The plume from an exploding bomb. Black and white flowers. X-Rays of a human brain cortex. These all seem like valid guesses when looking at this new series of photos by Fabian Oefner (previously here, here, here), but the truth is more amazing: it’s fire. To create the photos Oefner added a few drops of alcohol into a large glass vessel and waited for the fumes to fill the void. He then ignited the gas and managed to capture these fleeting images as the fire consumed the interior of the vessel. You can see more plus a brief video here.
This is what happens when you mix Mercury(II) thiocyanate (Hg(SCN)2) and Ammonium chromate (NH4)2CrO4 and then set it on fire. I was honestly expecting the fiery volcano part, but at about 30 seconds in something… horrifying happens. The kids witnessing the experiment really make the video. “The kraken!!!!” (via The Awesomer)
It seems like just a few days ago Chicago had huge ice news, and now this. For the past few weeks things have been pretty darned frigid here in the windy city with temperatures dropping down to the single digits, and just when we couldn’t take it anymore things started to warm up, in a massive-abandoned-warehouse-bursting-into-flames sort of way. Nearly 200 firefighters were on the scene in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood to battle the blaze and incredibly nobody was injured. Temperatures were so low during the fire that water sprayed on the building froze almost instantly leaving behind a spectacularly beautiful ice-encrusted wonderland. Photographers Robert R. Gigliotti, David Schalliol, and Darek Szupina stopped by yesterday and snapped these extraordinary photos. You can see much more over on the Chicago Tribune.
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.
Artist Steven Spazuk began his career as many artists do, a gradual transition from sketching and drawing to watercolor and acrylic painting. In the 1980s he began using an airbrush and found himself fascinated by the smooth gradients created by the finely sprayed paint. Then, in 2001 an idea struck: what would happen if he exposed a canvas to fire and controlled the imprint of soot left on the surface? Spazuk has hardly left the medium since. Though he creates many smaller pieces that look like smokey gesture drawings, I really enjoy his wall-sized fragmentation paintings made from hundreds of smaller works, each the result of a canvas exposed to fire and then gently etched to reveal finers details. Watch the video above to see how he does it.
Artist Herb Williams is one of the only people in the world to have an account with Crayola. I imagine him whipping out his cell phone, speed dialing Crayola Headquarters and saying “I need 40,000 Screamin’ Greens and 20,000 Tickle Me Pinks. Tonight.” I’m not sure if that’s exactly how it works, but lets go with it.
This latest work by Williams, Unwanted Visitor: Portrait of Wildfire, just opened at the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The five swirling flames made of thousands of crayons are meant to resemble the recent wildfires that ravaged the state several weeks ago. Over time, the sculptures themselves will be ravaged by the hot Texas heat, and will gradually begin to melt, turning the already brilliant color gradation into a dripping, gooey mess. Awesome right? The project began as a small proof-of-concept on Kickstarter only a month ago and is now open to the public at NRHC. Special thanks to Emily Arellano, Herb Williams, and photographer Ashton Thornhill who captured the images above. (via kelly podzemny)