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Rising Photographers / R

Joseph Rafferty
United States
1976
Photography has been a life-line of expression in my life. I feel most alive when my ideas materialize to visual imagery. Motivated by passion for social justice, drawn to examples of beauty amongst pain, I use imagery as a visual tapestry, weaving visceral experiences that provoke emotion and encourage empathy for others, despite our differences. I see photography as a voice that has capacity to illuminate injustice, inequality, and can be more powerful than words alone. When I was eight, my mother died. She went on vacation to Hawaii, and returned in a coffin. I was immediately uprooted from my free and love-filled life, and forced to live with my father and step-mother. Raised in this family that silenced individuality, demanded polite compliance, and kept me tethered to their ideals, I did not develop the art of verbal expression. I quickly learned to swallow my truth and hide my pain. Photography became a powerful thread of connection to my emotion and ideas, laced with the harsh realities of this flawed culture, and the ironies within my family's worldview. Photography was an open window in my prison, giving fresh breath to my starving soul, and it became a pivotal foundation in my metamorphosis. It gave the theatre of my mind a stage, creating space for growth and transformation beyond the stifling shell that threatened to encase me. With the money left for me by my mother's community, I was able to purchase the cameras and photography equipment I still use today. In so doing, my work has become my connection to my mother. Her spirit, instrumental in my freedom, has guided me from the pain and anger of my youth, and led me to embrace my potential. Through loving memory of her unconditional support, I have found a peace and purpose in life, grounded in relationships with my wife and children, mindful of certain pitfalls in our culture, and dedicated to the unedited, true expression of my unique experience. My archive, also influenced by my early foundational years among the redwood trees, by my service in the United States Military, and by my education at Art Center College of Design, is non-linear and free, yet technical and pointed. Heavily inspired by Arnold Newman's manipulation of existing light, I capture images with 4x5 large and medium formats, utilizing color neg film. My creative process begins with an idea explored through sketches, further developed through research (literature, current events, locations, and style), materialized through sculpting of props, and executed with purpose in every detail. Each detail becomes a tool in building a landscape of meaning.
Ricardo Reis
Portugal
1981
Why I Photograph As a young person, I needed and had to put out there so many things that were stuck inside me, and very quickly, I realized that I had a different way of seeing the world. I started noticing that even if there were many people looking at the same thing as me, they weren't seeing what I was seeing. Photography became the most realistic representation of my perspective. Photography blends all the art mediums and I am inspired to create amalgamations of the dream world with the real. I love the challenge of being able to put onto paper the ideas and surreal world of my own creation. My Purpose When I create a photograph image, I want to engage in a dialogue-to make the viewer feel something, even if it's a negative reaction. I appreciate the negative reaction, because I understand I've drawn something out in the viewer: an honest reaction is more potent than an indifferent one. I want to be able to convey an inner conversation-an ambience, a vibe- to create curiosity in the viewer for the lives and moments depicted in my images. My Method I prefer to shoot with black and white 35mm film, because I find it's more honest and direct, at least for me. I like the mental exercise of having to prepare the picture in your mind first and do the chain of thoughts necessary to translate the idea into the final work. Color can be distracting and disruptive of the real intent and emotion I am trying to achieve. My favorite camera is the Canon EOS 1 RS film camera; it has plenty of functions which allow me to have more control over the final product. I love to prepare a playlist and just go and take a walk with my camera and put myself in the mood: a limbo between voyeurism and participant. My Path When I started I wanted to be a war photographer, but in my home country of Portugal, it's very difficult to get the connections necessary to achieve that. I was fortunate to get an internship at a daily newspaper in Portugal which led to my work being published in several major newspapers and magazines. I began to work more in fashion photography and was assigned to the fashion weeks that took place in Europe. During the shows, I found that I always preferred the backstage where I had more freedom to do different things, take more risks. Photography has been the driving force through all my creative pursuits. My love of music, music photography and music videos comprise a large part of my work. As a cinematographer/director for album and DVD covers, I work in collaboration with several European photography agencies in Portugal and in the UK. The more artistic side of my work is represented in several countries and in private collections, from Canada, the UK, France, Netherlands, Australia, China, Portugal, and the United States. Currently I am living in Lisbon, but who knows what's next.
