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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Julio Hirsch-Hardy
GUIA BESANA Personal Explorations of Universal Feelings
MATTIA BALDI A Raw Perception of Beauty
BELINDA MULLER Innovative Approach in Fashion Shootings
KEVIN MICHAEL SMITCH The Photography Workshop Series
JENNIFER MAIOTTI A play of Light and Shade
DANIEL HAEKER Photography with an Edge
118 82 94 106 118 130 142 154
KATHARINA JUNG A Dreamy Journey of Self-Exploration
YUKARI CHIKURA ZAIDO (Dedicated to My Late Father...)
SHARON DRAGHI Intimacy From a Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Perspective
MAJA STRGAR Abstraction and New Realities
PEDRO JARQUE Chiaroscuro Animal Portraits
SHIRA GOLD Ultimate Contradictions: Beauty and Grief in the Personal and Collective Spheres
ANNETTE SCHREIBER Architectural Interpretations
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Readers, It is pretty obvious for all of us that in these unprecedented times, photographic art is needed more than ever. While we wait to reopen our gallery in Barcelona, which being realistic we think it may happen by the end of the summer, we continue releasing our online magazine every two weeks. I am proud to introduce now to our global audience this third issue, in English and Spanish version. At the same time, and with our parent company, The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, we keep alive our calls for entries’ program (see back cover). We have moved our physical exhibition program from May to September, hoping that by then, we will be able to return to regular social contacts, and artists will be able to travel again. Without reasonable normality in social interaction and regular travel, it makes no sense to accelerate the opening of the planned exhibitions. If September is not the month, it will be October or November, hopefully no later than that. We will monitor the pandemic’s evolution and give a step further once we’re sure it is safe returning to our beautiful artists’ receptions. Right now, our tentative exhibitions schedule is the following:
Women in Photography.
Probable Date, September 2020. Applications are now being accepted: https://form.jotform.com/200494037324045. Eligibility: only women photographers > 18 years old. Works previously exhibited in FotoNostrum or by the 5th Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography are not accepted. The theme is open, and mixed techniques are welcome.
Open Image Barcelona.
Probable Date, September 2020. Applications are received only through the respective call for entries: https://www. thegalaawards.com/lockdown-photo-competition
The Uncanny: Surrealism and Melancholia.
Probable Date, September 2020. Applications are now being accepted: https://form.jotform.com/200494037324045. 4
Eligibility: Pro and non-Pro photographers worldwide >1 5 years old. This exhibition is about everything that ought to have remained hidden and secret and has become visible. It is also about how the photographic image can be manipulated, inviting the viewer to marvel at the many ways the uncanny may occur, creating a surrealistic and melancholic atmosphere, temporarily separating the viewer from reality. All kind of digital manipulation and mixed technique is accepted.
6th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography.
Probable Date, October 2020. Applications are now being accepted: https://form.jotform.com/200494037324045 All thematic and techniques are accepted. Eligibility: Pro and non-Pro worldwide. After 5 successful editions (Madrid 2010, Buenos Aires 2012, Malaga 2014, Berlin 2016, and Barcelona 2018), the Biennial will go on happening in Barcelona. In the last two editions, the respective special invitees were Steve McCurry and Julia Fullerton-Baten. 2016 was also an Associated partner of the European Month of Photography. This 6th edition will be a consolidation of almost 12 years of constant work for the photography appraisal. We are looking forward to receiving your best shots to be showcased in this international event.
Private Property, A Helmut Newton Exhibition. Probable Date, November 2020 - February 2021. Curated by Matthias Harder, director of the Helmut Newton Foundation.
Private Property of Helmut Newton will be exhibiting 45 original signed works from this extraordinary master, and this is the opportunity to present your work next to him. Applications and registrations have to be received very early due to the requirements of the layout, and also because the demand is high and the slots are limited. Eligibility: Pro and non-Pro photographers worldwide > 18 years old. The Divine Feminine is about portraits and scenes of women and her intimate universe, and at the same time, an homage to Helmut Newton in this year of his 100th Birthday.
Richard Avedon: Behind the Scenes, by Gideon Lewin
Probable Date: March 2021-May 2021 Unique and never shown images of Avedon’s former Studio Manager and Master Printer. Curated by Gideon Lewin, Joanna Mastroianni, and Julio Hirsch-Hardy
Probable Date, March 2021. Applications are now being accepted: https://form.jotform.com/200494037324045. Exhibition to be held simultaneously and in the same space (adjacent room) of the show ‘Avedon, Behind the Scenes’. The particular theme will be Fashion and Advertising. As Avedon is about Vogue and commercial advertising, this exhibition is to show your fashion and commercial work. Eligibility: only professional photographers worldwide. Stay safe and healthy, have positive thoughts, and enjoy this third issue of FotoNostrum Magazine. The next issue will be released on May 30. All the best,
Retrospective by Renée Jacobs, curated by Julio Hirsch-Hardy. Exhibited next to Helmut Newton’s exhibition. Probable Date: November 2020-February 2021
The Divine Feminine.
Probable Date: November 2020. Applications are now being accepted: https://form.jotform.com/200494037324045. This show is an exceptional event as it will be shown next to the first Helmut Newton Exhibition in Spain, in the same gallery space. Precisely in the same gallery, the exhibition
Julio Hirsch-Hardy Publisher, FotoNostrum Magazine fotonostrummag.com
GUIA BESANA Personal Explorations of Universal Feelings
uia Besana is an Italian self-taught photographer currently living and working between Paris (France) and Barcelona (Spain). After studying media and communication in Turin, Italy, she became photographer in 1994 and moved to Paris. With a particular attention to women’s issues, she traveled to different countries and joined the Anzenberger Agency in 2005 and the Gallery in 2013. Since 2016, she is also represented by 1968 Gallery (London). Her work is regularly published in international magazines and blogs and has been recognized by several international awards. Her images have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, Italy, France, Spain and Malaysia.
All images © Guia Besana /Images courtesy of VisionQuest4Rosso, Contemporary Photography
Right page: Emilia’s Version Of Fun from the series Baby Blues, 2011
Sometimes I think I didn’t choose to become a photographer. I wanted to find a creative space, and photography happened to be present in that specific moment of my life. Since childhood, I’ve unrelentingly rummaged into hidden family boxes with pictures of distant relatives and those of my older siblings, to discover the unknown. In my teen years, I would use the camera to see things differently and experiment with black and white but came to it professionally quite later in my life.
conflictual conditions, and societal themes. My early work, Baby Blues and Under Pressure, focuses on the challenges of motherhood and women in society. I see them now as a prelude, a freeze-frame that is promptly resolving itself in the present waves of women empowering movements. I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I do consider myself an observer. Baby Blues (2010-2013) was the first fiction series I worked on and was autobiographical. As a woman photographer, I was experiencing the difficulty in combining the freedom of In 2004, I started my career as a photographer movement (necessary for a photographer with a specific interest in reportage. I then who works on reportages) and the desire to slowly shifted to more personal works and be a good mother, present for my child. That then to fiction photography. Fiction became, impossibility to split produced an urge to for me, the best way to describe reality as work on that story and unveil honestly what I saw it because it gave me full freedom of I was experiencing and observing around expression. me in the world of photography, where men My work tends to explore the idea of fear, have less conflicted lives.
"My work tends to explore the idea of fear, conflictual conditions, and societal themes".
Right page, top: Emma Is Late For Breastfeeding from the series Baby Blues, 2011 Right page, bottom: MRS. Robinson’s Stretching Session from the series, Baby Blues, 2010
Under Pressure (2013) came along as a natural development, not specifically on motherhood but on the pressure induced on women by society. They are psychological portraits of that moment in which women struggle and need to overcome a condition.
make, in my opinion, a successful artist.
Themes will usually persist in my mind, obsess me in a way, and urge me to explore and express them by translating them into an image. They are ideas I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get rid of in my mind; I need to see them outside, explore them, play with them, My world is that of staged photography, a world make them tangible. that visually transforms a real event into an I think this is a compulsory way for me to share artificial set that is capable of creating sensory my deepest fears and, in that way, make them emotions in the viewer. universally questionable and debatable. In When I started moving towards Fiction photography and art in general, I have always photography, I started exploring what was out been drawn to images that come right back to there for me to get inspired by. For different me as a question mark. reasons, I was attracted to the work of Cindy Sherman, Gregory Crewdson, and Viviane I like to feel that eerie state of mind where I Sassen. I get inspired by work that solidly seek to understand why something struck me. delivers a unique voice combined with a Finding out you can actually identify with precise way of telling what has to be said. This something unexpected is quite exciting. I combination is the key to a thriving artistic think this is what art is all about. A personal identity. That perfect balance and the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience delivered uniquely. This attempt is control over it, whatever they are saying, is what what drives me.
Left page, top left: Condition #2 from the series Under Pressure, 2013 Left page, bottom left: Condition #4 from the series Under Pressure, 2013 Left page, top right: Condition #10 from the series Under Pressure, 2013 Left page, bottom right: Condition #9 from the series Under Pressure, 2013 Following spread, left page top: Yellow Girl (front) from the series Carry On, 2018 Following spread, left page bottom: Together Forever from the series Carry On, 2018 Following spread, right page: The Conversation #3 from the series Carry On, 2018
"Themes will usually persist in my mind, obsess me in a way, and urge me to explore and express them". It is central that the topics can resonate with people universally. The whole point is to separate them from me as an individual and share them with everyone. Carry On (2018-2019) was probably the most personal series because it really exposes a deep fear of mine. I struggled a lot before I decided to create a series on the fear of flying because even though it is shared by many, it was not universal enough for me to tell the story. I did it anyway because it was getting in the way of my other projects, and in the end, it worked out.
