We’ve long be fans of illustrator Thomas Lamadieu's quirky depictions of people inhabiting the strange spaces between buildings in his original photographs of the sky. His latest pieces are set against backdrops above South Korea, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain, some of which also incorporate trees as hairstyles from various landscapes. In a peculiar move Lamadieu utilizes one of the most basic drawing platforms possible to create his artworks: Microsoft Paint. You can see more of his ongoing ‘SkyArt’ series on his website.
Over the last few years we’ve seen several series where people use toys, pets, and unwitting significant others as props to liven up their travel photos. Photographer Jorge Saenz decided to pounce on the idea with his “#dinodinaseries” that incorporates a small herd of plastic dinosaur toys turned tourists who join him on his adventures. It all began when Saenz purchased a green brachiosaurus toy at a flea market in La Paz, Bolivia and shared a few shots of it exploring the local surroundings. The miniature reptiles have since accompanied him to other South American countries like Paraguay and Peru where they’ve braved rapids, climbed mountains, and explored Incan ruins. You can see many more on Saenz’s Instagram. (via Lost at E Minor)
Beijing-based photographer Ryan Deboodt (previously) recently returned from a trip to Laos where he spent two days exploring Tham Khoun Xe, one of the largest active rivers caves in the world. Stretching nearly 4.5 miles (7km) underground, the cave system is extraordinarily remote and Deboodt was permitted to photograph and film beyond where tourists are normally allowed to visit. The immensity of the subterranean space is staggering, with an average ceiling of almost 200 feet (60m) and width of 250 feet (76m) it’s hardly imaginable a space like this could exist underground.
Deboodt brought an arsenal of camera and video equipment as well as a drone to capture the expansive interiors of Tham Khoun Xe, much of which he edited into a short video included below. You can follow more of his cave photography from around the world on Facebook or Instagram, and read an interview about the endeavor on Smithsonian.
North Carolina-based goldsmith Ola Shekhtman designs these fun skyline rings that wrap entire cityscapes around your finger. So far she’s managed to encapsulate the architectural highlights of over a dozen cities including Paris, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, Hong Kong and many more. All are available in various materials from bronze and silver to gold or platinum. See more in her shop. (via My Modern Met)
The winners and honorable mentions of the 2015 National Geographic Photography Competition have just been announced, and as usual it’s an astonishing collection of brilliant images captured around the world from the streets of Iran to the skies above Spain. The grand prize winner is “DIRT” by Australian photographer James Smart who photographed a dusty tornado as it just barely misses a house in Colorado. We’ve gathered our favorites here, but to see a few more honorable mentions and explore tens of thousands of submissions, head over to National Geographic.
Long gone are the days when our first instinct is to migrate to a spinning globe to track the destinations around us or find a specific country. Now we have the power to digitally zoom in and out of the entire earth, utilizing mapping tools like Google Earth. The romanticism tied to these newer forms however, does not match the art of the ancient globe, the earliest dating back to the mid-2nd century B.C. Nowadays globes are either modern and massively produced, or antiquated models unsuited for casual browsing.
Frustrated by this lack of quality options when trying to find a globe as a present, Peter Bellerby started Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in order to produce globes that exist somewhere in-between the two options. “I did this as a direct result of looking, searching for a globe for my father for his 80th birthday, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Bellerby. “Initially my plan was to make one for him and maybe one for me if I had the budget.”
After spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally predicted on the process, he decided to use what he’d learned to set up a company in 2008, eventually moving into their current location in Stoke Newington, London. The company employs a small team of makers that fastidiously work in an open environment with large windows, nestled between test sheets of watercolor paints and hanging strips of paper twirling from clothes pins. To master the process of applying paper to the sphere globes (called “goring”) can take up to a year or more.
“It’s been something that’s been an incredible challenge. The whole design process, the whole way of making anything using a sphere at its base, at its centerpiece is fraught with different problems and issues because you are multiplying every error by pi,” said Bellerby.
Bellerby & Co. Globemakers’ globes have been featured in Hollywood movies and BBC productions as well as used in installations by established artists. The company has also had support from the Royal Geographic Society and was able to host their first ever globe exhibition in 2012. To see more images of the daily life at the Bellerby & Co. studio, visit the company’s Instagram or their blog. (via My Modern Met)