The photos and photographers of Fools

The photographers of Unsplash.com provided me with a great collection of photos for my April Contest story “Fools,” a Sci Fi heist story set.

(If you’ve not read the story, you’ll want to read it first, as this post contains some spoilers.)

Dark Surf

Jeremy Bishop shot this beautiful, mesmerizing, night-time beach photo. Notice all the detail he captures in this vertical photo.

I used this photo for the main title image for “Fools.” Because I need horizontal images for the title images to play well on Twitter, I had to crop it viciously into a horizontal shot, focusing on the white waves. But even cropped so much, it makes a beautiful, haunting image. And, of course, I added the text.

Jeremy hails from California. His passions are the ocean and water photography. He says he is “striving to make an impact to save our oceans and reefs.” You can see more of Jeremy’s excellent water-related photos at unsplash.com/@jeremybishop and jeremybishopphotography.com.

Private Beach

I can see the private beach and the softly glowing surf. Photo by Jordan Steranka.

Jordan Steranka shot this beautiful sunset over palm trees. You can still see the rosy tones of sunset at the bottom of the photo but also a starry sky above. The story “Fools” occurs at night, probably long after sunset, but this photo was so beautiful, I thought I could get away with using it.

Jordan is an industrial designer in Seattle, Washington. He love soccer, the outdoors, and exploration. You can see more of his work at unsplash.com/@jordansteranka and instagram.com/jordansteranka.

Resi Tower

This is the offseason for the beach, so the family is away. Photo by Tobias Rademacher.

Tobias Rademacher, who goes by Toby, is a hobby photographer with interests in architecture, landscape, and travel images. He hails from Cologne, Germany, and he shoots some stunning architectural images. You can see more of his photos at https://unsplash.com/@tobbes_rd.

Lavalier

I figured M. Lasone really wanted to protect his wife’s lavalier. Photo by Patricia Zavala.

Patricia Zavala shot this “shiny” photo of what she describes as a “blue, heart-shaped necklace.” Patricia is a designer, photographer, and creative, who hails from Seattle, Washington. Her landscape and nature images can be found at unsplash.com/@pattyzc and pattyzc.com.

Cat Mask

I also have a cat mask. A little inside joke. Photo by Soroush Golpoor.

Soroush Golpoor, who hails from Iran, shot this really cool photo of a giant cat mask. This photo is part of a series of photos Soroush shot with this mask, and the whole collection is amazing. I’ve never seen anything quite like these photos. I love the mask, but Soroush’s photos, settings, and models take it to a new level. See more of Soroush’s photos at unsplash.com/@soroushgolpoor.

Slider Tube

I glide down the brightly lit tube for 16 floors. Photo by Joe Ciciarelli.

Joe Ciciarelli shot this intriguing photo of a tunnel. I’m not actually sure what kind of tunnel it is or what it’s used for, but it’s eyecatching. See more of Joe’s travel and adventure photos at unsplash.com/@claritycontrol and instagram.com/@claritycontrol.

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

The photos and photographers of Kite Night

The photographers of Unsplash.com provided me with a great collection of photos for my story “Kite Night,” a Sci Fi story set on the planet called the Globe. (If you’ve not read the story, you’ll want to read it first, as this post contains some spoilers.)

Firework

Photo by Snowy Vin.

Snowy Vin took this perfect photo of a single firework explosion against a dark night sky. She shot it at Lake Kawaguchi at Fujikawaguchiko, Japan and titled the photo “Firework.”

I used this photo for the story’s main title image. Because the original photo cropping is very square, I had to “extend” the black night sky through photo image magic to make it fit into my regular title image rectangle. And, of course, I added the text.

You can see more of Snowy’s adventure, mountain, and animal images at unsplash.com/@sowny_vin.

Preparedness

Ward calmed the butterflies in her stomach and laid the last of the fine silver. Photo by Siniz Kim.

