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You re

A Weekend of Food & Photography

Join Popular Photography and SAVEUR, together with Sony,

on an unprecedented weekend that blends the worlds of travel,
photography and food. What better backdrop for this tantalizing
combination than Charleston, a city renowned for its picturesque
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Working alongside notable chefs, pro photographer Landon Nordeman,

and Sony Artisan of Imagery Andy Katz, you will enjoy a true hands-on
experience both behind the lens and at the prep station. With your
camera at the ready and these pros at your side for guidance,
travel from a meet-and-greet cocktail with a SAVEUR editor, to a
private session with a local chef, and on to visit some of the citys
most historic and photogenic hot spots.
Save the date!

NOVEMBER 15-17, 2013

Cost $1,499 - Includes a Sony NEX-3N camera (a $499.99 value), all the weekends events:
meet-and-greets, presentations, hands-on instruction, tour, meals (two dinners, one lunch
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Space is limited. Reserve your spot today.

For the complete itinerary, additional information or to register, visit or call 888-647-2235

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September/october 2013

30 Creature of the Sea


Shooting commercial fshing operations in remote,

treacherous waters is tough. It can be even tougher
when youre one of the fshermen.
BY coreY arnold

38 Fashions Reigning Auteurs

Meet Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott
the style-photography duo that has a kaleidescopic
vision, a taste for pushing limits, and the fashion
industry lining up for more.
BY Matthew IsMael ruIz

50 Natures Mark
Digital may have done away with darkroom experiments,
but these photographers are reinventing the pictureas-object with techniques and artifacts from the land.
BY lorI FredrIckson

Cover: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. This page, from top: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; Jane Fulton Alt.

on the cover
Mert Alas and
Marcus Piggott
Natalia Vodianova
(represented by
DNA Model
for French Vogue,
March 2012.

This page, right, from top: Marion Cotillard, photographed

for French Vogue by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott (2012);
Burn No. 53, by Jane Fulton Alt. Next page: Boy in
Yellow Shirt Smoking, by Mark Cohen (1977).


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rstlight workshops
the art of visual narrative


September issues
A lifelong fascination with fashion
photography. By MiriaM leuchter

Emotional Reservoirs
Wendy Sacks taps into primal feelings
with a child-centered series.
By Jill c. shoMer



True to Form
James Chororos dropped a promising
architecture career to follow his passion.
The risk is paying off.
By Franklin Melendez


Lost in the Landscape


Fernando Brito makes Mexicos drug

wars and its victims visible beyond the
pages of his local newspaper.

Big iQ

By Jack crager

Phase Ones new medium-format back

proves that size matters.

20 BOOkS

By stan horaczek


The goods
Toys and toolsbecause you need both.
From Sony, Canon, and more.

kindly Beasts
Michael Nichols reveals the plight of
African elephants, Steve McCurry goes
behind his photos, and more.

Photos by Dave Harp.

By Jack crager


Unveiling Views

Photography on the go
Hipstamatic who? These mobile photo
apps put the smart in smartphone.

Women photographers in the Arab world,

Lewis Hine times two, modern portraits,
a color survey, and more.

By theano nikitas

By lindsay coMstock

Winter Light
January 16-19 or January 23-26, 2014

Mark Cohen, courtesy of the artist and Rose Gallery


Learn to create extraordinary images and

master digital photography from Pulitzer-Prize
winning, National Geographic Photographer
Jay Dickman and award-winning photographer, and lifelong Marylander David Harp.
Join us for our three-day, intensive workshop
on Marylands Eastern Shore. In January, the
sun draws a low arc over Chesapeake Bay,
creating gloriously warm, horizontal light on
the landscape. Wintering snow geese, bald
eagles, tundra swans and other waterfowl
move about the edges of land and water,
a few at a time or by the thousands. Youll
shoot early and late, and spend mid-days
having your photos critiqued by our awardwinning staff.
These workshops are very limited in size and
will fll quickly. For more information, visit our
website or call:1-303-730-2894.

