stunning backdrop

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At the lavish after-party for the Broadway premiere of Amélie, the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center served as a stunning backdrop, as guests posed in a photo booth and noshed on madeleines. Phillipa Soo, who stars in the show as the titular character, looked gorgeous in a Prabal Gurung dress. “I love Prabal, and he was so generous to dress me tonight,” she explained in between hugging friends, “and I basically told him I wanted something whimsical and colorful, just like my show. And this is what we came to.”

And it’s not the first time the 26-year-old actress has worn Gurung’s designs—she donned his clothes for the opening of a little show she did called Hamilton, as well as the Tony Awards last year. “I love that his work is always surprising me in terms of textures and colors and shapes,” she said. “And I love that it’s wearable, that there’s pockets in this dress!”

unexpectedly charming

Before Season 2 of Voltron came out, I had read an article that had mentioned there would be several bonding moments between Keith and Allura, and as a pretty invested Klance and Shallura shipper, I was skeptical. I really was. I figured if it happened, it would happen, and I would just deal with it.

The last thing I expected was to like Kallura even a little bit, let alone be completely charmed by it.

(gif credit to the marvelous @flusteredkeith!)

Not only had Keith and Allura barely interacted, I didn’t really have a grasp on Keith (there were assumptions, of course, which I used to inform the way I wrote him in fic)- so going in, I had a lot of reservations. You could even call it a low-key notp, because I didn’t want them to get together just because they had been together in the original series. It didn’t make sense to me, given the interaction they had had up to that point.

But then some of my friends started watching season 2, and when I asked two of them about shipping moments, as I am wont to do, they both mentioned Kallura…and that it was actually kind of cute. And charming. And the all in all, they didn’t hate it.

I was intrigued. So I went into watching Season 2 with an open mind, and I discovered that it really was kind of cute. And the more I thought about it, the further I fell, and I really wanted to figure out why.

So I’ve decided to do the only thing I can do when I’m overwhelmed by feelings about something: write about it.

So here goes: a little meta essay (read: roughly 4,700 words with copious screenshots and gifs inserted for visual interest) on how I fell for Kallura, and why I’m interested in its potential, and why I think it’s worth giving a shot!

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Flowers in Infrared


I have been completely obsessed with Infrared photography as you may already know and as it was half term I decided to take some time out from my college work and do something, fun and stress free with infrared instead, whilst it is still full working with infrared in my FMP there is still the element of stress there because I know it’s for college work and I really don’t want to mess it up, however when shooting solely for personal reasons that stress just goes away.

So I sent Stewart to Tesco’s to get me some flowers, I fancied taking some images in the studio of flowers, I know, how original. I was going to put an infrared twist on it though which excited me as I had no idea how my images were going to come out in the end!

To my surprise, they came out much better than I expected. They had a very soft look to them and well, the infrared effect just made them look beautiful and I will definitely be doing this again soon with some more unique objects!

I really want to try infrared portraits and I will add in a few pictures here I took messing around, I think this could look really interesting if done in the correct way and context so this is my next personal mission!

Castle on the Hill

So, I’ve finally come out of shock and put this drabble together. I was feeling so many emotions from that finale, mostly happy (WE ARE ENDGAME) but some kind of nostalgic too. I came up with this offering, I hope you guys like it! Just my little interpretation of what could be. Thanks Ed Sheeran as usual for inspiration… First Give Me Love and now this.

I’m on my way, driving at ninety…
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real. We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill.

New Orleans (19 months post finale).

“Where is he?” Caroline demanded, as the door to the compound flew open.

“Well, good afternoon to you too, darling,” Kol replied, raising his eyebrows in her direction. “Are you always this charming, or am I just lucky?”

“Nice to see nothing ever changes with you, little Mikaelson,” she shot back. “I’ve been driving all night and am not in the mood. You also didn’t answer my question.”

“Nice to see nothing ever changes with those high strung and control freak tendencies, Forbes,” he scoffed. “Plus, you’re not doing yourself any favours on scoring an invitation inside.”

“Kol.”

