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Posts by: Ellyn Kail

A New Exhibition Looks at Our Complex Relationship with Animals

Karsten, impoundment #87239. Karsten was an 11-month male Labrador/hound mix was a stray. He was brought to the Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh, NC on 4/20/13. Karsten was adopted on 8/13/13 after spending 78 days in the shelter, and thirty-seven days after being photographed at Landfill Park. © Shannon Johnstone

In 2013, Shannon Johnstone met a puppy named Karsten at the Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh, North Carolina as part of her long-term project Landfill Dogs, a series of photographs of shelter dogs who are at risk of being euthanized.

Karsten was a great dog, but he was young and big. He also had lots of energy, which meant he’d be harder to adopt. “Not long after his photo shoot, Karsten ended up in quarantine,” the artist remembers. “The note in his file read ‘Quarantined for rambunctious behavior.’”

Johnstone left Karsten’s photo shoot that day feeling sad and worried that he wouldn’t find a home. In his portrait, he’s sitting in the grass, looking back at the photographer under a cloudy sky. His expression is hopeful, but it’s also solemn.

Despite the nuances of the work, Johnstone initially had trouble getting people to care about dogs like Karsten. “When I began Landfill Dogs, I attended portfolio reviews and consultations with curators,” she remembers. “I was disappointed to hear that my photographs would never be anything but dog portraits.

“I was told by more than one individual that because of the subject, the photographs needed something else, some other twist to ‘elevate’ them. This really bothered me. Why can’t a portrait of a dog be just as important as a portrait of human?”

Now, an exhibition of five female artists is hoping to shift the narrative. With support from the Culture and Animals Foundation, Johnstone, Lee Deigaard, Jo-Anne McArthur, Traer Scott, and L.A. Watson have come together under one roof to examine the dignity, individuality, and worthiness of animals.

Photos Capture the ‘Serenity and Chaos’ of India

“I feel the serenity in the chaos is what makes India so amazing–the smells, the noise, the heat, the people, the animals,” the Bangalore-based photographer Vivek Prabhakar tells us. “I love going out when the streets are busy. There are so many moments unfolding.”

Here’s Why ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Is the Only Editing Software You’ll Ever Need (Sponsored)

ACD Systems International has been a world leader in photo management software since the early 1990s, when the company forecasted—and helped facilitate—the rise of digital photography. But within the last ten years, they’ve revolutionized the way photographers around the globe manage their daily workflow. The Ultimate product line, for example, is the first ever digital asset manager and RAW editor with layers.

Now, ACD Systems International has launched their much-anticipated program, Photo Studio Ultimate 2020. As a follow-up to last year’s edition, this program comes with an array of brand new features to blow its competitors out of the water. Here’s a look at just seven things that stood out to us right off the bat.

The Hope and Resilience of Animals, in Photos

“I first saw Chloe as I was passing a beautiful rolling pasture on my drive home,” Debra Hodges remembers. “It was late afternoon. Her whiteness was shimmering against the dark green of the forest behind her as she grazed in a pasture green with the promise of warmer days ahead. I’d driven by that pasture for years and had never seen her. I knew I had to photograph her.”

After weeks of searching for the property owner and the lessee, Hodges finally got to meet Chloe–a senior horse in her 20s. Chloe had been with her family for eight years, and she had melanoma. “From a distance, she was perfection,” the artist says. “Up close she had a large mass growing at the edge of one of her eye sockets. And the base of her tail was deformed by a collection of lesions and growths that hadn’t yet interfered with her bodily functions but would before long.”

Announcing the Winners of #ThePrintSwap Exhibition at Photoville!

‘School Children in Garamba, DRC’ © Mia Collis (@mia_collis), Nairobi, Kenya

Our international photo swapping project, The Print Swap, is headed to Photoville in New York this fall!

Feature Shoot founder Alison Zavos and I have selected a total of thirty pictures from participating photographers around the world, including some based in the US, UK, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, India, Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, Italy, and Germany.

See the show in person in one of Photoville’s signature repurposed shipping containers at Brooklyn Bridge Park from September 12-22nd.

A journey to the frontlines of the fight for animal rights

The photojournalist Aitor Garmendia stands outside a farm in Italy, accompanied by investigators from the animal rights group Essere Animali. Inside, there are thousands of pigs, all bred and raised for meat. It’s the dead of night. All is silent. There are guards inside. “You have one minute,” the investigation coordinator tells Garmendia. He slips inside, turns on the light, and photographs what he sees.

This was just one of the twelve nights Garmendia spent with the team from Essere Animali. Each one posed new risks. In total, they investigated eleven farms.

