The Scientists Who Will Be Trapped In Arctic Ice For A Year, And More Of The Best Photography Of The Week

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​​Every week, we curate the best new photography and photojournalism on the web, so you can spend your weekend kicking back and enjoying some beautiful pictures. Here are this week's picks:

The Offbeat Beauty Of Everyday Japan

From big-scramble zebra crossings to a man in a hedge, the award-winning street photographer [Shin Noguchi] revels in the life that swirls around him

[See the photos at The Guardian]

An Intimate Study Of Childbirth

In the eleventh edition of her ongoing series of photobooks, Scheynius chronicles her best friend's experience of pregnancy and the act of giving birth

[See the photos at British Journal of Photography]

Living with the Land: Capturing a Disappearing Culture

Magnum photographer David Hurn reflects on the more than 40 years he has spent documenting the changing face of rural Wales

[See the photos at Magnum Photos]

Scientists Are About To Spend A Year Trapped In Arctic Ice

Hundreds of people have undergone intense preparation for an expedition designed to figure out what a warming Arctic means for us all.

[See the photos at National Geographic]

The Beauty And Burden Of Being A Nigerian Bride

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WHATIFTHEWORLD is pleased to present e wá wo mi (*come look at me) – a new photographic series by Nigerian artist Lakin Ogunbanwo. Central to Ogunbanwo's latest exploration, is the culture surrounding Nigerian brides and marriage ceremonies. He uses veiled portraiture to document the complexity of his culture, and counteract the West's monolithic narratives of Africa and women. Ogunbanwo's interest in expanding the contemporary African visual archive began in 2012 with his acclaimed ongoing project, 'Are We Good Enough'. In this series, he documents hats worn as cultural signifiers by various ethnic groups in Nigeria. In e wá wo mi Ogunbanwo furthers this investigation by representing the traditional ceremonial wear of the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa-Fulani tribes, amongst others. Rather than objectively archive these as past-traditions, however, he mimics the pageantry of weddings in present Nigeria. He creates elaborate sets of draped fabric as a backdrop for these brides to perform. The performances these brides carry out are ones of love, familial and cultural pride, feminine strength, and a heterogenous African identity, but they are also the burdens of being wives, mothers and daughters-in-law. The expectation of femininity, and the role of women, are canonised on the wedding day. "From how she dresses, to how she carries herself, to what she is told. She will be fertile, she should be submissive and supportive: These are the things she hears on that day." Ogunbanwo reflects, "I've found weddings to be very performative, and most of the performance generally rests on the bride." On this day, the bride is admired and observed for her proximity to a constructed womanhood: she is feminine, demure, grateful, emotional, and graceful. Ogunbanwo comments on this by obfuscating the individuality of these women, masking their faces with veils— a style signature to his photography.

A post shared by Lakin Ogunbanwo (@lakinogunbanwo) on

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e wá wo mi 🧡

A post shared by Lakin Ogunbanwo (@lakinogunbanwo) on

There are thirty-six different states in Nigeria, each with its own set of tribes, individual family customs, community ideologies and neuroses, rationales and taboos. Finances allowing, Nigerian weddings are densely peopled affairs spanning days or weeks, uncompromising in their opulence. 

[See the photos at The New Yorker]

The Traces Of Human Activity In The Burning Man Void

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Check out Michael Light: Lake Lahontan | Lake Bonneville in @wired . The Traces of Human Activity in the Burning Man Void Photographer Michael Light captures surreal, manmade marks in the Great Basin region. Burning Man bills itself as the biggest "Leave No Trace" event in the world. This means that after revelers have dismantled the geodesic domes, giant duckies, and steampunk ships that form their temporary city in Nevada, they get down on their hands and knees to scour the white alkaline sand for every last cigarette butt and sequin. But in the end, 80,000 people still leave a mark. "Sure, by October, there's no trash left on the surface of the Black Rock Desert," says Michael Light. "But boy, are there a lot of traces." Those traces are glaringly visible in Lake Lahontan/Lake Bonneville, Light's latest book in his long-term aerial survey Some Dry Space: An Inhabited West. It captures the monumental city grid etched into the Nevada desert, as well as spiraling vehicle tracks cut into Utah's salt flats. They echo other lines humans have made in recent centuries—wagon trails blazed across the North American prairie, Apollo mission rover paths plowed through moon dust. "They're quite exuberant and beautiful from the air," Light says. The landscapes sit in the Great Basin, a roughly 200,000-square-mile region between the Sierra Nevadas and the Western Rockies that writer William L. Fox calls "the major void in our continental imagination." It's a unique environment formed millions of years ago when mountain streams drained into Pleistocene pluvial lakes—the biggest being Lahontan and Bonneville. Those lakes eventually receded, leaving mud flats, sagebrush slopes, and other alien-looking terrain. Visiting in the late 1800s, the naturalist John Muir described it as "smooth lake-like ground" that "sweeps on indefinitely, growing more and more dim in the glowing sunshine." He found "no singing water, no green sod, no moist nook to rest in." . #michaellight #radiusbooks #photobook #burningman .

A post shared by Radius Books (@radius.books) on

Photographer Michael Light captures surreal, manmade marks in the Great Basin region.

[See the photos at Wired]

Down By The Hudson

Caleb Stein's monochrome collection of portraits is an "ode" to the small town of Poughkeepsie, that finds its resolution in the edenic summer atmosphere of the local swimming spot. 

[See the photos at LensCulture]

Here's What It's Like For A Woman To Serve Life In Prison

"This is my 27th year being incarcerated. I've been scared, lonely, hurt, disappointed, and forgotten."

[See the photos at BuzzFeed News]

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