Several years ago, Russian graphic designer Ruslan Khasanov was cooking with oil and soy sauce when he stopped to appreciate the strange relationship between the two fluids as the pooled and mixed in unexpected ways. The observation lead to his creation of Pacific Light, a sort of experimental music video meets science project that captures the up-close interactions of ink, oil, and soap. Khasanov just released a follow-up video—now with glitter!—called Odyssey. Music by Ilya Beshevli.
Watch this video of beautifully lit macro photos of everyday objects by photographer Pyanek (who also scored the audio) and see how many objects you can guess. I failed miserably. (via Colossal Submissions)
Cicadae Parasite Beetle (Rhipiceridae)
One of my favorite Flickr accounts to follow is Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay (previously) who ventures into some of the most ecologically diverse (ie. creepiest and crawliest) places in the world to shoot macro photos of insects, arachnids, and fungi. Bay went on 46 different shooting excursions in 2014 and discovered creatures that seem more at home in an Avatar movie than here on Earth. He’s also begun working more with ultraviolet light that he uses to reveal the natural fluorescence of many organisms he encounters. My favorite discovery while scrolling through Bay’s 2014 photos is this species of moth that builds a cage out of its own caterpillar spines to protect itself while in a pupal stage. You can follow his day-to-day adventures on Facebook.
Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana)
Freshly moulted Jumping Spider
Harvestman illuminated with 365nm wavelength ultraviolet light; Millipede fluorescence.
Caged pupa. The spines of the caterpillar were used to construct this magnificent cage for protection during pupation.
Huntsman Spider consuming prey exposed under ultraviolet light for 20 seconds.
OK, so the spider isn’t fixing the leaf, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing (and no, it’s not Photoshop). Paris-based photographer Bertrand Kulik stumbled onto this tiny spider who managed to construct its web inside a leaf with a giant hole and snapped these photos at just the right angle. (thnx, Alex!)
Beautiful Chemistry is a new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that seeks to make chemistry more accessible and interesting to the general public. Their first project was the creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions without the usual clutter of test tubes, beakers or lab equipment. I definitely would have paid a bit more attention in chemistry class if we’d had the opportunity to watch some of these. Filmed and edited by Yan Liang.
Photographer Chris Morgan snapped these great macro shots of hummingbirds in 2011 at Bosque De Paz, a 3,000 acre privately-owned biological reserve in the middle of Costa Rica. The top photo is a Green-Crowned Brilliant, a bird that only grows to a length of 13cm and is not known for its ability to sit for portraits. You can see more of Morgan’s bird photos here. (via Lost at E Minor)
Created by University of Queensland PhD student Daniel Stoupin, this remarkable macro video of coral reefs, sponges and other underwater wildlife, brings a fragile and rarely-seen world into vivid focus. Stoupin shot some 150,000 photographs which he edited down to create the final clip. He shares about the endeavor:
Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness. I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behavior I realized that I have to take it one step at a time. For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef “landscapes.” The close-up patterns and colors of this type of fauna hardly resemble anything from the terrestrial environments. Corals become even less familiar if you consider their daily “activities.”
Stoupin discusses Slow Life as well as the threats to the Great Barrier Reef that inspired him to make the video in a detailed entry over on his blog. (via Kottke)