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Every vintage picture tells a story, don’t it?

Rachel LaCour Niesen’s passion for vintage photos started when she walked down her grandmother’s wood-paneled hallway to look at a bedroom wall that held a carefully edited family history.

There she saw a photo of her father standing proud in his cap and gown on graduation day, an aunt sitting poolside during a swim meet and a happy couple cutting their wedding cake. The imprint those pictures left on LaCour Niesen lies at the heart of her @savefamilyphotos project on Instagram, where she curates a collective history. She invites people from around the world to send her a digital copy of a cherished family photo and brief story that, in many cases, gives the photo its emotional muscle.

“The treasure is not just the photo but the story that comes with it,” LaCour Niesen told Cult of Mac. “I believe stories are the currency of our past, present and future. Without them, we are bankrupt. Our family photos trigger those stories. They are like glue that holds my story — and our stories — together over time.”

Throwback Thursday, Facebook and Instagram have made personal blasts from the past a weekly — if not an hourly — ritual. The web is awash in fuzzy Polaroids, vintage Kodachromes and black-and-white snaps, uploaded by individuals with hard drives full of memories and shared by everyone.

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Survivalist gear reveals individual nature of fear

Everybody packs differently for the apocalypse.

Photographer Allison Stewart reveals the fears and foresight of survivalists in her photographs of bug-out bags, the emergency preparedness kits put together by individuals ready to flee an impending disaster. In her photo series Bug Out Bags, the contents of the grab-and-go bags get splayed out against a stark white background, showing the wide variety of items deemed necessary by the preppers.

Stewart, raised on the Gulf Coast under the annual threat of hurricanes, comes by her fascination with the subject naturally.

“When I lived in New Orleans, I was stuck in my house for four days without electricity or fresh water,” Stewart told Cult of Mac in an e-mail. “The water in my street was waist-deep and lapping at my front door. I was very thankful for my water supply, my transistor radio, and of course the wine supply.”

No two packs in her Bug Out Bags photo series are alike, a fact Stewart attributes to the individual nature of fear. One is loaded with forestry tools; another includes a gas mask; a third is stocked with canned food. While basements from Tornado Alley to the Ring of Fire hold stockpiles of emergency supplies, she found bug-out bags truly explore the unique psyches of their owners.

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Epic husky photos will cure your cuteness overload

I have a personal Instagram filter that protects my eyes from all the cute pet pictures. But now and then, a dog or cat slips through. One pretty pooch in particular — an Alaskan husky with arresting, ice-blue eyes — has me looking forward to her daily adventures in rural New Hampshire.

Stare into the eyes of Bella, and you’ll get a glimpse into the heart of her owner, photojournalist Cheryl Senter.

“There is total love in every image that I take of her,” Senter told Cult of Mac.

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Abandoned amusement park gives photog a wild ride

Kris Van de Sande’s distorted pictures of Dadipark, an abandoned Belgian amusement park, weren’t made under ideal circumstance, but they capture the distressed carnival atmosphere of the decaying attraction perfectly.

The look comes from a stroke of bad luck: While on a 2011 photographic pilgrimage to the modern ruins, Van de Sande’s gear crapped out and he was forced to make due with a loaner.

“I was limited very much with the equipment so I borrowed a fisheye lens,” he says over FaceTime from his home in Hasselt, Belgium. “I’m not a big fan of the fisheye thing but I tried to shoot as if it was just a wide-angle.”

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Why iPhoneography accessories are sort of a waste of time

Quick-connect iPhone lenses are certainly less bulky than typical camera gear, but there's a price to be paid for convenience. Photos: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac

Quick-connect iPhone lenses are certainly less bulky than typical camera gear, but there’s a price to be paid for convenience. Photos: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac

One December years ago, in London’s Piccadilly Circus, a Santa Claus sat in a pavement cafe eating lunch with an elf. Santa had a pint of beer in from of him. I raised my old film SLR, which was prefocused and had the exposure already dialed in, and took a couple of shots.

I hoped they’d turn out well.

“Who are those pictures for?” said a guy, shouting as he jogged toward me. He’d come from somewhere nearby because it was too cold for just a shirt on a December afternoon in London, and he wasn’t wearing a jacket. I ignored him — there are a lot of nutters in Piccadilly any time of the year.

“Are you taking pictures of me?” he said.

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Fix Your iOS 7 Wallpaper Woes With The App “Wallpaper Fix” [Video Review]

While the iOS 7 software update has brought along a total design revamp, with it has also come irritating wallpaper settings. Not being able to scale your photo to the sizes you’d like and more have been just some of the newly associated issues. The new application Wallpaper Fix claims to be the perfect fix for all of your wallpaper problems. Is Wallpaper Fix the app that will help you get your wallpapers the way you want?

Take a look at Wallpaper Fix and find out what you think.

This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application Wallpaper Fix brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”

Our Favorite Photo Apps Of 2013

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Alongside the powerful iPhone 5, and now the amazing iPhone 5S, iPhoneographers in 2013 have enjoyed some pretty rad photo apps. What follows is a completely subjective list of my favorite photo apps of the year. Some are in there because I use them and love them so much (I’m looking at you, Snapseed and PhotoSync), and others because they brought something truly new or great to iOS. Whatever, they’re all worth a look.

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Apple Lost the eBooks Trial, But It Can Still Win the eBooks Market

3-shotAmazon is beating Apple in the eBooks racket by using Apple’s own pricing strategy for music.

But Apple can still clobber Amazon by out-Appling not the iTunes pricing strategy, but the Apple marketing strategy: Create a vastly better user experience for both content creators and content consumers! Oh, and focus on audio.

Here’s how.

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What iOS7 Could Do For Photographers [Feature]

What iOS7 Could Do For Photographers [Feature]

iOS7 could learn from Heliog’s great thumbnail view.

The iPad is pretty great for photographers, but in typical Apple fashion, if you want to really use the device then you keep knocking up against crazy and annoying limits. The most obvious of these is probably the whole iPhoto/iPhoto problem: two apps, for Mac an iOS, that share a name but little else. They certainly don’t share their photos.

So what would I like to see fixed in iOS7? Here’s a list, complete with some suggestions for making things better

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Traveling With An iPad And A Camera: Batteries, Backups And Bags [Feature]

Traveling With An iPad And A Camera: Batteries, Backups And Bags [Feature]

iPhoto is fantastic, if a little insular.

I just got back from a week-long vacation. We were staying in Tel Aviv, Israel, which meant lots of walking and cycling (I took my Brompton), plus day trips. Which in turn meant traveling light.

The iPad is perfect traveling companion, and the iPad mini is even better. But if you want to take lots of photos with an actual camera, or – worse still – a camera that shoots huge RAW images, you need to plan ahead. And as I didn’t want to take a Mac with me, I needed a few tricks to help out.

This post isn’t about how I managed my photos on the trip (although I will mention that side of things a little in terms of the hardware I used). It’s about the gadgets and apps that help you work around the limitations of the iPad when you’re relying on it away from home.

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