Ahead by a century: photos that make their mark

John
John Gushue
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If you look at a landscape and come back a day later, nothing seems to change. A month? Possibly. A year? Definitely maybe.

How about a century, then? Our first site this week involves photography that is about place, change and perspective.

Hyperfocalpoint

www.hyperfocalpoint.com

Hyperfocalpoint is a collaborative venture involving photographers Ian Vatcher and Duncan de Young, the latter of whom put together a portfolio called “A Century Later: 1909-2009.” The collection is absolutely absorbing.

In the first image, you see de Young’s great-grandfather, posed by a rocky vista in Brigus. Click on the image, and the black-and-white tones of a century ago give way to bright, vivid colours, with de Young taking the place of his ancestor.

Similar projects have been staged over the years, including here in Newfoundland and Labrador, but I find that the technique never gets old, as it were. There’s something remarkable in seeing a well-worn road of several generations ago become effectively grown over, with the slightest hint of a path left behind. Or, in a picture of St. John’s, a vivid description of how neighbourhoods can change with a key marker remaining intact.

I love the project, and am looking forward to what else this site may have.

Elsewhere this week

Seaquence

seaquence.org/

This is the most curious thing I’ve played with this week: a sonic exploration that’s as much a game as it is a novelty or a way of understanding how music works. To play, as it were, you select what looks like a sea critter, and make some choices about octave, melody, volume and more. Things get really interesting when you add second and further creatures, with the sounds becoming increasingly complex. If you like what you’ve made, you can save it. Very intriguing.

What Happened in My Birth Year

whathappenedinmybirthyear.com

You obviously can’t remember what was happening in the year you were born. You were, of course, just an infant, and your mind was not on current affairs and such. So, with this site, you type in your year and the screen slowly dissolves before presenting you with an essay on your year.

Then, things get interesting. An essay, of sorts, types itself before your eyes. I found this amusing for a few seconds, and then, well, slow. Maybe I read more quickly than they expect. On the other hand, you can click on it, go do something else, and come back and read the works when it’s finished. 

Epicurious app

iTunes, Android

Epicurious has been a kingpin on the web for many years, pushing aside challenges from celebrity food sites, corporate kitchens and upstart bloggers alike. The food tends to be a little fancy-shmancy, but it deserves its stellar reputation. The companion app for smartphones is a breeze to use, and appetizing on the eyes. Free for download from iTunes, and a version is now available for Android phones, too.

Guy Kawasaki

www.twitter.com/guykawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is one of the many smart people who worked at Apple Computer — he was called chief evangelist, which I bet looks dandy on a business card — and now is working independently.

I doubt Kawasaki needs the money, but he’s as deeply engaged in things as he must have been with Apple.

His Twitter feed is one of my favourites, simply because I learn something new (and occasionally amazing) from him several times a week. What more can you ask?

Einstein blackboard generator

www.hetemeel.com/einsteinform.php

Albert Einstein had one of the most recognizable faces of the 20th century, and one of the most respected minds.

And now, thanks to this bit of tomfoolery, you can make light of that respected image and craft your own personalized message.

Here’s the deal: it starts with a familiar photograph of Einstein at a blackboard; the generator lets you pick out the words he’s supposedly writing in chalk.

(I put in some lyrics for “Lukey’s Boat.”) Have fun.

Einstein seems to have had such a warm sense of humour, he might even have appreciated it.

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Find him on Twitter: @johngushue.

Organizations: Apple Computer, CBC News

Geographic location: Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador

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