Category: Photography

Guido Mocafico’s Photographs of the Blaschka’s Exquisite Scientific Glass Models 

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Octopus vulgaris, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of London, UK.

Father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka dedicated their lives to creating some of the most exquisite glass models ever produced by human hands over the course of overlapping careers spanning the mid 1800s through the 1930s. Originally from Bohemia, but based in Dresden, the artists used glassblowing techniques to fabricate near lifelike sculptures of plants and invertebrates including jellyfish, snails, sea anemones, corals, hydroids, starfish, sea-cucumbers, and other creatures.

The Blaschka glass models are made from clear, colored, and painted glass, sometimes assembled with wires. All of the pieces were commissioned by institutions for private research collections and were never sold directly to the public. It’s estimated the father and son made approximately 4,400 individual models during their lifetimes, the majority of which survive today.

Over the last few years photographer Guido Mocafico has set out to document many of the most impressive models created by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka that are currently stored in museums and universities around the world. Using his own unique style to illuminate each object against a stark black background, Mocafico manages to capture the minute details of each artwork, bringing to life sculptures that are now more than a century old.

A large exhibition of Mocafico’s photos, titled simply Blaschka, are currently on view at Hamiltons Gallery in London through May 24, 2016. You can explore more photos on Artsy. (via Juxtapoz)

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Aulosphaera elegantissima, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Dublin, Ireland.

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Bougainvillia fruiticosa, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2014. With the courtesy of the University Museum of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Carmarina hastata stage 4, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2014. With the courtesy of the University of Vienna, Austria.

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Porpita meditteranea, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Geneva, Switzerland.

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Drones Rigged with LED Lights Dramatically Illuminate Landscapes at Night 

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All images provided by Reuben Wu.

Photographer Reuben Wu‘s (previously) latest series attempts to bring the alien mystique of planetary exploration to our own world, creating theatrically-lit compositions with the aid of GPS-enabled drones. “Lux Noctis” is influenced by a confluence of 19th century romantic painting and science fiction which is expressed in the dramatic ways each drone lights the earthen subjects from above.

“My aim is to portray a unique perspective of the planet we live on by illuminating night landscapes with an aerial LED light,” said Wu. “Scenes which show not only the beauty of the landscape but also the versatility and awesomeness of adapting new technology to create art.”

Wu used a prototype AL250 light by Fiilex mounted on a 3DR Solo UAV. Typically known for their ability to capture visuals below rather than light them, Wu’s drones serve as flying light beams which circumvent expensive cranes or helicopters previously used to light scenes.

You can see more of Wu’s dramatically lit work on his Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel, thnx John!)

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A Photographer’s Digital Journey to Produce a Lake of Shattered Mirrors 

"Impact" by Erik Johansson, image provided by artist.

“Impact” by Erik Johansson, image provided by artist.

Swedish photographer Erik Johansson had a vision for a digital photograph of a lake shattering like a mirror, an image he wanted to produce as accurately as possible. To achieve this effect for Impact, Johansson bought 17 square meters of mirrors, found a boat and a model, and posed all three in a stone pit until he got the best shot for the final image. Several months of planning, shooting, and editing later and he has an entire video that documents the tasks that lie far beyond the many hours he spent in Photoshop.

For this personal project Johansson shot on a Hasselblad H5D-40, edited on a Eizo CG318-4k monitor with Adobe Photoshop, and filmed the entire process with a 4k GoPro. You can see more of Johansson’s behind-the-scenes videos and finished images on his Instagram and Youtube channel. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Explore the Vast Scientific Collections of D.C.’s National Museum of Natural History Paired with Respective Experts 

A presentation of entomology specimens arranged within one aisle of the Entomology Department compactor collection cabinets at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Designed to illustrate the size and scope of the Entomology collection. May 9, 2006. Featured researchers: Dr. David Furth, Collections Manager; Dr. Ted Schultz, Research Entomologist; Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Senior Scientist; Patricia Gentili-Poole, Museum Technician.

A presentation of entomology specimens arranged within one aisle of the Entomology Department compactor collection cabinets at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Designed to illustrate the size and scope of the Entomology collection. May 9, 2006. Featured researchers: Dr. David Furth, Collections Manager; Dr. Ted Schultz, Research Entomologist; Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Senior Scientist; Patricia Gentili-Poole, Museum Technician.

Carefully arranged within thousands of drawers, flat files, and shelving units are the collections of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) which together comprise 90% of the Smithsonian’s collections. Found in these material assortments are the reference objects that help scientists, researchers, and museum curators understand our planet—from solid earth fragments to biological material and cultural objects from civilizations long deceased.

In this phenomenal photo series from the Smithsonian we get to see the many researchers paired with the items they explore and evaluate behind doors closed to the general public. You can learn more about these many varied collections on NMNH’s website. (via Juxtapoz)

The Botany Department Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, displaying algae specimens, including coraline algae, wet specimens and the usual herbarium sheets. Featured researchers: Dr. James Norris (right, front), his research assistant Bob Sims (left, front), and associate researcher, Katie Norris (left, back).

The Botany Department Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, displaying algae specimens, including coralline algae, wet specimens and the usual herbarium sheets. Featured researchers: Dr. James Norris (right, front), his research assistant Bob Sims (left, front), and associate researcher, Katie Norris (left, back). All images by Chip Clark.

Botanical collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Botany staff present are Dr. David Bruce Lellinger (left, front), Carol Kellof (right, middle), and Rusty Russell (left, back).

Botanical collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Botany staff present are Dr. David Bruce Lellinger (left, front), Carol Kellof (right, middle), and Rusty Russell (left, back).

