Big news was revealed this week: California painter Rick Norsigian found 65 lost photographic plates by renowned photographer Ansel Adams. (See my previous post, "Finding Forgotten Photos.") Unfortunately, that was followed by the big news that the photos may not actually be Adams'.
First, the manager of Adams' trust and photography catalog publicly lambasted Norsigian, saying the painter perpetrated a con and comparing him to Hitler.
Second, Adams' grandson also doubts the photographs are by Ansel, but he accused Norsigian of merely being honestly mistaken.
Earl's photo of Yosemite's famous Jeffrey Pine matches the alleged Adams photo in each detail but one: the clouds are different. Aside from that, almost every branch and leaf and every line of snow in the background mountains is exactly the same. That would be nearly impossible — not just improbable, but impossible — to accomplish unless both images were made with the same lens mounted on the same camera supported by the same tripod set at the same height in the exact same spot.
One final note: Even if the plates Norsigian found are original Adams creations, he can't sell prints of them anyway, as he'd planned. U.S. copyright laws dictate that a creator maintains rights to copy his or her creations until 70 years after death. Adams died in 1984; so his estate's control lasts until 2054.
A NASA satellite-mounted camera has spent the past eight years photographing Mars in the most precise detail ever, resulting in a high-res composite map of the planet's surface that the agency has just released.
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft made 21,000 photos of the planet's surface using a thermal infrared camera known as THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System), along with what I hope was a very sturdy and secure tripod. The images were stitched together by collaborating teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Arizona State University's (ASU) Mars Space Flight Facility in Tempe, Ariz.
The map can be accessed by the general public, either online or by downloading the approximately one gigabyte of files that make up the complete terrestrial picture. This is the same map that researchers are using to study the Mars surface.
A Britain-based research team in Sri Lanka has successfully photographed a Horton Plains slender loris, previously thought to be extinct for more than 60 years.
Since 1937, four unconfirmed sightings of a loris have been reported, but this is the first photographic evidence that the species is still alive (if not well) in the Asian island nation. The loris is listed among the top 5 most endangered primates in the world.