You might be forgiven for thinking that the most photogenic part of Australia is the Sydney Opera House, but if you are under this misguided impression, you need a dose of drone photographer Gabriel Scanu‘s work ASAP.
Scanu’s foray into drone photography began when his father, a cinematographer, bought a drone. The duo went out and flew it from Mount Selwyn in New South Wales and Gabriel was instantly hooked on this exciting new vantage point. He purchased his own DJI Phantom 3 drone shortly after and, since then, has busied himself capturing some truly stunning aerial views.
“I think the main thing that I love about using a drone to capture aerial imagery is the freedom of movement and space,” he told PetaPixel over email. “[It] allows you to be as creative as you want and capture scenes and landscapes in a way that hasn’t really been done before.”
Scanu has since left the land down under to work in Los Angeles, but his aerial imagery of Australia remains some of the most eye-catching we’ve seen. From jagged coastlines, to pristine beaches here are some beautiful shots he was kind enough to share with us:
When we spoke to Scanu over email, he was eager to emphasize how accessible drone photography is. He seems flabbergasted that more photographers aren’t trying it.
“I’m not a pilot, I’m just an artist with a tool,” Scanu tells PetaPixel. “I think thats the beauty of it, anyone can go out tomorrow and buy a drone for a reasonable price and start to develop their own style and skill set with the new toy.”
The only question now, I guess, is “What are you waiting for!?”
What unusual tactics do you have for nailing the perfect portrait? Over in East Asia, a set of viral photos circulating on the Web shows what some wedding photographers are doing to get the shot they’re picturing in their minds.
The photos, shared by Thailand’s We Share, shows photographers using unusual techniques for achieving angles and compositions.
About a year ago, Levi Bettwieser of the Rescued Film Project won about 20 auctions for the undeveloped work of a 1950s photographer. What he received was 66 bundles of film containing a staggering 1,200 unprocessed rolls.
All Bettwieser knows about the photographer is that his name was Paul and that he was a steel worker. He was also meticulous about documenting his photography: the rolls are labeled by camera used, light modifiers, details about the photos, and other hand-scribbled notes (some legible, others not so much).
It took 10 volunteers 6 hours to unpack and catalog 22 of the 66 bundles.
Due to the sheer quantity of rolls and photos, Bettwieser is turning to crowdfunding to try and have this photographer’s work unpacked, documented, processed, and shared with the world after over half a century.
“I’m asking for your help because this is way more film than I can process myself,” Bettwieser writes. “This film was shot in the 1950s, and every day it goes unprocessed, it deteriorates a little more.”
Here are some photos from one roll that was developed and scanned:
Here’s a short 3-minute video in which Bettwieser talks about this find and project:
Exploring the former house-monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party is one of the most exciting explorations I have ever done.
The building is located on the peak of ‘Mount Buzludzha’ at an altitude of 1,432 meters. The photos in this post are shot about halfway through December of 2015, during winter, and it was very cold. I flew from Dortmund (Germany) to Sofia (Bulgaria) and spent a couple of days in this country, specifically to explore abandoned buildings.
Despite visiting other amazing abandoned locations on this trip—like a theatre and chapel—the Buzludzha building was by far the highlight of my tour and even my whole year. Visiting it had been on my wish-list for such a long time, and 2015 was the year to make it happen.
The third day of the trip was scheduled to be the Buzludzha day, and I couldn’t wait for it. I arrived at the hotel in Shipka just before it was getting dark and was welcomed by a lovely old lady that did not speak a word of English or German.
She phoned the owners, who fortunately did speak English, and they assured me they’d be there very soon. I was allowed to enter my room while waiting and took a nap, followed by a quick look around the town. When I arrived back at the hotel to have dinner, the owners were waiting. Over dinner, they shared interesting facts about the Buzludzha building and told me their thoughts about communism in general.
After a good (if too short) night’s sleep, it was time to leave so we could catch the sunrise from within the Buzludzha building. When we arrived at the building, I was amazed by the sheer size of it. I had seen pictures of course, but seeing it in real life was breathtaking. I knew how to enter so I quickly found my way inside and went to the top floor to await the sunrise.
When it finally started, it was magical. I can’t describe how it felt to sit on the edge of the top floor and enjoy the sunrise from within this amazing abandoned building in such a lovely surrounding.
As soon as I was done enjoying the view during the sunrise, I started exploring the rest of the building. It’s basically just one really big room that looks like a conference center. The mosaic walls and ceiling were impressive to see, and everything was much larger then expected.
The state the building amazed me: it was really bad. I can’t imagine that it’ll last for another couple of years.
I’ve taken shots of the main hall from every angle I liked and, once I was happy with the results, I waited for my friend to be ready as well so that we could start our journey to the top of the tower right next (and attached) to the main building. The owner of the hotel I stayed in during the night showed me how to gain entrance.