Siniz Kim shot this beautiful place setting. She titled it “Preparedness,” which is a great title. When I saw it, I knew it was perfect for the table Capt. Ward was setting in the officer’s mess. Siniz is the principal and founder at Zigzag GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany. You can find more of his street and outdoor images at unsplash.com/@siniz.

Orbs of the Multiverse

She watched the slowly spinning blue orb. Photo by Daniel Olah.

If you have read any of the previous Tales of the Globe, then you recognize this gorgeous photo as the first image for each story.

If I understand this correctly, Daniel created this beautiful image by mixing soap and oil. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m no artist. This piece, Orbs of the Multiverse, is from his new Soap & Oil Planet series. To my eyes, it looks exactly like a planet floating in space, and I love his title for the piece. So I chose this image to represent the beautiful, blue planet of the Globe.

Daniel is a freelance photographer. You can find his nature and landscape images at unsplash.com/@danesduet. You can also find his work at www.behance.net/danielolah and instagram.com/danesduet.

Moonrise

The Swearing Moon rose and skirted the horizon. Photo by Kym MacKinnon.

Kym MacKinnon took this shot, titled “Moonrise over Grotto Mountain,” in Canmore, Canada. Kym hails from Alberta, Canada. You can find more of her photos at unsplash.com/@vixenly and instagram.com/vixenly.

Pleasant Picnic

They had a surprisingly pleasant and civilized lunch. Photo by Marianela O.M.

Marianela O.M shot this very pleasant picnic shot, which she titled “Picnic and wine on the grass.” You can see more of her wine, hygge, and animal images at unsplash.com/@marianelahygge and instagram.com/marianela.maruu and at her website, www.mividahygge.com.

Metal Mallet

The metal mallet was small but sturdy and covered in runes. Photo by Raul Barrios.

Raul Barrios shot this great image of a blacksmith forming a crowbar on an anvil with his blacksmith’s hammer at the ready. Raul shot this at the Blacktown City Medieval Fayre in Blacktown, Australia.

This photographed hammer or mallet is not covered in runes, but it is a blacksmith’s hammer, which the mysterious Vernon is carrying. Because he is from Belmont, Vernon knows blacksmithing and has tools of the trade. I think you’ll learn more about the mysterious Vernon of Belmont in stories to come.

You can see more of Raul’s flower, animal, and architecture images at unsplash.com/@lookscanshoot.

Glowing Orange

Glowing orange, they whizzed about madly overhead. Photo by Melanie Magdalena.

Melanie Magdalena shot this mesmerizing photo, titled “Lift Off at Lantern Fest 2015,” at Sandia Speedway in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. As the photo’s title indicates, this is a photo of floating paper lanterns, not mechanical grav-tech drones. To hide the fact that these are paper lanterns, I cropped the photo and rotated it 90 degrees. I think the altered image does manage to convey floating, orange shapes in a night sky that might be futuristic drones, if you don’t look too closely. But I’m also glad to be able to share Melanie’s beautiful, original image here.

Melanie hails from Austin, Texas, in the United States. You can find more of Melanie’s astronomy and nature images at unsplash.com/@m2creates and melaniemagdalena.com.


In case you missed them, here are the first five tales in the Globe Folio.

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

The photos and photographers of The Buried War

The photographers of Unsplash.com provided me with a great collection of photos for my story “The Buried War,” a Sci Fi story set on the planet called The Globe. (If you have not read the story, you’ll want to read it first, as this post contains some spoilers.)

Let’s start with the logo for The Globe stories. I had to crop it quite a bit, which should probably be a crime. I committed it in international space, so I think I’m safe. But I do apologize to the artist. Then I added the text. Here is the original, unaltered photo in all its glory.

Orbs of the Multiverse by Daniel Olah.

Breathtaking, right?

If I understand this correctly, Daniel created this beautiful image by mixing soap and oil. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m no artist. This piece, Orbs of the Multiverse, is from his new Soap & Oil Planet series. To my eyes, it looks exactly like a planet floating in space, and I love his title for the piece. So I chose this image to represent the beautiful, blue planet of The Globe.

