Photographer – David Hemmings Bird Photography http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 06:01:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-25T155134.587.png Photographer – David Hemmings Bird Photography http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/ 32 32 Drones Take Travel Photography to New Heights: Award-Winning Snaps Unveiled http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/drones-take-travel-photography-to-new-heights-award-winning-snaps-unveiled/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 06:01:22 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/drones-take-travel-photography-to-new-heights-award-winning-snaps-unveiled/ The Drone Photo Awards 2021 just announced its winners and we’ve taken a peek to find the highlights of the photography that transports you to another place at all times. Some of this year’s dazzling shots include austere winter scenes, traditional cultural practices, and jubilant outdoor events. Metaphorical statement about the city and winter This […]]]>

The Drone Photo Awards 2021 just announced its winners and we’ve taken a peek to find the highlights of the photography that transports you to another place at all times.

Some of this year’s dazzling shots include austere winter scenes, traditional cultural practices, and jubilant outdoor events.

Metaphorical statement about the city and winter

This stunning photo by Sergei Poletaev captures a 500-year-old monastery in the Moscow region with a power plant towering above it.

The tongue-in-cheek title draws attention to its symbolism and gives the image an extra layer of Russian charm.

This photo ranked 1st in the ‘Urban’ category

Henningsvaer

This photo of a football field in the fishing village of Henningsvær, in the archipelago of northern Norway, contrasts the lush artificial turf and the glacial freshness of the winter landscape.

Photographer Nando Harmsen asks the viewer: “Would you dare to play here?

This photo classified very appreciated in the category ‘Urban’

Frozen pleasure

Another beautiful urban image of Russia, Sergey Farenyuk’s Ferris Wheel photo in Moscow’s Izmailovsky Park tells an immediate story as the amusement park ride remains static during the deep cold of the Russian winter.

One of the largest parks in Moscow, Izmailovsky Park sprawls into a forest on the edge of town and has other fun activities including shuffle boarding and a 5D cinema.

This classified photo recommended in the ‘Urban’ category

Bad buddy!

John Cowpland captures the moment a cyclist is caught going against the tide at the annual meeting Big easy cycling event in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

The Big Easy is hailed by its organizers as “the ultimate antidote to all those serious lycra laden cycling events happening across the country.”

This photo classified very appreciated in the category ‘Sport’

Festival of the two dragons

Ming Li captures the moment when two dragon dance teams pray together in a 700-year-old tulou in Nanjing, China.

A tulou is a traditional hakka communal residence that is traditionally found in the Fujian region of China. These earthen houses are circular multi-storey buildings that overlook a central courtyard. A whole clan would historically live inside a tulou, where the building would function as a village unit.

Taken during the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, the photo is a colorful combination of Chinese customs and heritage.

This classified photo recommended in the ‘Sport’ category

Prayer for souls

Phu Khanh Bui’s photo details Vietnamese tradition where women wear ‘Ao Dai’ costumes to release colorful lanterns and flower garlands. This ritual is part of a festival to pray for happiness and good luck for their families.

The festival takes place on the full moon in July in cities like Hanoi and Hoi An, famous for their lush streams and lakes.

This photo classified highly recommended in the “People” category

Floating people

Raf Willems captures a scene of people attending a concert while floating in inner tubes.

He took the photo during Country in the Cove, a Las Vegas music festival he attended in 2018.

This classified photo recommended in the ‘People’ category


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Video: Thomas Genon and JB Liautard create stunning photographs in ‘The Art of MTB 2’ http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/video-thomas-genon-and-jb-liautard-create-stunning-photographs-in-the-art-of-mtb-2/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 18:00:00 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/video-thomas-genon-and-jb-liautard-create-stunning-photographs-in-the-art-of-mtb-2/ There’s no smoke without fireThere is no stuff without a trialThere is no perfect shot without preparationThere is no result without collaboration Following the first part of The Art of MTB # 1, JB Liautard and Thomas genon are back with another collection of incredible photographs that marry the beauty of photography with that of […]]]>

There’s no smoke without fire
There is no stuff without a trial
There is no perfect shot without preparation
There is no result without collaboration

Following the first part of The Art of MTB # 1, JB Liautard and Thomas genon are back with another collection of incredible photographs that marry the beauty of photography with that of mountain biking. And this time, we take a behind-the-scenes look at a fascinating film that reveals the depth of detail required to make that money.

From satellite images to hand drawn diagrams. From the texture of the rock to the cultural heritage of the jumps. From the exact light of a sunset to a flash taped to a drone. At Jb Liautard and Thomas Genon, there is no art without science, and no madness without method.

