Photography

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Photography

The Neon Archives: An Exploration of Hong Kong’s Fading Neon Landscape

August 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Hong Kong has long been infused with the glowing haze produced by its omnipresent neon signs and advertisements. Recently this saturated element of the city has begun to disappear as maintenance and rent costs rise and government regulation steps in. Local photographer Dennis Isip intends to preserve this aspect of his city’s history through a series titled The Neon Archives.

Started in 2017, the ongoing photography series captures this retreating feature of the city’s culture with images that preserve Hong Kong’s vivid nightlife. “Neon lights define Hong Kong’s character and without it, the city’s identity is lost,” he tells Colossal. “The Neon Archives hope is to capture each neon sign in Hong Kong before they fade away.” (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Mother Duck and Her Extraordinary Brood of 76 Ducklings Photographed in a Minnesota Lake

August 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Brent Cizek

Minnesota-based wildlife photographer Brent Cizek was headed back to shore before a summer storm when he spotted the common merganser he would later nickname “Momma Merganser.” At first the mother duck was being followed by a brood of more than 50 fluffy ducklings, however when spotted the group again, the total had grown to 76.

“I happened to find this group of mergansers purely by luck, but I was absolutely amazed by what I saw,” Cizek tells Colossal. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the species, so I wasn’t sure if what I witnessed was a common occurrence or something out of the ordinary. All I knew was that I had never seen anything like that before.”

The scene is extraordinary indeed. Although the aquatic birds are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks, a female duck can only incubate 20 at any given time explains Kenn Kaufman, field editor for AudubonIt is most likely that several dozen of the ducklings lost their mothers and were adopted into Momma Merganser’s own brood.

Cizek plans to continue following the extra large family, and posts his findings to on Instagram. To learn more about merganser habits, read the National Audubon Society’s piece on the surprising spectacle. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Animation Art Photography

Light Painting Animations Create Dazzling Effects Around Glass Spheres

July 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

During his last few months in school, recent University of Maryland graduate Josh Sheldon built a light animation robot scaled to the size of his small college bedroom. For the personal project, Sheldon taught himself Blender, Python, and Dragonframe in just under two weeks. The device allowed him to create dazzling effects around spheres and cubes, with each animation taking between four and twelve hours to shoot. You can view the process behind Sheldon’s robot in the view below, and take a look at the code he used for each of his light paintings over on Github. More of Josh’s work, including these light portraits, can be found on his Instagram. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)

 

 



Photography

Botanical: A Collection of Impressionistic Plant Specimens Captured Against Greenhouse Glass

July 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Samuel Zeller began photographing greenhouses in 2015 after making a spontaneous trip to the Jardin d’hiver on his way home from work in Geneva, Switzerland. He was instantly fascinated by the blurred quality of the botanical specimens when gently pressed against the rippled glass, and began documenting this effect in greenhouses across Europe. His collection of images from the last three years have recently been compiled into the book Botanical, published this spring by Hoxton Mini Press.

“What I’m doing right now is very much influenced by my past,” Zeller tells Colossal regarding the plant-based series. “I’ve always enjoyed going to museums, and I developed an attraction for painting, specifically Impressionist ones. In ‘Botanical’ I tried to re-create this painterly feeling by capturing a refracted reality.”

When viewing the images, an intimacy can be felt between Zeller’s lens and the glass-guarded ferns, florals, and succulents despite the physical barrier that separates them. You can see more of his plant photography on his Instagram and Behance. (via Feature Shoot)

 

 



History Photography

Hole Punched Voids Transform Rejected Photographs From the Great Depression

July 23, 2018

Anna Marks

Russell Lee, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Mr Tronson, a farmer near Wheelock, North Dakota, August 1937, Photograph: Library of Congress

Russell Lee, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Mr Tronson, a farmer near Wheelock, North Dakota, August 1937, Photograph: Library of Congress

In an untitled photograph from 1937, a black disc surreally floats upon the subject’s face, obscuring the features hidden beneath the circular void. In another, a black circle hovers next to a tilted house, creating an eerie scene pulled straight from science fiction. At first glance, you might think a contemporary artist had altered the images, drawing jet-black voids as an intervention with photographs from rural Depression-era America. In reality, these images are discarded photographs from a bygone project that produced a pictorial record of American life between 1935-1944. The photographs, which are currently exhibited in The Killed Negatives: Unseen Images of 1930s America at Whitechapel Gallery in London, produce a snapshot of the crippling poverty and backbreaking jobs lower class Americans faced during the Great Depression

