Photographer #151: Thomas Rusch

Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thomas Rusch, 1962, Germany, is a commercial and fine-art photographer. He has released an impressive amount of books, had many celebrities in front of his camera and has worked for big clients. Next to his fashion and advertisment photography Thomas focuses on personal projects. His most recent series Behind is currently featured in Eyemazing magazine. Images of people in masks, created with make-up and semi-transparent materials. The following images come from the series Behind, Unquentum Pharelis and his portfolio Portraits 2.


Photographer #150: Taryn Simon

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Taryn Simon, 1975, USA, won the discovery award this summer at the Rencontres d'Arles with her series The Innocents, portraits of people that have served time in prison for violent crimes they did not commit. Her Contraband series consists of 1075 images taken within 4 days at JFK airport of items seized or detained from passengers and express mail entering the US from abroad while she was on site. Taryn has received several awards, had a large amount of solo and group exhibitions and her work is in numerous public collections. The following images come from Contraband, The Innocents and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar.


Photographer #149: Jeongmee Yoon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Jeongmee Yoon, 1969, South-Korea, has been working on a series called The Pink & Blue Project since 2005. She photographs children, boys and girls in their rooms with their possessions. She noticed that her daughter wanted everything in Pink and found out that she was not unusual. The work raises several issues as, for example, the relationship between gender and consumerism. Yoon's work is often inspired by human behaviour, social structures and consumerism. The following images come from the series The Pink & Blue Project, Space-Man-Space and Zoo.


Changing behaviour of the White Stork

The site of a mass of White Storks migrating across the Strait of Gibraltar is still a typical sight in July, August and again between November and April.
These are largely Iberian breeding birds which arrive and go with the rains. Their spring usually starts, variably in October, November or December, depending on when the rains come.

Choice of breeding habitat varies. In south-western Iberia many nest in trees (below) and feed in the rich marshes (above), on frogs, crustaceans and fish. 
Adult peers from nest in eucalypt (above) and two chicks sleep in their tree-top nest (below).

Here they often nest in large colonies alongside Grey Herons and Spoonbills (above) but they may also nest alone (below).

In western Iberia they often feed on the open plains (above). In the absence of trees they often make their nests high in the rooftops of medieval towns (below).

In spring they make the most of the wet and grassy fields in the oak dehesas where they take a variety of prey. Come the summer, when the fields dry up, they exploit the abundance of large insects ahead of the migration south (below).

Bush Crickets (above) and grasshoppers (below) are favourite prey in the early summer.

Traditionally, these storks left with the summer drought to spend the months of July to September in West Africa, south of the Sahara. Here, in places like the wetlands of the Niger in Mali, they would arrive precisely with the monsoon rains. With the end of the rains in October they would start returning north to catch the start of the rains north of the Sahara Desert.
...but for a few years now this pattern has started to change with many storks never leaving at all.
They have the advantage that, being on or close to the breeding grounds, they can time the start of nesting much better than their counterparts in Africa.
so what has changed?
we changed! We developed the habit of creating large, open air, rubbish tips and the adaptable storks learnt to scavenge here during the breeding season. Food was easy to get and, as the supply did not vary with the season, they never left.
so storks now patiently line up and wait for the next refuse lorry which brings many potential meals!

so we can imagine a time when we produce so much refuse and have so many such tips, that the entire pattern of the storks' behaviour will have changed from migratory to resident.

Photographer #148: Thom Kerr

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thom Kerr, 1984, Australia, is a fashion and commercial photographer. He started out in production design and wardrobe before getting behind the camera in 2005. Since then he has appeared in various magazines and worked for a large number of clients. His photography reminds us of fairy-tales and fantasy stories, but also the new wave era. Thom has exhibited in several places around the world and appeared on Germany's next top model as a guest photographer. The following images come from his portfolio's Fantasy, Classic and Beauty.


Photographer #147: Ryan Pfluger

Monday, October 25, 2010
Ryan Pfluger, 1983, USA, is a portrait and fashion photographer who also concentrates on personal projects. As he states on his website; "his personal work has concentrated on ideas surrounding the representation of man, and more specifically of young gay man." In his project Not Without My Father he creates and re-creates memories from his relatively fatherless childhood. The project About a Boy focuses on growing up as a gay teenager in Suburbia. In both projects he uses self-portraiture. The following images come from Celebrity, Not Without My Father and About a Boy.


Magic of La Janda - the Black-winged Kite

The Black-winged Kite inhabits open areas with scattered trees in western and southern Iberia. It is a species that also breeds in Morocco and which finds in Iberia the northern edge of its range.
This beautiful bird seems to have experienced a range expansion during the twentieth century and its success has been linked to the spread of managed dehesas - open parkland with grazing mammals - which is structurally similar to its native African savannahs. It is here that it finds the small mammals which make up a large part of its diet.
La Janda, former site of Spain's largest lake, in south-western Spain is a favourite site of these birds in the autumn and winter. Here the habitat is ideal for this species that arrives in substantial numbers making La Janda a great place to see these birds.
La Janda showing typical Black-winged Kite habitat. Riverside poplars surrounded by fields with the town of Vejer in the background (above) and olive dehesas in spring (below).

During migration time this habitat is also used by passage Black Kites (above), here waiting for the sun to clear the morning mist. Marsh Harriers (below) also frequent the canal embankments where the kites also hunt.
The greatest competitors seem to be Kestrels with which they often fight (below).
This competition seems to be for prized perches from which they patiently watch for prey on the ground (below).
This leads to spectacular interactions between different kites (below).

But they also hunt from the air with their unique yawing glide, with wings held up. Their black upper-wing is then most obvious.

The juvenile birds of the year (above and below), with traces of brown plumage and a scaly upper wing pattern, seem to stay close to the adults in the autumn but they hunt independently.

Watching these birds is one of those priveleges of Nature that are hard to describe. I hope these photos have gone some way.