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Download captain america images and wallpapersTaking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.

Английский (топики / темы): Virtual Reality — Виртуальная реальность

Not long ago computers were considered an amazing invention. Today they form part of our everyday life. The latest thing today is Virtual Reality. A Virtual Reality system can transport the user to exotic locations such as a beach in Hawaii or the inside of the human body.

The Virtual Reality system is still in the early stages of its development. At the moment it is necessary to put a large helmet on your head to see the simulated world and you have to wear a special glove on your hand in order to manipulate the objects you see t here. Lenses and two miniature display screens inside the helmet create the illusion that the screen surrounds you on every side.

You can «look behind» computer— generated objects, pick them up and examine them, walk around and see things from a different angle.

Already today Virtual Reality is used in medicine. In hospitals, surgeons could plan operations by first «travelling» through the brain, heart or lungs without damaging the body. It is also used in police training schools. In schools pupils could explore the Great Pyramid or study molecules from the inside. Developers of Virtual Reality say its potential is powerful.

The word which comes closest to describing Virtual Reality is «simulator». Virtual Reality technology resembles the flight simulators that are used to train pilots. But of course there are dangers as well as benefits. In the wrong hands Virtual Reality can be used for power fantasies and pornography.

Не так давно компьютеры считались удивительным изобретением. Сегодня они составляют часть нашей повседневной жизни. Самая последняя новинка сегодня — это виртуальная реальность. Система виртуальной реальности может переносить пользователя в экзотические места, такие как пляж на Гавайях, или внутрь человеческого тела.

Система виртуальной реальности пока еще на начальных стадиях разработки. В настоящий момент, чтобы увидеть фантастический мир, необходимо надеть большой шлем на голову; чтобы манипулировать объектами, которые вы там видите, нужно надеть специальную перчатку на руку. Линзы и два маленьких демонстрирующих экрана внутри шлема создают впечатление, что экраны окружают вас со всех сторон.

Вы можете сопровождать предметы в компьютере, поднимать и изучать их, прохаживаться и видеть вещи под разными углами зрения.

Уже сегодня виртуальная реальность используется в медицине. В больницах хирурги могут планировать операцию, вначале «путешествуя» по мозгу, сердцу или легким, не вредя телу. Она также используется в милицейских школах. Ученики в школах могут изучать великую пирамиду или молекулы изнутри. Основатели виртуальной реальности говорят, что у нее мощный потенциал.

Слово, которое близко описываемой виртуальной реальности, — симулятор. Технология виртуальной реальности напоминает симуляторы полета, которые используются, чтобы тренировать пилотов. Но, конечно, у нее есть преимущества и недостатки. В плохих руках виртуальная реальность может быть использована для неудержимых фантазий и порнографии.

1. What is Virtual Reality?
2. Why do you need to wear helmet and special glove?
3. What are the possible uses of Virtual Reality?
4. What are some of the disadvantages of Virtual Reality?
5. Do you think Virtual Reality is an important invention or not?

Virtual Reality — виртуальная реальность
invention — изобретение
helmet — шлем
lenses — линзы
illusion — иллюзия
surgeon — хирург
simulator — симулятор

1. Прослушать произношение слова и перевод на howjsay.com . Направление перевода выберите один раз из списка, в дальнейшем оно сохранится. Для многократного повторения подводите стрелку мышки к выделенному слову в колонке слева.

3. Подробный перевод в словаре Мультитран . (В часы перегрузок Интернета работает медленно, но словарь хороший.)

80 Camera & Photography Quotes – Slogans

Following are the best Photography quotes, photographer quotes, camera quotes, camera and photography slogans with images.

Photographer & Photography Quotes

“Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph” » Andre Kertesz

“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.” Boredpanda.com

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” » Edward Steichen

“A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths.”

“Contrast is what makes photography interesting” » Conrad Hall

“The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.”

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.”

