Looking Back at 2019's Weirdest and WIRED-est Photo Projects

When photographers show their work to us WIRED photo editors, common responses as to why they’re reluctant to show off some of their most interesting projects include “I wasn’t sure if this is WIRED's style,” or “I didn’t think you cover this.”

Year in Review: What WIRED learned from tech, science, culture, and more in 2019

Sure, we feature some obvious technological subjects, like the optical fibers bringing 5G online. And it’s no secret we rely on certain techniques (hint: hard light and bold shadows). But, as our editor in chief Nicholas Thompson likes to say, WIRED isn’t simply a publication about technology; it’s a magazine about change. That change manifests in myriad forms and is documented by a diverse spectrum of photography, sometimes over the span of years. Here, writers Laura Mallonee and Michael Hardy highlight some of their favorite projects and image-makers from 2019.
Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany

An anatomical model stands in a lecture hall at the Free University of Berlin. For Nikita Teryoshin, the model is a symbol of human control over cows—as he puts it, "how we can look into the cow and see everything."Photograph: Nikita Teryoshin
It's easy to find shocking photos of slaughterhouses online. Nikita Teryoshin’s Hornless Heritage has a similar effect, minus the gore. His bright flash illuminates the utilitarian calculation of an industry where cows are commodities, and treated as such. At least, it made me lose my appetite. —Laura MalloneeThese Sea Creatures Are Actually Made of Glass

This sculpture, by 19th-century German glassworkers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, depicts the Chrysaora hyoscella, or compass jellyfish.Photograph: Guido Mocafico