The Department of Microscopic Marvels is in awe of the work by photomicrographer Danny Sanchez, who specifically seeks out and photographs precious gems that have been rejected by jewelers because of imperfections known as inclusions. In gemology an inclusion is a characteristic enclosed within the gemstone, which can effect the clarity of the stone, and whose presence can either decrease or sometimes dramatically increase the stone’s value.

For his project, entitled Gemstone Inclusions, Sanches uses his microphotography skills to capture the beauty of these imperfections and provide a glimpse of the fantastic and alien landscapes that exist inside the gems, much too small for our eyes to see unaided. Each a teeny weeny Fortress of Solitude.

Head over to PetaPixel to learn about how Danny Sanchez stages and creates these marvelous photos. Then be sure to visit his own website to get a look at more of his work at a much higher resolution. He has prints available too.

[via Design Taxi and PetaPixel]

Do any of these photos make you hungry? If so, we really hope you brought your own lunch, because nothing that you see here is actually food. These images are part of a still life photo series by Melbourne-based artist and photography student TQ Lee. Entitled Inedible, each photo depicts a tasty meal or enticing treat made of indigestible ingredients such as LEGO bricks, telephone cord, papier-mâché, makeup pads and hot shaving cream. After happily not feasting on any of it, you can refuse to wash it all down with glasses of Betadine, turpentine or waxed rolled socks.

Here Lee describes his series:

"As a child of the 80s I grew up with fond memories of still-life, photographic prints of breads, pastas, fruit and vegetables captured in the literal style of the era. The pictures hung in the houses of my family and friends and I would spend hours identifying all the ingredients and looking at every detail.

Nowadays, the humble still life has grown out of favour. Instead, colourful, reprinted advertisements of vintage European beverages add smiles to kitchen walls across Australia. And so, I challenged myself to put a contemporary twist on the food art trend of the 80s. This resulted in my series Inedible - photos of food made from unconventional ingredients.”

Head over to TQ Lee’s website to explore more of his playful creative endeavors or follow him right here on Tumblr at tqlee.

[via Laughing Squid]

We wanted to illustrate a few more uses for our new Finger Hands. As you can see, there’s the high twenty-five, impractical shoe tying, tiny business handshakes, adorable multi-handed peekaboo, a way to look even smarter stroking your beard, guitar moves Eddie Van Halen couldn’t handle, a better way to brush your bangs out of your eyes and a true grip on your glass of water. 

We consider this proof you should buy some right now. Really, you need them. 

Click here to fulfill your Finger Hand duty

Source mcphee.com

Bristol, England-based professional photographer Justin Quinnell turned his own mouth into a pinhole camera. He built a tiny camera using aluminum foil and a 110 film cartridge and takes awesomely unusual photos with the device inside his mouth, held in place by his back teeth. Quinnell uses his homemade camera to take tonsil-vision shots of everything from scenic travel destinations, his own feet soaking in the bathtub, a visit to the dentist and even the nightmarish image of a dead spider resting on his toothbrush as it enters his mouth. Basically he photographs anything that he thinks will make his kids laugh.

Sometimes he had to hold his mouth open, standing still, in front of his target for up to a minute for the film to be properly exposed

He said: ‘I originally invented the camera for its indestructibility, throwing it off buildings and things like that. It was after a few months of using it this way I for some reason pushed it into my mouth. Three years of Degree level photographic theory rushed through my brain and mouthy imagery evolved.’

Visit Justin Quinnell’s website to check out more of his wonderfully peculiar oral pinhole photography.

[via 22 Words and the Daily Mail]

French photographer Thomas Rousset and graphic designer Raphael Verona spent three months in South American traveling around the Bolivian Plateau documenting the fascinating lives of a population of some 2 million indigenous people who practice “a peculiar blend of Roman Catholicism (a remnant of Spanish colonization), and Aymara mythology, which includes the worship of Pachamama (“Mother Earth”).”

Rousset and Verona made these magical people and their awesomely ornate costumes the subject of their new book Waska Tatay, “part ethnography, part picture-book fairy tale.” The book explores how the vibrant, mystical lives of these shamans, witches and spiritual healers both blend and collide with the mundane modern world.

"We were struck by how myths come to life when they are shared in the collective unconscious This is mainly why we wanted to show. The mix of images seemingly spontaneous, yet also built with other much staging reflect our desire to create an ambiguous language, the border of reality and fantasy, like our perception Bolivia."

Head over to iGNANT for additional images. Waska Tatay is available for purchase via IDPURE.

[via Wired and iGNANT]

Hooray! It’s time once again to visit the Duck Fashion Show, where haute couture meets sassy waterfowl models. For the past 30 years Australian farmer Brian Harrington has been dressing up and showing off his Famous Ducks at the Fashionable Ducks Show, held during Sydney’s annual Royal Easter Show. Harrington works with a professional dressmaker who individually styles each duck in an impressively elaborate costume. The outfits range from day and evening wear, in both modern and period styles, to fancy bridal wear. Each year the beautifully dressed-up ducks waddle parade along a duck-sized runway before an enthusiastic crowd that numbers in the hundreds.

Visit Brian Harrington’s website to learn more about his fabulous Famous Ducks.

[via Design Taxi]

It’s been over a year since we last caught up with the work of Milan-based artist Guido Daniele (previously featured here), who comes airbrushed body painting and photography to transform his models’ hands and arms into beautiful and impressively lifelike animals of all sorts. Daniele calls them Handimals and they can be so convincing that it sometimes takes a moment to find the human hands inside the animal.

Visit Guido Daniele’s website to check out many more of his marvelous Handimals.

[via Design Taxi and PetaPixel]

To celebrate their 21st anniversary, Redditor Ken_Thomas and his wife had this awesome portrait taken in which they dressed up as Indiana Jones and his father Professor Henry Jones. Together they recreated a moment from the unforgettable motorcycle escape scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

This marriage is clearly a happy one. The Thomases had so much fun dressing up as the Senior and Junior Joneses that they’re already discussing costumed photoshoot ideas for their next anniversary. We cant wait to see what they come up with.

[via Neatorama]

The work of Paris-based artist and E.N.S.A.D. researcher Lia Giraud is further proof that Science + Art = Awesome. These green photos weren’t taken, they were grown. Giraud cultures microscopic algae to form living landscapes and portraits. They aren’t photographs, they’re ‘algaegraphs.’

"The technique is similar to photography, but the photosensitivity of silver grains [in film] is replaced by photosensitive organisms: microalgae," says Giraud, 29.

To create each “algaegraph”, Giraud immerses the algae in a Petri dish filled with a mix of chemical nutrients, and exposes them to an image. “The cells react to the light and form solids of different densities,” she explains.

The outline of the image forms in just a few minutes, but it can take up to four days to achieve the final result. Click here to learn more.

[via designboom and Wired]

"You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say."

Thanks to the work of Italian photographer Elido Turco we’ve all been invited to an Entmoot. Turco has a great eye for trees and uses a mirroring technique to transform the the natural textures of their trunks and branches into faces that could only belong to J. R. R. Tolkien’s mighty Ents.

Visit Elido Turco’s Flickr account to view more of his photos of Middle Earth’s forest shepherds.

[via Junkculture]