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Tomáš Neuwirth
Tomáš Neuwirth
Tomáš Neuwirth

Tomáš Neuwirth

Country: Czech Republic
Birth: 1972

Tomáš Neuwirth was born in Czech Republic in 1972. He is a freelance photographer specializing in drone photography. A major milestone in his life was the year 1995, when he began to devote himself to paragliding. As a pilot, he was fascinated by taking pictures of the bird's eye, then still on the 35mm film camera. The following year, he moved to the USA. His stay here after three and half years ended the paragliding incident and with serious injuries of the spine he returned to the Czech Republic. He then spent eight months in a sanatorium, learned not only to walk again, but also met his future wife Gabriela.

Capturing of aerial footage continued to attract him. And with the advent of unmanned systems, new possibilities were opened. His first drone he folded in 2011, it was a kit. However, the desired shots were made by commercially produced drones in the following years.

Today, Tomas is involved in drone and classical photography professionally. By selecting extraordinary places and post-production processing, he is trying to shift drone photography to the next level. From capturing landscapes to a Fine Art expression. He received many awards from international competitions. In 2019 he succeeded to win with in the prestigious contest MIFA - Moscow International Fotography Awards (Nature Photographer of the Year). In the same year, The Independent Photographer Magazine included his image among the TOP 10 Most incredible landscapes from across the planet. And ranked him in the selection Talents of the Year 2018/2019. He was also nominated for a Personality of Czech Photography.

Statement
I generally regard art as a form of self-expression. An opportunity to share own opinion, own perception of the world, with others. Photography has become my means of expression. Its strength is in capturing a given moment - a unique, unrepeatable moment. Everything is different in a second.

I focus mainly on drone photography which, by its very nature, is predestined for landscape, long-distance views, great depth of field etc. From the perspective of the photographer, there are fewer possibilities for artistic expression. Therefore it depends very much on the choice of location and how to capture it. I, therefore, try to find unusual locations - often places that do not seem that interesting on the first impression. However, a bird's eye view gives them a whole new dimension.
 

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Michael Ackerman
Israel/United States
1967
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel. His family moves to New York in 1974. Lives and works in Warsaw. Since his first exhibition, in 1999, Michael Ackerman has made his mark by bringing a new, radical and unique approach. His work on Varanasi, entitled "End Time City," breaks away from all sorts of exoticism or any anecdotal attempt at description, to question time and death with a freedom granted by a distance from the panoramic – whose usage he renewed – to squares or rectangles. In black and white, with permanent risk that led him to explore impossible lighting, he allowed the grainy images to create enigmatic and pregnant visions. Michael Ackerman seeks – and finds – in the world he traverses, reflections of his personal malaise, doubts and anguish. He received the Nadar Award for his book "End Time City" in 1999, and the Infinity Award for Young Photographer by the International Center of Photography in 1998. In 2009, he won the SCAM Roger Pic Award for his series "Departure, Poland". His last book "Half Life" has been published in 2010 by Robert Delpire. In 2014, he collaborated with Vincent Courtois, cellist, and Christian Caujolle, behind the project, in a show called “L'intuition” which proposes a dialogue between photography and music creation. This show was presented, in particular, as part of the festival Banlieues Bleues and for the Rencontres d'Arles 2014.Source: Agence VU Selected Publications 2wice, Abitare, Aperture, Art On Paper, Beaux Arts, Die Zeit, Doubletake, Eyemazing, French Photo, Granta, Harpers, India Magazine, La Humanite, Internazionale, Les Inrockuptibles, Liberation, Le Matin, Le Monde 2, Metropolis, New York Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, Ray Gun, La Repubblica delle Donne, Rolling Stone, Stern and The Village Voice. Awards SCAM Roger Pic Award, 2009. Prix Nadar, End Time City, 1999. Best Documentary of 1999, photo-eye, 1999. Infinity Award, Young Photographer, International Center of Photography, 1998. 