Anna Gillespie Fuses Nature and Art in her Figurative Sculptures Made of Acorns, Beechnut Casings and Bronze
Sculptor Anna Gillespie lives and works in Bath where she infuses her figurative sculptures with elements collected from nature including numerous acorn caps or beechnut casings. Gillespie also works with bronze and stone, often recreating some of the same environmental elements by hand, a process I imagine is even more meticulous than harvesting and using individual seeds themselves. She most recently had a solo show at Beaux Arts Bath and published a book of her work spanning 2006-2012 where you can see many more stunning images of her sculpture.
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Photographer Alexander Semenov has done it again. This time the Russian biologist takes us on an up-close encounter with starfish, although looking at these neon carpets I had no idea what they were at first. Even after covering Alexander’s previous work with jellyfish, or Felix Salazar’s images of coral I’m constantly amazed at nature’s ability to create such vibrant beauty. (via flickr)
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LA-based photographer and composer Felix Salazar recently captured some wonderful macro photos of several inhabitants in his salt water aquariums. The shocking variety of color makes the coral look like digital renderings, but Salazar assures me each is a unique photo selected from hundreds of attempts to get just the right shot as he experimented with focus and light. You can see many more on his website. (via my modern met)
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Grand Prize / Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent/National Geographic Photo Contest. The subject’s name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favourably on me that day!
First Place for People / Photo and caption by Micah Albert/National Geographic Photo Contest. At the end of the day women are allowed to pick through the dumpsite.
First Place for Places / Photo and caption by Nenad Saljic/National Geographic Photo Contest. The Matterhorn 4478m at full moon.
Honorable Mention / Photo and caption by关嘉城/National Geographic Photo Contest. Dragon boating is a chinese traditional entertainment. As an acquatic sport to memorise qu yuan, a patriotic poet in ancient china, it is usually held in festivals, which can be traced back to two thousands years ago.
Honorable Mention / Photo and caption by Eric Guth/National Geographic Photo Contest. Glacial ice washes ashore after calving off the Breiamerkurjˆkull glacier on Iceland’s eastern coast. During the waning light of summer this image was created over the course of a 4 minute exposure while the photographer backlit the grounded glacial ice with a headlamp for 2 of those 4 minutes.
Viewers’ Choice for People / Photo and caption by Kai-Otto Melau/National Geographic Photo Contest. A race that follows in the path of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen brings the contestants to the Hardangervidda Mountainplateu, Norway. 100km across the plateau, the exact same route Amundsen used to prepare for his South Pole expedition in 1911 is still used by explorers today. Amundsen did not manage to cross the plateau and had to turn back because of bad weather. He allegedly said that the attempt to cross Hardangervidda was just as dangerous and hard as the conquering of the South Pole. The group in the picture used the race as preparations for an attempt to cross Greenland.
Honorable Mention / Photo and caption by Micheal Eastman/National Geographic Photo Contest. With his exceptional hearing a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet of crusted snow. Springing high in the air he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose and his body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow.
Honorable Mention / Photo and caption by ulrich lambert/National Geographic Photo Contest. Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is.
Viewers’ Choice / Photo and caption by Sanjeev Bhor/National Geographic Photo Contest. Everyday in mara starts with something new and different and day ends with memorable experiences with spectacular photographs. I was very lucky of sighting and photographing Malaika the name of female Cheetah and her cub. She is well known for its habit to jump on vehicles. She learned that from her mother Kike, and Kike from her mother Amber. Like her mother she is teaching lessons to her cub. Teaching lessons means addition of another moment for tourist. This is one of the tender moment between Malaika and her cub. I was very lucky to capture that moment.
Honrable Mention / Photo and caption by Fransisca Harlijanto/National Geographic Photo Contest. I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience.
The winners have been announced for the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest which saw over 22,000 entries from 150 countries this year. The winners were selected by a panel of experts comprised of natural history photographer Christian Ziegler and documentary photographers Gerd Ludwig and Debbie Fleming Caffery. Three additional Viewers Choice awards were also given. Above are some of my favorites but you can see additional Honorable Mentions over on National Geographic. In a kind gesture National Geographic made all the winning photographs available as downloadable desktop images, as a fan of large numbers I’m personally going with Predation for a few weeks.
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Software Architect Turned Photographer Alexander Safonov Captures Breathtaking Underwater Scenes off the Coast of South Africa
Alexander Safonov is a software architect from Voronezh, Russia who currently lives and works in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. Not content to sit in front of a computer full-time he obtained a diving license in 2002 and started to experiment with underwater photography about two years later. He has since made numerous excursions to photograph underwater wildlife off Cocos Island, Fiji, the Galapagos and Raja Ampat. However his favorite destination is the annual sardine run off the coast of South Africa where most of the photos you see were captured over the last few years. You can see much more of his work on Flickr and 500px.
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These beautiful and other-worldly photographs of ice were taken last year by University of Washington graduate student Jeff Bowman and his professor Jody Deming while they worked on a study combining oceanography, microbiology, and planetary sciences in the central Arctic Ocean as part of the Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program. Their single focus was the study of frost flowers, a strange phenomenon where frost grows from imperfections in the surface ice amid extreme sub-zero temperatures nearing -22C or -7.6F, forming spiky structures that have been found to house microorganisms. In fact, the bacteria found in the frost flowers is much more dense than in the frozen water below it, meaning each flower is essentially a temporary ecosystem, not unlike a coral reef. Via IGERT:
Around their research icebreaker in the central Arctic Ocean new ice grows on long open cracks that network amongst the thick floes of pack ice. Abruptly the surface of this new ice changes texture. The cold, moist air above the open cracks becomes saturated and frost begins to form wherever an imperfection can be found on the ice surface. From these nucleation points the flower-like frost structures grow vertically, quickly rising to centimeters in height. The hollow tendrils of these “frost flowers” begin to wick moisture from the ice surface, incorporating salt, marine bacteria, and other substances as they grow. The fog dissipates and the Arctic sun lights the surface of the frost flowers, initiating a cascade of chemical reactions. These reactions can produce formaldehyde, deplete ozone, and actually alter the chemical composition of the lower atmosphere. […] Bowman and Deming have discovered that bacteria are consistently more abundant in frost flowers than in sea ice. Since microscopic pockets in sea ice are known to support an active community of psychrophiles (cold-loving microorganisms), even in the coldest months of the year, these results are encouraging.
Bowman and Deming are currently building an ultra-clean chamber where they can grow artificial frost flowers and hope that their research leads to a better understanding of how life might be able to survive in extreme conditions elsewhere in the universe. Amazing! Photos by Matthias Wietz. (via the daily what)
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.