New Pluto Image Shows Enhanced View of Its Heart

Pluto photo from four images from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) combined with color data from the Ralph instrument
NASA/REUTERS An enhanced color global view of Pluto released on July 24, 2015.

NASA released the false color composite image

NASA released a false-color image of Pluto on Thursday, revealing an unprecedented view of the dwarf planet’s vividly contrasting patches of terrain.

The picture is a composite of multiple images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, captured 280,000 miles away from Pluto in the days before the July 14 flyby.

The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the probe captured photos that thrilled the world last week. Close-ups from that camera were combined with data from a Ralph instrument on board to create these new color depictions.

According to the NASA press release, the color suggests insights about Pluto’s “icy heart”: the ice appears to be originating and spreading outward from the “heart of the heart,” Sputnik Planum.

TIME space

New Horizons Finds Second Mountain Range in Pluto’s Heart

New Horizons Pluto Heart Mountain Range
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute A newly discovered mountain range lies near the southwestern margin of Pluto’s heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), situated between bright, icy plains and dark, heavily-cratered terrain.

The newly discovered peaks are as high as the Appalachian Mountains

Pluto’s heart continues to divulge its secrets as NASA announced the discovery of a new mountain range on the lower-left edge of the planet’s heart-shaped region.

These frozen peaks are estimated to be one-half mile to one mile high, which is about the same height as the Appalachian Mountains, NASA has revealed in a new image.

The newly discovered peaks, which have yet to be named, are located about 68 miles northwest of the Norgay Montes, the frozen mountains that were discovered on July 15 in the first series of photographs that New Horizons beamed back to Earth.

“There is a pronounced difference in texture between the younger, frozen plains to the east and the dark, heavily-cratered terrain to the west,” said Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “There’s a complex interaction going on between the bright and the dark materials that we’re still trying to understand.”

NASA believes that Sputnik Planum, the left lobe of Pluto’s heart-shaped region, was formed less than 100 million years ago while the darker region, seen on the newly-released image, is probably older by billions of years.

TIME space

Photographing Pluto: This Is How New Horizons Works

NASA's Jeff Moore answers our questions about the historic Pluto fly-by

On January 19, 2006, the New Horizons space craft launched from Cape Canaveral on a mission that would take it over three billion miles away to an unprecedented rendezvous with the dwarf planet Pluto.

Nearly a decade later, the first images from that fly-by will be sent back to Earth on Wednesday – they will be the best and closest images of Pluto ever taken.

TIME Multimedia Editor Mia Tramz interviews Jeff Moore, the Geology and Geophysics Investigation (GGI) Theme Team leader, about the cameras they used for this historic mission and what these new images of Pluto may mean for our understanding of the universe.

TIME LightBox: How many cameras are on the space craft?

Jeff Moore: There’s two cameras that more or less operate in visible light: a color camera which is a medium resolution camera (Ralph), and then there’s a grayscale or black and white telephoto camera (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI).

Our long range pictures of things that are going to give us our highest resolution images will be taken LORRI. And the color pictures will be taken with Ralph. We can actually combine the colors from Ralph to colorize LORRI’s pictures.

And then there is an imaging infrared spectrometer that will also makes pictures of a sort. But they’re mostly compositional information, like what Pluto and its moons are made out of.

TIME LightBox: Was any new technology incorporated into the cameras?

Jeff Moore: At a relatively small level yes, but mainly the cameras represent mature technology of 15 years ago. If you’re going to launch a space craft that’s going to fly over three billion miles away from the Earth – and it’s going to take ten years to get there – you want to make sure that what you’re sending there is completely reliable.

So we did not use the latest most cutting edge technology, we used technology which we would be sure to work when we got there. We used cameras not too different from what you can buy at a camera store or in the back of your telephone. We made the cameras very robust and mechanically simple so that nothing could break and nothing could fail.

TIME LightBox: How long does it take to get an image back from the space craft?

Jeff Moore: In order to keep the mission economical so that NASA would have the resources to pay for [it], we did a few things such as using a relatively small radio antenna on the space craft. And we also bolted everything onto the space craft without any moving parts.

That means several things. When the space craft collects data, it usually does not have its antenna pointed at the Earth – the space craft has to reorient itself back to Earth to transmit data.

Also, at the distance of Pluto, we can only send data back at a rate that’s comparable with an old 1990s modem. Because of that, during the encounter, we’ll be taking many, many pictures, but those pictures will all be stored on the solid state memory and radioed back to the Earth months after the encounter.

Much of our best and most interesting data isn’t going to be seen until this fall or early next year. Of course we’re going to send back some very interesting high priority data during the days of the encounter itself.

TIME LightBox: How often are you receiving pictures from the space craft currently?

Jeff Moore: We are getting pictures back on a daily to weekly basis right now.

MORE: See The Trailer For TIME’s Unprecedented New Series: A Year In Space

TIME LightBox: Can you describe the different teams that will be working with these pictures and what data they’ll be looking for in the images?

