The dreams and aspirations of the homeless, by Horia Manolache

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

The Prince and the Pauper is a poignant photo series by San Francisco based photographer Horia Manolache. He took two photos of homeless people, one of how they look today, and one of what they once saw themselves becoming.

There is always the hope that his subjects may yet come to realise their dreams and aspirations.

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The cook, the writer, and the food photographer, Flora Shedden

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Photo by Flora Shedden

Nineteen year old Scottish art history student Flora Shedden has led an eventful life. According to the about page on her website, she has already worked as a gallery assistant, a researcher, a photographer, a costume seamstress, and also a waitress. Though not all at the same time. Presumably. Unless this was an instance of extreme slash careerism.

Photo by Flora Shedden

Now writing can be added to that list, even though Sheddon’s not entirely on unfamiliar ground here, she was once the editor of her primary school’s newspaper. As if that’s not enough, it’s also obvious she is a dab hand at photography as well. Something that becomes apparent after looking through her website and Instagram page.

Photo by Flora Shedden

It was the food photography that caught my eye though. Here her work varies a little from others in the same field, in that she often prepares the food in question herself. I only say that, because in the course of writing this post, I discovered she is also writing a cookbook. Taking photos as she goes. It won’t be long then, until she can add author to that list of occupations.

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What becomes of old Olympic venues? A photo series

Friday, 19 August, 2016

What becomes of old Olympic venues? Sadly, quite a few become abandoned, and either fall into disrepair, or end up serving a purpose quite unrelated to their original purpose. It’s unfortunate that some of these venues aren’t designed with a use after the games in mind, considering the cost that must have gone into their construction.

Via Cool Material.

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Pink and blue are never in view, except at Las Coloradas, Mexico

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Photography by Fer Cabrera

There’s incredible photos to be taken on the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico, if you make your way to Las Coloradas. There you will see lagoons of pink, and skies of blue.

The pink hue of the water however, isn’t down to pollution, or some sort of Photoshop trick, rather it is the result of an abundance of red plankton residing there.

Photo by Fer Cabrera.

Via My Modern Met.

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The world is a cube, not a sphere, and here are photos to prove it

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Photography by Pete Ulatan

Mind bending is probably the best way to describe the work of Honolulu-based graphic designer and photographer, Pete Ulatan, who takes photos of well known cities and locations, and folds the images over at ninety degree angles.

Photography by Pete Ulatan

Think of the scene in Paris, from the film Inception, and you’ll be with me. If you don’t mind your perceptions of reality being teased, you can see more of Ulatan’s work on his Instagram page.

Photography by Pete Ulatan

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Is Machu Picchu the world’s best selfie location? How do I get one?

Monday, 15 August, 2016

I’m spending quite a bit of time on Instagram at the moment. It’s one of the places I like to wander through, looking for content to post here. While I’ve always seen social media avatars featuring, say, Twitter, or Facebook, members posing at Machu Picchu, I’ve been seeing such photos with greater frequency in recent times.

Let’s face it though, few other selfie backdrops say you’ve been somewhere, than one taken at Machu Picchu, a fortified town high in the Andes Mountains, in Peru. And considering reaching the abandoned ruins is not exactly a bus or train ride away for most people, I can see the allure, the prestige even, that must come with a photo taken there.

While selfies taken in a bathroom for instance, are quick and easy to produce, and can be quite flattering – light reflecting off a bench top below the mirror can really help – what’s so special about Machu Picchu? A Machu Picchu selfie, after all, entails much planning and expense, compared to the bathroom mirror version. So what’s the go?

Machu Picchu, photo by Martin St-Amant

(Photo by Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0)

What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is the name of an Inca citadel in the Peruvian Andes, that was built in the fifteenth century. It sits on a mountain ridge, almost eight thousand feet, or two and a half thousand metres, above sea level. It was abandoned about one hundred years after its construction, around the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Archaeologists believe the town was built as an estate for Pachacuti, the Inca emperor, who died in about 1472. It is of particular interest to historians, who feel the town exemplifies the peak power, and capability, of the Inca Empire. Today, it is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

History, a spectacular location, and intrigue, all converge at Machu Picchu, so it is little wonder that the site is of interest to many people. And given that travelling there isn’t the most straightforward of matters, it is easy to see why people want their social media contacts to know they’ve been there.

Photo by Karl Ott

(Photo by Karl Ott)

So, how do I get to Machu Picchu?

