It's a big country, the USA. And the myth of the open road remains strong, even if it will be self-driving cars that move us there. A little bit of research about roadside attractions in America will yield a host of unique and bizarre results. So here are a couple unique sites located off the beaten path that are worth visiting in the American Southwest.
I've stated it before: I'm a total workshop rat. There's something about spaces where skilled work gets done that invigorates my spirit. At various points throughout my life, I've wandered into blacksmith shops—on my great uncle's farm in southern Ohio, at a permanent exhibit on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, at the dead end of a street on the outskirts of my college town in West Virginia—and each time I've quieted with reverence, among the tongs and hammers and slack tubs, as if walking in the glow of stained glass windows.
Short of actually hanging around the shop, smelling the hot metal and hearing the clank of a hammer on an anvil, I get my forge fix by following metalsmiths on Instagram. Here are thirty of ManMade's favorite accounts that we totally recommend.
I confess, I'm a shop rat. It doesn't matter what craft—shoemaking, blacksmithing, coffee roasting, even those little watch repair caves with the observation window in jewelry stores at the mall—if there are four walls, some tools, and skilled hands, I'm all over it like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
Other than drawing and writing, I've committed to the handicraft of artisan printing, slinging ink in the letterpress and screen printing arena at my main job. But when I can, I soak up other skills on a hobbyist level to round out my skillset, to apply lessons from other disciplines into my chosen craft, and to just have fun making stuff without the pressure of harnessing it to make a living.
Woodworking is one of those pools that I'm just now starting to wade into, and since I have no idea what I'm doing, I love watching the real deal to see how it's really done. To that end, I've curated the following list of my favorite woodworking accounts on Instagram.
Why It's Important We Still Print Our Own Photographs...and Why You Should Be Taking More in the First Place
We live in an era when everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times. One that would have cost $500-700 a decade ago. And you can use it literally with a click of button, and chances are, you'll get a decent exposure.
So it’s easy to see our photographs as only pixels on a screen. This is why a community like Instragram works so well: it makes photography special again. When you can take a photo of anything at any time absolutely free and be able to send it up into the cloud with zero effort, editing, curating, and capturing become the new acts of care that give smartphone photos a new sense of meaning.
Last night, my wife poked me in the ribs, and showed me this image. "Guess what that is," she said.
"Oil paint mixed with water?" I guessed.
"No...those are clouds hovering over Jupiter."
This holiday season, I wanted to give my friends and family a customized gift with some personality. So, using nothing but our own photos and a few crafty tools, I came up with this coaster project which is super fun, super inexpensive, plenty easy, and you can dial it in perfectly for each person on your list - just raid their Instagram or social media accounts!
Let's get to it!
In the era of advanced smart phone filters, it's not difficult to make your images look like something more than a snapshot. But, more often than not, these images don't look textural or vintage or interesting, they just look... filtered. It's not a je ne se quoi, it's an I know exactly se quoi — it's also my favorite Instagram filter.
My Instagram feed is about 50/50 with friends and outdoorsy travel photographers. I try to get out in wilderness as much as I can, and when I can't, I try to at least keep some photographic inspiration readily at hand. And let's be honest, probably all of us have tried our hand at capturing that gorgeous vista to which we couldn't quite do justice...
If you've ever tried to use a standard tripod to create a perfect, 90° overhead shot for photography, filmmaking, or animation, you know how frustrating it can be.
Even with a boom arm, the tripod legs always end up in the image, the camera becomes topheavy and gets dangerously close to tipping over, and it's impossible to change the height of the shot beyond the zoom of the lens.
This August 11th and 12th will be the peak of what is traditionally the biggest meteor shower of the year known as the Perseids, but this year it'll be the meteor event of the decade. Every year the Perseids features about 100 meteors per hour, but this week there should be double that due to the unique positioning of Earth's orbit this year...
There are sorts of reasons a guy would wanna take great photos at home: an artist or crafter, online shop owner, Instagram power user, or just an everyday documenter extraordinaire.
No matter your focus, these easy and affordable tips will help you dramatically improve your photography skills.
Mankind has had a long, tempestuous history with frontiers. We crave to encounter them, to push them, to exploit them. They often kill us, and yet we mourn them when they disappear. If you find yourself lamenting the death of the frontier, don't lose heart -- keep a candle burning! Not only is there the entire universe, but here on Earth there are still quite a few wildernesses through which humanity has barely traipsed.
In 1982, three eleven-year-olds saw Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and it changed their lives forever when they decided to make a shot-for-shot remake that summer. Well that summer turned into 7 years, with full sets, choreography, fire effects, broken hearts, and endless devotion. Twenty-five years later, they return to shoot the missing scene....
Fun fact of the day: a whole heap of National Parks (and National Monuments, Recreation Areas, and the like) each have their own regularly updated Instagram accounts. If you think about it, it makes sense; what these spaces have to offer - nonstop visual inspiration, scenic landscapes, education, and a cure for your wanderlust - work excellently for the format. It's exactly the kind of stuff you want to see for a little midday motivation.
This year, the US National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so we're sharing our favorite National Parks and related accounts to help you find the perfect spot for your next adventure.
In a world which often values the lowest price and quantity over quality, it's fascinating to see inside the belly of a gigantic manufacturing beast. Sam Byford of the Verge took a tour two weeks ago through the Fujifilm Taiwa factory in Sendai, to take an in depth look at the manufacturing process. Surprisingly the cameras produced aren't made by robots but by a number of actual people performing quite delicate work.
Here at ManMade, "value" is all about getting a product which has a quality you're comfortable with at a price that you're comfortable paying. For us, that means we're rarely recommending
Many of us love to travel and it's always fun to see the local sights. Surprisingly though, the favorite sights are not what you'd expect. Since everyone has a camera in their pockets with the ability share their favorite places through social media, Busbud (a travel site for booking bus tickets) recently went through Instagram's location hashtags to find the most instagrammed places in the US.
El Sueño Americano, "The American Dream" is a photo series by Tom Kiefer that showcases collections and items belonging to migrants that were apprehended by customs and border officials along the United States-Mexico border in Arizona.
Two weeks ago in Geneva, Vacheron Constantin took the horological world by storm with an unprecedented design: The 57260, the undisputed world record holder for the most complicated mechanical watch in the world. Among a host of singular features, the 57260 includes a customizable night alarm setting t0 silence the watch between 10pm and 8am, although this has to be adjusted by one of the three men capable of adjusting it...