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David Gray
David Gray
David Gray
David Gray

David Gray

Country: Canada

David Gray was born and raised in North Carolina and trained at Penland School of Craft and at ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles. David moved to Canada in 1980 to pursue a career as an on-set still photographer for film and television as well as advertising and editorial work. Throughout 47 years in photography, his fine art projects have remained his first love as he continues to refine his vision and exhibit occasionally in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Most recently, his personal work has seen a return to basics, to simple minimalist black & white studies of details in the natural world as far away as Africa and Scotland and as close as the pond in his own backyard. His latest series grew out of a fascination with the reflective, elastic properties of water and with the abstract shapes of reeds, leaves, and lily pads. He works only at dusk, in the fleeting moments before the light disappears and when the lake water is glassy-calm. What has remained constant in all his work is a keen eye for composition, the interplay of light and shadow and a reverence for the finely crafted print.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jodi Champagne
United States
Born in Phoenix Arizona, Jodi Champagne had a passion for drawing from a very young age. While other children drew flowers and smiley faces Jodi´s artistic interest was more in the eyes and character of a person. At the age of 15 Jodi became a mother, so her creative ventures were put on hold while she raised her family and devoted herself to the corporate world of engineering. As her family grew older she found herself becoming the designated photographer and videographer of all their family vacations and outings. One day she realized that she had replaced her pencil and paper with a Canon DSLR camera.Jodi began working as a portrait, wedding, family and sports photographer and quickly discovered her true passion in documentary and street photography. Telling a story, bringing awareness and making a difference with her work is what she strives for. She has traveled to the corners of Myanmar to the corners of downtown Los Angeles to capture humanity with compassion and heart.Jodi´s award winning work has been featured in group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Her photographs have been widely published in books, magazines, and used for editorial and commercial work. Along with a myriad of other honors, Jodi’s work has recently been shown in Sports Illustrated, Corbis Images, Getty Images and is available with National Geographic Creative. Jodi lives and works in Palmdale, California. Interview by Tera Bella Media TBMPN: What best describes your particular style of photography? JC: I have sampled various genres of photography, but ultimately my style and passion is documentary work. I incorporate that style in my imagery when I do street or travel work. I am primarily a “candid” photographer. TBMPN: What equipment do you regularly use? JC: When I shoot documentary or the streets I use a Canon 50D for reach and a 5D Mk3 for close ups. I use various lenses, but for my main “go to” lenses I use a 24-70mm 2.8L and a 70-200mm 2.8L. TBMPN: Who or what do you consider your major influences? JC: I am an “emotional” photographer, and my goal is to evoke emotion in an image or a series of images. With that said, my major influences have been James Nachtwey and Dorothea Lange. Just one of James Nachtwey’s images is so passionately powerful and exudes more than words can. Dorothea Lange is yet another strong influence, as she took her street photography of the depression and poverty and made it her passion to create a difference. TBMPN: Why did you choose photography as your method of expression? JC: From a very young age I painted and drew. I did not like to limit myself and found that my camera gave me a larger canvas. It’s not easy to capture the decisive moment, but with my camera I can show the world what I see. TBMPN: What do you wish to accomplish with your photography? JC: Whether it is in my street, travel or documentary photography I wish to make a difference. I would like to show others certain issues of which they may be unaware. I wish to reveal cultures they might not have a chance to see and the hardship of others of which they may not be aware. TBMPN: What are your current projects? JC: I am currently working on the completion of my “Life Lines” and “Obsessions” series. I do have other projects such as “Waiting on a Friend” and “Silent Cries” which I feel I will always continue to work on as society changes. I also just published my first documentary book, “Courage Under Wraps”, which has taken two years to complete. It’s a photographic documentary of a young boy named Nicholas Zahorcak who has a rare, genetic disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. TBMPN: What are your plans for future projects? JC: I will continue to work with the Epidermolysis Bullosa organizations on some future work in order to raise awareness. Though “Courage Under Wraps” is my first published documentary, it is not my last.In the works is an amazing project called “Diminishing Generations.” This is a documentary of our Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It’s a powerful, emotional and very personal experience, as you will hear stories that have never been told. I will also be collaborating with Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design to help put the book into reality and to give a real voice to the subjects. The book(s) will be published early 2015. I’m also working with an amazing composer, Marco De Bonis, from Italy. We are collaborating on a few projects together. With his music you can feel the emotions which will enhance my work.
