Fresh Art: Mike Libby & The Insect Lab

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Mantidae: Tenodera Supertitiosa
Brass, and steel watchparts, gears, springs, screws, glow in the dark dial

Artist Mike Libby fuses together the natural and mechanical by combining real insect bodies with a variety of old wristwatch parts and electrical components.

Cerambycidae: Batocera Numitor
Steel pocket watch parts, gears, springs and shafts.

Rutelidae: Plusiotis Beyerii
Brass and steel and copper watch parts, gears and dials.

Arachnidae: Heteromoetrus Spinifer

Steel, brass and copper watch gears, dials and parts.

See more of Mr. Libby’s work HERE

Rockstar Photographers: Behind The Scenes With Joel Sartore

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A dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) at the Sunset Zoo.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore goes behind the scenes at zoos and rescue centers in order to capture portraits of endangered animals. He tells NPR: “I’m the only studio portrait photographer I know whose subjects routinely poop and pee on the background right in front of me.”

Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) at the Sunset Zoo.

Gray gibbons (Hylobates muelleri) at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Illinois.

Venomous snakes at the Fort Worth Zoo.

The Miller Park Zoo’s bobcat (Lynx rufus).

Half of the world’s plant and animal species will soon be threatened with extinction and this keeps Mr. Sartore busy. With over 1,800 portraits already taken, Mr. Sartore has a goal to photograph 6,000 different animal species total, all of who are on the verge of becoming extinct. See the completed photos and support Mr. Sartore’s Biodiversity Project HERE.

“If you think about the stuff I’m photographing here, it’s mainly ghosts. It’s all ghosts. Just little remnants. Just little bitty pockets of wildlife. That’s all that’s left.” “..for most of my job, it’s just little remnants, little scraps of what used to be. I’m just photographing the last of everything. Whether it’s wolves or grizzly bears or rhinos, jaguars or parrots in South America. It’s the last of everything I’m photographing. It’s really kind of tragic.” [via]

As serious as this all is, there is also a comical side to working with the animals. Not everyone is interested in having their portrait taken, like this chimpanzee here:

Hazina the chimp stuck just her head and arms into the enclosure very slowly and cautiously.

With a single, swift wave of her arm, she ripped the 7-by-12-foot background right off the wall and floor like it was nothing.

She then pulled the entire backdrop through the tiny entrance doorway.

The only shots taken were of her destroying the set.

Moments later, Hazina poked her head back in to survey her handiwork.

Rockstar Photographers: Mac Stone & The Burrowing Owls

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Nature photographer Mac Stone captures many facets of wildlife, including these endearing and cartoon-like Burrowing Owls. See how he got close enough to take these shots:

Photos and video via 

Rockstar Photographers: Steve Gschmeissner & The Bug Portraits

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Scientific photographer Steve Gschmeissner uses a Micrograph or a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to capture various specimens at up to a million times their original size:

Larva of a Bluebottle Fly (Protophormia sp.)

Wasp (order Hymenoptera).

Honey Bee (Apis sp.)

Yellow Dung Fly (Scatophaga stercoraria).

Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis).

Tropical Caterpillar (order Lepidoptera).

Common Housefly (Musca domestica).

More photos here [via The Telegraph].

Rockstar Photographers: Chris Jordan & The Baby Albatross

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Photographer Chris Jordan gives us an intimate view of the challenges that these baby albatrosses face. From Mr. Jordan’s website:

“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.”

A documentary is in the works as well – watch the (heartbreaking) trailer and support Mr. Jordan’s cause:

MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.