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Valerie Laney
Valerie Laney
Valerie Laney

Valerie Laney

Country: United States
Birth: 1964

Valerie Elizabeth Laney was born in sunny San Diego, California, and was raised in rural North Carolina, where she spent endless summers catching tadpoles and chasing fireflies and exploring the surrounding woods, creeks and tobacco fields. Growing up in and around nature inspired her to spread her wings, and she has spent years exploring and photographing our wondrous planet. Valerie holds a degree in Visual Design from North Carolina State University, College of Design which, when combined with a career as a Graphic Designer, enhances her skill in composition as well as visual story telling. Photography was a natural outcome of her love of nature and her skill as an artist; and it has become her passion to capture images of unique places, diverse landscapes and fascinating cultures.

A love of adventure sends her on photo expeditions to places like Iceland, Madagascar and the steppes of Mongolia, where her photographs capture majestic landscapes, native cultures, wildlife and underwater marine life. Valerie loves sharing her photography and hopes it inspires dreams, travel and memories for her growing audience.

Statement

Photography allows one to capture the world in a way that is unique to the beholder. Photos are visual story telling, but yet, everyone is left to their own interpretation of the story that is being told. So in that way, photography allows both the photographer and the onlooker to take part in the creative process. I compose photos to give a sense of what is happening in the shot: viewers should feel the cold, smell the air, and feel like they can anticipate the moments that followed as if they were present.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Aaron Siskind
United States
1903 | † 1991
Aaron Siskind was born on December 4, 1903 in New York. He was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants and the fifth of six children. After receiving his Bachelor of Social Science degree from the College of the City of New York in 1926, he went on to teach high school English in the New York public school system for 21 years. His first loves were music and poetry, but he took an interest in photography after his 1929 wedding, when he received his first camera as a honeymoon present. He began his career in photography as a documentarian in the New York Photo League in 1932. From 1936 to 1940, he oversaw the League’s Feature Group as they created documentary photo essays of political importance, fueled by a desire for social change.On the invitation of Harry Callahan, Siskind joined the faculty of the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1951, taking over as head of the photography program in 1961, when Callahan left. Siskind and Callahan, famous for their synergy as teachers and photographers, reunited in 1971 when SIskind left the Institute of Design for the Rhode Island School of Design where Callahan then taught. Siskind continued to teach at RISD until his retirement in 1976. He traveled broadly, making multiple trips to Mexico and Italy, including a stint in Rome, funded by his 1966 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.Siskind died at age 87 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Aaron Siskind Centennial Celebration took place in 2003 and 2004, with exhibitions at more than a dozen institutions across the country, each devoted to a different period or theme of his life and work.
Paul Brouns
The Netherlands
I am a Dutch photographing artist that lives and works in Almere (near Amsterdam). I was born in 1967 in a small village in the South of the Netherlands. In 1990 I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg (NL) in painting, drawing and photography. In the 1990's photography was still an analogue process and not having a darkroom of my own, in those early decades I was busy painting, because I wanted to work with colours and that was the most direct way to do this. However after the development of digital photography all of this started to change. By now my camera and the computer have gradually become my main tools for creation. Rhythm, color and geometry have always been important in my work and for this architecture has proven to be an ideal subject. As a photographer I am attracted by the abstract, rhythmic expression of buildings. It is my aim to captivate the viewers by feasts of dancing shadows, sunlit reflections or colour combinations. I hope that through my work they will learn to appreciate and enjoy the visual music that surrounds us. The Music of Architecture My motto "the music of architecture" stands for the artistic desire to communicate the abstract beauty of buildings. In the abstraction I see an important parallel with instrumental music. Terms like rhythm, composition, texture, scale and colour can be used to describe the feeling of my work, but it also can be applied to describe music. I try to visualise the sensation of a building as purely as possible: many images show façades that are completely frontal and fill the entire composition, so the rhythm and shallow depth of the building surface plays the main role. This ongoing series is called "Urban Tapestries". In other works the perspective depth and its converging lines play an important role. A third element is using my photographic elements to create a new reality. What unites these different elements is my desire to express myself through images that are all about the fascination with colour and rhythm.
Ren Hang
Chinese
1987 | † 2017
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. Ren suffered from depression. He posted a series of diary entries titled My depression on his blog, recording the fear, anxiety and internal conflicts he experienced. Ren died by suicide on February 24, 2017 in Beijing. Ren Hang first began taking pictures of his roommates and friends in 2007, shooting them in the nude as all were close and seeking excitement. In an interview, he also admitted: “I usually shoot my friends, because strangers make me nervous.” He arranged his subjects' naked limbs in his photographs. Ren did not consider his work inappropriate: “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context. I don’t intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do.” This may account for his reticence to limit his work to indoor settings. He said there were no preferred places for him to work, as he believed anywhere was beautiful and worthy to be shot, including sparse studios, parks forests, and atop buildings. Ren's photos employ nude groups and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. For example, hands reach down milky thighs, a limp penis flops onto a watermelon and a series of backsides imitate a mountain range. Questioning the purpose of his work, he once stated that his creation was a way to seek fun for both photographer and the photographed. However, once he had reached fame on an international level, he began to think deeply about his work. The British Journal of Photography quoted him as once saying: "I don't want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots... Or they do have sexual genitals but always keep them as some secret treasures. I want to say that our cocks and pussies are not embarrassing at all." Ren also focused on marginalised people in Chinese society with gender identity disorders by 'indeterminating' sex and gender in some of his work: a group of naked bodies stacked together, men wearing silk stockings and wearing lipstick. He denied having a preference in models: “Gender… only matters to me when I’m having sex.” The international quarterly photography journal Aperture used his photo as the cover for its Queer theme. Commentators also see his work, the naked body and the starched penis, as evolving sexual mores and the struggle for creative and sexual freedom in a conservative, tightly controlled society. But Ren Hang also announced "I don't try to get a message across, I don't give my works names, I don't date them. I don’t want to instill them with any vocabulary. I don't like to explain my photos or work as a whole". It has been mentioned that Ren's work is softcore pornography because of the degree of nudity and sex in it, but he also worked with other themes. The most famous was titled My Mum. Although still under a fetishistic atmosphere, posing with usual props in Ren's works like animals and plants, Ren's mother posed as a clothed model, in a light-hearted way to represent her daily life. Ren's photographs have been included in magazines L'Officiel, GQ Style, and Vice. He worked with fashion companies Gucci, Rick Owens, and Loewe. Ren's work is included in Frank Ocean's magazine Boys Don't Cry. Ren Hang is noted to be greatly influenced by Chinese and Asian contemporary art and in particular, Japanese photographer and contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki. Ren Hang mainly worked with a simple point-and-shoot camera. He would direct the models as to how to place their bodies and shoot in quick succession. Genitalia, breasts and anuses were not covered up, but featured, or accentuated with props and close-ups. Colors were rich and high in contrast, increasing visual impact. This, along with the fact all bodies were slim, lithe and relatively hairless, made the impact of his photographs more impressive. His work communicated a raw, stark aesthetic that countered taboos and celebrated sexuality and it was this contemporary form of poeticism in a visual context in which Ren Hang expressed themes of identity, the body, love, loss and death. Nudity is not a theme in art that can be widely accepted by the Chinese older generation. Ren Hang's works are sometimes misinterpreted by the public as pornography. Although some have written that Ren Hang used his photographs to challenge Chinese cultural norms of shame around nudity, he did not believe he was challenging the stereotype and leading a revolution. For him, nudity and sexuality are natural themes which he used in his work. "Nudes are there since always. We were born nude. So talking about revolution, I don't think there's anything to revolutionize. Unless people are born with clothes on, and I want to take their clothes off, then I think this is a revolution. If it was already like that, then it's not a revolution. I just photographed things on their more natural conditions." He said he was not trying to liberate nudity and sexuality since he believed that the Chinese young generation was open-minded and less affected by the old-fashioned cultures. When Ren Hang talked about the question whether the topic of sexuality was still a taboo in China, he said: "I don't think it's related to our times, these are individual cases. Like how to say it, I think it depends on different people, it doesn't really relate to other things. I was not in the whole parents told you that you can only have sex if you get married era. The time after I grow up was already over that period, it was already different like everyone was already more relaxed."Source: Wikipedia Flesh, corpses, souls and bland flashlights, all composite into seconds or milliseconds of lights and shadows, projecting onto the film that never knows how to lie. Focus gathering and the shutter releasing, connecting his unpretentious, rebellious, wild and free perspectives towards the naked human body. The images look so natural, yet fun and unexpected. One soul after another all blossom like a newborn baby, urging to crawl out of his mother’s womb, dying to be redefined. In this era that we live in, being censored by the Chinese government has almost become a stamp of approval for contemporary artists. Ren Hang, a young man with a mature look and tanned skin, hair as short as a Chinese soldiers’, always carrying an irresistibly cute and innocent smile on his cheeks. He is, perhaps, the sole artist and photographer with the most edgy outlook towards the naked human body. Ren Hang continues to stress the fact that he is “boring“. Especially when asked about those basic questions of his inspirational origins and meanings behind the photos, he always just smiles naively, shakes his shoulders and says, “I don’t really know. I never really thought about it.” Perhaps he is such a paver, heading towards the direction of happiness and creative freedom without realizing the pathways he has left behind. You might find him confusing and puzzling, but he has the ambience of such kindness that you would always trust that no evil can come out from him. He is merely a pure form of naked human beings. Source: ITSLIQUID
George Hoyningen-Huene
United States/France
1900 | † 1968
Baron George Hoyningen-Huene was a seminal fashion photographer of the 1920s and 1930s. He was born in Russia to Baltic German and American parents and spent his working life in France, England, and the United States. Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on September 4, 1900, Hoyningen-Huene was the only son of Baron Barthold Theodor Hermann (Theodorevitch) von Hoyningen-Huene (1859-1942), a Baltic nobleman, military officer, and lord of Navesti manor (near Võhma), and his wife, Emily Anne "Nan" Lothrop (1860-1927), a daughter of George Van Ness Lothrop, an American minister to Russia. (The couple was married in Detroit, Michigan, in 1888.) He had two sisters. Helen (died 1976) became a fashion designer in France and the United States, using the name Helen de Huene. Elizabeth (1891-1973), also known as Betty, also became a fashion designer (using the name Mme. Yteb in the 1920s and 1930s) and married, first, Baron Wrangel, and, second, Lt. Col. Charles Norman Buzzard, a British Army officer. During the Russian Revolution, the Hoyningen-Huenes fled to first London, and later Paris. By 1925 George had already worked his way up to chief of photography of the French Vogue. In 1931 he met Horst, the future photographer, who became his lover and frequent model and traveled to England with him that winter. While there, they visited photographer Cecil Beaton, who was working for the British edition of Vogue. In 1931, Horst began his association with Vogue, publishing his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue in November of that year. In 1935 Hoyningen-Huene moved to New York City where he did most of his work for Harper's Bazaar. He published two art books on Greece and Egypt before relocating to Hollywood, where he earned his wedge by shooting glamorous portraits for the film industry. Hoyningen-Huene worked in huge studios and with whatever lighting worked best. Beyond fashion, he was a master portraitist as well from Hollywood stars to other celebrities. He also worked in Hollywood in various capacities in the film industry, working closely with George Cukor, notably as a special visual and color consultant for the 1954 Judy Garland movie A Star Is Born. He served a similar role for the 1957 film Les Girls, which starred Kay Kendall and Mitzi Gaynor, the Sophia Loren film Heller in Pink Tights, and The Chapman Report. In 1952 his cousin Baron Ernst Lyssardt von Hoyningen-Huene, whom he had adopted, married Nancy Oakes, the daughter of the gold mining tycoon Sir Harry Oakes. That union lasted until 1956 and produced one son Baron Alexander von Hoyningen-Huene, also known as Sasha. He died at 68 years of age in Los Angeles. Source: Wikipedia
Hannah Price
United States
1986
Raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, Hannah Price (b. 1986) is a photographic artist and filmmaker primarily interested in documenting relationships, race politics, social perception and misperception. Price is internationally known for her project City of Brotherly Love (2009-2012), a series of photographs of the men who catcalled her on the streets of Philadelphia. In 2014, Price graduated from the Yale School of Art MFA Photography program, receiving the Richard Benson Prize for excellence in photography. Over the past eight years, Price's photos have been displayed in several cities across the United States, with a few residing in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Currently, Ms. Price lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.Source: www.hannahcprice.com Born in Annapolis, Maryland; raised in Fort Collins, Colorado; and now based in Philadelphia, photographer and documentary filmmaker Hannah Price has spent years capturing the nuances of racial identities and societal perceptions. Her work is a critique of the negative and destructive powers of visual representation in determining the realities of black people and other racialized groups. For Price, image-making also offers a strategy of recuperating different ways of relating to other people and the world around us. To date, her projects have included: the internationally-renowned City of Brotherly Love— a visual survey of catcallers she encountered in Philadelphia; Resemblance— a series of portraits of inner-city high schoolers in Rochester New York; Cursed By Night, made in 2012-2013, on the perceived threat of black masculinity; and 2018’s Semaphore, exploring how individuals signal their identities. Price’s photos evince a rare attention to the subjectivities of those she photographs, even as she probes the validity and significance of the social constructs that operate around them. She has previously exhibited in several cities across the United States, with solo shows at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, while several of her photographs reside in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Now, as a 2020 Magnum nominee, Price discusses the political and aesthetic concerns that inform her work, as well as some of the problems and possibilities to be found in using visual communication as a means of fighting racism.Source: Magnum Photos Price moved to Philadelphia in 2009 from Colorado and noticed for the first time that she was getting catcalled. The photographer, who's currently working toward an MFA in photography at Yale, decided to turn the camera on the people who approached her on the Philly streets. This resulted in the series City of Brotherly Love (Philly's nickname). Ambiguity might be one of this project's most prevalent themes. It's been mistakenly referred to as "My Harassers" on some blogs, which Price does not like. Her series doesn't take an aggressive stance on catcalling; it's not meant to incite social action, she says. Rather, it's an observation, a way to react behind the camera lens. Price's portraits leave much to interpretation. Not only do we not know the situations in which she crossed paths with these men, but we also have no idea of their relationship. The photos are framed in a variety of ways; the lighting, composition and even positioning of the subjects themselves vary so much that viewers have plenty of freedom to interpret them.Source: npr
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