Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

It was exactly 01:23:45 AM (UTC+3) on 26 April 1986 when reactor #4 at the Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat in the former U.S.S.R., exploded and sparked a chain reaction ending up with what we know today as the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history. A huge plume of highly radioactive fallout, 400 times more than during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Wikipedia), was exploded into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. But 23 years later, for Swiss decay photographer Timm Suess the Chernobyl ground-zero is also the stuff dreams are made of. At least his dreams.

Like Stalker in Tarkovsky's sci-fi masterpiece, filmed 7 years before the Chernobyl disaster, Suess takes us to a stunning photo-journey into one of the most horrific, abandoned and destructed areas on the surface of earth. While the "Zone" parts in Tarkovsky's fiction film where shot at a deserted hydro power plant on the J├Ągala river near Tallinn, Estonia, Suess' Chernobyl Journal is an overwhelming HDR photo documentary project chronicling a two-day trip taken in March 2009 through the real thing – the Chernobyl zone of exclusion. Packaged into an online presentation on Suess' website, the must see collection includes approx. 450 photographs as well as a few short videos. Below are a few samples we find particularly interesting.

The Road to Chernobyl

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Road towards Chernobyl town, still outside the zone (Source). More from this set, including pictures taken in the town of Chernobyl nearby Suess base camp, here.

Red Forest

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Panorama of the Chernobyl power plant, view from the railway bridge (Source). More from this set, taken around the Red Forest area near Pripyat, Chernobyl, here.

Pripyat Center

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The Pripyat city administration building. The radioactivity sign was probably placed there after the accident (Source). More from this set, taken in the city square of the ghost town of Pripyat west of Chernobyl, here.

Apartment Building

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Another corridor in an apartment block in the ghost city of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken around an apartment block in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Amusement Park

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The Ferris wheel in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken around the amusement park in the ghost city of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Swimming pool

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The public swimming pool in the ghost town of Priypat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in a public swimming pool in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

School Greenhouse

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Greenhouse of a school in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in and around the greenhouse of school #1 in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Ship Graveyard

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Liquidator boats at the ship graveyard north of Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in the North of Chernobyl, where the old liquidator ships went to die, here.

Around Reactor Island

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Cooling tower of the unfinished Chernobyl reactors 5 and 6 (Source). More from this horrifying and thrilling set of pictures from and around the Chernobyl Reactor Island, including reactors 1-4 and unfinished reactors 5 and 6, here.

For more see Chernobyl Journal:
http://timmsuess.com/chernobyl-journal/

Friday, July 17, 2009

Scramateurs: Distorted Para-Sexual Images

Scramateurs: Distorted Para-Sexual Images

Delving into the female form and erotica yet claiming to avoid sexual context, Scramateurs by Laurence Taylor is a set of 6 digitally retouched images based on women photographs that had either been taken by themselves or by someone they knew. Taylor then focuses on the sexiest part of his subject's personal image, cutting off all excess parts. Then, through the use of distortion techniques, a theme that is used extensively throughout his work, Taylor takes the sexiness away, or in his own words to CultCase:
"denying the viewer of what was at one point a very enjoyable, erotic image."
So, even though we are not 100 percent sure about how really "not erotic" the set really is, but we do feel Scramateurs is a powerful para-sexual and enjoyable creation. The photo set below is curtsy of Laurence Taylor and published with permission of the artist. You may enjoy it the way you see right / your religion allows (...) but please be nice and check with Laurence before copying it.

The Couch
The Couch

The Belt
The Belt

The Pants
The Pants

The Pit
The Pit

The Teeth
The Teeth

The Grope
The Grope

More from Laurence Taylor on Flickr

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spiderweb

Web

Did you know that not all spiders build webs to catch their prey, and some do not build webs at all? Designed to be used as traps, spiderwebs are of nature's most sophisticated devices and are built by spiders out of a special silk extruded from their spinnerets. Insects get trapped in spiderwebs and then eaten, providing nutrition to the spider. The tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has much greater elasticity. Spiderweb structure is constantly being researched for potential industrial applications. Two examples are bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons (Wikipedia).

Above: A spiderweb in our garden.
Photo by CultCase. High-res here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Man Comes Back From The Dead in Israel

Man comes back to life in Israel after being pronounced dead

An ambulance crew dispatched to the apartment of an 84 year old man in the city of Ramat Gan in Israel, found him lying on his stomach amid filth in his living room. Maggots and blue death marks were all over the body that was already cold. There was also no pulse or breathing or other life signs and there could be no mistake about the strong putrid smell in the apartment. In other words, the man was dead. So, after a doctor arrived to the scene and examined the body he signed the death certificate shown in the above photo.

But as the saying goes, it ain't over till it's over. A few minutes later, when the body evacuation crew was waiting for the CSIs to complete their documentation process, a policeman came near to the "corpse" and could see it is, well... moving his hand. The paramedics were called back, and the man was taken, conscious, to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Naturally, until the recommendations of the special investigation team that had been set up following the incident are issued, the team that declared the man dead was suspended from all medical activity.

We're relived.

Via JPost and Ynet
Photo by paramedic team member Berale Yaakobovitch, via Ynet