Featured Photo: My Eyes Have Seen You, Let Them Photograph Your Soul

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

“Jim Morrison” with Break On Through, an amazing Doors tribute band, 17 December 2011. Nikon D90 with a 50mm Nikkor f1.8 lens, 1/100, f/2, 1250 ISO. Break On Through to the Faster Side There’s nothing like a nice fast lens. … Continue reading

Photo Link: Photographs of North Korea

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Arirang Festival, North Korea, in the world’s largest stadium, with 100,000 people performing. That is not a typo.  Photo from Trek Earth. As I mentioned, every once in a while, I’ll link to something that I think you’ll find fascinating, … Continue reading

Featured Photo: Midnight in Pioneertown – Painting With Light

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

Long Exposure Light Painting This is a photo I just took very recently out in the high California desert near Joshua Tree in Pioneertown.  I kept the shutter open for 7 minutes, and then “light painted” the water tower and two … Continue reading

Featured Photo – God Lives in the Details

El Tatio Abstract Photo from the Atacama Desert in Chile

Beautiful abstract colors.  Can you tell what this is?

Fantastic details are all around you.  But they can get lost, particularly when you are traveling, particularly at tourist sites, and particularly when you are freezing your you-know-what off.

This photo was taken at the El Tatio geysers in Northern Chile. There are 70 geysers at El Tatio, one of the highest fields of geysers in the world, containing about 25% of the world’s geysers.  Lots of hissing steam – early morning steam that condenses in the bitterly cold morning air. The steam plumes disappear as the air warms up. And at 4200m (about 13,800 ft), the air gets darn cold. -8ºC (17 F), to be exact.

But the ground near the geysers and bubbling pools of smelly arsenic are some interesting things. If you look closely, you can see some amazing textures and colors.   The details.

When I showed the above photo to my friends, some thought it was a satellite photo.  Some thought it was taken in an industrial setting.  And some did guess that it was some sort of hot pool or geyser.

El Tatio Geysers, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

El Tatio Geysers, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

Equipment:  Nikon D90, Nikkor 50mm f1/4 prime lens for the bubbling detail shot, Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens for the geysers with a Tiffen circular polarizer.

Photo Link: 100 Year Old Photos of Old Russia — In Color!

As I mentioned, every once in a while, I’ll link to something that I think you’ll find fascinating, whether it’s camera equipment or photos.  This time, it’s photos.  And this feels almost like time travel.  Note that I said “almost”; it’s without that slightly nauseous, disorienting feeling one gets from time travel.

These are some amazing hundred year old photos of Russia, all in color, all from the Library of Congress!  I know…all of us thought that everything was in black and white a hundred years ago.  But the high quality of the photos as well as the vibrant colors make it seem as if these were taken recently, not before World War I or the Russian Revolution.

An Armenian woman near Artvin in present-day Turkey, part of the old Russian Empire photos

An Armenian woman near Artvin in present-day Turkey, part of the old Russian Empire photos, 1910.

The Emir of Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

The Emir of Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, now present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, now present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of women in Dagistan, 1910.

A group of women in Dagistan, 1910.

Young Russian peasant women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River near the small town of Kirillov.

Young Russian peasant women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River near the small town of Kirillov. Click on the photo to be magically whisked to Prokudin-Gorskii’s photos of Russia’s ethnic diversity.

At this point, you may be asking, “Hey…that was a long time ago, but these look *incredible*!  How were they photographed?”

Turns out that photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a pretty bright apple who figured out how to create images in color by shooting three different negatives, using either a red, green, or blue filter, photographing them in fairly rapid sequence.  He then recombined them, showing them in color through a projection system using the same three filters.  Read about it in more detail here.

Featured Photo – Human Rights Day

The Light Of Hope:  Human Rights For Tibet

The photo is entitled “The Light Of Hope” and shows a Tibetan man preparing for a candlelight vigil to mourn those in Tibet who have been recently been killed, and to pray for peace and human rights for Tibetans and all people. This photo has been shown at various events, Tibetan support group websites, The Smithsonian website, and the Lonely Planet website.

International Human Rights Day
December 10th is the date that was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global proclomation of human rights.

Stop Torture In Tibet

Stop Torture In Tibet – Human Rights For all

Human Rights Day is also the anniversary of Nobel Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lui Xiaobo being awarded their prizes (although Liu was unable to accept his in person, being in prison in China)

In what has been called by some the worst single human catastrophe since the Jewish genocide during World War II, Tibet has been under Chinese occupation for nearly 50 years. Tibet has often been erroneously portrayed as a mysterious “Shangri-La”; unfortunately, the harsh reality is that this remote Himalayan country has been the victim of the worst of China’s well-documented human rights atrocities, having faced over four decades worth of Tiananmen-like agony since the Chinese invasion in 1949. China’s human rights violations were brought to light to the majority of the world in 1989 due to the infamous shooting of the unarmed student protesters in Tiananmen Square. The following is a small list of some of the documented atrocities that have befallen Tibet and its people:

  • Over 1.2 million Tibetans, or one-fifth of the population, have been killed as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation.  Most of the Tibetans killed have been unarmed.
  • China has been dumping nuclear waste on the Tibetan plateau, polluting the headwaters of many of Asia’s major river sources. China has admitted to this, confirming the existence of a 20 square mile dumpsite for radioactive pollutants near Lake Kokonor, the largest lake on the Tibetan plateau.
  • China has established a massive resettlement policy of Chinese to Tibet, causing the Tibetans to become minorities in their own country. Chinese is the official language, and Tibetans are frequently barred from education, or if admitted to schools, are educated in an attempt to make them “Chinese” in their way of thinking. Tibetans are regularly subjected to a dizzying array of Chinese propaganda, including movies, newspapers, and radio. Tibetans who help to promote The Chinese cause are rewarded monetarily, and gain rights that most Americans take for granted.
  • One out of every ten Tibetans has been imprisoned, usually for merely exercising free speech in a non-violent manner.
  • Religious freedom has been abolished. More than 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed, with only a handful remaining, having been restored for the benefit of tourists. Media people who are allowed to visit China are taken to sections of Tibet made to look like a movie set.
  • Strip-mining in Tibet’s forests, depletion of natural resources, and the extinction of wildlife are chief results of China’s environmental policy.
Equipment:  Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR Nikkor lens, black and white processing in Photoshop CS4. The effect was created simply by creating another layer, turning that black and white, and then erasing the effect everywhere except by the candle.  The photo is entitled “The Light Of Hope” and has been shown at various events, Tibetan support group websites, The Smithsonian website, and the Lonely Planet website.
Thank you for your support.