With the series POISON (2015-2016), I worked oppositely. I felt committed to a universal theme, that of biodiversity crisis and pollution, and felt the need to translate it in my personal work. Shooting time is often a moment of anxiety. I create a set that, in the end, represents only one image in the series. I know that even if I shoot 100 shots, only one will be selected as final. Therefore, you learn to edit in preproduction. You edit yourself while picking colors, clothing, extras, props. You want to get to the shooting
Left page: Fallen Bees from the series Poison, 2015 Center: H20 Red from the series Poison, 2016 Right page: Posion from the series Poison, 2015
with all that editing done so you can let yourself have a margin of action but more on the feelings to convey than on styling, form, and props. For me, shooting is like putting the last piece of a puzzle you started a long time ago. I usually have an idea I want to explore beforehand and I work a lot in preproduction. This includes a long process before the shooting, which can be very quick. I see the image in my mind and try to work to get as near as possible to that idea whilst leaving space for further development.
I start collecting props, objects that bring me back to that idea. I search for locations and try to think of faces that match the general atmosphere I want. This all happens, walking in the city or before I fall asleep, in a sort of intuitive process. It is not very easy to explain because I think I got to it in years of struggling against time. I had to steal time to create my personal work within commercial assigned work and motherhood busy schedules. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like when you drive to a place, and then you get there without knowing how you did it.
I tend to prefer shooting inside interiors or studio because I want to have more control over lightning and to have that control in an exterior location requires a team of people that I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always afford. In Baby Blues (2010-2011), Under Pressure (2013), and Poison (2015-2016), I worked alone and had to juggle around to control light. I worked with large teams on commercial works, and it definitely gives you more control over the emotions you want to deliver in the images.
I have used many different cameras in my work. At the moment, I’m using a CANON EOS R and testing different lenses to explore new perspectives. I like to have many lightning options set up during shooting and be able to decide on the spot what to light up or not. Shooting time is the moment in which I want the freedom and space for my feelings to change. Therefore, gear has to follow up and become functional to this need.
I start from my gut feelings then try to connect to what I’m trying to say. In the end, everyone has to understand what I’m talking about. This is the hardest thing because there has to be a balance of both and while one is instinctive, the other is rational. When I get to the final image, I post-produce as much as I need to. It is only when the series is complete that I can make the last retouches to have an ultimate coherence in colors and form.
Post-processing is a significant part of my work. It is the last moment in which I can craft the final image. I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I take a lot of time to edit shootings because I have to end up with one single image from each situation.
I am currently working on a new series, but it’s too early to talk about it. In ongoing work, things can change drastically. If I deliver the idea, it loses the compulsion that keeps me interested in the theme.
Right page: The Mirror from the series Poison, 2016
Above: Rubber from the series Poison, 2016 Right page: The Lost Girl from the series Poison, 2016
MATTIA BALDI A Raw Perception of Beauty
attia Baldi started with FineArt in 1995. He began working as a painter and illustrator for magazines and in 1999, he progressed to working on figurative oil paintings. In the early 2000s, during his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Rome, he began to understand the unique way in which photography could assist him in conducting personal research on the human condition and his personal view of the world today. In 2004, Mattia completed his Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in Photography at S.R.F. in Rome, where he continued to develop his skills and exploration into studio and large format photography. Since then, Mattia has worked primarily with photography, for both advertisements, commercials, and varying artistic projects. For several years Mattia was the Official Inhouse Photographer for WPP Advertising Agencies, creating and assisting with many successful advertisement campaigns. He was also Photo Editor for ENI Energy and Petroleum Company and has been published in many international newspapers, fashion magazines and is present in international art collections. Mattia provides visual advertising services, devises fashion editorials and produces contemporary art projects.
All images ÂŠ Mattia Baldi Right page: Martha from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020 Following spread, left: Cece 2 from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020 Following spread, right: Cece from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020
Above: Sasha 2 from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020
Working with models’ agencies for my commercial work and doing castings have always intrigued me beyond being just a job, but I have also been blindly unaware of the reason for that until recently I found out why. Growing up collecting Interview Magazine, the magazine founded by the American artist Andy Warhol in 1969, I sharpened my artistic sensibility by learning from the magazine’s interviews, Warhol’s screen tests, and all of his work concerning castings. It was a perfect way to explore and understand the human condition and show the side of the people of which I find interesting. Instagram, influencers, and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” were all predicted by Warhol. Overflow of images, a spillover of information and intrusive consumerism that were once just bad omens are today our reality.
related - is the kind of photography I admire. Purism in photography is more important now than back when they tried to get out of Pictorialism. Today we try to bring back the real face of the people. We are trying to get rid of the algorithm that is changing the perception of ourselves. Andy Warhol was already aware of this and was trying to make people understand what was coming next.
I'm impressed by how the human perception of beauty is changing. Modern technologies are going to make us see things that don't exist, argument reality, our faces will be perceived like we want. A Hollywood star, a friend we love, a teacher we like. How we look like, the natural impression that our biological self gives to the others will be gradually less important in the next future. I always like a kind of photography that designs As a teenager, I was shocked by Walker Evans’s an idea, a composition of shadows using real-life large prints I saw in an exhibition in Rome. I’ve elements. If photography is based on something studied Ansel Adams and I love Irvin Penn, that is not the reality, it is not photography but probably above all. The group F64 and anything something else.
"If photography is based on something that is not the reality, it is not photography but something else".
I like when models that are used to seeing themselves in their promotional comp cards, Instagram posts, and magazine advertising react to my work in a very emotional way. Most of them have never seen their face in the way I shot them, let’s say natural and without enhancement of any kind. I’m happily surprised that they like my work and that they ask me to shoot more or they recommend their models friends to me. I guess that is a good sign, people still want to have a memory of what they look like, or they are happy to see themselves in a more honest way. The vibe of my work is not celebratory, doesn’t tend to extra-valorize the subjects, it wants to be raw content of reality. Especially here where I’m living, Bangkok, the beauty standards are a complicated matter.
of a wide spectrum of humanity. People who are working in the system or that are trying but failing for some aesthetic reason all around the world.
For commercial work, I prefer to shoot in studio. For my personal work quite the opposite. Casting was entirely shot in natural light, on the rooftop of my house here in Bangkok, Thailand. We’re lucky here since most of the days of the year the weather is clear and the light is pleasant, strong but not harsh as it is slightly filtered. I don’t like suffused atmospheres and picturesque contours; I prefer not to shoot if it is cloudy. I mostly love contrasted light where I can design my compositions with deep shadows and have an extensive gamma of greys. I don’t use reflective panels, nor tripod or computer. Thai people pass more time on social media I proceed like I was shooting film, the LCD of than anyone else and the young generations the PhaseOne is not reliable so I don’t look at it are growing up with virtual digital standards and I tend to visualize what I want in based on of beauty. It will be amazing to realize one book the model and how she moves. My lightmeter per city all around the world to check the status is a Sekonic L-758DR, I can’t shoot without it.
Right page: Lex from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020
Above: Untitled 1 from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020 Right page: Untitled 2 from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020
For commercial work, I try to have a shot approved by the client directly during the day of the shooting. I don’t want digital retouching debates much. As for my Fine-Art work, I almost don’t use any kind of retouching on my shots. I shoot and later I import the files into CaptureOne, then I apply my personal Black and White settings. Mostly I don’t use masks and I don’t dodge/burn areas of the image. I never crop a shot. Basic regulations of +1/2Stops and recovering highlights/shadows from standard adjustments. I have two Black and White settings, one standard and one that reminds me of the Polaroid 55. For exhibition prints, a printmaker in Bologna, Italy, prints all of the shots with an analog/digital enlarger of his invention that allow to print digital files on traditional photographic paper. Commercially, I use mostly my Nikon gear, rarely my PhaseOne that I keep for my Fine-
Art work mostly. I have a PhaseOne P45+ that is one of the last CCD medium formats that are still around today. I’m very satisfied with it, it produces a kind of quality that is the only digital that doesn’t make me want to go back and shoot film. I’m fully focused on the book project Casting right now. The first book will be all about Bangkok and the models, actresses and dancers professional and beginners that are living and working in Bangkok now. The project will be in the format of one book-volume per city, all around the world. After Bangkok: New York, Paris, and Milan. The project has social media pages in order to create a community of models/women that will share their stories about their casting’s experiences, appearance insecurities, and how to live life as a woman in the age of digital media.
Right page: Anastasia 2 from the series Casting a Book about Women, 2020
BELINDA MULLER Innovative Approach in Fashion Shootings
elinda Muller is an international photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She has lived in 6 countries, travelled extensively and worked as a multidisciplinary creative director, producer, photographer and retoucher, producing work for a diverse list of international clients and brands. Belinda’s innovative approach comes from working in culturally rich environments around the world, whether shooting campaigns, designer lookbooks, jewellery, hair campaigns, fashion editorials, or celebrities. Her ability to take a concept or project from inception, assemble the best creative team and create highend work within the budget, working directly with brands and advertising agencies on small and large-scale projects, serving as their onestop-shop for all of their content needs. Belinda has won multiple awards, and her work has been recognized by The Pollux Awards, Prix de la Photographie, The International Photography Awards, The Master’s Cup Colour Awards, The International Loupe Awards, WPPI, The Spider Black & White Awards, One Life Competition, Vogue Italy, Arts & Commerce, FStoppers and APA National Gallery and has produced photography shoots for Nikon, Time magazine, L’Oreal, Calvin Klein to name a few.
