Photography

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Photography

Nature Reclaims Abandoned Castles, Theaters, and Monasteries in Photographs by Jonk

January 25, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Jonk, shared with permission

Inspired by a wildlife documentary he saw as a child, Paris-based photographer Jonk (Jonathan Jimenez) travels the world in search of man-made structures that have been abandoned and reclaimed by nature. A jungle fills a dilapidated theater in Cuba, roots snake through a mansion in Taiwan, and a wild garden sprouts in a former greenhouse in Belgium. A reflection of his ecological consciousness, Jonk’s photography shows that in the power struggle between man and nature, nature always wins.

Throughout his career, the photographer has visited more than 1,000 abandoned structures in 50 countries on four different continents. The Naturalia: Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins series has led to the publication of a hardcover photography book, and Jonk says that he is working on a second volume. The juxtaposition of weakened architecture with thriving plant life tells a full story. The images capture specific moments in time and allude to the past, but for Jonk, they hint at an inevitable future. “This series also tells the story of the progression of Nature,” he said in a statement, “from the infiltration in abandoned places, through the moment where She grows inside them, until their collapse. Burial comes next along with the disappearance of all traces of Man.”

Images from the Naturalia series are currently being exhibited at the André Planson Museum in Paris through March 1, 2020, with other exhibitions planned this year. To see more of Jonk’s urban ruin photography and to follow his travels, head over to Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Historic Geometric Pools Interrupt Australia’s Rocky Coastline in Aerial Shots by Nicole Larkin

January 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole Larkin, shared with permission

For years, Nicole Larkin has been capturing the ocean pools along the coasts of New South Wales in a project titled The Wild Edge. Mostly constructed as public works endeavors more than 80 years ago, the geometric spaces often are nestled in Australia’s rocky shorelines, surrounded by crashing waves and filled with jewel-toned waters. In a statement about the project, Larkin described the swimming sanctuaries as offering visitors “intimate encounters with the landscape.”

They are largely opportunistic interventions that exploit the natural topography of the rock platform to make a protected and convenient swimming area. They often exhibit the “bare minimum,” dematerializing into the rock platform yet providing amenity and facilitating easy access to the ocean.

The Sydney-based architect, artist, and designer tells Colossal that she’s concerned with how the ocean landscapes are being altered by climate change. Larkin says designing additional pools could be used “to facilitate community amenity and access to the ocean, but also to act as protective structures which buffer against storms,” as the area deals with the global crisis.

For a geographical look at coast-side retreats, check out Larkin’s interactive collaboration with Guardian Australia. More aerial shots of the 60 remaining ocean oases are on the artist’s Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Photography Science

Use ‘Roadside Wildflowers at Full Speed’ to Identify Plants Without Leaving Your Car

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Dames rocket. All images © Chris Helzer, shared with permission

What’s a road trip without checking out the scenery? Chris Helzer, aka The Prairie Ecologist, has put together a new guide for those who want to know a little bit more about the wildflowers they see along the roadside but don’t want to leave their moving vehicles.

What about the silent majority who prefer to experience wildflowers the way General Motors intended – by whizzing past them in a fast, comfortable automobile? How are nature-loving-from-a-distance drivers supposed to learn the names and habits of the wildflowers as they speed blissfully past them at 65 (85?) miles per hour?

A Field Guide to Roadside Wildflowers at Full Speed,” which is available for free download, is a satirical take on the classic handbook that describes the plant, says when it’s in bloom, and gives a hint about where to find it. For Helzer’s project, though, each habitat is listed as “roadsides” and similar flowers tend to include descriptions like “anything yellow.” The photographs identifying each species are blurred to “appear as they actually look when you see them from the road.”

A scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, Helzer began his blog in 2009 intending to serve as a resource for people interested in managing and restoring prairies. He tells Colossal he created this parody as a joke for his regular 4,500 readers who come to his site for his wildflower photos.

