Category: architecture

60 Awesome Examples of Tilt-Shift Photography to Make Marvelous Miniature Worlds

August 6th, 2014 Permalink

One of the reasons photographers use tilt-shift is to make life-size locations look like photos of miniature scale models. Tilt-shift photography is not only used for miniature faking, but these miniatures reminded us of the song “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” So let’s do some virtual globe hopping to view amazing miniature worlds in which city-scapes appear like toy cities. [60 Photos]

St. Peter's, Vatican City in tilt shift

St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City in tilt shift. This type of “tilt-shift photography” can be done either by tilting the camera lens to distort the plane of focus and shifting the lens to distort the perspective, or via software. Photo #1 by Ondablv

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Abandoned Asylum: Horrors of Forest Haven [44 PICS]

May 2nd, 2014 Permalink

Once upon a time, the story of Forest Haven was happy and hopeful because the state-of-the-art D.C. Training School would help developmentally and mentally handicapped children and adults learn skills to help them survive in the real world instead of being institutionalized. That was 1925; the Forest Haven facilities grew to a compound with over 22 buildings spread over 250 acres. By 1991, the story of Forest Haven was a heartbreaking horror story as hundreds of residents died of abuse and neglect before the U.S. Justice Department forced the District of Columbia institution closed. “What we have here are quiet little murders,” explained a Justice Department expert witness in a 1994 article. “They’re killed one day at a time because people don’t pay attention and then no one finds out the real cause of death.” Before everything was said and done, Forest Haven ended up being one of the worst cases of criminal institutional abuse that the U.S. has ever seen. Oh the sickeningly sad stories the walls would tell you if only they could. Now, over 20 years later, this is the abandoned Forest Haven asylum. [44 Photos]

Left behind luggage at abandoned Forest Haven asylum

Left behind luggage at abandoned Forest Haven asylum. Like this luggage, patient records and sensitive information were all left behind. This place seems like the saddest version of Hotel California because mentally disabled children and adults were checked in, but could only check out by dying. Forest Haven history is dark and demented, full of epic abuses, criminal neglect and atrocities like rape. As we look at the abandoned asylum, let’s listen as if the walls could to talk about some the horrors of Forest Haven. Photo #1 by © Darryl Moran Photography

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45 Sizzling Snaps & Pictures of the Year: Smoking Hot Photo Contest in the Commons

April 17th, 2014 Permalink

A decade ago, there were not tons of terrific photos to choose from in the Commons, but photographers have really stepped up by licensing their photos so people can share them along with knowledge. While you may or may not agree with the 12 Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year winners, most everyone could agree the competition was smoking hot. Categories like animals, plants, people, panoramas, nature, space, architecture and even miscellaneous objects give us a chance to go globe hopping as we celebrate these 45 sizzling snaps. Congratulations winners and thank you to all photographers who make the Commons a fountain of beautiful knowledge! Why don’t you consider uploading your photos to the Commons and maybe we’ll see you listed as a winner next year? [45 Photos]

Wikimedia Picture of the Year 2013 winner, tungsten filament burning with a flame in the light bulb

1st place winner in the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2013 Contest. The photo description states, “The glass bulb of the lightbulb has been opened, causing the inert gas inside to escape. When turned on, the tungsten filament burns with a flame, due to oxygen entering the light bulb. The light bulb was screwed into a socket, which was replaced with the lamp base using image processing.” Photo #1 by Stefan Krause, Germany

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Sacred Valley of the Incas: Salt, Stones & Secrets [42 PICS]

March 20th, 2014 Permalink

When you think about the Incas, does Machu Picchu come to mind? While that might be where your destination starts or ends in Peru, there is so much more to see in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or El Valle Sagrado de los Incas. Look up along the Urubamba River and Valley to see Andes Mountain peaks stretching to a height of 20,000 feet. It is over these steep hillsides that the Incas managed to move massive stones without the help of the wheel. They had no iron tools to cut the stones, but still the pieces fit together so tightly that not even a knife blade can slide between them. The “how’s” are part of the secrets to which we might never know the answers. Huge circular terraces at Moray were thought to be where Incas conducted experimental agriculture. Carved into the mountains are also thousands of small salt ponds, Salineras de Maras, or Inca salt pans. All of this is located in the Peruvian Andes, with Cusco on one end and Machu Picchu on the other; this is the heartland of the Inca Empire. This is the Sacred Valley of the Incas. [42 PICS]

