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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Phoenix

Its late July, it's a Saturday, I gotta work...maybe you're working too? here's a little something to lighten the mood, hey don't worry we can grab a beer later and chill out just focus for a few hours, no problemo... 

Monday, 4 July 2011

Crabstickz

I've been a huge fan of a fellow Huddersfieldian Chris Kendall for a while now. Check out the multitude of comedy videos on his youtube channel...I think this boy's gonna go far, he's pretty much the funniest thing to come out of huddersfield since...(ummm enter a snide football joke...aimed at Leeds utd? possibly I don't have a clue)

Go!

The Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect

It's July! always the nicest month of the year...here is something for the first Monday of the month..

Friday, 1 July 2011

New Website

Hey Folks, I've just updated my website, it's been a while since the last big redesign and update. The new site now runs through wordpress, which means I can keep things more up to date! The new site has a huge number of updates from the last incarnation.

keep checking back here and on the site for updated etc.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

AA Bondy

Something for Thursday night

Monday, 13 June 2011

A short history of the Digital Camera's I have owned

I've always been interested in photography, I remember getting a Kodak Advantix when I was around 8 for Christmas, it was amazing when I was 8, it had a special Advantix 24mm film which could shoot 4 x 11" panoramic shots.
When I got to 16 and went to art school (which wasn't that long ago try 8 years or so ) we got given a 35mm Nikon or Minolta SLR (I forget which) and some rolls of black and white film, we were then told to go up to Lindly graveyard in Huddersfield and take some photos (a little creepy) we then had to develop the film in the dark room, use enlargers etc, it was great! I wish I'd kept the photos but they have been lost over the past few years.
Even though digital was around in 2002/03, you learnt photography on film, which is how every course should be, there isn't a better was to fully understand photography until you have to control everything about the shot your taking, shutter speed, aperture, and then even how to expose the negative to create the prints and all the timing that all of that involves.

I'm going to run you through a history of my digital camera's, looking back now some of them weren't great but at the time they were the greatest and most important thing in my possession.

Fujifilm Finepix A303. 2003-04


The A303 was my first digital camera, I can't remember why I chose Fujifilm, I think it was because back then they had some great small digital camera's, well priced for a 16 year old kid who had no money. I remember being amazed at the fact that I could shoot as many photos as I wanted and look at them instantly. This is the whole hook of the digital film age, no print costs (unless you wanted prints)
It was a pretty good camera I probably had it for a couple of years, I have all the photos I took on this camera on a disk...somewhere.

Fujifilm Finepix E550 Zoom. 2004-05



The E550 was my second (soon to be ill-fated) camera, after the first fuji I felt I might as well carry on with Fuji, back then they used XD cards so I didn't have to shell out for new cards. The camera was a massive leap from the A303, it had the enlarged hand grip, full manual controls and focus, the LCD screen was huge in comparison to the A303, and the picture quality was fantastic helped in part to the Super CCD sensor that Fuji had just introduced.

However, one sunny day back in 2005 I accidentally left the camera...on top of my dads car, just before a long journey...I realised after about 20 minutes later that my camer was missing and then the realisation dawned on me. It was a great camera who's life was sadly cut short by my uselessness.


Fujifilm Finepix F810 Zoom. 2005-08



After the premature death of my E550, I purchased the F810 Zoom. Unlike the previous two I still have this camera. I remember seeing the photos for the first time and being amazed at the quality of the photographs, this was an amazing camera, the body was solid metal, which made a change from the cheap plastic of the camera's of the day, it felt weighty, it had a widescreen LCD and could shoot panoramic. I used it for around 3/4 years, and is the longest standing camera to date on my list. Towards the end however the lens started to fail, I believe I dropped it at some point and it slightly bent the lens, then grit got into it from years of use, which added to the problem. 
All in all a great companion for a number of years which took some truly memorable photos.

Panasonic DMC-LX3. 2008-present



I think there is a little bit of a secret going round, people with this camera know it. This DMC-LX3 is a thing of beauty, black metal chasis, Leica lens, incredible image quality this picture below is enough to make you want to buy it...


