The Top WIRED Photo Stories of 2018

The Hellish E-Waste Graveyards Where Computers Are Mined for Metal. Ever wonder where your old batteries, phones, and light-up toys wind up? The answer is dumps like this one in Ghana, China, and India. Kai Löffelbein took us there in his eye-opening book CTRL-X: A Topography of E-Waste.

A Rare Look Inside the Korean DMZ, the ‘Scariest Place on Earth’. The 155-mile Korean Demilitarized Zone contains one of the largest concentrations of soldiers and artillery in the world. Park Jongwoo received rare permission to photograph inside the zone—accompanied, of course, by a squadron of soldiers.

Hilarious Images of Bored Tourists From Around the World. Each summer, travelers descend on Europe to see the same churches, museums, and landmarks as everyone else. Laurence Stephens is often right there with them, photographing them as they photograph everything else. His images appeared in a fun new book this year.

Ominous Views of Japan’s New Concrete Seawalls. Gray walls now line the coast of northeast Japan, where entire villages were destroyed by the 2011 tsunami. Tadashi Ono documented these imposing structures, which shut out any view of the sea.

Aerial Views of Mexico’s Dystopian Housing Developments. The US’s southern neighbor has spent more than $100 billion on sprawling housing developments. Photographer Jorge Taboada calls them “sinister paradises,” and his mesmerizing aerial photographs reveal why.

You’ve Never Seen Waves Like This Before. Rachel Talibart’s incredible photographs freeze waves in action, letting you appreciate every ripple and splash.

Want to Take Stunning Photographs? Turn Your Camera Upside Down. You can’t tell where one building starts or ends in Arnau Rovira Vidal’s mesmerizing series Reform. Taken with a Lomo camera, they combine two exposures to form one trippy shot.

Bolivia Is Landlocked. Don’t Tell That to Its Navy. Bolivia lost its coastline to Chile more than 100 years ago, but its sailors continue to navigate water wherever they can. Nick Ballon’s wonderful series captures their resolve.

The Secret Tools Magicians Use to Fool You. Fake thumbs. Silicone eggs. Funkenrings. Louis de Belle exposed these gimmicks for what they are in his clever new book Disappearing Objects.

Inside the US Military’s Secret Doomsday Defense. Jim Lo Scalzo documented the secret bunkers, missile silos, and other Cold War-era infrastructure scattered around the US. It’ll make you look twice at that old “water tower.”

Intimate Glimpses of Ordinary Life in Iran. Teenagers skateboarding, couples taking selfies, kids riding in shopping carts—these vignettes of the day-to-day in Iran by Simone Tramonte are beautiful and refreshing.

Can You Spot the Hidden Images in These Psychedelic Landscapes?. Terri Loewenthal photographed rugged landscapes with colored filters and reflective optics to produce these trippy scenes.

Why We All Take the Same Travel Photos. Geotagging has made it clear just how redundant all our snaps of the Golden Gate Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and the Taj Mahal are. But we still take them. This essay explored why.

Side-By-Side Photos of Paris and Its Chinese Knockoff. Residents of the Chinese city of Tianducheng don’t have to board a plane to visit the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, or the gardens of Versailles. But Francois Prost, a photographer who actually lives in Paris, did for his fascinating series Paris Syndrome.

The Techies Turning Kenya Into a Silicon Savannah. Janek Stroisch’s bright photographs presented a promising vision of Kenya, home to a $1 billion tech hub.

Meet the World’s Most Hardcore LARPers. Boris Leist had to dress up as a mendicant monk named Boris the Reader to gain credibility with the Live Action Role Playing community he photographed in Germany. It paid off with these spectacular portraits of zombies, mutants, and orcs.

The Trailblazing Women Who Fight California’s Fires. Christie Hemm Klok’s portraits were a stirring tribute to the hundreds of women who serve in the San Francisco Fire Department.

Aerial Images Capture Swathes of Amazon Rainforest Destroyed by Gold Mining. Ernesto Benavides hung from the open doors of police helicopters to shoot these mind-blowing images showing the impact of illegal gold mining in Peru.

