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Rising Photographers / Y

Svetlin Yosifov
I was born in Bulgaria, and I had the privilege of living in this beautiful country all my life. My employment is in a private sports club, focused on extreme sports, which involves a lot of travelling and keeps my life dynamic and interesting. Apart from this, I love travelling abroad and do this once a year for a period of two months. I always associate these trips with diving in the unknown, meeting new people and experiencing something new. My adventurous spirit is my main drive, the inner flame, that keeps me going! Not a professional freelance photographer. I define myself as a travel-documentary-art photographer. Almost 20 years now photography has been part of my life. My passion is catching street portraits and trying to figure out my object's character.Portrait photography is the most compelling genre for me. The impact of a single photo, comes from the emotion it reflects.My Point of interest - traditions in primal and natural places like India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and more. I consider good photography to be much more that a snapshot or a memory, it is something that tells a story, strong enough to influence the world we live in and raise more awareness. Throughout the years my interviews and photographs have been published in many magazines and websites. Mursi People "Mursi People" is a series of photos that were taken during my visits to Ethiopia and are part of the albums "Ethiopian tribes expedition 2018" and the "Second Ethiopian tribes expedition 2019" The African tribe of Mursi people is isolated in Omo valley - South Ethiopia near the border with Sudan. They are one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa with their lives being a combination of brutal reality and amazing beauty. What was really appealing to me, as a photographer, was to capture and recreate the perplexing nature of their culture and way of life. Suffering from extreme drought in the past few years has made their life cruel and sometimes dangerous, but has not left a single mark on their traditions. Living among them gave the sense of extreme authenticity and in the same time felt like an illusion. Their faces filled my insatiable passion for capturing pure, untouched souls of a culture on the brink of extinction. Discover Svetlin Yosifov's Interview
Michael Young
United States
Michael Young is a New York-based photographer. His work has been shown internationally in Switzerland and Australia as well as nationally in New York City, Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon and Massachusetts. His work will be on display this coming spring at Fotofestival Lenzburg's "Search for Beauty" open-air show. He was a finalist in Shoot the Frame's Shoot the Face competition this past January and won 2nd place in color photography from the Plymouth Center for the Arts in Massachusetts. His work will be published later this year in the first annual Feature Shoot's The Print Swap book. Additionally, his work has previously been published in Spunk [arts] Magazine, Taking Pictures (Black Box Gallery), and The Literate Image (Plymouth Center for the Arts). Michael has a MA in Teaching from New York University and a BA in Spanish Language & Literatures from Yale University. Artist Statement Starla, Photographer in Her Studio is part of of the series Ashes to Ashes/Dust to Dust that I began eight years ago when I first visited my partner's family, the Groves, in western Kentucky. Since I grew up in the northeast, my upbringing was different from my partner's, and initially I thought that I had little in common with his family. As an outsider I received a lukewarm welcome by many, but I remained intrigued by his family. It was my camera that afforded me an invitation into their lives and helped me build meaningful relationships with his relatives. As the project has continued, not only have I become closer to my partner's family, but I have also been fortunate to document a part of the US that has been ignored by many and deemed "flyover country." The Groves, who have lived in Muhlenberg County for generations, are a microcosm for Muhlenburg county. Most are hardworking coal miners, farmers, nurses, and entrepreneurs looking to better their lives. Sadly, however, some have lost parents to addiction and others have passed due to overdoses. Like many rural towns in the Bible Belt, industry continues to leave the area. While well-paying jobs in the coal industry disappear, miners must travel about an hour to find lucrative work. When Trump announced promises to rollback legislation restricting coal emissions, many in the community grew excited for a return to the prosperous past that has for many years been slipping away. These images show the dichotomy between the current stark realities and flickers of hope and beauty as the county works to rebuild and redefine itself.
