Ethiopian hats and wigs made from recycled consumer goods


Eric Lafforgue is a prolific, talented photographer who's travelled the world, living among people in many hard-to-reach places and telling their stories with his camera. Among the most striking sets of images in his deep portfolio is his 2013 portraits of Daasanach people in Ethiopia, who have created exuberant wigs and hats from mass-produced consumer goods, both new and discarded, that have recently reached their part of the world. Read the rest

Facebook won't remove photo of children tricked into posing for neo-fascist group


The mother a 13-year-old girl has been unable to get Facebook to remove a photo that her daughter and a 12-year-old friend were tricked into having taken, which is being used to promote the violent neo-fascist group Britain First. Read the rest

Unevenly distributed futures: Hong Kong's amazing towers


UK photographer Peter Stewart's collection Stacked is a series of photos of Hong Kong's fabulous high-rises, shot from ground level, looking straight up into the sky. Read the rest

Moon Photography 101


Are you planning on taking a trip to the Moon? If so, you'll want to create a commemorative photo album.  

The moon is a pretty desolate place and the truth is, you just don’t have a whole lot to work with. You’ve got moon dust, some craters and if you’re lucky, you’ve got some shadow and light.

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A fictional but physically real world of dolls that heal a beaten man


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

For much of the 1990s, Mark Hogancamp of Kingston, New York, adhered to a predictable pattern of waking up, going to work, returning home, drinking as much as a half-gallon of vodka, and then passing out. He was a serious alcoholic, as Hogancamp and Chris Shellen make clear in Welcome to Marwencol (Shellen produced a documentary on Hogancamp’s life in 2010). He also liked to dress in women’s clothes.

Hogancamp didn’t know it, but this last fact would change his life when he drunkenly mentioned it to a stranger in the Luny Tune Saloon, sometime before closing in the wee hours of April 8, 2000. Shortly after exiting the bar, he was brutally beaten by the man and four others, who left his broken and bloodied body in the middle of the street. He would spend nine days in a coma and more than a month in the hospital.

After his release, Hogancamp’s recovery was aided, essentially, by playing with dolls. He got into it when he rediscovered his childhood interest in World War II miniatures. The tiny objects, though, were too small for Hogancamp’s shaky, post-recovery hands to paint, so the owners of his local hobby shop suggested he try detailing figures at a larger 1:6 scale. Dressing the figures proved good therapy for Hogancamp, and before long he had moved on to Barbies and action figures, for whom he eventually built a fictional but physically real place called Marwencol, named after himself, a friend named Wendy, and a neighbor named Colleen. Read the rest

Bizarre brutalist and experimental Soviet bus stops


Over the course of 12 years, photographer Christopher Herwig traveled more than 18,000 miles around Eastern Europe to photograph the incredible, brutalist, experimental, and downright bizarre bus stops built during the Communist era. He compiled the results into a new book titled Soviet Bus Stops.

“I’d never seen such a variety of creative expression applied to a public structures before,” Herwig told Vantage. “The designers pushed the limits of their imaginations. They did not hold back and sometimes, maybe, even they went too far...These bus stops are less about the Soviet Union as a whole and more about the local regions and individual artists … people who were often creatively oppressed.”

Soviet Bus Stops (Amazon)

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Wild World pops with breath-taking photographs on every page


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Pick up Lonely Planet’s Wild World, flip through a few pages, and I dare you to put the book back down. It isn’t easy. From the emerald spiraled snake of Cameroon to an ancient breed of semi-wild horses in France to the bejeweled Crystal Cave of the Dead Sea in Jordan (all shown above), every page pops with a breath-taking image of our planet’s natural splendor that makes you want to see more. The index in the back of the book gives us a brief explanation of each photograph. Oversized, textured, and loaded with nearly 200 stunning photographs of nature and wildlife from every corner of the world, Wild World is the quintessential coffee table book.

Wild World by Lonely Planet 2015, 256 pages, 10.4 x 14 x 1.2 inches $29 Buy a copy on Amazon

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Amazing photos along China's Silk Road


My friend Kevin Kelly wandered down the Silk Road (the one in China) and took many stupendous photos. He wrote, "Technically this region is called Xinjiang (New Province), also once known as East Turkestan. This area has more in common with the culture of Turkey than with Beijing. It's kebab with chopsticks. But this is really China. In fact it is the largest province of China. I took a bunch of photos and the usual caveat applies: this is a very selective view, and it does not represent the typical scene in the province at all. Like most of China it is rapidly urbanizing. But I think these images capture the spirit of this part of Asia, which once connected east and west."

