Photographer #064: Michal Chelbin

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Photographer Michal Chelbin, Israel, 1974, just released her second monograph called The Black Eye. In 2008 she released the book Strangely Familiar, human stories somewhere between the odd and the ordinary. It is a series of portraits of often small-town performers, kids and dwarfs. The images are private moments in which Michal tries to address everyday questions of life. The following images are from Strangely Familiar.

The following images come from the series The Chapels.

Photographer #063: Jill Greenberg

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Jill Greenberg, Canada, 1967, lives and works in the USA. She is also known as the "manipulator" because she digitally manipulates her photographs. Her body of work is vast, containing personal projects, commissioned work and a large number of portraits. An example of a project is End Times, a series of pictures in which toddlers cry. Simple and pure emotion. She has also photographed various animals, such as bears and monkeys and then manipulated the images. The following images come from the series End Times, Monkey Portraits and some examples of her human portraits.



The breeding seabirds that we have been looking at in recent posts share one thing in common: they all breed on rocky cliffs and islands from which they foray out to sea to catch their prey. The Guillemot is a perfect example: they nest in tight colonies in very confined space, situations that territorial birds would not tolerate. But food is dispersed at sea so the advantage in nesting all packed lies in protection from predators and is an inevitability anyway as safe nesting sites are discretely spaced out. So the Guillemots in the Farnes fly out to sea where they hunt in packs.

the prize is brought back home

the nest is barely a smattering of vegetation so the egg is in real danger of being knocked over the narrow ledge, especially in such packed colonies. So the Guillemot's egg is conical which ensures that the egg spins on its apex and stays in the nest. The risk of loss is minimised.

with luck, the chicks hatch and a new generation comes to the world

...but the troglodyte experience is not limited to seabirds. Next we will look at a different kind of colonial rock dweller - some vultures and other birds of prey nest on inland cliffs and rock islands, and they too breed in close proximity and venture far and wide away from the colony in flocks in search of dispersed food. When we see patterns emerging among distantly related species and with apparently different behaviours we discover the inner beauty of Nature.

Photographer #062: Alejandro Chaskielberg

Monday, June 28, 2010
Alejandro Chaskielberg, Argentina, 1977, started as a photojournalist. After completing his photographic studies he worked on various documentaries as a director for television. By using fictional scenarios and playing with sharpness he has developed his own style in photography. He searches for the limits of documentary photography and water is a recurring theme in his projects. The following photographs come from the projects The High Tide, Nocturama and Borders.


Photographer #061: Simon Roberts

Sunday, June 27, 2010
British photographer Simon Roberts, 1974, uses a 4x5 inch large format camera. Recently he was chosen to document the British elections. In 2009 his monograph We English was released. Photographs of the people of Britain at leisure. Themes of belonging, memory and identity play an important role in his work. This was also visible in his earlier monograph Motherland, about contemporary Russia. In Russia he also made a series called Polyarnye Nochi, pictures taken in the dusk of Northern Russia.


Photographer #060: Jeff Bark

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Photographer Jeff Bark, USA, 1963, makes his images look like paintings. In his series Woodpecker he build a scene including a pond in his studio. The photographs a romantic scenes filled with symbolism. In his series Flesh Rainbow we see male and female nudes combined with still-lifes in bizarre positions with items covering their faces. Dark, sometimes comic and sometimes fetishistic. The following photographs come from the series Flesh Rainbow, Woodpecker and Abandon.


Special #002: Olivia Bee

Too young to be a photographer? Olivia Bolles, 1994, USA, better known as Olivia Bee who just turned 16, proves otherwise. For several years she has been taking photographs and experimenting with video. She already worked for clients like Converse. Her photography is about the life she is living, her friends and herself. The images are playfull, spontaneous, poetic and innocent. Her website already has a large collection of photographs. The following photographs come from various series.

There is a lot of potential here. We are very curious to see where Olivia is going with her photography.