You enter the tower from within the main building, at the end of a rather dark hallway. About 75% of the way up to the tower was in complete darkness. There was very little space and the stairs were a tough set to climb. This is definitely not an excursion for the claustrophobic or those scared of the dark.
Once I reached the first platform where there was light, I was standing behind the tower’s red star you might have noticed in the pictures. I’ve been told that people actually used to toss rocks at the star because they believed it was made out of ruby, hoping parts would fall down.
By then I knew it wouldn’t take very long to reach the top of the tower. After another couple of stairs, I finally reached the top and was rewarded with a truly amazing view. From one side you could see right down onto the roof of the main building; from the other, a lovely view of the surrounding. I expected it to be very cold at the top but I was surrounded by a couple of walls that blocked the wind which made it a very pleasant stay.
This was my experience exploring this amazing building. I’d love to get back.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit this place so badly is the history of it. It’s more then ‘just’ another abandoned building, and also happens to play a very important role in local tourism.
The building was opened in 1981 to celebrate both the Bulgarian liberation from Ottoman rule (1891), and the 1944 victory against Hitler’s domination of Bulgaria. Russia played a key role in both of these events. Next to this, the monument served as the symbolic headquarters for the Bulgarian Communist Party.
The owners of the hotel I slept in told me that communists held secret meetings, concerts, and gatherings at the place.
Over 60 different Bulgarian artists collaborated on designing the murals you seen in the pictures, and thousands of volunteers were involved in the construction process.
Some of the murals show the faces of Engels, Marx, and Lenin; others depict the labor and construction the monument itself. Construction costs were about 14 million Bulgarian Lev, which is around 8 million US Dollars to date. Citizens donated money to construct the monument, since they were told it was a monument for the people, by the people.
In some of the pictures you see a massive tower that is over 100 meters in height. It has a huge red star in it, which was three times as large as the star at the Kremlin. It was claimed that the red light it emitted could be seen from as far away as Greece and Romania.
Bulgarian communism ended around 1989, at which time the Buzludzha monument was inherited by the state. About 6 years later, in the mid 90’s, decay started to kick in and the building surrendered to the elements of nature.
I was told that the building was protected by security guards until the mid 90’s. The roof of the building used to consist entirely of copper and was extremely heavy. Within one night after security was removed, the entire copper roof was looted. It’s insane that this building was only open for about 8 years and the state it’s currently in is such a shame.
The locals I’ve talked to have a split opinion about the building: they dislike what the building stands for since most of them are really against communism and hate the fact it’s called a communist monument, but they can’t run their businesses without the existing of the monument. On a yearly basis many tourists come to see the monument and use the facilities nearby towns have to offer.
Below you can find a couple of extra pictures, mainly of the main hall, that I captured during this visit:
About the author: Roman Robroek is a 29-year-old Netherlands-based urban photographer. You can see more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
by Beth Skwarecki on Vitals, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker
Depending on who you ask, we’re either eating “too much” protein, or we need protein shake after protein shake just to build a little muscle or lose weight. The truth isn’t either of these. Some of us may need more, while others get more than enough—but more isn’t necessarily harmful. Here’s how to figure it all out.
More Than Enough Isn’t “Too Much”
Last time we talked about protein, we were trying to figure out how much was enough. To recap, the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies says that 98 percent of us will get enough protein if we eat 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That number, the RDA, is the basis of textbook and government guidelines. It works out to 54 grams for the average woman, who is about 150 pounds, or 72 grams for the average man at about 200 pounds.
Most Americans eat more than that. In this report from the US Department of Agriculture, based on a large survey from 2010, men ate 98 grams of protein per day, on average and women ate 68. Protein intake was low in some older adults and some teenage girls, but most of us easily meet the textbook requirements.
Studies like that one have led to a sort-of myth that we are all eating “too much” protein. But that’s misleading. It’s more correct to say that on average we are eating more than enough protein. That’s a good thing! After all, we wouldn’t want to eat less than enough.
So that number we started with—0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, sometimes written as 0.8 grams per kilogram—is a minimum. And it’s only the minimum for people living an averagely sedentary life. If you exercise a lot, or if you’re trying to lose weight, it makes sense to eat more than that.
Even if a marathon runner or a bodybuilder would be healthy with a protein intake near the textbook amount, they may be even healthier, or able to do better in their sport, with a higher intake. Again, that’s not too much; it’s within the range that their body can put to good use. This range goes up to 0.82 g/lb, depending on the athlete and their sport. That’s 123 grams for a 150-pound person, or 164 grams for a 200-pound person.
