Photography

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Photography

Black Women Photographers Is a Global Community at the Forefront of a Changing Industry

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

Esther Sweeney. All images courtesy of Black Women Photographers, shared with permission

In June of 2020, Polly Irungu launched Black Women Photographers with about 100 members and the hope that more Black women would receive commissions and greater recognition for their work. “I didn’t really know that photography was a space for me to be in, as I didn’t see myself in the world of photography or really any art spaces for that reason,” Irungu said about the impetus for the organization in a recent interview. “I think with the work that I’ve been doing, it’s obviously shattering that. It’s putting us, as Black women, to the forefront, as we have been shut out of the industry for so long.”

Just two years later, the organization has grown exponentially, now touting a global membership of more than 1,200 from 50 plus countries. It offers a directory geared toward curators, editors, and brands looking to hire, in addition to programming, educational opportunities, awards, and portfolio reviews. In 2021, it also established an annual $50,000 grant fund in partnership with Nikon, furthering its mission by providing direct support to those in the community.

Irungu—who was also just named photo editor for the Office of the VP to the Biden-Harris Administration—hopes to expand the original goals of the organization as it enters its third year and continue to champion Black women in the industry. She explains:

I just want to continue building this community, celebrating these works in the community, helping nurture these photographers and get them to the next level, whatever that next level looks like for them. But also to continue to take up space in this industry, letting people know what “Yes, we’re here,” and we photograph portraits, we photograph sports, music, fine art, and we photograph anything that you can think of, like architecture, real estate, outdoors, landscape, film, all of that is within this community.

In honor of World Photography Day (which is today!) and its second anniversary, Black Women Photographers is hosting a print sale. We’ve gathered some of our favorite images from the collection here, but visit Instagram for a deeper dive into the archive.

 

Clara Watt

DeLovie Kwagala

Kate Sterlin

Sherie Margaret Ngigi

DeLovie Kwagala

Sandy Adams

 

 



Art Photography

Humor Infuses Exaggerated Features in Lola Dupre’s Meticulously Distorted Collages

August 17, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Randy 3,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches. All images © Lola Dupre, shared with permission

Glasgow-based artist Lola Dupre’s evocative and often humorous photographic collages of animals, historic images, and portraits tap into the unique personalities and emotions of her subjects. A cross-eyed cat has its vision multiplied, and a Shiba Inu’s joyful face pokes out of an enormous body in a play on repetition and perception. Dupre captures a range of expressions in both human and animal form (previously), exaggerating a raised eyebrow or fuzzy paw by layering numerous pieces of paper to extend legs, arm, eyes, and other features.

Dupre’s work will be included in Division of Birds at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, and you can find more pieces on her website, Behance, and Instagram.

 

“Andromeda,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

“Hercules,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

Left: “Toni,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Dacefer. Right: “David,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by David Sierra

“Fluffy,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches

“Ivor, After Walter Chandoha,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

“Mari,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Laerke Rose

Left: “Melange,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches. Right: “Mia,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Arsalan Danish

 

 



Photography

Underwater Photos by Steven Kovacs Frame the Shimmering Unearthly Bodies of Larval Fish

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

A young Ribbonfish off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs. All images licensed

Set against the stark backdrops attainable only during blackwater dives, larval fish become strange, otherworldly specimens with glasslike bodies and translucent fins that billow outward. Their delicate, still-developing anatomies are the subjects of Steven Kovacs’s underwater photos, which frame the young creatures at such precarious stages of life.

Living in Palm Beach, Kovacs (previously) frequents the waters off the Florida coasts, although he’s also recently explored areas near Kona, Hawaii. Expeditions have brought encounters with both the elusive acanthonus armatu and a type of larval ipnopidae that hasn’t been documented previously. “Of course, we are always hoping to run across a never-before-seen species like the discoverichthys praecox,” he says. “To be the first to ever find and photograph a species in the wild is an absolute thrill.”

Next on Kovacs’s list are a hairy goosefish larva and a crocodile toothfish species. Dive into an extensive archive of his images on Instagram, and pick up a print from Blue Planet.

