Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously featured here) continues to take breathtaking photos of Siamese fighting fish, also known as betta fish. His fascination with their splendid, flowing fins and brilliant coloring is apparent in the extraordinarily detailed portraits he creates. The photos are so perfectly clear and close-up that it’s easy to forget the fish are underwater and not floating in midair.

Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns.

Head over to Visarute Angkatavanich’s 500px gallery to view more of his gorgeous betta portraits. Limited edition prints of his photos are currently available through La Lanta Fine Art.

[via Colossal]

Just in time for Halloween, we’re happy to introduce our new Eagle Mask and Eagle Talons. The Eagle Mask is perfect for everyday use freaking people out, but it’s also great at political events. Someone shook hands with the president wearing a Horse Mask, imagine shaking talons with the president wearing an Eagle Mask. 
America’s Got Talons!
Buy them here

Just in time for Halloween, we’re happy to introduce our new Eagle Mask and Eagle Talons. The Eagle Mask is perfect for everyday use freaking people out, but it’s also great at political events. Someone shook hands with the president wearing a Horse Mask, imagine shaking talons with the president wearing an Eagle Mask. 

America’s Got Talons!

Buy them here

Source mcphee.com

Berlin, Germany-based fine art photographer and psychologist Markus Studtmann takes striking architectural photos that he later digitally deconstructs and recomposes to create awesome architectural illusions. He describes this process as Painting with Light:

"Although light and colors are captured with the camera, they were afterwards repainted in the digital darkroom in order to fit the artist’s vision and impressions. This results in unique images which extend beyond the realm of the camera and often resemble paintings or graphics."

Head over to Markus Studtmann’s 500px page to check out more of his dramatic and surreal cityscapes.

[via Scene360]

Swiss mountaineering photographer Robert Bösch (previously featured here) and Swiss mountaineering outfitter Mammut (previously featured here) make an awesome creative team. In collaboration with groups of impressively skilled and daring mountain climbers, they’ve produced some truly jaw-dropping photos.

The top photo is their most recent creation, a work of spectacular coordination and photographic skill. Shot on the famous Matterhorn in the Pennine Alps, a group of climbers positioned red lights to illuminate the route taken by English explorer Edward Whymper and his team back in 1865 when they became the first people to ascend the Matterhorn.

"…the planning and coordination that was required for this image was nothing short of astounding. Working against time and weather, Bösch and the team toiled endlessly to ensure they captured the best possible results that properly honored those who travelled the mountains before and inspired those who hope to in the future.”

Click here for a behind-the-scenes production video.

Head over to PetaPixel to view additional photos (and making-of videos) by Robert Bösch and Mammut.

The newest addition the Archie McPhee Library is an epic journey across the planet and back through time via a beautiful book entitled The Oldest Living Things in the World [Buy on Amazon] by Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rachel Sussman. Nature is awesome and the Earth is very very old and Sussman spent the last 10 years researching, working with biologists and traveling in order to photograph the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet.

Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way.

These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind.

To learn more about this awesome project, visit Rachel Sussman’s website and check out her  TED Talk from 2010.

[Images via Colossal and The New Yorker]

Lightning is awesome and today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena presents a form of lightning we’d never heard of before: blue jet lightning. This is a form of upper-atmospheric lightning, believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. It’s also known as a transient luminous event (or TLE) because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.
This stunning photo of blue jet lightning was captured by pilot and photographer Thijs Bors while flying over the Northern Territory of Australia during a thunderstorm. Blue jet lightning typically occurs in a narrow cone, projecting from the top of cumulonimbus clouds above a thunderstorm to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 40 to 50 km (25 to 30 miles) above the earth.
[via The Telegraph and Wikipedia]

Lightning is awesome and today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena presents a form of lightning we’d never heard of before: blue jet lightning. This is a form of upper-atmospheric lightning, believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. It’s also known as a transient luminous event (or TLE) because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.

