2019-01-10

Adapting old lenses

While home in Sweden i stumbled upon a bunch of weird old lenses. Although these lenses are bad in every single regard in comparison to modern primes, their flaws actually contribute to a more interesting image. One thing that i find lacking with modern lenses is the lack of characther. The expensive Sony lenses are virtually perfect, the image comes out clean all throughout and that turns out to be a bit boring. One lens in specific, the Meyer-Optik Görlitz Oreston 1.8 50 turned out to have a interesting profile to it. I’m not the first person to discover that old lenses take on a new life on modern sensors, realizing there’s an entire community revolvoing around using old lenses.

A shot from earlier this morning in the San Francisco morning fog:

Morning Fog

Look at the distorted edges, weird bokeh and general color rendering. It’s not great but it def has a unique profile to it.

Here it is mounted to the Sony A7 III with a K&F Concept adapter:

Meyer-Optik Görlitz Oreston 1.8 50

Two pictures which highlights the busy bokeh:

Busy Bokeh

Tree

2018-12-22

ANDERSTORPSFESTIVALEN 4 Concept

Since the third iteration of this imaginary festival” almost drowned in a pastell palette, it felt proper to try the opposite for this iteration, which is why we decided to go for all black / white / gray theme this year. Last year had a much darker feeling than two years ago, with the party going much longer into the night with a harder theme overall, so representing this visually would be the key to communicatining our intentions.

Starting out with a simple moodboard, i put together something on the train in August that looked something like this:

affischtest

The goal here was to go for a true #000000, even if this is never advised to do. However after considering this theme for a while I asked Johanna to draw soemthing that represented the previous year. One memory that stood out was when one visitor cut down a smaller tree with a large knife, all during less clear circumstances. Johanna started drawing this tree, with multiple iterations of the parts we wanted in the picture. tree_demo

tree_demo2

After settling on a specific art style with a heavy focus on clean lines with dotted shadows, Johanna drew the final version of the tree, scanned it and I then processed it in Illustrator to give it a more clean pop, ending up like this:

dekandensen

The tree sort of unlocked the rest of the theme in a way. We decided to double down on the retro-computing” feeling for the festival theme together with hand drawn illustrations representing the festival. So for the website I wanted to capture the feeling of just being there. I asked Johanna to draw me a nice moon and a bunch of different clouds in similar style. After some experimentation it turned out the moon would work in a similar style but the clouds ended up better in a shaded style. Johanna painted a bunch of clouds on a larger canvas, I inverted it and processed them.

clouds

I put it all together on the webpage. Moon, clouds, a animated star bakground and the tree. I found a kind of nifty way of animating/scaling these clouds. By defining the aspect ratio per cloud and applying a animation timeline, they scale perfectly all the way from mobile up to a full size desktop:

  $x1-size: 50vw;
  $x1-ratio: 0.66;
  .x1 {
    @extend %arrow;
    left: -20vw;
    animation: move-cloud 250s linear -5s infinite;

    width: $x1-size;
    height: calc(#{$x1-size} * #{$x1-ratio});
    background-image: url("/assets/img/clouds/1.png");
  }

Each cloud has a offset and a animation timer, which gives the animation a fixed order but still has a natural feel to it.

Here’s a demo of how it looks:

You can view the result atanderstorpsfestivalen.se.

2018-12-05 jockz
2018-11-21

DESERT GOLFING

desertheader

Desert Golfing is brilliant.

It’s brilliant in a way I don’t think I even fully comprehend yet, so here I am writing about it. Desert Golfing is a game about playing golf in a desert, basically exactly what the name indicates. It’s a procedurally generated map that goes on to what’s supposed to be infinity” (even if it’s around 22500 holes in reality). What’s great about Desert Golfing is the fact that it’s one of the few mobile games that dare to be truly minimalistic. In an age of endless eye candy and glossy animations design to hook you into consuming digital goods, Desert Golfing is a bland, silent and minimalistic experience. There is no menu, no music, no save/load, no leaderboards and no tutorial. The game allows the player to figure it out without interrupting.


There’s something about playing this game alone, pulling off the sickest bouncing shot and watching as the ball perfectly bounces into the hole whilst being unable to share it. We’re so used to the gamification of sharing that it’s almost unnatural to play a game where progress and success isn’t celebrated in some form. The best the game manages to reward you is by throwing in a cactus at some point without any direct functional impact on the game other than taking the joke further.

Desert Golfing shows that minimalism in game design works and is avaliable on iOS, Android and PC. I highly recommend it on a mobile platform as the brilliance really shines through when played for small amounts as the game has virtually no startup time.

