Photo by Simon Norfolk @simonnorfolkstudio I Blenheim Palace near Oxford—one of of the greatest of England's stately homes—was a gift from a grateful nation to a general, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, for his victories in battle. In a contemporary guidebook to the palace and its gardens— William Fordice Mavor's "New Description of Blenheim"—the extraordinary suggestion is made that the original garden layout for the "military oaks" imitated the disposition of troops at the beginning of the Battle of Blenheim on August 13, 1704. Just think: a battlefield laid out in the heart of England in a massive, leafy reminder of a faraway military conquest! There is little evidence to support Mavor's conjecture, but true or not, people build their own realities and readers thought it was true. Indeed, Mavor's book was wildly successful, despite its turgid prose, being reprinted 13 times, once even in French.
Over the years, blasted by lightning or simply toppling over in their senescence, the oaks at Blenheim seem like ancient pachyderms or baobabs clinging to the edge of life. Mavor was right to offer these trees as "moral and impressive lessons"—not as he intended but as metaphors about the great arc of empire's rise and fall. Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material #photojournalism#nature#documentaryphotography#simonnorfolk#lowlight
Repost @timothy_archibald: The Girl Who Loved Science / When Brianna Rivera stepped into her advanced biology class at the start of her junior year at Andrew Hill High School in San Jose, California, she noticed that she was one of the only girls in the class of 20, and one of the only Hispanic kids. She wasn’t excited about science, and she didn’t feel like she belonged.
Rivera was a dedicated student and gymnast who hoped to go to college even though no one in her family had ever been. The class would fulfill her high school science requirement, but she didn’t expect to enjoy it. She just needed to make it through.
But, buoyed by a Saturday science program developed and run by Stanford graduate student volunteers, she not only aced her class, but also found a passion for science — which she now embraces as a biomedical engineering major in her first year of college. / Story by Julie Greicius, with reporting by Becky Bach / Stanford Medicine Summer 2019
A photo processing studio in the old city. Their walls are usually covered with over the top garish photographs of blushing brides and big mustachioed macho men rolling through photoshopped flowery fields. Having a photograph taken and processed inside such a set up is quite the experience in itself.