SLEEP TOGETHER – Bastian Kalous

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Sleep Together – Bastian Kalous – Sweden, Germany

It was one of our last vacations days in Sweden when we took a trip to a small island not too far from Gothenburg. When we got there the sun was shining and a lot of people had our very same idea, so we decided to avoid the crowd and left for a walk along the coast. We found a nice spot on a flat rock; a light breeze was refreshing the air bringing a salty smell from the sea. Julia and Schoki decided to take a break from walking, watching and shooting pictures, and felt asleep in the sun. I pulled out the camera and captured this special, relaxing moment.

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I loved Time Zero, the movie, and back then I developed a fascination for magical sceneries with crazy colors, orange flames and all the manipulation stuff but, unfortunately, Polaroid was already out of business and I had no idea where I could find that specific film. I took my first picture with a plastic Polaroid 600 camera, than I owned a Image Camera and finally my first SX-70. When, not a long time ago, I finally found some Time Zero film, I began creating my own, surreal little world on instant material; I was hooked.

Most of my pictures are shot in the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, Bayern Forest Nat’l Park, where I go for long walks along with my dog and both a Polaroid  SX-70 and a Wista 4×5 Field cameras in the backpack.

I keep my eyes open for landscapes that I can transform in surreal sceneries, transmitting good mood and the little stories behind them. I try to show the perfect ‘unperfectness’ of Mother Nature, in order to bring the viewer in a quieter and not so frantic world. A world with more time for watching, listening, feeling and dreaming.

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REINO ZOOLOGICO – Filipe Berndt

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Reino Zoologico – Filipe Berndt – Brazil, Italy

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Reino Zoologico goes beyond our simple child zoo memories. Animals placed in an artificial environment collide with our child memories. Children’s delight gives way to adult’s reality. As a result of an extensive research and visit to over twenty five zoos in Brazil and Italy, the images show empty spaces. We do not see animals, but we perceive their presence, either by body stains left on the walls or by glasses fogged by their breath. Their presence is immanent. The enhancement of architecture created by man in attempt to replicate nature is intentional. He believes cement stone, plastic plants and artificial waterfalls can achieve the same level of life in the open.

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Filipe Berndt’s minimalistic images emphasize on the contrast between memories and reality, wildlife beauty and artificial one. Green and brown are the colors of a forest, here they talk about walls, rocks, cement, hard presence of what confine visually absent animals to a  dreary and alienated environment.

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@Central Galeria, R. Mourato Coelho 751, Sao Paulo, Brazil – Opening November 8, till December 15, 2012.

MOCCA the Sphynx cat – Arno

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Mocca the Sphynx cat – Arno – Luxembourg

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I take pictures of my cats quite often — with my professional cameras or simply with my phone. However, often during the best, most intimate or most playful moments I do not have any camera at hand and then, sadly, I miss those moments. Taking pictures of my cats is also sometimes difficult because they want to play with the straps of my cameras whenever they can reach them. Sphynx cats are special because they are very interactive with other cats (that’s why I have two), dogs, and people. They require a lot of attention because they love to play and cuddle, they are always around people — they even jump into the shower! Since these kitties have no fur they need to be bathed from time to time. Moreover, they should never be let outside because they could catch cold or get sunburnt. The rest of the care is similar to that of other cats’. Although to some persons Sphynx cats look like aliens, most of the people fall in love with these cats the moment they get a chance to interact.

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90 percent of pet owners talk to their pets, and no doubts all of them also take pictures of their animal friends, mainly cats and dogs, and dull pictures. And pretty much all of these millions of pictures make their way to the Net provoking yawning and repetitive unoriginal “cute” comments. Then some skilled photographer comes along with a particular touch for portraits, people portraits, strong contrasts of body and environment, and here we go with a cat photo that stands out of the crowd. I agree, the cat breed definitely helps to make the photo original, as the matching eyes / fabric color, but what really makes this image not a pet photo is the photographer’s approach to composition and lighting. This photo is a perfect portrait, doesn’t matter if pet or human.