“Fine, come inside, sunshine,” he grinned, gesturing with his hand. Caroline stepped past him and made her way purposefully through the courtyard, realising only halfway that she had no idea where Klaus was and where she was going for that matter. “Can I get you something? Perhaps some AB positive or some much needed Xanax?”

“Kol,” she repeated, turning around suddenly to face him. She didn’t mean to be so abrupt but if she was being honest, Caroline was extremely nervous about their impending reunion and found that it was easier to be angry at Klaus and whomever was in her path because then she wouldn’t betray her real feelings. “Where is your brother?”

“I’m right here but I have a feeling I’m not the brother you’re seeking,” his prim accent sounded out from the upper balcony, making Caroline look upwards at the familiar Original. He was just as she remembered, still dressed immaculately in a black suit. “Good morning Ms Forbes, it’s certainly been a while.” Caroline had to fight the urge to roll her eyes, why couldn’t these people just answer a direct question?

“Yes and by the looks of it she’s still just as annoying as when she was planning those school dances,” Rebekah interrupted tartly from the other balcony. This time Caroline did roll her eyes, who was going to appear next? Finn, Esther or maybe creepy Mikael?

“While this whole Mikaelson reunion is absolutely charming, I need to find Klaus.”

“What business do you have with him?” Elijah asked, always the protector.

“I’m pretty certain that’s between him and I,” she answered. “But let’s just say I have something I need to give back.”

It was burning a hole in her pocket as she said it, had been since she jumped in her car and finally made the journey she’d imagined the past nineteen months. It had taken her longer than expected but Caroline put that down to the fact she’d been busy with running her school and after what she’d been through she also needed time to process things. She was equal parts annoyed and confused and had every intention of sharing all of those pesky feelings with the Original Hybrid. When she eventually found him, of course.

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Me Too | Zach Herron

“Who is that?!” I yell, slamming the door of my car shut. I break out into a run across the front lawn.

My best friend laughs as he closes the front door of his house and starts to run as well. We finally reach one another.

I hug him tightly, holding the back of his neck while his arms wrap around my waist.

“Who are you?!” I exclaim, hugging him tighter. “You’ve changed so much!”

He laughs and I break into a smile. That sound.

“I missed you so much,” he mumbles.

I pull away, grinning.

“I missed you too, Z.”

"How long are you staying?”

“As long as it takes me to find and visit a college that I will actually enjoy attending,” I say. He smiles.

He’s even more good looking in person than he is over FaceTime.

Zach and I were best friends long before he moved here - L.A. - in order to live with his four band mates and build a musical career under the group name Why Don’t We.

Keeping in touch over the years has been tough, but seeing one another in person has been even more tough. The last time I saw him and got to hug him like this was nine months ago when he flew out to Texas to surprise me on my birthday.

“Well, what’s the plan? What’re we doing tonight?” I ask as we make our way inside the band’s house.

“I was thinking I could drive you to my favorite place in the city.”

***

The entire time that Zach is driving up the winding hill, we sing our hearts out. Our voices are shrill and horrible to listen to, but we don’t care, caught up in the insane joy of the moment.

Rushing wind blows my hair all over the place and I stick my right arm out the window, dancing in my seat as the music booms through the car.

Too soon, we reach the top of the hill. For a second after Zach parks, I don’t want to get out, desiring to stay and yell along with the radio and my best friend for the rest of the night.

I feel differently when I see the view.

I unbuckle my seat belt, get out of the car, and walk to the edge of the cliff in a daze.

I cannot get it through my head that something so beautifully picturesque is real.

The darkening sky streaked with late colors of the night is a stunning backdrop for the city. Despite the distance, I can see flashing neon lights, signs, and cars in traffic. Different colored buildings of diverse sizes litter the area in every direction I can see.

This city is a gorgeous display of color, shapes, and perfect chaos.

I turn to Zach with wide eyes. He laughs at my expression.

“I know,” he says, reaching my side and then dropping down to sit in the grass. I follow his lead and do the same before looking over the view again.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” he says.

The tone of appreciation in his voice makes me smile. Most guys wouldn’t even stop for a second to look at this, let alone talk about it.

“Mmh,” I hum in agreement.

Time passes. Night falls.

After so many minutes of silence, I forget that I’m sitting next to Zach. I suddenly become keenly aware that his head is pointed in my direction.