Lilian Caruana
United States
"As an immigrant from Italy growing up in New York, I was drawn to observing people and fascinated by differences in cultural behavior. I saw myself always faced with the dilemma of interpreting and reconciling home country with adopted country norms and behavior. Things that were perfectly normal in one culture could be foreign, even problematic, in the other. I developed “antennas” having to constantly read and interpret cultural cues or nuances in interactions with people. This feeling of being an outsider made me want to know more about people, how they lived, what they believed in. Seeking this, anthropology has been a lifelong study that I explore photographically. Photography has served as a passport that allows me entry to worlds normally closed to me. The central theme of my photography is individuals who are outside the mainstream of the larger society. I have photographed immigrants, punks and skinheads, Austrian farmers in the Italian Alps, inner city youth and gang members. My work explores how individuals who, either by choice or because they are seen as “the other,” live outside the dominant culture. My goal is to explore how individuals shape their identity and give voice to their own existence." REBELS: Punks and Skinheads of New York’s East Village "New York’s East Village has always been a haven for strivers, a home for immigrants, artists, poets and later the place where the punk movement was born. In 1984 I moved there and was fascinated by the young people walking around sporting body metal, torn clothing, tatoos, and chains. I photographed them in the streets, in the abandoned buildings they called home and in the clubs like CBGB where they played their hardcore music. These were young people who were looking for a more authentic way to be and did not see a place for themselves in mainstream society. It was exciting to see, in what appeared to be squalor and dissolution, something being born. With grit and ingenuity they took vacant lots filled with rubble and turned them into urban gardens, abandoned buildings into housing, and anger into art, music and community. Despite the drugs, poverty, and violence that battered the East Village at the time, the creative response was there, raw and beautiful, and that is what interested me."
Yuyang Liu
China
1991
Yuyang Liu, b.1991, graduated from Department of History, East China Normal University. He is a freelancer photographer based in Guangzhou, China. When he was a high school student, he started to love taking photos and decided to be a photographer. His images focus on the change and connection of people in the changing society. He had won Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship, Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography and Ian Parry Scholarship. His work was published on TIME, New York Times, the Guardian, NPR and BBC World Service. Awards Ian Parry Scholarship, 2015 Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography (Magnum Foundation/ChinaFile, 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest China, Honorable Mention, 2014 Magnum Foundation: The Human Rights & Photography Fellowship, 2014 ND Scholarship, 3rd Prize, 2014 2013 Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition, Shortlisted, 2013 5th Foundation of OFPiX Photo Agency, Shortlisted, 2012 Exhibitions & Events Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship Program Forum: Inter Art Center and Gallery, Beijing, China, 2014 Home of Youth: High School No.7 Chengdu (multimedia):PhotoChina Original International Photographic Exhibition, Confucius’ Hall, Guiyang, China, 2014 Neither Here Nor There (multimedia): LOOKbetween 2014, Virginia, USA, 2014 Auspicious Things: Lishui International Photography Festival Hand-made Books Workshop, Pump Factory, Lishui, China, 2013 Auspicious Things: 2013 Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition, China Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2013 About the project: At home with mental illness: In 2014 there were reportedly 16 million people in China living with severe mental illness. 80% of patients diagnosed did not receive sufficient or necessary treatment due to China’s flawed health care system. Most people who suffer from these illnesses are forced to live at home with their families or on their own. They are overlooked or often not recognized at all within society, they are invisible. So I decide to film these patients and families who have mental illness such as psychosis or dysgnosia. I’ve been to several towns and villages in Guangdong Province which is the richest region in southern China and filmed some mental illness at home. This project aims to explore the unique relationship between the mentally ill, their families, and society at large.
