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Posts tagged: animal photography

The Horrific Brutality of the Meat Industry, in Photos

A group of pigs being held in a pre-slaughter area in a slaughterhouse in Atizapan, Mexico. The law requires that the pigs are taken to the stunning box where an electric shock should be applied. However, in this slaughterhouse, as in others, the pigs are driven to the slaughter area directly without prior stunning and are killed fully conscious.

At the slaughterhouse in Arriaga, Mexico, this horse arrived with a mobility problem that prevented him from accessing the stunning box by himself. He was dragged by a chain attached to his neck and died of asphyxia after being suspended several minutes. This is a practice prohibited by law.

“The meat industry knows the damage that can be caused by images of abused animals,” the photojournalist Aitor Garmendia tells me. “In order that these images never see the light, they have guidelines to prevent cameras from accessing their facilities.” In fact, his work on slaughterhouses, part of a larger project on animal exploitation titled Tras los Muros (Behind the Walls), is the most extensive undercover record of its kind. Starting in 2015, Garmendia traveled to eleven states throughout Mexico to document the transportation and killing of farm animals. “I visited about two hundred slaughterhouses,” he reports. “I entered fifty-eight.”

Make a Stunning Photo Book with This Great New Tool (Sponsored)

I’ve loved photo books ever since I was a kid, so when I learned about Motif Photos, a native extension for Photos on macOS, I knew I had to make one of my own. Motif uses cutting-edge technology to simplify the process of putting together a top-of-the-line photo book, card, or calendar; in minutes, anyone and everyone can use this tool to design the perfect holiday gift. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, this new extension makes it easy to build a beautiful collection of your favorite images.

I quickly downloaded Motif Photos from the App Store, and then I let my creative side take over. The concept for the book was a seasonal collection of winter landscapes from photographers all over the world. I didn’t want anything typical or overly cheery; instead, I imagined a book that reminded me of that sort of pleasantly melancholy feeling I get on chilly December days. I spent hours searching for some of the most magical and surprising images I could find, and in the end, I had a curated collection of almost forty images. Once I launched Motif, it took me less than five minutes to bring my book to life! The extension took care of all the hard work, and it was smooth sailing for me. Let’s take a look at the process.

Tip: Before you get started, it helps to view everything in full screen.

Once you’re ready, open up the album you want in “Photos” and click “File > Create > Book > Motif”.  Motif has hardcover and softcover books in all different sizes. Each of them is affordable, with the least expensive softcover starting at $9.99. I chose a 10 x 10 hardcover for its durability, good size, and trendy square format.

From there, Motif instantly creates your project. They have tons of themes to choose from, ranging from the classic and chic to the hip and unexpected. I almost went with “Pretty in Pink” because the color complemented some of the images I’d curated for the book, but in the end, I settled on “Gold on White” because I wanted to keep everything as simple as possible and bring the images to the fore.

If you, like me, don’t have graphic design experience, I highly recommend you opt to “Autoflow” your book. The Motif technology understands images and formatting, so I trust it to do that part better than I ever could. Don’t worry: they’ll even help you edit your photos! If you have a bunch of images that look similar, like I did, they’ll pick out the best ones for the book. Motif will also analyze every image for printing quality to make sure it’ll look great in the final book.

When it came time to design the cover, I knew exactly what image I wanted to use: a pensive horse seemingly lost in a paradise of snow. I titled my book Winter Landscapes, and while I loved the sophisticated gold, I mixed it up a bit with a deep green for the text to match the trees in the cover photo. The font was perfect for what I wanted, so I didn’t change it.

Here’s where the fun really starts. Motif is amazing when it comes to sequencing images for you, but you can easily change any detail with their intuitive and interactive image tray. The image tray tool is like your own personal photo editor, so you’ll see your best photos have been noted with a checkmark and sequenced beautifully according to their colors, atmosphere, and composition.

When it came to the first page, I went with a classic Icelandic scene. I deliberately chose a few images with an “on the road” theme (i.e. snowy streets, misty railroads) because I wanted readers to feel as though they were “traveling” through the book. From there, we visited a pastel vista from Luxembourg and a lovely polar bear from the Arctic.

One of the page layouts literally made me smile. The image tray tool paired the deer photo with a gray-muzzled golden retriever. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to pair these two animals together, but seeing them there on the pages, I couldn’t ignore the similarities between their expressions. There was also something vulnerable about both of them; the deer looked like he was hunkering down for a harsh winter, and the pup had clearly reached his golden years. They somehow belonged together in a way that was both heartwarming and poignant.

Motif surprised me again with a stunning layout of five images: on the left, a misty swamp, and on the right, a group of images that together formed tapestry of greens and whites. These photographs images were perfectly paired, and they shared similarly moody, wild, and ethereal atmosphere. It was a stroke of genius for Motif to couple the Swedish landscape with an abandoned waterslide; I only realized the parallel lines in these photos when they were presented side-by-side.

Next up were pages 14 and 15. The cutting-edge technology over at Motif paired up two vertical frozen landscapes, which I had hoped for from the start! That layout was followed by two sublime and mysterious photos in which all shapes and forms seemed lost in blankets of fog. From there, we went straight into another Icelandic vista across and a serene forest, and I decided to add an almost abstract crop of tree branches into the mix. As we drew to the end of the book, I wanted the images to start to feel airy and delicate, as if we were heading into the eye of a blizzard, and Motif helped me tap into that vibe.

Before checking out, I gave myself a full run-through of the entire book to make sure it was just right.

I eagerly awaited the arrival of my book, and within a few short days, I found it right outside my doorstep. The packaging was beautiful, and the book itself knocked my socks off. I grew up looking at art books, and this one instantly stood out as pretty and sophisticated. The colors came to life on the printed page, and together, the images helped tell a story about frosty and enchanted winter days. I made a cup of hot tea and spent quite a while thumbing through the volume over and over again.

Winter Landscapes is now proudly displayed as the pièce de résistance of my bookshelf, and I know I will return to it many times throughout the upcoming months, curled up on the coach and watching the snow fall outside my window. I also created a Motif Photo book for my husband, and the process was so intuitive and quick that I know I’ll be making more in the future. Using Motif was such a fun, easy experience from start to finish, and I am delighted by the results.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

The Horrors of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Revealed in Photos

Zebra Bookend, 2018

Stacked Turtles, 2018

Bear Gallbladder with Bosc Pears, 2018

Take a look at Christine Fitzgerald‘s still life with pears, and you might mistake it for an antique; after all, it was created using a 19th century photographic process. But if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find something unsettling about this particular tintype: one of the “pears” isn’t a pear at all. It’s the gallbladder of a bear. “Bear parts, including paws, gallbladders, and genitals, command great prices on the black market,” the Canadian photographer tells me. Her series TRAFFICKED takes a fresh and unlikely approach to the horrors of today’s illegal wildlife trade, bringing us face-to-face with the objects confiscated by the Wildlife Enforcement Branch of the Canadian Government.

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