The Camp in Alabama Bringing Outer Space to the Blind. Kids at SCIVIS undergo astronaut training with help from braille, large print texts, and handheld magnifiers. No one will blame you for tearing up.

A Rare Bird’s-Eye View of Hong Kong’s Vanishing Rooftop Culture. Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze spied on unsuspecting city dwellers to capture these gorgeous images of rooftop culture.

These Celebrity Portraits Are Fake. Sort of. Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and Mike Tyson look weirdly creepy in these bizarre portraits of wax models by Peter Andrew Lusztyk. Yet you can’t look away. “Once people realize what they’re looking at, there is this sort of revulsion, or disgust,” Lusztyk says.

The Mighty Honeybee Is Fighting Poverty and Deforestation in Zanzibar. Jurre Rompa captured the bee-autiful partnership between bees and beekeepers.

Capturing Humor in a Sea of Red Tape. Ole Witt’s photographs of bureaucracy in India made the DMV seem half-alright.

Want to Hunt Aliens? Go to West Virginia’s Low-Tech ‘Quiet Zone’. There’s a 13,000-square-mile swathe of land straddling West Virginia’s border with Virginia and Maryland where most technology is prohibited or simply doesn’t work. Photographers Andrew Phelps and Paul Kranzler ventured in to produce this incredible series.

Photos: New Yorkers Wait ‘on Line’ to Vote in Midterms

For some in New York City, voting in yesterday’s midterm elections was no easy feat. Big lines, rain, an unusually long ballot—from Chelsea to Park Slope, the city’s residents faced more than the usual hurdles in placing their votes.

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But New Yorkers, like many Americans across the country who hit the polls yesterday, are resilient. They stood in lines, dealt with ballot-scanning machine issues, and patiently waited to cast their votes, even as things ground to a halt in some neighborhoods. Natan Dvir caught that diligence in-person. The photographer spent his day yesterday on the Upper West Side capturing images of different polling stations for his series On Line, which “explores the cultural phenomena of standing in line.”

The resulting photographs, like those above, encapsulate New Yorkers’ persistence in the face of the elements and exhibit the power present in the mundane act of waiting to cast their ballots. “It was amazing to see how many people came to vote in spite of the bad weather,” Dvir says. “The feeling was people did come to make a point. People made it their business to come stand in line until they actually casted their vote.”

The photographer’s images, in turn, show the beauty in those moments, the stillness amongst an otherwise tense atmosphere. Dvir arranges his images as wide tableau, signaling to the viewer the spectrum of personal narratives united by a common cause: American democracy.

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You have never ever Seen Waves Like This Before

Photographer Rachael Talibart was raised in western Essex, on England’s southeast coastline and sometimes went sailing on her behalf daddy’s sailboat into the summer. The woman fascination with the sea proceeded whenever she became a photographer and the woman new series Sirens reflects that. Each image is termed after having a mythological-esque figure. This one is known as Niobe.

As a youngster, Talibart spent weeks each summer on her father’s sailboat, checking out the coastlines of France additionally the Netherlands. It taught her how exactly to realize the rhythms associated with the sea and also to capture images similar to this one, Poseidon Rising.

Because she ended up being always seasick, Talibart spent the majority of her sailing voyages being a youth in cockpit, staring out at the ocean, rather than within the watercraft. That translated into her work on images like Anapos.

Talibart received on her behalf understanding of the sea on her brand new photography show, Sirens. Images into the series receive mythological-esque names like, in this case, Kraken.

The images had been all shot at Newhaven Beach, in East Sussex, beginning in 2016. This image is named after Leviathan, the sea serpent of Jewish mythology.

Talibart started making weekly visits towards the beach, reaching dawn and spending hours on her back, taking photographs regarding the ocean, like this one, entitled Loki.

Talibart used telescopic lenses and an ultra-fast 1,000 frames/second shutter speed to fully capture these sculpture-like pictures. This is named Maelstrom.

Talibart shot all of the pictures in grayscale, but she switched to desaturated color whenever she noticed bursts of green during Storm Brian in 2017. This dramatic shot, Medusa, is certainly one of these photographs.

This dramatic image is called Nanook.

The show has been shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and can carry on event during the Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts in September. Talibart named this image Nyx after the personification of evening in Greek mythology.