Jeff Moore: There’s four teams: There is a Composition (COMP) Theme Team which will look mostly at the data from the infrared mapping spectrometer I described earlier. It doesn’t have the same pixel resolution as the cameras, but it takes pictures in over two hundred and fifty colors in the near infrared. They can make spectra of individual points on Pluto and determine what kinds of materials make up the surface of the planet.

Then there’s an Atmospheres (ATM) Theme Team. They will examine the structure and density and surface pressure and chemistry and winds of Pluto’s atmosphere.

And then last but not least there is a Particles and Plasma (P&P) Theme Team which will study the interaction of solar wind with the gases which come off of Pluto’s atmosphere and off its moons. They can tell a lot about the evolution and long term survivability of, or changes at least, in Pluto’s atmospheric history by looking at how these fields and particles from the Sun interact with the material and the vicinity of Pluto.

TIME LightBox: From your own personal point of view, what sorts of things are you most excited to start finding out about once the pictures come back from the fly-by?

Jeff Moore: The thing that I’m going to be most excited about is understanding the various geological processes that have operated to shape the surface. We see evidence that there’s been vast erosion and buildup of ices as Pluto goes through its extreme seasons.

Pluto has extreme seasons which may well drive very exotic land forms. We may see big landscapes that are eroded that look like Monument Valley and maybe other places which look like polar ice sheets.

It’s perfectly possible to see where the ground’s been broken and split into mountains or ridges or canyons from tectonic forces. We might even see evidence for an exotic form of volcanism where you have this very cold but volatile material that makes up Pluto. It might be warmed by radioactive minerals in the interior. There might be eruptions of ice or methane or nitrogen volcanoes. That can’t be ruled out.

And we expect to see probably at least a few impact craters here and there. If the surface has very few impact craters that means it’s very young. And Pluto has, up until recent times, or in recent times been geologically active. If it has lots of impact craters it means that most of the things that happened in the history of Pluto happened a long time ago.

There’s a lot of things we don’t know anything about. And figuring out how all these different geological processes worked in concert with each other and which came first will tell us the history of Pluto.

But I always tell everybody right now, what I really anticipate most about Pluto is to be surprised.

TIME LightBox: How do you anticipate this mission will contribute to our understanding of our universe?

Jeff Moore: Pluto may be the star witness to the whole third zone of the solar system. The inner zone of the solar system has the rocky planets like the Earth and Mars and so on. And the middle solar system have all the gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and all their moons.

But then beyond those worlds, there is a vast realm of ice worlds which planets like Pluto represents the largest members of this third zone of the solar system, where water ice is considered to be something that never melts – it’s considered to be hard as rock, as un-meltable as rock.

The things that are operating on the surface at those temperatures instead are things like frozen nitrogen and frozen methane, which of course are gases on the Earth.

The things which make our atmosphere, or the stuff that comes out of our gas heated stoves, are the things which make up the surface materials and the rocks on these worlds like Pluto. And how they interact, it’s really not something we’ve seen a lot of or have any understanding of.

It represents in some sense one of the major regions of our solar system. Pluto may represent one of the more common types of worlds in the universe. And we simply haven’t seen such worlds before, so it’s going to be really exciting to see such a landscape for the first time.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Jeff Moore is the Geology and Geophysics Investigation (GGI) Theme Team leader for New Horizons. Follow the New Horizons Mission @NASANewHorizons.

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME technology

Beyond Google Earth, How One Company Wants to See the World in 3D

Vricon offers a new way to map the world

Maps in two dimension are a thing of the past – or so say the engineers behind Vricon, a new 3-D mapping tool.

Developed as a joint venture between Saab Group, a Swedish aerospace and defense company, and DigitalGlobe, a purveyor of high resolution space and satellite imagery, Vricon uses automated algorithm to process DigitalGlobe’s massive archive of maps into highly accurate, data rich 3D models.

“The core of our technology is called stereophotogrammetry. And that’s been around for ages,” Manne Anliot, Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Vricon tells TIME. “That just means taking two images and correlating them with each other. What we are doing, which is unprecedented, is to take more than two images. We actually use all the available imagery over any given area.” The algorithm combines multiple images, sometimes in the hundreds, to create a 3D model which, once mapped, can be updated with new satellite imagery as it is collected by DigitalGlobe’s cluster of satellites.

Vricon provides these models to its clients on an interactive visualization platform, similar in look and feel to Google Earth. “The data is streamed from the Vricon cloud or stored locally with small storage requirements. You only need a very lightweight client and it can be a client on even a handheld or a mobile phone,” says Anliot. Vricon’s clients, which currently include the Swedish Armed Forces and the NGA, at that point have in their hands a tool for geospatial analysis.

“One key feature,” says Anliot, “is the line of sight calculation.” By dropping a pin onto a given point on a Vricon model within their visualization platform, a client can determine what the line of sight is from that position. (See the image below where the yellow colorization denotes what line of sight would be from the pin at the center.) This becomes very handy in, for example, combat situations. “You can position snipers in different locations to make sure that you get the proper coverage of the target that you’re looking for,” says Anliot.


“Another is the reverse. If you know enemy firing positions, you can make calculations from those… in order to calculate a safe route for yourself. It can be used to plan your observation posts, how to be in cover, how to have eyes on your target. It can be to plan your entry and egress route.”