I turn to him, and sure enough, he’s already looking at me.

“What?” I say.

He doesn’t answer me.

“What?” I repeat.

Still, no answer. Just staring.

Is there something on me or something?

“Zach, what?!” I exclaim.

One second, we’re sitting inches apart, staring into each other’s eyes. The next, his hand is cupped along my jaw and behind my ear, pulling me to him.

And he kisses me.

My heart feels like it may explode in my chest.

He pulls away slowly after what was probably only a minute, though it seemed like eternity.

He rest his forehead against mine, slightly out of breath.

“I swear… I’ve wanted to do that for so many years,” he says, barely above a whisper.

“Me too.”

He smiles.

“You know what?” I say. “This is definitely my favorite place in L.A.”

“Me too,” he says, grinning.

Pretty in Pink

So, this is my giveaway fic for @kotyonoksnz! Yuuri and Viktor go to the cherry blossom festival and Yuuri has a Fun Time. I hope you like it, kit!!!

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In theory, Yuuri thinks, the cherry blossom festival sounds like fun. The blossoms themselves are beautiful and he knows there are usually magic shows and music, two things he likes. In theory, he loves imagining Viktor’s shining eyes and soft smile, cherry blossom petals raining down on him. Pink suits him. Yuuri knows this.

But in practice Yuuri knows that he won’t survive the afternoon. So why is he trying to pretend? Well…

“Oh, Yuuri, look!”

(Viktor’s delight is like hypnosis.)

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Diary of an urban falcon | See full gallery

In Chicago, wild peregrine falcons take advantage of tall buildings as pseudo cliffs – inaccessible from humans and perfect for nesting. These rare images chart their entire nesting cycle from brooding to hatching and finally fledging from their tower block home – with the Chicago skyline as a stunning backdrop.

B R A N D N E W  |  2 0 0 0 - 2 0 1 8

What are we talking about? The timeline of events.

April 2015: “218114414523 - RIP 2018 - know god’s just work” appeared on a postcard inside one of the special TDAGARIM lyric books that were sent out.

June 1, 2016: After the first show of the Canadian tour, in Vancouver, the band unveiled their new post-show backdrop, which reads BRAND NEW 2000-2018.

June 2, 2016: New merch designs hit the internet. BRAND NEW 2000-2018.

June 29, 2016: The “I am a Nightmare” vinyl has a sticker showing a headstone with the inscription BRAND NEW 2018 written on a grave on the sticker.

Okay…so what does it mean? What’s going on?! And what do you think?

Well, we have a few possibilities, though only one truly makes sense here, even if it’s hard to hear, read, or even think about. They’re probably not going to be a band for much longer. Back in October, at the end of that tour - which was their last tour until last month’s Canada tour - it certainly seemed that way. And it still does.

Two possibilities that I’ve seen discussed online:
“They’re just fucking with us.” This seems misguided and unlikely. Why would they do that? While I absolutely believe they’ve come to enjoy this shroud of mystery around them, I can’t think of a single reason why they’d fake their own death. But then again, the moment tickets went on sale for that 2019 tour, you and I both know they’d sell out in 3 minutes. I don’t believe anyone would say no to more Brand New. I just don’t think that’s going to happen.

And then there’s the “They’re gonna stay 18 forever!” thing. I agree with the sentiment here; it’s really nice. I just don’t believe that one line in a song would make them be a band for one second longer or one second shorter than they feel like being a band. If it really does end in 2018, it’s nice to think “we can stay like this forever” as we continue to listen to their records far beyond that year.

One possibility I haven’t seen anyone else mention:
2000 - 2018 is actually just a math problem. An easy one. The answer is -18, of course. That number is half of the password - the other half is a blood sacrifice - to open a box that’s buried somewhere near Wardenclyffe Tower. We just need someone to go dig it up and bleed a little… Okay, yes, I’m joking. It’s probably not a math problem.

So, what do I think about all of this? 

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past few months, so I’ll take a minute and answer it.

