landscapes

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Design

The Japanese Mini Truck Garden Contest is a Whole New Genre in Landscaping

June 8, 2018

Johnny Strategy

The Kei Truck, or kei-tora for short, is a tiny but practical vehicle that originated in Japan. Although these days it’s widely used throughout Asia and other parts of the world, in Japan you’ll often see them used in the construction and agriculture industries as they can maneuver through small side streets and easily park. And in a more recent turn of events, apparently they’re also used as a canvas for gardening contests.

The Kei Truck Garden Contest is an annual event sponsored by the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors. Numerous landscaping contractors from around Japan participate by arriving on site with their mini trucks and then spending several hours transforming the cargo bed into a garden.

Other than using the kei truck there are very few limitations and landscapers have incorporated everything from benches and aquariums to elements of lighting into their designs. Judges then rank the entries based on planning, expression, design, execution and environment.

We’ve included a few of our favorite entries here but you can see more on the website of the Osaka branch, as well as this PDF from the Hanshin branch. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Photography

Vivid Rainbow Roads Trace Illuminated Pathways Across Forests and Beaches

June 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Daniel Mercadante has a slate of unique films under his belt, made in partnership with his wife Katina, as The Mercadantes, including Ball and Breathe. More recently, Daniel has been exploring the still image in a colorful series called Rainbow Road. The Mercadantes were based in California for many years, but after a move to rural Connecticut, Daniel looked for a way to add some warmth to the chilly blue hour during the Northeast’s long winters.

Using long exposure photography and a  custom built lighting rig covered in colored gels, the process of creating the images is surprisingly simple: the roads are created by Daniel running around with the lighting rig. No other post-production manipulation occurs, other than basic color and exposure balancing. The photographer explains to Colossal, “after so many years focused on the moving image, I’ve struggled with singularly caught moments in still imagery—so I love how this project still requires images to be captured over 15sec-1 minute, so in some way they require the same passages of time that a shot in one of our short films might.”

In addition to their Connecticut Rainbow Roads (which Daniel divulges may have a distant relation to the Mario Kart pathways of his youth) the Mercadantes have taken this colorful project to Guatemala, where local kids chose the photo shoot locations. Daniel reports that they hope to continue traveling with their low-tech, high-color Roads. You can see more from the Mercadantes on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Photography

Swirling Star Trails Captured Over the Namib Desert by Daniel Kordan

May 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Russian photographer Daniel Kordan is a master of photographing the cosmos. In 2016 we covered his journey to the Salar de Uyuni, where he captured millions of brilliantly hued stars reflected in the world’s largest salt flat. Recently, Kordan returned from a trip to Namibia where he mapped swirling trails of stars above the Deadvlei, a white clay pan speckled with the 900-year-old tree skeletons, and other sites across the Namib desert.

The images feature vortexes of multi-colored stars streaked across the sky like post-impressionist paintings. The Milky Way’s warm and cool tones intermix to create a kaleidoscopic vision of the sky above, and illuminate the barren desert landscape below. To capture such images yourself, Kordan suggests creating a time lapse with a wide angle lens, and utilizing an app like PhotoPills which allows you to easily predict the position of the stars.

You can see more of Kordan’s exploration through Namibia in the images below, and view his photographs from other locations across the globe on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

A Rare Glimpse at a Deserted Great Wall of China Captured by Andres Gallardo Albajar

April 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

This past February architectural photographer Andres Gallardo Albajar traveled to the Great Wall of China where he was able to take in a rare sight—one of the seven wonders of the world without a single soul to be seen. Albajar had expected to create the same tourist-filled images as others who visited the architectural feat, however when he arrived he found a thick fog encapsulating the structure. The dense cover may have been a deterrent for tourists, but this particular weather added further mystery to the deserted landscape Albajar captured in this recent series.

“I was expecting big amounts of people, even lines to access or things like that, but for my surprise there was very few people, which allowed me to capture the wall with no people, which in my opinion helps to create a more surreal and magic feeling,” Albajar tells Colossal.

You can view more of the Spanish photographer’s work, including his multi-part series on urban geometry, on his website, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Photography

A New Infrared View of the Dolomites by Paolo Pettigiani Shows Craggy Landscapes in Cotton Candy Colors

March 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

26-year old photographer Paolo Pettigiani (previously) has been taking pictures since age 11, and in the last few years has produced several series of eye-popping infrared images. Pettigiani’s most recent work showcases the Dolomites, a craggy mountain range in the northeastern region of his native Italy.

Infrared photography uses a special film or light sensor that processes the usually not-visible wavelengths of infrared light (specifically near-infrared, as opposed to far-infrared, which is used in thermal imaging.) The resulting images from Pettigiani depict the stands of coniferous trees as watermelon-pink, while surfaces that don’t reflect IR light stay more true to their nature hues. You can see more of the artist’s photographs on his website, as well as on Behance and Instagram. Pettigiani also offers prints of his work via Lumas.

 

 



Photography

A Photographic Series of Miniature Faux Fur Landscapes Examines the Myth of the Wild West

March 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Waterfall

At first glance, Areca Roe’s photographic series, ‘O Pioneer,’ seems to depict placid vistas of the American West, not dissimilar to what might be seen on a vacationing friend’s Instagram. But on closer examination, Roe’s images are actually miniature scenes, with faux fur comprising the textured landscapes.

The Minnesota-based artist shares with Colossal that she was inspired by photographers who captured persuasive images of the West in the late 1800s, and whose work “helped propel the problematic narrative of Manifest Destiny, but also solidified support for national parks.” She continues, “My photographs are clearly a simulation, a farce, with the fake fur as a reference to the lure of potential bounty as well as the resulting devastation.” You can see more of Roe’s work on her website. She also has created limited edition prints of ‘O Pioneer,’ which are available in her Etsy shop. (via Colossal Submissions)

Badlands

Windmill

Canyon

Lagoon

Coal Mine

Passenger Pigeons

Forest

 

 



Art Photography

Long Exposure Photos Capture the Light Paths of Drones Above Mountainous Landscapes

March 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Reuben Wu creates images that reveal an alien splendor in natural and manmade landscapes across the globe. Previously he has explored the brilliant blue rivers of molten sulfur in Indonesian volcanoes, and photographed the thousands of glistening mirrors that compose Nevada’s SolarReserve. For his ongoing series Lux Noctis, the Chicago-based photographer utilizes modified drones as aerial light sources, illuminating obscure landscapes in a way that makes each appear new and unexplored.

Recently Wu has evolved his process of working with the drones to form light paths above topographical peaks in the mountainous terrain. “I see it as a kind of ‘zero trace’ version of land art where the environment remains untouched by the artist, and at the same time is presented in a sublime way which speaks to 19th century Romantic painting and science and fictional imagery,” said Wu to Colossal.

The light from his GPS-enabled drones create a halo effect around some of the presented cliffs and crests when photographed using a long exposure. An elegant circle of light traces the flight of the drone, leaving a mark only perceptible in the resulting photograph. You can see more of Wu’s landscape photography on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Faith is Torment)

Update: A book of Wu’s photo series will be published in Fall 2018 and is available for preorder.