All images © Belinda Muller
Right page: Hair creation from the series White Mischief, 2015
Above, left: Hair creation with mask from the series White Mischief, 2015 Above, right: Hair Creation with wire mesh top from the series White Mischief, 2015
Your photography is very diverse, from scouting for new locations to shoot, and now I landscapes to portraits to fashion. Can you have unique places to extend into my portraiture tell us about your preferred genres? Do they work. complement one another? Is there a campaign that you particularly Portraiture will always be my first love. I have enjoyed working on? specialized in fine art portraiture and fashion for most of my career so far but I have focused There have been loads of campaigns I enjoyed on panoramic landscapes for the last two years. shooting but the personal shoots have given I have found that my portraiture process has me the most joy. I can work with the talented helped me in exciting ways with my landscape creatives who gel with my creative vision and work as I have had to shoot in freezing weather ideas and not limited to style and flow. White (focusing on winter landscape) so I need to Mischief and African Hauteness would be my shoot fast and pan handheld (no tripod). I love two favorite photoshoots.
Above: Up the tempo, 2016
Can you tell us about your series African glory. The amazing creative team, Christina Hauteness? How did you come up with this Mariaam, Helga Bosman and Kasia Gajewska project, and what message did you want to completed the magic. convey with it? My African Hauteness photo shoot was inspired by the rich diversity of African masks, feathers, Kuba cloths colors and textures unique to African fashion and culture. We fused the art pieces to create fashion designs while complimenting the modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s makeup and hair with brush strokes and tribal patterns on the face, mouth and body, making them look more pronounced. Having lived in Africa for many years and collected tribal art and textures, I had been looking for the right avenue to showcase these beautiful pieces. I have always wanted to do a shoot celebrating Africa in all its textured
How does your international background nourish your photography? I am keenly aware of how my international experience has guided my skills as a photographer. It has made me a better person by residing with various cultures and beliefs, exposing my natural curiosity to peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s customs and way of life. It has pushed me to explore new avenues and techniques to shoot. Living abroad has allowed me to work with a diverse group of creatives from all corners of the world who has made me a better artist.
Left page: Kuba cloth with a Gabon mask from the series African Hauteness, 2016
Left page: Gesche in decorative cap from the series Amato, 2014 Right page: Gesche in decorative panty from the series Amato, 2014
Can you tell us about your post-production landscape and composite I want to create. The work? How does it change depending on the B&W effect is intentional to create an intense genre (landscapes, fine art, fashion, etc.)? contrast between the harsh elements and the view. Post-production work has evolved over the years, but there is a constant that ties my portraiture and landscape editing that lends itself to a more cinematic feel. The Dutch Masters inform my aesthetics, and I apply various recipes in Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance the overall look and feel. For the panoramic, I photograph with a full-frame camera and various lenses creating â&#x20AC;&#x153;rawâ&#x20AC;? plates for a specific panoramic which varies in scale, depending on the size and level of the
"My international experience has guided my skills as a photographer".
Above: Ezra feather drapped coat, 2014
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KEVIN MICHAEL SCHMITZ The Photography Workshop Series
evin Michael Schmitz is a world renowned Celebrity Fashion Photographer, Executive Producer, TV Director and Travel Host. He is the TV Host and director of the TV Show Great Escapes that airs worldwide on major networks such as NBC, the CW and distributed internationally with Sky Vision. Kevin Michael is a major photographic and travel influencer who travels the world creating top tier, high impact experiential travel shows, photographic advertising campaigns and fashion magazine editorials. He also broadcasts commercial productions and directs elite photographic workshops. Kevin Michael Schmitz is also the founder and director of the largest and most high end photographic and film production educational workshop series in the world. For the last 11 years, The Photography Workshop Series has directed 120 elite educational workshops around the world. After pursuing his MFA in Photography at the Academy of Art University San Francisco, he focused on his passion for mentoring emerging artists to catapult their careers to the highest level of their potential. His goal is to give each photographer and director that attends his workshops the opportunity to create the greatest images they have ever shot in their lifetime guaranteed along with a solid business strategy plan to become profitable as an independent creative business owner.
Left page: Kevin Schmitz, MASTER Photography Workshop Series
Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to photograph supermodels from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Dolce Gabbana or Versace? What about shooting at a castle designed to be identical to King Henry VIII’s palace from the 1500’s or a $20 million mansion estate in Beverly Hills? Have you ever imagined being featured in a nationally published fashion magazine that you photographed? Celebrity Fashion Advertising Photographer, TV Director & Executive Producer Kevin Michael Schmitz created the Photography Workshop Series 11 years ago and has now directed over 120 of the most elite photographic workshops in the world. His mission is to give each photographer the opportunity to photograph the greatest images of their entire lifetime, guaranteed, creating world class
photographic workshop experiences on location in New York, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver Newport Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco. These 3 - 4 day world class exclusive events are highly sought after, competitive for photographers to even be qualified to enroll. “We carefully hand select our attendees at the Photography Workshop Series to make sure we maximize the quality of the experience for everyone involved. Each photographer will command a set of a world class production on a scale that few photographers will ever even have access to in their careers”, commented Kevin Michael Schmitz, the director & founder of the Photography Workshop Series. “I discovered a huge disconnect in the photographic industry between where photographers currently are in their careers and where they want to be”.
"I am passionate about working personally with photographers to maximize their photographic potential".
Right page: Jeffrey Grossman, Elite MasterClass LA
Above: Maureen Eggleton, The Elite MasterClass Los Angeles Following spread: Maureen Eggleton, The Elite MasterClass Los Angeles
“I traveled the traditional path of going to school for photography with a bachelors and even pursued a master’s of fine arts in photography at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco to be a professor of photography. I am passionate about working personally with photographers to maximize their photographic potential” Kevin Michael reminisces, “I discovered that what photographers were learning in traditional photography schools was vastly different to what they needed to pursue a career in the photographic industry.”The challenge is that nearly all universities and private art schools teach the theoretical aspects of image-making, as well as the discourse & critique of photography. The concern Kevin Michael Schmitz suggests is that while some photographers are interested in becoming academic professors or fine art photographers in the gallery circuit, most have a different dream. Most photographers want to own and operate their own photographic businesses, get published in magazines, photograph ad campaigns, travel the world shooting documentaries, photograph for National Geographic, or pursue a career as a successful
consumer photographer. Photographers come out of photography school with nothing but a mediocre student portfolio and almost zero knowledge of what it takes to own and operate an ultra successful photographic business. Millions of photographers start their businesses anyways with very little knowledge of the industry regardless of their background and go through their careers with limited success financially and creatively. Many photographers eventually feel stuck and frustrated that their dreams don’t line up with reality. “Most of our attendees are photographers that have been shooting for 15 to 30 years. They are looking to transition to the next level in their photographic careers but just don’t know how to do it.” The success of the photographers that have attended the Photography Workshop Series is impressive by any standard. “We have had portrait photographers in rural South Carolina like Charles Randolph Warren that photographed such incredible images attending our NY & LA workshops that he is now published in VOGUE, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and is photographing for Dolce Gabbana in Brazil”, Kevin Michael proudly suggests.
“We are so driven towards the success of our photographers that many of them double, triple even quadruple how much they are earning as a photographer if they listen to our mentorship and take action steps that we lay out for them personally with our expert photographic consultants.
“The production level is absolutely mind blowing at the Elite MasterClass. We photographed at a water studio with parachutes in Los Angeles photographing Super Models from VOGUE Magazine at our last MasterClass,” Kevin remembers. “The photographers feel like they are on set of a $100,000 per day production with the scale of photoshoots they get the The Elite MasterClass featured here is the opportunity to experience. There is literally Photography Workshop Series most over the nothing else like this in the world”. top and massive scale production workshop that occurs once a year in Los Angeles. Casting 3 to One of the most popular and sold out workshops 6 world class fashion and lifestyle models on every year is the Vintage MAD MEN Fashion each shoot day from the top modeling agencies Editorial & Lifestyle Advertising Photography in the world from ELITE, Wilhelmina, NEXT, Workshop in Chicago. Photographers work with Vision, LA Models, Bounty, FORD and over 15 top tier fashion models and create a dynamic 12 modeling agencies in total to book our top tier page fashion editorial with a classic feel. From talent. Each photographer has the opportunity 1960’’s Cobra Convertibles to vintage biplanes, to work with celebrity fashion stylists that the Chicago Workshop continues to impress the have styled for VOGUE and even the creative photographers each enough for them to enroll in director from L’Oreal on hair, DaRico Jackson it time and time again. With a 95% re-enrollment and Celebrity Makeup Artists that have been on rate, photographers that are investing in their America’s Next Top Model Uzmee Krakovski photographic future continually come back and Tomoko Myomoto. because their experience is second to none.
"The production level is absolutely mind blowing at the Elite MasterClass".
Left page, top: Craig David Smith, The Elite Masterclass Los Angeles Left page, bottom: Martika Gartman Chicago Workshop
One of the most incredible experiences of the year happens in New York following fashion week. Imagine walking on set with super models from Milan and Paris that have just stepped off the runway. Each photographer directs their own 10 to 12 page fashion editorial and look book with stylists from VOGUE & Harper’s Bazaar. Photographing on location at a sprawling castle estate with aerial drones, 4K to 8K motion picture cameras, sliders, gimbals and the best photographic cameras available. “Every New York Fashion Photography Workshop over the last 7 years has been published in a nationally published magazine from the photographers who attended!” Kevin remarks proudly. “I just love seeing each photographer light up as they create images that they would never have access to photograph on their own”. “The level of styling, production, talent and creative direction is second to none at these workshops as we strive to shoot at the level of VOGUE Italia for our New York and LA Elite MasterClass Workshops.” Although the Photography Workshop Series began as a fashion and location lighting workshop series in 2009, it has transitioned heavily keeping up with the trends of the modern photographic market.