“Life is once. Forever.” » Henri Cartier-Bresson

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” » Ansel Adams

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” » Diane Arbus

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” » Robert Frank

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” » Ansel Adams

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away” » Eudora Welty

“People say photographs don’t lie, mine do.” » David LaChapelle

“First Person : “Is that camera fully automatic?” Second Person : “No. You have to take the film to the chemist!”

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are” » Ernst Haas

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” » Destin Sparks

“Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two.”

“I really hate it when someone looks at my photos and says, “Wow, you have a great camera!” » Ansel Adams

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs” » Ansel Adams

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.” » Ansel Adams

“It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.” » Timothy Allen

“If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph the event…what kind of film would you use?”

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” » Alfred Stieglitz

“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” » Elliott Erwitt

“Photography is a love affair with life.” » Burk Uzzle

“If I could tell you the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera” » Lewis Hine

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” » Ralph Hattersley

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” » Diane Arbus

“If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time.” » Robert Doisneau

“If I have any “message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” » Edward Weston

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.” » Scott Lorenzo

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” » Aaron Siskind

“Minolta makes the best bodies, Nikon makes the best lenses, Canon makes the best compromise.”

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” » Henri Cartier -Bresson

“The quickest way to make money at photography is to sell your camera.”

“Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow” » Imogen Cunningham

“How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, “I could have done that!”

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” » Ansel Adams

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” » Yousuf Karsh Photographyconcentrate.com

“I find the single most valuable tool in my darkroom is my trash can” » John Sexton

“I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.” » Diane Arbus

“The rarest thing in the world is a woman who is pleased with photograph of herself.” » Elizabeth Metcalf

“The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.” » Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” » Don McCullin

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” » Elliott Erwitt

“If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.” » Garry Winogrand

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” » Marc Riboud

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” » Gilles Peress

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” » Dorothea Lange

“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.”

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” » Matt Hardy

“If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.” » Eve Arnold

“A definition of a professional photographer: A “pro” NEVER shows anybody the mistakes.”

“Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.” » Lord Patrick Lichfield

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“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.” » Garry Winogrand

“Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don’t have film.” » Stephen Wright

“I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.” » Anonymous

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

“I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn” » Pablo Picasso

“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.” » Arnold Newman

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” » Annie Leibovitz

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” » Robert Capa

“Essentially what photography is life lit up.” » Sam Abell

“I didn’t choose photography. Photography chose me.” » Gerardo Suter

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” » Andy Warhol

“Bring your creativity to life.”

“Change your lens, change your story.”

“Create the entire scene – simply!”

“Explore. Create. Inspire.”

“Lose a hobby. Gain a passion.”

“Love for photography. Eat sleep and breathe it. Become a photograph.”

“Make a statement without saying a word.”

“Photography. It’s all about light.”

“The world is more colorful than the eye can see.”

“We’ve got you covered.”

“Your passion is capturing great moments. So is ours.”

The Story of American Realism

People often say “realism” and think “ naturalism ” instead. Although the two could be synonymous as a style of painting, “realism” refers to a few historical movements as well. These movements share certain aspects, nonetheless they mean slightly different things, especially with regards to individual national histories. American Realism is similar to French Realism and even Socialist Realism in terms of aesthetics and primary intents. Still, as a concept, the significance of American Realism is perhaps even greater, when taking the nation’s acclamation into account. It is true that all realists played an important part of our collective art history, yet the United States have a bit more to be thankful for.

Robert Henri – Snow in New York, 1902

Art in The United States

Today, we tend to see the United States as an influential, far-reaching society with great power, which is recognizable at all levels, and therefore in art as well. But things weren’t always that way. A lot of us overlook the fact that The United States of America is very young, both as a country and a nation. In the 18th century, when its independence was declared, art was not exactly the most imperative element to consider. It did exist in some form, but was painstakingly genre-less, mostly based on portraiture and regarded as a luxury, reserved for those who had the wealth to afford it. It was not until the 19th century that first significant steps were taken toward the country’s integrity when it comes to arts and their relationship with the rest of the world. In its first half, two types of painting evolved subsequently – some painters turned to landscape painting, which was the next step in process of American art’s revolution, and others contributed to the emergence of genre painting in the 1830s. Painters who were directly influenced by this period include Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins, whose art was the first to announce the rise of American Realism.