VRICON 3d mapping line sight

Vricon also has the ability to model change over time. By reprocessing data that has already been mapped, they can automatically detect changes between two data sets, making it possible to detect large scale changes such as receding glaciers, or more recently, the change in the depth and volume of a construction site being dug out at the Uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran between 2010 and 2012.

The current delivery time, from the moment Vricon receives a request from a client to the point of delivery, depends largely on how long it takes to collect the satellite imagery. Once the images are in hand, depending on the size of the area to be mapped, processing can take from a few minutes to a few hours.

“We did Ar-Raqqah for example in Syria, that took us four hours of processing time, from the time we had the imagery until we had the processed product, ” says Anliot. “It took us four hours with our current server farm. But this is completely scalable with the available hardware. Part of this joint venture is that we will scale up our server park and personnel to be able to achieve a production capacity of roughly two million square kilometers per month by mid 2016.”

The company aims to have one third of the globe available as an on-the-shelf streaming product within the next three years. The ultimate goal is to map the entire globe.

“Our focus, the coming years, will be to fully realize the potential of the defense and intelligence needs. And after that it will be infrastructure projects. But I think as we produce the globe, actually having it on the shelf available on our visualization platform, it will open up a lot of very interesting applications.”

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME On Our Radar

Two Filmmakers Set Out to Capture the Last Mesmerizing Dark Skies

Skyglow is a still-photography, time-lapse project

If, like 54% of the world’s population, you live in an urban area, you are no doubt familiar with the awe inducing experience of venturing out into nature and looking up at the night sky.

Away from the city lights, the sky shimmers with countless stars and planets glinting back at you; you can clearly make out constellations and the Milky Way.

A new project, Skyglow, by filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic seeks to capture that phenomenon in the last remaining ‘dark sky’ locations and archaeoastronomy sites in North America using still photography and time-lapses. “I lived in LA for 12 years, so I hadn’t seen the stars,” Mehmedinovic tells TIME. “Part of my childhood in Bosnia I grew up rurally, so I was able to see the night sky. It was kind of a spiritual experience as a kid. And that I lost that for many years.”

The duo hopes to use the project as a means of spreading awareness around the effects of light pollution and to explore the psychological effects of living in a world without stars. To that end, they’ll be working with the Tucson-based nonprofit, International Dark-Sky Association. “Their goal has always been to preserve dark skies,” says Mehmedinovic. “Their primary interest is to influence cities to change their lighting systems and revamp the way we think about how much needs to be lit or not lit.” “That’s the thing we’re learning really quickly,” added Heffernan. “It’s not something that has to be this way.”

Creating Skyglow, which will culminate in the publication of a coffee table book and Blu-ray of their best time-lapse footage, will be an adventure in its own right. “We have a plan of renting the Breaking Bad RV for two or three major trips, plot out places on the map we can head up in one straight line with an end destination of Alberta or Alaska to get those incredible Northern Lights next year. Glacier National Park is the big one on the list for us, and Yosemite. On the East Coast, there’s only a few remaining dark sky locations,” says Heffernan.

“There’s something undeniable and extremely seductive the idea of the skies, ” adds Mehmedinovic. “Just the fact that we can hardly see it anymore. I think that experience, for most people now, it’s hard to come by. And it made a whole lot of sense to try to communicate this to others.”

“What we often do is we set up a camera and we leave [it],” says Mehmedinovic. “And then go down five miles and set up another camera. Then drive down five miles. You’re leaving a camera in the middle of nowhere. It seems insane. But in the middle of the night, the chances of somebody seeing it and finding it are pretty low. Although we do have some strange stories that have happened.”

In conjunction with International Dark Sky Week, Heffernan and Mehmedinovic have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. To read more about the effects of light pollution, dark sky locations, and contribute to the campaign, visit the Skyglow Kickstarter page.

TIME photography

See Music Festivals Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Felix Cid’s images of macro electronic music festivals are photographic mash ups

Imagine making a photograph in the same way that Girl Talk makes a track – mashing up different songs from different eras and genres, morphing and flowing into each other seamlessly, retaining their own unique sounds but aggregating into something strange and spectacular in layer upon layer upon layer. Felix R. Cid’s images of macro electronic music festivals are that photographic mash up.

Cid, a Spanish photographer, resembles a human whirlwind with the combined energy and joie de vivre of the hundreds of party-goers packed into one of his massive photo collages. He speaks 10,000 miles a minute, his hair wild and appropriately windblown, with equal facility on classical painting, photo history, and political theory. His collages, with the exception of two which he calls ‘purists’ (slides 3 and 6), incorporate hundreds of images taken from a number of festivals in several different countries. They are at once expressions of a collective energy and of individual experiences.

Over several months in 2014 Cid traveled around the world photographing festivals and raves, taking hundreds of pictures at each party. Back in the studio, he would choose pictures – of people, moments, landscapes, giant balloons – one by one from his stockpile, letting the collages take shape organically, sometimes stepping away from them for a month or two, sometimes scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch. Each of the pictures are used exactly once. “When I use a picture I already don’t have an interest anymore in it,” Cid tells TIME. “The picture’s already in the bigger photograph. So I don’t repeat images. And I also don’t have the need because I shoot hundreds of them.”

