Monday, June 23, 2014

National Geographic Photographer's Stunning Landscapes

Thirty years since the passing of Ansel Adams, acclaimed National Geographic photographer Peter Essick pays tribute to the master of landscape photography and the craggy California Sierra Nevada wilderness area named in his honor. Inspired by the stunning scenery that Adams captured several decades ago in the High Sierras, Essick revisited the area to photograph the same sights that Adams loved so dearly. The result is a collection of breathtaking images published in the book The Ansel Adams Wilderness, an homage to the renowned photographer and his love of nature.
Using the Zone System approach that Adams formulated, Essick emulates the same monochromatic aesthetic full of clarity and depth that distinguished the master photographer's images. Putting his own unique spin on Adams' iconic black-and-white imagery, Essick's shots of rugged cliffs, grandiose mountains, serene waters, and shadowy trees are magnificent displays of the beauty and power of the wilderness.
Essick reveals his motivation behind the project in the introduction to his book: "Like Adams, I am a native Californian familiar with the High Sierra, and some of my first successful photos were of this wilderness area (located between Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, and renamed for Adams following his death in 1984). For 25 years I have traveled throughout the world as a photographer for National Geographic magazine, but the High Sierra always has had a special place in my heart."
For a closer look at more stunning, monochromatic landscapes, you can purchase The Ansel Adams Wilderness from the National Geographic Store, Amazon, or other retailers.

Iconic Glass "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" House Sells for $1.06M

One of the most famous works of modern architecture is finally off the market: the iconic Ferris Bueller's Day Off House, also known locally as the Ben Rose House. The Highland Park, Illinois property, which recently sold for $1.06 million, has earned its place in pop culture as the character Cameron Frye's home in the 1986 John Hughes classic. For decades, visitors have flocked to see the setting of one of the most climactic scenes of the film, in which Cameron accidentally knocks his father's Ferrari through the glass wall of the garage, crashing it into the ravine below.
Although the residence is best known for its role in the popular comedy, it's a prized home in its own right, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow for spectacular views of the surrounding woods and deep ravine. In architectural circles, the dwelling is valued for its distinctive style and ties to famed architect Mies van der Rohe. The house was designed in 1953 by A. James Speyer, a student of van der Rohe's, while Speyer's own student David Haid designed the glass pavilion two decades later.
The modern home has faced many challenges in being sold in the past five years, including constant upkeep costs, struggles to heat the glass walls, and disturbances by curious tourists. However, Ferris Bueller fans can rest assured knowing that the new owners plan to love the house and to restore it to its original elegance. "We were familiar with the Ben Rose property, and have long held a goal of owning a classic example of mid-century modern architecture such as the A. James Speyer home and David Haid pavilion," they said. "We believe the home utilizes a unique combination of commercial grade steel and glass, and is an historical timepiece reflecting post-World War II utilization of redundant industrial materials."

Adorable Rescued Baby Pig on Wheels Overcomes Life Obstacles

 Leon Trotsky, aka The Pig on Wheels, is a tiny piglet who had a tragic accident when his mother fell on him, which crushed him and left him without the function of his two hind legs. When the staff of Australia-based animal sanctuary Edgar's Mission met Leon this past spring, they immediately fell in love!
The organization works to rescue, rehabilitate, and then find homes for farm animals whenever possible. Because Leon was so young—just a little more than three weeks old when he was first rescued in April 2014—his tiny little bones were too soft and fragile for a typical cart that would take the pressure off of his back legs. "However, necessity is the Mother of invention," explains Edgar's Mission, "And, coupled with Leon’s courage, a specialized wheelchair was created to allow Leon to move around, pain free, whilst enabling his injured hind legs to heal."
Leon Trotsky has made many friends along the way and his tragic story has since become a heartwarming tale of a strong-willed little pig who refused to be held back by the many obstacles he had to overcome. If you want to learn more about Leon Trotsky or make a donation to Edgar's Mission, you can check out the website here. You can also watch Leon zipping around with his new wheels in the video below.

Breathtaking Photos of Odle, in the Dolomites Mountain Range of Italy

 High in the Italian alps, within the famous mountain range called the Dolomites, separating the Funes valley from the Gardena valley, sit the breathtaking Odle mountains. The Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2009, and have been called some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes found anywhere in the world with its sheer cliffs, vertical walls and deep valleys. One writer descriptively called the mountains, "flames frozen in stone."
Walking the Dolomites is a unique experience in and of itself, as you get a 360-degree view of rocks that have been transformed over thousands of years. There are a number of different trails, from the easy, well-graded paths to the more challenging ones. They cater to hikers of all abilities. Here are some spectacular shots of the Odle mountain group taken by various photographers. Notice that spectacularly sheer cliff.
Photo: Angelo Ferraris  Photo: Angelo Ferraris  Photo: Jim Nilsen  Photo: Francisco Trevisan  Photo: Max Rive  Photo: Max Rive  Photo: Max Rive

A Miniature Hand-Illustrated Book from the 16th Century

From now till September 14, visit The Morgan Library & Museum in New York to see magnificent, miniature works of art. In Europe, back in the 16th-century, smaller was considered better, especially when it came to hand-illustrated books. The Prayer Book of Claude de France is a tiny, jewel-like manuscript created around 1517, the year Claude (1499-1524) was crowned the queen of France. The richly illustrated book holds 132 scenes from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary and many different saints. As you can see from the photo above, the book is tiny, measuring just 2 ¾-by-2-inches.

The artist behind the book remains anonymous but was nicknamed Master of Claude de France after her created this book and a companion, Book of Hours. His style was characterized as the pinnacle of elegance. The colors were applied so delicately, it's been said that he used "tiny, almost invisible brushstrokes."
The Prayer Book of Claude de France is the centerpiece of the exhibition, Miracles in Miniature: The Art of the Master of Claude de France. For the first time in 500 years, Claude's Prayer Book reunites with her Book of Hours. Nearly two dozen items of Claude Master's work will be featured in this must-visit exhibition.