In moments of peak stress, boredom, or desperation for change, we’ve probably all shared the same dream: why not just drop everything and travel. Many are lucky do it for a few months, or even a couple of years, but perhaps no modern travelers have been more ambitious than Gunther and Christine Holtorf, who set out in 1990 on a tour of Africa in a Mercedes Benz G Wagon named ‘Otto,’ and never looked back. Over the next 20 years the trio would rack up almost 550,000 miles (885,139km) across some 177 countries. They never once slept in a hotel, preferring to string up hammocks or sleep inside Otto, a car that required a stockpile of 400 spare parts lashed to the roof for emergency repairs.
Their adventures lead them to encounters with numerous vanishing cultures, extraordinary wildlife, and special permission to drive through both Cuba and even North Korea. There were also tricky political situations, a few minor car wrecks, and no less than five cases of malaria. Christine passed away in 2010, but Gunther, now 76, continued traveling for several more years before recently returning to Berlin.
Since 2010, Connecticut-based artist Alexander Harding has worked on a series of photographs titled Visible Light that explores light as a primary subject. His photos reveal dense, ethereal rays of sunshine as it passes through windows, bounces off mirrors, and skews through glass objects, where the light beams are so thick it seems like you could cut it with a knife. Harding says he is inspired in part by artist James Turrell, known for his exceptionally large light installations, and who once stated, “light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.” It would seem Harding has taken those words to heart in his artwork. You can see much more from his Visible Light series here. (via This Isn’t Happiness, I Need a Guide)
Strasbourg-based photographer Julien Douvier utlilizes a variety of techniques to create these beautifully meditative cinemagraphs of urban life and nature. He films and edits every image with an obsessive attention to detail, a fact not lost on several fashion clients that have commissioned Douvier to bring their brands to life recently. You can follow more of his personal and commerical work on Tumblr and on Behance. (via Designtaxi, Ignant)
Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously) continues to capture some of the most elegant portraits of fish we’ve seen. His intimate, crystal-clear photos of Siamese fighting fish (betta) make it seem as though they are suspended in air instead of water. Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns. Limited edition prints of his work are now available through La Lanta Fine Art.
While flying south of San Francisco recently, photographer Julieanne Kost managed to capture this beautiful series of photographs that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The color in the photos isn’t altered, nor were the images taken with an infrared lens, instead what you’re seeing are countless trillions of microorganisms thriving away inside shallow salt ponds. It takes an average of five years to transform bay water into salt brine, during which the various organisms that live in the ponds undergo a dramatic chromatic shift as the salinity increases. You can a bit more about the process over on Amusing Planet, and see more of Kost’s photograhs on Behance. All photos courtesy the photographer. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Penguin. Magpie. (She’s not dead, just goofing off!)
To say photographer Leila Jeffreys had an eclectic upbringing would be a bit of an understatement. With a mother from India and a father from the Isle of Man, she has lived in Papua New Guinea, a house boat in Kashmir despite an ongoing war, and in an Indian village surrounded by buffaloes, mongoose, and monkeys.
As a child, Jeffreys was taught by her father to rescue and nurse birds back to health, an experience that resulted in a deep understanding of wildlife that is immediately apparent when viewing her spectacular portraits of birds. Her affectionate photographs of owls, eagles, cockatiels and budgies seem to capture the essence of each animal’s personality, portraying many of them with surprisingly human characteristics.
Jeffreys now lives in Sydney and recently completed work on her latest series of predatory birds titled Prey. She just opened an exhibition at Olsen Irwin Gallery that runs through September 28, and you can also see a collection of her cockatiel photos later this year at Purdy Hicks Gallery in London. Do yourself a favor and follow her on Instagram.
An adventurous team of nine mountain climbers sponsored by mountaineering outfitter Mammut snapped this aerial photo of the group atop the Jungfrau, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The photo is one in a long history of audacious and whimsical shoots by Mammut over the last few years. Here’s a video of the shot coming together. (via The Verge)