Their patience, their perseverance and their very particular attention to detail produce something magical. Jb builds the idea and Thomas agrees. When their vision and skills meet, that snapshot in time is perfection.

Mountain biking photography is something specific because it’s a very fast-paced sport with a lot of codes and culture, I think you have to really understand the sport to make it work. Most of the time, my photos are the result of a collaboration with an athlete where I try to mix action sport and art. We discuss the idea, we give each other advice, we fail, we come back, and sometimes we make it work after a lot of trying. It’s definitely a case of teamwork; perfectionism on both sides is essential for me.Jb Liautard
quotation marks I really enjoy working on the small details and Jb has that mindset too. When we know that most of the time his pictures are little edited, we wonder how he does it. The goal behind this episode is to show all of the work behind the footage. After the first episode, we got a few ideas and versions that we didn’t use. We also wanted to explore them. It was quite spontaneous.Thomas genon

quotation marks I’ve been taking pictures for seven years now and the behind-the-scenes videos are something I really enjoy doing and watching. In a world where social media and Photoshop are taking over the internet, I think it’s essential to get back to basics and show something a little more real. I like to do things the do-it-yourself way and have as many things done in the field as possible. As mountain biking is an outdoor sport, weather conditions are also a key consideration. If there are clouds on the horizon, you don’t get the sunset, if the wind is going the wrong way, the smoke doesn’t fill the frame. Sometimes it takes such a large team to take a single photo. We had a lot of people helping us with this video: videographers, diggers, helpers and friends, and it was amazing to have so much support.Jb Liautard

Rider: Thomas genon
Photography: Jb Liautard
Video: Abel Nury & Jb Liautard
Additional shooting: Jules Langeard / Anna-Margret Noorhani / Romain Lafite
Produced by: Shimano



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Film photography offers a liberating alternative to the digital world – The Orion http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/film-photography-offers-a-liberating-alternative-to-the-digital-world-the-orion/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 23:26:02 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/film-photography-offers-a-liberating-alternative-to-the-digital-world-the-orion/ Photo taken by Aldo Perez. My favorite film camera is the Nikon FM2N. The advent of the digital age has revolutionized the photography industry. Digital photography meant that one could capture a moment in time and share it instantly. I started photography because I wanted to express myself and express my vision of the world. […]]]>

Photo taken by Aldo Perez. My favorite film camera is the Nikon FM2N.

The advent of the digital age has revolutionized the photography industry. Digital photography meant that one could capture a moment in time and share it instantly. I started photography because I wanted to express myself and express my vision of the world. Art brings people together and captures the human experience. I wanted to be part of it.

Digital photography seemed like the obvious choice. I chose digital photography as a hobby and enjoyed being able to share the moments of my life while learning a new art. But I wanted a more personal experience. I saw that more and more people were shooting on film, but I didn’t understand the point. Why would I care about the lengthy process involved in filming when I had a digital camera that could instantly capture a scene? It seemed obsolete.

The last few years have seen a resurgence of film photography. In a short YouTube documentary, Edward Hurley, director of Eastman Kodak, said, “We’re doing more than twice as many rolls. [film] in 2019 than what we did in 2015. ”

The prices of film cameras have skyrocketed. Higher demand for film cameras means higher demand for film rolls. As a result, major movie brands continue to increase their prices, some by as much as 10-20%.

The best way to understand the appeal of the film was to experience it myself, so I ordered a Nikon FM2N online. I immediately understood the interest of shooting on film. The shutter is strong and distinct. You can feel the vibration through your fingers as the camera mechanisms collide. The body is heavy and made of aluminum. The process of rewinding the exposed film and replacing it with a new roll is satisfactory.

Film photography offers a more personal relationship with his art. This forces the photographer to slow down and be incredibly deliberate with what he wants to capture. I can no longer instantly analyze my shots and redo shots if I’m not happy, nor do I have the budget to burn rolls of film.

Waiting for the movie to develop induces the same excitement I felt when I was a kid on Christmas Day. The feeling of total awe and amazement when a few photos take your breath away is gratifying, and no Lightroom edit can mimic the look of a movie.

There is something aesthetic about the vintage, dreamy look that the film offers. Unlike digital cameras, film does not have millions of pixels arranged in a grid. Instead, the film allows the color and light to blend in more naturally. The grain of the film is unique and offers a more organic and raw aesthetic that is pleasing to the human eye. Higher dynamic range means less detail is lost in highlights and shadows. The combination of these unique characteristics means that the film captures the ambiance of a scene beautifully and frequently induces a sense of nostalgia.