Above: Jeffrey Grossman, Los Angeles Lifestyle
Kevin suggests “Clients across nearly every photographic industry are looking for fresh, lifestyle, caught in the moment images that we create specifically for them at our workshops” The Photography Workshop Series offers Lifestyle sections of their workshops in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami Beach, Atlanta, Dallas and Denver. Each workshop is tailored to the look, feel and style of the location with professional prop stylists & fashion stylists making the scenes come to life. While fashion is the envy of many photographers, Kevin Michael has been the most sought after visionary in the lifestyle photography industry for innovation and creative direction.
“I mentor photographers to art direct a scene, allow it to unfold, and then capture that serendipitous moment that was carefully created to look caught in the moment.” Kevin Michael Schmitz believes “Any photographer working in the commercial or consumer space today desperately needs a solid lifestyle portfolio to excel at the highest level, and we are passionate about giving each photographer that opportunity.” If you are ready to take your photographic career to the next level, or just want to enjoy an epic photographic experience of a lifetime with super models and world class celebrity stylists, checkout www.PhotographyWorkshopSeries. com
Left page, top: Mary Peacock, NYC Workshop Left page, bottom: Mary Peacock, NYC Workshop
JENNIFER MAIOTTI A play of Light and Shade
ennifer Maiotti is a Chicago-based documentary freelance writer, producer, and photographer whose clients include: National Geographic, Discovery, and History Channels. As a storyteller she searches for real moments of emotion and natural beauty. Jennifer received honorable mentions from the prestigious Moscow International Foto Awards and the New York Center for Photographic Art. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. They have been published in Shots, F-Stop Magazine, Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Take Pictures, and Vogue Italia/Photovogue.
All images ÂŠ Jennifer Maiotti
Left page: Take Me To Infinity, 2019 Following spread: Cumulus, 2018
As a storyteller I search for real moments of emotion and natural beauty. To transcend the image and release a truthfulness not only in the photograph, but within the viewer, provides a continuous challenge. I use natural light as a directive in all of my work. Rarely do I move my subjects into the light. Usually, they are already there. The interplay of light and darkness helps reveal an often esoteric sub-context. Several of
my images use deep black tones. What lies in shadow holds as much significance as the subject in focus. In the Childlight series I juxtapose darkness with radiance, one present since birth, but sometimes lost or forgotten over time. I do not want to merely create pretty pictures of children. I try to examine our origins, intentions, and the unseen.
"As a storyteller I search for real moments of emotion and natural beauty".
Left page: Conquer from the series Childlight, 2018 Above: Mano a Mano Childlight, 2018
Consciously or subconsciously, hands appear in several of my pictures.
lives within the frame, we can work towards preservation.
Ethereal hands. Hands that hold on to others. Hands that reach into infinite nothingness. Along with hands, the lines of bodies, including my own and others, continue to evolve. Are we only the sum of our parts? How does energy flow through our extremities? Is the natural world innate in the human condition? Many photos I create involve hands reaching out to grasp greenery. The physical act of touching, of extending our limbs to connect with nature, feels crucial to self and environmental awareness.
I have two series in progress: One looks at vegetation in Florida and another documents a disappearing ecosystem in Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Midwest, the oak savanna. Twenty-five million acres of oak savannas once existed. Now that figure has plummeted to less than one percent. For the past year I have immersed myself in one of the remaining oak savannas near my home outside of Chicago, hopeful my own sense of wonder will translate into conservation.
This correlation between our planet and ourselves moves me to find emotion in plants, trees, and water. Giving an authentic voice to our landscape through close-ups or images evoking humanlike qualities has helped me reexamine the meaning of portraiture. Perhaps if we feel a photograph breathe, partnering with all that
Right page, top: Amado, 2019 Right page, bottomt: Buffalo Song from the series Inborn Nature, 2018
How natural elements can enhance our personal transformation figures into my study of water. In water there is a weightless journey. In water we all drift. Sometimes we flow together, sometimes apart. If water equalizes us will we find common ground or keep swimming? What reflection stares back at us? Back at our bodies composed mainly of water?
Further inquiries have lead me to create series like Aporia and Presence of Absence. In literature an aporia is an expression of real or pretended doubt, or uncertainty used for rhetorical effect. In philosophy this logical impasse or contradiction comes from imperfect knowledge. It can ask us to consider what is doubtful and what is not doubtful, and to find out why. The foundation for Presence of Absence comes from the Portuguese word saudade, which has no direct English translation. SaudadeÂ has varying definitions, including a state of nostalgia for something
that may never happen again. The series also asks us to imagine that in every presence there was first an absence of that presence. I am interested in how small variations in initial conditions can have profound effects on the larger scale, whether physical or emotional. I see this not only in photographing children and nature, but also myself. The inner dialogue developing within photography creates a highly complex, and beautifully entwined world whether we choose to see meaning in light or in shadow.
Left page, top: Transcendance from the series Presence of Absence, 2018 Left page, bottom: Presence of Absence, 2018 Above: Symbiosis from the series Take Me To Infinity, 2019
Left page, top: Isolation, 2019 Left page, bottom: Theorem, 2019 Center, top: Touch from the series Inborn Nature, 2018 Center, bottom: Fairy Tale from the series Childlight, 2018 Right page, top: Untitled 1 from the series Tropicale, 2019 Right page, bottom: Untitled 2 from the series Tropicale, 2019
Above: Obedient Defiance III from the series Obedient Defiance, 2020
DANIEL HAEKER Photography with an Edge
aniel Haeker (Daniel HĂ¤ker in German spelling), born in Berlin, professional timpanist and percussionist, permanent member of the Wuppertal Symphony, avid traveller and part time professional photographer based in Wuppertal, Germany. Portrait, Nude, Stage, Travel and Landscape Photography. Other photography subjects include Architecture, Street and Food.
All images ÂŠ Daniel Haeker
Left page: Obedient Defiance III from the series Obedient Defiance, 2020 Center: Obedient Defiance IV from the series Obedient Defiance, 2020 Right page: Obedient Defiance V from the series Obedient Defiance, 2020
I am a professional musician, a member of the Wuppertal Symphony, so as a photographer, I started out by taking advantage of constantly meeting other orchestra musicians, conductors, soloists and the likes, of working together with them and of being on tour with them. That was in 2007, to be exact. So obviously, since I’m still earning my main income as a musician, there is an ongoing close relationship, and one of my main photographic goals is to promote classical music and to show classical musicians and conductors in a different manner than it is traditionally done. I strive for true, honest portraits! Pictures that do not necessarily follow the notion of the elite status, ascribed aloofness and conservatism of classical music. Sometimes, I take my cues from rock music, but in general, I ask the person I’m photographing to just trust me and to reveal something of their true inner self. In general, I seem to gain peoples’ trust rather quickly, which translates to my portrait work in general, not only in my studio, but for instance while travelling the world and meeting strangers, no matter their age, their gender, their race, their social standing. I always considered myself a bit of a rebel, and I found out early on that
my creativity is based mainly on opposition, on contradiction, but then also on connecting elements which to other people don't seem to be connected. Several ongoing series of my nude photography as well as my landscape photography are based on my conviction that beauty just isn't enough. Peacefulness, the pure beauty of a perfect sunset, homeliness, being nice, playing by the rules, and above all, kitsch, bore me to death artistically and I mistrust them on principle. I'm constantly looking to connect ugliness and beauty, or maybe I should say, aggression and beauty, and my role is not to comply, but to disagree, not to smooth over, but to blow up. Photography needs an “edge”, just as good music. As a consequence, a lot of my nude photography is aggressive, and in my landscape photography, for instance in my ongoing series that I call Leftover Landscapes, I am exploring the influence we as modern, industrial human beings have on our natural surroundings. We leave objects of all kinds behind, big and small, and just move on, and sometimes, composing a landscape shot around such objects yields images of eerie, strange, painful beauty.
Right page, top: Queen of the Damned I, 2017 Right page, bottom: Queen of the Damned II, 2017 Following spread, top left: Leftover Landscape IV from the series Leftover Landscape, 2019 Following spread, bottom left: Leftover Landscape III from the series Leftover Landscape, 2018 Following spread, right: Leftover Landscape I from the series Leftover Landscape, 2018
For instance, who could tell from looking at my image â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aquamarineâ&#x20AC;?, which is part of the Leftover Landscapes series, that the main protagonist the thing that takes center stage and makes that photography special and beautiful with all its shades of blue, aquamarine and jade - is actually a ragged piece of plastic that has become an integral part of a patch of wintery ground? In general, a motive needs to tell me a story so as
to intrigue me, and through my eye, through my interpretation, I am hopefully able to condense that story to a deeper meaning, to focus it, to make it personal and then, as a storyteller, convey it to others. The first and foremost influence is my psychology, my uneven personality. I strongly believe that art needs conflict, which normally in truth means inner conflict.
"My role is not to comply, but to disagree, not to smooth over, but to blow up".
