Here’s how to upgrade to Windows 10 without spending a penny
In November of 2017, Microsoft quietly announced it was shutting down its free Windows 10 upgrade program. If you didn’t get your free version of its best operating system to date, well, you were pretty much out of luck. Or, so we thought.
Perhaps more than any other type of photography, astrological photography is just insanely impressive – the degree of patience and control required to get good photos of the night sky, let alone distant stars and planets, is hard to overstate.
That’s one of the reasons why there are awards dedicated entirely to astronomy photographs each year, and the shortlist has just been released for the biggest gong in this area – the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020.
The Green Lady
This stunning image has it all – aurora borealis dancing in the sky, in a sublime mix of greens and blues, all suspended above an ice-cold lake and the hints of human habitation in the form of that lit-up little town. It’s a bit of a wonder, really.
The Many Jets and Shells of Centaurus A
A jaw-dropping image of the infinite variety of space, with those promintent jets in the centre providing a science-fiction-esque focal point. This looks like something out of Star Wars, no?
The Moon And the Shard
The moon hovers ominously behind London’s Shard, all of it lit up perfectly to highlight the building’s consturction in contrast to the marvellou detail captured on the moon’s surface.
Aptly titled, this photo does an amazing job of balancing the deep, luscious colour of the aurora in the sky against the amazing show it’s projecting into the impossibly clear chunks of ice on the ground.
This photo takes you behind the curtain, showing a lone photographer taking a picture of an eclipse, and showcasing how remote one must travel to find the best light.
Sunspots AR 2741 and AR 2740
The sun’s surface is a bit of a mystery to most of us layfolk, but all know that sunspots exist – here’s an impressive image capturing just two of them, neither hintint at the enormous energy that their appearance actually entails.
A desesrt scene that’s beautifully lit by the smorgasbord of light and stars in the sky above, an entire constellation and galaxy suspended beautifully.
Dance Over the Swamp
We don’t often think of the Northern Lights as occurring over swamps, but here it is nonetheless, and that placid reflection is the key to this photo’s stellar success.
Once again, here the contrast between land and sky is the key, with the amazing purples and pinks of the night lighting up the frame beautifully, viewed from within a cluster of rocks framing the action.
Painting the Sky
That astonishing selection of colours, lighting up the sky in ways that most of us will never live to see in person, makes for an amazing tableau. We think this picture is named perfectly.
It’s no mean feat to capture the surface of a planet like Jupiter in this way, from such a distance, but this image gives you a great sense of the roiling chaos that its surface would actually be.
This great shot is a miracle of timing, with a wisp of cloud passing before the moon and causing this otherworldly effect – it’s like something out a giallo horror film, and we love it.
This amazing timelapse over some paddies is a beautiful reminder of how time’s passing is inevitable, and we particularly love how the exposure concentrates the lights of human dwellings in the frame’s centre.
Milky Way and meteor at Porthgwarra
The boat in the image is a perfect focal point, bridging the two near-symmetrical sides of the composition and drawing the viewer out. We can’t be the only ones who’d love to hop in for a journey, right?
The photographer’s dog Trixy is the star of the show here, artfully silhouetted in front of a bright and huge moon, the focal length making it seem almost impossibly large. It’s a delightful, fun composition.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Dan Grabham.
Having a filter or bean to cup coffee machine at home can make such a huge difference to your morning routine. It is not just a decorative item, it is your early morning shot of caffeine to get the day going. All from the comfort of your own home, moments after waking up. No more queueing at your local cafe bar or spending silly money in overpriced coffee in the high street. We have made a very selective list for the best coffee machines in the market today that we believe will help you making a decision.
Think about the amount of time and money you will be saving to start with. If instant coffee simply doesn’t cut it anymore, you then need to seriously consider getting a proper coffee machine and experiment at home until you hit the perfect blend. That magical moment for us, coffee lovers, when you just found the perfect coffee taste, aroma and consistency. With creamy froth and even latte art if you feel adventurous. It is the perfect way to start the day, with your very own brew and looking ahead into your busy day.
There are different coffee machines for different people. Do you require bean to cup coffee machine, manual operation, automatic or even semi-automatic? How involved you want to be in the process and also, do you even have or want to gain any barista skills, or are you happy for simple one-button operation. Below we list the best 7 that we have tested and that we highly recommend. They are all also reasonably priced for what you get when you buy one of them
We tested all of them and many of them are part of the Geartek’s team morning routine. So when we recommend them, it is for a reason.
If, however, you’re looking for something simpler than a filter or bean to cup coffee machine and with less fuzz and hassle why don’t you check out our Nespresso Coffee Machine section. We are sure there is something for you there.
The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine with a built-in conical burr grinder to get great you going with ground coffee ready to go in just a few minutes. It comes with both customizable controls and manual settings so you get to experiment until you get the brewing right for the perfect espresso, just the way you like it.
If you are starting in coffee making you are probably best using the two double-wall pressurized filters that control the pressure and extraction. They will help you make an espresso almost instantly and effortless until you gain your confidence to explore what else can be done. For those who are familiar already with coffee making, it is a slightly different approach. You are likely to want to use the two single-wall non-pressurized filters as they will give you a different alternative and the ability to experiment in creating coffee. But whether you are a beginner or a professional in using semi-automatic coffee makers, bear in mind that this machine requires a lot of effort and patience to prepare a great cup of coffee. This is no Nespresso one-button operation coffee machine. You started this journey for a reason and as such, it is a process that you should love.
At first, it can be quite intimidating to use the bean to cup Breville Barista Express espresso machine because of so many buttons, knobs, and dials to deal with. Not to mention, the operation and cleaning procedures that take time to master. But with all the great features built-in and a little bit of time, effort, and patience, you will get your inner barista to come out and make the best coffee you will ever taste, from the comfort of your home.
If you are new to the coffee machine and ask us what is the best coffee machine you could get started with, we would definitely suggest the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. It is not only a popular brand, but they manufacture some of the best, if not the best, coffee machines. And a great example of this is their Dual Boiler espresso machine.
It is a compact machine yet has two dual boilers for separately heating the coffee and milk. We were really impressed with how precise its control for brew temperature, preheating time, and coffee strength are. Its smooth surface and elegant design make it stand out from other coffee makers in the market. To make things sweeter, this great coffee machine comes at a very reasonable price which will put a smile on anyone’s face. Quality that is affordable, the perfect mix.
Breville proved to us once again that its products offer amazing results. The Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine delivered more than we expected in terms of performance and price-value ratio. The machine’s sleek and stylish design is a great plus which is complemented by the fact that the user interface is easy to follow.