George Bellows – New York, 1911

Recognizing the Importance of Realistic Interpretation

The art of Winslow Homer was thematically concerned with subjects from everyday life – which is how you’d probably define realism as a concept . However, it seemed that the artist (just like many of his colleagues) was too cautiously focused on country life, indifferently documenting the middle-class Americans and rural environments, without too much interest in the art of his European contemporaries and predecessors. Although this could be regarded as the inauguration of an objective outlook in American art, the real American Realism came with the younger generation, which finally chose the right subject matter to be realistic about. Stylistically informed by the art of European masters, such as Goya and Velasquez, a group of young painters (also known as the Ashcan School) moved the emphasis from the “uninspiring” subjects toward an engaging depiction of city life. This was a crucial moment in American art, and the first time that the United States truly became part of the world’s art scene.

Joan Sloan – The City from Greenwich Village, 1922

The Real American Realism

So, when you talk about American realism, you’re really talking about the rebellious, progressive Ashcan School – unless you’re referring to literature, of course, but this article will be focusing on the work of visual artists rather than writers (but that shouldn’t stop you from researching the work of Mark Twain and William Dean Howells ). The thing that differentiated these artists from all the others was their ability to recognize true potential of American culture, which apparently lay in urban life and translated the atmosphere of a metropolis. Although we sometimes associate the word “metropolis” with glamour and high culture, the reality of a metropolis is based on other characteristics, such as inclusiveness, versatility, class diversity. American realists embraced the colloquial and the informal, the customary and even the “ugly” that defined the day-to-day life of big American cities, such as New York. It was precisely this city that inspired the members of the Ashcan School, most of whom became popular as individual authors as well. They were the ones to give Europe something they hadn’t seen before.

Edward Hoppers – Nighthawkers, 1942

Impact of the Movement

From a sociological point of view, it is interesting to observe how Robert Henri, Joan Sloan, George Bellows and other members of the school came to an intuitive decision that the city was the one to define what’s real, with its material and immaterial aspects. Accordingly, these people (along with the Ten Painters whose art pertains to the beginnings of American Modernism) were the ones who made it possible for American art and culture to become what it is today. In other words, you can be positive that Pop Art wouldn’t have happened if there wasn’t for this confident move and foretelling mindset, even if the two may seem essentially different. Of course, many other factors that came later, such as the film industry and music industry, made significant impact on their cultural development as well, but that still doesn’t come close to the epiphany that made American artists recognize novelty and industrialization as the features that could help America achieve authenticity. It was one excellent way to represent the country in a realistic, yet patriotic way; and to tacitly monopolize the image of urbanity and democracy, one which it still aims to portray today.

Editors’ Tip: American Realism

Robert Henri insisted that artists should make “pictures from life”, and so the Ashcan School was conceived. Still, not to focus on one aspect of American realism solely, you should consider this illustrative book, which brings together 250 paintings from the American realist period, placed in a wider context. The members of Ashcan School are, naturally, included, but you will also be able to take a look at the works of other masters such as Mary Casatt, whose art was aesthetically closer to impressionism , or Andrew Wyeth, who came on the scene a little bit later in the 20th century.

Featured images: George Bellows – Both Members of This Club, 1909; Joan Sloan – McSorley’s Bar 1912. All images used for illustrative purposes only.

Characterization examples: 5 ways to reveal characters

March 20, 2017

Characterization – how you make a fictional character seem like a real, living, breathing person – is tricky. Besides describing characters physically, you need to convey their motivations, goals, personalities and flaws to make characters truly three-dimensional. Here are 5 characterization examples that show how to reveal your characters’ vital qualities:

1: Learn from rich direct characterization examples

There are two broad types of characterization in fiction. When an author describes a character explicitly to the reader, via a narrator or through another character’s eyes, this is called direct characterization.

