Absolutely magnificent black-and-white photos of trees in the fog

These are just a small sample of Michael Schlegel's glorious photographs of trees in Fanal, the laurisilva forest of Madeira, Portugal. The otherworldly images reassure me with their quiet calm.

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Andrew McCarthy's astronomical photography

Andrew McCarthy, posting on Instagram as Cosmic Background, takes amazing astronomical photographs. Pictured above a breathtakingly detailed shot of the moon constructed from 100,000 individual photographs. You can buy prints of this and other works of his at his online store.

My first lunar image of 2020 is also one of my most detailed. This is a blend of around 100k photos, which allowed me to sharpen the image and overcome some of the fuzzing caused by our turbulent atmosphere. The colors you see are real, caused by variations in the composition of the regolith. This first quarter moon also is one of the best for showing crater detail, as the long shadows long the terminator really make the details pop.

Below is a rather menacing photo of the sun looming behing Mercury.

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Behold, the transit of Mercury! This is little guy at around 9:45am Pacific this morning. I captured hundreds of thousands of frames of the event so I could build an animation, but didn't want to wait so long before sharing something. Mercury is about the size of our moon, so seeing it like this really puts the scale of the sun in perspective. #mercurytransit2019 #astrophotography #space #astronomy #opteam #optcorp #meadeinstruments #mercury

A post shared by Andrew McCarthy (@cosmic_background) on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:17am PST

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After I posted a picture of some star trails taken from my backyard I had a lot of positive feedback and requests for prints, but frankly I knew I could do better.

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This is the first known family photo taken at Stonehenge

According to a new exhibition titled "Your Stonehenge -- 150 years of personal photos," this image of was taken at the Wiltshire, England's magical megalithic structure in 1875 and depicts the family of Isabel, Maud and Robert Routh. Personally, I wouldn't be so sure those aren't Zippies on their way to a rave in 1994.

"People have been visiting Stonehenge for centuries, for all sorts of reasons, and taking photos of themselves and their loved ones in front of the stones since the very earliest days of photography," Susan Greaney, a historian at English Heritage, the organization that manages Stonehenge, told CNN. Read the rest

Vintage UFO photos sold at auction, including the one from The X-Files "I Want To Believe" poster

In the 1970s, "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier documented the extraterrestrials who visited him by taking fantastic photographs of their spacecraft zooming over the Swiss countryside. Meier, founder of Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschafter und Ufologiestudien (Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies) says the spacecraft are called "beamships" and that they are piloted by beings called the Plejaren. Meier's ex-wife has since said that the UFOs in the photos are actually household objects and that Meier is a fibber, but, well, I want to believe. And in fact, one of Meier's photos was the source for Fox Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster on The X-Files. That original snapshot and more than a dozen others just sold at a Sotheby's auction with one collection of six photos going for $16,250. From Sotheby's:

The second grouping includes two photographs which appear to show a single UFO moving slowly over the town of Berg Rumlikon, in Switzerland on June 14th, 1975 at 1:16 and 1:20 pm, and four images depicting a single UFO in a forested hilly area of Schmidrüti, Switzerland on March 18th, 1975, from 4:45 to 5:40 pm.

One of these photographs became perhaps the most famous and notorious UFO image of all time when 'The X-Files' chose it to appear in the famous "I Want to Believe" poster.

The poster hung in Mulder's office for the first three seasons of the show, but was changed in the 4th season due to an intellectual property suit brought by Meier, as the creators of the show never obtained permission to use the image.

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How to take macro photos on your phone of bugs and other tiny things in your back garden

Andrew Hoyle has a terrific tutorial article on Cnet on how to take macro photos on your smartphone using a macro lens. The article includes tips on how to use Photoshop or other image editing software to improve the images. The lens Andrew recommends is pricey ($265), but he has links to cheaper lenses that would probably be good enough for a slacker dilettante like me.

Andrew also recently posted a video tutorial on backyard macro photography using a SLR camera:

Image: Copyright Andrew Hoyle, used with permission Read the rest

Photo proof: Greta Thunberg is a time traveler who has come here to save us from ourselves

Found in the the University of Washington Libraries's Special Collections, this c.1898 photo of badass climate activist Greta Thunberg proves that she is a time traveler who is here to save us from ourselves. Or, perhaps Twitter user @bucketofmoney is correct: "The Greta Thunberg time-travel conspiracy theorists have got it wrong: the photo is from the future."

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How to easily batch geotag DSLR photos in Lightroom

Having spent hundreds of dollars on glass tripods and other camera accessories for my iPhone, it's fair to say that I'm neck-deep in love with iPhone photography. However, there are still some situations where pulling up my trust Sony RX100 III to capture a moment is a better choice. It's a wonderful camera, but it lacks GPS. To get around this issue, after taking a photo with my RX100, I often snap off a throwaway shot with my iPhone for the sake of capturing the location information. I've been doing it for years.

This video covers a bit of this, but it also goes a step further by illustrating how to batch import GPS coordinates for a single location into multiple images via Lightroom Classic. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to preform the trick described in the video using Lightroom for iOS or Android, but it works a treat with the desktop version of the app.