Erwin Olaf
Netherlands
1959
Erwin Olaf (b. 1959) is an internationally exhibiting artist with works in the collections of museums and galleries around the world. Olaf has received numerous highly prestigious commissions and awards. Olaf emerged onto the international art scene when his series ‘Chessmen’ won the Young European Photographer of the Year award in 1988. This was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, with subsequent solo and group shows at major museums and galleries around the world, including Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Málaga, Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, SECCA in North Carolina and Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2018 the Rijksmuseum has accuired 500 key artworks from his fourty-year oeuvre for their collection. This follows recent official portraits for the Dutch royal family and the design of the new Euro coin for King Willem Alexander. Rutger Pontzen, art critic for Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant said, ‘Controversial or not, Erwin Olaf does give a picture of the Netherlands’.. ‘and that makes him distinctive in Dutch photography’.. ‘In other words, his oeuvre belongs to the cultural heritage’. Starting his career as a photojournalist documenting the gay scene of the 1980s, Olaf increasingly sought and defined his own subjects, often explored in series of works in black and white (Squares, Chessmen and Blacks) and colour (Mind of their Own, Rain, Hope, Grief, Dusk, and Dawn). In recent years he has developed his themes through the form of monumental tableaux, for which he adopts the role of director as well as photographer. Olaf is a master of this craft, a virtuoso in the fine and subtle arts of photography and drama suffused with stillness, contemplation and dreamlike mystery. He is also a true picture maker, showing a close affinity with Old Masters and contemporary artists alike, from Rembrandt to Mapplethorpe, and in that sense his work emphatically bridges the gap between historical and contemporary picture-making. Now internationally renowned, Erwin Olaf’s photography remains an essential part of the Netherlands’ cultural heritage. Taco Dibbits, Rijksmuseum director, says, ‘his work is deeply rooted in the visual traditions of Dutch art and history’ and that consequently Olaf is ‘one of the most important photographers of the final quarter of the 20th century’. From progression to decay, notions of transformation are prevalent throughout Olaf’s work with a multitude of projects proving his fascination for society’s ever-changing demands, its simultaneous development and devolution of our moral compass, and its cultivated sense of anticipation for an almost-achievable contentment. These are the preoccupations that add a fascinating dimension to ‘Skin Deep’ and ‘Tamed and Anger’, but also colour the tension in ‘Separation’ which explores the artist’s relationship with his mother, the controversial ‘Royal Blood’, the pressures of ageing in ‘Mature’ and the self-portrait series ‘I Wish, I Am, I Will Be’. All these projects reveal the friction of an imperfect reality hidden beneath a perfectly curated façade. His most recent work sees the conclusion of the three-part project ‘Shifting Metropolises’ [working title] - a series of artworks looking at internationally renowned cities undergoing seismic change in the modern world. Rather than fabricating a controlled studio environment, this trilogy is the only time the artist has shot on location, retaining his characteristic cinematic associations to produce a body of work wrought with the genuine emotions and neuroses of these places and their inhabitants. A bold approach to his work has earned Olaf a number of commissions from institutions including Louis Vuitton, Vogue, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, for which he designed the 2016 ‘Catwalk’ exhibition, including a promotional video and photographic campaign. He has been awarded Photographer of the Year in the International Colour Awards 2006 and Kunstbeeld magazine’s Dutch Artist of the Year 2007 as well as the Netherlands’ prestigious Johannes Vermeer Prize. Additional international awards include the Infinity Award from the International Centre of Photography, the Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival for Advertising, and a Lucie Award from the United States for his whole oeuvre. In 2013 he won the commission to redesign the Dutch Euro coins, which have been in circulation since 2014. Olaf has screened video work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum at FIT in New York, and at Nuit Blanche in Toronto with a live score commissioned for his series ‘Waiting’. He has also projected his 30 channel video installation ‘L’Éveil' onto the Hôtel de Ville for Nuit Blanche in Paris, curated by Jean de Loisy (Director, Palais de Tokyo). In March 2018 the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo hosted a retrospective of his work. In 2019 Shanghai Center of Photography (SCôP) will host a solo exhibition. The Gemeentemuseum The Hague and The Hague Museum of Photography will host an anniversary solo exhibition for Erwin Olaf his 60th birthday, and to celebrate 40 years of photography. In 2019 there will be a new retrospective monograph released, published by Hannibal, Aperture, Xavier Barral and Prestel. Erwin Olaf (born 1959, Hilversum, the Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: www.erwinolaf.com
