All posts filed under: Seek extraordinary

Stories of people whose passion for photography takes them to extraordinary places and experiences, a passion that changes worldviews, careers and lives.

Extraordinary experiences: Photography as a practice of self-growth

Hong Zuo is a Chinese-American landscape photographer living between Boston and Beijing. After a chance encounter with photography on a hiking trip, Hong fell in love with what is now her favorite medium for self-expression, as well as a practice that helps her keep a healthy mind and body.   I don’t consider myself a professional photographer, although I am a passionate one. In fact, I have a career in accounting. Still, photography is not just a hobby for me, it’s a way of life – my way of evolving as a person. And I take it quite seriously as well. So far, I’ve published a best-selling Landscape Photography Album, I’ve exhibited my work in many cities, either in solo exhibitions or as part of international photo exhibitions, and I’ve been lucky to sign with the best photo agencies in China. In 2017, I was also honoured to receive the “Excellent Photographer Award” in the Pingyao International Photography Festival, the largest photo exhibition in China. Back in 2002, I had some serious health issues that …

Extraordinary encounters: The camera is a passport

Marc Koegel is a Vancouver-based landscape photographer. He first came to Canada from Germany to study Economics, but once he graduated, Marc decided he wanted to be a photographer instead. Today, he creates fine-art photography of melancholy architecture and landscapes, but also teaches photography and leads the Vancouver Photo Workshops community.   Photography enables me to have extraordinary life experiences. It makes me travel to places and meet people I would never encounter if it weren’t for my camera, which creates a connection to them. The camera is a passport, a warrant to connect to these places and people on a deeper, more meaningful level. And it’s not only about the experiences themselves, but also about creating memories. I enjoy a lot travelling and photographing alone, so the images I take become memories that I then share with my family and friends. That’s why they’re very precious to me. On a different level, photography is a tool to exercise my creativity. All people need an outlet for their creativity, their imagination. Photography is just my …

Extraordinary stories: Every photo is a journey

Steven Friedman is a fine art landscape photographer from Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada. He almost literally stumbled upon photography three decades ago, when he discovered a lost camera on a hike. Since then, he’s been refining his style of intimate fine art landscape photography, characterized by careful compositions of nature at its purest. With each image, Steven carries the viewer through time and space to the moment when he took the shot, after days of hiking and hours of hunting for the spot where all of nature comes together in harmony.   Before becoming a full-time photographer, I worked as an economist. Interestingly, some unexpected similarities between the two professions. In economic forecasting, I analyze large volumes of data to find a story in their connections. To me that’s the same as when I’m in a forest and have to interpret all the chaos in front of me, trying to come up with a composition worthy of a fine art print to be sold in a gallery. I had never taken a picture in …

Extraordinary moments: How photography saved my life

Stefano Gardel is an award-winning fine art photographer based in Lugano, Switzerland. His aesthetic is built on gloomy atmospheres and almost surreal cityscapes that give an out-of-world dimension to ordinary spaces. Photography means the world to him. It’s the thing that came to rescue him from the darkest period of his life and offered him a new creative outlet, a new career, and a cure.   I first played with a photo camera one summer 15 years ago. I remember experimenting with long exposures and night photography, having a lot of fun and, for a brief moment, even thinking about becoming a photographer. But then I went on with my profession as a chiropractor. Fast forward to 3 years ago when I was at my lowest point, after my health had been getting worse for the past 6 years. I had Lyme disease without knowing it, my body was in a lot of pain, my brain was foggy, I couldn’t eat or drink almost anything, I could barely do my job. I was getting depressed …