Inside Hong Kong's insanely cramped and illegal "coffin homes"

Photographer Benny Lam spent several years documenting grim living conditions in Hong Kong where people live inside tiny "coffin cubicles" within illegally divided apartments. The images are grim glimpses of life in the city with the most expensive housing market in the world. The photo series is titled "Trapped." From National Geographic:

Pushed out by soaring rents, tens of thousands of people have no other option than to inhabit squatter huts, sub-divided units where the kitchen and toilet merge, coffin cubicles, and cage homes, which are rooms measuring as small as 6’ x 2.5’ traditionally made of wire mesh. “From cooking to sleeping, all activities take place in these tiny spaces,” says Lam. To create the coffin cubicles a 400 square flat will be illegally divided by its owner to accommodate 20 double-decker beds, each costing about HK$2000 (over $250 USD) per month in rent. The space is too small to stand up in.

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"Impossible" supermoon photo debunked

Peter Lik is one of the world's most successful photographers. He reportedly works in-camera and without significant compositional retouching. But he appears to have been caught with his shoop down. The tl;dr, as Steve Cullen has it: a recent moon shot has a perfectly spherical disc when at that resolution mountains would be visible on its horizon; it's impossible to get that particular angle on the moon from the place where the photograph was taken; and, haha, the same moon shot is already in an earlier composition.

Here's the bottom line: I don't believe that the moon in either of Lik's photographs was there when the picture was taken. I am not saying there couldn't be a moon in his raw images, it just is not the moon we see in the final works. ... At the end of the day, photography is an art form and there certainly are many interpretations about what is right or wrong and good or bad. I believe what the folks are asking for from Lik and his associates is for them to speak the truth about the work, whatever that truth may be. Nothing more and nothing less.

It's funny because the photo seems so obviously shopped. We think we can tell by the pixels, it's the cold cruel harmony of the spheres that shows it.

I can't help but feel Peter left something out... Read the rest

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés

Filmmaker Oliver KMIA was traveling in Rome where he noticed the throngs of tourists surrounding the Trevi Fountain all trying to get the same photo of themselves with the monument. "I couldn't secure a picture of the Trevi Fountain for my Instragram account but I still had a very nice time in Italy," he writes. And when he got home, he was inspired to make this video, "Instravel - A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience."

"I'm basically making fun of something I'm part of," he writes. "The irony is strong."

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Art Rangers program helps save our National Parks

I've just learned about the Art Rangers program. It's a cool non-profit, founded by Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem, that allows artists to donate fine art photo prints inspired by the National Parks. Folks can then buy the prints to help save our park, as all of the proceeds benefit the National Park Foundation. You can look at the art here and you can become an Art Ranger yourself here.

(The listserve) Read the rest

These are not paintings of Jupiter

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran amped up the color and contrast of images of Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere as captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft. Below, for, um, comparison, Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" (1889) and Edvard Munch's "The Scream" (1893).

More of Eichstädt and Doran's stunning work here.

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Make your own 'Lesa Hall' style portraits

Remember the botched retouching on those family portraits I recently shared? (Who could forget?!)

Well folks, there's already a tutorial on how to retouch images like the photographer Lesa Hall did. Finnish photographer Antti Karppinen shows the way.

Do your best (worst?)! Read the rest

Photographer botches family portraits in the funniest way possible

When the Zaring family had their family portraits done, they had no idea they'd end up looking like cartoon characters in the photographer's final edits.

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See the marvelous colors "inside" snowflakes

Don Komarechka captures astonishing photographs of snowflakes. His book Sky Crystals is a survey of snowflake science, a monograph of his macrophotography masterpieces, and a tutorial on the techniques. At Petapixel, Komarechka explains the surprising pop of color sometimes seen through the lens when he's shooting a snowflake:

As a snowflake grows it often creates a cavity or bubble inside of it where the inner side of the crystal grows slower than the top and bottom edge. This forces the layers of ice on either side of the bubble to be incredibly thin, so much so that light will interfere with itself.

Some light will reflect off the surface of the snowflake, but some will also enter the ice (slowing down due to the density of ice compared to air) and reflect off the inner ice/air boundary back towards the camera. If the ice is thin enough, the distance between the two rays of light is close enough to force them to interfere with each-other now that they are out of sync. Some wavelengths get amplified and others get reduced, resulting in a distinctive color emerging based on the thickness of the ice.

"How I Capture Vibrant Colors Inside Snowflakes" (PetaPixel)

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Photo of murmuration of starlings looks like a giant starling

Photographer Daniel Biber caught some spectacular sunset images showing murmurations of starlings. In the most remarkable of these, the murmuration itself looked like a starling. Read the rest

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

Maryam Omidi crowdfunded a photographic tour of Soviet-era sanatoriums, and the resulting book, Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums is like a weird 1970s sci-fi catalog. Read the rest

Beautiful photos of Japanese vending machines in the elements

For his "Existence of" project, photographer Eiji Ohashi captured lonely-looking vending machines out in the weather around Japan. Read the rest

Photographer Nan Goldin now has an Instagram account

Following the move by Cindy Sherman (previously), iconic photographer Nan Goldin now has an Instagram account for her studio. Read the rest

How does the Google Pixel 2's camera compare to a $20k Hasselblad?

Of course a Hasselblad is going to outperform a smartphone camera. But unless you zoom way in, the Pixel does a great job. Read the rest

Breathtaking time-lapse video of last week's SpaceX rocket launch across the sky

Last week, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9, freaking out a lot of people in Southern California who thought they were seeing a UFO streak across the sky. Jesse Watson of Yuma, Arizona captured this incredible time-lapse of the awesome moment. He shot 2452 still images that he edited down to 1315 for this stunning video. From his Vimeo post:

I scouted four locations that had foregrounds to add depth to the imagery and was uniquely inspiring to my hometown. Location choices were between a favorite local hiking mountain, the Imperial Sand Dunes, or a small hill that resides in the historic downtown area overlooking the city. I ended up choosing the location that overlooked the city, partially because it was the easiest to access with all of my time-lapse gear. I used The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Google Maps to help scouting and initial line up...

I have never shot a rocket launch before, so I did not know exactly what to expect as far as exposure or precise location of the rocket in the horizon. I wanted to be prepared to capture comprehensive coverage of the spectacle.

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NASA's Juno captures more stunning Jupiter photos

As Juno continues its mission, NASA released new color-enhanced images, like this massive storm in the northern hemisphere. Read the rest

National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 contest winners

Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan risked crocodiles and other dangers to snap this stunning image of an orangutan, named National Geographic's top nature photo for 2017. Read the rest

Photographer creates flawless food emojis from real food

The Gourmand magazine commissioned Matthieu Lavanchy to create some of the most popular food emojis from the real thing. The whole project feels a bit like a modern update of Magritte's The Treachery of Images. Read the rest

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