Graffiti & Street Art reports this giant goldfinch (“The Goldfinch of Scampia”) was painted on the side of a troubled building in Naples in 2009 by German artists Simon Jung and Paul & Hanno Schweizer. Afterward the three perched on the building’s ledge for this great shot. (via graffiti & street art)
Michigan-based author and illustrator Mark Crilley has been working on a series of “realism challenges” on his YouTube channel. In his third installment he tackled the realistic drawing of a torn playing card. Pretty incredible. (via boing boing, thnx brian!)
Black Cloud is an installation by Mexican artist Carlos Amorales involving tens of thousands of black paper months affixed to the walls of large interior spaces. The piece was first installed at Yvon Lambert in 2007 and then in a different configuration at an old baroque church in Spain that was converted to a multi-use space called Espacio AV in 2009. Gorgeous. See much more here. (via feul)
While attending the International Fireworks Show in Ottawa, Canada earlier this month photographer David Johnson had his camera in hand to document the night. When Spain’s entry into the competition begin he decided to try something a little different resulting in the photos you see here which are unlike any long exposure firework shots I’ve ever seen. Via email David tells me how he accomplished the effect:
The technique I used was a simple refocus during the long exposure. Each shot was about a second long, sometimes two. I’d start out of focus, and when I heard the explosion I would quickly refocus, so the little stems on these deep sea creature lookalikes would grow into a fine point. The shapes are quite bizarre, some of them I was pleasantly surprised with.
What’s interesting is that unlike usual firework photos that seem to make long trails across the sky, Johnson’s photos look like flowers with little triangular plumes coming to a point. Pretty amazing. You can see several more photos here.
I’ve seen several different videos of Curiosity’s descent down to the Mars, and while incredible because of what they depict, none approached the frame-rate we might normally expect from an actual film. Using footage provided by NASA, Reddit user Godd2 just spent the last four days on behalf of all humankind creating a stunning interpolated HD version of the descent. In layman’s terms interpolation involves taking a choppy video, in this case NASA’s 4 frames-per-second video, and rendering the “missing” frames in between resulting in an incredibly smooth 25 frames-per-second video. This is, I believe, the closest approximation ever of what it might feel like to land on another planet in real time using actual footage. Amazing. Here it is on YouTube.
Taking the first bite of a watermelon. Cracking an egg. Floating in the ocean on a sunny day. These are brief, seemingly inconsequential moments that almost immediately slip from memory as they pass, neither life-altering or particularly remarkable, and yet taken together they become a sort of texture of our lives. Filmmaker Vitùc recognized the importance of these small moments and collected several dozen of them in his new video short called The Pleasure Of that was shot in part with an iPhone 4s. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet did something similar in Amélie as he introduces a number of quirky pleasures enjoyed by Audrey Tautou’s character and I find this film by Vitùc to be just as charming.
Since first covering the photography of Russian biologist Alexander Semenov (previously) back in January his self-directed “Underwater Experiments” series has continued unabated as he releases other-worldy shots of the Earth’s most elusive creatures almost daily. Again and again Semenov captures some of the most jaw-dropping photographs of underwater life I’ve ever seen, most frequently an animal called lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) which is the largest known species of jellyfish in the world. What you see here only scratches the surface of his work over the last couple of months, definitely urge you to get lost in his underwater gallery.
Ontario-based ceramicist Steve Irvine caught this wonderful long exposure shot of fluttering moths swirling around a floodlight at night. Via National Geographic:
Fluttering wings leave lacy trails as moths beat their way to a floodlight on a rural Ontario lawn. The midsummer night’s exposure, held for 20 seconds, captured some of the hundreds of insects engaged in a nocturnal swarm.