Category: Photography

Airportraits: Composite Flight Path Photos Capture Planes Landing and Departing from Worldwide Airports 


For his ambitious Airportraits series, photographer Mike Kelley sets up camp outside of airports and meticulously photographs planes as they takeoff and land—shooting thousands of photos per location. He then uses Photoshop to isolate the planes and combines the images into the composite “portraits” you see here. Each image tells a fascinating story about the nature of each airport and the many unseen variables that affect the flight paths of each airport like noise regulations, plane size, and air traffic patterns.

When he initially began the project two years ago, Kelley’s plan was relatively straightforward: fly to 10 or so cities around the globe and spend a day or two at each airport scouting the location, taking photos, and then off to the next destination. This plan worked well in Europe where the weather was consistent, but soon he faced the reality that seasonal weather in places like Japan was completely unpredictable. In Tokyo he left without a single usable photo after days of trying. Some cities he had to return to 2-3 times in hopes the weather would improve, and in other places it would take nearly a week to photograph enough planes to make an image.

During editing, most planes are left “as is” in the location they appeared in the sky while taking off. Planes in the processes of landing proved to be more difficult. “For the landing images, I did take slight artistic liberty with the position of the aircraft, because in real life the planes follow a very specific glidepath to the touchdown point,” Kelley shares with Colossal. “If I hadn’t moved them, all the planes would be directly on top of one another and there’d be no real dynamics or movement in the image.”

In all, Kelley created 19 composite images you can explore on his website, all of which are available as limited edition fine art prints. You can see more of his photography on Instagram. (via Boing Boing, Kottke)










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The Shadowy Skyline of Chicago Towers Over Lake Michigan 


Last Friday afternoon, photographer Nick Ulivieri was on an aerial photoshoot for a client when the helicopter pilot took a long turn out over Lake Michigan so he could better capture the shadow of the Hancock Center. After reviewing his photos later he quickly realized the exaggerated autumn shadow of the skyline looked fantastic when he flipped the photo. The result is the image you see here. Ulivieri consistently takes some of the best photos of Chicago year-round, aerial or otherwise. Such as this, and this, and this. Well worth a follow.

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Artist Thomas Jackson Suspends Swarms of Objects Mid-Air for His “Emergent Behavior” Series 

Cups no. 3, Novato, California, 2014

Cups no. 3, Novato, California, 2014

Photographer Thomas Jackson (previously) is intrigued by the movements and behaviors of swarms, something he seeks to replicate in temporary installations he constructs for the purpose of making a single photo as part of his Emergent Behavior series. From swarming locusts, to schools of fish or flocks of birds, the San Francisco-based artist recreates these self-organizing behaviors with common objects like plastic cups, party streamers, or hula hoops. Each piece is made as seen here using various methods of filament and other hidden structures that hold everything in place for the photograph—nothing is digitally edited and the pieces aren’t being thrown through the air. From his statement about the project:

The images attempt to tap the mixture of fear and fascination that those phenomena tend to evoke, while creating an uneasy interplay between the natural and the manufactured and the real and the imaginary. At the same time, each image is an experiment in juxtaposition. By constructing the installations from unexpected materials and placing them where they seem least to belong, I aim to tweak the margins of our visual vocabulary, and to invite fresh interpretations of everyday things.

Jackson will be showing many images from Emergent Behavior at Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston starting November 18, 2016.


Party Streamers no. 2, Tumey Hills, California, 2015

Balloons no. 1, Pescadero, California, 2016

Balloons no. 1, Pescadero, California, 2016

Hula Hoops no. 1, Lee Vining, California, 2015

Hula Hoops no. 1, Lee Vining, California, 2015

Hula Hoops no. 2, Montara, California, 2016

Hula Hoops no. 2, Montara, California, 2016

Glow Necklaces no. 2, Pescadero, California, 2016

Glow Necklaces no. 2, Pescadero, California, 2016

Straws no. 3, San Francisco, California, 2015

Straws no. 3, San Francisco, California, 2015

Take Out Containers no. 1, Montara, California, 2016

Take Out Containers no. 1, Montara, California, 2016

Tutus no. 1, Montara, California, 2016

Tutus no. 1, Montara, California, 2016

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A Volcanic Eruption Photographed Against the Backdrop of the Milky Way, Moon, and a Streaking Meteor 

While photographing the surface flow of a volcano several weeks ago in Hawaii, photographer Mike Mezeul managed to capture an extraordinary number of natural phenomena in this single shot. His original intent was to photograph just the volcano itself, but he soon realized the scene had a bit more potential.

“When I found this surface flow and saw the clouds had cleared out, I knew I needed to at least try to get the stars above with the lava,” he tells Colossal. “As twilight faded, I saw that the position of the moon—which was just a sliver—was to the right of the Milky Way so I figured what the heck, might as well try to get the Milky Way with the lava.” After only three shots another fortuitous event occurred: a meteor just happened to streak across the sky.

For the skeptics, Mezeul shares that he used a Nikon D810 with a Nikon 14-24mm lens, with the following settings: F2.8, ISO 2500, 25″ exposure. You can see more of his landscape work on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

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The Extraordinary Details of Tiny Creatures Captured with a Laser-Scanning Microscope by Igor Siwanowicz 


Acilius diving beetle male front tarsus (foot) 100x

If you’ve ever wondered how a diving beetle swims through the water or manages to rest just on the surface, the answer is in part because its foot is infinitely more complicated than your own. As seen above, this microscopic image of a male Acilius sulcatus (diving beetle) by photographer Igor Siwanowicz reveals the extraordinary complexity of this aquatic insect’s tiny appendage. This is just one of many examples of Siwanowicz’s work as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus. His brilliantly colored images show the tree-like structures of moth antennas, the wild details of barnacle legs, and the otherworldly shapes of plant spores. The photos are made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope capable of “seeing” vast amounts of detail beyond what you might capture with a traditional lens-based microscope. You can see much more of his nature photography here. (via Synaptic Stimuli, Wired)




Midge Pupa


Paraphyses & Sporangia

Isopod appendage


Front leg of whirligig beetle


Moth antennae

Moth antennae, detail

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A Towering Iceberg and Its Shadow Split the World into Quadrants 


Captured by Canadian photographer David Burdeny in 2007, this amazing photo of a tabular iceberg rising straight out of the Weddel Sea appears to organize the world into four neat quadrants. Titled “Mercators Projection,” the photo is from his series “North/South” taken while on tour of Antarctica and Greenland. You can follow Burdeny’s most recent work on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

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