This type of narration tells us precise information such as how a character looks or how they see the world. Here is a rich example from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), a description of the ageing Fermina Daza:

‘Her stylish attire did not seem appropriate for a venerable grandmother, but it suited her figure – long-boned and still slender and erect, her resilient hands without a single age spot, her steel-blue hair bobbed on a slant at her cheek. Her clear almond eyes and her inborn haughtiness were all that were left to her from her wedding portrait, but what she had been deprived of by age she more than made up for in character and dilligence.’ (pp. 25-26)

Marquez explicitly tells us both about Fermina’s appearance and her character (her ‘inborn haughtiness’ and ‘dilligence’). The description is direct and explicit, leaving little to infer.

2: Use subtler indirect character portrayal

The second type is called indirect characterization because it is implicit (it shows rather than tells). We understand the character through actions, responses and lines of dialogue. The author does not say ‘Tom was a very angry individual’, but shows Tom’s anger in full swing.

In Alice Munro’s short story ‘Dimensions’, collected in Too Much Happiness (2009), the author uses subtle indirect characterization. Doree, the protagonist, works as a chambermaid at a hotel. In the opening pages, Munro characterizes Doree through the eyes of her co-workers:

‘They told her she should get trained for a job behind the desk while she was still young and decent-looking. But she was content to do what she did. She didn’t want to have to talk to people.’ (p.1)

This indirect characterization shows Doree is guarded. We later learn that Doree had been married with children, but her husband killed them, believing Doree had left for good when she vacated their home in the middle of a heated argument.

Munro uses indirect character building subtly throughout the story, as Doree recalls the buildup to the murder. Munro shows Lloyd’s controlling, jealous and threatening behaviour through dialogue:

He wanted to know what they talked about, she and Maggie.
“I don’t know. Nothing really.”
“That’s funny. Two women riding in a car. First I heard of it. Two women
talking about nothing. She is out to break us up.”
“Who is? Maggie?
“I’ve got experience of her kind of woman.”
“What kind?”
“Her kind.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“Careful. Don’t call me silly.” (p. 12)

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Instead of saying ‘Lloyd was dangerously jealous and aggressive’, Munro shows this in his words. This has a subtler effect, allowing us to interpret and connect characters’ words and deeds ourselves.

3: Using dialogue to reveal characters’ personalities and interests

Dialogue contains many elements that aid characterization. You can show what drives your characters through:

  • The content of dialogue – what characters tend to talk about and how they say it
  • Gestures and body language (a character who lightly touches another’s shoulder, for example, shows familiarity and ease, versus the guarded signal of conversing with folded arms)

In Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth (2000), the author creates a colourful character in Hortense Bowden, a devout Jamaican woman living in London. Smith reveals Hortense’s bold character as well as her controlling approach to parenting her daughter, Clara, through dialogue:

‘If Hortense Bowden caught her daughter sitting wistfully by the barred window, listening to the retreating splutter of an engine while the pages of the New Bible flicked over in the breeze, she koofed her up-side her head and thanked her to remember that only 144,000 of the Witnesses of Jehovah would sit in the court of the Lord on Judgement Day.

“Some people,” Hortense asserted with a snort, ‘have done such a hol’ heap of sinning, it late for dem to be making eyes at Jehovah. It take effort to be close to Jehovah. It take devotion and dedication. Blessed are the pure in heart for they alone shall see God. Matthew 5:8″.’ (p. 30)

Through dialogue, Smith conveys the extent and extremity of Hortense’s piety. Hortense’s accent adds further characterization, showing that the character is still close to her Jamaican roots, despite the change in geography.

Through this type of dialogue-based characterization, we come to ‘know’ a character. We already sense that Hortense has more Bible quotes in store, and more scolding for Clara.

4: Show characters through their actions

It’s not only what a character explicitly thinks or says that forms our idea of them. It’s also elements of action, from details as small as body language to larger acts.