I consider this camera the best I've ever bought for size for quality, It's the kind of camera you will have in 50 years and show your grankids, it's the kind of camera they would have used in back to the future if they ever came back to today. Seriously buy one, before they don't sell them, that is all.

Canon 60D. 2011-present


Over the years I'm amassed a large number of camera's, I'm not just talking digital I probably have around 20 film camera's, I would say around 5 film SLR's, ranging from Zenits to Minolta's. I tend to collect cameras on their age and pretty much how they look, but that's for another blog post on another day.
The canon 60D not to be confused with the D60, is the first Digital SLR I have owned. I've used a number of DSLR's over the years, primarily when working at ATTIK we had a 500D and a 5D, I used to shoot shots for Coca-Cola mainly for mock ups of ad's etc and for other stuff.

I'm pretty much in amazement,, I can't really say much about the 60D till I take it out properly over the next few weeks, I've got a number of photographic project ideas, which I will hopefully share soon. There is so much I could say about this camera but I'm not going to you can read reviews/spec etc elsewhere. 
------

Conclusion:

I use both my Canon 60D and my Lumix DMC-LX3, both have their advantages over each other, either through size or lens. Since my first digital camera 8 years ago, things have moved forward incredibly fast, I remember seeing 3mp and thinking that's incredible, these days I think everything is leveling out, I just wonder what i'll have in the next 8 years, most probably the same 2 cameras I use now, the quality of the images of both of these camera's is in my opinion future proof.

The only thing missing from this post is what photography is all about, the photographs, the ideas, the vision to create something great, to record memories, to capture the day to day and in general record our lives, this is what makes photography amazing. If you don't have a camera get a Lumix DMC-LX3 ha! seriously get out there and start recording your life, you only live once.

-Mike






Sunday, 15 May 2011

Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts' third album Smother is out, get it, end.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Armoire

New Owen song, beautiful, maybe his best? exciting stuff.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Stars

I get too tired after mid-day, lately.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Kentucky Pill

Johnny Flynn, perfect for the current sunshine!


Sometimes...

Looking isn't seeing, Picasso once famously said, which is something I like to think about in my design work. But sometimes to relax after all the colour and illustration and graphics that fill my day, I like to sit and just look. Here is some looking from last night.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Behind The Scenes

One day I will publish all my sketch work and ideas...maybe. 
This is how I tend to work on elements, I start with words and a rough sketch and then work it up into a more detailed sketch and then work this up in vectors. This is my guitar worked up for a recent project, although acoustics tend to look symmetrical the curves tend to be slightly out at each point. 10 points if you can recognise the type of guitar from the headstock...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Say It Ain't So



Anyone want to be in a band again?

Monday, 17 January 2011

I haven't been outside today.

Some days I don't get outside, which is never good. I'm currently working on a number of cool projects for some great clients! I'm sure I will have a big update soon!
Something I've been working on today.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

There will always be haters...

An email i received today.
The guy left his name... henry tice, and also his email if anyone wants to drop him a line: curvedyellowhead@yahoo.com


Dear Mike Lemanski,
I hate you.
Your design on google is horribly horrible.
you have no talent at all you stupid lowlife prick.
you should never create anything ever again for the rest of your miserable life.
you need to go away.
i think i speak for the majority of google chrome users when i say you need to curl up in an alleyway and die.
thank you for your time.

-------


I dont know about you but I think he likes me?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday Morning Lye in...

...I'm lying... I was up screen printing at 8am and stock taking for New Leaves with Sarah. The Heavy weight book club bags are getting popular, however I think we are now switching to light weight in a number of various colour. Keep an eye out for the new stock soon.





Friday, 7 January 2011

Shifting Snow

(me) -------\*******************************

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Albums of 2010, for you to listen to in 2011

Ok so while i'm posting, I thought i'd make a tiny little breakdown of the best albums i've been listening to in the last year, i'm not going to do a massive review and go into detail I might not even say anything. Some of the crop came out this year, some came out ages ago. Enjoy.


16 . Red House Painters - Rollercoaster
A classic album from 1993, there are some beautiful moments of genius across the album.


