Posts by: Benjamin Pineros

We spoke to one of the internet’s most famous Photoshop provocateurs

Since Feature Shoot’s inception back in 2008, we’ve managed to showcase some of the best photographers on the planet. But of all the talented people we’ve had the pleasure to interview, only one has been able to capture Kurt Cobain’s secret pet Gremlin, exposed that Elvis is still alive, and witnessed the moment when Pablo Escobar met Mr. Rogers. We present Vemix, the digital artist that’s taking the world by storm.

Nobody knows his real name or has ever seen a photograph of him. Yet, the guy has about 60,000 followers on Instagram and is constantly tagged by today’s greatest celebrities. He’s even got his own entry in the Urban Dictionary, where his name is defined as a verb.

“Food is the new rock’n’roll”! We interviewed legendary music photographer and cook extraordinaire, Kerstin Rodgers

If you like music, it’s very likely that you’ve seen the work of Kerstin Rodgers, one of the prime documentarians of the punk scene in London and one of the most influential rock’n’roll photographers of all time.

That classic image of a young and coy Morrisey wearing an oversized knit sweater, those scenes of The Cramps ferociously blasting on stage as if their lives depended on it, or Madness doing their trademark “nutty train” … that’s all Kerstin. She’s one of the many unsung lens warriors who one beer-stained night at a time, helped define the iconography of rock in the late 70s and early 80s.

She got her photos published in New Musical Express as a teenager, and since then her work has been printed on the pages of almost every prestigious musical and news outlet under the sun. She’s exhibited in galleries in Paris and London, and was included in the Getty Image Library exhibition, ‘Beat Positive’.

Madness, January 1st 1980. © Kerstin Rodgers

But her story is as weird, fascinating and unique as they come. Although Rodger’s impact in the music industry is immense, over the last decade she has become an Internet celebrity for very different reasons.

We talked to Cortis and Sonderegger, the ingenious duo that recreates history’s most iconic photographs with miniatures

Unless you were abducted by aliens over the last couple of years, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen one way or another the work of Swiss photographers Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger.

Time Magazine, The New York Times, Vice, Buzzfeed, and practically every major news outlet under the sun has covered their ongoing project “Icons”, in which the duo set out to recreate with miniature models the most emblematic photographs in history.

Their partnership started back in 2005 when they were studying photography at Zurich University of the Arts. That fruitful creative collaboration extended to their professional career with their own studio, landing over the years many high profile gigs with clients like Greenpeace and leading cookware manufacturer Kuhn Rikon.

The Hindenburg Disaster, Sam Shere, 1937

Making of ‘The Seven year Itch’, Sam Shaw, 1954

“Icons” started in 2012 both as a joke and as a way to keep themselves busy during downtime. Their first experiment was to recreate Andreas Gursky’s infamous Rhein II, at the time the most expensive photograph ever sold. (a record broken in 2014 by Phantom, by Australian photographer Peter Li)

Armed with cardboard, cotton wool, sand, glue, tin foil paper and many other materials that at first glance would seem more appropriate in a school science fair than in a professional studio, the creative team started to painstakingly recreate with miniatures the most significant photographs in history.

Among their recreations, we can find cultural symbols like Pennie Smith’s cover for London Calling, transcendent historical events like the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, and decisive moments in the evolution of photography like Niépce’s View from the Window at Le Gras from 1826, the earliest surviving photograph of a real-world scene.

Born to be bad: Brad Elterman, one of music’s most influential rock ‘n’ roll photographers

Brad Elterman

At just 19 years of age, he had already managed to photograph Bob Dylan and David Bowie, hung out with The Runaways, and had his work published in magazines all over the world. This is Brad Elterman, an artist whose work serves as a comprehensive visual history of rock ‘n’ roll.

If such a thing as reincarnation exists, I’d like to reincarnate as Brad Elterman. This is a man who seemed to have the very useful superpower of always being in the right place, at the right time.