Felix R. CidDetail from Untitled (Paris), 2014

The photo collages, which bring to mind Andreas Gursky’s digitally-manipulated landscapes, become in a way data visualizations of human experience and expression – like pointillism on steroids. “I think of capitalism as the most popular religion of all time, and that this moment is about these kids who, especially now, communicate in platforms that are not physical at all…and then there is this moment of — almost of rage, of expression and gathering together and shredding.”

Cid exhibits the work as huge prints so that viewers can see every moment he’s woven into each piece. From a distance they read as undulating waves of color, or even static; up close they read like Bosch paintings with nearly infinite scenes of pain, pleasure, and unchecked bodily expression. “I love to see what’s happening, it’s beautiful,” he says. “You see the comedy and the drama of the human race at the same time right there.”

Felix R. Cid is a visual artist born in 1976 in Madrid, Spain. He graduated from a GS Program at ICP in 2005 and he holds an MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art. He lives in Brooklyn.

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME portfolio

Meet the Last Jews of Calcutta

Once a thriving community, today about 20 Jews remain in Calcutta

This article has been enhanced with interactive sound clips. To hear the voices of the surviving community members, click the phrases highlighted in red.

From the late eighteenth till the mid-twentieth century, there was
content=a thriving “Bagdadi” Jewish community
in Calcutta. Jewish traders from the Middle East prospered in British India. Originally Judeo-Arab in identity, they attained a Judeo-British one. Calcutta Bagdadi Jews settled in a cosmopolitan urban environment, met no prejudice, and excelled in all spheres of endeavor. They played a key role in the city’s mercantile development, engaged in governance and civic affairs, built impressive synagogues, established schools, and constructed magnificent buildings. Though never more than 4,000 in number, the community was influential and thoroughly integrated in the fabric of Calcutta.

The 1940s were tumultuous years, when Baghdadi Jews from Burma, and many European Jews fleeing Nazi oppression found safe haven there. With independence, when Nehru proclaimed his Socialist leanings, some wealthy Jews became uncertain of their economic prospects in an “Indian India.” Many Jews opted to emigrate to the UK, US, Canada and Australia, and some to Israel. This rapid movement of people destabilized the tight-knit, religiously conservative community. By the 1960s, only 400 to 500 remained in Calcutta, making it difficult to sustain Jewish community life. Today, there are barely 20 left, many old and infirm.

My mother, soundFile=http://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/jews-calcutta-master.mp3|
and I returned to Calcutta, five years ago. With Elisha Twena, Jo and Mordy Cohen, Danny David, and Ian Zachariah, we help administer community affairs. We maintain the three synagogues and cemetery, and supervise the schools. Shalom Israel, caretaker of the cemetery, soundFile=http://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/jews-calcutta-master.mp3|
content=left for Israel in October 2014
. Though there has been no Jewish girl in the girls’ school since 1975, it provides quality education to neighborhood girls, mostly Muslims. Our synagogues are well taken care of by generations of Muslim caretakers.

I am documenting the community’s impact with the help of a Nehru Fulbright grant. Last year, I self-published The Man With Many Hats, a novel set in “Jewish Calcutta.” This year I launched a digital archive, Recalling Jewish Calcutta, in collaboration with the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University, Trinity College, Dublin and NUI, Maynooth.

The archive showcases the Jewish presence in Kolkata, illustrates its rich cultural and social life, and features the many significant contributions of this colorful community. While best known for its business acumen, the First Miss India was from our community. Jews starred in Bollywood and silent films, there was a globally renowned magician, a stalwart of India’s documentary film association, and a general in the Indian army who was later Governor of Goa and then Punjab. A Bagdadi Jewish woman was the first woman in India to file a case for women to be plaintiffs (1915), Jewish women defended women in purdah in the High Court, and were leaders in education, medicine and dentistry.

The archive at once celebrates the Jewish legacy and the city of Calcutta (Kolkata today). An example of multiculturalism at its best, the city and the community enriched each other and both flourished through this interaction: soundFile=http://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/jews-calcutta-master-02.mp3|
content=a model partnership in today’s increasingly intolerant world.

Jael Silliman is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Iowa and the author of the new book Jewish Portraits, Indian Frames: Women’s Narratives from a Diaspora of Hope published by Brandeis University Press, 2002.

Ashok Sinha was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India but lives and works as a photographer in New York City. He has founded the nonprofit Cartwheel Initiative that uses creative media to empower youth living in the aftermath of conflict and disaster. Follow him on Twitter @ashoksinhaphoto.

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME photography

Bearing Witness to the Legacy of War

Photographer Giles Duley, who lost three limbs in Afghanistan, speaks about his new project

In 2011, photographer Giles Duley began a project that would document the lasting effects of war on people living in cities and towns across the globe where the fighting had ended many years, even decades ago.

