[REPOST] Iwan Baan: Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places

In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story “Tower of David,” an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity’s ability to survive and make a home — anywhere.

Posted in Reposts

New Year Mejiro Update

I’m ringing in the new year with a Mejiro update. The current version of Mejiro has a few improvements and tweaks in store. Most notably, the application can now handle subfolders, so you can group photos in folders inside the photo directory (by default, it’s /photos). To switch to the desired subfolder, append the ?d=FOLDER pointer to the base URL (e.g., http://foo.com/mejiro/?d=berlin). If the subfolder doesn’t exist, Mejiro automatically creates it. The current version of Mejiro also features improved redirects and refreshes as well as tweaked navigation styling.

I submitted Mejiro to Show HN on Hacker News and received valuable feedback that helped to improve Mejiro and fix security flaws.


On a slightly different note, Mejiro now uses the term tim instead of thumbnail. There are several perfectly valid reasons why the term thumbnail doesn’t work all that well for resized images. But at the end of the day, this word is simply not my cup of tea. So for the Mejiro photo publishing app, I came up with an alternative term — tim which stands for tiny image. This term is logical, short, and sweet.

As always, a Mejiro demo is available for your viewing pleasure. And you can download the latest version of the app from the project’s GitHub repository.

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Posted in Scribbles

[REPOST] Photos: The Ruins of the USSR’s Secret Nuclear Cities

Nadav Kander traveled to the steppes of Kazakhstan four years ago to see the “closed cities” of the Soviet nuclear testing area, a network of cities all but invisible to outsiders until the arrival of Google Earth.

Continue reading Photos: The Ruins of the USSR’s Secret Nuclear Cities.

Posted in Reposts

digiKam 5 Beta 2 Is Out. Try It Now on Ubuntu

digiKam 5 is going to be a significant release bringing a lot of important improvements and new features. But you don’t have to wait till the new version of the application appears in the official software repositories of your preferred Linux distro. If you happen to use Ubuntu or any of its variants, you can try the latest beta release of digiKam using packages built by Philip Johnsson. Better still, installing the beta version of digiKam is a matter of running the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:philip5/extra
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install digikam5

You can then start the beta version of digiKam from the application launcher or use the digikam5 command.

If you are curious what’s new in the beta 2 release, check the release announcement.


And finally, a tiny bit of digiKam trivia. The current splash screen features a photo taken by yours truly in Northern Jutland using a lowly Canon PowerShot S90.

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Posted in Open Source, Scribbles, Software

[REPOST] These Color Photos of Paris Were Shot 100 Years Ago

Back in 1909, a super-rich French banker named Albert Kahn decided to create a photographic record of the world using the new color photography process that had just appeared, the Autochrome Lumière. He commissioned 4 photographers to take their cameras to places all over the world. One of the cities they documented was Paris.

Continue reading These Color Photos of Paris Were Shot 100 Years Ago

Posted in Reposts

[REPOST] The Final Years of Pre-Soviet Russia, Captured in Glorious Color

In 1909, Nicholas authorized Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii to document his empire using a new technique called additive color. Over a period of about six years, Prokudin-Gorskii took some 10,000 pictures, systematically chronicling Russia’s rich culture, industry, and architecture. His stunning photos capture the breadth of life in the last days of an empire, its rugged frontiers and rural landscapes, and the signs of its growing industrial might.

Continue reading: The Final Years of Pre-Soviet Russia, Captured in Glorious Color.

Posted in Reposts

[REPOST] Remnants of a Failed Utopia in the Former Soviet Union

Sometimes, as he traveled through former Soviet territories, photographer Danila Tkachenko waited days or weeks for the right amount of snow. To capture his vision of the abandoned spaceports and oil field pump jacks littering the land, “I needed a lot of snow falling,” he says. “This created a special atmosphere in the photographs, a kind of … very diffused light.”

Continue reading Remnants of a Failed Utopia in the Former Soviet Union.

Posted in Reposts

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