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Jeff Corwin
Jeff Corwin
Jeff Corwin

Jeff Corwin

Country: United States
Birth: 1954

Over the years, Jeff Corwin has taken photos out of a helicopter, in jungles, on oil rigs and an aircraft carrier. Assignments included portraits of famous faces, including Bill Gates and Groucho Marx and photos for well-known corporate clients like Microsoft, Apple, Rolls-Royce and Time/Life. After 40+ years as a commercial photographer, Corwin has turned his discerning eye to fine art photography, primarily landscape vistas.

He carried his same vision forward, his desire and ability to see past the clutter and create photographs grounded in design. Simplicity, graphic forms, strong lines or configurations that repeat are what personally resonate - a reaction to experience, spirit and instinct. Visual triggers are stark and isolated vistas: a black asphalt road cutting for miles through harvested wheat; an empty, snowy field with a stream creating a curve to a single tree; or a small barn, the roof barely visible above a barren hillside.

Trusting his vision is important to Corwin. He has always kept the same approach, the same eye, looking for and adding to the visual qualities that arrest him. This holds true even in his non-landscape work. He cites his mentor Arnold Newman and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper as inspiration.

His experience has taught him not to second guess elements like composition or content. Humble shapes, graphic lines. Eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat.

His commercial work has won many prestigious awards and garnered vast international media coverage. Corwin's career shift into fine art photography is being met with the same serious attention. He is currently exhibiting in several important contemporary galleries throughout the western United States.

Statement
Before I started to devote myself full time to my personal work, I spent 40 years in the world of commercial photography. The majority of my clients were ad agencies and graphic design firms. My photographic focus was on corporate offices, factories, oil refineries and aerospace companies with dark busy manufacturing facilities. I learned that my job title was not "photographer." What I really was - a problem solver. Over the first few years, I developed a style that, with the help of artificial lighting, helped me to see past the clutter and create photographs that were more design than immediately recognizable objects. I worked with whatever was there, all the mundane things that most people walk by or do not notice. I saw great imagery in graphic shapes, shapes that repeat, like patterns in ceilings from ugly fluorescent lights or rows of desks or chairs. It was a created opportunity instead of found.

I became known as the photographer to send into hell-holes to bring back the goods (a blessing and a curse). Graphis Magazine once used a quote of mine: "It's amazing how much time I spend lighting, just to get things dark enough." Absolutely true! Once I got past that particular hurdle, I was able to move on to subjects that had real possibilities and make them look even better. But I kept the same thought process, the same eye, looking for and adding to the graphic qualities. (A special shout out to mentor Arnold Newman and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper.)

On to my current images - landscapes. While certainly not working with the same control I had in the advertising world, it provides, in some ways, more. Or perhaps I should simply different. What I have found is that I could bring the same vision I used for my commercial work into my landscape work. In fact, I do not think I really had a choice. The work I do now is 100% informed by my experience shooting for clients. I see how I see and, after 40+ years of making photographs, it seems foolish to try and change now. I trust that what I have learned works. I have even brought artificial light into the landscapes!

Simple shapes, graphic lines, eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat.

