National Geographic just announced the winners and honorable mentions of the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year. The dramatic winning photo of a lightning bolt flashing atop the Colima Volcano in Mexico was captured by Sergio Tapiro Velasco. The awards and honorable mentions are defined across three categories: Nature, People, and Cities. Collected here are 10 of our favorites images, but can you see the rest on National Geographic.
Hamburg-based photographer Lars Stieger travels around Europe to photograph architectural structures, but instead of capturing a building in its entirety he opts to isolate only the most unusual aspects, recasting each as a figment of science fiction. For his new series titled Spaceships he pushes this concept to the extreme by applying an otherwordly color scheme that places these real-life buildings onto alien worlds or sends them hurtling through space. You can see more from the series on Behance.
In Daniel Shipp's series Botanical Inquiry, the Sydney-based photographer explores how plants and flowers found at the edges of urban infrastructure fit into our modern world. Shipp collects seemingly unremarkable plants and photographs the subjects in built dioramas, an environment that allows him to manipulate the relationship between foreground and background with a controlled precision. Through this process he is able to create dramatic photographs in-camera, shooting digitally but using old visual effects techniques developed for early cinema.
By highlighting botanical specimens we have culturally labeled “weeds,” Shipp attempts to shift the viewer’s perspective on flora that they might walk past each day. He recasts these marginal plants as the subject of each of his photographic stories, showcasing their knack for survival even in the face of pollution and harmful human intervention.
“There are some beautiful ‘weeds’ that we might walk past all the time,” Shipp explains to Colossal. “I knew that if I could present these often unnoticed plants in the right context that there was potential for storytelling. Next time you go for a walk make an effort to look for plants in places you wouldn’t normally—shopping center carparks, service stations etc.”
Shipp further explained that one of the most beautiful colors he has photographed for the series was found on the underside of the foliage of a plant common to industrial parks across Sydney. The hidden purple was one of the most incredible metallic shades he had ever seen, and it had been sneakily surrounding him for the majority of his life.
Shipp was recently announced as the winner of Magnum and LensCulture's 2017 Fine Art Photo Award. You can see more of his photographs on his website and Instagram, and take a behind-the-scenes look at his Botanical Inquiry series in the short video below. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Korean artist Lee Ji-hee builds paper models of old film cameras, recreating the details of their every mechanism through expertly folded paper. Although his paper cameras match the original in every aspect of their form, the colors he selects for his designs are much different. Instead of matching the black, brown, and grey color schemes consistent with the 1952 Leica IIIf Red Dial or 1938 Super Kodak Six-20, Lee chooses flashy colors and patterns that give each device an updated aesthetic. You can see more of Lee’s folded paper designs (including paper hamburgers, pizza, and chicken nuggets) on the artist’s Behance and Instagram.
Like the loop-de-loop scribbles of a child, artist Jung Lee (previously) constructed a series of neon light sculptures that were installed and photographed against cinematic landscapes as part of her series titled “No More“. Earlier neon works by the artist have focused on legible typographic phrases and words, with these new pieces taking a markedly abstract turn, perhaps in direct connection with the series’ title. The neon sculptures were installed on foggy snowbanks and reflective beaches, adding a bit of intrigue as to their intention. Photographs from the “No More” series were on view amongst several additional light installations last year at One and J Gallery. (via Fubiz)
Oklahoma-based photographer Natalie Greenroyd was sitting on a raft in a swimming pool when her husband decided to jump in to splash her. She happened to have an underwater camera in-hand and clicked the shutter at just the right moment. You can see more of her photography on Instagram. (via Feature Shoot)