Brant Slomovic leads a double life: he is both a photographer and accident and emergency doctor. A recent commission in California allowed him to reflect on his relationship with the former
To the people of Provence, the Mistral is a local menace. It regularly ruins weddings, steals hats and scarves with ease and, at its worst, this epic wind has the strength to sweep up metal chairs and smash them into neighbouring windows. Even so, says Rachel Cobb, “I think maybe they actually like it”. “What I feel is that it’s a source of pride among the Provincials, a way of defining the region,” she adds. “They can withstand it, and they’ve learned to live with it.”
Cobb’s new book, Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence, is a record of the 20 years she spent hunting the wind. She has holidayed in the south of France for 40 summers now and, though she has been victim to the perils of the strong gales, she’s also found it inspirational – as have many other artists and writers. “I’m energised by it,” she says. “At night, when you hear it stir, you can feel the energy in the air.”
In our latest issue, Nature, we speak with Lena C Emery about her latest work, Yuka & The Forest, which draws on Japan’s powerful cultural connection to forests. Todd Hido’s latest series, Bright Black World, presents a more chilling vision, showing icy landscapes that suggest a impending environmental disaster. Yoshinori Mizutani takes on the genre of nature photography, meanwhile, proposing a fresher approach to images of wildlife with his series HDR_nature. We also offer an insight into the latest technology trends to emerge from the Photokina trade show.
Postcards from Copenhagen invited three photographers – Marco Kesseler, Peter Holliday and Laura Stevens – to travel to Copenhagen over a long weekend and create a new body of work inspired by the Danish capital. Here, we publish the third and final project in the series. When visiting a new city you often arrive with a handful of preconceptions. It is well-known that Copenhagen boasts a rich cycling culture, and any guide book will tell you about its charming canals and narrow streets. It is impossible, however, to grasp the feel of a city before standing there on your own two feet. For Paris-based photographer Laura Stevens, the sense of calm in Copenhagen was particularly striking. “Everything seems peaceful here,” she writes in a journal entry reflecting on her first day in the Danish capital. “There is a distinct lack of aggression or paranoia, which I feel in Paris so often. It feels easier to breath here.” Postcards from Copenhagen marks Stevens first time in Copenhagen. On day one of the commission, the photographer chose …
“The beautiful blooms seemed lonely and desolate. Sadly, it reminded me of the fact that soon it would be razed to the ground, into dull but common urban landscape with standing skyscrapers,” says Lv Meng. His photograph comes from the series Urban Fringes which explores the growth of megacities as the slowly expand outwards and take over the countryside.
“I’m not concerned with being an environmental photographer, I’m concerned with making images that make you feel something you can’t quite understand. There’s something that happens when you’re presented with what you can’t quite fathom.” In Matter, Michael Lundgren explores deserts in Spain, the US and Mexico but his landscapes are a departure from more traditional photographs in this field. He wants us to question the world around us and find a magical realism in life, death and our environment.
The September issue brings the otherwise invisible into sharp focus. Invisible World explores forgotten conflicts, intimate retreats, abused landscapes and remote islands to uncover the hidden realities and unknown societies behind ordinary backdrops. “As social beings, we all demand to be seen,” says Hoda Afshar, whose latest series, Behold, takes us to an exclusive male-only bathhouse. Her point resonates with all the photoseries explored in this issue: how do we negotiate our surroundings, how do we see our societies, how do we interpret our world? We need to first see the invisible to answer these ever salient questions.
Petros Koublis has responded to Greece’s economic crisis by focusing his lens on the countryside surrounding Athens. For him, exploring his homeland’s natural landscape was the instinctual way to reflect on and probe the effects of the financial crisis, he says. The idea for In Landscapes came to him in November 2012, and was born from a personal need to explore “the difficult times we’re going through today”. He explains: “I wanted to avoid the narrative of violence and its graphic representation in news reports. The landscapes provided me with an abstract language through which I was not only able to emotionally express the crisis of our days with dignity, but also reach for something universal.” In doing so, Koublis hoped to emphasise the differences between nature and the city, and also touch upon how the beauty of nature can provide solace in turbulent times. “The series is an evaluation of our lives, the need for an escape, and the despair of not knowing exactly where to turn,” he says. “Nature provides a way out, an escape …
To my mind, it’s the greatest wildlife photograph ever taken. This is Planet earth, but not as we know it. And that’s what I’m looking for in a photograph that celebrates the natural world – an instant reminder that truth is stranger, and more fantastical than fiction. Cherry Alexander’s picture of Chinstrap Penguins sheltering on a blue iceberg was the 1995 winner of the Wildlife Photograph of the Year award, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Shot just off the coast of the South Sandwich Islands in Antarctica, the mountain’s of ice look like they’re torn straight from a book of fairytale; you wouldn’t believe the scene before you were it not for the gull flying overhead. Likewise, Fabien Michenet’s Little Squid (a finalist in this year’s Underwater Species category) captures life in a form that verges on abstraction; so alien to our minds, we can barely comprehend it. And to imagine, the photographer floating 20 metres below the surface in complete darkness, silent except for the occasional call of far off dolphins. And if the overall winner of this year’s contest …