Category: Photography


Inside Russia’s Sacred Baikonur Cosmodrome, One Of The World’s Most Popular Spaceports

Baikonur Cosmodrome

Russia’s Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft blasts off from Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome on May 29, 2014.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

 

 

” I knew I could only be in Kazakhstan when I saw the priests. Two of them—half-bears, half-men—walked up to the Soyuz on its pad at the fabled Baikonur Cosmodrome, their robes blowing in the desert wind. Then they sang at the rocket and bowed at the rocket and finally threw holy water at the rocket, and then they came over to us, the assembled reporters, and they threw holy water at us, too, because we probably looked like we could use it. I’m not a religious man, but I accepted my soaking under a boundless blue sky and thought what I suspect most of the people on the pad were thinking:Can’t hurt.

  The entire Russian space program seems built on the guiding principle of can’t hurt. I was there for Esquire to report “Away,” a story about the future, about Scott Kelly, the first American who will spend a year in space, one more stepping-stone on our long journey to Mars. But in Kazakhstan, it felt more as though I were visiting the past, returning to a time when romance and witchcraft hadn’t yet made way for science. Over nearly 50 years of manned flight—every last one of those launches, from Yuri Gagarin on, having sprung from the same slab of cracked concrete—the Russians have acquired layers and layers of ritual, all of it either silly or sacred depending on how magical your thinking. “

 

 

 

 

 

” The Soyuz is always drawn out of its massive assembly building at exactly 7 o’clock in the morning, pulled along by a locomotive with one of its headlights mysteriously put out. The cosmonauts spend one of their last nights on Earth at their hotel in town and watch a pretty bad movie, White Sun of the Desert, and they always walk out to the bus that will take them to the pad to the same song, by a band called Earthlings. Later, they all climb out of that bus and piss on one of its tires because Gagarin allegedly did so; female cosmonauts and astronauts pour out a pre-filled cup.

  And then, with a far better success record than the Americans could ever claim, they strap into their rocket, ancient and blessed, and launch into space. “

 

Story continues at Popular Mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About these ads

Courtesy Of Space Exploration

 

 

Photo: The clearest picture of Mercury ever taken.

 

 

  This colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER’s primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury’s surface. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80-Year-Old Man Says Police Beat Him

 

 

Bill Swan

 

 

 

” A Lone Jack grandfather says he fears for his life after a run in with police.

  Bill Swan was on his tractor when he took issue with a utility crew trying to dig on his property. His family says that before long the Lone Jack police arrived and Swan was left bloodied and more from being yanked off the tractor.

” I’m afraid for us to even drive out of our driveway or to get on the street. I don’t know what they will do,” Libby Swan, Bill’s wife, said.

  Libby Swan hasn’t asked her husband all of what happened because she doesn’t want to put him through the ordeal right now.

” It’s very unnerving that something happened to him,” she said.

  She can only guess that the 80-year-old ended up with a bloodied face, bruised hip and two ribs broken because his hearing is really bad.

” Sometimes I have to get right in his face and talk to him,” Libby Swan said.

  The Swan’s grandson says the arresting officers told him they yanked Bill Swan off his tractor because he refused to get off when they ordered him to, then he tried to run over the officers. He said Bill Swan was booked for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on an officer.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From World Animal Foundation

 

 

 

“Dogs Do Speak , But Only To Those That Know How To Listen”

DJI’s New Inspire 1 Quadcopter Lifts Its Arms To Shoot Stunning 4K Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Cinematographers and geeks alike already use DJI drones to shoot some pretty epic aerial photography. Those airborne images and video are about to get a lot better with the company’s newest quadcopter, the Inspire 1, which has a built-in 4k camera. The sleek, streamlined black-and-white drone transforms in mid-air into a V design by lifting its carbon-fiber arms above the camera assembly, allowing the user to shoot unobstructed video in any direction.

  The on-board camera can capture 4K video at 24, 25, and 30 fps, and 1080p video at 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 fps. The Inspire 1 can snap 12-megapixel stills with its 94-degree wide-angle lens — the camera itself rotates a full 360 degrees and can tilt down 125 degrees. It’s also detachable, meaning you can upgrade the camera when a new version comes along.

” We see this as the perfect combination of the Phantom and Spreading Wings series, being able to take off at the touch of a button while simultaneously giving users fine control of the images they capture,” says Frank Wang, DJI CEO and co-founder. 

  DJI says the drone can fly stable and steady even in strong winds or navigate the indoors without GPS. Inspire 1 uses an optical flow camera that maintains a stereoscopic image of the ground, which helps to prevent it from drifting while you’re trying to record video. “

 

 

A beautifully engineered creation , if a little on the pricey side .

