Posts tagged with "My Modern Met"

Funny early entries to the 2024 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

July 1, 2024

With just one month left before the Nikon Comedy Wildlife Awards closes for entries, we have received a sneak preview of some of the hilarious images submitted thus far, courtesy of My Modern Met. From clingy kids to a “three-headed” giraffe, these photos are sure to bring a smile to your face.

The awards, founded in 2015, accepts photographs from both professional and amateur shutterbugs, and uses humor to bring attention to conservation issues.

Each year, the photo contest supports a sustainable conservation organization. In 2024, the Whitley Fund for Nature will receive that support. The UK-based non-profit supports local conservation leaders working in its home country and has assisted more than 200 conservationists in 90 countries over the past 30 years.

“It’s a pleasure to be working with the Comedy Wildlife team—fantastic partners who share our commitment to generating vital awareness of conservation through the power of photography,” says Stefan Maier, Nikon Europe senior general manager of Marketing. “With only one month to go to enter the Nikon Comedy Wildlife Awards, we’ve loved seeing all the hilarious entries so far, and look forward to receiving more entertaining wildlife shots over the next month.”

The contest is free to enter and is accepting submissions until July 31. So, if you have a humorous wildlife photo you’d like to share, what are you waiting for? The winner will receive a safari in Kenya’s iconic Maasai Mara, while other prizes include Nikon photo equipment. And, for the first time, all of the finalists will see their work on display at a special exhibit in London.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

2024 Audubon Photography Awards celebrates the beauty of North American birds

June 25, 2024

Now in its 15th year, the Audubon Photography Awards is celebrating the magic of bird photography. Run by the National Audubon Society, the competition is open to professional and amateur photographers of all ages.

This year, Mathew Malwitz came away with the top prize for his delightful portrait of two Blackburnian warblers facing each other in a wonderful symmetrical pose.

Last year’s grand prize winner, Liron Gertsman, was once again celebrated this year. His interesting photo of a flock of willow ptarmigans in flight, with their white feathers melting into the white sky, won the Professional Category.

These winning entries were chosen from more than 2,300 entrants from all 50 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces, and one territory.

The photo contest has also expanded its scope, adding the Birds in Landscapes Prize for the first time. Designed to draw attention to how birds connect with their broader surroundings, the inaugural prize was handed out to Kevin Lohman for an atmospheric photo of a California quail perched on a small bush in a field.

In the Youth Photography category, a photo of two red-necked grebes (above) feeding their young by Edwin Liu took the honorable mention award.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Photos imagine what previous U.S. presidents might look like today

June 21, 2024

While photos and videos of modern-day U.S. presidents are constantly featured on our newsfeeds, presidents of the past are remembered with just a few black-and-white photos or portrait paintings. Curious about how Presidents from history would look if they were alive today, award-winning comic book writer Magdalene Visaggio created a manipulated photo series called “Modern Presidents,” reports My Modern Met.

 Visaggio used smartphone apps to create modern-day interpretations of each president. Her subjects include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, Millard Fillmore, and James Buchanan.

Each original photo or painting of the president is presented next to his modern, digitally rendered counterpart—revealing an eerie resemblance to the by-gone head of the United States.

Although the digital interpretations look like they could take many hours to render, Visaggio stressed that they were pretty easy to make.

“A lot of people think I’m a digital artist or whatever, so let me clarify how I work,” she says. “Everything you see here is done in Faceapp+Airbrush on my phone. On the outside, each takes between 15-30 minutes.”

Visaggio adds, “Washington was a pretty simple one-and-done replacement.”

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Captivating iris photography captures the unique galaxies within each of our eyes

June 18, 2024

We see the world through our eyes, but it turns out there’s a whole world to see within our eyes. Photographers like Mitchell Zeer—founder of Iris Photo—are lacing the spotlight on our mesmerizing orbs. Through macro photography, high-resolution images of our irises (the colored circle around our pupils) are transformed into otherworldly deserts and galaxies, reports My Modern Met.German e beginning to be used for identification and security purposes.

However, it is this distinctiveness that makes iris photography so intriguing. And unlike fingerprints, they are much more aesthetically engaging. In fact, each of our two irises is unique from the other as well.

We typically distinguish between eyes by color: brown, blue, hazel, grey or green. Yet the base of all irises is blue. The amount and type of melanin added to it determines which color the irises appear. A lot of eumelanin equals dark brown eyes, whereas just a slight hint of pheomelanin adds a yellow tint, causing green eyes.

These macro photos enhance the eye to such a degree that the colors seem to separate so you can see the blue and the melanin layered above it as two different colors. Zeer’s photographs also demonstrate that eyes of the same shade can look drastically different. The muscles and fibers of the iris create unique geographies that are then made more distinctive via the roughly 16 genes that determine melanin levels.

Despite seeming like a complicated task, photographing the eye and printing art prints takes only ten minutes at Iris Photo—a process that has been perfected since its inception.

