web analytics

portraits

slide_353744_3849996_free

All photographs taken by Ken Heyman. Used with permission.

Since the 50s, award-winning photographer Ken Heyman’s powerful photographs have graced numerous publications, museum and gallery exhibits, and books–his subjects ranging from human conditions in the poorer parts of the world to happy occasions celebrated in well-to-do ones.

The assortment of the subjects and themes in Ken’s photographs deliver very visible differences that emphasize just how very diverse our world is. But many of these photographs also beautifully highlight the similarities in human interactions and relationships.

Take the inspiring and tender collection of black and white images he’d taken of mothers and their kids, for example. Captured several decades years ago while working on a book called “Family” with his former Columbia professor and close friend Margaret Mead, Ken only recently rediscovered them while emptying the contents of a storage unit.

The photos from the collection, lying in wait in a box labeled “Mothers,” were taken in over 60 countries and of women and children that belong to different races and cultures. When looking through them, however, you begin to fathom the startling likeness in all of them.

Ken’s collection is hard proof that despite backgrounds, cultures, and skin colors, a mother’s love and the bond between her and her children remains the same.

[click to continue…]

8399599174_1c7060da50_h

All images by Giancarlo Rado. Used with permission.

“I’ve taken pictures for many years, my mother always told me that in her young years she was developing and retouching photographs in her cousin’s laboratory, and still colorizing portraits with special inks; so it was just a familiar tradition, which still survives in me even if I am a musician,” says Giancarlo Rado on how he got into photography. He explains that it’s like telling stories–and a story is what he’s telling in his series entitled, “Waiting for Summer.”

Toting around a Hasselblad SLR with a 80mm lens, Mr. Rado loves the square format. And when working on the series, he states that it’s like taking a portrait of a landscape. He believes in the existential idea that the earth, sky, and sea all connect along with ideals and feelings deeply involved in our minds when traveling to the beach during the winter. With that said, he often searches the beach looking for relationships that he thinks will evoke stories.

“I go to the beach mainly for the horizontal light that I know that soon or later will come. This light allows the evocation of shadows and situations particularly important for me,” states Mr. Rado. “I know very well the places where I shall go and sooner or later the expected situation will appear–like and astral conjunction of phenomena which may reflect feeling such as loneliness, fear, peace, quietness, and what else connected with the never fading border between interior and exterior world.”

Giancarlo’s photos evoke the sense of loneliness and indeed search for relationships. The series is after the jump.

[click to continue…]

Kyle_Ford_1000x_WEB

All photographs are taken by May Xiong. Used with permission.

Aesthetically, Seattle-based photographer and visual storyteller May Xiong’s work is not only magnetic but also quietly pleasing in its dreamlike quality; so no matter how dark and brooding they are or how fantastical they get, whether a series of hers is inspired by an old fairy tale from our childhood or by a calligraphy artist many people haven’t heard of, her portraits always feel oddly familiar. It’s as if we all have dreamt her picture stories during one restless night’s sleep or another.

In her conceptual work, however, May takes that hypnotic flavor of her photographs to another level and then adds unique twists and peculiar details to produce visually striking but puzzling images that leave it up to audiences to interpret on their own. In her own words, May tells the Phoblographer…

“My conceptual work explores oddity, beauty, and attention to detail in portraiture. The arrangement of the subject and the environment often plays a big part in balancing the two. A mixture of portraiture and fine art, these constructed pieces are shaped by the idea of skewing one’s perspective, leaving the viewer to define the emotion behind each photograph.” 

Whether it’s a portrait of a finely dressed gentleman covered in dead fish and smudged with paint or a photo of a half-naked guy, face covered in paint and surrounded by geometrical lines, May’s conceptual photographs convince spectators that they have hidden messages waiting to be uncovered. But really, their beauty comes most of all from the fact that can bring forth whatever emotion, whatever message, whatever representation one expects to draw from them.

See some of the conceptual photographs after the jump.

For more of May Xiong’s work, please visit her website.

 

[click to continue…]

13995799772_77677f5900_b

All photographs taken by Richard Renaldi. Used with permission.

It began with a new but very simple concept – to get strangers in bus stations, people who come from different backgrounds, to pose together in the same photographs. That was how photographer Richard Renaldi’s startling series “Touching Strangers” started.

The series took a life of its own – from its humble origins in the streets of New York back in 2007 to, overwhelmingly funded by Kickstarter pledgers who were moved by his work, a beautiful book whose collection of images were taken all over the United States.

According to Flickr, “Touching Strangers” is as much a personal endeavor for Richard as it is a public project. But while this is true, it’s also, on some level, personal to his audience as well as his subjects, who willingly posed for him intimately – whether it be holding hands or embracing – despite not knowing one another.

At times awkward, most of the time poignant, this very revealing and rather controversial series has evoked mixed reactions from people – from discomfort to tears. One thing’s for sure, however. Richard has given us a rare gift. In a world full of warring and quarrelling states, this series reminds us that no matter how different we are from one another, we can still find a way to connect and bond.

Watch Richard’s Flickr Moment video to hear more about “Touching Strangers” and see some of the photos from the series after the jump.

 

[click to continue…]

d2e31700d85426f8d9c4dca83c5b4dd8f6e72324-1403753610

All images by Sara S Webb. Used with permission

Sara S Webb is an accidental photographer in some ways. She took black and white film classes back in 2010 and these days sticks to working with her iPhone 4s and an app such as picfx, VSCO Cam, faded, or afterlight. Though sometimes she relies on her Nikon D3200. We found her through her EyeEm profile where we discovered lots of truly amazing black and white work.

She states that she has always been creative. “I was in Art club in high school and took it very serious. I wanted to go to art school but didn’t have the budget so my mother mentioned beauty school.” says Sara. “I decided on becoming a hairstylist at 19. I felt it was a great creative outlet for me. I also loved the fact that I was able to pay my own way working weekends.”

Ms. Webb is constantly search the web for ideas but states that she mostly gets bored, grabs her tripod and camera and uses herself as inspiration. Indeed, the woman that you often see in the photos is her. But her images have a dark and hypnotic beauty to them that looks like something straight out of the dark room.

[click to continue…]

HDR Sample From The NEX-F3

While HDR processing is still touted by many, there are some situations where it just doesn’t belong. For the uninitiated, HDR photography has to do with the processing of an image that both lowers the contrast and brings out the most details in both the highlights and the shadows. The point of the final image is to create something closer to what the human eye may see. This is typically and traditionally accomplished by shooting images at different bracketed settings. For example, you’d shoot a perfectly exposed image, then one set that is brighter and another that is darker.

All of this has to do with the dynamic range of your camera sensor: which is why the process is called high dynamic range photography to begin with.

But there are scenes where HDR is unnecessary.

[click to continue…]