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.”
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.”
Jimmy Nelson is a professional photographer who first gained international acclaim when he published his unique visual diary of his travels in Tibet. He has since delved into the world of commercial advertising and photography. His most recent success came on the heels of his series entitled “Before They Pass Away”, a photographic documentary of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes located in some of the most isolated parts of the world. He said: “The purity of humanity exists. It is there in the mountains, the ice fields, the jungle, along the rivers and in the valleys.There is a pure beauty in their goals and family ties, their belief in gods and nature, and their will to do the right thing in order to be taken care of when their time comes.”
Idrus Arsyad is a very talented amateur photographer from Indonesia whose expertise is in nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. According to him, he taught himself to process his work to enhance his subjects and make his work more interesting. The way I look at it, his work is interesting enough even without extensive post-processing. He loves to capture birds sparring in mid-flight – not an easy feat. You’ll need a great sense of timing and a whole lot of patience is definitely needed.
Tim Korbmacher has been a professional freelance photographer since 2012. He is also an avid skater, snowboarder, and biker – and it shows in his work. Most, if not all, of his work is focused on action photography, capturing athletes in mid-air as they perform their daredevil stunts. Tim has been part of a couple of sports publications such as BMX rider magazine and Place Skateboarding Magazine. He is currently a member of the Pro Team at f-stop, a photography blog. Tim currently lives and works in Germany.
Andrew Newey startedtraveling when he was in his 20s and the places he saw ignited a burning passion for photography. He began his illustrious career as a freelance photographer, parceling out stock images of travel imagery and landscapes. Now that his talent is well-known, he focuses on personal projects, photo expeditions, and commissions. His work has been published by prestigious publications like The Sunday Times, BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic.
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Laura Williams is an 18-year-old photographer from Cambridge, England. She is currently dabbling with fine art and surreal photography. Her work might be a little unsettling, but her blossoming talent is evident in every shot. She loves posting her work online to get feedback and treats them all as constructive criticism. She said: “Don’t be afraid to try new things all the time, if you find yourself going round in circles go out and do something unexpected! Most importantly, if photography is what you love, just keep at it!”
Aaron Tilley is a British photographer who specializes in interior and still life photography.He is currently dipping his toes into the delicious realm of food photography. His compositions highlight the texture and shape of food as well as their similarity to various objects such as the human brain, stairs, a foot, and a carpet. Aaron’s work has been featured in prestigious publications such as Esquire, The Guardian, Time Out, and Men’s Health. His photography studio is located in Hackney, London.