Daniel is a freelance photographer. You can find his nature and landscape images at unsplash.com/@danesduet. You can also find his work at www.behance.net/danielolah and instagram.com/danesduet.

The Golden Fields of Finsbury

Sun shining over a golden field with a dark treeline and ridges in the distance.
Photo by Federico Respini.

Federico Respini took this resplendent photo of a field beneath a golden sun. Federico titled this photo “Brown Field,” which just does not do it justice. Of course, I used this as the main image to represent the farming community of Finsbury.

Federico wrote this on his unsplash.com page: “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” Well, Federico is quite eloquent with the camera.

Federico hails from Fribourg, Switzerland. You can find more of his outdoor, star, and animal images at unsplash.com/@federicorespini.

Lights on a Farm Road

Panthino smiled in the darkness, lit only by the indirect lamps of the hovertrac. Photo by Vincent Ledvina.

Vincent Ledvina took this stunning and creative shot of a starry sky over a farm road. I imagined the lights in the road were thrown by Panthino’s hovertrac and thought it perfect to illustrate Panthino stopping to repair the broken tiller.

This photo was shot somewhere in North Dakota in the United States.

Vincent hails from Grand Forks, North Dakota, and likes to take landscape and astronomy photographs. You can find more of his photos at unsplash.com/@vincentledvina. He also teaches photography on his YouTube channel, Apalapse.

The Hob

Kittercats and hounds liked to sleep by the warm hob of a night. Photo by Zane Lee.

Zane Lee took this charming photo of a rustic fireplace that was perfect for a Finsbury farm. You can see more of Zane’s travel and car images at unsplash.com/@zane404. You can also find him on Instagram at instagram.com/zane.404.

Capsule

Shakily, Panthino climbed from the capsule. Photo by Bing-Hsun Wu.

Bing-Hsun Wu shot this photo at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which is located at Pier 86 along the Hudson River in Manhattan, New York, New York in the United States. He titled the photo “Climb Up.”

You can see Bing-Hsun’s nature and outdoor photos at unsplash.com/@binghsun.


In case you missed them, here are the first four tales in the Globe Folio:

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

The photos and photographers of Lucky Day

The photographers of Unsplash.com provided me with a great collection of photos for my March Contest story “Lucky Day,” a Sci Fi story set on the planet Hulm.( If you have not read the story, you’ll want to read it first, as this post contains some spoilers.)

Walls of Jaisalmer

Photo by Ali Zbeeb.

I love this beautify photo by Ali Zbeeb of a sandstone wall in Jaisalmer, India. The photo is titled “Walls of Jaisalmer.”

The color and textures are beautiful, but of course, the jutting stones that almost make a floating stairway along the wall really make the image. I like in particular how they lead upwards to the right. And I wonder if the contestants writing endings will right a positive, uplifting ending for “Lucky Day.” Only time will tell.

Note that on the story page, I darkened this photo a bit by making it just a little transparent and allowing a black background to show through. By doing this, I allowed the white lettering to stand out. Fun trick, huh? But I really do love the original colors, and I’m glad to show the unaltered photo here.

Ali is a self-described “Lebanese Visual Artist” based in Beirut. You can see more photos by Ali, including, food, street, dog, and Christmas photos, at unsplash.com/@alizbib.

Cabbage

Baba was making fried cabbage rolls for Lucky Day. Photo by Monika Grabkowska.

“Lucky Day” begins “Ophir woke in the dark to the thick, warm smell of cabbage cooking.” So I looked and looked for good photos of egg rolls to represent the story’s cabbage rolls. Finding none, I looked for cabbage stir fry in a pan but found none. Fortunately, I found this gorgeous photo by Monika Grabkowska. I’m not even positive these purple and green leafy plants are cabbage. But even if they are not, I think they could easily represent the cabbages of Hulm.

Monika, who describers herself as a “girl from Poland living in the UK,” is a food stylist and photographer. Looking at this gorgeous and delicious photo, how can you have any doubt she is a master of both? On unsplash.com, Monika writes that she “loves nature and healthy food.” And she also loves a good cup of coffee.

