Ken Hermann Demonstrates Effective Color Usage in “From the Block”

All photos by Ken Hermann. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Copenhagen-based Ken Hermann has been one of our favorite portrait photographers in recent years, for his projects that range from the documentary (Flower Man, Leftovers from the War, Shaman, Coal Miners) to conceptual (Crash Landed, Hollywood Characters). However, he also does a great job of creating a picture of a place by photographing its people — a tried and tested approach to visual storytelling, as each place has its own face to show and story to tell, so to speak. Previously, we’ve seen him photograph the residents of Brumleby, a historic neighborhood in his city. For his latest work, From the Block, he photographed some residents of Vapnagaard, a neighborhood in Helsingør, another historic town in Denmark.

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Ken Hermann Documents the “Leftovers” of the Vietnam War

All images by Ken Hermann. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Some of the most poignant stories of conflict were taken during the long and costly Vietnam War. From November 1955 to April 1975 — almost twenty years — photojournalists documented the chaos and destruction that ravaged the region of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. More than four decades later, some explosive remnants of the war still remain scattered and hidden in these parts. It’s the turn of Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann to document the efforts of the men who take care of these lethal leftovers.

The Vietnam War may be long over but its remnants are still injuring and killing hundreds of civilians annually. This was what Ken found out and wanted to tell in his recent documentary project titled, Leftovers from the War. The title is a reference to what he called a “lethal legacy” of unexploded ordnance, or UXO, and landmines that still lie hidden in those areas of conflict.

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Ken Hermann Tells the Story of Magic Amidst Modernity in Inner Mongolia

All images by Ken Hermann. Used with Creative Commons permission.

In a time when cities have grown tenfold and life gets more and more fast-paced, some places still maintain a deep connection with their age-old practices and traditions. Copenhagen-based Ken Hermann gives us a colorful and fascinating view into this mix of mysticism and modernity with the portrait project set in Inner Mongolia, Shaman. Ken’s work continues to be what we’d like to call surreal-contemporary, which shapes creativity into a palatable way for most people while involving very little photoshop. We’ve featured Ken many times.

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Ken Hermann Imagines the Story of a Spaceman’s Crash Landing

All images by Ken Hermann. Used with Creative Commons Permission.

Space exploration has been one of mankind’s biggest missions, and discovering Earth-like worlds has captured the imagination of many in the last two decades. If scientists and engineers have been responding to this with provisions for space travel, artists like Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann have been turning to their creativity to imagine what it would be like if cosmic travelers find a world like Earth in the not-so-distant future.

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The Flower Men of Malik Ghat Shows Off a Rarely Seen Side of Indian Culture

Feature image pulled from Kickstarter video, all credit to Ken Hermann. 

Ken Hermann is a photographer based out of Copenhagen, who while on a trip to India came across a sight he couldn’t help but be fascinated with. The Flower Men on the Malik Ghat Market are skilled men who carry flowers to markets wearing interesting and beautiful dress-like outfits.“When I first visited Calcutta and flower market, I was fascinated by the flower sellers and the way they wear the flowers on – as big robes,” says photographer Ken Herrmann in our interview about this project. “Also the way they treat the flowers, cuddling them and caress them, I think was interesting.” It is a sight to behold and from the moment he saw it, Hermann wanted to share this sight with the rest of the world. For his portraits of these Flower Men, Hermann decided to go a different direction from your standard travel photography look, instead opting to feature the Flower Men in more of a staged portrait setting. Allowing him to really focus on and show the unique beauty of each of the 40 Flower Men he has chosen to feature.

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Brumleby: Portraits in a Historic Copenhagen Neighborhood

All images by Ken Hermann. Used with permission.

Photographer Ken Hermann is a creative that specializes in documentary portraiture. He’s been featured many times on the site for his photos of coal miners, flower salesmen, and Hollywood Characters; but his latest project focuses on the town of Brumleby in Copenhagen.

“We will show a part of everyday life in this diverse place – to the outside world and the occupants themselves.” says Ken. “In words and pictures…[w]ith a focus on respect and diversity. We will make a present picture of everyday life in Brumleby consisting of about 20 portraits of different personalities in Brumleby and their different life. The portraits will be photographs accompanied by a portrait text and video in portrait interviews.”

All of this is in preparation for an outdoor exhibition at Brumleby’s annual vårfest in May.


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Ken Hermann’s Telling Portraits of Coal Miners


All images by Ken Hermann. Used with permission.

For many years in America, coal miners went through hellish conditions to keep the country fueled and chugging along. While that isn’t so much the case today, coal mining is still a big operation in other countries and photographer Ken Hermann‘s photos of coal miners document modern miners hard at work. Ken’s style is a mix of documentary and environmental portraiture, and this is reflected in his Hollywood Characters and Flower Men projects.

“Jaharia is one of the few coal mines in the world where you can find underground fires. That makes the place very unique.” says Ken. “It is a very visual place. The smoke, dirt and colors makes it a great place to take photos.” These visuals directly affected his creative decisions involving the framing of his subjects. He continued to tell us that his creative decisions were based on the shape of the person’s face while trying to balance a variety of different scenes to give the viewer a better sense of the coal mines.

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Hollywood Characters is a Dark Take on the American Dream


All images by Ken Hermann. Used with permission.

Hollywood has been known to many as a place to go in order to pursue one’s dreams to become a star. But for many, it doesn’t seem to work out. Those people often fall off and do other jobs. They’re the focus of photographer Ken Hermann‘s project called Hollywood Characters. He is the winner of the Hasselblad Masters 2012 for his City Surfer work and has a book out now collecting some of his work.

Hollywood Characters is subtitled as being “The dead-end of the American dream.”

According to the series description:

“Amongst the bustling crowds and chic boutiques on the streets of Los Angeles are a cast of costumed characters, waiting for curious passersby to take a photo.The street characters make a living by letting themselves being photographed together with the thousands of tourists who visit the Boulevard each day and pay them a tip them to take a shot.

Some of the Street characters does a really good job acting as look-alikes and they actually look a lot like some of the big Hollywood stars while others just look like silly grownups in poor and dirty carnival costumes.

Most of the street characters have one thing in common though. They are, or once were, pursuing the American dream of becoming someone special and famous. It is this struggle mixed with the childish fantasy world ken Hermann finds interesting to portrait.”

The project started when he became fascinated by the good look-alikes and the bad ones. Spending time observing them, he found that sometimes a person just needs to have a funny or crazy attitude to be successful. But in this project, Ken tried to show off who the real person was behind the disguise.

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