Stone Zhu: Fantastic Neon Studio Portraiture

All images by Stone Zhu. Used with permission.

My name is Stone Zhu. Growing up in China, my sense of self as well as my aesthetics were deeply informed by traditional culture, values and art. Culturally we are meditative, introspective, modest, and moody. Strong reds, blacks, and whites fill our artwork, architecture, and sculpture. In traditional painting emptiness is highly regarded and the image is often constrained to the edges of the picture.

In contrast, my experience of Western culture has revealed a frenetic, open, and random quality that is foreign to my sensibilities. The body is regarded with sensuality, idealism, and erotic fantasy. My photographic practice has become a blend of these disparate and distinct cultures. The formal qualities of Chinese art are boldly present while, at the same time, I have felt more able to explore my fascination with the body as an object of beauty and desire.

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Ian Forsyth: The Integrity of the Pictures is Paramount

All images and text by Ian Forsyth. Used with permission.

It doesn’t matter if you take quick snaps on an iphone or carry around the latest Nikon or whatever. Taking pictures is what it’s all about but also remember to value your work. If you don’t, who will? I’m not saying it’s all about money but don’t be afraid to charge for your work if making a living is what you’re trying to do. A byline only agreement doesn’t pay a food bill. Retain your copyright! It’s your work so don’t give it away. Respect who you shoot whoever they are and be responsible with your work. At the same time enjoy it! Being a photographer is an amazing thing! It can be expensive, frustrating, annoying at times, sometimes unrewarding and it can be demoralising and takes over all aspects of your life…but it’s still the best job in the world!

I’m a freelance documentary photographer based in Saltburn by the Sea on the north east coast of England. I work mainly as a stringer photographer for Getty Images covering features and news in my area but I also shoot personal projects as well as the occasional corporate commission or local newspaper shift.

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Nei Valente: Street Photography With a Sony RX100 IV

All images and text by Nei Valente. Used with permission.

“Fifth Avenuers” is a visual registry of people and moments from one of the most iconic avenues in the world. It captures the vibrancy created by the mix of people who walk along the street that divides Manhattan into east and west. Some of the most famous museums in New York—like MoMA, the Met, and the Guggenheim—attract art-conscious locals and tourists alike. Others are attracted to Fifth Avenue by its proximity to Central Park and the ostentatious, tall buildings that line the avenue, including the Empire State and Flatiron buildings, Rockefeller Center, and Trump Tower. Those who can afford to, shop along one of the most well-known and high-end shopping streets in the world. Store employees, construction workers, and street vendors are combined, and sometimes contrasted, with the people who work in the tall buildings and walk on the avenue during their commute. To further add to the energy and bustling atmosphere, the street hosts important events like the LGBT Pride March, Puerto Rican Day Parade, and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

For a couple of months, I walked along Fifth Avenue trying to capture the specific things that encapsulated the vibrancy of the avenue. If you paint a canvas with fifty black dots and add just one red dot, your painting is no longer about the fifty black dots. But it’s also not about the red dot. The painting is about the relationship of the fifty dots that looks the same with that one different red dot. That’s what I had in mind when photographing the avenue during my lunch breaks. I was always imagining the street as a canvas and trying to include in my photos the interactions and people that would be the red dot, representing a specific moment on Fifth Avenue. Because, to accurately represent a place, you can’t photograph only the ordinary people and scenes, but also capture what contrasts with the normality and thus makes that place special enough to be photographed.

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Joseph Henry Lengson: Elegant and Sophisticated Portraits as a Goal

All images and text by Joseph Henry Lengson. Used with permission.

My name is Joseph and I’m a photographer here in Los Angeles, but I work consistently between Los Angeles and New York. I’m a fan of The Phoblographer and I’ve been a subscriber for years. I typically read The Phoblographer on my iPad/iPhone everyday but recently read on the website on my MacBook and saw that this publication offers the possibility to be featured on the website, and I got inspired to reach out to see if this could be a possibility for me!

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Jihane Darkaoui: Black and White Street Photography in Morocco

All images by Jihane Darkaoui. Used with permission.

