California

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Design

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.

Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.

Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.

In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Mirage: A Suburban American House Retrofitted with Mirrors Reflects the Mountainous California Desert

February 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Desert X installation view of Doug Aitken, MIRAGE. 2017. All photos by Lance Gerber unless otherwise noted. Courtesy the artist and Desert X.

Perched at the juncture where the San Jacinto mountains open into the Coachella valley in California, artist Doug Aitken has erected a ranch-style suburban home covered entirely in mirrors. Titled Mirage, the house appears like an inverted kaleidoscope, reflecting everything from the sky above to the surrounding mountainous desert, not to mention visitors themselves. The structure was created as part of Desert X, an outdoor art exhibition comprised of pieces by over 15 artists that remains on view through April 30, 2017. Mirage will remain up a bit longer through October 31, but has somewhat irregular hours so be sure to check the schedule before visiting.

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A post shared by CID (@cidvish) on

 

 



Photography

This Long-Exposure Photo Captures Marin County in a River of Fog Lit by a Full Moon

September 9, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Two weeks ago in the middle of the night, Italian photographer Lorenzo Montezemolo climbed Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California and waited for what he knew would be the perfect conditions for a spectacular long-exposure photograph. As the fog slowly rolled by he opened his shutter for three minutes, long enough for the full moon above to illuminate the surreal landscape you see here. The resulting image is nothing short of phenomenal.

“I chose to use a long exposure in order to give the incoming fog a smooth, striated appearance as it slithered over the ridge below,” Montezemolo shares with Colossal. “For the past year I’ve been crossing the Golden Gate Bridge several times a week to photograph the beautiful landscapes, seascapes and fog of Marin County, just north of San Francisco.”

You can see much more of Montezemolo’s photography on Flickr, and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Terra Flamma: Stunning Long-Exposure Photographs of California Wildfires by Stuart Palley

August 11, 2015

Christopher Jobson

The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside  in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. The community of El Portal was under a mandatory evacuation. By Tuesday the blaze had burned nearly 3,000 acres.  Long exposure image.

The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. The community of El Portal was under a mandatory evacuation. By Tuesday the blaze had burned nearly 3,000 acres. Long exposure image.

The Etiwanda Fire burns shortly after dusk on April 30, 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Long exposure image.

The Etiwanda Fire burns shortly after dusk on April 30, 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Long exposure image.

The news of deadly wildfires ravaging California has been as awe-inspiring as it is terrifying. Great swaths of forests, mountains, fields, and entire neighborhoods can be incinerated in moments leaving nothing unscathed. For the last few years, Los Angeles-based photographer Stuart Palley has been shooting these fires as they rage across Southern California as part of a series he calls Terra Flamma.

More than just capturing flames or firefighters, Palley focuses instead on the entire landscape surrounding each event. By utilizing long exposure techniques he incorporates trails of sparks, the lights of firefighting aircraft, and even the stars above to create images that speak more to the strange beauty of wildfires than simple editorial documentation.

Though Palley often jumps at the opportunity to photograph a fire at a moment’s notice, he’s also well prepared. He takes a number of precautions including completion of the US Forestry Service’s “Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior” to better ensure his safety.

You can follow more of Palley’s work on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

The French Fire burns overnight in the Sierra National Forest near the town of North Fork, CA on August 1st, 2014. The blaze was burning in steep, rugged, and remote terrain.

The French Fire burns overnight in the Sierra National Forest near the town of North Fork, CA on August 1st, 2014. The blaze was burning in steep, rugged, and remote terrain.

The Way Fire burns on August 19, 2014 in the Sierra National Forest near Kernville, CA overnight.  Long exposure image.

The Way Fire burns on August 19, 2014 in the Sierra National Forest near Kernville, CA overnight. Long exposure image.

The Meadow Fire burns overnight near Half Dome in Yosemite National Park early Monday September 8, 2014. As of Wednesday the fire had burned over 4,500 acres and was 10% contained.  Long exposure image.

The Meadow Fire burns overnight near Half Dome in Yosemite National Park early Monday September 8, 2014. As of Wednesday the fire had burned over 4,500 acres and was 10% contained. Long exposure image.

The Shirley Fire burns at night off of Old State Rd near Lake Isabella, CA while a helicopter circles overhead and crews work on a slopover. Long exposure image.  The Shirley Fire burns overnight near Lake Isabella, CA on the evening of June 15, 2014. By morning the fire had burned 2200 acres and was 10% contained. At least two structures were lost. Date 20140615 Date 20140615

The Shirley Fire burns at night off of Old State Rd near Lake Isabella, CA while a helicopter circles overhead and crews work on a slopover. Long exposure image.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along it's northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night. The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday June 18, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 10,000 acres and was 5% contained. The Lake Fire burns along its northern flank at night in the San Bernardino National Forest Late Thursday night.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

The Lake Fire burns in the San Bernardino National Forest Friday June 19, 2015. By evening the fire burned over 13,000 acres and was 10% contained.

 

 



Amazing

Into the Atmosphere: A Breathtaking Timelapse of the Skies Above California by Michael Shainblum

December 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

Into the Atmosphere is the latest timelapse tour de force from photographer and filmmaker Michael Shainblum (previously), shot in numerous locations around California over a period of year. For the nearly four minute clip Shainblum payed special attention to the clouds and ever changing atmospheric conditions above the Golden State, shooting some 75,000 photographs which he edited down to 12,500 for the final cut. Of the work he shares:

“Into The Atmosphere,” is my tribute to the state of California and the beautiful deserts, mountains and coastlines that exist there. This video showcases a variety of national/state parks as well as less recognized natural areas. The video also focuses on clouds, fog and interesting atmospheric conditions. Although California is known for blue sunshine skies, seeing a colorful storm cloud over Half Dome or an incredible sunset at the La Jolla Coves is really a sight to see. The goal of this video is to show these environments in their best possible light.

Additionally the Creator’s Project sat down with Shainblum to learn more about how he works and shot some fun behind the scenes video.

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Photography

Long Exposure Neon Waterfalls

April 9, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Like a freak midnight rainbow, this ongoing series of lit waterfalls titled Neon Luminance is part of a collaboration between Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard over at From the Lenz. The duo dropped high-powered Cyalume glow sticks in a variety of colors into various waterfalls in Northern California and then made exposures varying from 30 seconds to 7 minutes to capture the submerged trails of light as the sticks moved through the current. To accomplish some of the more complicated shots they strung several sticks together at once to create different patterns of illumination. For those of you concerned about pollution, the sticks (which are buoyant) were never opened and were collected at the end of each exposure, thus no toxic goo was mixed into the water. See more from the project on their website.

 

 



Photography

Photographer David Orias Makes the Pacific Ocean Look like Rainbows and Gold

March 27, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Photographer David Orias relies on slow shutter speeds, precision camera movement and the rich light of dawn or dusk to capture these amazing images just off the California coast. Of these particular shots Orias says:

I often use the camera to see our world in ways our eyes cannot see. I do this by using long shutter speeds and camera motion to achieve this goal. I am often asked where the colors on my waves come from. I shoot mostly at dawn and the geography of the location allows higher ambient light levels before the full illumination by the sun. Colors are created by different weather conditions, amount of clouds or even smoke in the air from local wildfires which are often prevalent.

You can see much more of his work over on 500px and Flickr. (via faith is torment)