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Photography

Hundreds of Womxn Are Photographing How They Cope During Quarantine

May 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

Isabella Lanave (@isalanave) is a freelance photographer based in Curitiba, Brazil. “I think this quarantine is more physically isolating than socially isolating for me. I live with friends and this is a time to coexist. Time to stop and listen, to find out more.”

Since being quarantined inside her home in Buenos Aires, Lucía Morón has struggled with insomnia. “I have not been sleeping well and there are even days when I cannot seem to find the energy to get out of bed,” she says. As a way to manage her difficult moments, Morón has been documenting her uneasiness. “Photographing helps me to externalize and exorcise my inner fears, nightmares, and anxieties,” she says. “It has become a way of escape in which to express myself during (these) hard and lonely times.”

Morón’s joined more than 400 other womxn with similar practices on a collaborative project that’s helping to capture the mundane, monotonous, and worrisome moments in their lives. Organized by photographers Charlotte Schmitz and Hannah Yoon, The Journal is an extension of Women Photograph, which is an initiative led by Daniella Zalcman to elevate visual journalists who identify as non-binary or women.

While many photographs during the last few weeks have focused on hospitals, essential supplies, and frontline workers, The Journal retreats from the traumatic coverage in favor of intimacy. “Our collective photo project brings nuance to the way the current pandemic is being covered as we turn the camera on ourselves, our families, and the private space,” organizers said. It encompasses work from womxn in more than 80 countries and ensures that marginalized voices have a platform as freelance and media budgets are slashed globally. 

Morón’s image (shown below) is black and white and depicts a single arm and leg at the left edge of the frame. It corresponds to her feelings of being “‘submerged’ in bed. As if I was trapped or being ‘eaten’ by my own bed,” she says. The puffy sheets resemble a dreamy, floating cloud, linking the image more directly to her insomnia.

While Morón has pivoted inward as a way to cope with her private emotions and feelings, though, other participants describe an experience that centers on their subject matter. For photojournalist Nyimas Laula, turning the camera to herself poses many difficulties because she typically focuses on others’ stories, not her own.

As a photojournalist, the biggest part of my job is listening to people that I’ll be photographing. My work has always been speaking about others, whether it’s addressing issues that I deeply care about or extension of voices from people that yet to be heard. In this isolation, I’m pushed to point the camera to myself, no one to ask, no one to speak to, other than myself. I constrain myself to this voluntary isolation out of responsibility to help contain the spread of the virus. I find myself deeply disoriented by that.

Now confined to her home in Indonesia, Laula has been capturing her surroundings and otherwise private life. She talks about an inner impulse she feels guiding her. “I’ve been photographing things around me, out of intuition, without any particular reason or stories. As if I’m trying to describe the complexity of feelings that I experience during isolation,” she says. “This time, I’m listening to myself, rediscovering myself. It might tell something about myself that I didn’t know before.”

Each week, The Journal’s curators announce a theme like nature, connection, or self-portrait that 8-10 participants from different countries work on together. Some shoot the images, while others provide creative guidance or edit. “As these relationships form, we can see important visual stories emerging, bringing representation to women and their stories from all over the world,” organizers said. Photographers are separated into intentionally diverse groups to ensure a variety of perspectives. 

As the project continues, Morón hopes to direct conversations around the ongoing pandemic to new spaces. “We can find a certain relief from this difficult situation by changing its images. It’s like a trap. I think that many people will feel identified with our stories of quarantine,” she writes.

To see the growing collection of global dispatches, follow The Journal on Instagram.

 

Lucía Morón (@ph.lumo) is a freelance photographer and architect based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. April 2, 2020. “Self-portrait in my bedroom.”

Karolin Klüppel (@karolinklueppel) is a freelance photographer and visual artist based in Berlin. “Since the lockdown in Berlin, I have started to create self-portraits of myself and my family. I am looking for an image that creates a new world and is free of time and space.”

María Gutierrez (@maru.gut) is a freelance photographer based in Argentina. “Since the second day of the quarantine, I live with a strong contracture in my body. I made this self-portrait while I was taking a hot shower to calm the pain. From this body ache that I am feeling, I´m doing these photos.”

Hannah Yoon (@hanloveyoon) is a freelance photographer based in Philadelphia. “I moved into a new house so I’m learning how to do basic things on my own like put up curtains.”

Haruka Sakaguchi (@hsakag) is a freelance photographer based in New York. “This is me in multiple exposures trying to stay busy and productive throughout the day, so my mind doesn’t wander off to dark places.”