2018-11-04 grandview park
2018-11-03 ocean beach
2018-10-16

Swedish Police’s hostility against electronic music culture

The Swedish Police released a statement today that they aren’t going to issue the permit for Emmabodafestivalen this year due to a rise in drugs at the festival”. I find this deeply saddening, especially considering what Emmabodafestivalen aimed to be and how I relate to the festival. The Swedish Police has spent the last few years increasing their hostile stance against the music culture that’s been growing organically over the past few years in Sweden, everything from cracking down on raves to actively spending time on sabotaging festivals and other gatherings celebrating the strong scene that Sweden has.

In 2017 i visited one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to and as a result of my previous work in stage tech i have seen a lot of them. The name was Cult Cosmic and it managed to create an atmosphere that many other festivals lack: spacious, inviting, energetic and mystical at the same time. Around a 1000 people came together to create something that had a lasting impact on the people and the scene. Calle Wersäll describes the result in more detail but in short: the police wanted nothing off it. Pretending to work with the organizer prior to the start, they’ve secretly planned a large raid against the festival which btw had zero hate crimes or sexual harassment crimes any previous year in order to disrupt the festival. Instead of focusing their efforts on other festivals which had real problems (Bråvalla etc), the focus was on this 1000 person gathering because it defied the idea of what a festival is.

You had to be there to believe it. 5 police cars rolling in like this was some sort of crime scene and started interrogating everyone, with them being in uniforms and undercover. Throwing random people in for urine testing and searching everyone they could find at the dancefloor for drugs. A group of two men approached me and my friends and started asking us all these weird questions, doubting the fact that my friend who was visiting from abroad was British, accusing him of lying about his identity? (the accent alone should tell you he spent most of his life in UK) How does this make the festival safe in any shape or form? After 15-20 minutes the undercover police realized that there was virtually nothing they could write us a ticket for and left. Not only did my friend from the UK question what’s wrong with the Swedish Police but it also left me wondering what’s actually wrong. Does a gathering like Cult Cosmic truly warrant interrogation style police work over some techno artists playing vinyl in a forest with a permit? What goal does the police serve in this situation? They didn’t contribute on making the festival safer, in fact they did the opposite.

So why is the decision to shut down Emmabodafestivalen so sad? Just like Cult Cosmic managed to create something unique, so did Emmabodafestivalen. Where every other Swedish festival shot for growth, compromising on soul and experience in order to drive larger artists and attract larger crowds (in the search for higher profitability), Emmabodafestivalen stayed rather similar in size over the years. Instead of the attempt at hyperg rowth performed by now defunct festivals like Peace & Love and Bråvalla, Emmabodafestivalen scaled what they had in a slow way, retaining the unique feeling instead of moving it to a parking lot or airfield. It truly felt like the small festival, just with huge artists.

As the festival pivoted from its focus on indie rock around mid 2000s to a stronger focus on the electronic scene around 2007 the crowd also changed. Even with this dramatic shift in visitors, the festival still felt exactly like Emmabodafestivalen, artists still played out of modified barns on carpets instead of the huge portable lifeless stages of large festivals. People still camped inside the festival area, blurring the line of where festival starts and ends. You can see me standing to the right at the stage by the speaker, looking modestly tired after pulling an all-day shift, enjoying Infected Mushroom playing in the larger barn.

infected

The police motivates this decision with the growing culture of drugs” at Emmabodafestivalen, something that comes naturally with the growing influence of electronic music at festivals. After a substantial operation in 2018, the police managed to find 460 people with drugs on them out of the 13000 visitors (about 3%). Would you say that 3% of a festival doing weed and MDMA is a sanctuary city for drugs”? It’s a completely ridiculous use of a statistic to drive an agenda of a perceived problem. In reality, this is just a way of punishing the festival for refusing to change what’s unique about it, the police is complaining over the lack of light” and uncontrolled area” which is exactly what the festival is about.

Deciding that it’s worth killing off a great place where the younger generation discover new music and gets exposed to electronic music culture over 3% of the visitors is Swedish stupidity at its finest. I think this is why it makes me even more angry to hear, the police itself is taking on the role as political mediators” for what culture should be allowed and decides to destroy the best we have in the process to give way for events that has seen a decline in visitors and interest over the year.

Now, this would probably be fine if this was an incident in which the police had a clear line or was willing to compromise. However, it turns to be a spineless move when the organization itself take a softball approach to actual problems, like gang culture in Malmö. Almost the same day the police announces their program to stop the shootings in Malmö, tougher on crime? No. A program where they will invite the gang criminals to a meeting” and talk about the issues. I wish i was joking but i am not. This is how the police deals with one of the largest issues in Sweden today but when a festival that’s been running for over 30 years hits a temporary snag: shut it down immediately, no compromises.

The Swedish Police is a public disappointment without coordination or vision. Acknowledging the fact that the people who work in this organization has no idea about how to handle these issues would be a good start. I’m doing my part.