Rainy ANNECY – Ivan Vessela a.k.a. FIN FILM

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Rainy Annecy – Ivan Vessela a.k.a. FIN FILM – Annecy, France

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Since some time ago I’ve got obsessed with Tilt-Shift lenses. Since I’m not a professional photographer I just walk around with a camera and shoot lots of pictures. I’m trying to achieve a miniature look of the shots without using software or postproduction. I’m just getting accustomed to those kind of lenses.
In that sense this image, like many others I shot, is a tryout and doesn’t really have a deeper meaning or statement. As one can notice here, all my pictures are taken from a high ground in order to make the subjects look like in a toy model. What really pleases me is the change of the scale: you shoot something that’s big but it looks rather small and fake. I like that.
In the case of this particular shot I was attending the animation film festival in Annecy, and as I exit the projection hall I found myself on the second floor in front of the big window. I wouldn’t miss a chance to take a shot like that. I wouldn’t say that this is the best miniature look, but it’s definitely an odd looking image.

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Tilt-Shift photography refers to the use of specific lenses that can change the plane of focus with a tilt, rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, and a shift, movement of the lens parallel to the image plane. The effect is often used to simulate a miniature scene.

DMITRIJS Breaking Time – Julius Reque

Dmitrijs Breaking Time

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Dmitrijs Breaking TimeJulius Reque Vancouver, Canada

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I was walking with my friend, Dmitrijs, and taking photos around Vancouver. We went inside this building that had an interesting sculpture-like set of stairs that lead nowhere, it just brought you up. As I look behind the camera to take a photo he stepped into the frame and started climbing. In a split second I decided to hold the shutter until he got to the middle. I didn’t really think much about it until I transferred the photos to my computer later on, and scrolling fast through the series he seem to be actually moving in a single frame, like in a movie. That’s when I thought I’d superimpose the frames into one.

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Killer instinct, in this case photographer instinct, is what drove Julius toward a great image. Nowadays big cities flourish in modern and original architecture, taking pictures of them is fairly easy and common. What’s more difficult is inserting human presence in a congruent and meaningful way; here almost a cinematic way: the meeting point of photography and video.

BERLIN MITTE – Jörg Schmiedekind

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Berlin Mitte project – Jörg Schmiedekind – Berlin, Germany

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Denn oft ist das Gewöhnliche spektakulär genug = Because the ordinary is often spectacular enough.

Jörg Schmiedekind started painting at the age of 16. After copying surrealists masters like Magritte, Tanguy and Max Ernst he found interest in photorealism. While painting he was also photographing his hometown, which is nearly free of classical points of interest; he lately decided to take some of these photographs as pattern for photorealistic oil paintings on canvas.

That was the beginning of a serious occupation with cityscape photography, it was around 1983.

The following year Jörg went to Berlin to study architecture; since 1992  he’s working as an architect.
After wandering the city without a camera for many years,  in 2005 he decided that cityscape photography should enter his daily routine. He now carries around, most of the time, a Canon Eos 5d mark II.

As one can see in his photographs, gray and cloudy skies are his favorites, and that’s because of an homogenous tracing of all objects and of the possibility to act free with no restriction resulting from sunlight-direction.
He considers that in an ideal, and touching situation, beyond their everyday usage trivial objects could stand for themselves in a photograph, no people around.
Berlin Mitte is a work-in-progress that develops in a new city which has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Schmiedekind’s photography is not about documenting, although he considers that great jobs have been done along with some bad ones, but mostly a quest for interesting situation beyond architectural photography.
“This is my personal look on what’s happening in Berlin, putting so-called ugly things into an aesthetic context”.
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LIGHT ATTACK – Susan Bein

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Light Attack – Susan Bein – Portland, Oregon, Usa

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I took it while waiting in an ugly office. The only thing that was nice was this stream of light, and I wanted to capture its beauty, so my solution was to blur it to reduce it to its essence. It made my wait worthwhile, and allowed me to be ‘in the moment’ and creative in a very non-creative environment while doing a very pedestrian thing, waiting for a bureaucrat to shuffle papers. For me it’s about finding a speck of beauty in the quotidian.