Dianne Yudelson
United States
Dianne Yudelson is an award winning photographic artist and master of the New Eclecticism Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Malaysia, France, Thailand, and throughout the USA. Dianne is a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist and a Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner in documentary, as well as street photography. Recent 2013 exhibitions include the Natural History Museum in San Diego California, National Geographic Museum as part of FOTODC, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Boston as part of the Magenta Flash Forward Festival, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Brooklyn as part of Photoville, the 2014 FENCE in Atlanta as part the ACP festival, and The Center for Fine Art Photography as part of 2013 and 2014 Center Forward. Dianne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley.“My fascination with photography began upon the realization that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can also be used as a fine art medium. My style is eclectic. In the fine tradition of eclectic artists of our past, from DaVinci to Duchamp to Calder, I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of expression. By that I mean, neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.Dianne’s 2013-2014 top honors include "Photographer of the Year" titles from three acclaimed international competitions; Black and White Spider Awards, Photography Masters Cup, and World Photography Gala Awards. In 2013 Dianne received: First Place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) in Fine Art and Collage, GOLD overall category PX3, Grand Prize Winner in the New York Center for Photographic Arts, Gold medalist in San Francisco International Exhibition, , First Place Professional Women Photographers, First Place WPGA Black & White Awards, First Place Texas Photographic Society, and advertising honors in the LICC for a third consecutive year.“Throughout my life art has been the one true common thread, the stitches that bind my chapters together. As a photographic artist, I embrace the ability to spotlight my point of view and give a voice to my imagination." All about Dianne Yudelson:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I discovered that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can be used as a fine art medium.AAP: Where did you study photography?I am a self-taught photographer.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In the summer of 2009 I came across an article in the Rangefinder magazine regarding the Black and White Spider Awards. This article reported that the competition was for amateurs as well as professional photographers. I researched online and discovered that the deadline for entries was in 2 days. During the next two days I photographed and created my composite image entitled “Vessels,” and entered it in the competition. The following February, “Vessels” won a nomination in the Abstract category at the 5th Spider Awards. Since 2010 I have considered myself a photographer and I have dedicated myself to photography from that point on, initially creating single images and then moving forward to create whole portfolios of work. Within two years, at the 7th Black and White Spider Awards, I was named Photographer of the Year, Honor of Distinction.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I was about 10 years old when I took my first snapshot. Although I have always enjoyed taking pictures, I remember people commenting, “Why are you wasting film taking a photo of a lollipop discarded in the street or a chair off in the corner?” I do remember the first photograph that elicited the response “Whoa… you could sell this shot!” The comment came from a friend of mine, who was a commercial photographer. I had taken an adventurous trip to England, receiving a camera as a going away gift. Because I was traveling alone, my photos captured my personal vision of the landscape: rowboats near a river’s edge at dawn, silhouettes of statuary at sunset and the delicate curvature of wildflowers as they blew in the autumn breeze. Capturing these photographs sparked my artistic curiosity; consequently, taking the photos became one of the most exciting aspects of my journey abroad.AAP: Do you have a mentor?My mentors are all the eclectic artists who have preceded me. I have honored some of these artists in my series “Fusions” and “Monarchs in Art.” In these two series I have utilized stylistic elements of the artists who were important contributors to their artistic movements, “monarchs” of their medium, while interpreting the subject matter and creating an image truly representative of my own modern artistic style.AAP: What inspires you?I am generally inspired by all things visual, from grand vistas to the reflection of light on a teardrop. Sometimes I am immediately compelled to take a photo and at other times the visual moment triggers a thought process that leads to the creation of a photo or photo series. Every now and then, as an avid reader, I will come across a pairing of words that peak my interest. For example, I created an image to symbolize a concept I had studied in graduate school, “Synaptic Euphoria.”AAP: How could you describe your style?My style is eclectic. By that I mean I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of artistic expression. As part of this philosophy, I created a new art movement that I call the “New Eclecticism.” Neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.As a teen, I performed in musicals. I remember saying, “I wish I could sing like Barbara Streisand.” My mother pointed out that the world already has a Barbara Streisand. We love Barbara because she is unique. To be unique you must be yourself as the world only has one of you.” From that day forward, I have understood that to be original, you must remain true to yourself and your vision.AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I am a Nikon girl -- camera, lenses and speedlights.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Sometimes yes and other times no. I will say that, when I am in the process of editing or creating images, time seems to disappear; I am in my own world. When I am not shooting or creating, I am thinking about what needs to be taken care of, so that I can get back to my art.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I teach a photography group and I always advise them to keep the elements of composition in mind, photograph what inspires them and, if an idea hits you out of the blue, take a second to notate it for use later. Above all else, allow your images to serve as self-expression.AAP: Do you have an idea or project you would like to share?Recently, I have focused on my nature and wildlife photography. I have always loved birds and will sit in a field, by a stream or in a ditch along the side of a road for an hour or more to capture an elusive species or to wait for that moment of interaction. As a very young girl my fondest memory was sitting on my grandmother’s porch while she showed me tintypes of my great grandmother and other loved ones. Holding these tintypes in my hand and gazing into the eyes of my ancestors while hearing stories of my grandmother’s childhood was an experience I hold dear to my heart. Those tintypes were my first exposure to the art of photography. My series "Antique Aviary" is a melding of my lifelong passion for birds, my wildlife photography and my deep appreciation of the tintype image.AAP: What was your worst memory as a photographer?In April of this year I drove 400 miles to hand deliver my framed image “Great Horned Owl” from my “Antique Aviary” to the SMASHBOX exhibition during MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). Upon exiting my rental car, I took two steps and tripped into a 12inch pothole in the parking lot across the street from the Smashbox Studios in Hollywood and broke my foot.AAP: What is your best memory as a photographer?One day I was taking a drive with my 9 year old son. We were driving down a country road appreciating the tall mustard grass. Suddenly I spotted a 6 foot fence pole that was literally covered with bees. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and grabbed my camera from the trunk as well as a jacket to throw over my head. I told my son to stay in the car and take some photos with his little camera, but not to roll down the window. Bees were flying over my head and around my body to get to the pole. As I attempted to focus on the bees I realized that all these bees were vibrating up and down the pole. In order to get the shot, I was going to have to move in very close. At a couple of feet away I took the photos in my series “A Gathering of Bees.” When I returned to the car my son was a bit distraught. I said "I’m sorry if I took too long" and he said, “But Mommy, you’re allergic to bees. What if they swarmed you? What would I do?” I shall always remember the look on his face when I told him that if they swarmed me, “Take the Shot!”
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