Kathryn Mayo and Doug Winter, a husband and wife photography team based in Sacramento, collaborate with their models to create vintage portraits, seemingly of the past, using the traditional wet plate collodion process. This type of photography was born in the 1850s, but soon faded from the foreground, due to the proliferation of more practical, less time consuming processes involving dry gelatin emulsion.
However, in today’s fast-paced iPhone app culture, where formatting is clean, easy, and instantaneous, ironically, the slow painstaking process is exactly what this artistic pair prefer about collodion. Mayo elaborates, “Each image takes about 15-20 minutes to complete from focusing the camera, coating and sensitizing the plate, exposing, and processing. So, models need to have patience as not each image comes out perfect, and it takes a few to get one we like–sometimes, there are times when the chemistry isn’t working up to par and we don’t get anything at all.” Regardless of outcome, their passion is not just about product, but discovery and investigation. Mayo continues, “I love the idea of using a process steeped in history and with the ghosts of photographers who have come before me. It is a process that is wholly addicting.”
While many of us as tourists may walk looking up at the tops of buildings, artist Thomas Lamadieu is looking at the sky. Lamadieu uses negative space to create playful drawings and illustrations. Utilizing photographs of a sky squeezed between rooftops, he illustrates within the patches of blue. The pieces of sky cut out by the buildings are a point of inspiration for Lamadieu culling stories from the shapes he’s dealt. Rather than being a limit, they become a point of departure.
In a classical compositional style, Photographer Phillip Toledano‘s series A New Kind of Beauty depicts subjects that have drastically augmented their bodies. The photographs contrast classical ideas of beauty with the contemporary and nearly obsessive pursuit of it. A fixation with beauty is ancient, but the images examine it in the light of modern body modification. Toledano says of the series:
“I’m interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves. Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?”
The images of photographer Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés‘ series Indoor Desert seem like elaborate installations. However, he actually found them this way. These buildings were once part of a town named Kolmanskop in southern Namibia. It had been situated near a gold mine. When the mine ran dry it was abandoned as was the town. The strong winds quickly overtook the town filling its buildings with the sand of the nearby Namib desert. The homes now filled with desert instead of families only emphasizes each photographs loneliness and underscores the immense power of nature.
Artist James Nizam calls photographs documents of ‘light sculptures’. For the series he captures the sun and manipulates it into various ‘structures’. Using precise cuts into the exterior of the house, small mirrors mounted on ball joints, and studying the movement of the summer sun Nazam was able to capture these images. A synthetic fog emphasizes the concentrated beams of light, making them almost palpable like floating fluorescent light bulbs. See photos of Nizam preparing the house after the jump.
Photographer Fong Qi Wei transforms flowers simply by dismantling them. Her series Exploded Flowers captures a variety of flowers picked apart petal by petal then carefully arranged. The meticulously arrayed petals closely resemble mandalas or celestial bodies. Each composition underscores the unbelievable symmetry packed into often small flowers. However, there is also subtle medical atmosphere to the photographs, as if they were autopsied flowers or like pinned butterflies. Her series has garnered her some awards including 2nd place in the International Photography Awards’ Nature category. [via]
Detroit artist Trisha Holt builds performative sculpture from blown-up photographs twisted, masked, or hugged onto live models in everyday settings, then reshoots for a surrealistic effect. This series, titled Love Child, creatively cross-breeds two iconic & artistic souls with one another. The top image, for example, is the offspring of “Charlie White + Katy Grannan“. The second one is of “Man Ray + Francesca Woodman”. Both are titled so accordingly. Can you see the resemblance?
Holt’s work is a stunning collection of mash-ups which humorously and humbly troubles over its own worth in the world, playfully echoing this song by The Supremes: “Love child, love child / Never quite as good / Afraid, ashamed, misunderstood / But I’ll always love you.”
You’ve likely already noticed: this isn’t your typical font. Instead of using pixels or vectors, photographer Anastasia Mastrakouli uses her own body to create a steamy alphabet (pardon the pun). Mastrakoukli positions herself behind wet glass partly hidden as if in a shower. She emphasizes certain parts of her body, and in turn certain parts of letters, by placing herself closer to the glass. The result is an eye-catching font – one in which the medium may grab more attention the the message it spells. Check out her website to see the rest of the alphabet.