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Out of focus can be such a nuisance for the eye that sometimes photographer’s intentions get as blurred as the image, this is not the case. Susan goes straight to the point and steals light it’s essence: a beautifully painted bright ray. The idea, and the result, is definitely in focus.

la BOULOGNAISE – Amandine Paulandré

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la Boulognaise – Amandine Paulandre – Paris, France

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I was wandering the Bois de Boulogne, a forest near Paris, with a friend, I wanted to shoot her. I like to say something different with my images, I think I have a pretty neutral style but I also like to play with the lines of Nature. So, when I saw the big tree on the ground I knew I found what I was looking for, since I wanted a shot in the serie without the face of the model. It’s more a one of a kind i guess. I’m not sure what it conveys to other people but for me it has a certain sense of serenity. The hair look like octopus’ legs, i liked this idea.

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No matter how perfect and inspiring the result image is, model photography can be utterly boring in the dullness of repetition: beautiful model, beautiful setting, beautiful everything and again. In la Boulognaise, Amandine Paulandré breaks out from the cristal box and create a connection between a perfect setting, a forest by end of summer, and a beautiful girl … We can’t see her, that’s true, but how could it be otherwise with all that beauty around?! Imagination.

OPENING – Aurélien Foucault

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Opening – Aurélien Foucault a.k.a. Фуко – Beijing, China

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My family and I have just moved to China and this picture was taken during our apartment hunting in Beijing. We had visited so many places and started to feel desperate. During one of these visits, we walked past that little ray of sunshine and the contrast between it’s softness and the decaying wire fence just hit me.
So I took out my phone and snapped that picture with the Hipstamatic App.
I don’t often take my heavy camera gear with me when I’ve got things to do in the city, so my phone has become the “on the spot” camera.
My “serious” photography work is done with medium-format cameras (Arax & Mamiya) and a digital Nikon.
I never edit pictures coming out of the phone because the resolution is just too low.

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See, imagine, shoot is the usual photographers’ protocol, which hasn’t changed since. When technology gave us good enough cameras in mobile smart phones and editing dedicated applications, creative photographers began to drop bulky equipment for iPhones or similar, not as an alternative, but as a new fun and catch-the-emotions gadgets. iPhoneography is called the photography made with the iPhone; the cons: low resolution, minimal editing mainly done by choosing apps presets; the pros: creative freedom, easy sharing.

Here, the trained eye of Фуко transforms a dull cut in the fence into a message of hope.

Berlin LOVERS – Jürgen Bürgin

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Berlin Lovers – Jürgen Bürgin – Berlin, Germany

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‘Berlin Lovers’ is one of my earlier photos, it’s made in the subway station at Berlin Alexanderplatz. For me it’s somehow one of my own classic photos. Some of my photos I’ve seen too often for myself, but with this here it’s really different, I still can look at it, and somehow the scene touches me still. Maybe it’s one of my photos that explains best my understanding of photography. It has much to do with storytelling. I like to tell those untold stories that are happening every day in every place on this planet, those small little stories of love, hate, deception, sympathy, pride and so on… But I’m not telling the real stories. Although this photo isn’t staged, although the people here aren’t actors, although they are real persons that were there accidentally on the day on which I took the photo – despite all this, this is a piece of art, that is telling its own story. To be exact: Not the artwork, and neither the artist is telling the story. The artwork is only evoking innumerable different stories – in the mind of the viewer, in the fantasy of the beholder. So the viewer – and his individual perception of the artwork – is becoming an essential, or even the only relevant part of the artwork. The artwork is coming to existence in the perception of the recipient, and nowhere else. And I still like this photo for its openness, for its big variety of connotations it is evoking in me: connotations to movies and novels, connotations to my own experiences with loving someone, the connotation of a big city jungle.

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Bürgin’s Lovers are unique people in a dull environment. Dark green edited image creates a Metropolis’ setting that steers the focus on people instead of the surrounding architecture (beside the artificial, Alexanderplatz train station is to be seen, as many others along U-bahn). The photographer catches that very single moment capable of stimulating a wide range of emotions in the viewer. What are those lovers talking about?

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