Month: February 2020

Opening windows into other worlds – Leif Steiner

I don’t have a lot of background in photography, but because of my role as a creative director I believe I developed an eye, a sense of problem-solving, opinions on style – all of which I think can easily be applied to photography. So I approach photography from a problem-solving standpoint. When I look at a photo, I’m very analytical. To me, an extraordinary photo is one that you can look at, but that you can also hear, smell, and taste. The best thing about being a portrait photographer is the ability to interact with people and learn things about them that you would never be able to do otherwise. I’ve learned so much about people by taking their portrait. Traveling to remote places, photographing some of these traditional cultures – there are huge language barriers. Sometimes I have to work with two translators, but I still get to understand a little bit more about their life, and they understand a little bit more about mine. This shared perspective is the richest experience for me. …

Managing the subjective experience – Pierre-Alain Folliet

My decision to focus on photography came at a time when people were reaching out with project proposals that I had to refuse due to the lack of time. I realized that if I kept refusing photo projects, they’d stop coming to me, and if I really wanted to do photography I needed to start prioritizing it. In fact, photography is a way of life for me. I live for photography, I live through photography, I express myself through the image. The first memory I have related to photography is from when I was about 12 years old and we had a flood in Geneve. I took my mother’s Rolleiflex and went out to take pictures, declaring myself a reporter. I took 12 pictures, because that’s how many the film allowed, and returned home feeling the proudest I’ve ever felt. “I search for the extraordinary in everything because I’m not much interested in the norm. I love going beyond the norm, even when that means I’ll suffer to get there.” Today I shoot nature because …

Celebrating life through photography – Rudy Atallah

I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon to an American mother and a Lebanese father. In 1984, I moved to the United States, joined the Air Force after college, and ended up in the First Gulf War. I served for 21 years and retired in 2009 after the Mærsk Alabama hostage rescue – the Captain Phillips story. After that, I started White Mountain Research, along with my work for two nonprofits: The Nazarene Fund and The Blessing Projects. Oftentimes, on business trips or while traveling for nonprofit work, I carry a camera with me. When I get to take a break, I sometimes capture things that move my heart. I don’t just arbitrarily pull the camera out of the bag and start shooting, I have to feel something when I point my lens towards a subject. My passion for photography started off, believe it or not, during the First Gulf War. I was flying combat missions back and forth around Saudi Arabia, and I used to carry a camera in my helmet bag. When …

Capturing time in landscape – Ken Rhodes

I always had a passion for photography. I did quite a bit of film photography when I was in high school, but at university I put the camera down for several years as I pursued an advanced degree and raised a family. I picked it up again about 10 years ago and revived my interest in landscape photography in a way that surprised even myself. “You can plan only so much about how the final image will look, the rest is up to nature and time. This element of uncertainty is what draws me to long exposure photography.” Today, photography enables me to express myself in a way that I can’t do in my career as a scientist. In science, we have a very structured approach to running experiments. Many of the things we do have to meet fairly strict criteria as we, let’s say, advance molecules from the laboratories into human clinical studies. Landscape photography, and particularly long exposure photography, lets me bring this experimentation out into the landscape. Long exposure introduces an element …

Finding a new home – Miles Flint

After many years of just taking pictures, it was 2009 when I heard that Phase One were running a 10-day workshop in Death Valley, California, and I managed to get a spot. It was during that trip that I realized just how little I knew, how much I had to learn. I realized I needed to examine myself and my motivation for doing photography, and make a cognitive change. That’s the time I began to read other books, look at other photographers, go to museums, art galleries, and really start to think much deeper about photography and art. I started out with a business background. In business, everything was measurable. You knew how well you were doing, you knew that if you made your quarterly numbers or your annual budget it meant you were doing well. When you start out in the art life, there is no way of assessing objectively how well you’re doing, which is why I think most photographers are somehow a bit insecure. They know what they’re doing, they know what …

Neil White tells stories of food from farm to table

Neil White is a food and lifestyle photographer who lives with his family in the beautiful county of Somerset, South West England. He puts his love for nature, food and crafts in all the work he does, telling the stories of passionate people who bring flavor into our lives.   Growing up, I wanted to become an archaeologist or a photographer. The thought of long hours on my knees in a muddy trench made the first option slightly less appealing and, in the end, I went with photography. When I was starting out, I assisted fashion photographers for a few years. That made me realize I wasn’t really cut out to be a fashion photographer, but I took advantage of the studio to work on my own projects. I eventually made the jump and moved to London to work as an in-house photographer at a design studio for a large retailer. At 23, this was a complete baptism of fire. It taught me some good lessons and some pretty hard lessons. From this point I …