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Photography inspiration and appreciation

Great photographic works, past and present

Photography inspiration from some of the great photographers and film makers influencing our creative world today. This post is continually updated to feature new works.

Rarindra Prakarsa

People of Jakarta.

The lighting, tone and sense of atmosphere in his images are cinematic but they are rural scenes of everyday life. He takes the mundane to the extraordinary   Rarinda says of himself: “I am an ordinary man who live in Jakarta. I like taking photo of people. Ordinary people around me.” He is inspired himself by Water Spies, a german born artist who lived in Bali until 1940 when he was arrested as an enemy alien and subsequently died aboard a prisoner of war ship. you can see many similarities in their work.

You can see more of his work on 500px.com and photo.net/photos/rarindraI think you’ll agree, his work is far from ordinary.

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Shake By Carli Davidson

Carli Davidson captures dogs in full motion of their shake resulting in hilarious and unusual expressions and drool slinging. Have a look at the slow motion shaking video below to see the full action that is so familiar to any pet owner. She has a book out filled with 61 of our shaking furry friends with ears flapping, fur twisting, jowl curling action.  It’s aptly titled Shake. Guaranteed to make you smile!

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Young by the Paper Kites

For those interested in portraiture; More than 4000 photos of over 350 people’s face were used to make the captivating stop-motion music video for the single “Young” by the Australia band The Paper KitesDarcy Prendergast of the Melbourne-based production company Oh Yeah Wow directed the video which took seven days to shoot and ten days to assemble.

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David Griffin of National Geographic: How photography connects us

David Griffen discusses documentary photography and how it transcends the capturing of a moment, also encapsulating the emotional connection to that moment and the evolving story. In his words ” every one of us has one or two great photographs in them, but to be a great photojournalist you have to be able to make them all the time.” Below you can see that in action.

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Kosmur:  “Assembler”

Assembler by Kosmur
Photo manipulation with a surrealist style. I don’t know anything much about this artist. I came across this work on Deviant Art and was stopped in my clicking tracks. I’ve seen similar themes but I really like the execution of this one. The expressiveness of the pose though the subject has no face is wonderful – it’s in the tilt of the head and relaxed hand on the chin. I can nearly hear him saying “Hmmm, I wonder what this piece does” can’t you? There is great attention to detail in the editing/ processing work, for example, the edge of the head looks like a cut piece of chip board. You can keep looking at it over and over again.

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Carl Warner:  “Lettuce Seascape”

Lettuce-Seascape by Carl Warner

Lettuce-Seascape by Carl Warner

Baked potatoes, lettuce and a whole lot of imagination. You can actually read about the creation of this whimsical piece of food art here. While you are there, check out Shoulder Hill Valley and The Desert of Sleeping Men!

David Gillanders:  “The Neglected”

David Gillanders The Neglected
David Gillanders The Neglected
David Gillanders documentary photography work is terrifying, brilliant and excruciatingly graphic.  Be prepared to feel a connection to these kids, a heartbreaking moment when you hear their story and an empty sadness that for most, if not all of them it’s much too little too late. These are the type of images that spread person to person, with compassion & inspiration to deed, small scale to large and eventually change the world . In his own words. . .
This photo taken was taken in Odessa, Ukraine. The photographer David Gillanders, explains, “13 year old Yana was a beautiful young girl from Moldova. As far as I know her father died from TB and with difficult times her mother stole some stuff and got arrested. On her own, Yana came to Odessa in Ukraine where she met a group of kids living on the streets. On the streets she started to sniff glue and then injected Trifed – a cheap tablet nasal decongestant that contains adrenalin. The kids grind the tablets down to a powder which they mix with water. In water it makes a thick brown paste like runny tar and they then use a syringe and a cigarette filter or rolled up tee-shirt to draw a liquid from the paste. They then inject this now yellow liquid, and get a rush from the adrenalin. The rush is short lived and not long after such a feeling of amazing high, these children living in a sewer amongst dead dogs and human excrement feel the need for another high and inject almost continuously when they can. The use of Trifed like this causes a small brain aneurysm resulting in speech problems, followed by problems with mobility. A few months after this photo was taken, Yana had become very immobile and crawled into a doorway to beg. She froze to death. Her body was taken by the authorities in Odessa and burnt. She had no funeral and has no grave.”
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Sam Abell Bison image

Sam Abell Bison image

Sam Abell

Sam Abell a documentary photographer from National Geographic talks about why he became a photographer and his process of making images below. On the atlanic.com he talks about his bison image above which is one of my favourites. See that short interview [OH DEAR: responsive_vimeo has some malformed syntax.]

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Tim Flach

Tim Flach Rooster imagr

Tim Flach Rooster

Tim Flach creates stylised conceptual images of animals, often in studio settings.  This rooster is from his collection entitled “More Than Human”. He also has series focused on dogs (dogs gods) and horses (equus). He often depicts his subject using defamiliarization where by his unusual angles or extreme close ups make the viewer rethink their pre-determined viewpoint. Each image is beautifully lit, timed and composed & still possesses that spark of life that will make you look at each time and time again.

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Don Quixote & Libreria Norma

This video is an ad but its a brilliantly executed and funny. Don Quixote / Quijote is a book heralded as one of the most influential novels of the Spanish Golden Age. It follows the tale of a man named Alonso who has read a few too many books on chivalry and knights quests and sets off as Don Quixote de la Mancha on a quest of his own. This ad is a very clever play on his indomitable spirit. The attention to detail in styling, mannerisms and movement really creates the characters perfectly.

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