Special places: Landscapes
Drone flight over an aqueduct
The World Heritage Listed Pontcysllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wales. It was completed in 1805 and is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.»more»
Brazillian rainforest photographed from a kite
I have spent more hours than I like to admit browsing the website of Nicolas Chorier, a French photographer who specialises in kite photography. There is much else to see, but I suggest you start with his pictures of the disappearing rainforest of Brazil. The website does not allow a direct link, so here are directions: in the navigation list on the left of the page, click nature, then brazil. Then click the thumbnail images that appear on the right.»more»
Minutes to midnight
With these photographs from a journey across Australia, Trent Parke has made an intense, autobiographical piece, specific in time and place. It’s presented as a web slide show with narrative voice-over. As the intro says:
The work is both a document of a changing nation, uneasy with its identity and its place in the world, and a work of fiction which when combined suggests the build-up, aftermath and rebirth of an apocalyptic world. In its making, Trent pupated from documenting an emotional black and white world to one of color.»more»
At the end of 1972 I travelled to Istanbul by train from Iran—a meditative journey across the Turkish winter landscape. Under damp foreboding skies I visited the great church of Hagia Sophia and the great Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I, and enjoyed the conjunction of the Orient and the Occident.
I have not been back, but these photographs by Turkish film maker Nuri Bilge Ceylan are the next best thing. He took them while scouting for film locations, and they have cinematic aspects. These widescreen images are all about people in relationship to places.»more»
Soviet roadside bus shelters
From the web-based Polar inertia: journal of nomadic and popular culture, a portfolio of photographs by Christopher Herwig—a set of 19 strange and varied bus shelters observed in rural parts of the former USSR.»more»
Canto do Brasil
In Canto do Brasil (I sing of Brazil) Geoffrey Hiller presents a dozen sequences of photographs, each with a sound track, about different aspects of Brasil. The images are full of gritty reality and vibrant life.
The photos and audio are packaged in Flash movies. Best with a fast connection.»more»
Life at the end of the road
Students and teachers from the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Universidad de los Andes went to Patagonia, and made this bilingual web documentary. Photographs, video, audio and graphics introduce the land, sea and people of the southernmost tip of America.
There is a lot of rich material here - video interviews with ranchers, a virtual reality tour of a mansion in Punta Arenas, and dozens of other stories. To my delight there is video footage, with crew interviews, of a Chilean Navy ship bringing a fresh crew of lighthouse keepers to Faro Islas Diego Ramirez - an offshore lighthouse to the south of Cape Horn.»more»
According to its tagline, Sprol is about planetary scrutiny. It’s a blog whose entries use Google satellite photographs and acerbic text to highlight places of environmental disaster and degradation.»more»
David Nightingale lives and works in the English seaside town of Blackpool. Each day in his photoblog Chromasia he publishes a photograph of the people, objects and places around him.
These are not the grey pictures I associate with the English seaside, thanks to David’s graphic sensibility, and his willingness to tinker with contrast and saturation.»more»
On the road in north west Scotland
As author Frederik Ramm says, Oh dear! This is what happens when a mad tourist straps a camera and a GPS to his Land Rover and shoots 2,968 photos. Perhaps he is mad, but there is a fascination in viewing these journeys on the web. You can set off on a trip, and the website will automatically display the pictures in sequence, with your position on the map continuously updated. It is a mechanically recorded experience, with no aesthetic judgements about when to take a picture or where to aim the camera. I have not done much driving in Scotland, but I have done enough to say that this website evokes the experience very strongly.
If you are interested in the technicalities, the website includes lots of detail about the digital photography, GPS position logging, XML data structures, co-ordinate systems, data preparation, file compilation, and web publishing.»more»
Rimutaka incline railway
This website celebrates a remarkable New Zealand railway, and promotes a scheme to reconstruct it.
The steep Rimutaka Range was a barrier in the way of the railway line from Wellington to Napier. In the 1870s the engineers adopted a ‘temporary’ solution — special locomotives with extra horizontal driving wheels on both sides of a central rail. The system was designed and patented by English engineer John Fell.
Burarra gathering: sharing Indigenous knowledge introduces children to the people of Arnhem Land in northern Australia. Danaja and his grandfather Wala Wala will show you around, and explain their country and their way of life. This is the first online exhibition from Questacon (the national science and technology centre in Canberra), produced in collaboration with the Burarra people.»more»
This portfolio of photographs by Dr Jaroslav Poncar evokes the spectacular landscapes and hard life of Ladakh, on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau. I enjoy the unsaturated colour and sombre monochrome of these pictures.»more»
Maps of Scotland 1560-1928
The National Library of Scotland’s map collection is one of the ten largest in the world.»more»
6,000 images from the John Oxley Library photo collection went online this month. These images show just a glimpse of the material in the State Library of Queensland’s historical collection. The library promises to add more to the online database as it continues the work of digitisation and cataloguing.»more»
Lighthouses of Australia
A collection of images, facts and stories maintained by Malcolm Macdonald with other members of Lighthouses of Australia Inc.»more»
Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village
Beginning construction in 1956 at age 60, and working until 1981, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey transformed her 1/3 acre lot into Bottle Village, an otherworld of shrines, wishing wells, walkways, other random constructions, plus 15 life size structures all made from found objects placed in mortar. The name “Bottle Village” comes from the structures themselves — made of tens of thousands of bottles unearthed via daily visits to the dump for years, some of them from her husbands own bad habit. Appearances aside, Bottle Village began as two purely practical needs for a cheap building material to build a structure to store her pencil collection, which eventually numbered 17,000 and a bottle wall to keep away the smell and dust of the adjacent turkey farm. However, it was her own ability to have fun and infuse her wit and whimsy into what she made which over time became the essence of Bottle Village. Practicality alone would not explain The Leaning Tower of Bottle Village, the Dolls Head Shrine, car-headlight-bird-baths, and the intravenous-feeding-tube-firescreen, a few examples of her delightfully idiosyncratic creations.»more»
The great hedge of India
Roy Moxham wrote The great hedge of India about his quest for the 1,500 mile thorn hedge that divided India in the nineteenth century. I had not heard of the hedge before, and I have not seen the book, but Roy’s book-promo web site hints at a ripping yarn. The British used the impenetrable hedge to collect huge taxes on the Indian salt trade. And yes, after an arduous journey Roy did find a small remnant of the hedge — there’s a photo on the web site.»more»
This on-line exhibition of 32 photographs has been my private pleasure for a year or so. Now, as the western powers prepare for a new war on Afghanistan, these pictures show a deeper view of that remarkable country than we see on TV.»more»