SubScriptionS: American Photo (ISSN 1046-8986) (USPS 526-930), September/October, Volume 24, No. 5. American Photo is published
bimonthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) by Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Periodicals
postage paid at New York, NY 10016 and at additional mailing ofces. Authorized periodicals postage by the Post Ofce Department,
Ottawa, Canada, and for payment in cash. poStMAStEr: Send address changes to American Photo, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142;
386-246-0408; If the postal services alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation
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foreign, $35; cash orders only, payable in U.S. currency. Two years: U.S., $30; Canada, $50; and foreign, $70. Three years: U.S., $45; Canada, $75;
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P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For reprints e-mail



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DESIGNER : Wesley Fulghum
COPY EDITOR Meg Ryan Heery
FACT CHECKER Rebecca Geiger
ONLINE EDITORS Dan Bracaglia, Stan Horaczek
Lori Frederickson. Michael Kaplan



Rugged Durability
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have been fascinated with fashion photography for as long as I can remember. Not
the actual fashion (OK, a little of that),
but how it is presented, in daring, decadent images.
When I was in school, fashion magazines were
treated with the kind of disdain usually reserved
for romance novels, so I kept my torn-out pages of
Vogue, W, and Interview hidden.
Now, of course, I wallow in my guilty pleasure
with impunity, and so does the rest of the world.
Cond Nast and Hearst publish September issues as
big as ottomans, and independent publishers with
small circulations boast outsized inuence. A photographic genre once seen as hopelessly commercial
has become a staple in art galleries and museums.
One way to catch up quickly with some of the
elds most inuential artists is to take in the

straightforwardly named New Fashion Photography,

edited by Paul Sloman and published last spring
by Prestel. It presents 175 photos, many of them
full-page, some double trucks, all made since 2000
by more than two dozen photographers from all
over the globe. They range from Nick Knights
collaborative experiments and Rankins nearly
abstract closeups to Kourtney Roys ironic takes on
vernacular imagery to Ruven Afanadors oddball
fantasy scenarios. Each artist in one way or another
overturns the viewers expectations.
And isnt that a mark of all great photography?
In our own September issue, fashion duo Mert Alas
and Marcus Piggott discuss their controversial
approach to shooting couture; Corey Arnold contemplates how his work as a commercial sherman
has shaped his documentary photography; and ne
artists explore new ways to bring tactile experience
into a form where digital now predominates. With
art and commerce colliding everywhere, what do
clothes really have to do with it?


From top: Patrick James Miller; Eugenio Recuenco

Above: Miriam Leuchters

new headshot taken by
Patrick James Miller.
Left: Les Costumes for V
Magazine/Madame Figaro
by Eugenio Recuenco, 2009.
Below: Lily Cole for Wig
magazine by LaRoache
Brothers, 2007, on the cover
of New Fashion Photography (Prestel, 2013).


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the people behind the pics Work in Progress 16 Books 20 on the Wall 24

one to Watch

true to Form

Trained as an architect, New Yorkbased James Chororos has traded in blueprints for snapshots
By Franklin Melendez

n a scorching summer day on the Upper West

Side, photographer James Chororos has no
trouble keeping his cool. Just shy of his 30th
birthday, he exudes the quiet confdence of someone
used to taking things in stride. Lately, this includes
tackling more than a few benchmarks, such as a new
Manhattan studio (relocated from Brooklyn) and the
growing buzz around his multifaceted freelance practicea mixture of technical polish and poetic abandon
that hes made his own. This would be an accomplishment for any young photographer, much less one who

James Chororos

above: choroross shot

of a couple watching
the sun set behind fog
in brooklyn bridge
park, with Manhattans fnancial district
in the background.

made the leap less than a year ago after abandoning a promising career in architecture to pursue a
growing passion for the lens.
As he notes with unstudied candor, the shift
was far from planned. To be honest, he says, the
reason was very personal: My father became ill
and passed away, and that experience made me
reevaluate everything. Architecture was something
Id always wanted to do, and I was good at it. But I
wasnt as happy as I could be working on projects
that sometimes take years and years to complete.