The De’Longhi La Specialista may have a lot of similarities with the Breville Barista but it actually provides more control over the brewing system compared to a fully-automatic espresso machine. This bean to cup coffee machine has so many advanced features that make the coffee-making experience incredibly simple and enjoyable. In terms of performance and overall quality, La Specialista is the best semi-automatic espresso maker yet from De’Longhi. It requires a little of getting used to but in all fairness, we were up and running in no time and this is why it is a must in our best coffee machines shortlist.
Unlike the Breville Barista Express espresso that has a complicated coffee-making process, it is the opposite for De’Longhi’s La Specialista. It may have a lot of features but it is one of the easiest machines we have tried so far. The process of grinding from coffee beans to a delicious cup of espresso is very simple.
From our personal experience, we can honestly say that La Specialista by De’Longhi is one of the best coffee/espresso machines in the market today. Its beautiful design matches the exceptional taste of the coffee it produces. Having a big water tank helped us to accommodate the coffee needs of everyone in our testing facility. And since it is sturdy, we didn’t mind moving it around to different places from time to time. It is heavy, yes, but solid so you know that you have a “tank” that with a little care and attention will last for years. What we enjoyed the most about this coffee machine is how easy and convenient it is to use. Automatic grinding, tamping, and brewing makes creating coffee a hassle-free job.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Makes espresso, cappuccino, and latte within a few seconds
Frothing options for cappuccino and latter
Automatic shutdown after a couple of minutes of inactivity
Very affordable semi-automatic coffee maker
Do not offer control over coffee strengths and temperatures
The exterior is mainly made of plastic
Frothing milk can be a bit noisy
The machine can easily be clogged up when using fine coffee grounds
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista must be in any shortlist for the best coffee machines and we could not overlook it. It proves that you don’t really need barista skills to make and enjoy café-style drinks. The machine is a semi-automatic three-in-one coffee machine that provides brewing and frothing with just a push of a button. Aside from its easy setup and operation, I love how sturdy and classy the design is. The color complements and easily blends with pretty much any modern kitchen style. Not only have I succeeded in making (and enjoying) the best coffee I have tasted in years, consistently, every morning, but the machine itself has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen decor.
Since Mr. Coffee Café Barista is a semi-automatic machine, it has a simple and stress-free operational procedure. In fact, it is one of the very few semi-automatic machines in the market that brews coffee and froth milk with just the push of a button. I never felt tired making my coffee or feeling I had to learn the theory of making coffee before getting on making coffee, simply because the operation is so simple and the coffee-making is instant.
Although Mr. Coffee Café Barista is a rather affordable machine and made of plastic, the design is actually quite attractive. The front panels have a stainless-steel-like exterior that comes in three colors, red, white, and silver. Believe it or not, it actually has a luxury-feel design that can be easily compared to expensive Nespresso machines. The machine itself is not that big overall at 11.2in. x 8.9in. x 12.6in (28.5cm x 22.6cm x 32cm). It only weighs around 10.37 pounds which is a relief as some grinding coffee machines can be quite heavy. You can put this coffee machine in any kitchen and it will look quite nice.
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
Low-pressure pre-infusion features.
The heating system provides quick heat up
PID temperature controller guarantees stable temperature during the extraction process
Pressure gauge monitor helps to determine if the coffee extraction is done correctly
Produces great-tasting coffee-based drink with cream or foamy froth
Dousing the coffee takes trial and error to get the right formula
PID controller is not programmable so you cannot set the temperature manually
Operation and maintenance needs some time to learn
Extracting large cup of coffee is slower than a smaller volume
The Breville Infuser Espresso Machine is a mid-range espresso machine that punches well above its weight. Due to its pre-infusion feature, the coffee grounds are gently expanded for an even extraction. All coffees we have made have had excellent and balanced flavors. This is because the infuser starts its operation at steady and low pressure and then it gradually raises to a higher pressure for better extraction. At 1700-watt power rating, expect a faster preheating time and high-pressure steam than most coffee machines out there. What does that mean? Well, it means faster and better coffee in your cup.
Looking for a powerful, efficient yet affordable espresso machine in the market is quite a challenge. There are many options to choose from and they all come with great features, but more often than not they also have rather high price tags. This is where the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine stands out from the rest. It not only has an attractive price, but it is also a well-built machine and you get a lot of the power and control over your espresso. Texturizing your milk for a rich and delicious coffee is a joy and the process made really easy.
This cheaper semi-automatic machine is designed for beginners. With features such as pre-infusion low-pressure technology, you don’t need barista skills to produce the perfect blend of coffee. Just follow the steps for the general operation of the machine to get the optimal coffee extraction. And of course, a lot of patience and a little bit of creativity.
Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand Review
Stainless steel machine with simple yet stylish design
Double-pouring spout to make two cups of coffee simultaneously
Thermoblock heating and PID digital temperature control
A Milk frothing pitcher, tamper, and cleaning pin inside
Best for coffee lovers with basic brewing skills
Some parts are made of plastic
No coffee dosing spoon
Does not produce even grind
Attaching portafilter is quite difficult
Pouring spout is placed too low which makes it hard for large cups to fit in
The Calphalon Temp IQ is one of the best coffee makers in the market today and a fair contender to make it in our shortlist of best coffee machines in 2020. It is the perfect machine for those who love to drink of espresso, cappuccino, and latte but have no barista experience. With its advanced features, modern and chic design, this machine is even more attractive because of its price tag, very reasonable. Rest assured that you will get the same high-quality coffee than with other more expensive coffee makers. Brewing coffee at home or the office is now easier, faster, and more convenient because of its precision heating technology. It also uses thermoblock heating, PID temperature controller, and pre-infusion technology for a lesser preheating time while extracting coffee. Additionally, the powerful steam wand creates creamy and foamy froth to enrich the flavor of cappuccino, latte, and more.
If you are a beginner, we advise you to start with this coffee machine. With its automatic function, you don’t need barista skills to create the perfect cup of coffee. Just focus on the manual and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You might not get it right the first time but that is part of the fun. You will be getting amazing coffee in no time just like we all did. We were impressed by its technology which makes coffee brewing not just easy but delicious. As a final word, we believe that the Calphalon Temp IQ is one of the very few reliable espresso machines at this price that we have ever tested.
Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine
Automatic milk frothing
Programmable settings for the coffee’s temperature, strength, and amount
Gaggia Anima is an automatic coffee machine that brews espresso and lungo with just the push of a button. What makes it a special coffee machine and a worthy member of our best coffee machines is that among many things, its milk frothing process is done through the Pannarello steam wand. This is a ground-breaking system that uses a mechanism to automatically mix air into the steam at the right levels and pressure. What is so cool about it is that you don’t have to worry about the precise positioning and steam pressure as this is no longer an issue. You can’t help it but be excited at what kind of coffee the machine will produce when you first install it.
