Photographer #442: Vincent Fournier

Monday, February 27, 2012
Vincent Fournier, 1970, France, is an image-maker who combines documentary and staged photography. He studied photography at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. His ongoing series entitled Space Project reflects his fascination for the space age. His inspiration stems from various things in his youth and by watching movies as 2001: A Space Odessey and Solaris. His large scale images contain an aspect of humor, mainly due to carefully placing his subjects and objects. For this project, as well as his other personal works, he has traveled around the globe. Tour Operator is a body of work inspired by the book Around the world in 80 days by Jules Vernes. He has documented the transformation of landscapes and the interaction between mankind and the environment. In an intelligent and witty manner he directs our eyes to the bizarre and the usual. In his project The Man Machine he carefully staged robots in urban settings and the spaces where they are being developed. Both his projects Tour Operator and Space Project have been released as books. The following images come from the series Space Project, Tour Operator and The Man Machine.


Photographer #441: Tereza Vlčková

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Tereza Vlčková, 1983, Czech Republic, is a conceptual and fine-art photographer currently studying at the Silesian University in Opava, the Institute of Creative Photography. In 2007 she completed the series A Perfect Day, Elise... showing floating girls with a mountainous background. Since then she has been in numerous exhibitions amongst which are Paris Photo in 2010 and 2011 and the traveling reGeneration2 group show. Throughout her series we find deeper layers dealing with themes as fear, the self and dreams. In her series Two she photographed indentical twins in a scary forest setting. The project deals with the questions of the "I" and the psychology of how we perceive ourselves. She seeks a fine line between fiction and reality. Are all of the twins truly twins or have some been created merely showing an alter-ego of some of the girls? Her work has been featured in a large number of photography / art magazines and catalogs as Exit, Picnic and Photonews. The following images come from the series Mirrors Inside, Two and A Perfect Day, Elise...


Photographer #440: Claire Martin

Thursday, February 23, 2012
Claire Martin, 1980, Australia, is a documentary photographer with a focus on marginalised communities. In 2007 and 2008 she concentrated on Vancouver's Downtown East Side. Even though Vancouver is a city that was twice voted "the worlds most liveable", the residents of this part live below the poverty line. The suburb has an estimated AIDS rate of 30% and the leading cause of death is overdose. In 2009 she visited Slab City where she focused on the permanent residents of this community in the Colorado desert. It "is a place for the broken and desperate and for the fierce defenders of freedom from tyranny." In 2010 and 2011 she went to Haiti to document the aftermath of the earthquake. "Every spare piece of land has turned into a tent city and whole suburbs and major infrastructure lay demolished, essentially turning and entire city into a slum." Claire has exhibited her work in solo shows in Australia and has been in various group exhibitions around the world. In 2010 she won the Magnum Foundation Inge Morath award for female photographers under the age of 30. She is a member of the prestigious Australian photo collective Oculi. The following images come from the series Petionville - Life in Haiti's Tent Cities, Slab City and Downtown East Side.


Photographer #439: Colin Delfosse

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Colin Delfosse, 1981, Belgium, is a documentary photographer who studied Journalism. Together with three other photographers he founded the Out of Focus collective in 2005. As a collective (5 photographers) they focus on social issues. One of his latest projects focuses on Kazakhstan where he concentrates on the Soviet legacy in the country, still visually present. In 2010 he portrayed a large number of Congolese wrestlers and the culture around it. This series won the PDN photo annual award in 2011. Colin has traveled extensively for his strong and intimate projects. He has been to countries as China, Mali and Iraqi Kurdistan where he documented the movement of the Free Women of Kurdistan movement. Colin's work has been featured in The New York Times, Le Monde and The International Herald Tribune to name a few. The following images come from the series Polygon - Soviet Legacy in Kazakhstan, part I, Congolese Wrestlers and The PKK Amazons.


Photographer #438: Chen Man

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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.


Photographer #437: Pierre Crocquet de Rosemond

Monday, February 20, 2012
Pierre Crocquet, 1971, South Africa, started a career in the merchant-banking sector only to find out that his choice of career was flawed. Therefore he studied photography at the London College of Printing. He returned to South Africa and embarked on a photographic career. Since 2002 he released five books of which the latest is entitled Pinky Promise. It is an exploration into the terrain of child sexual abuse. During a period of three years Pierre combined seven stories of abuse, survival and healing in the monograph. The book breaks newground by including the stories of not only the victims, but also the perpetrators of child sexual abuse. In 2008 he released Enter Exit, a book showing the inhabitants of an isolated, small, multi-racial community. "The isolated community became a portal through which to explore facets of the human psyche." It is a very strong collection of black and white portraits. His work has been exhibited on numerous occasions throughout the world. The following images come from the series Pinky Promise, Enter Exit and Us.