That year, while patrolling in Afghanistan with American troops, Duley stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device. The blast nearly took his life; he lost both legs and an arm. After a year in the hospital and nearly 30 operations, Duley returned to photography with a new determination to finish his project, which he calls Legacy of War. The project encompasses 14 countries and comprises photographs, original poetry and music.

Last month, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project, which you can contribute to here. Below, TIME Multimedia Editor Mia Tramz caught up with Duley as he continued his work on the project from Cambodia.

TIME LightBox: What’s the scope of the project and the idea behind it?

Giles Duley: The idea came to me I guess four or five years ago. A lot of my work has been documenting the effects of conflict over the years. One of the things I noticed was that there was a lot of commonality between the stories that I heard, and so I became interested in trying to bring all these different stories together. I was actually going to Afghanistan to start the project when I got injured, so I thought it would never actually happen. My plan was if I could get working again, I would return to doing this project.

The thing that really strikes me is that a war doesn’t end when a peace treaty is signed. In school, as you’re growing up, you’re always taught about the dates of a particular conflict. And I was interested [by] what happens after this final date; what happens when the conflict is supposedly finished. Because what I’ve experienced in my work was that the war is not over if people are still dying from it, if they’re still injured, if their lives are still impaired by it.

My idea was to try and bring together stories from approximately 14 countries, showing various themes that kind of crop up in post-conflict countries. That might be land contamination from land mines, from UXOs and it might be the effects of things like Agent Orange or depleted uranium. But it’s also looking at the physical effects on people who are living with injuries, and people living with the psychological trauma of conflict. I wanted to bring all these different stories together and just get people to reflect on the fact that conflict doesn’t end when a peace treaty is signed.

TIME LightBox: Which countries will you be covering and how did you choose them?

Giles Duley: One of the things I kind of want to do is to bring together stories that may be a little bit more familiar to us with stories that are less familiar. Hopefully, by bringing them together, you get to understand the similarities. In the United States, I wanted to look at the effects of trauma on former combatants, especially soldiers from [the] Vietnam War, how their lives have been affected. The same in the U.K. looking at injured servicemen and [those] with PTSD. Then it’s countries like Vietnam with Agent Orange and UXO; Cambodia, Colombia, Laos and other countries like it by land mines. I’ll be doing stories in Angola, which has a huge legacy of war; in Congo or the DRC, I’ll be looking at the effects of sexual abuse in both men and women. In Northern Ireland, I’m looking at the effects of the troubles, [which have] caused poverty and other social issues.

Other countries [will include] Gaza, [where] I’ll be looking at the long-term effects of conflict there. I’ve already done a story on the refugees in Lebanon, a country which really had two tiers of refugees from war. I’ll be looking at refugees in Sahel Sahara. It’s a vast cross-section of stories.

TIME LightBox: How did you arrive at the aesthetic for this project?

Giles Duley: I actually decided to use film for this project — a mixture of 35 mm and medium format. The main reason for film is that I wanted the images to both have a timeless feel and to serve as documents. Many of the photographs will reflect the period when the conflict happened and at the same time, a print made from a negative has a sense of true documentation. In a period when many question the role of Photoshop and other manipulation in documentary photography, I wanted to return to a simpler process.

TIME LightBox: Outside of the photography, what other components are you working into the project?

Giles Duley: I want this to be more than just a set of photographs. As a child, I was really influenced by the poets of the First World War and the black-and-white photographs covering the Vietnam War. They were the two things that really changed my opinion as a very young teenager about conflict. I grew up as a kid [thinking] that I wanted to join the army. I was fascinated by military history. But as I say, it was reading this poetry of people like Sassoon and Wilfred Owen and looking at the photographs of people like Don McCullin that really galvanized something in me, that made me realize the true consequences of war.

I’m very interested in the educational component. I realized that schools are still studying poetry from the First World War. So what I want to do is update that and get poets and musicians writing about current conflicts and their long-term consequences. For me as a photographer, I hope that the poetry and the music will add a different dimension to the work, so that it’s more accessible to people.

TIME LightBox: What’s your process working with these musicians and poets? Are they seeing the photographs you’re making from those particular parts of the world, or are they just writing or creating from their own experiences, or a mix of both?

Giles Duley: Anybody that’s working with me on this project will either be traveling with me at a later stage in the project, or it will be a process of me meeting them, showing them the photographs, and probably most importantly sharing the testimonies of the people who are photographed.

TIME LightBox: What has surprised you most since you started working on this project about what you’re finding?

Giles Duley: I don’t know if it surprised me, but what I’m becoming very aware of is just the enormity of how conflict affects life. [For example], in Vietnam, Laos and Lebanon and Cambodia — you start to look at one story, and immediately that opens up 10 other stories. It’s often in less expected ways or [something] you just don’t think about. Some of the stories are more obvious, like land mines, etc. But when you look at the long-term impact of a child that was born to a woman who was raped, that is a real legacy of war. And they live with that legacy for all of their lives — the psychological trauma of people affected by war is something that is not often talked about or documented, but whole generations of civilians have been traumatized by conflict.

TIME LightBox: Can you talk about where you see the project living when it’s finished and in what form?

