Close up, Macro, Micro and Minimalist Photographs

The following images are from the top 100 winners of the first two years of the Close Up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) Awards.

I found myself captivated both by the photographs and also by the stories of people who devote themselves to seeing the world of the tiny. The CUPOTY website includes details of how photographers captured and processed the images, way too technical for me. But it also includes stories about tying a portable fire ladder to a tree to climb down into a frozen cauldron to get a picture of a frozen air bubble inside an icicle.  Or a guy who is fascinated by the patterns formed during the crystallization of callous remover (you will be too.) Or a photograph of breast ducts,  spherical bundles of milk-producing cells encircled by tiny muscle-like cells that contract to push milk into the ducts that lead to a suckling infant.

I hope you will share my interest in both what is photographed and how the picture was captured.

By Don Komarechka, Canada. “What if you could make a freezing soap bubble into its own light source? By combining invisible ink that fluoresces blue with dish soap and white corn syrup (glucose syrup), you can create a bubble that freezes beautifully. Add in a custom-built ultraviolet flash and you’ll see it illuminate from within, glowing like a lantern of frost. Photographed in Barrie, Ontario, Canada on a cold winter night as a crazy ‘what if? ‘experiment.”

 

Slime Moulds on Parade by Barry Webb a British Gardener and Photographer. This image shows a line of 2.5mm high, fruiting bodies of the slime mould  growing on a decaying beech trunk. When I looked through the magnifier, I noticed that the fruiting bodies resembled people standing in a line – the holes in the stems looked like little legs!

 

By Anna Ulmestrand, Sweden. A frozen airbubble inside an icicle. “Close to where I live there is an old abandoned mill by a pond. Water flows down the mountain into a giant cauldron and it creates huge icicles. The problem is how to get there – there are no paths or rocks to step on. Thankfully, I discovered a solution in the form of a portable fire ladder! Walking from the car to the mill took time, and was even harder because I was wearing thick clothes and carrying the ladder. To get into position I tied the ladder to a tree and used it to climb down.  As usual, I had no idea what I was going to find, apart from plenty of ice, but I wasn’t disappointed when I spotted this frozen air bubble inside an icicle.”

By Norm Barker, BioMedical/Scientific Photographer at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, US.  Clinical microbiologists use culture plates that identify bacteria and fungi that cause infections in patients. These types of test are done by the millions at large academic medical centers.

By Alexander Mett,  Germany. This picture of a small group of mushrooms with icy caps was taken on a very cold winter’s day. For this picture I lay flat on the ice cold and hard ground to take the series of pictures as calmly as possible.

By Caleb Dawson, Australia. During pregnancy and lactation, the tree-like breast ducts form spherical alveoli – the sites where milk is produced. Each alveolus contains many milk-producing cells that are encircled by tiny muscle-like cells, revealed here by yellow and purple dyes. The muscle-like cells contract in response to suckling to push the milk from the alveoli, into the ducts and to the infant.

By Marek Mis, Poland.
Callus remover (used to remove areas of thickened skin) is one of my favourite substances for crystallisation. I’ve been taking photographs of this substance for a long time now and almost always find something new to capture.

By Sergio Tapia, Spain. Río Tinto is one of the oldest areas with mining and metallurgic activity in the world. The most acid pH and lack of oxygen, make it a unique place. After a morning of heavy rain over a small reservoir, big blocks of foam build-up. Due to the movement of the river and the wind, this foam begins to shift and travel, creating all kinds of forms and textures.

By Peter Juzak, Germany. Since the end of the 1970s I have been fascinated by the world of microcrystals. I took this picture in my flat in autumn, 2019. Hippuric acid is a colourless substance and only when it is placed on a microscope slide and allowed to crystallise under polarising light does it reveal its spectacular world.

By Henri Koskinen, Finland. There is a small pond near my house with crystal clear spring water. It is filled with frogs every spring and it is one of my favourite spots to spend a morning with my camera. Frogspawn creates visually interesting abstract patterns when viewed really close.

By Hasan Baglar, Cyprus. This detail of the swallowtail butterfly wing reminded me of a hand woven carpet. I took a lot of photos to try and capture this image in a single frame while the butterfly rested on a branch under a cloudy sky.

By Henri Koskinen, Finland. I tried a number of compositions of seeds hoping to create the impression of ballerinas on a stage. The seeds of coltfoot are so delicate and light that I had to spray them with water to keep them still and stop them from flying away! I shot them on a semi-reflective surface as I wanted to create an airy feeling, and I used a background of blue sky and white clouds that I painted myself using thin, transparent watercolours.

By Tina Claffey, Ireland. I am a nature photographer fascinated by the bogs and wetlands of Ireland. This Feathery bog moss was frozen in the bog pool after a heavy night of frost. The moss extended its limbs in suspended animation, surrounded by frozen oxygen bubbles.

By Jay Birmingham, Britain. In Wyming Brook , I spotted a small mossy island with a solitary mushroom growing on it. Even better, there was a small waterfall behind. I crouched as low down in the water as I could to position the mushroom in front of the waterfall.

RADOMIR JAKUBOWSKI, Germany. This picture was taken during one of my workshops in the Canary Islands. As beautiful as the landscape was, I wanted to escape the obvious images of beach, sea and sky, so I turned my attention to the small details of the beach. I took the picture at sunrise, when the water turns a remarkable blue and the stone reflected the warm orange tones. As the wave retracted around the little stone, the foam created an interesting contrast against the black sand.

By Petar Sabol, Croatia. By Petar Sabol, Croatia. I had spent the morning looking for some macro subjects but couldn’t find anything interesting. Disappointed, I decided to go back home. As soon as I put my gear into the trunk of the car, I spotted this beautiful swallowtail butterfly bathing in the sun. I quickly grabbed my gear again and carefully crept up to the butterfly with my camera and tripod. I remained some distance from the butterfly in order to get a nice background blur.

By Hakan Kvarnstrom, Sweden, Risk Officer. Working with micromolluscs requires great care, patience, and persistence, as they are so tiny. But despite being only about 2–3mm in size, they have a beautiful and elaborate structure. This shelled mollusc was found in a marine water sample collected from a fish farm in Stockholm. By using fluorescence microscopy with ultraviolet light, the microalgae and cyanobacteria that grow on the surface of the shell are autofluorescing in red and orange, while the shell is blue.

By Greg Whitton, Britain. Pebbles was taken on Spittal Beach in Northumberland, UK. Swirls and geometric patterns are everywhere – you can lose yourself for hours in an area no larger than a squash court. On this day, the tide had receded and left the rock wet and clean. It was perfect for getting low and spending time finding the very best compositions.

By Luciano Richino, Argentina. “This image of the wing scales found on a butterfly from Madagascar, was taken in my studio. My principal objective with these photographs is to show people the perfection of the small – the details, textures and colours that we cannot appreciate with the eye alone.” (He describes many technical things he did to capture the amazing detail represented in this picture.)

By Lizzie Shepherd, Britain. What caught my eye (in this reservoir) was the wonderfully chaotic assortment of willow trees growing in the water’s edge. I was entranced by the intricate, reflections of the branches and twigs – almost like a delicate ink drawing.

By Mis Marek, Poland. I prepared a concentrated solution of water, sugar and salt on a microscope slide and left it for several hours until the water had evaporated. In amongst the many tiny crystals of the whitish substance left behind were a few larger crystals. The centre of one of them became this image.

By Simon Gakhar, Britain. Semi-Retired Explosion Safety Consultant. When air is trapped in water it naturally forms interesting patterns as the water freezes. I have found through trial and error that you can influence the type of pattern to some extent by using different amounts of aeration in the water, or by adding fizzy water to still water before freezing. Freezing at different rates also alters the pattern. (Why have I never really looked at the pattern inside an ice cube before?)

Mis Merik, Poland. The tissues seen here are epidermis cells and stomata cells from a Hepatica leaf. If the cells are observed in bright field illumination they are not that interesting, but by using polarized light, the colourful, puzzle-like pattern of the epidermal cells is revealed.

By Carolyne Barber, Britain. ‘I am a hospice nurse who loves photography and capturing the natural world around me. Photography enables me to bring some joy to our patients who cannot go outside.  This beautiful spider’s web, found on a fence in the hospice garden, looked dazzling with the backlight from the rising sun shining through the dewdrops.

