Photographer Justin Bettman‘s Bagel Project is much more than a series of well produced photographs. Bettman meets with homeless people throughout California and exchanges a bagel for a story. He then documents each story with a photograph.
Bettman admits, “The homeless in our cities are often forgotten, as after a while they become a part of the city themselves; blending in like streetlights and bus stops, or any of the other things we walk by hundreds of times a day.”
His images, though, reveal incredible depths of narrative in simple subtle facial expressions. He goes on to say, “I’ve been continually surprised by the fact that these people are content with their lives; if anything, they are happier to have a friend to talk to rather than the food provided.”
Bettman’s blog accompanies each photo with a story – an extremely interesting read that is difficult leaving.
Portland based, Corey Arnold, has taken some truly amazing documentary style photos of the honest accounts of what it means to be a fisherman at sea. Corey’s photos are endearing telling stories of grueling and gritty conditions of the life of a fisherman tackling themes of isolation, courage, absurdity, and fortitude. Corey is a fisherman himself, and has been taking astonishing real account photos as long as he has been fishing. It is important to note that what makes Arnold’s photos so true and honest is the fact that he is actually a fisherman, just one of the guys out at sea, and has to earn his mate’s trust and pitch in like the rest bearing the harsh conditions of the day but still finding the nerve to grab his camera in opportune times. In the summer Corey captains a wild salmon fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Arnold has exhibited his show “Fish-Work”: The Bering Sea earlier in 2012 and has published a book titled ‘The Bering Sea.’ (via)
Artist Akihiko Miyoshi creates amazing abstract work using simple photographic technique. He uses little more than a camera, colored tape, and a mirror to explore ideas of composition and color. While photography is arguably thought of as the epitome of representational art, Akihiko’s images are decidedly abstract. While minimally manipulating his images, they stand distinct from painting counterparts. In a way Akihiko abstracts not only form, but light.
Hungarian photographer Bence Bakonyi‘s series Dignity is a clearly personal one. The white arctic-like landscape is contrasted against deep black fields. The inky pools seem to be light swallowing and even begin to envelop a figure in some images. Bakonyi’s photographs are intensely lonely. Referring to the series, he speaks about a distinction between the body and mind as expressed in the photos.
Speaking about struggles between the two he relates, “It’s so alluring, sometimes as if the will of the body would want to swallow me, leaving my thoughts behind, but then comes the soul to pull me back.”
Photographer Wes Naman‘s Scotch Tape series is playful if not a bit creepy. Naman wraps clear tape around his subjects’ heads severely distorting their face. The tape tugs and squeezes lips, eyebrows, and noses making light of the idea of portraits. Slightly disturbing, the portraits resemble smiling car accident survivors or botched plastic surgery victims. Such simple but inventive ideas have made Naman a rather successful photographer winning him clients as diverse as High Times Magazine and T-Mobile. [via]
Chinese photographer Li Wei creates gravity defying work. Li Wei’s captivating photographs depict people floating and flying over cityscapes. At times mystical and other times comical, Li builds on a human fascination with flying resulting in mesmerizing images. Rather than creating his images entirely in Photoshop, Li uses complex rigging systems to suspend his subjects. The harnesses are then Photoshopped out of the images after the photographs have been taken. Li explains his insistence on not creating his images solely through a computer saying:
“There’s a visceral feeling of shooting on location that can’t be duplicated on a computer.” [via]
This series of images from photography duo Fesetti is aptly titled Disappear. Typically photographers succeed in capturing their subject. However, Fesetti intentionally and inventively keep their subjects visually out of reach. Hidden by everyday objects re-purposed as a witty camouflage, the models are nearly entirely concealed save for a stray hand or pair of feet. The series seems intended to be read as a how-to on disappearing or concealing oneself – a commodity itself in a hyper-connected social networking world usually fueled by photographs.
Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.