Extra Protein Just Means Extra Calories
You’ll notice that even the higher levels we discussed are well under the 1 gram per pound “rule” that bodybuilders and some other athletes like to repeat. You don’t have to look far to find people who are trying to eat 200 or even 300 grams of protein in a day, on the theory that more is better. The extra protein won’t hurt you, but it could make you gain weight.
Here’s what’s going on in your body. We eat protein so that we have amino acids (protein’s building blocks) to build our own protein-containing body parts. That includes muscle as well as hair, skin, enzymes, and all kinds of little components of our cells. But we only need so much. Eating an extra 100 grams of protein won’t make your body decide to build 100 more grams of muscle and hair. Instead, that extra protein is just...food.
Just like we can burn fat or carbohydrates as fuel, we can burn protein. And just like we can convert those nutrients to fat for storage, we can do that with protein too. To burn or store protein’s calories, our body has to remove the nitrogen-containing “amino” part from each amino acid, and the most convenient way to excrete that nitrogen is in urine. That’s given rise to a bizarre myth that it’s impossible to eat too much protein because your body will “pee out the excess.” No, the calories from the protein are still being stored or burned like any other calories. Your pee just contains an indicator of the fact that you ate some of your calories in the form of protein.
That’s disappointing if you’re trying to lose weight: you could have had those same calories in a different form that maybe you liked better. Perhaps a grilled cheese or a small dessert instead of an umpteenth dry chicken breast.
The “Dangers” of High Protein Diets Are Overblown
The same government document that lays out the recommendations for protein also contains a note about the “adverse effects of excessive consumption.” There is no level of protein, it says, that is associated with adverse effects. Instead, they recommend that protein make up between 10 and 35 percent of adults’ calories. They chose the lower number to provide enough protein to meet the RDA, and the upper number is, basically, as much protein as you can eat while still getting the recommended fat and carbohydrate.
So if the National Academies don’t think high protein intakes are dangerous, who does? Mainly people who aren’t up on the science, and groups like the pro-vegetarian Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine. They list kidney disease, cancer, and kidney stones as downsides of a high protein diet.
Since there’s no strict limit on protein for healthy people, you need to find out what is the right amount of protein for you. Use your activity level and goals (along with our guide) to figure out what your minimum should be. That’s your “enough.” Track what you eat to make sure you’re getting an amount close to that. Tracking is especially helpful if you’re on a restrictive diet, whether paleo or vegan or just very low calorie, since you might not realize what you’re missing.
Then, to find your personal “too much,” look at your calories. Does 300 grams of protein (that’s 1200 calories) really fit into your diet? If you truly love the taste of tuna and protein shakes, it’s not our business if you pig out. But if a high protein diet is more trouble and more calories than it’s worth, that’s when it becomes too much.
When you were a kid, you probably did sit-ups at school for an ab workout. But is the sit-up the best ab exercise? That’s actually a simple question. No way! There are far better ab exercises than a simple sit-up, which can exacerbate back problems and only focuses on one small area of the abdominals.
And while you’ll develop tremendous ab strength by doing heavy squats, dead lifts, and other traditional weightlifting exercises, not all of us can throw around heavy iron at the gym. Luckily for us, there are a variety of plank exercises that helps us build the core strength necessary for more efficient running form and fewer overuse injuries.
The plank is a versatile exercise as it strengthens a number of muscles:
Rectus Abdominus (these are what you see if you have six-pack abs)
Internal and external obliques (the part of your abs on the side of your torso)
Transverse Abdominus (the deepest part of your abs that support your spine)
Hips (always important for runners)
Back (particularly important for runners, especially the lower back)
Glutes (strength is good – a shapely booty is a nice bonus!)
If you regularly do a plank workout, you know how simple they are. They can be done virtually anywhere and require no equipment. They’re perfect for beginners–and even the fastest of runners.
No matter what race you’re training for or your ability level, planks are a fantastic ab exercise to incorporate into your core strengthening program. I do them regularly as part of the Standard Core Routine. And they’re included in many other strength and core routines that are critical to injury prevention.
But the standard plank only gets you so far. After about 1-2 months, your fitness gains will plateau and you’ll stop getting as much strength from this exercise. What you must do is progress to more difficult variations of the exercise to continue getting stronger.
So I’m excited to share a new video (and free PDF download) showing you 11 types of planks!
The Gauntlet Plank Workout
For days when you’re short on time, Gauntlet is a good option: with 11 time-based exercises, you can do each one for just 30 seconds and still get in a solid core workout.
Here’s a description of each type of plank exercise:
1. Pushup Plank
In a prone position, prop your weight on your hands and toes. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet and brace your abs to maintain a neutral position.
2. Side Arm Raise (in Pushup position)
In the Pushup Plank position, raise your left arm to the side of your body so it is parallel to the ground and perpendicular to your torso. Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Front Arm Raise (in Pushup position)
In the pushup plank position, raise your left arm so it’s parallel to the ground. Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the right side. Maintain a neutral spine position for the duration of the exercise.