15 . MewithoutYou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright
This 2009 release see's MewithoutYou take a new direction in their sound, in my opinion the new direction is better than anything they've done before, as always Aaron Weiss's lyrics are beatifully narrative.


14 . Modest Mouse - No One's First And You're Next
This 2009 release from Modest Mouse, is one of their best albums/ep's to date in my opinion, the range of the tracks incorporate a sound akin to their latest albums but also their older work.


13 . Fall Out Boy - Take This To Your Grave
2003's Take This To Your Grave was Fall Out Boy's real debut, and is still one of their best pieces of work. 


12. The National - High Violet
The first 2010 release on the list, The National have a habit of putting out incredible albums, High Violet is no exception.



11. Phil Collins - No Jacket Required.
This 80's album is a master class in creating popular music.



10 . Sufjan Stevens - The Age Of Adz
The 2010 release of The Age Of Adz, see's a departure from the folk/acoustic sound of Sufjan Steven's last 3/4 albums for a more electronic sound, much like his earlier work. However nothing is lost you can still here the beautiful crafted sound and his ability to create a melody. The artwork for the album is pretty crazy, I'm not the biggest fan, the cover comes off better than the booklet.


9 . Jack's Mannequin - In Valleys
Andrew McMahon's 4 track e.p from 2008 continues his sunshine sound, almost an extension of the beautiful Glass Passenger album, I can't get enough of the tracks Cell Phone and Sleazy Wednesdays, he's also fantastic live.


8 . Owen - The Seaside E.P
Pick up anything by Mike Kinsella and you won't be disappointed, the seaside e.p from 2009 collects together a mix of new tracks, b-sides and covers. Finally getting I'm Not Seventeen down on a record is enough of a reason to have a listen.


7. Mae - (a)fternoon
Since moving to their own label Mae have blossomed into an incredibly versatile band, with the release of (m)orning, (a)fternoon and (e)vening. Their sound is at times large and rousing and at others soft and intricate, they shift tone and pace making one song seem like 2 or 3, which keeps the music incredibly dynamic for a modern rock band, and as always their mastery of harmony and melody is ever present.


6. Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises
This was one of my most anticipated albums from 2010, Mark Kozelek doesn't disappoint, the intricate classical guitar and haunting lyrics and voice steep the album, I always get the image of a misty canadian mountain forest on an early crisp autumn morning


5 . Taking Back Sunday - Live From Orensanz
This is the only live album on the list, Taking Back Sunday's 2010 release see's their best work beautifully re-worked acoustically. Taking in some of their most memorable songs and breathing new life into B-sides. Growing up listening to TBS it's great to hear these tracks given space to flourish.


4 . Grammatics - Grammatics
I was really disappointed when I heard of Grammatics disbandment, especially after their 2009 self titled release, there sound wasn't like the work of their contemporaries you could hear that they were different and had something special, they were a local band too which was inspiring. 
The album itself spans across a haunting array of guitar leads and the gorgeous lead vocals of Owen Brinley.


3 . The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Grave
Kristian Matsson is from Sweeden, and has appeared like a bracing wind from across the North Sea. I don't know how but he sounds so much more than one man and his guitar, his songs are all crafted and tell stories that wind around your head and take you in to his world. He also looks like a 60's Holywood actor which is cool.



2 . Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now
Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, have come together as if they were meant to create music together. Their recent 2010 release is a perfect album, I don't really know what else to say it's hard to explain in words, just listen to it.



1 . Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Every so often an album comes along which cements itself into history, Villagers is Conor O'Brien and his debut Becoming a Jackal is one of those albums, it's almost awkward because I wouldn't know how to proceed it. 
Each song is finite and perfect, the core reason why the album is so good is because you know it works in more than one way, it sounds amazing with a full band but also works stood alone with just an acoustic. I noticed O'Brien's Yairi parlour guitar, which he seems to always use, it's a great looking instrument and has become part of his image. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes next!

January 2011

Let's make it a good one! There is too much to do as always, but we've got to keep moving forward, keep learning, keep our eyes open, look back to look forward. Here's to possibility.