Tag Archives: Photography

Chalkboard Quantum Mechanics by Alejandro Guijarro

April 2nd, 2014 | Brain, Space

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There is something enchanting to be found in chalkboards, an intellectual canvas where remnants of hypnotic scribbles and fantastical ideas are scattered. They epitomize that moment where knowledge and imagination meet to foster new ideas. Academic brainstorming sessions in fields such as quantum mechanics often result in a flurry of mysterious equations, symbols, and geometric shapes, and Alejandro Guijarro set out to capture them.

Alejandro is an artist based in London and Madrid who works primarily in photography. Over a three year period, he traveled the world visiting institutions known for their prowess in quantum mechanics: CERN in Switzerland, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

From the artist:

“I’ve visited top universities all over the world for this project: Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Berkeley, Cern in Switzerland, Brussels, Vienna and institutions in China and Spain. It was a challenge to find places that still had blackboards rather than whiteboards or interactive screens. Many of the boards were in professors’ own rooms where they do their research. Some of them were intrigued, wondering why I wanted to photograph work they didn’t consider important. They didn’t see what they had done as art.”

Quantum mechanics (you can read about here, good luck!) is a branch of physics dealing with the strange, quantum realm of atomic and subatomic matter. You would have to work hard to find a more confusing (and compelling) topic to capture in photographic form. All of this mystery builds the intrigue found in Alejandro’s photographs. The aesthetic is certainly a nice interaction of line, color, and form, but the real magic lies in knowing these symbols represent the very fabric of our reality. It’s fascinating stuff!

If you’ve enjoyed these, you can find more from Alejandro Guijarro at his site.

-RSB

Drones at Home

March 26th, 2014 | Robot
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With eight arms spanning less than a yard, a German MikroKopter provides a stable camera platform for under $5,000.

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The images above are from a recent lead story in the National Geographic Magazine titled, Unmanned Flight. Now that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have more or less come to a close, there is a lot of discussion underway concerning drones’ role in society. Needless to say, they have been used extensively overseas, but whether they can make a smooth transition to civilian life is unknown.

“The U.S. has deployed more than 11,000 military drones… They carry out a wide variety of missions while saving money and American lives. Within a generation they could replace most manned military aircraft, says John Pike, a defense expert at the think tank GlobalSecurity.org. Pike suspects that the F-35 Lightning II, now under development by Lockheed Martin, might be “the last fighter with an ejector seat, and might get converted into a drone itself.”

I think one exciting use for drone technology would be to provide internet to locations in the world without online access. Other possible civilian applications include weather monitoring, traffic control, and package delivery.

“If the FAA relaxes its rules, says Mark Brown, the civilian market for drones—and especially small, low-cost, tactical drones—could soon dwarf military sales, which in 2011 totaled more than three billion dollars.”

Stay tuned, apparently the FAA is expected to integrate drones into American skies by 2015.

Photographer Joe McNally captured the images you see above. You can find more of his work here.

-RSB

Holi Festival 2014 – Photography

March 20th, 2014 | Brain

Holi Festival 2014

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival of color and love celebrated at the arrival of spring in India and Nepal. Music, dancing, and explosions of colored powder create these incredible visual landscapes. The celebration starts with a big bonfire, and the next morning, everyone runs around the city with water guns, balloons, and powder painting the city rich with color.

Several groups form impromptu musical parades with drums and other musical instruments. At the end of the day, people dress up and visit with friends and family.

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It’s a wonderful place to capture photos.  I imagine it would ruin your camera, but it’s worth the risk!

-RSB

[via The Big Picture]

Brutal Weapons of the Ukrainian Revolution by Tom Jamieson

March 11th, 2014 | Robot
Ukraine - Club With Nails

A club with nails hammered in at the end. The inscription reads “Ternopil,” which is a city in Western Ukraine. According to the owner, the handle is wrapped in tape after having broken in clashes with the Berkut.

The Ukrainian Revolution began quietly with a collection of relatively calm protests against the government back in November 2013. However, on February 18th, 2014, Euromaiden protesters and police clashed, leading to the deaths of 82 people (13 policemen) and over 1,000 injuries.

Protesters subsequently battled the Ukrainian army and eventually ousted President Yanukovych using a collection of homemade weapons such as clubs, slingshots, and nightsticks. Photographer Tom Jamieson was on the front lines to capture some of these DIY weapons, and the results are pretty striking. Jamieson and his assistant would simply set up a black background cloth and shoot in natural light. The protesters chose their own postures, leading to some very expressive shots.

