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Christian Vizl
Christian Vizl
Christian Vizl

Christian Vizl

Country: Mexico
Birth: 1972

CHRISTIAN VIZL was born in México City and has been a photographer for over three decades. He has won dozens of international professional awards including Wildlife Photographer of the year, International photographer of the year and Sony World Photography awards. He has served as judge in several international underwater photography contests and his images have been published in numerous outlets including National Geographic and Ocean Geographic.

Artist Statement

"Every since I was a kid, as far back as I can remember, I was attracted to the sea. I dreamt about what lay beneath the waves, and how would it look if suddenly all the water vanished, leaving in stasis all the animals and living creatures. In this way, I could walk inside the ocean and see them all, suspended for a moment in time and space.

I have devoted my life to exploring and contemplate the amazing beauty of the ocean and it has been an incredible journey that has brought me a deep feeling of connection with nature, but sadly during my lifetime I have witness the ever-increasing devastation that we humans are creating in this planet. Today the world's Ocean is in grave danger. Overfishing, pollution, plastics, radiation, climate change, acidification and other human pressures threaten the fundamental nature of the ocean and it's animals are being pushed to near extinction. The time to act and reverse our negative impact is now, before it's too late risking loosing everything.

The majority of humans see marine animals merely as tons of food, but I see them as so much more than that. They don't have a voice that we can understand, so the higher purpose of my images is to be a voice of the ocean and for the ocean, hoping that people can get a glimpse of who they really are, beautiful sentient individuals, with feelings and different personalities, with complex behaviors and interesting lives that science is only starting to understand.

I believe Photography is capable of real service to humanity, promoting empathy and initiating change, so my main purpose as a photographer is to create poetic images showing the incredible beauty of these animals knowing they carry the power of changing our perception and spark the love and empathy that we all have inside. If we want to have a future in this planet, we need to understand that our lives are interconnected to all living animals, and our own well being is directly linked to the well being of these animals. As Dr. Sylvia Earl stated, "No blue no green, if the oceans die, we die"

All the images where taken in their natural environment, with great respect to the animals, and for postproduction I only use basic settings in Lightroom."

Photography is all about light, and in my opinion, it is the single most important aspect when it comes to creating appealing, inspiring and touching images. Beyond technical issues, what's most important is how I apply and manipulate the light that's available in order to create pictures with dramatic effect, carrying depths of emotion and using contrast and tonalities as means to emphasize form and structure of the scenery. I focus on the emotional impact of the final shot that will connect on a deeper level with the people that observe these photographs. Just as a poet uses words to create poetry, a photographer uses light to create images. So when I'm underwater taking pictures, one of my goals is to create poetic images through the use of light.

