Archives for posts with tag: Australia

Australian photographer James Popsys has some serious skills behind both the lens and his MacBook Pro, but his work is anything but serious. Popsys is not one to indulge in self-importance or highbrow projects but rather focuses on manipulating scenes from everyday life into playful, sometimes ironic works. That’s not to say his approach is not conceptual or smart… Popsys just can’t help but inject his subversive sense of humor into his surreal photographs. In these globally solemn and often humorless times, Popsys’s work is refreshing. Keep it coming.

Via jamespopsys.com

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Photo manipulation, we’re talking done really well, is a skill unto itself. With the proliferation of Photoshop use, the average viewer seems to take manipulated photos for granted these days. Photo manipulation software is literally everywhere, including on cheap or even free apps on phones in people’s pockets. But the upper crust of Photoshop users still have it on lockdown, and we take notice when we see greatness. Enter Australia-based photographer/designer Anthony Hearsey. He takes on a variety of clients and projects, but it’s these beautifully surreal images that caught our attention. Hearsey’s work is seamless, allowing his twisted concepts to really shine. We will surely continue to follow him and look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

Via Behance

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Not speaking to strangers is a lesson learned early and practiced often, but this fascinating ongoing photography series flies in the face of such prudence. Mumbai-based photographer Jay Weinstein attempts to break down barriers during this particularly vigilant time in world history, one smile at a time. Aptly titled “…so I asked them to smile”, this minimalist photography project explores the smiles of strangers, and how facial expressions truly transform perceptions and soften even the most hardened of appearances. Weinstein captures strangers in two different poses: one without a smile and one while smiling. See for yourself… with no other context (Weinstein does not provide life stories, names, occupations, confirmed religions or ethnicity), it’s striking to see how a simple smile can humanize a perfect stranger. Weinstein describes the genesis of this compelling sociological experiment in his own words: “December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern face intimidated me. It’s always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, “Take my picture too!” Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. ‘Smile’, I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. So I asked them to smile was born. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face.”

Via soiaskedthemtosmile.com

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Transforming everyday objects into art holds a special place for us. It harkens back to childhood thoughts, when our minds wandered while staring out the car window at cloud formations that looked like other things. Or when we’d doodle with no purpose other than to document our own whimsical musings. These days, artists apply conceptual thinking to this cherished pastime, and the results are often special and surprising (here and here and here). Included among those artists is German-born, Australian-based Domenic Bahmann (aka Domfriday). What started as a personal exercise in creative thinking has since populated his Instagram page, which piques the interest of almost 60K followers. And, in turn, has even led to retail opportunities due to popular demand (here and here). In his own words, Bahmann explains: “In 2013 I started my own creative challenge called ‘Stop, Think, Make’. I had to come up with a new image or illustration at least once a week. Since then I try to see the world in the way I used to when I was a child. Staying playful and curious isn’t always easy in our busy modern world.”

Via Instagram

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With summer almost upon us, we long for some beach days in the not-so-distant future. Which brings us to the awe-inspiring work of Australian seascape and ocean photographer Warren Keelan. If you’ve ever tried to capture photos of ocean waves, you know it’s no easy feat… much more difficult than it looks, with Mother Nature’s ever-changing variables, like motion and light, just to name two. But when done well, such images can be some of the most enthralling sights you’ll ever see. Keelan clearly has a gift, and seems at one with the mighty ocean, taking viewers on a journey and truly capturing the essence of the power and beauty of the sea. In his own words: “I’ve always had a fascination with nature, especially the ocean and its ever changing forms, and I am compelled to capture and share what I feel are special and unique moments in the sea. I love the raw, unpredictable nature of water in motion and the way sunlight brings it all to life, from both above and below the surface. For me, the challenge is creating an image that hopefully tells a story or leaves an impression on the viewer.” Keelan’s breathtaking work leaves an impression, no doubt about that.

Via warrenkeelan.com and Instagram

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In an effort to come full circle in recognizing the very polarizing Common Core testing in New York over the past two weeks, we bring you another “math meets art” post. This time it’s the work of Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo, and his very technical approach to capturing the mathematical brilliance of nature. With simple drafting tools (pencil, ruler, compass, protractor), Araujo takes much pleasure and pride being unplugged from technology while exploring three dimensionality (yes, without the aid of a computer), which can take up to 100 hours to create a single complex composition. We cannot wrap our brains around how one would even begin to approach this, so needless to say, we are in complete awe of Araujo. As are the thousands of backers who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of his work, which began several months ago with a goal just over $20,000. Araujo has since raised over a quarter of a million dollars to date, with the help of Sydney, Australia-based husband and wife team Melinda and Andres Restrepo. The Restrepos were so taken with Araujo’s work online, they approached him about creating a book. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of “adult coloring books” (c’mon, not X-rated, but those touting supposed “stress relieving” patterns), the project to publish the Golden Ratio Coloring Book is forging ahead. When you look at the sampling of Araujo’s work below, just keep in mind that they are all done by hand. Simply breathtaking.

Via rafael-araujo.com

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Hyper-realistic drawing and painting is an incredible skill that really gives us pause. Especially in the age of high resolution cameras on just about everyone’s phone, and the proliferation of Photoshop-aided art. We sort of take realistic and surrealistic views for granted, but when we look at super-realistic art done by hand, like the work of Australian artist Joel Rea, we ponder the extraordinary artistic dexterity involved. Rea’s breathtaking work clearly draws much inspiration from nature, particularly the ocean. And for anyone who has tried, depicting water realistically is no small feat. Never mind clouds, sand and the human form. Rea’s masterful paintings are not only visually precise, but also do a fantastic job of conveying emotion, whether it be a sense of fear, hope or liberation. These contemporary surrealist works have some real substance, and we look forward to what the future holds for this phenomenal young artist.

Via joelrea.com.au

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Make no mistake, the captivating portfolio of Thailand-born, Sydney, Australia-based photographer/designer Peechaya Burroughs is no child’s play. Though her work is certainly whimsical and intrinsically approachable, it boasts no less artistic merit than fine art of a different nature. Burroughs’s minimalist approach to mostly hand-manipulated works is striking in a vast ocean of tricked out Photoshop work (which has merit in its own right, but the work of Burroughs is sort of refreshing in some ways). In her own words, Burroughs explains: “My photographs mainly consist of things that I create or manipulate by hand. Occasionally I use Photoshop when enhancing the idea and presentation of an image fits well. Driven by childhood memories and very much fascinated by children’s imagination and their quirkiness, the direction of my photography is light, easy to approach with a little touch of everyday optimism.”

Via peechayaburroughs.com and Instagram

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Disney characters are often the subject of artwork in this particularly pop culture-centric moment in time (here and here and here), so it’s no surprise that someone has envisioned what Disney royalty might look like in “real life”. And that someone is Melbourne, Australia-based Finnish designer/illustrator/art director/photo manipulator Jirka Vinse Jonatan Väätäinen. The rise of live-action Disney fairytail movies in recent years has certainly increased public consciousness about these beloved characters, but Väätäinen depicts a much wider variety with astounding results. Gathering an assortment of photos online, Väätäinen digitally blends them together and manipulates them in such a way that looks natural and realistic. It’s an interpretation, of course, but pretty spot-on in our opinion. His work has been floating around the internet for years, and his newly released set of princes has regenerated interest in his excellent work. Just a sampling here, so be sure to check out Väätäinen’s site for the full collection. Magical, indeed.

Via jirkavinse.com

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We know, we know… on paper it sounds, well, boring. Photos of mushrooms. Big deal. That very simplistic description does not come close to realizing the majesty Australian photographer Steve Axford captures in his work. Axford is a sort of photography explorer, not only capturing the natural world around him, but also surveying remote locations by way of macro photography to uncover the beauty of mushrooms and other fungi. Nature photography is often concentrated on much larger objects, so Axford’s artistic approach to what could otherwise be missed, and considered scientific subjects is pretty unique. In his own words, “My photography is an avenue into exploring this world… as it slows me down and allows me to look at things more closely. My interests cover everything from micro fungi to volcanoes, though more of my time now is spent with the fungi than the volcanoes. While doing this I have developed a passion for the way things fit together (the ecology). Nothing exists in isolation and the more you look, the more connections you find. Oddly enough, this fits with what I used to work at, as a designer and manager of large computer systems. Although the world is a far more complex than any man made computer system, the rules learned with one can be applied to the other.” Needless to say, we appreciate the unique beauty and investigative spirit in Axford’s work.

More macro photography here and here.

Via steveaxford.smugmug.com

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