Photography

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Photography

Double-Exposure Photos by Christoffer Relander Superimpose Everyday Scenes onto Human Silhouettes

August 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Christoffer Relander, shared with permission

Spontaneity, honesty, and a desire for experimentation are at the heart of an ongoing project by  Christoffer Relander, whose dreamy compositions masterfully blend portraiture and nature. 365 Days of Double Exposure is Relander’s practice of documenting life around him, whether that be the mundane scenes inside his home or the landscapes and people he encounters. Like other daily projects in a similar vein, the goal is to create no matter the circumstances, and Relander carries a pocket-sized Ricoh GRIII with him to capture impromptu moments throughout the day.

The Finnish photographer (previously) recently released the first month’s collection on Behance—prints are available through his site—many of which layer silhouettes of children with foliage. Taken in black-and-white, the images delicately balance the human and natural elements, allowing facial details to peek through a garden of daisies or superimposing a deserted roadway into a profile so that it appears to lead into the figure.

Some of Relander’s compositions are included in a group exhibition through August 28 at the Museum of New Art in Pärnu, Estonia, and if you’re in New York City, you can see more of his work at Muriel Guepin.

 

 

 

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Photography

UV Light Unveils the Extraterrestrial Luminescence of the American West in Cody Cobb’s Photos

August 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cody Cobb, shared with permission

In his ongoing Spectral series, Las Vegas-based photographer Cody Cobb projects an ultraviolet light source across desert shrubs and secluded, rocky coves, unveiling an invisible spectrum of blues and oranges. Lichens, fallen leaves, and the bacteria growing from lava tubes become radiant lifeforms and transform locations in Washington, Utah, California, and New Mexico into otherworldly landscapes.

Focused on organic matter like mineral deposits and plants, Cobb’s photos expose what he describes as a “parallel world,” where the UV light allows an extraterrestrial eeriness to emerge. “Because I need such low ambient light levels for the fluorescence to show up in the exposures, I’m out making these at very odd hours of the night,” he says. “There’s such a strange dreaminess to exploring strange lands alone and in the dark.”

Cobb plans to show Spectral next year at Marshall Gallery in Santa Monica. Until then, browse select prints in his shop, and explore more of the series on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Bewildering Inconveniences Trap Subjects in Uncomfortable Scenarios in Ben Zank’s Surreal Photography

August 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Some people live on the block, I just live under it.” All images © Ben Zank, shared with permission

The ordinary collides with the bizarre in Ben Zank’s photography. Set on the street, on construction sites, or in grassy fields, his surreal images capture subjects in unequivocally inconvenient positions: A businessman finds himself trapped under a concrete block, a wood pile stacks atop one figure, and another precariously grasps the edge of a sinkhole. Often hiding their faces behind barriers or through a distinctly avoidant turn of the head, Zank anonymizes his subjects, making their awkward predicaments appear all the more inevitable and bound to happen to unassuming passersby.

Find an archive of the New York City-based photographer’s strange situations on Instagram and Twitter.

 

“Blocked”

“Stay alert”

“Logical thinking”

“The Last Grasstronaut”

“I think I’m falling for you”

Left: “Caught on tape.” Right: “Mixed signals”

“Moonwalker”

 

 



Craft Photography

In Roberto de la Torre’s Documentary Photos, Yearly Masking Rituals Celebrate the Change of the Seasons

August 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

Boteiros, Viana do Bollo, Spain. All images © Roberto de la Torre, shared with permission

In regions throughout Europe, ancient religions often welcomed solstices and equinoxes by crafting elaborate garments that evoked different points in the agricultural cycle. Bulky suits of fur and hide might reference the slow movements of winter’s dormancy, while the straw dresses associated with the Tafarrón festival ask for fertility in the coming year. More vibrant iterations with patterns and towering headdresses are known as boteiros, or the centuries-old garments associated with the entroido of the Viana do Bollo region in Spain.

Capturing what remains of these seasonal celebrations is what drives Galicia-based photographer Roberto de la Torre, whose ongoing documentarian series Microcosmos records those who participate in the yearly rituals. “There is little information about them, so I often travel through these regions and ask the people of the towns,” he tells Colossal. “It is also research work. Going to the sites to be able to photograph the masks also means going on a certain date. Many of these rituals are done only one day a year.”

