob’s Burgers and most recently has been seen as the star of I Smile Back, the film adaptation of the Amy Koppelman novel. Her additional film credits include School of Rock, There’s Something About Mary and the Oscar-nominated smash hit Wreck-It Ralph.”

Life in Iran: Contemporary photography exhibit tries to build a cultural bridge – Los Angeles Times

The images of Iran are as varied as the artists who created them.

In one, a woman’s bare calf rests in a bed of crushed cherries. In another, a cloaked Sufi mystic stands at a fork in the desert road. Yet another, a digitally manipulated photo, depicts three versions of a woman seemingly slicing her curly mane of hair with a sword, a revolver and a dagger.

“False Roots” by Sanaz Khosravi, digital photograph, 2016. (Sanaz Khosravi)

The works are part of “Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video,” a juried biennial organized by the nonprofit Farhang Foundation before the recent presidential executive order on travel. It is on view through May 7 at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. The 33 landscape, portrait and documentary photographs and nine video works are from emerging and mid-career artists in Iran, the U.S., Germany, Britain and the Netherlands. Together they present a kaleidoscopic prism of Iranian culture and identity.  

“We wanted to show different aspects of Iran than what’s typically covered in mainstream media, which is the government and politics and not so much the culture, the history and the arts,” Farhang Foundation Executive Director Alireza Rex Ardekani said. “Because the more people know about a particular culture, and understand it, the less fear they will have about it.

“The people inside Iran want the same things people here want. They want to be safe, have a happy life, live comfortably, they want freedom. We’re not all so different.”

"Composition No.0099," by Erfan Ghiasi, a digital photograph, 2014.
“Composition No.0099,” by Erfan Ghiasi, a digital photograph, 2014. (Courtesy, Erfan Ghiasi)


Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin

The Getty acquires Miranda July’s feminist DIY video archive for ‘Joanie 4 Jackie’

With vigils, a film, a comic and plenty of marching: How the L.A. art world faced Trump’s inauguration

George Lucas’ wife, the public voice of his museum, talks about creating ‘something that doesn’t quite exist yet’