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Photography

A Rare Glimpse of Comet Leonard’s Last Moments Wins the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

September 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Disconnection Event” © Gerald Rhemann, Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm, Khomas, Namibia, December 25, 2021. All images © Astronomy Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

The brilliant Comet Leonard put on a mesmerizing performance late last year when it streaked across the sky on Christmas Day. Expelled from the solar system shortly after, the celestial matter captivated photographers around the world during its brief stint of visibility, including Gerald Rhemann who captured the illuminated body as its gas tail disconnected from its nucleus and was swept away by solar wind. The incredibly rare and brief event also garnered Rhemann the top prize in this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.

Hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 14th-annual competition received more than 3,000 entries from 67 countries. This year’s collection includes a glowing, avian-like aurora over Murmansk Oblast and the International Space Station as it flies over the Apollo 11 moon-landing site—the latter was taken by Andrew McCarthy, whose galactic photos have been featured multiple times on Colossal.

Explore all of the winning images on the contest’s site, and if you’re in London, stop by the National Maritime Museum to see the photos in person through August 13, 2023.

 

“Winged Aurora” © Alexander Stepanenko, Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast, Russia, January 15, 2022

“Stabbing Into the Stars” © Zihui Hu, Nyingchi, Tibet, China, December 24, 2021

“Back to the Spaceship” © Mihail Minkov, Buzludzha, Balkan Mountains, Stara Zagora Province, Bulgaria, August 12, 2021

“The Night Highway” © Filip Hrebenda, Stokksnes Peninsula, Iceland, April 11, 2021

“Moon: Big Mosaic” © Andrea Vanoni, Porto Mantovano, Lombardy, Italy, January 19, 2021

“The International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base” © Andrew McCarthy, Florence, Arizona, USA, January 19, 2022

“In the Embrace of a Green Lady” © Filip Hrebenda, Hvalnes, Iceland, April 10, 2021

 

 



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

 

 



Craft

Impressionistic Embroideries by Cassandra Dias Reflect Movement and Lush Landscapes in Thread

September 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cassandra Dias, shared with permission

Cassandra Dias combines French knots, satin stitches, and various thread-painting techniques into impressionistic landscapes teeming with texture and organic color. Rugged mountains swell in neutral tones, the water’s surface hazily reflects the surrounding trees, and tiny pops of lavender and orange emerge through fields of green. The Camarillo, California-based artist began working with fiber in early 2020 and has since developed her distinctive style, which evokes movement and mimics the visible brushstrokes associated with painting.

For a glimpse into Dias’s process and to keep up with news about available pieces, follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Solitude and Nature’s Ephemerality Emanates from the Illuminated Forms in Sung Hwa Kim’s Paintings

September 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2022), soft pastels and acrylic on paper, 12 x 9 inches. All images © Sung Hwa Kim, shared with permission

A sense of solitude and the finitude of time pervade the quiet, introspective works by Sung Hwa Kim. Rendering overgrown landscapes shrouded by night, the Korean artist wields the connection between ephemerality and memory, sometimes invoking nostalgia, as well. His acrylic paintings focus on fleeting acts like a glowing lightning bug or butterfly hovering above the grass while utilizing light to “symbolize the spirit of things we once loved, have lost, despair and longing. I wanted to capture these feelings and tell the viewers that even in our darkest times, there’s always light and not lose hope,” he shares.

Much of Kim’s work revolves around witnessing the world around him, and his practice includes regular walks or bike rides near his Brooklyn home. “I’m always searching for moments that are frequently overlooked in my everyday life—weeds growing in sidewalk cracks, sneakers hanging from telephone lines, fireflies in Central Park,” he shares. “It’s essential to my practice to be actively attentive and open and receptive to the world around me. It’s these moments of pause that I still enjoy and get my inspiration.”

Explore an archive of Kim’s meditative works on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“We follow the night, looking for the light” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

“It’s alright. We’ve all been born for the first time on this planet” (2021), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

“Your sun is my moon, my moon is your sun. Under the same sky that we share, everything is alive and has a soul” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

“Shed your body, reveal itself. It’s with and within us” (2021), acrylic, flashe, and gouache on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

“They are not gone. They will wait for you and be with you” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

“I woke up. The moon is full, so I send my wishes to the universe” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

 

 



Photography

Phenomenal Skies and Animals in Action Top This Year’s Nature TTL Photography Contest

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Astonishing,” Godafoss, Iceland, Mauro Tronto

The annual Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest garnered more than 8,000 submissions this round, with some of the most impressive images focusing on fauna in the wild and stunning light-based phenomena that illuminate nighttime skies. Taken around the globe, the winning photos demonstrate both acts of stealth and moments of serendipity. Images range from Matt Engelmann capturing an unaware dog fox as it creeps over a Swiss mountain to Mauro Tronto framing a rainbow shooting upwards from the misty Godafass waterfalls in Iceland, the glowing northern lights overhead. See some of our favorite photos below, and visit the competition’s site to view all of the top entries.

 

“A Moment of Wilderness,” Mountains of Switzerland, Graubünden, Switzerland, Matt Engelmann

“City Hare,” Kassel, Germany, Jan Piecha

“Sunset Ray,” Tuna Factory, Maldives, Andy Schmid

“Vantage Points,” Hosanagara, Karnataka, India, Achintya Murthy

“Pretty in Pollen,” Mutter’s Moor near Sidmouth, Devon, U.K., Tim Crabb

“The Top of Australia,” Kosciusko, Australia, Josselin Cornou

“Nature Fights Back,” Loxton, Northern Cape, South Africa, Bertus Hanekom

“Ice Bear,” Klukshu, Yukon, Canada, Geoffrey Reynaud

 

 



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.