By Gerd Guenther, Germany. ‘It is a constant enjoyment for me to explore the inner structures of common objects or materials. Using a microscope gives me the ability to visualize structures unseen with the naked eye. A guitar string is a very common object, but when you cut a longitudinal section and use a microscope illumination used for material science, the beauty of this subject is made visible.

By Justin Zoll, US. Bartender and Photographer. I do all of my experimentation and work in my bedroom. In this case, amino acids were dissolved in high-proof vodka before being distributed onto a glass slide and allowed to evaporate. The colours in the resulting crystals are due to the interaction of polarised light and the birefringent properties of the crystals. One of my polarising filters is the lens from an old pair of sunglasses! 

Less Detail

By Edwin Giesbers, Holland, a scene captured inside a frozen thermopane window.

By Barry Webb of England. “Fruiting body of a slime mold.”

Pressed steel frying pan base. By Tony Cooper, Britain.

By Justin Zoll, US. Ferrofluid. This one had no explanation unless you know what a ferrofluid is.

Minimal Photography

Not all minimalist photography is black and white. And the images presented here go beyond black and white, highlighting an emphasis on simple line and form. I love it. These are my favorites from the first edition of the Black and White Minimalist Photography Awards presented by Minimalism Magazine.

By Tim Nevell, From a drone in Iceland

Desert By Fatemeh Pishkhan, Iran

Curves By Steve Day

A birds-eye view of a lake with algae and fallen leaves and a fisherman. By Daniel Franc

By Pierre Pellegrini

Zen. By Andrew Ilachinski

By Tomas Tison

By Jason Au. Hong Kong

The beginning. By Fritz Weis. Germany

Zeeland Bridge By Gee Hurkmans, Netherlands.

Sossusvlei Trees By Hector Izquierdo Seliva in Namibia.

The Palm. By Renate Wasinger Fuerteventura. Canary Islands.

Secret Canyon By Blake Enting. Arizona, US

On the Road, by Massimo Alloi.

Snowboard track. By Scott Rinckenberger. Japan.

Thanks to Claire Elizabeth for getting me started on Close Up photography and to CUPOTY.

And thanks to Minimalism Magazine for sponsoring the Black and White Minimalist Photography Awards for 2020 – 2021.

Singular Passions

I love finding artists who get obsessed or absorbed with a particular or unusual way of seeing the world. Then they capture and share their vision. I wonder what it would be like to pass a sidewalk with grass growing through a  crack and picture this:

or see a blank wall and picture this:

And then to have the talent to bring the vision to life. (The above images are from a recent post: Tiny art/ Huge art.)

So now we’ve got a collection of wonderful and inspiring new passions including miniature landscapes, acorn people, smiles, leaves, aliens, woodpiles and playing Bach using a ball rolling down an incline. Enjoy.

Katsuhiro Ohkuchi, “Under One Inch”.Since he was ten years old Japanese artist Katsuhiro Ohkuchi has been fascinated by the world literally at our feet. He has designed a method of photographing extraordinary miniature landscapes that are “Under One Inch.” He posts them on Instagram.

View from a ditch after rain.

 

Petr Vaclavek, “Dubanci

Petr Vaclavek of the Czech Republic started collecting acorns with his kids in the woods near his home. When they got back, they crafted the oak nuts into tiny “acorn elves” that Petr now calls Dubánci.
While his kids outgrew making the acorn people, Petr’s passion for the project only became stronger. Soon, he was creating increasingly elaborate photographs of Dubánci performing their whimsical hijinks.

Jay Weinstein, “So I Asked Them to Smile”

In 2013, photographer Jay Weinstein was taking pictures in Bikaner, India, when his eye was drawn to a man with a narrow face and wispy beard, The picture would have been perfect, but he hesitated, intimidated by the man’s stern expression and the harsh look in his eyes. He gave up on the shot and proceeded to photograph other subjects until he was interrupted by a friendly shout: “Hey, take my picture too!” It was the same man, completely transformed now, as a smile lit up his face.

This was the inspiration for “So I Asked Them to Smile,” a photography project Weinstein has been dedicated to ever since. He says, “What I love most about this photography project is that it forces me to face my fears and approach people I don’t know. It forces me to challenge whatever preconceptions I have of them and learn again and again how inaccurate my assumptions are.”

Lito Leaf Art

From a family at an amusement park to an owl overlooking a castle, the Japanese artist known only by the name lito leafart on Instagram produces incredibly imaginative creations from hand-cut from leaves.  Clearly it takes a lot of meticulous, detailed work and the artist confesses that it’s a great way for him to deal with his ADHD. He makes one piece of leaf art per day, photographs it against the sky to highlight the many tiny details and posts it on his Instagram account. He says it is a way to focus and help him calm down. His solution to ADHD benefits us all.

ALIEN INVASION

Kindergarten teacher, Jennipher Carpenter of Oakland California, is drawn to the whimsical and off-beat. She noticed aliens creeping into her art “probably because people don’t have a pre-conceived notion of aliens. So I felt free to express them however I wanted.” They appear in the cloth dolls she makes, the clay-like creatures made of Sculpy and drawings.

She usually carries at least one alien in her backpack because you never know when you will pass a perfect spot to snap a picture.

Sometimes when she feels her home is about to get over-run with aliens she “lets them go” by leaving them in random places on her walks, inviting someone to adopt them and taking one last picture.

Sometimes aliens sneak into her doodles

Sometimes humans sneak into her doodles.

NORWEGIAN WOOD PILES

What if a whole country gets a rather singular passion? Thanks to a faithful follower of DuskysWonderSite we have available a collection of woodpiles from Norway. The people who created these definitely shared a creative passion.

The king and queen of Norway.

Giant handmade xylophone plays Bach in the depths of a serene Japanese forest

Director Morihiro Harano and sound artist Kenjiro Matsuo built a breath-taking instrument in the middle of a lush forest as an ad for a Japanese telecom company, Docomo.

Their creation features hundreds of different-sized pieces of wood, each sounding an individual note when struck. A wooden ball then cascades down the structure, hitting every resonant note of a Bach masterpiece.

Made by hand from 100 per cent raw materials the instrument plays “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”and, unbelievably, the video contains no special effects.

 

Thanks to: Katsuhiro Ohkuchi for Under One Inch. Unfortunately I am not able to send a link to the page that is translated to English. So for more info in English, please google his name and then translate the page. Or you can follow any of the several articles about him that come up on Google.

To:  Petr Vaclavek and his dubanci  https://dubanci.cz/english-info/

To:  Jay Weinstein for “So I Asked Them to Smile.”   

To:  Lito Leafart   on Instagram

To: Jennipher Carpenter for her Aliens on Instagram

To the Woodpile artists in Norway

To the amazing creators of the forest xylophone, Morihiro Harano and Kenjiro Matsuo

And to George for sending me info about the woodpiles and many other wonderful images to check out through the years.

 

 

 

 

 

More Amusing Animal Images

 

By Lisa Vanderhoop, Annial Wildlife Photography Awards

When you finally find some quiet time to mull about your life… And start feeling hungry.

Stuck In’ By Ashleigh Scully, USA, 11–14 Years Old Winner London contest

What Norwegian Police carry.

Biker gang terrorizes local residents

Safety first

The Reason Water Wasn’t Coming Out

Winter, When The Leaves Have Fallen And The Trees Are Bear

Quokkas Are The Face Of Happiness

By Yevhen Samucenko

Photo bombed by your horse.

By Tasmanian farmer Charlie Mackinnon

Ooops, caught…

From Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards by Jakob Strecker

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

By Kallol Mukherjee Rhinopeocock, Wildlife Comedy Awards

by Michael Lane, Comedy awards

Robert Adamson, Comedy Awards

Comedy Awards

If you want to keep looking at amusing animal pics on this site: go Here.

If you want to browse funny, beautiful, weird or other various animal images, scroll through here and take your pick.

Thanks to: Jen C, Jen H., Jill, Anita, George, This is Colossal, Babamail, and Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards.

