In the late 1980s American artist Peter Erskine began to incorporate sunlight into his artistic practice through the use of strategically placed laser-cut prisms in both modern and historical sites. A hybrid of both art and architecture, he explores the way light falls on varying surfaces and brings new meaning to existing places. Erskine says the intent of his light installations is to use “the emotional impact of art to address the full range of nature from its most elemental expression as pure light to its most complex expression as global ecology.” You can explore more of his work with light over the last 30 years on his website. (via Arpeggia)
While standing in her backyard garden this morning around 9:20am in Leicestershire, UK, photographer Amy Shore snapped away at a perfectly clear view of a total solar eclipse with her Nikon D600. What she didn’t know until after the fact was that a lone bird was crossing the viewfinder at just the right moment. Via email Shore mentions that as a full-time photographer she normally shoots weddings, and the split-second decision to take this shot was a happy accident. It’s not immediately clear if there happened to be a weasel riding on the bird.
This eclipse was the first viewable over the UK in the social media age and photos, videos, and accounts like this have spread everywhere since this morning. The Guardian in particular had fantastic minute-to-minute coverage.
Update: Photographer Andrew Brooks got a similar shot in Manchester.
In what may be one of the most ground-breaking developments in creating artificial sunlight, a group of Italian scientists recently announced CoeLux, a new kind of skylight that perfectly mimics the feel of daylight. The creator’s claim the system is so effective that it tricks unknowing individuals into thinking they are looking up at the actual sun.
The inventors are somewhat tight-lipped about how CoeLux works, but it involves filtering a light source through a layer of nanoparticles that mimic Earth’s atmosphere. Because of this, not only does the color match sunshine but the quality does as well. In the photos above—which CoeLux insists aren’t digitally altered—you can get an idea of how realistic the light is, and see it in action in the video.
The light is currently available in three different configurations that mimic sunlight at different points on the globe including tropical, mediterranean, and nordic environments. Applications for CoeLux might involve anywhere light is scarce, from extreme environments like scientific outposts to underground parking garages or even in hospitals. You can see more on their website. (via PetaPixel)
The Solar Dynamics Observatory just released this amazing timelapse created from 17,000 images of the sun taken late last month. The bright spot you see gradually passing from right to left is sunspot AR 2192, the largest observed sunspot in 22 years. It measures 80,000 miles across or roughly the width of 10 Earths side by side. Definitely recommend watching it full-screen. (via Kottke)
This amazing composite image taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (Little SDO) shows a series of significant solar eruptions that occurred over a period of three days back in January of 2013. The photo was created using three wavelengths of light that have been colorized in red, green, and blue to better show the dynamics of each eruption. You can read more about solar scientist Nathalia Alzate’s findings regarding the event over on this Facebook post. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Alan Friedman is a fascinating guy. By day he’s a maker of greeting cards and a lover of hats, but in his spare time he’s a self-proclaimed space cowboy who points a telescope skyward from his backyard in downtown Buffalo, directly into the light of the sun. Using special filters attached to his camera Friedman captures some of the most lovely details of the Sun’s roiling surface. The raw images are colorless and often blurry requiring numerous hours of coloring, adjusting and finessing to tease out the finest details, the results of which hardly resemble what I imagine the 5,500 degree (Celsius) surface of Sun might look like. Instead Friedman’s photos appear almost calm and serene, perhaps an entire planet of fluffy clouds or cotton candy. From his artist statement:
My photographs comprise a solar diary, portraits of a moment in the life of our local star. Most are captured from my backyard in Buffalo, NY. Using a small telescope and narrow band filters I can capture details in high resolution and record movements in the solar atmosphere that change over hours and sometimes minutes. The raw material for my work is black and white and often blurry. As I prepare the pictures, color is applied and tonality is adjusted to better render the features. It is photojournalism of a sort. The portraits are real, not painted. Aesthetic decisions are made with respect for accuracy as well as for the power of the image.
Although the photos above are amazing, Friedman offers extremely high-resolution views of his work on his Tumblr and you can pick up some prints over on Photo-Eye. He also recently gave a TEDx Talk. (via geocentrismo)
Barcelona-based German-born architect André Broessel of rawlemon has constructed an enormous glass ball lens filled with water capable of harnessing power from the sun and even the moon (last image), and converting it into usable energy. I have no idea about the practicality of its use, but it sure is gorgeous. Broessel proposes that the spheres could be embedded in buildings allowing for natural light to stream through while capturing valuable energy. See much more over on Designboom.