OK, so the spider isn’t fixing the leaf, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing (and no, it’s not Photoshop). Paris-based photographer Bertrand Kulik stumbled onto this tiny spider who managed to construct its web inside a leaf with a giant hole and snapped these photos at just the right angle. (thnx, Alex!)
Located in a park near the center of Lede, Belgium, the Castle of Mesen dates back to the 17th century where it served as a home for various lords before a conversion to an industrial site. Throughout the 1800s the complex was used as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery. In 1897 the castle was then sold to a religious order who constructed an impressive neo-gothic chapel and turned the entire facility into a boarding school.
Although it was still in use up until the 1960s, a tragic storm of abandonment, looting, and a failed attempt to designate the castle as a monument lead to a decision to demolish of the entire castle just a few years ago. Lucky for us, photographer Jan Stel of Past Glory managed to sneak inside and capture a few amazing shots before it disappears forever. The juxtaposition of the stained glass windows and decaying roof and sprawling foliage is especially striking. See more from this series here. (via Arch Atlas)
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)