Snow Artist Plus Nature’s Snow Art

We start with images from a renowned artist creating fleeting sculptures in snow and ice. We end with nature’s own snow and ice art as captured by anonymous photographers and collected by Bored Panda.

Andy Goldsworthy, is a British artist whose stunning art explores the natural world. Much of it lasts mere minutes before being washed or blown away.  Goldsworthy says, “Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.” Below his images captivate with the materials of snow and ice.

Now onto nature as the artist

The Ice Neatly Folded Itself.

Snow Was Very Geometric When I Went Skiing

The Way The Snow Is Resting On This Handmade Stone Arch.

Yep That’s Snow

Fresh Snow Over Christmas Lights

Art Only Nature Can Create. My Fence This Morning After A Snowy Night On Terschelling, The Netherlands

This Pattern In The Snow On A Patio Table

When Constant Winds And Ice Meet A Fence

When They Ask If There’s Much Wind Where We Live

The Snow Melted And Slid Down The Wire In A Spiral Form

Unmelted Snow In The Shadows

This Crazy Ice Wave Formation From Snow Slowly Melting Off The Tin Roof Of My Patio

The Snow Has Settled Only On The Outline Of The Bricks On My Friends Driveway

This Stop Sign After A Week Of No Sun

Snow Striped Forest

The Frost On The Fence This Morning

This Thin Streak Of Snow Across Ohio

This Frozen Leaf Carved A Perfect Circle In The Snow.

This Lone Tree And The Curvy Snow Waves.

Rolls Formed By The Wind

Snow on a cabbage field.

Looks more like a story book village than real.

The Way The Snow Rolled Down On My Windshield.

Bunny eats snowman’s carrot nose.

Apple Orchard After A Snowfall

Many thanks to Brenda for forwarding the Andy Goldsworthy selection.

and to Jill and Bored Panda for the individual selections.

Strangely enough, I couldn’t find a website for Andy Goldsworthy. So here’s a link to a catalog of his images from 1976 – 1986.

 

Siena International Photo Awards, 2020

The Siena International Photo Awards include a high level of international participation. The 2020 contest received nearly 48.000 images from amateur and professional photographers from 156 countries worldwide.  I enjoyed browsing through examples from various websites and am glad to share some of my favorites.  Below are selections sorted by topic.  All comments are by the photographer.

ARCHITECTURE and DESIGN

By Maurizio Sartoretto, The stairwell of a building, in this case a hospital, becomes an occasion to combine graphics, architecture and design.

By Everhard Ehmke

By Muhammad Almasri, An interesting entrance guides the way into a place called the World of Illusion. The entrance makes you somewhat lose focus, especially when standing in the middle. (I couldn’t find out where this is.)

By Martin Seraphin. It was still very early and the Maat Museum was still closed. But the guard walking slowly along the building. There was only a narrow path between the building and the river Tejo and my feet got wet taking this shot.

By Majid Hojati. After a long time of drought, the water has returned to the Zayandehrood River, and people are sitting by the historic Khaju Bridge, enjoying the water and having fun.

By Marcel Van Balken, In a play of light and shadow the building forms an almost surrealistic and abstract decor, reinforced by the apparently disproportionate presence of man.

By Barbara Schmidt.The ceiling of Nevigeser Wallfahrtsdom church has truly unique architecture.

By Attila Balogh, Only a single apartment’s windows are lit in Tsing Yi district, a densely populated area of Hong Kong, right before sunset.

By Ute Scherhag The Berlin TV tower on Alexander Place is the tallest building in Germany and at the same time the most distinctive landmark in Berlin.

By Nataliya Andrianove, Passers-by on an area of the Heydar Aliyev Center, building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by architect Zaha Hadid.

By Alberto Caselli, This unique staircase is located inside the Chianti Classico Antinori winery near Florence. The shot captures the moment when a woman is passing.

By Jacqueline Hammer This is an upward view of the beautiful wooden spiral staircase at CitizenM hotel in London. It is quite a small staircase and at the top there are several circular lights, a few of which are shown here.

NATURE

By Christian Vizi, Water plants and small fish at cenote Aktun Ha, known as Car Wash cenote in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

By Stas Bartnikas. This aerial shot of a small glacial lake surrounded by ice was taken in Denali National Park, Alaska from a float plane.

By Hong Jen Chiang. Captured from an aircraft flying over Iceland. Braided Rivers exhibit numerous channels that split off and rejoin each other to give a braided appearance. They typically carry fairly coarse-grained sediment down a fairly steep gradient. Consequently, braided rivers usually exist near mountainous regions.

By Mauro Battistelli, Early in the morning on a November day, inside the swamp, looking for the magnificent beauty of the Spanish moss.

By Stephan Furnrohr. On the Greenland Icecap. As the summer approaches, large meltwater lakes appear at the edge of the ice. The water filters all colours until only blue tones remain, which are scattered and reflected on the ice.

 

By Armand Sarlangue. Aerial abstract image from the central Utah desert, showing the side of a canyon, the tracks left by the path of water, and the reliefs as they can be seen only from above.

By Juan Garcia Lucas, The wicker stems of Cañamares, Cuenca.

By Khanh Phan. This is a picture of nipa palm forest in Quang Ngai Vietnam. Nipa palm is located in a rich ecosystem. The only hole in the nipa palm forest is the relic of the bomb crater from the Vietnam War.

By Paul Kiitagaki, Strong winds blow through the branches of an oak tree and light up the sky at the Kincade fire in Sonoma County, California. The fire lasted more than 10 days and subsequently burned 77,758 acres until it was fully contained.

By Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn. The iceberg resembles the shape of a fish. The small pond mimicking the eye of the fish, while the breaking ice in the tail helps to create the sense of movement of the fish’s tail.

By Martin Rak. Leaves against the silhouettes of grey beech trunks in a cold winter forest.

By Sergio Saavedra Ruiz. A spectacular sea storm hits the North coast of Cantabria, Spain. The waves exceeded 12 meters.

By Stanislao Basileo. One winter day, walking along the banks of the river, I noticed a fairytale scenario several willow branches had fallen and frozen, creating a wonderful landscape.

By Yunhua Yu. Night storm in Chinese metropolis.

By Agorastos Papatsanis. The autumn dusk in the woods is always a magical moment. These macrolepiota procera, which can reach up to 30 cm in height, stand on a carpet of pine needles among blue trunks.

 

ANIMALS

By Fahad Alenezi The Arctic Fox saves his food in different locations before the winter to return back to it during the heavy winter in order to avoid the risk of dying of starvation.

By Nachum Weiss. In the Israeli Negev desert, a Nubian Ibox looking for food is very carefully escorting her one-and-a-half-month-old puppy in a difficult and dangerous passage.

By Henley Spiers, A school of uniquely patterned spotted eagle rays passes beneath me on an unforgettable dive in the Maldives. The spotting on each ray is unique, like fingerprints.

By Amit Eshel A.large group of Mobula Rays in the Sea of ​​Cortez.These creatures are as graceful in mid-air as they are in the water, throwing their wings like flying birds.

By Tobias Friedrich. Mandarinfish usually mate every afternoon during sunset in very shallow water. These two emerged from the coral reef in the clear water, when the female left her eggs and the male his sperm.

Thomas P Peschak, Germany, South Africa.

By Artur Stankiewicz,. A giraffe in the middle of the Mara River, in the Serengeti Park, with soft, orange light, and wildebeests passing by.

By William burrard-lucas. Black leopards taken in Africa, but as far as I knew, nobody had ever captured a series of high quality images of a wild black leopard in Africa before. I traveled to Kenya.

By Mohammad Murad, Framed by the glow of street and car lights along Kuwait city, two Arabian red fox cubs explore the night just outside their den.

By Massimiliano Giovampaoli. In the vicinity of Florence airport while a plane is taking off, a flock of starlings are trying to survive, by averting off a predator that is attacking them.

By Jose Fragozo, Lake Bogoria is a saline and alkaline lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley that at times is home to one of the world’s largest congregations of lesser flamingos.

By Galice Hoarau. Juvenile fish protecting himself inside a stinging box jellyfish. The photo was taken during a blackwater dive in the Lembeh strait, Indonesia.

