26th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

The Kiss

If Fair Day was a family affair, and the Harbour Party was a grown up’s shindig, then The Party was one big sloppy kiss! Much like the ‘Parade Portraits’, The Kiss is all about the people and their moment. And as the title suggests, it’s all about kissing.

Throughout this eight part series, I hope I was able to bring a little love, passion, and fun into your world. I hope this has shown the world what the Sydney Mardi Gras was like, inside and out. And I really hope that we can go out like these guys and share our love with the world.

So no more from me. If we’re gonna use our mouths, then we should use it to kiss someone we love. And for whatever reason if you need inspiration, then look no further! Because don’t these guys look like they are having fun?

JohnMa Kiss 1

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 2

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 3

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 4

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 5

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 6

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 7

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 8

© John Ma

 

JohnMa Kiss 9

© John Ma

This is the end of the official coverage of the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but if you need more you can head here, theres lots more to see!

And until next time… Much love and happiness!

18th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

The Parade Portraits

The passion, pride, and performance of Mardi Gras is encapsulated and personified by its people. In and out of it - watching and playing in it. It is the people that make up the whole thing.

I love photographing humans. The results always astound me. Mardi Gras is my rabbit hole. I won’t ruin this with words. This is all about character, so I’ll let character speak for itself.

JohnMa 01 OldVic

Old Vic © John Ma

 

JohnMa 02 Invaders

Invaders © John Ma

 

JohnMa 03 PomPoms

Pom Poms © John Ma

 

JohnMa 04 BladesOfGlory

Blades of Glory © John Ma

 

JohnMa 05 BangBang

Bang Bang © John Ma

 

JohnMa 06 NoHands

No Hands © John Ma

 

JohnMa 07 Footpath

Footpath © John Ma

 

JohnMa 09 Folks

Folks © John Ma

 

JohnMa 10 Pipes

Pipes © John Ma

 

JohnMa 11 Madame

Madame © John Ma

 

JohnMa 12 Ghosts

Ghosts © John Ma

 

JohnMa 13 Dos

Dos © John Ma

 

JohnMa 14 Gimps

Gimps © John Ma

 

JohnMa 15 Traditions

Traditions © John Ma

 

JohnMa 16 WarPaint

War Paint © John Ma

 

JohnMa 17 Partners

Partners © John Ma

 

JohnMa 18 CrewCut

Crew Cut © John Ma

 

JohnMa 19 Girls

Girls © John Ma

 

JohnMa 20 MardiGras

Mardi Gras © John Ma

 

JohnMa 21 Slip

Slip © John Ma

JohnMa 22 Melodrama

Melodrama © John Ma

 

JohnMa 23 Eve

Eve © John Ma

 

JohnMa 24 78ers

78ers © John Ma

 

JohnMa 25 Pixie

Pixie © John Ma

 

JohnMa 26 Feathers

Feathers © John Ma

 

JohnMa 27 Pink

Pink © John Ma

 

JohnMa 28 Looks

Looks © John Ma

 

JohnMa 29 Pigtails

Pigtails © John Ma

 

JohnMa 30 Umbrella

Umbrella © John Ma

 

JohnMa 31 Shatter

Shatter © John Ma

 

JohnMa 32 Glory

Glory © John Ma

 

JohnMa 33 Sweetness

Sweetness © John Ma

 

JohnMa 34 You

You © John Ma

These portraits represent just a few of the characters from the parade, if you're keen for more, you can check them out here

13th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

Mardi Gras 2015: Before the Parade

JohnMa 01 WaveIt

Wave It © John Ma

This year is my first year back after many years away from the event. I forgot how much I loved Mardi Gras and it reminded me of how much I had missed it.

The day started in the early afternoon. I went to Mr. Crackles to get my fix then headed down Oxford. When I got to Hyde Park, which is where all the floats were getting ready and warming up, everyone was getting into the spirit in the most passionate way!

This is one of the flag bearers. He was happy waving his flag. His happy, big green flag. His simple contentment made me happy and I think it made everyone else around him happier too.

 

JohnMa 02 Sparkles

Sparkles © John Ma

It ain’t no Mardi Gras without sparkles! I didn’t put any on and I still woke up the next day with sparkles in my bed.

 

JohnMa 03 BlownUp

Up © John Ma

Gusts of winds came up Liverpool St, carrying the balloons into my face and the perspective gave me this shot. This is just one of many more that I couldn’t fit them all here so I’ve curated them into an extended series on my Facebook page.

 

JohnMa 04 Victoria

Victoria © John Ma

Opera on Oxford.

 

JohnMa 05 HangOut

Show Off © John Ma

Clearly he was just trying to show off and objectify himself to the public. And clearly it worked.

 

JohnMa 06 But

Angles © John Ma

Drifting through the frenzy of people I felt someone tug on my arm. I turned to find a big toothy smile saying something to me that was drowned out by the music. And before I could ask her, she spun around and posed. Seeing the fun we were having, the girl in the bowler hat jumped into my frame and wanted a piece of the action. I kindly obliged, being the nice person I am.

 

JohnMa 07 Daffodils

Daffodils © John Ma

The Parade hadn’t started. These were just warm up poses.

 

JohnMa 08 Score

Score © John Ma

I think a lot of us can relate to this girl.

 

JohnMa 09 BBall

B-Ball © John Ma

Multi-tasking

 

JohnMa 10 Feast

Feast © John Ma

Gimps don’t just eat. They feast.

 

JohnMa 11 Line

The Line © John Ma

The girl in front of me growled with a heavy Irish accent at the people inside the cubicles to get out. And next to me was a tiny girl wearing a wrestling uniform. Her uncle, I think, was the wrestling club president. Surreal and uncomfortable is the simplest way to put it. 

 

JohnMa 12 DrumAndBags

Drums and Bags © John Ma

Ancient sounds and celtic garbs filled Hyde Park on a Sydney weekend. And kilts are just so cool!

 

JohnMa 13  Droogs

Droogs © John Ma

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well…

 

JohnMa 14  Blush

Blush © John Ma

Kinda sorta made me blush.

 

JohnMa 15 Champagne

Champagne © John Ma

The city can be a fast moving, unblinking, cold hearted bitch. But Mardi Gras turned it into a bubble bath.

 

JohnMa 16 TopCop

Top Cop © John Ma

The top cop completes the final inspection.

 

JohnMa 17 TheBeginning

The Beginning © John Ma

The start of the parade down Oxford Street for the 37th time.

 

JohnMa 18 PotOfGold

Pot of Gold © John Ma

The end of the rainbow is here. Let’s go find that pot of gold.

13th March 2015 Written by Erin Cook Film & Photography

Anne Lynn Sawyer: Seeking Beauty in Nature (and Finding it)

If you’re reading this article right now, there’s a distinct possibility that you’ve got a few creative bones in that body of yours. You’ve made your way to the Warhol’s Children website and clicked on a link that looked a little bit arty. Perhaps you were looking for a bit of inspiration? Or maybe you’re suffering from creative block? Well, read on, dear reader, because Central Coast photographer Anne Lynn Sawyer might be able to help you out.