First, I’ll just say that with this account I’ve tried to just communicate information with little to no commentary or personal stuff, because I understand and respect that if you’re reading this or following on Twitter, you like Brand New and you probably don’t really care who I am or what I think. You want photos and setlists and tickets and rumors and if they played [that song you love but they never/rarely play] last night in [city], and you’re wondering if the secrets to the universe can be found somewhere in the Nightmare vinyl. Sometimes people ask about me or my opinions, and I don’t have a problem sharing them at that point, while reminding them that I’m just one dude and my opinion doesn’t mean more than anyone else’s, and that I don’t know the band or have any inside information. I’m not purposely trying to hide or be too precious about it, but that’s how I’ve tried to approach this.

So, if you’re still reading, cool. Thanks! Here’s how I feel about the whole thing. I’ve been frustrated with the band at certain times, and a lot of that comes from their lack of communication. And yet, here they were in April 2015, giving us a heads up that they’re almost done. If they end it all in early 2018, that’s a full three year warning. (For the hardcore fans like you and I. Remember, there are plenty of people who love this band but didn’t follow the Pogolith stuff, and just last month were stunned to see that backdrop or that merch. Still, that’s a two year warning. Pretty good.)

So, the band that is infamous for not telling anyone anything just told their fans 2-3 years ahead of time that the end is near. This is out of character for them, but I hope it’s widely appreciated. I certainly appreciate it. In my mind, it makes up for a lot of that frustration I’ve felt in the past. If it helps people to make it even more of a point to hit up their shows this summer when they come around, or to plan a road trip to attend multiple shows whenever the next tour is, then it’s even better. The announcement will have helped lots of people enjoy whatever time we have left with them even more. And hopefully it’s reminding everyone just how special this band is.

Think of the alternative. Pretend none of this happened. Pretend it’s early 2018, they announce a 15 date run across America. San Francisco to New York. It looks just like a regular tour. No mention of ending the band. That 15th show, in New York, ends with an extended jam session. Then the band members put their instruments down as the last notes ring out, and Jesse walks to the mic and says “thanks for coming to our shows over the years…this is actually gonna be it for us. We’ve been Brand New. Goodnight.” Just like that. It’s over. 

Man, that would suck. This is better. Even if it hurts.
But after all, we’re the coolest kids and we’ll take what we can get.

youtube

Some of the scenes I think are better left out but I wish they had included the scene where Todd is helping Neil practising his lines (6:42). It is a beautiful scene, where we are shown, against the stunning backdrop of the lake, a playful moment and the development of an intimate friendship between the two. It would’ve been nice if they kept the one with the boys in Nolan’s office too (0:35). 

Behind The Swim Special: Journey to La Mina Falls

One of our favorite things about filming the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special was our “set”—the stunning, lush backdrops offered by Puerto Rico! When photographer Jerome Duran heard about the breathtaking natural beauty of La Mina Falls in El Yunque National Forest, he jumped at the chance to stage a photo shoot with his longtime friends, Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel.

Candice, Adriana and Jerome are practically family. They’ve known each other for years and share a passion for photography that goes beyond commercials and editorials—it’s a love of making beautiful photos.  

Trekking through the rainforest was so exciting—it was a thrill for everyone to be around nature, and a refreshing change from working in the studio. Jerome relates, “Nature on an island is very different from a continent—it holds a special place for me.”

And of course, it wasn’t just Candice, Adriana and Jerome making the trek—our whole film crew traveled with them to capture the moment!

“I don’t know what it is, but there’s something very magical about a waterfall,” says Jerome, and we totally agree. But while that waterfall may look warm and tropical, the water was actually extremely cold! Good thing Candice & Adriana handled it like pros.

Candice, Jerome and Adriana are all smiles after a long day’s work!

Don’t forget—you can see this full story come to life on the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special, airing Thursday, February 26 at 10/9c on CBS.

Since I’m out a computer for who knows how long I’m going to try and post some traditional sketches… [sweats]. They’re not as refined as I’d like them, but I hope you enjoy anyhow! And please bare with me - mobile is a pain. OTL

This piece was inspired by @compulsive-cosplay - if you haven’t you should really check out their page! They have AMAZING Cosplays put together, and some stunning backdrops to shoot against. 💯✔️ do recommend!

Image © Brennan “Lovely Bonez” Strong 2016