Celebrating May Day: Images Of Workers Around The World

May Day, Bolivia
Today is May Day, when the world celebrates the struggles and sacrifices of the common worker. Like this cheese seller in Tupiza, Bolivia, photographed by Gadling’s resident cheese expert Laurel Miller. After some hard hours making her product, this woman comes to the market hoping to sell it all before the day is through. She uses a plastic bag on a stick to keep the flies away.

A range of unions and workers’ parties declared May Day a workers’ holiday in 1898. The date commemorated a three-day general strike in the U.S. that started on May 1, 1886, during which workers demanded an eight-hour day. Police fired into a protest by employees at the McCormick-International Harvester Company and killed three. On May 4, workers staged a protest against the killings at Haymarket Square, Chicago. A bomb went off and the police charged into the demonstrators. At least a dozen people died that day, including seven officers. Eight activists were sentenced to hang for the bombing, although there was widespread criticism about the lack of evidence.

American workers eventually got an eight-hour day, but it took several more major demonstrations and lots more people getting hurt. Many countries still don’t offer the benefits we now take for granted. Traveling around the world we come across people in lots of different lines of work. Some jobs are good, some are bad, and some are downright grueling. I’ll never forget a man I saw on a construction site in Damascus, Syria, back in 1994.

A crew was digging a deep trench into the sidewalk near our hotel, and every day my travel companions and I would pass by. Most of the men were down in the trench digging, but one guy had the job of sitting on an upturned bucket at street level manning a pump to take away water from the trench. He pulled on a rope attached to a pulley overhead, which yanked a crude pump at the bottom of the excavation. He’d set up a rhythm and sat there pulling all day. We saw him, every morning, noon, and evening, for days on end. We dubbed him, “The Man With the Most Boring Job in the World.”

I regret I never talked to him. While I’ve had my share of soul-destroying jobs, I bet he could have taught me a thing or two about what it means to work for a living. So Happy May Day, Man With the Most Boring Job in the World, and Happy May Day to all the other workers photographed in this gallery of shots by Gadling bloggers and members of the Gadling Flickr pool!

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Bryan Adams Opens Photography Exhibition In Düsseldorf

Bryan AdamsFor any child of the ’80s, Bryan Adams is that clean-cut Canadian rock star with a steady string of hits. While he’s not as big as he once was, he’s still making great music and going on tour.

What many people don’t know about him is that he’s also an accomplished photographer. He’s been published in magazines such as Esquire and Interview and has done numerous shows at top venues such as the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Adams takes advantage of his superstar status to get other famous musicians to pose for him. Check out the image of Amy Winehouse below. He’s also photographed Queen Elizabeth II and got that image used on a Canadian postage stamp.

Now his latest show has opened at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf, Germany. “Bryan Adams – Exposed” features a cross-section of his best work from the past couple of decades. Some 150 portraits of artists are included as well as numerous new works. Some of his newer images go beyond his circle of superstar friends to portray wounded British servicemen from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, like this image of Private Karl Hinett.”I took my first photos with a small camera that belonged to my parents,” Adams said in a press release issued by the NRW-Forum. “The subjects of my first film, in the mid 1970s, were concert photos of the Beach Boys, parking lot walls, my girlfriend in the bathroom, my Mom, my piano, just everyday things, but exactly the things I could see around me.”

“Bryan Adams – Exposed” runs until May 22.

[Images copyright Bryan Adams]

Bryan Adams, Amy WInehouse

It’s Friday Afternoon: Find Your Happy Place

Where is your happy place? It might be right at home with a good book on a rainy day. Getting to your happy place may take extensive travel or a short walk. There might be better times to go than others and who we go with might make all the difference in the world. Happy places can be actual places to go or simply a mental state achieved, but everyone’s happy place seems to be different, made up of things that make them joyous. We may not be able to help with inner happiness but this gallery of typically happy places might get things rolling in that direction.

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Want to know more about happy places and how to find them for yourself?Gadling’s Laurel Miller has “Favorite Travel Destinations: Where’s Your Happy Place?” or dive in deeper by visiting “10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There),” a blog that tells us:

“The happy place that I write about is not meant to be a physical place, but rather a place of inner joy and peace. Nevertheless, there are physical locations that seem to draw us to that inner place.”



[Flickr photo by moogs]

Astronomy Photos Unite Earth And Sky

astronomy
Whether you’re on the other side of the world or in your own back yard, it’s fun to look up at the night sky and wonder. One of my fondest memories of South America was one night on Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca. Back when I went, there was no electricity on the island and the night sky was brilliant with stars. The fact that I couldn’t recognize the constellations – because they’re different than the ones in the Northern Hemisphere – really made me realize I had traveled a long way.

Some get more serious with their stargazing. Dedicated amateur astronomers travel the world for good observing conditions or to take the best photographs.

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, and Sky at Night Magazine have just named Astronomy Photographer of the Year for 2012. The top prize went to Australian-based photographer Martin Pugh for a photo of the Whirlpool Galaxy. There were several categories, including a Youth category that attracted some incredible shots. While many photographers focused on distant galaxies or nebulae, others chose to combine terrestrial scenes with heavenly wonders. These images remind us that no matter how far we journey, we’ve barely moved in comparison to the vastness of the universe.

Above is the winner for the Earth and Space category. Masahiro Miyasaka took this shot in Nagano, Japan. It shows Orion, Taurus, and the Pleiades as the backdrop to an eerie frozen landscape. Though the stars appear to gleam with a cold, frosty light, bright blue stars like the Pleiades can be as hot as 30,000 degrees Celsius. He titled it “Star Icefall,” showing he’s a poet as well as a photographer.

Check out the gallery for other fine photographs, and jump the break to see my personal favorite.

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astronomy
Titled “Green World,” it was taken by Arild Heitmann. The aurora borealis traces the shifting patterns of the Earth’s magnetic field, creating a spectacular midwinter show in Nordland Fylke, Norway. The green light in this image comes from oxygen atoms high in the atmosphere, which have been energized by subatomic particles from the Solar Wind.

Photo Of The Day: Sunset Race Track

Photo of the day

This Photo of the Day comes from Gadling Flickr pool member oilfighter, taken in Olympic National Park and is titled “Sunset Race Track.”

Of the image, oilfighter tells us:

“I saw a picture of this location years ago, but didn’t know where it was taken. As I was researching Olympic National Park, I saw the picture again. I was thrilled! Little did I know how far it is, and how long it would take to get there.

This is called Shi Shi Beach, and it’s a long drive from just about anywhere in the park. After the drive, there is the 8 miles round-trip hike, through jungle, mud, and sandy beach.

To see the fins, you also need to have low tide, and I’ve been told that sometimes sand will wash up, and cover the fins. I waited and waited, till one day, the coastal fog was minimal, and the low tide will occur during sunset.

The first mile of the hike was easy, and I was cruising at a good pace, then the mud came … The muddy section of the trail was no joke. It’s about 1 mile long, and absolutely wet and dirty.” Read more…

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as Photos of the Day.

Tips for getting featured: Include the camera you used along with any other equipment or processing software used that might help other photographers know more about your image. Also, captions mean a lot. As you can see, oilfighter, takes time to add details that help us appreciate his efforts.