Archives for posts with tag: black and white portraits

Not speaking to strangers is a lesson learned early and practiced often, but this fascinating ongoing photography series flies in the face of such prudence. Mumbai-based photographer Jay Weinstein attempts to break down barriers during this particularly vigilant time in world history, one smile at a time. Aptly titled “…so I asked them to smile”, this minimalist photography project explores the smiles of strangers, and how facial expressions truly transform perceptions and soften even the most hardened of appearances. Weinstein captures strangers in two different poses: one without a smile and one while smiling. See for yourself… with no other context (Weinstein does not provide life stories, names, occupations, confirmed religions or ethnicity), it’s striking to see how a simple smile can humanize a perfect stranger. Weinstein describes the genesis of this compelling sociological experiment in his own words: “December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern face intimidated me. It’s always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, “Take my picture too!” Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. ‘Smile’, I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. So I asked them to smile was born. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face.”

Via soiaskedthemtosmile.com

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Philippine-born, Florida-based photographer Dennis Ramos has a penchant for atmospheric black and white photography. We are particularly fond of his architectural work, which casts a haunting glow over his subjects. Seen through Ramos’s lens, the world seems to stand still, and his skilled eye has a way of really accentuating the beauty of architectural lines by way of light, shadow and reflection. Really beautiful work.

Via dennis-ramos.com and Behance

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We’ve seem many artistic mediums, but never something quite like this. Some of the most recent works by artist Dino Tomic (aka AtomiccircuS) resemble chalk, but its actually… wait for it… ordinary table salt. Based in Norway, by way of Croatia, Tomic painstakingly arranges salt granules in such away that he achieves stunning variations of tone, giving these incredible Game of Thrones portraits an incredibly realistic feel. His beautifully intricate mandalas are also pretty remarkable. There’s simply no denying Tomic’s gift of visualizing his compositions, then slowly building them with his bare hands. And his 270,000+ Instagram followers would surely agree. Try to refrain from yelling at your screen when you reach the 1:07 mark in the video below. Now you can’t say you weren’t warned.

Via Facebook

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Photographs frequently serve as links to the past, often summoning up memories of a time that came before. Tennessee-based photographer Greg Sand capitalizes on this association, which is fundamental to his philosophy as an artist. In his own words, Sand says: “My work is about memory, the passage of time, mortality and the photograph’s role in shaping our experience of loss. Photography’s unique ability to capture a fleeting moment allows it to expose the temporality of life.” In his series entitled Remnants, Sand creates stunning works composed of three found photos from different times in the subject’s past, cut into strips and skillfully woven together to form a sort of cloth-like composite portrait. Sand says of woven cloth as a metaphor for memory: “As Peter Stallybrass writes in Worn Worlds, ‘The magic of cloth is that it receives us: receives our smells, our sweat, our shape even.’ This is one of the marvels of memory as well: we perceive each moment in our lives; these are eventually woven together to form our memory. Each piece in this series creates a likeness of an individual that–rather than depicting an accurate visual representation of that person at any given time–presents a recollected coalescence of that person’s appearances throughout his or her life.” We love the concept, and Sand’s execution is picture-perfect.

Via gregsand.net and Behance

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In honor of the fashionable social media practice of late, we are going to dip our toes in the “Throwback Thursday” pool….

Famed portrait photographer Philippe Halsman had a way with people, which certainly helped him build a body of iconic photography work. His conceptual approach to a medium that had been, up until then, largely used to capture reality was groundbreaking at the time. His collaboration in the late 1940s with surrealist artist Salvador Dali resulted in some of his most notable works. He later delved into perhaps his most famous series, Jump, in which he photographed movie stars, politicians, entertainers, artists, and authors to jump before his camera. In his own words, the late Halsman comments: “Starting in the early 1950s I asked every famous or important person I photographed to jump for me. I was motivated by a genuine curiosity. After all, life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps. I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits.”

Via philippehalsman.com

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French Canadian photographer Francois Brunelle is on a search to find 200 doppelgangers, people who happen to look like one another, but aren’t related. His goal is to compile a book of black and white portraits, and from the looks of it, he is well on his way. Brunelle says the project initially started among friends, then evolved. These portraits are striking… would make a great exhibition and eventual book.

Via francoisbrunelle.com

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