Gallery Gate

In his new book, Serpentine, photographer Mark Laita tackles the tricky photographic subject of snakes. Over the course of the last decade and a half he has captured these colorful, charismatic and sometimes creepy animals. DISCOVER's Breanna Draxler spoke with Laita about the project, and here we feature some of the most striking images and the stories behind them. "I’m not a specialist in snakes," Laita says. "I just think they’re beautiful." Controversy surrounds the taxonomy of the snake pictured here, and very little is known about this species in particular. But the genus is known to feed on frogs, lizards and small mammals.

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Day 3 of Documerica Week on In Focus -- a new photo essay each day, featuring regions of the U.S. covered by the photographers of the Documerica Project in the early 1970s. Today's subject is Chicago's African-American community, primarily the South Side, documented by photographer John H. White, who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism in 1982. White landed a job with the Chicago Sun Times in 1978, and continued to work there until May of 2013, when the newspaper laid off its entire photojournalism department. His portraits of everyday life stand the test of time, inviting the viewer to travel back a few decades, and see just how we lived. The Documerica Project was put together by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, with a primary goal of documenting adverse effects of modern life on the environment, but photographers were also encouraged to record the daily life of ordinary people, capturing a broad snapshot of America. Stay tuned for part 4 of Documerica Week tomorrow, when we travel to the Lone Star State.

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view America in the 1970s: Chicago's African-American Community as presented by: The Atlantic


After a month of heavy rain saturated mountainsides, a fresh deluge sent landslides sweeping into Seoul last week, killing 59 people. Ten were still reported missing. In a strange compounding of the misery, the landslides and flash flooding washed away landmines buried near an air defense unit in Seoul. Soldiers were searching for those landmines as well as North Korean landmines washed away near the border. A total of 76 landslides of different severity struck after the most intense rainstorm in Korea in the last century. Ten university students lost their lives while volunteering at a summer camp for kids when a landslide struck in Chuncheon. "If it keeps raining like this, no country in the world can endure this," South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said. Rescue workers remove a body from a collapsed house after a landslide caused by heavy rainfall. Damaged cars pile up after a landslide and heavy rainfall in Seoul July 27, 2011. Wild weather has battered the peninsula, causing widespread flooding and transport delays, while the share price of insurers fell on fears that damage costs would run into millions of dollars.

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view South Korean Deluge as presented by: Boston Big Picture



North Korea has long been enigmatic - especially to the West. An elaborate cult of personality created around the ruling Kim family permeates both the cultural and political lives of the nation. The world's most militarized nation, it has been developing nuclear weapons and a space program. In 2002, President George Bush labeled North Korea part of an "axis of evil," primarily due to its aggressive military posture but also because of its abysmal human rights record. North Korea has long maintained close relations with the People's Republic of China and Russia. In an attempt to ameliorate the loss of investments due to international sanctions over its weapons program, North Korean officials have initiated a tourism push, focused on Chinese visitors. Still, every travel group or individual visitor is constantly accompanied by one or two "guides" who normally speak the mother language of the tourist. While some tourism has increased over the last few years, Western visitors remain scarce. The last several photos in this post are by Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder, who offers rare glimpses of life in the shuttered country. Rolling out the red carpet for tourists is not commonly associated with the reclusive North Korean government, but that is what workers did for the departure ceremony of Mangyongbyong cruise ship in Rason City on Aug. 30. About 130 passengers departed the rundown port of Rajin, near the China-Russia border, for the scenic Mount Kumgang resort near South Korea. North Korea's state tourism bureau has teamed up with a Chinese travel company to run the country's first ever cruise. A member of a marching band has her photo taken with a woman and young boy at an event to mark the birthday of Kim Il Sung at a park in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim is considered the founder of the nation. The regime of his son, Kim Jong Il, has marked 2012, the centenary of Kim Il Sung's birth, a banner year and has been trying to bolster its economy to support festivities. North Koreans pay their respects at a monument to Kim Il Sung at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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view A glimpse of North Korea as presented by: Boston Big Picture


A Palestinian reacted after seeing a mosque that was gutted by a fire in the Liban al-Sharqiya on Tuesday. Palestinians accused Jewish settlers of setting fire to the mosque in the occupied West Bank, an incident that coincided with a U.S. envoy’s mission to get Middle East peace talks going. Israeli security officers were at the scene investigating the fire but haven’t determined its cause. A Russian military brass orchestra performed during a medal ceremony for British, U.S. and French military personnel who took part in a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi troops in Moscow, on Wednesday. Detroit Police Officer Gregory Barrett held a picture of slain Officer Brian Huff, 42, before marching to a memorial service Friday. Officer Huff was shot while responding to a call Monday at a suspected drug house. Four other officers were wounded. The suspect was apprehended.

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view .Pictures of the Week: May 3 - May 6 as presented by: Wall Street Journal


I hope that you remember about today's holiday: May 26, celebrating Mother's Day in Poland. Swieto to ma na celu okazanie matkom szacunku, milosci, podziekowania za trud wlozony w wychowanie. This feast is to show mothers the respect, love, thanks for the efforts in education. Poczatki tej tradycji siegaja czasów starozytnych, kiedy kultem otaczano matki-boginie, symbole plodnosci i urodzaju. The origins of this tradition dates back to ancient times, when the cult surrounded the mother-goddesses, symbols of fertility and harvest. Dlatego dzisiaj na zdjeciach zobaczycie matki (ale nie te ludzkie), których zachowanie wobec swoich pociech jest nam chyba dobrze znane. So, today you will see photos of the mother (but not the human), whose behavior toward their children is probably well known to us. Small young lions make their first steps under the guidance of his mother, Abi. The newly hatched chicks in the company of mother duck. The six flamingo makes the first steps under the guidance of his mother.

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Signs of normality began to return to Oslo on Monday after the peaceful, liberal country was stunned on Friday by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital. Over the weekend, Oslo mourned the victims. Norway's King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg crowded into Oslo Cathedral on Sunday, where the pews were packed, and people spilled into the plaza outside the building. The area was strewn with flowers and candles, and people who could not fit in the grand church huddled under umbrellas in a drizzle. Afterward, people sobbed and hugged one another in the streets, as many lingered over the memorial of flowers and candles. The royal couple and prime minister later visited the site of the bombing in Oslo. People light candles in memory of the victims of the attacks on Norway's government headquarters and an island youth retreat, as they pay their respects at Oslo Cathedral, Sunday, July 24, 2011. Relatives of a victim gather to observe a minute's silence on a campsite jetty on the Norwegian mainland, across the water from Utoya island, seen in the background on Monday, July 25, 2011. People have been placing floral tributes at this site in memory of those killed in the shooting massacre on the island on Friday. Women react at the end of a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral in the aftermath of the Friday attacks on Norway's government headquarters and a youth retreat.

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view Stunned Norway Mourns Assault Victims as presented by: Sacramento Bee


A West Point Cadet looked up from the outfield seats at Yankee Stadium during batting practice before the New York Yankees’ home opener against the Los Angeles Angels in New York Tuesday. A member of the National Revolutionary Militia stood with her rifle on Militia Day in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday. President Hugo Chavez marked the eight-year anniversary of his return to power after a brief coup with a speech to the militia. A pregnant model showed off her baby bump to fellow models backstage at a Mercedes-Benz Fashion event in Mexico City Tuesday.

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view Pictures of the Day as presented by: Wall Street Journal



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