Tag Archives: Reflection

Senior Love Triangle: Photographs by Isadora Kosofsky

Three people—Jeanie, 82, Will, 84, and Adina, 90—are bound together in a relationship, a love triangle of sorts, a three-way connection that they rely on to shield them from the pains of loneliness and the fear of aging. Every day the trio meets near their senior-care facilities (each lives at a different location) to spend their remaining days together. Will picks up Jeanie at her care center, greeting her with a long kiss, and the two head hand-in-hand to collect Adina for whatever the day may bring.

Recently, that includes Isadora Kosofsky, who, after the death of the maternal grandmother who raised her, began to search for catharsis through photography. “Grief following my grandmother’s death unconsciously led me to photograph the lives and relationships of the elderly,” Kosofsky says.

The trio’s relationship clearly challenges cultural norms. Will, describing the trio’s bond to Kosofsky, said, “We live above the law. Not outside the law, but above the law. We are not outlaws.” Will, Jeanie and Adina are connected by more than time and space. “There are many different kinds of love,” Adina told Kosofsky. Their relationship, like all relationships, can be frustrating for all three. Jeanie once confided in Kosofsky that “to share Will is a thorn in your side…A relationship between a man and a woman is private. It’s a couple, not a trio.” But despite Jeanie’s misgivings, she must share Will with Adina and Adina must share Will with her.

Kosofsky met Jeanie, Will and Adina three short years after picking up a camera. “I befriended the group because I recognize a part of me in both Jeanie and Adina. Will, too, is familiar to me… a reflection of men I have known,” she says. “When I share in their lives, I am reminded of my adolescence.”

Kosofsky herself is not that far removed from adolescence. She is 18 years old and is now a documentary photographer based in Los Angeles—finding inspiration from photographers like Jane Evelyn Atwood, who spent years documenting one subject. Kosofsky believes long-term projects offer the opportunity of deeper and more poignant storytelling. In her own projects, it is her goal to “devote myself to living amongst my subjects as an occupant, rather than a visitor.”

“The aged are becoming increasingly hidden and disenfranchised. I noticed that even towards the end of my grandmother’s life, she appeared distant from society,” Kosofsky says. The photographer is currently engaged in photographing a three-part series on aging—a subject about which she is passionate. “I feel that age is a perceived barrier and that we too have once, either literally or figuratively, shared their fear of isolation and their wish for acknowledgement,” she explains. “Even when Jeanie and Adina are not present, Will walks with his right hand straight and open at his side, as if he were waiting for someone to hold on.”

Isadora Kosofsky is a Los Angeles-based documentary photographer. More of her work can be seen here.

Karen Divine

I don’t own an iPhone…yet, so I was excited to juror the recent call for entry by the Kiernan Gallery, iSpy: Camera Phone Photography to see how photographers are approaching this new tool. I was wowed by the array of images and stellar examples of technology’s newest tool. The exhibition opens on today, March 6th, and runs through April 7th. A catalogue of the exhibition is also available on Blurb.

The image I selected for the Juror’s Award was by created by Karen Divine. I had seen her images elsewhere, but had no idea that they were created with a cell phone.

Juror’s Award image

Born in Texas, Karen is a self-taught photographer, who has attended workshops and studied with a long roster of image makers. She was introduced to photography during a career as a model in NYC, and later discovered the possibilities of Photoshop. “I view the world in layers, stacking colors, textures, forms and stories onto each other as if one were walking through their day with blurred vision, not taking in specifics but piecing together various parts and overlapping them. Images that tell a story are important to me, images that are suggestive, a reflection of one’s inner turmoil and dreams, a personal documentary, images where the boundaries are somewhat obscure. I want to look at an image and be forced to look again and again. A sense of structure and design is important of course but behind my shapes and colors, there is usually another order of meaning, however abstract that may appear.”

Karen has created the project featured below, Shooting the Nude, where she explores the idea “Do women shoot the nude with a different vein of intention than the male?” She states, “Being the genesis of the greatest art, I wonder if the viewer of the image perceives the nude differently depending on the gender of its maker! Are we shooting the female form for it’s lines and shapes that make any composition visually appealing or is the image a reflection of our own sensuous or objective being? In answering these questions, I discovered a woman, playful, sinuous, provacative, a bit off in her antics and movements, confident, doubtful but always wanting to present herself in freedom.”


iSpy: Camera Phone Photography

Photographer #420: Joël Tettamanti

Joël Tettamanti, 1977, Switzerland, is a photographer who travels to remote places around the world for his photographic art. His work is a mixture of documentary, architectural, landscape and travel photography. He has traveled to places as Togo, Kuweit, Japan, Azerbaijan, India and Greenland. His photographs are a reflection of a traveling observer who sees ordinary objects, landscapes and buildings that others would pass without noticing. In his images the ordinary becomes the extraordinary and tell the story of man and its environment. In 2006 Joël released the book Local Studies in which his work from various series is combined with texts of 6 different authors. He studied graphic design and photography at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne. Since 2009 he is also a photography teacher at ECAL. His work has been exhibited extensively, mainly in Switzerland and France. The following images come from the series Ayome, Qaqortoq and Harajuku.

