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Posts by: Ellyn Kail

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards!

After reviewing hundreds of phenomenal submissions from photographers working across the globe, we’re thrilled to announce the ten winners of the 4th Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards. One up-and-coming photographer, selected by Feature Shoot Founder Alison Zavos, will receive a cash prize of $5000, and nine more will exhibit with one of our esteemed jurors: Louise Clements of FORMAT International Photography Festival in the UK, Moshe Rosenzveig of Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, or Laura Roumanos of United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, New York.

Exhibiting images will be shown as as stunning ChromaLuxe metal prints, trusted by gallerists and museums around the world for their vibrancy and durability. Special thanks to Squarespace, the all-in-one platform to build your online presence, for sponsoring the awards! Photographers can try Squarespace free for 14 days. When you’re ready to subscribe, be sure to use coupon ‘FSAWARDS18’ for 10% off your first purchase.

© Lucia Sekerkova

Feature Shoot Founder Alison Zavos selected Lucia Sekerkova as the winner of the $5000 cash prize. In her series Vrajitoare, the Slovakian photographer tells the stories of Romanian Wallachian Roma women. As modernization collides with the traditional roles of witches, fortune tellers, and healers, these women are sought-after online. “The profession has been transformed into a business, inherited across generations,”Sekerkova writes. “Nine-year-old girls are already starting their promotional ‘vrajitoare’ profiles on the Facebook.”

Louise Clements, the Artistic Director QUAD and the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival selected a total of five photographers to be part of a group exhibition at the FORMAT19 Festival in the UK: Lucia Sekerkova, (see above)  SynchrodogsSharbendu De, Camillo Pasquarelli, and Dylan Hausthor.

© Lucia Sekerkova

Untitled #2 from Slightly Altered project © Synchrodogs

For their series ‘Slightly Altered’, Synchrodogs, an artistic duo composed of Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven, take us to the Carpathian Mountains, where they spent a month traveling and reflecting on the complex relationship between humankind and the wilderness. “The project is about interdependency of humans and nature and the new ways the Earth begins to look as a result of our interventions into the environmental processes,” they write. “Witnessing intrusions into nature, Synchrodogs have started reflecting upon how much we, like all life, both alter our environment and are altered by it.”

© Sharbendu De

The Indian photographer Sharbendu De takes us to the forests of Namdapha National Park & Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, where he spent time with members of the the Lisu tribe. Though they are Indian citizens, the Lisu people have experienced decades of isolation, oppression, and loss. In 1983, their ancestral land was converted into a national park without their consent. “A largely unadministered terrain, they survive without roads, electricity, schools, doctors, hospitals, phone network or most modern amenities,” De writes. “Despite the adversities, they cohabit symbiotically with nature –– revelling in its mysteries as a self-sufficient community. They treat their sick, build each other’s home, pray, celebrate and mourn together.”

For his series Imagined Homeland, he’s constructed lyrical tableaux with members of the tribe. “I intend to evoke feelings that portray their state of mind and emotions over resorting to a spectacle,” he continues. “I adopted poetic aesthetics, reference archetypal interconnections between man, animal and nature, and borrow from dream symbolism.” You can read our interview with De here.

Amir Kabir Beigh, 26 years old, Baramulla. “In September 2010 I was going to buy some medicine for my mother by evening time when a group of security forces fired at me near the bridge of the old town. There had been clashes throughout the day but it was calm at that time. I was alone on the street so only after some minutes somebody found me and took me to the hospital. I have gone through a lot of surgeries all over India but I am still completely blind”. Amir is the first pellet victim of Kashmir, he received hundreds of iron balls on his body. © Camillo Pasquarelli

In the project The valley of shadows, Camillo Pasquarelli takes us to the militarized zone of the valley of Kashmir, tracing the stories of individuals who have been affected by the pellet guns used by security forces.”Defined as a ‘non-lethal’ weapon, it should be aimed at the lower part of the body during the urban protests,” the Italian photographer writes. “According to a UN report released in 2018, the new weapon is responsible for blinding around 1000 people and killing dozens. Many of the victims were not involved in the clashes with security forces. Those who were hit during the protests tend to avoid speaking about it openly, fearing retaliation by the police. For youngsters left with one eye reading has become too painful, thus forcing them to abandon their studies, giving up the chance of pursuing higher education. Men left blind, the only breadwinner in the family, are unable to work and provide for their beloved ones.”

