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Photography Science

Tiny Ice Crystals Simulate a Halo Around the Sun in Photograph by Michael Schneider

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Photo by Michael Schneider, shared with permission

On a November trip to the Arosa mountains in the Swiss Alps, Michael Schneider snapped a photo using his iPhone 11. The Zurich-based photographer and writer says the image he captured as the fog dissipated shows small ice crystals in the clouds, which break up the sunlight. The crystals’ insides reflect the sun, which is then broken again as it leaves the inside chamber, resulting in the halo of light.

Gizmodo’s Mika McKinnon elucidated the phenomenon when a similar shot was taken a few years ago.

Ice halos happen when tiny crystals of ice are suspended in the sky. The crystals can be high up in cirrus clouds, or closer to the ground as diamond dust or ice fog. Like raindrops scatter light into rainbows, the crystals of ice can reflect and refract light, acting as mirrors or prisms depending on the shape of the crystal and the incident angle of the light.

You can find an analysis by Mark McCaughrean of the atmospheric optics at work in the image below. Keep up with Schneider’s travel writing and the frozen landscapes he frequents on his Instagram. (via Kottke)

Photo annotation by Mark McCaughrean

 

 



Art

An Enormous Red Sun Will Shine Above the Streets of New York in Thanksgiving Parade Balloon by Yayoi Kusama

November 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Yayoi Kusama piece in person, the iconic Japanese artist will be debuting a sun-themed balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kusama (previously), whose wide-ranging work across a long career includes her wildly popular infinity rooms and large-scale polka dotted objects, has designed “Love Flies Up to the Sky” to be floated along the streets of Manhattan. The red balloon, hand-painted with white and yellow dots and a blue face, joins “more than 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, close to 1,000 clowns, almost 30 parade floats, and a dozen marching bands,” according to NYCTourist.com. Kusama is the first female artist to be commissioned by the parade to create a ballon as part of their Blue Sky Gallery program, joining a roster that has included KAWS, Jeff Koons, Tim Burton, and FriendsWithYou, among others. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: The Kusama balloon was grounded because of weather.

 

 



Art

Poetic Wisdom Appears on a Building in Las Vegas in New Sunlight-Activated Installation by DAKU

October 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs: Justkids

As part of last month’s annual Life is Beautiful festival in sunny Las Vegas, anonymous artist DAKU (previously) channeled natural light to activate his literary installation. Placed on the facade of a building that used to house a book store, jutting letters cast shadows to form a poetic quote. The somewhat decontextualized phrase could reflect on time in general, or perhaps life itself. As the sun shifts throughout the day and casts its shifting shadows, the message appears and disappears, with the physical white letters blending into the building. DAKU, who is based in India and travels widely for his work, specializes in these time- and light-activated installations, which he refers to, collectively, as “Time Changes Everything.”

All art programming at Life is Beautiful is curated by global creative house JustKids, who’ve partnered with the festival from its inception seven years ago. Watch a time lapse of the Las Vegas installation below, and keep up with DAKU’s worldwide travels and installations on Instagram.

 

 



Design Photography Science

Chart-Like Composite Photographs by Dan Marker-Moore Show the Progression of the 2019 Solar Eclipse

August 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Los Angeles-based photographer Dan Marker-Moore (previously) flew south to document the solar eclipse that occurred in Chile on July 2, 2019. While many professional photographers also documented the event, most images capture the singular moment in one image. Marker-Moore decided to break out the progression in orderly chart-like designs. He shares with Colossal that he experimented with over one hundred different format variants before deciding on the final five. Each image contains between 26 and 425 photos of the sun. Read more about Marker-Moore’s trip and the equipment he used here, and find prints of his eclipse series in his online store. The photographer also shares new work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Interactive Sculptures Mirror Visitors’ Movements in Shimmering Fabrics and Cracked Clay

March 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin (previously) creates performative objects that interact with the audience through mirroring. In his recent piece Cracked Mud (2019), a mound of clay pieces undulate and upturn in response to visitors’ movements below a low-hanging orb. The suspended light mimics the sun, hovering over the manipulated and cracked earth below. Another piece, Fabric Mirror (2019), uses a digital camera and 400 motors to capture the movements of those who walk past, imitating their gestures in twisting gold and red fabric. Both works allude to how the sun interacts with our bodies and the earth, the former representing a barren future, while the later explores our reflection bathed in shimmering gold. Each are included in Rozin’s solo exhibition Sol at bitforms gallery in New York through March 17, 2019. You can see more of his interactive sculptures and installations on his website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art

Vibrant Sunsets Hover Inside Abandoned Scottish Castles and Homes by Andrew McIntosh

October 17, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Scottish painter Andrew McIntosh (previously) paints bridges, castles, and forgotten homes, repurposing the structures’ windows and arches as vibrant portals into another world. The deep red and orange sunsets found in these negative spaces serve as the heart of each work, which each cast an intense glow into the surrounding desolate landscapes. The works are centered around scenes found in his native Scotland, areas that don’t necessarily elicit awe or intrigue from the average viewer.

“McIntosh is drawn to the plain and ordinary – a Victorian lodge, a simple tower house, or an unremarkable castle set in scenery that is not immediately picturesque or inspiring – subjects that wouldn’t usually attract an artist’s attention,” writes Dr. Richard Davey in an essay about McIntosh’s paintings. “They are born from deep knowledge of the land, painted by an artist who wants to probe the limits of landscape painting, who knows that nature is much quieter than it is more usually portrayed, and that capturing the undramatic, ordinariness of nature, is more difficult than it may seem.”

The confined sunsets serve as secretive elements of power to each crumbling form of architecture. McIntosh intends for these private moments to remind the viewer of everyday wonder, and to search for these moments during the mundane aspects of the day-to-day. The painter has an upcoming solo exhibition of his work at Beaux Arts London opening October 19 and running through November 18, 2017.


 

 

 



Science

Go See This Eclipse: A Scaled Simulation by Alex Gorosh

August 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

In this new short film, director Alex Gorosh walks us through next week’s total solar eclipse and explains why it’s so important to see it. The mix of archival footage, scientific explanation, and a brief outdoor simulation to demonstrate scale similar to his 2015 video about the solar system, all make a compelling emotional argument that this eclipse shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure you’re prepared.