New book explores abandoned asylums

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Photographer Matt Van der Velde traveled the U.S. to document his upcoming book Abandoned Asylums. Most of the locations featured are still in fairly pristine states because entry is restricted by the private or governmental owners of the properties. Read the rest

Taschen's hefty New Deal Photography goes well beyond familiar Depression-era images

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 by Peter Walther Taschen 2016, 608 pages, 5.9 x 7.9 x 1.7 inches (hardcover) $16 Buy a copy on Amazon

If you purchase a copy of New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 by Peter Walther hoping to find iconic Farm Security Administration images, such as the migrant mother by Dorothea Lange or the father and his two sons running in a dust storm by Arthur Rothstein, you will not be disappointed. With almost 400 photographs filling its 608 pages, including numerous gems by Walker Evans, there’s plenty of room for the expected. But New Deal Photography goes well beyond these familiar images, powerful though they may be.

The book’s geographic organization forces us to consider Depression-era life in the Northeast and South, too, pushing our perspectives beyond the more familiar locations of Oklahoma and California. In addition, Walther’s collection of images features numerous color photographs by Russell Lee, Jon Collier, and Marion Post Wolcott. Again, we are used to seeing the era depicted in black and white, but seeing it in color confounds many of our expectations about what rural America actually looked like during those desperate years.

Walther’s essay for the book, which is printed in English, German, and French, presents a brisk but useful overview of the Farm Security Administration, from its founding mission to relocate Dust Bowl farmers in Oklahoma to greener pastures, to the photographs that were initially commissioned to document the relocation process. That might have been all the FSA did, but Walther introduces us to an FSA economist named Roy Stryker, who understood that photographs would do a much better job of telling the story of rural America in the late 1930s than any economic report ever could. Read the rest

Amazing photo of sprite bursts over Hurricane Matthew

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Photographer Frankie Lucena captured the strange beauty of red lightning sprites above Hurricane Matthew near Aruba and Colombia. From Smithsonian:

Like aurorae, sprites happen when charged particles interact with gases in the atmosphere, likely nitrogen. As ice particles high within thunderclouds bash against one another, an electrical charge builds. An opposite charge builds up on the ground, and eventually both charges connect, creating a spark of light—lightning. When the lightning strike has a positive charge, it can spark a sprite—a kind of electric field that shoots out from the top of the lightning strike—that flashes above the cloud.

They’re also not easily spotted by the human eye. As Matt Heavner of the University of Alaska explains, bright lights make it nearly impossible for the eye’s retina to spot the flashes, and the bright clouds that can surround them also distract would-be sprite spotters. It’s even more difficult to catch these flashes in action because when you’re beneath the sprite-sprouting cloud, you can’t see the flash at all. You either need to be flying above the clouds or far away to get the perfect shot.

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Amazing glitch in the matrix caught on camera

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"Glitch in matrix at my local coffee shop today," posted by oldmontgomeryflange at /r/pics.

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Royal Society's remarkable 2016 nature photo finalists

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Tane Sinclair-Taylor's image of a clownfish and a bleached anemone is one of the many remarkable biological photographs chosen as finalists and winners in Royal Society Publishing's 2016 contest. Read the rest

Great Eames Office film on the Polaroid SX-70

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This great 11-minute 1972 film by Charles and Ray Eames highlights Polaroid's SX-70 model. They went on to create three more commissioned works for Polaroid. Read the rest

Atomic bomb tests as seen from Las Vegas and Los Angeles

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Beginning in 1951, the United States exploded atomic bombs at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Seen here are snapshots of the tests that, in many cases, illuminated the Los Angeles and Las Vegas skies with a nuclear dawn. More at Amusing Planet.

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Image: '186 seconds of moonlit fog compressed into an instant'

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“We had an unusually fog-filled August here in the San Francisco area,” says California-based landscape and nature photographer ElmoFoto on IMGUR.

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The Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man

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Scott London, a longtime burner and photographer (see his 2014 photo book, Burning Man: Art on Fire), produced an amazing set of portraits of art cars -- "mutant vehicles" -- from this year's event, including Maria Del Camino (previously), a flying El Camino/tank hybrid that lives in Liminal Labs, where I camp with its creator, the amazing Bruce Tomb. Read the rest

Warning: viewing these baby animals in cute outfits may kill you

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Brace yourself for a level of cuteness that could have lasting effects. Zoo Portraits by Barcelona-based Yago Partal include interesting information about each species. That cute otter could grow to 99 pounds, the heaviest of the weasel family. Read the rest

Gallery of hermit crabs with garbage shells

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The hermit crab housing shortage of empty shells is forcing some crabs to use marine waste, as documented by Okinawa-based photographer Shawn M. Miller. Read the rest

Macro timelapse of frozen treats melting

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Macro Room grabbed a bunch of frozen treats and filmed extreme closeups as they melted. The melting patterns create beautiful and sometimes surprising delights. Read the rest

How to make vibrant digital photograms

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An analog photogram is essentially a photo made without a camera, by placing objects on photosensitive materials and exposing them to light. Marcin Lewandowski shows how to reproduce the effect with digital equipment. The results are pretty cool! Read the rest

World's longest Instagram tour: Toronto's Graffiti Alley

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Heritage Toronto has curated a cool Instagram account (graffitialley.to) that documents Toronto's Graffiti Alley. It works best on a phone, but it's OK on other screens if you don't mind turning your head 90 degrees. Read the rest

Escaped convict requests police post a different "wanted photo" of her on social media

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Last Wednesday, Amy Sharp, 18, on the run after escaping a Sydney, Australia correction center, requested on Facebook that police replace a posted photo of her with a different one that she preferred (below). They nabbed her on Friday.

(The Guardian)

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Knomad Colab's pop-up public light art installations

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Knomad Colab is a husband/wife team of light artists who travel the US creating public outdoor art installations, often accompanied by music. Here's a video where they discuss their work: Read the rest

3D photos from 1850s Japan

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These 1850s photos of Japan were taken with a stereoscopic camera like the one shown here. The photos were hand-tinted and meant to be viewed with a stereoscope. (A View Master is a stereoscope.) The images here are animated GIFs that blink back and forth between the two photos, giving you the 3D effect without having to use a stereopscope.

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