Photography

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Photography

Stranded: Striking Aerial Footage Flies Over Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall Volcano as It Erupts

April 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

A few weeks ago we shared these dramatic photographs of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano as spews molten rock into the air, and a new short film by French director Stéphane Ridard hovers over the Geldingadalur landform to capture the eruption, which is the first in 6,000 years, in incredible detail. Shot on March 19, “Stranded” reveals spectacular aerial footage of rivers of lava pouring across the landscape, magma shooting upward onto the Reykjanes peninsula, and the smoky haze that blankets the site, which is located about 20 miles from Reykjavík.

Having just moved to Iceland a few weeks ago, Ridard shoots a variety of landscapes around the world, and you can find more of his films and photographs on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art Photography

Candid Moments Captured in Vintage Photos Are Magnified in Mohamed L’Ghacham's Murals

April 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Confinamiento” (2019), Cheste, Valencia, Spain. All images © Mohamed L’Ghacham, shared with permission

Whether depicting a birthday party or a child’s first steps, the expressive murals by Mohamed L’Ghacham (previously) enlarge sincere, unposed moments into monumental celebrations of everyday life. The Moroccan artist recreates vintage photographs as wall-sized artworks in locations across Europe that portray a woman readying for bed or the chaotic minutes before a family portrait at a massive scale.

L’Ghacham tells Colossal that his relationship to the original images has evolved in recent years from a simple juxtaposition of the site and the quiet, unassuming beauty of the domestic scenes to a more complex understanding. “Those first murals were done in abandoned, demolished places or simply on the outskirts of cities and public spaces. The impact of seeing an image of this type painted with a technique closer to classical painting than graffiti in such spaces created a concept by itself for me,” he says.

Today, the Barcelona-based artist sources reference photographs and home videos from neighbors and city archives to connect more directly with the local culture. While his style is unchanged—L’Ghacham continues to use loose brushstrokes and layers of muted tones to achieve the vintage aesthetic—the streetside works reflect those living nearby. “I think (the murals) can be very symbolic and that many people can feel represented even if they are not necessarily the protagonists portrayed,” he says. “Until now my intention was to pay tribute and give visibility to situations that we all live in and that maybe sometimes we find it hard to value.”

Starting next month, L’Ghacham will be traveling around Europe for a few projects and has a solo exhibition at PDP Gallery slated for this summer, which will be comprised of the smaller paintings he’s been sharing on Instagram.

 

“Pillando el globo” (2019), Mataró, Spain. Done in collaboration with Ivan Floro

“Matança do porco” (2019), Figueiró Dos Vinhos, Portugal

“Indoor II” (2019), Schiedam, Netherlands

“Dormitorio III” (2019), Mantova, Italy

“La Fondue” (2019), Crans-montana, Switzerland

“Family portrait” (2020), Wevelgem, Belgium

“El dormitorio de Aina” (2020), Torrellas, Spain

 

 



Art History Photography

150,000 Hearts Representing Lives Lost to Coronavirus in the UK Line the COVID Memorial Wall in London

April 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All photos © Henri Calderon for Colossal

Nearly 500 meters of small, red hearts will soon cover an expanse of concrete facing the River Thames in London. Now dubbed the National COVID Memorial Wall, the poignant display publicly commemorates the 150,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom so far. Each heart represents one victim, with short messages of grief, love, and remembrance scribed by loved ones in their centers. It takes about ten minutes to walk by the entirety of the project, which serves as a staggering reminder of the virus’s devastation.

Coordinated by COVID-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, the two-meter-high wall is situated between the Westminster and Lambeth bridges, opposite the Houses of Parliament. According to The Guardian, Matt Fowler helms the ongoing project, which he began a few weeks ago by painting 15,000 hearts on the facade. His father died from the virus last April. “When you see all the hearts and think what each one represents, it’s absolutely frightening,” Fowler says.

Organizers still are raising money for supplies to complete all 150,000 hearts—although official government statistics currently reflect 149,000 deaths, which is the largest loss in Europe—that volunteers will continue to paint to account for all victims. Talks are also in the works about preserving the memorial to ensure that it’s a permanent fixture in London.

This past weekend, photographer Henri Calderon captured images for Colossal that document the memorial’s progress, which you can see below.

 

 

 



Photography

Shots of Snuggling Swans and Ravenous Shags Best the 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year Contest

April 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

Image © Brian Matthews, European shag. All images © Bird Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

This year’s Bird Photographer of the Year contest (previously) highlights a variety of avian adventures from a mallard duckling chasing a fly and an impatient shag to a hamerkop ruthlessly tossing a toad in the air. Now in its sixth year, the annual competition released a selection of finalists this week from more than 22,000 entries spanning 73 countries that capture a range of playful, intimate, and sometimes merciless moments. 2021’s winners will be announced in September. See some of Colossal’s favorite shots below, and pre-order the book compiling more than 200 photographs on the contest’s site.

 

Image © Andy Parkinson, mute swan

Image © Daniel Zhang, hamerkop

Image © Mark Williams, Eurasian nuthatch

Image © Gábor Li, shags

Image © James Wilcox, American Oystercatcher

Image © Zdeněk Jakl, mallard duck

Image © Li Ying Lou, red-crowned crane

Image © David White, swallow

 

 



Photography

Black-and-White Photos by Daniel Tjongari Frame the Dramatic Landscape of Indonesia's Sawarna Beach

April 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Daniel Tjongari, shared with permission

Between 2015 and 2019, Indonesian photographer Daniel Tjongari made multiple treks to a complex of white sand beaches that sit adjacent to the Indian Ocean. He wanted to capture the fluctuating coastal area over time, a project that resulted in a series of dramatic, ethereal images highlighting the beauty of the region. Through monochromatic shots—he shares photographer Elliot Erwitt’s understanding that “color is destructive. Black-and-white is interpretative”—Tjongari frames the rocky expanses and waterfalls of Sawarna Beach in various states, whether shrouded in thick fog or experiencing a brief moment of calm.

Tjongari is a SONY Alpha Professional Photographer for SONY INDONESIA. He recently traveled to White Crater in West Java Province to shoot a new series, which he’ll be sharing soon on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Spectacular Aerial Photos Capture the Dramatic Scenes Unfolding as Iceland's Volcano Erupts

March 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Thrainn Kolbeinsson, shared with permission

Photographer Thrainn Kolbeinsson has been camping out on the Reykjanes peninsula in recent days documenting the long-awaited eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano. Following an estimated 50,000 earthquakes and nearly 6,000 years since its last event, the Geldingadalur landform, which is located about 20 miles from Reykjavík, has been transformed into a scorching scene of molten lava, ash, and explosive bursts that spatters across the sky—the setting is so dramatic and ominous that the internet has even started likening it to Mordor.

Kolbeinsson says that after a few days of calm, “the Earth suddenly opened up, and the night sky turned red,” erupting in a blazing mass of lava that roils through the charred landscape. “Even though it might look terrifying, it was actually a beautiful experience watching the violent spits from the volcano quickly turn into smooth streams of glowing lava as new earth was being born. Every day the area has changed, and at this pace, the whole valley will fill up in about 10-20 days,” he writes.

See more images and footage from the site on Kolbeinsson’s Behance and Instagram. You also can find a larger collection of his shots from around Iceland on his site, and check out available prints in his shop. (via WE AND THE COLOR)