You get a super easy programming menu that can make coffee instantly. It will give you the freedom to customize your drinks, from its temperature, grind size, and coffee strength. Even if you want your coffee decaffeinated, the Gaggia Anima has an integrated bypass dozer that offers pre-ground coffee to create decaf coffee. We are really impressed by how versatile this coffee machine is. It also helps the fact that we didn’t have to buy a separate grinding machine because it has built-in ceramic burrs and their very own adapting system. That is the reason behind the rich coffee flavor it produces.
If you are looking for a coffee maker that creates good-quality coffee, the Gaggia Anima Coffee Machine is the perfect all-around machine. It consistently delivers great-tasting coffee that won’t break the bank. Imagine being able to create your very own coffee at home, isn’t that a dream? The idea of saving up from constantly spending money at your local coffee shop should be enough of an incentive.
Whether you are into a full espresso or a creamy flat white, you will find the perfect coffee partner with the Nespresso machines in the shortlist below.
It is not just George Clooney standing next to a Nespresso coffee machine that creates the hype around the Nespresso brand, it is their sophisticated and simple to use wide range of capsule-based coffee machines that have done the most to engrave the brand into our minds. Let’s face it, there isn’t a single person who doesn’t know about them. But Nespresso is not alone, there are other manufacturers such as Krups, De’Longhi and Magimix fighting for the top spot as the ultimate Nespresso coffee machine. Choosing the right machine can be quite hard and confusing, with so much choice and so many different features.
We have put together this shortlist of top Nespresso coffee machines, each one of them unique in their own and providing their own special features. Read below which one of these Best Nespresso Coffee Machines for 2020 is the right fit for you and your lifestyle. Regardless of budget or preference, there’s something for everyone on this list. Whether you are into a grande, skinny, sugar-free vanilla flat white, etc being able to make your own first thing in the morning or after dinner is simply amazing.
The appeal (and the premise) of a Nespresso machine couldn’t be any simpler. It allows you to create professional-looking espressos and long coffee drinks from the comfort of your own home without any mess, fuss or even the remotest bit of barista skill. You just pop a pod in, press one button and you’re ready to go. If you don’t have the time but want a coffee-shop style coffee in less time than it takes to say “one espresso please”, the below list are the best Nespresso coffee machines in 2020.
This stainless steel coffee making machine runs smooth, fast, and does not create any noise, which I pretty impressive as you always get that hiss in the background when the water is running through the capsule. Some enjoy it as they can feel coffee coming through, others hate the rather bland sound. What is really cool is that the Creatista Plus Coffee Espresso Machine heats up very quickly, in less than 3 seconds you are ready to go and the milk is ready for frothing. That is very cool, especially if you are in a rush but you can’t do without your cup of coffee. No more having to wait until the machine heats up. All done super quick. You can choose from foamy to a creamy froth, with its 8 different textures, and that should be enough to most people.
The machine’s capacity is for up to 6 cups before a refill. It feels good drinking knowing that there is no plastic involved in the process, making the machine BPA-free. And to make it even more interesting, you do not have to worry about the internal cleaning process either because it has an internal self-cleaning feature to maintain the quality parts inside. Not only that but you get a barista milk jug with your coffee machine, so you are ready to go from the moment to turn this brilliant coffee machine.
Overall, the Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffe Machine is a fantastic machine to serve a cup of espresso or a latte with impressive art instantly. It is like a step in between the basic and simple Nespresso machines and the full-blown coffee espresso machines. However, do not expect professional-like design because it has no manual control over the process, it is designed to do everything for you, except pouring the milk. But it does it so well, and the coffee, we have to admit, tastes delicious. We never had a single person in our testing team complain, we all loved it. This machine is made for a convenient coffee experience that will save a lot of time and hassle for a busy person or family.
The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo is a 2-in-1 coffee and espresso maker for any cup or glass size. It is a great coffee machine that is super easy to use and consistently gets you coffee that is rich and full of flavor. With great features and benefits, the Evoluo stands out as one of the best and most simple to operate Nespresso machines.
Although it is mostly made of plastic, it is of good quality and feels durable. We felt that having such shiny finish on plastic it might get easily scratched, but as a whole, it is a hard-wearing coffee maker that, with minimum maintenance, can/ will last for some time. With all in mind, it has a stylish design, and the fact that comes in different colors to choose from adds to its wide-range appeal.
The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo is the most versatile all-in-one coffee maker in today’s market. The coffee is good, with an easy-to-use interface and built-in maintenance alert. It has everything you need to get your coffee done quickly and tasting always the way you like it. And with amazing features such as centrifusion brewing, capsule-scanning, and the availability to easily fit different cup sizes, it is hard not to recommend it.
Unlike other Nespresso coffee machines, it has unique, amazing, and multifunctional features that turn making coffee into a joyful experience. The Nespresso Vertuo can produce five servings of different cup sizes with just the touch of a button. The single button operation is something that we have all got accustomed to and the one thing Nespresso deserves massive credit for, The machine has a large water reservoir that is easy to remove for refilling and cleaning. Also, this machine uses Centrifusion technology to create the perfect blend of coffee and water along with the right amount of cream on top.
A unique feature from Nespresso is the combination of centrifugal and infusion that is known as Centrifusion Extraction technology. It works as the coffee capsules spin up to 7000 rotations per minute inside the machine while water is being injected and infused by ground coffee. The capsules have a barcode on the rim and the machine, as the capsule spins, is able to read it. This technology allows the Nespresso Vertuo to calibrate the correct brewing parameters for the specific coffee blend that you have chosen. This results in a coffee or espresso rich in delicious flavor, aromatic smell, and perfect-foamed cream on top.
If you are all about tasting great espresso or coffee and you have different people needing different cup sizes then the answer is yes. Naturally features such as the centrifusion system will only help to make your decision as it is a unique feature of Nespresso machines. The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee machine is completely different from the more-traditional machines that allow the use of a wide range of pods, with this one you can still use those but the best results will be using Nespresso pods with the barcode baked into the rim. The machine is small enough to fit any kitchen top and gets you amazing espresso and coffee.
The tiny but stylish automatic single-serve Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso is a very affordable and reliable espresso coffee machine that is super simple to use. So simple in fact that within minutes of opening the box, you will be enjoying a great-tasting espresso with gorgeous cream on top.