A view of one part of the Paleontology collection in the Smithsonian Institution's National Musuem of Natural History, arranged by the addition of representative specimens from other parts of the three floors of fossils in the East Wing. Staff: Dr. Scott Wing, Chairman of the Department of Paleontology.

A view of one part of the Paleontology collection in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, arranged by the addition of representative specimens from other parts of the three floors of fossils in the East Wing. Staff: Dr. Scott Wing, Chairman of the Department of Paleontology.

Whale skeletons from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology's marine mammals collections are displayed in storage at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland.

Whale skeletons from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s marine mammals collections are displayed in storage at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland.

Anthropological collections on display in Pod 4 (designed to house oversized objects) at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland. Anthropology collections staff present. Panoramic image #7 of 7 at 26mm focal length.

Anthropological collections on display in Pod 4 (designed to house oversized objects) at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland. Anthropology collections staff present. Panoramic image #7 of 7 at 26mm focal length.

An assortment of mineral specimens from the Department of Mineral Sciences' collections are displayed in the storage vault known as the "Blue Room," at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Mineral Sciences staff present are (left) Paul Pohwat, Collections Manager of Minerals, and (right) Russell Feather, Collections Manager of Gems.

An assortment of mineral specimens from the Department of Mineral Sciences’ collections are displayed in the storage vault known as the “Blue Room,” at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Mineral Sciences staff present are (left) Paul Pohwat, Collections Manager of Minerals, and (right) Russell Feather, Collections Manager of Gems.

Collections from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Invertebrate Zoology Staff present: Paul Greenhall, Robert Hershler, Ellen Strong, Jerry Harasewych, and Linda Cole.

Collections from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Invertebrate Zoology Staff present: Paul Greenhall, Robert Hershler, Ellen Strong, Jerry Harasewych, and Linda Cole.

Mice from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology's mammals collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Mice from the Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s mammals collections are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Department of Vertebrate Zoology's wet collections of fish specimens preserved in alcohol, located at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

The Department of Vertebrate Zoology’s wet collections of fish specimens preserved in alcohol, located at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Anthropological collections are displayed in Pod 1 at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

Anthropological collections are displayed in Pod 1 at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

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The Extraordinary Iridescent Details of Peacock Feathers Captured Under a Microscope 

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In this series of photographs featuring the delicate details of peacock feathers, photographer Waldo Nell relied on an Olympus BX 53 microscope to take hundreds of individual shots that were combined to create each image seen here. The process, called photo stacking, blends dozens or even hundreds of photos taken at different focal points and then stitches them together to extend the depth of field. At this level of detail the feathers look more like ornate jewelry, thick braids of iridescent necklaces or bracelets, rather than something that grows organically from the wings of a bird.

By day Nell is a software engineer in Port Moody, BC, Canada, but is fascinated by technology, science, and nature, all of which he merges in his photography practice. You can see more of his work on Flickr. (via Reddit)

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Dramatic Aerial Landscape Photos of Our Impact on Nature Captured by Daniel Beltrá 

February 8th 2007. Southern Ocean.

February 8th 2007, Southern Ocean, all images © Daniel Beltrá

During his past two decades as a photographer, Daniel Beltrá has photographed landscapes in all seven continents, exploring equally the beauty and tragedy found in nature across the globe. Beltrá works mostly in the air, providing the viewer with the expansive scale of what he encounters while perched inside an airplane or helicopter such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which he captured over the span of two months.

Other locations the Spanish photographer has traveled to included the Brazilian Amazon, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans, and the Patagonian ice fields. Beltrá was drawn to each of these locations due to the complexity of nature found at each. He explains in his artist statement that the “fragility of our ecosystems is a continuous thread throughout my work. My photographs show the vast scale of transformation our world is under from human-made stresses.”

Beltrá hopes that his unique aerial perspective and subject matter instill an understanding of how we are directly affecting the environment around us and at the edges of the globe. Many of his images from locations in Iceland and Greenland were recently included in his solo exhibition “Ice/Green Lands” at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago that closed on March 5, 2016. The photographer also recently published a collection of his images from the 2010 BP oil spill in his book SPILL. You can see more of his expansive landscape photography on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Ignant)

August 19th, 2014. Ilulissat, Greenland

August 19th, 2014, Ilulissat, Greenland

August 24th, 2014. Ilulissat, Greenland

August 24th, 2014, Ilulissat, Greenland

July 7th 2014, Iceland aerials

July 7th 2014, Iceland aerials

Water in Iceland's Ölfusá River flows around sandbars towards the Atlantic Ocean, July 7th 2014. The Ölfusá is Iceland's largest river and its watershed drains 6100 square kilometers or 1/7th of Iceland, including the Langjökull glacier. According to a recent study by the University of Arizona to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, parts of Iceland are rising as much as 35mm per year; this is directly related to the melting of Iceland's glaciers and to global warming.

July 7th 2014, Iceland’s Ölfusá River

September 16, 2013. Brazil. Aerials from Manaus to Santarem. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

September 16, 2013, Brazil. Aerials from Manaus to Santarem

September 10th, 2012. Arctic Ocean. Greenpeace MY Arctic Sunrise ship expedition to the Arctic to document the lowest sea ice level on record. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

September 10th, 2012, Arctic Ocean

Para, Brazil. February 11, 2012. Aerials south of Santarem and along the road BR163. Rainforest in the Tapajós River, coordinates: -4.737923-56.448047. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

February 11, 2012, Para, Brazil

Louisiana (USA). May 6th, 2010. Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, the BP leased oil platform exploded April 20 and sank after burning. Leaking an estimate of more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil per day from the broken pipeline to the sea. Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead. Photo by Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

May 6th, 2010, Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead

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