A Look Inside the Arctic’s Controversial Fur Trapping Industry



Draped over the shoulders of a well-to-do woman on the Upper East Side, say, a fox pelt and fur hat read differently than in the hands of a man or woman who needs to trap to survive. In photographer Patrick Kane‘s images of a community descended from the local trapping industry in the Northwest Territories, near the Arctic Territories, we learn about the trapping industry as necessary for survival, not fashion. These trappers catch marten, fox, wolf, and wolverine and they can “earn as little or as much as they can harvest.” Every year, the territorial government purchases these pelts which are later re-sold at auctions around the world. According to Kane, some of “the best trappers make between $20,000 and $50,000 annually.” Kane’s project, entitled Colville Trapping investigates the daily life of these trappers and the economic sustainability of a controversial industry via portraits and interviews with community members, trappers, and a member of the territorial government who states that these trappers are, indeed, an ‘endangered species.’ We asked photographer Patrick Kane more about the subject.

Jaw-Dropping Aerial Photographs Capture the Earth’s Water from Above

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Skeidarar, Iceland

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River Koesseine, Germany

For German photographer Bernhard Edmaier, water is both immortal and living, shifting from ice to liquid to vapor and back again. It is simultaneously indestructible and ephemeral, essential to all known life forms and yet capable of obliterating us entirely. WATER, composed of aerial images shot across all continents on Earth, is first a paean to the element as the origin of our being and second a revelation about its potential for annihilation, set in motion by the hands of mankind and climate change.

Extraordinary Images Capture the Spirit of America’s ‘Dirt Meridian’


Pronghorn Antelope, Niobrara County, Wyoming, 2013. A herd of wild antelope, which in wintertime can number into the hundreds, roams the high plains that stretch towards the Big Horn Mountains in the background. Early pioneer cattlemen noticed that the native grass animals roaming this area tasted particularly good, and to this day Niobrara County grass has become famous among livestock buyers for the finish it gives cattle.


Fawn and Snowball, Cherry County, Nebraska, 2006. Calves whose mothers have died or who have been abandoned are often fed by hand. Fawn Moreland, who is part Ogallala Sioux, came to live with Ken and Sharon Moreland on Christmas Day when she was six years old.


Sun Through Rain, Dawes County, Nebraska, 2013. “From above, the land is like one endless unpunctuated idea—sand, tumbleweed, turkey, bunch stem, buffalo, meadow, cow, rick of hay, creek, sunflower, sand—and only rarely does a house or a windmill or a barn suddenly appear to suspend the sense of limitlessness.” –Inara Verzemnieks

For New York City-based photographer Andrew Moore, the flat and dry landscape of the 100th meridian— the line of longitude that splices the United States right down its center— is far more expressive and redolent than its epithet “Flyover Country” might suggest. Over the past ten years, while the rest of the country catches only blurred abstracted glimpses from the windows of faraway airplanes, the photographer and pilot Doug Dean have captained their small Cessna just above ground, capturing the land as if through a magnifying glass to reveal all that lies within the forgotten plains and sand hills of what we once referred to as “Great American Desert.”

Hanoi at Night is Hauntingly Beautiful



When night descends on the streets of Hanoi, says French photographer Sebastien Laval, the city metamorphoses into another realm entirely. In the witching hours between six o’clock in the evening and six in the morning, he can be seen roaming the Old Quarter alongside the ghosts of ten centuries past.

A Day in the Life of Lori Nix, a Photographer Who Rarely Photographs


Photographer Lori Nix in her studio

This is the first article in a new section we’re starting here at Feature Shoot in which we take you behind-the-scenes and inside the lives of photographers and show you the inner workings of their studios.

For fine art photographer Lori Nix, the process of making a single photograph can take many months of work, day in and day out, building elaborate miniature fictional landscapes or urban ruins, often alongside her partner and longtime collaborator Kathleen Gerber. After constructing her intricate and uncanny dioramas, Nix starts in on bringing them to life with her camera. Her days are filled to the brim with emails, commercial assignments, and meticulously executed fine art endeavors, but she does what she loves. Photos by Tahir Karmali for Feature Shoot.

New York-Based Photojournalist Yana Paskova on Her Most Important Photo Projects


A patient slams a Bulgarian coin on his forehead and says, “Money controls everything. Money is why I am here. Money is why I will never get out. We have no voice here; only money speaks,” in the psychiatry ward of a county hospital in Bulgaria on August 10, 2006. © Yana Paskova

We asked photojournalist Yana Paskova to describe the most important photo she’s ever taken. This was her response.

