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Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books

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China recently opened a new futuristic library that contains a staggering 1.2 million books. If you enjoy architectural photography, Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode‘s images of the library will be a feast for your eyes.

The new Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV to look like a giant eye.

The five-story, 360,000-square-foot library features shelves spanning from the floor to ceiling — many of the shelves double as stairs and seats in the beautifully designed space.

The “books” above the actual bookshelves are actually painted onto the building to look like full shelves that continue up to the ceiling (creating the floor-to-ceiling illusion).

The Tianjin Binhai Library was built in just 3 years and opened to the public on October 1st, 2017.

Image credits: Photographs by Ossip van Duivenbode and used with permission

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Which Filters to Use in Landscape Photography and Why

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Filters are the bread and butter of landscape photographers. Here’s a 12-minute video from Nature TTL that will teach you what filters every landscape photographer should have in their bag, as well as why to use them in the first place.

The video is presented by official Nikon Ambassador Ross Hoddinott, who’s an incredibly experienced landscape photographer. While out shooting on the coast, Ross talks through his choices of filters and what real situations are making him apply them.

A crucial piece of takeaway information is to not use a filter just because you have it. So many photographers fall into this trap, using unnecessary filters to “get their money’s worth.”

By the end of this video, you should have a good understanding of what to look out for as a cue to tell you that you need a particular filter.

Using an impressive 10-stop solid ND filter, Hoddinott looks to transform this rather dull scene:

But after a drastically increased exposure time, the scene looks far more attractive:

Check out the full video for Hoddinott full lesson on landscape photo filters, and you can subscribe to the Nature TTL channel for more tutorials like this one each week.

Full disclosure: I own and operate Nature TTL.

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Photographer Recreates the Iconic Photo ‘Dali Atomicus’

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The 1948 photo ‘Dali Atomicus’ by American portrait photographer Philippe Halsman is regarded as one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. It’s a surreal image showing surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in midair with three cats, a bucket of thrown water, and a chair. Photographer Karl Taylor recently decided to try his hand at recreating the photo.

“Dali Atomicus” by the late photographer Philippe Halsman

“This iconic image has been a favourite of mine for as long as I remember and it is probably the root of my own interest and specialisation in photographing fast moving liquids and smashing objects,” Taylor says.

Taylor aimed to make his recreation as faithful to the original as possible (without throwing cats into the air), so he built a corner set with walls and a skirting board that match the original scene.

“As clocks and bread have featured in Dali’s paintings I felt it would be a fitting tribute to replace the cats with a clock in the air and a toaster,” Taylor says. “All of these items are controlled and hung with wires (as in the original) but it would require multiple attempts at capturing the water and the artist/actor in mid air.”

As the “outtakes” from Halsman’s original photo shoot show, this type of thing takes quite a few tries to nail the perfect image.

Philippe Halsman’s original series of shots with author notes.

After carefully analyzing Halsman’s image, Taylor created this image with some notes regarding the key points:

Once he had everything planned out, Taylor conducted his shoot in front of BBC One cameras. Here’s the two part series showing how it went down (with an in-depth walkthrough):

To add a personal touch and creative twist to the concept, Taylor decided to step back and capture not only the original scene but the crew and set around it.

Cropping that final shot produces the recreation of the original Halsman photo. Here are both photos for comparison:

The recreated “Dali Atomicus” by photographer Karl Taylor.
The original “Dali Atomicus” by the late photographer Philippe Halsman.

“There was a huge amount of preparation and calculation […], but I feel very excited that the team and I reproduced such an accurate depiction of the 1948 original in tribute to both Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dali,” Taylor writes on his website.

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16 days ago
100 year old kitty

The Best Water Fountain for Cats and Dogs

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A source of clean running water encourages pets to drink—which can play an important role in long-term health, especially for cats. After researching 30 pet water fountains and testing nine, we found that the Catit Flower Fountain is easier to maintain and use than any other electric fountain we looked at.
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Ebertfest 2018 Passes On Sale Now

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THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL INSTALLMENT OF EBERTFEST, the film festival co-founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert at the University of Illinois, College of Media, is slated to run from Wednesday, April 18th, through Sunday, April 22nd, next year. Passes for the festival go on sale today, Wednesday, November 1st, and will be available at the official sites of Ebertfest and its main venue, The Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, Ilinois. They can also be purchased by calling the theater box office at 217-356-9063. Passes cost $150 plus processing and cover every screening scheduled for the festival. Only 1,000 passes will be sold. Panel discussions and other related festival events are free and will be held both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the Hyatt Hotel.  

Presiding over Ebertfest are co-founder and producer Chaz Ebert and festival director Nate Kohn. "I can't believe that next year will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of our festival," said Chaz. "It's been a labor of love from the very beginning, and I always look forward to meeting the wonderful audiences—both new and returning—every year. Time and again our distinguished guest filmmakers have told me how much they've loved their experience at the festival and cannot wait to come back. To celebrate our twentieth year, I encourage readers and festivalgoers to share their own ideas of how we can make this anniversary installment extra-special." 

From rare archival prints of iconic classics to the latest and greatest works of modern cinema, Ebertfest's lineup has it all. Though the official titles for 2018 will not be announced until several weeks prior to the festival, cinephiles can simply search through the archives to get a sampling of the phenomenal guests and screenings offered each year.  

A few past visitors to the festival include Nancy Allen, Steven Apkon, Ramin Bahrani, Renée Baker, Michael Barker, Seymour Bernstein, Charles BurnettMichael ButlerVeronica Cartwright, Arthur C. Clarke, Paul Cox, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Guillermo del Toro, Caleb DeschanelKeir Dullea, Robert Forster, Andrew Harvey, Michael HausmanWerner Herzog, Isabelle HuppertNorman Jewison, Charlie Kaufman, Kris Kristofferson, Neil LaBute, Brie Larson, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Kasi Lemmons, Richard Linklater, Guy Maddin, John Malkovich, Andrew Miano, Bennett Miller, Gregory Nava, Norman Lear, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeff Nichols, Bill Nighy, Patton Oswalt, Chazz Palminteri, Rebecca Parrish, Father Michael Pfleger, Michael Polish, Alan Polsky, James Ponsoldt, Alex Proyas, Bob Rafelson, Alan Rickman, Gil Robertson, Gary RossPaul Schrader, Jason Segel, Michael Shannon, Timothy Spall, Oliver Stone, Tilda SwintonRita Taggart, Anna Thomas, David Warner, Paul Weitz, Haskell Wexler, Scott Wilson, Irwin WinklerShailene Woodley and Terry Zwigoff

Here is a look back at wonderful memories from Ebertfest 2017...

Roger Ebert's 19th Annual Film Festival // A Retrospective Documentary from Shatterglass Studios on Vimeo.

Join in the Ebertfest conga line next year and meet filmmakers, critics and movie buffs from around the world. There simply isn't a cinematic labor of love quite like it. Individual tickets for each screening are $15 ($13 for students and seniors). 

For questions about the festival write to ebertfest@yahoo.com.

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