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The trippy Polaroids of photographer Marianna Rothen

Her series "Alien Camp" uses gel filters to help create a dreamy, painterly aesthetic as beautiful as it is strange. (via)

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Tokyo club kids photographed in their bathtubs

You've been asking, "Where are my photos of Tokyo club kids in their bathtubs?" Tokyo-based Photographer Hal is here to help.

Salt is weird and beautiful

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At Vantage, Christine Lorenz's macrophotography reveals the alien structures of salt.

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Electric photos of the Neon Museum, Las Vegas

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Over at GONE, Matt Crump's gorgeous photography of the The Neon Museum of Las Vegas, a retirement home for beautiful casino signage of an earlier era.

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A master of miniatures' incredible small town

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Michael Paul Smith's Elgin Park is a town that does not exist except in the mind and miniatures of this master of tabletop photography. It is "a 1/24th-scale recreation of everyday scenes from mid-20th century America, ranging from the 1920s to the mid-1960s."

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The buildings are constructed of resin-coated paper, styrene plastic, and basswood, plus numerous found objects. The vehicles are from Michael's collection of 300+ commercially produced, diecast models.

No Photoshop was used in these images; they're all composed in the camera. It is the oldest trick in the special effects book: lining up a model with an appropriate background, then photographing it.

Welcome to Elgin Park

"Lots of Web Traffic in Such a Tiny Town" (New York Times, 2010)

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An iceberg's underbelly

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This is the otherworldly underside of an iceberg in Antarctica, photographed by Alex Cornell, a passenger on a National Geographic-operated tour of the region.

"This one had recently flipped over and had this arresting alien green color to it," he told National Geographic Travel. "It looked a lot more like a parked spacecraft than a floating iceberg."

Watch this demo of camera mechanics at 10,000 frames per second

The Slow Mo Guys pointed their Phantom at a Canon DSLR to demonstrate how a single lens reflex camera works. At 10,000 frames per second, you can see the the mirror and rolling shutter mechanism in action in several demos.

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Stiffs, Skulls and Skeletons – Over 400 medical portraits taken in the 1800s and early 1900s

Dr. Stanley Burns has collected over 1-million medical photographs from the 1800s and early 1900s, when posing for a professional portrait in the style of a painting was trendy.

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Head shots of hand models (with banana for scale)

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Ad executive Alex Holder teamed with photographer Oli Kellett to show the faces behind prominent hand models. Federico Hewson (above) said:

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Rare photos from a 1965 Selma March participant's POV

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To celebrate the film Selma and its two Oscar nominations today, here's a rare collection of Selma March photos by participant James Barker. The Smithsonian has Barker's back story:

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Rock stars of the 70s, and their parents

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In 1971, John Olson photographed rock stars at home with their parents for LIFE Magazine. Above, Zappa and his folks. Below, David Crosby and dad.

"LIFE With Rock Stars . . . and Their Parents"

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A landscape of salt

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Australian photographer Emma Phillips captured the strange, minimalist landscape of a salt refinery near Western Australia's Nullarbor Plain.

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Everyday people photographed as "Super Athletes"

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Photographer Benjamin Von Wong turned ordinary people into Super Athletes fit for energy drink ads and action movie posters using high-end lights, a DIY rain machine, and a great eye (and no Photoshop beyond light, contrast, and color tweaks).

"Ordinary people, Hollywood budgets" (Medium)

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Beautiful long-exposure shots of LED-equipped athletes

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Ontario-based photographer Stephen Orlando of MotionExposure.com creates languid nighttime shots of athletes in motion with LED lights attached to their gear or bodies. The result is ghostly, mathematical, and mesmerizing.

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Beautiful photos of dead animals

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Over at Vantage, Maria Lonova Gribina's photographs of dead animals lovingly set into floral backdrops: A Childhood Ritual Transforms Roadkill Into Art

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Mall life, 1989

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In 1989, Michael Galinsky, then 20, photographed mall culture around the United States.

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Mod TV commercial for Kodak Instamatic (1966)

From 1966, this far out mod commercial for the Kodak Instamatic camera with Flash Cubes!

Magnificent Mosque photos

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At Vantage, Iranian photographer Mohammad Rezi's mesmerizing Mosque photography. Gazing at these photos feels like looking into a kaleidoscope.

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Video: That photo has probably been taken already

From the delightfully-named Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a video depicting what they call "vemödalen" defined as "the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist."