Jessica Pons (@ponsphotos) is an Argentinean-American photographer and director based in Los Angeles. Los Angeles, March 17, 2020: I made this self-portrait at home at the beginning of the quarantine, with great uncertainty about the future.

Khadija Farah (@farahkhad) is a photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. “Some days I don’t wake up feeling like a wet rag. When this happens, I muster enough energy to do a face mask, paint my nails, and gab with my best friends around the world over non-virus related issues. These days are becoming more frequent and when I feel a bit more of myself coming back.”

Laurence Philomene (@laurencephilomene) is a freelance photographer based in Montreal, Canada. “Self-portrait shot while taking a bath with an orange bath bomb. Shot in my home in Montreal, Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, as part of my ongoing project ‘Puberty.'”

 

 



Animation Photography

An Unnerving New Film by Paul Trillo Imagines Earth Moments Before It’s Sucked into a Black Hole

May 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new film by New York-based director Paul Trillo lingers for just a moment on a serene body of water before plunging into a dizzying series of landscape transformations. “Until There Was Nothing” considers how Earth’s natural landscapes and city life would look just moments before being consumed by a black hole. The surreal work shows massive waves suddenly crawling up the left side of the frame, the tops of taxi cabs shooting into the air, and an entire forest of trees ascending in an amorphous mass.

To add an even more unnerving twist, Trillo overlayed the short film with a recording of British writer Alan Watts, who slowly expounds on the “prospect of vanishing.” Despite his film’s disturbing qualities, the director maintains an optimistic outlook. “Someday this will pass and there will be nothing left… That’s not something to fear ‘because we come from nothing’ as Alan Watts puts it… and from nothing comes something new,” he says.

Watch the full film, which Trillo alternatively titled “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Black Hole,” below. Find more of the director’s perspective-bending projects on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography Science

Millions of Monarchs Swarm Fake Hummingbird As It Captures Spectacular Footage of Their Flight

April 30, 2020

Anna Marks

With its clementine-colored wings bordered with black lines and white spots, the monarch, also known as Danaus Plexippus, is a widely recognizable insect. As the weather changes and gets cooler, the monarchs migrate from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern United States and fly to central Mexico, where they form clustered colonies on oyamel fir trees to conserve heat until the days grow longer and they migrate north once again. 

In this spectacular clip filmed by the PBS series Spy in the Wild, a mechanical “spy hummingbird” flies over a swarm of resting monarchs. Creators chose the flying creature because it feeds on nectar and thus isn’t seen as a threat. As the sun warms the butterflies’ wings to 50 degrees, the insects wake and start to flutter and move. The hummingbird spy finds itself within the very heart of the swarm and captures a spectacular scene in which millions of butterflies take to the sky once more in a mesmerizing confetti-like cloud. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Food Photography

Domestic Perfectionism Overwhelms Faceless Women in a Satirical Series by Photographer Patty Carroll

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Patty Carroll, shared with permission

Patty Carroll’s homebound snapshots are the epitome of domestic pressure: A high-heeled working woman tries to cook and chat on the phone but ends up amid scattered kitchen supplies with her head stuck in the oven. Mops and rags knock another figure down into a sea of neon sponges and cleaning sprays. Two seated women are obscured by constricting drapes and an inordinate amount of fresh produce.

The photographer’s four-part Anonymous Women series is comprised of highly stylized scenes featuring a faceless mannequin attempting—and failing to complete—a range of duties. They’re humorous commentary on the pressure modern women continually face to achieve domestic perfection while excelling professionally and caring for others.

The interior of the home is comforting, but can also camouflage individual identity, especially when the idealized decor becomes an obsession, or indication of position or status…. The “constructed” images in the ongoing series are of home turned inside out, where things are topsy-turvy and scale is variable. Decoration is out of control, and the woman of the house is lost in her own madness.

Carroll began the satirical project after moving to Britain and finding her professional accomplishments disregarded. “Being known as Mrs. Jones rather than the independent, teacher, photographer Patty Carroll sent me into a small identity crisis. I made photographs of vulnerable, stark heads hiding behind various domestic objects as my initial response to this predicament,” she said in a recent interview with Aint-Bad.

 

One installment of the series, “Domestic Demise,” touches on contemporary issues of consumption, as well, and “is when the woman becomes a victim of her own obsessions and activities. She is no longer in control and life is a series of mishaps and mayhem,” the photographer said. Having too many books, too many items lining the pantry shelves, and too many alcoholic drinks overwhelm the women.