Anne’s photographs and illustrations are centered on the timeless concept of beauty in nature. Rather than torturing herself by looking inwards for inspiration, Anne prefers to look outwards. She looks outside of herself and outside of her windows in search of material to inspire her art. Nature is her vice and there’s a big wide world to keep her occupied.

Her work is created in the space where her two main interests, art and nature, collide. Anne’s creative practices are so intertwined into her life that she refers to her art as her, “beloved, if not demanding life companion,” before continuing, “we never get bored with each other.” I sat down with Anne to chat about her artworks and the inspiration behind them. It quickly became apparent that she’s just as in love with her ‘demanding life companion’ as she was when they first met…

Erin Cook: Have you always been passionate about creating art or is it something that has developed in recent years?

Anne Lynn Sawyer: The urge to express myself creatively has directed much of what I do for as long as I can remember. As a young child I would draw, colour in pictures, and make all manner of things from what I found around me. I feel truly blessed to have been provided with the sensitivity to see the world around me with creative eyes.

E: How do you view yourself? Are you a photographer, artist, illustrator or perhaps, all of the above?

A: I guess the closest answer to that would be, all of the above, as I draw on facets from a number of disciplines in my work. However, photography has provided me with a tool to amalgamate many of my interests and creative studies.

E: There is an overarching theme of nature throughout your work. Did this occur organically or was it a conscious decision?

A: My passionate love of nature has also formed an enduring part of who I am and has therefore fuelled and provided an infinite source of inspiration for my art creating. I view creative imagery as a powerful tool in the development of awareness for the beauty, diversity and gift of nature and the dire need for humanity’s respect through more sustainable practices.

E: Most of your photographs are instantly recognisable as your own. When creating new works, do you have a set process?

A: The development of a recognisable style for any artist is desirable and actively cultivated as a method to promote and identify your work as your own. However, having said that, I don't consciously follow a process, but merely answer what feels right when I am working. I guess to evaluate my process it would more closely constitute a constantly evolving series of experimentations rather than a ridged discipline. By working in this fashion, I remain fresh, engaged and am always learning throughout the development of new work.

E: How do you get the creative juices flowing when you're stuck in a rut?

A: I guess there are many ways I use to inspire myself to create...I like to go for a walk and just look about me, there is always something interesting out there in the big wide world.

The time of day you choose to photograph can open u a myriad of opportunities for capturing enhanced textural shots as the light is angled strongly in the early morning or as sunset approaches. I go looking for the shadows, which are cast by everything on bright sunny days. Shadows remove the confusing detail and reveal fascinating shapes, which have become altered, often eccentric versions of their creators.

I believe that all of us should view the work of artists and creatives as often as possible; their work is an endless source of inspiration...galleries, street art, craft markets, books, magazines, the internet.

Taking a class in a previously unexplored art form or craft is also a wonderful way of reawakening what lurks deep within the creative Aladdin’s cave that lies in all of us.

E. Do you have any advice for budding young photographers? 


A. Practice truly seeing...learn to look more closely and imagine the potential in everything around you...that which seems insignificant and ordinary may be reinvented by open eyes and an open mind.

Sometimes, the best way to get out of a creative rut is to find out what inspires other creative minds. Anne’s enthusiasm for her art shines through her words, especially when you add nature to the mix. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. Now stop procrastinating and hop to it!

Image: Anne Lynn Sawyer

6th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Conversation

Midnight Masquerades, Harbour Party by Night

JohnMa HarbourParty Night01

Cops are Tops © John Ma

Mr 5.0 was straight up framing dudes.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night02

Pick Up © John Ma

Some were very kind and offered me a ride on their shoulders.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night03

Skyline © John Ma

The view from up here ain’t that bad.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night04

Shine © John Ma

There were stars in attendance too… But they already get enough shine.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night05

Who Is This Girl © John Ma

This girl and her outfit though definitely did not get enough shine.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night06

Glitterland © John Ma

I think they came from Glitterland.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night07

Shoulders © John Ma

The view from there looks pretty decent too.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night08

Queue © John Ma

Take a ticket and head to the back of the queue please.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night09

Snacks © John Ma

Nom nom

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night10

Centre of Attention © John Ma

She really really really wanted me to take a photo of her. Like really.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night11

Lime Light © John Ma

Everyone got a bit that night.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night12

Arm Candy © John Ma

And as it got later, some couples were craving a little alone time.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night13

Blurred © John Ma

I tried to stay lucid for as long as I could, but hey I’m human… And eventually things got blurry.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty Night14

Masquerade © John Ma

And when the masquerade came to an end and the crowd floated toward the exits, I walked past the great big disco ball and still thought it was pretty cool.

6th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Conversation

Summer Kissed, The Harbour Party by Day

JohnMa HarbourParty01

Gatecrashers © John Ma

The harbour view and the ocean breeze was spectacular in the most Australian way. The party kicked off in the early afternoon and went well into the night. But while the sunshine lasted, summer flirted with everyone.

If Fair Day had been a family affair, the Harbour Party was what happened when the kids went to bed. So as the babysitter minded the kids, the grown-ups played dress ups, and even the gatecrashers came in style.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty02

Dame © John Ma

And of course a Mardi Gras party wouldn’t be a party without a dame or two.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty03

Beachy © John Ma

Personally I found the beach chairs to be a godsend. I got to rest my feet while getting some shade, and practiced getting over brain freezes from the vodka mango slushy. 

 

JohnMa HarbourParty04

Disco © John Ma

When my brain unfroze I went back for seconds, then I looked up at a great big disco ball hanging over the Sydney skyline and thought that was one of the coolest things ever.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty05

Dujour © John Ma

Peace and love from DJ Du Jour.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty06

Harbour Party © John Ma

It would have been a good day even if the party ended right there and then. But wait… There’s more!

 

JohnMa HarbourParty07

Beefy © John Ma

The beefy crowds kept rolling in.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty08

Safe © John Ma

Is that bird? Is that a plane? No… It’s a fucking condom.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty09

Passion Gives You Wings © John Ma

After the floating condoms came the butterflies.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty10

Punter © John Ma

And then the shirts disappeared.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty11

Banana Boat © John Ma

For some, the party peaked a little too early.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty12

Smoke on the Water © John Ma

For others, the real party had just started.

 

JohnMa HarbourParty13

Interlude © John Ma

The setting sun felt somewhat like an interlude. The briefest of interludes…

 

JohnMa HarbourParty14

The Horde © John Ma

Since the sweaty restless crowd and inpatient night had waited long enough.

25th February 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Conversation

Pride in the Park, Fair Day

John Ma HelloStranger

Hello Stranger © John Ma

I ventured into Fair Day as a blank canvas. I wanted to experience the event through what I encountered alone, and so I avoided any PR material that was available to me. As I walked onto the grounds of the park I was immediately greeted by characters that only our special Mardi Gras can bring out.

 

John Ma AllYouNeedIsLove

All You Need Is Love © John Ma

It’s heart-warming to see our future generations so colour blind and oblivious to the present divisions of our society. At a time when the adults are arguing amongst themselves because of the walls we’ve built up along the way. These little ones are emerging through the noise and learning about the world by seeing that all you need is love.

 

John Ma UnitedColours

United Colours © John Ma

Not surprisingly there was sass everywhere that day.