This landscape taken by Aldo Perez during a hiking trip in the Trinity Alps highlights the great dynamics of the film and its beautiful colors.

Ultimately, the beauty of the film lies in its flawedness. The grain disperses sporadically and the process from shooting to development leaves a lot of room for errors. Mistakes are not always tragedies to be avoided at all costs, and perfection should not be the end goal. I think art flourishes not only in spite of imperfection, but because of imperfection. And this is beautiful.

Aldo Perez can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @Aldo_Perez



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Award Winning Photographer Shares Favorite Lakeshore Images http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/award-winning-photographer-shares-favorite-lakeshore-images/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 10:52:30 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/award-winning-photographer-shares-favorite-lakeshore-images/ Outdoor photographer Todd Reed celebrates his lifelong love for Mitten State with his new book, Todd Reed: 50 years seeing Michigan through a lens. Over the years, the award-winning photographer has taken numerous photos of the Lakeshore, from lighthouses to tulips to Coast Guard ships. During his 33 years in the Coast Guard reserves, Reed […]]]>

Outdoor photographer Todd Reed celebrates his lifelong love for Mitten State with his new book, Todd Reed: 50 years seeing Michigan through a lens. Over the years, the award-winning photographer has taken numerous photos of the Lakeshore, from lighthouses to tulips to Coast Guard ships.

During his 33 years in the Coast Guard reserves, Reed was stationed for three years – 2000-02 – at the Dutch Coast Guard station, including during 9/11. During this tenure, he discovered his favorite locations to shoot in Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon counties.

The edge of the lake checked in with the Ludington-based photographer and photography teacher to learn more about his passion for capturing Michigan in the great outdoors, his favorite places to photograph in our area, what inspires his passion and tips for capturing compelling images.

The Lakeshore: You’ve taken pictures of Lakeshore and Michigan for most of your life. How attractive is the region compared to exploring other parts of the world?

Todd Reed: I’ve lived most of my life along the Lakeshore in western Michigan. I know him intimately and love him passionately, from the power and beauty of Lake Michigan and the shore to the wooded trails of our parks and wilderness areas, and the wilds of our rivers. These are all pristine places of boundless beauty. No matter which direction you look or go, it’s easy to find scenic, wild, and unspoiled views in Michigan and along the Lakeshore. I don’t have to go anywhere else to find so much natural beauty around me.

TL: While you were stationed in Holland with the Coast Guard, what were your favorite places to photograph?

TR: In Holland, I loved photographing tulips and I still do. I loved seeing Holland’s lighthouse, “Big Red”, and taking a picture of it when I was not on duty. I also continue to be drawn to the pier and lighthouses in Grand Haven, especially to photograph them during storms. In Saugatuck, my favorite place to photograph is Saugatuck Dunes along Lake Michigan.

TL: People are taking more pictures than ever now that they always have their phones with them. Do you have any tips for people using their phones to take photos?

TR: If you’re into photography, invest in one of the best quality cameras you can afford. Fill the viewfinder with everything you want and everything you don’t want. And don’t forget to enjoy safe outdoor photography; no photo is worth your life.

TL: You’ve been teaching people for years how to take pictures. What’s the best piece of advice you share with them?

TR: Shoot, then get a lot closer and shoot again. Photograph what you think you want to include in your shot, then film part of that scene, then film part of that part. Your photography will improve instantly. Also track your heart with your camera. Ask yourself, “What turns me on enough to take this picture?” Answer this question, then highlight it with the position and technique of your camera.

TL: Why do you think your passion for photography has only grown over the years?

TR: I am a visual person. I have always liked to see the world around me. My passion for the past 50 years has been to see the world in pictures, whether or not I have a camera at eye level. I keep trying to see better; I know I can’t wait to do it until I die.

TL: What is the greatest attraction of Lakeshore for you?

TR: The power and beauty of the shores of Lake Michigan attracts me like nothing else. Trying to capture a magical moment with my camera in the teeth of the towering waves of Lake Michigan and hurricane force winds is my favorite adrenaline rush experience.


