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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 researcher’s 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 of National 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 world’s 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. That’s 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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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