Category Archives: Engineering

Mu Qiao: The Shape of Water

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Photography and Artist Statement by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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The Shape of Water

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“Water is the source of life”. Water, the basic element of life not only bred and maintained life, but also became the basic environmental factor of human society. The physical and chemical properties of water make it possible to exist in nature in three forms: solid, liquid and gas, and participate in the ecological cycle of nature. Therefore, water is omnipresent. It is as large as a vast ocean, as small as raindrops on glass, and even as invisible in the body of animals and plants. In addition, with the process of industrialization and the continuous development of modern urban civilization, water has more mixed forms, such as drinks and wine, and participates in urban landscapes such as rivers and fountains. Since then, water is not only an element of life, but also a carrier of life.

This portfolio focuses on the impact of water as a natural, environmental, cultural and life factor on human life. And the relationship or interaction between human activities in water bodies. Photographs of natural factors include rain, snow, and other weather scenes in Philadelphia’s city streets. The photos of environmental factors include the landscape of the coastal or riverside cities. Cultural factors include human recreation or fishing in the water. Photos of wine and drinking places are examples of water as a factor of life. The natural landscape is presented with a wider viewing angle, black and white colors and horizontal composition. Objects and activities are expressed in smaller perspectives and prominent colors. I hope that through this series, readers will be aware of the importance of water in our lives, discover the details and beauty of water which we usually neglected.

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About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-the-game-of-sunshine/

 

Also posted in Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Wenjia Guo: View on the Roof

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Photography and Artist Statement by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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View on the Roof

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As an architecture student, I always treat design as a process of choice. Choose to show the real structure or hide with decorative materials. Choose to display the mechanical equipment or dress up with modernist elements. It is the same with the photographic medium, photographers choose the light, the subject, the environment as well as the attitude. So, this time, I used my pictures to discuss something that architects tried to hide from the public, the roof view. Nowadays, architects value roofs as the fifth façade. They came up with the concept of a green roof tried to turn the roof into a positive element in life and the environment.  However, during  development over time, architects used the parapet wall to prevent people from easily seeing the roof from the ground. I found several roofs to photograph and recorded these views. From an aerial view to observe these buildings, I found them familiar and strange. The equipment on the roof is still in the quiet of day there to complete their functions, do not look forward to my visit, but once I pay more attention, the snow in spring, the narrow skylight, the huge heating all tells their own story. Architecture design for me is a way of expressing my thoughts to the world and  to photograph structures like this provides me with an opportunity to read to the world.

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Portrait of Wenjia Guo by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Wenjia Guo by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-travel-friends/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Cameras, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, UPenn, UPenn: Photography Students, Women

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #8

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Photo: Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

 

Letters From Prison: Part 8, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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As I said earlier, in the early 70s I was working for a small TV station in Roanoke. I did a little of everything; ran a camera, directed, produced live TV shows, even introduced late night horror movies on Saturday nights, even filling in for the weatherman on our local news a time or two. It was a real shoestring operation, and when we picked up our paychecks we had to rush to the bank and cash them because those brought to the bank later frequently bounced. The best paid were the engineers, so I went down to Atlanta and took a crash course in electronics at the Elkins Institute, took the government test and got a first class FCC license. Suddenly I was an engineer! In those days the FCC required that an engineer be present at the TV transmitter at all times when the station was broadcasting. Our transmitter was atop Poor Mountain near Roanoke, to get the widest coverage. I got to work there on a “road” that was really just a fire trail. Luckily my car at the time was an FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser with four-wheel drive, a real mechanical mountain goat that could go anywhere. Amazing vehicle that I kept into the late 80s, and was sorry to part with. I retired the Toyota in favor of a Citroen DS21. Eventually I owned seven of these wonderful French vehicles, ranging from early 60s models to my last one, a beautiful sky blue 1972 model, the last year they were sold in the USA. I bought all of the special tools, shop manuals (some in French), and learned to do all my own maintenance. These cars have an active hydropneumatic suspension, that makes them seem alive. The softest ride ever. Jay Leno says his DS21 is his favorite of all his cars to drive. Of the many cars I’ve owned I could say the same. I stuck with the Citroens after they stopped selling in the USA because parts were sold by Peugeot, but then they also pulled out of the USA and parts became harder and harder to get. I ordered from Holland for a while, but finally gave up and sold my last one to a homesick piano tuner from Paris.