4. Forearm Plank
In a prone position, prop your weight on your forearms and toes. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet and brace your abs to maintain a neutral position.
5. Pushup Plank Shuffle
In the pushup plank position, take two steps to the left and then two steps to the right. Alternate with your left arm and right leg and then your right arm and left leg.
6. Forearm to Pushup Plank
Begin in the pushup plank position and carefully lower yourself to the forearm plank position. Alternate positions for the duration of the exercise.
7. Spiderman Plank
In the pushup plank position, bring your left knee to your left elbow and hold it for about two seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.
8. Alternating Leg Lifts (Pushup)
In the pushup plank position, raise your left leg about 12-18” off the ground. Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Ensure good form by maintaining a braced, neutral spine position and activating the glutes to help lift your leg.
9. Two-Point Pushup Plank
In the pushup plank position, raise your left leg off the ground while lifting your right arm at the same time. Your left leg should be about 12-18” off the ground and your right arm should be parallel to the ground. Hold for about 2 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg and arm.
10. Alternating Leg Lifts (Forearm)
In the forearm plank position, raise your left leg about 12-18” off the ground. Hold for two seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Ensure good form by maintaining a braced, neutral spine position and activating the glutes to help lift your leg.
11. Two-Point Forearm Plank
In the forearm plank position, raise your left leg off the ground while lifting your right arm at the same time. Your left leg should be about 12-18” off the ground and your right arm should be parallel to the ground. Hold for about 2 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg and arm.
All About Plank Workouts
This type of core workout is incredibly versatile. But with that flexibility there’s bound to be questions, so let’s dive in!
How Long Should I do Each Plank?
As long as you want! The beauty of this plank workout is that each exercise can be done for a short period of time for an easier strength session–or longer to increase its difficulty.
My recommendation is to hold each exercise for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
How Many Sets of This Plank Workout Should I Do?
Start with one but you can increase that to two or even three sets if you’re ambitious. There’s virtually no injury risk with planks so don’t worry about getting hurt.
What If I Can’t Do One of the Planks?
No problem! The beauty of this plank workout is that it can be used by beginners or advanced athletes. Just skip the plank you can’t do or do an easier version.
For example, if you can’t do a two-point forearm plank, then try a two-point pushup plank. Still too hard? Try an alternating leg lifts plank in the forearm position. STILL too hard? Then do an alternating leg lifts plank in the pushup position.
By reducing the complexity of the exercise and moving from the forearm to pushup position, you can decrease the plank’s difficulty.
Is the Order of the Exercises Important?
The order of the planks in the Gauntlet Workout are roughly ordered from easiest to most difficult (though many of the planks are of a similar difficulty level). So by doing them in the order that they’re presented, you accomplish two goals:
You help yourself gradually warm up into the workout
You essentially “negative split” the workout by doing the most difficult exercises last
You don’t need to do this plank workout in this exact order but I do recommend it.
When Should I Do the Gauntlet Plank Workout?
This core routine is best done after your run about once or twice per week. It can also be done throughout your entire training cycle.
All of the core and strength routines in Injury Prevention for Runners are named after medieval weapons (for the sole reason that they’re interesting names!). This tradition is continued with the Gauntlet Plank Workout.
If you’d like more information on Injury Prevention for Runners (Strength Running’s most popular training program), just sign up to my free course here. You can also get a handy PDF photo guide. You can refer to it whenever you’d like, hang it in your gym, or make the most stylish paper airplanes. It’s more convenient–and will hopefully encourage you to do more strength work!
by Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9
Here’s a fun art piece made by artist Matthieu Robert-Ortis: in one perspective, it looks like two giraffes standing opposite each other while in another, it looks like a single elephant staring straight at you. The piece plays on your perspective and hides two wire sculptures in one, what you see depends on which angle you’re looking at it.
Après avoir découvert les paysages et les cultures de 21 pays différents en quelques mois, le photographe canadien Luke Gram a franchi la frontière chinoise depuis Hong Kong, avant d’user ses semelles sur les routes de l’Empire du Milieu. Vues à couper le souffle, mélange de tradition et de modernité, le photographe a été estomaqué et en a ramené de nombreux clichés plus sublimes les uns que les autres.
Michigan illustrator David Zinn (previously) has brightened the streets of Ann Arbor with his off-the-wall (or technically on-the-wall) chalk drawings since 1987. The artist works with chalk or charcoal to create site-specific artworks that usually incorporate surrounding features like cracks, street infrastructure, or found objects. Over the years he’s developed a regular cast of recurring characters including a bright green monster named Sluggo and a “phlegmatic flying pig” named Philomena.