Above: Virtual Landscape from the series Virtual Landscape, 2016
If you are not conflicted, if you do not grapple with inner demons, why would you feel any urge to express yourself? In art, you have the incredible freedom of saying or depicting anything, using any means. It doesn’t necessarily lead to applause or to gaining an audience, but actually, I don’t care too much. And whenever there is a discussion about the value of art, about art and artists being unnecessary or unwelcome parasites of society, we should consider this type of freedom to be one of the utmost achievements of mankind and therefore fundamentally indispensable. As far as names go, and regardless of whether or not someone’s influence is clearly visible in my work, I draw inspiration from very different photographers like August Sander, Sebastiao Salgado – Salgado to me is the greatest ever, if I had to choose just one single photographer -, Peter Lindbergh, Jim Rakete, Steve McCurry, Helmut Newton, Paolo Pellegrin, Ellen von Unwerth, Steve Nelson and Annie Leibowitz. Also, I need to mention Ami Barwell and her unique style of portraying
rock musicians! And speaking of music, it has obviously a huge influence on the way I see and depict the world as a photographer. As a percussionist, I have a strong inner clock, a sense of precise timing, of rhythm and groove, but also of detail, of dynamics, of colors of sound, and I like to think that some of that shows up in my photographic work.My creative process is not very orderly but rather dependent on some sort of short-circuiting process in which seemingly unrelated things connect and an idea jump-starts. Also, I often take some concept that already exists, strip it, convert it, add or subtract something. Usually, I manage to avoid being a copycat, but I'm eclectic and also able to incorporate something spontaneously if the opportunity presents itself. Which also means that during studio work, if a model comes up with creative input or a suggestion or just does something that intrigues me, I oftentimes adopt it, go with the flow and rearrange my shooting plan.
But of course, usually I have a plan to begin with. However, especially as a travel photographer, I need to be quite flexible and stay open-minded, ready to seize the opportunities as they present themselves. And whenever I find myself in the right place at the right time, if the light is good and I have time on my hands, that is pure photographer’s bliss and I enter a zone where the passing of time ceases to have any meaning. Regarding my gear, my first answer would be that a camera is just a means to achieve a result, but that is only part of the truth. I’m a timpanist, drummer and percussionist, so I tend to develop a close, tactile, haptic relationship with my instruments and my mallets, and I feel a similar attachment to my photographic gear. And yes, I am also guilty of falling in love with camera bags... Today, I am mainly using Fujifilm’s GFX50S, with Canon’s 5D mark IV and the “poor man’s Leica” Fuji X100f as additional cameras. Since I don’t consider myself a wildlife or sports photographer, far-reaching tele lenses are not really a part of my lens line-up. The main range of my lenses is more or less 24-135 millimeters, and with one or two exceptions, I normally use prime lenses. I use Photoshop CC, no big surprises there.
Macs and calibrated screens. For some reason, I never took a liking to Adobe Lightroom; instead, I do most of my post processing work in the Camera Raw module and tend to use the main Photoshop program only to put the finishing touches on an image. But I really want to emphasize that while I truly love to take pictures and would have a hard time imagining a life without photography, I’m not too keen on post processing. I need to be in the mood, I need inspiration, motivation, a goal, a deadline of some sort. Not to offend anyone, but I am strongly opposed to post processing orgies, HDR totally disagrees with my eyes, and I refuse to see much value in digital composing. I mainly tinker with the more or less classical tools like exposure, highlights and shadows, contrast, color adjustment, the gradation curve, dodging and burning, sharpening and so on. I like a bit of “texture” in my photos, which means that sometimes, I even add a sprinkle of noise to them, and if I go with a color image, I usually desaturate the photo quite a bit. And then I also have my personal tricks which I won’t discuss here... Suffice it to say that I’m looking for “honest” photos. The basic file I’m starting out with should always be a RAW file, and I’m working in 16 Bit Adobe RGB throughout the whole process, resulting in a huge TIFF image.
Left page, top: Aleksandar Madzar , 2010 Left page, bottom: John Hudson , 2013
KATHARINA JUNG A Dreamy Journey of Self-Exploration
ased in Hamburg, Germany, but working internationally, Katharina Jung is a fine art photographer who has been creating dreamy and surreal imagery since February 2013. After finishing her diploma as a media designer in June 2014, she has been traveling to Bali and through New Zealand with her camera, providing us with beautiful portraits and landscapes, between daydreams and fairytales. In her photographs, Katharina portrays the mystery in people and shows nature in its full gloom.
All images ÂŠ Katharina Jung
Left page: A Long Dream, 2019
Above: The Thousand Deads That I Lived, 2020 Right page: The Thousand Deads That I Lived 2, 2020
Liberation and freedom are the themes I tend to come back to in my photographs. Even when not particularly intended before the shoot, the mood I feel drawn to the most is this breakingfree kind of feeling. Looking back at the work I have produced, there is definitely a connection between the images and my self-exploration journey. Themes that affect me in the very moment seem to fluently flow into the images I am creating or the ideas that are coming to my mind. It is a wonderful reflection to look back
Above: Shadows Turn to Grey, 2015 Right paget: I Will Stay, 2020
to. It fascinates me every time how different stages in my life inspire me. Creating â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in this case photography - was and still is the most important tool for me to express myself, my doubts, my pain, my hope, my evolution. I feel very grateful to have that tool, for the ideas to flow quite naturally to me. Beside dance and cinematography, photography is a crucial part of that inner voice that urgently wants expression.
"I harvest the biggest inspiration from living the life!".
Above: Untitled, 2014 Right page: Untitled, 2014
When I get feedback of people saying they felt a kind of freedom, peace or inspiration when looking at my work, it is such a fulfilling thing. It feels like, the hope and freedom that I wish to portray, keeps on living and keeps on inspiring, and even takes on new forms, which then keep on living again. Like a cycle. I feel inspired by some art, create new art, and this might inspire someone to create too, and so on and so forth. We all inspire and encourage each other to express ourselves fully, in whatever unique way or form that might be.To put it simply, I harvest the biggest inspiration from living the life! From
meeting all different kinds of people and minds, from dancing, from going into nature, from daydreaming, from the diverse intense emotions that flow through me, from the dark places in my mind, from the bright ones too. I also find inspiration by going to museums and seeing big old paintings, immersing myself in a theatre play, etc. Books like Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse have a great impact on me too. There is so much to think about and I am a big thinker so I dig most of the time in the depth of my brain and â&#x20AC;&#x153;tadaaaâ&#x20AC;? there is a new thought that turns into an idea and eventually into an actual image.
For the post processing part, I tend to use just Adobe Photoshop, sometimes Lightroom too. I do like to play with mixed media for example painting on prints. When selecting the images I want to use, I focus on the feeling I have whilst looking at these. I select merely by feeling, not by technique. So sometimes it is a blurry or overexposed shot that I choose to work on. In my camera bag there is my big old friend Canon Mark III with my go-to lens 35mm 1.4. from Sigma plus a Canon 50mm 1.8.
Above: Barriers, 2018 Right page: Lovers and boundaries, 2015 Following spread: Healing, 2015
I prefer shooting with natural light outdoors. Though I like working in the studio and using the many settings possible inside, I feel most in tune and inspired within nature. In this very moment, I am working on the pile of ideas that I collected in the last few months. It is springtime now and my creative energy is overflowing. There is lots of planning happening now and prop building, which I enjoy a lot too. I am also writing a story for a music video I will be shooting next week.
YUKARI CHIKURA ZAIDO (Dedicated to My Late Father...)
ukari Chikura was born in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Music University, she became music composer, computer programmer, designer and photographer. As a young photographer, Chikura has already won many prizes, among others the Photolucida Critical Mass Top50 Winner in 2016 and 2015, the International Photography Award and the Sony World Photography Awards. She has held solo exhibitions in Japan, and group exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. Her work is collected by the Griffin Photography Museum in US, the BibliothĂ¨que Nationale de France and K*MoPA (the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts). Chikura is the winner of STEIDL BOOK AWARD 2016 and her work from her series ZAIDO will be published by STEIDL.
All images ÂŠ Yukari Chikura
Right page: Three Men Walking On A Snowy Road from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread: Morning Ceremony from the series Zaido, 2013-2016
Nothing had prepared me for my father’s death. He was taken by a blood cancer before the family knew he was seriously ill. There was little time to talk, to prepare. We couldn’t even say out last sayonara (goodbye). One day he was there and the next day- an empty place in the family.
Very slowly, the darkness began to recede. The routine of life seemed about to resume. Little did we know the next blow was poised over our heads. As we were about to return to our daily lives, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck. Our tragedy seemed mirrored in the tragedy of the land itself. Watching as the black waves engulfed the northern city, houses burning one after another, the people of Japan all felt unimaginable despair, losing all hope in one single moment.
When he was gone, there seemed to be no recovering. The house seemed full of sorrow and shock. In my room at night, expecting to hear my father’s voice, I heard only the weeping of my sister. Sorrow was eating away at my little sister’s mind and body. It was during that time I also suffered two serious injuries to my face and legs from a big accident. As if nightmares were appearing one after the other, these new realities bruised my body I lost the sense of smell and could neither walk and soul, leaving me feeling as if I had taken a nor show myself. The injuries seemed fatal. I felt severe beating. With no strength left whatsoever, death sitting with me in the darkness, waiting, I found it hard to even get out of bed in the but I somehow managed to escape it. morning.
"The culture that has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation through many sacrifices, is sadly starting to disappear".
Left page: Torimai Boy is Drinking Water from a Chouzuya from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, left: Bamboo in the Snow from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, top right: Silent, Snowy World from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, bottom right: Scenary in the Snowy Morning from the series Zaido, 2013-2016
On such a day, my deceased father came to me in a dream.“Go to this village hidden in deep snow where I lived a long time ago”, my father whispered to me. I followed my father’s instructions and boarded a train, called The Galaxy Express. When I got off at the small village, it was covered in silvery white snow. Mist had settled, making it seem like an otherworldly dream place.
