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table of contents
L E T T ER FR O M T HE E DI TO R S
C ar me n Da nes hma ndi LY N S LAT E R , ACCI DE N TAL I CO N
E l i s o Ts i nt s a ba dze SY LVAN SADN E S S
A n k i Grø t he T H E ME AT WE E AT
Re u ben Wu LU X NO CT I S
M at thew Ha mo n T H E G LE AN E R S
P i n g Wa ng T H E N O STALGI A O F T HE I NF I NI T E
Roni and D avid Rose OUR SUMMER OF RED DYE NUMBER F IVE
20 S arah Ble se ne r TOY SOL DIERS
24 S h aug h n and Joh n SISTERS OF TH E VAL L EY
28 Varvara Mikush kina LUX AND LUMEN
32 Portfolio of One
Photo © Varvara Mikushkina
PATRICK TOMBOL A
LETTER FROM THE EDITORs
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PHOTO+ John McGeary VICE PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, PHOTO+ Lauren Wendle MANAGER, CUSTOM MEDIA & EVENTS Moneer Masih-Tehrani MANAGING EDITOR Jacqui Palumbo
We are closing out 2016 with another group of ten rising photographers to keep on your radar in the documentary, portrait, fashion, fine-art and travel photography fields. As a juried magazine, debates are had and hard decisions are made. But at the end of the day, there is one thing we all agree on: These photographers have promising careers ahead of them, and we are thrilled to present their work to you. In this issue, you'll see Shaughn and John's cover story about "nuns" who grow medical cannabis, Sarah Blesener's survey of the growing number of nationalistic Russian youth clubs, Varvara Mikushkina’s shimmering study of light, and Reuben Wu’s otherworldly and technologically advanced landscapes. Each photographer creates and executes unique concepts that keep us captivated from image to image. You can see the digital editions of all Emerging Photographer issues at issuu.com/eephotogroup. Next year, we'll be changing publish dates to spring and fall with new distribution to college programs, in addition to our current distribution to photo editors, creative directors, gallerists and photo festivals. The submission period for Spring 2017 will open in December at emergingphotographer.com. —Jacqui Palumbo & Taryn Swadba
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Taryn Swadba COPY EDITOR Elissa Hunter ART DIRECTOR Kelly Holodak CONTRIBUTORS Amy Touchette, Brienne Walsh PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Daniel Ryan CIRCULATION Lori Golczewski SUBMISSION SUPPORT Brad Arshinoff, Brad Kuhns, Reiko Matsuo EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER JURY Moneer Masih-Tehrani, Jacqui Palumbo, Taryn Swadba, Libby Peterson (Senior Editor, Rangeﬁnder), Conor Risch (Senior Editor, PDN), Rebecca Robertson (Photo Editor, PDN) ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mark Brown (646) 668-3702 SALES DIRECTOR Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717 SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lori Reale (858) 204-8956, Jon McLoughlin (646) 668-3746 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Dennis Tyhacz (646) 668-3779
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Pictured: 24-year-old Sister Kass from the Sisters of the Valley, an unaffiliated, non-Catholic convent based in Central Valley, California, who grow and harvest medical marijuana to create healing salves and tinctures.
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— Carmen Daneshmandi —
LYN SLATER, ACCIDENTAL ICON
Professor and fashion blogger Lyn Slater made an indelible impression on photographer Carmen Daneshmandi from the ﬁrst moment they met. Slater writes on her blog that she is a proponent of women who live “interesting but ordinary lives” and are, above all, “clear and comfortable with who they are,” a quality that shines through in Daneshmandi’s fashion series, “Lyn Slater, Accidental Icon.” Daneshmandi spent the ﬁrst couple of months of this project simply getting to know Slater better. Conducting closet visits with collaborator and stylist Alnardo Pérez, for example, was key in understanding the role clothes play in shaping Slater’s identity.
Daneshmandi was intent on incorporating Slater’s voice in the series, and as the project progressed it became clear the work would be what she calls “a visual artist statement of sorts, a performance by Lyn.” It was a collaborative effort to portray Slater authentically and experimentally, she says, “where she drove the narrative and I guided it . . . using collage, distortion and mixed media.” Photographed using a Canon 5D Mark III and a variety of lenses, including a 14mm to create funhouse-like distortion, as well as a photo booth so that Slater could photograph herself, Daneshmandi then cut, taped, layered and scanned the best images to create photo collages.
