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Posts by: Ellyn Kail

Timeless Photos Capture the Poetry of the Human Form

Edward Weston wrote more than once about photographing the “quintessence” of every subject, whether it be the human body or a botanical specimen. Exploration of sensuality and melancholy–A State of Nature, a new project from the photographer Daniel Dorsa and the producer Tina Michelle Chen from the ROOT Creative team, is a contemporary look at the timeless principles artists have grappled with for generations; decades after Weston, they set out in search of those elusive but “quintessential” truths about our bodies, our relationships, and our desires.

The Secret Life of Alpacas, in Photos

According to Andean mythology, alpacas are gifts from the gods and goddesses. They arrived in our world under one condition: we must always treat them well and tend to their needs. Many centuries later, the photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek pays homage to these age-old animals with Better Living with Alpacas, a new calendar in which he imagines the secret life of a few mischievous fellows.

Poignant Photos of a Man in the Final Year of His Life

Hugo, the oldest man in the town of Las Cascadas, spends time sitting in his couch watching how the wind moves the trees on his farm on a cold winter day on July 25th, 2016.

From his farm in southern Chile, Hugo says the Osorno Volcano is majestic, imposing, and the most beautiful in the world. While this view has been with him every day, he often confuses it with other volcanos.

Years ago, two men, Hugo Küschel and Teodoro Hofmann, lived in the village of Las Cascadas, Chile. Here, they tended their farms, raised their families, and became dear friends. Teodoro passed away in 1978, but more than thirty-five years later, his granddaughter, the photographer Constanza Hevia H., would meet Hugo for the first time. By then, Hugo was the oldest man living in Las Cascadas, and he and his wife Wilma spent their time inside their house, where the photographer became a regular visitor. “One day, I asked Hugo if he was afraid of death,” she says. “He told me, ‘Look, I look at it in this way: tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, one has to leave this earth.'” The Time I Have Left is her record of Hugo’s memories and the final chapter of his life.

Poetic Photos from an Anti-Drilling Protest Camp

Last year, the photographer Ben Terzza spent many evenings exploring the Bury Hill Wood in Surrey, England. During one quiet sunset, he happened across a Fallow Deer, accompanied by her fawn. “These woods are quite secluded so there’s hardly anyone ever up there,” he remembers. All was peaceful, but the meeting was bittersweet, tainted by the knowledge that the landscape was at risk. Over the summer, Terzza would help tell the story of a place called Leith Hill, looming plans for drilling in the area, and the protest camp fighting for its future.

Join Us in Brooklyn for The Print Swap Holiday Exhibition!

Photos (clockwise from left): @bottenvikenmatters@tinetti_julie@alixjoyce@konrad.jpg

Plastic Planet © Wolf Silveri (@wolf.silveri), Rosenheim, Germany

Every Day is a Gift © Deborah Hodges (@debhodges), Gig Harbor, WA

In 2016, Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap in hopes of connecting photographers across the world. Eight international exhibitions later and with more on the way, we’re thrilled to announce the largest Print Swap show ever, taking place at the beautiful ROOT Studios in Brooklyn on December 13th. This will be our second holiday party, and every single photographer who participated in the swap between mid-September and mid-November will exhibit their work. We have artists from all over the globe represented, and with some of them traveling from faraway locales to attend, it will surely be a night to remember. If you’re in town, be sure to RSVP here.

40 Years of Remarkable Photos by Steve McCurry

India, 1993 © Steve McCurry

Scotland, 2016 © Steve McCurry

September 11, New York City, New York, 2001 © Steve McCurry

Bonnie McCurry has shared many long-distance phone calls with her brother Steve without knowing when they’d next speak. She saw him grow up in the wake of their mother’s death, and she remembers things about their childhood he was too young to understand. More than once, as he was busy documenting life on the other side of the world, she worried he’d been killed in the field.  Now, Bonnie McCurry helps tell the story of one of the world’s most influential photographers in their new book Steve McCurry: A Life in Pictures, out now by Laurence King.