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Professional Photographers of America Announces Results of 2021 International Photography Competition | New http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/professional-photographers-of-america-announces-results-of-2021-international-photography-competition-new/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 23:00:00 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/professional-photographers-of-america-announces-results-of-2021-international-photography-competition-new/ ATLANTA, September 20, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Professional Photographers of America (PPA) announced the results of its annual International Photography Competition (IPC). A panel of 36 jurors from all over United States selected the best photographs from among 5,091 total entries of September 12-15. The judgment took place remotely as well as in person […]]]>

ATLANTA, September 20, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Professional Photographers of America (PPA) announced the results of its annual International Photography Competition (IPC). A panel of 36 jurors from all over United States selected the best photographs from among 5,091 total entries of September 12-15. The judgment took place remotely as well as in person at the PPA headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s judgment was broadcast live online.

This photography competition challenges photographers to develop their artistic and technical skills by capturing and creatively presenting their best images and, in doing so, improving the marketing of their businesses. Judged against a standard of excellence, 1,926 images were earned and 1,225 (approximately 24%) were selected for the prestigious Imaging Excellence collection, the best of the best. These best images will all be published in the highly anticipated Imaging Excellence Collection book. Some deserved images will be published in the Showcase book. Both volumes are published by Marathon Press.

Images accepted in the Imaging Excellence and Merit collections will also be on display at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, during imaging United States, the first convention and exhibition for photographers. This exhibition constitutes one of the largest annual exhibitions in the world of professional photography brought together simultaneously under one roof. Also to imagery United States 2022, the winner of the Grand Imaging Award will be announced at a special ceremony. The conference takes place January 16-18, 2022.

Reviews from IPC judges were available on request, with more than 1,780 ordered this year. Reviews help participants find areas for improvement and prepare for future photo contests. Participants of the IPC who are members of the PPA have the opportunity to obtain diplomas in photography by entering the competition.

“We had a great week judging all the beautiful and creative images,” IPC Manager Rich newell noted. “The results speak for themselves. Members who participate in IPC continue to push the boundaries of creativity and style. The images entered into IPC get better every year, and this year’s competition numbers reflect exactly that.

To learn more about the International Photography Competition and to view a gallery of images accepted this year, visit PPA.com/IPC.

Media contact

Alex bauer, Professional Photographers of America, 4045228600, abauer@ppa.com

SOURCE Professional Photographers of America


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Brazilian photographer wins world’s largest photography award for portrait of covid doctor http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/brazilian-photographer-wins-worlds-largest-photography-award-for-portrait-of-covid-doctor/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:25:38 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/brazilian-photographer-wins-worlds-largest-photography-award-for-portrait-of-covid-doctor/ Ary Bassous – “Homework” This is the winning photograph of the HIPA “Humanity” Photography Awards. Photographed by Brazilian photographer Ary Bassous, it shows Dr Juliana Ribeiro after 8 hours of continuous work in the Covid-19 emergency room. The picture is an intimate moment in a day experienced by so many healthcare professionals over the past […]]]>

Ary Bassous – “Homework”

This is the winning photograph of the HIPA “Humanity” Photography Awards. Photographed by Brazilian photographer Ary Bassous, it shows Dr Juliana Ribeiro after 8 hours of continuous work in the Covid-19 emergency room. The picture is an intimate moment in a day experienced by so many healthcare professionals over the past 18 months and you can clearly see the fatigue and emotional cost etched on her face as well as the deep grooves from wearing her nursing clothes. protection for so long.

What grabs you is the hint of sadness on her face as she feels the pain for humanity as deaths in Brazil have passed half a million people due to the pandemic.

– Ary Bassous

The photo was taken in the Clementino Fraga Velho University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bassous received the Grand Prize of $ 120,000.

Many of the winning entries depicted all too familiar scenes from the last 18 months of the pandemic and show a strong journalistic element. However, other winning entries show other moving scenes from the Beirut Port Explosion, a sea rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean, and in the portfolio category, impactful aerial photographs of the Arctic and Antarctic. as they experience climate change.

“Humanity is the most important thing a goal can capture, and the winners have expressed it in loud and varied ways.” said Judge Gary Knight, “Photographing other lovers, in crisis, or exploring other people’s lives is one of the most special things we can do as photographers.

Here is a selection of some of the other winning images from the competition.

1st place: Mads Nissen – Denmark “Hugs to survive”

First place in the Humanity category went to Mads Nissen from Denmark for her heartwarming image depicting Rosa Luzia Lonardi, 85, hugged by her nurse. Nissen says it was the first hug Rosa had received in 5 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Brazilian nursing home created a “curtain of hugs” that provided residents with vital physical contact with loved ones and volunteers.

