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Richard Murai
Richard Murai
Richard Murai

Richard Murai

Country: United States
Birth: 1952

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes." Marcel Proust, 1923, La Prisonierre

The world's sacred sites are visually rich and historically significant and provide sanctuary for spiritual reflection and creative exploration and discovery. They're striking archeological sites but first and foremost, they serve as vital and revered centers of pilgrimage, prayer and meditation. These images are excerpts of my visits to these sacred spaces and are evidence of an ongoing journey that examines intense spiritual devotion and religious fervor, past and present, within unique and distinctive cultures. They are multi-dimensional and compelling for both the photographer and the viewer and document golden ages of past millennia and cultures seeking to reconcile ancient traditions with conflicting modern values. Devotees seek serenity and escape from centuries of conquest and political upheaval, or the effects of poverty, global climate change and modernization.

As we confront a perplexing, irrational and precarious world situation ongoing geo-political unrest and violence has caused fractious dissension and a difficult emotional time for all. Reluctance to accept diverse cultural, political, religious attitudes both here and abroad adds to the fear, cynicism and confusion. Becoming sensitive to unfamiliar cultures can quell much of this anxiety and may encourage tolerance and compassion.

After transitioning from thirty-five rewarding years in photographic education, Richard lives in Monterey, CA, and continues to passionately pursue his creative artmaking. His ongoing fascination with world religion and culture has generated repeated visits to locations within India, Asia, South America, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

His work has been exhibited widely, has garnered awards from All About Photo, Center for Photographic Art, Spider Awards, and Travel Photographer of the Year, and have been featured in respected publications including B&W Magazine, Silver Shots International, Shots, Photographer's Forum and multiple issues of Lenswork print and special editions. His photographs are included in various private and corporate collections and is represented by the Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jeff Wall
Canada
1946
Jeffrey "Jeff" Wall, OC, RSA is a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene since the early-1970s. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop. Wall received his MA from the University of British Columbia in 1970, with a thesis titled, Berlin Dada and the Notion of Context. That same year, Wall stopped making art. With his wife, Jeannette, a native of England whom he had met as a student in Vancouver, and their two young sons, he moved to London to do postgraduate work at the Courtauld Institute from 1970–73, where he studied with Manet expert T.J. Clark. Wall was assistant professor at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1974–75), associate professor at Simon Fraser University (1976–87), taught for many years at the University of British Columbia and lectured at European Graduate School. He has published essays on Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Roy Arden, Ken Lum, Stephan Balkenhol, On Kawara, and other contemporary artists. In 2002, Wall was awarded the Hasselblad Award. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Jeff Wall was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2007. In March 2008, Wall was awarded the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement, British Columbia's annual award for the visual arts. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Eadweard Muybridge
United Kingdom
1830 | † 1904
Eadweard James Muybridge was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and in motion-picture projection. He adopted the name Eadweard Muybridge, believing it to be the original Anglo-Saxon form of his name. He immigrated to the United States as a young man but remained obscure until 1868, when his large photographs of Yosemite Valley, California, made him world famous. Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-action photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography. In his earlier years in San Francisco, Muybridge had become known for his landscape photography, particularly of the Yosemite Valley. He also photographed the Tlingit people in Alaska, and was commissioned by the United States Army to photograph the Modoc War in 1873. In 1874 he shot and killed Major Harry Larkyns, his wife's lover, and was acquitted in a jury trial on the grounds of justifiable homicide.[2] He travelled for more than a year in Central America on a photographic expedition in 1875. In the 1880s, Muybridge entered a very productive period at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, producing over 100,000 images of animals and humans in motion, capturing what the human eye could not distinguish as separate movements. He spent much of his later years giving public lectures and demonstrations of his photography and early motion picture sequences. He also edited and published compilations of his work, which greatly influenced visual artists and the developing fields of scientific and industrial photography. Source: Wikipedia
Henri Cartier-Bresson
France
1908 | † 2004
Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return). In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, '"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday. Source: Magnum Photos His technique: Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "[i]mpolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image. Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing." He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as 'my only superstition' as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv." Source: Wikipedia
Erik Hijweege
The Netherlands
1963
Erik Hijweege (1963) is fascinated with the overwhelming power of nature. He started chasing big weather and tornadoes in 2006. During his first years of stormchasing Hijweege chose an alter ego for this body of work in the making. Kevin Erskine a farmer from Valentine Nebraska was born. This resulted for Erskine (a.k.a Hijweege) in his first international solo show in New York and the Supercell book. Sequel to Supercell are his Sublime Nature series focusing on the beauty of nature that is grand and dangerous. Following his 19th century inspired longing for remote places and distant shores he travels the world working on his long-term Uncharted and waterfalls projects. Capturing landscapes on tintype and using old copper lenses, he shows us the world as seen through the eyes of early explorers. The multiple threats of our natural surroundings triggered Hijweege to start a second line in his work focusing on endangered species. Based on the Red List of the IUCN he photographed 23 endangered animals preserved in ice. Being a fragile subject matter Hijweege used the 19th century wetplate collodion process to capture these frozen animals on ambrotype. His Endangered series was exhibited at the Dutch Natural History Museum in Rotterdam raising awareness for this important matter. The Endangered book was published in 2014. In succession of this series Hijweege is currently working on 'New Habitat'. This series is about relocating endangered species to safer grounds. New Habitat is exhibited in the Dutch Natural History Museum during the first three months of 2020.
Maroesjka Lavigne
Maroesjka Lavigne (b.1989, Belgium) gained her Masters in Photography at Ghent University in the summer of 2012. Her work has been shown internationally at the Foam Talent exhibition in Amsterdam, The Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Galerie Hug in Paris and Museum Saint Guislain in Gent, Belgium, among others. She self-published a book called ‘ísland’ in 2012 that sold out. In 2014 she published a postcard version of this book. In 2015 she made a commissioned work ‘Not seeing is a Flower’ in collaboration with the Flanders centre in Osaka. This was published in the catalog called Facing Japan. Her latest project 'Land of Nothingness' is made in Namibia and exhibited in the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. She was selected for the Talent Call at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) Netherlands 2012 and was the winner of the Emerging Talent competition of Lensculture in 2014 with the series ‘You are More than beautiful‘. In 2015 she won the Harry Penningsprijs in Eindhoven,Netherlands and in 2016 she won 1st place in the Landscape Category at the Sony World Photography Awards. She is currently living and working in Ghent, Belgium.Source: www.maroesjkalavigne.be Island: "Travelling through Iceland for four months, a country I was unfamiliar with: The light was bright, colours were vivid, and by the end of my trip the sun kept on shining all night long. Snow still held the country in its veil, creating a big white void. This has a way of cleaning up the landscape, the scenery gets more graphic. Wondering how this scene would look like in wintertime, I decided to go back for another month in January. The country turns blue at dusk in wintertime. All colours fade. Cities look like scale models seeking shelter from the weather in the shadow of the mountains.It was my intention to express the dazzling moment, that sometimes, time seems to stop."
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