Tag Archives: photography


Photo by @mrmodps

Photo by @mrmodps

Thank you to everyone who participated in our last #ModernismProject photo challenge –#fashion. It was a pleasure to have Brenna Egan with Refinery 29 look through all of your submissions, so thank you for being our special guest judge! Brenna chose Matthew Reader’s winning self portrait (@mrmodps). “Matthew clearly had a blast with this challenge, and I’m still smiling ear-to-ear over this winning shot! Matthew, may I borrow your Pucci shirt? It plays so well with the Bertoia sculpture — this was a perfectly art-directed snap. Bravo!” says Egan. Follow Matthew on Instagram (@mrmodps) to see more of his modernist inspired instashots!

While we’re sad the #ModernismProject challenge is now over, we want to give a HUGE thank you to all those participants who submitted hundres and hundreds of photos for each challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed pouring over each and every photo, as have our judges.

But wait – this doesn’t mean the challenges are over.

We’ve flipped tables a bit and now ask YOU to be the judges for the Palm Springs ModSquad (#PSModSquad)! This group is a hand-picked “squad” of a few of our favorite influential design bloggers, Instagrammers, and Tweeps. They’ll be our roving eyes, snapping shots of the best moments, most interesting people, most exquisite pieces, and best outfits at Palm Springs Modernism Week –  giving us all a wider view of the eleven-day modernist extravaganza. Be sure to follow them all on Instagram and like their photos. The photo with the most likes at the end of the first weekend will receive a special prize from Just Modern.

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Photo by @miguelrsantos

Thank you to everyone who participated in our most recent #ModernismProject photo challenge – #wanderlust. It was great to have Jason Hudson look through all of your submissions from a photographer’s point of view. He chose Miguel Santos’ photo of a little diner just off highway 99 in central California (Selma, CA) called Brooks Ranch. What caught Miguel’s eye was that the original structure of the diner and its sign were largely intact. In fact, many small towns along highway 99 have mid-century modern structures that remain beautifully original. Over the years, Miguel has been photographing the architectural details and researching these lesser-known modernist structures during his road trips through the central California region. Even though he now lives in Massachusettes, he’s planning on attending Palm Springs Modernism Week once again this year.

Jason chose Sergio’s photo because, as he put it, “I’m a sucker for signage and big skies.” He was drawn to the photo’s really great exposure and appreciates the patience Miguel exercised to capture the sign at just the right time of day.

Follow Miguel @miguelrsantos on Instagram to see more of his photos.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially to our guest judge, Jason Hudson! Please keep playing along and sending in photos from around the globe. Stay tuned for the next challenge which will be announced on November 29th (we’re skipping next week since it’s Thanksgiving!) when we partner with Angela Elias from Casa Sugar of the wildly popular lifestyle and entertainment platform, Popsugar.

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Thanks to all those who participated in our last two #ModernismProject challenges. We’ve been getting fantastic submissions, and our judges have been loving them too. As promised, here’s another chance to win tickets to Palm Springs Modernism Week. For those of you who are new around here, the #ModernismProject is our first-ever mobile initiative encouraging the global community of modernism fans to express visually what modernism means to them. This week’s theme is…..#WANDERLUST.

The middle part of the last century marks a time in history when many Americans began to enjoy the luxury of travel. Owning one or two family cars was common, Disneyland was the newest dream family vacation, and Palm Springs emerged as a premier travel and leisure destination in America. We at Palm Springs Modernism Week would like to know what imagery makes you nostalgic for travel during that time period. From vintage suitcases, travel posters, cars and cameras, to Mid-Century Modern beach houses and airstream trailers, the possibilities are endless! Get as creative as you’d like.

Our special guest judge for this challenge is Jason Hudson – a wanderlust himself who loves traveling to his country cottage in Canada, and his condo in Florida. More importantly, he’s a talented Toronto-based commercial photographer, supercharged ‘Grammer (that’s Instagram user) extraordinaire, and our third #ModernismProject guest judge. If you aren’t following him already, you should right here! He has a great eye for shooting interiors and beautifully delicious food.

Twice a month (between now and February), we’ll be issuing a new “challenge” or prompt. Participants are encouraged to submit as many photos as they’d like. An amazing panel of special guest judges will review all the submissions and pick a lucky winner in each category. The winner of this week’s challenge will receive a pair of tickets to the Modernism Week Home Tour on February 17, 2013!

