Optical illusions: auto detailing reflections

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Auto detailing can be an art form in the right hands, as air2thethrown shows in this beautiful photo of a field reflected in a car's surface. The regulars at Detailing Bliss would say shooting at such a severe angle is a cheat, but it's a cool effect regardless.

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Eight year old's incredible prize-winning scorpion photo

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Spanish photographer Carlos Perez Naval, age 8, won the London Natural History Museum's Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 prize for this breathtaking photo of a yellow scorpion. From the photo description:

Carlos had found it basking on a flat stone in a rocky area near his home in Torralba de los Sisones, northeast Spain – a place he often visits to look for reptiles. The late afternoon Sun was casting such a lovely glow over the scene that Carlos decided to experiment with a double exposure for the first time so he could include it. He started with the background, using a fast speed so as not to overexpose the Sun, and then shot the scorpion using a low flash. But he had to change lenses, using his zoom for the Sun, which is when the scorpion noticed the movement and raised its tail. Carlos then had to wait for it to settle before taking his close-up, with the last of the light illuminating its body.

Carlos Perez Naval's Retazos de Naturaleza

And see all the 2014 winning photos here.

Stunning photos of San Francisco from the mid-20th century

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In the 1940s and 1950s, photographer Fred Lyon, now 89, magnificently captured the enticing noir decadence of San Francisco's Barbary Coast and the majesty of the rest of the city.

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Gallery of Russian criminal tattoo police file photos

The dollar bills, skyscrapers and machine gun with the initials ‘US’ stamped on it convey this inmate’s love for the American mafia-like lifestyle. The eyes signify ‘I’m watching over you’ (the other inmates in the prison or camp). The epaulette tattooed on the shoulder denotes the inmates 'rank' among the criminal caste.


The dollar bills, skyscrapers and machine gun with the initials ‘US’ stamped on it convey this inmate’s love for the American mafia-like lifestyle. The eyes signify ‘I’m watching over you’ (the other inmates in the prison or camp). The epaulette tattooed on the shoulder denotes the inmates 'rank' among the criminal caste.

Fuel has a new book out with 180 photos of Russian criminal tattoo from the 1960s-1980s. It is a Kickstarter-funded project.

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Beauty After Breast Cancer: kickstarting a photography book on our bodies, in treatment and beyond

“Katelyn — Wife, mother, nurse, dancer. Preventative mastectomy at age 29 due to high family risk, with silicone implant reconstruction.” Photo: Joseph Linaschke


“Katelyn — Wife, mother, nurse, dancer. Preventative mastectomy at age 29 due to high family risk, with silicone implant reconstruction.” Photo: Joseph Linaschke

My good friend Joseph Linaschke, who photographed me during my treatment for breast cancer, is Kickstarting a book by breast cancer patients for breast cancer patients: “Beauty After Breast Cancer.” I'll be in it, along with many other women living their lives post-diagnosis.

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Ansel Adams called photographer William Mortensen "the Antichrist"


L’Amour (1935). Photograph: William Mortensen

Our friends at Feral House have a new book coming out on the work of photographer William Mortensen, called American Grotesque. Chris Campion of the Guardian has a nice profile of Mortensen and his lurid, heavily retouched photographs of "death, nudity and torture." Ansel Adams and his pals in Group f/64 loathed Mortensen (even though they happily used processing techniques invented by Mortensen).

Even after Mortensen’s death in 1965 from leukemia, Group f/64 and their flunkies the Newhalls could not stop talking of their loathing for him. Beaumont described his work as “perverse”; Willard Van Dyke, a founder of Group f/64, said “his work was disgusting”; and Adams summed him up with the words, “For us, he was the antichrist.”

Ultimately though, for all the griping of Adams and f/64, it turns out that Mortensen was the true modernist all along, not them. For today, we are surrounded by images of the fantastic and unreal. In comic-book movies such as Spider-Man and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, special effects merge seamlessly into the action and the monsters appear as real as humans. A photograph is rarely just a photograph these days, seen without filters or retouching. And, thanks to sites like Instagram, many of Mortensen’s painstaking techniques can now be applied with the touch of a button.

William Mortensen: photographic master at the monster’s ball

Photos of silly Victorian era people

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These Victorian Era photos of people making silly faces delight me to no end.

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Satoshi Araki's exquisite urban dioramas

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Tabletop photographs of incredibly realistic tiny dioramas by Satoshi Araki.

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iPhone photo GIF tutorial: How to animate Hipstamatic shots with Giffer

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Doc Pop has a simple and beautiful tutorial on how to use the mobile apps Hipstamatic and Giffer to create cool animated GIFs. Can't wait to try!

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1906: first color photo of a car

Jason Torchinsky does some good armchair sleuthing to present his case that this is probably the first color photo of a car. He also talks about how early color photography was achieved. The secret ingredient: potatoes!

Steven Johnson: the flashbulb and urban poverty

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Over at Medium, Steven Johnson, author of How We Got To Now, writes about how the 19th century invention of flash photography shined a light on poverty.

"Flash Forward: How We Got To Know"

US Forestry Service wages war on photography in national forests


The new, stupid ban on "professional" photography violates the First Amendment, the Service admits that there's no actual need for it, and it will undermine the visibility of the national forests at a time when they are under unprecedented threat from developers, the energy sector, and mining.

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Barbra Streisand: bikers and BDSM

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Below, photos of Barbra Streisand doing biker BDSM from a shoot connected to the 1970 film The Owl and The Pussycat. Many more over at Dangerous Minds. The images were used in prop posters for a porn film titled Cycle Sluts starring Streisand's character.

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Blondie: photos from the birth of punk and new wave

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Forty years after the formation of Blondie, guitarist Chris Stein unveils his photo archive of the era with a new hardcover book Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.

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Photos of a beloved bull terrier posed in funny, imaginative scenes

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The Instagram photos of Rafael Mantesso, who stages his doggie--a Bull Terrier--in these funny and adorable compositions.

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