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Oleksandr Rupeta
Oleksandr Rupeta
Oleksandr Rupeta

Oleksandr Rupeta

Country: Ukraine
Birth: 1981

Oleksandr Rupeta is a documentary photographer from Ukraine working worldwide. He is a member of the Independent Media Trade Union Of Ukraine and the International Federation of Journalists from 2016 and a member of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers and Federation of European Photographers from 2018.

As a news and reportage photographer, Oleksandr carries out short and long-term projects about political, cultural, and social life in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. His works highlight Ukrainian-Russian conflict, Afghan Red Crescent Society, the life of Iranian Jews community, Sufi Community in Northern Cyprus, people with disabilities in Southern African countries, ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan, LGBT community in the Balkans, elephant conservation in Laos, robotics in Japan, etc.

The photos appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Time, Nature, Forbes, National Geographic Traveler and others.

His news photos were chosen numerous times as a photo of the day, a photo of the month and a photo of the year in agencies such as NurPhoto, Zuma Press and GettyImages reportage.

About Someone in your corner

From the middle of the XX century, the tendency of keeping animals as pets has been increased in their number and variety. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, the technological development improved the overall standard of living. Human attitudes towards animals are becoming of increasing importance and less pragmatic. When a man moves away from nature he begins to use animals as compensation for the lost connection. As a result, animals are engaged in social relations with a human. As family members, pets are changing not only their behavior but also the behavior of the owners. They build complex interdependent relationships.

In Ukraine, like the entire post-Soviet space, this tendency has become widespread with gaining independence. Open borders facilitated the transportation of exotic animals and their purchase became quite easy. Keeping unusual animals ceased to be the prerogative of a privileged few. Instead of this came out a problem of the pet owners' ignorance who may have a lack of knowledge of proper exotic pet care.

The idea for the project was to explore the mutuality and relationship of the human-animal bond in the modern world, to see and pay attention to the conditions of their interaction and coexistence.

The project was created in the summer-fall 2019, throughout Ukraine. The primary eligibility criteria for choosing characters was the exclusion of all occasional owners, zoos, circuses and using animals in entertainment spectacles. But everything turned out to be more complicated than expected. Odd owners often saved their pets from death and mostly they showed true love to the pets.

Other characters were chosen from people with a passion for animals. In addition to owning exotic animals as house pets, these people frequently try to link their lives with animals. Some of them organize private or home zoos, some work in pet shops, others try to find work at animal shelters or wildlife sanctuary.

The project turned out wider than I planned but each shot in the series elucidates the special human-animal connection.

Website

rupeta.com

 

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United States
After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. An artist now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera. She has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Center of Fine Art Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Lishui Festival in China, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Wallspace Gallery in Seattle and Santa Barbara. In addition, her work is held in a number of museum collections. Her photographs have been featured in publications including The New Yorker, PDN (cover), the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Eyemazing, Soura, Visura, Fraction, Artworks, Lenswork Extended, Shots, Pozytyw, Incandescant, Square and Silvershotz magazines. amongst others. In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. She also was presented with the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER. In 2014, Aline's photographs were selected for the Critical Mass Top 50, the PDN Photo Annual, and Review Santa Fe. In 2015, she was awarded First Place Portraiture in the 7th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers and again received the Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the 8th Edition. Aline founded and writes the blogzine, Lenscratch, that celebrates a different contemporary photographer each day and offers opportunity for exhibition. She has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, a contributing writer for Diffusion, Don't Take Pictures, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, has written book reviews for photoeye, and has provided the forwards for artist's books by Tom Chambers, Flash Forward 12, Robert Rutoed, Nancy Baron, Meg Griffiths amongst others. Aline has curated and jurored exhibitions for a number of galleries, organizations, and on-line magazines. She was an overall juror in 2012 for Review Santa Fe, a juror for Critical Mass from 2009-2016, a juror and curator for Flash Forward, and is a reviewer at many photo festivals across the United States. Aline is also a founding member of the Six Shooters collective. In the Fall of 2015, the Magenta Foundation released a retrospective monograph of Aline's photographs. She lives and works in Los Angeles and considers her children her greatest achievement. Discover Aline Smithson's Interview Find out more about Self & Others
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.
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