If you want to take this guide for a spin, be sure to heed Helzer’s warning: “Always use a designated passenger to look up flowers.” (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Butterfly milkweed

Western wallflower

 

 



Photography

Through Monochromatic Photographs, Aleksey Myakishev Documents Rural Life in Russia

January 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aleksey Myakishev, shared with permission

Born in Kirov and now based in Moscow, photographer Aleksey Myakishev is adept at capturing the simple moments of life and transforming them into alluring black-and-white images. Taken mostly throughout Russia, his projects tend to focus on unassuming subjects as they navigate their daily lives. In one photograph, three figures walk over a snow-covered landscape away from a lit firework, and in another, Myakishev creates an uncanny juxtaposition between a hilly horizon and a man swinging a child by his hands as a winter boot flies from his foot. When describing the dozens of series he’s created, the prolific artist said capturing life in his native country can be complex.

It is always difficult to photograph the place where you live. Nevertheless, sometimes I pick up my camera and go to the streets to capture the city’s pulse. When I look through the camera’s viewfinder, a dialogue with the city takes place. There are lots of everything here, be it people, vehicles, buildings. Sometimes the city looks ugly to me, sometimes beautiful. Through photography I try to find something especial in this city, perceiving the underlying surrealism of what is going on.

Myakishev also has published three books chronicling his monochromatic works. To find more of his documentary-style images, head to his Instagram and keep an eye out for his upcoming project on provincial Russia.

Moscow (2019)

Davydovo (2013)

Arkhangelsk (2018)

 

 



Art Photography

Neon Hues Paint Puddles of ‘Regular Rain’ in Images by Slava Semeniuta

January 19, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images ©  VISUAL SCIENTIST, shared with permission

Russian artist and photographer Slava Semeniuta aka VISUAL SCIENTIST (previously) retouches digital photographs of puddles to create vibrant compositions of “REGULAR RAIN.” Every color of the light spectrum is reflected in neon on the smooth surface of water as it falls and sits on the asphalt. The macro view of wet streets creates a cosmic feeling for common terrestrial scenes.

Semeniuta tells Colossal that he was inspired to create the photo series a couple of weeks ago in Sochi. The way the light shimmered on the wet plants, tiles, and asphalt compelled him to return home for his camera to shoot “everything that seemed to me impressive, something that touched me. I especially liked the look of the reflection of neon light in the water,” he adds, “which froze in a thick layer, not yet having time to soak into the asphalt structure. These reflections in the puddles give me a strange feeling that I am looking into some other dimension.”

Keep scrolling down to be transported to another dimension through Semeniuta’s images, and see more of the artist’s work over on his Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Snails Paint the Town in Miniature Scenes Crafted by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland

January 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland, shared with permission

Illinois-based Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland have a knack for creating miniature—and slimy—worlds just big enough for their tiny acquaintances to glide through. The creative duo is known for constructing realistic domestic settings featuring plastic covered furniture and a messy painting studio occupied by snails for its stills and short films. Now, though, the artists are pushing the critters beyond their comfortable homes for a fun night out. The snails are shot sliding up to a limo, basking under the glimmer of a disco ball, and gobbling up a cheeseburger in a quaint diner.

“It is a really fun challenge for us to come up with these scenes and to find different ways to execute it so it feels believable and lived in, despite its fabrication,” Murawski told Colossal. The bowling scene utilizes a ball controlled by a magnet that the creators shot frame-by-frame as it moved along the alley. That set took multiple days to get right, she says, from using coffee stir sticks to build out the floor to employing a vacuum-foaming machine to construct each chair.

Murawksi says the duo’s process is “very rooted in play and experimentation. We are always looking for new ways to construct different elements in a scene and trying varied techniques to create depth and motion in our work.” To keep up with the snails’ shenanigans, head to Murawski’s Instagram. You can even buy a print of their slippery adventures to add to your collection.

 

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Design Photography

Nairobi’s Motor Taxi Drivers Sport Extravagant Costumes in ‘Boda Boda Madness’

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Machete Rider.” All images © Jan Hoek, shared with permission

Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.

“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)

“Vybes Rider”

“Ghost Rider”

“Lion Rider”

“Mad Max Rider”

“Rasta Rider”

“Red Devil Rider”

Hoek and Case stand with the riders