 

John Ma SomeDontNeedAStage

Some Don’t Need a Stage © John Ma

See… I told you so.

 

John Ma Diva

Divas © John Ma

A large part of the fabulousness of Mardi Gras comes from the drag queens. The flamboyance and colour of these beautiful ladies are iconic to their image. So when capturing Kara Zmatiq during her performance, I wanted to visualise her in a way that wasn’t dressed by the usual symbols. This black and white image was to me, a way of seeing these talented ladies as a timeless classic.

 

John Ma MonkeySee

Monkey See © John Ma

PDA (public displays of affection) at any Mardi Gras event is never an issue. And if you had an issue with it… Too bad!

 

John Ma Marilyn

Marilyn © John Ma

As I peered through my lens and watched the crowds all day long, seeing face after face glide past my view, this lovely little lady reminded me that sometimes I’m not the only one watching.

 

John Ma Heels

Heels © John Ma

Some girls complain about the pain that their heels give them after a night out… some girls.

 

John Ma Fairday

Fair Day © John Ma

Is there a better feeling than the arms of a loved one holding you close?

 

John Ma DoTheRightThing
Do The Right Thing © John Ma

Not everything was about glamour. Sometimes it’s a case of a round peg in a square hole, and you just have to make it work.

 

John Ma Encore

Encore © John Ma

Fair Day was filled with commotion and jam-packed with acts and performances. But even as the last light of the day started to fade, for some that only meant that it was time for their encore.

 

John Ma GoodbyeStranger

Goodbye Stranger © John Ma

I couldn’t help but smile when just as I was leaving Fair Day, I caught my welcoming party on the other side of the road leaving as well. Still very much in character and with all the exuberance of the day, this lovely lady seemed to remember me and gave me one last hurrah. This frozen goodbye only made me look forward to the next event that leads us just a little bit closer to the final parade.

8th October 2014 Written by Maureen Huang Film & Photography

Confronting, Eye-Catching and Intense: Jamie Dela Rosa's Photos are More Than Just Pretty

Have you ever walked into a room plastered in genitalia and skin? Neither have I. But if you wanted a lower-key version of the intimate imagery above, maybe Jamie’s work will do just the trick. And there’s an added bonus for you, not only will you be able to look at her work in all its glory, they’ll also make you think. YES! I said think. In a world where you’re confronted by thousands of images a day, it wouldn’t hurt to think about what you’re looking at.. once in a while.

Jamie Dela Rosa aims to create photographs that are a concoction of in-your-face images, which make you question your view of gender and power. This Sydney based artist uses the different mediums of photography, collage and illustration to express her beliefs and where better to exhibit her thoughts than through her artworks. “I guess I usually tend to create works that are politically charged: I’m a feminist, I believe in equal rights and people power”.

Although some artists love to ornament their works with written background stories, Jamie lets her photographs speak for themselves. “I don’t like to talk about what my work is (about) as I don’t like to give it all away. It really takes away that magic the audience experiences when they first look at the work or what they get out of it with their own perspective”.

Take a look at ‘Men are men’ for example. Are men really men? No I don’t mean to go as far as to say that men are a completely different species, but are men just confined to being masculine and are women just confined to being feminine? I think that is the question proposed here when looking at the series of photographs.

On the surface, what’s portrayed is a diverse range of men, placed in front a playful floral background. We see the juxtaposition of feminine and masculine characteristics and are left to quietly ponder about the idea of gender representation, and its powerful influence and circulation in the media. Then we go back to the question again, are men really just men? (Well at least that’s the impression it left on me when I saw it exhibited in its grandeur a few months ago).

Not only is Jamie’s work packed with conceptual punch, the process she undergoes when creating her pieces are equally significant. “(Men are men) was my grad show work for my diploma and (with help from a friend – Jasmin Cuenco) we installed a whole wall with the background of the series. The dedication to the individual men and the gay community, the hard work it took to make it happen, the incredible people I met and the feedback on the work made me feel like I was home. That’s why I love what I do. It makes me feel like I’m home.”

We all have trials and tribulations when perfecting our trades, and Jamie isn’t an exception. “Wrapping my head around what I’m trying to say would be the biggest challenge for me and executing it in a way that I’m happy and proud of. Getting started is also a challenge haha, include it with the deadline, busy schedules, etc”.       

So let’s clean up a few cobwebs in ye olde noggin and delve into a pit of gender conundrums. If you like what you see here and you’re in the mood to look at some more wittingly upfront photographs, check out more of Jamie’s work here.

Image: Jamie Dela Rosa

17th September 2014 Written by Erin Cook Arts

Terry Richardson Reinterpreted

What do you get when you cross Terry Richardson with Francis Bacon? Kuinexs. You get Kuinexs.

Kuinexs is a crafty Italian artist who has taken the highly sexualized, borderline pornographic photographs of Terry Richardson and given them the Francis Bacon treatment. Even in their original format, Terry’s photos can strike some as disturbing, partly due to a catalogue of complaints about his professional demeanor. By combining Terry’s pics with the style of Francis Bacon, Kuinexs has created a series of works that are just as gory as they are erotic.

To create the series, titled ‘Photodissolutions’, Kuinexs began with canvases donned in Terry’s ‘TerryWorld’ series, before painting solvents over the printed emulsions to liquefy them. He then painted through the wetness and covered the scantily clad models in thick strokes of red and black gore. These images aren’t for the light-hearted. The models turn into fleshy forms on the verge of decay.

Kuinexs 1

So, how did Kuinexs make the connection between Terry Richardson and Francis Bacon? “Most of Terry’s figures like Bacon’s have a central position in compositions and stand against a uniform unadorned background, wall or empty hotel room,” he said.Eroticism is central for Richardson like it was crucial in Francis Bacon’s; many of Bacon’s subjects and models were his lovers and very close friends, he frequently painted male couples having sexual intercourse. Terry is obsessed with his own image like Bacon was; painting his self portraits over and over again through his life.” Well, when you put it that way, Kuinexs does have a point.

tumblr n4us6gtIvx1s1wpiro1 500

You can’t help but wonder how Terry Richardson feels about all this? He’s yet to comment on Kuinexs’ new project. Terry’s probably just stoked to get some positive publicity.

Images

2nd September 2014 Written by Erin Cook Film & Photography

Life Off The Grid

Ever wanted to drop off the grid and escape the pressures of contemporary society? You’re not alone. Plenty of wayward individuals have escaped the clutches of a 9-5 life and fled to the countryside. Want to know more about the people living this nomadic lifestyle? Well you’re going to have to go to them… because they’re off the grid.

Scrublands1

Between 2010 and 2013, French photographer Anoine Bruy did just that. With his camera in hand, he hitchhiked across Europe without any destination or route in mind. Along the way he went in search of individuals who had traded in city life and retreated into the wilderness. While some had once been seasoned professionals in areas including teaching and engineering, they now spend their days living off the land.