2014 L’intuition – A projection in collaboration with musician Vincent Courtois, curated by Christian Caujolle. Performed In la Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, 4 Fevrier Le Lux Scene national de Valence, Festival Banlieues blues, Paris and Rencontres photographiques d’Arles SUSPENSION Noun: Suspension, Verb: suspend: “To cause to stop for a period, hold in abeyance; suspend judgment.” In Michael Ackerman's work, documentary and autobiography conspire with fiction, and all of the above dissolve into hallucination. The particular journeys of his book Half Life encompass New York, Havana, Berlin, Naples, Paris, Warsaw, and Krakow, but the locations aren’t necessarily recognizable at all. Michael has been moving towards this erasure of geographical and other distinctions in his photographs for some time. It hasn’t become dogma - the Smoke photographs shot in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown remain a beautifully regional document, but they document a neighborhood as a particular dream state rather than a set of facts, and the photos could wander easily into his other bodies of work. In all cases, there is surely a trajectory away from the constraints of a traditional documentary mode towards a very different way of getting at the world. Some notes about particular photos in Half Life: A family, seen on a decaying porcelain tombstone portrait - solarized by decades of exposure - is falling apart, as families do, is holding on together, as families do. The shape of their little monument is uncannily like that of the Hotel Centrum on a later page, where such a family, had they existed in the same era, would not have been able to stay. The Centrum, a modern Polish megalith, floats absurdly in the frame, freed from all scale but heavy on the page. A naked man kneeling on a bed; we find him in supplication or some unspecific bondage. He is trapped, caught between stations, and the terrible but accepted scratch lines on the negative make it feel like TV or video, as if the man is seen through some screen, receding. It’s no longer a portrait of a particular person. It seems as if the man has become some vague entity, a sick feeling, a migraine headache, I don’t even know. A man goes up stairs or an escalator and his hand is ridiculously long, maybe like that of Nosferatu in Murnau’s silent film. The stairs begin in Lodz but, according to the next page, pass a landing in Havana. Suspension... A woman, naked, holds her arms against her torso. She looks up, somehow in simultaneous surprise and recognition. I can’t say if her face shows love or sadness or fear, but there’s something inevitable in her expression. It’s strange how she seems so caught in flux, while her shadow, so dark on the wall, is just the opposite, permanent.* * * In the early stages of his building the Half Life book, Michael and I talked about where to put the series of pictures taken from train windows, mostly in deep winter. At one point they were scattered throughout, at other times they fell together in a bloc, but in any case, the body of work, and the book as a whole, started to feel to me like they ran on rails in the snow, and the places and people within them were stops, things seen or felt in passing. They’re encountered, drift away, are longed for, returned to, left behind again. If Michael’s work is sometimes tough, the landscapes remind us back to a balancing delicacy, a faith in beauty. Michael deeply loves the snow trains that cut archaically through Europe, especially through Eastern Europe, especially the overnight trains which he and I share as our transportation of choice. On these you travel but are nowhere for the duration of the trip, floating through whiteness if it’s wintertime. This nothing in which things float is echoed in his prints, though the white is sometimes heavily vignetted, as if darkness wants in. Alternately, the backgrounds can be of total blackness, and then the subject radiates like a candle. But back to the snow trains, which often run through the most ignored and beautiful parts of cities, where commercial facades drop away like forced smiles into debris and frozen mud and warehouses, which then give way to fields. Riding on one of these trains outside of Katowice, Poland en route to Paris, Michael spotted in the distance the warped row of dead train cars seen in the book. Desperate to photograph them, he guessed at their location and eventually returned. He got off at the closest stop, trudged through the snow, and found the trains, but approaching across a frozen field, camera in hand, his legs suddenly plunged through a chasm in the whiteness, a missing manhole cover. In what he referred to as a “rare case of quick thinking,” he stuck out his arms, breaking the fall, and managed to pull himself out. No one knew he was there, and if he’d perished, it would’ve been for the love of trains, and of wreckage, and of course, of pictures. * * * Many in the panel of men at the beginning of Half Life were photographed in bars. Some were found in a bar in Paris where the old and ageless proprietor became one of Michael’s favorite people, not just in the city, but in the world. Her bar was a special refuge, and though she was difficult, she truly took Michael in. This tiny bar remains a constant, a place of return, but many of the regulars he’s met over the years are now gone. For some moments however, they drew, or seemed to draw, terribly close, with alcohol as glue and pictures proof -- but of what… mutual need, eventual isolation, or the pendulum swing between the two… A bar is something like the center of an hourglass: at the top is time disappearing, and at the bottom, time spent. But to those in the place, the regulars, the middle is the only thing apparent and there time has stopped. (An interesting circumstance for others in the time-stopping business, and not just still photographers. The phenomena is beautifully understood in Daumier’s paintings of drinkers or Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son). It is illusory, of course; the people are held in that place where, like the proverbial cartoon character who’s gone off a cliff, they just don’t realize the ground has dropped away beneath their feet. Once again, suspension. Which also has a musical definition: The prolongation of a tone in one chord into the following chord, usually producing a temporary dissonance. This prolongation of tone, an ongoing search, gives the work continuity, as does the dissonance, which can be restlessness or loss. I won’t talk much here about the emotional drive behind the work, or the personal ramifications, but that’s my hesitation, not Michael’s. There’s a picture in Half Life of the photographer and a woman, both with shaved heads, a troubled mirroring, a last strange union. The photograph is a pact: see you now, see you later, so long... In the last few years, such goodbyes have given way to a series of welcomings, explorations of the concrete changes and dream states of immediate family, wife and child. These pictures, deeply caring but by necessity fearless, reverberate with bluntness, warmth, shock, matter of fact erotics, and of course love, which when regarded honestly, includes a steamer trunk of contradictions. So, there is fear mixed in with the fearlessness, the joy includes some trepidation, the innocence is utterly real, but tangled and fleeting. How disappointing it would be if a photographer so open to the wrenching truths of the world would suddenly pull all punches when faced with the most intimate situation of all. How unfortunate it would be, for all of us, if investigations of intimacy were left to the whitewashers and the advertisers, the puritans and the pornographers. And so, in the recent work, new tightropes are stretched and new risks are taken. But in looking back at Michael’s work as a whole, I’m reminded that one of the great challenges artists face is when to pull back from the proverbial edge - those addicted to pushing the envelope sometimes fall into a negative trap which has its own complacency. A kind or subtle or purely beautiful image might actually be the risk that they can’t seem to take. The walking of tightropes has always been integral to Michael’s work, but I don’t see him falling into that dark trap, which is why the work is thorny but never cynical, heavy but also sweet. Beyond all of that, I still don’t understand how the pictures happen, how he gets them. It certainly isn’t about the equipment, the cameras come and go, sometimes literally broken but still pressed into use. I think Michael feels that taking pictures and taking chances should be kindred enterprises. I’ve met few artists less uptight about the technology and intricacies of gear and production, though he does of course become completely intimate with what he needs in order to get at what he feels. Once I heard him suggest in a Q & A that he just doesn’t care about technique, but knowing the time and tortures he’s given over to darkroom work, I thought that was a touch disingenuous. He meant that technique and technology are never the core of the matter, and that he doesn’t like to be precious about them. And he needs accidents; they might reveal something, break something open. Sometimes they might go too far and the image itself is obliterated: again, necessary risk. I’ve seen him photograph without putting the camera to his eye, as if to confirm that what he was after wasn’t primarily even about seeing. (That too is deceptive; with time, some photographers know what the camera is getting, regardless of where it’s held). Maybe I mean that compared to many other photographers, Michael’s work isn’t so concerned with sight itself. If he could have been a writer, painter, or a musician, that might have worked too. In any case, the results speak for themselves, and the results are often kind of insane. Sadly, because of the madness of these photographs and the digital times we’ve entered, people increasingly assume that certain pictures must be computer manipulations. Michael is no purist, but that simply isn’t what is going on here. Do you see how it matters that even if these are accidents of light and the distorting lens, they are things that somehow happened, that were? They come out of the real; however unlikely or impossible, they are measurements - not constructions. They are measurements, but in the end, of the interior as much as of the world. But like I said, Michael’s not a purist, and in his impure searching, he occasionally walks a thin line between accepting pure actuality and giving it a nudge. We argue about it. I don’t know what to make of the picture where someone else’s old portrait of Anna Akhmatova is held up and rephotographed. I guess Michael wanted to invite her into that streetscape, felt she was part of his history or emotional landscape; maybe he just loved her profile and wondered, what the hell, why not? Sometimes the work is funny. The absurdly mismatched nude couple in the book aren’t funny but they are, as is the man who wears a monocle made of smoke. The Coney Island hotdog signs reading ‘Franks’ and the American flag they stutter towards comprise a whimsical tribute to one particular, beloved photographer; first name - Robert. Occasional whimsy aside though, Half Life is a rough ride through damaged places