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Johnny Miller//Millefoto
Johnny Miller//Millefoto

Drone Pictures Provide a Birds' Eye View of South Africa's Social Inequality

Johnny Miller//Millefoto
Johnny Miller//Millefoto

South Africa's notorious social inequality is just as striking from above. Cape Town-based photographer Johnny Miller recently shot a series of drone pictures that provide viewers with a birds' eye view of the stark segregation between rich and poor (and in many cases, black and white) communities in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

Called "Unequal Scenes," the project, recently highlighted by PetaPixel, began as a single Facebook post. Miller won a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which took him to the University of Cape Town to study anthropology in 2012. Eventually, Miller bought a drone, and he wanted to incorporate the knowledge he'd gained from his master's program into his photography.

"During my coursework, we covered a lot of topics, and some of the most interesting to me were spatial planning and the architecture of the city, specifically the particular way that was done under apartheid," Miller said in a statement he shared with mental_floss. "For example, there are huge buffer zones that were created to keep different race groups separate. I just thought that was fascinating. So when I got the drone, I had a spark of inspiration that perhaps I could capture those separations from a new perspective."

Miller took his drone outside Cape Town, to the boundary between the local Masiphumelele community and its surroundings—an area he calls "one of the most dramatic examples of informal settlements." He posted the resulting picture on Facebook, and it was shared more than 1000 times. The response drove Miller to take more photos of apartheid and post-apartheid urban planning in other South African cities. He eventually created a separate website for "Unequal Scenes," and is delivering a series of lectures on his work. Miller is also currently releasing a new photo a day.

According to Miller, the images are "just the beginning" of a larger, interdisciplinary project in which he interviews people in these South African communities and others, pairs their perspectives, and presents his findings. Check out some of Miller's images below, or visit his website, Twitter, or Facebook for more information.

All photos courtesy of Johnny Miller//Millefoto

[h/t Petapixel]

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The Strange Reason Why It's Illegal to Take Nighttime Photos of the Eiffel Tower
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iStock

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most-photographed landmarks on Earth, but if photographers aren't careful, snapping a picture of the Parisian tower at the wrong hour and sharing it in the wrong context could get them in legal trouble. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the famous monument is partially protected under European copyright law.

In Europe, copyrights for structures like the Eiffel Tower expire 70 years after the creator's death. Gustave Eiffel died in 1923, which means the tower itself has been public domain since 1993. Tourists and professional photographers alike are free to publish and sell pictures of the tower taken during the day, but its copyright status gets a little more complicated after sundown.

The Eiffel Tower today is more than just the iron structure that was erected in the late 19th century: In 1985, it was outfitted with a nighttime lighting system consisting of hundreds of projectors, a beacon, and tens of thousands of light bulbs that twinkle every hour on the hour. The dazzling light show was designed by Pierre Bideau, and because the artist is alive, the copyright is still recognized and will remain so for at least several decades.

That being said, taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower after dark and sharing it on Instagram won't earn you a visit from Interpol. The law mainly applies to photographers taking pictures for commercial gain. To make sure any pictures you take of the illuminated tower fall within the law, you can contact the site's operating company to request publishing permission and pay for rights. Or you can wait until the sun comes up to snap as many perfectly legal images of the Parisian icon as you please.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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Scientists Share the Most Ridiculous Stock Photos of Their Jobs on Twitter
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iStock

If you picture a scientist as a guy in a white lab coat who spends all day glaring at vials, you can blame popular media. A quick image search of the word scientist brings up dozens of stock photos that fit this stereotype. And when photos do diverge from the norm, things start to get weird. Now real-life scientists are sharing some of these bizarre depictions on Twitter using the hashtag #badstockphotosofmyjob.

Some stock photos contain errors that would go unnoticed by most members of the public. But show a professional a model posing with a beaker of dyed water, or a backwards double-helix, and they might have something to say.

Despite all the lab gear, safety rules are apparently broken all the time in stock photo world. On rare occasions fake scientists ditch the lab coats altogether for lingerie—or nothing at all.

Even more puzzling scientist stock photo trends include injecting plants with mysterious liquid and holding stethoscopes up to inanimate objects.

Fortunately, scientists from the real world are much better at their jobs than scientists in stock photos make them out to be. To get a clearer picture of how a scientist's job differs from the stereotype, check out some behind-the-scenes accounts of their work in the field.

[h/t IFL Science]

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