Photography

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Art Photography

Striking Portraits by Artist Tawny Chatmon Embellished with Gold Garments and Ornate Backdrops

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tawny Chatmon, shared with permission

In The Redemption, photography-based artist Tawny Chatmon (previously) celebrates the beauty of Black hair through a series of arresting portraits superimposed with 24 karat gold flourishes. Each photograph features a solemn child who’s dressed in hand-painted ornate, gilt garments that are inspired by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase. “These portraits are meant to act as a counter-narrative and redemptive measure to uplift and elevate Black hair, tradition, and culture freeing us from negative stereotypes,” Chatmon says in a statement. “An intent, not to be confused with seeking validation, but rather an unyielding affirmation of Black beauty.”

By evoking Klimt, the Maryland-based artist hopes to elicit similar feelings as when considering some of the painter’s pieces like “The Kiss,” for example. “I remember being drawn to the details, the poses, of course, the gold, and the grace,” she says of her initial reaction to his pieces. The ornamental additions immediately signal beauty, which has many different meanings for Chatmon.

Beauty is every child in these portraits. Beauty is individuality and nonconformity. Beauty is something that you saw, that you can’t stop thinking about because it made such a good impression on you. Beauty is the way I felt when I got to hold each of my babies after giving birth to them. Beauty is motherhood. Beauty is when my 15-year-old son makes it a point to hug me every night and tells me he loves me. Beauty is goodness. Beauty is knowing you’re beautiful even in a world hellbent on making you think otherwise.

To explore more of the artist’s layered photographs that consider both personal and cultural conceptions of allure, grace, and strength, head to her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Food Photography

Sliced and Diced Food Arranged into Color-Coded Sequences by Adam Hillman

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam Hillman, shared with permission

Adam Hillman (previously) has taken recommendations to choose a balanced diet seriously. For each slice of Granny Smith apple, the New Jersey-based artist pairs a quartered cucumber, halved kiwi, and peeled plantain in a meticulous, color-coded arrangement.

Using produce, candy, and breakfast fare, Hillman organizes an array of perishables into patterns and geometric sequences, which he often shares on Instagram. “There’s something beautiful about working with something so transient, and the beauty of the materials is something that can only be preserved through photography long after the food within the photo has either rotted or been eaten,” he tells Colossal.

For those in need of another dose of nutrients, Hillman offers prints from Society6.

 

 

 



Photography

Ethereal Photographs by Oghalé Alex Emphasize the Tension Between Movement and Inaction

June 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

In Los Angeles, California. All images © Oghalé Alex, shared with permission

Oghalé Alex’s stunning new project is centered on the desire for “escaping the noise… Each picture is meant to look like something out of your imagination or something you might have seen in a dream,” the Nigerian-American photographer says.

Currently living in London, Alex’s serene series was shot for Cold Laundry, a fashion brand led by Ola and Cerise Alabi, in locations worldwide from Los Angeles and Scottsdale to Sicily, Milos, and San Pedro. “One of the things we thought about when it comes to escaping is a vacation,” Alex tells Colossal. “This can be to the beach, a resort, or simply anywhere a person considers to be peaceful.”  The neutral tones of the natural landscape serve as an unobtrusive backdrop for the soft-hued clothing.

With models perpetually embodying impending action, whether through rigidly resting on beige sands or jogging with both feet in the air, the ethereal images explore the tension between movement and inactivity.

The touching, posing, and movement all comes from what our idea of freedom is. Sometimes we’ll have the models laying down in a formation. Other times they will be walking out of the frame towards something unseen. Whatever the models do, we often have them do it together because we believe there is comfort and freedom in companionship.

Follow Alex on Instagram to keep up with his calming, escapist photographs, and see the prints he has available on his site.

 

In Milos, Greece

Left: In Scottsdale, Arizona. Right: In Los Angeles, California

In Milos, Greece

In Brawley, California

Left: In Glendale, Arizona. Right: In London, England

In Milos, Greece

In Kent, England

 

 



Photography

Watch the Earth Rotate for 24 Hours in an Entrancing Timelapse Centering the Sky

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

With a camera peering out over the landscape of Tivoli, Namibia, Bartosz Wojczyński focused on the sky. The Polish photographer created a hypnotic timelapse spanning 24 hours that has a focal point in the atmosphere rather than on the land. Each minute, he snapped a frame that subsequently was looped 60 times to create the final 24-minute version that’s a mesmerizing look at Earth’s cycles.

According to PetaPixel, Wojczyński’s camera was attached to an SW Star Adventurer, which is designed to assist in celestial photography. For more of the photographer’s space-centric projects, head to YouTube.

 

 

 



Photography

Under Quarantine, Aquatic Photographer Turns His Lens on Radiant Sunbirds in His Backyard

May 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Steve Benjamin, shared with permission

Steve Benjamin generally uses his background in Zoology to capture the underwater lives of sharks, whales, and dolphins. But due to quarantine restrictions spurred by the ongoing threat of COVID-19—South Africa has imposed some of the strictest regulations in the world because a high percentage of the population has compromised immune systems—the Cape Town-based photographer has shifted his focus to the feathered animals visiting his backyard.

Sunbirds is a stunning series of portraits captured using the same techniques as underwater photography. Benjamin tells Colossal he established a miniature studio for his avian visitors by positioning a feeder in a small sunny area with nearby shade, plenty of blooming flowers, and twig perches. “This is a studio setting for wild birds that are free to come and go as they please,” the photographer says.

To ensure the backdrop was dark, he used shutter speeds of 1/2,000 of a second and mounted additional lights to illuminate the vibrant intricacies of the feathers, feet, and bills. “The birds did not like flash photography so I have to figure out how to get constant light onto them with my underwater video lights,” he writes. “I had to get the birds used to being close to bright lights, which took a while.”

You can see the full series on Benjamin’s site, in addition to a deep dive into his process and equipment in the video below. He also shares an array of wildlife shots on his Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Women in Motion Energize Dreamy Photographs by Kylli Sparre

May 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Wonder Wheels.” All images © Kylli Sparre, shared with permission

Often blurring or concealing the faces of her dramatically posed figures, Kylli Sparre (previously) captures magical portraits of young women and girls. The fine art photographer, who is based in Tallinn, captures her lone subjects amidst swirling swaths of fabric or perched atop a towering mass of bicycle wheels. Many are in motion, whether dancing against hazy landscapes and or scooting across calm waters.

Sparre tells Colossal that she’s begun to experiment with technical aspects of her process by using a scanner, piecing together images in collages, and experimenting with movement and exposure time. Although she notes that many of her forays into underwater photography “will never see the light of day,” she’s “trying to be as open as I can… I think what has demanded me to grow, is the wish to keep finding the “something” in an image, that would touch a chord in me. Because what I find interesting, slightly changes over time. It is not always an easy task to be truthful to this inner scale, but still essential.”

To see more of Sparre’s conceptual projects focused on the female figure, head to Instagram.

 

“Disquiet”

“Learning Wheels”

“Modest Troubles”

“Mismeeting”

“Wild Things in Mild Wind”

“Line in Time”

“Excusing Shadows”