There, an ancient 1300-year old shrine ritual, dating from the Nara period,was being performed. One after another, people who had gathered from the four local communities – Ohsato, Azukizawa, Nagamine, and Taninai – carried out an elegant dance, dedicated to the patron god of the shrine. This festival is called
ZAIDO and is said to be based on Danburi-choja or Dragonfly millionaire, an old legend. It is on the second day of every new year, well before the break of dawn – for the dances themselves start with the first rays of the sun – that the people of these communities make their pilgrimage to the sacred sites where the seven ritual dances – Gongen-mai, Komamai, Uhen-mai, Tori-mai, Godaison-mai, and Dengaku-mai – are performed with the hopes of good fortune in the New Year. Though wearing different masks and costumes, young and old alike take part in the festivities, demonstrating an almost paradoxical set of values – the cultural variety of the communities they come from, as well as the unbreakable bond between the generations, and therein lies the reason for the long survival of the ritual.
ZAIDO, also known as Important Day Dance, is thought to have originated in the early 8th century when the Imperial Palace’s ensemble paid a visit to Hachimantai in Akita Prefecture. After the decline in state support of Shinto temple complexes, the cast out court performers found abode in the small community, repaying their favor by teaching the locals their art. It is through this somewhat unlikely union that bugaku was preserved to this day, in the form of folk art. Though the festival’s history is long and it has been passed down to many generations during the 1300 years of its existence, there are said to have been times when it had a difficulty surviving – during the late 18th century, it ceased to exist for almost six decades. Because of numerous cases of fire, most ancient texts concerning the ritual, as well as ancient religious imagery were destroyed, and it had no other way of surviving than through repetition based only on word-of-mouth. It is said to have also been a time when the gold-leaf-covered mask used for Godaison-mai was stolen, thus
interrupting the sacred gathering of the four villages. It was only because of the dedication of the community and their shared spiritual beliefs that the ritual managed to survive – not unchanged, but instead taking on the unique characteristics of this northern place; something that the people of Hachimantai still take great pride in to this very day. Before the ritual, the noshu, – the people performing the sacred dance – are required to undertake a very strict purification. In the longest documented cases, some of these noshu are known to have gone through 48-day long periods of complete abstinence. During these periods of religious asceticism, the participants of the ritual are prohibited from sleeping in the same room as their spouses and must avoid childbirth in their own home, as well as visiting the homes of the recently deceased. They must also not eat the meat of any animal that walks on four legs. Though currently preserved as a part of the purification ritual at only a fragment of the localities, a ritual involving the performance of mizugori (cold water ablutions) also exists.
Left page: Mizugori (Cold Water Ablutions) from a Chouzuya from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, top left: Shrine in the Snow from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, bottom left: Ancestors portrait in a 130-year-old liquor store from the series Zaido, 2013-2016 Following spread, right: Old Telescope in the Attic from the series Zaido, 2013-2016
These purification rituals still hold great importance, because it is thought that bad things would occur if the noshu were to neglect performing them. It is good to note that all of this is performed thoroughly, regardless of the fact that the place, located at the border of three prefectures – Aomori, Iwate, and Akita – can reach temperatures of -20°C in winter. From our modern society’s viewpoint, shojinkessai (selfpurification) seems like a very hard thing to do.
a part of the Japanese everyday life. These days, I fear that the culture that has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation through many sacrifices, is sadly starting to disappear. And yet, regardless of how many hardships they have to endure, how many times they have to fall down and get back up, there still exist people who are willing to continue protecting it.
It is through their dedication and the great Japan is a country surrounded by sea from impact it left – and continues to leave – on me all sides. That is why, a specific way of life and that I am able to find a meaning to life again. culture, unlike that of any other country, exist I would like to express my greatest respect for here. This, however, is not the only difference the villagers’ love and enthusiasm for the local between Japan and the rest of the world. Sadly, community, as well as my gratitude to the people natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, of the community who treated me like family, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions are also much as well as to my father, watching from Heaven.
SHARON DRAGHI Intimacy From a Woman’s Perspective
haron Draghi’s work explores intimacy and the solitariness of one’s inner world. By mixing candid and staged imagery, she creates open-ended narratives taken specifically from a woman’s point of view. She is also interested in examining how environment contextualizes and illuminates our daily lives. Sharon is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s Creative Practices program, where she was awarded a Director’s Scholarship. Her work has been exhibited at Foley Gallery, Filter Photo, The Center For Fine Art Photography, Woman Made Gallery, the SE Center For Photography, The Photography Show by AIPAD, and at the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. She has been featured in several publications, including Float Photo Magazine, TagTagTag Magazine, It’s Nice That and Photo District News.
All images © Sharon Draghi
Left page: Looking In from the series Split Tree Road, 2015
Your work tackles important themes such as the objectification and marginalization of women. Can you tell us about this and its importance to you?
housewife and mother. It was as if I existed only in reference to my husband and children, that I was being defined by them. I felt anger at being ignored, and out of this frustration I started photographing other women. I wanted to make The series See Me, Consider Me, I Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be Erased intimate portraits of women as individualscomes from a very personal place. I had been to encourage the viewer to see past shallow making self-portraits as part of another project stereotypes that sexualize and marginalize of mine, Split Tree Road, which is about self women into easily defined roles. Women are and family. A lot of these portraits had to do so often seen through the prism of the male with an increasing feeling I had about not really gaze or are not seen at all. being seen. I was over 50, in-between jobs, and living in the suburbs of New York. I noticed that This is my attempt to take back control of the people gradually stopped asking me questions narrative, and to portray women in a more about myself and began relating to me as just a thoughtful and complex manner.
Above: From Day to Day from the series Split Tree Road, 2014 Left page, top: Pool Games from the series Split Tree Road, 2015 Left page, bottom: Naptime from the series Split Tree Road, 2017
How much of your subjects’ personal lives do you put in your portraits?
documentary project. I wanted to leave a lot of space open to create images that are existential in nature. Images that are open-ended and subject to interpretation. And I enjoyed the process of making both candid and performative images to create a more complex and textured narrative. Many of the images are metaphorical-they are about feelings and ideas about self, marriage, family, solitude, space, inner lives and desires. I wanted my imagination to tell this story as much as actual events. The project was photographed in a cinematic style and in essence I am creating a film with my family- crafted from my point of view as the director.
The portraits are environmental and are collaborative. When I work with someone, we spend a lot of time talking and getting to know one another on a deeper level. The process of making this work is very satisfying because there is a profound bonding that takes place. I feel honored to be invited into these women’s homes and I feel a real responsibility to share their stories. I try to make images that reflect a bit of who they are, how they live, etc. Sometimes I will have a specific idea for an image and sometimes my subject might suggest that we try a particular pose or scene. In the end, all of the images are In this series you explore the solitariness of born out of this magical time we spend together, one’s inner world. Why is this important to confiding in and trusting one another. you and how do you manage to capture it in your photographs? In your ongoing project Split Tree Road, you deliberately blur the boundaries between what I have the feeling that every image I make is, in is true and what is imagined. Can you explain a sense, autobiographical. Even the landscapes. this choice and your intentions behind this We all see differently and I feel that it is my aim as project? a photographer to take the viewer into another world; into a world as I see it and experience it at I didn’t want Split Tree Road, a body of that moment. As a viewer looking at someone work about my family and myself, to be a else’s photographs,
Right page: Ben from the series Split Tree Road, 2019
Above: Reconciled from the series Split Tree Road, 2014
I want to be moved by the images I see. I also want to be surprised. So I try with each of my own images to elicit an emotion or specific memory from the viewer. I use light, composition and physical distance to capture feelings of intimacy or solitariness. I also use narrative structure to create images that tell stories, but as I said before I want these stories to be universal and subject to personal interpretation.
Above: The Bath from the series Split Tree Road, 2013 Right page: In the Light from the series Split Tree Road, 2013
The environment and dĂŠcor also seem central to your work. Can you explain how you use it in your narratives? I think that we are all products of our upbringing- this includes our physical environment and our surroundings. Home environment provides powerful clues about who we are and how we live. I use place to add context to my photos and to give information,
in the case of portraiture, about the subject of the photograph. Environment is not only a backdrop but can be used to tell a story and to heighten the sense of drama in an image. For example, I made an image of myself in front of a swimming pool at night. The pool represents many things to me- a symbol of monetary success, a personal repository of dreams and ideas with the notion of the water as either cleansing or as a place to drown. I made an
image of my son in front of an empty swimming pool, drained of water, at a time when he was graduating from high school and was anxious about his future and direction. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve also used the bedroom and bathroom in several photos because these are intimate spaces that help me create personal and private narratives. In this way the environment becomes an essential part of the photograph and the story I am trying to tell.
Above: Us from the series Split Tree Road, 2014
"Women are so often seen through the prism of the male gaze or are not seen at all".
MAJA STRGAR KURECIC Abstraction and New Realities
aja Strgar Kurecic is a fine art photographer and an Associate Â´ Professor of photography at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has been involved in photography for over 25 years. At the beginning of her career, Maja engaged mostly in advertising and reportage photography. The last few years she devoted to projects that fall within the field of abstract photography. She earned international recognition for her recent projects Other Worlds and Escape Landscapes that won many international awards (Winner in Abstract category at the 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Award 2018, the 1st place and Gold Star Award in Fine Art: Abstract Category at the ND Photography Awards 2019, Abstract Photographer Of The Year at the Minimalist Photography Awards 2019, etc.) Last year she started to work on a new project Floating Garden combining her two favorite motives: nature and abstraction. All images ÂŠ Maja Strgar Kurecic
Left page, top: Escape Landscape No.1 from the series Escape Landscapes, 2018 Left page, bottom: Escape Landscape No.2 from the series Escape Landscapes, 2018 Center, top: Escape Landscape No.3 from the series Escape Landscapes, 2018 Center, bottom: Escape Landscape No.4 from the series Escape Landscapes, 2018
Can you tell us about the singular technique you used in your series Other Worlds? How did you achieve those textures and shapes? I created the images from water, paint, oil, and other liquids that I could lay my hands on. I began experimenting with different liquids and colors, developing a unique process of melting ice blocks and mixing them with oil and water. In addition, I paid a lot of attention to the lighting as the most important element in achieving three-dimensionality of tiny motives in a small glass bowl taken from above. It took me two years to improve and refine the process in order to make these photographs. All photos were taken with Canon EOS 6D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. It needs to be said, that no post processing was used for creating these photographs.