Here, for example, in Toni Morrison’s Jazz (1992), she shows the hairdresser Violet as an overburdened yet resourceful woman by describing her endless stream of daily tasks:

“When the customer comes and Violet is sudsing the thin gray hair, murmuring “Ha mercy” at appropriate breaks in the old lady’s stream of confidences, Violet is resituating the cord that holds the stove door to its hinge and rehearsing the month’s plea for three more days to the rent collector.” (p. 16)

These small actions speak volumes, showing Violet’s hard-working, forward-planning character. Small character actions such as these might not be directly relevant to the major plot points of a novel. Yet this indirect characterization gives us context for other, more pivotal character actions. Knowing that Violet plans her next act even while busy with her last, we can guess, for example, that she will be action-oriented in other situations, such as conflict.

5: Show readers your characters’ most private thoughts

Showing readers your characters’ thoughts gives useful insights into their personalities, desires and goals. You might, for example, contradict what a character says with their private, narrated thoughts, to show a deceitful or a two-faced personality.

The modernist author Virginia Woolf excels at showing her characters’ psychologies. The style of narration called ‘stream of consciousness’ enables her to show her characters’ fleeting associations from moment to moment.

Here, for example, Clarissa Dalloway, the protagonist of Mrs. Dalloway (1925), remembers Peter Walsh, a man who’s desire to marry she refused.The third person narration clearly follows Clarissa’s private thoughts:

‘For they might be parted for hundreds of years, she and Peter; she never wrote a letter and his were dry sticks; but suddenly it would come over her, if he were with me now what would he say? – some days, some sights bringing him back to her calmly, without the old bitterness; which perhaps was the reward of having cared for people; they came back in the middle of St. James Park on a fine morning – indeed they did.’ (p. 4)

Through this private thought and memory, we see how the character has learned and grown. Woolf shows us how deeply Clarissa forms attachments to others, as well as her self-reflective nature.

To conclude, combine direct and indirect characterization. Use dialogue, action and characters’ thoughts because this will create richer, more detailed character portraits in your writing.

Join Now Novel to brainstorm character details using the Idea Finder or get helpful feedback on your characterizations from the Now Novel community.

Open Talk Forum

I enjoyed reading these, and will try to follow a few favourites, in the future. Starting today.

    • “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”
      – Destin Sparks
    • “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
      – Ansel Adams
    • “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
      – Alfred Stieglitz
    • “There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.”
      – Robert Frank
    • “Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
      – Anonymous
    • “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
      – Aaron Siskind
    • “We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
      – Ralph Hattersley
    • “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”
      – Annie Leibovitz
    • “You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.”
      – Unknown
    • “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
      – Don McCullin
    • “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
      – Edward Steichen
    • “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
      – Paul Caponigro
    • “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
      – Andy Warhol
    • “Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”
      – Diane Arbus
    • “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
      – Elliott Erwitt
    • “The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”
      – Scott Lorenzo
    • “If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.”
      – Eve Arnold
    • “A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths.”
      – Anonymous
    • “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
      – Dorothea Lange
    • “Essentially what photography is is life lit up.”
      – Sam Abell
    • “I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”
      – Gilles Peress
    • “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
      – Diane Arbus
    • “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
      – Marc Riboud
    • “Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two.”
      – Anonymous
    • “Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”
      – Ambrose Bierce
    • “Photography is truth.”
      – Jean-Luc Godard
    • “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”
      – Annie Leibovitz
    • “If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.”
      – Linda McCartney
    • “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
      – Ansel Adams
    • “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
      – Diane Arbus
    • “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”
      – Elliott Erwitt
    • “One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.”
      – Annie Leibovitz
    • “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
      – Karl Lagerfeld
    • “A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”
      – Irving Penn
    • “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”
      – Matt Hardy
    • “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
      – Elliott Erwitt
    • “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
      – Ansel Adams
    • “When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”
      – Anonymous
    • “I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.”
      – Annie Leibovitz
    • “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”
      – Diane Arbus
    • “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”
      – Richard Avedon
    • “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
      – Susan Sontag
    • “I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.”
      – Wayne Miller
  • “I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them.”
    – Bruce Gilden
  • “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”
    – Jim Richardson
  • “When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.”
    – Annie Leibovitz
  • “My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”
    – Steve McCurry
  • “Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.”
    – Yousuf Karsh
  • “The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.”
    – Susan Meiselas
  • “Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.”
    – Tony Benn
  • “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
    – Alfred Eisenstaedt
  • “I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.”
    – Ellen Von Unwerth
  • “Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”
    – Peter Adams
  • “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”
    – Unknown
  • “Only photograph what you love.”
    – Tim Walker
  • “In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”
    – August Sander
  • “When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.”
    – Wynn Bullock
  • “Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”
    – Yousuf Karsh
  • “It’s weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime, trying to capture moments that added together, don’t even amount to a couple of hours.”
    – James Lalropui Keivom
  • “Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.”
    – Anonymous
  • “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
    – Imogen Cunningham
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Impressive, talented group.