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Revealed: The clever filmmaking trick behind the epic continuous shot of “Birdman”


Ever wonder how “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki got that one incredibly long continuous shot? Well, technically, they didn't.

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MAKE: an open hardware, 3D printed cellphone photo-studio


Paolo Kiefe writes, "I love 3D printing and the maker movement. I thought that you might like this design from an open hardware project called #3DBenchy that aims to create more public awareness for applied 3D printing. This is a photo-studio that makes it easy to hold a smartphone to consistently take photos and videos of objects." Read the rest

Incredible winners of "Small World" microscope photography competition


This is the eye of a honey bee peppered with dandelion pollen, magnified at 120x.

The image, by Ralph Grimm, won Nikon's Small World 2015 Photomicrography Competition.

“In a way I feel as though this gives us a glimpse of the world through the eye of a bee,” says Grimm. “It’s a subject of great sculptural beauty, but also a warning- that we should stay connected to our planet, listen to the little creatures like bees, and find a way to protect the earth that we all call home.”

Below, the second, third, fourth, and fifth place winners.

Kristen Earle, Gabriel Billings, KC Huang & Justin Sonnenburg's "Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota (63x):"

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz's "Intake of a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), a freshwater carnivorous plant (100x):"

Daniel H. Miller & Ethan S. Sokol's "Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid (100x):"

Dr. Giorgio Seano & Dr. Rakesh J. Jain's "Live imaging of perfused vasculature in a mouse brain with glioblastoma:"

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Muir Beach, October 11, 2015


As shot.

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Ocean life or acid trip? Photos of psychedelic jellyfish


No, you're not tripping. And these aren't CG. You're looking at Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish captured by Florida-based photographer Aaron Ansavor who finds them on a local beach.

"It's an opportunity to explore a new world," he told National Geographic.

More images at his site (via Jux)

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Photo of Jesse James and the man who killed him


Sandra Mills of Spokane, Washington claims this photo depicts infamous outlaw Jesse James and Robert Ford, a member of James's gang who shot him in 1892 to score a $10,000 bounty.

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Argentina wants to extend photographic copyright by more than 100 years


It'll go from 20 years from publication to 70 years after the photographer's death, and it's retroactive, meaning that millions of presently public domain photos reproduced online and in books will suddenly become copyright violations with gigantic penalties for all concerned. Read the rest

Rock tour photography show opens in Seattle tonight!


My friend Rachel Demy has spent a decade managing tours and doing production for bands like The National, St. Vincent, Death Cab for Cutie, and many others. For all those years, she's always had a camera around her neck, seizing rare opportunities to capture fleeting moments of art, joy, sadness, and friendship on and off the stage. Tonight at 7pm, Seattle's The Piranha Shop opens a beautiful show of Rachel's photography and that of Tyler Kalberg who has documented musicians like The Head & The Heart, Damien Jurado, and Modern Kin. The exhibition, titled "Green Room," will be on display until October 4. Catch a glimpse.

GREEN ROOM exposes life on tour through the small, secret moments not seen under the house lights. Using the dichotomy between Rachel Demy’s color photography and Tyler Kalberg’s black-and-white, you see the highs and the lows, the camaraderie and the solitude, the exhilaration and the exhaustion that compose a story much deeper than the performer on stage. It’s a story of the people who make the music, and why it’s important that the long road leads home.

Above, Rachel's "Laura Marling. Pittsburgh, PA. 2010." Below, Tyler's "Jesse Hurlbut, Damien Jurado. Stuttgart, DE. 2012."

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A Belgian photographer was allowed to photograph the inner circle of Japan's yakuza


In 2009, Belgian photographer Anton Kusters went to Japan and gained the trust of high-ranking members Japan's organized crime families, known as the yakuza. He was allowed to photograph them for two years, giving Westerners a revealing glimpse into the secretive underworld syndicate. He published a book in 2011, called Odo Yakuza Tokyo. Earlier this month The Economist produced a short film about Kusters' project, called Japan's Yakuza: Inside the syndicate. Read the rest

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