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© Lindsay Adler

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table of contents

02

L E T T E R FR O M T HE E DI TO R S

04

RE UBE N W U, R E VI ST E D

06

Kyl e D o ro s z STUDIO VISITS

08

F l or e nt Tanet U NT I T LE D

10

Roma i n B aro À L'AMÉRICAINE

16

S alw an Ge org e s TH E YACOUBS' JOURNEY

18

S arah Bouillaud TH E FANTASTIC TRAVEL

22 Yan g kun S h i SOL ASTALGIA

25 Ali Lape tin a A H OME ABROAD

28 Ale x Wrob le w ski 12

C é dr i c vo n N i ederhäus ern C I T Y U PO N A HI LL

14

S i mo n Sharp BA D CO MPAN Y

ISIS IN IRAQ

32 Portfolio of On e :

Photo © Yangkun Shi

MARIL ENA STAVRAK IDIS


EMERGING

volume 9

1

PHOTOGRAPHER

LETTER FROM THE EDITORs

SPRING 2017

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT John McGeary VICE PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, PHOTO+ Lauren Wendle DIRECTOR, CREATIVE SERVICES Moneer Masih-Tehrani

Because Emerging Photographer is a submission-based magazine, our jury of editors sees timely themes, trends and topics among the entries. It’s especially true in the documentary category, where we see world events unfold through the eyes of emerging photojournalists. There were many entries submitted for this issue that captured the 2016 election year and subsequent protests, and others that told the stories of those affected by war and global displacement. In these pages, you’ll see Cédric von Niederhäusern’s outsider’s perspective of the American election cycle in his black-and-white series “City Upon a Hill;” Alex Wroblewski’s gripping series “ISIS in Iraq,” for which he embedded with the Iraqi military; and two bodies of work about two different families adjusting to life in Detroit—Salwan Georges’ series follows a refugee family from Sudan, while Ali Lapetina photographs Bangladeshi immigrants who have resettled in the Banglatown community of the city. There’s also outstanding portrait and fine-art work in this issue, from Kyle Dorosz’s environmental studio portraiture of contemporary artists, to Sarah Bouillaud’s fantastical and illustrative photomontage scenes. We hope you enjoy the work of these 10 talented rising stars. Read earlier issues at issuu.com/eephotogroup. The next submission period will open in April 2017 at emergingphotographer.com. –Jacqui Palumbo & Taryn Swadba

MANAGING EDITOR Jacqui Palumbo 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 (Features Editor, Rangefinder), Conor Risch (Senior Editor, PDN), Rebecca Robertson (Photo Editor, PDN) ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mark Brown (646) 668-3702 SHOW 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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From the series "ISIS in Iraq." Toxic smoke billows in and around Qayyarah, originating from oil wells set on fire by the Islamic State to obscure the view of coaltion warplanes.

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Shot with the EOS 5D Mark IV Camera & EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

THE E O S 5 D Mark IV. A N E W C H A P T E R B E G IN S. Since the original model was first introduced, wedding photographer Roberto Valenzuela has relied on Canon EOS 5D cameras. It’s a legacy boldly advanced with the new EOS 5D Mark IV. With an intelligent viewfinder for quick confirmation of settings, larger focusing area for creative composition, and auto white balance for more accurate tonal adjustments, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV offers outstanding control. And when it’s your vision, control means everything. See Legendary. www.usa.canon.com/5D4Legend

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Photo © Reuben Wu reubenwu.com

Reuben Wu, Revisited The photographer, director and music producer presents his series "Crescent Dunes."

I

n the last issue of Emerging Photographer, we featured Reuben Wu’s night photography series, “Lux Noctis.” Wu says he is drawn to the “dramatic” and “extreme” environments of the earth. His series “Crescent Dunes,” on the solar energy project in Nevada by the same name, has a similar vibe to “Lux Noctis”—the scenes, devoid of people, could be exploratory images of unearthly locations. Emerging Photographer: What have you been working on since the Winter 2016 issue? RW: I recently finished a shoot for Apple’s “One Night” campaign, where I captured low-light images of an East Javanese volcano with an iPhone 7. I also just released artwork for a new single by DJ/producer Zedd and singer Alessia Cara. Late last year I created a video for the song “A Minute to Breathe” by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. EP: When did you begin shooting the “Crescent Dunes” series, and is it ongoing? RW: “Crescent Dunes” was shot last spring, but

