One of six astronauts currently on board the International Space Station, geophysicist Alexander Gerst spends much of his free time staring out the window as the world zooms by 205 miles below, camera in-hand. Since arriving at the ISS in June of this year Gerst has taken tons of photographs that document hurricanes, floods, dust storms, and oil fields.
One of his favorite things to shoot are the shadows cast by clouds, something that appears surprisingly dramatic from space. Dense cloud formations can create long shadows that stretch for thousands of miles across the Earth’s surface as they eventually disappear into a black horizon. You can see new photos from Gerst daily on Twitter. (via Stellar)
When meeting somebody for the first time, or maybe just viewing a portrait, the brain goes into overdrive for a few seconds to quickly form a first impression. Whether we like it or not, rapid assumptions are made based on age, gender, race, culture, physical appearance, the surrounding environment, and especially other people present—all things that help form who we are, real or perceived. Since 1999, Czech photographer Dita Pepe has explored this idea of identity and environment in two photographic series titled Self-Portraits with Men and Self-Portraits with Women, where the photographer seeks to completely assimilate into the lives of other people.
In the beginning, Pepe first posed with people she knew, but now works with people from all walks of life with vastly different backgrounds and family structures, often incorporating her own daughters into the portraits. Each photograph is shot on location where a family or person lives, or engages in their hobbies or daily life. Pepe goes to great length to appear as if she belongs in each portrait, a chameleonlike quality that some compare to the works of Cindy Sherman; however, unlike Sherman’s studio portraits, Pepe’s images appear more like hasty snapshots, bringing a strange level of believability and authenticity to each portrait.
Pepe most recently collaborated with writer Bara Baronova on a new book of photography titled Love Yourself, and you can see more portraits with both women and men on Feature Shoot and at Lens Culture.
Photographer Gray Malin was recently in Chicago where he shot a number of amazing aerial photos around the city including beaches, Navy Pier, and spots around Millenium Park. For some reason, even though it’s been on view for nearly 8 years now, I’ve never seen a photo of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate taken from directly above like this. It looks almost exactly like a small lake filled with Chicago’s skyline. You can see more from Malin’s trip here. (via Art Effect)
Over the last three months photographer Thomas Herbrich snapped some 100,000 individual photographs of smoke, looking for unexpected anamalies and fortuitous coincidences where familiar shapes emerged. It’s fascinating to see how the brain tries to create order out of chaos, just like looking up at the clouds, suddenly familiar patterns seem to stand out: faces, hands, or scrolls of paper. After carefully sifting through each image Herbrich selected 20 final shots for this series, aptly titled, Smoke. These are a few of our favorites, but you can see the rest here.
Update: Apparently the psychological phenomenon of seeing images or recognizing patterns in random images/data is called pareidolia. Thanks, Sam!
Fine art photographer Kylli Sparre (previously) has continued to create her dance-inspired photographs, almost all of which depict the artist herself in various dreamlike states and situations. Working with outdoor landscapes, and bodies of water or ice, Sparre fuses years of formal ballet training with these dramatic and performative photographs. The artist has a show in Amsterdam next month at Qlickeditions, and you can follow her work more on Facebook.
For a photographer living in a major city filled with iconic architecture, museums, and myriad tourist destinations, the struggle to capture an authentic image is great. This was the exact situation photographer Michael Wolf found himself in after moving to Paris from Hong Kong in 2008. Surrounded in a city filled with sights that could easily be interpreted as cliché, Wolf pointed his camera away from the recognizable landmarks and instead focused on the dense rooftops surrounding the city. Packed with stout chimneys, tv antennas, graffiti, and numerous geometric forms, these shots present a strange abstracted view of a usually recognizable place.
Time Slice is an ongoing series of photographs by Richard Silver that explores how iconic buildings and monuments change in appearance from day into night. Silver shoots some 36 photos at intervals over several hours and then layers them into a final composition. We’ve seen a similar approach by Fong Qi Wei (and in motion), but the focus on a single structure tells an interesting story about each place, and conveys more than just a single shot. You can see more from the series here. All images courtesy the artist. (via Vacilando)