kottke.org posts about Alan Taylor
Alan Taylor has compiled a bunch of satellite photography showing how humans have altered the landscape of the American Southwest.
Humans have lived in what we now call the American Southwest for centuries, making a wide impact on the land, much of it visible from aerial and satellite photography. Nuclear detonations, housing subdivisions, oil exploration, hydroelectric facilities, solar power facilities, roads, mines, farms, ranches, cities, and towns have altered much of the land over the years.
The photos, from top to bottom: a road cuts through White Sands, NM, a former nuclear testing site in NV (those are craters left from nuclear explosions), and a housing development south of Denver.
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the resulting fires destroyed 500 blocks, 25,000 buildings, killed more than 3000 people, and left more than half the city homeless. Alan Taylor curated a selection of photos of the earthquake and aftermath. The most striking ones are those taken from an airship that show how complete and extensive the destruction was. I mean:
Alan Taylor at In Focus has shared his list of the Top 25 News Photos of 2015.
As I have in past years, I’ll share more lists of the year’s best photos as they come in.
Update: The AP shares their Top 100 News Images of 2015. Very few of these photographs show anything good, so fair warning.
Update: In Focus has published all and three parts of a three-part series of 2015: The Year in Photos.
Update: One more from In Focus: Hopeful Images from 2015. A reminder that the good in the world vastly outweighs the bad…even if it doesn’t often make the news.
Update: Nature has a collection of the best science images of 2015. The WSJ presents their Year in Photos 2015.
In a photo set on Flickr, Alan Taylor compares the 1963 and 1991 editions of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever and notes many changes to make it more progressive and inclusive, particularly with regard to gender roles. For instance, in this one, Mother is joined by Father in the kitchen:
And in this one, “beautiful screaming lady” becomes “cat in danger”:
The Atlantic is beefing up their photography coverage with the launch of The Atlantic Photo. This replaces In Focus and will be edited by Alan Taylor.
I’d like to introduce our readers to The Atlantic’s new Photo section, an expanded home for photography at TheAtlantic.com. This new section features not only an updated look, but more variety in formats, wider images for bigger screens, and a design that works well across a range of mobile devices.
As the editor of the Photo section, I’ll continue to publish long-form photo essays nearly every day, as I have for years, in a series we’ll still call In Focus, but I’ll also start publishing shorter posts-often just a single noteworthy image-under a new category we’re calling Burst. I’m really excited to be able to share even more high-quality photography with even more readers.
NiemanLab did a Q&A with Taylor about the new site.
I spend almost all of my day looking through photos, trying to find stories to tell the next day or the next week. Pretty often, I will come across a single image or two or three images, and there’s nothing more to go with it. And since I’ve made it my thing to always be posting longform narratives — constructed either from a single photographer or multiple photographers — I thought it would be confusing to mix it up, so I just shied away from doing it.
I’ve been doing the photo editing now for seven years, and now it’s nice to have the ability to do it just whenever something comes up. If I want to do a historic photo of the day, something from the archives, or something from the Library of Congress, or a really amazing photo was just released by NASA — I just don’t really have an easy outlet for that, and it’d be nice to have. And now I’m going to have it, hopefully.
I’ve long been a fan of Taylor (since the Big Picture days) and am excited to see what he gets up to with The Atlantic Photo.
World War II began 75 years ago today with Germany’s invasion of Poland. A few years back, Alan Taylor did a 20-part photographic retrospective of the war for In Focus, which is well worth the time to scroll through.
These images still give us glimpses into the experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, moments that shaped the world as it is today.
Life has a collection of color photos of the invasion of Poland. Time has a map dated Aug 28, 1939 that shows how Europe was preparing for war, including “Americans scuttle home”.
Alan Taylor has concluded his 10-part series on WWI over at In Focus with a look at the present-day effects of the war. If you haven’t been following along, it’s worth starting at the beginning and working your way through.
Also worth a look is the NY Times’ interactive package about the war.
In the latest installment of his ten-part series on WWI, Alan Taylor covers the technology used in the war.
When Europe’s armies first marched to war in 1914, some were still carrying lances on horseback. By the end of the war, rapid-fire guns, aerial bombardment, armored vehicle attacks, and chemical weapon deployments were commonplace. Any romantic notion of warfare was bluntly shoved aside by the advent of chlorine gas, massive explosive shells that could have been fired from more than 20 miles away, and machine guns that spat out bullets like firehoses. Each side did its best to build on existing technology, or invent new methods, hoping to gain any advantage over the enemy.
It’s fascinating to observe both sides using trial and error with things like tanks, testing out what works and what doesn’t. Look at this kooky German cannon for instance:
Nothing about that looks efficient.
Alan Taylor has started doing weekly round-ups of interesting photos at In Focus. This is my favorite from last week’s batch, the head of Mick Jagger, destined for a wax museum in Prague.
Over at In Focus, Alan Taylor has posted the first part of a 10-part photographic retrospective of World War I.
