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Photography

Winners and Honorable Mentions of the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

August 1, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Grand Prize, and 1st Prize Nature Category. Photo and caption by Sergio Tapiro Velasco. The power of nature. Powerful eruption of Colima Volcano in Mexico on December 13th, 2015. That night, the weather was dry and cold, friction of ash particles generated a big lightning of about 600 meters that connected ash and volcano, and illuminated most of the dark scene. On last part of 2015, this volcano showed a lot of eruptive activity with ash explosions that raised 2-3 km above the crater. Most of night explosions produced incandescent rock falls and lightning not bigger than 100 meters in average.

National Geographic just announced the winners and honorable mentions of the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year. The dramatic winning photo of a lightning bolt flashing atop the Colima Volcano in Mexico was captured by Sergio Tapiro Velasco. The awards and honorable mentions are defined across three categories: Nature, People, and Cities. Collected here are 10 of our favorites images, but can you see the rest on National Geographic.

Nature, 2nd place. Photo and caption by Hiromi Kano. To live. Swans who live vigorous even in mud.

Cities, 2nd place. Photo and caption by Andy Yeung. Walled City #08. The Kowloon Walled City was the densest place on Earth. Hundreds of houses stacked on top of each other enclosed in the center of the structure. Many didn’t have access to open space.This notorious city was finally demolished in 1990s. However, if you look hard enough, you will notice that the city is not dead. Part of it still exists in many of current high density housing apartments. I hope this series can get people to think about claustrophobic living in Hong Kong from a new perspective.

Cities, 3rd place. Photo and caption by Misha De-Stroyev. Henningsvær Football Field. This football field in Henningsvær in the Lofoten Islands is considered one of the most amazing fields in Europe, and maybe even in the world. The photo was taken during a 10-day sailing trip in Norway in June 2017. We arrived to Henningsvær after a week of sailing through the cold and rainy weather. Upon our arrival, the weather cleared up. I was really lucky that the conditions were suitable for flying my drone, and I managed to capture this shot from a height of 120 meters.

Nature, 3rd place. Photo and caption by Tarun Sinha. Crocodiles at Rio Tarcoles. This image was captured in Costa Rica when I was traveling from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa. As you cross over this river, you can stop and peer over the edge of the bridge. Below, reside over 35 gigantic crocodiles, relaxing on the muddy banks of the river. I wanted to capture the stark difference between the crocodiles on land and in the water. In the murky waters, the body contours of these beasts remain hidden, and one can only truly see their girth as they emerge from the river.

Nature, honorable mention. Photo and caption by Clane Gessel. Marble Caves. The marble caves of Patagonia.

Nature, honorable mention. Photo and caption by Yutaka Takafuji. Forest of the Fairy. Shooting in the forest This photograph was taken in the evening hours of a humid early summer day in the forest of a small remote village in the Tamba area of Japan. It beautifully captures the magical atmosphere of Princess fireflies carpeting a stairway leading to a small shrine revered by the local people.

People, 1st place. Photo and caption by F. Dilek Uyar Worship. Whirling Dervish in an historical place of Sille Konya, Turkey. The ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema and is a symbol of the Mevlevi culture. According to Mevlana’s teachings, human beings are born twice, once of their mothers and the second time of their own bodies.

People, 3rd place. Photo and caption by Rodney Bursiel. Under The Wave. I recently traveled to Tavarua, Fiji to do some surf photography with pro surfer Donavon Frankenreiter at Cloudbreak. I’m always looking for new angles and perspectives. The usual surf shots have all been done so we decided to get a little creative. Makes you look twice.

 

 



Art

Living Works That Flatten Three-Dimensional Scenes Into Two-Dimensional Photographs by Alexa Meade

May 25, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images © Alexa Meade

Flattening three-dimensional installations into two-dimensional images, Alexa Meade compresses reality by covering models in specifically applied paint, making sure to focus on painted shadows and highlights to transform her posed subjects into paintings. Meade’s works, which she has referred to as “reverse trompe l’oeil” combine installation, painting, photography, and even performance, as many of her works are done live and with little room for error. Mistakes made during her painting process however, often add to the overall dynamism of the piece, creating an aesthetic tension for each of her living works.

“There are so many things going on at once in my process that something is always bound to go wrong,” Meade recently told Colossal. “Having to problem solve in the moment and hack together a solution will typically result in me bringing something new and fresh to the painting that I didn’t intend or expect. The artwork often turns out so much better than I had originally envisioned.”

Often these errors are due to the fact that Meade is creating her works on live models, and unlike swathes of canvas, her medium has interests, personalities, and needs which influence the work. “If you are a painter painting on canvas you don’t have to care about its feelings or emotions,” said Meade, “the canvas doesn’t have to go to the bathroom.”

