Some haunting and etherial Arctic scenes by photographer Reuben Wu taken on the frozen island of Svalbard in northern Norway. Using a vintage Polaroid and other film cameras, Wu’s images are striking in both their desolation and rough beauty. Via Wired:
Aurora Borealis lights the sky above the Adventdalen valley. This eight-minute exposure reveals the nearly parallel motion of the stars, due to Svalbard’s proximity to the North Pole.
The tracks of a polar bear, likely male. It is illegal to leave the borders of Longyearbyen without a gun for self-defense.
The last picture Wu took at Svalbard – a Polaroid from the lounge of the most northerly airport in the world.
The abandoned aerial transport station used to convey coal from the mines. While still an active coal mining site, Svalbard’s main industry is now tourism, and coal is transported in trucks.
An aircraft fire simulator used by Longyearbyen Airport crews for practice. The ground is covered in several inches of ice.
The vehicles Wu and his compatriots used to get around. “Probably the closest I’ll ever get to riding an Imperial Speeder Bike on Hoth,” says Wu.
The Noorderlicht, a ship that sails into the Tempelfjord every winter, where it allows the ice to form around it. While here, it is used as a base camp for expeditions. “I stayed outside and played with the huskies as everyone went inside for cookies and a hot drink,” says Wu. “I couldn’t stand the thought of going from ‘extreme outside’ to ‘extreme inside.’”
These antennae form part of the SOUSY Svalbard Radar, a weather monitoring facility. Spotted in waist-high snow on the way out of Longyearbyen.
Wu says of this image, “It was a lot colder than the photograph suggests. The Polaroids need to be dried and stored carefully after developing. Everyone else on the trip was shooting digital while I was struggling with light meters, loading film and storing prints in my jacket.”
The frozen surface of Tempelfjord in Svalbard.
An expired, 80 or less ISO Polaroid of the Northern Lights.
Via DeMilked, some unbelievably beautiful natural wonders. Many of them are in China, which is great to see. Sometimes we forget about the natural beauty of heavily industrialized countries like China. Time to save up to visit these places. Click on the images to see them larger. Thanks to Tony V. for the tip!
Artist-engineer Thomas Heatherwick’s “Garden Bridge” is a masterpiece of design, and something that takes the idea of the High-Line, and pushes it further. Via Gizmodo:
A heavily forested pathway stretching across the Thames, Heatherwick’s bridge would be the second pedestrian-only bridge constructed in London in less than two decades, succeeding Norman Foster’s initially infamous—but now enormously popular—Millennium Bridge, built back in 2000.
Seattle has some interesting architecture of late, including this gem of a little church in downtown. Designed by architecture firm Olson Kundig, they make great use of stained glass in a restrained yet fun, and perhaps reverent way. Via FastCoDesign:
Jaw dropping Jack O’Lanterns at the annual Jack O’Lantern Blaze. It seems as if people find more and more ways to innovate with the pumpkin every year. My question is, who did all the scooping? Via Colossal: