If I had to spend the rest of my life trapped inside a photograph, there’s a good chance I might flip through a stack of photographs by Andrew Smith (previously) to make a selection. Smith shoots mostly in locations around his home in New Zealand where he captures breathtaking oceanside landscapes both in and out of water. Smith photographs almost exclusively with a Nikon D800 and then processes his images in Adobe Lightroom, something he documents in detail on his Before and After Lightroom Blog. These are some of my favorite shots from the last year or so, but you can see hundreds of additional photos by Smith over on Flickr.
Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia is home to the remnants of a ship-breaking yard that operated during the mid 20th-century. Large watercraft that outlived their usefulness were towed to Homebush Bay and dismantled to salvage any components that could be reused or sold for scrap.
One such ship was the SS Ayrfield, a 1,140-tonne behemoth built in 1911 as a steam collier that was later used during WWII as a transport ship. In 1972 it was brought to Homebush Bay to be dismantled, but fate would decide differently. Operations at the ship-breaking yard subsequently ceased and parts of several large vessels including the Ayrfield were left behind, the largest objects in an area now infamous for decades of chemical dumping and pollution. But only this century-old transport ship would be transformed by time into a floating forest, a peculiar home for trees and other vegetation that have since sprouted over the last few decades.
From 2008-2010 a concerted effort was made to remove many of the lingering chemicals in Homebush left from the industrial era. Not far away is the Brickpit Ring Walk, a former industrial site where nearly three billion bricks were made from 1911 through the 1980s that is now a carefully protected natural habitat. As the forest has grown inside the SS Ayrfield, the bay is now a popular place for photographers who wish to capture the uncanny sight of this strangely beautiful relic of the bay’s industrial past, not to mention nature’s resiliency.
Photographer Nathan Kaso spent almost 10 months making this fun tilt-shift video of Melbourne with a special focus on the city’s annual festivals and other outdoor events. This is where I always make some snarky comment about how I’ve seen enough tilt-shift work, but this video proves that when it’s good, it’s good and the manner of shooting or production just doesn’t matter. Music by Tom Day.
Filmmaker Julian Tay shot some footage of the 2012 New Years fireworks at Docklands in Melbourne, Australia and then decided to see what happened if he digitally reversed it. The result is strangely beautiful as all the little rockets move in reverse creating pretty counter-intuitive visuals, imploding into nothingness. An appropriate addendum, Reddit user ksli832 was reminded of this passage by Kurt Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse-Five:
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks… When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody again.
Happy new years folks, 2013 is going to be amazing. (via laughing squid)
Spinifex is a recent sculpture by Australian artist Corey Thomas. The piece was constructed from local tree branches and other plant material before being air-lifted with a helicopter into Croajingolong National Park in Victoria. You can see a short video about Corey’s process here. (via my darkened eyes)
I’ve been traveling a bit so I’m a bit late to this as I know it’s been on a lot of news outlets lately. Regardless, filmmaker Chris Tangey shot this incredible footage of a ‘fire devil’ near Alice Springs, Australia on September 11th. In the unedited, raw footage recently provided by Tangey you can watch as the tornado—which is technically more of a dust devil—towers over 100 feet (30 meters) high. The Huffington Post explains that while footage like this is rare, these vortices of fire are actually pretty common.
In the course of normal blogging I probably encounter hundreds of landscape photographs in a week, maybe even in a day. Many of them are truly wonderful technical achievements or perhaps they capture a unique moment in time, but it’s rare that I am suddenly gripped with the urge to sell my house, quit my job, and buy a plane ticket to live in the photograph I’m staring at. That would precisely explain my feelings when I encountered these idyllic landscapes shot on the shores around Auckland, New Zealand and Australia by photographer Andrew Smith of Cuba Gallery. To be fair the images have been color corrected a bit and Smith runs a blog called Before & After where he details his process for using Adobe Lightroom to achieve the results. See much more over on Flickr.
Update: This post originally suggested that all images above by Smith were taken in New Zealand. In fact, the 5th image of the rocky boulders is a natural formation known as the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia. Thanks everyone.