Milky Way over Devils Tower

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David Lane's absolutely stunning image of the Milky Way over Devils Tower. If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones.

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Flowers, fetishism, felines, and females of Nobuyoshi Araki

Araki by Araki is a massively thick book that bares the soul of an artist who has no agenda other than to share his eclectic obsessions. As he states in the interview that runs in the book, “I don’t have anything to say. There is no special message in my photos.”

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Photographs of "hermits" in Eastern Europe

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Traveling through Russia and Ukraine, Danila Tkachenko photographed "people who have decided to escape from social life and lived all alone in the wild nature, far away from any villages, towns or other people. The photo series is titled Escape. From CNN:

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Tkachenko tracked some of them down by calling local authorities, park rangers, newspapers and nature reserves, though it's difficult to track down a man who has chosen to be lost.

"Often the information is not accurate, so many trips went in vain," Tkachenko said.

The hermits live in homes made of local resources -- lumber, burrows in the ground or caves -- and eat what they hunt or gather. If they fall ill, Tkachenko said, they live with the condition or treat themselves with folk methods. He said one man lost his vision completely but continues to live by himself in the woods.

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"Hermits escape from society, find freedom in nature" (CNN)

Escape (Danila Tkachenko)

World's oldest photograph, and more cool "oldest" objects

oldest-photo.jpg__800x0_q85_crop Smithsonian posted a gallery of "ten of the world's oldest everyday objects," including the above photo by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from 1826 or 1827, thought to be the oldest surviving photograph.

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Stunning photos along road between Tokyo and Kyoto

Kevin Kelly says: "The Nakasendo is an old road in Japan that connects Kyoto to Tokyo. It was once a major foot highway, but today small sections retain some of its historical feel. In October I walked along 5 short sections of it, staying at traditional inns along the way. The Nakasendo is full of history and many artists and poets over the centuries have travelled along it, including Basho, the haiku genius. We met a lot of characters, too, and thoroughly enjoyed the exquisite details that make up this country."

See all 83 of Kevin's photos here (If you like these, check out Kevin's book, Asia Grace)

Photos of forgotten brains in a mental hospital

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In the basement of the University of Texas Mental Hospital, photographer Adam Voorhes stumbled upon hundreds of strange brains in formaldehyde that had been abandoned for decades.

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Debt, a photo project

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Spurred by her own financial hardship experiences, photographer Brittany Powell embarked on "The Debt Project," a series of formal photo portraits of myriad Americans in debt accompanied by their handwritten debt stories and, eventually, audio interviews. Powell is hoping to complete the project with funding from a Kickstarter campaign.

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Gorgeous time-lapse video of Europe

Andrew Walker's beautiful time-lapse clips of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic are a real treat for desk-chair travelers like me. "Moment Abroad"

Lavish retrospective of grotesque, occult, and erotic images by forgotten photographer William Mortensen

With an eye for the occult, the grotesque, the melodramatic, and the erotic, William Mortensen was the target of scorn by famous photographers, including Ansel Adams, who called Mortensen “the Devil,” and “the Antichrist.” His work is reexamined in American Grotesque: The Life and Art of William Mortensen.

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Yang Yongliang: astonishing dystopian landscape photos

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Over at Vantage, Yang Yongliang's breathtaking dystopian landscapes, each composited from hundreds of his own photos and video stills of the region around Shanghai, China.

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Photos of Studio 54 (1978-1980)

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Photographer Tod Papageorge's new book Studio 54 documents the infamous 1970s New York City disco during its coke and boogie-fueled heyday. See a sampling of the photos over at Paper and buy a copy from publisher Stanley/Barker here.

Papageorge writes:

“The 66 photographs in this book were made between 1978-80 in Studio 54, a New York discothèque that, for a handful of years, was the place where celebrities, partygoers, and those crazy for dancing most wanted to be and be seen. Because of this, it was difficult to get into: the imperturbable doormen who doled out access according to rules that only they seemed to know made sure of it. The most evident way of winning them over was to be beautiful, but only the famous or socially connected could assume that they’d be shooed around the flock of hopefuls milling on the street side of the entrance rope and through the door. Once inside, though, everyone there seemed thrilled by the fact, no matter how they managed to accomplish it, a feeling fed by the throbbing music and the brilliantly designed interior, which, from night to night, could suggest anything from Caliban’s cave to a harem.”

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