By Sonda Cai. These peculiar filaments help the young Pompano to move and eat slow-moving crustaceans, small crabs and other fish. As the body grows it lengthens and the fins get shorter.

By Yunhua Yu, At sunset, in an enchanting and peaceful atmosphere, a group of camels walking among the desert dunes.

HUMANS

Azim Khan Ronnie. Vietnamese workers sit surrounded by thousands of incense sticks in Quang Phu Can, a village in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the sticks have been traditionally made for hundreds of years.

By Amirmahdi Najafloo Shahpar. Muslim women praying in Hamedan, Iran for Eid al-Fitr. The last day of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims all over the word with special prayers and gatherings.

By Orban Tanhan. The daily life of people feeding the animals in the harsh winter months east of Turkey.

By Eric Tkindt. A gymnast’s jump on the parallels at the Flanders International Team Challenge. Her expression clearly shows her tension and fear.

By Hassan Ghaed. Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, had been involved in the war for four years. A mother, who returned home after the end of the conflict, found her child’s toy car in their destroyed house.

By Tobias Friedrich. Night diving at a temperature of minus two degrees Celsius in Eastern Greenland, swimming among icebergs under the ice of a fjord.

By Igor Altluna. Children jumping from the roof of our ship in the seas of Malaysia, the game consists of who jumps more and makes more turns.

By Olesia Kim. A family watching the scene in front of a colorful striped background.

By Briana Gardener. Women of a variety of shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. Challenged to wear no makeup, and posing in outfits styled to match the tone of their skin, they attempt to combat unhealthy beauty standards.

By Thien Nguyen. A fishing net moving underneath the water’s surface. Many local fisherman families along the coastline of Phú Yên province will follow the near-shore currents to catch the anchovy during peak season.

Koichi Omae by Silvia Alessi. I met the amputee dancer Koichi Omae, originally from Osaka, on my way. At 23, when he was entering his career, a car accident took away all his dreams. He had his left leg amputated below the knee. With great willpower, he decided to continue his career as a dancer, aware that without the limb, he would have to spend much more energy not only in performing the artistic gesture, but also just walking normally.

By Michael Kowalczyk. A man with a blue shirt is carrying a big new rectangle-shaped mirror on his shoulder along the street and passes a man with a blue shirt standing behind a sale stand with cellphone accessories in Medellin, Colombia.

By Paula Bronstein. Veiled Thai muslim women take a selfie on the Talo Kapo beach wearing their best dresses on Eid al-Fitr on June 5, 2019 in Pattani, Thailand.

By Xiangang Chen, The green train, known as the poverty alleviation train, has greatly helped the local Yi ethnic people to trade agricultural products and thus help minority areas to get rid of poverty, in Liangshan, China

Natalya, Irina, and Tatyana are three twin sisters from the northern Russian city of Krasnoyarsk. (I think they are triplets.)

By Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn. A father and his son are trying to catch fish inside a cave in South Vietnam during the monsoon season.

By Trung Pham Huy .A group of farmers washing and packing waterlilies before sending them off to the market in an early morning in the Me Kong delta. Waterlilies are widely used for decoration and sometimes in traditional local food.

Thanks to Bored Panda, Mymodernmet, and of course the Siena International Photo Awards, 2020.

Baby Animals

This is for the people who left comments saying they wish I would post wonders more often.  It’s so easy to find and see the wonders of baby animals.  If you aren’t into Ooohs and aahhs and chuckles and unbelievable cuteness, skip this post.

I can’t help it if Koala’s are so cute they get more than their share of pictures.

Here are a few animals that might not be familiar or you might be surprised to find that their babies can be sort of cute.

A baby eastern quoll

Tapir with babe

Pangolin

Southern pudu fawn. It is the world’s smallest deer and tends to be around a foot tall at the shoulder. When they’re born, they’re only 6 inches high, and weigh less than a pound.

Greater Bilby Baby

Armadillo

Ooops. Another koala snuck in.

Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana by Isak

by Aranka Janné in Cabarceno Natural Park, Spain.

helping baby elephant that fell into a ditch, by Mark Bowler

Thanks to: Lawrence, Kathleen, Mer, Louise, Sam, Babamail, flowart, George

Ooops!

In the midst of preparing a new post on a completely different topic, I happened across these examples of design mistakes, construction errors, and just plain bad planning.  When I found myself laughing out loud I had to change course and share these.  WARNING: please don’t move on to the next one until you see the problem with the one you are looking at.  In my opinion, some of the funniest ones take a minute to see what is wrong.  And please leave a comment if you find yourself laughing out loud.  Say which one struck you as so funny.

THESE BALCONIES ARE ONLY FOR THE BIRDS.

THE LIONS SEEM DOOMED.

IN CASE YOU’RE STILL WONDERING

THEY REALLY DON’T LIKE CYCLISTS.

They’re either convinced the grass is actually water or very protective of their sidewalk.

LOOK CLOSELY

WELL, THIS IS DISAPPOINTING!

Someone’s going to have a very unpleasant experience with their hot dog

I have no idea what the system is here…

This is actually kind of genius, though I can think of many better solutions…

The cheapest seats in the house

CLOSE ENOUGH…

 Something has gone terribly wrong here!

This makes the commentator’s  job infinitely more difficult

There are going to be a lot of collisions at that turn

When the printer goes haywire.

They’ve made this into quite an obstacle course.

Watch your step. No, really. Every single step.

REALLY?

At least there’s a roof for extra protection.

THAT’S A REAL TIME SAVER.

THE SIXTH TIME IS THE CHARM.

z BEST CEILING FAN EVER

I love when my clients send me pictures of my work after I have left. Really shows how satisfied they are with the work.

Ever been walking down the stairs and found out that your phone needed a charge? I have come up with the solution! The best part is there is a built-in seat while you wait for your phone to finish charging.

Customer safety is always a top priority of mine. With no hesitation I always add a couple extra screws to make sure the plates don’t fall off. Electrocution is a very serious issue which I do not take lightly.

That atm is a little high.  Let’s move it down.

MUCH BETTER

Are there flying cars that I don’t know about?

A soap dispenser just in case giants use the restroom.

Close enough.  It will be fine.

First I have to thank someone named Violet T.  Most of the first many images and droll comments come from her Babamail post that I happened on. It got me giggling and searching for more “construction fails” as this genre is called.  I also have to thank: Sunnyskyz, Bored Panda, and Cheezburger.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if any of these made you laugh out loud. Thanks.

 

 

Tiny Art, Huge Art

As often happens, someone sends me photographs they think I might like, and I get lost for hours, days and even weeks following the thread of a theme.  So this time it’s tiny art and huge art.

First Tiny

Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka builds miniature worlds with scenes of everyday life.  By combining common objects with an immense library of tiny plastic figurines, Tatsuya produces relatable scenes depicted from a small perspective. Since 2011 he has posted a new display every single day on his Instragram “Miniature calendar” project.  Recently he’s included a reminder of our Covid pandemic in his whimsical displays.

I love that London-based artist Slinkachu creates mini worlds right on the street and leaves them after he’s taken a photo. With just a bit of superglue on each foot, the tiny models are ultimately left to find new homes—or fend for themselves. Each close-up display below is followed by the scene in its larger context. It’s not always easy to spot .

I bet you can’t find the workers in this image, but they’re there.

Here are other images from Slinkachu.

Street artist David Zinn  creates cute, playful chalk creatures that have been turning up in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years. He chooses locations that are either unimpressive or easily ignored (cracks, curbs, or pipe covers), and invents interesting ways to incorporate his imaginary friends into the landscape.  According to Zinn, “Knowing that the art will wash away in the rain makes it easier to enjoy the process of creating it. There is nothing that needs to be framed or sold or stored away after the drawing is done, and very little planning beforehand to make the art suitable as a permanent presence in the community.”

HUGE ART

Alas, I have no info about most of the artists who create these mammoth murals.  And I don’t understand how some of them can look so 3-dimentional. But I hope you enjoy the artistry, humor and imagination on display in these images.

Many thanks to Brenda for getting me started on both the tiny and the huge art. And to Jen C. and Colossal and Bored Panda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Ways to See Old Things

Since so many of us are staying home much more than usual, we’re all looking at the same things day after day.  Here are images of familiar things seen in a new way.  I hope they inspire your imagination to see the unusual in the mundane.  Don’t miss the link to the video at the end.