Yana Paskova: I think “ever” rarely exists, especially in the field of photojournalism, and the arts in general – and importance is quite relative. Is the photo important because it taught you something? Did it mean much to you or to its observers? Did it exert a great influence over your career? Or is it simply beautiful and meaningful? The picture a photographer considers singularly most significant at any point in his/her career will hopefully accumulate some competition within 5 years. I believe a more relevant way to evaluate impact is to look at photo projects. For me, the stories I shot on mental health in my homeland, Bulgaria, and then on American politics on the presidential campaign trail at the start of my career in the mid- to late-2000s were quite influential to my vision then – the former taught me how to access people’s lives effectively but respectfully, and the latter, how to use visual metaphors in illustrating complicated issues, and how to seek out beauty in the mundane. Of greatest import recently have been my projects in Bulgaria, once more, and also Cuba, on the intersection of democracy and communism – important because of how personal this issue is to me, having grown up in a communist country, and also because of the challenge (that I enjoy and welcome) of finding a unique voice in my stories when photographing a place of much news coverage (Cuba as one example, with more to come).

Photographer Doug Rickard Searches for ‘Hood Fight,’ ‘Crackheads Gone Wild’, and ‘Passed Out White Girl’, Explores the Dark Side of Urban America



Doug Rickard, the founder of well-known photography websites American Suburb X and These Americans, is a California-based artist and curator currently presenting “N.A.” in Los Angeles at Little Big Man Gallery through the end of October. “N.A.,” employing an openly ambiguous title, is Rickard’s new photography and video work that continues to “explore the darker side of urban America” while highlighting issues of “economic disparity, ever-present surveillance, and tendencies towards publicity via social media.” Over the course of three years, Rickard culled footage from thousands of YouTube videos using search terms that ranged from city names to more pointed keywords such as “police brutality,” “sideshow,” and “racial profiling,” to name a few. The resulting video, set to an almost unintelligible version of the “National Anthem,” gathers these YouTube contributor snippets ranging in theme and edits them loosely into a slow, mysterious, and often poignant picture of the modern American cultural landscape. While the videos Rickard found online “painted a picture of American violence, anger, frustration, and rage, targeted at economic isolation that is pervasive,” the final piece tends towards revelation, not desperation. We spoke in greater detail with Rickard about his artistic process, the project’s ambiguous title and evocative music, and his thoughts on traditional narrative.

‘Prints for Refugees': Photographers Donate Artwork to Help Those in Need

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When London-based photographer Mark Sherratt saw that unforgettable shot of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore in Turkey— from where the boy and his family were trying to escape from their war-torn home in Kobani to Greece and ultimately to safety in Canada—he was compelled to act. Like many around the globe, he felt both helpless in the face of the refugee crisis and as though he was unable to stand on the sidelines; once he saw the photograph of the drowned Kurdish toddler, the urgency of the situation came to a head, and the photographer created Prints for Refugees, a fundraising initiative by which photographers donate their work to benefit the millions of people displaced by violence and political unrest.

Art Buyer Chris Buda Shares His Secrets to Sourcing Images and Finding Photographers with ImageBrief (Sponsored)


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As Manager of Art Buying at BBDO Atlanta, Chris Buda is challenged each day to produce and source images for the world’s leading companies, from Toys ‘R Us and AT&T to Exxon Mobile and Georgia-Pacific. BBDO has been at the forefront of the advertising industry for more than a century, and they’ve gotten to where they are by constantly evolving their ideas to suit the age and the marketplace. We chatted with Buda about why he chooses ImageBrief to find photographers and source images.

You’ve Never Seen Photoshop Like This: ART21 Takes Us Behind-the-Scenes with Lucas Blalock

For most photographers, Photoshop is a means to an end, a way of merging disparate parts to create something uniform and true to life, even when the narrative that’s driving the image does not reflect reality. For artist Lucas Blalock, digital manipulation serves an antithetical purpose; his use of Photoshop is meant to expose, rather than conceal the (sometimes heavy) hand of the image-maker. Drawing inspiration from surrealist painter René Magritte and silent film star Buster Keaton, Blalock’s work becomes an exploration of both the limits and potentials of the photographic medium, alternately inciting laughter, tension, and delight.