Becky Harlan

NPR / YouTube

When Nalini Nadkarni was a young scientist in the 1980s, she wanted to study the canopy – the part of the trees just above the forest floor to the very top branches.

Volcanoes have been crucial to life on earth. Oozing lava helped form our planet's land masses. Gases from volcanoes helped create our atmosphere. But despite the growing field of volcanology, there's still a lot we don't understand about volcanic eruptions.

That's partly because volcanoes aren't easy to study. Getting the right equipment into remote locations under unpredictable circumstances can be difficult. More important, studying active volcanos can be dangerous.

Using fluorescent body paint and ultraviolet light, photographer Mikael Owunna's latest work aims to transform the black body into "the cosmos and eternal." The images evoke celestial beings, magical and otherworldly.

But the concept for the project, Infinite Essence, was sparked by frustration and exhaustion.

Editor's note: This report includes images that some readers may find offensive.

In a particularly difficult season of depression, photography was one of the tools Tara Wray used to cope.

"Just forcing myself to get out of my head and using the camera to do that is, in a way, a therapeutic tool," says Wray, a photographer and filmmaker based in central Vermont. "It's like exercise: You don't want to do it, you have to make yourself do it, and you feel better after you do."

In 2016, photographer Joy Sharon Yi began taking the Metro to Barry Farm, a large public housing complex in Southeast Washington, D.C., built in 1943 on the first city settlement where African-Americans could buy property and build homes after the Civil War.

In the not-too-distant future, Americans will be sharing the road with self-driving cars. Companies are pouring billions of dollars into developing self-driving vehicles. Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving-car project, says that its self-driving cars have already driven millions of miles on the open road.