Scrublands2

Bruy’s ‘Scrublands’ series examines the relationship between the people Bruy met and their relationship to privacy, their physical environment and the economic conditions that determine them. Rather than making a political statement, Bruy wanted to capture the magic of an alternative lifestyle. “The people and places depicted in my pictures display various fates which I think should not be seen at a political level, but more importantly, as daily and immediate experiences,” he said. “These are, in some ways, spontaneous responses to the societies these men and women have left behind. This documentary project is an attempt to make a kind of contemporary tale and to give back a little bit of magic to our modern civilization.”

As Bruy discovered, sometimes the best photographs don’t come you. You’ve have to go to them.

Images

29th July 2014 Written by Bushra Khalid Film & Photography

Rosalind Solomon: Beautifully Strange Photography That Captures the Human Spirit

Rosalind Solomon, an American artist, began photographing beautiful and confronting pictures in the late 1960’s. She captures the beauty of being human in her startling black and white images, confronting the raw reality of human struggle and survival. Her comprehensive work spans not only decades but also countries, encompassing the nature of the human experience. 

Solomon’s images resonate within the viewer due to their mysterious and unfathomable nature. Open to interpretation, Solomon’s photography is  controversial in nature, yet devoid of cliché that entraps most nostalgic black and white photography.  

Residing in New York, Rosalind Solomon continues to photograph and dabbles in film. She vividly articulates her version of the world with a sense of immediacy sustained across a broad range of subject matter. 

You can view more of her work here.

27th June 2014 Written by Yael Brender Film & Photography

I Am Not My...

There’s a new photography project making waves across the Internet, and it’s a daring one. Photographer Steve Rosenfield sent out a single-lined survey, asking subjects to complete the sentence, “I am not my _______.” Those sentences became captions in this stunning photography series—a social experiment and beautiful examination of the inhibitions of men and women of all ages.

Rosenfield writes that his project is all about honesty and the refusal to be held to today’s standards. It’s also about fighting ridicule and judgement, and helping everyone understand how important it is to accept others in all their diversity. It’s about keeping an open mind.

The project started in 2010 and covers a broad population of people of all races and ages, with any and all kinds of illnesses and disabilities. Rosenfield encourages each viewer to put themselves in the shoes of the subject and try to feel what they might feel. He wants people to realise something they’ve never noticed before just by empathising with others.

Check it out here

11th June 2014 Written by Bushra Khalid Film & Photography

Travelling The Strangerlands as Part of Corona's "Someplace Else" Campaign: Muxes: A Celebration of Mixed Gender in Mexico

This article is brought to you as part of Corona's "Someplace Else" series: Travelling The Strangerlands with Warhol's Children. You can check out all the pieces here.

Photographer Nicola Okin Fioli travelled across Mexico documenting individuals who identify themselves as mixed gender so he could share his photo series “We Are Princesses In A Land of Machos”.

 These muses, or “muxes” take part in a three day festival called Vela de Las Intrepidas that celebrates the ambiguity of mixed gender identities. This ingenious photo set reveals a culture that is not divided by the usual dichotomy of gender and identity, but instead looks at how the subjects identify themselves.

Frioli, through his enchanting photographs, reclaims the acceptance of mixed gender peoples in pre-Columbian Mexico where cross-dressing Aztec priests and Mayan gods were genderless. 

You can see more of his work here.

28th May 2014 Written by Rebecca Feghali Film & Photography

Capturing the Ordinary, Extraordinarily

Brandon Stanton began his blog, Humans of New York, in 2010 and has since developed into an internet sensation.  Eye-opening and inspiring, his photographs document the everyday and the ordinary in the vast and varied shapes it takes in the lives of his subjects.  

Whether it is what you learned at school today, how you met your wife of forty-five years, or what it was that lead you to leave your family and start a new life, Brandon Stanton never underestimates the power and ferocity of human nature.  His photographs seek to document life as it really is—never for a second demoralising or diminishing that which is most important to the faces of society—each one as interesting and significant as the last.  Using a series of key questions, such as ‘What is your happiest memory?’ or ‘When was the most scared you’ve ever been?’, he gets to know a little bit about every person he photographs. His conversation starters ignite the individual’s hunger for storytelling as well as our own, often forgotten or dismissed in the busy twenty-first century.  The quotes and stories that accompany the images offer a wealth of depth and an invitation into the world of ‘the humans of New York’.  This, it soon becomes clear, is a world that is unique and individual to them, though somehow ceaselessly relevant to the millions that sign in to see them. 

Remarkably lacking judgment or presumption, Stanton has the innate ability to see the extraordinary in that which passes us by daily.  In doing this, his endeavours serve as both a critique and celebration of art and the media industry. He exposes the ways in which images and the media can construct an unrealistic and inaccurate façade that shades the face of truth in society. The currency and immediacy of social networking is something he has conquered and that allows his work to expand beyond the high-rise buildings and bustling underground of central New York.   

In reading the thousands of stories he has collected over the years, a space on the internet, and more recently in the bookstore, has been created for people to learn and understand the true value of the human experience and what it is to be a part of our generation. Light hearted and attainable, yet by no means void of meaning, Stanton’s approach to art, humanity and the philosophies of life have resonance and the ability to unite people from all walks of life in the accumulative experience that is, quite simply, living.

Check out his website here or check it out on Facebook.

All images property of Brandon Stanton. 

20th May 2014 Written by Yael Brender Artist Selects

Warhol's Ambassadors: Dave Taylor as Part of the "Shine a Light" Campaign

In an age where any wanker with an Instagram account can take a picture, whack a black-and-white filter on it and call it ‘deep and meaningful’, the world is sorely lacking in photography that makes a real connection between art and social consciousness. Dave Taylor is not just another wanker. In fact, he’s not a wanker at all. He’s a self-conscious, soft-spoken hipster photographer with view to communicating social change and contrast. With his checked shirt buttoned up to the collar, two-tone tortoise-shell glasses and slightly gingery hair, he is both eager to please and charmingly self-deprecating.

Over slightly lopsided cheese toasties and a splash of whiskey, Dave revealed that he doesn’t photograph with a view to sharing his workhe’s afraid that what he finds interesting, others will deride as just plain weird. He all but admitted that he’s got a secret stash of photographs that he’ll never show anyone, which is a great shame judging by the quality of the work on his website

In December last year, Dave found himself couch surfing in New Orleans, but he was “shit scared” to leave the apartment because Americans have a predilection for carrying guns. The guy who owned the couch that Dave was sleeping onwho had been arrested in November for trespassing “God knows where”offered him a guided tour of New Orleans; his host wanted to share the culture and history of the city with the Australian whose knowledge of the area came solely from watching Treme on Foxtel.

The rich cultural and musical heritage of New Orleans is now mostly eclipsed by memories of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which is a great shame because the city is an interesting and complex place that is now mostly unexplored. Dave’s series “Six Flags Under” takes a brave and beautiful stab at rectifying that situation. A broken-down, abandoned fairground in the middle of the world’s richest country is the perfect illustration of how New Orleans has fallen politically since 2005. The park has been inactive since a brief war of writs between City Hall and Six Flags. The site’s lease was broken and the park was left to the mercy of the elements.

Dave took the photographs on an early winter’s day, in weather that was a photographer’s nightmare. It was raining and unseasonably humid, which caused steam to rise into the air and fog to obscure the camera lens. Not to mention that the sheen of rain that lay over everything. But the weather was a blessing in disguiseif anything, it added to the starkness of the photographs. And his camera didn’t let him down; he talks about his Canon 6D like some people talk about their children“a joy!” 

