Photographer Chris McCaw uses the power of the sun to burn markings into his photographs, destroying small areas to appear like the sun itself. McCaw stumbled upon the technique for his series Sunburn after forgetting to close the shutter during an all night exposure. The light of the morning sun destroyed his efforts from the night before, reversing the tonality of the work in a way that has inspired McCaw to continue to experiment with injuring the surface of the photograph.
“The subject of the photograph (the sun) has transcended the idea that a photograph is simple a representation of reality, and has physically come through the lens and put it’s hand onto the final piece,” said McCaw in an explanation of the series. “This is a process of creation and destruction, all happening within the the camera.”
The resulting image from McCaw’s technique shows the landscapes he photographs with a burnt hole or streak where the sun appeared overhead. Often McCaw will combine several works to showcase the sun’s movement—charred dots or a thick line marking its arched path.
Set within a district of Victorian industrial buildings, the Toronto Light Festival is a free 45-day festival occurring during this year’s winter months as a way to creatively draw the city’s inhabitants out of their homes. Featuring 21 diverse light installations built by local and international artists and thousands of glowing bulbs, the festival covers a total of 13 acres in the city’s Distillery District. Installations range from a series of lit figures appearing to jump from the roof of one of the historic buildings to two red, geometric cats prowling an included alleyway, with several multi-colored works in-between.
You can catch Toronto’s first ever light art festival until March 12, or follow the festival on Instagram to catch snapshots of the glowing installations.
Artist Suzanne Moxhay produces photomontage scenes which seem to effortlessly combine elements from both her own photography practice and her large archive of collected images. To compose her taken and collected photographs, Moxhay relies on a film technique dating back to the early 20th century called matte painting, a process where backdrops are illustrated on glass panels and integrated into live-action sets. Using this method she creates the illusion that all of her disparate pictures are one cohesive image, first arranging the fragments on glass, then re-photographing the new configuration, and finally touching up the compositions digitally.
“In my recent work I have been exploring concepts of spatial containment in montages built from fragments of photographed and painted interiors,” says Moxhay. “Architectures are disrupted by anomalous elements – contradictory light sources, faulty perspective, paradoxes of scale. Light casts shadows in the wrong direction, walls fail to meet in corners, an area of the image can be seen either as an enclosing wall or dark overcast sky.”
Moxhay lives and works in London. You can see more of her photomontage scenes on her website. (via ArtistADay)
28-year-old photographer Craig Burrows photographs plants and flowers using a type a photography called UVIVF or “ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence.” If you haven’t heard of it, that’s not a surprise, as it is a relatively unknown process which brings out the glowing fluoresce in plant matter through the use of high-intensity UV lights.
Typically UV is removed through a camera’s lens, however Burrows photographs with a 365nm LED light which is passed through a filter to transmit only UV and infrared light. The dazzling plant life Burrows’ photographs absorbs this UV light and releases visible light at different wavelengths, which allows him to capture colors far more vivid than those seen in a typical viewing condition.
Although Burrows has limited his photography to singular flowers and small arrangements, his next step is aimed at illuminating entire scenes, like gardens, glades, and greenhouses, with 100-watt floodlights. You can see more of the Southern California-based photographer’s glowing plant portraits on his Flickr and portfolio site. (via Colossal Submissions)
From the 1930s through the 1970s, Aerolux Light Corporation produced these amazing novelty light bulbs that contained sculptural filaments in the shape of flowers, birds, and myriad other designs that would illuminate in different colors. The bulbs contained a mixture of neon or argon (or both) and some of the components were coated with phosphors to achieve different color effects. Via Wikipedia:
Aerolux gas discharge light bulbs contained low pressure gas, either neon or argon, or a mixture of the two. Also within the bulb were metal sculptures coated with phosphors. These phosphors fluoresced when excited by glow discharge. Because glow discharge occurs readily at 110-120 volts AC, one could use these bulbs in standard household lamps in the United States.
The phosphors used in the bulbs were somewhat brittle, necessitating care in handling. Shaking or jarring the bulbs would cause flaking and migration of the phosphors to other parts of the metallic sculpture. Such handling would leave non-fluorescing portions of the sculpture and/or migration of phosphors to other surfaces within the bulb.
At the height of production some of the bulbs sold for a mere .20 cents, but can now fetch hundreds of dollars on Ebay or Etsy. If you happen to be in New York you can see a bonafide Aerolux bulb that’s on permanent display at MoMA as part of an artwork by artist Dan Flavin. (via Neatorama, Geyser of Awesome, Oddity Central)
Since 2013, photographer Andreas Levers has been photographing solitary landscapes at night, capturing the streets, train platforms, and gas stations that are rarely populated in the late evening hours. Each image is haunted by an eerie glow, scenes dotted by bursts of artificial illumination. The Potsdam-based artist is a media designer by day, whose spare time is spent focusing his camera on the stark architectural elements that surround him. You can see more images from Levers’ At Night series on his website and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)