2nd place: Ilhan Kilinc – Turkey “Embrace”

Ilhan Kilinc from Turkey won the 2nd prize for his photography which also addresses the pandemic. The picture shows “the profound extent of the psychological impact inflicted on healthcare workers ”as they were unable to interact with family members and especially their own children at the end of a long working day in Covid-19 services.

3rd place: Marc Abou Jaoude – Lebanon “Blast Scars”

Third place features a Lebanese truck driver standing amid the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion, two days after being caught in the blast, with a scene of apocalyptic devastation in the background. Marc Abou Jaoude said he had “the chance to live and witness another day”.

4th place: Fabrizio Maffei – Italy “Great hopes”

“High Hopes” by Italian photographer Fabrizio Maffei shows the moment a migrant was rescued by the coast guard after the ship sank in the Mediterranean. Maffei writes that “Although the day is coming to an end and in the freezing cold, the rescue team did not stop until the end.”

Black and white: 1st place Giuseppe Cocchieri – Italy “Social distance”

Color: 1st Place: Sameer Al-Doumy – France “Destination Finale”

Portfolio: 1st Place: Florian Ledoux – France “Above the polar regions”

Now in the 10th season, the HIPA Awards (Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Prize) attracted nearly half a million entries from 203 different countries. The other winning entries can be viewed on the HIPA website.



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Announcement of the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/announcement-of-the-ocean-photographer-of-the-year-2021/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 23:00:00 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/announcement-of-the-ocean-photographer-of-the-year-2021/ by Jeremy Gray published on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EDT The winners of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards have been announced. The competition is organized by Oceanographic review and the competition aims to highlight the beauty of the ocean and the way it is attacked through powerful imagery. Photographer Aimee Jan, Australian […]]]>

by Jeremy Gray

published on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EDT

The winners of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards have been announced. The competition is organized by Oceanographic review and the competition aims to highlight the beauty of the ocean and the way it is attacked through powerful imagery.

Photographer Aimee Jan, Australian tour guide and photographer, won the Grand Prize for Ocean Photographer of the Year. Jan’s winning image of a sea turtle surrounded by glass fish was captured at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. For his win, Jan receives £ 2,500, a 5-day Instagram takeover of SeaLegacy’s Instagram feed with 2.2 million followers, exposure, feature in Oceanographic review and more.

Image by Aimee Jan / Ocean Photography Awards. Grand Prize Winner and “Ocean Photographer of the Year”.

Regarding her winning image, Jan said: “We were snorkeling at the back of the reef when one of my friends from work called me to tell me there was a turtle under a ledge in a shoal. of glass fish, about 10 meters down. When I dove in to look, the fish separated perfectly around the turtle and that’s what I saw. I told him, ‘I think I just took the best picture I ever took.’

Other awards include the Collective Portfolio Award, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year, Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year, Young Ocean Photographer of the year, the Community Choice Award and the new Female Fifty Fathoms Award. You can see some of these winning images below. To view all of the winning images, visit the Ocean Photography Awards website. If you’re in London, an exhibition of the winners is taking place along the River Thames near Tower Bridge until October 17.

Image courtesy of Henley Spiers / Ocean Photography Awards. The second place.

Image by Matty Smith / Ocean Photography Awards. Third place.

Image courtesy of Ben Thouard / Ocean Photography Awards. Adventure photographer of the year.

Image by Hannah Le Leu / Ocean Photography Awards. Young photographer of the year.

Image by Renee Capozzola / Ocean Photography Awards. Women’s Fifty Fathoms Award


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20 ocean photographer of the year 2021 winners http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/20-ocean-photographer-of-the-year-2021-winners/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/20-ocean-photographer-of-the-year-2021-winners/ A male yellow-headed fish “incubates its eggs until it is ready to hatch.” vs The Ocean Photography Award has announced the winners of its 2021 Photographer of the Year competition and the images are an inspiring celebration of our blue planet, as well as a platform to highlight the many challenges it faces. With the […]]]>

The Ocean Photography Award has announced the winners of its 2021 Photographer of the Year competition and the images are an inspiring celebration of our blue planet, as well as a platform to highlight the many challenges it faces.

With the big winner, the images honored in eight categories, including the inaugural Female Fifty Fathoms Award (created to provide a platform to inspire women in ocean photography), is a snorkeling trip with humpback whales in crystal-clear waters, gannets dive-bombing for mackerel in the Shetland Islands and adrenaline-infused shots of surfers battling foaming waves.

The Ocean Photography Awards, presented by Oceanographic Magazine, are “a platform to highlight the beauty of the ocean and the threats it faces,” say the organizers.