it took a few months to finish the work. It is not an ongoing project, but I would love to revisit the location and shoot more aerial imagery from a helicopter. EP: What sparked your interest in photographing this solar energy field? RW: I first noticed the facility in its testing phase as I flew overhead from Chicago to Las Vegas. It was a bright glint of light shining in the vast desert, almost like a fake sun. There was something beautiful and strange about it, a quality that transcended its function as a solar power plant. I [knew] a friend who was able to put me in touch with the SolarReserve group and we planned for about a year to arrange access. EP: Visually, how did you approach this project? RW: Initially I was intrigued by the power tower— the collector that receives the concentrated light and heats molten salt—but when I was there just before sunrise, I noticed the exquisite light reflected off the thousands of heliostats as the sky changed hues. The heliostats (billboard-sized ADVERTISEMENT

mirrors) tilt imperceptibly toward the dawn in order to evaporate any condensation built up overnight. The visual experience viewing from the center of the array was completely sublime. I was deeply interested in the juxtaposition between manmade qualities with the celestial and ancient elements—not just working together in producing electricity, but also a unique beauty. EP: Did you shoot all of the stills and motion over the course of one sunrise and sunset? RW: I had an afternoon and one morning, as well as some time off site for aerial capture, to create stills, time lapses, aerials and hyper lapses. –Interview by Jacqui Palumbo

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— Kyle Dorosz —

STUDIO VISITS


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Photographer Kyle Dorosz began making “Studio Visits,” environmental portraits of artists in their studio spaces, in 2016. While earning a BFA in photography and a minor in art history from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Dorosz cultivated a “huge admiration and respect for the arts,” he says, so “photographing creatives in their spaces was a natural subject for me.” Dorosz prefaces each session with a large dose of research, allowing him and his subjects to have meaningful conversations before the photographing even begins. Describing each shoot as a collaboration, Dorosz says involving his subjects in the

creative process helps him step outside of his usual style, enriching his perspective as a photographer. Photographing creatives such as multimedia artist and animator Mike Perry, whose work you’ve likely seen on Broad City; mural duo ASVP, who create public works and private works for clients like Spotify; and iconic New York street artist Daze, Dorosz’s series is founded on the premise that artists’ studios are as telling as the artists themselves. And in certain cases, when he uses postproduction or on-set techniques to preserve the anonymity of graffiti artists, such as ASVP, the setting takes on an even more

prevalent role in his portraits. Born and raised in Maryland, Dorosz’s passion for photography began at the young age of nine, when he saw exhibitions of Ansel Adams and William Wegman at the George Eastman House in Rochester. “Seeing the beauty of Adams and the playfulness of Wegman sent me on a lifelong journey,” says Dorosz. And the need to keep that journey evolving is the fire beneath him. “This is my job. The hustle, the pressure—that’s what keeps me focused and excited every single day.” —Amy Touchette

Photos © Kyle Dorosz kyledorosz.com


— Florent Tanet —

T H E D A I LY STILL LIFE

“More than photography, it is the story of the image that interests me particularly,” says Florent Tanet, whose still-life compositions meet at the intersection between Pop Art and graphic design. After working in the art direction and image departments for fashion brands, Tanet achieved success as a photographer when his series “Colorful Winter,” which consisted of slices of fruits and vegetables arranged as if they were color fields in a minimalist painting, was shown at the French department store Bon Marché in 2013. Ever since, Tanet has worked for a number of major publications and brands, including Chanel, Fast Company, Le Monde, The New

Yorker and Nike. The pictured series is inspired by his daily life. “My approach is that of a ‘lazy person’ who does not make much effort and who creates with what is most common—fruits and vegetables, games and papers,” he says. Tanet’s process, however, is anything but lazy. He first sketches his ideas, and then creates intricate sculptures out of the objects that he has chosen. “Photography is the last step for me,” he says, referring to both “the work of light and post-production.” It’s hard not to assign meaning to Tanet’s photographs based on our own visual references: They resemble digital collages or seem like advertisements, though they

are not trying to sell anything. They are merely photographs of exactly what they depict. “All my compositions are real and I want to keep this natural look,” Tanet says. The series is an ongoing personal project. One day, Tanet hopes to show these images together in an exhibition. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Florent Tanet florenttanet.fr


