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Abstract Architecture by Thomas Hawk

October 7, 2012 10:33 PM

These surreal and abstract architecture photos were taken in Houston, Texas during the summer of 2011 by self-proclaimed “photography factory” Thomas Hawk. His Flickr page consists of tens of thousands of photos, and the number is continuously growing. He’s also got a huge fan base, his Google+ page has over three million followers.

“I’m trying to publish a library of 1,000,000 finished, processed photographs before I die.”

These abstract shots are just a tiny slice of his Houston set that I happened to stumble upon. The set is part of an even larger collection called 100 largest American cities, where Hawk aims to capture photos in all of America’s 100 largest cities (by population). It’s an ongoing project, and so far he’s covered 32 of them.

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Abstract Architecture in Houston Texas by Thomas Hawk

Source: Flickr
All photos © Thomas Hawk



Mars from Above; Space Photography by Michael Benson

October 6, 2012 11:40 PM

All the (well deserved) hype about the amazing Curiosity project lately has reincarnated my love for space photography, and especially planetary landscapes. These shots weren’t taken by Curiosity, however, but almost three years earlier by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, on January 27th 2010.

The original photographs, courtesy of NASA, were taken at approximately 200 miles above the surface of Mars, and they were all originally black and white. Afterwards, multimedia artist Michael Benson gathered the raw data, of which he created high resolution images, and digitally added color to them. He also created large format prints of these photos, which he has shown in exhibitions and books. His next book Planetfall: New Solar System Visions was just published at the beginning of this month. It features beautiful large format color photographs created from various deep-space missions by NASA and the European Space Agency, digitally retouched and colored by Benson.

These amazing vertical panorama shots show us the beautiful and strange landscapes of our red neighbor planet. It brings us closer and gives us a more detailed view than most of the photos we’ve seen from that part of our solar system. What makes it even more interesting are those weird looking black spidery things at the bottom of the first photo. They don’t look like anything anyone’s ever seen before. Nobody really knows what they are, but they have been regularly captured by NASA’s cameras since 1998. Every spring (by the Martian calendar, that is) they appear on sand dunes like the ones in that photo, sometimes even over night. And then when winter comes, they disappear. Spooky? Maybe. Cool photography? Definitely.

Mars from Above Space Photography Panoramas by Michael Benson

Mars from Above Space Photography Panoramas by Michael Benson

Sources: NPR & New York Times
All photos © Michael Benson / NASA / JPL / University of Arizona / Kinetikon Pictures



Creative and Technical Photographic Art by Martin Klimas

September 20, 2012 4:25 PM

German photographer Martin Klimas is thinking so far outside the box that the box is but a dot to him. His unconventional techniques are not only original and technically challenging, but they’re so creative and well executed that the end result is simply stunning.

For his colourful series Sonic Sculptures, he wanted to see what music and sound looked like. He placed wet paint of different colours on top of a speaker element, turned the volume up, and fired away. After more than 1,000 shots, and countless hours spent in his Düsseldorf studio, he selected the best ones for the final presentation. The vibrations of the speaker had the paint flailing about in the most abstract way creating these unique images.
note: On his website, Klimas even lists which song was playing when each photo was taken!

High-speed photography, Sonic Sculptures by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Sonic Sculptures by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Sonic Sculptures by Martin Klimas

“In addition to the obvious debt owed to abstract expressionism, Klimas says his major influence was Hans Jenny, the father of cymatics, the study of wave phenomena.”

 
For the project called Ceramic Explosions, he simply relied on gravity to create the abstract art of smashed porcelain figurines. But it wasn’t that simple though. The process was — as usually in his case — very precise and technical. The figurines were dropped from an exact height of three meters, and he used a sound-sensitive trigger to fire the camera’s shutter. So the shot was automated in a way that when the pieces hit the ground smashing, the camera took a photo at exactly the right nanosecond to create these razor-sharp high-speed shots of shattered poses.

High-speed photography, Ceramic Explosions by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Ceramic Explosions by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Ceramic Explosions by Martin Klimas

“The porcelain statuette bursting into pieces isn’t what really captures the attention; the fascination lies in the genesis of a dynamic figure that replaces a static pose.”

 
The last series for today is called Birds of Prey. It’s not enough that these are stunning portraits of powerful creatures, that most nature photography enthusiasts can only dream about capturing. These images are “self portraits” in a way. As soon as the birds take flight inside the studio, they pass through a light beam sensor that triggers the shutter of Klimas’s precisely focused camera. Eliminating the natural surroundings, Klimas has the viewer focused on these birds in an isolated way, which makes these magnificent predators even cooler than normally.

High-speed photography, Birds of Prey by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Birds of Prey by Martin Klimas

High-speed photography, Birds of Prey by Martin Klimas

 
From gravity-induced porcelain splinter, to paint bouncing on a speaker element, and giant birds shooting their own self portraits, this guy has the full attention of the closet-nerd living inside me.

Source: Martin Klimas Photography
All photos © Martin Klimas



Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, NYC

September 16, 2012 9:53 PM

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Photographer Chris Arnade doesn’t just take pictures of people on the street. He gets close and comfortable with both the people and their surroundings, listen to life stories, dreams, burdens, and writes about it on his Flickr page in the most moving way. Most of the times he even returns later with a printed portrait and a warm blanket.

“I am not a journalist, I don’t verify, just listen.”

Banker by trade, Chris has been strolling around parts of New York City that people normally don’t visit. He’s been doing that for the past twenty years, and with a camera in his hand for the past five, not once feeling uncomfortable or fearing for his safety.

The subjects of these emotional portraits are real people, with real problems, living in a rough part of town. But once you get past the exterior image, you learn that there is a warm hearted, respectful, and welcoming human being behind almost every one of them, taking it day by day, just trying to get by.

The highly acclaimed Faces of Addiction is an ongoing project since 2010, and some times Arnade can spend up to months before even raising his camera, just getting to know the people and the world they live in. He’s an avid supporter of HPAC, Hunts Point Alliance for Children. You can help too.

“Often forgotten amidst the headlines of addiction and crime is that roughly 4,000 families live in Hunts Point, cut off from most of the resources New York City provides.”

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

A photograph is only half the story, especially in this series, so I encourage everyone to take a good look at Chris Arnade’s Flickr galleries at the link below. Even though he claims not to be a journalist, the texts are very well written, and it gives you an insight to a part of the world you probably weren’t that familiar with. And it’s OK to shead a tear or two, yours truly did that too.

Sources: Flickr gallery & The Gothamist
All photos © Chris Arnade



Not Your Regular Timelapse Video

September 5, 2012 12:44 AM

Here’s something different. Shot at night, at a mountain biking race, a short timelapse video called Bikes in the Forest by Sixth Row’s Rowen Grant down in Australia. It’s a beautifully surreal visual explosion of light, shadows, movement, a fitting soundtrack, and a snail.

Shot at a 24 hour mountain biking race in East Kowen Forest, Canberra, the footage was captured between 10pm and 4am in the night. Below are some still highlights.

Mountain biking timelapse video by Sixth Row Productions

Mountain biking timelapse video by Sixth Row Productions

Mountain biking timelapse video by Sixth Row Productions

Mountain biking timelapse video by Sixth Row Productions

Timelapse video by Sixth Row Productions

Source: Sixth Row Productions on Vimeo & official website




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