Harry Lichtman is a New Hampshire-based landscape and outdoor photographer who has a deep and abiding passion for capturing the natural world during its most dramatic moments. His trick in capturing some of the most amazing natural phenomena is to pre-visualize a scene and then try to predict the specific weather or seasonal conditions that will bring it about. Waiting for that precious and often fleeting moment is simply part of the game. Harry said: “The landscape is my passion, both photographing and experiencing it first hand. The finished photograph is only a small portion of the satisfaction I get being outdoors. I try to bring a little of that “wow” and inspiration I get during my travels into my photography. The goal is to inspire appreciation for our natural environment, plant the seed for a viewer to visit a place they might not normally consider, or simply enable someone to experience a location they may never have a chance to go to.”
Barry Underwood draws inspiration from his early theatrical training. His familiarity with set design and staged photography tranforms perfectly ordinary landscapes into something right out of science fiction. Barry uses tiny luminescent material, LED lights, and specialized photographic effect to create magical landscapes. In his artist’s statement, he said: “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.”
Andy Lee is a UK-based photographer who took great pains to have his photos stand out. The sheer number of photographers who visit Iceland for its astounding natural beauty end up taking the similar-looking pictures. Andy stand out from the crowd with his clever use of filters, infrared light, and perfect timing. Aside from being an obsessive photographer, he is also a creative director, a painter, and a manic doodler. He said: “I’ve been taking pictures most of my life, but started it a little more obsessively about ten years ago when I was filming a documentary for a charity in Ethiopia. I had an old Hasselblad film camera with me and between scenes I started to photograph everything around me. From that moment on I was hooked. The joy I still get from seeing an image projected onto ground glass, or the smell of developer is enough to keep me shooting with a smile on my face.”
Hotrods are souped up and pimped out versions of vintage cars, and photographer Neil Banich just can’t get enough of them. He was given his first camera by his grandfather when he was just seven years old, and he hasn’t stopped clicking ever since. Neil has also dabbled in ink sketches and oil paintings when he was younger. His other passion was cars. He was a grease monkey, a drag racer, and general automobile enthusiast. This series is all about combining his two main interests. He said: “Photography (is) a means to combine my two worlds. A way to create images of hotrods and exotic cars, and display them in a world of fine art. Images that are not just a document of a vehicle, but images that evoke emotion and passion, images that highlight the uniqueness and beauty of our beloved rolling sculptures.”
Hedi Slimaneis one of the most respected artists in the industry. Before becoming the creative director of Saint Laurent, he was a prolific photographer who had shot the covers of prestigious magazines like Vogue Russia, T, Dazed and Confused, and AnOther. He was also behind the one behind the lens of ad campaigns for Prada, Elle, and of course, Saint Laurent. The series of images below are just some of the portraits of A-list Hollywood celebrity, humanitarian, philanthropist, and super mom Angelina Jolie. More of Hedi’s amazing shots can be found in Elle’s June issue.
“Side Effect” is a photo book by renowned aerial photographer Kacper Kowalski. It documents the complex love/hate relationship that we humans have with nature. A trained and licensed pilot, Kacper’s prefers to paraglide over likely areas to capture some truly breath-taking images of the land down below. In this series, he has managed to get dramatic shots of fallow fields, lakes, landfills, and highways. Of his work, he said: “Sometimes the pictures resemble drawings, sometimes they are like maps with traces of human presence on the Earth. Even forests, meadows and lakes are modified by people. I think it is an atavism — a need to leave a trace, a visible sign, to immortalize oneself.”
Burning oil rigs, quarries, recycling yards, and open air mines are just some of the places that photographer Edward Burtynsky has captured on film. He’s drawn to these images because of their rich detail and open meaning. He said: “We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”
Laurent Lavender is a French photographer who likes to play with the moon. He has transformed this unprotesting celestial body into a baloon, bull’s horns, ice cream, reading light, and exercise ball. He has also done quite a number of impressive things with it.Laurent has watered it, measured it, framed it, lassoed it, carried it in a wheelbarrow, even tried to climb it once, and as pictured above, nearly succeeded in erasing it. Truly, there are no boring subjects, just lack of imagination. The moon is something we’ve always taken for granted, but Laurent Lavender has turned it into an awesome prop.
“A true artist is not defined by his instruments.” – an old saying which is an apt description of Oleg Oprisco’s artistic inclinations. He’s a photographer who loves taking shots with an old, outdated, film camera. Looking at his pictures, one would assume that he uses loads of high-tech gear with more megapixels than you could shake a stick at. In truth, the excellence of his work comes down to two things: artistic vision and meticulous planning. None of his images are spur-of-the-moment shots. Oleg is a modern-day Titian whose subjects are all redheads. I guess he just loves the way their hair makes a striking contrast with just about everything. His advice for would-be photographers: “If you really feel this is your calling, go for it to the extreme. Drop your job and everything and just shoot; the rest will follow.”
Kirstin Smith is the photographer behind the two-part series of photographs called “Bodies of Thought”. Her series captured the graceful movements of her subjects with some clever tweaking of the the exposure time. The colorful and flowing costumes of her subjects also added to the appeal of the images. You, the viewer, may not exactly know what Kirstin’s subject is doing, but it’s the uncertainty that makes you want a closer and longer look at the image. the series is said to be exploring the concept of “an intelligent body, where the body’s thoughts are realized through movement”.