Many of us don’t have the time nor the patience to grind our own coffee and go through the process of making it. Let alone buying a machine to do all of that at home! Nespresso revolutionized the way we understand coffee making, and yet, some will say it is not real coffee unless you do it properly. However, not everyone requires that excellence so having a little machine in the corner of your kitchen will not only save a ton of money from getting coffee at your local café but also give you the freedom to enjoy it whenever you want it.
Since the Essenza Mini uses an automatic one-touch operation, there is no need for any adjustments. It is as simple as it can get. All you have to do is insert a coffee capsule, choose between espresso and lungo, press the one and only button, and wait for the brewing process. If simplicity is your thing, you have met your match in heaven. It is a super easy-to-use machine but naturally, the compromise is that it lacks versatility in producing drinks other than espresso-based. If you want a little bit more finesse you might want to consider the Creatista Plus Coffee machine, also by Nespresso.
If you are the type that needs an espresso every morning to get you going but can’t be bothered with complex setups or don’t have the patience to spend time brewing your own coffee, the De’Longhi’s Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso maker will be an ideal match for you. This small machine is super simple to use, with minimum maintenance and at a very affordable price.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio 2 Coffee Machine
Automatic shut down after 5 minutes of inactivity
Great-looking and compact design
Easy to use interface
Can brew up to 15 different hot and cold coffee
Fit for single-cup brewing
The water tank is quite difficult to pull out
Does not offer customized espresso drinks
Coffee capsules are not available in some stores and cost more
The Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio 2 is a small, single-serving, and capsule-based machine that is fantastic for cappuccino and mocha-style drinks. Get ready for an everyday coffee-bar like experience from the comfort of your home. You get to enjoy a wide range of coffee blends or styles with this machine. Actually, 15 different types of premium coffee to be precise with the most popular being the now traditional Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Tea, and Hot Chocolate. It is a perfect appliance for all members of the family, whatever their taste or coffee preferences.
Most capsule coffee machines work pretty much the same way. All you need to do is fill the water tank with water, put the coffee capsule and toggle the switch to set whether you want a hot or cold cup of coffee (yes, there are people out there that prefer cold coffee, believe it or not). Wait for just a couple of minutes and you can enjoy a freshly-brewed coffee as good as what you get from your favorite coffee shop.
What you get with the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio 2 is coffee that is just as good as your local coffee shop. It is a simple machine to use, I mean, you just have to press one button, how much easier can it get? The important bit, however, is that the quality of the coffee is simply brilliant, and with such a growing range of coffee capsules in the market, you are not limited to Nespresso ones to find the right coffee mix that you like.
Just because a smartphone removed the 3.5mm audio jack doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend hundreds on a new set of wireless headphones. For those of you who are looking for a great pair of headphones on a budget, look no further.
The AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 4.0 features a waterproof rating of IPX7, which means that it remains waterproof at a depth of 1 meter (3 feet) for thirty minutes. In general, most portable speakers of this class are waterproof-rated IPX5, which doesn’t even cover submersion. If you plan to use your portable speaker by the pool, obviously a waterproof speaker with an IPX7 rating like the Sport II can only be an asset.
One of its other big claims is being shockproof. If you kids, being slammed to the ground (accidentally, of course) is inevitable. The unit will survive some serious beating. We can say that the claims of ruggedness live up to the hype, which is really cool—and obviously a must for someone who plans to take this speaker on extreme outdoor excursions.
Another big feature on the AOMAIS Sport II Wireless Speakers is its ability to be paired with another Sport II for a left and right channel 40W speaker set up. It works surprisingly well. Is it a substitute for an ultra-HD studio-quality audio setup? Of course not. But depending how picky you are, especially those hosting outdoor events or pool parties, you could definitely get used to the two-speaker setup capability.
Are you looking for the best tablet in the market but feel a little confused with the many options available to you? Trying to find the best tablet in 2020 can be even more challenging than before as manufactureres are creating ever more powerful and feature rich devices. We have reviewed and selected the best 8 tablets in the market in 2020, so you don’t have to spend hours and days researching.
Some tablets are migrating or at leat trying to act as laptop replacements, others are purely for entertainment and productivity. The bootom line is that you will get a lot of power from a relatively lightweight device that you can carry around without a problem.
iPads are widely regarded as best for creative and pros. Microsoft’s Surface line on the other hand are great for productivity, specially if you are a PC person. It all depends on what ecosystem you are tuned into. Do you use Apple products, Android, microsoft? That question will dictate wha tablet might be best suited to you and your workflow. To get started, you can check out this quick summary of the various ipads over the years and its benchmark test results.
Choosing the best 4K TVs can be quite a daunting experience as it is not all about resolution. It is about the type of panel, whether OLED, QLED, and then other factors such as quality of sound, HDR features and so many more. You don;t need to go for the most expensive TV set as a cheaper option or even a budget option might suit your needs better. Compiling this list for the best 4K TV in 2020 we have taken into account all of these factors and provide TV sets for all budgets and situations.
You have to bear in mind though that you get what you pay for and you should nbot expect top-end features in a low-end budget TV. This is the same with everything in life and here it is no different. Saying that, some budget 4K TVs pack quite a punch and in some areas can easily go head to head with the higher-end TV sets. Ultimately, all of these TV sets with give you unbeliebable value for money and amazong quality.
Why choosing 4K over HD? You might argue that the human eye will struggle to appreciate the increased resolution, but the fact is that you do see the increased reolution. HD looks stunning and if you need to zoom into the image, you still get amazingly sharp images. Color palette and image rendering is incredible. Plus the range of additional features in these TVs really make it wroth it.
Want the best sound possible? Check out our roundup of the best soundbars too
We regularly update this list or guide with new suggestions and new models so keep on checking back to see what replaces the leading models of today.
Fullstar offers a complete package of products in one purchase. The Fullstar Mandoline Slicer includes a push block cutter, with a large collection bin, and a mandoline accessory with a handguard, as well as an adjustable spiralizer. This lets you do just about anything from cut your French fries, to making curly fries, slicing up your own zucchini noodles, or just dice up an onion for some pico de gallo.
The plastic components are all BPA-free, and the heavy-duty, razor-sharp cutting blades are made from stainless steel. The collection bin is large, however, it doesn’t fully seal. So, if you want to bring a salad with you to work or on a picnic, you’ll have to put it in a separate Tupperware container.
The trade-off here is that it has a removable tray. It is handy for times when you want to work in large batches, or you simply need to switch from one type of vegetable to another without having to open the top.
The spiralizer included in the purchase is also very handy as it lets you cut attractive vegetable noodle strands, and on its largest setting, you could even make some small curly fries.
