Tag Archives: nature

Long-Exposure Photographs of a New Zealand Cave Illuminated by Glowing Worms

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The twinkling lights dotting the ceiling of this dazzling cave system are the work of arachnocampa luminosa, a bioluminescent gnat larva (also called a glowworm) found throughout the island nation of New Zealand. It is believed that the light, emitted mostly from females, is how the insects find mates. These long-exposure photos by local photographer Joseph Michael capture small communities of worms amongst 30 million-year-old limestone formations on North Island. You can see more shots from the project titled Luminosity, here.

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The Stunning Diversity and Detail of Vibrantly Colored New England Caterpillars

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“Gravity” Hyalophora cecropia on buttonbush

Samuel Jaffe is getting close and personal with subject matter found right in our backyards— the furry, florescent, grubby little creatures we often find inching along our trees and sidewalks. Jaffe is fascinated by local environments, and aims to share the information he has collected about these backyard ecosystems so we can become more in tune with what’s right below our feet or hiding in the grass.

Jaffe has cataloged dozens of caterpillars in different settings, each with a blackened background to highlight their unique textures, colors, and patterns. Caterpillars dangle off branches, clutch onto leaves, and even play on grapevines within his photographs. Catching his subjects at specific moments, Jaffe gives each a little pop of personality, showcasing their playfulness when left alone in nature.

Jaffe grew up in Eastern Massachusetts, inserting himself within his surroundings, wading through ponds, and exploring the wildlife around him. Over the last five years he began to raise and photograph many of the more interesting native caterpillars. The project has grown to include exhibits, shows, talks, and finally in 2013 the Caterpillar Lab, a passionate program showcasing the diversity of northeastern caterpillars through educational programs, the arts, and sciences. Jaffe’s work is currently on display at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio in the exhibit “Life on the Leaf Edge.” Prints are available in his online shop. (via The Life Neurotic with Steve’s Issues)

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“Red Boots” Apatelodes torrifacta on cherry / “Three Swallowtails” Papilio glaucus, polyxenes, and troilus

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“Turbulent Abstract” – Phosphila turbulenta on smilax

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“Anatomy of a Caterpillar” – Nadata gibbosa on oak

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“Orange Red Green” Eumorpha achemon on grapevine / “Wild Lettuce” Autographa precationis on wild lettuce

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“Life on the Leaf Edge” – Nerice bidentata on elm leaf

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“Life on the Leaf Edge” Cerura scitiscripta on willow leaf

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“The Fawn” Sphinx kalmiae on ash

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“Early Kingdom” Lytrosis unitaria

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“Emerald Deception” Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria on goldenrod / “Cut Flowers” Eupithecia Pug on blue vervain

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“Father of Monsters” Eumorpha typhon on arizona grape

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Matty Smith’s Photographs Display Vibrant Life Lurking Just Below Sea Level


“Physalia Physalis” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

Appropriately titled Over/Under, Matty Smith's series showcases the dual environments that exist just above and below sea level. Smith focuses on images right at dusk in order to expose the vibrant colors that shine within the dark waters. Each shot is divided by a wavy strip of ocean just above the center of the photograph. Fish and coral live below the horizon as seagulls and sunsets populate the upper half of the photos.

Tricky photographs to shoot from a technical standpoint, Smith uses a strobe light for the bottom half of the image to ensure that both the animals above and below water are highlighted prominently.

The Australian photographer views each half and half image he captures as a landscape photograph, and prefers environments with depth and attitude over blue sunny skies. Typically Smith scouts his locations via snorkeling expeditions. “For me one of the most wondrous parts of any dive is the moment that the water engulfs my mask as my head slips below the surface,” says Smith. “I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter.” Many of his photos are available as prints. (via My Modern Met)

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“Smiling Assassin” – American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

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“A Silky Encounter 1” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

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“A Silky Encounter 2” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba


“Bluebottle Army” – Bluebottle cnidarian, Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

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“Crimson Tide” – Waratah Anemones, Port Kembla, NSW Australia

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“Ocean Rose” – Bass Point, NSW Australia

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“A Shock of Blue” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

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“A Splash of Yellow” – Sargassum Seaweed, Bushranger Bay, NSW Australia

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Alberto Bustos’ Paperlike Ceramics Imitate Sprouting Blades of Grass

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Inspired by forms of vegetation, Spanish artist Alberto Bustos' pieces appear like blades of grass sprouting from the earth, stretching and curling upwards towards an imagined sun. At first glance the pieces look delicate enough to be paper, layered works that exude a dual sharp and fragile quality. However, after a closer inspection one can see that the works are indeed porcelain, adding another dimension to their soft initial appearance.

Bustos lives and work in Spain and his work will be included in Mas De Les Gralles with 40 other international artists on June 13th just outside of Barcelona. Hundreds more images of his work can be found on his Facebook page here. (via Ron Beck Designs)

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Birds and Fauna Sprout From Nunzio Paci’s New Graphite and Oil Anatomical Renderings

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Taking the analogy comparing blood vessels and tree branches literally, Nunzio Paci (previously) creates oil and graphite paintings that connect humans back to nature. Paci’s works look almost straight from a medical textbook except for one flaw—the trees and animals that sprout from his subjects’ mouths, chests, and necks. Paci ultimately takes a painterly approach to his works, paint dripping down the canvas to add balance to his extreme detail.

Paci’s practice centers on the relationship between man and nature, especially focusing on the visual overlap of our intrinsic and extrinsic systems. The beautiful and minimally colored works could be interpreted as extremely morbid—Paci showing us our ultimate fate when nature takes over.

Paci lives and works in Italy. His last exhibition was titled In the Garden of Idne at Oxholm Gallery in Copenhagen this past January.

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Radically Diverse Australian Fungi Photographed by Steve Axford

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Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world’s most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented. You can follow more of Axford’s discoveries on Flickr and SmugMug.

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Visually Stunning Nature Footage Edit Set to “Hello Tomorrow” by Karen O

Hey, Happy Earth Day! What better way to celebrate than watching remarkable footage of wildly random creepy crawly things in slow motion set to Hello Tomorrow by Karen O. You definitely need sound for this so turn up the volume for full effect. After a week of asking around I’ve learned only that the clip was edited together by Roen Horn using footage from somewhere I can’t identify.

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Update: Well that was quick. Almost all of these appear to be various BBC and National Geographic clips including BBC’s Life, World’s Weirdest, and BBC Weird Nature. (thnx, Tyler & Patricia)

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