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Nick Brandt
United Kingdom
1964
Nick Brandt is an English photographer whose themes always relate to the disappearing natural world, before much of it is destroyed by mankind. From 2001 to 2018, he has photographed in Africa. In his trilogy, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls Across The Ravaged Land (2001-2012), he established a style of portrait photography of animals in the wild similar to that of the photography of humans in studio setting, shot on medium format film, attempting to portray animals as sentient creatures not so different from us. In Inherit the Dust (2016), in a series of panoramas, Brandt recorded the impact of man in places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. In each location, Brandt erected a life-size panel of one of his unreleased animal portrait photographs, placing the displaced animals on sites of explosive urban development, new factories, wastelands and quarries. This Empty World (2019) addresses the escalating destruction of the natural world at the hands of humans, showing a world where, overwhelmed by runaway development, there is no longer space for animals to survive. The people in the photos also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of 'progress'. Each image is a combination of two moments in time, captured weeks apart, almost all from the exact same locked-off camera position: A partial set is built and lit. Weeks follow whilst the wild animals in the area become comfortable enough to enter the frame. Once the animals are captured on camera, the full sets are built. A second sequence is then photographed with a cast of people drawn from local communities and beyond. Brandt has had solo gallery and museum shows around the world, including New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles. Born and raised in England, he now lives in the southern Californian mountains. He is co-founder of Big Life Foundation, fighting to protect the animals and ecosystem of a large area of Kenya and Tanzania. On this Earth: The first book in the trilogy, On This Earth (Chronicle Books, 2005) constitutes 66 photos taken 2000-2004, with introductions by the conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall and the author Alice Sebold. The photographs in this book are a unadulterated vision of an African paradise, deliberately contrasting with what is to follow in the subsequent books. Elephant with Exploding Dust, Amboseli 2004, the photo on the book's cover, has since become one of Brandt's best-known images. Critical response to the book, heralded Brandt's photographic achievement. Black and White magazine called his photos "heartbreakingly beautiful". A Shadow Falls: The second book in the trilogy, A Shadow Falls, (Abrams, 2009) features 58 photographs taken 2005-2008. It is generally regarded to be superior to "On This Earth". In additional introductions, philosopher Peter Singer, author of the groundbreaking Animal Liberation, explains why Brandt's photographs speak to an increasing human moral conscience about our treatment of animals. The photography critic Vicki Goldberg places Brandt's work in the history of the medium. As the title of the book implies, this book, although replete with images of ethereal beauty and poetry, is a more melancholic interpretation of the world he photographs. Indeed, critic Vicki Goldberg writes: " A Shadow Falls, taken in its entirely, is a love story without a happily ever after." The photos in the book are deliberately sequenced: the opening images are of an unspoiled lush green world, filled with animals and water ("Wildebeest Arc, Masai Mara 2006" ). As the book progresses, the photos become gradually more stark, until towards the end, the trees are dead, the water gone, the animals are vastly reduced in numbers, until the book closes with the final ambiguous image, of a lone, abandoned ostrich egg on a parched lake bed. "Abandoned Ostrich Egg, Amboseli 2007". In addition the Artist's Edition book, entitled, On this Earth, a Shadow Falls, (Abrams Books/Big Life Editions) was published in 2010, combining the best 90 photos from the first two books, in a larger volume with much superior printing to the first two books. Across The Ravaged Land: The completion of Nick Brandt’s trilogy: “On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across The Ravaged Land.” Release date, September 3, 2013 (Abrams Books, 2013), documents the disappearing natural world and animals of East Africa. This is the third and final volume of Nick Brandt's work which reveals the darker side of his vision of East Africa’s animal kingdom and the juxtaposition of mankind. The trilogy marks the last decade of a stunning world of the beauty of East Africa’s Serengeti, Marsai Mara, Amboseli, and ends with a dark and well-known unhappy ending. “Across The Ravaged Land” introduces humans in his photography for the first time exhibiting the cost of poachers, killing for profit. One such example is Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011. This photograph features one of the rangers employed by Big Life Foundation, the Foundation that Nick Brandt started in 2010. The ranger holds the tusks of an elephant killed by poachers in the years prior to the Foundation's inception. Brandt captures the trophies in these epic landscapes and the images of perfectly preserved creatures calcified by the salts of the Rift Valley soda lake. In both instances, the creatures appear in an ethereal animated state seemingly posing for their portraits. Big Life Foundation: In September 2010, in urgent response to the escalation of poaching in Africa due to increased demand from the Far East, Nick Brandt founded the non-profit organization called Big Life Foundation, dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems. With one of the most spectacular elephant populations in Africa being rapidly diminished by poachers, the Amboseli ecosystem, which straddles both Kenya and Tanzania, became the Foundation's large-scale pilot project. Headed up in Kenya by renowned conservationist Richard Bonham, multiple fully equipped teams of anti-poaching rangers have been placed in newly built outposts in the critical areas throughout the 2-million-acre (8,100 km2) + area, resulting in a dramatically reduced incidence of killing and poaching of wildlife in the ecosystem. Source: Wikipedia Discover Nick Brandt's Interview about Inherit the Dust
George Mayer