I try to capture sublime moments of the marine environment, the essence of being there, in that experience and in the presence of that particular animal, capturing their splendor and soul. It's sheer beauty and poetry with images that inspire, make us vibrate through the beauty in every corner of the ocean, an epic sight that make us dream of a better world, where we value and care for all expressions of life.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Robert Capa
United States
1913 | † 1954
Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann; October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954) was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist as well as the companion and professional partner of photographer Gerda Taro. He is considered by some to be the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history. Capa fled political repression in Hungary when he was a teenager, moving to Berlin, where he enrolled in college. He witnessed the rise of Hitler, which led him to move to Paris, where he met and began to work with Gerta Pohorylle. Together they worked under the alias Robert Capa and became photojournalists. Though she contributed to much of the early work, she quickly created her own alias 'Gerda Taro' and they began to publish their work separately. He subsequently covered five wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II across Europe, the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and the First Indochina War, with his photos published in major magazines and newspapers. During his career he risked his life numerous times, most dramatically as the only civilian photographer landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He documented the course of World War II in London, North Africa, Italy, and the liberation of Paris. His friends and colleagues included Ernest Hemingway, Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck and director John Huston. In 1947, for his work recording World War II in pictures, U.S. general Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded Capa the Medal of Freedom. That same year, Capa co-founded Magnum Photos in Paris. The organization was the first cooperative agency for worldwide freelance photographers. Hungary has issued a stamp and a gold coin in his honor. Source: Wikipedia On 3 December 1938 Picture Post introduced 'The Greatest War Photographer in the World: Robert Capa' with a spread of 26 photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War. But the 'greatest war photographer' hated war. Born Andre Friedmann to Jewish parents in Budapest in 1913, he studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin. Driven out of the country by the threat of a Nazi regime, he settled in Paris in 1933. He was represented by Alliance Photo and met the journalist and photographer Gerda Taro. Together, they invented the 'famous' American photographer Robert Capa and began to sell his prints under that name. He met Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, and formed friendships with fellow photographers David 'Chim' Seymour and Henri Cartier-Bresson. From 1936 onwards, Capa's coverage of the Spanish Civil War appeared regularly. His picture of a Loyalist soldier who had just been fatally wounded earned him his international reputation and became a powerful symbol of war. After his companion, Gerda Taro, was killed in Spain, Capa travelled to China in 1938 and emigrated to New York a year later. As a correspondent in Europe, he photographed the Second World War, covering the landing of American troops on Omaha beach on D-Day, the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge. In 1947 Capa founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. On 25 May 1954 he was photographing for Life in Thai-Binh, Indochina, when he stepped on a landmine and was killed. The French army awarded him the Croix de Guerre with Palm post-humously. The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award was established in 1955 to reward exceptional professional merit. Source: Magnum Photos
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.
Lenka Klicperová
Czech Republic
1976
Journalist and photographer. She obtained a master's degree at the University of Hradec Králové and immediately after that started working as a journalist. From 2004 to 2018 she was the editor-in-chief of the leading Czech travel magazine Lidé a Země. Since 2018 she has been working as a freelance reporter and photographer focused on war zones. She has worked in a number of African countries, including conflict zones of Democratic Republic of Congo. She visited Afghanistan several times, as well as Somalia, plagued by several decades of war. Since 2014, she has focused on the issue of the war with the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She is the co-author of several documentaries (Tears of the Congo, Latim – the Circumcised, Iraqui Women, Women in the Land of Taliban, Unbroken) and a number of television reports. She has won a number of prizes and nominations in the Czech Press Photo competition - both for photography and video. In 2020 she was included in the prestigious Women Photograph database, she was shortlisted for the International Women In Photo Association Award. She is the co-author of nine books about Africa and about the wars in the Middle East and Nagorno Karabakh. Her work from Syria resulted in two books entitled In Sight of the Islamic State I and In Sight of the Islamic State II, which were co-authored by Markéta Kutilová. Together with Kutilová she also wrote other books on the wars in Syria and Iraq: In the War (2018) and War is My Fate (2020). In 2019, a book called AK47 was published, which depicts the dramatic life of the world-famous Czech war photographer Antonín Kratochvíl. Klicperová wrote the text of the book based on Kratochvíl's