fireworks

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Photography

Magnificent Photographs of Japan’s Summer Firework Festivals

September 13, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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Summer in Japan means colorful explosions in the sky, where some 200 firework festivals called “hanabi taikai” are held across the country in July and August, a tradition that dates back to the early 18th century. At many events, pyrotechnicians actually compete to create the best firework show, with extreme attention to detail in scale, color, and design. Photographer Keisuke trekked to several shows this summer and captured the most eye-opening moments of these nighttime events. Although just 25 years old, the photographer has received numerous awards for his landscape photography of Japan and he’s amassed quite a following on Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Photography

Spectacular Camera Drone Footage of New Year’s Fireworks Over Lima

January 4, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Right at midnight on New Year’s Eve, photographer Jeff Cremer sent his camera drone up into the skies above Lima, Peru to capture the sights and sounds of residents shooting off fireworks. A heck of a lot of fireworks it turns out, shot from streets and rooftops across the entire city. Cremer wanted to get a bit closer to the action but smartly kept his drone at about 200m so it wouldn’t be knocked out of the sky by a random firework. Set to Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. (via PetaPixel)

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Art

Artist Cai Guo­-Qiang Sends a 500-Meter Ladder of Fire into the Sky Above China

August 12, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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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)

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Art

A Pyrotechnic Artwork by Cai Guo-Qiang Explodes into a Blossom on the Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

August 5, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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images via chrisstorb

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In 2009, Cai Guo-Qiang was commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to create a site-specific explosion event on the front facade of the museum. The project, titled Fallen Blossomsused a gunpowder fuse, metal net, and scaffolding to activate a blossom pattern for 60 seconds, temporarily setting the columns of the building ablaze.

The fuse for the flower was lit on December 11 at sunset for a large audience. The title for the event and corresponding exhibition is derived from a classical Chinese proverb “hua kai hua luo” which comments on the extreme loss felt when a life is ended unexpectedly. The title and event were also meant as a tribute to the Museum’s late director, Anne d’Harnoncourt.

Cai currently lives and works in New York, but was born and trained in stage design in China. Not limited to one medium, Cai works in installation, drawing, performance and video art. During his 9-year stay in Japan he explored the use of gunpowder in his work which eventually led to his large scale explosion events. Cai was notably the Director of Visual and Special Effects for both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. (via cerceos)

 

 



Art Photography

Flowerworks: Flowers Arranged and Photographed to Look Like Fireworks by Sarah Illenberger

January 7, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Flowerworks is a new series by multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Illenberg that turns flower arrangements into bursting fireworks. The photos were made in collaboration with photographer Sabrina Rynas, and if you squint your eyes a bit (or back away from the monitor) the effect is pretty uncanny. Illenberg is widely known for her work at the intersection of art, photography, and graphic design, and you can see more of her work for some of the world’s top brands and magazines in her portfolio. Fine art prints from this series are available in her shop. (via ArtChipel)

 

 



Art Photography

The Art of Smoke Bombs and Fireworks by Olaf Breuning

November 8, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Color Wheels, 2012

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Swiss visual artist Olaf Breuning places no limits on his medium of choice, expressing his artistic vison through peformance art, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation and film. My favorite of his work are these precisely staged photos of various smoke bombs, fireworks and other colorful objects arranged on a loose framework. The pieces have occasionally been lit as part of a “happening” such as his site-specific smoke installation at Station to Station in New York. You can see much more of his photography and other art over on his website, and see a brief interview with him courtesy of the Avant/Garde Diaries.

 

 



Photography

Explosions in the Sky: Macro Photographs of Fireworks by Nick Pacione

August 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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This last 4th of July Dallas-based photographer Nick Pacione camped out below a firework show and captured these awesome shots using a macro lens. He used a special rack focus technique that changes focus during the exposure to create some wonderfully abstract images that at times don’t even look like fireworks. See more from Explosions in the Sky, and if you liked this also check out the work of David Johnson.

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A Colossal

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