Posts by: Elizabeth Sulis Gear

Ornithological Photographs at the Intersection of Art and Science

Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua)

Megarynchus pitangua

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

Keel-billed Toucan

Beyond their minimalist, painterly quality, at first glance these photographs of small birds caught in mist nets might induce a certain degree of panic in the viewer. As photographer Todd Forsgren puts it, “the captured creatures appear embarrassed, fearful, angry and vulnerable.” It’s necessary to emphasize that no birds were harmed in the process of creating the series Ornithological Photographs. Todd portrayed the birds during the decisive moment in which they were caught as part of scientific studies and ornithological research — after the scientists collected sufficient data the birds were released into the wild.

The First Photo Vogue Festival Launches in Milan


© Donna Trope, 1997

Fashion photographers and dedicated followers of fashion alike will rejoice at the news that Vogue Italia’s inaugural Photo Vogue Festival is opening in Milan this week — and that it’s likely to become an annual event.

These hybrid beasts allude to the monster in all of us





What exactly are the hybrid creatures we see in these antique photographs? The illusion is quite convincing, but Bestiary is the fusion of Greek artist Viktor Koen’s longstanding fascination with Greek mythology and early 19th century photography. Viktor created these monsters, some of which may be familiar to classicists, using the faces of the deceased who now only exist in photographic archives.

A Tender Portrait of the Third Sex in Bangladesh



Mirpur-Ek is the most populous district of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh; it is also home to a large number of young homosexuals, transsexuals and transvestites who co-exist in the same space. United by their sexualities which deviate from the societal norm, this community have found in each other something which resembles a family. Rome-based photographer Raffaele Petralla went to the city with the objective of documenting the daily struggle experienced by labourers working in brick factories, though the intolerance he witnessed towards this minority forced him to turn his focus towards The Third Sex in Bangladesh.

Anxiety Made Visible in Photos


“I always wondered how sleep deprivation couldn’t kill you.”


“I bought a little dog to force me to leave the house at least once a day.”

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are often dismissed, as they are afflictions which do no always manifest themselves visibly in the physical body. It is important though to remember that just because they cannot be seen, it doesn’t mean that they are not real, and furthermore that such attitudes further isolate those carrying this burden. Few who suffer from a mental health issue haven’t heard or felt that surveyors of their health were all thinking the same thing: “But you look fine on the outside”.

A Photo Book Presenting Japan As We’ve Never Seen It



Searching for words within Japan-based photographer Sean Lotman’s Sunlanders, I realized there were none, save the list of dates and locations at the end. This book is a puzzle with few explanations other than the 48 pictures themselves — through these the viewer has access to a very personal document of the land that the photographer has come to call home. And as these photographs draw us into Sean Lotman’s strange, ghostly world, it dawns upon the unsuspecting viewer that this is not Japan as we know it.

Mythology and the everyday collide in these images of bovidae



“My life has been one of roaming as my family relocated many times ” says photographer R. J. Kern, who is finally putting down roots in Minneapolis. Something he felt needed amending was the awareness that he was yet to feel any real connection with a place enough to call it home. “Over the years the roaming has evolved into seeking” says the artist. Over the past five years he travelled to Norway, Germany, Ireland and Iceland to “investigate his ancestral, pastoral roots”. Upon arriving in these countries he noticed the way in which the people and their environment supported bovidae: goats, sheep and rams. “The hoofed animals are both banal and mythical” says R. J. Kern, who found that he shared a special affinity with these animals which, like him, spent most of their life on the move. Divine Animals: The Bovidae is the result of R. J. Kern’s attempt to interpret the world by making connections.

12 Drone Photographers Changing the Way We See the World


Hull Fair © Chris Fenton

Humans have always sought means to fly. From boomerangs and the beliefs of Siberian shamans to the airplanes and the recreational paragliding we are more familiar with today, the desire to fly presents itself as a universal human trait. Drones have enabled photographers to partially fulfil this strangely innate desire, taking to the skies and capturing the ground from a bird’s eye perspective. Here are some of our favorites (in no particular order).

A Visual Diary and Exploration of Istanbul





Returning to a place he used to call home four years later, Spanish Cork-based photographer Helio León witnessed a change both in the city and in himself. The Purple room is his personal, visual diary and exploration of Istanbul. Through his evocative images, the artist creates a bridge between the past and the present, reflecting his subconscious obsessions, childhood fears and issues with intimacy.

The Hopes and Fears of Burundian and Syrian Refugee Children



There are approximately 19 million refugees currently in the world, out of which around 8 million refugee children, and around 3.5 million children are out of school, and these figures are rising — shocking, and yet it is difficult to feel empathy when confronted with such inconceivable numbers. What is it really like to be a child living in a refugee camp? Ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in May 2016, the non-profit organisation Save the Children commissioned French photographer Patrick Willocq to visit several refugee camps and capture the lives of children in this state of transience and uncertainty. The Art of Survival is a staged recreation of reality and allows the viewer a glimpse into the hopes, fears and everyday challenges faced by Burundian and Syrian children seeking refuge in Tanzania and Lebanon, in turn raising awareness for the plight of refugee children around the world.

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