Photographer #436: Corey Arnold

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Corey Arnold, 1976, USA, is an Alaskan commercial fisherman as well as a documentary photographer. He received a BFA in photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In 2011 he released the book Fish-Work: The Bering Sea which includes images that were made between 2003 and 2010 while he was working as a deckhand on the Bering Sea crabber f/v Rollo. The series Fish-Work doesn't stop there, it is a life long project and has also taken him to various European countries capturing the lifestyle of fishermen. One of his latest series is Wolf Tide which includes a mixture of experiences as a fisherman, rural encounters with unsuspecting wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Nowadays he captains a wild salmon gillnetting operation in Bristol Bay while working on photo assignments and gallery exhibitions in the off season. His work has appeared in numerous magazines as The New Yorker, Esquire and Juxtapoz. In 2009 he was named one of the PDN's top 30 emerging photographers. The following images come from the series Wolf Tide, Fish-Work Bering Sea and Graveyard Point.


Early Spring in the Marismas

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We hear a lot these days about the cold conditions in Europe and how these have forced many Lapwings and other birds south to our area. But the marismas in the south-west function like an African locality more than a European one. Here, spring has been underway for close to two months now and tens of thousands of Swallows have already arrived to breed. So have good numbers of Black Kite, Great Spotted Cuckoos and other species. Today, in these marshes we saw the first Whiskered Terns, just arrived from south of the Sahara. But there were also good numbers of some special birds...

Great White Egrets have been on the increase for some years now and their presence is particularly obvious. Soon they will have to share the pools of water with Purple Herons that will arrive from the tropics.

The winter has been a dry one so many of therse birds are now concentrated on the few pools of freshwater that survive

The Penduline Tit is another reed bed speciality. For now it shares the beds with Cetti's Warblers and wintering Chiffchaffs but Reed and Great Reed Warblers will be arriving soon to establish breeding territories here.

The predators will also have to share the reed beds with newcomers. For now, Marsh Harriers rule the roost here but Black Kites are now arriving and will dominate in numbers.

With remperatures reaching 20 degrees Celsius today, it was hard to fathom that much of Europe is immersed in a cold winter...

Photographer #435: Bharat Sikka

Thursday, February 2, 2012
Bharat Sikka, 1973, India, is a documentary photographer who also concentrates on editorial and advertising work. He moved to New York to study at the Parsons School of Design where he earned a BFA in photography. His personal work concentrates on contemporary visions of India. His recent series Matter blends studio, street, landscape and portrait photography. Combined they form a portrait of the "new" India. It is Bharat's vision of a fast changing country. His narrative editorial work often show females in film-like settings, photographed in a unique, documentary style. Amongst his numerous editorial clients are Vogue India, Another magazine, Time, ID and Wallpaper. His work has been exhibited throughout the world as the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival and the Helsinki Art Museum. He works and lives between India and Europe. The following images come from the series Matter, Salvador do Mundo and various Fiction portfolios.


Shut down your computer and go live!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This is not a written piece that is supposed to make you sad or feel pity; it is a calling to you and myself. It is not a manifesto or a preach. It is what it is.
Yesterday I entered the living room of my girlfriend’s parents. My girlfriend and I have been together for ten years. She had gone with her parents and her brother to the hospital to hear what could be done about the recently found tumor in her mothers (62) pancreas. The result was devastating. It cannot be operated and there is no other cure possible. She hopes to live to see their 40th anniversary of marriage, her next birthday and that of her husband in January. I entered the room where the family was sitting at the dining table. They were all defeated. With tears in their eyes they greeted me one by one by receiving and giving a big hug. I had heard the news earlier in the afternoon by phone, but entering this room became a reality check. The mother would like to fight but that is impossible. Even though the news has not sunk in, she has already decided to make each day count. She also looked back at her life and was happy with the way she has lived it.

The described happening got thoughts running through my head and often they were intertwined with photography, my own life and people in general. Not all of these thoughts were completely sane but did lead to answers further down the road. Thoughts about how we spend our time. Recently I had read a post by photographer Jeremy Cowart on how he wished he had invested less time into e-mailing and his words stuck with me. It’s not only e-mail, it’s also facebook, twitter, the internet in general, TV and other procrastinating activities. Being completely honest, I am sometimes too good at procrastination and it can sometimes lead to a void. Of course I thought about 500 Photographers within this context, and to be 100% honest the thought crossed my mind that it is an irrelevant piece of internet in which I have invested thousands of hours of my life, sitting on a chair, staring at a screen. Luckily I can say that this is not true. The “archive” I’m building has value to me. I started it for myself in order to learn. A side-effect of this project is you, a large amount of visitors that come here for inspiration; that is something of value too and gives this project something extra. I’m proud of that.

What I’m trying to get at is that I truly believe that you should not be spending too much time on this website. The same counts for twitter, facebook and all the other activities that might give us instant gratification, yet does not give you much in return in the long run. Go do that which will give you fulfillment. I know that 90% of the visitors of this website are active in the creative field. When you finish reading this message, turn of your computer and go produce, plan a shoot, pick up a pen and write down ideas. Whatever gets you moving forward into creating something. While you do this, promise me one thing: make it something of value to yourself. Forget about what your clients might like, what your parents, neighbors or anyone else would like to see you do. Do what you need to do and make it count.

I’m going to finish 500 Photographers and I will probably continue in some way once the list is complete. However, I’m going to do my utmost best to create a photographic oeuvre of which I’m proud. Let’s all make the short time we have on this planet count, first and foremost for ourselves. Go live and enjoy it, I know I will!