Raised by immigrant parents, Daneshmandi gets inspiration from her parents’ old photo albums from Iran and Spain and “any time culture and identity is celebrated, and is done so in a way that frees and pushes,” she says, a sensibility she hopes to echo in a forthcoming series of her Iranian family. More than anything, she wants to change the “outdated status quo” of how the photography industry still runs, both “visually and socially.” She says: “I need to see more women, especially more women of color, take the reins.” —Amy Touchette
Photos © Carmen Daneshmandi carmendaneshmandi.com
— Eliso Tsintsabadze —
S Y LVA N SADNESS
The feeling Eliso Tsintsabadze aims to convey in her series “Sylvan Sadness” is not something easily expressed in words. The name is the translated title of a poem by Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov, “Lesnaya Toska,” a translation she feels doesn’t do the phrase justice. “In dictionaries, the Russian word toska is described as some sort of melancholia, sadness, silence, yearning and anguish,” she explains, “but it does not have the proper equivalent in English.” A Georgian native, born and raised in Moscow, Tsintsabadze began the series while studying at the International Center of Photography in New York City last year.
She began sorting through images she had recently taken, and saw that certain ones embodied the same ineffable mood. For a year, she continued to add to the series, but was careful not to search for toska itself because she didn’t want the images to appear contrived. “It was all sort of intuitive,” she explains. The series, she says, is not about happiness or sadness, but “it is a pure experience of my mind of moments I came to, and the images are just the points on this way.” The series was largely taken with a variety of ﬁlm cameras, and includes a photograph of an artiﬁcial bird in a tree,
natural light falling across a wooded area in Tbilisi, Georgia, and a delicate portrait of her niece. Each one transmits the ache of beauty that one sometimes encounters in the mundane, usually in moments of deep contemplation. —Brienne Walsh
Photos © Eliso Tsintsabadze elisotsintsabadze.com
— Anki Grøthe —
T H E M E AT W E E AT
When photographer Anki Grøthe documented the annual slaughter of the reindeer that live near her hometown of Hemsedal, Norway, she knew it was a perspective that needed to be shared with others. Although Norway has strict rules on animal welfare, and the reindeers’ lives are taken quickly and painlessly, “killing animals is brutal,” Grøthe says. Grøthe’s series, titled “The Meat We Eat,” confronts us with our eating choices. Being removed from the process animals undergo to become an entrée on our plate—not to mention the harm it does to the environment—allows many of us to
stay in the dark about the effects of our carnivorous appetites. Using equipment that allowed her to work fast, a Nikon D800 and a 24-70mm lens, Grøthe photographed the process as the reindeer were herded from the mountains to Golsfjellet, where the slaughtering takes place. Although the series began as a personal project, it was recently published in Norway’s Inﬁnitum magazine. Grøthe became interested in photography in high school and ever since has built on her knowledge of the medium. A highlight of her education was participating in Arno Minkkinen’s Spirit Level
workshop, a two-week road trip across the United States. During this “experience of a lifetime,” as Grøthe describes it, “I learned to stay true to myself, and to tell stories that are close to me.” “The Meat We Eat” is an example of that integrity. —Amy Touchette
Photos © Anki Grøthe ankigrothe.com
— Reuben Wu —
Long inspired by images of planetary exploration, 19th-century romantic paintings and science ﬁction ﬁlms, photographer Reuben Wu imbues the otherworldly into the earthly scenes of “Lux Noctis,” which is Latin for “night light.” He says: “[It’s an] attempt to abandon the familiar tropes of landscape photography and renew our perceptions of the world.” Wu aims to portray the landscapes in “Lux Noctis” as if they have yet to be discovered. Using a Phase One XF 100MP, a Leica M-P 240 and a GPS-enabled modiﬁed drone to suspend LED lights overhead, Wu plans out multiple lighting points to illuminate and
isolate the focus of his scene. “I’m drawn to dramatic or extreme environments: places that are too cold, too hot, too dangerous for normal habitation; places that allow a glimpse of the true nature of the earth,” Wu says. Take, for example, Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago about 600 miles from the North Pole, where, Wu says, the ground is so frozen and hard that “it’s illegal to die.” Other locations he’s photographed are the blue ﬁre crater at Indonesia’s Ijen volcano complex and the most arid non-polar desert in the world, the Atacama Desert in South America. Born and raised in the United Kingdom,
