Category: Photography

A Tribute to Discomfort: Insights from National Geographic Photographer Cory Richards 

At the age of 14, photographer Cory Richards had dropped out of high school and was technically homeless. His education, he says, was instead obtained through the observation of struggle. Through various forms of discomfort and adventure he would eventually become the first American to successfully summit an 8,000-meter peak in winter (Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II), and launch an incredible career in photography through the pages of National Geographic.

Brooklyn-based digital media company Blue Chalk recently sat down with Richards to discuss his motivations and driving desire to connect with the people he photographs. (via ISO 1200, PetaPixel)

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A Surreal Photoshoot on an Underwater Shipwreck in Bali 

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Taken recently off the coast of Bali, these surreal photos are the creation of Montreal-based director and photographer Benjamin Von Wong, known for his exceedingly difficult photoshoots. Where it might be more practical to create the complex aspects of these photos digitally, Von Wong took a different path and assembled a team of two models who also happen to be trained freedivers, 7 additional support divers, and obtained special permission to utilize a 50-year-old underwater shipwreck. The entire shoot took place 25 meters below the surface, and because of the extreme conditions and limitations, he relied heavily on natural light to create the final images you see here.

You can watch the video above to see how the photoshoot came together and read more about the process over on his blog. (via PetaPixel, My Modern Met)

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From the New World: A Sprawling Digital Collage of a Dystopian Future by Yang Yongliang 

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From the New World, 13′ x 26′ (400cm x 800cm), Epson Ultragiclee print on Epson fine art paper

In his largest artwork to date, Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (previously here and here) just unveiled From the New World, a sprawling digital collage depicting an overpopulated, futuristic landscape completely overrun with construction, debris, and high-rise skyscrapers. The new artwork is a continuation of Yongliang’s ongoing commentary about the devastating effects of unchecked development and industrialization through the use of dense, photography-based collage. From the New World measures almost 26 feet wide (800cm) by 13 feet tall, and while it’s impossible to truly appreciate it online, you can see many more detail shots over on his website.

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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Wet Dog: Quirky Portraits of Dogs Captured Mid-Bath by Sophie Gamand 

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New York photographer Sophie Gamand has spent the last four years photographing dogs as part of a larger project to better understand humans. Her latest series, Wet Dog, captures hilarious and awkward photos of small dogs as they are bathed with the help of professional groomer Ruben Santana in the Bronx. Fascinated by the domestication of dogs as one of the first forms of artificial selection, Gamand explores the differences and similarities in animals and humans, making the the distinction that dogs ceased being “animals” long ago as they acquired human attributes and became pets.

The Wet Dog series won first place in the Portraiture category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, and the photos you see here will be included in a book to be published by Grand Central Publishing in the fall of 2015. Prints are available here, and you can also follow Gamand on Instagram. All images courtesy the photographer. (via Feature Shoot)

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Eerie Photos of North Brother Island, the Last Unknown Place in New York City 

Coalhouse from Morgue Roof, North Brother Island, New York

How does an island in New York City’s East River go from being notoriously feared, almost 100 years ago, to being completely forgotten about today? That’s the story behind North Brother Island, the subject of photographer Christopher Payne’s new photo book.

A 10-minute boat ride from the Bronx’s Barretto Point Park, North Brother Island originally housed Riverside Hospital between the 1880s and 1930s. While in operation, the hospital served hundreds of patients who suffered from extremely communicable diseases, including smallpox, typhus, scarlet fever and even leprosy. It was also where “Typhoid Mary” was quarantined, and where she eventually died. In a 1935 profile for the New Yorker, the editor Stanley Walker described the island as “…a dismal spot. Sitting there, one may see, as the best view, the gas tanks on the Bronx shore. Now and then a ferryboat glides past. At night the dirty water of the East River laps against the rocks, making a messy, ghostly noise.”

The island’s facilities have since been decommissioned and the island itself abandoned since 1963. It sank into the depths of our memories until 2008, when Christopher Payne wrote a proposal to photograph and document the island in its current state. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation agreed, and thus began Payne’s expeditions, which would continue for the next 5 years. His stunning photographs are now available in his new book, “North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City.” (via Animal and Slate)

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Classroom, North Brother Island, New York

Male Dormitory, North Brother Island, New York

Nurse's Home, North Brother Island, New York

Tuberculosis Pavilion Balcony, North Brother Island, New York

Tuberculosis Pavilion Lobby, North Brother Island, New York

Beach at Dusk, North Brother Island, New York

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Landscape Light Installations by Barry Underwood 

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Drawing inspiration from early theatrical training, and influenced by methods of staged photography and set design, artist Barry Underwood (previously) transforms ordinary landscapes into something out of science fiction. The artist utilizes LED lights, luminescent material, and other photographic effects to create fleeting abstract landscapes that are influenced by both accidental and incidental light. He shares via his artist statement:

My artwork examines community and land-use in rural, suburban and urban sites. I created this series of installations by researching local agricultural, industrial, and recreational land-use. Curiosity about ecological and social history of specific places drives my work. By revealing the beauty and potential of an ordinary landscape an everyday scene is transformed into a memorable, visual experience. Each photograph image is a dialogue – the result of my direct encounter with nature and history. Inspired by land art, landscape photography and painting, as well as cinema, my images are both surreal and familiar.

Underwood will open an exhibition of both old and new work at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York titled Scenes, on May 29th, 2014. You can see more over on Johansson Projects and read a 2011 interview at Juxtapoz. Images courtesy Sous Les Etoiles Gallery and the artist.

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