Dead Men, Look at Me © Dylan Hausthor

An unusual thing happened in Dylan Hausthor’s town: a friend of his lit another friend’s barn on fire, and in the midst of the deed, she went into labor. “She ran across the street to the property owner’s house demanding a ride to the hospital as the proof of her arson was smoking right behind her,” the photographer writes. Inspired in part by this event, his series Past the Pond, Setting Fires takes a poetic approach to the thin and mysterious line that separates the idea of truth from fiction, reality from mythology. “The characters and landscapes in these images are documents of the instability found in storytelling—told by an even more precarious narrator,” Hausthor continues.”I’m interested in pushing past questions of validity that are traditional in documentary photography and into a much more human sense of reality: faulted, broken, and real.”

Moshe Rosenzveig, the Founder and Director of Head On Photo Festival, chose three artists to exhibit in Sydney: Jordan Gale, Gloria Oyarzabal, and Gary Beeber.

Portrait of myself. Family photo. North Liberty, IA. 2018 © Jordan Gale

In It Is What It Is, the Iowa photographer Jordan Gale revisits his upbringing in Cedar Rapids, a nuanced history touched by drug dependency and poverty. “It creates a portrait of youth and decrepitude, addiction and recovery, all coexisting in a Midwest town,” the artist writes. “Through a personal narrative, the series highlights the frustration, sorrow, and longing of multigenerational stagnation in America’s Heartland.”

STUDIO STRIPES (On exotification, hypersexualization, victimization and other -ations) © Gloria Oyarzabal

The Madrid-based photographer Gloria Oyarzabal dismantles Western colonial ideas on gender in her project Woman go no’gree. “One consequence of Eurocentrism is the racialization of knowledge: Europe is represented as the source of knowledge and Europeans, therefore, as thinkers.In addition, male privilege as an essential part of the European ethos is implicit in the culture of modernity,” the artist writes. “I explore the intersections of gender, history, knowledge-making, stereotypes, clichés.”

Gary Beeber, a photographer and filmmaker based in Centerville, OH, looks beyond the surface of things to reveal nuances and details others might overlook. This particular image comes from his series Sylvester Manor. “Unbeknownst to me, this hauntingly bucolic overgrown garden was the former slaveholding planation purchased in 1652 by Nathaniel Sylvester for 1600 pounds of sugar,” the artist writes. “I find myself compelled to chronicle it’s evolving decay while attempting to understand its complex history.

Laura Roumanos, the Executive Producer & Co-Founder United Photo Industries will show work by two artists–Amelie Satzger and Lauren Menzies–in a dual exhibition at the UPI gallery in Brooklyn, New York. 

Time Dilation © Amelie Satzger

With What is Reality?, the Munich-based photographer Amelie Satzger invites us into a surrealist universe inspired by the works of Stephen Hawking. Every image in the series illustrates one of the concepts set forth by the preeminent theoretical physicist.

Femme Fiction #1 © Lauren Menzies

Femme Fiction is a series of self-portraits by the New York City photographer Lauren Menzies; in each picture, she reveals a facet of her personality (i.e. a “persona”). “Using myself as the figure, I explore the history of female portraiture through ideas of beauty, irony, and perception,” she writes. “The figure’s features are removed to aesthetically disguise the immediate recognition of self-portraiture. This shapes my desire for the viewer to imagine a story about each woman.”

The Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards are generously sponsored by Squarespace, ChromaLuxe United Photo Industries, Head On Photo Festival, and FORMAT International Photography Festival.