Giles Duley: This is a project that has four phases. The first phase is the photographic phase, which is to go out there and document the initial stories. The second phase is to work with poets and musicians to give more depth to the stories. The third phase is then looking at how that body of work comes together through exhibitions and a book. For me that stage is very important because the exhibitions have to be in public spaces. They have to be in places where people interact with these stories who wouldn’t normally go to a photographic gallery.

And I’m also very interested in taking the project back to the countries that I’ve photographed. One of the things that most surprised me is how interested people are in the other countries I’m photographing. People in Northern Ireland are asking me about the people in Rwanda. The people in Vietnam are very interested in stories that I’m going to be doing in Angola, for example.

One of the key elements is, as well as having the photographs exhibited in the public spaces in Western countries, it’s for the exhibitions to return to the countries where these stories first came from, so the stories are shared. Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about sharing stories. I have no judgments, I have no opinions. I’m merely going out there to try and gather the stories of people affected by conflict and to share those stories.

And then the final stage, the fourth stage, will be educational. And that’s about taking it to schools. It’s about getting it on the curriculum, [so that when] people are taught the historical facts of a conflict, they’re also taught about how a conflict continues to affect people [long after it’s over]. That’s how I see it developing. And hopefully, in the end, it will be something that will kind of take on a life of its own and I can step back and people can continue to share these stories.

TIME LightBox: Your story is also woven into this. How has your experience informed your approach to this project and how it has been integrated into it?

Giles Duley: No matter what I choose to do for the rest of my life, I will live with the scars, both physically and mentally of what happened. So it’s given me a great understanding. But I think more than that it’s kind of focused my ambition and determination to carry this project through because, as I say, every day now I live with a reminder of what conflict does.

It has opened up communication with a lot of people that may have been more suspicious of why I was doing this story; people who see my personal experience and can relate to it. I guess weirdly, although I may be a lot slower as a photographer now and it may be a bit harder for me to work, there’s probably not a photographer in a better position to actually tell these specific stories about the legacy of war.

TIME LightBox: What do you see as the biggest challenges in getting this project done?

Giles Duley: The biggest challenges on a personal level are the travel, the work. I have no legs and I’ve got one hand, and I travel on my own to do this work. It’s not easy. I must admit last year when I found myself in paddy fields in the rainy season in Laos, trying to carry all my cameras and a backpack and my legs getting stuck in the mud, I was thinking, “O.K., who came up with this idea?” [Laughs.] So the obvious challenges like that are there, that in a weird way as I say, also drive me on to complete the story.

Aside from that, obviously this is a project that I’m self-funding. It’s something that I think is important. A lot of NGOs and nonprofits and charities are helping me with the stories. I have years and years of working with NGOs and they’ve been fantastic in supporting this project. So the likes of MAG, which is a de-mining charity; Handicap International; UNHCR; Emergency, which is an Italian NGO; and Find a Better Way, which is another land-mine charity, have all been supporting it. But at the end of the day, I have to find a way to finance these stories, or at least finance the physical costs of the photographic side of it.

The project really I think for me is the defining project of my life. It will probably be the last major overseas project I do because it’s simply so physically draining and difficult for me. But I am determined to carry this out to the utmost of my ability.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Giles Duley is a freelance photographer and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. Follow him on Twitter @gilesduley.

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME photography

Meet the Man who has Photographed Mount Rushmore for Eight Decades

The monument turns 90 years old on March 3. 'People change...but the mountain stays the same,' says Bill Groethe

Bill Groethe was only a baby when Congress first passed legislation authorizing the establishment of a monument to “America’s founders and builders” at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on Mar. 3, 1925. When the work of carving began — an event celebrated by President Coolidge, who wore a cowboy outfit to the ceremony in 1927 — Groethe was too young to care very much.

But that didn’t last long. Groethe, who is now 91, grew up and still lives and works in Rapid City, S.D.. He has seen the monument evolve over the years, and not just with his eyes: Groethe has been photographing Mount Rushmore since 1936.

“The first time I went up to the mountain as an assistant was in 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt was here to dedicate the Jefferson figure,” Groethe tells TIME. “I carried the film bag for my boss. I was 13 years old and I have pictures of me standing by the [president’s] limousine.”

Groethe, who grew up next door to the man who owned what was then his town’s only camera shop, got his first camera at age 10 and ended up working for the photographer Bert Bell by trading his labor for photo supplies. Bell had been sent to photograph South Dakota by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in order to drum up interest in tourism and ended up settling in Rapid City.

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe holds a camera during his time as a photographer for the Army Air Corps in WWII.

Groethe apprenticed for Bell beginning in 1935 and began to take his own photos with a folding Kodak in 1937. Groethe worked for Bell for another two decades (with the exception of three years during World War II when he was photographer for the Army Air Corps). In 1957, he opened up his own photography business. Groethe also ended up inheriting files from before his own time, of early Mount Rushmore construction; he has thousands of those negatives, from which he still makes prints.