Las Salineras, Inca salt ponds

Inca salt ponds, Sacred Valley in Peru. The photographer wrote, “Indians mined salt slopes of the valley from pre-Inca times. Today, 700 to 800 families owning some 3600 basins are organized as a cooperative. The total annual production varies between 160 and 200 tons.” Photo #1 by David (Wanaku)

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6 National Parks of Ireland: Castles, Cliffs, Green Mossy Landscapes [38 PICS]

March 16th, 2014 Permalink

We’ve looked at Ireland Now and Then (100 years ago), but to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a look the six national parks of the Republic of Ireland. Killarney National Park was first, and Ballycroy was the last to be established. The Burren National Park is the smallest and Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest in Ireland. There are also Connemara and Glenveagh as well as landscapes with castles, karst, cliffs, waterfalls and green mossy forests. [38 Photos]

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara is about 5km from Connemara National Park

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara is about 6km (10 minutes) from Connemara National Park. For St. Patrick’s Day, let’s look upon the green beauty of Ireland and scenic landscapes found in the 6 National Parks of Ireland: Ballycroy, Connemara, Glenveagh, Killarney, The Burren and Wicklow Mountains National Park. Photo #1 by Dennis Wilkinson

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Crimea Landscapes: Natural Wonders & Ancient Ruins [38 PICS]

March 6th, 2014 Permalink

The Swallow’s Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Ukraine. But the Crimea you hear about now involves the Ukraine crisis. While we hope for a peaceful resolution, Crimea lawmakers voted in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia, as Russia already has the Black Sea peninsula under its control. In 10 days, citizens of Crimea must choose: Stay in Ukraine or join Russia. The crisis in Ukraine made us remember Gagra, the resort paradise turned to ruins, aka the abandoned Russian Riviera. We became curious about what else does Crimea look like, besides a castle? Here are some of what we found; here are amazing natural wonders in Crimea, gorgeous landscapes and seascapes, places with so many caves that they are known as cave towns, as well an ancient ruins that go back to medieval times. [38 Photos]

Swallow's Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Ukraine crisis, Russia

Although the Swallow’s Nest castle high on the cliff above the beautiful Black Sea has become an icon for Crimea, Crimea is so much more than a castle or resorts along the Black Sea. Here are some of Crimea’s amazing natural wonders and ancient ruins. Photo #1 by Fr Maxim Massalitin

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Waverly Hills Sanatorium: 1 of the Scariest Abandoned Hospitals in America

October 24th, 2013 Permalink

This former tuberculosis hospital has been called one of the most terrifying, most haunted, places in America. At least 6,000 people died there, many taken out through a ‘death chute’ tunnel, and Waverly Hills reached urban legend ghost status. Built in 1926, the massive Gothic architecture housed TB patients suffering from the “White Plague” with no antibiotic cure on the horizon. It closed in 1962, then became a facility for the elderly, but was shut down for patient abuse by Kentucky state officials in 1982. Here’s a ‘spooky USA’ armchair visit to a place of history and mystery, Waverly Hills Sanatorium. [66 Photos, 6 Videos]

Patients of Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Patients of Waverly Hills Sanatorium. You’re looking at it, the most modern, most advanced and well-equipped tuberculosis hospital at the time…in 1926. There had been a horrible outbreak, the “White Plague,” sweeping across America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s been said that thousands afflicted with tuberculosis checked in, but some never checked out. And nowadays this abandoned hospital is known as “one of the most terrifying places in America.” Photo #1 by The Owl / University of Louisville Libraries

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From Beach Resort Paradise to Rotting Ruins: Crumbling Mediterranean Ghost Town

September 13th, 2013 Permalink

Imagine yourself on an island in the Mediterranean with beautiful white sand beaches, warm weather, fantastic places to shop, fine dining, and modern luxurious hotels that are frequented by the vacationing rich and famous. Then boom, the island is invaded and you must flee for your life from that slice of paradise. From tourist hotspot to ghost town, it’s a No Man’s Land with ruins that are rotting away. This happened: the island is Cyprus, the year was 1974, and the area was known as Varosha, a section of Famagusta. The crumbling vacation resort is a “forbidden zone” that has been stuck in time and slowly decaying for nearly 40 years. Sure, you could cross the “Buffer Zone” to see what that moment in time looked like when people fled and Varosha was abandoned, but if caught . . . trespassers will be shot on the spot. [36 Photos]

Varosha is a beach paradise and crumbling vacation resort where trespassers will be shot