The container has measurements on it for specific recipes
Stainless steel blades and dishwasher safe plastic
Chop Wizard was one of the first vegetable choppers to rise to popularity. It’s long-term staying power is none-the-less a testament to its overall quality and simplicity. There are only two stainless steel cutting blade assemblies. One for chopping and the other for dicing. All the components are dishwasher safe, though you should put them on the top shelf.
It uses a hinged push plate to manually drive the fruit or vegetables through the blade assembly. The durable plastic container underneath also has volumetric measuring lines. This lets you know just how much of your chopped or diced material you have for a specific recipe. Though you make need to jostle it at little to get chopped pieces to level out.
For some people, a traditional mandoline slicer seems a little bit dangerous. This is because many of them have awkward handguards that tempt people into using them improperly. To answer this very real concern Dash designed their DSM100GBAQ04 Mandoline for safety while adding functionality and versatility.
It uses a special type of push block that is designed to securely holds the food, without letting your fingers get anywhere near the razor-sharp, stainless steel cutting blades. By engineering it to stand up gravity helps feed the food being sliced with minimal risk of it shifting. This also makes it easier to control the force being applied.
When you aren’t using it the Dash DSM100GBAQ04 can collapse down small enough to fit in most kitchen drawers. So, it’s also a great space saver!
How We Picked
Vegetable choppers originally started as very simple devices that you could slap, slam, or slide to break vegetables down into convenient pieces. Chances are good if you watched a little late-night TV you probably saw a few on infomercials. They’re especially handy devices for people who want to break down onions, peppers, and other common vegetables without having to put their fingers near a knife blade.
Of course, their early, and impressive popularity inspired a wide spectrum of manufacturers to try their hand at offering models in stores as well as online. Some are very much a manual version of an electric food processor, while others simply replicate what you could do with a knife and impressive manual dexterity.
While reviewing this diverse field, we tried to look for units that had features that helped them stand out a little from their nearest competitors. This starts with the way the manual force is applied.
Pull Cord Vegetable Choppers
A pull cord vegetable chopper is arguably as close to a traditional food process as you can get without actually plugging a device into an electric socket. This type of device usually has a recoil cord that’s a little bit reminiscent of the pull cord on your lawnmower, only smaller.
When you pull on it, the internal blades on the cylinder spin, which drives the cutting blades through the food being cut. The more time you pull the more the food is broken down. With some of these vegetable choppers, the blade itself is enough to essentially mix the food. Though some have mixing attachments, which is handy if you want to make sauces like pico de gallo or guacamole where the vegetables might be different textures.
With these, we looked for quality materials and engineering principles to keep the moving parts from breaking down or jamming. We also tried to keep an eye out for a model that just used blades as well as one with a mixer or other accessories.
Push Plate Vegetable Choppers
They sometimes seem a little simplistic, as all you do is push down on a hinged lid or plate that drives the vegetable through your preferred blade assembly. As you can imagine there’s a little bit of extra elbow grease necessary to cut very hard vegetables. Still, if you are willing to put in the extra effort, a deeper unit might allow you to make fresh-cut French fries.
With these, we tried looking for blade assemblies that were robust enough to handle firm vegetables. Just in case you wanted to cut fresh French fries. Ones with multiple blade assemblies and accessories tended to rise on our list.
Mandolines and Slicers
Mandoline slicers and other horizontal blade slicers can be a little trick, at least when it comes to safety. To keep your fingers safe from a potentially severe cut, you should always use the protective handguard. Of course, the biggest complaint with most mandoline-type slicers is that the handguard is usually a little awkward, which tempts people to take risks with their soft fingers.
With these units, we tried to look for crucial safety features, as well as a thoughtful handguard that encourages proper use. Along the way, we also tried to prioritize units that had some versatile options built-in.
Push Handle Vegetable Choppers
Chances are you’ve seen one of two of these units on late-night television where you slap or slap on a push handle. The more times you press the plunger the finer it chops the food. With these, you’re typically working with small amounts like cloves of garlic or half of an onion. You usually put them on a cutting board rather than depositing the chopped vegetables in a receptacle container.
With these push-handle choppers, a lot of force is delivered to the blade edges and other internal components. While reviewing these, we looked for manufacturers with a reputation for quality materials and engineering, or that backed their product with a confident warranty.
Container Size and Characteristics
A lot of vegetable choppers come with some type of container or receptacle. Right off the bat, you might think that these containers are simple. Yet there are a lot of interesting twists in this diverse field.
Size and volume capacity are important. You want the container to hold what you need to cut, slice, or process in a single session. Some containers have special features built into them like a pull out drawer or a divider. There are some that seal tightly, which lets you transport what you cut for a picnic or those times when you want to bring a salad with you to work. A few even do their best to keep you from crying when you cut onions.
Chef’n VeggiChop Arugula Model
Dual rotating blades
Pull cord operated
3.8 cup storage bin
The Chef’n “Arugula Model” of the VeggieChop is essentially a manual food processor. It has two stainless steel blades that are securely connected to a central rotating column, which is founded into the lid.
To rotate the blades you simply pull back on a pull cord with a built-in recoil. The more you pulse the blades the finer it chops the food inside. One pull might be all you need to process walnuts into small pieces.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could add ingredients in small loads for four or five pulls to blend up some homemade guacamole. While it is primarily used for vegetables you can potentially use it to cut soft, boneless meats.
The collection bowl will hold up to 3.8 cups of processed food. The components are rated to be dishwasher safe. However, the manufacturer recommends putting them on the top rack. This is balanced by the fact that it’s pretty hard to hand clean. Especially the very sharp dual cutting blades.
What We Liked
The dual stainless steel blades and the ability to process vegetables as well as soft meats to the consistency adds to this vegetable chopper’s overall versatility. The fact that you can clean it in the dishwasher is also very handy.
This is a very versatile, high-value vegetable cutter that lets you process a wide range of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and even boneless cuts of meat. Just make sure you have a dishwasher to properly clean the Chef’n VeggiChop Arugula.
A manual chopper and slicer like the ONSON Food Chopper And Vegetable Slicer will require a little more active force from you, the user. The trade-off here is that there aren’t any complicated internal structures of pull cords that could fail. So long as you are using it responsibly the hinges on the cutting push plate will hold up for a long time.
This particular model comes with 8 accessory cutting dies. You can use it as a slicer, fry cutter, julienne, coarse & fine grater, and even a lemon or orange juicer. There are even a vegetable peeler and special cleaning tools included in the purchase.
The collection container is large enough to accommodate a typical salad. The lid also seals tightly, which means you can take it with you for a salad lunch at the office. When not in use you can store the accessories and cutting plates inside, so you know you’ll have them the next time you want to use it.
