Monday, April 21, 2014

Home is always within you

Some people spend their entire lives trying to leave home. And most of us come to hold disdain and contempt for the place that we grow up in. But really, even though we may want to leave that place more than we want anything else, it’s the one place that we can never truly leave behind.

No matter what memories or experiences our home has given us; it forms us, shapes us, and teaches us who we want to be and who we don’t want to be.

Home is always within us. It’s a part of who we are. And just as we can never escape who we really are, we can never really escape the place where we’ve grown up. If we manage to leave it behind and go off in search of something else – something better – we may just realize that the answers we seek were there in that place all along.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carl Zeiss – Who was this photography genius?

It has been said that without Carl Zeiss and his inventions, we would not really know what the world looks like. And anyone who has ever has the chance of handling or using a digital camera or smartphone fitted with a Zeiss lens knows that this is true.

Carl Zeiss, born on 11 September 1816 and died on 3 December 1888, was a German manufacturer of optical instruments known for the company he founded, Carl Zeiss Jena, now known as Carl Zeiss AG. Brought up in Weimar, Germany, he became an outstanding lens-maker in the 1840s when he produced expert lenses that had an exceptionally large aperture range which allowed for extremely bright images. This has become somewhat of a distinguishing feature in Carl Zeiss lenses as the images they capture are most often crystal clear and vividly detailed.

Zeiss worked in the university town of Jena, from which he got the original name of his company, at a workshop he set up himself where he commenced his lens-making vocation. His lenses were initially used solely in the production of microscopes but his company later began manufacturing their high-quality lenses when cameras were invented.

By the time Zeiss began creating microscopes for scientists in 1846, glass lenses were an accepted way of magnification, but it was a time-consuming, arduous and costly procedure using trial and error on each piece of glass. In his first year, he only sold 23 microscopes. But subsequently, it was the contribution Zeiss made to lens-manufacturing over 170 years ago that have facilitated the modern production of many lenses today.

The Carl Zeiss lens is most commonly known as a feature in Nokia smartphones, which is a major selling point for many of the brand’s products. However, the Carl Zeiss Master Prime umbrella of lenses, which merge an exceptionally high speed with brilliant image sharpness, perfect contrast, and true colour, has also set new standards in cinematography. These lenses have been used for numerous Academy Award-winning films, including “The Social Network”, “The Fighter”, and “The King’s Speech”. Even “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which won a total of 17 Oscars, was shot with a Carl Zeiss lens. And famed film director Stanley Kubrick also used a customized Zeiss lens, originally intended for NASA space missions, to shoot his film “Barry Lyndon”.

Carl Zeiss’s legacy now lives on through the lenses we take for granted, and are often unaware of, in cameras, smartphones, surgical equipment, and microscopes with the accuracy, precision and peak image quality that he strived to capture throughout his career being produced every single time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shailene Woodley – The next blockbuster youngster

The youngsters are taking over Hollywood. Fresh faces and talent has always been the currency of Hollywood but the past few years have taken this trend off the charts. Seemingly a newcomer, but not actually, 22-year-old Shailene Woodley is going to have a quite a year ahead of her this year as she becoming one of the most talked-about young actresses – after Jennifer Lawrence, that is, who Shailene is actually compared to quite a lot.

Shailene has made one of the most difficult transitions in Hollywood that is moving from Indie cinema to mainstream, commercial cinema. Her only major screen credit until this year has been her role as George Clooney’s complicated daughter in Alexander Payne’s Oscar-winning screenplay, “The Descendants”. But she has also appeared in lower budget films like “The Spectacular Now” coincidently with her “Divergent” co-star Miles Teller which released a few weeks ago and for which she won the Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the recent Gregg Araki film,” White Bird in a Blizzard” also starring Eva Green.

Shailene is being praised by critics and fans for trying to be ‘real’ in Hollywood where a lot can be fake. She does interviews barefoot and gives people hugs; it’s no wonder she’s being likened to Jennifer Lawrence who also has a way with her fans. Shailene’s upcoming lead role in “The Fault In Our Stars”, based on John Green’s novel, in which she plays a cancer patient who falls for a fellow sufferer, will release in June this year.

Shailene began her career with a number of smaller roles in television serials like “The OC” and “Cold Case” before landing the lead role of ABC Family’s series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” which aired from July 2008 till June 2013 and kick-started her career.

“The Fault In Our Stars” will follow the success of Shailene’s performance in “Divergent” which released in March this year, based on the best-selling young-adult novel by Veronica Roth, where she plays Tris, a 16-year-old living in a futuristic society where all the inhabitants are separated into groups based on their particular strength or virtue. “Divergent” did well at the box office and was cited to have done so because of it’s somewhat similarity to “The Hunger Games”. With two much talked-about films out in the same year, a few months apart, it’s going to be a good year for Shailene who has already managed to create great momentum as an actress after working hard for so long.
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