For the last six years photographer Steve Garrington has spent countless hours documenting the oceanic events surrounding a single lighthouse in Porthcawl, Wales. Built in 1860, the lighthouse itself is pretty run-of-the-mill, but the events that unfold around it as stormy winds sweep in from the Bristol Channel are anything but ordinary. Because of the point’s unique sloped design, crashing waves are easily launched to extraordinary heights, especially during bad weather. It’s a wonder the structure is even standing after all these years. You can explore more of his photography on Flickr, specifically his waves album.
While many of us are content to listen to the natural sounds of ocean waves, architect Nikola Bašić took things a step further and faciliated a means for ocean currents to produce actual music. Behold: the Sea Organ. Constructed in 2005, the acoustic jetty spans some 230 feet (70 meters) and incorporates 35 polyethylene tubes of varying diameter. As waves flood each tube underwater, displaced air is forced through large whistles tuned to play seven chords of five tones. Day in and day out, music seems to emanate from the ground, a playful interplay between nature and design. Listening to the video above, the sound is somewhat like random chords played by a huge calliope.
Precariously resting atop a pedestal, these wave-like glass vessels by Scottish artist Graham Muir seem to defy gravity as if frozen in a moment before crashing into the ocean. Using techniques perfected over the last decade, Muir achieves delicate shapes that seem almost chiseled or fractured, but are in fact accomplished when working while the glass is still hot. He shares via his artist statement:
Such work speaks quietly of the harmony between maker or makers and the medium. It is often the result of a path that involves many failed attempts but results in a piece all the stronger for that, where nothing needs neither added nor taken away.
I find glass to be a material that does not respond well to being dominated by the artist. For me the concept of the work is just the starting point for a conversation between the artist’s idea and the material. The artist flags up the idea, the medium responds and the discussion begins. However the material must not dominate proceedings either and hot glass, as most who work in it know, can be very persuasive in having its own way.
Australian photographer Ray Collins first picked up a camera in 2007 and used it to photograph his friends surfing around his home after long shifts working in a nearby coal mine. His attention quickly shifted from his friends to patterns and forms he noticed in the waves. Collins, who is colorblind, was also drawn to the interplay of light and water, perhaps more attune to contrast than the nuance of color. He poetically refers to this switch from coal miner to fine art photographer as a balance between his “black life and blue life.”
The accolades, awards, and sponsorships have been heaped on Collins leading to the publication of his first book, Found at Sea, he also has a wide variety of prints on his website, and you can follow his photography day-to-day on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)
Earlier this week photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh was walking along the coast of Nantucket when he noticed something odd about the waves crashing on shore. The high temperature was 19°F (-7.2°C) and while the waves weren’t completely frozen, they were thick with pieces of ice, much like the consistency of a Slurpee, or an slushy, or an ICEE, or whatever. It’s amazing to see how the ice changes the form and color of the waves, making them seem almost solid. You can see a few more shots over on Stay Wild Magazine. You can follow more of Nimerfroh’s photography on Instagram. (thnx, Amber!)
Fascinated by the mysteries of the ocean his entire life, photographer Pierre Carreau (previously) documents the power and serenity of ocean waves in his now decade-long project AquaViva. After obtaining a business degree and going into IT, Carreau dramatically changed course in 2004 and moved with his family to the Caribbean island of St. Barthélemy where he now photographs waves as an artistic pursuit.
Carreau’s high-speed photos capture waves that appear frozen in time, giving them an almost sculptural appearance. “Water is amazing,” Carreau says. “Basically it has no color, but through reflection and refraction it can possess all of them, the entire spectrum of light.” More from his statement about AquaViva:
Carreau observes that the photographic images of AquaViva may sometimes be perceived as objects rather than as two-dimensional representations. The play of light off the multitude of facets and curves on the water’s surface gives the image a sculptural quality that enhances the sense of stillness and power. This simultaneous depiction of roiling movement and suspended kinetic energy parallels the dual nature of the oceans and of water itself: life-giving and yet dangerous, inviting and yet fearsome, primordial and yet ever-changing and always renewed.
Seen here is a collection of new photos from 2014 mixed with a few earlier shots we had yet to feature on Colossal, and there’s plenty more to see.