Over the last three years photographer Jem Cresswell has photographed humpback whales during their annual migration to Vava’u, Tonga, swimming with the great creatures in the vast waters of the southern Pacific Ocean. Cresswell’s series Giants captures the individual personality of the great whales, each of which seem to pose specifically for his underwater camera.
“I was initially drawn to the whales’ gentle nature, sheer size and the feeling of insignificance in their presence,” said Cresswell. “Over the past 3 years returning to Tonga, I have sought to capture intimate portraits of these complex and conscious animals, bringing the viewer into the world of these mystical giants.”
In addition to being intrigued by the animals’ size, the Australian-based artist is also fascinated by their brains. In 2006, spindle cells, which were only thought to be present in humans and great apes, were also found to exist within the brains of humpback whales. These cells, which are tied to social organization, empathy, and intuition, were found to be more than three times as prevalent in humpback whales than they were in humans.
This sense of humanness is one of the reasons that Cresswell chooses to shoot his underwater subjects in black and white. “The main focus of the project concerns the whale’s sense of character and consciousness,” he explained to Colossal. “To me, black and white avoids distraction and draws the viewer directly to the subject. Black and white also has a sense of timelessness to it, which I feel represents how long these creatures have been around for.”
Cresswell will continue photographing humpback whales in the future, but at the present he is taking a break to work on a new series focused on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. You can get a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cresswell’s underwater shoots on his Instagram and in the short video below. (via My Modern Met)
NASA’s Juno spacecraft launched in 2011, arriving at Jupiter in July of 2016 to begin a series of what will eventually be 12 orbits around the Solar System’s largest planet. The path selected for this particular mission is a wide polar orbit, most of which is spent well away from Jupiter. But once every 53 days Juno screams from top to bottom across the surface of the gaseous planet, recording data and snapping photographs for two hours. It takes around 1.5 days to download the six megabytes of data collected during the transit.
Juno only takes a handful of still photographs each time it passes Jupiter, all of which are made available to the public. Lucky for us Sean Doran stitched together the images from Juno’s last transit (colorized by Gerald Eichstädt) to create an approximate video/animation of what it looks like to fly over the giant planet. Music added by Avi Solomon.
Update: There’s now an extended version.
Although rare, full cloud inversions are something we know well here, covering the same phenomena over the last few years both here and here. This particular timelapse video by filmmaker Harun Mehmedinovic captures how beautifully the descending clouds imitate waves when trapped within the Grand Canyon, undulating against the uppermost edges of the natural wonder’s deep valley.
The video was filmed as a part of SKYGLOW, a crowdfunded project that seeks to explore the effects of urban light pollution by examining some of the darkest skies across North America. You can see breathtaking stills from the video, which originally premiered on BBC Earth, below. (via PetaPixel)
As a companion piece to his 2012 short film “Fall,” filmmaker Jamie Scott spent the last three years filming a massive variety of flowers in this seemingly endless parade of buds opening into blooms titled “Spring.” The entire film was shot on a small mini-stage inside the wardrobe of his New York home, and the results are stitched together into this seamless time-lapse. The visuals and music were created in tandem with composer Jim Perkins who received edits and wrote the music accordingly. You can learn more about how it was shot over on Fstoppers.
Jakarta-based designer and retoucher Aditya Aryanto posed the question: what would the blocky digital creatures in Minecraft look like if they actually walked the Earth? The result is a totally absurd series of retouched photographs titled Minecraft in Real Life. Aryanto snagged several royalty-free images from Pixabay and Unsplash and Photoshopped them into the familiar cubic beings. You can see more from the series on Behance. (via PetaPixel)
Mirror 11, 2017
Since 2003, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has made at least twenty journeys to the center of Lake Eyre, a desert lake with an extremely high concentration of salt. Fredericks drags all of his equipment out into the barren landscape, capturing the dramatic sky reflected in both the inch-deep water and his rectangular mirror. The images are breathtaking color-based works, my favorites featuring a double horizon locked within the mirror and the water below.
“In the ‘Vanity’ series, rather than reflecting our own ‘surface’ image, the mirror is positioned to draw our gaze out and away from ourselves, into the environment, driving us towards an emotional engagement with light, colour and space,” said Fredericks about the series.
Images from Vanity are included in his solo exhibition titled Salt:Vanity at Hamiltons Gallery in London through June 14, 2017. You can see a behind-the-scenes look at Fredericks’ photographic process and journey into Lake Eyre in the short video above. (via Ignant)
Mirror 13, 2017
Mirror 30, 2017
Mirror 6, 2017
Mirror 12, 2017, all images © Murray Fredericks
Mirror 18, 2017