A FedEx Boeing 757, without any cargo

 

The Blood Vessels Of A Hand.

Apparently A 9 Volt Battery Is 6 AAA Batteries Taped Together

How To Install Huge Power Line Towers

An Early Human Embryo On The Tip Of A Needle

A tortoise skeleton.

The Inside Of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Is Empty

How Brick Streets Are Laid In The Netherlands

A Modern Battleship With No Water Around

The underside of a lily pad.

Inside pearls.

Inside a fireworks shell.

Looking Into A Theatre From Behind The Stage

Beautiful engineering  inside  a bank vault door.

The inside of a guitar.

A bubble mid-pop

Underneath a breaking wave

The sun shot in ultra-violet.

A snail drinking from a bubble

The king of the jungle in the rain.

Jupiter from the bottom (or the South Pole)

Cross sea.  A cross sea is a sea state with two wave systems traveling at oblique angles.

an eight-ton Orca jumping 20 feet out of the water

The pyramids from a Cairo street.

Towing an iceberg In Newfoundland. Icebergs are harvested for their water.

The border between the United States and Canada.

A Lenticular cloud over Mount Fuji, Japan

A bug on a bud in the morning.

n X-ray of a sting ray.

Venice canals from above

Find the person in the tree

Find the person

 

A leaf performing a process called guttation. The plant is expelling water due to a positive root pressure.

A new way to exercise on a treadmill.

FA84AF2F-24C6-432C-A4E1-D60C6ABACDBA

Thanks to: George, Lois, Carolyn, Dee

 

Vacations, 2020

Since the whole world is restricted in movement right now with the Covid 19 pandemic, it seems like the perfect time to let our imagination and computer images take us away on a vacation.  We’ll start with spectacular versions of more traditional vacations.  Awesome nature, sometimes with housing we could only dream of getting through Airbnb. Or flying in a drone to get another perspective.  Then we’ll move to oases…because why not?  Online is definitely the easiest way to visit an oasis. Finally, if you are the type, you might enjoy picturing yourself accompanying some of the daring adventurers found in the last section.  I personally don’t like heights or risking my life for thrills, so I tend to think of some of these people as crazy.  Or maybe I’m just a coward. Either way the final section will take your breath away.

Reinebringen, Lofoten, Norway

Eltz Castle in Mayen-Koblenz, Germany, was taken by German @moodfella

Mayen-Thâu phạ , yen bai , Việt Nam

House on a Slovenian mountain.

Gougane Barra, County Cork, Ireland

Gokayama in Japan

Hof, Iceland

Croatia_Istra_KAMENJAK

Kyaw Win Hlaing, Myanmar

Cabin on Obersee Lake, Germany

Austria

I don’t know where this is, but I’d like to stay here.

Arnarstapi, Iceland

North Carolina Beach House

Moraine Lake, Canada

Turquoise Ice at Northern Lake Baikal, Russia

Katowice, Poland

Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia,

By Roger Nichol on flickr, North Somerset, England

Elliðaey Island, Iceland

Abandoned fishing village in the Shengsi Islands, China.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Rawanduz_Kurdistan_
Region

Bibury, England

Bavaria, Germany

Penne, France

mountain villages in China.

Mosque Nasir-ol-Molk – Iran

Kilchurn Castle, Scotland

Ice Canyon, Greenland.  Don’t miss the human.

Aspen Cathedral, Vail, Colorado, USA

Jodhpur, The Blue City or The Sun City, India

Coyote Buttes, Arizona, US

tree-top paradise set amid lush vegetation in Tulum, Mexico, captured by Canadian photographer @blakehobson

The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas Kronstadt Saint Petersburg Russia

A floating fort in the Gulf of Finland snapped by Russian @nikybwd, who explained ‘Fort Alexander 1 is a naval fortress on an artificial island, near St Petersburg

Hamnøy in Norway

Hallstatt, Austria

Genoa, Italy

Gásadalur, Faroe Islands. are a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometres (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. It is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. The islands have a total area of about 1,400 square kilometres (540 sq mi) with a population of 52,110 as of January 2020. Who knew?

Foroglio Waterfall can be seen from this quaint little town in Foroglio, Switzerland.

canadian rockies by Jimmy Dau

Now the Oases. 

Did you know there are oases on every continent?

by Jeffrey Chand

Libyan desert 04 Oasis by Image credit and Copyright, Dr Bashir Nwer

Morocco

Nahal David quiet oasis found near Bethlehem, Israel.

huachina-peru

Huacachina is a small oasis town in the Ica region southwest Peru.

Oasis on a Ranch in Red Rock Canyon Near Las Vegas, Nevada in America. The oasis is very large with an area of around 520 acre. It is located at the base of Wilson Cliffs.

Ziz. oasis, The Sahara desert is the world’s largest desert with only a small fertile part. Ziz oasis is in the Ziz valley of the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

Umm al-Maa, Libya

Umm-al-Maa is a lake oasis in the Idehan Ubari Sand Sea, Libya. There are 16 more lakes in the surrounding dunes.

Tucked away in an offshoot of the Grand Canyon lies Havasupai—Arizona, USA

Oasis of En Gedi, Israel.

Nizwa desert oasis, Oman

Sanoran desert by Kit Schweitzer

By Ingeum

O.K. Imagine being any of the people pictured next. I can’t.

Walking high in the Dolomites”. The international high line festival at Monte Piana, 2,324m in the Italian Dolomites, This is a festival??
Photo by James Rushforth

Extreme skiing in Wyoming.

He’s taking a picture of a rock climber. 🙂 ???

Next time you think you’re roughing it when camping, think about these people.

Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

Skywalking in the Alps.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, US

Hua Shan – Shaanxi Province, China

Mount Ai-Petri – Ukraine and Russia. In case you’re looking for a short cut.

On the via ferrata delle Bocchette Centrali in the Dolomiti di Brenta, Italy.  Good thing he’s wearing a hard hat.

Check the foot. I think it’s on fire. He’s really dedicated to getting that picture. Too bad we can’t see what it is.

I wonder how he got to this fine ledge.

 

 

Yikes!

 

If you’re going to do something crazy, at least do it at a great time of day

Jess Reilly and Mark Howe mountain biking across an arch near Moab, Utah.

Iceland. Don’t forget to find the humans.

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

O.K. I see the railing and all the people exploring the “New Wonder” in China. Still, I can barely stand to look at the photo, let alone think about wanting to take that walk.

Thanks to: George, Sam, Wim, Anita, Mer, Lois, Lawrence, Lia, Gary,Debra

Envision Kindness

For those who have followed me regularly over the years, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t added any new posts in over a year.  Too busy with other parts of life.  But I got so inspired by the winners of a contest entitled “Envision Kindness”  that I finally had to make a post. David and Jesse are an American father and son who founded this non-profit contest with the belief that “the spotlight of the world’s attention should be shined on the positive events that occur every day; not just the negative events that we see far too often. Positive pictures and stories have the power to inspire, to connect and to heal.”  David and Jesse don’t even use their full names on their website.  It’s about the photos.

Unfortunately I neglected to record the name of the person who originally introduced me to this photo competition.  So I thank whoever it was.  And I bet you will also wish you could thank them after you take a look at these images, my favorites.

by Ata Adnan

by Nimai Chandra Ghosh

by Robert Anton Apparent

by Lori Rutland

by Aleksandr Bezborodov

The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds perform for CH.I.L.D. Foundation, Photo by Doug Mayhew

by Mithail Afrige Chowdhury

by martin-buzora

by Partha Pratim

by Aung Myo Tun

by Cynthia Fusco

by Pui Tsui

by Yulia Hanyk

by Avijit Biswas

by Huy Nguyen Quoc

by Rajesh Dhar

by Klienne Eco

by Leyla Emektar

by Alain Schroeder

by Alicia Mayorca

by Anthony Into

by Antonio Aragon Renuncio

by Charlaine Gerber

by Fei Song

by Madushanka Keerthirathna Susewhewage Dhanushka

by Wu Tzung Lee

by Lydia Zubko

by Myo Min Kywe

by Leyla Emktar

by Loc Mai

by Aderemi Davies

by Edwin Loyola

by Eduardo Seastres

 

 

 

 

 

Humans: Quirky, Clever and Diverse

Welcome to highlights of humans exhibiting our quirky, clever and diverse nature.  Each section will help you see humans and our world from a different perspective.