Carroll previously employed models for her drapery series, but as her scenarios got more complex and took longer to shoot, she switched to mannequins. She constructs each chaotic scene within an 8 x 8 frame. Her influences include “colorful vintage movies, traditional still-life paintings, decorating magazines, my suburban upbringing, the game of clue, and even Victorian writing,” she wrote in a statement.

 

Since being confined to her home due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and because of a recent appendectomy, Carroll says the mundane and oppressive requirements of domestic life are inescapable. “It is hard to ponder larger issues when we are confined to our homes and are concerned with the everyday, seemingly meaningless issues of cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, and what is on Netflix for entertainment,” she said. “Nevertheless, all of my photographs are about those simple, ordinary, yet overwhelming tasks that we carry out every day.”

For more of Carroll’s identity-questioning work, pick up her recently released monograph that’s available from Aint-Bad and or a photograph from Catherine Couturier Gallery. Watch videos of the draped women as they attempt their domestic duties on Vimeo, and follow Carroll’s upcoming projects on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Animation Photography

Artist François Vogel Turns His Unaware Cat into a Wriggling Jellyfish

April 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Based on a recent cameo, François Vogel ’s cat actually might enjoy a dip in the ocean despite his feline instincts to avoid it. The Abyssinian has been stretched and distorted in a series of humorous clips made by his French owner, including one that lengthens and spirals the cat’s legs like flowing jellyfish tendrils. The unsuspecting pet also is stretched across the dining room and launched into an expanding sea of fish that he slowly swims through.

Vogel, who lives and works in the Parisian suburb Meudon, used slit-scan photography and time displacement in After Effects to twist and warp his cat’s figure. Head to Instagram to see his extensive backlog of comical distortions that includes turning his daughter into a seagull. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

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Photography

Tangled Roots and Mossy Branches Loom through Heavy Fog in Mystical Photographs by Neil Burnell

April 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Neil Burnell, shared with permission

Devon-based photographer Neil Burnell captures a mossy labyrinth of gnarled roots and twisted branches in a new series that manifests nature’s most fantastical qualities. Mystical exposes the otherworldly elements of Wistman’s Wood, an ancient oak woodland on Dartmoor, Devon, England, while it’s enveloped by a dense fog. The overgrown forest is thought to be the remnants of a similarly wooded area dating back to 7,000 B.C.

Burnell tells Colossal that when he visited the spot as a kid, he was reminded of “the film set of Empire Strikes back in the forest of Dagobah.” The photographer has spent much of his career in graphic design, but after delving into photography more seriously, he returned to the forest to try to capture the mysticism in his cinematic style.

It’s taken four long years of visiting and learning to capture a series I’m truly happy with as compositions can be tricky in such a claustrophobic wood. 90% of the successful images are either shot in the first hour of light or the last hour when the light is really soft. The other key element for a successful session is thick fog…I can count the successful trips over the four years on one hand. Many times I’ve been the conditions just don’t suit for the style I want to achieve.

As climates change around the world, areas like Wistman’s Wood will feel the effects. The photographer says the area requires a balance between being protected from destruction while also being available for human interaction and enjoyment. “Over the four to five years I’ve been photographing, it’s clear to me that the woodland is (at) its most vulnerable in the winter months and particularly after heavy rainfall,” he says. “The harsher weather climate throughout the year really can be damaging…During the past five years, I’m thankful to say I’ve not seen one person who hasn’t been respectful to the woodland.”

To follow the latest from Burnell’s ongoing series, head Instagram and Behance. You can also acquire a print of these untamed scenes on his site.

 

 



Music Photography

A Touching Film Compiles Quarantine Dispatches from Around the Globe

April 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Echoing each others’ sentiments of hope and optimism during uncertain times, the folks who contributed to a new short film have joined together despite being thousands of miles apart. “A Social Distance” is a collective look at global life during COVID-19 featuring dozens of people, ranging from a 93-year old Malayan grandmother to a 19-year old Slovenian man, from the 30 most-affected countries.

Directed by Ivan Cash and Jacob Jonas, the crowd-sourced project compiles clips of people’s hand-washing practices, their stocked and bare fridges, and emotional messages about their worries. Some dance to the original score played by various musicians from their respective homes. Despite its anxiety-producing subject matter, though, the compilation is surprisingly hopeful.

Find more work from Cash and Jonas on Vimeo. You also might like this wildly choreographed music video filmed entirely on Zoom.

 

 

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