8 9

Gear: Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM


— Romain Baro —

À L'A M É R I C A I N E

Gear: Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Romain Baro first encountered the small but vibrant community of competitive French cheerleaders while photographing a French team playing American football for Le Monde in 2012. A graduate of the Nantes School of Art, Baro has always been fascinated with American culture. “I’m interested in the difference between the [French] perception of American culture and the reality of who those American teenagers actually are,” he explains. Baro’s idea of cheerleaders was shaped by television shows such as Glee and movies such as Bring It On. Over the two years he spent following the cheerleaders

to create his series "À l'américaine," he was impressed by their sportsmanship and their authenticity. “They wear uniforms, they have a lot of makeup on, but when you spend time with them, you understand they chose the sport for the competition, the fun, and to feel like part of a team,” he says. The images were taken in various French locales and depict the cheerleaders competing, practicing and hanging out in their homes. Embracing signifiers such as pom-poms, ribbons and trampolines, the subjects could easily be mistaken for small-town American teenagers. But Baro’s depiction of his subjects is aesthetic and

apolitical—something that would be almost impossible to do with an actual American cheerleader. The idea of the American cheerleader is embedded into the cultural notion of what “makes America great;" a French cheerleader, existing outside of the mainstream, can merely be. "My main goal was to learn enough of who they were [while keeping] the right distance," Baro says. “I didn’t want to manipulate their identity.” Baro, who also works as a graphic designer and a teacher, hopes to eventually publish the series in a book. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Romain Baro romainbaro.com


— Cédric von Niederhäusern —

CITY UPON A HILL


12 13

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

When Swiss photographer Cédric von Niederhäusern arrived in the U.S. to study at New York's International Center of Photography, the 2016 primary campaigns were underway. Confounded by the American political system and sensing the deep polarization that was developing, von Niederhäusern began photographing “City Upon a Hill” as a way to learn about the country’s residents and political landscape. Containing photographs from 2015 to 2016, in locations as diverse as Amarillo, Texas; Manchester, New Hampshire; the U.S.-Mexico border; and the streets of New York City, “City

Upon a Hill” observes a country searching for its next leader from a foreigner’s perspective. Touching on themes of power, media, theater and tragedy, von Niederhäusern wanted to “produce work that could be looked at and discussed from many points of view,” he says, hoping it would narrow the political polarization as a result. Drawn to light and shadow, von Niederhäusern chose a black-and-white palette because it felt more neutral to him than color, allowing him the room he desired to communicate the symbols that underpin “City Upon a Hill.” Von Niederhäusern cites

the poetic imagery of Alec Soth’s Songbook as inspiration, along with the mentoring of photojournalist and ICP educator Andrew Lichtenstein, who taught him to become a “better human before being a better photographer.” “City Upon a Hill,” which was featured by TIME LightBox, is still a work in progress, or just “the first act,” as he puts it. Von Niederhäusern is expanding the series, working on different aspects of U.S. politics, with the end goal of tying them all together. —Amy Touchette

Photos © Cédric von Niederhäusern c-v-n.ch


— Simon Sharp —

B A D C O M PA N Y

Photography is inherently communicative, and Simon Sharp became a photographer to convey the ideas he had learned while studying science, technology and international development at the University of Edinburgh in the most democratic way possible. “People can understand a lot more about the world through photography than they can through a high-class essay,” he says. Although he always thought being a photographer was a job for someone else, in 2014, he began traveling to locations where he felt there were stories to be told. He began his series “Bad Company,” which depicts child brick laborers working in factories in Nepal and India, in 2015. Self-funding the project, he

spent five months in the Kathmandu Valley, where he estimates that there are at least 765 brick factories, and tens of thousands of indentured child laborers. Without the trust of the adult workers at each factory, Sharp would not have been allowed access to photograph his young subjects, and it took time to build that rapport. “Bad Company” captures an illegal practice marked by hard labor and cruelty, and he chose to process the images in black and white because color distracted from the content. “It’s not a pretty story, it’s not a pretty situation – I wanted to concentrate on form a little more,” he explains. The photographs and related film have since won the Médecins

Sans Frontières’s Humanitarian Award. Sharp has not yet published the series editorially; he is waiting for the right fit for his mission, where the images will have the most humanitarian impact. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Simon Sharp simonsharpphoto.com


— Salwan Georges —

T H E YA C O U B S ' JOURNEY


Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Salwan Georges spent six years of his childhood in a Christian Orthodox monastery outside of Damascus, Syria, before arriving as a teenager in the United States in 2004. As a refugee himself, Georges, who is a staff photographer at the Detroit Free Press, was perfectly poised to tell the story of the Yacoubs, a family of seven who arrived in Detroit last April as refugees from the Sudanese civil war. Georges spent a month visiting with and photographing the Yacoubs. Though the family didn’t speak any English and the mother, the only adult, was a victim of domestic abuse, Georges was able to connect with them by conversing in Arabic

