Macrophotography isn’t for everyone. It requires specific lenses and other specialized equipment to get it right. Alexey Kljatov, on the other hand, created his own rig using nothing more than old cameras, screws, scrap wood, and tape. His DIY equipment worked surprisingly well, capturing astoundingly detailed shots of individual snowflakes. The finished rig looks a bit bulky and not at all streamlined, but it does its job perfectly. With it, Alexey managed to capture the extraordinary shapes and patterns found in snowflakes. The snowflake ‘designs’ are the result of many factors such as temperature, humidity, and location. Only in Alexey’s work have I seen three-dimensional snowflakes. I’ve always thought they were flat, hexagonal discs of frozen water. I sure hope he keeps up the great work.
Diego Arroyo is a Spanish photographer currently based in Amsterdam. He travels the world looking for the story that lies behind the eyes of strangers, glimpsed through a subtle smile, wink, or expression. He tries to capture these stories with his phenomenal skill at photography. Each of Diego’s shots in this series look good enough to be in the pages of National Geographic. In this series, Diego took great care to capture thought-provoking shots of indigenous people the world over. With globalization quickly taking over most of the world, images like these may be the last of their kind.
Kylli Sparre completed ballet school before she decided to become a professional photographer. She realized that ballet wasn’t the path for her shortly after graduation. She said: ““I think it does take courage [to switch professions], but for me it was scarier to stay pursuing something that is not my passion. I had this very strong feeling that I need to go and find what it is that I love.” She discovered photography a few years ago after searching for a creative outlet. Kylli hasn’t looked back since. Most of her shots have a dream-like quality to them which only serves to highlight the influence of her ballet background which can be seen in the fluid grace of her subjects.
Michael Light is an aerial photographer currently based in San Francisco. He focuses on the relationship between contemporary American culture and the environment. Michael uses large format cameras to take breathtaking photos of landscapes as he flies over them. The bird’s-eye-view perspective of his shots highlight how urban expansion is forever changing the landscape. Once arid deserts are being converted into neatly landscaped suburbia. Michael’s work has been exhibited both on the national as well as the international level. His work is also displayed in The New York Public Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The Getty Research Library,and the the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Seth Taras is a veteran photographer with plenty of international awards under his belt as a testament to his skill and vision. He was recently commissioned by The History Channel to do a series entitled “Know Where You Stand”. The series aims to ‘act as a reminder of the past’s significance in our everyday lives, and the important role history plays in our future’. In the series, Taras expertly juxtaposed authentic World War II images over shots taken in modern times of the same places. This gives the viewer a thoughtful, if not chilling, reminder of the history behind common, everyday places most of us take for granted.
Photographer Maciej Dakowicz travels around the world with his camera at the ready to capture those unique, unrehearsed, and unplanned shots. He is originally from Poland and has a PhD in computer science, but he turned his back on all that and now focuses on photography. Maciej, or “Magic” as he is known to his non-Polish friends, is currently based in Mumbai, India. As his well-worn passport and impressive photo library can attest, he has been all over the globe hoping to capture improbable visual coincidences. Last year, he gained international renown with his book “Cardiff After Dark” which documented the alcohol and emotion-fueled nightlife in Cardiff, Wales.
It would not surprise me to learn that Polish street photographer Maciej Dakowicz has run out of available pages in his passport. Currently based in Mumbai, the computer science PhD abandoned a career in technology to instead focus on his street photography, a decision that has lead him to far-flung communities around the globe seeking incredible once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Sorting through his staggering library of some 5,500 photos is to take a journey through vastly differening cultures, miraculous visual coincidences, and impropable moments in time both amusing and terrifying.
Jim Golden is a Portland-based photographer who has worked with a lot of big brands like Yahoo, ESPN, and Nike. He learned the ropes in New York where he worked as a high-end compositor and visual effects specialist in the competitive, and fast-paced world of advertising photography. After mastering his craft, he moved to Portland where he opened a studio of his own where he specializes in “creating striking imagery that strives to capture the essence of his subjects”. One of his most recent series features a collection of objects neatly and meticulously laid out in a plain background which highlights the differences between the objects as well as the common theme that binds them together. The series started out with Jim’s impressive collection of scissors and grew to include shots of locks, speakers, camping gear, flotsam, cameras gear, cellphones, eight-track tapes and more.
Alex Stoddard grew up in Florida and started taking portraits of himself in his backyard when he was sixteen. At seventeen, Alex joined the 365-day Project where his talent at capturing striking images was immediately noticed. The project involved taking one picture a day, everyday, for one year. According to him: “I wanted more than anything to improve and to improve quickly, and I had seen several others embark upon their own 365 projects and witnessed the growth from their first photo in the set to their last. I wanted that growth for myself, and so I started taking a photo each day. Another part of it was this almost subconscious need for completion. I’d never finished anything in my life up to that point. I’d always given up when things became too difficult. I wanted to be able to prove to myself that I was capable of finishing something I started.”. Alex currently lives in California.
Chris Ozer is a former jazz pianist who decided to dabble in a bit of a photography. His pastime became a hobby which turned into a profession. Chris is always on the lookout for that one, perfect shot. He has a careful eye for lighting which helps set the mood in his shots. A lot of his portraits feature subjects with their backs to the camera, and while this may be a fatal flaw to some, Chris makes it look good. A lot of big names are apparently impressed with Chris’s work. His list of clients include industry giants like Nike, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, PayPal, and Johnnie Walker. Chris is currently based in New York where he also lives with his wife and two sons.
Théo Gosselin is a young, up-and-coming French photographer who has a knack for capturing the raw emotions of youth. He carefully takes lighting into account which helps set the mood for his photos. The result is an uncomplicated, earnest, and candid look at his subjects which often evokes an emotional response from the viewer. Théo’s motto “Live fast, love hard” is often evident in his photography.