William Rugen is a fine art and commercial photographer in Seattle, Washington. After working as a biologist for 20 years he quit his job to pursue photography. His projects are widely varied in style and subject matter. Current projects include the American west, botanical prints, and state and county fair exhibitions. William's work has been included in exhibitions throughout the United States.
I have been a fan of David Ellingsen’s work since I picked up a postcard of his images at Photolucida some years back. He has a new project, Obsolete Delete that takes a look, in a very creative way, at technological obsolescence. I am also featuring his project Skylife that follows the visual tread of his wider environmental work, “contributing to awareness and helping fuel the great call to action that, at this late hour, is imperative we clearly hear.” But he is also opening an exhibition, Sea/Life at the Djavid Mowafaghian Atrium, Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver that will run through February 3rd.
David was raised on Cortes Island, a remote community of 1000 residents in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, on a small family farm surrounded by forest and ocean. As an adult, David became a well-regarded commercial photographer gleaning advertising and editorial assignments from The New York Times Magazine, People, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, among many others. But David also has been able to create a parallel photo life, with a fine art resume reflecting dozens of exhibitions worldwide with numerous international awards and honors. It is his fine art work that brings him back to his childhood roots, to a focus that is steeped in the natural world.
This series looks at the ever increasing speed of technological obsolescence, the environment, and the collision of the two. When it comes to the state of the environment, our society’s cognitive dissonance, and more importantly the manifestations of this discomfort, has become a recurring motivator for my work and is certainly crucial to the meaning of this body of photographs. The distinct yet wildly divergent modern ideals that we are bombarded with – to consume and yet to conserve – provide a clear path to a source of our discomfort and again illuminate the seemingly willful ignorance of the urgency of the declining biosphere.
This week, Argentinean photographer Eleonora Ronconi is taking over as guest curator, featuring work created by Latin American photographers…
Y ahora sí, el último fotógrafo de esta serie Latinoamericana… Espero que la hayan disfrutado tanto como yo!
I knew about Matías Sauter through a friend of mine. Matías works as a fashion and commercial photographer, so he is used to posing models and constructing scenes, but when I saw his Kids series, I was immediately smitten. These images are very spontaneous, full of color and the light is beautiful… however, there’s a lot of sadness in them, which is not something that we encounter very often in photographs of children.
He was born in San José, Costa Rica and currently divides his time between his native country and Germany. He has been exhibited at several venues in Costa Rica and has assisted in two research projects on Latin America, commissioned by the Museé de Quai Branly in Paris, France.
What does your Latin heritage bring to your work?
I grew up in Costa Rica, but I’ve always been influenced by German culture as my family of German origin and I went to a German school. This mix of cultures has opened the opportunity to use different angles in the way I see my daily life. I think my Latin side has given my photography the fun aspect, so it makes my images more colorful and contrasty. Living in Costa Rica also has an influence on my photography: I’m surrounded by a beautiful landscape, nature, rain, the smell of coffee in the afternoons and the ocean that bring out a lot of feelings in me… nostalgia and quietness to name a few. There are a lot of images that I carry with me where I go and, I find a way to find similarities in other contexts and people. I am not sure how they are reflected on my work, but it is defined by them a hundred percent. I will never stop thinking about the yellow light that turns on when a tropical storm hits, a very common image that froze time and it still does and I enjoy it immensely… it’s like being trapped in a photograph.
it a fact that all children go through a similar phase where they all
smile and laugh constantly? Do photo albums truly reveal the feelings
and behavior that will define the personality of children.KIDS
is a photo essay that aims at revealing what we would call a
“psychological portrait” of a child, in which we try to show both
the kid’s personality traits as well as the external factors that
condition them. I tried to reflect on the child’s identity and bring
out the consciousness the child possesses, from this very early age,
in relation to others.
that reason, kids were given the opportunity to actively participate
in the creation of their portrait, so they decided where to be
photographed and which toys or objects they wanted to have.
intention was to explore their understanding of the world and their
personality traits that get them closer to the “conflicts” of
adulthood. Besides expressing those feelings, which adults refuse to
accept about children, and that they reveal how their lives will
shape up in the future, they evidence a “dissociation” with the
idealized and perfect image that many adults have about childhood.
Andrew Newson spent some years as a commercial photographer before starting a photography training business in 2008. Developing interesting ways to inspire others and develop their craft is at the core of what he does. Andrew's personal projects range from exploring local landscapes over prolonged periods of time to give a further understanding of the land and our place within it. Andrew also works in more spontaneous ways creating images in everyday situations than ask questions of the viewer.
London-based artist Richard Kolker has been working exclusively with computer generated imagery (CGI) for the last six years. But the fact that he comes from a traditional photographic background, having previously worked as a commercial photographer for Getty Images, would surprise no one: Kolker’s imagined pictures of still lifes, interiors and landscapes are rendered with such precision and clarity that they appear like true, documentary shots.
Inspired by the online virtual world Second Life and games such as World of Warcraft, which both rely heavily on GCI, Kolker sought to create images that were the antithesis of the aesthetic found in these programs. “I wanted to create images that reflected a more mundane nature, as opposed to the more fascinating environments people were experiencing through the anonymity of an avatar,” he says.