Snapping pictures of an abandoned area that is theoretically public property is technically illegal, but being a badass, Dave said that it added to the excitement of the day; the risk associated with trespassing was thrilling, he admits sheepishly. It was probably the same thrill that motivates exhibitionists and voyeurs. The best of the bunch, according to Dave, is ‘Skycoaster’. Why, you might ask? Well, he “just likes the way it looks”. Ain’t nobody gonna argue with thathe’s the photographer after all.

Dave’s work is inspired by the likes of Brian Ulrich, a reclusive American photographer whose work focuses on financial crisis, malls and the commodity fetish. Amongst Ulrich’s work is a series called “Dark Stores”, which contains Dave’s favourite photograph “Circuit City”, 2008. It fascinates him because it shows a once-popular store that was ‘killed’ by the financial crisis and abandonedand it’s the exact store where he bought a computer more than a decade ago. “Circuit City” depicts the often-cruel progression of time, just as “Six Flags Under” does. Dave’s abandoned rides echo Ulrich’s abandoned stores.

The theme is pushed still further with Dave’s two austere photographs of the empty car park. The car park is bigger than the whole of Six Flags, and it’s totally deserted save for the odd security guardthe phrase “outta sight, outta mind” seems appropriate here. Especially when you consider that there are probably shoppers fighting for spots near the mall just ten minutes away. Even though Six Flags is technically in the middle of the suburbs, it feels more isolated than ever in these images. Apart from occasional use as a film set and the occasional trespass by a brave photographer, the former amusement park is just wasting away. And Dave’s love for every part of New Orleans, even the abandoned parts, shines through his whole series.

Dave’s clandestine visit to the former amusement park paid off, in more ways than one. Hurricane Katrina left an indelible mark on the cityphysically and mentallywhich is documented beautifully in his work. The site was left to decay, but so were other parts of the town; a house or two surrounded by stretches of dirt and grass where neighbouring houses used to be is a common sight in New Orleans. Being unable to photograph the entire city, Dave found the one place that perfectly allegorises the city’s decline from Paradise to purgatory. And he did a bang up job.

If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you. 

8th May 2014 Written by Adam Disney Artist Selects

Iconic Images: 'Migrant Mother' as Part of the Canon "Shine a Light" Campaign

There are some images that always feel familiar. Whether or not you’ve seen them before, or know what they depict, they still ring with the same deep-rooted meaning and symbolism of a childhood memory. Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’ is such an image, one that acts as a form of visual shorthand for a universal array of very human fears and struggles. Though it evocatively depicts people in a very specific set of circumstances, its timeless capacity to inspire empathy for those on the margins is perhaps more valuable still. As the decades march on, it serves as a valuable reminder of the endless necessity for compassion.

Taken in 1936, at the height of Great Depression, it formed part of a series of images taken by Lange while working for the US Federal Resettlement Administration. The image, which would arguably go on to define Lange’s career and the Great Depression generally, was taken of Florence Owens Thompson and her young family, whom Lange had encountered while travelling the country documenting the conditions of rural workers stricken by poverty . Other photos from the brief shoot reveal more of their bleak surroundings, however upon viewing the alternatives, it is clear that the most powerful image was chosen. The close up, combining an evocative glimpse of the subject’s shelter while showing in detail Thompson’s careworn, pensive expression is such that we need not see the landscape. The subject of the image is not so much the miserable conditions, but the helplessness of the people caught within them.

The soon-to-be-iconic image’s speedy publication in the San Francisco News would lead to significant publicity for the area’s rural poor, however by the time a large shipment of federal relief arrived at the camp where the image was shot, Thompson and her family had moved on. She would go on to achieve some degree of economic security later in life, however, in a sense, her story was not as important as the image’s broader cultural importance. The photo’s life extends well beyond its creation as contemporary photojournalism, and has become one of the defining images of the era, and of economic struggle more generally. It taps into fundamental feelings of fear, uncertainty, and even shame in the face of hardship that all but the luckiest experience to some degree; a reminder of the ever-relevant need to empathise with the desperate and marginalised.

The photographer, Dorothea Lange, led a life that would surely have enabled her to empathise with those against whom the odds seemed unfairly stacked. In a time where the capacity for women to engage in fulfilling professional careers was hampered by inherently discriminatory institutions and attitudes, Lange had a lengthy and varied career as a photographer drawn to issues of social relevance. After deciding to become a photographer following her studying as a teacher during the mid 1910s, she studied photography at Columbia University, and subsequently moved into portrait work. After a period of dissatisfaction with her subjects, she moved into documenting incidents of social and economic importance, working with a variety of government bodies. After her pivotal work with rural workers that would yield images such as ‘Migrant Mother’, she went on other parts of America, as well as Asia, South America and the Middle East. Her compassion for those on the margins, subject to external factors beyond their control, was no doubt informed by her own life experience. A childhood bout of polio left her with a limp that would mark her out for the rest of her life, and later in life she would struggle with significant and chronic health troubles that made day-to-day life a constant challenge, though she kept working. 

This sense of arbitrary and unfair hardship imposed on the already vulnerable is also underpinned in another significant series of stills by Lange, following her work during the Depression. As Japanese-Americans were forcibly dislocated and interned in detention camps after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Lange was sent by the War Relocation Authority to document the families, their neighbourhoods, and the camps they were now forced to call home. The resulting images unflinchingly detail the tragedy and injustice of this incarceration, and serve as a vital reminder of an aspect of US history that has only recently received recognition, and even then to nowhere near the extent that it merits.

 This commitment to capturing and conveying the struggles of those whose lives are often forgotten in the march of history is self-evident in Lange’s work, and in images like ‘Migrant Mother’ serves as a powerful reminder of the universal fears and struggles at the heart of such incidents of economic displacement, whether they happened years ago, or are happening now.

If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you. 

2nd May 2014 Written by Yael Brender Artist Selects

Iconic Images: 'The Trinity Test' as Part of Canon's Shine a Light Campaign

This is the first ever photograph of a nuclear mushroom cloud.

It was snapped by chance at the Trinity Test in the last year of the Second World War, where the nuclear bomb was being tested prior to detonation over Hiroshima. It’s ironic that the most famous (and only) colour photograph of the Trinity test was shot by an amateur photographer who was more at home in a lab. Los Alamos scientist Jack Aeby said later, “I was there so I shot it.”

On Monday morning July 16, 1945, Trinity testing began in an isolated area of the New Mexico desert. Aeby’s photograph, taken during the crucial moments of the test as the bomb exploded, turned out to be even more important than anyone knew; all the motion pictures of the Trinity test were either badly exposed or damaged, because nuclear bombs tend to blister and solarise film. Official Trinity test photographer Berlyn Brixner was misinformed about the brightness of the bomb and his camera filter was lit up and flooded with light, blinding him momentarily. 

Aeby has insisted ever since 1945 that he’s not a photographer, even though he liked to carry a camera on his person, which was against Los Alamos security protocol. But once Trinity was under way, Aeby begged security services for special permission to be the only scientist allowed to carry a camera during testing. And due to Brixner’s error, Aeby’s photo stands as the only colour record of the test.

