Tag Archives: photographs

Throwback Thursday: 8 Major US Cities As Seen by Your Great-Grandparents

Here are some of the most iconic American cities, now bustling centers of commerce, entertainment, fashion, and media. They were important in these regards back in the day, too, but by the looks of these photos you’d never know it!

All of these images come from about the late 19th century, which you can tell by the horse-drawn carriages and old-fashioned clothing styles. We live in the 21st century, surrounded by all kinds of cultures and styles and immersed in contemporary issues and concerns. It’s important, though, to remember where we came from, and that we are part of a long line of individuals who have lived in, experienced, and help built this country we call home.

And what’s more, these photographs are just so darn precious. Take a look!

Boston – Newspaper Row, Washington StreetOld-Photos-of-Big-Cities-30

Philadelphia – Broad Street


San Francisco – Bay Bridge


New York – Grand Central Station and Hotel Manhattan


Chicago – Wabash Avenue


Detroit – Woodward Avenue


Los Angeles – South Broadway


Washington D.C. – Ninth Street


And one bonus from New York… (Wall Street!)


Images sourced: Fludit and Los Angeles Past

Waltz Around Saturn with these Amazing NASA Images

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 12.27.56 PMYou have never experienced outer space like this before! More than 200,000 photographs taken by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft in journeys around Saturn come together in this epic video by Italian filmmaker Fabio Di Donato. “Around Saturn” has a stylized, retro Sci-Fi atmosphere to it and is elegantly paired with the gripping Jazz Suite No.2: VI. Waltz 2 by Soviet composer Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich.

The music paired with the black and white imagery conjures memories of the Cold War-era space race between the U.S. and Soviet Russia. It reminds us, too, that no competition between mere humans can compare with the vast omnipotence of space, which of course can’t be owned or controlled by anyone. At the same time, the grandeur of Shostakovich’s composition mirrors that of Saturn, suggesting a connection between both the Universe’s and humans’ creative potential.

Learn more about NASA’s Cassini mission here.

“A Beautiful Body”: Reclaiming Beauty from a Backward Culture that Devalues Mothers’ Bodies

Motherhood brings love, joy, and children into women’s lives. It also brings responsibility, body changes, and considerable sleepless nights – these are parts of the bargain. One thing it should not entail, but often does, is body shame and low self-esteem. In pregnancy and motherhood, women’s bodies become vessels of life. They are the sites of ultimate creativity and abundance, and there is no shame in that.

But then come the stretch marks and scars, the loose skin and soft breasts, and it’s hard not to look at yourself and feel alienated from the image of beauty our culture promotes. This phenomenon has inspired photographer Jade Beall to reclaim women’s natural beauty in her series “A Beautiful Body.” The project began when Beall entered into the world of motherhood and, as way of coping with the changes her body was experiencing, began posting photos of her post-pregnancy body to Facebook. The response was overwhelming, Beall writes on her website. There was clearly a deep longing for and desperate lack of widespread representations of real mom bodies, in all their beauty and life-giving power.

Thus Beall began photographing women in all stages of pregnancy and motherhood, some with big baby bellies, some with newborns, some with grown kids and years-old stretch marks kissing their soft tummies. The degree of enthusiasm for this project led Beall to embark on publishing a book by the same title, now available for pre-order. The book will contain photographs of mothers (like the ones above) along with each woman’s personal story of finding beauty and strength in spite of media-enforced stereotypes.

It speaks to the world we live in to see so many women crippled by feelings of shame and inadequacy. The materialist, superficial culture we live in outlines a narrow box with the label “Beauty,” and anything that doesn’t fit into it gets brushed aside. This leaves us feeling responsible for our own lack. But the reality is that these labels and values are 100% arbitrary, empty, and meaningless. Thus the task for all of us, as Beall’s series demonstrates, is to reframe our lens; to reclaim our bodies, as well as our aesthetic values, which have been co-opted for so many years by a media culture that has no real interest in our well-being.

What do you think? Are you inspired by Beall’s photo series? Please share your own photos and stories in the comments below and on social media!


All photographs by Jade Beall.

10 Terrifying Photos of the Oklahoma City Tornado

A massive tornado ripped through Oklahoma City this afternoon leaving much damage and probably many injured in its wake. According to CNN, the tornado is estimated to have been nearly 2 miles wide, and more than 171,000 people may have been in its path, including at least one elementary school. Unfortunately the primary medical center in the area was also damaged and evacuated, which means that the injured will need to be transported to other nearby hospitals.