American photographer Kellie Klein reflects on the restorative power of water and its relation to human emotion

Kellie Klein

Working with a wide range of techniques that go from nineteenth century printing processes like the cyanotype and Van Dyke brown, to current day digital manipulation, Kellie Klein’s photographs are an irresistible invitation to doubt about the very truthfulness of our perceptions.

With her eerie scenes, clever use of negative space in her compositions, a fondness for depicting sometimes indistinguishable, blurred elements, Klein paints meditative and metaphorical images that pose to the viewer as a question, never as an answer.

Exploring the powerful visual poetry of Japanese photographer Michiko Chiyoda

Michiko Chiyoda

It’s fair to say that Japanese artist Michiko Chiyoda is one of the most exciting photographers in the world right now. In little more than a decade, she has managed to earn features in multiple specialized magazines and her work has been showcased already in dozens of solo and group exhibitions in Tokyo.

Chiyoda’s work is characterized by gentle, introspective scenes that invite the audience to gaze at her visual compositions like one savours good poetry.

For these strikingly beautiful photographs full of silences and lingering thoughts, she has been the recipient of various accolades and distinctions, one of them being included in 2016 by Dodho Magazine in their list of 15 Talented Asian Photographers.

She’s most regarded for her black and white work but is currently delving into a colour series based on traditional Japanese calligraphy.

We had the pleasure to chat to Michiko about her art, the meaning of life and death, and her technical workflow.

Cody Bratt captures the beautiful self-destructive nature of love in his book Love We Leave Behind

Cody Bratt

Cody Bratt is a San Francisco-born photographer with an almost uncanny ability to capture the glamour of pain. He’s one of those artists, like Rimbaud. Bukowski, or Lana del Rey, that somehow, some way, are able to portray decadence and loss in an irresistibly alluring and cinematic way.

Bratt has exhibited his work internationally at the Berlin Art Week, Brighton Photo Fringe festival and the Colorado Photographic Arts Center among others.

Love We Leave Behind is Cody’s first monograph, a series that serves as an “emotional documentary” that revisits the memories of a fervent, formative relationship from the past.

The series is captured like a road movie, portraying the ups and lows of that kind of love that is so passionate and self-destructing it’s almost impossible to quit. The work is meant to be taken as a recollection of unreliable memories, a portrait of those moments of broken promises and intimate secrets that only walls keep.

The series was a finalist in the 2016 Duke University CDS/Honickman First Book Prize and was included in Photolucida’s 2018 Critical Mass Top 50.

Russian photographer Dmitry Gomberg gives us a bucolic view of life in rural Georgia with his work The Shepherd’s Way

Dmitry Gomberg

Photographer Dmitry Gomberg lived for five years amongst a community of shepherds in the historic region of Tusheti in northeast Georgia. Beautiful, yet unforgiving, the region is located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, a world frozen in time, trapped between the ways of the Soviet Union and the new socio-economic conditions that came with its dissolution.

Each year, the shepherds go through an exceptional journey leading their massive flock from the winter fields to the mountains in order to ensure the animals’ survival.

New book, Images in Transition, makes us question the notion of truth in photo journalism

David Pace photography

David Pace got his first camera when he was just eight years old — a little plastic Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. Since then, he has displayed an exceptional ability to portray raw, lingering emotion through his photographs.

Whether it’s mundane scenes of suburban life in the 1960s or artisanal gold mining in Burkina Faso, you can always find something relatable in David’s work. It conveys the complex vagaries of humanity, each frame an invitation to find connections between the subjects he photographs and our own life.

David Pace photography

His work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries in Germany, Japan, and the US. Most recently, he partnered with Stephen Wirtz, co-founder of the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco, to create the visually powerful book, Images in Transition, a collection of evocative wirephotos from World War 2.

The technique was still in its infancy at the time and wirephotos were far from perfect. These images were blurry, ridden with weird artifacts, and showed dot-matrix like pixelation. News agencies often retouched these pictures to enhance details, hide certain elements or incorporate new ones. This heavy amount of manipulation raises a whole universe of fascinating questions around ethics, art, and technology.

The result is an intriguing look at the intersection between art, journalism, and propaganda.

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