In this digital age, viewers can be forgiven of they happen to think that the image above is a product of digital image manipulation. Katerina Plotnikova, the Russian photographer responsible for the image, does nothing in half measures. That’s a full-grown bear up there, making friends with a very brave and beautiful young model. It’s one thing to photograph a wild animal, another thing altogether to do it without supervision. Throughout the shoot, the animals’ trainers kept a close eye on their charges. The result is a rather impressive image that evokes an air of mysticism and enchantment. I’m also rather impressed by the fact that Katerina’s human subjects manage to exude a dignified, regal air while posing with bears, snakes, tigers, foxes, and other creatures not exactly known for their timidity.
Christian Cannon, also known as @seacanon, is a photographer, adventurer, and explorer. His photos give the viewer a different, more beguiling perspective from which to look at the world. Christian’s signature is the free-spirited feel of his images. He said: “My goal is take photos that allow for others to see the world how I see it in my mind. I desire for people who follow my career as a photographer to see and get to know me as a person through my photos.”
Isaac Orloff is a freelance illustrator who works primarily animation. He’s a rather well-sought after visual development artist in San Francisco. Aside from illustration, Isaac also loves doing a bit of T-shirt design. The untold story in each of images is what makes his work stand out. A cluttered hallway, a boy-turned-wild-thing roasting a marshmallow instead of sleeping in a pile, and a squid losing at poker. Each image provokes the viewer into imagining the story behind the image.
John Wallin Liberto is a Senior Concept Artist at 343 Industries in Washington. He is still relatively new in the industry but he has already worked in some of the biggest games and movies, notable the Halo franchise, Harry Potter, and Alien vs Predator. He was also responsible for the artistic concept behind Shania Twain’s “Gonna Getcha Good” music video. Christian is also a flight amateur and his handle in most artistic communities is ‘Capt. Flush Garde’. He currently lives and works in Sweden.
Seung Mo Park is a South Korean sculptor whose unique sculptures are made from shiny aluminium wire tightly wrapped in layers around a fiberglass base. He has travelled all over the world to showcase his work in both solo and group exhibitions. What’s impressive about his work is that wrapping wire is easier said than done, especially when it has to go around an irregular sort of surface are. A lady in a gown lying down on the ground can definitely be categorized as irregularly-shaped. Seung Mo Park is one sculptor worth watching out for.
Stephane Occhipinti steps out of the box with his impressive portfolio of macro shots incorporating the Bokeh effect. Bokeh is defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. It is basically the aesthetic quality of the blur in the out-of focus area of an image. Utilized correctly, it greatly enhances the overall effect of an image, but done incorrectly and it results in a noisy, sometimes distracting background. In Stephane’s shots, his subjects stand out against a pleasingly blurred background of light. Stephane is currently based in Lyon, France.
Tyler Shields is a triple threat; he’s a writer, film director, and awesome photographer. His passion is in creating images that will ultimately make people ‘feel something’. In this series, the viewer is presented with rather shocking images where “somebody looks like they’re about to die, and sometimes somebody looks like they’re about to live.” During an interview, he said: “My hope is that it pushes people to want to explore what they’re actually capable of more. If these images make someone want to make better images, or want to live more or see the world in a different way, then that’s perfect to me.”
Aganetha Dyck is a Canadian artist who has a long-standing interest in bees. She has even conducted a research on the global ramifications of the disappearance of bees due to the colony collapse disorder. Through the years, Aganetha has created numerous bee-assisted sculptures using specially designed apiaries and figurines, sports equipment, shoes, and other unexpected objects. CathiWherry, a curator commented on Aganetha’s work. She said: “They remind us that we and our constructions are temporary in relation to the lifespan of earth and the processes of nature. This raises ideas about our shared vulnerability, while at the same time elevating the ordinariness of our humanity.”
Noel Badges Pugh is an artist and scientific illustrator with a knack for accurately drawing various flora and fauna.His work is reminiscent of the old school illustrations found in old textbooks. One of his more recent series is a field guide on different kinds of bees and wild flowers. What makes his work unique is the unforced realism of his creations. He’s not trying to trick your eye into believing they’re real, but his drawings are accurate to a fault. Noel keeps an extensive Tumblr account where he posts all his recent works.
Diana Beltran Herrera has studied design, experimental painting, and ceramic sculpture. She is originally from Colombia but moved to Finland, and then Bristol for her art studies. Her most recent series feature birds made out of carefully cut and arranged pieces of paper. Some of Diana’s subjects are caught in mid-flight while others are carefully posed on perches. According to one website, she ‘…seeks to explore the chillingly disengaged relationship between humans and nature in modern society. Using paper as her primary medium she is able to present notions of temporality and change, emphasizing the process of transformation that continuously occur in nature as well as mankind.’ Diana is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Fine Arts over at the University of West England.