Steve Axford is enjoying his retirement by tracking down the world’s rarest fungi. He lives in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia and most of the mushrooms you see here are local flora. Steve has also captured pretty unique shots of mushrooms from Tasmania and Victoria. He said: “The world, for me, is dominated by living things and the planet we live on . My photography is an avenue into exploring this world. My interests cover everything from micro fungi to volcanoes, though more of my time now is spent with the fungi than the volcanoes. . . Nothing exists in isolation and the more you look, the more you find.”
Manuel Savariz Santos is a Spanish photographer whose first reaction to an approaching thunderstorm isn’t to find shelter, but to run outside with his camera. It is with this habit of his that he managed to capture these amazing shots of cities in the midst of thunderstorms, lightning storms, and breath-taking sunsets. I bet it took him a thousand mediocre shots just to capture a perfect one. Manuel is currently based in Argentina, Spain.
Julie Lee is a California-based artist who loves creating colorful food composites. Her work celebrates local, sustainable produce as well as promote healthy eating. None of the produce in her shots were bought from a store.She got them from her local Farmer’s Market, from her own urban garden, or from foraging from her neighborhood. She said: “My food collages on Instagram started out as a way to showcase seasonal and local offerings from neighborhood farmers markets. It’s evolved into an ongoing project in the study of plant design, exploration of color theory, and pure, unadulterated food-love. Let’s be real–I like to play with my food. I love delicious things. I love beautiful things. I love to create. I love to learn.”
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.”