The Stock Photobomber

HA!

As an art director in advertising, I’ve spent many a day sifting through stock photography. If I had to guess, in my 20-year career I probably viewed some 845,742,923,012 images… but that may just be how it felt. I find that when I look at stock photos, I experience the same uncomfortable feeling I have when my bank teller asks me with a forced smile, how my morning is going or when I eat “Chick’n” or see an interview with Tom Cruise. It’s not simply that my teller’s greeting, the vegan meat substitute and the celebrity scientologist are fake, it’s how hard they pretend that they’re not – that’s what really gets under my skin. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have my bank teller say to me, “Fuck you asshole, give me your deposit.” That’d be kind of harsh and he’d probably get fired, but you know what, at least it’d be real. And being real means everything to me. Which brings me to this book. It isn’t enough for me to live my life as an authentic person who eats real chicken and meat products, I feel compelled to make an example of the things in this world that don’t follow the same path. Not the eating real chicken and meat products part, but the other thing about being authentic. Guess who’s first on my list…. the world of stock photography. In case you’re wondering, television news anchors are second and I will get to them in good time. Armed with Photoshop 6.0 and my own raw emotion, I’m going to thrust stock photography into the real world the only way I know how… I’m going to photobomb the shit out of it.

(via Laughing Squid)

Unity Rallies For France Terror Victims

The Big Picture has some wonderful pictues, as always, from the rally in France:

A crowd estimated to be between one to three million people marched in Paris to remember the victims of a series of terror attacks which claimed the lives of 17 people. The Paris march was said to rival crowds that turned out for the liberation of France after WWII. Other rallies throughout France drew massive crowds as well.

Google Maps a Japanese Nuclear Ghost Town

From The Atlantic:

Two years after the the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and the following tsunami and nuclear disaster, a large area around the failed Fukushima nuclear plant is still considered an exclusion zone. Namie, a small city just north of the nuclear power plant, was evacuated shortly after the quake, and its 21,000 townspeople have been unable to return since, leaving it a ghost town. At the invitation of local officials, Google recently deployed its camera-equipped vehicles to Namie to create a street view map of the deserted town so residents can see their abandoned homes, and the world can witness the remains of the disaster.

(via Poor Mojo)

Disaster unfolds slowly in the Gulf of Mexico

From The Big Picture:

In the three weeks since the April 20th explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and the start of the subsequent massive (and ongoing) oil leak, many attempts have been made to contain and control the scale of the environmental disaster. Oil dispersants are being sprayed, containment booms erected, protective barriers built, controlled burns undertaken, and devices are being lowered to the sea floor to try and cap the leaks, with little success to date. While tracking the volume of the continued flow of oil is difficult, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (possibly much more) continues to pour into the gulf every day. While visible damage to shorelines has been minimal to date as the oil has spread slowly, the scene remains, in the words of President Obama, a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”

More from Eyjafjallajokull

From The Big Picture:

As ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano continued to keep European airspace shut down over the weekend, affecting millions of travelers around the world, some government agencies and airlines clashed over the flight bans. Some restricted airspace is now beginning to open up and some limited flights are being allowed now as airlines are pushing for the ability to judge safety conditions for themselves. The volcano continues to rumble and hurl ash skyward, if at a slightly diminished rate now, as the dispersing ash plume has dropped closer to the ground, and the World Health Organization has issued a health warning to Europeans with respiratory conditions. Collected here are some images from Iceland over the past few days.