To participate in the #wanderlust challenge

  • follow modernism_week on Instagram
  • be ABSOLUTELY sure to tag your photos #ModernismProject and #wanderlust.
  • More on the rules and regulations here.
  • Contest begins at 12:01am PST on Thursday, November 8th and ends at 11:59pm PST on Monday, November 12th.
  • The winner will be announced November 14th.

Airstream Photo by Matthew Reeves


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photo by @earqio

Your participation in the #ModernismProject has been outstanding so thanks to everyone who submitted photos in our second challenge – #pattern. Jaime Derringer of Design Milk poured through hundreds of submissions and chose a detail shot of the lattice wall at Pepsi’s Durango, Mexico offices and distribution center. The winning photo comes from Sergio Rivatilla, a young architect based in Durango, Mexico!

Jaime chose Sergio’s photo because, in her words, “it represents what comes to mind when I think about Palm Springs Modernism – the elaborate, repetitive geometric screens seen on the interiors and exteriors of many of the mid-century homes. But it’s the repetition and perspective of the photo that I liked most – it almost makes you feel like the pattern could continue on forever if the wall didn’t end.”

Follow Sergio @earqio on Instagram to see more of his photos, and stop by his website to see more of his work. We’re excited that he’s confirmed he’ll be making the trip up from Mexico to redeem his prize: a pair of tickets to the Modernism Week Home Tour.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially to our guest judge, Jaime of Design Milk! Please keep playing along and sending in photos from around the globe. Stay tuned for the next challenge which will be announced on November 8th when we partner with amazing photographer, super-charged Instagrammer, and of course our special guest judge, Jason Hudson from JasonHudson.com.

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Foto Find: Sam Sefton

Our next Foto Find hails from the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. Besides being a creative director in the advertising industry, Sam Sefton is also a prolific contributor to iStock photo with over 10,000 downloads.  He also shoots for Air BnB.  When he’s not working on the latest campaign or gathering visual content for iStock, he shoots his travels.  And we found his fresh perspective on Palm Springs to be captivating.  He hasn’t been to Modernism Week yet, but we hope to see him in 2013.

More about Sam Sefton:

What’s your favorite aspect of Palm Springs?

The modern architecture of Palm Springs inspired me to take photographs there, but honestly, I found that I loved everything about the place. It has such a great tradition of style, leisure and fun. There is something very quixotic about Palm Springs. With my Midwestern roots, I found myself romanticizing the idea of Hollywood stars whisking off to this desert oasis for the weekend. Playing golf and tennis. And hanging out in “Desert Modern” hotels and spas. There is something in the air in Palm Springs. A certain atmosphere. It was mostly sunny when I photographed there. But it also rained a bit. Which was great. I tend to go for drama when I shoot and process, even with the simplest of subject matters. The large clouds really made the skies dramatic and heightened the overall look. I often use a flash when there are dark skies in the background. That gives a surreal quality to the light and an odd but rather purposeful contrast. Regarding architecture, the lines, circles and angles of Palm Springs buildings also add to drama. I like the way a modernist building can be cropped to place emphasis on positive and negative spaces. The geometric play makes for extremely interesting compositions. Often, less is more. Just like with modernism. And that’s where the architecture of Palm Springs really comes shining through.
What do you like to shoot and why?
Photography has been a passion of mine ever since I received an unexpected holiday gift from my parents: a Canon AE-1. I like to shoot a variety of subjects. And no pun intended, I really like the focus that’s required of photography. You can get lost in a certain kind of zone where everything else just falls away. I find that very relaxing. To this day, photography is a great creative outlet for me. I work full-time at an advertising agency, which can be a very collaborative process. It takes a lot of people to develop and make a TV commercial. But it only takes one person to take a great photo. So when I am ready to take a break from the collaborative creative effort, photography is my gateway. And because of that, most of my work would probably be considered personal or art. I recently started photographing for Airbnb. Which is great because it is architectural in nature but you still meet some really interesting people along the way. I am waiting for my first really cool modernist interior. Hopefully that will be soon.
What does modernism mean to you? 
To me, modernism is a powerful combination of art, style and design. It embraces simplicity and discipline. Modernism is not afraid of being bold. It is a testament to forward thinking. I live relatively close to the Cranbrook School and campus in suburban Detroit. Cranbrook has a rich tradition of modernism with Charles and Ray Eames and their mid century furniture design. The Cranbrook Art Museum is also very modern in appearance. In addition to places like Cranbrook, the automotive industry in Detroit also adds a kind of cool industrial vibe to the entire art community. Almost everything in this area is touched by cars in some way or another. One of my favorite finds at modernist shows are 1960’s era illustrations of concept cars. And of course, there is modernist influence in certain car designs. I recently bought a Fiat. Part of my attraction to the car was its simple, almost Art Deco design. I photographed the Fiat outside the Cranbrook Art Museum and the contrast of the Fiat’s simple round shapes against the Museum’s stark architecture was very dramatic. Round lines and straight lines. I like finding modernism in the everyday. The Kmart Corporation was based in Michigan (The 1960’s era logo was modern and fantastic.) And although I rarely went to a Kmart store, I did go to their corporate headquarters for their moving sale (when they merged with Sears.) It was cool but a little sad. Modern furniture was everywhere. Chairs. Desks. Lamps. I’m still a proud owner of two orange Steelcase chairs from Kmart’s worldwide headquarters. I can only imagine 1960’s sharp-dressed executives sitting in them as they smiled at rising sales charts.
To see more of Sam’s work, check him out iStock and follow him on Flickr.
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Foto Find: Darren Bradley Photography

