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125 Reasons to Love National Geographic

For over a century, National Geographic magazine has been making the world a smaller place, one photo at a time.

Published: November 27, 2013 (Issue # 1788)



  • Children gather around an ultra-violet lamp to stave off vitamin D deficiency during a long winter in Murmansk.
    Photo: Dean Conger / National Geographic Creative

  • Legendary deep-sea diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau poses with his diving saucer.
    Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie / National Geographic Creative

  • A male gelada baboon bares his fangs.
    Photo: Michael Nichols / National Geographic Creative Barry Bishop / National Geographic Creative

  • A bushman and his family track game across the Kalahari dunes in South Africa.
    Photo: Chris Johns / National Geographic Creative

  • This photograph represents the first time night photography was used to capture wildlife.
    Photo: George Shiras / National Geographic Creative

  • A tagged northern spotted owl swoops toward a researchers lure in a young redwood forest.
    Photo: Michael Nichols / National Geographic Creative

  • Boys of the Luvale tribe greet the dawn with traditional songs and drumming along the upper Zambezi River.
    Photo: Chris Johns / National Geographic Creative

  • One of the first photographs ever published of the legendary ghost cat.
    Photo: George Schaller / National Geographic Creative

If you are not breathless by the time you have climbed the seemingly endless flight of stairs to the Fifth Floor Space at Loft Project ETAGI, then your breath is sure to be taken away by the photographs that await you at the new exhibition 125 Years ofNational Geographic.

Organized by National Geographic Russia, with the support of SanDisk, the new exhibition is a photo collection of 125 years of National Geographic magazine, which celebrated its official birthday last month. Launched by the National Geographic Society in October 1888, the monthly magazine has earned itself a reputation for publishing and supporting world-class photojournalism, rewarding its readers with insights into remote destinations and hidden cultures around the world, as well as getting up close and personal to some of the worlds rarest animals.

With its first print run of only 200, the magazine is now published in over 35 languages across the world, expanded to DVDs, books and films, and has supported more than 9000 projects. Over its history, the magazine has also become known as an expert in the photography field, being the first to publish underwater, color and night shots all of which are exhibited.

The principle of selection [of each photograph] was the fact that each frame had to mark a milestone in history of the magazine like the first color photo, the first flash photo, the first popular science photo, the first photo of space. Thats why the exhibition is so important, said Alexander Grek, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Russia, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times.

Other firsts on display include a photo capturing rare arctic wolves with almost no previous exposure to humans as well as one of the legendary ghost cat, a snow leopard in the Hindu Kush, eerily staring straight back at the camera. My favorite photo is the one with three deer running away from the camera flash, published by the magazine in 1906, said Grek. This is the first time night photography was used to capture wildlife.

While the incredible animal images are plentiful in the exhibition, capturing not only magnificent beauty but also human-like gestures, this is not all it showcases. Along one row of photographs, viewers are treated to glimpses into cultures around the world, from inside a trendy cafe in New York, along the romantic Seine River in Paris, to a traditional dusty drumming ceremony in Zambia. One of the only two photos from Russia also hangs in this group. Taken in 1977, the photo shows a group of small children in their underwear, standing in a circle around an ultra-violet lamp in an attempt to starve off vitamin D deficiency during a long winter in Murmansk. As they stare at the light contraption in front of them, the tiny faces of the children are almost swallowed by the large black goggles on their heads. While the image resembles something taken from a horror film, anyone who has lived through the long dark winters in Russia can understand the reasoning for trying such a treatment.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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