and situations. And what’s it like to be with Michael when he’s photographing such things? Well, it isn’t necessarily comfortable, or easy, or pleasant. Sometimes artists push their work, and their luck along with it. Sometimes Michael just plunges in. I was crossing the street with him on the Lower East side once when a woman suddenly appeared, coming towards us in the intersection. Something in her presence struck us instantly with force -- she might have been beautiful or she might have been mutilated -- we had no time to register anything; but he lunged and got off one picture as I stood by and winced. I doubt she noticed at all, but what if she had? (The picture is in Fiction; it appears to be of a ghost in a miniskirt, perhaps with a black eye.) Such pictures do not come out of discretion, or delicacy, or fair exchange. In many of Michael’s pictures mutual understanding simply may or may not have existed. There is a harshness to this observation; it troubles me, and yet I can say that Michael’s pictures are always, deeply made without judgment, in total acceptance. That in itself is a kind of love. And the subjects obviously extend him enormous trust. (Well... except when they don’t. Walking with Michael on a street in Krakow, he photographed another approaching woman, a middle-aged matron. She yelled angrily at him in Polish; he kept walking but yelled back, in Polish: “You’re beautiful.”) It is probably no accident then that the gesture of the embrace recurs again and again in Michael’s work. Which leads me to what may be my favorite set of pictures that Michael has taken, of the couple on the stairs: To what do we owe this strange and tender record ? And what is the record of? An older man and his young girlfriend collapsed in drunken surrender… or perhaps a father and son broken together on a subway staircase ? Who is holding who up? Was the man once a boxer? If the younger one is in fact a woman, is she his lover? The stairs are at once unyielding and rippling, bending and unbending. This couple, whatever their relationship and circumstance, are attended to then in a series of photographs, equally harsh and gentle, unwrapped over time. But what time is given - minutes, hours, or an unending day or an unending night? You can just about hear the tinny loudspeakers in the background of the train station, and thinking of stations, I am reminded that the 13th station is the descent from the cross. The actual circumstances, the truth of it, the year and the gender, hardly matter, don’t matter at all. At its best, the work speaks past such details, and even beyond photography.
Ted Anderson
United States
I'm a photographer and designer (graphics and exhibitions) living in upstate New York, with a passion for photographing landscapes, interiors, and people. The pared down features in many of these photographs reflect my interest in natural history, and in the passage of time and the remnants of the past in the present. While the photographs were taken in places as diverse as the lakes and beaches in Maine, gardens in England, and the rural hills of central New York state, all of the images reveal my preference for the simplicity and a certain joyfulness that can exist with austerity. Is there a story behind each of these images? Always.Ted Anderson is presented by TBM Photography NetworkTBM Photography Network regularly presents the popular series: "Photographer Spotlight.” In this part of their newsletter and FaceBook page various fellow photographers are interviewed to learn more about what motivates them, what their goals are and what direction they wish to take with their art. In this segment they welcome the talents of photographer Ted Anderson. TBMPN: What best describes your particular style of photography? TA:I am drawn to austerity, simplicity and to capturing beauty in places that might seem lonely to some. I think a lot about the relationship between people and their environments, and sometimes I look for a figure or a remnant of the past in my exterior or interior photographs. I do not put elements together artificially, but try to present images as I find them. Sometimes I allow stories to arise from the moments captured with the camera. TBMPN: What equipment do you regularly use? TA:My main camera of choice is a Nikon D90 with an 18-100mm lens and a 50-200mm lens. When shooting landscapes, I often go with the wide angle settings. I use a small variety of filters that include neutral density and polarizing filters. Any processing is done on a Mac computer, and I work primarily in Photoshop’s Camera Raw and in Silver Efex. TBMPN: Who or what do you consider your major influences? TA:There are many photographers and painters whose work I admire, but right now I’d have to say that the photographs of Brett and Edward Westen, Julia Margaret Cameron and Walker Evans come to mind. I also love the paintings of Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. Visually I am also inspired through music and words that include songs by Bill Callahan, novels by Marilynne Robinson, and the poems by W.S. Merwin. TBMPN: Why did you choose photography as your method of expression? TA:As a kid I loved to draw, and I’ve also composed songs on the guitar for years. Photography, however, is what brings to me the greatest level of creative satisfaction and