Category: Photography

Free Ride: A Crow Catches a Lift on the Back of a Bald Eagle

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Photographer Phoo Chan has seen more than his fair share of spectacular moments while photographing birds and other wildlife around his home in California, but perhaps nothing will ever top what he witnessed last spring while shooting near Kitsap, Washington: a crow riding atop a bald eagle. It only lasted for a few seconds, but Chan managed to capture the entire encounter on film. He shares about the image:

Crows are known for aggressively harassing other raptors that are much bigger in size when spotted in their territories and usually these ‘intruders’ simply retreat without much fuss. However, in this frame the crow did not seem to harass the bald eagle at such close proximity and neither did the bald eagle seem to mind the crow’s presence invading its personal space. What made it even more bizarre was that the crow even made a brief stop on the back of the eagle as if it was taking a free scenic ride and the eagle simply obliged.

You can see more of Chan’s bird photography on 500px and Flickr. (via Bored Panda, @pourmecoffee, Stellar)

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Long-Exposure Photographs of a New Zealand Cave Illuminated by Glowing Worms

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The twinkling lights dotting the ceiling of this dazzling cave system are the work of arachnocampa luminosa, a bioluminescent gnat larva (also called a glowworm) found throughout the island nation of New Zealand. It is believed that the light, emitted mostly from females, is how the insects find mates. These long-exposure photos by local photographer Joseph Michael capture small communities of worms amongst 30 million-year-old limestone formations on North Island. You can see more shots from the project titled Luminosity, here.

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New Reflected Landscapes and Photo Manipulations by Victoria Siemer

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Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Siemer (previously) explores the idea of fractured landscapes through photo manipulations and collages. Siemer makes use of reflected geometric shapes suspended over gloomy natural landscapes shrouded in fog and clouds resulting in portal-like mirrors. She says much of her work is guided by the idea of emotional fragmentation and “fragmentation of the self,” a topic she explored in-depth while studying design at SUNY Buffalo. You can keep up with her work on Instagram and some of her pieces are available as prints.

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Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly Discovered Group Photo of Famous Artists from 1887

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JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. – Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with friends, Paris, 96 rue Blanche, December 1887 Melanotype, direct positive and reversed image on blackboard (carton photographique), 86×112 mm, “Gautier Martin” stamp, recto. Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. André Antoine is standing between them.

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Some experts believe this recently discovered 1887 melainotype showing six men drinking around a table may include a rare sighting of painter Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh famously recorded himself in numerous self-portraits, but was known to abhor photography and supposedly never sat for a photo as an adult; only two rare photos of the artist as a child are known to exist, taken when he was 13 and 19.

The image first came to the attention of French photo expert Serge Plantureux when two individuals acquired the photo at an estate sale and thought they recognized a few of the faces, among them, artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard—a significant discovery in and of itself. Analyzing the photographic process, the photographer (thought to be to Jules Antoine), and pinpointing the when the photo was taken raised the chances significantly that a bearded figure who appears amongst the gathering of stoic men might be Van Gogh. Serge Plantureux writes for magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography):

The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark, and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.

They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.

The photo went to auction just this weekend and was expected to fetch between $136,000 to $170,000, though a final sale price hasn’t been made public. Still, some experts aren’t convinced. The photo expert for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam feels it can’t be the artist “because it simply does not look like him,” and also mentions the artist’s desire to never be photographed. Others note that Van Gogh didn’t mention the gathering in his meticulously written letters from the time period.

Regardless, the photo is still of significant historical value and only time will tell if experts reach a consensus in the identities of everyone depicted. (via PetaPixel, Hyperallergic)

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Foggy Forests of Ancient Trees Pruned for Charcoal in Basque Country Photographed by Oskar Zapirain

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Oskar Zapirain's photographs capture eerie forests cast in thick fog, hazy light descending upon the foliage in the same green shade that blankets the floor in moss. Zapirain has been attracted to this landscape for years because of the homogenous light as well as the way it forces the viewer directly into a mystical atmosphere.

The forest Zapirain features is a beech forest in Oiartzun, Basque Country in Northern Spain. This particular forest is unique due to the history charcoal production within the region. Instead of clearcutting like we do today, the trees were instead pruned to preserve the trees and maintain the integrity of the forest across generations. The trees have since regrown with short trunks and dramatically long limbs that shoot outward like arms from almost every angle, adding a ghostly feel to each of Zapirain’s photos. You can explore more of his work on Flickr.

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Stephen McMennamy’s #ComboPhoto Mashups Result in Humorous Juxtapositions

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Photographer Stephen McMennamy merges his original photography in humorous ways to create what he calls #ComboPhotos: two photos paired to create unexpected situations, usually involving huge constrasts in scale. Tractors and heavy machinery are turned into giant mechanisms for food delivery, while an ice cream cone becomes an actual snowy mountain top. McMennamy is also a creative director at BBDO Atlanta and you can see more of his work here. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Tesla Sparks and Miniature Thunderstorms Photographed by Marc Simon Frei

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Photographer Marc Simon Frei snapped these interesting photos by arcing objects to a Tesla coil. He’s also been experimenting with different kinds of LED-illuminated clouds (not unlike what we’ve seen from Richard Clarkson), and some fun shots of wool clouds sprouting tiny lighting storms. You can see more over on his Google+ page. (via The Awesomer)

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