Photographer #059: Lori Nix

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Lori Nix, USA, 1969, is a photographer who uses miniatures and models to achieve her images. A recurring theme in nearly all of her photographs is disaster. In her series Accidentally Kansas Nix is playing with truth and illusion using themes as natural and accidental disasters. In more recent work she still plays with disaster, but it has shifted towards a more psychological disaster and it leaves the viewer wondering what has happened and what might still happen. The following photographs are from her series: The City, Lost and Accidentally Kansas.


Photographer #058: Jan Koster

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Dutch photographer Jan Koster, 1959, mainly focuses on the Dutch landscapes and has done so since the early 1990's. He first got recognised with his series Riverscapes. He presents his projects as books, which he publishes himself only to revise and improve them. The projects keep growing and thus becomes a vast archive of the variety, similarity and uniqueness of the Dutch landscapes.

Dutchscapes is a project that shows the coastal landscapes of the Netherlands with aesthetic images and was published as a book by Episode publishers in 2009.

Apart from the landscapes for which Koster is known, he has also focused on other parts of the world. The following images come from his series Havana.


Photographer #057: Christian Lamontagne

Monday, June 21, 2010
Christian Lamontagne, Canada, 1978, is a photographer and also works on various video productions. He has covered various stories across the globe. His reportage style of photography comes with a twist through his use of artificial lighting. The following images come from his series Sahel, sous la menace du desert. Photographs on the climate change and the effects on the Nomads of Senegal.

The series Imperial Valley are portraits of the inhabitants in the apocalyptic looking region around the Salton Sea.

The following images are examples of his portraiture in various places in the world such as Bangladesh.


Photographer #056: Lana Slezic

Sunday, June 20, 2010
Lana Slezic, Canada, 1973, comes from a Croatian family. Until the war in 1991 she went to Croatia every summer. After the war she went been back to Dubrovnik, a Unesco world heritage site where her roots lie. The following images come from her series Dubrovnik.

In Afghanistan she focused on the women of the country that is at war. Even though people may claim that women are finally free with the Taliban (partly) defeated, Slezic claims that the Afghan women are still subject to abuse, forced marriages and are in rural places mostly illiterate. Basically not a lot has changed since the war. These images come from her book Forsaken.

Another project by Lana is about Mennonites, a movement that finds it's roots in the 1500's.


Photographer #055: Pierre Gonnord

Thursday, June 17, 2010
French photographer Pierre Gonnord, 1963, works and lives in Spain. He concentrates on people that are considered outsiders, from people that are blind, homeless or gypsies. Inspired by the great painters he portrays the individuals and they are printed in large sizes. He has had exhibitions in various places around the globe. The following photographs come from the series Testigos, Utopicos and Regards.


In the heat of the midday sun

One of the most beautiful of gulls is, in my opinion, the Kittiwake or, as now known, Black-legged Kittiwake. This bird breeds in the North Atlantic and disperses south to the waters around the Strait of Gibraltar and even further down the Atlantic coast of North Africa. But its winter numbers are heavily dependent on weather conditions. If we get long periods of severe south-westerlies, then many birds that are wintering out at sea in the Atlantic get pushed inshore. During such times many get beached and die. I remember years with tens of thousands of Kittiwakes around our coasts in December and January, even as late as March.

We find fossil Kittiwakes in our caves, going back 50 thousand years. It is possible that many more came down to winter here during the glacial periods but the numbers of this and other seabirds suggests that they may even have bred in these latitudes. It is tempting to imagine colonies of Kittiwakes on the cliffs of the Rock of Gibraltar, just as we find them on the Farnes today.
Even in high latitudes, Kittiwakes nesting in exposed rock ledges suffer the heat of the midday sun on warm days. What would they have done in the strong sun of lower latitudes, even during glacials?
Adults and chicks panting hard to lose heat

adult trying to shade a chick

chicks' dilemma - do I eat or keep cool?

perhaps an afternoon siesta is the solution...