Madhur Dhingra
I was born an only child to my parents, in Delhi, into a family torn apart by the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition. Hailing from a affluent background in Pakistan my family was now struggling for survival in the walled city of Delhi totally penniless. Imbedded with deep insecurities and freshly bearing the scars of partition my family was now setting up trade in the walled city dealing in fabric. It is relevant for me to mention this background for these very insecurities I too inherited from my family and they remain with me till date even with the changed times and lifestyle. Things improved gradually financially, with the trade flourishing and much because of the sheer hard work of my grandfather, father& chachas(father's brothers).We settled in Delhi at the start as big joint family. I have grown up hearing tales of how we had started life selling fabric on the pavements of the walled city where we now own several properties. My father could never get over those scars of partition. I too was repeatedly made to realize that ( for better or for worse) even though I was born much later in Delhi. At the age of five I was put to school at St.Xavier's High School, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi. That period was to become the most memorable part of my life. I remember enjoying that period thoroughly. I was always an above average student with a lot of love for extracurricular activities. In school I would love going hiking, camping, swimming & cycling with the boy scouts. From the very start I was naughty and mischievous and was a regular in getting in and out of trouble. After school I went to the Delhi University and took up English Hons as my subject. But nowhere was it in my mind to take up studies serious. Restless from the start I wanted to travel the world. I now join the Merchant Navy at the age of seventeen ,as a deck cadet leaving college in the first year itself. I loved this new experience and was good at learning navigation. Very soon I was promoted to become the navigating officer. For the first year I never came back home at all. I was fulfilling my desire to see the world thoroughly meeting different types of people and experiencing different kinds of cultures . Once while travelling in the city of Jeddah near Mecca during Ramadan I was amazed to see gold slabs and coins being sold on the pavements of the city. On the loudspeaker I then heard the azaan (prayer call) and to my utter astonishment I saw people leave all this gold unattended and enter the nearby mazjid for prayer. Such was the strictness of the prevailing law of the land that anybody caught stealing would have his hand chopped off. Nobody dared to steal. Now quite a different experience was when my ship first entered Thailand. To my utter surprise I saw hoards of women entering my ship. Their numbers must have been no less than a hundred odd. I was on duty and I objected to their entry and was immediately informed by my senior officer to back off as they were entering with the permission of the captain. These were prostitutes who stayed on my ship till the time it stayed there. Nobody was questioning the morality or the ethics. It was gala time for all officers, crew, and the Captain. This was the way of life for most sailors . One horrific incident I remember was when our Burmese radio officer died on the ship due to a liver problem. As we were still some days away from the next port,his body was put in the deep freezer of the ship, the same place where all vegetables and other eatables were stored. Life was going on as if nothing had happened and everybody was eating and drinking as any other day. In a ship life all relationships and friendships are very temporary and the moment a person gets off the ship all these are left behind and forgotten. My bag of experiences was filling up fast. The restlessness and void was again setting in fast. I was getting bored again after about five years of sailing. The novelty had worn off and my inherent nature and upbringing was not that of a sailor in any way .I finally decided to say quits and joined the family business which was waiting for me to return. My dad was overjoyed at this decision