A Moment of Contemplation & Serenity During Arles

Hills at dawn, Namo Buddha, Nepal Dec, 2017

Salinas Grandes, district de Juyjuy, Argentine, Mai 2015

On the banks of the Rhône River, the rapidly developing district of Trinquetaille, Colombian architects Simón Vélez and Stefana Simic have designed a monumental pavilion that overlooks the Old City of Arles. Made of bamboo, the thousand-square meter structure is home to Contemplation, an installation featuring the black and white photographs of Mattiheu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, scientist, and author who has been living alongside Tibetan masters in the heart of the Himalayas for over forty years.

Contemplation features 40 photos made between 1983 and 2017, made in Nepal, India, Argentina Chile, Bhutan, and Tibet bear witness to Ricard’s devotion to spiritual practice in all its forms. The photographs are printed on traditional Japanese Awagami paper, whose production dates back some 1,400 years. The 2m x 1.5m prints are accompanied by music designed to evoke a sense of serenity, a place for restoration and rest, during the middle of Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, July 3 – September 23, 2018.

Dark and Mysterious Photos Inspired by Dreams

“Over the course of the last few months, I’ve started having more and more dreams,” the Illinois photographer Thomas Jordan tells us. “I’ve been surprised by the feelings I wake up with some mornings.” The Fixed Path is his attempt to make sense of these subconscious rumblings within the context of his daily life. He made all of the images within a five-mile radius of home.

One Photographer’s Commitment to the Vulnerable Wild Horses of the United States

Wild Horse Family, Sandwash Basin, CO

Moonlit Dance


Horses helped ease Tori Gagne‘s homesickness when she was a young girl away at summer camp. As an adult and a photographer, Gagne now sees the equine species as a kind of mirror for the pieces of ourselves we’ve lost. “Horses connect us to a deeper part of ourselves that remembers wildness, freedom, nature and open spaces,” she tells me. “They can feel your emotion and reflect it back to you, showing you your true self.” Today, she documents and advocates for the lives of wild horses in the United States.

Intimate Portraits of Just-Released Inmates Leaving Prison

Huntsville, Texas, is a prison town, home to 11 different units of varying degrees of security. The Department of Criminal Justice has been the largest employer in Huntsville since 2005, making just about everyone in the town of 38,000 indirectly affiliated with the prison industrial complex.

The Wallis unit, the largest prison in Huntsville, serves as the regional release center for the state, with an average of 100 to 150 men being bussed in from other facilities every weekday. If a newly-released inmate does not have someone picking them up, they walk a couple of blocks to the Greyhound bus station, where they can catch a specially designated bus out of town.

One Photographer’s Love Letter to the Horses of Iceland

“Sleipnir is one of the most famous Icelandic horses,” the photographer Drew Doggett tells me. “He is believed to be the god Odin’s spirit animal, and according to folklore, the horseshoe-shaped glacial canyon Asbyrgi was formed by Sleipnir’s footprint.” In the Poetic Edda, Sleipnir carries Odin into the world of the dead. The author of the Prose Edda tells us he had eight legs. He was the son of a stallion and the Norse god Loki, and his real-world brothers and sisters, descendants of the horses brought over by the Norse people, still roam the enchanted landscape of Iceland today. They served as muses for Doggett’s most recent project In the Realm of Legends.

These Courageous Women Will Climb Afghanistan’s Highest Peak

At 7,500 meters, Mount Noshaq is Afghanistan’s highest point, and this year, five Afghan women will climb it. At the same time, they will challenge the rules and restrictions they’ve faced in their lives thus far. Going against the grain of a culture that prohibits girls and women from participating in outdoor sports, this group will redefine what it means to be a young woman coming of age in a male-dominated world. The photojournalist Erin Trieb and the journalist Theresa Breuer will be right there with them, and together, they will share the journey with the world in their film An Uphill Battle, currently on Kickstarter.

