Beautiful Microscopic Time-lapse Video of Snowflakes Forming 

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We’ve seen all matter of snow and ice photography here on Colossal, as well as time-lapses of melting snow and snow drawings, but this is the first video individual snowflakes forming I’ve ever come across. Created by filmmaker Vyacheslav Ivanov this microscopic short shows the intimate details of fragile snowflakes as they form in their miraculous hexagonal forms. Robert Gonzalez writing for iO9 gives us an idea of what we’re looking at:

The ice crystal(s) in snowflakes owe their six-fold rotational symmetry to the hydrogen bonds in water molecules. As water freezes, water molecules bound to other water molecules crystallize into a hexagonal structure, where each point on the hexagon is an oxygen atom and each side of the hexagon is a hydrogen bonded to an oxygen. As freezing continues, more water molecules are added to this microscopic six-sided structure, causing it to grow in size into the six-sided macroscopic structure that we recognize as snowflakes.

We have a line into Ivanov to see how he filmed this and will update as soon as we hear something. Music by Aphex Twin.

(via Kuriositas, PetaPixel, i09)

Update: Ivanov confirms from his home in St. Petersburg that the video is indeed genuine (non digital) and was filmed through a microscope with a “lot of effort and patience.”

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Photographs and Watercolors Merge in Surreal Paintings by Aliza Razell 

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Using self-portrait photographs and watercolors, artist Aliza Razell has been exploring several abstract narratives by merging the two mediums in Photoshop. Her first series, Anesidora , involves the story of Pandora’s Jar (Pandora’s box was actually a jar, a detail misinterpreted in the 1400s), while the second is inspired by the Finnish word ikävä, meaning the feeling of missing someone or something. You can see much more of her work over on Flickr, and you might interested to know Razell is the older sister of young photographer Fiddle Oak, featured here last year.

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The Mini Museum: A Desktop Museum with Dinosaur Fragments, Apollo 11 Spacecraft, the Moon, and More 

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For the past 35 years designer Hans Fex has been collecting some of the Earth’s most rare historical specimens including a fossil of a palm tree from Antarctica, wrap from a mummy, coal from the Titanic, dinosaur bones, and even a piece of the Apollo 11 command module. Working with specialists recommended by museum curators, research scientists and university historians, he has now amassed some 33 special objects that he’s broken down into tiny fragments and inserted into translucent resin case he calls the Mini Museum. Because the collected specimens are absurdly unique, the project is currently going crazy over on Kickstarter where you can see detailed information and photos of every single object appearing in the museum.

Some additional specimens include the foundation of Abraham Lincoln’s House, the Berlin Wall, the London Bridge, mammoth hair, 60 million year old insect amber, and part of a t-rex tooth.

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Animated Photo Collages by Qi Wei Fong Shimmer to Life as Time Passes 

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Glassy Sunset, 2013

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Tanah Lot Sunset, 2013

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Shanghai Freeway, 2014

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Chinatown Sunset, 2013

Several months ago we featured a photographic series called Time is a Dimension by artist Qi Wei Fong that depicted layered collages of landscapes and cityscapes photographed over a 2-4 hour period. Fong has since taken the project a step further by animating the images in this new series called Time in Motion. The new photos, shot in locations around China, Indonesia, and Bali show the change in light at sunrise or sunset through angular rays and concentric circles that shimmer as time passes. You can see more from the series on his website.

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Noise: A Visualization of Sound through Stop Motion 

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Nearly three years after sharing the trailer for their short film Noise, polish animators Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski (previously here and here) have just released the full version online for the first time. The short was screened at more than 60 film festivals globally over the last few years, receiving numerous awards and accolades along the way. I won’t spoil it for you, but the innovative short explores the visualization of sound through stop motion animation. Via their website:

[Noise is] inspired by the theoretic work of George Berkeley and basics of synesthetic perception. It’s a game of imagination provoked by sound. Individual sounds penetrating into the apartment of the main character relieved of their visual designates evoke images distant from its origins.

You can see a few making of photos over on their blog. FYI: it gets a little dark.

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Desert Breath: A Monumental Land Art Installation in the Sahara Desert 

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Located near the Red Sea in El Gouna, Egypt, Desert Breath is an impossibly immense land art installation dug into the sands of the Sahara desert by the D.A.ST. Arteam back in 1997. The artwork was a collaborative effort spanning two years between installation artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer Alexandra Stratou, and architect Stella Constantinides, and was meant as an exploration of infinity against the backdrop of the largest African desert. Covering an area of about 1 million square feet (100,000 square meters) the piece involved the displacement of 280,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of sand and the creation of a large central pool of water.

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Although it’s in a slow state of disintegration, Desert Breath remains viewable some 17 years after its completion, you can even see it in satellite images taken from Google Earth. You can learn more about the project in the video above or read about it here. (via Visual News, Synaptic Stimuli)

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