Announcing the Winners of #ThePrintSwap Show at FOLEY Gallery in NYC

‘Tricked You’ © Erica Reade (@ericareadeimages), Brooklyn, New York

Girl playing with a tyre © Andrea Torrei (@andreatorrei), Bologna, Italy

‘Neither in Heaven nor on Earth’ © Rebeka Legovic (@rebekalegovic), Rijeka, Croatia

Feature Shoot’s worldwide project The Print Swap will return to Manhattan for our summer exhibition at the renowned FOLEY Gallery. Opening for one night only on July 23rd, this show features thirty photographs, each selected by the gallery owner Michael Foley himself. FOLEY Gallery is a perfect setting to showcase work from the global Print Swap community. The show will feature talented artists based in the United States, Brazil, England, Italy, Croatia, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Japan.

The show has no fixed theme, so we leave the images open to interpretation. Passageways and thresholds become recurring motifs, suggesting a hazy boundary line between the real and the imagined. On the beaches of New York, Erica Reade experiments with mirrors, transfiguring space and time. Rebeka Legovic photographs a dog walking steadily into the unknown. In Cape Coast, Ghana, Andrea Torrei watches a girl as she plays with a tire, creating what could be a portal to another world. Alison Schmitz drifts skyward a surreal cloudscape, while Jesus Domingo takes us an a journey by boat to the end of the world.

If you’re in New York this summer, be sure to see the show in person on the 23rd!

The Print Swap is an ongoing initiative launched by Feature Shoot. Here’s how it works: photographers can submit images for consideration by tagging them #theprintswap on Instagram or uploading them directly to our website. Our team of curators chooses outstanding images, and selected photographers are invited to participate in our international swap. It’s free to submit, and it costs just $40/image for selected photographers to take part.

All Print Swap participating photographers give a print and receive a print, and during our fixed judging periods, they are also considered for our offline exhibitions. Our next show will be at Photoville, and submissions are now open! As NYC’s largest annual photography event, Photoville draws more than 80,000 visitors to Brooklyn Bridge Park each September. Learn more at our website, and follow along on Instagram at @theprintswap for updates. We can’t wait to see your submissions!

One Photographer Captures the Resilience of Nature (Sponsored)

This post is brought to you by our friends at Squarespace, the all-in-one web hosting platform perfect for photographers.

Raised in Barcelona and based in Berlin, the photographer Silvia Conde has explored some of the most pristine locations on the planet. Scrolling through her portfolio feels like stepping back in time. From dreamy landscapes to analog portraits, her sun-drenched images remind us of our enduring connection to the environment and the importance of protecting it for generations to come.

Conde’s body of work represents a modern-day Garden of Eden. She’s created a beacon of hope for the environmental movement, a lasting tribute to the resilience of nature in a world where almost everything seems disposable. And with Squarespace as her website builder, she’s also created something else: a lush and dynamic digital space that captures the breadth and beauty of the natural world.

We spoke with Conde about her commitment to making art that makes a difference and the one-of-a-kind website she created to showcase it all.

Poignant Photos of Rescued Farm Animals in Their Twilight Years

Violet, a potbellied pig, age 12. Born with her rear legs partially paralyzed, Violet was surrendered to a sanctuary because her guardian could not properly care for her special needs.

Blue, an Australian Kelpie rescue dog, was a companion for 21 years.

Babs, a donkey, age 24.

Babs, a donkey, spent seventeen years of her life at a cattle ranch, where ranchers used her for roping practice. “Roping involves electrically shocking a donkey to make her run, chasing her on horseback, and then tossing a lasso around her neck or rear legs to pull her to the ground,” the photographer Isa Leshko writes in her book Allowed to Grow Old. “Donkeys endure this practice repeatedly until they are exhausted, maimed, or killed.”

7 Reasons You Need ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate (Sponsored)

In the early 1990s, digital photography was just beginning to make waves, and few companies had caught onto the massive sea change on the horizon. In those years, digital cameras were available mostly to professionals, commanding high prices ranging from $1000 to $30,000. Many established brands continued to focus their energies on film.

Even back then, however, a man by the name of Doug Vandekerkhove knew something major was about to happen. In 1993, he founded ACD Systems International Inc., an independent image editing company for the digital generation. The next year, the first version of ACDSee gave users the ability to view and manage their digital files in a way that was previously inconceivable.

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Thanks for signing up to the Feature Shoot newsletter! You might also be interested in submitting some of your photos to our global Print Swap initiative. More here: https://www.theprintswap.com/photo-upload