We’ve discovered over the years that Palm Springs Modernism Week is hot destination for amateur and professional photographers alike.  A few minutes surfing Google or Flickr brings up stunning images of Modernism Week events, places, and people; all seen through the lens of different individual artists with their own perspective, spin, and style.  To celebrate this stunning visual diversity, we’re instituting a weekly Foto Find.  Each week we’ll share with you a selection of work by one of our latest and greatest photographic finds and a chance to learn a bit more about the artist behind the lens.

Our first-ever Foto Find is San Diego-based photographer Darren Bradley (the dapper gent in the chair).  A self described francophile, design nut, and accidental tourist, Darren and his wife have been coming to Palm Springs Modernism for several years.


MW: When did you come to Palm Springs Modernism Week?  Or how many times have you been?
DB: My wife and I have been coming to Palm Springs since before Modernism Week existed, I think. We first rented a house here in 1999 – an Alexander in Las Palmas designed by William Krisel. That was our first taste and we loved it. I live in San Diego, so Palm Springs is an easy trip for me and I come up several times a year, at least. I remember when Modernism Week was more of a weekend, and just really a show. It’s amazing how it’s grown. We’ve missed a year here or there, but we’ve been to most since it started.
MW: What’s your favorite aspect of Palm Springs Modernism Week?
DB: Love the house tours the most and the generosity of home owners to open up their homes like that. It’s just amazing. Also, we’ve developed a lot of good friendships over the years of people that we see during the show and it’s become a bit of a reunion for us. Also a great opportunity to make new friends and meet lots of interesting people.
MW: What do you like to shoot and why?
DB: I love modern architecture, first and foremost. I learned photography in high school and college, working for my school newspaper and as a darkroom assistant (back in the film days!). But I’d pretty much abandoned photography and hadn’t picked up a camera in over ten years when I started documenting all these mid-century modern treasures that I was seeing. I originally wanted to just document them before they disappeared. But slowly, I started to want to take better photos because I wanted to get people to appreciate these treasures – to see in them what I loved. I hoped that way, more people would want to save them. So I’ve become a sort of guerilla architectural photographer… shooting projects quickly and candidly on the run. I envy professionals who get complete access to buildings, are able to light them properly, scout them out ahead of time, shoot at the ideal time of day, not get chased by security guards, etc…  Most of the time, I don’t have those luxuries. But I try to make the most of whatever situation I’m faced with to get a good shot and show the personality of the building – what makes it so unique and special.  In Palm Springs, there’s just so much to photograph. And what’s nice here is that most people are very generous on the house tours about allowing photography. It’s just something that I do for fun, of course. Taking photos of these beautiful places allows me to see them differently than if I didn’t have my camera with me.
MW: What does modernism mean to you? 
DB: Modernism conveys a sense of optimism about society and the world that is so lacking today. It’s the last truly original style before the mainstream of America just sort of retrenched into a kind of ersatz pseudo-historical style… Now, most tract homes are faux Tuscan or Colonial. It seems like we’ve lost not only our sense of optimism, but also our sense of imagination. Modernism, to me, represents that last time in our history when the majority of our society was willing to take risks and just relax and have fun. What I love most about modernist architecture is the glass walls… the openness… the use of outdoor spaces.

Here are just a few of his favorite shots.  Enjoy!

Follow him on Twitter @ChimayBleueSD or check out his Flickr stream.

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