Paul Lange is a highly acclaimed New York City photographer whose work has graced the pages of prestigious publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Glamour. He specializes in editorial and celebrity portraits and is currently dipping his toes into the vast ocean of fine art photography. “Big Blooms” is but one of the four series that compose his “Fifty Acres” project. The project took eight years and thousands of photos to complete. It’s a catalogue of all the flora and fauna living on a farm owned by his close friend and renowned New York florist Zezé. Paul is currently based in Chatham, New York where he lives with his wife/business partner/creative partner Jennifer.
A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. Kathy Klein is an Arizona-based artist who loves creating flower mandalas in the great outdoors. She calls the pieces ‘danmalas’ which means ‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit. Her ephemeral installations are photographed and then left to be discovered by others. Her creative process involves getting into a meditative state and then gathering flowers and other natural objects while waiting for inspiration to strike. Her danmalas are reflections which points towards life’s abundance and reminds us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature.
Annie Leibovitz is a world-class photographer best known for taking John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s portrait where the naked John was embracing fully clothed Yoko. One of her most popular series features a mash-up of Disney’s well-loved characters and famous Hollywood stars. Originally, Annie was approached by Disney for their “Year Of A Million Dreams” promotion. The concept was such a hit that Annie is still making the portraits. Her A-list subjects include: Jessica Biel as Pocahontas, David Beckham as Prince Phillip, Michael Phelps as a merman, Russel Brand as Captain Hook, Jennifer Lopez as Jasmine, and Marc Anthony as Alladin – to name just a few.
Daniel Nimmervoll is an Austria-based photographer who managed to capture these incredible macro shots of water droplets using his high speed camera. If you look closely at that shot above, you can see the .22 caliber bullet that passed through the column of water produced by the drop of water as it hit the surface. Might I point out that capturing a bullet in flight (albeit a low caliber one) is no mean feat by itself, capturing one as it passes through a drop of water which exists for a millisecond is relatively unheard of. High tech equipment can only do so much, it is to the photographer that wields them to whom due credit should be given. Kudos to Daniel for having the patience and the talent to capture these incredible shots.
Jessica Shyba is a photographer, blogger, and mother of three who skyrocketed to fame when she posted pictures of her son Beau and puppy Theo having an afternoon nap together. Puppies and babies are cute by themselves, but combine the two and you’ve got cuteness bursting out of the seams – a time and tested formula for internet fame. Theo is Jessica’s Shar-pei and German mix who she rescued from the local pound. “It was the cutest, most natural thing” – is how she described it when Theo climbed up on top of her two-year old son Beau during his afternoon nap. Their afternoon nap has become an adorable habit which elicits ‘awwws’ all over the world.
Sand is everywhere and most of us take it for granted, but not Dr. Gary Greenberg. He is the photographer behind these exceptional macro shots of sand. He was a filmmaker and photographer until he decided to move to London to pursue his PhD in biomedical research. Dr. Greenberg also patented the 3D microscopes that he uses to take these incredible pictures. With Dr. Greenberg’s incredibly close-up shots, the viewer can see the beauty of each individual grain of sand. Who knew that gritty stuff between your toes in the beach could be so pretty?
Steve Rosenfield is the daring photographer behind the “What I Be Project”. He asked volunteers to write their insecurities on skin using a marker. Often, what they wrote are the unkind labels that society had given them such as ‘homo’, ‘trans’, and ‘fat’. My favorite one is the granny with ‘Hitler’ written in the raised middle finger of her right hand. In an interview Steve revealed that he was touched by the participant’s willingness to share their story and how their labels and insecurities affected their lives and relationships. He said: “The ‘What I Be Project’ is all about honesty. n today’s society, we are told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these ‘standards,’ we are often judged, ridiculed, and sometimes even killed over them. I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart.”
“This is the only thing I like to do and why I wake up in the morning.” said Henry Leutwyler, photographer of the stars. He was born in Switzerland in 1961. He moved to France to become an apprentice to Gilles Tapie, a distinguished photographer. After firmly establishing himself as a talented editorial photographer, he moved to the Big Apple in the mid-90s. These days, he captures portraits for big Hollywood stars like Julia Roberts, Martin Scorses, Lucy Liu, Robert Downey Jr., and Rihanna. He said: “There’s a whole new vocabulary surrounding photography that I find quite vulgar. For me, it’s not about ‘shooting’ and sensationalism. It’s a magic moment that happens in the first few minutes of a sitting. Revealing something from out of my subjects that isn’t obvious — finding the beauty within.”
If eyes are windows to the soul, then spiders are basically leaking soul right out of their eyes. Spiders are universally feared, for their bite, hairiness, and overabundance of legs. But seen through a macro lens, these poisonous, hairy, eight-legged critters are actually quite cute. These close-ups of unexpectedly adorable arachnids are the work of Malaysian photographer Jimmy Kong. I love the way he captures the spider’s eyes; you can even see his reflection in them. I sure hope he didn’t engage any of them in a staring contest. Spiders don’t blink; they don’t have eyelids.
Joel Robison is a budding artist who lives in a valley in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains. According to him: “I love to run, bike, jump, eat and create and I hope that you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it!”. Joel’s imagination is fired up by living as close to the forest as he possibly can. His work is an interesting combination of whimsy, fantasy, and imagination. What’s fun about his work is that the viewer knows that it’s just a product of digital image manipulation, but allows themselves to believe in it anyway.