Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gorgeous Wings of a Dancer Revealed through Slow-Motion Flour Dance Video

Studio dance photographer Derrick Senior allows the expressive and rhythmic movement of dance to shine through the art of photography. For a recent session with dancer Amanda Rose, Senior used a Sony RX10II to capture each and every one of the dancer's elegant gestures in an “ultra slow-motion” (200-1000FPS) video.
In one particularly spectacular moment, the high speed dance photographer prompted his muse to release a stream of flour into the air while executing a distinctly beautiful move. This resulted in a one-of-a-kind image that embodies the meticulous nature of dance. The final photo wound up being a stunning document of movement, while also presenting a surreal image of an angelic ballerina with her “wings” spread out.
Senior's accompanying video gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his artistic technique. Check out the short clip, below.

Orphaned Sisters Separated for 40 Years Miraculously Reunite as Co-Workers in Same Hospital

Holly Hoyle O’Brien and Meagan Hughes had no idea that fate was involved when they met at a Florida hospital in March. During the 1970s, O'Brien (who was then known as Pok-nam Shin) woke up in the middle of the night and witnessed her stepmother leave with her half-sister sister, who, at the time, was named Eun-sook. They never returned to the South Korea home and O'Brien was left in her alcoholic father's care. Unfortunately, when she was only 5 years old, the young girl had to identify her father's body after he was tragically hit by a train. O'Brien was later sent to an orphanage, where she was eventually adopted by an American family in 1978. Ironically, her long-lost sister had also been taken in by an American couple four years earlier.
When O'Brien was brought to Virginia, Hughes was living about 300 miles away in Kingston, New York. Shortly after assimilating into her new home, O'Brien recalls waking up crying, telling her parents, "My daddy died, I have a sister, we need to find her." Unfortunately, the orphanage that Hughes was in had no record of the girl, making for a nearly impossible reunion. By a stroke of luck, however, O'Brien's wish to find her sister finally came to fruition many years later, when both women began working on the fourth floor of Sarasota's Doctors Hospital. After 40 years apart, the sisters were finally reunited.
"One of the patients told me there was another nurse, named Meagan, who was from Korea," O’Brien told theHerald-Tribune. "She said you should talk to her, maybe you’re from the same town." O'Brien and Hughes met and began to realize that their life histories were quite similar. Once they became convinced they were related, both women took a DNA test and found out the truth: they are, in fact, sisters. Hughes says, "When I heard from Holly, my first reaction was like, 'Oh my god.' I was in shock, I was numb. I have a sister."
Doctors Hospital: Website | Facebook

Radiant Portraits of Opulent and Historic Russian Metro System

Visual artist Yadegar Asisi uses his latest, larger-than-life panoramic exhibit to transport viewers to Australia's mesmerizing Great Barrier Reef. In a breathtaking display of oceanic blues, lush greens, and dazzling light refractions, Asisi created a cloth-based replica of this underwater world. Countless species call this intriguing location home and the artist skillfully demonstrates the incredible amount of diversity that's present in this renowned marine environment.
Onlookers are welcome to immerse themselves in the designer's installation as they climb up the exhibit's platform. While they explore this vivid universe, guests will learn that they're amidst a display that's based on a 1:1 ratio. This means that Asisi's work is a thorough carbon copy of the actual coral reef. Instead of traveling to Australia, one can simply visit the artist's installation to accurately visualize this nautical habitat. 
In the past, the creative has showcased Mount Everest, Rome during 312 AD, and the Berlin Wall in a similar, realistic fashion. To see just how extensively detailed Asisi's work is, you can tour his current Great Barrier Reef exhibit at the Asisi Panometer in Leipzig, Germany until September 18th, 2016.
Photo credit: Tom Schulze © asisi

