Big duck in a little pond?

 Florentijn Hofman
Nope. A big duck in, like, the actual sea and that. “We’re one family and all the waters in the world is our global bathtub”, explains artist Florentijn Hofman.

Electrocuting wood

Now, electrocuting wood isn’t something that happens every day, so if someone came up to you and asked you what that would look like, you’d probably say something like, “Er, I don’t know, perhaps like, er, slow brown lightning or something? Something fractally? Perhaps mirroring the patterns of the wood’s original branches or roots or something? And then, perhaps, when two branches or lightning paths meet, they kind of get bigger? More like dark brown, clotted varicose veins or something, like out of The Thing, maybe?”

And you know what, you’d be right.

Genetic portraits

split-face-portraits2      split-face-portraits3      split-face-portraits1

Wonderful sets of family portraits, with a difference, from Canada-based photographer and graphic designer Ulric Collette. He and his son appear in the third photo above.

The parent/child portraits look very startling, but the brother and sister pairs could very easily be photos of real people. Must have a go at this myself…

And here’s some more of Ulric’s mad portrait work.

(Via 123 Inspiration)

Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are, according to Wikipedia, “still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. Cinemagraphs, which are usually published in an animated GIF format, can give the illusion that the viewer is watching a video.”

Am I right in thinking this is an internet-only thing? Is this a branch of photography that couldn’t have existed when I was at art college?

An Alaska Window

alaskawindowIt may be another simple-thing-building-up-into-something-interesting-through-daily-repetition art project, but I like the calm meditative feel of Mark Meyers’ An Alaska Window.

I live in Alaska in a log house that’s about 100 years old. It has these interesting, old (though not energy efficient), single-paned sash windows. They are at the foot of my bed and are normally the first thing I see in the morning. I noticed over the years that they are constantly changing with the weather and seasons, occasionally in interesting ways. They ice up in the winter, collect leaves in the fall, and occasionally steam up in the summer. So I started taking photos of them and the scene outside—mostly with the iPhone, but occasionally I’ll lug the dSLR up there. It has gradually turned into a minimalist personal project that’s become a reminder to myself that even the simplest things are interesting if you pay attention. I’ve found it to be good way to start each day, an exercise in seeing and visually exploring a single subject and noticing how it gradually changes over time.

(Via Petapixel)

Like seasonal crop circles

simonbecksnowartWe’ve all heard of crop circles, but how about something a little more seasonal? Colossal has a collection of photos from Simon Beck who, since 2004, “has strapped on a pair of snowshoes and lumbered out into the the freshly fallen snow at the Les Arcs ski resort in France to trample out his distinctly geometric patterns, footprint by footprint. Each work takes the 54-year-old artist anywhere between 6 hours and two days to complete, an impressive physical feat aided from years of competitive orienteering.”

Perhaps I should give street photography another go

streetMing Thein has a great post on petapixel on the ethics of photographing random strangers on the street and, as you’d expect, they are some wonderful shots throughout. It was interesting to read about some of the different techniques that can be used. I can’t remember where I first heard the line “If your photo’s not good enough, you’re not close enough”, but Ming has another way too.

There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hardcore enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f/8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.

There’s another approach, though. I think it’s much, much harder to shoot wide open with a relatively wide lens – say nothing longer than 35mm – and shoot without your subject knowing you’re there. This is what I like to call the stealth method – you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, and better yet, shoot without even bringing the camera to your eye.

I’d love to give this a proper go. It’s easier to blend in and look inconspicuous with a cameraphone than with a big lens perhaps, but the one I’ve got now isn’t up to much. I sense a post-Christmas shopping opportunity!

Understanding music

My kind of music video.

“Music is a good thing. But what we did not know until we started with the research for this piece: Music is also a pretty damn complex thing. This experimental animation is about the attempt to understand all the parts and bits of it. Have a look. You might agree with our conclusion!”

Finally Studios

Colossal Organic Wooden Sculptures by Henrique Oliveira

Colossal Organic Wooden Sculptures by Henrique OliveiraIncredible transformation of a material normally thought of as straight, solid, rigid, dependable. These massive sculptures from Henrique Oliveira, consisting of a very natural material, feel anything but; threatening, almost. When Botany attacks! PhotosMore photos.