This is a story of a full-time nanny/part-time street photographer in Chicago named Vivian Maier. Vivian sadly passed away in April of 2009, with her photographic work totally unknown to the world. It took a local real estate agent named John Maloof to uncover her amazing talent after purchasing her negatives at an auction. He hadn’t heard of Vivian, and only bought the negatives in a search for some content for a book he was writing. It was when he was scanning the negatives that he realized what he had.
John didn’t know what to do with this amazing body of work, so he started by putting together a blog to showcase some of the photos. He then reached out to the flickr community for ideas. It was there that someone recommended John look for funding on Kickstarter.com, which is how I learned about it.
John is looking for $20,000 to help fund the pre-production of a documentary movie he’d like to put together about Vivian and her work. The fundraising started two weeks ago, and not surprisingly once you realize the talent Vivian had, they have already exceeded their $20,000 target, with over two months left in the fundraising process!
I was extremely fortunate to be the last backer to receive a film spool for my $10 donation, but I think I will also donate another $25 to be able to download a copy of the movie once it is complete.
I’m quite moved by this story and find it very inspiring, both as an amateur photographer and frankly, as a human being. There is so much negativity in the world that a story like this just lifts your spirits — at least that’s the effect it had on me.
Last week I visited an exhibition of Vivian Maier’s photography at the Chicago Cultural Center. I had learned about Vivian Maier earlier through the Kickstarter website and blogged about it here.
To say I was impressed with the exhibit is an understatement. The whole story about her work being discovered and shared with the world is incredibly fascinating and inspirational, so much so, that I decided to visit Chicago to see her pictures in person.
Sadly, there weren’t any books of her photos for me to buy to bring home as a memory, so I decided to assemble a group of her photos into a slideshow instead.
I’ve made an attempt to organize the photos into groups, to try to educate myself as to how she viewed the world, and maybe get a glimpse into what her thoughts were as she wandered alone, taking her photos. They are loosely organized into the following themes:
people that don’t know they are being photographed
people that do know they are being photographed
people on beaches
This slideshow is by no means comprehensive of all the work that has been released, as some of the “themes” have as few as two photos in them. Perhaps as more photos get released I will add to it.
One of the highlights for me was their “EULA Project”, where they have taken many social media end-user licence agreements and converted them to plain English posters that can be displayed in your classroom for your students, all for free.
Here’s an example, posted in low-res only (see the link below for full-sized PDFs):
To see AML’s EULA Project in its entirety, visit http://www.aml.ca/i-agree/ where you can download PDF versions of each EULA poster.
I recently had some discussions about updating a webpage to include popups for a number of organizations that were listed on a page. It got me thinking about how I could write a program that would efficiently generate the HTML instead of having to manually code it.
I’ve also been thinking lately about getting back into programming with Delphi, a language I used many years ago that is perfect for quickly creating little utilities.
Here’s the result:
It’s nothing fancy, but it will suit my needs should the task come up again.
If you’re interested in downloading the program for yourself, it can be downloaded from here. Because it’s written in Delphi, there’s no setup required and the program should run portably on most systems (Windows only). Just save it to the folder you’d like to run it from, like your desktop.
If you’re interested in the source code, shoot me an email and I’d be glad to share it.