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Who really discovered America? (Spoiler: it’s not Columbus)

There are claims from all over the world.

If not Columbus, then who?

There are several theories as to who “discovered” America, some more substantiated than others. We know for sure that Vikings were in America centuries before Columbus got there, and there is also (disputed) evidence that Polynesian explorers also visited the continent before the Spaniard. Technically, Nomadic Asian tribes first discovered America over 15,000 years ago.

But let’s take it step by step.

The Columbus Expedition

In 1492, Columbus departed from the Spanish city of Palos de la Frontera with three ships. Ironically, Spanish citizens were forced to contribute to the expedition against their will, although that’s the smallest of Columbus’ sins.

Fast forward a few weeks, and a lookout sailoron one of the ships saw land. The captain of that ship (not Columbus) confirmed the sighting and alerted Columbus. Seizing the opportunity, Columbus later maintained that he himself had already seen a light hours beforehand — because the first man to see new land would earn a lifetime pension from the Spanish crown.

As we’re already starting to see, Columbus wasn’t really the nicest or most honest person.

What island they found will remain a question for the ages. What we do know is that Columbus and his crew called it San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani. It was an island in the Bahamas, but we don’t really know which one.

They encountered peaceful natives, who welcomed them peacefully. Columbus noticed the natives were wearing gold bracelets and necklaces, so in true colonial fashion, he took six of them as slaves without hesitation. He wrote in his diary:

“They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language.”

Columbus was also pleased to note that they didn’t seem to have any weapons or army.

“I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased.”

What happened later is well-known history. For the locals, it was genocide. For the Europeans of the time, it was a quick way to get incredibly rich and conquer new territories — which they did to the best of their ability.

Even conservative estimates suggest that in less than a decade, the population of the Island of Hispaniola plunged from 500,000 to less than 100,000, either from sickness or conflict with colonists. Columbus became rich beyond his wildest dreams: he was given 10% of all the removable assets of the newly discovered lands, including gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones, and the trade therein was to be a crown monopoly under his control.

Columbus paved the way for all of this… is this really the person we want to celebrate for discovering America? After all, other explorers visited America centuries before him.

American Vikings

Sure, Columbus made America known to the Europeans who ultimately conquered it, but he didn’t discover it by any means.

Leif Erikson, the son of Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer from Iceland — a Viking. Erik the Red founded the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Discovery and expansion ran through their blood, as Leif went on to travel much farther: to America.

Leif and his crew traveled from Greenland to Norway in 999 AD, where he converted to Christianity. Not long after that, he sailed the Atlantic. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, which is (debatably) in Newfoundland in modern-day Canada. For many years, this was thought to be only a mythological story — more myth than reality — but archaeological evidence has shown, beyond a doubt, that Vikings reached Canada.