Spectacular Winning Images from the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Last month, we featured 10 spectacular finalists in the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and we’re now happy to share the chosen winners. The contest attracted over 42,000 photographs from both professionals and amateurs, so we’re sure that the judges had their work cut out for them!
These visually-stunning images convey a range of emotions. From scenes that are savage to serene to bizarre, the winning photographers capture a incredibly diverse range of shots including: a flock of elegant scarlet ibises taking flight; the grizzly scene of a red fox who captured its prey; and a desolate, sprawling landscape stained with ash.
As winners, these images are all included in an exhibition of the 100 shortlisted photographs, on display at the Natural History Museum in London until April 2016.
Above: Winner, Under Water: A whale of a mouthful by Michael AW, Australia.
An imposing Bryde’s whale rips through a mass of sardines, gulping hundreds in a single pass. Photographing this feeding frenzy was a real challenge for Michael. Already knocked clean out of the water by whales on two occasions, he just managed to stay out of the way during this encounter. This scene happened during the annual sardine run, when billions of sardines migrate along South Africa’s Wild Coast, attracting predators such as gannets, dolphins and sharks along the way. Bryde’s whales are among them. This species tends to exploit the activities of other predators, swimming through and engulfing the fish they have herded. (Michael AW/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Grand title winner, Mammals: A tale of two foxes by Don Gutoski, Canada.
From a distance, Don could see that the red fox was chasing something across the snow. As he got closer, he realised the prey, now dead, was an Arctic fox. For three hours in temperatures of -30 degrees Centigrade Don stayed at the scene, until the red fox, finally sated, picked up the eviscerated carcass and dragged it away to store for later. In the Canadian tundra, global warming is extending the range of red foxes northwards, where they increasingly cross paths with their smaller relatives, the Arctic fox. For Arctic foxes, red foxes now represent not just their main competitor – both hunt small animals such as lemmings – but also their main predator. Few actual kills by red foxes have been witnessed so far, but it is likely that conflicts between the two mammals will become more common. (Don Gutoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, 15–17 Years Old: Flight of the scarlet ibis by Jonathan Jagot, France.
Steering the dinghy slowly up the estuary on Ilha do Lençóis, Jonathan went in search of scarlet ibis, leaving his family behind on the sailing boat. He anchored at the beach and waited as the birds emerged from the mangroves, feasting on small crustaceans in the receding tide. Then they took off over the sand dunes, glittering like rubies. Translated as the Island of Bed Sheets, Ilha do Lençóis is famous for its fine silica sand dunes, which cover 70% of the island. These towering dunes provide an unusual backdrop for the scarlet ibis, a wading bird usually associated with the marshes and mangroves that line the coast here. (Jonathan Jagot/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Plants: The heart of the swamp by Georg Popp, Austria.
Despite his long career as a landscape photographer, Georg still believes these cypress forests are ‘some of the most beautiful places you have ever seen’. He would spend the day navigating the tangled swamp by boat, scouting for good compositions. By recording the best locations on his GPS, he returned in darkness to wait for dawn to break. These are among the last remaining old-growth cypress, symbolic of the American deep south swamps. The 1,000-year-old cypress trees are festooned with thick drapes of Spanish moss, which grow harmlessly on their boughs, deriving nutrients from the rain and air. The place is home to many, including alligators, turtles, bald eagles and osprey. (Georg Popp/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Invertebrates: Butterfly in crystal by Ugo Mellone, Italy.
Along the wild, pristine coast, Ugo was taking landscape images of the area he grew up in. Glancing down to look for an interesting foreground he saw a splash of pale orange among the white salt crystals of a small rock pool. It was a southern gatekeeper butterfly, mummified by the highly concentrated salt water and entombed in a coffin of salt. These salt deposits form in rocky crevices along the coast. The seawater pools there during rough weather, then evaporates under the strong summer Sun, leaving layers of crystallised salt. This female butterfly likely fell, exhausted, and became trapped by the surface tension of the water. (Ugo Mellone/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, From the Sky: The art of algae by Pere Soler, Spain.
This park is famous for attracting huge flocks of migrating birds. Pere was there for the birds, but also for another spring phenomenon, only fully visible from the air. In late spring, parts of the marshes burst with intense colour, creating a rich tapestry of textures and patterns. As the temperature warms and the salinity changes, the wetlands see the bright green of seaweed mix with a multicoloured microalgae bloom. White salt deposits, brown and orange sediments coloured by sulphate-loving bacteria and iron oxide add to the riot. The full display usually lasts only a few weeks in May or June. (Pere Soler/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Birds: The company of three by Amir Ben-Dov, Israel.
Amir spent many days observing the strange relationship between these three red-footed falcons. The grey male and two young females were often together, in close physical contact, preening and touching. Here, one female nudges the male with its claw then flies up to make space for the third bird. The reason for their behaviour is a mystery. Despite being social birds, roosting and migrating in large colonies, red-footed falcons tend to maintain a degree of personal space. The closest relationships are usually pairbonds, or parents with first-year chicks. These birds will have been resting here in Israel on their way from eastern Europe to their wintering grounds in Africa.(Amir Ben-Doy/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Land: Landscape in ash by Hans Strand, Sweden.
Flying through heavy drizzle, Hans came across this ‘fairytale landscape’ as he recalls. The ice-fields and glaciers lining the flanks of the mountains were stained grey with ash, recording in glorious textural detail the slow movements of snow and ice, like a gigantic charcoal sketch. The fine ash may have settled here after being carried on the wind from a volcanic eruption elsewhere. Iceland is famous for its high concentration of active volcanoes, which have been responsible for a third of the world’s total lava output in the past 500 years. (Hans Strand/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Details: The meltwater forest by Fran Rubia, Spain.
There is magic in mud. As Fran watched the glacier’s meltwater filtering through a patch of it, trunks, branches and twigs slowly formed until an entire forest appeared. He waited for the right light so the ‘trees’ would appear to magically stand up, as if out of a child’s pop-up picture book. Trees are a rare sight in Iceland’s landscape. The Vikings in the ninth century deforested much of it, creating the country’s barren wilderness. Today, a rise in temperature linked to climate change has contributed to the arrival of new tree species in the southern parts of the country. (Fan Rubia/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Black and White: The dynamics of wings by Hermann Hirsch, Germany.
The moment a white-tailed sea eagle grabs a fish from the sea, it rapidly switches flight pattern, speed and direction to avoid plunging into the water. Hermann had resolved to capture this pivotal moment. By panning and using a slow shutter speed he blurred the wing motion, using black and white to accentuate the bird’s energy and intent. With an impressive 2.5-metre wingspan, white-tailed sea eagles are the largest eagles in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. While they are versatile and opportunistic hunters, they pirate a considerable amount of their mainly fish-based diet from other birds, a practice known as klepto-parisitism. (Hermann Hirsch/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Impressions: Life comes to art by Juan Tapia, Spain.
Every summer, barn swallows return to nest in an old storehouse on Juan’s farm. So he hung a ripped oil painting before a shattered window through which he knew the birds entered. Eight hours later, using remote control, he caught this moment, as though the bird had punched in from another world. As their name suggests, barn swallows prefer to nest inside buildings. They usually return to the same spot each year, repairing the nesting cups they sculpt from mud and clay. This swallow had most likely spent its winter in South Africa before migrating back to Europe to breed. (Juan Tapia/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Amphibians and Reptiles: Still life by Edwin Giesbers, The Netherlands.
Suspended near the surface, a crested newt pauses to rest in the cold waters of early spring. Sitting in the stream wearing a wetsuit, Edwin gently moved his submerged camera until it was directly under the newt, turning the amphibian into a floating silhouette among trees. Crested newts, alongside other salamander species in the Netherlands, face a grave threat. A skin fungus, similar to one that has killed frogs and toads worldwide, has wiped out fire salamander populations in this area. Scientists are bracing themselves for a collapse of salamander numbers throughout Europe, unless the spread can be stopped. (Edwin Giesbers/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, Urban: Shadow walker by Richard Peters, UK.
As Richard shone a torch into his garden one night, a fox trotted past, casting a shadow. This gave him the idea for a photograph telling a story of fox and human... while showing neither. On this particular evening, his neighbours switched a light on, unaware of this patrolling vixen just metres away. A snatched glimpse or brief silhouette such as this are the most many of us will see of an urban fox, as it goes about its nightly rounds. This vixen’s territory could include up to 400 gardens, but our polarised opinions of this enigmatic character means it will be more welcome in some than others. (Richard Peters/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Winner, The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: single image: Broken cats by Britta Jaschinski, Germany/UK
Locked into obedience by their trainer’s gaze, big cats perform at the Seven Star Park in Guilin in 2012. The cats have been drugged, their teeth and claws pulled out, and they are controlled during the show by poles with metal spikes at the end. Audiences are often unaware of the level of cruelty involved. ‘This was truly an arena of broken animals’, Britta remarks. These cats are probably all hybrids of captive-bred animals. The one in the centre is most likely a liger – a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. Ligers are thought to be the largest living felines, tending to exceed the size of both their parent species. (Britta Jaschinski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)

