Courageous Cancer Patient Recreates the "Birth of Venus"


Washington DC-based portrait photographer Jonathan Thorpe captures an incredible image of his friend and model Heather Byrd, in which the young woman (who also happens to be a cancer patient) is at the center of a thought-provoking recreation of Botticelli's Birth of Venus. Standing in as the Goddess of Love and Beauty, Byrd is in the nude, exposing a deep sense of vulnerability amidst a cold, unforgiving hospital-esque environment.

Thorpe, who typically shoots comedic portraits, knew he didn’t want to photograph his usual sort of beauty shot of his friend, who was undergoing chemo treatments for her diagnosis of Leukemia. Instead, the photographer and his team came up with a concept that took a classic painting and reinterpreted it with a powerful twist that resulted in a shot titled The Renaissance of Heather.

In his blog, Thorpe explains the thought that went into the shoot: “Instead of the beauty of the forest and water behind her, it would be replaced with the coldness and drab colors of an old hospital room and bed. Instead of a woman draping Venus in beautiful cloth, a nurse would be covering her with a hospital gown. Instead of the two wrapped in love to her side, two doctors would be there, one with oxygen mask, the other with syringes and a chart. And finally, instead of her being presented on a shell where she is born, she would be standing on a pile of her own clothes, and wig.”

The photographer devoted his absolute attention to this project, making sure to take up as little time of everyone’s day as possible by being immensely prepared. Despite being met with a few unforeseeable setbacks, the entire shoot took a total of 20 minutes! Thorpe says, “The picture we used was actually the last frame we took. Why was it the last frame? because as soon as I saw it, I knew THAT was the one.”


Jonathan Thorpe website
via [reddit]



January 17, 2017

Liberating Portraits of Ballerinas Elegantly Dancing in the Streets of Cairo

Like many dance photographers, Mohamed Taher has a knack for beautifully capturing the body in motion. His interest in movement is evident in his Ballerinas of Cairo series, and the captivating collection of photos also serves a more poignant purpose: it helps women fight sexual harassment and reclaim the city’s streets. After learning about the Ballerina Project, an ongoing series that documents dancers in urban settings across the globe, Taher was inspired to carry out a similar undertaking in the Egyptian capital.

Read Article


January 17, 2017

Rare Ruby Seadragon Is Spotted Alive for the First Time

While a ruby seadragon may sound like a mythical creature taken from the pages of a fairy tale, this incredibly rare animal was spotted in the deep waters of Western Australia for the first time. Recently, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the Western Australian Museum observed two ruby seadragons for 30 minutes using a mini remotely-operated vehicle.

Read Article


Get Our Weekly Newsletter