Boing Boing 

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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Photographs: Native Americans of the early 1900s

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In the early 20th century, ethnologist Edward S. Curtis made 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native American language and music and took 40,000 photographs of people from more than 80 tribes, such as these.

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Happy Caturfriday

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A photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by reader Mark Moschell. The cats' names: Bert and Kiska. Says Mark, "I am only posting this because This Never Happens!"

Averaging thousands of images into one

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UC Berkeley researchers demonstrated software that averages thousands of similar photo to create a single representative image, like this wedding shot. Users can also refine and weight specific features within the source pool of photos to refine the average image.

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Fantastic photos from 1969 Life book, Drugs

Nothing screams DRUGS! as much as middle-aged dudes posing next to pop art paper collages.

From DRUGS, a volume in the Life Science Library. This version 1969, originally published 1967. Background artwork by Donald Miller and Yale Joel, collaged (ie photos added) by David Gordon and Nancy Genet.

(Via Found Objects)

National Geographic's first wildlife photos

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The July 1906 issue of National Geographic featured the magazine's first wildlife photos, night shots by George Shiras III. Two of the National Geographic Society board members were infuriated, arguing that the magazine was becoming a "picture book."

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Photography: Summer (on toast), Alvaro Dominguez

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"Summer," by Barcelona-based illustrator and graphic designer Alvaro Dominguez. This series is a collaboration with photographer Javier Almar.

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Bodypainted models blend perfectly into New York City

Triny Merry's bodypainting camouflage is incredible, like a CGI effect, but carried out with paint. The (pricey!) limited edition prints are for sale here.

New York City Camouflage

(via Asylum Art)

Extreme close-ups of bug eyes transform them into psychedelic wonderlands

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A small sample of the incredible macro photography of Yudy Sauw, who is based in Indonesia. You can buy prints, via Behance.

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Stunning Macro Photographs of Insects

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Stunning Macro Photographs of Insects 2048-8_905

Color-organized arrays of food and plants, photographed by Emily Blincoe

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Photographer Emily Blincoe's latest photographic series: food and plants meticulously, OCD-liciously organized by color gradient.

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High Camp on the Moon (photo from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

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"High Camp on the Moon," a photograph shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Leshchinsky.

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Anamorphic illusion of Lego Minifigs

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Those Minifigures are actually 2D anamorphic paintings flat on the ground created by the amazing Leon Keer at Legoland Deutschland. See the reality below.

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Instagramming the Playa: SFslim's photos from Burning Man setup in the Black Rock desert

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Longtime Boing Boing pal SFslim, aka Aaron Muszalski, is out in the Black Rock desert of Nevada as he is every year around this time.

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Sweet portraits of pitbulls: 'Flower Power,' Sophie Gamand

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Flower Power is about challenging myself to approach pit bulls with a fresh perspective and an open heart. I invite the viewer to do the same."—Sophie Gamand.

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Robin Williams, mime (1974)

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In 1974, Daniel Sorine photographed two mimes in Central Park. Turned out that one of them was Robin Williams.

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Photographing a spider's fangs

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Entomologist/photographer Alex Wild explains in Scientific American how he created this absolutely stunning image of a Sydney funnel-web spider at an Australian venom chemistry laboratory:

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Meet the newborn 'miracle baby' panda triplets

A newborn giant panda cub, one of the triplets which were born to giant panda Juxiao, is seen inside an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou

These are the first publicly available photographs of newborn giant panda triplets born to giant panda Juxiao inside an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.

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Photo series: California trailer park

6 Fine art photographer David Waldorf photographed the residents of a trailer park in Sonoma, California.

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