This video featuring Viktoria Odintsova is probably not adhering to local occupational safety regs. If the photo below gets your palms sweating, you may want to skip the video above.
The legendary lightsaber that Obi Wan passed on to Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope was actually a modified battery tube from a 1940s Graflex camera flash. Once that was known, prop recreators drove up the price of the flashes, frustrating vintage camera geeks who appreciate the elegant gear for a more civilized age.
Do you like dials, knobs, levers, gauges, toggles, dip-switches, knife-switches, blinking peanut bulbs, faders, patch-panels, big red buttons, keyboards, breakers, fuses, stops, fascia, takeup reels, wheels, yokes, tachyometers, odometers, speedometers, emergency handsets, mics, valves, periscopes, oscilloscopes, brush-switches, paper tapes, manufacturer's instructions engraved in acrylic signs, and other control apparatus? I know you do! You will therefore love the Control Panel Flickr group. Read the rest
An astronaut on the International Space Station snapped this striking photo last month of forest land adjacent to the Priest River in northern Idaho. From NASA:
The squares in this landscape checkerboard appear to be the result of forest management. Similar patterns originated in the 1800s, when alternate parcels of land were granted by the U.S. government to railroads such as the Northern Pacific. Many parcels in the Pacific Northwest were later sold off and harvested for timber.
The land shown here is now managed for wildlife and for timber harvesting. The white patches reflect areas with younger, smaller trees, where winter snow cover shows up brightly to the astronauts. Dark green-brown squares are parcels of denser, intact forest. The checkerboard is used as a method of maintaining the sustainability of forested tracts while still enabling a harvest of trees.
Most of history exists for us only in black and white. As a kid, we had a black and white TV because it was all we could afford. I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz every year in the 1960s and had no idea it was a color film.
At least that exists in color because it was a big budget motion picture; most moving images of pop culture before a certain period don’t—or, at the very least, the color film is hard to find.
I’m doing research for a new book which involves the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. At ages 6 and 7 I spent many splendid hours at the 1964/65 World’s Fair in Queens, where I lived. Of course not only is my memory of it in color, but there’s lots of color film of it available. But the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair is something I only saw in black and white until recently. There are many intriguing photos such as this one.
via Chicago Collections
So it was quite shocking to discover this Technicolor short film (the first full-length motion picture made in 3-strip Technicolor, Becky Sharp, was still two years away). The buildings are painted in a wild assortment of colors.
The project started a couple of months ago when Elshamy got in touch with a Chinese company called MOJO FUN, which makes highly detailed animal figures.
To create underwater shots, Elshamy filled a tank with water and added blue coloring to create a tint. To add specks of dust to the shots, he dropped tissues into the water and moved it around. He also uses a black background, fishing line to hold the animals, and a single flash head with a snoot with a blue gel.
To create scenes of the snowy arctic, Elshamy uses a white background, 2 flashes heads (a softbox above and one for the background), and cheap snow that you can find at gift shops.
Artist and photographer Adam Makarenko creates miniature exoplanets and then photographs them, with gorgeous results that go beyond CGI. Read the rest
Isao Echizen, a researcher at Japan's National Institute of Informatics, told a reporter from the Sankei Shimbun that he had successfully captured fingerprints from photos taken at 3m distance at sufficient resolution to recreate them and use them to fool biometric identification systems (such as fingerprint sensors that unlock mobile phones). Read the rest
Every year Chief White House photographer Pete Souza rounds up his best photos, and this year’s collection is especially poignant as it’s the last one of the Obama administration. Souza was looking for “behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady.” The whole collection is available over on Medium and a few of my favorites are below: