Seth Casteel has done it again. He has come up with a great sequel to his widely successfully photographic series of dogs underwater with crazy faces and curious poses (previously featured here on Beautiful/Decay). This time around we have an equally cute subject matter – babies. Full of lively little bodies twisting and turning in the bubbling water, Casteel captures the large personalities of the kids in his new book Underwater Babies. We see the full range of human emotion on their little faces – from surprise, to glee, to terror, to mischievousness, to serenity and everything in between. Beautifully lit and dramatically staged, the kids faces will capture your heart immediately.
As a huge fan of dogs, puppies, and all things canine, Casteel wanted to raise awareness of animal abuse with his first series. After his Underwater Dogs photographs went super viral all over the internet, and then went on to sell over half a million copies around the world, he realized the power of images and applied it to another worthy cause. He explains more:
Through advocating water safety for pets, I became aware that water safety for children was also a very serious issue. Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death of children under the age of five in the United States. Infant swimming lessons can help to reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%. By creating this book, I hope to encourage and inspire parent to consider swim lessons for their children, with the ultimate goal of preventing tragedies. (Source)
You can purchase his Underwater Babies book here through Amazon.
Rose-Lynn Fisher’s Bee is a visual exploration of the anatomy of bees; she used an electron microscope to capture close-ups of honeybees from 10 to 5000x! She first became involved in this project nearly 20 years ago, when she noticed that the hexagonal field of a bee’s eye nearly perfectly mirrored the six-sided pods they created in their honeycomb, leading her to wonder if there was a more profound relationship between vision and action; does the way we see affect the way we construct our world? Her book is a marvel of science and design – as are the bees she shoots – and provides incredible insights to the nature of the insects that so many of us take for granted. It’s an educational read without trying too hard, (you won’t have to try either, it’s mostly pictures). Read it.
Snaggs lives and works in Seattle. Inspired by stuffed Nauga Monsters from the 1960′s, she uses vinyl and felt to create pop culture monuments. Her Star Wars heads immortalize a time when action figures dominated and large character cases were made to organize a collection. She also frequently produces large Atari cartridge works that are ripe with nostalgia. In this increasingly digital age we are moving away from the days when packaging meant everything and a physical object was needed to entertain. By increasing the size of these cartridges she allows the viewer to perceive imagery from the 70’s and 80’s in a whole new way.
When French Sculptor Marc Sparfel comes across a stack of old furniture on the street he gets excited. Not because someone has just updated their home decor but because he has now gained a pile of materials for his charming animal sculptures. Sparfel’s process is intuitive allowing curved chair rails to be come horns on a bull, a chair back to become elephant ears, and gilded couch legs to turn into a torso. The results are a poetic take on the mysterious animals that we live amongst using discarded materials that most of us wouldn’t think twice about using again. (via)
Erik Sandberg likes his school-children pink and side show circus hairy-faced and his romantic floral arrangements with eggs hollandaise. Eat your heart out, Dutch “pronk” still lives- Sandberg even has a steak with his bouquet. His paintings look like a great/horrible place to spend a hungover Sunday. Read the full interview after the jump.
Well rounded photographer Laura Austin is starting to make an impact in the extreme sports world. Originally from Vermont, Laura is now living in Newport, California, where she has been working on a few fun projects. This girl is rad. She is always willing to go the next mile to get the shot. Whether she is freezing in a tree in the middle of the backcountry or banged up on the front row fence at a concert, Laura will roll home with some pretty awesome photos.
The landscapes of photographer Martin Vlach emanate a mysterious and melancholic energy. Characterized by ghostly human figures silhouetted against an impenetrable mist, it is like witnessing somebody’s passage into the afterlife; with their backs turned and postures calm, the stoic, nameless people seem to be on the edge of something, hesitating between worlds, gazing into that all-engulfing void beyond which we — the dreaming bystanders — are not permitted to see. As you will notice, Vlach has seamlessly blended surrealist imagery into his photography: whales emerge from the fog, and bodies plummet from the clouds. These surprising elements enhance the series’ theme of liminality and otherworldliness, merging reality with an intangible, heart-wrenching dream.
What makes Vlach’s work so consistently engrossing is the atmosphere. His images are landscapes of emotion and sensorial experience; by empathizing with the distant figures, you can taste the chilled mist in your lungs, smell the rain-wet earth and sea, feel the grass and sand shift beneath you as you traverse the lonely terrain. There is a sense of movement and stillness, solitude and comfort. With the contours of the “real” world obscured in the fog, Vlach creates immersive landscapes that foster our own deeply personal interpretations and emotional engagements.