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National Geographic “Pictures We Love” 

When David Guttenfelder showed us the pictures he shot for “Last Song for Migrating Birds,” a story about how poachers coat tree branches with glue to trap migrating songbirds, I was horrified.
Who would want to eat a sweet little oriole? And how could there possibly be enough meat to make the effort worthwhile? It would be one thing if people need the birds to subsist, but that’s mostly not the case­­. These birds are considered delicacies that people pay a lot of money for.
So when David projected this image of a man with the wing of a blackcap in his lips, I braced myself for a gruesome story about how the man ate the bird live. Instead, David told us, the man was actually a conservationist sucking the sticky sap from the wings of a bird that had been stuck in a glue trap.

National Geographic “Pictures We Love”

When David Guttenfelder showed us the pictures he shot for “Last Song for Migrating Birds,” a story about how poachers coat tree branches with glue to trap migrating songbirds, I was horrified.

Who would want to eat a sweet little oriole? And how could there possibly be enough meat to make the effort worthwhile? It would be one thing if people need the birds to subsist, but that’s mostly not the case­­. These birds are considered delicacies that people pay a lot of money for.

So when David projected this image of a man with the wing of a blackcap in his lips, I braced myself for a gruesome story about how the man ate the bird live. Instead, David told us, the man was actually a conservationist sucking the sticky sap from the wings of a bird that had been stuck in a glue trap.

Paris 1951, by Robert Frank.  If that’s not pure joy, I don’t know what is.
(If you’re in NYC, you can see this photo in person at Danziger Gallery.  I did and it was great.)

Paris 1951, by Robert Frank.  If that’s not pure joy, I don’t know what is.

(If you’re in NYC, you can see this photo in person at Danziger Gallery.  I did and it was great.)

photojojo:

After discovering a batch of negatives that had been left in a thin layer of chemicals for months, Rohn Meijer decided, why not develop them?

To his surprise, the damaged negatives produced stunning images with fascinating coloration. 

Damaged Negatives Produce Strangely Beautiful Photos

via RedditWired

Have I ever mentioned how much I love, love, love, the Nikon Small World Photomicography Competition?  Well I’m mentioning it now.  The 2013 winners have been announced.

explodingtorium:

TImed exposure at Great America amusement park, 1987, photo by Susan Schwartzenberg

theolduvaigorge:

Deadly lake turns animals into statues

According to Dante, the Styx is not just a river but a vast, deathly swamp filling the entire fifth circle of hell. Perhaps the staff of New Scientist will see it when our time comes but, until then, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania does a pretty good job of illustrating Dante’s vision.

Unless you are an alkaline tilapia (Alcolapia alcalica) – an extremophile fish adapted to the harsh conditions – it is not the best place to live. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.

The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.

Photographer Nick Brandt, who has a long association with east Africa – he directed the video for Michael Jackson’s Earth Song there in 1995 – took a detour from his usual work when he discovered perfectly preserved birds and bats on the shoreline. “I could not help but photograph them,” he says. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”

When salt islands form in the lake, lesser flamingos take the opportunity to nest – but it is a risky business, as this calcified bird (top) illustrates. The animals are all arranged in poses by the photographer. Above, on the right we have a sea eagle and on the left a dove, in what is surely the most horrific depiction of the “bird of peace” since Picasso’s Guernica.

Brandt’s new collection of photos featuring animals in east Africa, Across the Ravaged Land, is published by Abrams Books.”

(Source: New Scientist)

Extraordinary.

(via science-junkie)