This stunning photo of blue jet lightning was captured by pilot and photographer Thijs Bors while flying over the Northern Territory of Australia during a thunderstorm. Blue jet lightning typically occurs in a narrow cone, projecting from the top of cumulonimbus clouds above a thunderstorm to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 40 to 50 km (25 to 30 miles) above the earth.

[via The Telegraph and Wikipedia]

Today the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds learned about a very special place where broken dolls and teddy bears are made whole again. Called the Doll Hospital, it’s located on a busy suburban street in the south part of Sydney, Australia. Here skilled “doll surgeons” have been administering vital medical attention to beloved children’s toys since 1913. These tenderhearted sawbones can mend just about any toy, be it plastic, porcelain or plush, contemporary or antique, big or small. As far as these specialists are concerned, no toy is beyond help.

"We’re one of the last ones that does everything, when it comes to dolls, there’s very few that are capable of that sort of work," said Geoff Chapman, 67 and "surgeon-in-chief" at the family-run business his father started more than a century ago.

"We’ve had customers who’ve burst into tears" when they saw the treasured doll or teddy as good as new, he said.

Australian photographer Jason Reed visited the Doll Hospital to document the good work and medical miracles that’ve take place there every day for over 100 years. In the hands of the hospital’s skilled staff, toys that are admitted looking like sadly forgotten junk leave shiny and new, restored to their original glory. To date the hospital has restored over three million dolls, teddy bears, rocking horses and wheeled toys belonging to children in Australia and New Zealand.

Click for a short video and here to learn more about the Sydney Doll Hospital.

[via Neatorama, Juxtapoz and Reuters]

We wouldn’t blame you if you assumed that these indescribably awesome portraits of John Malkovich are photoshop job, but they aren’t. American portrait photographer Sandro Miller and, of course, the inimitable John Malkovich who collaborated to recreate a wide variety of iconically famous photographs.

Here you see their sublimely surreal recreations of Diane Arbus' Identical Twins, Herb Ritts' photos of Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait (Fright Wig), Arthur Sasse’s photo of Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue, and Philippe Halsman’s portrait of Salvador Dalí.

The longer we look at these photos, the harder it is to convince ourselves that we’re actually awake.

Click here to view more (warning: some of the photos are NSFW).

Click here for a wonderful Chicago Tribune profile of Sandro Miller.

[via Reddit]

Our palms are sweating as we look at this vertiginously awesome drone photo of a team of nine mountain climbers atop the Jungfrau (elevation 13,642 ft), one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It’s a phenomenal shot that was captured using a camera with a fisheye lens attached to a drone. The climb was sponsored by Swiss mountaineering outfitter Mammut.
Click here for a brief process video to learn more about what went into achieving this hair-raising photo.
[via Colossal and The Verge]

Our palms are sweating as we look at this vertiginously awesome drone photo of a team of nine mountain climbers atop the Jungfrau (elevation 13,642 ft), one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It’s a phenomenal shot that was captured using a camera with a fisheye lens attached to a drone. The climb was sponsored by Swiss mountaineering outfitter Mammut.

Click here for a brief process video to learn more about what went into achieving this hair-raising photo.

[via Colossal and The Verge]

Redditor fungiside was in the right place at the right time to capture this awesome image of a giant digital billboard during a video calibration test. We’re pretty sure this is a lot more fun to look at than whatever advertisement was subsequently displayed.

"The video is a test to make sure all of the individual panels are working together to make one complete picture. And actually, if you look about a quarter of the way up from the bottom, you will notice a horizontal line going all the way across and breaking the pattern. This is what they are looking for when doing a test like this."

Click here to watch a brief video of the psychedelic calibration process.
[via Twisted Sifter]

Redditor fungiside was in the right place at the right time to capture this awesome image of a giant digital billboard during a video calibration test. We’re pretty sure this is a lot more fun to look at than whatever advertisement was subsequently displayed.

"The video is a test to make sure all of the individual panels are working together to make one complete picture. And actually, if you look about a quarter of the way up from the bottom, you will notice a horizontal line going all the way across and breaking the pattern. This is what they are looking for when doing a test like this."

Click here to watch a brief video of the psychedelic calibration process.

[via Twisted Sifter]