I’m a 19 year old Moroccan medical student drawn to photography for the many emotions it conveys. Seeing the world through a lens is like seeing a brand new world. I shoot with the Nikon D7100 18-140mm, and rarely with the Pentax K1000. I’ve been shooting since February 2017.

Don McCullin is to me a true legend of the photographic world. His work has depicted the impoverished, the unemployed, the downtrodden, etc. He inspires me to capture images that have a voice. The Flickr community inspires me as well. Every photo teaches you something. Photography is a creative process. There is always something new to learn. And we need to hone that skill every single day.

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Feeding the Photographic Beast Within Me

I used to shoot a lot of street, where the ethos is to always have the camera with you and always have it ready. Once you have that ingrained it really helps – always looking, always ready. That mindset never left me – even after I moved to a rural area with very little ‘street’ type scenes happening.

Chris asked me to write about my mindset when photographing one of my recent (and ongoing) projects – Give Way. This got me thinking a lot about why I bother to do this in the first place. I pour a huge amount of time, effort, thought and resources into photography and after dwelling on this I am still not sure I have nailed down a firm answer as to why. However, the need to make something or to be creative has always been with me and for the last 10 years it has been channeled through photography. I am constantly thinking about project ideas, concepts and getting interested in subject matter that I can photograph. I don’t really know why I have this drive within me, but if I don’t concentrate on it and exercise it, I get irritable and can be a pain in the ass to live with. Photography is a way to express myself, a way to look at specific subjects in detail – it is also a handy excuse to get me out of the house and to allow me to speak to people I otherwise wouldn’t talk to.

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Take a Trip With John Emery’s Astonishing Black and White Landscape Photography

All images and words by John Emery. Used with permission. Be sure to follow him on Instagram @jemeryphoto

My number one goal as a photographer is to capture a moment in time as I experienced it when I released the shutter button. I want people to look at a photograph that I took and to feel as if they were standing there with me at the moment I took it. My specialty is the natural landscape in black and white – I’ve always been attracted to the drama, texture, detail, and contrast of a well-done black and white photograph.

I had just turned 23 and had never left the eastern time zone. On a whim I flew to Las Vegas, rented a car, and visited the Grand Canyon. I was woefully unprepared for the trip – I hadn’t seen snow in 15 years and it made me realize that south Florida living had made me ill-prepared for northern Arizona in late November. Regardless, I was hooked. Since that first trip I have been all over the country, and with each successive trip more photographic equipment joined me.

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Bruno Fujii: Taking Portraits at a Slow Pace, And Personal Connections

All images and text by Bruno Fujii. Used with permission.

I’m Bruno Fujii from Brazil trying to develop a cohesive body of work that relates directly to my personality and beliefs. I started learning photography 3 years ago while in a full time job. It didn’t take too long after I decided to invest almost all my money and vacation days into a personal photography project. After I came back from the vacation I got fired, since then I’m trying to work full time as an independent photographer.

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Erik Dudinský: Black and White Documentary Photos of Student Dorm Life in Bratislava

All images and text by Erik Dudinský. Used with permission.

I am Erik, photographer from Slovakia, I study at university and shoot a lot on film, because I can. I don't do it because I think more when I have film, I do it because this world is too fast and this is my way to slow down and relax.

I shoot on T-max a lot, mainly because of its flexibility. When you don't know if there will be darkness for 1600 ISO or light for 200 ISO, you'll take t-max, and it doesn't matter. Also I love contrast and grain from it. Project Atrium houses is about dormitories for university students in Bratislava, Slovakia. They are known for their level of "comfort". But this document is more about people, students, living there and having fun, parties and stuff that students do.

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Darren Lewey: Medium Format Landscape Photography and Abstracts in Morocco

All images and text by Darren Lewey. Used with permission.

I’m a photographer based in Morocco running tours and workshops within a day’s drive which includes Andalusia, Spain. I guess I’m strongly tempted to first explore locations that are closer to me than far-flung ones. It’s part of my ethos that there are things around that are photographically interesting and getting to know places a little bit can help. When I’m not teaching then I’m dedicated to personal portfolio development which I’ve been doing for the past year. Before that I had little time to set aside for my own work with developing my business and historically working in UK education and film making. For many years I didn’t pick-up a stills camera. That changed last year when I bought a Pentax 645z. I’ve always been an advocate of medium format but with no processing options in Morocco my 67 was unused. I’d been limited to older crop sensor technology and it didn’t inspire. I use natural light and a range of prime lenses.