First we’ll start of with some humor as we observe human attempts at logistics.  The slideshow that originated these images is from the Czech Republic, but I couldn’t get any further info.  I wish I could thank the person who assembled these photographs because I’ve seen lots of collections about logistics and this was the best I’ve seen.  Also I can’t thank the person who sent me the link to the slideshow because it’s been waiting in my downloads file for years waiting for me to figure out how to save images off of power point.  🙂

The pictures are often not of great quality because they were taken spur-of-the-moment to capture a moving target.  But look past the quality and I guarantee you will marvel and/or get a chuckle out of at least one of them.

Make sure you notice the pail.

I’m pretty sure those are eggs in his baskets.

Could this be a school bike?   It’s yellow and the kids are in their school uniforms.

Please don’t miss the humor in this. It took me a second look.

Now we’ve got some intriguing statistics, mostly about the US.  I can’t vouch for precise accuracy but choose to believe they are close enough to help us think of things in a new and different way.

The Empire State building has its own zip code.

Kansas produces enough wheat each year to feed everyone in the world for about two weeks.

The entire Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan.

The number of bourbon barrels in Kentucky outnumbers the state’s population by more than two million.

There’s a town in Washington with treetop bridges made specifically to help squirrels cross the street

The total length of Idaho’s ‘s rivers could stretch across the United States about 40 times.


It would take more than 400 years to spend a night in all of Las Vegas”s hotel rooms.

Only one-third of all $100 bills are actually inside the United States. Many are under mattresses all over the world because of money laundering.

In 1922, a man built a house and all his furniture entirely out of 100,000 newspapers. The structure still stands today in Rockport, Massachusetts.

South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.

The Library of Congress contains approximately 838 miles of bookshelves—long enough to stretch from Houston to Chicago.

The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office has its own quirky gift shop called Skeletons in the Closet.

There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in one foot of liquid.

In 1872, Russia sold Alaska to the Unites States for about 2 cents per acre.

There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to build a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York City.

There is an island full of wild monkeys off the coast of South Carolina called Morgan Island, and it’s not open to humans.

“The World in Faces” is the remarkable project of Australia-based photographer Alexander Khimushin.  By photographing people of different nationalities and disappearing ethnic minorities in traditional clothing, his goal is to document the cultures that remain.  “I often take portraits of elderly people that are the last native speakers of their indigenous language or the last ones who make and wear traditional clothing. Many of the more than 10,000 ethnic groups currently living on this planet might not be around in a decade or two.”

I have found selecting favorites among his images to be nearly impossible.  If you are so inclined, I encourage you to look at more of them on his website,

Daasanach tribe girl in Ethiopia wearing an animal fur top and a package on her head.

a Wakhi woman of the Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Little Ixil, a Mayan girl in Guatemala is seen in full Mayan clothing.

An elderly Nyangatom tribe woman.  When girls from this tribe are born they receive a necklace from their father.  It is added to throughout their lives.

 

A Samoan boy from the Savaii Island wears a palm frond as a coat.

Afar woman. Afar region, North East Ethiopia

Bodi Tribe boy, Omo wareda, Ethiopia

Buryat young woman. Siberia

Djiboutian girl, Africa.

Kyrgyz Man, Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan

Ladakhi woman, India

Meitei elder is getting ready to perform Jagoi in North-east Indian state of Manipur.

Chukchi girl. Siberia

Ladakhi young monk, Diskit Monastery, Ladakh, India.

Afghan girl in Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan

Evenki reindeer herder, Siberia.

Hamar Tribe woman Hamer Woreda, South West Ethiopia

Sakha Girl, Sakha Republic, Siberia

Tsemay Tribe girl. Key Afer, Ethiopia

Karo Tribe Woman

Tibetian man near Pangong Lake

Xhosa woman. Mgxotyeni, South Africa

Old Believer Russian woman, Tarbagatay, Buryatia, Siberia, Russia

Wakhi girl, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan

Wakhi woman, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan

 

Thanks to:  Jen, Anita, Wim

 

 

 

 

Sony Photo Winners, 2017, 2018

The Sony World Photo competition hands out awards annually to 4 different categories of photographers; Professional (for a body of work), open (to any single image), youth (photographers aged 12-19), and student focus. National Awards are also presented to one photo from each of almost 200 participating countries.  Below are some of my favorites, picking and choosing between image categories for the 2017 and 2018 winners:  Architecture, Culture, Enhanced, Landscape & Nature, Motion, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, Travel and Wildlife.

By Mauricia Lima, Brazil.
Indigenous children jump into the water as they play around the Tapajós river, in the Munduruku tribal area called Sawré Muybu.

Magical Sunrise, © Marcelo Portella, Brazil

 

Ballet, © Fredrik Lerneryd, Sweden.  Sometimes a photographer from one country wins for a photo taken in a different country.

 

© Lin Chen, China

By Tien Sang Kok, Malaysia National Award

Brendon Cremer, South Africa

By Mikhail Svetlov. Orthodox Easter service in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Russia

By Kyaw Win Hlaing of Myanmar.   Mount Bromo, active volcano in East Java, Indonesia

Paranyu Pithayarungsarit, Thailand

Alex Andriesi, Romania

Annela Samuel, Estonia

Cesar Augusto Gaitan Cortez, Ecuador

Cesar Augusto Gaitan Cortez, Ecuador

by Igor Zenin

Chin Boon Leng, Singapore National Award

Zeyar Htun, Myanmar National Award

Au Hin Man, Hong Kong National Award

Firos Syed, Qatar

Homare Hamada
of Japan captured the full trajectory launch of the Stork rocket by using long exposure.

By Jianguao Gong, China more than 1300 people practice Tai Chi.

By Leyla Emektar, Turkey, Agricultural worker.

By Ales Krivec, Slovenia
I was waiting eagerly for the first cold winter morning after the snowy day. Finally the conditions were just as I wanted them to be. Still lake, beautiful pink/purple morning tones, snow on the trees and some fog for mystic atmosphere.

© Josselin Cornou, France

By Peter Svoboda, Slovakia, Svetlo zhora
The picture “Light from above” was taken in September 2016 in Santa Maddalena, Dolomiten, Italy. Beautiful light and humidity stood behind the nice play of light and shadows that morning. I was waiting as the small church was illuminated by the very first rays of Sun. 

Khalid Alsabat, Saudi Arabia

Martin Stranka, Czech Republic

Mustafa Jindi, United Arab Empirates, in Abu Dhabi

Lester Koh, Singpore, one of Singapore’s oldest Public housing buildings.

Shabir Mian, Pakistan

Simona Nalepkove, Czech Republic

Tim Cornbill, United Kingdom

Kyaw Win Hlaing, Myanmar, This image was taken at Sadan Cave, Pahan township, Karin State in Myanmar.

Kyaw Win Hlaing, Myanmar National Award

Walking, © Suphakaln Wongcompune, Thailand

Thanks to Sam for getting me started on this.

 

 

 

Human Ingenuity: Chuckles and Wows

I love contemplating and exploring the endless ways humans seem to get obsessed by a creative activity.   Sometimes it’s a humorous one-off thing (like building a snowman) and sometimes it’s years or a lifetime of developing and innovating one very specific art form.  Then of course, thanks to the internet, they can take a picture and upload it for our pleasure.  Here are examples of each that I’ve enjoyed and want to share.

Let’s start with Canadian humor.

Others having fun with snow

Now for some revenge parking:  ideas I know you’ve had but never got around to carrying out.

firemen do what it takes to get the hose to the fire.

FUN SIGNS, SOME ON PURPOSE, SOME NOT

NO EATING, NO SMOKING, NO UNICORNS ALLOWED.

Surreal World

by Christopher Jobson

By Stephen McMennam

By Stephen McMennam

By Zev Fiddleoak

Urban planners in Lidzbark Warminski, Poland just unveiled a new glow-in-the-dark bike lane.The path is made from small crystal-like particles of phosphor called ‘luminophores’ that charge during sunlight hours and can glow for up to 10 hours.