First up you need to get to Peru. I’ll leave you to figure that one out. I do know of someone who has spent the last several years roaming around South America, working as a digital nomad, who surely crosses in and out of Peru on a regular basis. So there is that option. Otherwise, the best idea might be to fly there.

Once on the ground, you’ll need to make your way to Aguas Calientes, a town also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. To do this, you first need to reach Cusco, situated about five hundred kilometres east-southeast of the Peruvian capital, Lima. From Cusco, catch a train to Aguas Calientes. The ride takes about three and a half hours.

A little more research will be necessary though. The trip is not entirely a point A to point B affair, and you’ll also need to acclimatise to the altitude, says Rich Beattie, writing for Travel + Leisure. Cusco, for example is eleven thousand feet above sea level, that’s well over three kilometres, so conditions may take some adjusting to.

The ruins at Machu Picchu are about nine kilometres from Aguas Calientes, and can accessed by a regular bus service that runs between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. And lo and behold, you’re there. Now all you have to do, after having had a good look at the site, is find the best place to take your selfie. What could be easier?

Photo by Laura Aguilar

(Photo by Laura Aguilar)

What do I need to consider if going to Machu Picchu?

A few things as it happens. Many of the photos I see of the site, show nothing but sunshine and blue sky. In-fact rain is said to be quite common, as is heavy cloud, given the altitude at which Machu Picchu is situated. Many of the photos also belie the level of tourist activity there. In reality, Machu Picchu can be rather crowded.

In recent years, access to the site has been cut back by Peruvian authorities, as concerns mount regarding damage to the area, as a result of visitor numbers. There are also personal safety concerns to take into account. A German tourist recently died there, when he fell into a deep abyss. This after accessing a restricted area, so he could pose for a photo.

And as mentioned, Machu Picchu’s elevation, at some eight thousand feet above sea level, is another matter to think about. The risk of altitude sickness is complicated by the fact that visitors must first travel to Cusco, which is even higher above sea level. All up, that Machu Picchu selfie requires rather a lot of planning and effort.

Is a Machu Picchu selfie worth it?

The real question though, is the journey to Machu Picchu worth it? If history, archaeology, the Incas, and Peru, all interest you, then of course it is. A selfie taken at the site should be seen as a bonus. And could Machu Picchu be considered the best location in the world, for a selfie? Look at the evidence, I’d say it’s up there with the best of them.

Better than a bathroom, that’s for sure, even if it requires a lot more time and effort.

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The many reflections of the a photographer called The Reflectionist

Monday, 15 August, 2016

Photo by The Reflectionist

The work of a photographer who only seems to go by the name of The Reflectionist, has me wondering to myself, why didn’t I think of this?

Photo by The Reflectionist

Making great use of a compact mirror, she found among her late grandmother’s possessions, she has been turning out some incredible photos recently.

Photo by The Reflectionist

So far, I haven’t been able to find out much more about the person behind these amazing images, but I believe this is her tumblr page.

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The air force pilot and the aerial photographer

Friday, 12 August, 2016

Photo by Shamim Shorif Susom

Shamim Shorif Susom, a Bangladesh Air Force pilot, has been able to combine his passion for flying, with his interest in photography, building up an impressive photo collection as a result.

Photo by Shamim Shorif Susom

While many of his images are of places in Bangladesh, he has also photographed locations in Europe, Africa, and other parts of Asia. Here is an aerial photographer to envy, I think.

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One thousand new photos of Mars’ incredibly varied surface

Friday, 12 August, 2016

Mars surface, photo by MRO, NASA

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been in orbit around the red planet since March 2006, where it has been taking photos of the surface ever since. Recently NASA released just over one thousand of these images, taken in the last few months.

Mars surface, photo by MRO, NASA

I think its fair to say the photos reveal a planet with an incredibly diverse surface. A case in point has to be both of these photos. The top picture is of a region near the North Pole. The second is of an area in the Southern Highlands. More images can be seen here.

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See Tokyo in a new a light, a pink light, to be precise

Thursday, 11 August, 2016

Photo by Xavier Portela

Following a recent visit to the Japanese capital, Tokyo, Brussels based freelance photographer, and filmmaker, Xavier Portela was looking for a way to capture the spirit, or energy, that visitors might experience when they first arrive there.

Photo by Xavier Portela

I think there’s little doubting that the pink saturation that he applies to the photos he took, renders the desired effect.

Photo by Xavier Portela

See more of the photos in the series, titled “Tokyo’s Glow” at designboom.

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