You can see more of Monika’s food and coffee images at unsplash.com/@moniqa and monikagrabkowska.com.

Dragon

Ophir did not see any dragons. Just men carrying two large, wobbling dog heads. Photo by Marilyn Paige.

Marilyn Paige shot this giant, green dragon head in Chinatown. I’m just not sure which Chinatown. It is a dragon head for parades, and if you view Marilyn’s photos as unsplash.com/@marilynhpaige, you can see more parade-related images.

Of course, in my story, this photo represented one of the two dragon heads that led the parade past Baba’s shop counter and Ophir’s home.

Town Square

Ophir took his tray and followed the crowd to the central square. Photo by Reiseuhu.

This photo actually comes from Reiseuhu, the German travel deal portal. They have their own Unsplash page at unsplash.com/@reiseuhu. You can also find more photos from their travels at www.instagram.com/reiseuhu.

This photo is titled “Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv, Israel.” But in my story, it represents part of the path Ophir takes from his home to the town square.

Sandstone Alleyway

Ophir stood in the shade of an alley, counting the rolls. Photo by Joshua Sukoff.

Joshua Sukoff took this beautiful photo of a bright, sunny day looking down a crumbly, aged alley of stonework and bricks. It was taken in Safed, Israel, and her merely titled it “Sandstone Alleyway.”

Joshua is a teenager from New York City who likes skiing and traveling photography. You can see more of his flying, skiing, and traveling photos at unsplash.com/@joshuas.

The photos and photographers of The Towers of Whitehall

The photographers of Unsplash.com provided me with a great collection of photos for Jim Hamilton’s “The Towers of Whitehall,” a Sci Fi story set on the planet called The Globe. (If you have not read the story, you’ll want to read it first, as this post contains some spoilers.)

Let’s start with the logo for The Globe stories. I had to crop it quite a bit, which should probably be a crime. I committed it in international space, so I think I’m safe. But I do apologize to the artist. Then I added the text. Here is the original, unaltered photo in all its glory.

Orbs of the Multiverse by Daniel Olah.

Breathtaking, right?

If I understand this correctly, Daniel created this beautiful image by mixing soap and oil. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m no artist. This piece, Orbs of the Multiverse, is from his new Soap & Oil Planet series. To my eyes, it looks exactly like a planet floating in space, and I love his title for the piece. So I chose this image to represent the beautiful, blue planet of The Globe.

Daniel is a freelance photographer. You can find his nature and landscape images at unsplash.com/@danesduet. You can also find his work at www.behance.net/danielolah and instagram.com/danesduet.

Blue Verticality

This photo represents the glittering towers of Whitehall. Photo by Possessed Photography.

The photographer who simply goes by “Possessed Photography” on unsplash.com captured this beautiful image of glass towers that they titled “Blue Verticality,” which is a great title. I shared this photo with Jim before he wrote “The Towers of Whitehall.” I’m sure it helped inspire his idea that Whitehallers generate their city’s electric power from “transparent, photo-voltaic cells” in their glass towers.

Possessed Photography’s images of robots, vehicles, technology, art, architecture, and Japan can be found at unsplash.com/@possessedphotography. Possessed Photography lives in Japan and is available for hire.

View from Above

View from a tower to a wide concrete veranda and water beyond
Photo by Mirza Babic.

When I chose this photo, I was thinking of Leonardo, “who stood at the railing of the observation deck, high atop Central Tower. . . . As the sun rose higher, Leonardo watched as a barge arrived from upstream and pulled up to the quay. Right on time, he said to himself, and left his perch to go meet the barge. Its arrival made him feel marginally better, but he was still worried.”

This image, shot by Mirza Babic of New York City, New York in the United States, may not be shot from an angle as high as the top of Whitehall’s Central Tower, but I think it does a nice job of giving us the feeling of Leonardo’s gaze down on Lake Avon from the towers of Whitehall.

