Here’s a fun series from artist Daniel Barreto who animates infinite loops of flame in these surreal gifs. The brief animations continue his experimentation with light and long exposure photography as seen here last year in his short film Ignight. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
For his latest photographic series Explosion2.0, Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann went big. Partnering with a pyrotechnics expert, he captured this series of suspended explosions illuminated with a strobe light that seem to hover in the air like clouds. Each image is all the more mysterious because the origins of each detonation are obscured, as if the blasts were spontaneous. Explosion2.0 is the second in a series of photos that began with some slightly less controlled blasts in part 1. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Gav and Dan over at the Slow Mo Guys are famous for creating bizarre (and usually explosive) events in front of powerful HD slow motion cameras. Almost all of their videos are worth a watch, but their latest involving a spinning tornado of fire is especially great, skip ahead to 1:25 for the good stuff. Although this particular flamey vortex was created artificially using box fans, you can sometimes see real fire tornadoes in the middle of forest fires or spinning off from the plumes near an active volcano.
Spanish artist Manolo Garcia constructs towering replicas of renaissance-era sculptures, portraits, animals, and other decorative objects from his expansive workshop in Valencia, Spain. Garcia refers to his practice as ‘artistic carpentry’ and by looking at process photos of the studio’s work, that seems like a fair descriptor. Most of the set pieces, monuments, and sculptures built by Garcia begin with strips of wood that are applied to large architectural armature. The objects are usually so large they are first built in pieces and later assembled on-site.
Last March, Garcia participated in the annual Las Fallas (Fire Festival) in Valencia where a series of large artworks are set on fire at night as part of a Burning Man-esque spectacle. To be fair, the Fallas festivals in their current format pre-date the popular Nevada festival by about 44 years, and may have originated as far back as the Middle Ages.
While on a trip to visit the Ijen and Bromo Tengger Semeru volcanoes in East Java last month, Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu captured the unusual sight of molten sulphur that flows from fumaroles at the base of the Blue Fire Crater at Ijen. The area is usually swarming with tourists, but Wu stayed after sunset until the moon rose to capture these otherworldly images.
The journey into the Ijen Caldera is not for the faint hearted. A two-hour trek up the side of the rocky volcano is followed by another 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater. The blue fire found at the base is the result of ignited sulphuric gas that burns up to 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) and can flare up to 5 meters (16 feet) into the air. It is the largest “blue flame” area on Earth.
Sky Ladder, realized at Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, Fujian, June 15, 2015 at 4:49 am, approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Photos by Lin Yi & Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio.
In the early morning hours of June 15, a huge white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium slowly ascended into the sky above Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, China. Attached to it was a 500-meter long ladder coated completely with quick burning fuses and gold fireworks that was then ignighted by artist Cai Guo-Qiang (previously) who has become known for his ambitious pyrotechnic artworks.
Titled Sky Ladder, the piece burned for approxmiately 2 minutes and 30 seconds above the harbor and was the fourth and final attempt to realize the performance. Guo-Qiang had earlier attempted Sky Ladder in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and in Los Angeles (2012), to varying degrees of success, but never considered his vision complete until now. He first imagined a ladder of fire as a child and has pursued the idea for 21 years. He shares about this last successful iteration of the event:
Behind Sky Ladder lies a clear childhood dream of mine. Despite all life’s twists and turns, I have always been determined to realize it. My earlier proposals were either more abstract or ceremonial. Sky Ladder today is tender, and touches my heart deeply: it carries affection for my hometown, my relatives and my friends. In contrast to my other attempts, which set the ignition time at dusk, this time the ladder rose toward the morning sun, carrying hope. For me, this not only means a return but also the start of a new journey.
Unfortunately there’s no official video of the performance available yet, but a few shaky cell phone videos have emerged. You can see more images of the performance on the artist’s website. All photos by Lin Yi and Wen-You Cai courtesy Cai Studio. (via Booooooom)