Sponsor

Join Skillshare’s Community of Creative Learners and Teachers (Sponsor)

November 30, 2015

Colossal

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Skillshare is an online learning community that includes over a million curious, creative people across the globe. The site features a growing roster of over 2,000 courses that cover topics like design, photography, and technology—all taught by respected, experienced creative professionals.

Exciting hands-on courses include Everyday Surrealism: Creating Art from Photos, featuring renowned graphic artist and photographer Chuck Anderson. In this 45-minute class, Anderson transforms everyday photos into collaged, surreal works of art. You’ll refine your eye as a designer, sensibility as a photographer, and imagination as an artist.

Another favorite course is Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts, taught by Ellen Lupton, a curator of contemporary design at New York’s newly-refurbished Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In her 37-minute class, Lupton demonstrates how to think, craft, and create with type—for art, business, and practical use.

Sign up now and use the code colossal99 to get 3 months of Skillshare’s premium membership for only 99 cents.

 

 



Design Photography

This Book Is a Camera: A Functioning Pinhole Camera Inside a Pop-Up Book

November 30, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Artist and designer Kelli Anderson just released her latest book This Book is a Camera, a pop-up book that turns into a fully functional pinhole camera. The book acts as a simple educational tool to help explain how photography worked before we all had camera phones in our pockets. Anderson points out that making a simple camera obscura really isn’t too difficult and provides instructions on how you can make one yourself.

This Book is a Camera comes complete with a starter pack of B/W Ilford photo paper and instructions on how to use the camera to take photos. You’ll still need to pick up some developer fluid and have a dark room to develop photos in. Stay tuned for Anderson’s forthcoming This Book is a Planetarium from Chronicle Books. (via Quipsologies)

Update: This Book is a Camera is now available in the Colossal Shop.

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Example photograph taken with This Book is a Camera

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Example photograph taken with This Book is a Camera

 

 



Art Photography

An Amsterdam Museum Asks Visitors to Trade Their Selfie Sticks for Pencils and Paper

November 30, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images provided by the Rijksmuseum

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Rijksmuseum, an arts and history museum located in the heart of Amsterdam, is asking visitors to put down their cameras and pick up a pen next time they enter the museum’s walls. Rijksmuseum’s new campaign #startdrawing wants to slow down observers, encouraging attendees to draw sculptures and paintings that interest them rather than snapping a picture and moving on to the next work in quick succession.

By slowing down the process of observation, the visitor is able to get closer to the artist’s secrets, the museum explains, engaging with each work by actively doing instead of passively capturing. “In our busy lives we don’t always realize how beautiful something can be,” said Wim Pijbes, the general director of the Rijksmuseum. “We forget how to look really closely. Drawing helps because you see more when you draw.” The museum has begun to highlight drawings completed by participants on their Instagram as well as their blog associated with the campaign here.

Banning cameras (or softly dissuading attendees from using them) is also a way to bring the focus from the selfie an attendee may take with a work of art to the masterpiece before them. A perfectly timed exhibition titled “Selfies on Paper” is currently on display in the museum — 90 self-portraits from well known artists from the 17th to 20th century spread through each floor of the museum. The exhibition shows how artists captured themselves on paper while acting as a challenge to those who might have thought selfie sticks were the only tool appropriate for self preservation. “Selfies on Paper” will run though the winter. (via Hyperallergic)

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Photography

A Perfectly Symmetrical Photo of a Kingfisher Diving for Prey, Nearly 6 Years in the Making

November 27, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Licensed from Caters / Alan McFadyen

For the last 6 years, Scottish wildlife photographer Alan McFadyen spent an estimated 4,200 hours seeking the perfect shot: a symmetrical image of a kingfisher diving into its own reflection in search of prey. Last month, after 720,000 exposures he finally got it. McFadyen certainly snapped hundreds of other successful images along the way, but this particular photo—as it existed in his imagination—eluded him for years.

“Kingfishers dive so fast they are like bullets, so taking a good photo requires a lot of luck – and a lot of patience,” McFadyen told the Daily Mail. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that female kingfishers only rarely dive, so timing is essential.

McFadyen owns Scottish Photography Hides which rents out hides in pristine locations in Southwest Scotland for use by wildlife photographers. You can explore more of his photography on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)

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Art

New Hand and Laser Cut Paper Microbes by Rogan Brown

November 27, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Artist Rogan Brown (previously) recently completed work on his latest menagerie of paper microorganisms titled Magic Circle. The collection of both hand and laser-cut specimens are inspired by tree moss, cell structures, bacteria, coral, diatoms, and radiolaria. The piece will be on view at Aqua Art Fair in Miami through C. Emerson Fine Arts. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Art Design

Unseen Art: 3D Printing Classical Paintings for the Blind

November 25, 2015

Johnny Strategy

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“You can look but you can’t touch.” That’s one of the first rules of museums, which house priceless works of art. But what about the community of blind and visually impaired who use their sense of touch to experience the world? The Unseen Art Project is an initiative to make art more accessible and inclusive by using 3D-printing technology to create replicas of masterpieces that can be touched ’till your heart is content.

“There are many people in the world who have heard of classical artworks their whole lives but are unable to see them,” says Marc Dillon, a Helsinki-based designer who wants to make works like the Mona Lisa touchable. In order to make his vision a reality, Dillon has recently established a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. He hopes to raise enough money to create an online repository where artists can contribute 3D data of artworks and anyone with a 3D printer will be able to print it out.

With the price of 3D printers drastically coming down in recent years, Dillon’s project has the potential to “touch” a large population of people who have an interest in art but have never been able see it. As the campaign points out, “It would be a revolution to get blind people going to art galleries, people hate them because there is nothing there to touch!” (via The Creators Project)

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Design History Science

Art Meets Cartography: The 15,000-Year History of a River in Oregon Rendered in Data

November 25, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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When considering the historical path of a river, it’s easy to imagine a torrential flood that causes a stream to overflow its banks, or a drought that brings a body of water to a trickle. The reality of a river’s history is vastly more complex, as the artery of water gradually changes directions over thousands of years, shifting its boundaries imperceptibly inch by inch.

Geologists and cartographers have grappled with helpful ways to visually depict a river’s flow over time. In 1941, the Mississippi River Commission appointed Harold Fisk to undertake a groundbreaking effort to map the entire Lower Mississippi Valley. Three years later he produced a stunning series of 15 maps that combine over 20 different river paths obtained through historical charts and aerial photography.

The beautiful map seen here of the Willamette River Historical Stream Channels in Oregon by cartographer Dan Coe also shows the history of a river, however Coe relied on more recent aerial radar technology called lidar. From The Oregonian:

Lidar data is collected by low-, slow-flying aircraft with equipment that shoots millions of laser points to the ground. When the data is studied, an amazingly accurate model of the ground can be mapped.

It is possible to strip buildings and vegetation from the images, so that only the ground is shown. In the Willamette River poster, the shades of white and blue show elevations. The purest white color is the baseline, (the zero point, at the lowest point near Independence on the upper part of the image). The darkest blue is 50 feet (or higher) than the baseline.

The shades of white show changes in elevation, between 0 to 50 feet. This brings out the changes made by the river channel in the last 12,000 to 15,000 years, in the time since the landscape was basically swept clean by the Missoula floods.

The map is usually available as a print through the Nature of the Northwest Information Center, however the site appears to be down at the moment. (via Feltron, The Oregonian)