Last October, photographer Johannes Holzer braved the winter cold to setup a series of long-exposure shots along the the Isar, a river in Southern Germany. To accomplish the eye-popping view of the Milky Way, a mountainous landscape, and the murky depths of the river he relied on two cameras to shoot three photos from roughly the same perspective, stitched together here in a final image. Holzer says the photo “was done with two cameras, [the] sky with a Sony A7r and Vixen Polarie Startracker, one additional shot for the landscape without [a] Startracker, [and] underwater was done with a Canon 5Dm2 with an EWA Underwater case.”
In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.
The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.
Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.
But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even saw smoke arise from the tree (it was probably just a swarm of bugs).
And so, the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. To this day, the tree still stands thanks to a strong, local community and a little bit of superstition. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
For his latest works in the ongoing series Art History in Contemporary Life, Ukrainian artist and designer Alexey Kondakov (previously here and here) has staged classical paintings in scenes from modern day Naples, Italy. The figures effortless merge with their present day surroundings, two women looking perfectly bored flipping through comic books in the back of a dusty book store, while a different woman takes a nap beside a latte and half-eaten sandwich. You can view more of his digitally altered scenes on his Instagram and Facebook page. (via My Modern Met)
Self-taught botanical artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc uses a steady hand to arrange dandelion blossoms in artful imitations of their flight through the air. His monochrome works are each reminiscent of a universal childhood urge to scatter a dandelion’s seedlings with a single blow, eager to watch the feathery pieces take flight in the wind. With this in mind he carefully dissects a dandelion’s fluff, placing the individual seeds in concentric patterns. In many works gold leaf is used to single out some of the miniature components, adding another layer of precision to his patiently executed fields of flora.