Read more at Popular Mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Photograph Of A Human Being

 

 

 

 

 

 

” This picture, the earliest known photograph to include a recognizable human form, was taken in Paris, France, in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. The human in question is standing in the bottom-left of the photograph, on the pavement by the curve in the road.  He is having his boots shined.  

  The exposure time for the image was around seven minutes, and although the street would have been busy with traffic and pedestrians, it appears deserted. Everything moving was too fast to register on the plate.

  The exception is the man at the lower-left who sat still long enough to appear in the photograph. The person cleaning his boots is also visible, although not as distinctly.

  It has been speculated that instead of a shoeshine boy, the man stood at a a pump. However, comparison with another image taken by Daguerre of the same spot at noon reveals boxes used to hold brushes and polishes.

  Like every Daguerreotype — the first publicly announced photographic process, and named after Daguerre — the photograph was a mirror image.  Here is the image reversed back to show the view as Daguerre saw it: “

 

Mashable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hottest Body Paintings

 

 

 

Here is the first example:

 

uFaRF

 

 

 

Need/want more ? OK …

 

0aae2efed6829c82dad43b1da8d3dbc6

 

 

 

 

    These works of art on the human canvas are lightyears beyond the usual painted-on bikinis and Wonder Woman costumes … Here’s one more example …

 

42e6cdd68b0b5b402b7a602f2ff94b9a

 

 

Inquisitive readers can see the other 66 amazing creations here . Enjoy .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guns OK In Nebraska Senior Photos If ‘Tasteful’

 

 

 

 

 

 

” It’s a new twist on the guns-in-schools debate: A district in central Nebraska has told seniors it’s OK to pose with firearms in their senior portraits, which are taken off campus. The students in the Broken Bow district, however, have to abide by a few rules, reports the Omaha World-Herald: Gun photos must be “tasteful and appropriate,” which means no aiming at the camera and no photos that include an “animal in obvious distress.” “

 

Newser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mountain

 

The Mountain

 

 

” This was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011. I had the pleasure of visiting El Teide.
Spain´s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories.

  The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.

  A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April (bit.ly/g3tsDW) and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.

  Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32.

  Available in Digital Cinema 4k.

  Follow Facebook: facebook.com/TSOPhotography

Follow Twitter: twitter.com/TSOPhotography

Follow Google+: plus.google.com/107543460658107759808

  Press/licensing/projects contact: tsophotography@gmail.com

  Music by my friend: Ludovico Einaudi – “Nuvole bianche” with permission.
Please support the artist here:
itunes.apple.com/us/album/una-mattina/id217799399 “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Algerian soldiers line up in France in 1914. Watch Apocalypse ...

Algerian soldiers line up in France in 1914. Watch Apocalypse WWI.

Image Credit: Jules Gervais-Courtellemont

 

 

 

Here’s another sample …

 

 

Canadian machine gunners dig themselves in, in shell holes on ...

Canadian machine gunners dig themselves in, in shell holes on Vimy Ridge. 

Image Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence

 

 

See all 89 pictures at American Heroes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U-2 In HD

 

 

      52 years ago this week , the U-2 spy plane took photos of Russian missiles being installed in Cuba thus initiating the “Cuban Missile Crisis ” and bringing the world as close to nuclear annihilation as it has ever come .

Puppies Woofs

 

 

 

 

 

The most powerful anti-depressant in the world has four paws and a wagging tail … 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Make Sure You Don’t Take A Picture With It

 

 

” Last month, the Forest Service proposed a regulation that would require permits costing as much as $1500 to take photographs or film on Forest Service land. The public response has been overwhelmingly negative [I tried but couldn’t make the sentence long enough for all the criticism]. To put this simply enough that a Forest Service bureaucrat can understand it, the First Amendment doesn’t allow the government to forbid speech in public places, to regulate the content of that speech, to subject speech to an arbitrary preclearance process, or to condition a government benefit on waiving the right to free speech. Somehow the Forest Service managed to do all of this in a single proposal.

  The proposal would require a permit for any “commercial” filming, which is broadly defined as any sound or video recording that could generate income and uses models, sets, or props. Say, for example, a nonprofit filmed a video in the forest that might generate donations [*cough* hint *cough*]:

  This video would require Forest Service approval, even though the filming took place in a public place and had no adverse impact on the environment.

  The regulation also prohibits unpermitted still photography if it uses models, sets, or props or causes any administrative inconvenience for the Forest Service (although it’s not clear why the permit regime isn’t itself an administrative inconvenience).”