Spanish artist Javier Riera creates these temporary works by projecting geometric patterns onto the natural landscape. Using only the medium of projection, Riera does not make any permanent mark on the environment to create his stunning images.

In early 2015, paper artist Cristian Marianciuc challenged himself to make an origami crane every day for a year. Using a paper bird as a blank canvas, Marianciuc adds various colors and embellishments as a way to express himself and his day.  365 paper birds later, he loved the ancient art of paper folding so much that he decided to keep going.  Now, he’s amassed a flock of over 1,000 origami creations

 

Photographer Joseph Ford collaborates with friend and knitter Nina Dodd to create a project that blends models into their environments rather than having them stand out.

Australia-based artist Shona Wilson forms mandala-like pieces from objects such as seedpods, twigs, and bones as gestures of gratitude to her source of inspiration—nature.

Artist Chris Fox was tasked with repurposing two pairs of timber escalators that carried people at Sydney’s Wynyard Station for over 80 years.  His solution is Interloop, a twisting, accordion-like ribbon that is now suspended from the station ceiling, stitching together 244 wooden escalator treads.

Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui spent four years carving these incredibly intricate details and creating the world’s longest wooden sculpture, (40 feet or over 12 meters.)  It is based on a painting that depicts a historical holiday celebrating past ancestors and falls on the 104th day after the winter solstice.

Please notice the incredible details: individual tiles on the roof, fencing, a person sitting at a table.

Lewis Miller converts trash cans and statues around New York to overflowing bouquets of colorful flowers. In temporary installations dubbed “Flower Flashes” Miller utilizes a mixture of post-event flowers and fresh stock to create these stunning displays.

This video touched me deeply because it reminded me that all over this planet, while you and I are going about our daily lives, there are pockets of people whose lives are beautiful, inspiring and completely different.

 It’s an example of Incan people working together, using their ancient engineering techniques to build a suspension bridge that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge only it’s hand-made out of woven grasses.  The Q’eswaanchaka bridge in Peru spans 118 feet and hangs 60 feet above a canyon’s rushing river. The women braid small, thin ropes, which are then braided again by the men into large support cables. Handwoven bridges have been part of the trail and roadway system of the Inca for over 500 years and were held in very high regard. The punishment for tampering with such a bridge was death.

The bridges’ sagging is addressed by destroying and rebuilding it in an annual ceremony—originally considered a social obligation under Inca rule, and now preserved as a way of honoring their history by the nearby community of Quehue, Peru. This bridge has been christened with a traditional Incan ceremonial bridge-blessing and is in extremely good condition.

 

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Thanks to:  Sam, George, Anita, Wim, John, Jackie and This Is Colossal.

Birds, 9

It’s been awhile since the last bird post, and I’m pleased that there seem to be endless species of birds  and endless amazing photographers who capture the beauty or the moment that amuses.

Raggiana Bird of Paradise from Washington Post

Purple-Crested Turaco by Peter du Preez on Flickr via Fiorino

Quetza

Ostrich with chicks by Artbandito on flickr

How about we switch from beautiful birds to stunning photographers that manage to  capture the exact right moment.

By @Charlie Davidson

By mustanggordon on flickr

Pedestrians in the street after a flood in the UK

Please notice there are two birds in this picture. Amazing.

By Owen Deutsch

Totoro, the Owl, with his mushroom.

Now it’s time for some quirky-looking birds.

(c) Arthur Morris

Crested ducks

lilac breasted roller

The Cardinal Gynandromorph. This bird is real. I checked.   It exhibits both female and male sexual characteristics. As different sexes are differently coloured, each half of the bird is a different shade.

More photographic magic.

As an evening storm lights up the sky near Wood River, Nebraska, about 413,000 sandhill cranes arrive to roost in the shallows of the Platte River.  By Randy Olson via National Geographic.

From National Geographic by Zsolt Kudich

Close up of peacock feather.

If you want to spend the rest of the day looking at wondrous birds, go here.

Thanks to:   Sam, Wim, Jen H., John, Anita, George, Kathleen

Also to:  Yesemails, Flowartstation, and Babamail.

 

Human Ingenuity Medley, 11

We’ve got clever, funny and quirky examples of human ingenuity followed by unique art and ending with drone images that show the complexity and beauty of patterns in nature and in human creativity.

Steven Mcmennamy constructs wildly imaginative images from two photos of seemingly unrelated objects he calls combophotos.

By Steven Macmurney

By Stephen McMennamy

By Stephen McMennamy

By Stephen McMennamy

By Stephen McMennamy

By Giuseppe Colarusso Photography

By Brooke DiDonato

Photomanipulations-By Giuseppe Colarusso

Improbability, by Giuseppe Colarusso

By giuseppe colarusso. I had look closely to see this one.

by Giuseppe Colarusso

By booke-didonato-zupi

While living for a month on an island in Maine, John Marshall gave himself a 30-day project  called Sunset Silhouette Selfies.  He had three rules:  1) He couldn’t have help. He used a ten-second timer, pressed the button and had to run into the shot.  2) He only used props that he made or found around his cabin.  3) His tools were nothing special. Mostly, he used cardboard from the island dump, a common kitchen knife and a cheap pair of scissors.  For more images go here.

By John Marshall

By Brooke DiDonato

By Faig Ahmed’s Glitchy

By Stephen McMennamy

Nevada solar panels. By Reuben Wu

Spiral staircase in China.

Artist Jennifer Maestre constructs sculputres using pencils and pencil shavings.

British-born artist James Doran-Webb creates life-sized driftwood horses. Every single piece of driftwood is handpicked with help from a team of craftsmen. Each piece takes from 1,000 to 3,000 hours to make.

Most of the following images are from the 2017 drone photo contest on dronstagram.

Ice formation by Florian

Photographer TJ Balon’s friend as he snowboarded through powder in Cordova, Alaska

Infinite Road to Transylvania by Calin Stan.

Gran Canaria Island, aerial photographer Karolis Janulis captured a shot of the colourful Playa de Amadores.

Camel tour snapped at sunset by honeymooner Todd Kennedy in Cable Beach, Australia.

Demark’s Kalbyris Forest by Michael Bernholdt.

Clube nautico araraquara by Charbe

An island dedicated entirely to a lighthouse in Alexandria Bay, New York.  By JustenSoule.

A swampy area of Cenas Tirelis near Riga, Latvia. By Capra Vecinului

Walled town Monteriggioni in Tuscany, Italy.  By helisnowy

 

Dawn on Mercury Tower by alexeygoDawn on Mercury Tower by alexeygo.

Provence, summer trim by jcourtial

Waterlily by helios1412

Here are a couple images created by the photographer for his drone.

Ugo le marin by rga

End of the line by Martin Sanchez

Thanks to:  Jen H., Anita, John, Wim, Lia

FlowArtStation and Dronestagram

Remarkably Determined Trees

This post will either excite you or you will go ho-hum because you’ve already seen it–maybe more than once.  I am breaking a self-imposed rule:  If I receive two or three emails with the same images I don’t use any of them, no matter how wonderful. I assume too many of my followers have probably already seen them.  Besides, I generally curate most images on my posts myself.  Still….these fit so perfectly with two other posts showcasing trees, that I decided to give them a try.  If you’ve seen these before, please let me know and I’ll be sure not to do this again.  A special thanks to the three people who forward me so many inspirational suggestions including this week’s trees:  George, John and Sam.  These images were originally posted on Bored Panda by Viktorija G.   If you haven’t seen them, I’m sure you will savor these remarkably determined trees.

A tree Growing Through a Speed Limit Sign

A tree falls over and grows four more trees

Thiss tree’s roots extend across a gap to the mainland to reach needed nutrients.

A Tree’s Root Spill Over The Sidewalk

Skates left hanging on a tree found years later.

This Tree Still Has Its Leaves Because Of The Light Shining On It. By  Šarūnė Mac

 

This palm tree fell over and then grew right back up.

Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia

The wood on this chair is determined to still be a tree.

Someone added a little humor to this determined tree.

The Only Tree That Survived The Tsunami In Japan Between 70,000 Trees. Today Protected And Restored.