MORE FORBESPhotos of extraordinary marine animals Winners of the Ocean Photography Awards

“As we all know too well, however, our species’ interaction with the ocean is not always positive. The perils of ghost fishing lines and Covid masks communicate an urgent message, while the vast trawler nets and melting ice remind us that the perils of the ocean are plural.

Entrants to the 2021 competition included a number of the world’s foremost ocean and wildlife photographers and presented a tall order for the judges.

Australian photographer Aimee Jan has been selected as 2021 Ocean Photographer of the Year, with a beautiful image of a green turtle surrounded by a school of glass fish, captured on the Ningaloo Reef, Australia.

The photos are on display in a free month-long outdoor public exhibition on the Queen’s Walk along the River Thames in London from September 17 to October 17.

“I was snorkeling when a colleague of mine told me there was a turtle under a ledge in a school of glass fish, about 10 meters deep,” explains photographer Aimee Jan. “When I dove in to watch, the fish separated around the turtle perfectly. I told him, “I think I just took the best picture I ever took.”

“While diving in the middle of the gannet dam, I witness the violent synchronicity of these impressive sea birds as they embark on fishing dives”, explains the photographer.

“They hit the water at 60 miles per hour, an impact they can only take with specially developed air sacs in the head and chest. The agility of the bird goes from the air to the sea where it also swims with incredible speed.

Only 3.5 centimeters long and a few minutes old, the baby hawksbill turtle is swimming for the first time.

“He had emerged from an egg a few minutes earlier with about 100 of his siblings,” says photographer Matty Smith. “They quickly made their way into the ocean to disperse as quickly as possible and avoid predation by birds and fish.”

A black tip reef shark lines its dorsal fin with the setting sun in Moorea, French Polynesia.

“Sharks are abundant in French Polynesia because of their strong legal protections and are a sign of a healthy marine ecosystem,” said photographer Renee Capozzola.

“It’s a sad realization when an animal as harmless and beautiful as the leopard shark is on the verge of extinction because its fins are sold in the shark fin industry,” says the photographer.

A hatched green sea turtle cautiously surfaces for breath, in a sky full of hungry birds.

“During a shallow night dive in Wollongong Harbor, NSW, Australia, I came across this adult male bobtail squid hunting in the sand,” says the photographer.

“As I approached he seemed interested in his reflection in my camera lens port and started dancing with this curious and colorful display. This is behavior that I have only witnessed a few times in several years of diving here.



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Review: The Adventures of an Urbex Photographer in Abandoned Chicagoland: Rust on the Prairies http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/review-the-adventures-of-an-urbex-photographer-in-abandoned-chicagoland-rust-on-the-prairies/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 18:47:12 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/review-the-adventures-of-an-urbex-photographer-in-abandoned-chicagoland-rust-on-the-prairies/ “Dying piano summoned by Heaven.” Chicagoland abandoned: rust in the prairiesBy Jerry OlejniczakArcadie editions I have always been attracted to and repelled by demolition sites. Ruined walls, shattered by a wrecking ball and revealing fragments of past lives and lost work. And if it’s a building that I knew and loved, there can be tears […]]]>

“Dying piano summoned by Heaven.”

Chicagoland abandoned: rust in the prairies
By Jerry Olejniczak
Arcadie editions

I have always been attracted to and repelled by demolition sites. Ruined walls, shattered by a wrecking ball and revealing fragments of past lives and lost work. And if it’s a building that I knew and loved, there can be tears too.

This new book by Jerry Olejniczak is filled with images of demolished sites, transformed by decay, and sometimes overtaken by nature. Olejniczak (pronounced Oh-lay-KNEE-chalk) is an urbex photographer, an urban explorer photographer. The work can come with legal risks (when a photographer breaks in) and personal risks (photographer and activist Richard Nickel died in 1972 while taking pictures on a partially demolished Chicago Stock Exchange).

But the urbex photographer persists in researching these sites and photographing them for posterity. The term “ruin porn” is sometimes used derisively to describe this work, but these images can hardly be called obscene. They are images of great beauty and rich in symbolism. They also remind us of how abandoned we are as a society as we build great edifices of wealth, education and worship, and then let them decay when we tire of them.

Churches, theaters, post offices, hospitals, factories, schools. Olejniczak takes us on his urban, suburban and rural escapades, mainly through Chicagoland but also in other towns of the Rust Belt. Its introduction is a brief history of Chicago as an economic engine of the Midwest and includes, of course, an excerpt from Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago”. He reminds us that “today’s scintillating skyline and barren yuppie quarters” belies the fact that Chicago was the proper setting for Upton Sinclair’s documentary novel about stockyards, The jungle; Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A raisin in the sun; and the tragic novel by Richard Wright, Native son. Each of these works describes communities where poor black people or European immigrants lived and worked.

