Hot on the heels of their new and improved Pillars of Creation image, NASA just published a new photo that appears to be the largest happy face in existence. The eyes alone are two different galaxies, SDSSCGB 8842.3 and SDSSCGB 8842.4, and the smile is an optical illusion caused by something called strong gravitational lensing, a phenomenon where the gravitational pull of an object is so powerful it causes spacetime to warp, effectively distorting the light around it. You can read more about it over on Hubble’s website. (via Hubble)
Fascinated by the mysteries of the ocean his entire life, photographer Pierre Carreau (previously) documents the power and serenity of ocean waves in his now decade-long project AquaViva. After obtaining a business degree and going into IT, Carreau dramatically changed course in 2004 and moved with his family to the Caribbean island of St. Barthélemy where he now photographs waves as an artistic pursuit.
Carreau’s high-speed photos capture waves that appear frozen in time, giving them an almost sculptural appearance. “Water is amazing,” Carreau says. “Basically it has no color, but through reflection and refraction it can possess all of them, the entire spectrum of light.” More from his statement about AquaViva:
Carreau observes that the photographic images of AquaViva may sometimes be perceived as objects rather than as two-dimensional representations. The play of light off the multitude of facets and curves on the water’s surface gives the image a sculptural quality that enhances the sense of stillness and power. This simultaneous depiction of roiling movement and suspended kinetic energy parallels the dual nature of the oceans and of water itself: life-giving and yet dangerous, inviting and yet fearsome, primordial and yet ever-changing and always renewed.
Seen here is a collection of new photos from 2014 mixed with a few earlier shots we had yet to feature on Colossal, and there’s plenty more to see.
Photographer Jarred Decker recently stopped by Silver Falls, Oregon where he captured this amazing view of North Falls that looks uncannily like an eyeball. The final image is actually three stitched shots Decker took from inside a cave, and he says it wasn’t his intention to create an eyeball-like photo, just a happy coincidence. He has prints available through Fine Art America. (via Colossal Submissions)
Prophecy is the latest dog portraiture project from New York-based photographer Sophie Gamand (previously) that examines the extremely strange and comical appearance of various hairless dogs. Gamand worked mostly with two types of dogs, the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli (commonly the Mexican hairless dog), breeds that archaeologists have dated as being more than 3,000 years old. From her statement about Prophecy:
The physical qualities of hairless dogs and the mystery surrounding them inspired me to create a gallery of faces like old wise men or philosophers, shamans from a different era, maybe a different universe. Gamand imagined her models as prophets or mad scientists, grabbing us and planting their eyes deep into ours, shaking us and shouting, as Philippus the Prophet in The Adventures of Tintin would: “The judgment is upon you! The end is near!” Nature looking straight at us and begging us to repent.
The series includes some 20 individual portraits, many more of which you can see on her website.
Here at Colossal we’ve long been fans of photographer Michael Paul Smith whose broad life experiences lead him to the creation of Elgin Park, a fictional 20th century town filled with miniature 1/24th-scale models of cars and buildings. Smith mixes his carefully crafted model sets with die-cut automobiles and real-life backdrops, taking advantage of an optical illusion known as forced perspective. The photos have been a massive hit with the internet, racking up over 70 million views on his Flickr account alone.
Smith recently sat down with documentary director and producer Danny Yourd of Animal to discuss his significant personal challenges and life experiences that are now the driving force behind his photography. This is a must-watch for any creative grappling with aspects of identity or personal history in their artwork. He’s is also on the verge of publishing a new book, Elgin Park, which is available now for preorder. Seen here are some of his most recent photos along with behind-the-scenes views, there’s much more over on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)
Weather photographer Mike Hollingshead, whose impressive storm photography we first featured around this time last year, has taken his editing a bit further by importing his supercell thunderstorm photos into Photoshop and setting them in motion. Hollingshead says these animations aren’t created like more traditional cinemagraphs, where moving elements from a video are isolated and the rest of the image is masked out. Instead, he uses only a static image and creates the animation from thin air. Most of the photos you see here were shot in Nebraska between 2004-2013. You can see many more examples on his website.
The Whole Universe Surrenders, Emäsalo, 2015
Divided – 2014, Meri-Pori, Finland
Highway – 2014, Finland
Pathway – 2014, Tuusula, Finland
Frozen Echo – 2014, Porvoo, Finland
Lost at Night, 2014
Self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt (previously) is drawn into the night where he often finds himself camped next to his tripod, waiting hours for an exposure of a frozen coastal scene or a dark and brooding forest. Many of his images are composites of two photos taken from the same location, a shorter exposure of the sky merged with a significantly longer exposure of the ground which is then manipulated in Lightroom. Lagerstedt is extremely open about his process, sharing tutorials and blog posts about how he works on his website. You can also follow him on Instagram.