As he photographed, he rested his camera on the back of a chair because he didn’t have time to set up a tripod. He didn’t take cover from the blast and the only protection he had were welder’s goggles.

Colour film was exceptionally hard to come by during the World War II, but a friend gave him a three-foot chunk from a long roll as a gift.

When the theoretical division got wind that he had a ‘perfect’ photograph, they confiscated it and used it to confirm their assumptions by measuring the width of the fireball in the picture and then multiplying it by Aeby’s distance from the flames; the photograph turned out to be instrumental in the testing process. Once General Groves — the ‘big eye in the sky’of Los Alamos base and Aeby’s supervisor — saw the photo, he took it and sent it to every media channel, where it was published immediately. The photograph itself was the only evidence that such a weapon existed. Public knowledge of the bomb came entirely from Aeby’s picture, and when the American attack on Japan was reported, Aeby’s photograph was used. 

Aeby’s photo is now best know for embodying Dr J. Robert Oppenheimer’s words, “I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”

If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you.

 

29th April 2014 Written by Otto Reitano Artist Selects

Warhol's Ambassadors: Gili Yaari as Part of the Canon "Shine a Light" Campaign

With its roots in the early 20th century, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the Middle East’s most contentious sources of instability. The conflict has taken the lives of thousands of people, but—despite being such a serious issue—mass media outlets only feed us a small mouthful of the greater picture.

As part of Canon’s “Shine a Light” campaign I talked with Gili Yaari, an Israeli photojournalist, to see how he aims to shine light on the pressing social and humanitarian issues of his environment.

Otto Reitano: What got you into photojournalism?

Gili Yaari: I always was interested in … covering issues in the news. It is a means for me to personally experience the important events and developments that take place around us. It is also a way to add my point of view, raise awareness about issues I find important and a way to impact the public agenda. I believe that this is something burning inside every journalist.

OR: You mainly cover the social and humanitarian issues that surround you. What is it like living in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

GY: It has two faces; the conflict is always present and at the same time, … it has somehow become a natural part of life in this crazy area.

For example, going in the alleys of Jerusalem's Old City, you can see Jewish and Palestinian pilgrims, going to visit their holy places, mixing together. When driving around Jerusalem, one realises that Palestinian villages and cities are so close … to Jerusalem. And there you see the separation between them. This view became a 'normal' part of the life here, but for someone else it looks absolutely different.

OR: With people so used to the conflict, why is it so important to cover? What role do you, as a photojournalist, play in the whole conflict?

GY: Unless covered, people, locally and around the world, will only know about that which they are directly exposed to, which is generally close to nothing. Yet, this issue is so important because it affects everything that happens here and in the entire Middle East. Covering it provides the public with information that is based on facts and it constantly puts the issue on the public agenda, where it should be. 

Photojournalism, specifically, provides the audience with visual information about the events and people, adding emotions and drama through the visuals. I see my role, as a photojournalist, as bringing the most accurate, objective and balanced information to the audience.

OR: Do you feel like you’ve succeeded in bringing light to these issues? What’s been the overall response to your work?

GY: Well, I would like to think so. My images are constantly being published, in local press as well as in international press, adding pieces to the big puzzle. There was no single publication that had a specifically extraordinary impact, but rather many ongoing.

 

OR: Creative expression is often used as a means of dealing with emotions, but in your case I can’t help but imagine the emotional stress involved in your work. How does photography serve as a means of both evoking these emotions and dealing with them at the same time?

GY: You must be inside a situation in order to cover it authentically, in order to let the viewers feel like they are inside the situation themselves. Inside means, in many cases, being physically close and being emotionally affected. I try to channel my private emotions into the pictures through the visual means of photography. Sometimes emotions erupt after shooting ends. During the months I was shooting in a mental health centre for holocaust survivors … I had some nights without sleep.

 

OR: What inspired the project at the mental health centre?

GY: As a second generation Holocaust survivor, I grew up in what I used to think of as a “normal” house. As many Israelis, it was only when I grew up did I understand that I was actually raised in a house where there was no happiness, where joy was illegitimate, where the driving forces were fear and survival. During my work on this project I felt again and again as if I was documenting my own family, knowing that all that stands between sanity and insanity is a thin, fragile wall. 

OR: Last question. What has been the most memorable experience in your career as a photojournalist?

GY: The first time I arrived into that mental health centre for holocaust survivors, I sat down to speak to one of the patients—a Hungarian-born holocaust survivor. This is the photo I took of him:

He was so similar to my late grandfather, who was also born in Hungary and was a holocaust survivor, looking similar, speaking similar. Since I speak Hungarian, we started talking in Hungarian. I felt for a few minutes as if I speaking to my grandfather again, one of my strongest experiences ever.

Gili Yaari is an Israeli-based photojournalist and contributing photographer at Flash 90. His work has been published in The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, and other Israeli and international magazines. You can find more of his work on his website.

*All photos belong to Gili Yaari. 

If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you. 

25th April 2014 Written by Yael Brender Film & Photography

Sal Veder: Burst Of Joy

This photograph has come to represent the end of a painful chapter in American history. Minutes before the photo was taken, the Hanoi Taxi—nickname of the C141 plane that flew freed prisoners of war home from Vietnam—landed at Travis Air force Base, California. Twenty American prisoners disembarked, and were welcomed by a four-hundred-strong crowd. Among them was Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Strim; the man on the left in the photograph. In a way, it’s a photograph of a regular family in 1974, but it’s also a photograph in which not all is as it appears.

Three days before Strim had landed in California, his wife, Loretta (second from the right), had written to ask for a divorce—not quite the happy family pictured. Perhaps the joy came then from the end of the six years Strim spent in a prison camp in North Korea after his plane was shot down over Hanoi in 1967. 

Symbolically, Burst of Joy is an apt metaphor for the Vietnam War. Strim’s back is to the camera—he is every homecoming soldier, every father reuniting with his family. The photo became a symbol of America’s desire to heal from the war although it continued at home and abroad. The smiles on the children’s faces bear the innocence of youth, which would soon fade. The smile on Loretta’s face—dulled in comparison to daughter Lorrie’s—hides a darker truth about the price of war. Strim and his wife Loretta divorced in 1974.

After winning the Pulitzer, Veder’s photograph was displayed in the home of every family member except Strim, who revealed in an interview that he couldn’t bear to look at it. It is a painful reminder to solider and civilians alike that not all war casualties occur on the battlefield. 

Photographer Sal Veder, working for Associated Press, said that he “could feel the energy and the raw emotion in the air” as Strim’s daughter Lorrie started to sprint towards her father. Veder was among hundreds of photographers jostling for pictures of the returning soldiers that day, but this is the photograph that became the most famous, and made Veder’s career. Despite the photo being developed in the sink of the ladies’ room, it won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1974. Veder says of his accomplishment, “Being awarded the Pulitzer is a great honour. Even though it is but one single photograph, it validates an entire career.” As he shot Burst of Joy, he thought, “That was a beautiful moment. I sure hope I got it!”

