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Original author: 
Adriana de Barros

Tree Reflection by Oliver Delgado

I recently spoke with Oliver Delgado to find out if these were genuine photographs or digital montages. He commented that “all images are real. I only adjusted levels in Lightroom.”

Tree Reflection 3 by Oliver Delgado

Tree Reflection by Oliver Delgado

Tree Reflection  4 by Oliver Delgado

Photos © Oliver Delgado
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NYC. From series Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

If there wasn’t so much pollution, could we see the stars better at night? Photographer Thierry Cohen shows us what New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and other city skies look like without the smog? His image series also addresses man’s over-consumption, and distant relationship with nature.

Top: New York City.

San Francisco. From series Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

San Francisco.

Rio de Janeiro. From series Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

Rio de Janeiro.

Shanghai. From series Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

Shanghai.

Tokyo. From series Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

Tokyo.

Photos © Thierry Cohen

Via Platea
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In a world made small and accessible by technology, it is easy to forget the magnitude of nature’s infinite complexity. But sometimes technology reminds us, such as when trawling planet Earth on Google’s Satellite View, zooming across landscapes partitioned by natural and unnatural boundaries.

While searching Google Earth, Paul Bourke, a research associate professor at the University of Western Australia, discovered an amazing sight—the patterns of the Earth seemed to form a delicate geometric pattern when viewed from the sky. Not only delicate, but almost perfect. Bourke was captivated by the geography—lacy tracks of rivers and mountain ranges stretching across the Earth in unison as if digitally cloned.

Fractals are recognized as patterns of self-similarity over varying degrees of scale. There are both mathematical fractals as well as natural fractals—the former are idealized and found across a range of scales, while the latter generally only exist across a smaller scale range.

Bourke explains that fractals are found in all parts of life, from the brain sciences and astrophysics to geographic formations and riverbeds. “Fractal and chaotic processes are the norm, not the exception.”

“I always knew these amazing natural patterns would be there,” he said. “They are literally everywhere—it’s just a matter of finding them.”

And find them he did. Bourke, an authority on fractals and visualizations, showcases more than 40 different fractals he’s uncovered while zooming through the satellite views of 25 countries. Through his website, he encourages users to submit examples they’ve found in their own browsing, and provides KMZ coordinate files for each image, allowing users to visit the exact views of the fractal features. Bourke’s collection realizes the power enabled by the open-ended tools of modern technology and applies them to a practical and popular aesthetic end.

To see more natural fractal patterns, visit Bourke’s website.

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In this episode of Picture Perfect, VICE visits Zeng Han in Guanghzhou to talk about the balance between East and West and new and old in contemporary China. He tells us about his latest projects and we then acompany him as he documents modernization efforts around the city for his ongoing series titled Hyper-Reality China.

Watch the episode

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German photographer Peter Bialobrzeski’s new book “The Raw and the Cooked” stakes out territory midway between the sweeping poetics of Sebastião Salgado and the surgical precision of Andreas Gursky. Here is a world of contrasts in Asian megacities–the rich and the poor, the old and the new in harsh polarity. It is a world of reversals where artificial light has turned night into day. Time exposures reveal skyscrapers are haloed by lighted cranes circling at night as the buildings are erected, and see-through people rush through the streets like ghosts. Mr. Bialobrzeski writes in a recent email, explaining the book’s title:

“The title ‘The Raw and the Cooked’ describes a journey from the raw and poor settlements of the underprivileged of a modern megalopolis to the sophisticated 40-story settlements of the new urban elites. In a way the book describes a fictional history of the civilization and cultural shape of a city of the 21st century. ‘The Raw and the Cooked’ is also chosen as a reference to the thoughts of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the famous French anthropologist who used the phrase first to name one of his books.”

Mr. Bialobrzeski’s urban landscapes leave you blinking, dazed at the spectacle before you. Culture, in the form of concrete and glass and advertising, has become nature, where skyscrapers sprout like trees and concrete runs in rivers. The world will never be the same again.


Singapore 2008


Hanoi 2007


Manila 2008


Manila 2008


Shanghai 2010

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Tim Barber—the photographer, curator, proprietor of tinyvices.com, and former Vice photo editor—recently brought us this treasure trove of photos that his mother and father, along with their fellow hippies, took during their halcyon days of gettin’ back to the land in the 1970s. First we said, “Wow, your folks weren’t fucking around!” Then we said, “Wow, these pictures are beautiful! What the hell are we doing living in this urban death trap when we could be out there in the crisp, cool snow with the goats and the eagles?” Then Tim went us one further and handed over a piece of a memoir that his father, Robin, has been working on about those long-gone days. And so here it is: a glimpse of country life courtesy of a really cool dad.

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One week after a deadly wildfire killed 25 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes in Oakland and Berkeley, California in 1991, photographer Richard Misrach photographed the aftermath. “There were no police barricades, and people hadn’t really returned,” he says. “It was just completely devastated, very much like a post-apocalyptic movie.”

Misrach decided early on not to show the work, but on the 20th anniversary of the fire, the photographer is finally unveiling his images in a new book published by Blind Spot, which coincides with twin exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and Oakland Museum of California Art, on view through Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, respectively.

“There was so much coverage, it was almost like a media spectacle,” Misrach says of his decision not to publish the pictures right away. “It seemed like the work might get lost, and I wasn’t interested in the news component. I was much more interested in the history.” Misrach mocked up a few photographs into a book maquette shortly after the fire, but he hadn’t really looked at the series as whole until preparing them for his exhibitions. Citing Civil War photographs as a precedent, Misrach says he wanted to allow his images to serve as historical documents, shifting in meaning with time. “The pictures are not of flames. They’re not of not of people fleeing,” he says. “They’re more quiet, meditative and reflective of our relationship with landscape.”

Richard Misrach’s work is in the collections of over fifty major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is represented by Fraenkel Gallery.

1991–The Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath is published by Blind Spot. The accompanying exhibitions are on view at the Berkeley Museum of Art through Feb. 5 and at the Oakland Museum of California from Oct. 15-Feb. 12.

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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