Meade didn’t always start out as an artist, in fact she studied politics and worked in Washington D.C. before experimenting with her current practice. “I discovered my method completely by accident,” said Meade. “Then I had to actually teach myself out to paint.” Now Meade is a represented artist in three countries and is often asked to do live painting performances, such as this month during FORM Arcosanti, an outdoor micro arts and music festival which we attended with WeTransfer and came across Meade’s work. You can see more of her process and images on her Facebook and Instagram.

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Alexa Meade’s live painting during FORM Arcosanti, base makeup by Josephine Lee

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Photography Science

The Stunning Diversity and Detail of Vibrantly Colored New England Caterpillars

June 17, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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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

 

 



Amazing Photography

Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson Captures the Joy of Young Afghan Skateboarders

April 16, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images © Jessica Fulford-Dobson

Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich created the non-profit Skateistan in 2007, a grassroots project that connects youth and education through skateboarding in Afghanistan. The organization, which has since grown to an award-winning international NGO, caught the attention of London-based photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson and inspired her to visit the program in Kabul in 2012—especially after learning 45% of the students were female.

In Afghanistan skateboarding has spread to become the number one sport for women, as they are forbidden to ride bicycles. Soon after arriving and entering the girl’s world, Fulford-Dobson was accepted by the young Afghan skateboarders. She photographed the girls with natural light, helping to expose their personalities through simple portraits. Within the images you can see the girls’ natural confidence, images that capture the subjects both posed and candidly skating through the indoor facility.

“I met so many impressive women and girls in Afghanistan: a teacher as tough and determined as any man; young Afghans in their early twenties who were volunteering at an orphanage and were passionate about being seen as strong and willing to fight for themselves, rather than as victims of circumstance; and girls who were being educated to be leaders in their communities and who were already thinking carefully about their own and their country’s future,” said Fulford-Dobson.

Fulford-Dobson won 2nd prize in the 2014 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize with Skate Girl, 2014 (one of the photographs taken while on location in Kabul) and her exhibition Jessica Fulford-Dobson: Skate Girls of Kabul opens at Saatchi Gallery in London on April 15 and runs until April 28, 2015. You can donate to Skateistan’s program in Kabul as well as other cities here. (via feature shoot)

All images © Jessica Fulford-Dobson

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History Photography

Intimate Portraits of 50 Artists and Their Cats Compiled by Alison Nastasi

April 8, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

Henri Matisse/© Robert  Capa /© International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos

Henri Matisse/ © Robert Capa / © International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cat/ James van der Zee /1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cat/ James van der Zee / 1982

John Cage/ Courtesy of the John Cage Trust

John Cage/ Courtesy of the John Cage Trust

Herbert Tobias / Photograph by Peter Fuerst; @ 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Herbert Tobias / Photograph by Peter Fuerst; @ 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Georgia O'Keeffe / Photograph by John  Candelario / Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives

Georgia O’Keeffe / Photograph by John Candelario / Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives

Pablo Picasso / Photograph by Carlos Nadal, 1960; © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso / Photograph by Carlos Nadal, 1960; © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol 1 / © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol 1 / © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Maya Lin / © Michael Katakis / The British Library

Maya Lin / © Michael Katakis / The British Library

Artists and Their Cats from Chronicle Books, edited by Alison Nastasi

Artists and Their Cats from Chronicle Books, edited by Alison Nastasi

Although many have been considered an artist’s muse, none have served as repeatedly as the common feline. Often basking directly beside our world’s famous artists, cats have consistently served as creative companion and confidant. New from Chronicle Books is Artists and Their Cats, a collection of intimate portraits featuring many of the past century’s most recognizable artists and their feline counterparts.

Editor Alison Nastasi writes in the book’s introduction, “Many artists buck notions of a stereotypical temperament, but researchers have long speculated that creative individuals share common attributes—which mirror those of cats.” More than 50 pairs are highlighted throughout the book—cats perched on laps, desks, and even atop heads. Included in the cat compendium is everyone from Basquiat to Matisse with images of Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe in-between. Salvador Dali himself graces the cover with cane and noted Colombian ocelot Babou. Artists and Their Cats is now available in the Colossal Shop.

 

 



Photography

Worlds Within Our Worlds: Macro Photos of Everyday Objects

January 26, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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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)

 

 



Design

Makoto Azuma Uses the Stratosphere as a Backdrop For His Latest Floral Art

July 22, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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Last week Japanese botanic artist Makoto Azuma attempted to go where most artists only dream of going: to space. In a project titled Exbiotanica, last week Azuma and his crew traveled to Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada. In the dead of night Azuma’s project began. The team launched two of Azuma’s artworks – a 50-year old pine suspended from a metal frame and an arrangement of flowers – into the stratosphere using a large helium balloon. The entire project was documented, revealing some surreal photographs of plants floating above planet earth. “The best thing about this project is that space is so foreign to most of us,” says John Powell of JP Aerospace. “So seeing a familiar object like a bouquet of flowers flying above Earth domesticates space, and the idea of traveling into it.” (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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