Out of the Frying Pan
Aug 14, 2012
Aug 14, 2012
Aug 25, 2012
Among the finalists for this year's National Geographic photo competition is this shot of a baobab grove near the town of Morondava in western Madagascar.
Baobabs are unusual trees, with swollen trunks that store water, allowing them to survive long periods of drought. Some species of baobab can grow without soil, drilling their roots directly into bare limestone, and some are so tolerant of salt water they can grow within a few feet of the ocean.
The trees in this picture are believed to be many thousands of years old, but baobab wood does not produce annual growth rings, making age calculations rather speculative.
Baobabs produce fruit with a flavor that is described as very tart and grapefruit-like. The fruit pulp is a common ingredient in many regional dishes and is being studied by international food companies as a possible additive to Western-style foods and beverages, such as fruit smoothies. "It brings an interesting and exotic flavor," said PhytoTrade spokesperson Lucy Welford. "Now that we've had a lot of interest in Europe, I think there might be a knock-on effect in the U.S."
Aug 27, 2012
Kaspar Maldre, looking wise beyond his weeks.
Sep 3, 2012
Jul 21, 2013
We know four small facts about the life of this boy, David Leung.
1. He was born in 1893 in San Francisco.
2. In 1911, he was photographed by eccentric New England art photographer F. Holland Day; like millions of American children of that era, young David wore a sailor suit for his portrait, but unlike all the millions of others, he actually smiled for the camera.
3. When he registered for the draft in World War I, David listed his residence as Manchester, New Hampshire, and wrote that he was of Mongolian descent.
4. In 1920, census-takers found David Leung living in Boston and working as a restaurant manager.
The photographer, F. Holland Day, was probably the leading American photographer of the early twentieth century and the first to pursue photography as an artistic endeavor. He was also fascinated by the immigrants then flooding American cities and spent much of his time with immigrant children, photographing them but also reading to them and tutoring them. He mentored a number of children in Boston, notably a Lebanese boy named Kahlil Gibran.
Mar 9, 2014
Dressed perfectly for an outing to the Philadelphia Flower Show, and willing to pose for a picture if the photographer's really, really quick.
May 25, 2014
When last we glimpsed young Kaspar in this space, he was a mere babe, a bit timid and in need of a nap. Now, less than a year later, he regards us with a bold, steady gaze, wide awake and prepared to tackle any challenge. Yes, he's still in diapers, and yes, he's in his jammies, but hey. The man's got tools.
Nov 4, 2014
Around the middle of every October comes a day declared Philly Photo Day by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. Anybody who happens to be in Philly that day with any kind of camera, even a cellphone, is invited to submit a snapshot that captures a smidgen of what's going on, on that day, in this city.
The nineteen hundred photos turned in this year, for the fifth iteration of the event, will be displayed next April in the new Dilworth Park plaza at City Hall.
Above is Katrin Maldre's submission, showing the action behind the back counter at Gavin's Cafe in Fitler Square. Below is my entry, featuring Grand Opening balloons outside a new pet-supply store on South Street.
Nov 15, 2014
Jan 11, 2015
A young man with flair poses for the camera on Philly Photo Day 2014, back in mid-October.
Feb 5, 2016
Kaspar was not quite three years old when he snapped his first selfie.
Feb 12, 2016
When Dia got off the bike yesterday, she found something orange and dirty but tasty-looking in the garden. February in Seattle must not be quite as hard on green stuff as February back east.
Mar 7, 2016
In 1930, when Allen Frederick Larsen of Muscatine, Iowa, was four years old, he sat for his portrait up on the rooftop, his bare feet dangling over the overhang. His own father took this photo, we're told, along with many others showing young Allen in precarious poses–often on rooftops, sometimes on railroad bridges. "It's a wonder he grew up to meet Mom," notes his daughter. "Grandfather took a lot of pictures."
Mar 22, 2016
Under a bench at a gas station near Meridian, Mississippi, Al made a new friend.
Jan 13, 2017
She shows the shoes she chose.
Apr 25, 2017
Pausing for her picture in 1939, on her way back to the house from the pepper patch. The pincurls in her hair suggest that she's got post-pepper-picking plans for the evening.
She was one of eight children in the Schrock family in the Yakima Valley of Washington state, where they were clients of a Farm Security Administration tenant-purchase program, a New Deal effort to help migrant farm families obtain homes and farmland of their own. The program worked best, it turned out, for families that broke the rules and generated some cash income by finding work off the farm.
Johnny Cash grew up in a similar FSA project in Dyess, Arkansas.
Apr 21, 2018
Photographer Panos Skordas won the Greek national award in Sony's world photo competition with this shot of his son dressed as a minotaur, in the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete.