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Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson

Ragnar Axelsson

Country: Iceland
Birth: 1958

For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate.

A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely.

Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction.

Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross.

Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Stephen Wilkes
United States
1957
Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America's most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work. His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated , and many others. Wilkes' early career interpretations of Mainland China, California's Highway One, and impressionistic "Burned Objects" set the tone for a series of career-defining projects that catapulted him to the top of the photographic landscape. In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic study of the island's long abandoned medical wards where immigrants were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video, Wilkes helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. A monograph based on the work, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom, was published in 2006 and was named one of TIME magazine's 5 Best Photography Books of the Year. The work was also featured on NPR and CBS Sunday Morning. In 2000, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States, "America In Detail," a 52-day odyssey that was exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Day to Night , Wilkes' most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of a full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society , was extended to include America's National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary and Bird Migration for the 2018 Year of the Bird. Most recently a new grant was extended for Canadian Iconic Species and Habitats at Risk in collaboration with The Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Day to Night : In the Field with Stephen Wilkes was exhibited at The National Geographic Museum in 2018. Day to Night was published by TASCHEN as a monograph in 2019. Wilkes' work documenting the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy has brought heightened awareness to the realities of global climate change. He was commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography to revisit New Orleans in 2013 after documenting Hurricane Katrina for the World Monuments Fund. And, his images were exhibited with his photographs on Hurricane Sandy in the 2014 Sink or Swim, Designing for a Sea of Change exhibition. Wilkes directorial debut, the documentary film, Jay Myself , world premiered at DOCNYC in November 2018. The film is an in depth look into the world of photographer Jay Maisel and his move out of his 35,000 sq. foot building at 190 Bowery. Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the North American rights and the film opened at Film Forum in New York in July, 2019 Wilkes was a speaker at the TED2016: Dream Conference on his Day to Night series. The talk has over 1.6 million views. In 2017 Wilkes was commissioned by the US Embassy, Ottawa to create a Day to Night photograph of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Despite his intense dedication to personal projects, Wilkes continues to shoot advertising campaigns for the world's leading agencies and corporations, including: Netflix, OppenheimerFunds, SAP, IBM, Capital One, The New Yorker, Johnson & Johnson, DHL, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda. He has a robust following on Instagram of more than 500,000. Wilkes' extensive awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year from Adweek Magazine, Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2004 Lucie Award, TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012, Adobe Breakthrough Photography Award 2012 and Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014. His board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications; Save Ellis Island Board of Directors, on which he served for 5 years; and the Goldring Arts Journalism Board. Wilkes was born in 1957 in New York. He received his BS in photography from Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in business management from the Whitman School of Management in 1980. Wilkes, who lives and maintains his studio in Westport, CT, is represented by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles; Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe and Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach..
Dejan Mijović
Slovenia
1976
Slovenian freelance photography journalist Dejan Mijović, born on 18 September 1976 and based in Ljubljana, is assistant photo editor of the Delo.si web portal. Mijović has been involved in photography for the past 20 years, ever since undertaking studies of graphic technology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering. In 2010, Mijović sustained an injury and was left completely paralysed from the neck down. Through amazing luck, strong willpower and lengthy rehabilitation, and driven by his as yet unfulfilled desire to pursue photography, the tetraplegic was back in the saddle, and has since held several one-man shows and participated in a number of group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. Recently, he has been polishing his photography skills with Klavdij Sluban, a French photographer of Slovenian descent based in Paris. Developing his photographic idiom, Mijović first focused on the wide landscapes of the Caribbean and South America, the poetic Tuscany, the magical Lake Cerknica, and explored hidden gems in his immediate vicinity and further afield. Mijović's great flair for composition and light contrasts renders his portraits of random individuals far more than simply frozen moments in time but, rather, perceptive accounts of his life stories. His black-and-white photographs, a preoccupation of recent years, aim to capture diverse moods of his closest family and long-standing friends also in their most intimate moments. All photos in this project were taken after the injury. About 9 years 9 months "The greatest desire of most couples around the world is to start a family. Unfortunately, this is a big problem in developed countries today, as every sixth couple suffers from infertility. These data also apply to Slovenia. Our story began ten years ago when I became quadriplegic after falling on a slippery ramp which led to the sea and was overgrown with algae. After spinal surgery and a six-month recovery in the Rehabilitation Center Soča, I returned home on crutches. A good year after the accident, my wife and I began to think intensely about starting a family. Due to my medical condition (spastic quadriplegia, also known as spastic tetraplegia), we had to seek medical help. We decided for the infertility clinic in Postojna. This is where our nine-year odyssey began, full of ups and downs, joy, tears, mental distress, depression but most of all, getting to know each other and learning about life. Our relationship was put to the test for the entire period, but we realised time and time again that each painful experience created an even stronger bond between us and we were even more determined to succeed sooner or later. In Postojna, the first three attempts with IVF, better known as in vitro fertilization, were unsuccessful. This was a very painful experience for both of us. Naturally for women this is much more traumatic as all the processes take place in their body. Men can only support them, but in reality we do not experience the whole process as intensely as women do. In one phase, the procedure is also physically extremely painful for women (puncture of follicles or removal of eggs from the ovaries). After the doctor performs the artificial insemination (he usually inserts a five-day-old embryo into the uterus which developed in the laboratory under the watchful eye of an embryologist), a long fourteen-day wait begins before a pregnancy test can be done. When the moment of truth comes and you see a minus instead of a much desired plus, your heart breaks. It seems like a piece of you dies with every negative pregnancy test. The bad news was followed by a depressing break of several months, during which we decided to try our luck at an infertility clinic in Maribor. Each clinic has its own methods. They are basically the same, with minor differences. Despite eight embryo transfers, all attempts were unsuccessful here as well. We were especially crushed after the first pregnancy which unfortunately ended in miscarriage in the initial phase. When, after years of unsuccessful attempts, you finally see the desired plus on a pregnancy test, you instantly forget about all previous painful experiences. All of a sudden you are overwhelmed by positive energy and you come to life again, both emotionally and physically. But as the saying goes, life is not a box of chocolates. Suddenly, the joy was over and a time of great sorrow and crocodile tears came instead. Such events cut into your heart forever. Despite the pain, we did not give up and we tried to move on. In order to forget the past events, full of distress and failures, but also because a symbolic wedding had already been quietly planned all along, we decided to get married unofficially in Thailand. After a few more relaxed months, it was time for action again. But what could we do after having used all the six free procedures (multiple transfers are possible in each procedure, depending on the amount of embryos) provided by our healthcare system? We had no choice but to find an infertility clinic abroad on our own which is, among other things, also a big financial burden. However, which clinic to choose and where? A shorter period of research followed. In the Czech Republic alone, which is a very interesting and quite affordable destination for Slovenian couples, there are about 40 such clinics. We decided for an infertility clinic in Brno. After two more unsuccessful attempts and eight extremely exhausting years, my wife gave up. She simply could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. We started thinking about adoption more and more intensely. However, this procedure also required a lot of energy and research. Above all, the social work center first had to obtain a certificate proving that we were a suitable candidates for adoption. At the same time we had to obtain a psychological assessment from a psychologist. It took more than ten hearings at the social work center and a visit from a social worker at our home to obtain the certificate. We also found out during the procedure that in most countries where adoptions take place, applicants are required to be officially together for at least ten years before they apply for adoption. In addition, they must be officially married. We therefore had to get married officially, this time in Slovenia. With all the papers we obtained and with the help of our acquaintances, a possibility arose to adopt a child in one of the African countries. We were the tenth on the waiting list. It would have taken at least a year before we could adopt a child. However, since we still had some frozen embryos in Brno, we decided to try our luck in Brno for the last time while waiting for the adopted child. We thought that we would only be able to get the desired child through adoption and that we would soon become parents in any case. Finally, the wheel of fortune was on our side. After nine long years our biggest wish came true. My dear wife got pregnant and despite a risky pregnancy and a long nine-month wait, our son was born and we named him Lev (Lion in English). He was born healthy in mid-March, during the coronavirus pandemic. We can proudly say that we are the happiest parents in the world. We wish to share the story with others to encourage all the couples who are facing a similar situation as we did last 9 years." -- Dejan Mijović
Elena Paraskeva
Cyprus
1973
Elena Paraskeva is an international Conceptual Photographer and Art Director. Having lived and worked in the U.S for a decade, she now resides in Cyprus, but often travels for assignments. Elena loves to create surrealistic conceptual work bathed in color and is often inspired by everyday life and popular culture. Achievements: LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019 - Jurors' Pick, Digital Camera Photographer Of The Year 2018, Neutral Density Awards 2018 - Gold Medal in Advertising, Trierenberg Supercircuit 2018 - Gold Medal in Series, Trierenberg Supercircuit 2017 - Gold Medal in Portraiture, Prix De La Photographie, Paris 2018- Silver in Portraiture, Prix De La Photographie, Paris 2017 - Silver in Advertising/Fashion, Prix De La Photographie, Paris 2017- Silver and Bronze in Children Portraiture, Monovisions Photography Awards 2018 - Bronze in Conceptual, American Photography Open 2018 - Shortlisted, International Photography Awards (IPA) 2018 - Honorable Mention, One Eyeland Awards 2017 - Silver in Advertising/Conceptual, Moscow International Photography Awards (MIFA 2017) - Bronze in Portraiture, Chromatic Awards 2017 - Bronze in Fashion/Beauty, Neutral Density Awards 2017 -Bronze in People Category, International Photographer Of The Year (IPOTY 2017) - 3 Honorable Mentions in Portraiture, London International Creative Competition 2017 - Honorable Mention, International Photography Awards (IPA) 2017 - 3 Honorable Mentions, WPPI - Second Place Individual Portrait Division 2017, First Place Individual Portrait Division 2016, FAPA 2017 - Honorable Mentions Conceptual & Portrait Divisions, PDN World In Focus 2016 - Second Place, Neutral Density Awards 2016 - Bronze in Advertising/Conceptual, International Photographer Of The Year 2016 - Honorable Mention, Monochrome Photography Awards 2016 - Honorable Mention Fashion/Beauty Exhibitions: Aperture Foundation, New York City - April 2019, Menier Gallery, London UK - 2018, NEC, Birmingham UK - 2018, Photo Oxford 2017, Oxford UK, Design Center, Linz Austria - 2017, Espace Baurepaire, Paris - 2017, Opus 39 Gallery, Cyprus - 2017, Thalassa Museum, Cyprus - 2017, The Printspace, London UK - 2015 Publications: Photography Masterclass, Digital Camera, Digital Photographer, N-Photo, PDN, Good Light, Economia, Fileleftheros Newspaper, Blurred, Omikron, Volition, Vantage, Icon, Ellements, Elegant, Incredible, LoveBite, La Plus Belle, Surreal
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