I seem to have gotten sidetracked into automotive things. I love a number of things, and cars are just one more. I can’t bear owning any mechanical device without knowing how it works, so all of my cars, household appliances, and cameras have been taken apart and reassembled. My old friend Marty Forscher was the dean of camera repairmen. He ran Professional Camera Repair in NYC for many years until he retired. He told me he taught himself how to repair cameras by completely disassembling a Rolleiflex, putting all the parts in a box, shaking it up, and then putting it back together. I did the same with an old Pentax Spotmatic, and only had a few parts left over!! So I signed up for the old National Camera home study course in camera repair and learned to do things the right way. For years after that I made money on the side fixing cameras. But that ended when cameras became heavily electronified, and required specialized tools and equipment that were brand specific and were too expensive for anyone outside a factory repair service. No room anymore for a generalist mechanic. I did for a while sort of specialize in repairing the Swiss Alpa cameras that were literally built like Swiss watches, but they went out of business and that work dried up. So my sideline of fixing cameras came to an end except for an occasional favor for a friend and tinkering with my own equipment. Today’s digital SLRs are foreign territory to me and too expensive to risk messing up.

That being said, I took to digital very early on and learned Photoshop before there was even a version number. I believe I shot the first totally digital magazine cover (for PIC magazine in London in 1993 or 1994.). I’ll tell you all about PIC next time…..

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-7/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Picture of the Day: Matera, Italy

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Photo: Luca Pioltelli, Copyright 2018

 

 

Photography and Text by Luca Pioltelli, Copyright 2018

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MATERA, ITALY

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Known as “la Citta Sotterranea” (the Subterranean City), Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC.  Its historical center “Sassi”, is considered a World Heritage Site UNESCO since 1993.

On September 21, 1943, the Materani rose against the German occupation, the first Italian city to fight against the Nazis.

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Self Portrait by Luca Pioltelli, Copyright 2018

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About The Photographer: 

Born and raised in Milan , Italy, where, in the mythical eighties, he decided to give his body and soul to one of his favorite hobbies : ….. soccer.
Unfortunately , legs and talent, not as powerful as his unbridled passion, force him to look into other directions: …Luca pretty soon lands on another love , photography.

He moves to New York in 1991 where he starts working with some of the great names in the business : Fabrizio Ferri, Steven Klein and Paolo Roversi.
He considers himself a very lucky man:
Luca lives in a city he loves, he loves his wife ( two kids ) who live with him in Brooklyn, New York. He makes a living out of a job he loves …

His hobbies: movies, interior design, history books, art , museum visits… while sometimes , inevitably , he still puts on his soccer shoes…

He has been published in several International Magazines such as : AD Germany, German Vogue , l’Uomo Vogue , Casa Vogue, Italian Marie Claire,
The New York Times while collaborating with prestigious
Architectural Firms and gifted Designers.

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You can follow his work on his instagram account : @lucapioltelli
or check his website herehttp://lucapioltelli.com

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel

Wenjia Guo: Mini Fab Lab

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Photography, Text and Video by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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MINI FAB LAB

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Recently I have spent almost my whole week in the fabrication lab to build a one to one scale physical model. After several days I became familiar with most of the machines and tools. I could tell which kind of abrasive paper is for wood and which is for metal. I know which size of drill matches the nails I need, and which saw needs a board to reduce shaking. Then things became much more interesting when we developed more functions of the tools depending on the characteristics of them. We folded the metal sheets with the machine for cutting by using the pressing part. At this moment, I realized that I could look at these tools in the form of elements —— screw threads for increasing friction, parallel wrench for limiting the angle, even a dust mask has ropes for ears and cloths for the face. I chose this microcosmic perspective to record tools in the fabrication lab, trying to redirect our attention to these deconstruction elements.

Tools already have its mechanical power and order, the details of them always follow some kind of geometric aesthetic.  An array of drills divided the picture vertically and at the same time showed the upward spiral. A row of high and low wrenches reflected the rhythm of strong power with a beautiful curvature. The different scale of numbers on the ruler embody an equidistant accuracy. The weave of the elastic band gave expression to the elegance of a complex order.

This mini fabrication lab just like every environment we are familiar with, it has its regular character and scene, but when you learn the intrinsic quality of these tools, it will lead you to a huge potential. The microcosmic perspective is just a way to see the world, but throw it we could experience the progress of setting the focus and selection of elements, it may just introduce the same methods we could use to analyze other problems as well.

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-architectural-gift/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Documentary, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students, Video, Women