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Color Me Katie
Color Me Katie

10 of the Most Fun Photo Projects on the Web

Color Me Katie
Color Me Katie

A picture's worth 1000 words, but these online photo projects might leave you speechless.

1. The Love Train

Courtesy of James Doernberg 

College students James Doernberg and Kai Jordan have only been dating a month, but that didn't stop them from going the distance and photographing themselves at every Manhattan subway station last Wednesday. The couple started at 14th Street on the 1 line and made their way up, down, and crosstown, snapping a quick picture and scrambling back through the closing doors at each stop. The 118-station photo shoot took nine hours to complete. Doernberg and Jordan are moving away from the city—and each other—when they attend separate colleges in the fall.

2. Mila's Daydreams

Courtesy of Mila's Daydreams 

If you've seen one sleeping baby picture, you've seen them all ... unless you're looking at the blog Mila's Daydreams. Finnish mom Adele Enersen created a whole new genre of infant photography when she began creating imaginative dreamscapes around her sleeping daughter in 2010. The successful blog has launched an art book entitled When My Baby Dreams, a popular wall calendar, and many adorable imitators.

3. Switcheroo

Courtesy of Hana Pesut 

Canadian photographer Hana Pesut's Switcheroo photo series first captures couples in their normal clothes and then makes them swap outfits. Hey, it's more fun than walking a mile in each other's shoes ...

4. Brooklyn Theory

Courtesy of Brooklyn Theory 

Photographers see the world differently from the rest of us. Exhibit A: The blog of Brooklyn photographer Matt Coch. He won't even go to the laundromat without his camera.

5. Maddie On Things

Courtesy of Maddie On Things 

Maddie the coonhound isn't just her owner's best friend. She's also his muse. Photojournalist Theron Murphy started taking pictures of his graceful rescue dog atop ladders, bikes, and even a basketball hoop as a hobby. Now the two are on a national tour to promote the book Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and Physics.

6. The Shadow Project

Courtesy of Color Me Katie

Watch your back! In The Shadow Project, Brooklyn photographer Katie Sokoler matched unsuspecting pedestrians with whimsical construction paper shadows. Sokoler hid out with her camera to capture the moment that subjects walked into art. She previously employed the same technique to make Thought Bubbles.

7. Dear Photograph

Courtesy of Dear Photograph 

"Take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present." The premise of the website Dear Photograph isn't as confusing as it sounds. Contributors return to the place where they took an old photograph, picture in hand, and then take a new photo. The result is a poignant reminder to "take a picture, it'll last longer." Site founder Taylor Jones published a Dear Photograph book in 2012.

8. Noah K. Everyday

Courtesy of Noah K. Everyday 

A selfie a day won't keep the wrinkles away. But if you do it as long as photographer Noah Kalina—13 years and counting—you might actually appreciate growing older. (Watch him age 12.5 years in under eight minutes.)

Feeling camera-shy? Try documenting every day of someone else's life.

9. Humans of New York

Courtesy of Humans of New York

Who says New Yorkers are stand-offish? Photographer Brandon Stanton captures the people of the Big Apple with revealing portraits usually accompanied by a quote. Since launching HONY in 2010, Stanton has also photographed people in Iran and Boston. The Humans of New York book hits stores in October.

10. Young Me/Now Me, Back to the Future, and more

      

Courtesy of Less Human; More Being

If you thought your childhood photos were funny the first time around, try recreating them as an adult. Young Me/Now Me is one of many sites in which contributors submit new-old photos. We're not sure who started the trend, but Argentinian photographer Irina Werning's Back to the Future project does an especially great job replicating the look and feel of vintage photos.

Courtesy of Back to the Future 
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What else deserves to be on this list?

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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David Nadlinger
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science
This Photo of a Single Atom Won a Science Photography Top Prize
David Nadlinger
David Nadlinger

While you've been busy finding just the right Instagram filter for your cat, a University of Oxford graduate student has been occupied with visualizing a single atom and capturing it in a still frame. And the remarkable feat recently earned an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council photography award. Why? It was taken with a conventional camera, and the atom can be seen with the naked eye.

Take a look:

A close-up of a single atom in an ion trap
David Nadlinger

That tiny dot in between the two parallel metal electrodes is a strontium atom suspended by electric fields in an ion trap. It’s visible because the photographer, Ph.D. candidate David Nadlinger, projected blue violet light into a vacuum chamber. The atom absorbed and reflected the light, allowing Nadlinger to snap a photo in the split instant the atom was viewable. The space between the two points is just 0.08 of an inch.

Nadlinger dubbed the image "Single Atom in an Ion Trap" and took the Council’s top award. In a statement, he expressed enthusiasm that other people are now able to see what his work in quantum computing looks like.

[h/t Newsweek]

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