I enjoy nature, I’m not a city person. I like the ability to work in quietness. For the included portfolio, Andalusia, I set myself the task of producing images in three zones during the space of two weeks in May 2017. Each of the areas offered very different challenges but I wanted to capture the texture of the region.

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Faraz Azhar’s Black and White Urban Geometry is a Solitary Study of Shapes

All images and text by Faraz Azhar. Used with permission.

My name is Faraz Azhar, I’m a travel photographer based in Dubai, UAE. Although I have a fulltime job as a banker, photography is my passion. I cherish black and white photography mostly for architectural photos. I believe that an architect spends endless hours imagining a structure that he is about to build, he draws countless shapes on paper before finalizing his design and he takes care of every little measurement and detail of that building; whether it’s a cornerstone or a pillar or any piece of metal or concrete. Capturing these fine details is an art. Taking photos of architecture in color makes it overwhelming and makes the viewer lose focus of what’s important in the scene…the fine architectural detail.

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Canton Vander Built’s Beautiful Classical Take on Black and White Photography

All images by Canton Vander Built. Used with permission.

Photographer Canton Vander Built describes himself as a photographer who is more interested in light, form, movement, color, perspective, and shutter speed than in any particular genre of photography. To that end, he says that his favorite subjects are those that are present before him at the time. At the other end of the spectrum, CVB’s work explores the boundaries between recognizable imagery and the most minimal aspects of shadow and light that comprise an “image.”

Canton draws influence form Anne W. Brigman, Martin Munkacsi, Seydou Keita, Daido Moriyama, and Francesca Woodman. When he shoots, he’s most likely toting around his Lecia SL with Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f2.8-4. But don’t scoff just yet, because he’s also a fan of the Nikon D810 with Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G and a few other pieces.

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Juan Torres: Photos From the La Tomatina Tomato Throwing Festival in Columbia

All images and text by Juan Torres. Used with permission

La Tomatina is a festival which pays tribute to agriculture is the Great Colombian Tomato Fight. It is held in the middle of the year in Sutamarcha, Inspired by similar event held Buñol (Spain) during the festival thousands of revelers engage in an enormous tomato throwing fight. One of the most important tourist activities of the town, which consists of a fight in which people are free to throw tomatoes with each other taking advantage of the surplus tomato harvest. There are also handicrafts shows and contests relating to tomatoes. The event has become one of the highlights on Colombian festivals calendar with thousands of people flocking to this little Boyaca town for this chaotic event.

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Jonathan Higbee: This is What NYC Street Photographers Sometimes Experience

All words and images by Jonathan Higbee. Used with permission.

Let me tell you about my day. It was odd and saturated with adrenaline thanks to an ambitious group of security personnel who are now schooled in civil rights!

A gang of security guards outside the Time Warner Center decided it was a good use of their time and mine to harass, intimidate and threaten me. I was photo-waiting (like I do) at a beautiful scene with filtered afternoon light combined with gorgeous bounced light that Midtown and its skyscrapers so generously afford sometimes. I was on the sidewalk, photographing urban geometry-type work. The first guard to approach me came up and told me I had to leave, that I was a threat to national security. You know how Manhattan has pretty much become an open air psychiatric hospital in recent years? Well, yeah, I thought he was insane and ignored him.

He persevered (bless his heart), so I realized he was serious and removed my ear buds one by one (modern day equivalent of taking off earrings) to play ball.

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Thor Vermijlen: Photographic Serenity in Urban Geometry

All images and words by Thor Vermijlen. Used with permission.

I’m Thor Vermijlen, a student from Belgium who loves photography. I recently went on a trip to Berlin. The one thing I noticed the most about the beautiful city is its diversity. This photo series is an unusual way of showing that diversity and how it can be beautiful. I photographed different beautiful windows from modern to ancient and clean to broken in different perspectives. e-mail me if you have more questions about me or the series.

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Salad Days: The Australian Skater Scene in Black and White

All images and words by James Grundy. Used with permission.