and playing soccer with the boys. “They reminded me of Sudanese immigrants I had met in Syria,” Georges says. Georges’ images and video, which first appeared in a multimedia presentation on the Detroit Free Press website, show in intimate detail the both the loneliness and beauty of the Yacoubs' burgeoning lives in the United States. “They’re not living in the best neighborhood, but they’re amazed by their new house, by the technology they’ve never experienced before,” he says. The project garnered Georges a number of awards, but even better, it has led to the Yacoub family making friends with other refugees. “That’s what makes me feel good, when a story has an impact, and changes

lives a little bit.” Capturing the plight of refugees has been Georges’ passion ever since the Islamic State killed his cousin in Baghdad in 2013. Currently, he is working on a long-term project about Iraqi refugees in the U.S., which he began under the mentorship of photographer Ed Kashi and New York Times editor James Estrin at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado. He was also recently hired as a staff photographer for The Washington Post. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Salwan Georges salwangeorges.com


— Sarah Bouillaud —

T H E FA N TA S T I C T R AV E L


20 21

Gear: Canon PowerShot G1 X

Sarah Bouillaud— “The Fantastic Travel"


“The Fantastic Travel” is a series of photomontages made of pictures from the daily life of Sarah Bouillaud. Born and raised in Paris, Bouillaud was initially fascinated by the darkroom, but her experience as a graphic designer at an advertising firm inspired her to start manipulating her images, blurring the line between reality and fiction. A long-time fan of graphic novels and illustration books such as L’entrevue by Manuele Fior and Blast by Manu Larcenet, as well as photographers Arthur Tress and Robert Frank, among others, Bouillaud combined her visual inspirations to create

“a small piece of the world,” as she puts it. “On the one hand, I love that you can save everything you want with your camera. One the other hand, I love that you can choose a piece of reality and modify it,” she explains. To create the images, Bouillaud uses a Canon PowerShot G1 X, because it’s powerful, small and simple—without all the bells and whistles that get in the way of making an image on the fly—and then plays with the images on her computer to achieve the effect she desires. “It’s an amazing experience when you are in front of a photograph and your mind starts to travel. It’s a kind of gymnastics game with your

imagination, an off-moment in your daily life,” she says. A former student of the Brassai Photography School and a graduate of Icart Photo School, both in Paris, Bouillaud continues working on “The Fantastic Travel,” while also beginning a new project about the “strange and intimate stories” that take place inside houses. —Amy Touchette

Photos © Sarah Boulliaud sarabou.fr


— Yangkun Shi —

S O L A S TA L G I A


22 23


Many people experience nostalgia. Less common is solastalgia, a form of melancholy evoked by environmental changes in familiar places that no longer exist in their original form. The latter is what Yangkun Shi experienced when he returned to his hometown of Shangshui, China, after leaving to study first at Anqing Normal University, and then at the London College of Communication, where he received his MFA in photojournalism and documentary photography in 2016. “Every time I was back [in Shangshui}, it was different, not only the environment—the high buildings, the volume of cars, the crazy driving on the street—but

also the people around me: my friends, my childhood friends, my relatives,” he says. “People are eager for quick success and weath.” On a trip home for the summer holiday, he spent time walking around Shangshui, taking photographs of scenes that really touched him or evoked specific memories. He realized he had grown up in a world full of contradictions. “I was born in the 1990s—my generation experienced a lot of freedom because of globalization and the Internet,” he says. “On the other hand, the environment surrounding me was very traditional and conservative.” So conservative that his parents, despite being

proud of his accomplishments, declined to tell their friends and relatives that he was in London studying photography. “To them it’s not ‘official business,’” he explains. The resulting images are dreamlike and devastatingly beautiful, capturing a sense that both Shi’s childhood, and the more traditional China of his parents, is fading amid the country’s rapid change. It is a loss Shi still hasn’t recovered from; this spring, he will return to his hometown to continue photographing instances of solastalgia. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Yangkun Shi Yangkun Shi — “Solastalgia"

shiyangkun.com


— Ali Lapetina —

A HOME ABROAD

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II USM


In “A Home Abroad,” Ali Lapetina captures a family’s experience living in the postindustrial city of Detroit after immigrating from the rural setting of Sylhet, Bangladesh. The family moved to the city’s community of resettled Bangladeshi immigrants—called Banglatown—with little money, in hopes of finding employment, healthcare and education. As is the case with many powerful bodies of work, the series developed organically. “I noticed two woman planting a garden at a vacant lot across the alleyway of a community farm I was volunteering on in Detroit,” says Lapetina. “I approached them and we instantly connected, even

though we could barely communicate with one another.” One of the women, Rajna, Lapetina explains, insisted that she take one of her bracelets as a gift. “For the rest of the summer I found myself spending a day each week with them learning about their way of life and photographing what I saw.” But that’s not where Lapetina’s involvement in the community ended: a year later, she founded an all-women’s community space, Women of Banglatown, for local women and children. She says: “The space allowed me to immerse myself more into the neighborhood's culture and it inspired me to share the story of a recent immigrant family’s life here in America.”