All these years later, Roosevelt’s visit to Rapid City — the occasion for Groethe’s first trip up Mount Rushmore — ranks among his favorite memories of monument. He remembers that people came from several states nearby to attend. TIME noted the following week that the crowd nearly doubled the town’s population. “At a signal from Sculptor Borglum’s daughter, his son, across the valley, dropped the flag, revealing an heroic head of Jefferson, 60 feet from crown to chin,” the magazine reported. “Simultaneously five dynamite blasts sent rock clattering down from the space where Lincoln’s face is to be carved.”

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe with his 8×10 camera in front of Mount Rushmore, c. 1990s.

What Groethe remembers of that day is a little different, though no less exciting. “When you’re 13 years old you’re thinking mostly of being lucky to have a job and get to go along and go up in the cable car,” Groethe says. “I continue to have that interest in the mountain, of course. It means a lot to me. I still get a good thrill out of seeing the mountain. It hasn’t changed much. People change and facilities change, but the mountain stays the same.”

Mount Rushmore has not been without its detractors. The mountain is considered defaced by some, for reasons relating to the environment or Native American traditions. But Goethe says that, in his experience, the arguments against the monument don’t take away from its grandeur.

“I can attest to the fact that when I sit at a table [at Mount Rushmore], as I have for the last almost 20 years every week for a day or two in the summer, I have people from Europe and all over Asia come and tell me that all their lives they’ve wanted to come and see Mount Rushmore,” he says. “It’s an international symbol of freedom.”

Read TIME’s original story about FDR’s trip to Rapid City, here in the TIME Vault: Roosevelt & Rain

TIME photography

Celebrating 80 Years of Associated Press’ Wirephoto

Exactly 80 years ago today, on Jan. 1, 1935, the Associated Press sent its very first photograph over the organization’s brand new Wirephoto service: an aerial photo of a plane crash in upstate New York. The photo was delivered across the country to 47 newspapers in 25 states.

In an article published that day in The Bulletin newspaper, AP president Frank B. Noyes named each of the papers that had opted into the service saying, “These are the pioneers of wirephoto, which outstrips other messengers in conveying the news in pictures just as, a century ago, the telegraph came to outstrip the carrier pigeon and the pony express, and, a little more than a generation ago, the typewriter relegated the stylus to oblivion.”

Photos up to that point were largely delivered by mail, train or airplane, taking up to 85 hours in transit. AP Wirephoto could transmit a photo in minutes.

APThe first AP Wirephoto with original caption affixed: The wreckage of a small plane lies in a wooded area near Morehousville, N.Y., on Dec. 31, 1934.

AT&T had made a previous attempt at their own photo wire service. In 1926, the telephone company had succeeded in setting up eight sending and receiving centers across the nation, which AP and other outlets had put to use. It was, however, a hugely expensive endeavor for the company and its users; after spending over $3m dollars with comparatively small returns, the service was shut down in 1933.

Before AT&T closed down its service, AP General Manager Kent Cooper had made it his mission to develop such a service in house. “KC was the father of the AP Newsphoto Service,” former AP executive photo editor Al Resch was quoted as saying in the company magazine The AP World in 1969. “He was deeply dedicated to the proposition that the day’s news should be just as thoroughly and competently covered in pictures as in words.”

Cooper prevailed, despite hefty internal opposition (the service posed a threat to Hearst and Scripps-Howard, AP member organizations that owned competing photo services) and under the spectre of the Great Depression. The story is well documented in AP’s annual report for 1934: “After discussion it was voted that Mr. Howard be informed that the Board and Executive Committee would be glad to confer with representatives of the Scripps-Howard and Hearst member newspapers, on the basis that the Board was always willing to consider any problem affecting its members and in which there was any mutuality of interest.”

Associated Press Corporate ArchivesPhotographer Bill Allen uses the trunk of his car as a darkroom to develop film coverage of a 1938 Virginia mine explosion.

The system was comprised of three main elements: transmitters, receivers, and 10,000 miles of leased telephone lines – the wires. The transmitters required first a print – AP photographers would either send in their film to be developed and printed at an AP darkroom, or develop and print it themselves using portable darkrooms. At that time, they worked mainly with Speed Graphic cameras and 4×5 film.

Once the print was made and ready to be sent, it would be wrapped around a cylinder on the transmitter. At the push of a button, the cylinder, which could hold up to 11 x 17-inch prints, would spin at one hundred revolutions per minute underneath an optical scanner. The optical scanner would shine a very thin beam of light onto the spinning print, which would then reflect light back into a photoelectric cell, which, in turn, would translate the reflections of light and dark tones into signals that would be carried across the wires.

The receiver on the other end had a similar spinning cylinder with a negative on it. As the transmission came in, the signals would be converted back into light, which was then recorded onto the negative, reproducing the original image.

AP stationed a network monitor in their New York bureau to control the sending and receiving of images. It was his job to listen to daily offerings from the member papers who would call in descriptions of the best images each outlet had to send, and then to decide which of those photos would be transmitted to which member papers at what time. Each transmission could take from 10 to 17 minutes depending on the size of the print, so the network monitor’s challenge was to decide, within the time constraints of a given day, which photos the world would see. See a dramatization of this process in the video below.

APA man carries AP’s portable WirePhoto transmitter.

