TIME Burma

Burma Counts Down to Elections But Democracy Remains a Distant Dream

Adam Dean's photos capture a still impoverished Burma as it stumbles through democratic transition, and ethnic strife, one year before landmark polls

In late October or early November next year Burma will go to the polls. However, the nation, officially now known as Myanmar, remains a long way from realizing true democracy.

Nobel Peace Price winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 15 years under house arrest since returning to her homeland in 1988, was elected to parliament in April 2012, but remains constitutionally barred from becoming president.

In shunning the pro-democracy icon, Burma’s indomitable military demonstrates that it continues to influence all aspects of life.

The easing of Western economic sanctions has seen Burma’s long-cloistered economy pried open — cellphones and ATMs are now commonplace — but reform has largely been confined to sectors that benefit the generals and their cronies.

In ethnic border regions, rebel groups continue to battle the Burmese Army for greater autonomy, despite a raft of peace deals. Human rights abuses continue unabated; some advocacy groups say they have even increased.

In Burma’s western Rakhine State, the much-maligned Rohingya Muslim minority faces strict curbs on marriage, movement, population growth and education. Over 100,000 of this wretched community fester in squalid ghettos following pogroms by radical Buddhists. Access to food and healthcare is severely limited.

For them, as will the 60% of Burma’s 53 million population who continue to struggle in dire poverty, reforms have so far promised much but delivered little. For the past two years, photographer Adam Dean has been documenting Burma’s stumbling transition.

TIME celebrity

These Photos Show Taylor Swift Experiencing the Full Range of Human Emotion at a Knicks Game

Euphoria! Shock! Confusion!

It’s been a busy week for Taylor Swift, but she managed to make time to attend a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden Wednesday evening with her bestie, supermodel Karlie Kloss. (Maybe it was actually part of her new job as New York City’s Tourism Ambassador. Unclear.)

What we do know is that Tay — who sat next to Ben Stiller and his son — really seemed to experience the full range of human emotion while attending the game, making for an emotionally rich game-watching experience. Take a look.

Euphoria:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

Shock:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

Confusion:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

Melancholy:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

Bemusement:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

Hopefulness:

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks
Alex Goodlett—Getty Images / Getty Images

And more euphoria:

Celebrities Attend The Chicago Bulls Vs New York Knicks Game - October 29, 2014
James Devaney—GC Images / Getty Images

 

TIME Bizarre

The 32 Most Surprising Photos of the Month

From the return of Kim Jong Un to spooky Halloween traditions, TIME shares the most outrageous and intriguing images from October 2014

TIME Internet

29 Colorful Instagrams That Perfectly Capture the Essence of Fall

So much foliage.

Isn’t there something so magical about fall, something that just makes you want to sip a pumpkin spice latte in a meadow? Though many regions are still a few weeks away from Peak Leaf, plenty of deep reds, bright yellows and vivid oranges have already popped up around the world. And, of course, dedicated photographers have made sure to document these changing colors on Instagram using the hashtag #foliage.

Here, a look at some of the best #foliage photos we’ve seen so far. (Note: we did not account for the fact that some of these photos are heavily filtered. Nature is incredible, yes, but keep in mind that sometimes nature is even more incredible when you really up the contrast.)

 

TIME White House

13 of JFK’s Wedding Negatives Have Been Auctioned for $37,000

Wedding Of John F. Kennedy And Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy outside St. Mary's Church in Newport, R.I., after their wedding on Sept. 12, 1953 Charles F. McCormick—Boston Globe/Getty Images

The images, depicting the newlyweds and the wedding party, were reportedly taken by photographer Frank Ataman

Thirteen original negatives of photographs taken at John F. Kennedy’s wedding were auctioned off on Wednesday for a sum of $37,073.

Boston-based RR Auction said the negatives, which have probably never been published, were sold to a Las Vegas doctor who chose to remain anonymous.

The images show Kennedy and his new bride, Jacqueline Bouvier, cutting their wedding cake and leaving the church, and a couple of others show the entire wedding party posing outside, the Associated Press reported.

The wedding took place on Sept. 12, 1953, in Newport, R.I., and was attended by nearly 2,000 people. Kennedy was still in his first term as a U.S. Senator, and wouldn’t go on to become President until more than seven years later.

According to RR Auction, the images were taken by freelance photographer Frank Ataman, although the negatives were found in another photographer’s darkroom.

Other items related to the Kennedys sold on Wednesday included a holiday card signed by the couple just days before the President’s November 1963 assassination. It fetched $19,500.

[AP]

TIME North Korea

How North Korea’s Government Wants You To See Kim Jong Un

The image of the Dear Leader is tightly controlled by North Korean government's Korean Central News Agency, which has fashioned a sunny disposition for the country's mysterious leader. Kim has dropped out of view in recent weeks as many speculate about his health.

TIME fun

Feel Good Friday: 14 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From presidential selfies to human towers, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

TIME technology

Capturing a Great White Shark with a GoPro

Depending on your perspective, Amanda Brewer either had the best, or worst summer vacation ever.

The elementary school art teacher snapped the photo above of a Great White Shark in South Africa where she volunteered this summer to collect data for the eco-tourism and animal conservation organization White Shark Africa. A lifelong lover of the typically terrifying sea-beasts, Brewer said that her time in the waters of Mossel Bay were some of the most fascinating and rewarding of her life.

