From violent protests in Egypt and smugglers tunnels in Gaza to The Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy and the “Black Marble” Earth photographed at night from space, TIME presents the best images of the week.
In a world made small and accessible by technology, it is easy to forget the magnitude of nature’s infinite complexity. But sometimes technology reminds us, such as when trawling planet Earth on Google’s Satellite View, zooming across landscapes partitioned by natural and unnatural boundaries.
While searching Google Earth, Paul Bourke, a research associate professor at the University of Western Australia, discovered an amazing sightthe patterns of the Earth seemed to form a delicate geometric pattern when viewed from the sky. Not only delicate, but almost perfect. Bourke was captivated by the geographylacy tracks of rivers and mountain ranges stretching across the Earth in unison as if digitally cloned.
Fractals are recognized as patterns of self-similarity over varying degrees of scale. seo marketing . There are both mathematical fractals as well as natural fractalsthe former are idealized and found across a range of scales, while the latter generally only exist across a smaller scale range.
Bourke explains that fractals are found in all parts of life, from the brain sciences and astrophysics to geographic formations and riverbeds. “Fractal and chaotic processes are the norm, not the exception.”
“I always knew these amazing natural patterns would be there,” he said. “They are literally everywhereit’s just a matter of finding them.”
And find them he did. Bourke, an authority on fractals and visualizations, showcases more than 40 different fractals he’s uncovered while zooming through the satellite views of 25 countries. Through his website, he encourages users to submit examples they’ve found in their own browsing, and provides KMZ coordinate files for each image, allowing users to visit the exact views of the fractal features. Bourke’s collection realizes the power enabled by the open-ended tools of modern technology and applies them to a practical and popular aesthetic end.
To see more natural fractal patterns, visit Bourke’s website.
There were a lot of things that launched the environmental movement 40-some years ago—the pea-soup shroud of smog that used to hang over L.A., the sight of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River on fire. But nothing quite matched the power of the pictures beamed back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts on their way to the moon. We’d been seeing our home planet from low-Earth orbit for a number of years by then. What was always missing were human eyes that got far enough away so that the planet’s entire, 360-degree face fit into frame. Once we had that perspective, we saw our world anew: a tiny, fragile bauble in an infinity of blackness, something manifestly worth taking better care of.
Of all the pictures shot on all the moon trips, it was an image from the final one—Apollo 17—that made the greatest cultural impression. Dubbed ”Blue Marble,” the picture which mission records suggest was taken by lunar module pilot Jack Schmitt) shows Africa and the Middle East, largely unobscured by clouds, from a distance of 28,000 miles (45,000 km).
Now, NASA has recreated the picture, without getting any farther than 581 miles (931 km) away, thanks to the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Satellite (Suomi NPP), which orbits the planet pole-to-pole rather than east to west. The relatively low altitude (compared to the Apollos at least) would make a full planetary profile impossible, but the ship was able to capture different high-def swatches of the planet and knit them together
into a single image. To capture that shot for real, a spacecraft would have to be 7,918 miles (12,743 km) away. While the satellite has never journeyed nearly so far, it did do Apollo 17 one better, taking portrait-quality images of both Earthly hemispheres, including North America. Somewhere down there, too tiny to see, is an L.A. with relatively clear skies and a Cuyahoga River now largely free of filth—and entirely free of flame. Sometimes it just takes a good look at ourselves to make us behave a whole lot better.
A riot of color in the night sky above the Arctic Circle gave local photographers a spectacular light show this September. Sometimes called the aurora borealis, the northern lights are caused by streams of particle-charged solar winds that hit the Earth’s magnetic field, causing hues of green and pink to shimmer against the backdrop of the stars. This year, professional and amateur photographers were able to capture the lights in more southerly latitudes than usual. Herewith, a small sampling of what they saw.
Yesterday, I received word from the people at Vice about the premiere episode of Picture Perfect on VBS.TV featuring Stefan Ruiz. The series is comprised of “short video docs on our favourite photographers,” they said in their press release.
In episode one, “Picture Perfect visits Stefan Ruiz at his studio in Brooklyn, New York where we talk about hoarding, portraiture, and his career as one of the best photographers around. We then go on assignment with him to Monterrey, Mexico, where an urban subculture of Cholombianos are so inspired by the Colombian style and culture that passes through town that theyʼll do anything to mimic it.”
Each month, Vice will go behind the scenes to explore the artistic process of various photographers as they go on assignment to all corners of the Earth. “We’ll see their successes and challenges as they attempt to capture life in a variety of interesting locales,” they added. Since its launch in 2007, VBS.TV has become an industry leader in creating original content and providing online news. The channel now boasts over 40 established shows covering everything from current events to sports to investigative reporting to music. VBS.TV and VICE operate in 30 countries, and license over 20 television shows for broadcast throughout Europe and North and South America.
Cédric Delsaux, 1974, France, studied literature and cinema in Paris. He started out as a copywriter in the advertising world before he decided to devote all his time into photography in 2002. He does personal work aswell as advertising campaigns for major brands. His series Here to Stay explores the relationship between humans and nature. The series was published as a monograph in 2008. In his series The Dark Lens he combined two worlds, the world of Star Wars and Earth. The post-apocalyptic scenes blur reality with fiction. 1784 is again a series in which reality and fiction, myths and symbols, the present and the past meet and collide. In 2005 Cédric was awarded the ‘Bourse du Talent’ award in France. The following images come from the series Here to Stay, The Dark Lens (Star Wars) and 1784.
(Video in French)