narration. In September 2020, war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh. Lenka Klicperová and Markéta Kutilová quickly moved to the center of events. The war in the Caucasus was captured by both reporters in many reports, but also in a book The Last One Sets the Village on Fire (2021). Klicperová cooperates with a number of Czech media. She also lectures at the University of Hradec Králové. Statement Twelve years ago I first came to a war zone, to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My goal was to document the drastic effects of the protracted war on women. The local militias are committing mass rape of women and children; rape is a weapon of war. It was my first encounter with war. I understood that I wanted to bear witness to the injustices of this world, the way they fall on innocent victims who have nothing to do with them. I returned to the Congo several times and started working in Afghanistan. Then the war in Syria and Iraq started. I spent six years traveling to these areas watching and documenting how the Islamic State terrifies the world. And how it is gradually being defeated with the generous contribution of the Syrian Kurds. The city of Kobani, the center of the Kurds, has been indelibly engraved in my heart, defending itself against the enormous superiority of the Islamists. At the cost of high casualties. I have been on the front lines, in refugee camps, documenting the lives of the wives of ISIS fighters and their children. I managed to get in the prison where ISIS fighters who survived the fighting are being held. When the war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh, I knew I had to go there immediately. I followed the war to the end and documented the lives of civilians sentenced to live suddenly in a war zone. I saw their exodus. War zones have thus become a part of my life... Lost War
Artur Nikodem
Austria
1870 | † 1940
Artur Nikodem (1870-1940) was born in Trent, Austria. As a young man, Nikodem studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Milan and Florence. He then served in the Austrian Navy before settling briefly in Paris, where he was strongly influenced by the works of Monet and Cezanne. Awestruck by the ability of pigment to rearrange and restructure life on canvas, Nikodem began his endeavors as a painter. His burgeoning artistic career was delayed by military service during World War I. After the war, Nikodem returned to his home in Innsbruck where he began work as a freelance artist. He agreed to test cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies, privately pursuing this means of artistic expression. The modest size and intimate subject matter of these photographs provides a window into the artist's life and mind. After a series of successful international exhibitions, Nikodem emerged as a spokesman for Tyrolean artists. As Nikodem grew older, the changing political climate resulted in his paintings being outlawed in Germany and part of the collection in Nuremberg was destroyed. Unable to secure a teaching position at the Viennese Academy, Nikodem withdrew from public life and lived in seclusion with his wife, Barbara Hoyer, until his death in 1940. Nikodem's photographs were not exhibited or discussed outside of the studio until after his death. Although he worked as a painter for the bulk of his artistic career, he was also a prolific photographer, documenting the small towns and pastoral beauty of the Austrian countryside as well as the women in his life. Nikodem captures these women, his models and lovers, including Gunda Wiese - who died of tuberculosis - and his wife Barbara Hoyer. These sensual portraits portray the erotic tension between the older artist and his much younger subjects. Artur Nikodem's portraits have invited comparison to the paintings of Egon Schiele and the series of photographs by Alfred Stieglitz of Georgia O'Keefe, similarly characterized by both playful experimentation and somber meditation. Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Jan Grarup
Denmark
1968
Born in Denmark in 1968. In 1991, the year he graduated, Grarup won the Danish Press Photographer of the Year award, a prize he would receive on several further occasions. In 1993, he moved to Berlin for a year, working as a freelance photographer for Danish newspapers and magazines. During his career, Grarup has covered many wars and conflicts around the world including the Gulf War, the Rwandan genocide, the Siege of Sarajevo and the Palestinian uprising against Israel in 2000. His coverage of the conflict between Palestine and Israel gave rise to two series: The Boys of Ramallah, which also earned him the Pictures of the Year International World Understanding Award in 2002, followed by The Boys from Hebron. His book, Shadowland (2006), presents his work during the 12 years he spent in Kashmir, Sierra Leone, Chechnya, Rwanda, Kosovo, Slovakia, Ramallah, Hebron, Iraq, Iran, and Darfur. In the words of Foto8's review, it is "intensely personal, deeply felt, and immaculately composed." His second book, Darfur: A Silent Genocide, was published in 2009. In 2017 he realised the prizewinning bestseller AND THEN THERE WAS SILENCE and he is one of the most hired keynote speakers and lectures for world issues around the word. Jan has won an incredible amount of prizes, but to mention a few he has won 8 World Press Awards, Pictures of the Year International World Understanding Award, UNICEF Children photo of the year award, Visa d'or, Leica Oskar Barnack Award, just to mention a few of the more prestigious ones Per Folkver, Picture Editor in Chief of the Copenhagen daily Politiken, where Grarup has worked, has said of Grarup that "He is concerned about what he is seeing and doing longer stories and returning to the same places." The Country that Drowned
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