 

Pacific Legal Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women Who Love Fishing, Tackle and Boats

 

 

Meet Christina …

 

christina-img 7438

 

 

 

” Christina tapped the plentiful offshore waters of Marathon, Florida Keys, to haul in this dolphin. Even though Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and Key West tend to be the most popular fishing destinations, don’t forget about the Forgotten Keys in the lower Keys, including Big Pine Key. These less-pressured keys offer exceptional fishing both inshore and offshore. “

 

 

And this here is Catherine …

 

 

catherine-cat-fish-pic

 

 

 

” Catherine, a University of Georgia gymnast, went fishing in Key West and landed this permit. Key West Harbor is one of the most dependable spots to catch permit, especially during the spring. This fishery is a great option for those who lack the time or patience to pursue these fish on the flats. “

 

 

Meet twenty three more ladies who love fishing at Sport Fishing magazine’s October edition of “Sport Fishing Girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Hysterical Photo Collection From The Daily Buzz

 

 

dog pb

 

 

 

Do you think he likes the view ?

 

 

 

 

the-dar-217

 

Here , Let me help …

 

 

 

See the other 80 pics here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind-Blowing GoPro Photos

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s one more teaser …

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Buzz has the other 98 beautiful photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hilarious Perfectly Timed Photos

 

 

KWHnaZ6

 

 

I don’t think she’s going to be happy …

 

 

 

 

 

 

I meant to do that …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of hurting …

 

 

 

 

See the other 48 pictures here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polar Auroras In High-Definition ISS Time Lapse Video By German Astronaut

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A German astronaut has captured stunning images of polar auroras as he orbited Earth on the International Space Station. Alexander Gerst’s images led to the creation of the Ultra-HD – or ‘4K’ time lapse video, running at 25 frames per second.

  The photographs were taken at a resolution of 4,256 x 2,832 pixels and depict Gerst’s orbit around the Earth alongside his fellow ISS Space Station expedition 40 crewmembers.

  His journey shows the rippling greenish lights characteristic of the electrically-charged sun particle collisions, bright city lights in the nighttime, the different hues of the Earth’s atmosphere and a satellite launch. “

 

 

The description from ESA’s Youtube page provides more detail on the creation of the Ultra High Def video :

 

” This timelapse video was made from images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.

  The video is offered in Ultra High Definition, the highest available to consumers. Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect.

  The montage is made from a long sequence of still photographs taken at a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels at a rate of one every second. The high resolution allowed the ESA production team to create a 3840 x 2160 pixel movie, also known as Ultra HD or 4K.

  Playing these sequences at 25 frames per second, the film runs 25 times faster than it looks for the astronauts in space.

  The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly.

  Alexander Gerst is a member of the International Space Station Expedition 40 crew. He is spending five and a half months living and working on the ISS for his Blue Dot mission. “

 

 

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia Releases Photos Of Its Submarine Fleet

 

 

 

 

 

” The Russian Defense Ministry released photos of a cargo ship transporting two of its nuclear-powered attack submarines in a pretty stunning set of photos.

  Russia is transporting the Bratsk and the Samara Akula II-class submarines from Kamchatka to Severodvinsk where both are set to receive massive modernization upgrades at the Zvezdochka shipyard. The submarines will be ferried by the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet  along Russia’s frigid northern coast before it is set to arrive Sept. 20.

  The release of the photos along with an update on the modernization of the Russian’s highly-secretive submarine fleet is what sticks out. RT was the first to publish the photos. “

 

Read/see more at Defense Tech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Of Boulder’s “There’s No Such Thing As The Poop Fairy” Contest Asks Dogs To Dress Up To Promote Responsible Poop-Scooping

 

 

 

” A Colorado city is inviting dog owners to bring their canine companions to a park for the second annual “There’s No Such Thing as the Poop Fairy” photo contest.

  The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department said dogs and their owners are being invited to come have their pictures snapped Wednesday at the Sanitas Valley Trail between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to promote the city’s new dog waste composting program.

  The city said its photographers will provide backdrops and canine costumes, but owners are also free to dress their own pooches in any outfits they choose. “

 

Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Facebook Gem …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Brigade

 

 

 

Desert Rats

 

 

 

Here’s another 

 

 

random 09 03 14 550 17 Daily Afternoon Randomness (63 Photos)

 

 

 

 

See the rest here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newport From The Air

Flying Over Newport, RI August 2014

 

 

 

    Take an aerial tour of Newport with Stu Sinclair aboard his trike .

Pilot And Photographer Wayne Davis Gets A View From The Top

 

 

giant-tuna 02

 

” Photographer and pilot Wayne Davis shot these amazing aerial photos over the open ocean of giant tuna swimming in beautiful formations. Flip through all the images and you’ll even see the surprise shark and whale join them. You can view more images from Wayne Davis and contact him at his website:www.OceanAerials.com. “

 

 

Marlin Magazine has nearly two dozen more spectacular photos … see them here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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