Over the next 20 years, AP Wirephoto technology would be continually streamlined as the network grew. By 1936, AP technicians had made available portable transmitters that came in two 40-pound suitcases. They were bulky and required trained technicians to run them. By the end of 1937, the stationary transmitters and receivers at the AP bureaus and newspapers were replaced with ones that were smaller, lighter, and could be plugged into a wall socket instead of taking power from a wet cell battery. By 1939, the portable transmitters were made more compact and AP had 35 units ready for use. Color transmissions, which took three times as long as black and white due to color separation, became available that same year.

Picture quality on the receiving end was continually improved and fine tuned. More newspapers signed on for the service, the network continued to enlarge. As America entered WWII, the demand for pictures – and for picture delivery – forced advances in Radiophoto transmissions. Wirephoto had also transmitted maps and charts from its inception, but these became especially valuable during war time.

Postwar, the transmitters and receivers became yet again smaller, picture quality and transmission of tonality improved, and AP developed receivers that were capable of producing positives as well as negatives, again cutting down time-to-market. By 1951, over 20,000 pictures were transmitted via Wirephoto annually.

By 1963, North America and Europe were connected via a leased circuit. In the same time period, as AP began its historic coverage of the Vietnam war, its photographers were making the transition from shooting 4×5 and 120mm film to 35mm film.

Between the 1960s and the 90s there were three major leaps in technology, ultimately leading to digital transmission. The first big jump was the establishment of the Electronic Darkroom in 1978 which digitized the signals coming through on the wires. It featured computers that could crop, tone, and sharpen images as they came through. It was in a way an early, crude version of Photoshop. Operators could receive an image, edit it, and send it back out to the network without the added delay of developing a negative or making prints.

Promotional brochure announcing the AP Leafax 35, a picture transmitter that requires only a negative to transmit photographic images. 1988
Associated Press Corporate ArchivesPromotional brochure announcing the AP Leafax 35, a picture transmitter that requires only a negative to transmit photographic images, from 1988.

Negative scanning was the next push forward in the mid-80s with AP’s procurement of the Leafax, a compact and portable picture transmitter held in a briefcase-sized case. AP photographers could take color or black-and-white negatives, scan them into the Leafax, tone, sharpen, crop and add captions, then send them through to the network. With the exception of developing film, the Leafax eliminated darkroom work and printmaking for photographers and again cut the amount of time it took for the picture to travel from the camera to the news consumer.

Ron Edmonds—APPresident George H. W. Bush raises his hand as he takes the oath of office as President of the United States outside the Capitol on Jan. 20, 1989, Washington, D.C.

“That was the first step,” Hal Buell, AP’s former head of photography, tells TIME. “The next thing was to set up a digital network which we called Photostream.” Photostream was announced in 1989, and offered all digital transmission via satellite. It reduced transmission time from 10 minutes to 60 seconds, and offered a method of delivering higher quality color pictures. AP supplied every U.S. newspaper with a Leafdesk to receive the new digital transmissions.

“We had to send a representative into every newspaper in the U.S. that took photos and show them how the digital system worked with incoming wire pictures,” says Buell. “We put these desks in every newspaper, and that not only changed the way AP handled pictures, but it changed the way newspapers handled pictures.”

AP’s first digital news photo was made and transmitted earlier in 1989 at George H.W. Bush’s inauguration by Ron Edmonds using a Nikon QV-1000c. The advent of ever more powerful computers and laptops, portable satellites, improvements in image compression, and the lightning fast evolution of digital cameras, now with possibility of in-camera transmission and video, has continued to accelerate and increase AP’s delivery of images from the late 1990s to the present. Whereas in 1951 the service transmitted 22,000 images annually, AP now transmits over 3,000 images daily.

In that early 1935 Bulletin article, Noyes touched on something that was, and continues to be, essential to the news: speed, the need for which has driven the evolution of communication technology to this day. This may seem self-evident; however, as these technologies have evolved, they directly affect how news is created and how it is digested, and thus, in very profound, sometimes imperceptible ways, how we conceive of the world around us.

The launch of AP’s Photowire service initiated just that sort of weighty paradigm shift. “From Jan. 1, 1935 on, you could say that as far as the news goes, the visual had become newsworthy and capable of carrying the news, of being news,” Valerie Komor, Director of AP’s Corporate Archives, tells TIME. “Photography could be news.”

Photography is now indeed news, as is, increasingly, video. If we think of the way in which we – as news consumers – receive and read news images today, the experience feels instantaneous. Our understanding of the world is a constant, and rapid distillation of an ever increasing number of images spread over innumerable platforms. We are offered ever more perspectives, and a wealth of information. The responsibility now often falls on the reader to pace their intake of information.

“In the same way that a story can be read at the viewer’s leisure, a photograph can be contemplated at the viewer’s leisure,” says Santiago Lyon, the Vice President and Director of Photography at AP. “You are able to consider it and you’re able to have an opinion about it. And the discerning viewer won’t just look at a photograph, they’ll read a photograph, and they’ll look at all of the details in the picture and they’ll notice things and they’ll spend some time looking at a picture.”

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