The photo itself is a bit of a mystery. Mirza did not disclose where the photo was shot or reveal any other details. And the photo is titled “Sanity.” I do find the photo quite soothing. I love the wide, curving expanse of concrete. I like the stone edifice to the left with mildly arched entrances. And I love the dark-but-shining water beyond. I can see the view soothing Leonardo’s frayed nerves.

But I am intrigued by why Mirza titled it “Sanity.” Was that a reference to the lone individual captured below, the soothing combination of stone and water, or to a view from a window that meant “home”? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Mirza’s photography can be found at unsplash.com/@mirzababic and mirzababic.com.

Breakfast Stim

A mug and pot of "stim" and a handheld, electronic device
She played with her handheld game and sipped her stim. Photo by Ceyda Ciftci.

In Jim’s story, he wrote that Stephano’s mother, Lucetta, drank stim and played her handheld game during the breakfast hour. I loved that detail and wanted to include some futuristic version of a drink called “stim.” When I ran across this photo by Ceyda Ciftci, I loved it immediately. I don’t know if it truly looks futuristic or otherworldly, but it certainly looks elegant and different than the tea and coffee setups I see in offices and homes.

Ceyda shot this in Istanbul, Turkey. She titled the photo “Rinascimento,” which is apparently Italian for “Renaissance.” And that is very fitting for our stories set on The Globe, a planet whose residents are clearly very influenced by Shakespeare, his work, and Elizabethan England.

You can find more photos by Ceyda at unsplash.com/@ceydaciftci.

Cranes

Cranes working near a waterfront
Cranes over the waterfront. Photo by Elias.

This photo represented this scene: “Leonardo stood well back on the dock, watching as the crane unloaded the first of the two, giant, bell-shaped castings. Each of them was made from cast iron and took up nearly half of the drone barge that had ferried them down from the hills.”

It was tricky to find a combination of waterfront, futuristic buildings and something that might look like a Sci Fi crane. I settled for two out of three, as it turns out cranes look very similar the world over.

The photographer who simply goes by Elias on unsplash.com captured this scene of HafenCity in Hamburg, Germany. It’s a good photo, but I found by cropping carefully I could include the futuristic building in the center, the cranes and the water.

You can learn more about Elias’s photography at unsplash.com/@eelias.

Slider Park

Slider Park in Whitehall
“Dozens of young people were riding their hoverboards up and down, over and under, and all around the contoured course.” Photo by Mika Baumeister.

Mika Baumeister shot this overhead view of the skate park Peitruss in Luxembourg from a nearby bridge. It’s a great geometric photo, and you can see the fascinating geometric shapes created by the park’s designers and builders.

Mika hails from Bonn, Germany and is available for hire. Mika is building a German Unsplash community and shows interest in interacting on the front page. You can see more of Mika’s work at unsplash.com/@mbaumi.

Graffito

Kid at the skate park. Photo by @cbyoung.

Clark Young shot this amazing graffito at a skate park. He titled the photo “Kid at the Skate Park,” which I love for its simplicity. Clark does not share any more information, so I don’t even know what country it’s shot in.

I already had one great photo to represent the slider park in Whitehall where Portia and Stephano secretly meet to plan their escape. But when I saw this beautiful, golden “Globe” graffito, I could not resist. So, to the tag artist “Globe,” I love this throwie. I salute you and I thank you.

See more of Clark’s landscape and architecture photos at unsplash/@cbyoung.

Jetty

They met at the jetty. Photo by Casey Horner.

I love this beautiful night shot of a lighted dock by Casey Horner. I could look at it for hours. Technically, it fits the definition of jetty, which is where Stephano and Portia meet to stow away on the drone barge. I’m not sure if this is the type of jetty Jim imagined, but I’m a sucker for a starry sky.

Casey titled this photo “Long Walk Off a Short Pier.” It was shot in Waimea in the United States. Casey hails from Manteca, California in the United States. You can view more of Casey’s work at unsplash.com/@mischievous_penguins.