Website: www.tettamanti.chwww.tettamanti.li

Return to Libya: Reflections on a Photographer’s Personal Conflict

Libya didn’t simply fall at the end; it rather slid from the hands that had gripped onto it for far too long. It was taken back and returned to its rightful owners.

In the six months before my second return to Libya this September, after the fall of Tripoli, I had seen the way things would finally end through a romantic kaleidoscope. I wanted to celebrate in the square after finding my family in the crowd. I wanted to be my father’s son. I wanted that gap I have felt from Libya my entire life to at once close. With this uprooting of the regime in Libya, I felt whatever huge hole was left was now filled with a complex melody of emotions. I had not expected anything short of jubilation, and never had the impulse of reflection been a part of this plan for me. Before I had a chance to acknowledge the transition, it was already complete and it gave way to an incredible sense of pride. The rebels had brought the regime to the ledge, but it was the people who would be the final push.

At the time, the city celebrated but the country seemed exhausted. I had been afraid of the capital spiraling into chaos following the fall, but instead everything seemed to have taken its place. People went to work and took up positions to help attend to the city’s wounds—as if all Libyans had been rehearsing for this moment their entire lives. People grasped their roles at this moment and took hold of the importance of civility. During a visit to a hospital one day, a man explained to me simply, “We all have our jobs now. As a Libyan, you have your job here, and it is important. You do your job and I’ll do mine.”

I felt as though I needed that clear point of departure to help finally tether together these loose ends I had felt my entire life. In the end, all those emotions I had reserved for that anticipated moment were nowhere to be found. A kind of paralysis took hold instead. The previous expectations would pale in comparison to how this unexpected state would leave me. Joy was replaced with anger and clarity with haze. What became clear was that this hadn’t been my war as much as it had been for the rest of Libya.

To me, the regime was like an ominous vapor. While their fighters were not visible on the streets any longer, evidence of their lethal effect was very present, and as they fled, they left in their tracks a deep gash in the country and its people.

The personal conflict I felt during this time brought me to a point where my relation to breaking news played less an immediate role in my work than trying to restore my connection during a period when so much was unclear and surreal. Memories near and far rushed forward and I felt I needed to step back before the whole thing engulfed me. I had a clear reason for being there. More than one, in fact, and I wanted to get a hold of whatever I was experiencing and work towards a clearer picture. That image only became focused once I paused and allowed that nostalgia to catch up with me. It was an unconscious choice to proceed forward only when something made sense to me and I felt it somehow fit into this puzzle I was building. I realized that a middle distance was missing. The gap between me and what I was here to see was gone and I felt pushed up against this giant shift. I was able to see everything clearly. I needed that minor space to objectify this moment just enough to try and grasp it but I was immediately enveloped instead. As if all the oxygen in that needed breathing room was extinguished and a vacuum pulled everything from inside of me.

Much of what I became transfixed with might otherwise have seemed banal to some though it had a relevant place in processing this event. Whether it was the discarded green flags of the regime being slowly devoured by the elements, or the simplest gesture that suggested a great relief within this new absence in the country.

While the experience of this past return lent little to fully realizing how I had expected things to play out, everything in fact eventually did play out. The insignificance of those dreams had never been so clear once seeing and feeling the collective sigh of relief the country let out.

Jehad Nga is a Libyan photographer who lives in New York. See more of his work here.

To read Nga’s piece about his father’s life in 1960′s Libya, before the Gaddafi regime, click here

Anne Berry

I’ve been a big fan of Anne Berry’s wonderful work with animals and have been very remiss in featuring her work on Lenscratch. You may be familiar with her work with monkeys–images that are profound in their connection with the viewer. These photographs have such soulful power conveying the sadness of captivity and seem to reflect back something about ourselves.

Anne grew up in Atlanta, spending vacations and summers at Lake Burton, on the Flint River in Sumter Co., and on Georgia and South Carolina barrier islands. Her appreciation for places unspoiled by development is central to her vision. Also essential to an appreciation for animals. Anne photographs animals “to get people to truly look at them, to hear their inner sound, and to consider their value and their place in the world.” Thank you for that, Anne!

