In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.
For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)
Photographed off the coast of Okayama, Japan, The Weeping Stones is a photo series by the creative duo Trevor Williams and Jonathan Galione of Tdub Photo that captures the eerie blue light emitted by a native species of bioluminescent shrimp. More commonly referred to as sea fireflies, these rare creatures live in the sand in shallow sea water, floating somewhere between the extremes of high and low tide. At just 3 mm in length the shrimp are extremely small light sources, but when grouped together they take on abstract patterns that light up the water around them.
In order to group such a large number of sea fireflies, or Vargula Hilgendorfii, together Williams and Galione had to collect the creatures by luring them with raw bacon into jars and repositioning their tiny bodies on the rocks. Photographing and placing the bioluminescent shrimp next to the shore ensured that the photographers did not harm them, and allowed them to quickly return the animals back to the water below.
This fall, Tdub Photo hopes to shoot more bioluminescent images by focusing on glowing mushrooms. You can see an earlier project the duo created with bioluminescent shrimp on their website, and see more of their travels over on their Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel)
Nope, it’s not a rare Pokemon or even a plastic toy. Behold the Rossia pacifica or stubby squid, an altogether ridiculous looking relative to the cuttlefish that was recently spotted by the E/V Nautilus off the coast of California at a depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet). Researchers in the video can be heard discussing how creature’s giant eyes almost look painted on, giving it the appearance of a discarded children’s toy. “This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish,” says the Nautilus team in a Youtube comment. (via Gizmodo)
Artists Ygor Marotta and Ceci Soloaga of VJ Suave (previously) were recently invited to participate in the Walk&Talk art residency on São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal. The duo transformed their projected street art animations to happily dance across the trees, cliffs, and shores of the the island including the Lagoa das Empadadas, Porto da Ribeirinha, Cachoeira do Cabrito and Lagoa das Sete Cidades. Using long exposure, VJ Suave captured their interventions with nature, creating the videos and GIFs seen here.
Interested in how the human eye perceives birds in flight, Spanish photographer Xavi Bou sought to examine this motion in a way that avoided the blur that comes with creating an image with a long exposure. To do this, he turned to chronophotography, an 150-year-old technique that combines many photographs taken in succession to imitate movement. Unlike this pre-cinema strategy however, Bou uses the power of Photoshop to bring all of his images together into one, making each bird appear like an elongated corkscrew softly floating through the sky. When shooting more than one bird, the image turns into a chaotic configuration, appearing much more like a hurricane than a group of migratory birds.
Bou describes his project Ornitographies as a balance between art and science, relating the works to visual poetry. You can see more images from the project on his website, and take a look at how two other artists documented the motion of birds in flight here and here. (via FastCo Design)
It’s been well over a year since we last checked in with Australian photographer Steve Axford (previously here and here) who ventures into forested areas near his home in New South Wales to photograph the unusual forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he finds growing there. The permutations in color, shape, and size found in each specimen are a testament to the radical diversity of living creatures found in just a small area.
A handful of the images seen here, namely the “hairy” fungi called Cookeina Tricholoma, were photographed last year on a trip to Xishuangbanna, China and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Axford suspects that some of the species he encounters may be unknown to science and that he may have documented them for the first time. You can see more mushroom goodness on Axford’s Facebook and Flickr pages.