Photographer, designer, artist. member of the Union of Russian Art Photographers. George was born in Nizhny Tagil, Russia in 1985. In 2004 he graduated from the Ural College of Arts and Crafts with honors where he majored in environmental design. Up to 2007 he worked as an interior designer. He participated and became a prize winner of Russian national contests of architecture and design. His works were published in professional books and periodicals for architects and designers by such publishing houses as Tatlin and UniverPress. Since 2008 he has been taking part in well-known international photo contests such as Photog-raphy Masters Cup (USA), The Spider Awards (USA), National Portrait Gallery Awards (UK), Maestro Photo Contest (Russia). In 2011 George Mayer won the Russian photo contest Young Photographers of Russia. The contest projects were exhibited in Kazan, Moscow, at the interna-tional art festival in Marsciano (Italy) and were published in professional editions. In 2011 George was the winner of the photo contest The Spider Awards (USA) where he won Photographer of the Year, Outstanding Achievements in Black-and-White Photography. In 2011 George Mayer arranged his first personal exhibition in FotoliaLAB Gallery (Berlin, Germa-ny). In 2012 he was a finalist of the contest Young Photographers of Russia after which he was admitted to the Union of Russian Art Photographers. In the same year he was nominated for the award in the photo contest Sony World Photography Awards, the exhibition was held in Somerset House (London, UK). In 2015 he participated in the project Perfumer organized by the art center Perinnye Ryady in St. Petersburg (Russia). With his project "Shadows" he won Photographer of the Year at Internation-al Photography Awards. The award ceremony took place in Carnegie Hall (New York, USA). George was nominated for the first prize of IPA and Lucie Awards statuette. In 2017 George won one of the most prestigious world photography contests "Sony World Pho-tography Awards" where the project Light. Shadows. Perfect woman." took the first prize among the professionals in nomination "Portraiture". After winning the project "Light. Shadows. Perfect woman." was published in numerous specialized European editions about photography. The SONY company gave a grant for the project "Libido & Mortido", the portraits from this project were exhibited in Somerset House, London. Along with art photography George Mayer works in commercial and fashion photography. Since 2009 he has been collaborating with internationally recognized modeling agencies and stylists. Thanks to this his works are regularly published in Russian and foreign fashion magazines. Among the companies that have bought photos by George Mayer are Adobe, Atlantic Records, Alfa Romeo, Lalique and others. His photographs can be seen on covers of dozens of music CDs by such popular foreign singers as Chris Brown, "Buller for my Valentine", "Operator". And also one can see photos by George on books by acknowledged Russian and foreign writers and playwrights. Among them are the Nobel Prize winner in literature Mario Vargas Llosa and the famous French writer Bernard Werber. Some photos were also bought by Netflix for the film "Bright" (2017) starring Will Smith and some photos were bought by the MGM Television for the cult-favourite series "Fargo.
David Vasilev
David Vasilev was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria in 1981, where he spent his early years. Ever since he was a little kid, he was always surrounded by photojournalists, his dad being one of them. This had a great impact on his perception of the world, thus photography become a necessary tool for self-expression. After he moved to the United States he begun his extensive journey to find inspiration in the cultural contrasts of North America. To observe is to spend more time looking through the lens than photographing. That is how I catch elusive moments of reality in a single frame. Growing up in a culturally mixed neighborhood in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, defined me as a person and as a photographer. I’ve captured the raw human spirit in people distanced from society—the joy and sadness they feel just by surviving, alongside the simplicity we lack. I follow my instincts without looking back, which has led me to fascinating places. I’ve visited forgotten parts of the United States, time capsules filled with pure instinct and the most archaic traces of human nature still intact. In one excursion I visited the Hutterites—a German-speaking colony located in the prairies of the Dakotas. I felt their sincere hospitality instantly, even when they couldn't understand why I was there to begin with or what photography even was. They maintained a humble existence that I wanted to preserve on film. With time, they got used to me being there, and my presence was gradually ignored. Only then did I witness and photograph their essence: the realness of their daily lives, creating a visual memory of this time and place. I will never forget the children. One day a girl with curious eyes approached me quietly and asked, "Have you seen the ocean?" David Vasilev
Gordon Parks
United States
1912 | † 2006
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was an American photographer, musician, writer and film director. He is best remembered for his photographic essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft.At the age of twenty-five, Parks was struck by photographs of migrant workers in a magazine and bought his first camera, a Voigtländer Brillant, for $12.50 at a Seattle, Washington, pawnshop. The photography clerks who developed Parks' first roll of film, applauded his work and prompted him to seek a fashion assignment at a women's clothing store in St. Paul, Minnesota, that was owned by Frank Murphy. Those photographs caught the eye of Marva Louis, the elegant wife of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. She encouraged Parks to move to Chicago in 1940, where he began a portrait business and specialized in photographs of society women. Over the next few years, Parks moved from job to job, developing a freelance portrait and fashion photographer sideline. He began to chronicle the city's South Side black ghetto and, in 1941, an exhibition of those photographs won Parks a photography fellowship with the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Working as a trainee under Roy Stryker, Parks created one of his best-known photographs, American Gothic, Washington, D.C.,[5] named after the iconic Grant Wood painting, American Gothic. The photograph shows a black woman, Ella Watson, who worked on the cleaning crew of the FSA building, standing stiffly in front of an American flag hanging on the wall, a broom in one hand and a mop in the background. Parks had been inspired to create the image after encountering racism repeatedly in restaurants and