In his introduction, the author talks about other central Rust Belt towns that have turned into ruins. Something similar has happened in Chicago, he says, except that “the slide into urban decadence has happened on the outskirts, in outlying areas and in the suburbs, where it could be more easily overlooked.” The south side, southern suburbs, and the southern lakeside to Gary, Indiana, declined far from downtown, and the decline affected people who lacked political power and therefore easily ignored.

Arsonists may have struck the church after it closed.

“Chicagoans may think of their city as a patchwork of ethnic neighborhoods,” says Olejniczak, “or a thriving mall and commercial center, but it remains, fundamentally, a successful blue-collar Rust Belt city.”

Each of Olejniczak’s nine chapters includes his commentary on the nature of spaces, their environment and how he accessed them. He is a photographer who knows that even great photographs can need a few hundred words.

His photos range from desolate interiors, marked by objects left behind, to crumbling exteriors or wider landscape views of structures in the context of their territory or “the built environment slowly being reclaimed by nature”. One series shows Monet-style views of the deserted tennis courts in Gary, Indiana, at different times and seasons.

“The frenzied textures of the peeling paint provide a reasonable approximation of the hallucinatory effects of LSD.”

Hallways, doors and stairs are in the spotlight as “particularly powerful subconscious symbols of transition and ascent.” In a context of urban exploration, they symbolize all the risks taken during the trip.

However, the places to explore are not always grandiose or ceremonial. Olejniczak explores the spaces he calls living pictures or living images. The term refers to an early form of entertainment where scenes were carefully lit and staged with props and sometimes people; they were meant to represent works of art or Bible stories. For the urbex photographer, the ruins with rioting colors, furniture and rubbish left behind are modern times living pictures. Old schools are sometimes examples, littered with desks, books and debris, as are factories and workshops, deserted department stores, private homes and churches.

“Landscape on the ground of the post office”.

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” is another chapter of Olejniczak’s wandering. Usually off-limits, these spaces make you think you are the last person on earth to see them. They can be mundane like a deserted back office, or kitsch like the bathroom of a house no one has lived in for decades. A high school attic turned out to be a gallery of student signatures and years of study scrawled over decades on the walls and wooden ceiling. A huge poultry feed factory next to the railroad tracks in the southern suburb of Riverdale had been deserted since the 1970s. Now, “it was a thirteen story monster of rebar and rust.” The floors were drilled with holes and filled with the remains of conveyors, pipes and machinery. And photographers who braved a rooftop trip, he says, have found jaw-dropping views of… well, nothing really. You could see the Chicago skyline 20 miles away, but not much else. “However, the roofs are their own reward.”

Olejniczak’s stories and photo captions are as intriguing as his photos.

My only criticism of the book is its format. It is vertical and measures 6 inches wide by 9.5 inches high, which makes it difficult to see the photos at their best. Photos that would be greatly improved by a larger format are displayed on a half page at 5.5 x 4 inches. Certainly, a larger format would be preferable (the classic table book), but this format could be better used. I would prefer to see the book laid out horizontally with the spine on the short side. This would allow at least some of the photos to be displayed full screen. With its 145 photos, that would mean more pages than the current 96 and therefore a higher price. But the result would be a superior book.

The equipment remains in the old hospital.

Urbex in other art forms

Urbex imagery can also be found in other art forms. Several documentaries, for example, detail Detroit’s visual fate, but not as dramatically as the 2012 documentary. Detropia, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (streaming on AppleTV for $ 3.99). Detropy portrays the decline of a great American city through the eyes of its citizens, politicians and the business community; its inhabitants are struggling to cope with a city whose economic system is broken. Pioneering Urbex photographer Camilo Jose Vergara once requested that downtown Detroit be set aside as a park of ruins, which he called “the American acropolis.”

Jim Jarmusch’s 2013 romantic vampire film, Only lovers will stay alive, is located in a dilapidated mansion amidst the crumbling Detroit landscape. Adam and Eve, age-old vampire lovers played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, occasionally roam the crumbling Brush Park neighborhood, past deserted auto factories and abandoned theaters, in Adam’s vintage Jaguar XJS. Adam is a moody rock star; the first five minutes of the film are a glorious homage to vintage guitars. (The film is available on Prime Video.)