Each suit is just one facet of a broader character with its own name, talismans, shamanic references, and specific purpose within the celebration. The garments interpret the physical conditions of the land, and in his images, de la Torre intends to dissolve the boundary between the subjects and their surroundings, instead exposing the inherent, and sacred, connection between the two. “In Microcosmos, I present a hierophantic landscape where the mythical beings that build the magical places are manifested,” he says, referring to his photos as “a visual game between the tangible and the intangible in a physical and natural setting, a heritage and cultural memory that has treasured its uniqueness over the centuries.”

De la Torre is hoping to compile his images in a book, and you can follow news about that release, along with more of his documentary work, on Instagram.

 

Oso, Samede, Galicia

Oso, Salcedo, Galicia

Home de bugallos, A Mezquita, Galicia

Tafarrón, Pozuelo de Tábara, Zamora

Vixigueiro, Samede, Galicia

Chamador, Lalín, Galicia

 

 



Art History Illustration Photography Science

A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Carl Chun, Polypus levis, from Die Cephalopoden (1910–15), color lithograph, 35 × 25 centimeters. Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library/Contributed by MBLWHOI Library, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library, Massachusetts. All images © Phaidon, shared with permission

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.

Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. The volume presents science and history alongside art and illustration—it features biological renderings by Ernst Haekcl, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama—in addition to texts about conservation and the threats the climate crises poses to underwater life.

Ocean will be released this October and is available for pre-order on Bookshop. You also might enjoy this volume devoted to birds.

 

NNtonio Rod (Antonio Rodríguez Canto), Trachyphyllia, from Coral Colors, (2016). Image © NNtonio Rod

Jason deCaires Taylor, “Rubicon” (2016), stainless steel, pH-neutral cement, basalt and aggregates, installation view, Museo Atlántico, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote, Atlantic Oceanl. Photo courtesy of the artist

Christian Schussele and James M. Sommerville, Ocean Life, (c.1859), watercolor, gouache, graphite, and gum arabic on off-white wove paper, 48.3 × 69.7 centimeters. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Duke Riley, #34 of the Poly S. Tyrene Maritime Collection (2019), salvaged, painted plastic bottle, 30.5 × 18.4 × 7.6 centimeters Image courtesy of Duke Riley Studio

Nicolas Floc’h, Productive Structures, Artificial Reefs, -23m, Tateyama, Japan, (2013). Image © Nicolas Floc’h

 

 



Photography

In ‘Cowspines,’ the Bony Topographies of Bovine Backs Appear Like Rugged Landscapes

July 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kate Kirkwood, shared with permission

Cragged, gaunt topographies bisect the deceptive landscapes by Kate Kirkwood, a British photographer whose work is deeply rooted in the countryside of the Lake District where she’s lived for the last 34 years. There, underneath the clear, blue skies or amid the haze of dense fog, Kirkwood frames what appears to be vast, barren terrains that with further examination, are revealed to be fragmented shots of the animals wandering the fields rather than the vistas themselves.

Taken during the summer months, the photos are part of her ongoing Cowspines series, a collection of images that magnify the cattle’s bony structures and soft hides lined with small tufts of hair. The shots are the result of bonding with the animals, Kirkwood tells Colossal, that involved “getting as close as they’d let me, feeling their warmth, swooning from their intense cow fragrance,” she says. “Their nuzzling and milkiness was intoxicating, and then, to notice how the sway and the curve of their spines, their hips, and shoulders, harmonised with the rocks, hills, clouds, fields, and stone walls behind them was a very exciting realisation.”

Now compiled in a volume published by Ten O’Clock Books, the images present a distorted, yet celebratory perspective of the animals and their relationship to their environment. Kirkwood elaborates in an interview:

In the same way that the backs of the living cows in my photographs become part of the landscape, so too, perhaps, in a lovely reversal, the landscape, the hills, the shapes, the weather, become living entities, their assimilation of the warm-blooded creatures in the foreground imbuing them with a similar vital force; hairy, bony, wispy, undulating life forms.

Currently, Kirkwood is working on a few series focused on documenting life in the Lake District. You can explore a broader collection of her photographs on her site and Instagram. (via MetaFilter)