Francesco Ridolfi
Francesco Ridolfi is an Italian portrait photographer who usually shoots for advertising and editorial projects. Born and raised in Bologna, Italy, he now splits his time between Brussels, Milan and Bologna, working for different clients and assignments in the editorial and commercial field. Some of his most recent clients includes: Rolling Stone Magazine, Auchan, Louis Vuitton and Tetra Pak. All about Francesco Ridolfi: AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? The photography passion came to me long ago, since I was a child. But maybe I started to realize it could be turned into a profession around the 2006. How long have you been a photographer?Professionally speaking, since 2008. What or who inspires you? Well, maybe it could sounds expected, but for me inspiration is everywhere! I think that the process of developing an idea it's like connecting dots. More dots you have (experiences, visual references, interests,..) more chance to come out with something original and great! How could you describe your style? I'm pretty sure it could be described as clean and precise. And actually it's what I'm looking for in my photos. I prefer to take away instead of add something: less is more for me. Do you have a favorite photograph or series? Speaking of my work, for the efforts done, I surely like the Chess Portraits here presented. But from my previous works, I'm attached to a John Landis' portrait I took a couple of years ago and a series of black and white portraits I took in Cuba Cublanco Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? Actually not so much, I prefer to do as much as possible on camera. The editing process consists mainly in color correction and general cleaning of the photos. Favorite(s) photographer(s)? Erwin Olaf, Martin Schoeller, Richard Avedon. What advice would you give a young photographer? If I had to suggest something to a young or an aspirant photographer, for sure I will advice him of the importance of the profession's business side. It's something you have to take really seriously, if you want to survive out there.What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Think that to be a photographer (and making a living with it) it's enough just take good pictures. An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? Less is more. But also, try to convey an idea through your photos. An idea adds much more than technique and Photoshop. About "Room 322""The airy luminosity of an ethereal space, aseptic and suspended, contrasts with the stolidity of these bodies - less than perfect in their awkward and authentic humanness. Statically present, the hotel room preserves its non-connection to sundry turn-taking occupants: its stillness heightens the tension they feel inside, which rips itself free of these contentless surroundings. Thus, from the bottom of a bathtub, contrasting perceptions emerge: appearance and reality, restlessness holding itself still, past within present; authenticity within fiction."
MD Tanveer Rohan
Bangladesh
1982
Md. Tanveer Hassan Rohan was born and brought up in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. He has an utter passion for photography and photography has been his passion for a very long time. Growing up in Dhaka, he has realized that beauty manifests in many forms. This city is a manifestation of the contrast of nature and urbanization. As a photographer, his essential aim is to capture the moments of life and give them significance by making them static in time. He loves to travel and be in different places, meet new people, and enjoy the experience that photography offers, which is to capture Earth's beautiful and awe-inspiring moments. He also loves to experiment with his photography. He has finished his Basic Photography course From Prism . He has taken part in many National and International Photography contest and till now he has won many national and more than 200 international photography awards, including IPA 2015 (2nd Place in General News Category and 7 Honorable mentions in different categories), MIFA 2015 (1st Place In General News Category and 3 Honorable mentions in different categories), Grand Winner in "Photo for Tolerance +" International Youth Photography Contest 2015. 1st prize in Sony World Photography Awards 2016, National Award ,2nd Prize in Photojournalism category from Xposure International Photography Competition 2016, 9 (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze , 3 Honorable mentions and also 2nd Place in People category) awards from Tokyo International Photography awards 2016. 2 Awards (1st Place in Reportage and 2nd Place in People category) from VIAP 2016, Bulgaria. He has been selected as a best Authors three times in FIAP patronage Photography Contest in France, Czech Republic and Bangladesh. His photographs exhibited in more than 45 countries.He has been awarded AFIAP distinction from Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP) in early 2016, and BEPSS Distinction From The Photographic Society of Singapore (PSS) in November 2016 and PPSA Distinction FromPhotographic Society Of America in December 2016. It is with utmost diligent and inspiration that he is willing to carry on this passion throughout his life.
Esmeralda Ruiz
United States
Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
Jacque Rupp
United States
Jacque Rupp is a humanist photographer residing in Silicon Valley. She picked up her first camera, a Rollei, in her teens, and immediately fell in love with the entire process- but especially how the camera connected her to others. Because she moved extensively as a child, Jacque learned quickly how to walk into new situations and build trust with people. She draws on these early experiences when creating a rapport with her photographic subjects. Jacque was an executive in the technology industry, responsible for recruiting top talent for many years. Interviewing and learning about people's stories fits directly into her style of photography. Jacque goes deep, looking to capture the human spirit by using layers, complexity, and emotion in her work. She received her MBA from Santa Clara University. She is on the Advisory Board for the United Nations Affiliated Film Festival at Stanford University and for the Weston Collective in Carmel. She has exhibited at the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, The Daily Photograph and numerous on-line venues. Statement It's always about the people. Curiosity and connection. It's very personal for me. I'm drawn by intensity, intimacy and authenticity in my subjects. I am curious about different cultures, here and abroad, and search for stories about everyday people in everyday life. I look for a face that is lived in, a spirit I can connect with, a truth that is shared and a story to tell. I am seeking a sense of identity and place. When I engage with my subjects, this moment shared between us is an honor. In my photographs, I strive to show the humanity and universal spirit that binds all of us together. Spirit of India India, and especially its religious spirit, has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during a very vulnerable time in my life, my husband was terminally ill, and I found the calming spirit to be very healing. These images are a collection of my favorites over years. I love the spirit, the orderly chaos and the warmth of its people. As a visual artist, I see and very much appreciate the theatre and cast of characters.