Celebrating Black Womanhood, One Photo at a Time (Sponsored)

From Deun Ivory’s Squarespace website

Deun Ivory has a saying: “Authenticity is my superpower.” As a photographer, illustrator, writer, and art director, she’s built a thriving career by staying true to herself. Ivory empowers women of color to feel seen and heard; her portraits of black female movers and shakers feel honest, beautiful, and strong, while her words inspire countless others to accept and embrace their talents. It’s hard to put this artist in a box; as a former English and Art teacher, she straddles genres and media with grace and purpose, bringing her dreams to life while encouraging young women to follow their own.

This year, Ivory released her first book black women + good grain, an enduring testament to Black Girl Magic that incorporates pictures, prose, and poetry. In addition to her photography projects, Ivory serves as the art director of Black Girl In Om, a preeminent health and wellness platform for women of color. At the same time, she continues to host workshops both online and in person for fellow creatives. With all she has going on, it’s easy to get lost in her stellar website, which includes stunning imagery, powerful essays, and an online shop.

When it came time for Ivory to set up an online presence, she chose to do it herself with the website builder Squarespace. While she’s out and about reshaping culture and uplifting others, Squarespace makes sure she can showcase everything in one place using one of their award-winning website templates. With a website design that’s both engrossing and minimal, the artist invites us to explore her world at our own pace. She’s even used Squarespace to show some of her clients how to make a website that reflects their personal vision. We interviewed the artist about her work, her muses, and her website.

Stirring Photos of Animals in the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

Pigs who survived the hurricane and escaped their farm swim through flood waters in North Carolina. © Kelly Guerin / We Animals

Drowned body of a broiler chicken on a porch in North Carolina. © Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Cows who survived the hurricane, stranded on a porch, surrounded by flood waters in North Carolina. © Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

When the filmmaker Kelly Guerin was on the ground in Duplin County, North Carolina, in the wake of Hurricane Florence, she encountered a group of pigs stranded on a highway bridge. It was already getting dark, but she and local activists Daniel Turbert and Caroline Byrd couldn’t leave the pigs behind. After coordinating with local sanctuaries, Guerin and Turbert stayed with the animals all night, counting them, checking that they were still breathing, and waiting for their rescue. Many of the pigs in the area had never seen the outdoors before Florence; raised for meat, they had spent their lives confined to factory farms, and when the hurricane came, they were been taken by the water.

Dreamy Pictures of Life on the Seashore

All That Is Above Me and Nothing That Is Below

Endless Season

“When I’m on the beach and faced with the blue horizon, wide-open sky, and a miles-long expanse of sand, sometimes my mind starts racing,” the Seattle-based photographer and digital artist Tony Nahra tells me. “Usually, I’m looking for a figure in a minimalist scene… on the sand, in the waves, or on a dune.” His images are an ode to the sea, its benevolent and violent whims, and the sense of solitude we find on its shores.

A Stunning New Exhibition of Powerful Photos of Women

Tiana © Renée Jacobs

Sleeping Madje © Maggie Steber

Throughout her career, the photographer Renée Jacobs has heard men tell her about how women “should” be portrayed. She’s photographed hundreds of women and exhibited across the globe, all the while facing comments like “Women can’t look like this” and “They must look like that.” Now, she’s pushing back with Photos de Femmes, a traveling festival of images that depict women in ways that are truthful, raw, and resonant. Jacobs, along with her wife and collaborator Wendy Hicks, unveiled their first exhibition of many, womenSEEwomen, as part of the Porto Photo Fest. The show is now in its final weekend at the Centro Português de Fotografia.

A New Book to Change the Way You Look at Photography

Dorothea Lange: The Road West, New Mexico, 1938. Library of Congress.

Daido Moryama: Stray Dog, 1971. Courtesy Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Photographers on Photography, the newest book from the author Henry Carroll, is out now by Laurence King Publishing. In its pages, you’ll find more than a century’s worth of words and images from the past and present, with contributions from William Henry Fox Talbot, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Irving Penn, Lisette Model, Gary Winogrand, Daido Moriyama, Alec Soth, Olivia Bee, and many more. As a follow-up to his critically acclaimed series Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs, Photographers on Photography takes a philosophical approach to what Carroll calls “the most enigmatic art of them all.”

