The first selfie in space was taken 52 years ago today

On this day in 1966, Buzz Aldrin took the first selfie in space while standing on his seat and hanging out of an open hatch as part of the Gemini XII mission. From NASA:

This “stand up” EVA (the first of three during the mission) was conducted with the hatch off while Aldrin stood on his seat, his upper body clear of the spacecraft. He completed his tasks with ease, including setting up an ultraviolet camera to image star fields, installing a movie camera, fixing a handrail, and retrieving a micrometeorite experiment. The flawless EVA lasted two hours and twenty minutes.

The second EVA, on November 13, was the real test of Aldrin’s extensive training. Attached to the spacecraft by an “umbilical” cord, he stepped out into space and began his work. The combination of underwater training, multiple restraints and handholds on both vehicles, and a new waist tether paid off: he was able to perform the needed tasks on both the Gemini XII and the GATV without a struggle. He rested periodically, which allowed him to recover between activities, and used the new restraints to position his body in diverse ways that weren’t possible on previous missions. The EVA was a resounding success.

For the final EVA, like the first one, Aldrin stood in his seat on the spacecraft. He discarded unneeded equipment and food containers, knowing they would eventually reenter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, and took pictures of stars. Altogether, Aldrin spent five and a half hours conducting the Gemini XII spacewalks.

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Photographer turns nature photos into immersive rooms to explore

To exhibit his photography at large scale, Chris Engman builds rooms with interiors wrapped with his stunning photos of forests, deserts, and other landscapes. They beckon the viewer inside where, of course, the perspectives warp and shift. From Colossal:

Engman explains that once one enters the work its believability as a singular landscape becomes penetrated. Each step deeper inside the work makes the photographed landscape appear increasingly warped and unreal.

“Even so,” says Engman, “compared to a singular framed photograph the experience of this installation for the viewer is much more physical and immersive. The structure is a room, not an image of a room. The photograph is an object, in addition to being an illusion. It has weight, and volume, and changes as you walk around it. Making this installation has been a thrilling process, and this new way of working seems to afford many new possibilities.”

(photos by Tony Walsh, courtesy of the artist, and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles) Read the rest

School apologizes for promo photo manipulated to darken students' skin for "diversity"

Art school Émile Cohl in Lyon, France formally apologized after students noticed that a group photo on the school's United States promotional web site had been manipulated to make several of the people appear to have dark skin. The manipulated photo is at the very top of this post. Below it is another image, without the alterations, from the same series of snapshots. From The Guardian:

Antoine Rivière, the college director, told L’Express he was only made aware of the altered photo when he was contacted by some fifth-year students who appeared in it.

“We had sent a certain number of documents to an American communications agency in order to highlight our college,” he said. One of the photographs had been doctored without the school’s knowledge...

The school is planning to open a branch in the US in the near future.

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Broken film camera hacked into supercool wrist-cam

Photographer Alireza Rostami scavenged the lens and shutter from his broken Chinese Seagull TLR camera to create this fantastic wrist-worn camera complete with a self-timer. More at PetaPixel.

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NASA photographer's camera cooked by last week's SpaceX rocket launch

Senior NASA photographer Bill Ingalls apparently set up his Canon EOS 5DS at an unlucky spot near yesterday's SpaceX rocket launch. He placed it outside the pad perimeter yet the launch sparked a small brush fire that cooked the camera. "I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe," Ingalls wrote.

Fortunately, the SD cards didn't melt and he was able to access the final photos taken by the camera before its untimely death. Two of them are below.

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Wonderful toy photography reveals delightful alternate realities

Pro toy photographer Mitchel Wu creates these stunning scenes using "practical effects," physical effects created without computer-generated imagery.

I create and craft stories through toy photography...capturing the illusion of motion and emotion where none exist. Bridging the gap between toys and the stories in one's head - it's all fun and games...

See more on Wu's Instagram too!

(via PetaPixel)

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AI is taking photo enhancement to new extremes

Single image super-resolution (SISR) is an emerging technology that uses automated texture synthesis to enhance dithered and blurry photos to nearly pristine resolution. This example from EnhanceNet-PAT shows one type. There's even a free website called Let's Enhance where you can up-res your own images. 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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Who captured the best pet as Princess Leia?

Some cute competition below, but Wendy Robbins gets my vote. Read the rest

Watch 'The Camera Collector', a lovely short film on passion (and high-end vintage camera superfans)

The Camera Collector tells the story of a vintage camera collector who fell in love with cameras in the 1960s, against the wishes of his father. After saving all summer for his first Leica, his father was waiting when he returned home. "When he saw it was a camera, he started punching me." Read the rest

New photos of Mount St. Helens discovered

Newspaper photographer Reid Blackburn died in the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. This year, reporters at his paper — the Vancouver, Washington, Columbian — discovered a never-before-seen roll of photos he took flying over the volcano about a month before his death. Read the rest

Photos of cool miniatures seen at NY Comic-Con

Boing Boing reader Michael Matise shot some wonderful photographs of miniatures and models at New York Comic-Con 2013, and shared them in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. A few are below. Here's the whole set. Michael tells us more about the photos below. Read the rest

Looking Up (photo from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

"On Mary's Peak, Oregon, 150 foot tall Grand Fir trees tower over you as you ascend." A photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Leshchinsky. Read the rest

Government Shutdown protest on Capitol Hill (photos from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

Photos above and below from a Sunday protest of the government shutdown, now in its second week. Shared by outtacontext in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. Read the rest

Kitten being carried on back of doll (1914)

Photo by Harry W. Frees. Read the rest

How monoculture farming changes biodiversity

This image, taken by artist David Liittschwager shows the plants and animals collected in a square meter of South African public park over the course of 24 hours.

This image, from National Public Radio, illustrates the plants and animals found over the course of two nights and three days in an Iowa cornfield.

Robert Krulwich has a fascinating piece about the ways food systems affect ecological systems. How efficient is too efficient?

Via On Earth

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A photo of a photo of Soyuz

NASA's Image of the Day is always awesome, but I particularly love this image from behind-the-scenes of the Pretty Space Photography Industrial Complex.

The Soyuz rocket is seen in the monitor of a video camera moments before Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Joseph Acaba and Sergei Revin arrived to board the rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for their flight to join their crew mates already aboard the International Space Station. The craft successfully launched at 11:01 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 14, 2012.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Via Colin Schultz

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