 

Acanthonus armatus off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Discoverichthys praecox off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Flying fish off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Larval fish off Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

A Caribbean Reef Octopus tending to her eggs off Riviera Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Larval flounder off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

“Fu Manch” Flyingfish off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

 

 



Photography

A Surprising Photo Captures an Osprey Gently Gliding Along the Water’s Surface

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Image © Andy Woo, shared with permission

Ospreys, the large raptors with barbed talons and dense, oily plumage, feed almost exclusively on fish and are known to completely submerge themselves in the water during a hunt. An unanticipated photo by Andy Woo, though, captures the avian predator in a botched attempt as it skims the surface rather than plunging in to retrieve its next meal. “Although I couldn’t figure out what just happened at the time, in looking at the sequence I captured, it looks to me like the osprey tried to grab a fish out of the water, missed, and then could not get enough lift to quickly get back in the air,” he tells Peta Pixel. The unusual move lasted less than a second, just enough time for the Olympia-based photographer to document the act and the bird’s reflection on the water.

Woo is currently selling prints of the short-lived glide, and you can find the entire sequence on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Phenomenal Skies and Animals in Action Top This Year’s Nature TTL Photography Contest

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Astonishing,” Godafoss, Iceland, Mauro Tronto

The annual Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest garnered more than 8,000 submissions this round, with some of the most impressive images focusing on fauna in the wild and stunning light-based phenomena that illuminate nighttime skies. Taken around the globe, the winning photos demonstrate both acts of stealth and moments of serendipity. Images range from Matt Engelmann capturing an unaware dog fox as it creeps over a Swiss mountain to Mauro Tronto framing a rainbow shooting upwards from the misty Godafass waterfalls in Iceland, the glowing northern lights overhead. See some of our favorite photos below, and visit the competition’s site to view all of the top entries.

 

“A Moment of Wilderness,” Mountains of Switzerland, Graubünden, Switzerland, Matt Engelmann

“City Hare,” Kassel, Germany, Jan Piecha

“Sunset Ray,” Tuna Factory, Maldives, Andy Schmid

“Vantage Points,” Hosanagara, Karnataka, India, Achintya Murthy

“Pretty in Pollen,” Mutter’s Moor near Sidmouth, Devon, U.K., Tim Crabb

“The Top of Australia,” Kosciusko, Australia, Josselin Cornou

“Nature Fights Back,” Loxton, Northern Cape, South Africa, Bertus Hanekom

“Ice Bear,” Klukshu, Yukon, Canada, Geoffrey Reynaud

 

 



Art Photography

Sports and Art History Team Up in a Playful Twitter Account That Matches Life and Art

August 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Top: “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” (1675) by Mattia Preti. Bottom: Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photo. All images courtesy of ArtButMakeItSports, shared with permission

What do an injured Kelley O’Hara and “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” by Italian Baroque artist Mattia Preti have in common? The exasperated soccer star and 1675 religious masterpiece find unexpected synchronicity thanks to LJ Rader, the creator behind the wildly popular meme account ArtButMakeItSports.

Since 2015, Rader has been cleverly pairing photos from professional sports with art historical works. What began as a personal project that involved visits to museums and some of the week’s most intensely emotional images from soccer matches or basketball games has evolved into Twitter and Instagram accounts with considerable followings.  “At first, it was starting with the art and then thinking about what it could be if it were sports,” he says. “As time went on, I realized the ones that resonated the most were the mashups—and using sports images that were in the moment/news cycle played the best.” A running Megan Rapinoe might imitate Apollo chasing Daphne, for example, or a long, lean leg might evoke that of an Alberto Giacometti sculpture.

 

Left: A photo of Bill Russell by Dick Raphael. Right: Patrick Henry (1775), Panel 1 from “Struggle Series” by Jacob Lawrence (1955)

Beyond the obvious visual similarities, though, Rader’s mashups tend to go a step further as they masterfully draw the two seemingly diametric fanbases and cultures together. One comparison features an image of the late Celtics player Bill Russell and Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series, for example, because both the basketball great and American painter were highly active in civil rights work.

Now numbering upwards of 1,000, the all-star pairings are an internet sensation in their own right, and ultimately, Rader’s goal is to dive into “what art means and (explore) the intersection of culture between two sides—art and sports—that rarely meet.”

 

Top: Photo by Tom Stillman. Bottom: “Christ Healing the Blindman” (1725-30) by Gerardus Duyckinck I

Right: “Neptune and Amphitrite” (1691-94) by Sebastiano Ricci

Top: “Apollo pursuing Daphne” (1616-18) by Domenichino and assistants. Bottom: Photo by Nikita

Right: “L’Homme qui marche II” (1960) by Alberto Giacometti

Bottom: “Abstraktes Bild (649-2)” (1987) by Gerhard Richter