Photographer #346: Tiane Doan Na Champassak

Sunday, July 31, 2011
Tiane Doan Na Champassak, 1973, France, started his photographic career with documentary photography. Now he focuses on fine art photography, however still concentrating on the human being as his subject. His work revolving around acts of faith and questions of identity become close to abstracts photographs. He has released various monographs for which he has traveled to many places around the world as India, Ethiopia, Burma, The Netherlands and others. His project Kolkata is scheduled to be released as a book in 2011. In the city of Calcutta he focused on the extremes; quiet and loud, clean and dirty, modern and old. The continuous duality became his leitmotiv and the reason to concentrate on street life to best represent the chaos of the huge city. The following works come from the series Spleen and Ideal, No Photo and Kolkata.


Raptor Migration in late July

We saw the last Black Kites Milvus migrans migrating north in mid-June. Now they're back, heading south for Africa with this year's youngsters!

For a few days now small groups of Black Kites have been crossing the Strait of Gibraltar as they head for the tropical African savannas

But yesterday evening, around 6pm we saw a big "rush" of birds over the Rock of Gibraltar. My friend Mario Mosquera estimated 1500 birds in the flock, a taste of things to come. With westerly winds these birds drift over Gibraltar from where they gain height to start the crossing. If the wind is too strong some turn back, often having already started over the sea, and try the next day.

Most of yesterday's birds were juveniles, birds that have been born this spring. You can tell them by the pale, rufous, plumage and the fresh wing and tail feathers. Breeding among the Iberian birds is timed to coincide with the spring abundance of food. The Iberian adult Black Kites arrive in February and early March. It is these birds, and their young, that are now leaving to avoid the summer drought. Their arrival in sub-Saharan Africa will coincide with the onset of the summer rains there.

Not everything is leaving after breeding. Eleonora's Falcons Falco eleonorae are just arriving in the area from their wintering grounds on the island of Madagascar. These rare and elegant falcons breed in remote islets and unfrequented coastal sites across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast of North Africa. They arrive late for a reason. Their young will hatch in September and will be fed on the millions of small migrating birds that will then be heading for Africa. It is a wonderful example of a perfectly tuned specialised strategy. It's not easy to find these birds on migration so it was a treat to see this female (above and below) yesterday at Europa Point.

Photographer #345: Zach Gold

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Zach Gold, 1972, USA, is a fashion and commercial photographer and film director. He studied at the Parsons School of Design and graduated in 1995. In various of his shoots he freezes an intruiging moment of people in battle, falling or dodging flying powder. He collaborated with the dance company Gallim Dance and choreographer Andrea Miller. The video and photographs of semi naked dancers in a pool of milk is alienating yet breathtaking. The images hold a certain suspense, but due to the very sharp detail they have become quiet and elegant scenes. He has photographed numerous celebrities including David Bowie, 50 Cent and Willem Dafoe and worked for clients as Nike, Sony and K-Swiss. The following works come from Milk, his Motion and Fashion portfolio's.


Photographer #344: Martin Klimas

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Martin Klimas, 1971, Germany, is a still-life photographer who captures motion. He studied Visual Communications and Photography at the Fachhochshule in Düsseldorf. In his personal work he does not use photoshop. He uses analog technology for his visually complex photographs capturing the moment between being whole and completely broken. In complete darkness he dropped porcelain figures, the sound of the objects hitting the floor triggers the lights to go off for a fraction of a second. For his work with flowers and vases he used the same technique, however it is the sound of a projectile, shot by Klimas, hitting the vase that sets off the flash. He is capable of capturing a moment we cannot see with the human eye. Even though catastrophy is happening in his large scale images, they are peaceful, silent and aesthetically beautiful. The following images come from the series FlowervasesPorcelain Figurines and Flying Birds.


Photographer #343: Greg Miller

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Greg Miller, 1967, USA, is a portrait photographer who's images are a mix of documentary, conceptual and street photography. In 1990 he received a B.F.A. in photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He works on an 8x10" view camera. By using this technique it forces him to interact with his subjects. He wants his images to convey stories and concentrates on the relationships between people within a single frame. He directs the people in his large-scale scenes and perfected this technique over the years. When people misinterpret his directions he embraces it, as it creates a more believable moment. Greg's images are sharp, clear and contain a strong narrative. In 2008 he earned a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The following images come from the series Nashville, County Fair and Asilo.


Forest animals of Cazorla

The mountains of Cazorla (above) in south-east Spain are a reservoir of trees, insects and forest animals. It is here that the Guadalquivir River (below) starts its long journey towards the distant Atlantic Ocean.