Coming back from a forest fire.

This tree grew out of the stump of another tree. Then the stump rotted away.

For more tree posts, go here and  here.

 

Human Ingenuity Medley, 10

We’ve got examples of humans displaying their ingenuity with benches, balloons, lights and  marshmallows.  We’ve got a blind man who produces striking paintings by feeling the textures with his fingers.  And of course we’ve got humans displaying  quirky and amusing creativity. And at least one case of a human who could use a little more ingenuity.

After discombobulation comes….

By Robert Jahns, aka nois7 on Instagram

By Ed Barna

Window Washers At A Childrens Hospital

Father/son vehicles

I wonder if it works.

By Jungho Lee

By Jungho Lee

In 2001, John Bramblitt lost his eyesight after an epileptic episode.  By using textured paint, John can tell where he painted and what, allowing him to virtually “see” the painting.

 

Photographer Charles Pétillon photographs arranged configurations of white balloons in a variety of environments.

Artist Thomas Jackson suspends swarms of objects mid-air for His “Emergent Behavior” Series.

Marshmellows

Cups

Straws

 

Take out containers

Tutus

Rohan Sharad Dahotre loves to doodle on animal pics.

By using carefully placed programmable LED lights attached to kayak paddles, instruments and other objects Ontario-based photographer Stephen Orlando translates movement into photographic light paintings.  The LED lights and a long exposure allow Orlando to track these movements through space, following arms and bows with light trails that extend out from the body and instrument.  The images are not altered with Photoshop.

Thanks to:  Brenda, Wim, George, Jen H., John, Sam,  Anita

And to:  This is ColossalDesignBloom and FlowArtStation

Amusing Animals

We start with the winners of the First Annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards found on FlowArtStation.

By Rosario L Cordoba

By George Balan

By Markus Pavlowsky

By Caroline Tout

By @Adam Parsons

By William Richardson

By Perdita Petzl

By Rob Kroenert

By Charles Kinsey

By Tony Murtagh

By james sharp

By Brigitta Moser

By Alex Jevon

By Austin Thomas

By Philip Marazzi

By marc-mol2

By Artyom Krivosheev

By Mohammed Alnaser.

By @Anup Deodhar

By Alison Buttigieg4

By Mary Swaby

By Oliver Dreike.

By Nicolas de Vaulx

By Hahish Inamdar

By Julie Hunt

By Edward Kopeschny

By Henrik Spranz

 

By Murray Mcculloch

Now on to random amusing animal images:

Perfect timing.

Slow Loris

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Many thanks to Jennifer H and John for helping me find images from the First Annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and to  FlowArtStation.

Also thanks to:  George, Sam, John, Lawrence, and to Yesemail, and babamail

 

 

 

Weird Weather, 3

If you’ve been experiencing your own local weird weather like those of us in Northern California (wettest winter in memory including flooding after years of severe drought) maybe it will help to take a look at some genuinely bizarre weather made beautiful by talented photographers.  Some of the images were found with descriptions of the weather event.  I confess I’ve included them in the hopes that some readers will benefit even though I often don’t understand what they are talking about.  Just don’t let the descriptions detract from the stunning images.

Aww, there go the spring blossoms. Still it’s stunning.

 

Ooops, where’s the tow truck?

Ecuador Airlines pilot Santiago Borja in a Boeing 767-cockpit at the precise moment of a lightning flash, capturing a thunderstorm forming above the Pacific Ocean just south of Panama.

A water spout in Genoa , Italy.

A cloud illuminated by lightening.

A huge dust storm that hit Western Australia in early 2013.

Downdraft of precipitation from a young cumulonimbus cloud.
The initial downrush happening as the rest of cell is still forming and building.

Sunset on dissipating thunderstorms.
Could have two cells rotating in opposite directions, rare,
But meteorologically possible, like two egg beaters.

Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus (meaning “mammary cloud”),
is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. Mammatus “clouds boiling upside down”, on top of a flanking down draft.

Another great mammatus – extremely unstable air.

A tornado funnel near the ground. Probably already on the ground, but not enough moisture or debris/dirt to see it on the ground. Surface dirt starting the kick up.

Single cell super cell thunderstorm with mammatus.

Single cell thunderstorm with cloud to ground and cloud to cloud lightning,
Some being imbedded inside the cells.

Somewhat disorganized or dissipating thunderstorm.
Most of it already downward collapsed with the rain shield being dominant.

Sun setting behind cumulus clouds.

Tower cumulus building into a thunderstorm.

Cloud to ground lightning in the rain shield in dissipating thunderstorms.

Leading edge of a flanking downdraft of a thunderstorm.

Lots of cloud to ground lightning

Lowering wall cloud from mature thunderstorm.

Massive single cell severe tornadic thunderstorm.

Cloud to cloud and cloud to ground lightning.

Volcanic eruption creating a circular outflow boundary.

Circular outflow boundaries with storm cell rotation.

Photography by Sean Havey, from National Geographic

From National Geographic

Tornadic vortex with lightning, multi-layer outflow boundaries.

Storm over Saskatchewan, Canada.

Snow roller.

 

If you want more weird weather, go here, or here, or here.

Thanks to:  George, John, Anita, Carolyn, Merry, Wim, Sam

and to yesemail.

 

Kid Wonders, 2

Kids are naturally cute and funny.  Don’t know why it’s so hard to find images that aren’t entirely posed.  Here are some more candid pictures successfully gleaned with a little help from friends.

Both are learning.

big eyes

By Elena Karneeva

By Dan Zen on flickr

If you missed Kid Wonders 1, go here.

Thanks to:  Anita, John, George, Jill

Siena International Photo Awards

 

Thanks to the Siena International Photo Awards contest for reminding us that no matter how many images we have appreciated, there are still boundless examples of culture and nature to be captured by talented photographers and shared for our amazement and enjoyment.  Only in its second year, SIPA has already become an important staple of the international photography community with entries by photographers from over 100 countries.  We are fortunate to have explanations for most of the images.

A strawberry-picker walks between colourful greenhouses near Nazilli, in the Aydın province of Turkey. By Leyla Emektar

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Japan By pascal Mannaerts

Floating market, Malaysia . Water transportation plays an important role in everyday life in South Borneo. Photo by Antonius Andre Tjiu

A Bahraini Muslim woman carrying her son while taking part in a funeral in Sitra Village, South Manama on March 22, 2011. Photo by Isa Ebrahim

By Pascal Mannaerts

A woman in the small fishing village of Phan Rang in southern Vietnam is making a traditional fishing net. Handmade fishing nets are typically manufactured by women while the men are responsible for catching fish. By Danny Yen Sin Wong

Eruption of Mt. Etna By Giuseppe Mario Famiani, Italy

During a Dharma assembly in the monastery of Labrang Lamasery, due to the heavy snow, all the monks’ robes were covered with a thick layer of snow. Photo by Jian Huang

Chinese fishermen on the Ou river close to the city of Lishui – whose name means Beautiful Water.    By Vladimir Proshin

On the sand dunes of Mui Ne, in South Vietnam, three girls are walking along the slope wearing their typical cone hats and carrying their scales.  Photo by anny Yen Sin Wong

Shwamibagh temple, Bangladesh, The Hindu community celebrating the three-day Rakher Upabas festival. Devotees offer prayers after lighting earthen lamps and fast until the lamps have burned out. Photo by Noor Ahmed Gelal

Coming to get salt, by Jørgen Johanson. The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the hottest, the lowest and the most inhospitable places on earth. Asale lake is 116 metres below sea level. The Afar people extract salt using camels for transport.

At the Santa Catalina monastery in Arequipa, Peru, cloistered novices play volleyball. They pray nine times a day and live their lives in silence but, during this short break, they spend time together in the garden. By Melissa Farlow

When the ponds are drained in the Barycz Valley, Poland thousands of birds gather to eat fish. First came the first egrets and gulls. When an eagle appeared all the gulls flew off while the egrets stood motionless creating this striking image. By Mateusz Piesiak in Poland.

Aerial perspective of the red chilli harvest season in Bayingolin Mongol prefecture, Xinjiang, China, when farmers pick and leave them to dry in the sun. Photo by Hanbin Wang.