I want to introduce you to New York based gender-fluid musician and artist Areté. The concept-popsinger-songwriter and producer has released a scorching and futuristic Electro-pop number, ‘Trip’. With chilling yet fierce vocals atop a cool stuttering beat. ‘Trip’ tells the tale a dark tale of making bad decisions of which could only end in disaster. Yet it being one of the best feelings in the world. Areté says of the track “It’s a sci-fi road trip fantasy – like the beginning of a futuristic lesbian Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde – you know it will end with the deaths of its thrilling rebel protagonists, but you want to go on the ride anyway. It’s about the danger of being an adrenaline junkie and jumping in when you don’t know where you’re going.”
Areté by Alicia Fischmeister
Check out more from Areté and hear the daring song ‘Trip’ below.
I am not one that is moved easily and emotionally by watching films. Not to say I don’t love films or I don’t appreciate the craft or technique that goes into making films. From the very first frame of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘ROMA’ something switched in me. This film was different, a good different and I knew I was in for what would be an emotional journey. Told through harrowing film making, acting, unique and dynamic choices in storytelling and plot line. All of this from the perspective of two domestic workers of a politically charged 1970’s Mexico. Although as the movie progresses the storyline focuses more so on one domestic worker than the other (there’s a reason).
Cléo (played superbly by newcomer Yalitza Aparicio in her first acting role no less!) as a central character shines throughout the movie where a story such as this could get boring or trite. This doesn’t. Yalitza with just the smallest of gestures shows how aptly she ingested this character coupled with brilliant acting from the rest of the cast as well. You feel as if you’re not watching a movie but getting a sacred glimpse into a family’s home. This also holds true to Alfonso Cuarón’s editing style and choice of film. The use of a Kodachrome black and white style make the film have a simple look and feel, akin to a 70s home movie. To a viewer these choices may seem pointless as they are quite minute. Cuarón’s choices no matter how big or small serve us the viewer two major things watching this … To put you into a nostalgic mood and in the perspective of Cléo’s character. In real is a person who often goes nameless and faceless in society. Cuarón by doing so allows the viewer to relate to Cléo the most as we draw empathy for her and her situation with the use of Nostalgia. Cléo represents not only herself but countless others in her position. So Cuarón drew less upon a backstory per se unlike other characters in the film, most notably Sofia, the wife and maternal figure of the family Cléo worked for (who is played by the brilliant, Marina De Tavira). All in all I got exactly what Cuarón was trying to convey across the screen and that’s the goal of a filmmaker. Especially from a film that is so well acted across the board and with so many tiny intricacies you could write a term paper on it. This also was the first film I’ve seen from Alfonso Cuarón so you can bet I will be watching more.
“FROM CONGO REFUGEE TO ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ BREAKOUT TO INDIE SONGWRITER; RON BULTONGEZ …”
Singer-Songwriter; Ron Bultongez has just released his first major label single debut and it’s quite the heartfelt one. If anything about him rings familiar … you’re right. Ron was a contestant on this past season’s American Idol that stood out for not only his unique perspective, his story and of course his talent. Despite being cut at the Top 24 it was obvious his journey as an artist was not over it was just beginning.
The singers’ debut single Learning to Love out now is from the EP of the same name due out in August, finds Ron settling in quite well into a genre that is having a major resurgence right now. The blend of folksy singer-songwriter music plays well together with the slightly gritty and earnestness to his voice, which allows for a song that could easily turn sappy or boring to not. The softly strummed acoustic guitar rounds out this soulful track and makes for a bright debut for this promising young star.
Stream Ron Bultongez – “Learning to Love”– SPOTIFY
“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
At some point every photographer makes a post like this. I have been trying to avoid it realizing that maybe it’s best not to as my photography tips, tricks and editing style is definitely a bit different than most and might be of some interest. So here goes, these are my favorite and most used apps in my pursuit in the art of photography. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
CAMERA SETUP: Canon Rebel EOS T3i EF-S 18 55 IS II Lens Kit with Nifty Fifty lens & MOTO DROID TURBO 2.
1. Snapseed – It’s a app I use at a bare minimum and only for tiny more exact edits. I also use it more for my Concert photography than say my fine art photography work.
2. VSCO– Again, another app that most photographers use but one I that agree is essential. Great for small and big edits, fantastic filters (you can even make your own with the VSCO + feature), the ease of use is what I love best though. Definitely a fave!
3. Adobe Photoshop Express & Adobe Lightroom CC – First off I’m not the biggest fan of Photoshop to begin with but it’s helpful when used lightly and I mean with a deft hand on my Concert or Editorial work. It can get out of hand real fast. But when I use it, I prefer to the IOS and Android app versions as it’s much easier to control. Other than that I prefer other apps.