of mine. I had no problem settling into this environment as it just happened to be in my blood. I now decide to get married too. I get married and soon after become a father of two adorable children. My age at that period would have been early twenty or so. Time flew by fast earning bread and butter for my family. Nothing was more important than bringing up the kids properly and with a lot of love, something which I was deprived of badly during my childhood days. But now again the same restlessness and void was setting in. I was in a dilemma, now trying out new ways to end this emptiness . I initially tried my hands at learning sculpture at Triveni Kala Sangam Mandi House, but I soon realized that medium was not meant for me. Destiny seemed to have other plans for me and it was during this period that I was gifted a SLR by someone, a Ricoh 500 as I now try to remember. The camera body had a dial with some numbers and also some numbers on the lens of which I had no clue. There were photography classes also being held in Triveni Kala Sangam and I joined these classes with sculpture classes I was already doing. It was here I met my photography teacher and now a lifelong friend Satyasri Ukil for the first time. The Basic course was about learning the techniques of Black & White photography. Satyasri was a dedicated, honest & straightforward teacher. His likes and dislikes purely dealt with the merits of the image and not with the person who had shot the image. I was learning fast with my association with Satyasri at Triveni where he was teaching then . A few of us guys(now renowned photographers), formed a sort of a team under the guidance of Ukil (as we address Satyasri,till date).We were shooting developing and printing the whole day long. Photography was now no longer a hobby but a frenzy. I soon set up my own darkroom in my house and would develop and print negatives all night long. I now start trekking again now with a new SLR in hand going to high altitudes and to very difficult locales. I remember showing my first serious work to Ukil and found him overjoyed. Soon my ambitions grew and I start shooting product for the advertising agencies. My first breakthrough as I clearly remember had come from the agency 0& M whose creative head then was Benoy Mitra, who was one day present at the colour lab called "MultiColour in Jhandewalan, when my portfolio prints were coming out of the lab. He saw my work and quietly handed over his card asking me to see him in the agency. I was overjoyed. This was breakthrough I needed desperately. I soon started getting assignments from most major agencies. But now I started getting bored again shooting mountains product and off and on some fashion. I still needed to express myself in a different way. I decide to work towards my first solo exhibition and I show my landscapes and mountain work to the management of INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE. After seeing my work they agree to sponsor my show fixing the date to 28th November 1998.It is pertinent to mention here that I had then "only" shown them my beautiful landscapes and mountain TP's as I had nothing more at that time in my kitty. I started a new journey, first shooting Ladakh. I found immense peace and tranquility (acting as a balm for my troubled mind )in the monasteries I visited. The filtrations of light from the windows and doors into the dark interiors of the monasteries were indeed very beautiful, tranquil and peaceful. I would sit inside these monasteries for hours at a stretch calming my taut nerves. The prayer gong would echo inside the main hall and seep deep inside my soul. I have always equated light with God and have believed that the darkness of the human soul will ultimately come alive with the play of Light (God) on it. My next visit was to Banaras. Here I found people visiting the Ghats in very colorful attires. A activity on these ancient Ghats like the Dashashwamedh Ghat would start very early in the morning. People from all over India visit Banaras to perform various religious rituals, right from the birth of a child to the cremation of the dead and also later to perform rites for their safe and comfortable passage after death. The quality of light that I found in Banaras was very warm & golden and I wouldn't hesitate a moment to call it heavenly. Now a special reference to the Manikarnika Ghat " the ghat of the dead" is needed. People from all over India come to Kashi (ancient name of Banaras)to cremate their dead at Manikarnika.It is believed by Hindus that a cremation at Manikarnika Ghat gives the human soul an unhindered passage to heaven. Pyres are being lit here continuously without getting extinguished for the last 3000 years. But it was on this BURNING GHAT that my worst nightmare was to begin. I would visit this ghat daily looking at the activities. It