The bottom of the collection container has small rubber strips to help hold it in place. So, if you have a wet countertop, or you plan on cutting something hard, you might want to put down a tea towel or a rubber mat first. Just to buy yourself a little extra traction.
What We Liked
The multiple accessories make this an incredibly versatile vegetable cutter, and the large collection bin with a sealable lid means you have the storage space to hold as much as you want. The cleaning tools included in the purchase are also a nice touch.
This is a great push-plate and a manual vegetable chopper that lets you do just about anything you want. Though the accessories can be a little bit fiddly to remove and install.
DASH DSM100GBAQ04 Safe Slice Mandoline
Designed for safety
Accessories for 30 different cuts
1-year manufacturer warranty
Stainless steel blades
Mandoline slicers have a somewhat earned reputation for delivering a nasty cut or two. This is due to many of them having awkward handguards that discourage you from using them as intended. Dash tackles this challenge with gusto, by specifically designing their DSM100GBAQ04 Mandoline for safety, without sacrificing functionality.
It has a special type of push block that securely holds the food, without letting your fingers go anywhere near the stainless steel cutting blades. This mandoline is also designed to stand up which means gravity helps feed the food being cut with less risk of it shifting like you sometimes run into with a horizontal sliding vegetable cutter. It also makes it easier to control the force being applied.
Still, you shouldn’t let the vertical orientation lure you into thinking that this mandoline taking up a lot of space. When you want to store it, the Dash DSM100GBAQ04 can collapse down small enough to fit in most kitchen drawers.
What We Liked
This mandoline was specifically designed for safety and ease of use. You can pull it out of a drawer, and expand it in a matter of seconds. Then the push block and other engineering cues help keep your fingers away from stainless steel cutting blades.
If you love the versatility of a mandoline, and you don’t necessarily need a storage container, then the Dash DSM100GBAQ04 is one of the best and safest vegetable cutters on the market today.
The Fullstar Mandoline Slicer Spiralizer And Vegetable Slicer
Package of accessories
5 interchangeable blades
Manual push plate
Stainless steel blades
Spiralizer included in the purchase
Large collection bin
This is a package suite by Fullstar that includes a push block cutter, mandoline accessory, and an adjustable spiralizer. All these features and components mean you can do just about anything from cut your French fries, make your curly fries, slice zucchini noodles, or just plain dice onions or other aromatic vegetables.
All the plastic components are BPA-free. The cutting blades are made from stout stainless steel and are razor sharp. The collection bin itself is large, but there isn’t a sealable lid for it. This means you can’t necessarily do something like process a salad and take it with you for lunch.
Though it does include a removable tray, which is handy for times when you want to work in large batches, or you simply need to switch from one type of vegetable to the next without having to open the top.
When you attach the mandoline slicer accessory, there’s also a small handguard. It’s also worth noting that the rubber feet are a little on the small side. So, you might want to put down a tea towel or a rubber mat to hold it in place. Especially if the countertop you are using it a little wet.
The spiralizer is handy in that it lets you cut attractive vegetable noodle strands, and on its largest setting, you could even make some small curly fries. If the potato you are working with is excessively hard, you could microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds to soften it.
What We Liked
The sheer number of accessories and adjustment features is staggering. It helps boost your culinary creativity, when you think about all the different things you can do. The removable tray in the large collection bin is also convenient. You can work in batches, or switch between different types of vegetables, without having to open the top or mess with the cutting blades.
If you want an all-inclusive vegetable cutter at a sweet price point, this package from Fullstar is definitely worth the money. Just don’t overestimate the stability of the small rubber feet.
Brieftons Manual Hand Held Vegetable Chopper
Dual stainless steel blades
Manual pull cord
This four cup vegetable chopper from Brieftons is a step up from their very popular 2-cup version. It uses a retracting pull cord to power two internal stainless steel blades.
The more pulls you give it the more it processes the food. If you want to break down almonds into slices and pieces, you might only need one or two pulls. If you wanted an almond meal, you might want to try five or six pulls. This same methodology plays out with other things like slicing onions, mincing garlic, and dicing peppers.
One way that this manual vegetable chopper separates itself from many of its closest competitors is that it comes with an internal mixer attachment. It allows you to mix in your own ingredients for making things like guacamole or pico de gallo.
The bottom of the 4-cup receptacle has a robust anti-skid treatment. This is important in a unit like this as it gives you the traction you need to let the pull cord do its work.
What We Liked
The mixing attachment is a nice touch that you don’t always see in the competitors. It spares you having to chop your vegetables and then stir them together with a spoon, which can sometimes be inconsistent for things like guacamole.
If you are looking for a compact vegetable chopper with a pull cord that won’t slip around the countertop on you then this unit by Brieftons might just be the best value for the money.
Zalik Vegetable Chopper Pro Mandoline Slicer, Dicer, Cutter & Grater
430 stainless steel blades
The Zalik Vegetable Chopper Pro was designed to be very versatile. It comes with 11 accessory inserts which let you processed vegetables and even soft meats in just about any way you can imagine. It even includes a small mandoline blade for slicing.
All the metal components are made from 430 stainless steel. The plastic components are reinforced to handle the necessary force to cut through things like sweet potatoes, firm onions, and russets. There are small rubber feet underneath to help anchor it on the countertop. Still, you might want to put down a rubber mat or a tea towel for extra traction.
The container is large, which lets you process a high volume of vegetables without having to worry about opening it up. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fully sealable lid for doing things like making a salad with you to work.
What We Liked
The 11 different cutting blades make the Zalik Vegetable Chopper Pro one of the most versatile options on the market.
For the money, you can enjoy the versatility of the Zalik Vegetable Chopper Pro. Just double-check that you have the traction you need on the countertop when working with hard foods. If you want to make a salad or a chopped condiment like pico de gallo with you, then you might want to also invest in some inexpensive Tupperware.
The Original Vidalia Chop Wizard
Chopper and dicer blades
Manual press operation
Stainless steel blades
Container has measurements
The Chop Wizard was one of the first vegetable chopper devices to rise to popularity on late-night infomercials. To this day it remains a popular option for people who don’t want to play around with knives just to chop an onion or dice an apple.
You could argue that it’s a little bit on the basic side. There are just two blade assemblies, one for chopping and one for dicing. You then manually move the hinge-mounted push plate to drive the fruit or vegetables through the stainless steel blades.
The container underneath holds two cups of food. There’s even a measurement scale on the side to read it you simply turn the Chop Wizard sideways. If you’ve been working with hard, rough-cut vegetables like bell peppers, you might want to give it a gentle shake to let everything settle accurately.
