Category: Photography

A Perfectly Symmetrical Photo of a Kingfisher Diving for Prey, Nearly 6 Years in the Making 

Licensed from Caters / Alan McFadyen

For the last 6 years, Scottish wildlife photographer Alan McFadyen spent an estimated 4,200 hours seeking the perfect shot: a symmetrical image of a kingfisher diving into its own refelection in search of prey. Last month, after 720,000 exposures he finally got it. McFadyen certainly snapped hundreds of other successful images along the way, but this particular photo—as it existed in his imagination—eluded him for years.

“Kingfishers dive so fast they are like bullets, so taking a good photo requires a lot of luck – and a lot of patience,” McFadyen told the Daily Mail. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that female kingfishers only rarely dive, so timing is essential.

McFadyen owns Scottish Photography Hides which rents out hides in pristine locations in Southwest Scotland for use by wildlife photographers. You can explore more of his photography on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)


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New Animated Portraits by Romain Laurent Explore Quirky Isolated Movements 


French photographer and director Romain Laurent (previously here and here) started making portrait-based GIFs as a way to produce work outside his commercial jobs, a spontaneous project that would encourage him to produce consistently for himself rather than clients. Each GIF is simple in its concept—a snap of the finger, a twist of the hand—yet is elegant in its composition of muted colors and subjects often centered squarely in the frame. Although GIFs often incorporate the whole subject, Laurent’s work highlights one or two specific movements, isolating gestures rather than animating the whole image.

Laurent studied product design at the National School of Applied Arts in Paris before realizing photography was his medium of choice. Laurent nows works in New York City and has collaborated with clients such as Reebok, Hermes, Lacoste, Nissan, Google, and GQ. You can see more of his inventive portraits on his Tumblr, and access his GIFs directly on his Giphy page here.








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An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves 


This towering ginkgo tree is located within the walls of the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains in China. Every autumn the green leaves on the 1,400-year-old tree turn bright yellow and fall into a golden heap on the temple grounds drawing tourists from the surrounding area. You can see more photos here and here. (via F*ck Yeah Chinese Garden)





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Fictionalized Landscapes Created From Strangers’ Old Photographs by j.frede 



Artist j.frede composes flea market photographs into custom built frames, creating visual and narrative landscapes from the previously unassociated materials. The works spread across the wall, building on each other through similar landscapes or horizon lines. The project, titled Fiction Landscapes, builds on the artist’s interest in memory, tapping into others’ momentos of the past to create fictionalized scenes of ambiguous origin.

Although each image has once been a placeholder in time for the photographer, once it gets collected into a mixed up bin at a flea market these associations are erased. “Arranging these into new landscapes that have never existed speaks to the stitching together of human behavior and how we relate to time and the past,” says Frede. “How many people have pulled over at that rest stop and taken nearly the same photo of the plain hillside? All locking their own associations into the view, first road trip with a new love; last road trip to see grandma; one of many road trips alone.”

The Los Angeles-based artist strictly uses anonymous photographs from the past for his works, never incorporating photographs of his own or individuals he knows. The memories he personally imbues into each composition in the series are instead ones he creates while making each arrangement, placing his own marker within the newly composed environment.

Currently j.frede has a piece from Fiction Landscapes in “Three Day Weekend: Party in the Back” at Blum & Poe on view through December 19, 2015. (via Visual News)








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The Mystical Origins of Fruit and Vegetables Photographed by Maciek Jasik 


Although it’s recommended we eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, many are unaware of the origins, mythology, and symbolism many of our favorite healthy foods hold. Several of the most common vegetables took thousands of years to cultivate, the watermelon was originally known for being bland and buried with pharaohs as a water source in the afterlife, and Buddha considered the pomegranate one of the three most blessed fruits.

Photographer Maciek Jasik is fascinated by the tales behind fruits and vegetables and seeks to reintroduce these mystical qualities back into their being through his eerie depictions of squash, pineapples, horned melons, and others. “The Secret Lives of Fruits and Vegetables” aims to bring back the characteristics “that have been lost amidst the clamor of nutritional statistics,” says Jasik. “Each offers its own indelible powers beyond our narrow habits of thought.”

Jasik achieves this by his use of color and deeply-hued smoke bombs, poking small holes within his subjects to make the smoke subtly waft or flood from the inside. Not sticking to a particular color scheme, the images all convey vastly different moods, an eggplant appearing to be involved in a dark alchemical experiment as the pineapple looks like it is straight from an upbeat advertising shoot.

You can see more vegetative smoke-filled photographs from the NYC-based photographer on his Tumblr and Instagram.











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Blooms of Insect Wings Created by Photographer Seb Janiak 

Mimesis – Fecunditatis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis is an ongoing photomontage project by Paris-based photographer Seb Janiak that depicts the wings of insects as the petals of flowers. Janiak is deeply interested in the mechanisms behind mimicry in nature, where an organism develops appendages, textures, and colors that directly mirror its surroundings. This process involves a strange interaction between different organisms he describes as “a complex co-evolutionary mechanism involving three species: the model, the imitator and the dupe.”

To create each artwork Janiak scours antique stores and taxidermist shops to find examples of wings which he then photographs at extremely high resolution. The pieces are digitally edited and pieced together into flower-like forms (a sort of meta mimic of a mimic) which are then output as chromogenic prints measuring nearly 6 feet square.

The Mimesis series, which now comprises 22 pieces, was shown for the first time at the Photo Shanghai art fair last September. The series also won an IPA Lucy award earlier this year. All images courtesy the artist. (via My Modern Met)

Mimesis – Lubon Tranquillitatis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Lubhyati Solitudinis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Lacus Luxuriae, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Hibiscus Trinium, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Aphyllae Maleakht, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Precognitus Christium, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Tradescantia Ganymedia, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Precognitus Christium, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Ornithogale Venusiaïs, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

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The Crooked Forest: A Mysterious Grove of 400 Oddly Bent Pine Trees in Poland 


This stand of bent pine trees known as the Crooked Forest is easily one of the strangest places in Central Europe. Located outside of Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland, the nearly 400 trees are widely agreed to have been shaped by human hands sometime in the 1930s, but for what purposes is still up for debate. Each tree is bent near the base at 90 degrees, a form that could possibly be helpful in boat or furniture making. Strangely enough, every tree is bent in exactly the same direction: due North. A quick search online reveals a host of conspiracy theories ranging from witchcraft to energy fields.

Whatever the reason, we’re glad photographer Kilian Schönberger (previously) stopped by to capture these photos. You can see more from the series on Behance.






Update: Thank you all for your many, many suggestions about the trees. We’ve heard everything from floods to furniture to fire. There still doesn’t seem to be a consensus.

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