Veder was no stranger to war-themed photography; his famous photograph of a mother ushering her children into their fallout shelter made waves through Sacramento and caused a rise in safety measures throughout 1961. Veder went on to cover the riots at Berkeley in 1969 and the returning veterans in 1971, before being sent to Vietnam to photograph both the 1973 and 1975 tours. Although his photography has always been thematically centered on war, Burst of Joy was a high point in Veder’s career, who is now retired and living in California. 

Photo by Sal Veder 

Photo by Sal Veder

24th April 2014 Written by Glaiza Perez Artist Selects

Warhol's Ambassadors: Selina Vixen as Part of the Canon "Shine a Light" Campaign

“Reality and fantasy collide in an explosion of wigs and costumes,” Selina Vixen.

Catherine Hourihan remembers her past life as a founder of the neo-burlesque movement with wry joy. Catherine’s alter ego, Selina Vixen, was a performer with the Neo-Burlesque circuit that toured the East Village to the ‘blast in the past’ world that is Coney Island. This was all done after flying from Sydney to New York in the early 2000s to follow the performance art instinct. Now a working photographer, Catherine shares some of her first snapshots of this relatively unseen world.

Photography was a natural progression for Catherine to take on, especially when she tired of the performance fatigue that accompanies the touring life. Catherine was exposed to visual art as a student at COFA in her youth and that nurtured her love of film and photography.

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“There was always a gaggle of men taking photographs of the performance stage,” she noted. As both a performer and a photographer, being of both worlds, her double identity “allowed an intimacy.” Catherine reflects that it was a privilege to be so close to both worlds.   

While sipping coffee, she adds, “It happened when it was supposed to. It was a significant part of my life; another aspect of myself. A character lived out in the Burlesque.”

Catherine recalls a memory of the Galapagos venue floating in a corner of Brooklyn where an un-glamorous Monday night ritual unfolds. She was part of a group of Burlesque performers who had to walk through the snow filled alley to get backstage. The cold of the offtstage life is imprinted in that memory.

For Catherine, burlesque is a place of transformation. It begins in the places you cross before taking the stage. Catherine captures these moments with an experienced hand as we uncovered that part of her life and chatted across the stools in the Warhol’s Children cafe. 

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When quizzed about the nature of Burlesque, she came up with an offhand definition of the art. In its simplest form, it was “a combination of cabaret, strip-tease and dance.” Burlesque emerged from the bawdy humour of Vaudeville which was constrained to verbal jokes. Other performance elements didn’t appear until the early 20th century. Over time, Burlesque underwent a change of audiences as well as form. It was no longer viewed as a crass, low brow art for the public eye but its playful hybrid storytelling became, “Dignified, elegant, arty and respectable,” in its raw state. Neo-burlesque was its revitalisation. 

For her final performance, Selina Vixen was dressed as a statue of liberty who was then stripped and lifted into the clouds by the other girls - her plane waiting in the wings to take off.

“It was fun, social, definitely a bit of a party - occasionally an intoxicated wild ride,” she says with a laugh.

“It becomes a bit of a blur…so many great nights and most of the time I had a ball. It was really part of being a community which was fairly contained at the time. It's evolved since then.”

"That's the end of my show and tell."

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If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you.

17th April 2014 Written by Café Warhol's Artist Selects

Warhol's Ambassador Series As Part Of The Canon – Shine A Light Movement

These days, we’re taking more photos than ever. But between all the selfies, lunch snaps, and blurred party photos, it’s also never been harder for an image to really connect with people. Canon Shine is a competition that’s giving Australians the opportunity to change that. This is your chance to capture a powerful image that makes people think, or feel, or see things differently.

Read: I used to think I could take a pretty picture. I’d even go so far as to call myself a photographer, for the purpose of bettering my chances at employment or to seem more artsy and cool when introducing myself at dinner parties. (I use instagram: my vintage filtered, food portraits are legit works of art right?) But this fantasy soon faded as Warhol’s Children pointed me in the direction of one of their artists in residence, Mitch Carlin…

This guy was a photographer, an artist and at least ten times cooler than me (without even trying). Psychologist Rudolf Arnheim insists that visual thinking – that is, the way we see the world – cannot be adequately conveyed through verbal language. You could say he believed that a picture paints a thousand words, apparently a widely favoured assumption these days. As a writer, my creative pride begs me to cry blasphemy. To paint the burning ambers of an autumn sunset, or evoke the sickly chills of an early winters morn all with a vivid piece of adjective-laden prose. 

But a thousand words seem overbearing, when compared to the power of an image to capture a moment and present its infinite complexities all at a glance. Mitch Carlin’s photography tells a story, paints a picture and blurs the lines between art and reality, powerful, raw and surreal all at once. Naturally I jumped at the chance to pick the brains of a fellow shutterbug and the resulting interview was inspiring to say the least. 

So without further ado, Warhol’s Children is proud to introduce the infinitely talented Mitch Carlin. Oh and as you’ll see, he’s a pretty rad bloke! 

(NB the following took place after a good few minutes of serious adoration on my part and some general introductory chit-chat… What can I say, I love a good yarn) 

Warhol’s: So let’s start with a bang mate, give me a rundown of why you love photography so much and your ongoing aspirations as a photographer? 

Mitch: Imagine trying to explain photography to someone who has never heard of it. Actually think about the whole process, especially film photography. You have this small black box: something that’s made up of mirrors, glass, quartz, springs and a million tiny screws. You load it with a magic plastic tape, coated in a light sensitive potion. You then use light from the sun to freeze a moment in time inside your black box. You then have to unload your magic tape in a completely dark room and soak it in varying chemicals. Then you’re gonna want to use a special machine to make your pictures bigger and magically appear on a piece of paper. Photography as a whole just really amazes me, from processing film to sitting in the freezing cold waiting for the sun comes up. It’s just something I love and do but can’t explain why. As a photographer, I just want to do it as much as I possibly can, keep having fun with it and see where it takes me.

Warhol’s: So Mitch how long have you been taking photos? 

Mitch: I have been making photos since I was in grade ten at high school, so about… I don’t know, 11 years or something. I wasn’t serious about it though, back then I was just doing it as a subject in school and to do while I was out skating with my mates. I got serious about things probably about 3 years ago. 

Warhol’s: What do you mean by getting serious? 

Mitch: I came to a point where I hated my job and was pretty bored with things in general. I just wanted to focus on the one thing that I wanted to do for ages but never got around too. I was seriously obsessed there for a while, like….I was kind of scared that I was actually never going to think about anything else except for photography again. It’s still like that but I’ve learnt to manage my addiction. 

Warhol’s: That’s cool, so did you study photography? 

Mitch: Nah, I basically just taught myself. All the information is out there, (god bless the internet) you just have to know where to find it. 

Warhol’s: So true mate. So what’s your weapon of choice? 

Mitch: Canon of course, I run a Canon 7D for digital and whatever film camera I can get my hands on for 35mm. I collect a lot of cameras though, so more often than not I’m using some Russian thing from eBay, or some point and shoot plastic piece of crap I’ve found in an op shop somewhere. Although, if I could only use one camera for the rest of my time, it would be my Canon AE-1- loaded with a nice roll of B&W – it’s unbeatable.