The women in the film are part of Ascend Athletics, an organization working to empower women in their teens and twenties through mountain climbing. With six days of rigorous training per week, in addition to community service, trauma resiliency sessions, and other team activities, these women learn the skills needed to embark on expeditions in the famous Hindu Kush mountain range. These trips are ambitious physically, logistically, and mentally. Ascend first planned an expedition to Mount Noshaq in 2015, but conflict in the area forced them to re-route to Panjshir for the protection of the women. That means that members of this current group will be the first-ever Afghan women to summit the mountain, the second highest in the Hindu Kush range.

Climbing Mount Noshaq is a challenge in and of itself, but this feat will also serve as a beacon for a rising generation of women, in Afghanistan and around the world. By breaking the status quo, these mountaineers will redirect the courses of their individual lives, but they will also claim their rightful places in sports, in society, and in history. We spoke with Trieb and Breuer about the project. Head on over to Kickstarter to support An Uphill Battle.

Nighttime New Jersey devoid of people

New Jersey photographer Matthew Dempsey used to live in Hoboken in New Jersey, a city across the Hudson River from Manhattan. After fifteen years of looking across the water at “the city that never sleeps”, he and his wife decided to leave all that behind.

They moved back to his hometown further west to raise a family of their own. Now in a quieter place, Dempsey describes this move back west as a catalyst for his recent work Nighttime. The majority of the photographs shown here were taken in and around his hometown.

How One Photographer-Turned-Entrepreneur Is Changing the Industry

Joshua Kissi’s Squarespace Website

One of the great things about the rise of the Internet, and social media especially, is that it gave young and independent creators access to a global audience. Photographer Joshua Kissi was able to create a career for himself in part because of his online influence, and he now stands as one of the pioneers in the business of creativity in the digital age.

Along with his high school friend Travis Gumbs, Kissi created Street Etiquette, a lifestyle blog focusing on black men’s style. Since its launch, the platform has evolved into a creative agency, and Kissi has made a name for himself in the industry. His work has appeared in publications worldwide, and he has teamed up with leading brands around the globe. With his stock photo company TONL, the Ghanian-American photographer directs his efforts towards reshaping the stock imagery industry into one that is more culturally diverse and inclusive.

As a photographer with a portfolio as extended as it is diverse, it was important for Kissi to build a website that reflected the range of his work. Thanks to Squarespace and their beautiful website templates, the photographer was able to show off his work in an organized and visually appealing way. Kissi also set up an online store, allowing him to sell prints directly to his audience.

Squarespace is a website builder that offers stunning layouts for photographers and visual artists like Joshua. Known for their clean and striking approach to web design, they make it easy to create a website without the hassle of coding. We talked to the photographer about his business, his photography, and the online platform he created to showcase it all.

Jill Greenberg Establishes Alreadymade, an Online Directory of Women Photographers

© Holly Andres

© Theodora Richter

While women account for 85% of consumer purchasing power, they are woefully underrepresented behind the camera, creating the images behind entertainment and advertising campaigns. Male photographers account for 90% of the commercial work – a disparity fueled by the “boys club” mentality that is out of step with the times.

Photographer Jill Greenberg decided to address the issue head on with the creation of Alreadymade, an online directory of women photographers, which she launched in tandem with a TEDx Talk titled “The Female Lens.” Here, Greenberg shines a light on the gender gap in the photography industry and the ways in which it reshapes the way we see the world.

“Here’s a dirty little secret about what photographers do: We make image propaganda!” Greenberg said in her talk. “So what happens when our views of the world are shaped by only a male lens? We are only getting the perspective, and biases of half the population. Almost every image we are surrounded by has been filtered through a man’s eyes, a man’s mind.”

A harrowing portrait of the U.S. opioid crisis

“I want people’s hearts to be broken,” says photographer Jordan Baumgarten on his book titled Good Sick. “That’s what it can be like to live here.”

This is Baumgarten’s harrowing, photographic portrait of the US opioid crisis, shown through its effects on the artist’s neighbourhood in Philadelphia over a five-year period. We spoke with the artist about the book and his thoughts on the documentary genre in general.

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