What We Liked
The dishwasher safe materials and the measurements on the side of the container make the Chop Wizard very convenient. For what it’s worth the way the push plate closes down also spares you a lot of the tearing up that typically comes with chopping onions.
The Chop Wizard doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. Still, it has a tried and true reputation as being a very affordable way to spare you having to fiddle around with traditional kitchen knives.
The container has measurements on it for specific recipes
Stainless steel blades and dishwasher safe plastic
Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP Stainless Steel Chopper
Stainless steel blades
Press handle operation
Limited lifetime warranty
Cuisinart is one of the strongest names in the home kitchen appliance industry. So, it’s no surprise that they also offer a well-designed manual vegetable chopper like the CTG-00-SCHP.
It borrows the engineering concept from other advertised brands that let you slap or press down on the handle. The force is then directed down into the vegetables below, which are chopped by the stainless steel blades.
The more you press the lever the finer it chops, dices, or minces the vegetables. The cutting chamber underneath is arguable small. It’s meant more for garlic, small onions and nuts like almonds or walnuts. Ideally, you want to use it over top of a wood or food-grade plastic cutting board.
Cuisinart backs this vegetable chopper with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s also dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy.
What We Liked
The limited lifetime warranty speaks to Cuisinart’s dedication to quality materials and engineering.
If you just need to quickly process a small volume of vegetables, fruits, or nuts, then there’s a lot of quality and value in the Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP.
Some people can saw through vegetables like a celebrity chef on a cooking show. Yet there are those of us who simply don’t have that gene, or simply don’t want to play around with an ungainly chef’s knife. Not to mention there are some recipes and salads that just take up too much of your precious time to chop all the vegetables.
Fortunately, there is a wide range of vegetable choppers and kitchen devices that rise to answer these needs. Some are innovative and well designed, while others look like they just fell out of an infomercial.
Weeding through this thick field of options can feel daunting. More than one person has simply pulled the trigger on a cheap device only to be let down a week or two later with a nasty case of buyer’s remorse.
When shopping for the best vegetable chopper for your needs there are a few basic features and characteristics to be mindful of.
Right off the bat, you want to only consider vegetable choppers that are made from “Food Grade” materials. BPA free plastics, commercial-grade stainless steel, and ideally materials that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration should always be on your radar.
These materials also tend to last longer than their slightly less expensive counterparts. Which is particularly handy for making sure you are getting a full return on your investment and then some.
Ease Of Use
The last thing you want to do is fiddle around with hard to change blade assemblies or safety features that just get in the way. Sometimes it can be hard to tell from just looking at a few pictures on an online retailer’s site. Still, there are sometimes special cues you can tap into, like “Quick Disassembly” or “Push-Button Release.”
Safety features tend to dovetail into ease of use. Ideally, the best vegetable choppers are going to put something between your hand and the actual cutting blades. Beyond that you also want to keep an eye out for other features like non-skid feet, suction cup mounts or other things that will ensure the vegetable chopper stays where you want it to. Especially if you plan on cutting a lot of hard vegetables.
Ease To Clean
With some vegetable cutters, there can be a lot of small corners and crevices. Especially in multi-blade units or cutting dies that mince or finely chop vegetables. The last thing you want is for there to be some residual material leftover that can turn into a breeding grounds for bacteria when it’s not being used.
Ideally, the best vegetable chopper should come apart easily and most of the parts should be rated as dishwasher safe. This gives you the confidence to know that it’s always properly clean before putting it away in the cupboard.
The Size Of The Collection Container
A lot of vegetable choppers deposit the processed vegetable pieces in some time of container or collection bowl. It might help to take a minute to think about how you are more likely to use your vegetable chopper. If you want to be able to quickly assemble a garden salad, then you might want to prioritize a unit with a large collection bowl. One with a sealing lid would also be helpful for times when you might want to toss the salad before plating and dressing it.
Even if you don’t want a connected collection container, or you are planning on using the vegetable chopper for processing small batches of vegetables, you might still want to lean toward one that can secure over a mixing bowl.
Chopping, mincing, dicing, and julienne are all special terms that relate to the final size and shape of the vegetable being cut. Many of the best vegetable choppers have multiple blades for these different functions. A few even give you the ability to cut fancy or visually interesting shapes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I Cut Seeds And Nuts?
A: With some vegetable choppers, you can cut soft nuts like walnuts, almonds, and even peanuts. This tends to be the case with rotary blade choppers and push handle vegetable choppers. When it comes to vegetable choppers with push plates the idea of pressing nuts through the blade assembly becomes a little bit more of a concern.
Especially if you are trying to cut firm-fleshed nuts like Brazil nuts. You might be able to get away with it a handful of times, but chances are each time you try to cut firm nuts you risk dulling or denting the blades. In some cases, you might even end up damaging the mounting points that hold the blades in place.
You run into a similar problem with hard seeds like chia seeds or coffee. With these, the pressure of trying to process it can chip or ding the blades. So, it is best to turn to something like an electric coffee or spice grinder.
Q: How Often Should I Clean My Vegetable Chopper?
A: Just like how you wouldn’t put a dirty knife back in the butcher block, you shouldn’t put away a vegetable chopper when dirty. If you are working with similar vegetables you might not need to clean the blade assembly when switching from one to the next. An example would be cutting onions, celery, and carrots for vegetable soup.
If you are going to make a dramatic change and you are worried about the flavor of onions from one batch transferring to the apple you need to chop for your child’s snack, you can always rinse the blades under warm water. Most blades are made from stainless steel which does a good job of releasing material when rinsed.
Q: Can I Put A Dishwasher Safe Vegetable Chopper On The Lower Rack?
A: Most vegetable choppers that are rated to be dishwasher safe still require you to put it on the upper rack. This is to keep the heat of the drying cycle from deforming any of the plastic components. It also helps to keep the relatively lightweight device from moving around under the typically higher force of the lower spray bars. The last thing you want is an accidental ding in a blade from a nearby fork.
Q: Can I Sharpen Dull Cutting Blades?
A: The thinness of the blades and the nature of stainless steel make it pretty difficult if not impossible to sharpen a vegetable chopper or mandoline blade. Even if you use a fine-toothed mill file rod, chances are you will leave jagged edges that could potentially leave tiny metallic shards in the food you cut. It’s best to take good care of your blades and wash them after every use.
Q: Do I Need Special Hand Protection?
A: Well-designed vegetable choppers are engineered to keep your hands out of the way of any sharp cutting surface. Though mandolines are especially risky. Especially those with minimal or awkward feeling handguards.
As you can see, there are a lot of options in the vegetable cutter marketplace. Asking yourself a few key questions in advance will help you narrow down the list to find the best vegetable chopper for you.