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According to Jamieson, every protester had a helmet, a balaclava, and a club-like implement of some sort.

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Brutal as these weapons look, they’re basically medieval compared to modern security forces. “It’s literally sticks and stones,” says Jamieson. “As mean and nasty as they look — and of course they’re intentionally made to look that way — it’s nothing in comparison to a gun.”

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“You’d talk to one guy,” says Jamieson. “Asking him, ‘Hey can I photograph this, tell me about this,’ and then one of his friends would start laughing and say, ‘No you don’t want to photograph this, come with me, you want to photograph this instead.’ It was that whole sort of pride thing, like ‘mine’s bigger than yours.’”

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The markings and signs of use on each weapon tell their own stories, usually having to do with bludgeoning a policeman.

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This protester’s helmet is painted with an image of St. Michael, next to the Ukrainian crest.

Each protester simply held their weapons up as the camera prepared to shoot, leading to a unique composition for each shot.

Each protester simply held their weapons up as the camera prepared to shoot, leading to a unique composition for each shot.

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The inscription on this one says it all.

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The inscription reads “Glory to Ukraine.”

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The photos in this series were shot at various places around the occupied zone. Jamieson and his assistant would simply set up a black background cloth and shoot in natural light.

There were more advanced weapons in use by the protesters, while others, apparently including automatic guns, were kept locked away in case the situation escalated into open war.

There were more advanced weapons in use by the protesters, while others, apparently including automatic guns, were kept locked away in case the situation escalated into open war.

Via Wired:

“Every single person without fail had a club or a bat or something like that,” says Jamieson. “You couldn’t help but notice the DIY nature of the whole thing, from the barricades themselves to the totally inadequate body armor that people were wearing, and the weapons as well. It looked like something out of Mad Max, it was crazy.”

I can’t help but admire the resourcefulness of Ukrainian people, but I hope a more peaceful path to resolution is found very soon.

You can find more work from Jamieson at his online portfolio.

-RSB

Abandoned Yugoslavian (Alien?) Monuments

January 23rd, 2014 | Robot, Space

Abandoned Soviet Monuments 1 This monument, authored by sculptor Miodrag Živković, commemorates the Battle of Sutjeska, one of the bloodiest battles of World War II in the former Yugoslavia.

Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers traveled throughout former-Yugoslavia to capture thousands of old monuments commemorating the the Second World War. The structures are called “Spomeniks” and were commissioned by former dictator Josep Tito in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Tito couldn’t erect figures or busts in honour of generals because he didn’t want to be seen to be favouring any ethnic group, for example a Bosnian general or a Serb war hero, so instead they made these things that didn’t refer to people,” Kempenaers told The Guardian.

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Kruševo – “The Kruševo Makedonium monument in Macedonia was dedicated to the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, when the Macedonian population revolted against the Ottoman Empire.”

Abandoned Soviet Monuments 8Kosmaj – “The Kosmaj monument in Serbia is dedicated to soldiers of the Kosmaj Partisan detachment from World War II.”
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Niš – “Built in 1963, this monument in Niš, Serbia commemorates the 10,000 people from the area that were killed during World War II. The three clenched fists are the work of sculptor Ivan Sabolić.”
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Knin – “This monument is dedicated to the soldiers who freed the city of Knin, Croatia from the fascists during World War II.”
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Kadinjača – “The Kadinjača Memorial Complex commemorates those who died during the Battle of Kadinjača.”

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The monuments were built using reinforced concrete, steel, and granite, and they feature strong, angular geometry, which gives them an otherworldly look. I wonder if these will be featured in some sort of History Channel Ancient Aliens show in the future…

If you liked these, there’s a book by the photographer on Amazon where you can find a lot more images, here.

-RSB

[via Business Insider]

Bioluminescent Beaches

January 21st, 2014 | Space

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I’ve only seen bioluminescent plankton once before during a night swim in Halong Bay, Vietnam. It was unforgettable. Every movement through the water created a surreal glowing trail in its wake. The magical images above were captured by Taiwanese photographer, Will Ho, during a recent trip to the Maldives. The phytoplankton do not glow all the time, but instead are activated by disturbances in their environment such as the crashing waves.

You can read all about the science of bioluminescence here, and you can find more photographs from Ho on his Flickr page.

RSB

[via My Modern Met]

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