For the last decade, Kansas-based photographer Chad Cowan has driven almost 100,000 miles across the United States chasing powerful supercell thunderstorms and recording them in high definition. The endeavor began as a personal project to capture a few storms as they developed but quickly grew into a full-blown obsession. Cowan has recorded hundreds of storms and condensed the highlights into this short film titled Fractal with editing help from Kevin X Barth. He shares about the nature of thunderstorms:
The ingredient based explanation for supercell thunderstorms cites moisture, wind shear, instability and lift as the reasons for their formation. I prefer to focus on the big picture. Supercell thunderstorms are a manifestation of nature’s attempt to correct an extreme imbalance. The ever ongoing effort to reach equilibrium, or viscosity, is what drives all of our weather, and the force with which the atmosphere tries to correct this imbalance is proportional to the gradient. In other words, the more extreme the imbalance, the more extreme the storm.
How fun is this? TOO FUN. Behold the latest video from art director Kouhei Nakama who uses a variety of generative and particle-based animation techniques to bring 3D figures to life in this motion graphics short aptly titled MAKIN’ MOVES. We marveled last year at another video by Nakama, Cycles. Music by Broke For Free. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
As a companion piece to his 2012 short film “Fall,” filmmaker Jamie Scott spent the last three years filming a massive variety of flowers in this seemingly endless parade of buds opening into blooms titled “Spring.” The entire film was shot on a small mini-stage inside the wardrobe of his New York home, and the results are stitched together into this seamless time-lapse. The visuals and music were created in tandem with composer Jim Perkins who received edits and wrote the music accordingly. You can learn more about how it was shot over on Fstoppers.
We’ve long marveled at artist John Edmark's (previously) kinetic objects that function as a medium to express a variety of mathematical formulas and concepts. The spiral-like sculptures often defy description and even when looking at them it’s hard to understand how they work, something he refers to as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” The folks at SciFri recently visited with Edmark in his studio to learn more about how he works and to catch a glimpse of some rather unusual sculptures he’s created over the last few years.
Sales Wick is an airline pilot, photographer, and film producer based in Switzerland who photographs the journeys of his many international flights on his website BeyondClouds. For his video Meet the Milky Way, Wick created a timelapse of his nighttime trip from Zurich to Sao Paulo, capturing the starry sky and the glowing Milky Way straight ahead. The video was recorded in August during one of the few nights where shooting stars can be seen racing across the sky, and during the video several can be observed traveling across the screen.
You can view more of Wick’s adventures in aviation on his Instagram and Vimeo, or if you a want different perspective of the Milky Way, check out the timelapse video shot recently in Hawaii by Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic from SKYGLOW. (via Kottke)
In most countries, the design of manhole covers is scarcely given a second thought other than the basics of material and a generic pattern resulting in drab metal circles with a purely utilitarian function. But after World War II, city planners in Japan proposed the idea of allowing each local municipality to design their own manhole cover as part of an effort to raise awareness for costly sewage projects. Designs would reflect local industry, culture, and history. The result was a huge success, and now over 19,000 manhole cover designs can be found embedded across 95% of all municipalities in Japan.
John Daub from ONLY in Japan recently visited the Nagashima Imono Casting Factory to see how the manhole covers are designed and built. He also stopped by an annual gathering of enthusiasts called the Manhole Summit that began in 2014, and learned about a new deck of Japanese Manhole Trading Cards.