Wu has a background in music (he’s a founding member of the electronic band Ladytron) and degrees in product design and industrial design. Wu’s interest in machines and designed objects initially drew him to photography, inspiring him to hack broken cameras to create original imagery. As his investigation of the medium continues, Wu’s goal, as he puts it, is “to continue to live with my eyes and my mind open.” —Amy Touchette
Photos © Reuben Wu reubenwu.com
— Matthew Hamon —
The title of Matthew Hamon’s series comes from the 1857 painting by JeanFrançois Millet of the same name, which depicts three peasant women harvesting grain. Hamon saw similarities to the iconic composition in his own image of two women and a baby pulling fat from the carcass of a bison. “I’m interested in the history of genre painting,” he says over the phone from Montana, where he teaches photography and critical theory at the University of Montana. “I like paintings of real people doing real things—not only for the subject matter, but also for the light.” Shot with a Mamiya 645 with a Phase
One digital back, the images in the series all have a painterly quality. They capture a group of primitive-skills practitioners who collaborate with Native Americans— including the Nez Perce and Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes—during their annual buffalo hunt on the perimeter of Yellowstone National Park. Gleaning describes what they do—although Hamon says they prefer to be called scavengers. They follow the Native American tribes on their hunts, gathering parts of the animal that are typically left behind by most biggame hunters, and harvest them. Hamon, who contacted the practitioners
after reading a blog post about their hidetanning methods, spent ten days traveling with the group in the dead of winter. A hunter himself, Hamon was at ease. The images, he believes, convey the reverent consideration hunters have for the animals they cull. But more than that, he says, the series allows the viewer to look at a group of people normally hidden from society “with an intensity that is reserved for their most intimate relationships with family and lovers.” —Brienne Walsh
Photos © Matthew Hamon matthamon.com
— Ping Wang —
T H E N O S TA L G I A OF THE INFINITE
Inspired partly by his dreams, partly by fashion and partly by Surrealist art of the early 20th century, photographer Ping Wang created “The Nostalgia of the Inﬁnite,” a conceptual series that Wang describes as “an emotional life history.” The series comprises three sections—“Asleep,” “Delusional” and “Untrammeled”—which, together, aim to portray the process of transitioning from a state of emotional disquietude to one of contentment and inﬁnite possibility. With a menagerie of references to pay homage to—the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and Kay Sage, and the fashion photography of Tim Walker and Noell Oszvald—Wang set out to create the same “dramatic light and shadow, exaggerated perspective and strong symbolism” in their works in order to depict a powerful, dreamlike visual experience. To simulate the ﬂat, planar qualities of Surrealist art, Wang worked entirely in the studio, ﬁrst photographing props and surfaces he hand painted in one shoot and then photographing the models in a separate shoot. Although Wang considers his “eyes and memory” his best equipment, he made the series using a Sony a7R II and a Canon 24-70mm lens. Born and raised in Beijing, China, in a strict military family, Wang moved to New York City at the age of 24. After many years of being enamored by writing, Wang eventually realized that “words are not enough to describe subtle emotions.” Three years ago he turned to photography to ﬁll that gap, earning a master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in 2016. —Amy Touchette
Photos © Ping Wang pingwangxin.com
— Roni and David Rose —
OUR SUMMER OF RED DY E N U M B E R F I V E
First Last — “Title of work"
When the Kern family ﬁrst commissioned Roni and David Rose to take a series of portraits, the photographers had no idea that they would become so entwined with the family both professionally and personally. “We couldn’t have imagined their harmony,” Roni explains. David adds: “Whatever it is that keeps birds ﬂying in formation, and keeps ﬁsh in groups, they have that, they’re all in sync with each other.” The photography duo, who are also married, have taken more than 500 images of the family in the six months since they ﬁrst met.