These Empowering Photos Show Us What It Means to Be a Witch

“Shine (New York, NY),” 2017, © Frances F. Denny. Archival pigment print, Courtesy ClampArt, New York City“

Judika (Brooklyn, NY),” 2017, © Frances F. Denny. Archival pigment print, Courtesy ClampArt, New York City

“As it turns out, there are a lot of witches out there,” the photographer Frances F. Denny tells us. “You probably even already know one.” Her project Major Arcana: Witches in America, now on view at ClampArt in NYC, takes us on a journey throughout the United States, introducing us a few of the many cis, trans, and gender-fluid women around the country who identity as witches. Here, the word “witch” applies in various ways; while some of the women are of the Wiccan faith, others practice outside of organized churches or religions. Denny met priestesses, healers, hedge witches, political activists, and many more during her travels. They each came into their “witch-hood” at different phases of their lives, some as young children and others as adults.

These Vintage Dog Show Photos Are Sure to Make You Smile

When Shirley Baker (1932-2014) photographed English dog shows in the 1960s and ’70s, she wasn’t looking for scenes of glitz and glamour; instead, she wandered behind the scenes, catching glimpses of canines and their handlers as they prepared waited for their big moment. Outside of the spotlight, she watched dogs and their people chatting, preening, napping, and simply passing the time. Her photographs have just been published in the delightful new book Dog Show 1961-1978 by Hoxton Mini Press.

One Photographer’s Poignant Reflection on Self-Injury

“The first instant when I self-injured, I was acting on impulse to try and dissipate some of the overwhelming emotions that I had as a young person,” the London photographer Daniel Regan tells me. “It wasn’t until I had been doing it for a few years, in my late teens, that I felt able to describe why I was engaging in the behavior.” His latest project Threshold pulls back the curtain on an often-misunderstood subject, revealing in pictures what he once struggled to put into words. The work is now on view as part of a major exhibition on addiction (and addictive behaviors) at the Science Gallery London, titled HOOKED!

Orphaned Elephants and the People Who Rescued Them, in Photos

Edwin, Head Keeper of the Nairobi Nursery with elephants Ndotto and Mbegu. You should have heard the rumbles of love as I photographed this group hug. © David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust / Mia Collis.

Wild elephants join ex orphans at a waterhole in Ithumba, Tsavo. © David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust / Mia Collis.

In 2014, Jacob Putunoi, a young Kenyan boy, helped save an orphaned elephant named Mbegu, who had just barely escaped an attack by humans. Jacob discovered her hiding place while herding his goats, and he brought brought her to Peter Kameru, the Warden at Naibunga Conservancy. Peter protected her from harm until team members from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust could arrive and bring her to safety. “I was afraid at first,” Jacob later said. “But when I saw she was small like me, I lost my fear.” He was eight years old at the time. Mbegu was seven weeks.

Jacob and Peter are just two of the individuals honored in The Unsung Heroes, the last publication by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick (1934-2018). The book, photographed by Mia Collis, researched by Yolanta Volak, and produced by Angela Sheldrick, tells the stories of people throughout Kenya who  accomplished miracles on behalf of elephants. Because of these courageous individuals, who sometimes put their lives on the line to defend orphaned elephants, the DSWT has been able to rehabilitate hundreds of babies whose parents have, in many cases, been killed by people. When they grow up, they reintegrate into a herd in the wilds of the Tsavo Conservation Area. Despite the cruelty that often marked the early years of their lives, the elephants at DSWT are able to heal through the kindness of individual humans. As Dr. Sheldrick writes in her introduction to the book, the mothers, once grown, frequently bring their wild-born babies back to introduce them to the dedicated keepers who reared them in their youth.

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