Amazing

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Amazing Design

A Stunning New Mastercard Ad Uses Accessible Marketing to Center People Who Are Visually Impaired

April 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

A brilliantly designed commercial for Mastercard is intended to be as accessible as the product it’s promoting. The project of filmmaker Fredrik Bond in collaboration with branding agency McCann, the advertisement opens with an audio description produced for people who are blind or partially sighted, a feature that overlays the remainder of the work.

The ensuing narrative, which is used as an essential storytelling device rather than optional addition, follows the protagonist, Marjorie—played by actress and activist Marilee Talkington—as she leaves her apartment to grab a coffee. A roving spotlight illuminates friends and passersby, who produce sound-generating activities that she parses as she walks down the sidewalk with a cane. Once at the cafe, Marjorie uses Mastercard’s new Touch Cards, which are notched in different shapes to help people who are visually impaired distinguish credit from debit from prepaid.

At its close, “Spotlight” amends the company’s long-running slogan with a pitch for more inclusivity and accessibility that mirrors the approach introduced by the commercial: “Because a world designed for all of us is priceless.”

 

 

 

 

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Amazing

An Absurd Mockumentary Follows a Disheveled Robot that Mooches Off His Ornery Creator

August 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Brian and Charles are just like any other roommates. They enjoy bedroom dance parties and competitive games of Scrabble, pull dated clothes from each others’ closets, and even argue over whose food is whose—Charles is notorious for sneaking bites of Brian’s vegetables when he’s not around. In most senses, the bond between the perpetually disheveled pair is typical of other friendships, but one thing sets them apart: Charles is a bumbling, redundant robot Brian built during an intense depression one winter, and now they’re stuck together.

Similarly brash and awkward, the quirky duo stars in a brilliant short film written and directed by Jim Archer. The mockumentary-style production follows their shared routines of eating berries and wandering their bucolic cottage property, before capturing the cabbage-fueled fight that threatens their bond.

Archer shared some behind-the-scenes details on the low-budget production with Short of the Week, and you can find an extensive archive of his short films on his site.

 

 

 



Amazing Design History Photography

Spectacular Drone Views Of Giza Present the Pyramid in an Unusual Perspective

July 13, 2021

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Alexander Ladanivskyy, shared with permission

Ukrainian photographer Alexander Ladanivskyy travels the world in search of spectacular images including idyllic scenes of Icelandic waterfalls, ancient mountain cities in Jordan, and the collision of history and modernity in Nepal. Last April, he teamed up with the Ministry of Tourism in Egypt to shoot one of the most photographed landmarks on Earth: the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Not satisfied with recreating perspectives found on postcards and Instagram feeds, Ladanivskyy instead used a drone to shoot the 4,600-year-old structure squarely from above at different altitudes.

The series offers an uncanny view of Giza and manages to flatten the 450-foot building into an abstract collection that appears more like a cobblestone courtyard than a 92-million-cubic-foot stack of boulders. Each photo zeroes in on the pyramid’s tip, or pyramidion, which was once topped by an immense capstone that some speculate may have been gilded with gold. The area is now covered with centuries of graffiti, names etched in stone before the pyramid was more closely guarded. You can explore more of Ladanivskyy’s wide-ranging travel photography on Instagram. (thnx, Anastasia!)

 

 

 



Amazing Dance

A Clip in Extreme Slow Motion Shows Every Detail of Simone Biles’s Amazing Triple-Double

June 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Simone Biles claimed her seventh U.S. gymnastics title last weekend, in part thanks to an impeccably executed triple-double (a.k.a. three twists performed during two backflips). A short clip captures the star athlete, who hasn’t lost an all-around competition in eight years, as she completes the perfect sequence in extreme slow motion—you might want to watch the full routine first for perspective—showing how she gently turns herself over in two backflips before launching herself multiple feet into the air. After a seemingly gravity-defying series of flips and bends, she nails the landing in an absolutely stunning feat. (via Kottke)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Enormous Mosaic Spanning 1,250 Hours of Exposure Time Captures the Milky Way in Incredible Detail

March 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

The Tulip nebula. All images © J-P Metsavainio, shared with permission

Twelve years and 1,250 hours of exposure time later, Finnish photographer J-P Metsavainio stitched together a massive, 1.7-gigapixel composite detailing every fiery burst and starry expanse dotting the Milky Way. The stellar mosaic documents the 125-degree stretch between Taurus to Cygnus and is comprised of 234 individual images that extend across 10,000 pixels. Nearly 20 million stars are visible in the expanse.

The ongoing project began in 2009, and Metsavainio knew it would take at least a decade to realize. “As a visual artist, the composition of the image means a lot. During the years, I have shot hundreds of individual targets from the Milky Way. Each image taken is an independent artwork. At the same time, I always kept in my mind the needs of the final large composition,” the photographer said, noting that he captured the more pronounced elements, like supernovae, first before filling in the gaps.

After shooting with relatively short focal length instruments the last few years, Metsavainio plans to use this incredibly high-resolution panorama as a map as he shifts to longer focal length tools in the coming months. Find details on Metsavainio’s entire process, along with specifics on the equipment used, on his site, where you also can find a larger portfolio of his galactic projects. (via PetaPixel)

Update: Metsavainio published a new version that now spans 145 x 22 degrees of sky and is 2.2 gigapixels.

 

The full composite image in mapped colors from the light emitted by ionized elements. Hydrogen = green, sulfur = red, and oxygen = blue. (click to zoom)

The 125-degree stretch from Taurus to Cygnus

Detail of Wolf Rayet Shell around the star WR 134

California Nebulam NGC 1499

Sharpless 124 & the Cocoon Nebula

 

 



Amazing Photography

Countless Starlings Flock Together in a Miraculous Bird-Shaped Murmuration Over Lough Ennell

March 4, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Image © James Crombie, licensed for use

After months of chasing starlings alongside his colleague Colin Hogg, Dublin-based photographer James Crombie captured a phenomenal shot of the flock as it swelled into an enormous bird-like murmuration. Hogg recorded the awe-inspiring experience in a short clip that shows the winged formation taking shape and hovering over Lough Ennell, a lake near Mullingar in central Ireland.

Crombie is known for his sports photography, and last week, he was named Press Photographer of the Year for his shot of a fan perched on a ladder watching the semi-final between St. Brigid’s and Boyle from the edge of a graveyard. Follow Crombie’s work that takes him to soccer fields, bucolic landscapes, and remote marshes on Instagram. You also might enjoy this series documenting murmurations over Danish marshlands.

 

 

 

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Artist Cat Enamel Pins