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Art Photography

Rugged Greenery and Soaring Birds Unite Abstracted Landscapes of Iceland and Botswana

June 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Iceland

Photographer Zack Seckler (previously) continues to document the Earth’s surface from above. The New York-based artist travels to a wide range of landscapes, and flies above them in small airplanes to provide a zoomed-out perspective. His abstracted images simultaneously show the unique beauty of each location’s topography, while also highlighting the continuity of our shared planet. In places as different as Botswana and Iceland, the rippling surface and cool tones of waterways, the graceful paths of birds in flight, and the rich texture of forests and brush are united in their rugged beauty.

Seckler’s upcoming solo show, Above, at ClampArt in New York City opens on June 27 and runs through August 9, 2019. You can see more from the artist on Facebook and Instagram.

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

 

 



Photography Science

Thorny South African Seeds Get an Up Close Examination in Macro Photographs by Dillon Marsh

June 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In order to spread as widely as possible, some varieties of seeds will grow sharp thorns and burs. These sharp points allow the seeds to attach themselves to unsuspecting animals or humans unnoticed, and has earned them the moniker of “hitchhiker plants.” Photographer Dillon Marsh (previously here and here) is accustomed to these seeds hitching a ride on his shoes or clothes during photo excursions through tall grasses of his home in South Africa. Curious about the details hidden beyond their sharp edges, Marsh began to take macro photographs of these natural objects which reveal the often unnoticed resemblance to faces or skulls.

To create such detailed photographs Marsh set up a tiny photo studio. “After carefully lighting the seeds, I then photographed them using a macro lens which allows me to zoom in but leaves me with a very narrow depth of field,” Marsh explains to Colossal. “To overcome this, I take several photos of each seed, incrementally focussing along its entire depth. I then stack the images together in Photoshop in order to create one fully detailed image.”

Marsh is currently adding works to his series Counting the Costs, in which the photographer digitally embeds spheres of melting glaciers amongst city life in India, and soon other parts of the world. You can view more of his projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls Program Works to Save Earth’s Oceans One Mural at a Time

June 2, 2019

Andrew LaSane

NYCHOS

Combining art and activism, the PangeaSeed Foundation is a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that is doing its part to help save Earth’s waters with its “Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans” international mural program. Since its inception in 2014, over 350 ocean-themed murals have been painted in 15 countries by the organization’s network of over 300 artists. With activations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, and several other locations around the globe, the initiative engages the public and educates the world about critical environmental issues threatening our most precious resources through art, film screenings, and discussions.

PangeaSeed founder and executive director Tré Packard tells Colossal that when it comes to choosing which artists to work with and what they should paint, balance and community are key. “We always aim to create a balance between international, national and local artists,” he said. “Over the years, with the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans program being nomadic, we’ve learned the importance of community ownership of the murals once we’ve packed up and left town. There tends to be so many incredible local creatives in the areas we host projects, so we work hand in hand with the local project director to help identify local artists who we invite to participate in the project.” Artists are given a list of topics to choose from and together with the team narrow it down to one. The murals are site-specific in that they address issues relevant to the places where they are painted. Some artists have even connected with local scientists and activists during the planning stage to better inform their designs.

Aaron Glasson and Jason Botkin

“The beauty of public art lies in the fact that it is a public good where even ‘non-artsy’ folks can be touched and empowered by experiencing the process or the finished product,” Packard said about the mural  program. “In addition to encouraging other artists to create for a purpose, our chief goal is to effect positive behavioral change at the individual and community level, so we’re thrilled when fans who aren’t artistically inclined are moved.” As for ways that people can get involved and help, he suggests finding ways to use less plastic, eating sustainable seafood, and voting for politicians with ocean-minded ideas.

Packard says that there are some dream projects on the horizon for Sea Walls, but those details are still under wraps for now. To learn more about the foundation and its upcoming activations, follow @pangeaseed and @Seawalls_ on social media.

Aaron Glasson and Jason Botkin (detail)

Seth Globepainter

Curiot

James Bullough and Li Hill

Onur

Phlegm

Sepe

Spok

Vans the Omega

 

 



Photography

Bruce the Eagle Gets his 15 Minutes of Fame in a Symmetrical Glamour Shot by Photographer Steve Biro

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

An eagle named Bruce, resident at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Ontario, recently took a dive over open water at the conservancy. Amateur photographer Steve Biro happened to be there at just the right moment, with camera in hand. Bruce’s arced wings reflected in the water below form a an almost perfect oval, and the bird’s bright yellow beak and piercing gaze are directed squarely at the camera. Bald eagles can have a wingspan ranging from six to seven and half feet.