Image via Pixabay Read the rest

Engineer develops software to "remove" water from underwater photos

Derya Akkaynak is an oceanographer, engineer, and underwater photographer who has created software called Sea-Thru that removes the haze and blue-green colorcast of underwater photos. The results are remarkable - the colors are brilliant and the images are sharp. Read the rest

Directly importing photos into Adobe Lightroom is about to get a lot easier

I love Adobe's Lightroom app. It makes editing my photos, one at a time or a bunch all at once a pleasure. I use it to catalog my photos, too: Apple's Photos apps on Mac OS and iPadOS just don't do it for me.  That said, I loath the number of hoops I have to jump through any time I want to import RAW photos from my camera into the iOS or iPadOS version of the app. Yeah, there's a Siri Shortcut to give shutterbugs a hand. But I don't use Siri. Happily, earlier today, I discovered that the two hundred and eleventy steps required to import photos into the app from my much-loved Sony RX100 III will soon become a whole lot more reasonable.

Next to Scrivener releasing an iOS version of its spectacular writing app for iOS a few years back, the possibility of easily importing RAW images to Lightroom without having to deal with any bullshit is one of my favorite developments to come to the iPad since I bought my first one back in 2010.

Image via Séamus Bellamy Read the rest

Kevin Kelly went to Myanmar and took these incredible photos

When my friend and Cool Tools partner Kevin Kelly showed me these photos he recently took in Myanmar, I told him that it seems like he has a time machine. And he said, " I do call it a time machine."

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The Family Acid book release and party in Los Angeles!

The Family Acid: California is the new book of photographs by Roger Steffens that I published with Timothy Daly, my Ozma Records partner and co-producer of the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. Limited to just 1,500 clothbound copies, it's a far-out photo album from a very unconventional family.

We hope you can come meet the whole Family Acid (and us) in Los Angeles next Thursday, November 7, at The Standard Hollywood for a photo show and reception from 7-11pm! And if you can't make it, we have some copies available directly from our site, Ozma Records, along with a limited-edition Family Acid photo print on perforated LSD blotter paper (undipped) signed by Roger himself!

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. Since then, with his wife Mary and children Kate and Devon, he has sought out the eccentric, the outlandish, and the transcendent. Just as often, it finds him, grinning, a camera in one hand and a joint in the other. Steffens took the spectacular snapshots in this new collection between 1968 and 2015 during his family's freewheeling adventures throughout the visionary state they call home.

A full-color, 192-page hardcover with foil stamping and tipped-on cover photo, The Family Acid: California contains hundreds of stunning images curated by Kate Steffens along with detailed captions and original essays by Roger Steffens and Tim Page.

Enjoy the trip! Read the rest

Japanese stalker found victim's home by looking at reflection in her pupil in a high resolution photo

Last month a Japanese entertainer named Ena Matsuoka was attacked in front of her home in Tokyo. Her alleged attacker, an obsessed fan, was able to figure out where she lived by zooming in on a high resolution photo and identifying a bus stop reflected in her pupils. According to Asia One, the alleged attacker "even approximated the storey Matsuoka lived on based on the windows and the angle of the sunlight in her eyes."

Image: Twitter/matsuokaena, screengrab/Internet, Asia One Read the rest

Kickstarting a two-book collection of Anthony "Tonky" Clune's street photos

For many years, we've brought you the delightful arts and crafts of Anthony "Tonky" Clune: beautiful felt housewares, giant wall-stickers, a short film about thrifting, cool reflective cycling safety badges and more. Read the rest

Beautiful infrared video of ballet dancer

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A post shared by Kylie Shea (@kyliesheaxo) on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:12am PDT

Professional dancer and actress Kylie Shea performed in front of a thermographic camera that forms an image from infrared radiation. From Instagram:

We filmed this late one night on a tennis court in the freezing cold to watch and study how my body heats up when I dance. My core was the first to fire up and the back of my legs (the place my body prefers to store fat) remained ice cold for the entire 45 minutes of improv. Though this was a few years ago, I recently rediscovered the footage and realized I had never shared it here on IG! This study fascinated me and I look forward to exploring it further with different styles of movement! Cheers to growing, learning, and dancing, always. 💫🌹🥂🎶 Motorcycle “As the Rush Comes” (Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Mix)

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Beastie Boys & Run DMC in 'Together Forever,' new Glen E. Friedman photo book

'80s and '90s rap and hardcore fans, this one's for you. Read the rest

Incredible photo from the space station that astronaut Christina Koch took of her best friend headed to meet her in orbit

NASA astronaut Christina Koch, currently on board the International Space Station, took this stunning image of her pal Jessica Meir launching into space toward the ISS.

"What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space," Koch tweeted. From Space.com:

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and United Arab Emirates spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today (Sept. 25) at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1457 GMT or 6:57 p.m. local time). They were bound to join a crew of six currently living and working on board the International Space Station, including Meir's astronaut training classmate, Christina Koch.

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Do Not Erase: Jessica Wynne's beautiful photos of mathematicians' chalkboards

Fashion Institute of Technology photographer Jessica Wynne's "Don Not Erase" project documents the beautiful chalkboards of mathematicians, which will be collected in a book from Princeton University Press in 2020 (Christmas 2020 will be a lot simpler for me as a result). Read the rest

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