My name is James Grundy, I’m a 28 year old photographer from Australia.

I guess I became a photographer at around the age of 11, when I used to steal my mum and dad’s digital camera and sneak off to document what was happening around me, little social events and misadventures. I was finally gifted my own camera at around 16 which was one of the first Olympus digital waterproof cameras. I think I took around 20,000 photos on that thing before it seized up. From there I moved onto DSLRs starting with a Nikon D200, then a Nikon D3000, Nikon D3100, then a Nikon D7100.

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Vagabonds: Following the Final Moments of the NYC Punk Scene

All images and text by Olivia Pasquarelli.

The Vagabonds project happened naturally, starting in 2012 and spanning all the way until 2015. Prior to starting this project, I had already been going to concerts and shooting, but I began becoming more interested in the subcultures of the people attending the shows and the spaces they occupied than the actual performers. I had just moved to a new place, and the passion and dedication some subcultures I discovered in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan fascinated me. I went to more and more shows, having my camera on me at all times ready to shoot anyone who would let me. The people in the photographs became my friends, and the more I took their photos and learned about their lives, the more obsessed I became with shooting more and capturing their unique point of view.

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The Urban Movement: Keith Reid’s Wonderful Photos of Dancers in the Streets

All images and text by Keith Reid. Used with permission.

I have always been fascinated by photography and how it connects people with moments in time. I don’t just see a photograph, I see an emotion or an idea that compels the viewer to truly feel connected with the subject by telling a story. My photography has served many purposes for me: it has saved me from my own darkness; forced my hand at a confidence I didn’t know I had; connected me with amazing people I would have never met otherwise. Now I want to use photography as a platform to showcase the sacrifice, skill, dedication, and inspirational talent I get to see in my subjects every day. I shoot primarily in Micro Four Thirds with the Panasonic G85 and use 12-60mm f3.5-5.6 OIS, 25mm f1.7 G ASPH, and a 14mm f2.5 G.

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David J Fulde: Mixing Colors, Lighting and Portraiture

All images and words by David J Fulde. Used with permission.

My name is David J. Fulde, I am a photographer currently based in Toronto, ON.

I work a colorist and online editor in the film industry at night, leaving my days free to work as a portrait photographer. Being a part-time worker as a photographer allows me to really pick and choose commissions as I don’t need to worry about putting food on the table. I am really not an event photographer, nor someone that wants to shoot white-wall catalogue sort of photos. I enjoy creating images that are quintessentially mine, and try to avoid trends as much as possible.

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Dave Harrell: On Starting Out in Portrait Photography

All images and words by Dave Harrell. Used with permission.

My name is Dave Harrell. I am a portrait photographer just beginning to make a regional name for myself. I shoot in Northern Michigan and, while focusing on portraits, I am now also booking weddings (I have 5 this year).

I learned photography in the early 90s while serving in the US Air Force. I was stationed in Washington DC and fell in love with the museums, art, and architecture. I purchased a Minolta 7000i and several prime lenses and enrolled in photography classes offered on base. By 1993 I was transferred to Oxford, UK and my landscape/architecture photography love ignited.

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Neal Auch’s Dark Food Photography Is a Slap in the Face to Factory Farming (NSFW)

All images and words by Neal Auch. Used with permission.

I’m a fine art photographer living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Most of my recent work concerns the commodification of suffering, and the ethics of eating animals. My work explores these themes by presenting animal organ meats that are intended for human consumption in an unfamiliar context where I hope that the underlying ugliness of our food system is exposed.

I took a somewhat chaotic trajectory to get to where I am now. My background is in pure mathematics, and I spent the better part of a decade in academia, doing rather esoteric research. Those kinds of jobs are almost all short-term contracts, so I moved around a lot. The frequent moves took a toll on my personal life, and my passion for the work I was doing waned. I hit a breaking point a few years ago, while I was living in the UK, and I rather abruptly abandoned my post there to come back home to Canada and settle into a more stable life with my spouse. To make ends meet I did contract work for a while and, in my spare time, I made a lot of art and I did a lot of introspection about what I wanted to do with my life. I stumbled into photography at this point and fell in love with the process. Since then I’ve devoted pretty much all of my creative energy to taking pictures.

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