“I snapped a couple images from the side and decided I wanted to get a vantage point where I might be able to shoot him more straight on,” Biro explains to Colossal. “There was a large rock right at the water’s edge were I laid down beside and rested my upper body on trying to get as low as possible.” Biro notes that Bruce was flying close enough to him that he could feel the draft from the bird’s wings, so he was able to a macro lens to capture the moment.  Follow along with Biro’s nature explorations on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Photography

Eye-Opening Entries From the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest

April 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photo and caption: David Edgar. I took this photo of an adolescent humpback whale in the South Pacific, several miles off the coast of Tongatapu, Tonga. I captured this as a split-shot with half my dome port submerged, and the other above the surface. This playful whale came right up to me and looked directly into my eyes as the tip of his rostrum glistened in the afternoon sun. Looking closely, you can see Loni, our expert skipper, lining up a surface shot of this incredible encounter from the roof of our dive boat.

National Geographic’s 2019 Travel Photo Contest has been running since March 18, and will continue to accept submissions until May 3, 2019 at noon Eastern Standard Time. Each week, the publication has been unveiling a selection of entries received the previous week. Images from week four include a split-shot capture of an adolescent humpback whale, a candid moment of a mother loon feeding her chicks, and squiggles of headlamp-sporting skiers careening down the French Alps.

Entrant categories are nature, cities, and people, and the grand prize winner will receive $7,500 along with a post on National Geographic’s travel Instagram account. Find out more about content requirements and participation on the Travel Photo Contest website.

Photo and caption: Michelle Valberg. Nothing better than being in my kayak in the rain, watching beautiful moments like this unfold.

Photo and caption: Christopher Markisz. Marine-layer fog, glowing in artificial light, pushes inland through the Golden Gate Bridge on a breezy bay area evening.

Photo and caption: Paul Rozek. Walking around all day in Antigua, Guatemala, there was a persistent cloud layer that obscured the mountainous terrain surrounding the town. Late in the evening while walking through Antigua just for a few moments, one of the volcanoes became clear and offered a spectacular view with the Santa Catalina Arch. The volcano complex known as La Horqueta, surrounds the town of Antigua in Guatemala with numerous volcanic peaks in the area including Fuego, Agua, Acatenango, and Pico Mayor.

Photo and caption: Dunand Basile. Full moon skiing session with two friends in the natural reserve of Les Contamines-Montjoie—the French Alps. With no telephone network, we had to communicate with our headlamps. I had two chances to photography; this is the second. We can see the first skier waiting for the other one at the end of the couloir. Two-minute exposure

Photo and caption: Eduardo Bastos. On a scientific expedition to Snow Island, Antarctica, we had as company a colony of more than 200 southern elephant seals. During the days with strong winds, this group formed different designs trying to protect itself.

Photo and caption: Alessandra Meniconzi. This winter, the breathtaking Khuvsgul Lake in Mongolia—called by locals, the “dark blue pearl”—has signs of climate change. The frozen surface melts faster than usual and the ice was not very thick. The sounds were scary: thundering, cracking, shaking, but locals keep moving across the ice as their means of transportation.

Photo and caption: Jon Anderson. Occasionally, divers are in exactly the right place at the right time to witness an inexplicably beautiful event unfold. While watching a school of fish expand and contract in the Revillagigedo Islands, I suddenly realized a once in a lifetime moment was occurring. A giant oceanic manta ray entered the school from the left, and as it neared the center, the fish morphed into a near perfect sphere. The wings of the manta rose as it crossed the center of the sphere and I squeezed the shutter.

 

 



Photography Science

Self-Taught Nature Photographer Alison Pollack Tracks the Fascinating Fungi of Northern California

March 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Stemonitis

Stemonitis. All photographs by Alison Pollack

Avid photographer and retired environmental consultant Alison Pollack documents the fascinating phenotypes of mushrooms and slime molds she encounters on hikes in northern California. Her images show shaggy white Comb Tooth fungus (Hericium coralloides), Stemonitis slime molds that wouldn’t look out of place on the dessert menu of an experimental restaurant, and Comatricha that bear a strong resemblance to urban lamp posts. Recently, the north Bay Area-based photographer shared with the Marin Independent Journal that she has had a longtime interest in hiking and mushrooming, but has grown more focused on fungi photography in the last two years. You can follow along with Pollock’s findings, and help her identify unknown species, on Instagram.

Hericium coralloides

Chlorociboria aeruginascens

Tyromyces chioneus

Tyromyces chioneus

Hericium erinaceus

L: Comatricha / R: Hemitrichia calyculata

Crepidotus mollis

Physarum viride

Trametes versicolor

Mycena

 

 



Art

Dazzling Jellyfish, Snakes, and Turtles Glow with a Multitude of Colors in Vibrant Tattoos by Zihee

March 4, 2019

Anna Marks

Eye-popping giraffes, tropical green leaves, and snakes entwined in floral motifs jump out in Korean designer Zihee Tattoo’s ink-based creations. Inked on wrists, elbows, and thighs, Zihee adds a vivid splash of creativity to human skin, emphasizing the vibrancy and delicacy of natural forms. Brimming with every color in the rainbow—including lilacs, crimson reds, and sunflower yellows—Zihee’s work celebrates her interest in nature, while shading together pigments seamlessly. In her leaf tattoos, cool blues flow into luscious greens, reflecting how light manipulates the organic forms’ color as it lands upon them in nature. You can find more of Zihee’s work on Instagram.