This month in Chicago, the Wrightwood 659 Gallery opens a new exhibition titled From Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright. The exhibit will use 3D models, ornaments and salvaged artifacts, as well as archival photographs to document the design, construction and destruction of Sullivan’s Garrick Theater on West Randolph Street (demolished in 1960) and Wright’s Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, NY, (demolished in 1950).

Chicagoland abandoned: rust in the prairies by Jerry Olejniczak is part of Arcadia Publishing’s “America Through Time” series; it is available from bookstores and on the publisher’s website. Arcadia publishes other historical and regional books, including the well-known “Images of America” series.

All images are courtesy of the publisher.

Did you enjoy this article and our coverage of the Chicago art scene? Please consider supporting the arts and culture coverage of Third Coast Review by become a patron. Or make a one-time donation by PayPal. Choose the amount that’s right for you and know how much we appreciate your support!


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How I find a community of photographers in the most unlikely place http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/how-i-find-a-community-of-photographers-in-the-most-unlikely-place/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/how-i-find-a-community-of-photographers-in-the-most-unlikely-place/ I dreamed of a meaningful photographic community. And that has been difficult to determine in the real world, especially during the pandemic. So, like most photographers, I turn to an online community. Instagram is a waste of time because it breeds narcissism. Facebook seems to be more about online fighting than usability. Flickr is fine, […]]]>

I dreamed of a meaningful photographic community. And that has been difficult to determine in the real world, especially during the pandemic. So, like most photographers, I turn to an online community. Instagram is a waste of time because it breeds narcissism. Facebook seems to be more about online fighting than usability. Flickr is fine, but I’ve never taken this trendy train. Then I turned to Twitter. And to my surprise, I finally found a community of photographers that I was close to thinking was just a utopia.

Want to showcase your work? Here’s how to do it!

Photography community on Twitter

For a very long time, I had a love-hate relationship with Twitter. I won’t deny that this is a breeding ground for toxic opinions and selfish opinions. But I realized that I was looking for the wrong places, trying to find a positive, non-toxic photography community.

Many of the photographers I see on Twitter tell about how they migrated to the platform from Instagram. They wanted something more than what the world’s most popular photo sharing website has to offer. So what exactly does Twitter offer that other platforms don’t?

The photography community feels less selfish

I base the strength of a community on its authenticity. Instagram felt nothing but selfishness. It’s a place to say “look at me” while doing the bare minimum to interact with others.

On Twitter, there are countless daily discussion threads where photographers can discuss hot topics, provide meaningful reviews, and showcase the work of others. An user, @flakphoto spends 80% of her time on Twitter sharing the work of others. It has been a great flow for finding new photographers.

@BlkFemmesPhoto use their presence to uplift and share the work of talented black photographers. As of this writing, the organization (founded by Polly Irungu, future guest on our podcast) has amassed nearly 14,000 subscribers. They have helped black female photographers gain work and recognition throughout the photography industry.

These are just two examples among many.

Twitter spaces

If you’ve used Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces won’t be new. But while Clubhouse was an elitist space where people felt exclusive, Twitter Spaces is an open and inclusive area. Users can join as a listener or as a speaker.

I attended my first Twitter Space recently. The host was an Indiana-based photographer @braydencreation. He also invited other speakers and opened the digital voice to listeners. I spent a good hour listening to different experiences and thoughts from photographers around the world. It was handled extremely well, and the flow of the conversation was smooth and uninterrupted. Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or someone who enjoys all things photography, these new spaces are a fantastic way to get your photography fix. They have enormous potential.

A desire to build something meaningful

Of course, selfish photographers exist on Twitter. They exist everywhere. But for the first time, there seems to be a real revolt against the toxic aspects of an online photography community. And these people find Twitter as the new platform to create something meaningful.

Everyone you’ve heard complaining about the lack of community elsewhere online now seems to be on Twitter. So there is a concentrated effort to build something positive and a space where photographers can learn and thrive. Could Twitter’s photographic sphere quickly become toxic? Sure. But I want to be optimistic about it.

Personal experience

To give you a personal example of what I’m talking about, check this out.

On Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I asked to see the best color photographers in the industry. I got a response on Instagram and none on Facebook. Two hours later, on Twitter, more than 200 photographers had been tagged and shared with me. I have the least reach on Twitter compared to Instagram and Facebook.

It could be the algorithm, or it could be the mindset of people on platforms elsewhere. Either way, Twitter is proving to be the perfect place to connect with all things photography. I hope it will last.



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