Michael Schnabel’s sophisticated landscapes with quiet mountains, almost unrealistic and abstract, in his series ‘Stille Berge’ and ‘Weisses Land Skizzen’ – capturing the majestic silence of the Alps through mastering the lightest and the darkest verges of tranquility.
Unlikely the typical romantic Alpine Idyll, these panoramas of gigantic bodies can be sensed by contours, lines and shapes blended in such a harmonious way that you can feel the mountain more than you can see it. They are like graphic compositions of the infinite calmness and grandeur, drawn with the silk of the day and the velvet of the night.
Michael Schnabel – Stille Berge
“The night and its silence gives the mountains a sublimity, feeling of raw creation and aloofness that I strived to capture in my work. Exposure times were about an hour; a sharp contrast to the city images which required only a few minutes. Focusing and even framing the image through the ground glass was another issue, as there was precious little to see under the low light conditions… Sometimes it was so dark, that I oriented myself only with the compass… Even at night there are colors in nature; they are important to me, even if they are very subtle.”
Michael Schnabel – Weisses Land Skizzen
“In these raw virgin landscapes I found tranquility, not only at night, but also during the day. This allowed me to work during the day. These locations have a clarity and depth that one can feel. This body of work is a subjective image of these awe inspiring natural spaces where I am – once again – experimenting with the boundaries of photography as they relate to paintings or works on paper which is best noticeable in the original.”
Anup Shah’s series ‘The Mara’ – an intimate portrayal of the essence and wonder of the wild animals world and their fascinating life performance at the stage in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Anup Shah – The Mara
“A few years ago, on the open plains of Maasai Mara, I was in the midst of elephants and within touching distance of a couple of them. I felt a primeval sense of being, a connection to a distant past. I wondered if I could translate that feeling into photographs. I opted for an approach that is immediate, intimate, immersive, inclusive and involving but which also gives a feeling of space. I wanted to impart to the viewer what it feels like – mentally and physically – to be inside the vast and lively landscape of Maasai Mara, being among wild animals…Then, perhaps, the viewer might connect with the Mara and extend sympathy to this natural world”
“As a photographer with a background in design, what I do is to try to intellectualize in my head what is it about what I’m looking at that causing me to take notice of it. It might be a gesture of line, some repetitive series of light and shadow that create some sort of a symmetrical condition. I’m trying to zero in on exactly what that is and eliminate everything else out of the frame, to simplify and to distill it.”
Huntington Witherill – Orchestrating Icons
“I think Edward Weston referred to it as the flame of recognition where you are out in the world and you have this kind of connection with whatever it is that you are photographing that doesn’t happen all the time but it required that you kind of be out there looking all the time in order to catch those moments and it’s not just about a moment in time. It’s actually about a connection between your recognition of whatever it is you are looking at in the particular situation that is occurring at that very moment.
You have to open your mind and let the photographs find you.”
Jean-Michel Fauquet draws with darkness compositions of still lifes, landscapes and portraits as an invitation to a game of mental construction where the shadows echo in a feeling of déjà vu a lost memory back to the dawn of time.
“In the night, when everything disappears, then, everything appears”.
Robert Pufleb and Nadine Schlieper – Alternative Moons
The images are unseen because actually they are not from the Moon, but a metaphor for how we perceive images. They are pancakes.
“Applying them to our moon, we are trying to create some kind of awareness towards interpreting and processing visual information… In the very beginning, the imagery of ‘Alternative Moons’ was a rather accidental discovery. It was one of those rare moments, when one is looking at an everyday object but sees something completely different…. like mysterious moons from an unknown galaxy”.
The photographs are collected in a book along with the recipes.
Flor Garduño’s series ‘Witnesses of Time’ – capturing the spirituality of the Indian cosmos as a unique perception of time where past, present and future blend simultaneously, so that mankind feels the eternity of the universe.
Flor Garduño – Witnesses of Time
The project was realized in the years 1983-1991, recording as witnesses to the secrets of time margins, landscapes, architecture, religious ceremonies and social events in ritual towns in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as portraits of ordinary people and their daily life rhythm and customs.