Lapetina, who studied photography at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, became interested in the medium because it allowed her to “connect with different cultures and share universal stories of the human experience,” she says. Although “A Home Abroad” is a completed body of work, she is continuing to create work that explores themes of cultural identity. Currently, she’s photographing the gender role expectations of young women in Detroit's Bangladeshi community. —Amy Touchette

Photos © Ali Lapetina Ali Lapetina — “A Home Abroad"

alielisabeth.com


— Alex Wroblewski —

ISIS IN IRAQ


30 31

Gear: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

Alex Wroblewski — “ISIS in Iraq"


During 2015 and 2016, photographer Alex Wroblewski documented the war against ISIS in Iraq. Made on two separate trips, he photographed in Tikrit, Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Fallujah, Qayyarah and villages south and east of Mosul. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Wroblewski saw September 11 unfold on television in his World Cultures class as a high school freshman. “I grew up watching the invasion and the war in Iraq and always wanted to understand it personally for myself,” he says. In 2015, when one of his journalism professors at Columbia College Chicago introduced him to an Iraqi citizen who was putting together an embed with the Iraqi military, Wroblewski took the opportunity.

Wroblewski’s journalism career began in 2011, when he began started freelancing part time at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and taking odd jobs to make ends meet. He became a news junkie on the road while working as a truck driver, listening to NPR’s around-the-clock coverage of the 2012 election and the war in Syria. “Since then,” he said, “photojournalism has opened so many doors to people and places I never would have experienced without my camera.” As a freelancer covering a war zone, Wroblewski did his homework before making “ISIS in Iraq.” “It’s important to work with people that you can really trust, research where you are going and reach

out to colleagues who have recently worked where you are headed before,” he says, while also “knowing the culture and etiquette, coming prepared with the right gear, having first aid and hostile environment training.” Wroblewski is currently working on two projects—one on politics and the other on climate change—and has plans to return to Iraq. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. —Amy Touchette

Photos © Alex Wroblewski alexwroblewskiphoto.com


PORTFOLIO OF ONE Could you define your work with a single image? Documentar y photographer Marilena Stavrakidis gives it a tr y.

S

ince 2014, the European refugee crisis has been at the forefront of global news. And while the 24-hour social media news cycle provides instantaneous access to current events, it can also cause viewers to become desensitized to issues abroad. It’s this desensitization that photographer Marilena Stavrakidis wants to counter, slowing down fast content with longer documentary projects in Lesvos, one of the main Greek islands at which refugees arrive. “We, as a society, have become immune to visual atrocity. Nothing can shock us anymore, especially if it is so many miles away! In a way it does not exist,” Stavrakidis says. In an era of image oversaturation, she adds, she wants viewers to "engage in what they are looking at, at a specific time and space.” The pictured image is from her three-part series on Lesvos, “And Her Name Mother of Exile,” photographed with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The first part explores the emotional impact on young refugees; the second focuses on one Syrian family who arrived via Turkey; the third depicts refugees the moment they arrive and the volunteer efforts that keep the camps running. In this image, from the third part, we are presented with a mobile phone image by Mohammad, an Egyptian fisherman. “Mohammad told me how he and his crew (his uncle and brother) went out into the sea three times to rescue boats with refugees. He pulled out his phone to show me how many of them were young children,” Stavrakidis recalls. Humanizing the crisis and giving a voice to the people she encounters has been one of her main goals: “What is their story, point of view, experiences, emotions and, most importantly, what do they want to say?” It’s this empathy that she hopes to carry throughout all of her work. Stavrakidis, a 2015 School of Visual Arts graduate, is experimenting with public installations and guerilla art, and is working on a new series about Greece’s economic instability and how refugees are treated in its uncertain climate. “I find photography to be a very strong medium of communication; it is the closest element to a memory, but it is also a form of proof,” she says. “While this cannot prevent things from happening, it can certainly change them.” —Jacqui Palumbo

Portfolio of One is brought to you by Canon. Visit usa.canon.com. Photo © Marilena Stavrakidis, marilenastav.com / Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM A DV E RT I SE M E N T


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Emerging Photographer Vol. 9, No. 1  

The Spring 2017 issue, by PHOTO+, parent group of Photo District News and Rangefinder, featuring Kyle Dorosz, Florent Tanet, Romain Baro, Ce...

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