Category: Photography

Things Come Apart, 50 Disassembled Objects in 21,959 Individual Parts by Todd McLellan 

Bicycle, 1980s; Raleigh; Component count: 893. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Bicycle, 1980s; Raleigh; Component count: 893. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Chainsaw, 1990s; Homelite; Component count: 286. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Laptop Computer, 2006; Apple; Component count: 639. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Children’s Wagon, 2011; Schwinn; Component count: 296. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Smartphone, 2007; BlackBerry; Component count: 120. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Smartphone, 2007; BlackBerry; Component count: 120. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

Swiss Army Knife, 2000s; Victorinox; Component count: 38.


I’ll never forget the excitement I felt the first time I disassembled a telephone. I was eight years old, on our back porch with just an old screwdriver and a pair of pliers, but seeing what was inside this everyday object was a discovery akin to unearthing a dinosaur. The sudden knowledge that the speaker part was magnetic and contained a mile of thin copper wiring was practically miraculous. When the day was over, I was surrounded by pieces of am/fm radio, an old handheld video game, and a toy car, none of which would ever be assembled again, but that really wasn’t the point. Master disassembler Todd McLellan remarks on a similar childhood discovery in his latest book, Things Come Apart from Thames & Hudson, but for him, it wasn’t fleeting like it was with me. It was the beginning of his life-long career in documenting the technological methods of modern mass production in reverse.

In Things Come Apart, McLellan exposes the inner working of 50 objects and 21,959 individual components as he reflects on the permanence of vintage machines built several decades ago—sturdy gadgets meant to be broken and repaired—versus today’s manufacturing trend of limited use followed by quick obsolescence. Captured in his photography are myriad parts laid flat and organized by function, creating recontextualized images of wagons, chainsaws, computers, and phones. He also shoots high-speed photos of carefully orchestrated drops where pieces are shot in midair as they come crashing down, creating impressive visual explosions. Also appearing in the book is his pièce de résistance: a Zenith CH 650 aircraft photographed as individual components.

The book is officially published tomorrow, but you can order it now on Amazon and Thames & Hudson. All images copyright Todd McLellan courtesy of the publisher.

Update: If you’re in Chicago, McLellan currently has an exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry through May 19th.

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Liquid Sculptures: Powerful Waves Photographed by Pierre Carreau Seem Frozen in Time 









Photographer Pierre Carreau was born in 1972 near Paris surrounded by a family of artists including a photographer, painter and sculptor, all of which would influence his creative upbringing as well as his artistic output. As a child he was always fascinated by the manifestation of waves and the diversity of color, shape, and size found in each of them. Some of his first photography projects involved work for surfing magazines and water sport equipment manufacturers.

Carreau’s work has now moved into fine art as he shoots waves with a variety of high speed cameras using various macro and wide angle lenses, capturing water shapes that appear more sculptural than liquid. These are truly some of the most remarkable wave photos I’ve ever seen and you can see many, many more over on his website. He also has a number of fine art prints available over at Clic Gallery.

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Manon Wethly’s Instagram Photos of Airborne Beverages 




Belgium-based photographer and designer Manon Wethly keeps a wonderful Instagram account where more traditional landscapes of the European countryside are punctuated with the occasional airborne beverage. No liquid is safe from being catapulted in front of her camera, Wethly uses coffee, milk, juice, water and other drinks to get the perfect mix of form and color to make some pretty fantastic shots. She says most of the photos are captured with her iPhone though she’s also begun experimenting with larger cameras. See more of her high speed photography over on her blog. (via junk culture)

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A Hurricane on Saturn 


Photographed in November of 2012 by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera, this is a photograph of a hurricane nearly 1,250 miles wide on the surface of Saturn. Via NASA:

The spinning vortex of Saturn’s north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).

This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn’s north pole captured by Cassini’s imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn’s north pole was last imaged under sunlight by NASA’s Voyager 2 in 1981; however, the observation geometry did not allow for detailed views of the poles. Consequently, it is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar hurricane has been active.

The Cassini–Huygens is a robotic spacecraft launched in 1997 for the purpose of studying Saturn. Since arriving in 2004 the orbiter’s mission has been extended twice. It most recently studied the Great White Spot, a massive storm that occurs at roughly 30 year intervals that is so large it can be seen from Earth with a simple telescope. (via this isn’t happiness)

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Happy End: Photos of Miraculous Airplane Crashes where All the Passengers Survived 

Dancing on Thin Ice, Happy End #9.1, Canada, 2012 / Bristol freighter broke through ice while landing in 1956, all survived.

Bamboo in the Wine, Happy End #31.1, USA, 2012 / Cessna T50 bamboo bomber ran out of fuel in the 60s, all on board survived and walked over frozen river to Fort Yukon.

The Scenic Route to Nowhere, Happy End #3.1, Mexico, 2010 / Grumman Albatross, no official report as used for drug trafficking, locals say all survived.

Forces at Work, Happy End #2.1, Canada, 2010 / Douglas C3 stalled at take-off on skis in deep snow, all 6 survived. February 1950.

Knock on Wood, Happy End #11.3, USA, 2012 / Fairchild C-82 with total electrical failure, all survived for three days at -50°F (-45°C).

Passion is Rebel to Reason, Happy End #4.1, West Sahara, 2011 / Avro Shackleton Pelican, 25y SAAF, forced landing on flight to UK, all 19 saved by Polisario Rebels in July of 1994.

Never Eat More than You Can Lift, Happy End #5.1, Canada, 2011 / Curtiss C46 Commando, nicknamed Mrs. Piggy as she could load so much freight, including pigs. All survived, 1979.

Fuel of Life, Happy End #6.1, Canada, 2011 / Curtiss C46 Commando, lost engine power on a fuel run, all survived in 1977.

Life is a Tide, Happy End #8.1, USA, 2012 / The pilot swam to shore with favorable tides in 1947 and is still alive 65 years later.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention this post made my palms sweat a bit while writing the details, but despite the unnerving visuals of these downed aircraft, each one of these photographs by Dietmar Eckell tells the story of a genuine miracle. In his series Happy End Eckell captures incredible moments in aviation history where planes went down and everyone walked away or was rescued shortly thereafter. Above are just a selection of photos, many more of which can be found over on his website, where you can also explore Eckell’s unceasing fascination with abandoned locations and objects. He’s currently raising money over on Indiegogo to print a 96-page book complete with 50 photos and accompanied by facts about each plane and the story of the survivors. (via laughing squid)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth: An Incredible Glimpse Inside an Active Volcano 









Two Kyrgyzstan-based photographers, Andrew and Luda, run a joint Live Journal account where they post amazing photos of outdoor scenery, wildlife, and recently: active volcanoes. Earlier this year the duo trekked to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia where the volcano complex known as Tolbachik was in active eruption. Among the numerous hellish vistas photographed by the team was this deep volcanic cave that offered a glimpse of what it might look like inside an active volcano. You can see dozens of shots from their trip organized into several sets here, not to mention the video above. (via ian brooks, my modern met)

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Smeared Skies Made from Hundreds of Stacked Photographs by Matt Molloy 








Living on the shore of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto, photographer Matt Molloy has daily encounters with brilliant sunsets and cloudscapes that he’s been photographing for over three years. One day he began experimenting with time-lapse sequences by taking hundreds of images as the sun set and the clouds moved through the sky. Molloy then digitally stacked the numerous photos to reveal shifts in color and shape reminiscent of painterly brush strokes that smeared the sky. You can learn more about his “timestack” technique over at Digital Photo Magazine and prints are available here. (via bored panda)

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