shops in the segregated capitol city.Upon viewing the photograph, Stryker said that it was an indictment of America, and that it could get all of his photographers fired. He urged Parks to keep working with Watson, however, which led to a series of photographs of her daily life. Parks said later that his first image was overdone and not subtle; other commentators have argued that it drew strength from its polemical nature and its duality of victim and survivor, and so has affected far more people than his subsequent pictures of Mrs. Watson.After the FSA disbanded, Parks remained in Washington, D.C. as a correspondent with the Office of War Information. Finally, disgusted with the prejudice he encountered, however, he resigned in 1944. Moving to Harlem, Parks became a freelance fashion photographer for Vogue. He later followed Stryker to the Standard Oil Photography Project in New Jersey, which assigned photographers to take pictures of small towns and industrial centers. The most striking work by Parks during that period included, Dinner Time at Mr. Hercules Brown's Home, Somerville, Maine (1944); Grease Plant Worker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1946); Car Loaded with Furniture on Highway (1945); and Ferry Commuters, Staten Island, N.Y. (1946). Parks renewed his search for photography jobs in the fashion world. Despite racist attitudes of the day, the Vogue editor, Alexander Liberman, hired him to shoot a collection of evening gowns. Parks photographed fashion for Vogue for the next few years and he developed the distinctive style of photographing his models in motion rather than poised. During this time, he published his first two books, Flash Photography (1947) and Camera Portraits: Techniques and Principles of Documentary Portraiture (1948).A 1948 photographic essay on a young Harlem gang leader won Parks a staff job as a photographer and writer with Life magazine. For twenty years, Parks produced photographs on subjects including fashion, sports, Broadway, poverty, and racial segregation, as well as portraits of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Muhammad Ali, and Barbra Streisand. He became "one of the most provocative and celebrated photojournalists in the United States."Personal life:Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Sarah (née Ross) and Jackson Parks. He was the last child born to them. His father was a farmer who grew corn, beets, turnips, potatoes, collard greens, and tomatoes. They also had a few ducks, chickens, and hogs. He attended a segregated elementary school. The town was too small to afford a separate high school that would facilitate segregation of the secondary school, but blacks were not allowed to play sports or attend school social activities,[17] and they were discouraged from developing any aspirations for higher education. Parks related in a documentary on his life that his teacher told him that his desire to go to college would be a waste of money. When Parks was eleven years old, three white boys threw him into the Marmaton River, knowing he couldn't swim. He had the presence of mind to duck underwater so they wouldn't see him make it to land. His mother died when he was fourteen. He spent his last night at the family home sleeping beside his mother's coffin, seeking not only solace, but a way to face his own fear of death. At this time, he left home, being sent to live with other relatives. That situation ended with Parks being turned out onto the street to fend for himself. In 1929, he briefly worked in a gentlemen's club, the Minnesota Club. There he not only observed the trappings of success, but was able to read many books from the club library.[20] When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 brought an end to the club, he jumped a train to Chicago, where he managed to land a job in a flophouse.Parks was married and divorced three times. Parks married Sally Alvis in Minneapolis during 1933 and they divorced in 1961. He married Elizabeth Campbell in 1962 and they divorced in 1973. Parks first met Genevieve Young in 1962 when he began writing The Learning Tree. At that time, his publisher assigned her to be his editor. They became romantically involved at a time when they both were divorcing previous mates, and married in 1973. They divorced in 1979. For many years, Parks was romantically involved with Gloria Vanderbilt, the railroad heiress and designer. Their relationship evolved into a deep friendship that endured throughout his lifetime.Parks fathered four children: Gordon, Jr., David, Leslie, and Toni (Parks-Parsons). His oldest son Gordon Parks, Jr., whose talents resembled his father, was killed in a plane crash in 1979 in Kenya, where he had gone to direct a film. Parks has five grandchildren: Alain, Gordon III, Sarah, Campbell, and Satchel. Malcolm X honored Parks when he asked him to be the godfather of his daughter, Qubilah Shabazz. Gordon Parks received more than twenty honorary doctorates in his lifetime.He died of cancer at the age of 93 while living in Manhattan, and is buried in his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Bert Stern
United States
1929 | † 2013
Bertram Stern (October 3, 1929 – June 26, 2013) was a self-taught American commercial photographer. He was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director at Mayfair magazine, where Stern learned how to develop film and make contact sheets, and started taking his own pictures. In 1951, Stern was drafted into the US Army and was sent to Japan and assigned to the photographic department. In the 1960s Stern's heavy use of amphetamines, led to the destruction to his marriage to Balanchine ballerina, Allegra Kent. By the late 1970s Stern returned to the U.S. to photograph portraits and fashion. He was the subject of the 2010 documentary, "Bert Stern: Original Madman," directed by his secret wife, Shannah Laumeister. Ms. Laumeister and Stern never lived together, and Stern had a long standing relationship of 20+ years with Lynette Lavender who was his constant and devoted companion. His first professional assignment was in 1955 for a Madison Avenue advertising agency for Smirnoff vodka. His best known work is arguably The Last Sitting, is a collection of 2,500 photographs taken for Vogue of Marilyn Monroe over a three-day period, six weeks before her death. Stern's book The Last Sitting was published in 1982 and again in 2000. He has photographed Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan (recreating The Last Sitting), among others, in addition to his work for advertising and travel publications.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
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