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Art Photography

Curiosity and Isolation Take Center Stage in Karen Jerzyk's Lonely Astronaut Series

April 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Karen Jerzyk explores themes of loneliness and isolation through her ongoing series, The Lonely Astronaut. Sparked by her purchase of an authentic vintage high-altitude space suit in 2017, Jerzyk has been traveling the world taking photos of women in the suit. Each subject is alone, placed in a deserted yet evocative environment, from an abandoned theater to an old-fashioned bedroom. In some scenes, the astronaut engages with their surroundings—reading a book or talking on the phone—where in others, the character stands apart from the world they inhabit.

Although many of the scenes have a fantastical tone, the photographer clarifies that she uses only practical effects to create the images. In staging the floating astronaut with butterflies, “I had the model on her stomach on a stool and had real taxidermy butterflies on wire and composited a bunch of shots so I could multiply them,” Jerzyk explains.

Jerzyk shares with Colossal that the astronaut series taps into her own affinity for exploration and her social anxiety. “I think at one time or another, we can all relate with The Lonely Astronaut—things in life can get bad, but there’s still no denying the beauty and wonder of the world, and we need to push on and keep exploring.”

The Boston and New York-based photographer will be capturing subjects in a pop-up scene at PS Kaufman Gallery in Los Angeles on May 16-17, as well as vending at the Oddities Flea Market on May 18-19, 2019. Jerzyk will also be at the Chicago Oddities Flea Market on August 24-25, 2019. You can explore more of Jerzyk’s unusual worlds on Instagram and Behance, and find prints of her photographs on her website. (via designboom)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

A Group of Powerful Telescopes Captures the First-Ever Image of a Black Hole

April 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Image © Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al.

The first-ever recorded image of a black hole has just been released—and it doesn’t look like you might think. Though one might guess that a picture of a black hole would be not much to look at, the image shows a glowing reddish-orange ring that almost pulsates under the viewer’s gaze. This landmark visual was created using the power of the Event Horizon Telescope. As of today, the group of eight Earth-based radio telescopes has successfully captured and documented the first-ever direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

The black hole is at the center of Messier 87, a galaxy located in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. It is located 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun. The National Science Foundation explains on their website:

Black holes are extremely dense pockets of matter, objects of such incredible mass and minuscule volume that they drastically warp the fabric of space-time. Anything that passes too close, from a wandering star to a photon of light, gets captured. Most black holes are the condensed remnants of a massive star, the collapsed core that remains following an explosive supernova… Using powerful observatories on Earth, astronomers can see the jets of plasma that black holes spew into space, detect the ripples in space-time from black holes colliding, and may soon even peer at the disc of disrupted mass and energy that surrounds the black hole’s event horizon, the edge beyond which nothing can escape.

You can learn more in this press release and watch a livestream below, or on YouTube, of the National Science Foundation’s press conference on the image resulting from the Event Horizon Telescope project.

 

 



Animation Art

A Geometric Light Projection by Joanie Lemercier Invites Viewers to Take a Trip Through the Stars

March 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Constellations is a light-based audio-visual installation by Joanie Lemercier that explores the great expanse of our universe through the presentation of morphing geometric shapes and bright glowing orbs. The three-dimensional light work is projected onto water, which gives it a rippling, holographic effect, further intensified by an electronic soundscape produced by Paul Jebanasam. “It’s an exploration of the stars, constellations and the vastness of the cosmos, suggesting the beauty of geometry, simple and complex structures of the universe,” explains Lemercier. The project was first shown in Bristol, UK in March 2018 at Layered Realities in Millennium Square, and is produced by Juliette Bibasse. You can see a full preview of the Constellations in the video below, and follow the tour schedule on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Art Illustration

Atmospheric Collages by Art Duo 'Frank Moth' Combine Elements from the Past and Future

March 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Bloom" (2017)

“Bloom” (2017)

Frank Moth is the nom de plume of an anonymous Athens-based art duo. Together the pair creates atmospheric collages that combine elements from vast expanses such as oceans, deserts, and the universe at large. The artists combine these scenic elements with decades-old images of men and women, simultaneously dating the collages and giving them a futuristic feel. Because of this push and pull between the past and present, the pair refer to their work as “nostalgic postcards from a distant but at the same time familiar future.” You can see more of the collaborative’s collage work on Moth’s Instagram and Tumblr, and shop prints in their Society6 store.

"You Will Find Me There Standing Whenever You Want" (2016)

“You Will Find Me There Standing Whenever You Want” (2016)

"Waiting for the Cities to Fade Out Waiting for You" (2015) left, "We Chose This Road My Dear" (2015) right

“Waiting for the Cities to Fade Out Waiting for You” (2015) left, “We Chose This Road My Dear” (2015) right

"Roots" (2019)

“Roots” (2019)

"Lost in Your Memories" (2016)

“Lost in Your Memories” (2016)

"Light Explosions in Our Sky" (2014)

“Light Explosions in Our Sky” (2014)

 

 



Photography

50,000 Photographs Combine to Form a Detailed Image of the Moon and Stars

February 23, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photographer Andrew McCarthy has transformed 50,000 individual images of the night sky into one very large and detailed photo of the moon. Every crater and lunar mare on the “light” side looks like it was shot from within the natural satellite’s orbit, when the image was actually created from a telescope and two camera setup 239,000 miles away in Sacramento, California.

McCarthy shares that his interest in the cosmos began as a kid when his father showed him the planets through his telescope, but it was a free telescope from Craigslist a few years ago that reignited his love and got him into astrophotography. His process involves focusing and refocusing on bright stars, taking photos in stacks at different exposure lengths, and switching between an astronomy camera and a Sony a7 II with a 300mm lens. He then loads the stacks into Photoshop and uses special software (and a manual process of duplicating, flipping, subtracting, and editing) to align and adjust the images to create the final product. “I’d love a new vantage, as the view from Sacramento is a bit far,” McCarthy tells Colossal. “If given the chance, I would love to be the first professional astrophotographer to image the Earth from the lunar surface.”

To see the full-sized image click a cropped version below, and to order prints of this or any of Andrew McCarthy’s astrophotography, visit his online store. (via PetaPixel)

Image: Andrew McCarthy (cropped for detail)

 

 



Photography

An Incredible Aerial Tour of Earth's Surface from the International Space Station

January 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.

All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.

Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 

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