"Demonstrations” by Caleb Charland
October 25, 2008 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Caleb Charland's photographs artistically demonstrate the laws of physics. In "Solid, Liquid, Gas," for example, three similar glass-tumbler shapes are positioned on a film of water. One glass is filled with a separation of water, oil and alcohol. Another, overturned, contains an extinguished candle which, having burned up the oxygen inside the vessel, created a vacuum that sucked the water inside. The third vessel and the other pictures are just cool.
posted by Surfin' Bird (26 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming the photos are reverse chronological; the ones further to the left are much more visually intriguing. And a bunch of them are just fun ideas: Compass + Drill + Penlight = sweet.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:12 PM on October 25, 2008

created a vacuum

Really? Reeeeally?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:54 PM on October 25, 2008

Created an area of lower pressure. Sheesh.

Also, awesome photos. The nails on strings all pulling towards the magnet was well done.
posted by GuyZero at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

The sparkler propeller one has got to be my favorite. Sounds like some drunken fourth of july stunt that someone took an excellent photo of.
posted by Bleusman at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2008

A partial vacuum is still a vacuum.

Those were neat!
posted by Eideteker at 7:15 PM on October 25, 2008

A partial vacuum is still a vacuum.

Then everything is a vacuum.
posted by DU at 7:21 PM on October 25, 2008

I like the photos. Although I think the poster missed the point of the targetted one. The vacuum isn't the point. The point is water vapor ("gas") emitted by the candle's combustion and represented (I guess) by the condensation on the inside of the glass.
posted by DU at 7:23 PM on October 25, 2008

Very cool, loved these - great find!
posted by kcds at 7:51 PM on October 25, 2008

/me writes strongly-worded letter to the editor of the Times of London on the subject of the Modern Tendency to Abuse the Notion of Vacuum, mails it huffily...
posted by facetious at 7:56 PM on October 25, 2008

Alcohol + water + physics = Miss Charming's Layered Drinks.
posted by cenoxo at 7:59 PM on October 25, 2008

Very, very nice work. I would dearly love a print or two from this collection.
posted by ssmith at 8:23 PM on October 25, 2008

Some of these photos are flirting with Modernism
posted by captainsohler at 9:05 PM on October 25, 2008

The 15 hours one wasn't the most visually stunning, but I really enjoy it, and it makes me want to take a photo like that. Or buy a print.

Anybody know if he sells prints/what price range he asks?
posted by paisley henosis at 10:42 PM on October 25, 2008

These are pretty awesome!
posted by pombe at 10:48 PM on October 25, 2008

Holy crap! Thats exactly what you said it was!
posted by Balisong at 11:25 PM on October 25, 2008

"Helix with matchsticks" is incredible.
posted by afu at 3:38 AM on October 26, 2008

I used to do the string-nail-magnet-sculpture thing as a kid!
posted by autodidact at 4:54 AM on October 26, 2008

It looks neat, but I wish there were more info on the principles of physics behind each one so I would better understand why it looks neat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 AM on October 26, 2008

Some very nice pictures in there; many would make nice desktop backgrounds. And I like the idea that some have a little basic science behind them (although I'm completely mystified by the "Three Jars" - it's a small jar in a bigger jar in an even bigger jar.
Errr, yes.
I see.).

But I really, really hate the flash interface on the webpage. Why do people do this??? Use regular HTML, and, when you're trying to do something a bit fancy, spice it up with Javascript. But fer crissakes don't create a photo gallery with flash! THERE'S THOUSANDS OF READY-MADE 100% WEB-COMPLIANT IMAGE GALLERIES OUT THERE! YOU DON'T NEED TO USE STUPID, INTERFACE-BREAKING FLASH!

Ahem. Sorry, but that had to be said. Seriously, why do people do that? Is the idea really "if I use flash then people won't be able to 'steal' my images" (the most logical explanation I could come up with, completely and utterly wrong as it is)? Is it just that they hire a stupid web-designer who just can't resist using what he learned in his flash-for-dummies book? And is it a rule that "artistic" websites have to use stupid interfaces so you can't give links to other people directly ("Yeah, you go to the site I mailed you. Then you click on the small wasp three times, wait until it flies to the man and stings him on the nose; then you click the welt, wait until it loads the gallery, click 'page thr33' on the computer monitor on the lower left and there it's the picture you get when you click twice on the 'forward' button in the shape of a clover at the top left of the page..."). Grmbl...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:35 AM on October 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

I don't think I learned anything about physics, but the photos are fantastic.
posted by diogenes at 7:45 AM on October 26, 2008

I think they use flash so people can't steal (or "steal") their work. As easily.
posted by DU at 8:14 AM on October 26, 2008

I wouldn't have said the difference between a partial vacuum and a vacuum was the problem there anyway Eideteker. More the fact that oxygen burnt up is more than compensated for by water and CO2. The mechanism for the water being drawn up doesn't have much to do with oxygen being burnt.
posted by edd at 9:04 AM on October 26, 2008

There is a key on your keyboard that makes stealing flash images a snap. You'll never guess which one!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on October 26, 2008

The flash gallery thing is mostly a symptom of artists falling victim to predatory web "designers" trying to scam them. Most of the artists I work with know absolutely nothing about putting stuff online; even if you point them at Google Sites (free, easy) they just shrug and frown. So when they're told by some turtle-neck jackass that the BEST ARTIST SITES USE THIS AWESOME SLIDESHOW AND NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR STUFF they'll buy it happily, eagerly. (And when you die, they can bury you in it.)

I can't do business like that. I just can't.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:32 AM on October 26, 2008

These are pretty excellent, thanks. I also would like to hear a bit more about the physics being demonstrated in each shot, but it seems the photographer's approaching it more from the artistic side than from the physics side.

Actually, as I think about it more, these photos are about the appearance and style of physics rather than the content. '15 Hours' is quite nice, and the penlights on a drill are also very cool, but you'd be hard-pressed to say exactly what principle of physics they're demonstrating.

Not that there's anything wrong with science-flavored photography. I'd like a couple of these hanging on my wall.
posted by echo target at 10:53 AM on October 26, 2008

The "Cube with Ruler and Penlight" picture just makes me want to clap my hands and giggle. It delights me so! I imagine the creation of the pic was like etching in time and space, using an energy beam, and that shit is just so SCIENCE!
posted by FatherDagon at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2008

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