Watch a model dangle off a skyscraper for a photo shoot

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.

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Camera lens made from 32,000 drinking straws

Mich Farrell and Cliff Haynes created a camera from drinking straws that effectively works as 32,000 pinhole cameras, creating an analog version of pixellation, but with circular pixels. Read the rest

How an old camera flash became the first Star Wars lightsaber

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.

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A Flickr group devoted to the most beautiful old control panels you've ever seen

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

Metropolitan Museum of Art makes more than 375,000 public domain images available as CC0

The Met's collection contains over 375,000 images of art in the public domain; they've made these directly searchable and browseable, there's a Github repo of metadata, integration with the Creative Commons search tool, and extensive collaboration with Wikimedia and GLAM Wiki. Read the rest

Idaho's massive checkerboard forest seen from the Space Station

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.

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The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair in Color

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. 

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SkyPixel announces aerial photo contest winners

Drones have really upped the aerial photo game, so SkyPiixel's winners for their annual contest include some really remarkable shots, like the caravan above. Read the rest

Awesome wildlife photos shot indoors on a tabletop

Egyptian photographer Amr Elshamy takes beautiful wildlife photos inside on a tabletop. From PetaPixel:

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.

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Modelmaker creates an abandoned VW microbus

Starting with an off-the-shelf model of a VW microbus, Hernandez Dreamphography creates Inner Trip, a diorama of a weathered VW on a wintry field. Read the rest

What happens when your political photo goes viral in 2017

Sean Bonner's posted his share of viral images over the years, but the most recent time was a little different: he tweeted a picture of an anti-Trump political sticker he spotted in Tokyo, created by street artist 281_Anti nuke. Read the rest

Photos of miniature models of expolanets

Artist and photographer Adam Makarenko creates miniature exoplanets and then photographs them, with gorgeous results that go beyond CGI. Read the rest

Moral panic: Japanese girls risk fingerprint theft by making peace-signs in photographs

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

Photographer shoots the same lighthouse for a year

All year round Trevor Pottelberg heads out to a Lake Erie lighthouse near his home in Brownsville, Ontario. His photos capture the changing elements around the unchanging lighthouse. Read the rest

Simple hand-drawn diagrams for improving your photos

Paul Schlemmer recently dug up some popular diagrams he made a while back to show how he lit some nice photos. He shares lots of tips and tricks, like how to use your phone's flashlight to give texture to the background. The drawing style is really fun, too. Read the rest

Daniel Chong takes gorgeous photos of Dubai skyscrapers above the fog

When the fog rolls into Dubai, photographer Daniel Cheong races to the nearest skyscraper to capture some remarkable photos. Day or night, the effect is otherworldly. Read the rest

Look back on the best White House photos of 2016

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:

“My favorite months in the Oval Office are late fall to early winter when occasionally the afternoon light will be at just the right angle to create some interesting backlight if the President is working at the Resolute Desk.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this summer as Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri continues working at her computer.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“What an honor to watch these girls grow up. Malia, foreground, and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. Following the actual sit-down dinner in the East Room, they made their way down the Great Hall to the State Dining Room for the musical entertainment.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“The Vice President chases children and members of the press with a super soaker during the 2016 Biden Beach Boardwalk Bash held at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C." (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. Read the rest

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