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.
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.
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)
While attending the International Fireworks Show in Ottawa, Canada earlier this month photographer David Johnson had his camera in hand to document the night. When Spain’s entry into the competition begin he decided to try something a little different resulting in the photos you see here which are unlike any long exposure firework shots I’ve ever seen. Via email David tells me how he accomplished the effect:
The technique I used was a simple refocus during the long exposure. Each shot was about a second long, sometimes two. I’d start out of focus, and when I heard the explosion I would quickly refocus, so the little stems on these deep sea creature lookalikes would grow into a fine point. The shapes are quite bizarre, some of them I was pleasantly surprised with.
What’s interesting is that unlike usual firework photos that seem to make long trails across the sky, Johnson’s photos look like flowers with little triangular plumes coming to a point. Pretty amazing. You can see several more photos here.