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Photography

Infrared Photographs by Pierre-Louis Ferrer Capture French Landscapes in Bright Yellow Hues

August 31, 2018

Anna Marks

In French photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer’s vibrant photographs, Dordogne, France is transformed into an enchanted land bathed in canary yellow. Ferrer’s colorful photographs illustrate the country’s idyllic topography, where the leaves upon the trees, fresh grass, and sculpted shrubbery are captured in the same vivid color.

While photographing, Ferrer takes time to observe his environment and decide on the best photographic technique to use. For his Dordogne photographs, Ferrer used an infrared photography technique which allowed him to capture the landscape in brilliant yellows. “My artistic approach is based on the invisible and imperceptible,” Ferrer tells Colossal. “I work with invisible parts of light (infrared and ultraviolet) and with techniques like long exposure to offer alternative views of our world.”

This yellow effect in Ferrer’s Dordogne photographs is due to a mix of visible and infrared light, and each plant species appears different depending on how it reacts to the light. “I use a selective filter that let’s pass a large part of infrared light and a small part of visible light,” Ferrer explains. “The main subjects of this technique are trees and foliage because they react a lot under infrared light.”

Although yellow is prevalent in nature; found in bananas, autumnal leaves, egg yolks, and the irises of some animal’s eyes, in Ferrer’s photographs he standardizes all natural elements, highlighting the color’s prevalence in natural forms.

As human eyes are not used to infrared light (due to its longer wavelengths), Ferrer’s photographs invite viewers to see Dordogne as through they are in a different dimension. The extravagant Jardins Suspendus at Marqueyssac and its ivy-covered châteaux are transformed into an ethereal world that might otherwise only appear in paintings.

Although fantastical, Ferrer’s photographs encourage mindfulness and allow us to reflect upon the importance of nature. “My goals are to invite contemplation, to realize the place of nature in urban places, to make aware of the impact of our environment on us, and our impact on the environment.”

To view more about his work visit his website and Instagram.

 

 



Science

These Sneaky Sea Slugs Paralyze Their Predators With Stolen “Weapons”

August 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Nudibranchs, or sea slugs, and are group of wildly colored animals that use their striking forms to warn predators against attack. Although the sea slugs move slow, they are protected by a brilliant defense mechanism. Some species create an alarming defense by stealing “weapons” from another creature called a hydroid. These plant-like animals may appear like seaweed, but they are actually a jellyfish relative covered in stingers packed with a paralyzing venom.

Instead of being repelled by the dangerous tentacles covering the hydroids’ bodies, nudibranchs devour them. Once swallowed, some of the immature stingers are passed directly into their digestion system and are stored in their spikes. If a sea slug feels threatened, these stingers are deployed for an overwhelming punch of stolen venom. For more information on nudibranchs and their sneaky defense system, view this article from KQED Deep Look. (via The Kid Should See This)

A nudibranch devouring a hydroid

 

 



Art Photography

Abstracted Dual Landscapes Created Using Cleverly Placed Mirrors

August 23, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Sebastian Magnani carefully positions round mirrors in outdoor settings to capture two landscapes at once: the ground below and the sky above. In the ongoing series Reflections, some compositions reflect connected imagery, like blossom-covered grass and a flowering tree. Others juxtapose man-made surfaces like asphalt with organic branches. By removing the usual context of landscape images, Magnani allows the viewer to focus on the textural qualities of the environment, and some images even veer into illusions, as with the cloudy night sky that appears like a full moon.  You can see more from the Swiss photographer, including portraits, on Instagram and Facebook. Magnani has also recently started offering prints of the Reflections series on Society6. (via Bored Panda)

 

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Mother Duck and Her Extraordinary Brood of 76 Ducklings Photographed in a Minnesota Lake

August 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Brent Cizek

Minnesota-based wildlife photographer Brent Cizek was headed back to shore before a summer storm when he spotted the common merganser he would later nickname “Momma Merganser.” At first the mother duck was being followed by a brood of more than 50 fluffy ducklings, however when spotted the group again, the total had grown to 76.

“I happened to find this group of mergansers purely by luck, but I was absolutely amazed by what I saw,” Cizek tells Colossal. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the species, so I wasn’t sure if what I witnessed was a common occurrence or something out of the ordinary. All I knew was that I had never seen anything like that before.”