“Our Summer of Red Dye Number Five,” a title that evokes the photographers’ nostalgia for childhood, is made up of images from the Roses’ ﬁrst session with the Kerns. The series captures the family—three children and two parents devoted to home schooling them—at their home in Harvard, Illinois, and at a drive-in movie theater nearby. The scenes embody a certain ideal of what an American family looks like: The young pink-haired daughter dances to a vinyl copy of Lana Del Rey’s album “Ultraviolence,” and the tattooed father sets up a bed of blankets for the family in the
back of their hatchback. They exude love and trust—and perhaps an ache for what the viewers may themselves be missing. “There is very little to no question about what this means, or what is happening in the frame,” David says. “The images make you feel what’s happening.” Roni adds: “This is what life is about.” —Brienne Walsh
Photos © Roni Rose Photography Roni and David Rose — “Our Summer of Red Dye Number Five"
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— Sarah Blesener —
TOY SOLDI ERS
Sarah Blesener — “Toy Soldiers"
In April 2016, during a trip to Moscow, photographer Sarah Blesener stumbled upon a cadet class learning how to dismantle AK-47s and get in and out of biohazard suits quickly. This jarring sight, combined with a growing interest in patriotic ideology being taught to kids, inspired Blesener to document patriotic clubs, education and summer camps in Russia, eventually resulting in her aptly titled, ongoing series, “Toy Soldiers.” Currently, about 200,000 Russian youths are enrolled in patriotic clubs—each with their own structures and philosophies—a number that is likely on the rise due to a
program the Russian government recently proposed, “Patriotic education of citizens of the Russian Federation for 2016-2020.” Traveling by bus and train and living in tents at the camps, Blesener kept her gear as simple as possible, bringing only her Canon 5D Mark III, a couple of lenses, a monopod and audio equipment. “Toy Soldiers” stems from Blesener’s larger desire to understand the world and foster empathy. “Photography is incredibly political, critical and necessary to address stereotypes, confront our own fears and weaknesses, and talk about issues that otherwise would be left on the sidelines,”
she explains. Keen on continuing to investigate nationalism, Blesener, who is a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography, cites its dean, Fred Ritchin, as being a major inﬂuence on her ideology as a photojournalist. She plans to expand the work to include the United States and Europe, focusing speciﬁcally on how youth are taught these ideologies. —Amy Touchette
Photos © Sarah Blesener sarah-blesener.com
— Shaughn and John —
SISTERS OF T H E VA L L E Y
Shaughn and John — “Sisters of the Valley"
Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois ﬁrst heard about the Sisters of the Valley, a collective of women in Central California who grow medical marijuana to create healing salves and tinctures, when Crawford watched a news program about them over Thanksgiving with his in-laws. “John and I always have our ear to the ground for these types of stories for personal projects,” he explains over the phone from Los Angeles. The duo met while interning for photographer Art Streiber, and have been shooting as a team for over a year. The sisters invited Crawford and DuBois to photograph them at the house at which
they originally ran their operation. Though the sisters are not affiliated with any "earthly" religion (their website says their spiritual practices "support the process of making medicine"), they pair the white wimples of traditional nuns’ habits with Swiss fabric blouses and jean skirts. The resulting images, shot on a Canon 5D Mark III, have a crisp, documentary feel, as if hours of details are captured within a single frame. Sister Kate, the leader of the order, was initially not happy with the shots. “She thought we made her look a little too real,” Crawford says. “She wasn’t stoked with how she looked.”
