Aerial footage from Melisa Dunbar captures Manhattan’s skyline at magic hour, just as lights come on and commuters flood the avenues.
Trekking through the Tlapocayan jungle in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, seven men from Forge Motion Pictures brave bugs and inclement weather to capture water in its most natural, most treacherous state: the waterfall.
The winners have just been announced of this year’s National Geographic photo contest. The Society received more than 22,000 entries from over 150 countries. Presented here are the winners from the three categories of People, Places, and Nature, captions provided by the photographers. The Grand Prize Winner receives $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013. Be sure to also see earlier In Focus collections of entries:Part I and Part II.
See more. [Images: National Geographic Photo Contest]
Patrik Wallner, known for his skate videos shot in exotic locations, took a week off to visit Burma. Instead of putting his camera down, however, he captured the beautiful scenes below from the weightless perspective of a hot air balloon. Seeing “all the temples illuminated by the morning light was really a magical experience which I can’t stress enough for you to try for yourself if you happen to go to that side of the world!” he says.
The deadline to enter this year’s National Geographic photo contest is coming up — this Friday, November 30. Back in September, the society started gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to vote for them as well. Winners will be chosen on or around December 15, 2012. National Geographic was once more kind enough to let me choose some of its entries for 2012 to feature here on In Focus. Gathered below are 50 images from the three categories of People, Places, and Nature, with captions written by the individual photographers. Be sure to also see Part I on In Focus, from September.
See more. [Images: National Geographic Contest]
Travel is like a good, challenging book: it demands presentness—the ability to live completely in the moment, absorbed in the words or vision of reality before you. And like serious reading itself, travel has become an act of resistance against the distractions of the electronic age, and against all the worries that weigh us down, thanks to that age. A good book deserves to be finished, just as a haunting landscape tempts further experience of it, and further research into it. Travel and serious reading, because they demand sustained focus, stand athwart the nonexistent attention spans that deface our current time on Earth.
Read more. [Image: Henry Lin/First Light/Corbis]
Few visitors to Cuba make it past the country’s famed capital city, where cigar aficionados smoke up in private eating houses and wealthy vacationers pass the nights in cabarets. But nine of Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants live outside Havana, living very different lives than the urban elite’s. Here’s a photographic tour of what the island looks like beyond its refurbished tourist destinations.
Director Charles Lanceplaine follows a group of skaters looking to try their tricks in a new and different environment — only to discover a glittering, modern city devoid of human occupants.
Originally built to house one million residents, the city of Ordos in northern China is now almost completely deserted. Despite China’s much-lauded building boom, soaring property prices have kept occupants at bay. Ordos is now the largest ghost town in China — thought to be a stark example of China’s impending real estate bubble.
The U.K. street artist who previously brought you the Inner City Snail Project — is no more invested in arguing about the causes behind the modern condition than he is in arguing for “solutions” to it. What he’s interested in is expressing the solitary, uncertain side of contemporary life — and, it seems, inviting people both to recognize themselves in this and to share in some common self-deprecating irony about it. For the Little People Project, which he started back in 2006, Slinkachu began remodeling and painting miniature model-train-set figures, leaving them on the streets of cities around the world and photographing them. “The street-based side of my work plays with the notion of surprise and I aim to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings,” he says. “The scenes I set up … aim to reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city, almost being lost and overwhelmed. But underneath this, there is always some humor. I want people to be able to empathize with the tiny people in my works.”
See more. [Images: Slinkachu]
Beginning in the 7th century BC, a series of massive defensive fortifications were constructed along China’s northern border. Built to protect China from northern attacks, the walls stretched out for thousands of kilometers, many joining together to become the Great Wall of China. Over several centuries, the wall and thousands of supporting structures were built across mountains, deserts, and rivers, eventually stretching more than 20,000 kilometers in length. Sections of the wall near large cities are well-maintained, but many remote areas are slowly being reclaimed by nature. Gathered here are images of the Great Wall over the years, from its westernmost pass at Jiayuguan to where it meets the sea in Qinhuangdao.
See more. [Images: Reuters, AP, Getty]