4. Pixlr & Phonto – I grouped these together because they’re not are not my go to photography editing apps but rather I use them a lot in my artworking and graphic design projects when my photography is present. Pixlr and Phonto are just more fun and easier to use and add a bit of pizazz as well. Speaking of graphic design …
5. Canva & Desygner – These two are my favorites for more advanced design work using my photography (or not) instead of using programs like Adobe InDesign. They are also much cheaper as well. I do love Adobe InDesign so I recommend it as well but for photographers and designers who can’t afford or just don’t want to it’s a great alternate.
6. Trigraphy – You know those photos of mine that look like old style paintings and very dreamy? Well part of that process (albeit a tiny part) involves the Trigraphy app. As most of it though is just my super weird brain. And yes I repeat it starts out with a photo.
7. A Color Story & A Design Kit – Both are really fun easy tools I use in my fine art photography. Since my fine art photography leans towards nature, still life and abstract variety. A Color Story allows for perfect simple editing and saving of the steps as a recipe. The other app A Design Kit allows you to take your photos or art further adding cute and kitschy designs, lettering and other flair. Making designing for your brand or just cute designs that much easier.
8. Huji – I know it’s pretty new (at least to me) and I know all of cool kids use it. But I still love the kitschy factor to it and unpredictability you get with each photo. Since the app is minicking a disposable camera, it’s basically just fun and fits into my aesthetic quite well.
9. PRIIME & PRIIME COLLECTIONS – Another great app with the perfect filters and editing features that allow for just enough. It’s also very photographer centric. Showcasing filters you can use by other photographers and how to use them. The VSCO and A Color Story apps do that as well. Plus the app let’s you edit photos in RAW form which is always a major plus!
10. DARKROOM & FILMBORN – This my favorite app for recreating analog and black and white photos. I don’t solely use the app to achieve this look but finishing my photos I shot digitally in one of these apps makes the photos come as close to old school vintage and black and white as I can without using a film camera. I also keep my aesthetic in the process. It’s a win-win.
11. PIXELMATOR – I use this app to edit all of my photography at some point in the process. So it’s great for simple edits and even bigger ones. Also for artistic photography and more editorial or commercial imagery. I even use it for some graphic design projects. It’s a powerful tool that gets the job done.
So these are my favorite apps I use in my photography and graphic design work. I use the apps whether I shoot in RAW on my Canon or shoot on my Moto Droid Turbo 2 Android phone. I hope this article will be of use to some photogs out there. As there are different types and styles of editing and photographers out there. The key is to find your true style by finding what works best for you. I’ve included a list of the apps below and clickable links above for you to get them on iOS App store. But most (if not all) of the apps are also available on Android and the Google Play Store.
“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending Spotify’s Fans First event for James Bay at Hubble Studio. The invite was sent out a few days ago to Spotify listeners that apparently stream James Bay a lot in the Los Angeles area. Anyway I took my usual plus one and go to gal, my Mom. As she is now a fan herself after seeing him in New York in 2016 and earlier this year. So she was on her third show, I’m on my fourth.
We got there early enough where we did not have too wait long as it was surprisingly chill for SoCal. The line ended up being wrapped around the block so my Mom and I got there at the perfect time!
Inside the event the theme of ‘Fans First’ was prevalent. It was an open space where we could freely wonder and look at all of this amazing art from both fans and actual artists that are fans as well. In the middle was a tiny black stage with one microphone and a guitar. I wonder who that is for …
The DJ who stood off in the corner played amazing tunes all night not to far from the stage. Songs that have all had their debut on James’ playlist at some point or he’s talked about as being a fave or influence. Everything from The Rolling Stones to Frank Ocean to Francis And the Lights and of course his Brother Alex’ new song was played. It definitely kept you entertained waiting for James to arrive.
As I stated before I was so glad I arrived early because I was once again barricade at a James Bay show this time right in front. It was truly a “Fans First” experience. We were so close and yes there was security. But everyone respected him and those in the audience. It was such a heart warming and chill experience. I remember James saying he felt safe in this environment and that it was so cool of Spotify to do something like this for him and his fans.
James started out the night with new songs “Just For Tonight”, “Us”, “Slide”, “Pink Lemonade” and “Wild Love” ending with “Let It Go”. He then said I want to do one more song after taking a crowd picture. All done acoustically which was so amazing to hear. Especially songs like “Pink Lemonade” which according to James was written specifically for an electric guitar. All in all it was just him and his guitar. His vocals have never been stronger. He ended the night with an encore of “Hold Back the River”.
We ended a night of fun with memories of a very special event that us James Bay’ fans will never forget and the coolest poster. So once again I would like to thank Spotify, James Bay, his amazing team, Hubble Studio and Republic Records for putting on this amazing event!
This a short gallery of Instagram photos I took over the years of one of my favorite subjects, Sunrises and Sunsets. They are from here and there, old and new(ish), Up in the Air and By the Sea (or River). Please enjoy! 🙂