Category: Photography

Republican Governor has Black woman photoshopped into his website

In an effort to sway black voters his way, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has tried to make his re-election campaign more minority-friendly by including a photo of himself standing next to a smiling African American woman on his website.

The only problem is – this heartwarming scene never actually happened. Corbett’s campaign got the black woman from a stock photo and Photoshopped her in!

Before this Photoshop scandal was exposed and went viral, the faux feel-good image was the footer of Corbett’s website and appeared on every single page. It has since been switched out for a different photo, but here’s what was originally there:

Creep.

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A couple of new architectural delights


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Dutch law now dictates that meat and fish markets must be covered for hygiene purposes. Rotterdam’s Markthal (literally, Market Hall) has undergone a redesign to accommodate the requirements. The new market is housed under a huge arch from which apartments look down upon it.


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Waking up with the rising sun is one thing, but waking up inside the rising sun is quite another. Visitors to the recently completed Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel in China can do just that, though. The hotel has been designed to look like the sun rising over the Yanqi Lake.

Surely a couple of spots worth visiting, staying in, shopping – and just taking the time to marvel at what architectural design cen do with modern materials.

Pic of the Day


Click to enlargeSHUJI KAJIYAMA/AP FOTO

The photo is from this weekend in Suzuka, Japan. The Japanese Gran Prix. It rained.

These two cars are driven by teammates who also happen to hold the top two positions in the world championship with four races left in the season. At that moment they were separated by a hair, a couple of points.

The driver on the left is Nico Rossberg. Catching him on the right in Lewis Hamilton. Competing with each other for the world championship truly is more important than team victories. Mercedes would not like it to be that way – but, it is and cannot be any different.

In the rain, slowing from perhaps 200mph to take this turn around 60 mph, braking in the rain, Lewis Hamilton is about to pass Nico Rossberg on the outside of the curve they are entering and go on to win the race.

Understand all of that in Shuji Kajiyama’s photograph.

The Gulf War photo no one would publish

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone. In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him. Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name. He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad.

Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August. The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

RTFA for a sensitive, thoughtful discussion – decades after this young man was killed. My hatred for war is no surprise to any of our regular readers. Even the only “just” war in my lifetime – the war against fascism, World War 2.

That war produced two books which have guided my whole life – in war and peace, about war and peace. I doubt if either are easily available anymore. BEACH RED by Peter Bowman is a short novel in what he called sprung prose, as much poetry as prose – as much about death and dying as anything else. DAYS AND NIGHTS by Konstantin Simonov is a heroic tale from a journalist who lived through the siege of Stalingrad. It is a love story.

Photographs like this are also an important part of how we look at war. Outside of dispatches published in newspapers; curt, prosaic sound bites on TV. As hard as it is to look at this photo, I think it should be a required part of anyone’s education.

Thanks, Mike

Photos from September — Reuters

As much as I criticize editorial content at Reuters since the takeover of this historic firm by the conservative Thomson organization – bespoiling a tradition of fairly neutral reporting on life and events around this small planet of ours – they haven’t yet screwed up the companion thread of collating great photography by some of the bravest and most talented folks working with camera graphics.

These are a few of what the editors feel were the best of September.

Palestinians commute along a road between ruins of houses, which witnesses said were damaged or destroyed during the Israeli offensive, in Beit Hanoun
Palestinians commute in ruins of Israeli invasion in GazaREUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Anti-war protesters hold up signs as U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel takes his seat to testify at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. policy toward Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by the ISIL on Capitol Hill in Washington
Anti-war protesters confront Secretary of War Chuck HagelREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Air Force pilots with the Thunderbirds perform the calypso pass maneuver at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho
Pilots with the Thunderbirds perform the calypso pass maneuverREUTERS/Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez

Pennsylvania State Police salute as they line the streets outside St. Peters' Cathedral in Scranton, as the casket carrying slain Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Corporal Bryon Dickson is carried into the Cathedral for his funeral service
Police salute at the funeral of slain State Trooper Bryon DicksonREUTERS/Mike Segar

Click through and reflect upon civilization, this past month.

Pic of the Day


Click to enlargeHasan Ba lar/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest

National Geographic’s annual Photo Contest is under way, which means it’s once again time to see some of the best travel photos that both amateur and professional photographers around the world have to offer.

The contest, which will wrap up at the end of the month, takes submissions in three simple categories – People, Places and Nature. The first-place winner in each category will win $2,500, and the grand-prize winner, in addition to first-place in their category, will receive $7,500 and a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in National Geographic’s annual photo seminar.

All of the entries (the good and the bad) can currently be viewed on Nat Geo’s website, and they’re still taking submissions, so you can try your luck as well. Take a look!

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Life on Eigg


Click to enlargeReuters/Paul Hackett

The Island of Eigg, located about ten miles off the Scottish mainland, is made somewhat famous by its rich and varied wildlife, beautiful scenery and its residents’ attempts to become self sufficient.

It has the first completely wind, water and sun-powered electricity grid in the world, according to the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust.

The island’s climatic conditions allow it to generate power from hydroelectric generators, wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.

Between 85 and 95 percent of the energy it consumes comes from renewable resources, according to locals.

Before the switch to renewables, the island relied on diesel generators for power. Locals described them as noisy, inconsistent and said there used to be a lot of scrambling around in the dark.

Conditions only improved on the island when the community took control over its assets in a 1997 buyout.

With the financial support of various trusts, a milestone was reached in 2008, when Eigg Electric provided 24-hour power for the first time.

Click through to the article. There is a delightful slide show illustrating the changes built by the islanders.

It speaks well of the advocacy for crofters having the right to buyout their land, townships and [sometimes] whole islands – so that beautiful, historically-important garden spots like Eigg now have the independence and support to rebuild their island into energy self-sufficiency. The Community Land Unit was for many the seed planted which grew into a new and proper life for places like Eigg.

Strictly on a personal note, I believe Brian Wilson, former Labour MP and Minister deserves credit for the groundwork for ventures like this one. The West Highland Free Press established a baseline for economic and cultural freedom unmatched by UK Establishment politicians. His persona is strong-willed enough to offend as many folk as he pleases; so, I defer to folks’ personal experiences.

Thanks, Mike — great minds and etc.

The Arctic’s devastating transformation

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Click on the image to reach Camille Seaman’s gallery of photographs

There was no snow, no sea ice anywhere to be seen. These would be my last days in Svalbard in August of 2011.

The only snow was in the many glaciers that bled deafening waterfalls into milky turquoise-colored fjords and into the dark sea. I lowered my gaze, averted my eyes whenever someone on the ship said to me, “See you next season!” I knew I was finished.

The Arctic had been transformed over the decade I had spent documenting through the lens of my camera. I was the ship’s expedition photographer. My photographs were about awe and beauty. To return here would mean documenting the devastation. This place was sacred to me, it was like no where else on the planet.

It broke my heart knowing I would not return

We are out of time. There is no safe place left to be apathetic.

This Earth Day is perhaps similar to many others that came before it. It is a call to consider our biosphere. It remains a call to honor the place that gives you safe haven from the dark cold emptiness of space. It is a day to stand up and declare what aspect of life on this planet you will lend your voice, your support, your time and energy to protecting.

Please RTFA. Read it all. Click on the photo up top to get to Camille Seaman’s gallery. I think you will feel her love for what she has captured. What she is losing.

What we all are losing.

Thanks, Mike