that sense of connection to others. Just about anyone can take a photograph, but to create an image that might move another person emotionally or intellectually is a challenge that I enjoy. TBMPN: What do you wish to accomplish with your photography? TA:I wish to continue expressing myself both artistically and emotionally and to keep creating images with which people can connect. I recently heard from an old friend, someone I haven’t seen in years, who had requested a print that she’d seen online. That sort of thing does not happen every day, and when it does, it’s quite wonderful. TBMPN: What are your current projects? TA:This past year I have been photographing more portraits, and I’m in the process of setting up a few more portrait sessions. I will be having a solo exhibition in 2016 at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. This exhibition will include landscape and interior images from New York State as well as portraits. In the meantime I am always thinking about new locations to explore. TBMPN: What are your plans for future projects? TA:I’d like to see my photography business expand a bit over the next couple of years. I would like also to take on more portrait and interior photography projects. This next July (2014) I will be in England for two weeks and will have an opportunity for some informal wedding shots in the countryside. I’ll also have the chance to do some street photography in London. I can’t wait!Wish to be considered for Tera Bella Media's next Spotlight interview?Contact: info@tbmpn.comTo view more images: terabellamedia.com
Jelena Jankovic
Serbia
1985
Jelena Janković is fine art photographer from Belgrade, specialized in dance and theater photography. Actively engaged in the documentary, freelance fashion, conceptual and experimental photography. Recipient of significant awards for her photography, such as Grand Prix Balkan Photo Awards 2016, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, Siena International Photo Awards 2017, First Prize of 2017 Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, FIAP plate of Sterijino Pozorje for Theatre Photography... She has exhibited at twenty groups and seven solo exhibitions and has been credited for photography in over 40 theater productions. Her photographs have been published: Rolling Stone (DE), Professional Photographer(USA), ELLE (SRB) Digital SLR Photographer magazine (UK), fotoMAGAZINE (DE), LensCulture, Lürzer's Archive, GEO (DE, ESP), National Geographic (SPA)... She is a member of The Association of Fine Arts Artist and Designers of Serbia. Statement Photography helped me to express myself, through it I study about myself and and about people around me. I create in several fields: Documentary photography is my reflection on the world around me; i use it to educate about the truths that exist. Dance and theatre photography is about expressing my inner emotion; the power and fragility of dance is affecting my most profound and intimate feelings. Fashion is the platform for staging my theatre play; it is the blend of knowledge, imagination, and precision. Conceptual and Experimental photography. photography is the space without borders; it liberates my vision beyond known conventions. The procetc Bird talks about me. I am 32 years old and recently I have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Because of the very poor school system, uneducated teachers that were not able to distinguish dyslexia and me not being able to discover it in time, I have been living my whole life in fear and hiding. Unaware of the problem that I’m living with, frustrated with my inability to work and study normally, I developed various methods with whom I managed to avoid reading in front of my friends and professors. I didn’t knew how to explain that the letters are shaking in front of my eyes while I was reading and that I unconsciously twisted the letters and words that I was writing. I was feeling like a bird locked in a cage. The only safe place that I felt was my art creation; creative expression was my escape. I visited zoological gardens in Belgrade and Amsterdam and photographed locked birds in cages that were representing me and all the others that were living in a similar fear. Afterwards I would draw across the photos combining different techniques like painting and collage, so I can show to the world all the freedoms that exist from the inside. This project was developed as a wish, so people can discuss openly about dyslexia, all the problems that this disease carries, and so we can set ourselves free and stop the process of hiding because of the fear of judgements. The second procet is The chosen ones Inspired by visual effects, I watched a bunch of people that reminded me of the great army. In these glorious visual moments, the lights chose some of them randomly, but some of them chose themselves by taking selfies. Selfie culture started to determine our existence; everybody needs to know where we are or are we doing something. Social media has a huge impact on our views about current issues. Social media has become one of the largest epidemics that affect the social relationship between people. While we are waiting for the approval of others, we miss the opportunity to enjoy the mysterious world around us.
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