Outside in: 25 foreign photographers shooting the post-Soviet world

For all that Russia is a part of the world under perennial international scrutiny, it’s still hard to come across photography that offers a fresh and complex view of the country and its post-Soviet neighbours. From exhilarating architectural imagery to intimate portraits of people and places, here’s the work of 25 international photographers providing a uniquely insightful take on the region today.

Continue reading Outside in: 25 foreign photographers shooting the post-Soviet world.

Posted in Photography

digiKam Recipes 4.1.3 Released

The new version features the updated Geotag Photos with digiKam and Edit Photos with the Levels and Curves Adjustment Tools recipes along the new Export Photos to Google Drive recipe.

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Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to dmpop@linux.com, and I’ll email you the latest version of the book.

Learn more about digiKam Recipes, and buy it via PayPal, Amazon Kindle Store, and Gumroad.

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Posted in Scribbles

Images of a Russian City Destroyed by Modern Construction

Known as “the town of seven hills”, the city of Cheboksary, Russia is rolling with ridges and ravines that scatter local landmarks and housing across the uneven landscape. At just under 500,000 citizens, Cheboksary has seen a radical change in the last ten years due to overbuilding and thoughtless use of the land, leaving a dangerous and irrevocably altered region in its wake. Photographer Sergey Novikov documents the curious phenomenon in his series Most Frequently Visited Hills and Ravines.

via Images of a Russian City Destroyed by Modern Construction.

Posted in Photography

Brutalist Dreadnought: Forschungseinrichtungen für Experimentelle Medizin

If you take a look at photos of the Forschungseinrichtungen für Experimentelle Medizin (FEM) building floating on the web, you’ll be forgiven for doubting that such a phantasmagorical structure can actually exist. To prove that it’s real, I went to Berlin to photograph it, and I lived to tell the tale. Read it if you dare.

FEM is situated in the Steglitz suburb, which is about half an hour by S-Bahn train from Berlin. Probably the easiest way to get to Steglitz from Berlin center is to take the direct S1 train from Potsdamer Platz and get off at the Botanische Garten station. It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to FEM from there.

FEM welcomes you with a parking lot with abandoned and decaying cars. It’s as if the unsuspecting drivers were sucked into the building through its pipes never to be seen again, and the cars are left to rot forever. This probably serves as a warning that this may happen to you too. The deep humming noise coming from the building’s innards along with the steam rising from its chimneys complete the eerie atmosphere.

The “you have to see it to believe it” adage applies very much to FEM, as no words or even pictures can adequately describe this building. It evokes a mixed and intense feeling of awe, disbelief, and trepidation. The building feels more like a living organism than a concrete structure, a creature you should approach carefully and treat with respect.

The complex is surrounded by a fence with surveillance cameras and no-trespassing signs (as though the building itself doesn’t look intimidating enough to keep most people away). It turned out, though, that one of the gates was actually unlocked. I discovered that when I saw a person leaving the building. When I asked her whether I could go in and photograph, she hesitated, but then said that I would probably be okay if I stick to the open area around the building. So I walked around and took a few photos without any problems. Mind you, it was Saturday morning, so it might be different on a busy work day.

Apart from a handful of photos, there is not much info about the building to be found on the web, but here is what Shlur has to say about it:

The FEM is a colossal concrete structure with place for 88,000 test-animals. It is known colloquially as the ‘Mouse Bunker’ due to its solid, imposing appearance. Completed in 1980, during the ten years it took to build the original forecast cost of 4 million Deutschmarks had become 126 million.

The sloping, converging walls are supposed to be reminiscent of the gables of farmhouses or sheep-stalls in Lower Saxony. I don’t know if this reference to free animals was supposed to be ironic.

I’m glad I had the chance to photograph the building (and I wouldn’t mind doing it again), but I sincerely hope it won’t haunt me in my dreams.

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Posted in Photography, Scribbles

Mejiro Update: Better Navigation, RAW Linking, and More

Time for another quick yet important Mejiro update.

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To improve navigation, the new version uses photo thumbnails instead of Home, Next, and Previous links.

If you upload a photo in the JPEG format along with its RAW version, Mejiro automatically displays the link to the RAW file next to the photo’s title. This feature can come in useful when you want to give your visitors the ability to download the source RAW files of your photos.

By default, Mejiro sorts photos from newest to oldest. But it’s now possible to enable the reversed sort order (i.e., from oldest to newest). Doing this is as easy as setting the $r_sort parameter to true.

As always, the latest version of Mejiro is available for download from the project’s GitHub page, and you can view a Mejiro demo at dmpop.dhcp.io/mejiro.

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This Basement Darkroom from 1975 Was Designed to Look Like the Bridge of a Spaceship

Photographer Jack Turkel was born at around the same time as NASA, and grew up with a fantasies of space exploration as the modern space age was swinging into high gear.

When he began his photography career in the mid 1970s, Turkel decided to combine his two loves by creating a unique, space-themed darkroom.

Continue reading This Basement Darkroom from 1975 Was Designed to Look Like the Bridge of a Spaceship.

Posted in Photography

Photographs That Reveal the Intricate Innards of Old Mechanical Calculators

Photographer Kevin Twomey has a fascination with capturing complex objects in the most simple of compositions, and his series Low Tech is the epitome of this. The series features photos of old, mechanical calculators stripped bare, exposing the exquisitely complicated creations that they were from the inside out.

via Photographs That Reveal the Intricate Innards of Old Mechanical Calculators.

Posted in Photography

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