Central and South America are the places to which the artist’s soul is deeply connected emotionally and culturally, and by compressing the limited with infinite in a single image, she gives life to mystical archetypes and long established traditions as an integral part of the modern world.
“Our vision is mysterious and extraordinary in its capacity to insist that there is always something there… I am most interested in the fundamental rejection of the apparent by photographs, in the idea that pictures hold their meaning in abeyance, the way the unconscious— to a trained and curious mind—is clearly visible in our actions but otherwise elusive. In this sense, even the apparent accidental arrival at meaning in the pictures seems destined, as if I had been after these images without understanding them.”
“This intensive grouping is aimed at inspiring thoughts and feelings of conflict on many levels. The tension between light and dark, boldness and grace, accident and intention, are depicted in a literal reality. In a deeper sense, however, it is my aim to also reference a more universal theme of struggle, as political, social, and, religious conflict effects an ever-widening population on our planet.”
Bill Clark – Front Lines
“Abstract images communicate not so much through the eyes, but with a deeper part of our being. First the brain attempts to assemble the parts of the image and reference them to some piece of reality. Curiosity then takes its turn with, “What is it a picture of?” or “How was this picture taken?” And finally, after failing to find answers, a sense of wonder falls over the viewer as the brain relaxes, and imagination takes charge, reflecting on the emotions that have been stirred by the spontaneous visual eloquence of line, rhythm, and form.
The technique used draws from the other interpretative arts. While taking the photograph, the camera moves with my body in the gestures of dance. The images are similar to a performance, in that while the subject in front of the camera may be the same, there can never be two shots that are identical. There is a sense of poetry as the sweeping lines and forms suggest a metaphor for a range of emotions. And many photographs are similar to other two-dimensional arts, where light is used as the “medium” for detailed drawings, and complex paintings.”
Jeffrey Conley’s series ‘Winter’ – capturing in a meditative simplicity the magic of pure white of snow and the silent frozen beauty of winter.
Jeffrey Conley – Winter
“Having grown up in the northeastern United States, I can vividly remember the childhood feeling of waking up on a Winters’ morning and looking out the window at a magical, snow covered world. I was enthralled with the ethereal qualities of snow: how it defined and transformed objects, reflected light, and how it softened sound. Over the years as a photographer I have continued to be captivated and inspired by the simple, transcendent, yet austere winter landscape… These photographs are the result of my journeys and observations, and have provided an intense personal peace that I hope is felt by others.”
Helene Schmitz’s series ‘Kudzu Project’ – poetic expression of the eerie beauty in the fascinated phenomena of nature that are beyond our grasp. Capturing the magnificent ‘sculptures’ of Kudzu plant, one of the most invasive plant on earth, to question the constant endeavours of humanity to control the balance in nature and the ever-changeable character of the viewpoint on the reality – is it our friend or enemy now?
“I see photography as a way of dealing with time and transience – which is a fundamental theme in my images. The medium of photography also has an interesting connection to these concepts”
Helene Schmitz – Kudzu Project
The series was shot in the summer of 2012 in Georgia and Alabama where the Kudzu plant has already transformed vast areas into apocalyptic landscapes.
Kudzu plant is native to Eastern and Southeastern Asia, but in 1876 it was introduced to the US as a garden novelty in the World’s Fair Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With its beautiful leaves the plant enchanted the hearts of the Americans and was used mainly for decorative purposes. It was not a threat until the 1930s and 1940s when was rebranded as a way for farmers to stop soil erosion in the South — in Alabama, in Georgia and in the Mississippi. As dust storms damaged the prairies, Congress declared war on soil erosion and enlisted kudzu as a primary weapon. Kudzu seedlings were grown in nurseries by the newly created Soil Conservation Service and the farmers were paid high wages to sow topsoil with the invasive vine. However it felt so comfortable in the warm wet climate that quickly spread and conquered the new environment (read the whole article about ‘The True Story of Kudzu, the Vine That Never Truly Ate the South’ in Smithsonian Magazine)