A bookstore that’s a distraction from the Books

The Ateneo Grand Splendid.

It sounds like the name of a cruise ship. Or some pedigreed Emir-owned Arabian superstallion racehorse.

It’s a bookstore. This bookstore:

Ateneo Grand Splendid

The Ateneo Grand Splendid - Courtesy longhorndave on Flickr

Formerly a 1919-built theater and then cinema, it was turned into a bookstore. Good description from here:

The painted ceiling, detailed balconies, and stage are all intact. The private boxes are now small reading rooms. The stage is a café, where you can sit and peruse books you’re considering buying. And though it occupies three floors, there’s not an overwhelming selection — the shelves fit perfectly around the theater’s original shape, and comfortable chairs are scattered throughout.

Note to self: Visit Ateneo Grand Splendid before death.

More reading on reading vaults.

PS: More photos, including the ceiling and balconies: Continue reading

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The five best sources of great photography on the internet

My previous post on the Flickr Hive Mind inspired me to share what I think are the best sources of amazing photography on the internet. I’m not going to go into a rehashed mess of the traditional sites, but on specific links to high-quality (skill and creativity, not resolution) photography.

just a random pic that looks nice

so cool!

Hive Mind: Like I’ve mentioned before, a fantastic source. I am thoroughly confused how it does what it does, but the end result is a constant stream of wow!

The Big Picture: A sub-site of Boston.com, and naturally very journalistic in flavour, but excellent photos nevertheless.

National Geographic Photo of the Day: A very focused site in terms of subject matter, dealing almost exclusively with travel and nature. The photographs of course, are legendary, almost all of the class that graces the covers of National Geographic Magazine itself.

deviantArt: I am sure to get panned for this. But the fact remains that among the tides of pre-pubescent and post-adolescent ‘artists’ and unending manga-derived graphics are some true photographic gems. It takes some hunting, but it can be worth it.

WordPress Photography: I am not joking. There are some seriously superb photographers on WordPress, as I have discovered in the recent past and continue to do so in the present. This and this are just a couple I’ve come across recently.

There you have it. In addition to the ‘common’ photo databases like photobucket and flickr, these 5 sites have been the mainstay of my photography browsing recently. If anyone has similar places they count on their favourites folder, do share.

On a last note, I cannot stress this enough when I ask everyone to always respect the copyrights and wishes of the photographers, wherever you may find their work. A vast majority of photographers will not have any problem with your using their work in a non-profiteering context. Just ask before using. It’s polite.

We are many. We photograph?

I am not talking about the blog or even the demon. I’m talking specifically about this website I came across a few weeks ago and about photography in general.

I’ve always had a high appreciation for good photography, and surfing photos on the internet is like being a teenager in a porn library. (is there such a thing?). There are never-ending wonders to be discovered, endless wonders just around the corner. One gripe I’ve always had is an inability to find many superb photos in place. easily. There are enough and more photography hosting sites around, photobucket and flickr of course being notables. But attempting to, bluntly put, separate the wheat from the chaff and easily find lots of fantastic photos to go crazy over has always been a challenge.

Well, until now. Fiveprime is the home page of some guy called Nathan Siemers. A person of seemingly broad interests, my attention is focused on his Hive Mind engine. I came across Hive Mind during some random googling and it has turned out to be a veritable akshayapatra of amazing photography. I don’t claim to understand how it does what it does, but it does it very very well. It appears to be able to consistently dig up some absolutely incredible photographs.

Another cool feature is being able to view the photostream of a specific user in Hive Mind’s “skin”. My own flickr account becomes – http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/User/tenthousandsouls.

enough talk. go enjoy. I certainly am.