“I wasn’t even a little bit frightened,” she said. “When you’re there and you’re in their presence, it’s not scary. They’re beautiful and graceful, and you can see how intelligent they are.”

The photo was taken totally off the cuff with the a GoPro camera, Brewer said. And while she’d experimented with nature and candid photography, had no way of knowing if the image she saw as the giant shark approached her with its jaws wide open, was the image she’d actually captured on camera.

“I bought the camera right before I left for the trip, and had no expectations at all,” she said. “It was the perfect moment, and the camera is so easy to use and takes such magnificent photos. I’d been waiting for this kind of experience my whole life, and was worried that when it finally happened I’d ruin it, but that photo was taken from the cage and the shark was just coming straight at me. It happens so fast when you’re actually there.”

Brewer said she took multiple images during her adventures among the sharks in South Africa, but none as dramatic as this single frame of the Great White Shark. When she returned to the U.S., the New Jersey school teacher hung the photo in her classroom, and said that her students were enthralled by her close encounter, but also inspired by her passion for animal conservation.

“I knew immediately that that photo was going to do something,” she said. “It’s a motivation for them to see that image, and be excited by it, and to realize that they could do that too, if they wanted. And even though some people may see the image and think it’s terrifying, if 350,000 people can talk about it in one day, at least people are talking and having conversations about these beautiful animals.”


Amanda Brewer is a New Jersey based educator and a volunteer with White Shark Africa in Mossel Bay

Krystal Grow is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instgram @kgreyscale


TIME How-To

Fixes for 5 Common Smartphone Photo Mistakes

Most of the time, today’s smartphones do a great job of capturing everyday moments in their default full automatic modes. However, there are times when adjusting your phone’s camera settings can make a huge difference. Check out these simple fixes to five of the most common photo mistakes and start taking better pictures.

1. Out of focus photos

face-detection-on-samsung-gs5-350px
Face detection option on the Galaxy S5 Samsung

When you don’t want the subject of your photo to be in the center of your image, your phone’s camera will often focus on the wrong spot. The fastest, easiest solution is to tap your subject on the screen to focus — an option that’s available on the iPhone and most Android phones. You can also press and hold on a spot to lock in focus and exposure and then move the phone to compose your shot. You can turn on face detection as well, and your phone will find and focus on the people in the scene.

2. Blurry fast-action/sports shots

When your subject is moving, like an athlete running down the field, movement can cause the image to blur. If you have an Android phone, like the HTC One M8 or the Samsung Galaxy S5, or Windows Phone, like the Nokia Lumia 1520, you can combat this by raising the ISO setting. With a higher ISO, the shutter speed can be faster, making it easier to freeze the action.

3. Dark faces in backlit and bright outdoor shots

In Auto mode, your camera tries to ensure that everything in your photo will be reasonably well lit. But when the person in the shot is back-lit or you’re shooting at a sunny beach or in a snowy setting, the background is much brighter than the people in your photo, so they can come out far too dark. For this problem, there are a few things you can do to make your photo turn out right.

Try setting your flash on so that it fires with each shot. In an outdoor scene, the flash can help light up faces even when the sun is shining. This is called a “fill flash.”

Another way to bring out details in all parts of a photo is to turn on HDR (high dynamic range). This mode takes overexposed and underexposed images and merges them together to bring out details in the light and dark areas of the photo. Most smartphones will have an HDR mode.

If neither of those options work, you can try manually adjusting the exposure to brighten or darken the overall photo. You’ll find this option on some smartphones, like the iPhone, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Nokia Lumia 920, which let you manually adjust exposure.

4. Dark, grainy low light shots

Getting a good shot in low light usually requires lengthening the exposure, which leads to blurriness from you or your subject moving. Taking shots too quickly results in under-exposed images. There are a few things you can try, though.

Like with fast action shots, you can try bumping up the ISO setting, an option on some Android and Windows phones. The higher the ISO, the faster the camera sees the scene with the available light. So you can take photos faster, which reduces the blur caused by camera shake.

Low light is another shooting scenario where HDR mode can help. In this mode, the camera takes two or three shots at different exposures and merges them together to get detail in the brightest and darkest areas of the shot. Because the camera is taking a few shots, it’s important that nothing changes between each shot or the resulting image will be blurry. So reserve HDR mode for landscapes and group shots.

You’ll also want to turn on optical image stabilization, which is available on the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3.

5. Cluttered backgrounds

When you’re focused on the subject of your photos, sometimes you don’t notice what’s going on in the background. Then, when you look at the actual picture, we see a ton of distracting detail that ruins the overall effect of the image.

A few smartphones let you blur the background or foreground of an image — or even select your focus after you’ve taken your shot.

Phones like the Nokia Lumia 1020 accomplish this manually by letting you select the aperture. Lower numbers equal a shallower depth of field – you can turn distracting backgrounds into fuzzy abstract patterns that make your subject in the foreground the focus of attention. The Lumia 920, 1020 and 1520 also have Nokia Refocus (see the demo below), which lets you refocus your shot after taking it, blurring the other areas of the photo.

The Google Camera app (preloaded on some phones), which runs on Android 4.4 KitKat phones, also lets you refocus your shot after you take it with a feature called Lens Blur, as does the Magic Focus feature on the LG G3. Samsung has a similar feature called “Selective Focus,” which lets you set what you want to be in focus and make the rest of your shot blurred before you take the shot.

This article was written by Suzanne Kantra and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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