Over the last three months photographer Thomas Herbrich snapped some 100,000 individual photographs of smoke, looking for unexpected anamalies and fortuitous coincidences where familiar shapes emerged. It’s fascinating to see how the brain tries to create order out of chaos, just like looking up at the clouds, suddenly familiar patterns seem to stand out: faces, hands, or scrolls of paper. After carefully sifting through each image Herbrich selected 20 final shots for this series, aptly titled, Smoke. These are a few of our favorites, but you can see the rest here.
Update: Apparently the psychological phenomenon of seeing images or recognizing patterns in random images/data is called pareidolia. Thanks, Sam!