Mitch’s photographs often highlights the ordinary life of passer bys in the frame of the urban jungle of the world. The unobserved walks of the every day is captured through a lens and brought forward in a series of urban images. 

An ocular stroll through street corners and intersections where people are seen passing through cafes, parks in transient strolls - the intersection of lives - framed.  Stray glances on the street - the observed and unobserved meeting in photographs. 

So find something that inspires you, or ignites your passion. In return, we could shine a light on your story – and bring your work to the eyes of people all over Australia.

If you want to shine a light on what matters to you, head over to the Canon Shine page and check out the competition because no one sees it like you.

4th April 2014 Written by Yael Brender Film & Photography

What Does Love Look Like? A New Look at an Old Tradition

You know those wedding portraits that hang on the walls for twenty years (or until the divorce, whichever comes first) that always look staged and like the subjects are slightly uncomfortable? Blush photography is hitting back against conventional (read: boring) wedding day snaps and capturing the happy couple in their natural habitat.

Blush’s latest album is her best yet. At least, I’m assuming it’s a her – Blush’s online presence is incredibly cagey about finicky details such as their name. Based in Salt Lake City, the photographer has some of the most unusual and beautiful snaps I’ve ever seen.

The latest album, ‘A very non wedding’, captures Whit and Colby on their wedding day. The shoot starts where the couple presumably started their morning – making coffee in the kitchen – and tracks the whole day, including the not-usually-seen moments, like when the dog sat on the train of her wedding dress.

The pictures are beautiful, real and emotive—more so than usual wedding portraits and refreshingly original in a world where every online blogger with a Cannon thinks they’re a photographer. There’s a range of black-and-whites, candids and posed – Blush states simply, “I want you to know what love looks like.” 

You can see the entire album here

19th March 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Film & Photography

You Are Not One of A Kind: Complete Strangers That Look Exactly Alike

François Brunelle is a Canadian photographer that takes pictures of twins. Just kidding—they're not twins. They are people who aren't related and are not acquainted with one another, yet they look exactly alike. Brunelle is obsessed with doppelgängers and has searched the world for the past 12 years to find perfect pairs of lookalikes. His goal is to find 200 couples. It's hard enough hunting down a lookalike of yourself, can you imagine finding 200? I guess when people say, "you are unique," they're full of bullshit, eh?

He went all over the world to look for these doppelgängers  with studios located in New York to Geneva. It has become a lifelong pursuit for Brunelle. Over 100 photographs have been achieved so far and a printed book will be released shortly after he has gathered the 200 doppelgängers. 

His stylistic choice of black and white is so people won’t focus on the skin or hair color but instead on the similarities of facial structure between the two. 

You can find out more about him here.

14th March 2014 Written by Bushra Khalid Film & Photography

Identity Crisis Averted: Striking Photography That Redefines the LGBT Community

San Francisco based photographer Sarah Deragon portrays how members of the LGBT community identify themselves in the aptly named “Identity Project”. Through this beautiful photography series, Deragon explores “the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality”. The Identity Project allows her to show the diverse and dimensional side of the queer community that has for too long been defined by outsiders.

Many have been guilty of identifying the queer community under an umbrella of stereotypical labels. These photographs aim to break down the barriers of stereotypes by showing the community how the LGBT community identify their sexuality and gender. 

The universality of the project allows us to deny the pigeon holes we may have been assigned to due to societal pressures and allows people of all sexualities to look beyond the rigid titles of their gender. Sarah Deragon’s intimate photographs capture the subjects’ bold identities through their eyes and expressions. 

You can see more of her work here.

30th January 2014 Written by Ester Levy-Fenner Film & Photography

Israel, From Where the Rockets Land - 6 Photos you have to see.

Tell us who you are, and how your interest in photography grew into a career.

I am an Israeli photojournalist covering Israeli contemporary issues. In my work I focus on social and humanitarian issues. In addition to the ongoing news photography I work on long term documentary projects such as my last documentary dealing with the life of mentally ill Holocaust survivors. Where do you live and whom do you live with? I live in Hefer Valley, just North of Tel-Aviv with my wife and three children.

 

Were you a part of the Israeli Defense Forces? How has this impacted upon your feelings towards Israel’s ongoing conflict with Palestinian territories?

I served during the age of 18-21 in the Israeli Air Force. I served as a reserve soldier in an IDF Home Frond Command rescue battalion, which is trained for rescue and evacuation of people from buildings that are hit by rockets, earthquakes etc. Ironically, as a photographer, I met these units during the fighting days in the scenes where rockets hit civilian buildings. As I am familiar with their drill and the way they work, I felt absolute solidarity with them. Still, taking the role of a documenting photojournalist, telling the story. Your work focuses on social and humanitarian issues. Does your geographic location stimulate this interest? Israel has very big social problems. Social gaps and poverty have dramatically increased during the last years. Weak and needy populations are in very hard situations. It is not as bad as the situation in some European countries that are dealing with a big economic crisis but looking at the ‘back yard’ of Israeli society, there are many important stories to tell and raise awareness of.

 

 

How is it living in the midst of a dormant conflict that is waiting to erupt?

Living in Israel is quite unique from this point of view, knowing that in every single moment (explicitly as saying) things can flame up to a conflict or a war of an unknown scale. This is what happened during the last month, and in 2008 as operation ‘Cast lead’ erupted. In 2006 – there was the Second Lebanon war. There is some kind of continued alertness. What has been your personal experience of the recent Operation Pillar of Defense (14-21 November 2012)? There was a single moment, while I was shooting the scene of a rocket hit in Rishon Lezion, a suburb of Tel-Aviv. There was a big excitement all around, all TV channels and rescue forces. It was a big story as for the first time in more than 20 years rockets hit Tel-Aviv, the heart of Israel. I was shooting at the height of 10 floors, from the fire fighters crane when my phone constantly played the sound of a new text message. They were all from my 9 years old daughter asking if I am Ok, if I’m safe, calling me to come home. Of course, I was not in any risk at that moment but having my family so involved was something that hit directly my mental armor, that enables functioning in complicated conditions.

 

You have documented the conflict. What is it like to work amongst this trauma?

There is a lot of excitement and plenty of adrenalin running in your veins but you always keep in mind that the importance of your work is in telling the story of all these civilians who suffer during this conflict cycle and have suffered for more than 10 years. Those who have their cities and towns being bombed and their children being born into this reality of sirens and running to shelters.

 

You are located in an Israeli context. There has been intensive damage on both sides of the conflict. What do you hope to portray through your images?

I was trying to show the situation in the Israeli side, mostly from civilians’ point of view.

 

How do you feel working with such sensitive issues? How do religion and social opinions impact upon your work?

Working with such sensitive issues is very exciting. I usually keep my personal opinions implicit. Showing the viewer the basic facts, the documentation of situations, letting him build his own opinion.

 

Are you personally involved in any bridge-building projects with people living in Palestinian territories or with Arabs living in Israel?

In one of my projects, I documented a fascinating hip-hop band of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, working in Jaffa. In that project I tried to raise awareness for the feelings of depression of youth Palestinian residents of Jaffa and to show that people from both sides can live and create together. You can view more of Gili’s work here: http://www.giliyaari.com/

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