Robert Rutöd
Robert Rutöd was born 1959 in Vienna, Austria. Early pursuit of painting; from 1978 on photography. Works from these years later appeared with some of his absurd texts in the book grayscales. early b&w photographs 1978-1988. Between 1979 and 1993, Robert Rutöd wrote screenplays and directed short films. In the mid-90s, he increasingly devoted himself to the design of books and applications for digital media. In 2004 he returned to photography; since 2009, he presents these images to a wider audience. In his projects, Robert Rutöd investigates the paradox Human with its sometimes tragicomic aspects. In 2009 the photo book Less Is More resulted from that and three years later, the series Right Time Right Place has been finished. For this he received several awards including the New York Photo Award 2012, the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography, and most recently Artist of the Year at Dong Gang International Photo Festival in South Korea. In 2017 he completed his series Fair(y) Tales, retelling an almost ten-year expedition through the burlesque realm of trade fairs and exhibition areas. Rutöd’s photographs have been shown worldwide at numerous photography festivals and exhibitions; his work has been widely published in magazines and on blogs. Robert Rutöd lives and works in Vienna. (Source: Robert Rutöd Website) Right Time Right PlaceBeing at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time! “Right Time Right Place” is a collection of photographs I made in the last five years on my travels through Europe. The images revolve around the question of whether it is possible for a person to be in the right place at the right time. Is the ideal state of space and time something we are awarded or is it a state we have long been living in without being aware of our good fortune? I hope I have not succeeded in answering this question. Nothing fails more pathetically than an artist’s attempt to explain the world and its relationships. Rather, my work leads to the conclusion that the world cannot be explained. Once an exhibition visitor in New York told me that, when viewing my photos, she felt that the protagonists seemed to be kind of disobedient. I really liked that interpretation. "What Robert Rutöd brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens - a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time." (Aline Smithson, from the foreword to the book „Right Time Right Place“) “Right Time Right Place” was awarded the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography at the Photo Annual Awards 2012. A photo from the series won the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. Exclusive Interview with Robert Rutöd:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?At a certain point I can't remember. I guess, at the moment when I was pleased with my photographs.AAP: Where did you study photography?I'm self-taught...AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In total, maybe twenty years, with shorter and a long breaks and also a hiatus for more than ten years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?Tough question, my very first photographs were still largely staged. That reminds me of the corpse of a young man, with countless clothespins on the upper body, or a self-portrait in which I am seen with a pair of shoes on my shoulders.AAP: How could you describe your style?Style is not something that you choose; it happens, to a certain extent, over time. In photography, a signature style is often more difficult to discover, sort of like in painting. A graphologist might interpret my works thusly: "Easy to read, no scrawling, he's going on rapidly and purposefully in problem-solving and asks the right questions at the right moment." I could then add: "Regarding the content, rather puzzling over long distances."AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?One digital camera, one good lens.AAP: What or who inspires you?Since my work is not staged, I'm only inspired when the photographic event unfolds before my eyes, a reverse brainstorming so to speak.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Yes, to edit my own photographs is sometimes a lengthy process. The pictures have to go through some tests to be integrated into an ongoing project. This decision-making is sometimes damn hard to reach; it helps to let a few weeks or even months pass.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Not to listen to any advice...AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?None! Because there is no such thing as error, in fact, and consequently no recipe for success.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?A fair for undertakers and the fashion show taking place there, including a coffin on the stage.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?The cluelessness of so many "experts."AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?I am satisfied so far with my work, as I want to get into the skin of others. Of course there's truly great work that I would like to see in my portfolio, "Royal Harare Golf Club" by Martin Parr for example, one or two pictures by Helen Levitt.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?First the bad news: The publication date of my book "Milky Way" has been moved to next year. Now the good: I'm very happy about the positive echo that my series "Right Time Right Place" caused since its release about a year ago, including my participation in festivals in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Delhi, or recently at the Miami Street Photography Festival. In January 2014, my project will be a solo exhibition to be seen. “eigensinnig“ (stubborn) is the name of the new gallery in Vienna, whose founder Toni Tramezzini, is aiming to show something that is rarely seen in this city: something that's not serial, not conceptual, not staged photography.
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