Cyclonic Pictures: Long Exposures Spin Art from Light & Air

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

air light stick art

The shots seem impossibly composed, consisting of light that arcs and twists like a tornado in the night skies, but the process of creating them is much simpler than you might first imagine.

air art distance thrown

aerial cyclone light art

Martin Kimbell twirls, tosses and hurls LED sticks then uses long-exposure techniques to capture the twisting, turning and arcing patterns that result from each throw.

air timelapse spinning photos

air tornado light art

Some of the loops look like natural phenomena, swirling dust, stormy cyclones or campfire smoke, for instance, except spun from bright and colorful lights instead of organic materials. Others trajectories are simpler and captured in black-and-white instead.

art art black white

night light aerial art

air art up down

Inspired by Stu Jenks  and other light artists, Kimbell is a “freelance photographer based in Nottingham, England, specialising in light painting and action sports photography.” You can see more of his photography beyond this type on Flickr as well, and be sure to check out Diliz who crafts figures from sparklers in a much different style.


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Broken Mirror: Shard Hotel Views Reflect Next-Door Rooms

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[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

shard hotel london night

Splintered corners, giving The Shard in London its iconic multifaceted look, are now also responsible for letting guests of Europe’s tallest hotel see into the spaces of their nighttime neighbors.

shard broken reflection mistake

As the Financial Times reports,a  series of glass panels standing out from the structure have turned into a series of accidental mirrors, giving room-with-a-view a new meaning in the context of this building.

london hotel interior problem

During the day, visitors to the Shangri-La can see out in nearly all directions, but at night with inside lights on they also get an uninvited sneak peak back into adjacent bedrooms. Designed by Renzo Piano, the famous building may not be as problem-plagued as its car-melting sibling but it certainly has some issues yet to be resolved.

shard hotel london day

The solution so far offered by the hotel seems somewhat incomplete – they are notifying guests of the issue and advising them to use curtains. Still, not everyone will remember to take such steps and many will want to leave their curtains open, since they came for the lovely views in the first place. In the end, one is left to wonder how no light modeling of the building revealed this potential problem (image above by Patrick Collins).


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Glow-in-the-Dark Highways: Free Lighting Hits the Streets

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[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

smart highway now reality

Proposed just two years ago, this alternative solar-powered passive streetlight system is now already a reality, deployed along motorways across the Netherlands. As one reporter put it after riding along the newly-transformed highways: “It looks like you are driving through a fairytale.”

sustainable_highway_2

smart highway changing lights

This is just the beginning of a Smart Highway approach designed to adapt surfaces to the needs of drivers. Constituent ideas include the display of relevant contextual information directly on roadways (including traffic and weather conditions) as well as direct wireless car charging.

smart highway side lights

smart highway road system

Other new ideas from Studio Roosegaarde include the possibility of turning street materials into smog attractors, reducing the spread of pollutants by pulling harmful particulates right out of the air. Despite the compelling design component, their creator describes these innovations as reforms rather than designs – ways of improving everyday life and personal safety.


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Lucky Rainbow: Time Lapse Pics of Traffic Light Piercing Fog

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

time lapse light

The right place, proper timing and a keen eye conspired to help a photographer capture this eerie nighttime phenomena at a crossroads outside of Weimar, Germany.

rainbow night light green

rainbow night light yellow

rainbow night light red

German photographer Lucas Zimmermann found and shot this intersection at each stage of the its cyclical change, capturing green, yellow and red.

rainbow light full spectrume

He also went a step beyond the sequential with one particularly impressive shot spanning the entire cycle, creating a rainbow in the mist.

rainbow light black white

His other work spans from the rural United States to the streets of Beijing, but usually focuses on people over places – this set, however, proved a worthy exception.


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Night Graffiti: Shake-Powered LED Spray Paint Can Sleeve

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[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

led spray can light

The nature of graffiti tends to result in nocturnal excursions, but painting completely in the dark can be a be problem and sometimes you just need a little bit of light.

led graffiti can sketches

led can sleeve model

LASH is a light attachment for spray cans designed by Subinay Malhotra of New Delhi, India to provide low-level illumination on demand to artists on the street.

led spray can design

The device slots onto the can and charges via a motion familiar to anyone who has sprayed paint, illicitly or otherwise: the shaking action one has to repeat to keep on painting.

led spray paint functions

The LEDs are intentionally dim and easy to turn both on and off at the push of a button, all so artists can see what they are doing on an as-needed basis but blend back into the shadows with a simple click.


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Dark City: Giant Mirrors Aim to Illuminate Town in Shadows

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[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

shadow city solar panels

A lovely little settlement in a lush valley of Norway sounds like a slice of paradise – except that the surrounding hills keep it out of sunlight for nearly half of the year. This incredible undertaking aims to change that, illuminating the town square even in the darkest parts of the year.

shadow town mirror project

A set of mirrors positioned high above Rjukan will rotate to reflect sunlight into the center of the settlement, which, thanks to being rather predictably bathed in light, will be available to residents and visitors who wish to walk through it. The system will be computer-controlled from the town hall.

shadow valley mirror array

If this sounds far-fetched or even futuristic, consider this: the idea was originally pitched exactly 100 years ago by a local developer in the area, but scrapped at the time due to cost. Its originator went ahead and constructed a cable car instead, to help people in the area climb high enough to get natural light in the winter.

shadow illuminate town square

Even today the installed array will run up a bill of nearly a million dollars and include over 500 square feet of mirrored surface (lighting up over 2000 square feet below). But for residents of this remote and shadowed settlement, who normally have to forsake the sun 5 months of the year, the effect is worth the price.

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