Last fall Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten was the overall winner of the 54th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (previously) after being selected from over 45,000 submissions. His image, The Golden Couple, captures a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys against a wooded backdrop. Their bright blue faces glow against the lush forest of China’s Qinling Mountains—the only habitat where the endangered primates are found in the wild.
In total there were 19 category winners from the tens of thousands who submitted images of wildlife and natural environments from all corners of the globe. Winning images included a wasp carrying a perfectly round segment of mud, two owls nestled snuggly in a pipe, and a leopard dreaming on a low branch. The winners, plus a selection of other entries from the competition, are currently in an exhibition which will travel to Canada, Spain, Australia, and Germany. The next stop for “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” is the Field Museum in Chicago, which opens March 22 and runs through January 2020. (via Block Club Chicago)
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Model Moostapha Saidi Questions the Audience’s Gaze with Highly Stylized Portraits Shot by Justin Dingwall
Photographer Justin Dingwall recently collaborated with South African model Moostapha Saidi on a series of images that speak to themes of perspective and of perception. “A Seat at the Table” was informed by Saidi’s experiences living with the skin condition vitiligo, in addition to conversations between the photographer and model. Taken at face value, the images showcase a man with missing skin pigment, but as the South Africa-based photographer explained to Colossal, the ideas and symbolism are more than skin deep.
Brightly colored and stark white sets contrast Moostapha’s dual-toned skin in each of the images. Dingwall uses precious stones and googly eyes as a commentary on the way that Moostapha is objectified by strangers who stare, point, and see him as an other because of the way he looks. “I worked with the old saying ‘a seat at the table’ to represent the idea of an opportunity to be heard, to be seen, to have a voice and an opinion, and in this way to make a difference,” he explains to Colossal. “The images that I have created with Moostapha aim to start conversations about preconceived ideas and perceptions based on appearance, and how what we see affects what we think.”
Dingwall says that during his first collaboration with the aspiring model he learned about his story and about the disease that, at first, was a challenge and later became a source of pride and confidence. “Vitiligo is a topic that I did not know much about and I am always interested to expand my world through my art and learn about something that is not seen as ‘usual,'” Dingwall tells Colossal. “I decided to create a body of work that engages with this topic on a much deeper level, and that raises questions about perspective, as well as how the media and representations subjectively perceive the world and other people.”
Because of his appearance, growing up was difficult for Moostapha, Dingwall says, but things have changed. “Through these challenges he has gained strength and confidence from looking so different. He no longer sees his vitiligo as a hindrance, but as something precious and unique… As in previous bodies of work, I hope in these images to highlight beauty in difference. In these images it is now Moostapha who is staring back at the viewer. Questioning our gaze.”
“A Seat at the Table” has helped Saidi pursue his dream of becoming a model, as he is now signed to one of the top agency’s in South Africa. In 2019 Justin Dingwall plans to create more images in the series, has three new bodies of work planned, and a few upcoming exhibitions in Europe. Follow him on Instagram for future updates and to see more of his photography.
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Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.
All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.
Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
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British photographer Neil Burnell captures striking environments void of human subjects, often traveling to remote areas far outside of civilization. His ongoing series Mystical takes a look at the fairytale-like atmosphere created by the thick fog, gnarled trees, and moss-covered stones of Wistman’s Wood in Dartmoor, Devon, England. This particular wood has long been the subject of folklore and myth, with many writers describing it as the most haunted location in Dartmoor.
Despite the supernatural tales, Burnell is attracted to the atmosphere and photographic challenge of the English forest, and often visits the site at “blue hour” or the hour before the sun rises in the morning. “I have probably visited the woodland around 20 times in the last year, but unfortunately it has only had the required mist on two occasions,” Burnell explains to Colossal. “Photographing it without the mist/fog is a hard task and almost impossible to make images with the atmosphere I am looking for.”
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Panoramic Photographs by Peter Li Bring an Otherworldly Perspective to the Architectural Symmetry of Churches
Photographer Peter Li uses panoramic photography to introduce a new perspective to the already breathtaking architecture of churches from around the world. By capturing the entirety of the ceiling and supporting columns, Li allows the viewer to get the chance to feel what it is like to stand at the center of these grand buildings, while also achieving a viewpoint that is impossible to get without digital intervention.
One of the many stand-out aspects of the photographs is the symmetry that is highlighted when a chapel’s interior is stretched. This element, Li tells Colossal, is what gives the composition its overall balance. Lighting factors and the season are also a key parts that make a panorama more compelling to shoot. Shapes and shadows appear differently in each space depending on where the sun might be overhead, and when in a certain position, this can be quite disruptive to the photograph.
When all elements fall into place however, Lee achieves photographs that are truly transportive. His images not only take us to a different place in the world, but also allow us to be slightly removed from our known reality. “Observing a three-dimensional space in its entirety gives us a view/perspective beyond what the eye can see,” he explains. “It breaks us from reality, plays with our perception of shape and form and creates a sense of another world. Through my photography, I hope to impart the otherworldly nature to the viewer, encouraging them to take a momentary step out of their reality.”
Li is in the process of making his high resolution panoramas available to the public in the form of large, wall-sized prints. Keep up-to-date with these prints, and new images from the photographer, on his website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
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A Remarkably Colorful Geminid Meteor Streaks Across the Sky in a Singular Astrophotograph by Dean Rowe
Colorado-based photographer Dean Rowe recently captured the spectacular sight of a colorful Rainbow Geminid Meteor streaking across the sky during December’s Geminid meteor shower. The image was shared on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day earlier this month, and includes a helpful explanation from a professional astronomer:
The radiant grit cast off by asteroid 3200 Phaethon blazed a path across Earth’s atmosphere longer than 60 times the angular diameter of the Moon. Colors in meteors usually originate from ionized elements released as the meteor disintegrates, with blue-green typically originating from magnesium, calcium radiating violet, and nickel glowing green. Red, however, typically originates from energized nitrogen and oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Rowe, the photographer who documented this ephemeral moment, shares with Colossal that he has been interested in photography and astronomy since his early teens. He built his own telescope at the age of 13 which included grinding and polishing the mirror lens by hand. After a career in software engineering, Rowe has been investing in photography in retirement, with a focus on the wide world of nature. In addition to night and astrophotography, Rowe also frequently photographs hummingbirds in flight. You can see more of his work on his website, where prints are available for purchase, and his Facebook page.
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Wire Sculptures of Hands and Faces Come to Life When Overlaid with Digital Elements by Yuichi Ikehata
Yuichi Ikehata combines photography, sculpture, and digital editing to create hybrid works that meld together reality and his own fictionalized interpretation. The eerie humanoid forms are pierced with holes that reveal rudimentary structures below their plaster-like skin, making each appear to be in varying states of decay. To create these digital manipulations, Ikehata first photographs his own body in different poses. Using wire, he then three-dimensionally recreates its form in simple structures. Finally, the artist adds parts of his original image onto the sculpture through digital editing, reintroducing a fractured reality to the wire imitation. You can see more of his work on his website, Instagram, and Tumblr. (via Hi Fructose)
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.