Hot! How a Backyard Photographer Captured Some of the Most Detailed Images of the Sun

For much of the past decade, Andrew McCarthy has been exploring the universe—albeit from his backyard in Arizona.

Using telescopes with specialized filters, planetary cameras, and astro-specific software, he captures the happenings of universe in all their beguiling and beautiful details. McCarthy has photographed the passage of the International Space Station, the crimson glow of nebulae, the glint of asteroids, and the pockmarked face of the moon.

“I impulsively bought a telescope after fondly remembering looking through my father’s telescope as a child,” McCarthy said. “One look at the planets through the eyepiece and I was hooked. I became obsessed with trying to share what I was seeing with the world.”

One subject McCarthy keeps sharing is the sun.

Featured: An image of the sun taken from McCarthy’s backyard. Image: courtesy Andrew McCarthy.

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NYC Show Puts the Lens on Pet Photography

Anyone who has spent a minimum of two minutes with me would know that animals are the light of my life, and the current exhibition at Fotografiska in Manhattan has only added fuel to that fire. Best in Show: Pets in Contemporary Photography is a celebration of our unbreakable bond with our domesticated fuzzy, feathery, and scaly friends that perforates humanity’s delineation from the natural world. Both irrational love and endless humor, the hallmarks of life with pets, are rife throughout the exhibition on view at the museum through January.

The included works encapsulated a wide variety of heartwarming perspectives toward pet ownership — if one could even call it that, considering how well our little buddies have us trained, too. Best in Show highlights 25 artists from dog-lover William Wegman and his delightful Weimaraners to Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich, known for his exceptional fish photography, showcasing the myriad domesticated animals we choose for company and care.

Featured Image: Elliott Erwitt’s photograph of a pup in the air, France, 1989 (© Elliott Erwitt and Magnum Photos, courtesy Fotografiska)

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romain veillon captures abandoned places reclaimed by nature in the absence of humanity

In his latest release, Green Urbex 2, French photographer Romain Veillon invites us to ponder an intriguing question: What would the earth look like if humans suddenly disappeared? In this second book of the series, Veillon takes us on a visual journey, offering a glimpse into a world where abandoned places across the globe are slowly but surely reclaimed by nature.

Through a collection of striking photographs, Veillon showcases the relentless forces of decay as they gradually consume human-made structures, from castles and houses, to churches and factories. His lens reveals how these once-vibrant spaces succumb to deterioration and become enveloped by the unstoppable forces of the natural world.

Featured Image by Romain Veillon

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Stunning Footage of Neurons Forming Inside a Chick Embryo Wins Nikon’s Small World in Motion

For 13 years, Nikon’s Small World in Motion has celebrated the most alluring footage captured through a microscope that spotlights a range of biological processes, from viral infections to blood flow. The 2023 competition garnered nearly 400 entries from photographers and researchers in 41 countries with Dr. Alexandre Dumoulin winning the top prize for his 48-hour timelapse of neurons developing in a chick embryo.

Featured Image: Dr. Alexandre Dumoulin, a 48-hour time-lapse of developing neurons connecting the opposite side of the central nervous system in a chick embryo

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Woman Uses Hidden Cameras To Get Candid Look at Birds in Her Backyard

For years we’ve been following Lisa, aka Ostdrossel, as she documents the incredible feathered friends who frequent her backyard. The German bird lover, who is based in Michigan, uses several backyard cameras that allow her to get a candid look at the birds. Luckily, she’s more than happy to share the results, which show all of the birds and critters that eat and drink in her backyard.

Her most popular setup is her homemade feeder camera fitted with a macro lens inside a weatherproof box. It allows her to see everything from a nuthatch snacking on a nut to young birds molting into their adult feathers. And while her bird images are fascinating, the candid camera also catches some unexpected guests at the feeders.

Male northern cardinal

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Bird Photographer of the Year 2023 Highlights Avian Attitudes and Winged Wonders Around the World

The judges of the 2023 Bird Photographer of the Year competition (previously) sifted through more than 20,000 images submitted from photographers around the globe. With lenses trained on a variety of avians and their habitats, the makers of this year’s winning images highlight diverse behavior, sizes, colors, and environments, from enigmatic and elusive species to familiar backyard friends.

Jack Zhi’s grand prize-winning image catches the dramatic moment that a Peregrine Falcon attacks a Brown Pelican in mid-flight.

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Featured Image: Arto Leppänen, “A Moment of Prayer,” Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa), Helsinki, Finland. Gold Award Winner: Urban Birds

Incredible Winners of the 2023 Portrait Photographer of the Year Contest

“Salvation” by Forough Yavari. Overall winner, International Portrait Photographer of the Year.

Iranian photographer Forough Yavari was honored as the International Portrait Photographer of the Year for a stunning portfolio of work that shows off skills as a fine art and fashion photographer. Based in Melbourne, her photography draws on her life experiences as a woman, with her work portraying the narratives behind the lives of women around the work.

Yavari topped the list of talented amateur and professional portrait photographers who entered this year’s contest. Aside from Yavari, winners were also named in four categories—Character Study, Environmental Portrait, Portrait Story, and Family Sitting. All of the portraits have their own unique stories to tell.

Frederic Aranda won the Character Study category for his candid portrait of actor Ian McKellen in his dressing room. Wearing full padding and bright blue eye shadow, the esteemed actor was preparing to tackle the role of Mother Goose in a pantomime in London.

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Shyam Rathod, India, the crystal of a topical medicine used to treat warts

Shyam Rathod, India, the crystal of a topical medicine used to treat warts

Science meets psychedelic color in the 2022 Evident Image of the Year awards. From the vibrant, feather-like crystals of a topical medicine to the shimmering scales of a Urania ripheus moth, the winning works unveil a slew of vibrant, microscopic wonders found around the world. This year’s top image comes from molecular biologist Laurent Formery, who documented the spindly, spiky nervous system of a young sea star.

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Powerful or Problematic? Robert Mapplethorpe’s Photographs

Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) shocked the world with his images of bondage, gay-sex, female bodybuilders, and naked black men. Always technically brilliant, sometimes politically problematic, these photographs captured a New York community during times of intense social change.

Moments in Time

Mapplethorpe was an artist whose work became completely bound up with the times in which he lived. He captured moments in time that will be forever remembered; while street photography ruled, he retreated back to the studio, producing tightly composed, black and white portraits, still lives, and erotic art.

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A Fitting Tribute to Carrie Mae Weems’s Monumentality

Carrie Mae Weems, from the series Roaming (2006) (photo Naomi Polonsky/Hyperallergic)

LONDON — A woman with an austere bun stands in a floor-length black gown, her back to the camera. First she’s pictured looking out at the Roman-era Pyramid of Cestius, then the 16th-century Jewish ghetto in Rome, then Mussolini’s Palace of Italian Civilization. These monumental structures tower over her, but her stance is stately and defiant. The woman is Carrie Mae Weems and the photographs form part of her series Roaming (2006), now on view in Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now at the Barbican Art Gallery. In these carefully conceived black-and-white images, she poses as a timeless “muse” in front of architectural sites that chronicle Italy’s history of imperialism.

Roaming was one of the series included in Weems’s exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2014, Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video — her first significant show at a New York museum and, as the Guggenheim was keen to highlight, its first-ever retrospective dedicated to an African-American woman. What the museum was less vocal about is that the exhibition ran in parallel with a major survey on Italian Futurism, the controversial early 20th-century movement founded by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. One of the first members of Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, Marinetti tried to make Futurism the official state art of Fascist Italy. In the movement’s manifesto, he stated his intention to “demolish museums and libraries” and “fight feminism.”

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