Iris photography first became popular in Europe starting in 2012 when German photographer Felix Mayrl originated the process.

Zeer—who had studied photography and psychology—opened his business in 2019. “We believe that every pair of eyes tells a story, a narrative of depth and individuality waiting to be captured,” Iris Photo states. “Our passion lies in the artistry of preserving these tales, transforming them into stunning pieces of high-gloss artwork.”

Now, the Aussie company is opening franchises around the world with its first American outpost in Miami.

To keep up to date with new eye-catching additions, you can follow Iris Photo on Instagram.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama was the top-selling contemporary artist of 2023

April 29, 2024

The style of Yayoi Kusama‘s art is nothing short of iconic. Brightly colored, imaginative, and covered in polka dots; the Japanese artist’s larger-than-life aesthetics—both in her art and her self-expression—are arguably some of the most striking works to come out of the 21st-century art world, reports My Modern Met.

Art collectors certainly seem to think so. The latest Hiscox Artist Top 100 report found that Kusama was the top-selling contemporary artist of 2023.

The 95-year-old artist made $80.9 million at auction last year—beating runner up and previous holder of the title, David Hockney. Her most expensive piece, entitled A Flower (2014), sold for almost $10 million alone.

Kusama’s success at auction may correlate directly with the increase in people buying art made by women. The number of female artists featured in contemporary art has skyrocketed by 179% in the last five years.

“Despite being 95 years old, Japanese trailblazer Yayoi Kusama remains one of the most influential female artists,” said Robert Read, head of Fine Art and Private Clients at Hiscox. “Her work and life continue to attract global followers and deliver blockbuster shows, but as we move through the HAT 100 list, female representation begins to wane. Contemporary female artists have always been undervalued and underrepresented. Meaningful progress has been made in recent years, as the market gradually begins to recognize the importance and value of their work, but we are still some way from parity.”

Kusama has been a staple of the contemporary art world since she emerged as an artist in the 1950s—first in Japan and later in New York City.

The artist’s kaleidoscopic designs were initially used as a way for her to cope with intrusive, obsessive thoughts, but the average viewer would be hard-pressed to find any negativity in her work. Walking into a room and being surrounded by her whimsical polka-dot designs makes it almost impossible to feel upset.

With nearly a dozen current exhibitions of her art worldwide, anyone who has the opportunity to go see Kusama’s work in person should absolutely do so, as she continues to inspire and fascinate collectors and critics alike.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Self-balancing robotic wheelchair helps give visibility to those with disabilities

January 25, 2024

There are many privileges that come with being able-bodied. Just the act of standing up or sitting down without assistance is often taken for granted by people with no visible disabilities.

But now, the Lithuania-based company Chronus Robotics has designed a self-balancing mobility robot that hopes to bring this freedom and visibility to those with lower limb disadvantages, reports My Modern Met.

Called Kim-e, this innovative Segway-like wheelchair helps people with disabilities navigate the world in a more visible and comfortable way.

“The idea to create an innovative mobility device was inspired by motorsport. Over the years, we have seen many people using wheelchairs in motorsport. Most of them use manual wheelchairs—even those from Formula One teams working with the most advanced technologies in the world,” writes Chronus Robotics, adding,  “This led to the idea of creating a personal mobility robot that would allow people to communicate freely and work with dignity.”

After ten years of planning and modifications, the first model was made, which ultimately led to the final product, Kim-e.

Photos and videos of the product highlight its striking differences compared to wheelchairs that are commonplace today. “Our challenge was to keep the person visible while leaving not only the wheelchair but also the disability unnoticed,” explains Chronus Robotics.

“Using our patent pending technologies, we have achieved our goal: If Kim-e is to be called a wheelchair, it is an invisible one.”

Rather than being bulky, Kim-e has a streamlined body that supports the legs and back of the user. The ergonomic design helps keep the user comfortable as he or she controls the device to travel up to 12 mph; and to change his or her position from elevated at eye-level with others, to sitting down.

Kim-e also is controlled by the user’s upper body movements—making it hands-free. The robot is powered by a lithium battery that can travel up to 19 miles on a full four-hour charge. It can also be folded down for easy travel.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Two rare dimes worth $2 million dollars each are still in circulation

January 19, 2024

Coin collecting is a passionate hobby shared by many. From early American gold coins to silver memories trapped in time capsules, the variety is endless. The values are deeply diverse too: Ranging from only twice their face value to in the millions, historic coins can be worth a penny or a pittance.

But beware: Some coins lounging in your piggy bank or at the bottom of your car’s cupholders might just be the holy grail of numismatics. One of the treasures to look out for is the 1894-S Barber Dime—an extremely limited, rare mint run of which only two are believed to still be in general circulation, reports My Modern Met.

Barber dimes—named after the sixth chief engraver of the United States Mint (from 1879 until his death in 1917), Charles E. Barber—were regularly minted from 1892 to 1916.

