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Photography

A Spectacular Close-Up View of a Fiery-Throated Hummingbird

October 24, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photographer Jess Findlay recently captured this amazing shot of a fiery-throated hummingbird while shooting in the Talamanca Mountains in Costa Rica. The image is a result of hundreds of photos taken over several hours with a telephoto lens as he waited patiently for one of the small birds to perch at just the right angle. Findlay shares with Colossal:

Several of these hummingbirds were visiting a nectar feeder. As they fed hungrily, often quarreling with one another, occasionally one would get displaced onto a nearby branch. I waited by the branch for a couple hours, staying very still. I used a telephoto lens with a special attachment that allowed me to focus on close subjects. What made this a challenge was how fidgety these birds can be and the fact that the full spectrum of colour is only seen when they pause at a very specific angle.

Findlay is a native of Vancouver where he’s extremely active in the photography community, offering a wide variety of workshops. You can see more of his work on Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Science

Face of a Hummingbird Resembles a Baby Octopus

October 5, 2016

Christopher Jobson

As part of a fascinating courting behavior, this Costa’s hummingbird flares the feathers around its face to create a poof of iridescent pink that bears an uncanny resemblance to the shape of a cartoonish baby octopus. The near complete lack of interest from the female bird in this video is almost comical, there’s a metaphor here. (via Geyser of Awesome)

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Art Illustration

New Detailed Colored Pencil Drawings of Entangled Flora and Fauna by Marco Mazzoni

October 3, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Marco Mazzoni (previously here and here) creates works that at first lead the viewer astray, appearing as bouquets or nests until one notices fins protruding from the flora that sprawls across his Moleskine sketchbooks. Some works concentrate on small groups of animals while others serve as finely drawn “I Spy” collages, as he incorporates camouflaged toads and birds into lush, textured gardens.

Colored pencil is the Italian artist’s medium of choice, cool pastels of purple, blue and pink forming most of his paused still lifes. Recently Mazzoni produced a series titled “Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mental Diseases,” illustrations which were included in the group exhibition “Cluster” at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City this August. You can view more of the artist’s odd animal clusters on his Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr.

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Art

Giant Starling Mural in Berlin by Collin van der Sluijs and Super A

August 14, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Netherlands-based artists Super A (previously) and Collin van der Sluijs (previously) teamed up earlier this year to paint this phenomenal mural titled Starling on the side of a residential building in Berlin. The 137-foot-tall mural piece depicts a large bird whose ornate chest is comprised of a dense patchwork of glistening jewels and plants. Starling was created at the invitation of Urban Nation as part of the One Wall Mural Project. All photos by Nika Kramer. (via StreetArtNews, BerlijnBlog.nl, Urban Nation)

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Photography Science

Unusual Composite Images of Birds in Flight Inspired by an 150-Year-Old Technique

August 2, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images via Xavi Bou

Interested in how the human eye perceives birds in flight, Spanish photographer Xavi Bou sought to examine this motion in a way that avoided the blur that comes with creating an image with a long exposure. To do this, he turned to chronophotography, an 150-year-old technique that combines many photographs taken in succession to imitate movement. Unlike this pre-cinema strategy however, Bou uses the power of Photoshop to bring all of his images together into one, making each bird appear like an elongated corkscrew softly floating through the sky. When shooting more than one bird, the image turns into a chaotic configuration, appearing much more like a hurricane than a group of migratory birds.

Bou describes his project Ornitographies as a balance between art and science, relating the works to visual poetry. You can see more images from the project on his website, and take a look at how two other artists documented the motion of birds in flight here and here. (via FastCo Design)

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Design

Origami Bird Lights by Umut Yamac

July 19, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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The Perch Light by London-based architect and designer Umut Yamac sits perfectly at the intersection of form and function: the bird-shaped light is made to look like a folded origami creation that’s illuminated from the inside. Made from actual synthetic paper, the elegant light is counterbalanced and rocks back and forth at the slightest touch or disturbance in the air. Yamac originally designed the light in 2014 as a limited edition of 20, but recently created a new chandelier-style configuration called the Perch Light Family for Moori that launched at Salone del Mobile in Milan. (via Cool Thing of the Day)

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Art

New Paintings of Birds Set Against Colorful Glitches by Frank Gonzales

July 18, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Cactus Wren and Nopalito” (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″, all images via Frank Gonzales

Set behind abstract drips and multi-colored streaks are the realistic works of Frank Gonzales (previously), bright acrylic paintings that capture birds in moments of rest on top of tree branches, flowers, or prickly cacti. The additional marks bring colors that are often not found in nature, pairing them with birds that have subdued feathers shades like owls or larks.

Gonzales sources his visual information from reference books and images he finds on the internet, pulling them together to create compositions that might never occur in nature. “One image will spark another and the process takes shape from there,” says Gonzales on his website. “I find this way of working to be both exciting and uncertain. My various marks and color glitches mimic this uncertainty resulting in visual stillness and movement.”

You can see more of Gonzales’ mixed flora and fauna paintings, as well as take a look into work in progress, on his Instagram.

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“Azure-Winged Magpie & Totem” (2016), acrylic on panel, 16″ x 20″

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“Speciman” (2015), acrylic on panel, 20″ x 24″

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“Double Horned Larks” (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″

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“Sacred Source” (2015), acrylic on panel, 8″ x 8″

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“Magpies and Mother in Law’s” (2015), acrylic on panel, 16″ x 20″

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“Buff Bellied Hummingbird and Hellebore” (2015), acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″

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“Mirando al Futuro” (2015), acrylic on panel, 36″ x 36″

 

 

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