I used Photoshop only to transfer photographs from the raw format. What do you look for in your compositions? Do you predetermine the motives you want to achieve, or do you let “accidents” happen? What I have learned so far is, that in creative process it is important to trust your intuition and give time for your ideas to develop. I create with passion, guided with my intuition. All I determine in advance are the colors and the liquids that I will use. Then, I experiment and wait for things to happen, enjoying the unpredictable and unstable world that I created. I explore my “imaginary landscapes” and capture the most exciting moments of elements fusion. In this creative process I like the element of surprise. (I have the feeling that without surprises, the magic of creation would be lost).
Right page, top left: Blue from the series Other Worlds, 2018 Right page, center left: Close but Far from the series Other Worlds, 2018 Right page, bottom left: Meditation from the series Other Worlds, 2018 Right page, top right: Red from the series Other Worlds, 2018 Right page, center right: Approaching from the series Other Worlds, 2018 Right page, bottom right: Creation from the series Other Worlds, 2018
For your series The Mindscapes you have inner voices, emotions and moods. I search for stated that “photography is the creation of new broader spaces and wider horizons, my work is (invisible) things”, can you elaborate? my journey to freedom, an open flow of pure ideas. For Mindscapes series, as well as for Other Worlds and Escape Landscapes, I used my camera as With Mindscapes series I wanted to connect with a tool to capture the motives I created from my past work in analog photography. I created scratch. I do not interpret the reality around motives with my old darkroom chemicals that me – but the one in me. I used for toning and dyeing prints some 20 years ago. Then they were my tools – and now I create new reality (motives) according to my they become my motives.
Above: Mindscape No.2 from the series Mindscapes, 2019 Right page: Mindscape No.6 from the series Mindscapes, 2019
" I create with passion, guided with my intuition".
Can you tell us about your ongoing project Alongside your abstract works, you also explore Floating Garden? nature photography. Do you approach a nature project in the same way as you approach an I started the Floating Garden series last summer. abstract one? It all began with a single rose. The rose my daughter received for her 18th birthday. This Nature has always been my favorite motive, the rose prompted me to think about youth, beauty, endless source of inspiration. I live near the transienceâ&#x20AC;Ś I wanted to somehow preserve beautiful Maksimir park, where I often go for it from decay, so without much planning and a walk in the woods with my dog. We wander thinking, I put it in the water and iced it. After among the trees, listening to the birds and the a while, it came to me how to shoot it in order wind. This forest is my second home. There I to emphasize the delicate structure of the petals find my peace and balance. My Woods Walks and maintain the natural color. In addition to series was created there, as well as my new rose petals, I began experimenting with other series Into the Woods, which I started during flowers, leaves, twigs, grasses, seeds - everything the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The I would find in my garden. When I shoot, I pay approach to my nature projects resembles the a lot of attention to lighting and composition, one I used in my abstract projects. My aim frame, shapes, textures and colors. Currently, is to capture personal, evocative, atmospheric I dedicate every spare moment to working on impressions. Not obvious reality, but my the series. subjective point of view, where color and light The series won the 1st place and Gold Medal play leading roles. in Nature at TIFA 2019 - Tokyo International Foto Awards, and the 3rd place in Nature at 6th FAPA - Fine Art Photography Awards 2019.
Previous spread, left: Dancing Petals from the series Floating Garden, 2020 Previous spread, right: Gently Decaying from the series Floating Garden, 2020 Left page, top left: Hidden Beauty from the series Floating Garden, 2020 Left page, bottom left: Daydreaming from the series Floating Garden, 2020 Left page, top right: Tenderness from the series Floating Garden, 2020 Left page, bottom right: Embrace from the series Floating Garden, 2019
Above, top: Flow of Nature from the series Into the Woods, 2020 Above, bottom: Spring Mood from the series Into the Woods, 2020
PEDRO JARQUE Chiaroscuro Animal Portraits
edro Jarque Krebs is a Peruvian photographer born in Lima, Peru. He graduated from the Sorbonne University in Paris with a degree in Philosophy of Science, and completed complementary studies in Art History and Archaeology. He has received 147 awards and recognitions, of which 38 gold, 21 silver and 9 bronze medals, including the Sony World Photography Awards in 2018 and 2019, the Bird Photographer of the Year (UK) in 2018, Montier Festival Photo (France) in 2018, Oasis Photo Contest (Italy) in 2017, and winner of the “Sente” award for the 10 best photographers in the world in China in 2018. In October 2016, he was named photographer of the month by National Geographic magazine (France). He has participated in numerous collective and individual exhibitions at international level and has been a judge in numerous photography competitions. In 2019 he published the book Fragile by the German publishing house teNeues.
All images © Pedro Jarque
Left page, top: Ebony and Ivory, 2016 Left page, bottom: Night Guardian, 2019 Following spread: Black Friday, 2016
I am specialized in animal portraits. My initial idea, which emerged several decades ago, was to work with animals directly in a photographic studio. At that time, digital equipment did not yet exist, and the logistics for carrying out this idea were extremely complicated, especially in the case of wild, dangerous, or large animals. For example, getting an elephant or a lion into a photo studio was practically impossible, at least for my possibilities. At that time, I was limited to working with small animals such as amphibians or reptiles. For the other animals, I had to abandon the project. When digital technology came along, it opened up a new window of possibilities for realizing my idea. I began to experiment with making animal portraits, either in captivity or in semifreedom, and darkening the background in post-production to get the result I wanted. Experimenting, I realized that this new way of working had great advantages, since the animal
Right page: Colorful Gossip, 2019
does not have to be subjected to a situation of stress or discomfort, and therefore its behavior is completely natural. I like to do my job under both conditions: on location and in the studio. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Studio work allows for better control of light, but in the case of animals, it causes them stress that is reflected in the results. In contrast, in an environment that is familiar to the animal, you get more natural poses, but you are at the mercy of the whims of natural light. Ideally, you could combine both, i.e. implement a kind of black background in the animalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environment and have some control over the light, perhaps a mixture of natural light with an artifical light support. But in the end itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a matter of adapting to what you can, always bearing in mind ethical considerations. This is what characterizes animal photography.
By isolating the animal from any context, distractions are avoided and a more direct visual relationship can be established to allow for greater empathy with the animal. We live in a dramatic time for biodiversity, the consequences of which we are beginning to pay at a very high price. Only 4% of the animals on the planet are wild, the other 96% are humans or animals for our consumption. My work seeks to raise awareness of this fragility of the animal world, and to create the empathy necessary to generate a collective consciousness. You can only defend what you know and love. And although it will be inevitable that many animal species will disappear in the next few decades, my hope is that the irreversible damage we have caused to wildlife will be somewhat limited. I think we are beginning to realize that our own chances of survival as a species depend on the balance of all the biodiversity on the planet, and
the pandemic we are experiencing is a stark warning that we have to respect that balance. My sources of inspiration have always been the great masters of chiaroscuro, such as Rembrandt or Caravaggio. I like the drama of the darkness and the strokes of light that burst through the shadows. There’s a whole technique for achieving this balance, because it’s not enough to place a subject on a black background. There has to be an interaction between the lights and the shadows for that drama to have a certain effect. Whenever I can, I visit museums which have collections of the most famous representatives of this technique. I have a special predilection for the work of José de Ribera, a classic of the Spanish baroque, a representative of the so-called “tenebrism”, which is chiaroscuro taken to an extreme.
Left page, top: Melancholy, 2017 Left page, bottom: The Witness, 2017
" I go with the idea of spending a good time waiting for the right moment, without losing attention for a second".
The most complicated part of my job is choosing which photographs to process. Not all photos lend themselves to this style, so sometimes I have to visualize how they would look once finished. Once I choose the photo, the work will depend on the characteristics of each one. Sometimes I am lucky to have a natural dark background, for example when the animal is in front of a cave or dark object, or due to the particular light conditions. In these cases, the post-production work is minimal. In other cases, I have to â&#x20AC;&#x153;burnâ&#x20AC;? the background and carefully darken it so that the result does not look artificial. My intention is to blur the apparent difference between a photo taken
in a studio, and a photo taken in a natural environment with my applied technique. I work with Sony equipment. I usually carry 2 cameras, one with a 25-105 mm zoom lens and the other with a 100-400 mm telephoto lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. This way I cover the whole range from wide angle (25mm) to a long focal length that reaches 560mm. Most of the time I use the telephoto lens, because animals are usually at a long distance. Most of my photographs are the result of a random situation. This means that I can neither control nor anticipate the behaviour of the animals, so I am totally at the mercy of luck. But luck usually comes if you have a lot of patience.
