Dig this psychedelic squirrel's rainbow look

Photographer Kaushik Vijayan snapped beautiful shots of rainbow-colored Malabar giant squirrels in the Pathanamthitta District in Kerala, Southern India.

"I felt so amazed by how drop-dead gorgeous it looked," he told CBS News.

While University of Miami evolutionary biologist Dana Krempels was quoted in National Geographic suggesting that someone may have jacked up the color intensity of the photos, the squirrels do have far-out purple coloring. From Nat Geo:

The squirrel’s purple patterns likely play some sort of role as camouflage. This is because the broadleaf forests these squirrels inhabit create a “mosaic of sun flecks and dark, shaded areas"—not unlike the rodents’ markings, (according to University of Arizona conservation biologist John Koprowski, author of Squirrels of the World.)

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This photographer shot the birth of her own child

Megan Mattiuzzo, a professional wedding photographer, had a baby last month. She wanted to document the wonder of her child's birth and she knew that if you want something done right, you do it yourself.

“I’m used to capturing moments that you can’t retake,” Mattiuzzo tells PetaPixel. “So when I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to capture my son’s first breath, first moments, seeing his face for the first time...

“Due to a failed epidural that was not 100% effective, I was able to feel the right side of my body and a spot on my left abdomen,” Mattiuzzo says. “When it was time to start pushing, my husband [Ryan]’s job was to hand [the camera] to me when it was time for the last push...

“I took the camera and tucked my chin to my chest, rested the camera on my stomach, pulled my head to the viewfinder, and started pushing,” she says. “I then saw a moment I will never forget… my son’s hair… then his head… then his body… all while shooting. It was the most amazing moment of my life.”

More at PetaPixel: "This Photographer Shot Her Own Childbirth"

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The Family Acid: California, a far-out photo album from a very unconventional family

For more than 50 years, photographer Roger Steffens has explored the electric arteries of the counterculture, embracing mind-expanding experiences, deep social connection, and unadulterated fun at every turn. After serving in Vietnam at the end of the 1960s, Steffens immersed himself in California’s vibrant bohemia. With his wife Mary and children Kate and Devon, he sought out the eccentric, the outlandish, and the transcendent. Just as often, it found him, grinning, a camera in one hand and a joint in the other.  

My Ozma Records partner Tim Daly and I are honored to share with you this new collection of Steffens’ spectacular snapshots taken between 1968 and 2015 during the foursome’s freewheeling adventures throughout the visionary state they call home. Think of it as a family album belonging to a very unconventional family. 

This is The Family Acid: California.

Based in Los Angeles, the Steffens family traveled up and down the West Coast, from the wilds of Death Valley and reggae festivals in Humboldt to fiery protests in Berkeley and the ancient redwoods of Big Sur. Along the way, they’d rendezvous with friends like Bob Marley, Timothy Leary, and war photographer Tim Page, the inspiration for Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now. They’d take in the wonders of nature and, of course, the adults would occasionally lose their minds in psychoactive celebrations of creativity, freedom, and hope.   

The Family Acid: California is a 192-page, large format book manufactured with the finest materials and attention to design as you've come to expect from Ozma Records, producers of the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. Read the rest

An astounding gigapixel panorama of Paris affords "an eyeful of the Eiffel"

[Editor's note: Gigapixel panorama impressario Jeffrey Martin (previously) offers us "an eye full from Eiffel" in this astounding gigapixel pano of Paris -Cory]

I shot this gigapixel photo in autumn 2018 from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Using an SLR camera and a variety of telephoto lenses, I shot a few thousand photos from both levels of the Eiffel Tower. The image you see here was shot from the top level, and you can actually see the Eiffel Tower itself in the image. Read the rest

White bats chilling out peacefully in their leaf tent

Honduran white bats in their tent made out of leaves. Read the rest

How to turn a chocolate easter egg into a pinhole camera

In this delightful project, Will Gudgeon turned a frozen chocolate easter egg into a fun and effective pinhole camera. The first step is to eat the contents. "The main challenges were it melting, cracking and light leaks around the seal," Gudgeon writes.

"How to Make a Pinhole Camera Out of a Chocolate Easter Egg" (PetaPixel)

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Absolutely spectacular first-ever air-to-air images of supersonic jets' shockwaves interacting

For a decade, NASA scientists have worked on an air-to-air photographic technology that will be used to collect data for the agency's next-generation supersonic airplane project. They've just released these absolutely astonishing "first air-to-air images of supersonic shockwave interaction in flight."

“We never dreamt that it would be this clear, this beautiful," says NASA scientist J.T. Heineck.

From NASA:

The images feature a pair of T-38s from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, flying in formation at supersonic speeds. The T-38s are flying approximately 30 feet away from each other, with the trailing aircraft flying about 10 feet lower than the leading T-38. With exceptional clarity, the flow of the shock waves from both aircraft is seen, and for the first time, the interaction of the shocks can be seen in flight.

“We’re looking at a supersonic flow, which is why we’re getting these shockwaves,” said Neal Smith, a research engineer with AerospaceComputing Inc. at NASA Ames’ fluid mechanics laboratory.