was not very long before I realised that whenever a body of a poor person would come in, it would be cremated in a bizarre manner. It required two mun wood at the least (mun is an Indian measure of weight equivalent to 20 kgs) to cover a human body completely for cremation. But the person accompanying the dead body did not have that much money in his pocket. So only that much wood was purchased in which only the torso could be covered by wood. The legs and head were left hanging out and the pyre lit. The head would get burnt in a horrific manner with the head and feet falling away from the torso partially burnt. Then these torn away parts were picked up and put into the pyre or thrown into the Ganges. This whole sequence was so bizarre that I decided to get it on film and show it to the world. This I did manage to photograph secretly even after a lot of objections and hindrances from the people in charge at Manikarnika. Man really "was" meeting his God in Kashi, though in a very bizarre manner. So much for Kashi, our GATEWAY TO HEAVEN.I have posted only a few of those pictures on this website just to avoid unnecessary disturbance to people's minds. In the meantime the Purn Kumbh was being held at Hardwar. This again has become a very interesting event to relate. I was aghast to see completely naked so called Naga "sadhus" storming the streets of Hardwar. It was here I came to understand from the local inhabitants of Hardwar that this whole show was a complete farce. These so called ascetics only stormed the streets during the Khumb. Neither do they live in the remoteness of the Himalayas leading a renounced life, but on the contrary live in air conditioned lavishly furnished akharas in Hardwar itself. They were a weird sight. ( I have shown some photographs of them in my Black & White section). Here I saw them fight pitched battles with the police before the procession. DOWNRIGHT CRIMINALS TO THE VERY CORE, MOST OF THEM. On the day of the procession I got up early in the morning and positioned myself on roof top of a house near the Niranjani Akhara.This was very early in the morning and I was testing the auto focusing of my telephoto 300mm Canon lens when I saw a group of nagas in the akhara compound. I was taken aback when I saw one Naga fiddling with the genitals of the other Naga, "AND I TOOK THE SHOT".(later to appear on the first page of THE INDIAN EXPRESS). There were hutments built for sadhus by the kumbh authorities across the river bed. I would visit those and sit with some real sanyasis and listen to their discourses and hear them sing bhajans. This was a very nice and peaceful experience. The Kumbh ended and my exhibition date also was drawing near. The IIC Gallery wanted to see the final prints that I had decided to display. Nowhere in my final selection were those beautiful landscapes to be seen. Their place had been taken by naked sadhus with Trishuls and burning ghats & corpses. The Gallery management told me in no uncertain terms that they will not allow the show to go on unless these pictures were withdrawn. My dilemma was that my photo essay "Where Man Meets God'" was a story of a man's passage of life, his wanderings, his search for God. This essay was incomplete without these pictures. I told the management that I will show my work as it is and will not remove any picture from the list. Much courage to take this right stand was coming from Satyasri Ukil who stood by me all this while withstanding this massive ONSLOUGHT . IIC Management banned my exhibition. It was during this period that me and Satyasri Ukil were introduced to Suneet Chopra a reputed Art Critic. He later introduced us to Siddharth Tagore, a gallery owner at Art Consult Hauz Khas Village. Siddharth Tagore offered to hold my preview party at his gallery inviting respected artists like B.C.Sanyal, Jatin Das and many other artists of repute. The preview was a major success with all these stalwarts in their respective art fields giving their nod to my exhibition. Mr.Khushwant Singh the famous and a very respected writer too came up with an article on me in his column "Malice Towards One And All .Now IIC started shifting its stance and a compromise was reached. "That the images will be allowed to display but only facing towards the Gallery wall, whoever who wanted to see them could do so at his own discretion". Almost everybody saw those images.. Many reputed people visited the exhibition, some of them I mention in my TESTIMONIAL column. Eight major newspapers wrote elaborately on this exhibition. There was a TV interview also held by a channel also. The exhibition was a huge success on the whole. I am now planning another exhibition with a different theme and gearing up to hold another show in Milan. Life for me as a photographer continues...
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