Revisiting the Unseen Corners of the World


At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions in place worldwide, we launched a new series to help transport you, virtually, to some of our planet’s most beautiful and intriguing places.

This week, after 40 installments, we look back at some of the highlights — from hat-making workshops in Ecuador and the wilds of Alaska to lush Zambian valleys.

Caleb Kenna has worked as a freelance photographer for more than 20 years, traveling Vermont’s back roads, making portraits and capturing the state’s varied landscapes.

Until a few years ago, he hired airplanes to climb skyward and create aerial pictures. Nowadays he uses a drone.

Every year, millions of pilgrims descend on Karbala, a usually quiet desert city in central Iraq, to commemorate the religious holiday of Arbaeen, one of the largest organized gatherings of people in the world. In 2019, when a small group of journalists was invited to attend, the photojournalist Andrea DiCenzo jumped at the chance to go.

The event is a spectacular display of grief, mourning and religious ecstasy. It commemorates the death of one of Shiite Islam’s most important leaders, Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

A Montecristi superfino Panama hat is creamy as silk, costlier by weight than gold, and the color of fine old ivory. It is as much a work of art as it is of fashion.

The finest specimens have more than 4,000 weaves per square inch, a weave so fine it takes a jeweler’s loupe to count the rows. And every single one of those weaves is done by hand. No loom is used — only dexterous fingers, sharp eyes and Zen-like concentration.

The writer and photographer Roff Smith became interested in the hats about 15 years ago, when he read about straw hats that could cost many thousands of dollars.

Sea lions are often referred to as “dogs of the sea.” On a small island off the Baja coast, where the playful animals populate every rocky outcropping, they live up to their nickname.

The photojournalist Benjamin Lowy visited the area in 2017 on one of his first underwater assignments, after years spent covering war, politics and sports.

Southeast Alaska is inseparable from the Tongass National Forest, with the mountainous western edge of the North American continent giving way to the hundreds of islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago. The landscape is blanketed with Western hemlock, red and yellow cedars, and Sitka spruce.

But the lifting of logging restrictions may indelibly alter the region’s character.

The photographer Christopher Miller grew up exploring the fringes of the Tongass National Forest, which sits just outside his backdoor in Juneau and stretches for hundreds of miles along the coast. In 2019, he documented a 30-mile trip along the Honker Divide Canoe Route, which runs through the national forest.

Known for its soaring, glacier-capped Andean peaks and its labyrinth of fjords, Magallanes — in southernmost Patagonia — is Chile’s largest but second-least-populated region.

Daily existence here requires tenacity and resilience. Community life is facilitated in part by an unlikely source: a network of rural schools.

After coordinating with local educational authorities and teachers, and with the blessing of the students’ parents and guardians, the photojournalist Andria Hautamaki spent over a month in 2019 traveling to five such schools.

Several years ago, the photographer Richard Frishman began to document vestiges of racism, oppression and segregation in America’s built and natural environments — lingering traces that were hidden in plain sight behind a veil of banality.

Some of Mr. Frishman’s pictures capture sites that were unmarked, overlooked or largely forgotten. Other photographs explore the Black institutions that arose in response to racial segregation. A handful of the pictures depict the sites where Black people were attacked, killed or abducted — some marked and widely known, some not.

The waters surrounding Britain are speckled with thousands of small islands, only a small fraction of which are inhabited.

Among those who call Britain’s small islands home are a collection of wardens — caretakers who spend their lives in quiet solitude, away from the crowded corners of our urban world. Their role: to maintain and manage the preservation of their small speck of land, often while conducting research into delicate ecosystems.

Over the past three years, the photojournalist Alex Ingram has been visiting some of these remote islands, spending at least a week on each.


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