Spanish Red Deer Cervus elaphus hispanicus (above) and Fallow Deer Dama dama (below) thrive in these forests

 Red Squirrels Sciurus vulgaris have a southern European stronghold here as do many forest birds (below). The degree of sub-specific differentiation testifies to the isolated nature of the Iberian Peninsula, a refugium, during glacial times

Iberian Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs balearica

Iberian Nuthatch Sitta europaea hispaniensis

Iberian Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus irbii

Iberian Crested Tit Parus cristatus weigoldi

Iberian Coal Tit Parus ater vieirae, now in body moult

Iberian Jay Garrulus glandarius fasciatus

Iberian Crossbill Loxia curvirostra balearica

Photographer #342: Bryan Schutmaat

Monday, July 25, 2011
Bryan Schutmaat, 1983, USA, is a documentary photographer who received a BA in History at the University of Houston in 2009. In 2012 he anticipates to earn his MFA in Photography at the University of Hartford. He focuses mainly on portraying rural America, its identity and the inhabitants of the small towns in a poetic fashion. In his series Western Frieze, Bryan did so in the American West, looking at landscapes and interiors in sleepy towns and lonely environments. The US roadside culture plays a major role in the series in which no humans appear, yet we sence their presence. He states that his images are not meant to be a pure documentation, but rather a portrait of what American identity means to him. His latest series Grays the Mountain Sends is a combination of portraits and landscapes taken in small mountain towns and mining communities in the American West. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout the world. The following works come from the series Grays the Mountain Sends, Western Frieze and Heartland.


Photographer #341: Gerardo Montiel Klint

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Gerardo Montiel Klint, 1968, Mexico, received a BFA in Product Design and studied photography at the Escuela Activa de Fotografia and Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City. His main focus is staged photography. In recent years his work has revolved around the dark side of the human mind where, according to Gerardo, our true personality and primal instincts are hidden. His work revolves around the themes of good and evil, violence and desires. For the evil he refers to disaster, tragedy, ilness and despair. For the good he refers to the spiritual lighting, the miracle and heroism amongst others. He tries to make his images "hyperreal", more real than reality itself, making the viewer a witness of a scene he or she is visually attending. Gerardo's work has been exhibited and published internationally and is in various public collections. The following images come from the series Volutas de Humo, Primeros apuntes para una teoría del infierno and Desierto.


Photographer #340: Xavier Delory

Thursday, July 21, 2011
Xavier Delory, 1973, Belgium, is a conceptual photographer with a focus on architecture. He studied Interior Architecture, Computer Graphics / 3D and Photography. He is currently working on his series Formes Urbaines. He studies the recurrent characteristics of modern cities, with Brussels as his first field of research. The series consists of three chapters, Bare d'ilôt, Dom-ino and Façade Libre. In his series Fermé le Dimanche he questions whether commercial centres are the new temples of our society. He combined religious architectural forms with supermarkets and other stores. In Habitat he focused on the recognizable style of Belgian houses which he uses to explore the concept of protection. By eliminating windows, doors and any other openings in usual houses he pushes this to its extremes. Xavier has exhibited his work on numerous occasions throughout Belgium and France. The following images come from the series Formes Urbaines (Dom-ino), Fermé le Dimanche and Habitat.


Photographer #339: Anoek Steketee

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Anoek Steketee, 1974, The Netherlands, is a documentary photographer with a unique approach. In her series Dream City she visited, together with journalist Eefje Blankevoort, various amusement parks. She went to Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Colombia, Indonesia, China, Turkmenistan and the USA. The parks form a universal backdrop to the large differences in cultural, sociological and political contexts. She stages her subjects and her lighting is impecable. In 2011 Dream City was released as a monograph. For the series Frontstage she visited Iran on several occasions between 2003 and 2006. She wanted to explore to what extend the image of Iran had been created by the western media and the Iranian propaganda itself. She asked passersby to pose, again using flash lights and giving the people directions. By using this technique, the people in the images become individuals with a story, while the Islamic Republic and the revolutionary ideology faded into the background. The following images come from the series Dream City, Frontstage and Holy Sepulchre.


Photographer #338: Espen Rasmussen

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Espen Rasmussen, 1976, Norway, is a photojournalist and documentary photographer who also works as a picture editor at the biggest Norwegian newspaper. He has traveled extensively throughout the world for his stories, from Brazil to Nepal and from Darfur to Italy. Recently he released the book Transit. He concentrated for several years focusing on the lives of several men and women of the more than 43 million people in the world today that are on the run due to war, political persecution and repression or ethnic conflicts. It documents the people that have embarked on a journey to find a safer haven and a better life. It contains stories from Congo, Colombia, Chad, Bangladesh, Yemen, Serbia, Afghanistan, Syria, Georgia and Norway. Espen won many awards for his photographic work and has been published in many of the major magazines and newspapers. The following images come from the series The many faces of Ukraine, No Way Back, Yemen and Georgia: The Aftermath.

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Photographer #337: Fernando Montiel Klint

Monday, July 18, 2011
Fernando Montiel Klint, 1978, Mexico, is an image maker who concentrates on staged photography often dealing with introspection. He studied photography at the Escuela Activa de Fotografia and Centro de la Imágen. In his series Acts of Faith (Actos de Fé) he has taken the meaning of the word faith in contemporary life without being bound by religion. In various scenes and actions he generates atmospheric and absurd realities. In Nirvana he created scenes within closed spaces, taking the subjects to a state of Nirvana, being the highest spiritual state that can possibly be achieved. The work has a hint of irony yet tries to evoke calmness and silence. Fernando works in a free way similar to a painter and often uses large format camera's. His work has been exhibited extensively and is part of numerous collections throughout the world. The following works come from the series Acts of Faith, Espacio Confinado and Nirvana.