More Than 8,400 Never-Before-Seen Photos from NASA's Apollo Moon Landings

Nearly half a century ago, NASA took one giant leap for mankind with the Apollo program, which landed 12 men on the moon on nine missions between 1968 and 1972. The astronauts were equipped with Hasselblad medium-format cameras and instructed to take photos that have remained largely unseen by the public—until now. Over the past two weeks, more than 8,400 photos of the moon landings have been uploaded to Flickr by the Project Apollo Archive. Viewable in all their unprocessed, hi-res glory, the snapshots depict fascinating scenes that are literally out of this world.
The enormous collection of extraterrestrial images was scanned by the Johnson Space Center and archived byKipp Teague, an IT director at Lynchburg College who has spent years compiling thousands of NASA's Apollo photos.
"Clearly, there’s a good interest to see this material," he told National Geographic after seeing the overwhelmingly positive response to his mass uploads. "I could not leave this world with this stuff sitting on my shelf."
Below are some of our favorite shots from Teague's curated gallery. Check out the rest of the photos on Flickr.
Buzz Aldrin
Neil Armstrong

Sweet Little Pet Owl Uses Mushroom as Umbrella During Sudden Rainstorm

Photographer Tanja Brandt's pet owl may not be a fan of rainstorms, but rain or shine he knows how to strike the perfect pose for the camera. During one of the artist's many outdoor adventures, it began to drizzle and her beloved 1.5-year-old owl Poldi took cover underneath an orange mushroom. At that exact moment, Brandt was ready with her camera and captured this adorably candid moment, made especially precious given Poldi's petite size. "I got him when he was five months old. He didn’t want to come out [of] his egg and he was very small, the smallest," the photographer told Bored Panda. "His six sisters were all hatched, and as he was the last to be born, days after the others, he was very small."
Besides his six sisters, the photogenic bird is accompanied by a Harris Hawk named Phönix, a Weissgesichtseule [white-faced owl] named Gandalf, a snow owl named Uschi, and a dog who loves to snuggle with the Poldi. As a clear animal lover, Brandt says, "I am always outside with my camera and with my animals. So we get to walk together, have fun, go on adventures, have little breaks… We take some pictures and after the animals can play again as we keep going. I know my animals very well and I can see their state of mind. If I go out with just one of my animals, the others get antsy and want to be with us. We have lot of fun together." Brandt adds, "I love the beauty, power, loyalty, courage and friendship of animals. Many people could learn from them."