This Photographer Will Make You See LA In a Whole New Way

From Bryan Brandon’s Squarespace website

With an Instagram following of more than 38,000, the self-taught photographer Bryan Brandon is a Renaissance man for the 21st century, mixing and matching influences from the street, architecture, and cinema. He’s explored the natural wonders of national parks in the American Southwest and some of the most dynamic metropolises in the world, but Los Angeles is currently his home base and primary playground.

You can find him out and about exploring its bustling streets and beaches, chasing down sunsets and spontaneous portraits. With a portfolio full of vibrant lifestyle imagery, Brandon captures the sense of movement and diversity that makes great cities thrum with energy. He’s tapped into the aesthetic of wanderlust, and he’s invited us all along for the journey, even if it’s only a walk down the street.

Brandon creates commercial photographs that feel personal, authentic, and real, and he knew he had to have just the right website design to stand out from the competition. Using Squarespace, he built his own domain and selected the perfect website template; with one click, clients and followers can immerse themselves in the photographer’s universe, where looming skyscrapers and mountaintops stand waiting to be explored. Thanks to the Squarespace website builder, Brandon was also able to create his own online store, where people can buy his coveted presets. We spoke with him about his unconventional start in the photo industry, his favorite cities, and his stunning website.

Submit to #ThePrintSwap for a Chance at $500 + An Exhibition in Sydney


The Other Art Fair, Sydney

When Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap back in 2016, we could not have anticipated that the worldwide phenomenon it would become. Photographers simply tag their images #theprintswap on Instagram, and our editors select outstanding submissions to be part of a worldwide swap that transcends geographical boundaries.

Now, we’re giving Print Swap photographers an exciting new opportunity.

We’re inviting everyone who participates in The Print Swap between now and January 15 to pitch us their dream photography project. We’ll consider all your ideas, and we’ll give three photographers $500 each to bring their visions to life. Once the projects are completed, they’ll be debuted exclusively right here on Feature Shoot and showcased across all our social channels.

We’re also thrilled to announce that our tenth exhibition–and second show in Sydney–will be at The Other Art Fair in March 2019. Carly Earl, Picture Editor at The Guardian Australia, will be our guest curator, and only photos submitted now through January 15th will be eligible for consideration for the show.

Exhibiting images will be announced shortly after the deadline.

Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair Sydney is the preeminent destination for emerging artists and collectors throughout Australia. Now in its fifth year, the 2019 edition will take place at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. Known around the world as a bridge between up-and-coming artists and established gallerists, The Other Art Fair spans continents with editions throughout the UK, the US, and Australia. This will be the second time The Print Swap has exhibited at The Other Art Fair; earlier this year, 24 images from the project were shown as part of the London fair.

Carly Earl has been a leading picture editor in Sydney for more than eight years; before arriving at The Guardian, she held posts at The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. Throughout her career, she has also sat on juries for some of the nation’s most esteemed competitions and awards. Earl will select a total of 25 photographs from The Print Swap to exhibit at the Australian Technology Park. All photographers who participate in The Print Swap during the judging period will be considered for the exhibition, but inclusion in The Print Swap will not necessarily mean inclusion the final collection.

While judging for exhibitions and other opportunities takes place during fixed time periods, The Print Swap is open year-round for submissions. It’s free to submit, but selected photographers pay $40 per image to participate. This fee covers printing and shipping in full, and every Print Swap photographer gives a print and receives a print from someone else somewhere in the world. The fun part is that prints are mailed out at random, so you never know if you’ll get a photo from down the street or across the globe until it arrives at your doorstep.

Learn more at The Print Swap website, and be sure to follow along at @theprintswap on Instagram for updates and new opportunities.

Tag your best photos now with #theprintswap to be in with a chance of winning the ‘dream photography’ assignment and be considered for The Other Art Fair Sydney.

The Joys and Heartache of Family Life, in Photos

“This series of images represents a phase in my life,” the photographer Matt Eich says of his book I Love You, I’m Leaving. “Not a pleasant one, but an important one.” He created these photographs with friends and family during the two-year span between 2015 and 2017, a period marked by change, including a move for his immediate family and the separation of his parents. An exhibition of the work opens in December at Cassilhaus in Chapel Hill, NC.

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.

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