Amazing birdseye photos taken by pigeons a century ago

In 1907, pharmacist and photography buff Dr. Julius Neubronner invented the "pigeon camera." Neubronner attached his cameras, with a built-in shutter timer, to his own homing pigeons and let them fly. For most people, the birds' photos provided a previously unseen view on the world. The images are collected in a new book, The Pigeon Photographer. From the New Yorker:

(Neubronner) showed his camera at international expositions, where he also sold postcards taken by the birds. Additionally, he developed a portable, horse-drawn dovecote, with a darkroom attached to it, which could be moved into proximity of whatever object or area the photographer hoped to capture from on high. These inventions represented a breakthrough at the time, allowing for surveillance with speed and range that was previously impossible. (Whether the cameras would actually capture the desired object, however, depended on luck and the whims of the pigeons.) The technology would soon be adapted for use in wartime—the cameras served as very early precursors to drones—although by the time of the First World War, just a few years later, airplanes were allowing people to do things that only pigeons could have done before.

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

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Amazing photos of sports games combined into single chaotic images

Photographer Pelle Cass takes dozens of photographs of the same location and then combines the people into a single image. His photos of sporting events make the games look much more fun! From Cass's artist statement:

This work both orders the world and exaggerate its chaos. With the camera on a tripod, I take many dozens of pictures, and simply leave in the figures I choose and omit the rest. The photographs are composite,but nothing has been changed, only selected. My subject is the strangeness of time, the exact way people look, and a surprising world that is visible only with a camera.

Pelle Cass: "Crowded Fields" (via Kottke)

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China's falling space station burned up last night just north of the Spacecraft Cemetery

Last night, China's Tinagong-1 space station, about the size of a school bus, burned up as it fell over the Pacific Ocean. The Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques captured this hot image as the satellite was just 270 kilometers (170 miles) above Earth's surface. Kenneth Chang writes in the New York Times:

The demise of the station, Tiangong-1, became apparent when radar stations no longer detected it passing overhead. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries; the likelihood that pieces would land on someone was small, but not zero.

The station may have landed northwest of Tahiti, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said on Twitter. That location is north of the Spacecraft Cemetery, an isolated region in the Pacific Ocean where space debris has frequently landed.

For the past few weeks the fate of Tiangong-1 has provided some drama. The Chinese lost control of the spacecraft a couple of years ago and thus could not guide it to the middle of an ocean. Because of the drag of air molecules bouncing off Tiangong-1, the station’s altitude dropped, and the descent accelerated quickly in the last few days.

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Weird and funny vintage photos of the Easter Bunny

Intrepid vernacular photography collector Robert E. Jackson curated a delightful selection of creepy, fun, and funny vintage photos of the Easter Bunny. More at Flashbak.

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Street style photographer Bill Cunningham left behind a secret memoir

When legendary (and deeply private) New York Times street style photographer Bill Cunningham died in 2016, he left behind a photo archive valued at $1M. His family soon discovered he left the world another gift, a photo-filled memoir he penned secretly. It's titled Fashion Climbing and is due to be published in September.

The New York Times reports:

But aside from some scenes of family discord, Mr. Cunningham’s memoir is a rosy account of an irrepressible dreamer who tripped his way from the stockroom of Boston’s newly opened Bonwit Teller to hat shops of his own in New York. He arrives in the city in November 1948 on opening night of the opera — then a tent pole of the New York social calendar — and stays long after the Social Register stopped being anyone’s bible.

Much of the material is new, even to his relatives. “Bill kept his family life in Boston and his work life in New York very separate,” wrote his niece Trish Simonson, in an email. “He told us stories over the years, but nothing that painted a full picture of what he did and how he came to do it. The drafts of the memoir we found, titled and edited and written in his own unmistakable voice, filled in a lot of blanks of how he made it from here to there, and what he thought along the way.”

Also, if you haven't already, do check out the 2011 documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Read the rest

Photographer positions horses to look like landscapes

This may look like grasslands, but it's a horse carefully positioned and beautifully photographed by Lee Diegaard, part of her Equuleus series. Below: Copper Valley. Read the rest

Beautiful art made from ashes of euthanized shelter animals

For her Stardust and Ashes project, Shannon Johnstone wanted to memorialize local shelter animals "with nobody to mourn their passing," so she used their ashes to make cosmic cyanotypes. Read the rest

Reuben Wu's science fiction landscape art

Reuben Wu's latest series of landscapes (Instagram; previously at BB) are "traditional landscape photography influenced by ideas of planetary exploration, 19th century sublime romantic painting, and science fiction." Nothing on earth is alien to us. Read the rest

Married couple notice they're randomly both in a photo taken 11 years before they met

In 2011, a Mr. Ye and Ms. Xue met in Chengdu, China, fell in love, and married. Going through family photos earlier this month, Mr. Ye spotted a shot of his wife at a landmark in the city of Qingdao. Then he spotted himself in the background. The photo was snapped in 2000 when they were both teenagers.