However, something unique occurred in 1894. The San Francisco Mint created only 24 of these dimes. They may have been created as novelty gifts for financial types associated with the mint, or possibly to equal out a deficit at the mint by a small amount. It is also possible they were testing the dies that stamp the coins.

Of the 24 minted, John Daggett—who ran the mint—gave three dimes to his young daughter Hallie. He instructed the child to keep them for their future worth, and she kept two. However, she spent one on ice cream almost immediately.

Today, many of the 24 are no longer extant. Like other coins of their era, they may have been melted down for the metals they contained as those became more valuable than the coins themselves. Today, only nine 1894-S Barber Dimes are believed to remain. The whereabouts of two of those are as of yet unknown.

They may be sitting in a private cache in some unknowing individual’s house, or perhaps lost to the dirt. The remaining seven are in collector’s hands. However, anyone with a jar of old coins should count their dimes and see if they’ve got one of the missing minted treasures. If you find one, it is likely worth about two million dollars in collector’s circles.

Instead, you might also discover you own slightly less scintillating, but still impressively valuable coins. Check out this list of the most valuable historic dimes to see if any match the coins in your collection, or your purse.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Rare painting made by all four members of the Beatles could sell for $600K

January 16, 2024

Almost everyone in the world knows The Beatles for their rock music, but very few know that the musicians dabbled in painting. Or, at least they did on one occasion while staying at a hotel in Japan, reports My Modern Met.

In 1966, while The Beatles were scheduled for five shows over the course of three days at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena, they were unable to spend much time outside of their suite at the Tokyo Hilton. After a fan brought art supplies during a visit, the four rockstars spent that solitary time making a painting together, which was later titled “Images of a Woman” by a Japanese journalist.

All four members of the band—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—were assigned a quadrant of the canvas and they painted it independently. Each artist used an abstract style, but their unique aesthetic and perspective still shines through. Starr’s portion in the bottom lefthand corner, for instance, features a bright array of hues and defined abstract shapes, whereas Harrison’s contribution on the bottom right has a gritty mix of dark shades. In the center of the painting is a blank unfinished circle in which each Beatle signed his name by his own section.

While the Beatles sat down to work on the painting, they were photographed by Robert Whitaker. “They’d stop [painting], go and do a concert, then it was, ‘Let’s go back to the picture!’ ” says Whitaker. “I never saw them calmer or more contented than at this time.”

This piece holds extra significance as it was made in the months before the end of their last major tour. “It’s such a rarity to have a work on paper outside of their music catalog that is [a] physical relic, this tangible object with contributions from all four of The Beatles,” Christie’s’ International Specialist Casey Rogers comments. “It’s memorabilia, it’s a work of art, it appeals to probably a much larger cross-section of collectors … It’s a wonderful piece of storytelling.”

Images of a Woman will go up for auction at Christie’s in February, and is estimated to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Baby torn away in a tornado is found safe and sound in a “little tree cradle”

December 29, 2023

Even when all hope seems lost, miracles still can happen. Just ask the Moore family, whose four-month-old baby, Lord, survived a recent tornado. The baby was inside his bassinet when the tornado ripped through the roof of his parents’ mobile home in Tennessee—picking up the child and disappearing with him. But, despite the terrifying scene, Lord was later found safe and sound, reports My Modern Met.

“The tip of the tornado came down and picked up the bassinet with my baby, Lord, in it,” Sydney Moore, the boy’s mother, told local news station WSMV. “He was the first thing to go up.”

While Lord’s father lunged to protect the baby in the bassinet, he ended up getting picked up by the tornado, as well. “He was just holding onto the bassinet the whole time, and they went into circles, he said, and then they got thrown.”

As it all unfolded, the mom of two was holding onto her 1-year-old, Princeton. “Something in me just told me to run and jump on top of my son,” Moore explained. “Literally the moment I jumped on him, the walls collapsed.”

Once the tornado passed, they were able to escape the rubble, and immediately started looking for Lord, worried about what might have happened to him.

Searching through the wreckage, they feared the worst. But then, they spotted a familiar sight—the bassinet, in what Moore described “like a little tree cradle.” Inside was baby Lord, with only minor cuts and bruises. “We are told that he looked like he was placed on the tree gently. Like an angel guided him safely to that spot,” wrote Moore’s sister, Caitlyn.

Once the family was reunited, it came time to make sense of their surroundings. Their home and car were completely destroyed. While the mom and her children only had minor injuries, the father had a broken arm and shoulder. While their renters have put them up in a hotel for a month, the family has lost everything. To get them on their feet again, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched by Moore’s sister.

“Sydney and her family would like to purchase a home. As you can imagine this has been extremely traumatizing for everyone involved, so they do not feel comfortable living in a trailer again,” she explains; adding that the family will need furnishings, vehicle insurance, and baby supplies. The fundraiser has happily met its goal, but you can still make a donation via GoFundMe.

Research contact: @mymodernmet