Varosha in Cyprus is a both a beautiful beach paradise and a crumbling vacation resort where trespassers will be shot. Wait, what? You read it right. The photographer explained, “Perhaps the most haunting and downright weird tourist attraction on Cyprus, the abandoned Maras district (known in Greek as the ‘Varosia’) really is a sight worth seeing. The Varosia is a lingering reminder of the relatively recent year of 1974, when the Turkish invasion took place and this whole area was barricaded off with barbed wire, becoming something of a no-man’s land. The beach and crumbing high-rise tower blocks remain unused and make the Varosia area of Famagusta appear rather like a ghost town, with just a tiny portion of this former leading beach resort being still occupied.” You can see both in the “postcard” above. Photo #1 by bass_nroll

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America’s Most Iconic Statue: Lady Liberty [55 PICS]

July 6th, 2013 Permalink

For 127 years, she’s watched over and welcomed people to the USA. Officially, her name is ‘Liberty Enlightening the World,’ but most call her the Statue of Liberty or Lady Liberty. She is surely America’s most iconic statue. Lady Liberty is made from 300 copper sheets, suspended from a steel framework, which have naturally oxidized over the years making her appear green. She is 151 feet tall, standing on a 65 foot concrete and granite pedestal upon a courtyard shaped like an 11-pointed star. Located on Liberty Island, Lady Liberty calls out, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” On July Fourth, America’s 237th birthday, Lady Liberty reopened to the public. Here are some rare and historic photos and fun facts, mixed in with stunning shots of the Statue of Liberty. [55 Photos]

Lady Liberty, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886

Countless millions have been awed by visiting America’s most iconic statue. Lady Liberty, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the Statue of Liberty “reopened” on July 4, 2013. Photo #1 by Mr. Nixter

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Fireworks: Celebrating Happy Independence Day America! [21 PICS]

July 4th, 2013 Permalink

July Fourth, the day Americans celebrate their independence from that place across the pond. God bless America. Happy Independence Day! [21 Photos]

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, America! “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!” ~ quote by Daniel Webster. Photo #1 by Jeff Krause

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World-Famous Dancing Fountains of Bellagio, Vegas Baby [35 PICS, 9 Vids]

June 15th, 2013 Permalink

People go to Las Vegas for all sorts of reasons, but everyone wants to see the beloved and world-famous Fountains of Bellagio, the most popular free attraction on the Vegas Strip. There’s a reason that crowds are dazzled by watching the water dance. Bellagio’s iconic fountains are an engineering marvel, 8 acres of water, nearly 5,000 lights, and a fog system to help set the mood, as 1,200 water-shooting nozzles create a magnificent ballet of dancing fountains choreographed to music. Whether it is your first visit or your thousandth time to watch the show, there’s something magical about the Fountains of Bellagio.
[35 Photos, 9 Videos]

Sunset Fountain Show, Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Fountains of Bellagio are on every tourist’s list of attractions to see. The show is set in an 8½-acre man-made lake that is about 1,000 feet (300 m) long and illuminated at night by nearly 5,000 lights. The center circle of nozzles, “extreme shooters,” are capable of shooting water almost 500 feet (460 feet) into the air. Photo #1 by Justin Brown

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Memorial Day: Weeping Angels at Eternally Eerie Graveyards

May 26th, 2013 Permalink

No matter your religious beliefs or cultural background, we all mourn our lost loved ones. When remembering the departed, we can all be ‘haunted’ by ghosts and specters of memories. Some people are so bereaved that they erect elaborate statues for tombstones. The details and symbolism on headstones are usually created by those still living, weeping and mourning; the monuments capture that sense of loss and pain to be remembered for all time. Graveyards are eerie enough, but other tombs are topped off with curiously spooky and complex reminders, making the cemetery seem like it was created to be a totally creepy and morbid place. Having lost a beloved grandmother and great-grandmother this year, we can feel the pain of loss and the love that went into these grieving angel statues. Angels monuments often offer comfort to those still living, but when they too have passed on and the graves are forgotten, time and weather may play havoc on the tombstones. For Memorial Day, here’s a trip through cemeteries that seem eternally eerie by being haunted by weeping angels and other ghoulish statues standing guard for an eternity. [45 Photos]

Mourning angel and golden leafs of fall, cemetery of Laeken, Brussels

Mourning angel and golden leaves of fall, cemetery of Laeken, Brussels. Stone sculptures as headstones lend a sense of permanence in being remembered. Photo #1 by Eddy Van 3000

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