Paul Carter, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Tobacco fields devastated by the Connecticut River near Northampton, Massachusetts, March 1936, Photograph: Library of Congress

Ben Shahn, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Family of rehabilitation client, Boone County, Arkansas, October 1935, Photograph: Library of Congress

The story of these photographs begins in 1935, when Roy E Stryker, the head of the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), undertook a photographic project that commissioned famous American photographers such as Russell Lee, Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans to photograph farmers and farmland during the Great Depression. The FSA aimed to encourage poverty-stricken Americans to partake in self-sustaining programs where they could gain farm loans to buy seeds, equipment, livestock, and partake in homestead schemes which provided both education and healthcare. The project was to demonstrate the results of financial assistance that the FSA offered, in addition to outsourcing images of America life during this time.

Each photographer was given specific directives, for example, “farmer dumping milk at home,” “worried farmer,” or “federal government shot.” Over 270,000 photographs were produced during the project, yet only a few were picked to be part of the final collection. This included imagery featuring transient families, the unemployed, and drought-stricken fields. One of the most famous images was Lange’s 1936 Migrant Mother, which became a popular portrait long after the project’s conclusion.

Carl Mydans, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Mud bath, Prince George’s County, Maryland, August 1935, Photograph: Library of Congress

Theodor Jung, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Rehabilitation client worrying over his accounts, Jackson County, Ohio, April 1936, Photograph: Library of Congress

Arthur Rothstein, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Sharecropper’s wife and children, Arkansas, August 1935, Photograph: Library of Congress

Stryker deployed a specific editing process where himself and his assistants would choose photographs they believed were true to the brief; the other images were rendered unsuitable and punctuated with a hole puncher. These ruthlessly “killed” photographs were left unpublishable. Today the found works appear to have black discs floating upon them, a visual mark of rejection which accidentally focus the viewer’s attention.

Killed Negatives at the Whitechapel Gallery runs up until August 26, 2018 and exhibits some of the photographs, photographers’ personal records, and FSA administration documents associated with the project. You can learn more about the exhibition, including information about associated events, on the gallery’s website

Russell Lee, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Surrealistic, window display, Bergdorf Goodman, New York City, January 1938, Photograph: Library of Congress

Walker Evans, Untitled photo, possibly related to: Lily Rogers Fields and children. Hale County, Alabama, Summer 1936, Photograph: Library of Congress

 

 



Photography

A Bright Mars and its Golden Reflection Captured off the Coast of Rhode Island

July 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Last week Boston-based astrophotographer Abdul Dremali captured a glowing Mars as it rose above a Rhode Island beach. In the image it rests just beneath the overhead Milky Way as its powerful reflection forges a golden streak in the water below. Currently the red planet is its brightest since 2003 when it was closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years.

“I drove down to Rhode Island for the new moon since that’s the best time to catch the Milky Way,” Dremali tells Colossal. “I knew Mars was near opposition, so I timed to be out there by 10pm when Mars was rising. I’ve captured Mars many times throughout this Milky Way season, but due to a severe Martian storm, and it being so close, it’s brighter than ever.”

Two months ago Dremali photographed Mars from Monument Valley, and then in Joshua Tree National Park just a few days later. If you want to try your own astrophotography make sure to look for what appears to be a bright red star from now until September 7. Mars will temporarily shine brighter than Jupiter, securing a place as the fourth-brightest object in the sky. You can view more of Dremali’s star-spotted images on his Instagram and Twitter, and browse prints for sale in his online shop. (via PetaPixel)

Mars captured in Joshua Tree National Park by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Joshua Tree National Park by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Monument Valley by Abdul Dremali

Mars captured in Monument Valley by Abdul Dremali

 

 



Art Photography

Temporary Installations Create Winding Paths Through a Forest in the South of England

July 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

For her 2011 series Come With Me, UK-based artist Ellie Davies (previously) constructed pathways through the New Forest in the South of England where she grew up. The pathways, built from wool, powder, paint, and mounds of dirt, follow the natural curvature of the trees and create a weaving line through space. The installations are each created with an intuitive spontaneity, and incorporate the labor as a central concept to the work. Davies carefully cleans up all the materials after she documents each trail. The photographer recently had a solo exhibition titled Into the Woods with A. galerie in Brussels. You can see more of her forest-based installations and digital compositions on her website and Facebook. (via Ignant)

 

 

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