For the past year LA-based photographer Mark Laita has been traveling to various locations around the U.S. and Central America photographing some of the world’s most deadliest snakes, a series entitled Serpentine. Of the project he says:
The sensual attractiveness of snakes, which coexists with their threatening, unpredictable and mysterious nature is truly unique. This dichotomy, in which their beauty seems to be heightened by their danger, and vice-versa, is what I find so fascinating. Add to these contradictions the rich symbolism of serpents and you have a wonderfully compelling subject.
Laita works with collectors, breeders, zoos, and even anti-venom labs who let him photograph their snake collections. But as you can imagine snake handling can be dangerous work. Just last week on a photo shoot in Costa Rica, he tangoed with a Black Mambo (last photo), the longest venomous snake in Africa that can grow up to 14 feet long. So what kind of risk did you take at work today?
See also his beautiful if somewhat heartbreaking catalog of ornithological specimens entitled Amaranthine, and some exquisite images of sea life. All images courtesy the artist. (via feature shoot)
I happened to stumble onto the work of San Diego-based director, designer, and photographer Charles Bergquist who for the past few months has been publishing his more experimental images through a website he calls Everyday. It’s been a while since I’ve plunged so deeply into the portfolio of a photographer and I urge you to do the same. Much more in his photostream.
Tucked away in a quiet forest near the Lule River in Harads, Sweden is Treehotel, a themed hotel park consisting of tree-houses designed by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects that was just awarded the 2011 Swedish Grand Tourism Prize. There are currently 24 rooms planned, with six now available for booking. Some of them, including the Mirrorcube and the Birdsnest have made the rounds on blogs extensively the past few months, but I’m really enjoying the fine details of the UFO room. The sleek outer surface and lighting makes me giddily nostalgic for the days of E.T. and Flight of Navigator, and what’s not to like about planetary pillows and constellation comforters? A stay will run you about $600/night for two adults. (via ck/ck)
DDB Paris created these interactive “Escape Machines” for the French travel company Voyages SNCF. The black, monolithic cubes were installed conspicuously in highly-trafficked public places, the only visible prompt a small red button. As a random person approaches they are asked by a mechanized voice from within the box where they would travel to if they could leave immediately, the button is pressed and hilarity ensues. The person is even presented with an enormous faux ticket to their destination.
Apparently I have been living in a cave because this music video released last year by Mumford and Sons has nearly five million views and a quick tour check shows they played, literally, in my back yard at the Riviera theater here in Chicago a few months ago and I was none the wiser. The four-member English folk rock band set the internet on fire last night (and crashed their own web site) after a quick 2-minute opener for Bob Dylan with the song above. I’m sure for some of you this is tantamount to me discovering a hot new band called “Radiohead”, but if it’s new to just a few of you my work here is done.