That quieter mood is seen in the image created for Kolker in this week’s education-themed issue of TIME. For a story that examines the potential of free online courses to upend traditional higher education, Kolker created a dark image of an empty classroom. “A lot of my photos have this dark shadowy entity to it,” he explains. “I wanted to convey the emptiness with this classroom image—like all the life has been taken out.”
Kolker’s images typically take a couple days to create. And while the method may be seen as unconventional, he says the process itself feels similar to actual shooting. “I build a model like I would with plastic or cardboard, and I light it as I would in real life—but just with digital tools,” Kolker says. “And then I photograph it with a computer tool [Maxon Cinema 4D] that has a shutter speed and aperture—so in many ways, it’s fairly conventional.”
For the most part, Kolker relies on his self-described “vivid imagination” to conceptualize pictures, although he’ll use an actual photograph as a starting point from time to time. In one series, “Reference, Referents,” Kolker looked to famous works by artists whose pieces recalled photographic elements, including David Hockney, and tried to recreate the perfect picture that might have inspired said work.
He still carries cameras around when he travels, but says he never takes pictures anymore, preferring to continue his CGI work. “The whole world is shifting from analog to digital, and I love thinking about this digital code that you can use to create images of places around the world without ever having to go there,” Kolker says. “I love the total freedom of it—the ability to create whatever it is in your imagination or fantasy.”
Richard Kolker is an artist based in the U.K. See more of his work here.
I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen McLaren in Los Angeles recently. Born in Scotland, Stephen is a London commercial photographer who specializes in street photography. He is the co-author with Sophie Howarth of the Thames and Hudson book, Street Photography Now, which was published in October 2010.
Stephen was a television director and journalist making documentaries for the BBC before digital cameras brought him back to photography. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in England and has appeared in international newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, New Yorker and the Observer. He has also curated street photography exhibitions which have travelled across Europe with the British Council.
Hegemonic is a project I am working-on which looks at three global cities, Beijing, Los Angeles, and London. Through photography I am trying to explore the source of their power as pre-eminent city-states, both in relation to their own citizens and to the wider world. I am hopeful that I can produce a book which deals with these themes and looks at the similarities and differences between these hegemonic cities.
These three cities have more in common than they might admit. All rely on large immigrant populations to keep their economies turning, all are adept at creating and sustaining myths of power and wealth, and all are constantly-reinventing themselves to ensure their dominance over competitors. Despite their history of muscular expansion and boundless optimism all three cities have been experiencing self-doubt in the new millenium.
Beijing wonders if it can maintain social cohesion as it rushes headlong into a financialized future, Los Angeles worries about the sustainability of natural resources and its sense of identity as immigration continues, while London frets that the City of London, whose financial muscle has sustained its global clout, is on the wane.
Photographically I am reacting to the changes that these cities are currently undergoing and trying to find connecting threads which bind these urban exemplars together across three continents and twenty thousand miles.
The Flash Forward Festival in Boston this spring was a wonderful experience, and one of the best parts of it for me personally, was meeting photographer Maxine Helfman. We had solo exhibits that flanked each others and found ourselves together at numerous times over the course of the event. We discovered that we had a lot in common and visited a lot of the same themes and ideas in our work. We both loved taxidermy and children and conceptual approaches. Plus I was blown away by her work. I’m showing work from 4 series, to give an idea of her approach to photography.
Several weeks after the event, Maxine asked me for my address and said she had a little box to send me. A week later, a box the size of Texas, where she lives, appeared on my doorstep. I hadn’t ordered a new dishwasher, and certainly never expected what was sitting outside my door to be the little box she had mentioned. Inside was a cornucopia of objects, things she had collected and knew that I too would be drawn to–masks, toys, scraps of wall paper. Her generosity was remarkable.
Maxine is a self-taught late bloomer. After years of working as a stylist and art director, photography brought her vision full circle.
She works as a commercial photographer for a range of advertising and editorial clients, but devotes a portion of her time
to pursue her personal work. Her photographs has been recognized by Flash Forward Boston, Px3 – 2012, IPA – 2012, Critical mass,
Santa Barbara Museum of Fine Art & Museum of Fine Art Houston. Here work is currently on display in the Santa Barbara Art Museum’s exhibition, Portrayal Betrayal. One of her Boys in Dresses images is featured in the exhibition.
My work begins with a thought or idea, and becomes an “invented reality” through a photograph. inspired by
flemish painting, i like to maintain a strong simplicity in tone and composition. i prefer to pose questions with my work, rather than provide answers.
Chen Man, 1980, China, is a commercial photographer who focuses on fashion, beauty and style. In 2005 she received a B.A. in photography and media studio at the central Academy of Fine Arts. It was before she graduated that she had already begun to shoot the covers for the new magazine Vision. The covers she created between 2003 and 2007 were unique within the history of Chinese covers. Her manipulated photography is colorful, lucious, bright and fantastical. The images are often completed in post-production where she goes over the top, creating new dimensions and worlds. Her work has been exhibited throughout the world since 2004. Amongst her commercial clients are companies as Lancôme, Lee and Sisley and her images have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. The following images come from the series New China, Environmental Protection and Red Beauty.