animals

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Photography Science

Sunlight Illuminates a Full Spectrum of Color As It Filters Through Hummingbird Wings in a New Photo Book

September 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Opal Wings.” All images © Christian Spencer, shared with permission

Poetry in the Sky is a fitting title for a book of the elegant images of Australian photographer Christian Spencer. Slated for release next month, the volume gathers approximately two decades’ worth of birds Spencer encountered during visits to the Atlantic Forest in Brazil and also in Australia, including macaws, emus, and the species he’s perhaps most notable for documenting: the hummingbird.

Taken when the creatures are mid-flight and beating their wings at incredible speeds, Spencer’s striking photos capture sunlight as it filters through their feathers, emitting a full spectrum of color. The opalescent phenomenon is caused by diffraction and transforms their limbs into tiny, ephemeral rainbows.

Poetry in the Sky contains several photos of the prismatic birds—many of which we’ve featured previously on Colossal—in addition to dozens of additional images of avian life. Pre-order a copy from Bookshop, pick up a print,  and find more of Spencer’s work on Instagram.

 

“Stardust”

“Sundance”

“Hummingbird Rain”

“Holy Water”

“3 Amigos”

 

 

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Art Craft

A Menagerie of Contemplative Animals by Mila Zemliakova Weave Textile Traditions and Nature

September 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mila Zemliakova, shared with permission

Using vintage textiles from both her personal and her family’s collection of bedspreads and home decor, artist Mila Zemliakova sews plush animal sculptures that connect various traditions of her Belarusian heritage. She draws correlations between her chosen creature and each pattern, color, and type of fabric, capturing the essence of a deer in floral brocade or that of a bison with tufted gray wool.

Largely oversized and perched in chairs, the anthropomorphic characters are expressive and often photographed outdoors in states of contemplation and solitude. In a note to Colossal, the artist shares that she sees the growing menagerie as embodying “the connection of Belarusians with their nature, as well as with their traditions, which are now in a dangerous position and under repression.”

Some of Zemliakova’s sculptures are available for purchase from Art Center or on Instagram, where you can also watch her at work.

 

 

 

 



Design Food

Le Puzz Taps Into Playful Nostalgia with Its Retro-Style Jigsaws

September 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Le Puzz

Kids of the ’90s will recognize the playful retro designs of Le Puzz’s jigsaws. From close-ups of a big salad to a sweet flat lay of peach rings and hotdog gummies, the puzzles capture a certain vintage style sure to bring back child-like joy and nostalgia. Designs range from 500 to 1,000 pieces, all of which are cut at random for a chaotic and quirky tiling experience. Le Puzz is helmed by Alistair Matthews and Michael Hunter and features collaborations with artists like Maisie Broome and Clay Hickson. Shop available jigsaws on the company’s site.

 

 

 



Illustration

Undulating Lines and Geometric Shapes Comprise a Minimally Illustrated Menagerie

September 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam G., shared with permission

In Surf & Turf, designer Adam G., who’s behind the Santa Monica-based studio TRÜF Creative, transfers his signature messymod style from typography to biology. The ongoing illustrated series melds geometric shapes, clean lines, and squiggly forms into playful interpretations of foxes, roosters, and piranhas.

Varying from stark and abstract to more dense compositions, the minimal creatures are all rendered in the designer’s signature red and black color palette. Each piece has “an emphasis on balance and flow,” he tells Colossal, and the series is “a completely freeform exploration within a pretty strict, self-imposed design language. That contrast between total freedom and total restriction is what I think defines the messymod style. It’s what keeps it consistent and weird or… ‘consistently weird!'”

Prints of the collection are available in the messymod shop, and you can follow Adam G.’s personal and commercial projects on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

From a Volcanic Fissure to a Waterlily Harvest, the 2022 Drone Photo Awards Captures Earth’s Stunning Sights from Above

September 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Big Bang” by Armand Sarlangue. All images courtesy of Siena Awards Festival, shared with permission

The annual Drone Photo Awards announced its 2022 winners earlier this month, releasing a remarkable collection of images that frame the world’s most alluring landscapes from a rarely-seen view. This year’s contest garnered submissions from 2,624 participants hailing from 116 countries, and the aerial photos capture a vast array of life on Earth, including a caravan of camel shadows crossing the Arabian Desert, a waterlily harvest in West Bengal, and the veiny trails of lava emerging from a fissure near Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano.

Hosted by the Siena Awards Festival, the competition showcases its winning images in a recurring exhibition called Above Us Only Sky, which will run from October 1 to November 20 in the Italian city. Until then, see some of our favorites below and explore the full collection on the awards’ site.

 

“Waterlily Harvesting” by Shibasish Saha

“Duotian” by Ningtai Yu

“Fertility” by Christian Trustrup

“Shadows of the Desert” by Bastian Brüsecke

“Aftermath of La Palma’s Volcano Eruption” by Enrico Pescantini

“Wings of the White Cliffs” by Alexey Kharitonov

“Blue” by Fernando O’farrill

“Fading Faith” by Fabian Balint

“Rooftops of Kartoffelraekkerne Neighborhood” by Serhiy Vovk

 

 



Photography

Historic Photographs in ‘Love Immortal’ Celebrate the Timeless Relationship Between Dogs and Their People

September 8, 2022

Kate Mothes

Images from the book ‘Love Immortal’ by Anthony Cavo, shared with permission. Copyright © 2022 by Anthony Cavo, reprinted courtesy of Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

After the first known photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from the upstairs window of his home in Burgundy, France, the world became enthralled by the newfound ability to capture their loved ones—and their furry friends—for posterity. Love Immortal, a new book by antique dealer and collector Anthony Cavo, underscores the timeless and universal recognition that, to many, dogs are a fundamental part of the family.

When he was seven years old, the author began trawling New York City neighborhoods with his red wagon on the hunt for treasures. A chip off the old block—his father was also an antique dealer—Cavo grew up with a deep-seated love and appreciation for vintage objects, especially photographs, and for more than fifty years, he has been compiling an incredible catalogue of images, including hundreds of portraits of dogs and their doting owners.

The new volume published by Harper Design features more than 200 photographs made between 1840 and 1930 that span the medium’s technological spectrum, from Daguerrotypes to Ambrotypes, tintypes to cartes de visite, to sepia and black-and-white images. Portraying beloved terriers, retrievers, or hounds as expressive and lively as if they could leap off the table, run out of the frame, or—doing what dogs do best—doze off at any moment. You can find a copy at Bookshop.org. (via PetaPixel)