Once the story went viral, their feelings on the photographs changed. The images were shown on CNN.com, and the exposure introduced buyers from all over the world to the sisters’ products. Since then, they've upgraded from a house to a compound, and Crawford and DuBois have been welcomed with open arms. They recently returned to make a short ﬁlm about the women performing a spiritual ceremony under a new moon. “It’s ﬁlmed around a campﬁre, and lit by candles,” DuBois explains. “It’s beautiful and a little spooky.” —Brienne Walsh
Photos © Shaughn and John shaughnandjohn.com
— Varvara Mikushkina —
LUX AND LUMEN
Varvara Mikushkina conceptualized “Lux and Lumen” out of necessity. She was trying to make sense of an overabundance of images she had shot while studying for her MFA at Parsons School of Design, and saw that they all ﬁt under one umbrella as studies of light. They also embodied elements of her heritage. Born in Russia in 1989, Mikushkina moved to Queens, New York, with her family as a young child, and settled in Syracuse in 2003. “I created this framework for myself—I would photograph things that were shiny and reﬂective in sunlight,” she says. “I was interested in this idea of a clichéd
version of nostalgia.” Lux and lumen, both measurements of light, became the organizing principle for the body of work. Most of the images are photographed on ﬁlm using a Mamiya RZ67. Shooting analog comes naturally to Mikushkina, as she’s been doing so since the seventh grade. “I imagine a set in my mind, and I know I can get it with a ﬁlm camera,” she explains. In “Lux and Lumen,” Mikushkina juxtaposes reﬂective objects such as sheets of tinfoil, mirrors and crystal beads with soft, ﬂat surfaces to create images that exude a baroque fullness. Flush with robust blues, golds, greens and reds, the
images look somehow “rich” even though they depict common, everyday objects, shot in her apartment in New York City, and her parents’ home in Syracuse. “I like the falseness of images, how things are not what they seem,” Mikushkina says. She adds: “I’m over-packing an image with details that I want the viewer to take away a little bit and peel back.” She also wanted to capture the physical quality of light, she explains. “You know the light, you’ve stood in the sunlight and you know how that feels.” —Brienne Walsh
Photos © Varvara Mikushkina Var vara Mikushkina — “Lux and Lumen"
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PORTFOLIO OF ONE Could you define your work with a single image? Photojour nalist Patrick Tombola gives it a tr y.
The global drug trade is not a topic that is easily dissected, but photojournalist Patrick Tombola is examining country by country the unique social and political conditions that make the ingredients for violence. In the last issue of Emerging Photographer, we featured Tombola's work in El Salvador, “Not Free to Be Young.” Tombola was interested in how Salvadoran youths are recruited into the drug trade—often becoming homicide statistics. He has continued to explore this link between youth, violence and drugs across borders, most recently in the Philippines this summer. “I wanted to understand how these issues play themselves out in different contexts and who the main actors were,” he says. This particular image shows the scene of a drug-related murder in Manila. Though his work in El Salvador and the Philippines share similar themes, Tombola says that each country’s approach to its drug war is complex in its differences. In El Salvador, two opposing gangs control large swaths of territory;
in the Philippines, areas are “meticulously” controlled by armed officials. And while there have been cases of vigilantism by El Salvador’s police, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has publicly supported extrajudicial murders. “In both countries I encountered disenfranchised youth that buy and sell drugs as a means to survive, that end up joining the ranks of the gangs that are often manipulated by those in power for their own purposes,” Tombola says. And that is a recurring theme that Tombola encounters. To understand its cause on a global scale, Tombola points to history, and the “slow, simmering narco-insurgencies” in poorer nations since the end of the Cold War. “The youth that in the 1970s would have fought for a Marxist or right-wing ideal is now disillusioned and has taken up arms, often without any social or political awareness,” he explains. A documentary series this extensive can be a challenge to tackle—and to sustain—but Tombola says the El Salvador series taught him ADVERTISEMENT
an important lesson: “Time and dedication always pay off.” To improve as a photojournalist, he believes one must return to the same places to tell challenging stories. And while that’s not easy to do on a limited budget, Tombola has found that sectioning a larger story and pitching it as individual editorial assignments goes a long way; grants and competition prize money also help. Tombola plans to return to the Philippines to continue this chapter, and in the coming months, he’ll also travel to Cuba, Hungary, Sri Lanka and Yemen for magazine assignments. Follow him on Instagram @ptombola. —Jacqui Palumbo Portfolio of One is brought to you by B&H Photo and Video. Visit their website at BandH.com
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Published on Nov 17, 2016
Published on Nov 17, 2016
The Winter 2016 issue featuring Carmen Daneshmandi, Eliso Tsintsabadze, Anki Grøthe, Reuben Wu, Matt Harmon, Ping Wang, Roni and David Rose,...