The first Viking archaeological site in the New World is L’Anse aux Meadows, a thousand-year-old way station discovered in 1960 on the northern tip of Newfoundland. The feature was a clear indication that Vikings had visited North America centuries before Columbus — at least partially, the myth was proven to be true. Archaeologists actually used clues from the sagas to guide their research.

Leif Erikson plaque in Cambridge, MA. The Vikings called America Vineland because it was rich in grapes which made delicious wine.

When archaeologists discovered another site, the second Viking settlement in America, things became much clearer. Not only have Vikings visited the American continent, but they actually colonized some parts of it — or at least attempted to do so.

“The sagas suggest a short period of activity and a very brief and failed colonization attempt,” says Douglas Bolender, an archaeologist specializing in Norse settlements. “L’Anse aux Meadows fits well with that story but is only one site. Point Rosee could reinforce that story or completely change it if the dating is different from L’Anse aux Meadows. We could end up with a much longer period of Norse activity in the New World.”

There is also other indirect evidence suggesting that Vikings went to America. Icelandic sagas claim that in 1004, Leif’s brother Thorvald Eiriksson was said to have sailed with a crew of 30 men, spending the following winter at Leif’s camp. In the spring, Thorvald attacked the local population and was ultimately killed by an arrow, but his crew appears to have remained in place. Just five years later, in 1009, Thorfinn the Valiant supplied three ships with livestock and 160 men and women — a proper colony. Accounts differ as to what happened to this colony, but the sagas mention a peace agreement between the indigenous peoples and the Norsemen.

So, we have solid evidence that Vikings — Leif and his extended family — visited America and remained then for at least 10 years. There is some evidence that they tried to establish an outpost, but the natives didn’t seem to appreciate their presence. Feeling threatened and outnumbered, the Vikings presumably left, though they likely returned from time to time to trade.

Another interesting piece of evidence was recently found by researchers analyzing Viking tombs: teeth filing. Researchers believe that the Vikings learned the practice from some other culture, but teeth filing was not done by any European culture. The only culture to employ such a practice was in America.

Polynesian yams and shakier claims

Another population who probably visited America way before Columbus are the Polynesians. The main clue for this behavior is the inconspicuous sweet potato (yam).

Image credits: 5aday.gov

The oldest carbonized sweet potato evidence in the Pacific hails back to about 1,000 A.D.—500 years before Columbus sailed to the Americas. But it wasn’t a convincing enough proof, so it remained as a hunch more than anything else.

However, French scientists found better samples from a herbarium collected by early European explorers. Through genetic analysis, they were able to show that Polynesians took the sweet potatoes from America and spread them across Southeast Asia and the Pacific, where they are now ubiquitous. There are also studies which link Brazilian DNA to that of Polynesians, though another recent study put the findings under question. It seems very likely that Polynesians did reach America and established some kind of trade route. If this happened, it was before Columbus’ time, but it’s not clear if it was before the Vikings.

Another intriguing analysis on Peruvian mummies found that at least one such mummy had been embalmed using resin from a tree that only grew only in Oceania and New Guinea. Both the mummy and the tree were dated to 1200 AD.

There is also a “China first” theory, but that’s highly speculative. While a massive Chinese fleet explored Africa, reaching present-day Kenya, there’s no real evidence to support that idea. Several explorers also claimed to have discovered the continent a few years before Columbus, but there’s almost no way to prove such claims.

The first explorers of America might have come from this area.

The first true Americans

So, we’ve established that while Columbus made America known to Europe’s colonial powers, he definitely wasn’t the first one. Polynesian sailors probably also visited South America. But if we really want to get true here, every time these explorers reached the continent, natives were already there. Because America was first discovered by humans over 15,000 years ago.

After all, when Columbus got there, and when the Vikings got there, there was always someone there to greet them.

The first explorers came from the frozen wastelands of Siberia. Image via Prezi.

Exactly when this happened is also a heated debate, but recent studies place the earliest migration rate between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago. Technically, you could say they were the first ones to discover America.

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