The scene is extraordinary indeed. Although the aquatic birds are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks, a female duck can only incubate 20 at any given time explains Kenn Kaufman, field editor for AudubonIt is most likely that several dozen of the ducklings lost their mothers and were adopted into Momma Merganser’s own brood.

Cizek plans to continue following the extra large family, and posts his findings to on Instagram. To learn more about merganser habits, read the National Audubon Society’s piece on the surprising spectacle. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Amazing Science

Watch Amazonian Butterflies Take Sips of a Turtle’s Salty Tears

July 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Entomologist and adventurer Phil Torres hosts a popular YouTube Channel, The Jungle Diaries, where he shares insights and observations from his travels to remote areas around the world. Recently, a trip to the Peruvian Amazon afforded footage of eight different butterfly species alighting on turtles to drink their tears. The phenomenon occurs because the sodium in the tears is a vital part of the butterflies’ diet that’s not readily available in the foods they consume. The search for sodium is actually quite common in the wild, and is also sourced from jaguar feces and river mud, as Torres notes.

You can follow along with more of Torres’s discovery-filled travels on Instagram and Twitter. Also check out photographer Mark Cowan’s amazing snapshot of a caiman sporting a crown of tear-drinking butterflies from 2016. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Temporary Installations Create Winding Paths Through a Forest in the South of England

July 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

For her 2011 series Come With Me, UK-based artist Ellie Davies (previously) constructed pathways through the New Forest in the South of England where she grew up. The pathways, built from wool, powder, paint, and mounds of dirt, follow the natural curvature of the trees and create a weaving line through space. The installations are each created with an intuitive spontaneity, and incorporate the labor as a central concept to the work. Davies carefully cleans up all the materials after she documents each trail. The photographer recently had a solo exhibition titled Into the Woods with A. galerie in Brussels. You can see more of her forest-based installations and digital compositions on her website and Facebook. (via Ignant)

 

 



Photography

Winners and People’s Choice of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

July 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Nature: Grand Prize Winner, "Mermaid" by Reiko Takahashi.

Nature: Grand Prize Winner, “Mermaid” by Reiko Takahashi.

After sifting through nearing 13,000 submissions National Geographic has announced the winners, honorable mentions, and people’s choice of their 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest (previously). This year’s grand prize was awarded to photographer Reiko Takahashi for her close-up image of a humpback whale calf she captured while snorkeling near Japan’s Kumejima Island. Other selected photographs include an aerial image of thousands of flamingos taking off from a lake in Tanzania, a dramatic shot of Northern Italy’s alien-like sand towers, and a dazzling immersive art installation that frames a running girl in a bright red dress. You can read the stories behind these images, and view more selections from the categories of Nature, People, and Cities, on National Geographic. (via Kottke)

People: People's Choice, "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" by Daniel Cheung.

People: People’s Choice, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” by Daniel Cheung.

Cities: Honorable Mention, "Alone in the Crowds" by Gary Cummins.

Cities: Honorable Mention, “Alone in the Crowds” by Gary Cummins.

Nature: Third Place Winner, "Mars" by Marco Grassi.

Nature: Third Place Winner, “Mars” by Marco Grassi.

Cities: People's Choice, "Traveling to Heaven" by Trikansh Sharma.

Cities: People’s Choice, “Traveling to Heaven” by Trikansh Sharma.

Cities: Third Place Winner, "Reflection" by Gaanesh Prasad.

Cities: Third Place Winner, “Reflection” by Gaanesh Prasad.

People: Second Place Winner, "Leida and Laella—I Will Lift You Up" by Tati Itat.

People: Second Place Winner, “Leida and Laella—I Will Lift You Up” by Tati Itat.

Nature: Second Place Winner, "Flamingos Take Off" by Hao J.

Nature: Second Place Winner, “Flamingos Take Off” by Hao J.

Nature: People's Choice Winner, "Formation" by Niklas Weber.

Nature: People’s Choice Winner, “Formation” by Niklas Weber.

Cities: First Place Winner, "Another Rainy Day in Nagasaki" by Hiro Kurashina.

Cities: First Place Winner, “Another Rainy Day in Nagasaki” by Hiro Kurashina.