Today’s tornado isn’t even a stand-alone event, though. All weekend large swaths of Oklahoma were hit by devastating storms that left at least several people dead, 300 homes damaged or destroyed, and entire towns leveled. Hopefully the worst of the storm is over, though it is often the aftermath, as these shocking photographs suggest, that can be even more devastating.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic display of nature. Please use this space to leave your thoughts, stories, and prayers. Stay safe!


Photos sourced from Buzzfeed

“We Are The Not Dead” – Amazing Photos of Soldiers Before, During, and After War

Even with a fairly widespread understanding of post traumatic stress and other effects of war, it is hard to really know what soldiers go through in defending their countries, apart from what we see on the news. The stress they undergo in training, the many horrors they may witness, the friends they lose, the struggle to reintegrate with civilian life…It is an experience unlike any other, which undoubtedly imprints itself on the minds and psyches of these men and women – and perhaps in their faces and eyes, too?

This is exactly what photographer Lalage Snow captured in her harrowing series, “We Are The Not Dead.” Over the course of 8 months, Snow photographed British soldiers before, during, and after deployment in Afghanistan, with accompanying quotes from each individual portrayed. You may notice how dramatic the transformation is in some of these young men and women’s faces, some of them just in their early 20s or younger. Without trying to read too much into the portraits, let yourself first just observe their faces and appreciate the honesty in Snow’s composition:

Private Chris MacGregor, 24


Private Dylan Hughes, 26


Private Becky Hitchcock, 23


Corporal Steven Gibson, 29


Private Matthew Hodgson, 18


Private Jo Yavala, 28


Lance Corporal Sean Tennant, 29


Second Lieutenant Adam Petzsch, 25

One thing you may notice is pupil dilation in many of these soldiers’ eyes. Along with increased heart rate and blood pressure, pupil dilation can be a large indicator of stress, anxiety, and trauma. This would make sense given what these individuals went through over the span of just a few months in combat, as expressed in many of their quotes. But even understanding some of the science behind the transformations doesn’t make the visual any less potent.

Are you a veteran, or do you have any friends or family who have fought in war? Does Snow’s photography mirror your own experience?

Photography by Lalage Snow

Artist Transforms Dollar Store Junk Into Alarmingly Beautiful Photography

web14Take a stroll through your local Dollar Store, and see if you feel inspired to create art. We’re not talking about the 99 cent coloring books and cheap water-coloring kits, but something on a whole new level of artistic reappropriation.

That is precisely what photographer Antonia Basler did for her senior thesis project when she visited Dollar Stores around Brooklyn, gathering unglamorous and throwaway items for subjects of a still life series. At first glance the photographs are stunning and bizarre in an Andy Warhol-meets-Salvador Dalí way. On closer inspection, one notices plastic cutlery, sardines, toy guns, rainbow dusters, and more – not your typical subjects of fine art.

As Basler told Co.Design:

I would spend time in the Dollar Stores and be equally repulsed and attracted to the stuff there. I wanted to shoot them away from their environment, in a more clean setting.

Basler’s work isn’t a romanticized look at everyday objects, nor a critique of modern consumerist culture. But it does challenge the ways we perceive these seemingly banal objects and suggest that aesthetic value can be found in unlikely places. Here is just a sampling of photos from Basler’s Dollar Store Series:




Check out the rest of the Dollar Store Series at Basler’s photography website, and let us know your impressions in the comments below!

Photo credit: Antonia Basler

Want to feel like you were in DC on Inauguration Day?

Greetings, Friends, from Lucia, California, just south of Big Sur, where I’m taking a silent retreat at New Camaldoli Hermitage, a heavenly place populated by rabbits, chipmunks, bluebirds, hummingbirds, deer, and foxes – oh, and a few human beings, including monks who sing like angels.

One of the things I love about this place is you can’t get cellphone or Internet access. Or so I thought. Because of a scheduling snafu, I moved this morning from my remote private hermitage to a guest room next to the office, and discovered I can get wifi in this spot. Fortunately, I’d completed much of the focused writing I came here for…

It was good to catch up on almost a week’s worth of email today – and it was also wonderful to find a message from my friend, Doug Bruns, a photographer who was in and on the scene in DC on Inauguration Day. He sent a link to some photos he took, and I just had to share them with you.

To catch the feeling of that day, check out these beautiful images (put your cursor on "Portfolions", then "01.20.09"). Which one is your favorite? I think mine is the one with the little boy – or is it the woman on the car waving two flags? Or the scene at dusk, with multiple flags leaving lustrous tails?

Sending love, hope, and the white light of healing,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...