If you are just looking for a way to make quick work of onions and the occasional apple, then a relatively basic push-plate model with two or three cutting dies will likely get you by. If you love salads and want to make them quickly then you might want to prioritize one that has a large container. You can then load the lettuce in it, then chop onions, peppers, carrots, and cabbage into it. One with a sealable lid is also handy for tossing the salad afterward and taking it with you.
Now if you want to be a little more creative you could look for a vegetable chopper with French fry cutting assemblies, and other special die types. This lets you make all sizes of fries, vegetable noodles, spiralized cuts for curly fries, and more.
A mandoline vegetable slicer isn’t so much geared to chop as a slice. Yet some high-quality models have adjustable thicknesses which very much replicate chopping. A few can even be set up to do things like making waffle-cut French fries of zucchini noodles.
However you intend to use it, chances are good that the best vegetable chopper for you is somewhere on this list.
Product Boxes: Last updated on 2020-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Sony World Photography Awards are a highlight of the photography scene every year, inviting photographers of all types to submit their best images in a variety of categories and genres to be judged against each other.
Countless photos are submitted, and the final shortlists and winners are almost always jaw-dropping, whether for their beauty or harshness, or any number of other reasons. This year’s main awards have just been announced, and we’ve gathered together some of our favourite images from the lists for you to browse right here. Prepare to be amazed.
Seeds of resistance
The overall winner of Sony’s competition this year is Pablo Albarenga, a photographer whose series documents the threat posed against environmentalists in Brazil who are trying to protect habitats and areas from deforestation and damage.
They’re pictured literally laying down their lives, contrasted with the area they protect in a stitched-together amalgam.
This is another from Albarenga’s series, and showcases another of his chosen details – the landscape on the right has the first signs of deforestation at play in it, shining a spotlight on exactly how the environments these citizens care about could be threatened so gravely.
The winner of the Architecture section, Sandra Herber, has created an amazing series of images by simply and sparsely photographing fishing huts on Lake Winnipeg, in the cold of winter. The freezing conditions positively chill you as you look but the individual character of each hut is also manifest.
We love the painted fish on this hut from Sandra Herber’s series – it’s a splash of vibrant colour in a landscape that’s largely monochromatic, and sets off the isolation of the hut really nicely.
Jonathan Walland’s photos of buildings look like something created in a laboratory – he cleverly dials back all colour and focuses only on the building in focus to create a sort of silhouette of their shape and lines, which strips them down to their architectural essentials.
This, another from Jonathan Walland’s series, shows that even when a building is constructed with a more modern aesthetic, and curved lines, Walland can still distil it into an essential form, something that looks like the very first sketch its designer might have come up with.
José De Rocco’s series came third in the Architecture bracket, and features stark images of buildings framed in such a way that their surface details become the story of the image itself.
Take the side of this supermarket – its red tiling dominating the frame but that security camera also drawing the eye inescapably.
Dione Roach took second place in the Creative category for this series, boldy titled Kill Me With an Overdose of Tenderness, which collages together snapshots from the online world in a punk-rock aesthetic that applies a grungey layer to our sometimes clinical social media channels.
The items photographed by Luke Watson in this series are all recovered from conflicts, some as old as the First World War, and repurposed into rudimentary pinhole cameras.
It’s a repurposing that prompts you to think about the object’s original intended use, and the creative potential that countless everyday items therefore implicitly carry with them.
This helmet from Luke Watson’s series is another starkly clean image demonstrating how something can be given a new lease of life. The tech world is particularly shabby when it comes to re-use, so this is a challenging photographic idea.
The medium is the message
The bleached-out landscapes from Hashem Shakeri’s series Cast Out of Heaven showcase a large-scale housing project near Tehran, but do so with the harsh sunlight and blanched building making for a stunning, heavenly sort of environment.
This image of a blank advertising hoarding has something distinctly dystopian about it, too.
This image is another example of how interesting Shakeri’s photos are – the focus is shared by multiple levels of depth in the image, with the huge blocks in the foreground just as detailed as those behind, all of them huge to the point where it’s actually quite hard to grasp a real sense of scale.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham’s photos showcase the experience on the ground dealing with Ebola in the DRC – carefully stained in a dark-room while being developed, adding to the palpable sense of threat you get from looking at images of so deadly and transferrable a virus.
Playing their part
The Hong Kong protests have inspired many over the last year or so, and have also started to offer blueprints for other protestors around the world. Chung Ming Ko’s images of protestors are dramatically lit and carefully framed to humanise them.
The phenomenon of lifelike dolls being used by people as emotional aids has been around for a while, and unfairly lambasted without sufficient empathy, and Didier Bizet’s photos go to great lengths to remind people that these dolls are not toys or oddities, but almost always more complex figures.
The reality behind the label
Youqiong Zhang explores the ethics and realities of mass-production in Africa in their series, which showcases just what a factory looks like and is actually like to work in, without dehumanising or overlooking the experiences of its workers.
Robin Hinsch showcases some of the devastating impact of industrial exploitation and fossil fuel extraction in the Niger Valley. It contrasts the brutality of the environment that oil extraction leaves behind with the citizens being forced to live in the shadow of fossil fuels.
This image might be hard to decode initially, but once you realise that it’s a series of pelts stiched together into one piece, things become clearer. Álvaro Laiz’s series shines a light on the life of the Chukchi on the Bering coasts.
It’s sometimes hard to remind yourself that so much agriculture in the modern world isn’t out in the open but in enormous warehouses like this one, carefully monitored to ensure even growth – it’s like a bizarre, managed version of a forest, as captured by Luca Locatelli.
Who needs the sun?
Another of Luca Locatelli’s images, this showcases how smaller plants are grown in banked shelves of lit-up beds – it’s taking farming to the next level, and again is a photo that obviously forces us to reconsider how we think about the source of even our plant-based food.
World in miniature
We can’t get our heads around this photo – nothing we do stops it looking like a miniature set from Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. Ronny Behnert’s images are framed with a great distance and white out the oceans around the Torii pictured to create surreal, serene landscapes.
There’s a lot of interesting facets to the photos submitted by Florian Ruiz, not least the fact that they are subtly stitched together from various images, giving them that slightly off, wobbly look. The industrial landscape pictured is near Xinjiang in China, a dried-up salt lake where the dust blows around like the Old West.
The final image we’ve selected comes from Chang Kyun Kim, who has taken a haunting look at some of the remaining sites of Japanese concentration camps in the US from the Second World War, where buildings are still standing testament to the imprisoning of so many innocents. As Chang Kyun Kim observes, most were in locations so harsh and unwelcoming that nothing has been built there to replace them.