Represented in this first installment is early color photography (many more of which can be found here), dazzle camouflage, and a photo I’ve never seen before of an aerial view of the trenches of the western front. Can’t wait to follow along with the rest of it.
At In Focus, Alan Taylor surveys the state-of-the-art in robotics with a varied selection of photos. For example, here are two Big Dogs frolicking in the robot dog park:
And better yet, Florian Lopes looks as though he’s enjoying his new bionic hand:
Alan Taylor recently investigated where Google Maps’ Street View coverage ends — “whether blocked by geographic features, international borders, or simply the lack of any further road” — and compiled a photographic look at the ends of the road.
This is amazing: Alan Taylor rounds up some homemade inventions from China, including DIY submarines, giant motorcycles, home-built robots, and can’t-possibly-fly airplanes. I can’t pick a favorite, but this homemade welding mask is outstanding:
Ok, and this giant motorcycle:
Oh, and this rickshaw-pulling robot:
And, and, and… (via @faketv)
I love these 50th anniversary yearly round-ups that Alan Taylor is doing over at In Focus. This year marks the 50th anniversary of 1963:
Previously: 1962 and 1961.
Yesterday I linked to the massive trove of photos recently put online by the NYC Department of Records. Alan Taylor from In Focus went through a large chunk of the archive and pulled out some real gems. Great stuff.
Watch as Vladimir Putin rides a horse, drives a race car, tags a tiger, does judo, goes on archeological dives, looks at leopards, stands on a boat, arm wrestles, attempts to bend a frying pan, rides a snowmobile, flies a plane, hugs a dog, rides a motorcycle, looks at a bear, swims the butterfly, signs autographs, shoots a whale with a crossbow, plays the piano, feeds a moose, talks with a biker gang, steers a boat, walks through brush with a gun, sits in a tank, blacksmiths, plays hockey, hugs a horse, dives almost a mile in a submersible, and adjusts sunglasses.
He has made many more important posts on In Focus and Big Picture over the years, but Alan Taylor has really outdone himself with this one…each photo is somehow more wonderfully unlikely than the previous one. See also Kim Jong-il Looking at Things.
As part of his new-ish gig as editor of In Focus at The Atlantic, Alan Taylor is running a 20-week series of photo essays on World War II. The first essay, Before the War, has been posted and is excellent.
The years leading up to the declaration of war between the Axis and Allied powers in 1939 were tumultuous times for people across the globe. The Great Depression had started a decade before, leaving much of the world unemployed and desperate. Nationalism was sweeping through Germany, and it chafed against the punitive measures of the Versailles Treaty that had ended World War I. China and the Empire of Japan had been at war since Japanese troops invaded Manchuria in 1931. Germany, Italy, and Japan were testing the newly founded League of Nations with multiple invasions and occupations of nearby countries, and felt emboldened when they encountered no meaningful consequences. The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, becoming a rehearsal of sorts for the upcoming World War — Germany and Italy supported the nationalist rebels led by General Francisco Franco, and some 40,000 foreign nationals traveled to Spain to fight in what they saw as the larger war against fascism.
Over at In Focus, Alan Taylor posted a collection of nuclear weapons testing photos. You’ve probably seen some of these before, but they’re still worth a look. The photos of the French Polynesian tests are scarily beautiful.
Over at The Atlantic’s In Focus blog, Alan Taylor is compiling a selection of photos of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. You’ve seen many of these on other sites, but not at these sizes (1280 pixels wide).
Alan Taylor, late of The Big Picture, is up and running at The Atlantic with his new site, In Focus.
In Focus is The Atlantic’s news photography blog. Several times a week, I’ll post entries featuring collections of images that tell a story. My goal is to use photography to do the kind of high-impact journalism readers have come to expect on other pages of this site. Along the way, I’ll cover a range of subjects, from breaking news and historical topics to culture high and low. Sometimes, I’ll just showcase amazing photography.
Two and a half years ago, Alan Taylor started The Big Picture at the Boston Globe; he basically ran the site in his spare work time as a web developer for the company. Now he’s moving on to The Atlantic, where he will edit a new photo site called In Focus.
I wanted the opportunity to do this — telling news photo stories — as a fulltime job, and the Atlantic has offered that to me, for which I am grateful. I also think the Atlantic is a better overall fit for the type of international, wide-ranging storytelling I’ve practiced over the years. The Globe has been a good home and a great platform for over 425 entries since 2008 and I am truly grateful, but I’ve chosen to move on now, and really hope you’ll come along and see what I’m up to. I feel very fortunate for what I’ve been able to accomplish to date, and for the opportunity given to me now. I really can’t believe this is going to be my fulltime gig!
Smart move by The Atlantic, which is increasingly looking like one of the media properties that may make a smooth-ish transistion from print to online/app media. As for The Globe, well, I don’t think they quite knew what they had there. Eight million page views per month out of nothing with a less-than-maximal effort…that’s the kind of thing you want to encourage if you’re in the media business.