“When I saw the photo, I was taken by surprised and I got goosebumps all over my body… that was my pose for taking photos,” said Mr. Ye. “I also took a photo, it was the same posture (as captured in Ms Xue’s photo), just from a different angle.”

From Petapixel:

Ms. Xue had visited Qingdao to help her mother relax after undergoing an operation a few months earlier. Mr. Ye had been visiting May Fourth Square in Qingdao because his mother had taken ill after booking herself the trip and asked her son to go in her place.

Qingdao and Chengdu, cities of 9 and 14 million people (respectively), are separated by over 1,100 miles and it takes over 20 hours to drive between the two cities.

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Enjoy this daily delight of miniature origami

Ross Symons wanted to improve both his photography and origami skills, so he challenged himself to create a fun photo of one of his miniature origami each day, something he started for fun in 2014. Read the rest

Round birds

Finnish photographer Ossi Saarinen has gotten quite adept at taking photos of birds facing directly to camera, making each bird look adorably round, like the cute shot above. Read the rest

Photographing Duran Duran nearly ended in blood being spilled and fingers being broken over copyright ownership

Acclaimed UK photographer Andy Rosen, who took many of the iconic photos of the early punk days, has written a nerve-racking, but entertaining piece about his bizarre experience he had after photographing Simon LeBon of Duran Duran.

Excerpt:

It all began innocently with an assignment to photograph Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran in 1983. It was the first time one of my images was worth more than the cost of an Indian takeaway and a pint of beer. It should have been a great moment. Instead, it ended badly, very badly. The band’s representatives threatened me to try and get me to sign over the copyright. When I refused they told me that if I sold the pictures “blood would be spilled”. A contract would be put out on me, my fingers would be broken, and for the next ten years, I better be watching behind me. The irony is everybody loved the images.

Recently, Rosen launched a blockchain based company called Sendergram, "a secure blockchain registered file sending, presentation, delivery and transaction platform for digital media for all creative types."

What makes Sendergram unique, is the way in which it aggregates and networks a variety of cloud storage services and ties them together with blockchain-based registration, tracking and certification to reinforce, protect and report copyright infringement.

From concept to delivery an immutable, time-stamped, and legally-defensible record of each digital asset and all communication, at each stage of the creative process, are protected, tracked & blockchain registered.

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Two photographers, unbeknownst to one another, shoot the same picture at the same moment

When Ron Risman posted a photo of the Whaleback Lighthouse in New Hampshire, a commenter accused him of ganking a photo just posted by Eric Gendron. When Risman saw Gendron's photo, he suspected he had ganked him: the two shots were seemingly identical. Close inspection of the waves and railings, however, show a slight deviation in perspective: the two men were barely yards apart when their shutters blinked in unison.

I tried to make a pseudo-3D GIF (below) -- almost there! Perhaps it would work better with higher-resolution shots to align everything up more perfectly.

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The parable of the Broccoli Tree

Patrik Svedberg posted a picture of a tree that resembled a frond of broccoli. Then another, and another. That's where it started, says Seth Radley, whose video turns the tree's fame and its fate into a parable of bigger things.

The tree is the protagonist, but rather a passive one, letting the plot unfold around it. Each photo contains a story of its own. It’s all in the details and very often with a humorous twist. Just ”beautiful” would bore me to death.

Most people passing by when I’m shooting don’t have a clue what I’m doing, being all caught up with the beautiful view of the lake. And a beach with trees on it. But this is my way of forcing the beholder to see what I see. It’s all about framing and what randomly takes place when I’m there. Sometimes it’s the most beautiful sky. Sometimes it’s a couple in their nineties taking a walk. Sometimes it’s birds, or stars, or just so so grey and dull. But it’s almost never about the tree itself. And I can’t do magic – I‘ve had aurora borealis (or the northern lights), but some things just can’t be. For example, the tree and the lake are positioned straight to the North, so you will never see a sunset behind the tree in @thebroccolitree timeline. No matter what.

PREVIOUSLY IN BROCCOLI: • Broccoli treehouse They don't make disturbing broccoli ads the way they used to Read the rest

Stunning image of airglow bands around the Milky Way

Xiaohan Wang was driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Province in China, but stopped to snap this lovely image of airglow bands framing the Milky Way. Read the rest

Amazing moments captured by this very patient street photographer

Street photographer Pao Buscató has gained a reputation for finding moments that feel impossibly coincidental. Read the rest

Selfie addiction: the struggle is real

Junaid Ahmed takes 200 selfies a day, enough to land him on UK's Obsessed with my Body. Read the rest

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