Left page: Foxy Fox, 2018 Above: Winter is Coming, 2017
So at the moment of taking the portraits, I go with the idea of spending a good time waiting for the right moment, without losing attention for a second. What I do try to control is the light, which is almost always natural. Whenever possible, I try to do my sessions on a cloudy day, which gives me a dimmer light. I also study the behavior of the animals I plan to photograph, in particular their hours of greatest activity to have a better chance of capturing a special moment. Recently the German publishing house teNeues published a book of my work, called Fragile, in allusion to the fragility that all the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fauna is going through at the moment. But my work does not end there, and I still have many animals to portray. I recently finished a series of portraits of chimpanzees from the Rainfer primate rescue centre in Spain, which reflect in their faces the harsh conditions in which they lived for years, victims of slavery and mistreatment. I have called this series The other refugees which will soon be published.
Right page: Salivating Giraffe, 2018
SHIRA GOLD Ultimate Contradictions: Beauty and Grief in the Personal and Collective Spheres
s a photographer, Shira Gold seeks to isolate images of stillness and beauty from complicated and painful moments. “My art is alert to the discomfort we all face in our daily lives,” she explains, “but I want to turn pain and angst on its side to discover the beauty that accompanies our struggles.” Drawing on her relationships as a daughter and a mother, Shira’s work explores experiences of grief, embodiment, discovery, and wonder. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Shira has spent most of her life immersed in fine arts. However, when her mother became seriously ill, she left her style and textile career to become her mother’s primary caregiver. During this time, Shira wrote her book Choosing Joy’s Empowerment Index, a meditation on navigating chronic illness through self-advocacy and mind/body work. When she lost her mother, Shira recognized the need to reclaim her visual voice, and she returned to her camera soon after becoming a parent. The series Reflect, Transform, Become documents the transformative, complex experience of being a motherless mother, and earned her an Honorable Mention in the 2016 International Photography Awards. Shira’s more recent body of work is an eight-piece series entitled Good Grief, a collection of landscape portraits that serve as a visual dissertation of her movements through loss. This work has earned her recognition in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards (Honourable Mention), the Fine Art Photo Awards (Nominee), the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series (Semi-finals) and the Lensculture Art Photography Awards (Finalist).
Al l images © Shir a G ol d
Left page: Which Way Is Up from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2020
I have always been fascinated with concepts of struggle, change, compassion, and resilience in our personal and collective lives. Our singular journeys share similarities on a very basic human level, while our perceived differences are often the source of emotional isolation. If we are able to express our inner most feelings, we may be able to find connectivity and thus harmony, as a community. These are the persistent and evolving themes close to my heart that continue to define my work and personal passions. Finding the visuals to express and communicate oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s internal reflections (grief, loneliness, identity, judgement, change) has always been paramount in my practice. I find inspiration in the ultimate contractions of daily life: wherein moments of immense loss and devastation, we may also find great beauty. Take our current climate amidst COVID-19 for example. The immeasurable despair, collective uncertainty and economic desolation have also been met with significant acts of good will, humanity, bravery and connectivity.
I strive to communicate this subject behind the lens but also through daily lived experience and action. I would describe myself as an emotive photographer. Rather than setting the stage with precise plans, I rely on a sensitive eye to guide my lens. This often means the subject matter in the work develops organically and that an original, predetermined subject in a series may evolve throughout the process.
My practice has been greatly influenced by the stories, observations and experiences throughout my life. In particular, artists that break convention by going to great lengths to capture stories of humanity, global issues and societal triumphs and despair have made their mark on my artistic journey. Though their work differs greatly from my own, it is their pursuit and bravery that inspire me to tap into my own areas of challenge. These are artists such as Carolina Rapezzi, Julia SH, Efrat Sela and Dina Goldstein to name a few.
" I find inspiration in the ultimate contractions of daily life".
Above: Exhale from the series Shock, 2018
The concepts for my work largely arise while I am shooting. I am a person who delves deeply in the why behind the past and present frame of mine. Internally, I am always seeking and questioning, and so I use my art as a way to deconstruct these thoughts. I often find answers in nature and look to it as a source of meditation and comfort. If something strikes me as particularly poignant, I will shoot it for analysis later. From there, I am able to formalize the meaning behind the work and begin to create a concept. The extent of my post processing is extremely varied and series specific. For example, The Fine Art of Letting Go is crafted through multiple composites and is highly dependent on post production to create the ethereal quality in the work. In contrast, much of the imagery in Good Grief (an 8-part series visualizing my journey with grief) is minimally processed. I find what I am looking for within the frame of the lens and add adjustments in post processing to enhance the message I am trying to convey. In this series, I have removed all of the other visual noise to focus on the trees. My idea is that while the trees are physically connected to the landscape, they are also removed and isolated, like a person who is grieving. The sub-series Shock is the exception to this. There was significant post-editing focusing on the minutia of each image, adding depth, contrast and detail to visually punctuate the extreme and consuming entry into loss. Left page, top left: Anywhere The Wind Blows from the series Shock, 2019 Left page, top right: Held In Heartbeats Shock, 2019 Left page, bottom left: Unsteady from the series Shock, 2018 Left page, bottom right:: When There Is Nothing Left from the series Shock, 2018
I have a very limited amount of gear when I shoot. I use a full frame DSLR and will often carry few different lenses with me, typically a 50mm and 85mm prime and a 70-200 zoom. Because I am out in nature so often, in recent years I have spent more time shooting in natural light however I still love to shoot in the studio, and my preference changes from series to series.
hold space in our hearts and minds. Objects that stand in place of a past experience act as proof of our presence. What is the purpose of keeping these dangling memories and tokens in our lives? Could it be to provide a sense of control, a resistance to move on, or does it represent a fear of forgetting? These are the types of questions I am unpacking in my own life through this My latest series The Fine Art of Letting Go series. It has become especially topical for me continues to evolve and intrigue me. during the pandemic, wherein our current The series delves into the question of what reality as a society has been shaken. Limited provokes us to choose to physically or to our immediate surroundings, we cannot help psychologically detach. Tightly held memories but turn inward, reflecting on the things and of the past, be it painful or exquisitely beautiful, people we hold most dear.
Above, left: One In Every Colour from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2020 Above, right: Underneath It All from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2019 Right page: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s All So Revealing from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2020
Left page: A Time and Place from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2019 Center: Same But Different from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2020 Right page: Tip of the Hat from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2019
"Tightly held memories of the past, be it painful or exquisitely beautiful, hold space in our hearts and minds. Objects that stand in place of a past experience act as proof of our presence".
Left page: For the Young and the Daydreamers from the series The Fine Art of Letting Go, 2019
ANNETTE SCHREIBER Architectural Interpretations
ecently honored with multiple nominations at the Fine Art Photography Awards, Annette Schreiber’s bold and expressive images create a palpable sense of place. Her photographs resonate for both their sharp clarity and the dream-like wisp of mystery that unfurls through her landscape scenes. Currently living in the U.S., Schreiber was born in Germany and obtained her Masters of Photography in Dusseldorf which has developed an international reputation for contemporary photography. For Schreiber, the photograph “does not just represent the output of my camera but rather the expression of my emotions”. Schreiber has a profound sense of how light can define a scene and shape the mood of an image. Using diffused light, dreamy atmospheric effects and spare, minimalist spaces, Schreiber’s images feel lost somewhere between reality and reverie.
All images © Annette Schreiber
Right page: Passage from the series Alliance, 2017 Following spread, left: Below148 from the series Abroad, 2018 Following spread, right: The Closing Gap from the series Into The Void, 2017
How do you use the absence of matter in your compositions? What does this portray?
agree with this and can this be applied to your photography?
The absence of matter in my works is important to draw the focus towards the main scenery. In most compositions, I work with light and shadow in the negative space areas. It creates mood, triggers emotions and highlights the importance of the whole.
I absolutely agree with Frank Lloyd Wright’s quote. Light is the essence of everything we see. It shapes the world in front of us, and therefore the buildings I photograph.
While looking for the right angle to photograph a certain building or the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright said “More and more, so structures, light plays a key role. Which it seems to me, light is the beautifier of the direction it comes from, what it reflects and building.” (Frank Lloyd Wright on architecture: how it influences and enhances the colors or selected writings 1894-1940, 1941). Do you grey tones.
Order and balance are important in architecture, how do you reflect this in your photography? It depends of the style of the architect. Frank Gehry for example is a visionary who uses deconstructivism to create unique structures which enhance every place they are erected in. He creates oftentimes welcoming breaks from order and balance through the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building. The absence of harmony, continuity and symmetry makes it so special, and I embrace this fact by accentuating every detail of it. Le Corbusierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style in comparison dominates mostly through its strict and geometric form. I like to keep it very simple and linear to highlight his vision.
How do you manage to express your emotions through your work? How do you combine the architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision with your own? The camera is a fantastic tool to cut a picture out of a whole into a fragmented part of a story in which I freeze a moment in time, with my personal view and emotions felt right there. The first impression a building has on me dictates the outcome, so does the story behind most of the architecture I photograph.
Previous spread: White from the series Offbeat, 2017 Above: Against The Stream from the series Protective Heights, 2016
Either before or after I have photographed certain architectural structures or buildings, I like to find out about its architect, his/her vision and the idea/intention behind the style used. This information defines if the motive will be in black and white or color, the lens I will use, the angle I would like to show and the composition in the frame I pick.
Left page: Lost In Thought from the series City Stories, 2017 Right page: Keeping Up With Time from the series Cutting Edge, 2018
What drives you to photograph a specific building? Sometimes it is the building or structure itself. The shape, the color, the height, the detail for abstract presentation. Sometimes one architect in particular interests me, his/her vision and style. Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels are just a few to name.
"I like to find out about its architect, his/her vision and the idea/intention behind the style used".
Left page: The Heights from the series Cutting Edge, 2017 Right page: Between The Walls from the series City Stories, 2017