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In Defense of the ‘Little Person, Big Landscape’ Instagram Trend (Sponsored)

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Rock spur, Chiesa in Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy © Dirk Wüstenhagen / Westend61 / Offset

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Sand Dunes, Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil © Ronald Patrick / Offset

Half a year ago, National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin and writer Grayson Schaffer coined the term “Little person, big landscape!” to describe the kind of picture that appeals to the masses of the Instagram era. We’ve all seen it; a sole figure is dwarfed by a mountain, a forest, a vast expanse of wildflowers or snow. The genre (if we can call it that) is definitely having a moment right now. There’s even a hashtag on Instagram- #tinypeopleinbigplaces– with nearly 80,000 posts. In the wrong hands, it can seem cheap, even trite, but there’s one reason it isn’t going away: when done well, there’s nothing like it.

In defense of “Little person, big landscape!” we’ve pulled together this exhibition of breathtaking images from the Offset collection. Taking us on a journey from Italy to Jordan, Bolivia to Iceland, these pictures take a well-known trope and turn it into something more.

Exploring the Vast Beauty of Western Mongolia

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John Feely’s The Outsider is a record of the artist’s time spent in Western Mongolia. A place chosen for its remoteness, vast size and traditional culture, Feely selected a town, and with little plan or particular agenda, made travel arrangements. Without a language in common, relationships were forged silently, the expansive drama of the Mongolian landscape serving as a backdrop for the minutiae and tenderness of human relationships.

A Wistful Look at Rockaway Beach Before Hurricane Sandy

Kui, February Swell 2005

Kui, February Swell 2005

Kristi Convalescing, 2005

Kristi Convalescing, 2005

In Queens, New York, the Rockaway Beach surfers aren’t deterred by freezing temperatures; come rain or come snow, they inherit the waves. From 2004 to 2011, photographer Susannah Ray documented her people as the braved the treacherous waters of the Atlantic.

Right Coast, her most recent monograph coinciding with an exhibition at The Rockaway Beach Surf Club until August 9th, is her homage to the surf community. The word “right” of course contains two meanings, referring both to a place on the map as well as the loyalty and pride that runs across its shores.

The Art of Food in 60 Photos (Sponsored)

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Heaven © Andreas Joshua Carver (@theaphrodisiackitchen)

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Watermelon rinds © Aliza Eliazarov (@aliza_eliazarov)

Whether we’re talking about Dutch still life painting or fast food advertisements, art and imagery has always been intimately connected to what we eat. For our latest group, show we invited you to submit photographs that show the wonderful and strange relationship between food and art. Curated by Alison Zavos, Editor-in-Chief at Feature Shoot, the resulting collection of winning images expresses just how far that theme can be stretched; we received mostly gorgeous confections, a few grotesque concoctions, and everything in between.

Mystery and Magic In the World’s Swimming Holes (Sponsored)

A women cools down in a river.

Appalachian Trail, Connecticut © Aurora Photos / Offset

A swimmer wades in the water of a sea cave in Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, California.

Sea cave, Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, California © Robert Benson / Aurora Photos / Offset

There’s something special about swimming holes. They’re private, secret, and mysterious in a way that borders on the clandestine. A telling entry from Urban Dictionary defines “swimming hole” as the following: “A natural body of water used by all the cool kids in a given area. Uncool kids aren’t welcome there.”

Whoever penned that humorous description was onto something. Do a quick internet search of swimming holes around the world, and you’ll see the ones that appeal the most to travelers are those that are hidden from preying eyes. The ancient Hawaiians understood it. The Queen’s Bath in Kauai was for many years the sole territory of the royals, who were thought to have been born from a divine and sacred line. The allure of swimming holes lies in part in their exclusivity.

It’s easy to see why swimming holes are among the most coveted places on earth. Some of them are so bewitching they look like they’re from an entirely different planet. In Havasu Falls, for instance, the water is rich with magnesium and calcium carbonate, which set it aglow with an uncanny turquoise tinge. At Wadi Shab mountain ravine in Oman, the nearby date and banana trees make the hot air as fragrant as the deep green waters are beautiful. Others were carved from igneous rock formations, forged from hot lava.

We combed through Offset’s collection of work by international photographers to find the most exquisite depictions of the world’s swimming holes, from Italy to California, Iceland to Puerto Rico. Some are well-known, and others are a bit more low-key and hidden. At the risk of exposing all their secrets, we present them here, for your enjoyment.

These Photos of Fireflies Are Straight From a Fairytale

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Each year, Tivoli, New York photographer Pete Mauney awaits the arrival of the fireflies, and for about three weeks each summer, the bioluminescent insects settle beneath the moonlight around his house on quiet evenings. He shoots almost every night.

Youthful Fantasies on the Beaches of Montauk

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Lilla Kneeling

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Jessica and Kurt

New York City-based photographer Michael Dweck remembers vividly the time he went to Montauk at the age of seventeen. It was 1975, and there was the sand, the surf, and girls who, in his words, “looked, well, like they didn’t belong on Long Island.” Visiting Montauk was like falling in love for the first time a thousand times, and he would return to the beach some thirty years later, publishing his book The End in 2004.

A Powerful Exploration of Child Labour in Senegal

Talibe asking for money in the steets of Dakar city center.

Talibe asking for money in the streets of Dakar city center.

Little girls during a school koranic ceremony in Saly, Senegal.

Little girls during a school koranic ceremony in Saly, Senegal.

Sebastian Gil Miranda spent two months documenting child labour in Senegal. The “talibes” – meaning “students” in Arabic – are children who are forced to fund their own Koranic education by begging. Living together in daaras, they are required to meet quotas just to be able to continue to learn – as well as to avoid being beaten or starved.

An intimate glimpse into the fleeting moments of young love NSFW

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Looking into the eyes of our own lover, can we really ever fully understand what they are thinking beyond their outward appearance? Hamburg-based photographer Hayley Austin’s fascination with the connection between corporeality and love stems from her own experiences during her early to mid-twenties, a period when sexual desire and attraction pervaded her life. Driven by a personal longing to freeze time and capture those fugitive moments of desire which fade as quickly as they arrive, in 2013 she turned her lens towards young couples whose love was relatively fresh. The resulting series Narratives of Desire offers the viewer a glimpse into some of the most intimate moments between young lovers in their private spaces.

The Tragedy and Triumph of Russian Ballet, in Photos (Sponsored)

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© Darian Volkova / Offset

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© Darian Volkova / Offset

Saint Petersburg photographer and Offset Artist Darian Volkova refers to the stage as “Her Majesty.” As a ballet dancer herself, she’s sacrificed much to the stage. She’s seen the curtain rise and fall a thousand times, and she knows every second by heart.

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