“What’s interesting is, if you look at the rear T-38, you see these shocks kind of interact in a curve,” he said. “This is because the trailing T-38 is flying in the wake of the leading aircraft, so the shocks are going to be shaped differently. This data is really going to help us advance our understanding of how these shocks interact...”

While NASA has previously used the schlieren photography technique to study shockwaves, the AirBOS 4 flights featured an upgraded version of the previous airborne schlieren systems, allowing researchers to capture three times the amount of data in the same amount of time.

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How to make your own camera lens from sand and rocks

Andy George made his own camera lens with borax, river sand, and soda ash. From PetaPixel:

“It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done,” George says after completing his lens. “Every single step in the project has been a huge pain.”

Making clear glass took over a dozen tries, annealing the glass pucks took at least four attempts, and grinding the lenses themselves took at least 30 hours of continuous grinding.

Sure, the lens is cloudy and, er, imperfect, but HE MADE HIS OWN DAMN CAMERA LENS FROM SCRATCH!

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Astronaut's magnificent photo of SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaching the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Anne McClain captured this astonishing image of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaching her temporary residence, the International Space Station. "The dawn of a new era in human spaceflight," McClain tweeted with the photo.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon, containing supplies rather than humans for this test, docked at the ISS yesterday morning and the hatch was opened a few hours ago. From NASA:

(The mission, called) Demo-1 is the first flight test of a space system designed for humans built and operated by a commercial company through a public-private partnership. The mission also marks a significant step toward returning to the nation the capability to launch astronauts on a U.S.-built spacecraft from U.S. soil.

“It’s an exciting evening,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said after the launch. “What today really represents is a new era in spaceflight. We’re looking forward to being one of many customers in a robust commercial marketplace in low-Earth orbit.”

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Animals made out of food

Instead of making food out of animals, visual artist Helga Stentzel makes animals out of food. See more of Stentzel's absolutely delightful work on her Instagram feed: made_by_helgal.

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Magic Lantern: feature-rich addons for Canon EOS cameras

Magic Lantern is a suite of feature-rich add-ons for your Canon EOS camera that you load via a SD card; in addition to a suite of video-recording tools, Magic Lantern allows fine-grained gain adjustments, selection of input sources, wind filters, audio monitoring, and better tools for everything from white-balance to exposure presets to overlays to help with exposure and other settings. The source is available for inspection and modification, of course. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

Celebrities posed with their younger selves

Ard Gelinck poses celebrities with their younger selves. Fantastic. More on Instagram at: photo_time_traveling

(via Kottke)

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This is a real African black panther and it's incredibly rare

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A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on Feb 13, 2019 at 3:05am PST

In central Kenya, biologists and wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured footage of a fantastically rare melanistic leopard, sometimes known as an African "black panther." There are only two known prior photos of an African black leopard, from 1909 and 2007. From National Geographic:

"Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing," says Pilfold, of San Diego Zoo Global's Institute for Conservation Research.

"Even when you talk to the older guys that were guides in Kenya many years ago, back when hunting was legal [in the 1950s and ‘60s], there was a known thing that you didn't hunt black leopards. If you saw them, you didn't take it..."

Pilfold adds it’s curious that the fictional country of Wakanda, home of the superhero Black Panther, is located in East Africa, fairly close to Kenya.

"It's a unique coincidence," says Pilfold. "The only place where we have black leopards is where this place in the Marvel Universe appears to exist."

"Black leopard spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years" (National Geographic)

Black Leopard: My quest to photograph the most elusive cat in Africa (Camtraptions)

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Photographing computers to show the art inside the black box

[Editor's note: I was utterly taken with the gorgeous photos in the new edition of Core Memory, photographer Mark Richards and writer John Alderman's lavish survey of the vintage computing hardware in Silicon Valley's gem, the Computer History Museum; below is senior curator Dag Spicer's introduction to the book, along with some photos, which the publisher was kind enough to supply -Cory]

What computers mean to us depends largely on what we bring to them. Our expectations, our past experience, the dreams and myths that surround them, their physical characteristics—all these aspects resonate on multiple, often overlapping levels. Read the rest

Astonishing aerial view of Hong Kong's public housing towers

Aerial photographer and filmmaker Toby Harriman turned his lens on the soaring public housing apartment block towers in Hong Kong. Read the rest

Striking photo essay about Oakland's Black Panther Party (1968)

Fifty years ago, San Francisco's DeYoung Museum exhibited Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones's striking photo essay depicting Oakland's Black Panther Party at the peak of their community activism and political activity. Starting this week, those powerful images will be displayed again as part of the Vanguard Revisited: Poetic Politics & Black Futures exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute.

The work is still pertinent today and will serve as a platform to discuss issues of documentary photography, social activism, and how the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s in many ways manifests itself in the social context of today...

Black Futures is not delivered with a passive voice, but a voice steeped in deft poetics and sharp politics that continue to accumulate power from its own rich history.

See more of the images at Juxtapoz.

To learn about the Black Panthers's inspiring, polarizing, and ultimately tragic history, I recommend the fantastic documentary "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution."

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Now even clouds are vaping

Photographer unknown. (via r/mildlyinteresting) Read the rest

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