Anne has supported non profit organizations in three ways: by making a photo book for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness raising gallery exhibits. She also has a long roster of awards, exhibitions, and published work, a reflection that she is doing something right.

Anne has a new series, EOH (Equine), that explores the lives of horses, that I am featuring below.

EOH (EQUINE): Wassily Kandinsky teaches that the artist has the ability to “realize the inner sound of things.” I listen for this sound when I photograph animals. People have lost an essential connection to the land and to animals. I photograph animals to remind the viewer of this bond. Because it exists so prominently in art, myth, and history, the horse more than any other animal has the power to stir memories of this important relationship.

The horses and donkeys in this series are in rural settings or roam freely as feral animals. The connection between the horse and the land is clear, and also evident is the animal/human relationship. Even if the horse is not gazing directly at the camera it is aware of the photographer. Capturing these images requires patience and understanding. I am close to the horse physically, and I have established a connection with it.

I hope by looking at these images the viewer will hear the inner melody of the horse. These lyrics ask the viewer to consider the animal’s place in the world, to do as Franz Marc instructs, to “contemplate the soul of the animal to divine its way of sight.”



Anne Berry

I’ve been a big fan of Anne Berry’s wonderful work with animals and have been very remiss in featuring her work on Lenscratch. You may be familiar with her work with monkeys–images that are profound in their connection with the viewer. These photographs have such soulful power conveying the sadness of captivity and seem to reflect back something about ourselves.

Anne grew up in Atlanta, spending vacations and summers at Lake Burton, on the Flint River in Sumter Co., and on Georgia and South Carolina barrier islands. Her appreciation for places unspoiled by development is central to her vision. Also essential to an appreciation for animals. Anne photographs animals “to get people to truly look at them, to hear their inner sound, and to consider their value and their place in the world.” Thank you for that, Anne!

Anne has supported non profit organizations in three ways: by making a photo book for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness raising gallery exhibits. She also has a long roster of awards, exhibitions, and published work, a reflection that she is doing something right.

Anne has a new series, EOH (Equine), that explores the lives of horses, that I am featuring below.

EOH (EQUINE): Wassily Kandinsky teaches that the artist has the ability to “realize the inner sound of things.” I listen for this sound when I photograph animals. People have lost an essential connection to the land and to animals. I photograph animals to remind the viewer of this bond. Because it exists so prominently in art, myth, and history, the horse more than any other animal has the power to stir memories of this important relationship.

The horses and donkeys in this series are in rural settings or roam freely as feral animals. The connection between the horse and the land is clear, and also evident is the animal/human relationship. Even if the horse is not gazing directly at the camera it is aware of the photographer. Capturing these images requires patience and understanding. I am close to the horse physically, and I have established a connection with it.

I hope by looking at these images the viewer will hear the inner melody of the horse. These lyrics ask the viewer to consider the animal’s place in the world, to do as Franz Marc instructs, to “contemplate the soul of the animal to divine its way of sight.”



Photographer #253: Matthieu Gafsou

Swiss/French photographer Matthieu Gafsou, 1981, is a landscape or urban landscape photographer. In his impressive body of work we find the series Surfaces, a collection of photographs taken in Tunisia. The places he encountered in Tunisia varied in strange ways. He felt that the land was devided by tradition and aspiration and that the structures failed to create any coherence. He photographed the buildings that merely create a surface or make-believe. He feels that “these new cities are in fact a mere reflection of a modernity the country has not really found out for itself.” The hotels, a mix of modernity and false authenticity. and the modern houses are for a large part a created reality which can be seen on the surface, but it cannot be felt or experienced as something real. In 2009 he released Surfaces as a monograph. Matthieu has exhibited his work on numerous occasions in Europe and the USA. The following images come from the series Terres Compromises, Alpes and Surfaces.

Website: www.ph0.ch

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Photographer #253: Matthieu Gafsou

Swiss/French photographer Matthieu Gafsou, 1981, is a landscape or urban landscape photographer. In his impressive body of work we find the series Surfaces, a collection of photographs taken in Tunisia. The places he encountered in Tunisia varied in strange ways. He felt that the land was devided by tradition and aspiration and that the structures failed to create any coherence. He photographed the buildings that merely create a surface or make-believe. He feels that “these new cities are in fact a mere reflection of a modernity the country has not really found out for itself.” The hotels, a mix of modernity and false authenticity. and the modern houses are for a large part a created reality which can be seen on the surface, but it cannot be felt or experienced as something real. In 2009 he released Surfaces as a monograph. Matthieu has exhibited his work on numerous occasions in Europe and the USA. The following images come from the series Terres Compromises, Alpes and Surfaces.

Website: www.ph0.ch