Talibart admits to a love/hate relationship aided by the ocean admitting “part of me personally is still half-afraid regarding the ocean.” She known as this picture Oceanus following the river in Greek mythology.

Talibart drew upon the woman youth seafaring experience to help framework and time her photography. This image of the giant revolution is named Echo after a nymph in Greek mythology.

As she did in childhood, Talibart can’t assist but begin to see the shapes of ocean creatures in the waves. This is termed Sedna.

Only with a fast shutter rate can we come across waves in this manner, Talibart says. Typically they move too fast for people to understand their sculptural beauty. This 1 is termed Thetis following the character in Greek mythology.

Space Photos of Week: Light a Candle for Hubble, Still Gazing Strong

This isn’t simply any Hubble picture regarding the Lagoon Nebula; it is a bday photo celebrating the Hubble Area Telescope’s 28 years in orbit. The Lagoon Nebula, seen within dazzling color, is 4,000 light years away and is gargantuan as star nurseries get: 20 light years high and 55 light years wide.

This may be a gorgeous photo and something you might not recognize of the famous astral human body, called the Lagoon Nebula. The Hubble area Telescope took this photo in infrared light, which reveals different elements regarding the nebula perhaps not noticed in the visible range. The bright star within the center is called Herschel 36 and it is just one million years old—a fledgling in stellar terms.

Mars is covered in craters and even though typically considered to be a “dead” planet, it is really quite active. Earth’s red neighbor has wind, but not strong sufficient to kill The Martian’s Mark Watney. This impact crater (a relatively brand new one by Mars criteria) is called Bonestell crater, located in the simple called Acidalia Planitia. The streaks within the image are brought on by winds blowing into the crater.

This picture associated with Sun had been taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory some weeks ago. The dark regions are called coronal holes—openings into the Sun’s magnetic field—and whenever available, they spit highly charged particles into room. When these particles encounter Earth’s magnetic industry, they create dazzling displays of aurora near our northern and southern poles.

Hello deep space! This galaxy cluster possesses name that is instead difficult to remember—PLCK G308.3-20.2, but it’s means cool. Galaxy clusters such as this contain several thousand galaxies, some the same as our very own. They’re held together by gravity, making them one of many biggest understood structures in space affected by this invisible force.

Willing to shoot the moon? The new management in Washington is setting its places on some lunar adventures. Among the different reasons why individuals want to return to your moon: There’s a decent amount of water frozen around our cratered satellite, and also the views from there aren’t too shabby.

This Photographer Recreates ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Back to the Future’ in Miniature

Growing up, Felix Hernandez spent countless hours alone in his room, staging scenes with his extensive toy collection. Today, the Cancún-based photographer makes a living doing much the same thing, building elaborate miniature sets in his studio to shoot images for brands like Audi, Nickelodeon, and Mattel.

“I’m kind of nerdy,” Hernandez admits. “Since I was little, I preferred to be in my room playing with my toys, creating my own stories, instead of going outside and playing with the other kids. I think I’m still the same way.”

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When he isn’t shooting commercial photography, Hernandez works on personal projects, often inspired by movies like Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars. He builds each set from scratch on a large tabletop in his darkened studio, which is equipped with every conceivable model and part he might need. “I go there and I can stay one or two days, working 24 hours a day,” he says. “It’s my favorite place in the world.” (Not surprisingly, it’s also his six-year-old son’s favorite place.)

For his automotive photography, Hernandez starts with a standard-issue model car set, which he assembles, modifies, and paints to his exact specifications, including artificial weathering to make the car look like it’s been driven. He then builds the set, rigs up his lighting, and shoots the scene from multiple angles, trying to create as much of the image as possible “in camera” rather than adding it later with Photoshop.

Depending on the scene’s complexity, building the set and staging the scene can take Hernandez, who always works alone, between a week and a month. It’s that long, painstaking work that he finds most satisfying, even though all viewers will see are the resulting images. Losing himself in creating new worlds takes him back to his childhood, he says, to those long hours alone playing with his toys.

“The final result isn’t the most important thing to me,” he says. “It’s the process of getting to that final shot.”