SepTeMBer/OCTOBer 2013 AMerICAnphOTOMAg.COM 11

Image making was the opposite. Its all about rapid

production, very energetic; youre out in the wild. I
never had time to think if I was goodI just did it.
Then again, this was the latest juncture in a long
creative journey. As seen in his exacting structural
shots and emotive portraits, his visual calling has
deep and varied roots. Initially studying fne arts at
rutgers University, he made the leap to engineering
before tackling a graduate degree in architecture at
the new Jersey Institute of Technology.
Thats where he took up photography. In graduate school, it was suggested by a couple of professors
to get a DSLr to document our works, drawings,
and things that inspired us, he says. That was the
frst time I picked up a digital camera.
Choroross new passion did not immediately
sway him from the straight and narrow, especially
after he landed a coveted spot at a prestigious new
York architecture frm, Studio Daniel Libeskind,
just before graduating in 2010. The following years
proved to be a juggling act between professional
above: Red hook, brooklyn.
below: My wifes hair
mimicking the clouds.

12 AMerICAnphOTOMAg.COM SepTeMBer/OCTOBer 2013

James Chororos (2)

one to Watch


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Clockwise from left: A

cyclist stops to grab his
camera at Brooklyn Bridge
Park; a woman at the crest
of a hill in upstate New
York; kids dance in the
spray from an open fre
hydrant in record heat in
Park Slope, Brooklyn.

demands and his avocation. i was very involved in

the architecture track, and i didnt have much free
time, he recalls. i was working weekends, editing at night. i would shoot after work, whenever i
could. i was always furiously making images.
the outlet for this output proved to be another
turning point. chororos launched his own blog,
which quickly became popular. i started gaining a
lot of followers, and eventually started getting job
offers from the things i was posting online.
combined with image-sharing apps like insta-

gram, the blogosphere afforded chororos a rich

platform to share ideas with pros and amateurs
alike. i started to post so i could evaluate my own
work, have this stream of images and keep things
fun. Yet the experiment opened him up to new
commercial work, online collaborations, and personal projects such as his deeply affecting images of
the rockaways in the wake of hurricane sandy.
it was very compelling to shoot there, he says.
You had this sense of awe, but you also have the
reality of people dealing with the displacement.

14 september/october 2013

James chororos (3); portrait by lisa Weatherbee

one to watch

Chororos is now in talks about an exhibition

in new York and attending to a growing roster of
commercial clients. his biggest challenge to date?
Architectural shoots, he says. Sometimes too
much education can work against creativity. I like
the exploration and challenge, which keeps things
interesting and new. aP


James Chororos

Lives In New York City

Studied At Rutgers University (fne art); New Jersey Institute of
Technology (architecture)
Lesson Learned How little technical knowledge means without
experience, Chororos says. Having confdence in your vision
and knowing what to do next out there in a variety of different
scenarios is invaluable.
In the Bag Most of my personal work is shot with a Fujiflm
X-Pro1, he says. I love using it because its so compact and it
can be a little unpredictable. For professional work, I carry two
bodies, both Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Its reliable and versatile,
and it performs great in low light and extreme daylight.

Lost in the Landscape

In Western Mexico, Fernando Brito captures haunting scenes that symbolize social decay

16 september/october 2013


Work in progress

or mexican photographer Fernando brito,

views of death are an occupational hazard.
as photo editor of the newspaper El
Debate in culiacn, Sinaloa, he regularly sees and
prints sensational scenes of murderous violence
in the region, much of it sparked by turf wars
between rival drug cartels and their battles with
the mexican government. according to U.S. open
borders, an online aggregator of news and information about the U.S.-mexico border, culiacns

Fernando brito

Above and following

page: Two untitled
images from Fernando
Britos series Your
Steps Were Lost in the

murder rate exceeds one per day and the state of

Sinaloas is even higher.
a few years ago brito began a personal project
shooting alternate views of corpses he encountered
in his work. the idea was to make people aware
of the problem. i think too often we are asleep,
isolated, social orphans, brito says. it makes me
sad to see these forgotten people, day in and day
out. they go from real humans to statistics and
old news overnight.
in his series Your Steps Were Lost in the Landscape, brito depicts the bucolic mexican countryside punctuated by bodies; the victims are shown
from a respectful distance, isolated amid an eerie
tranquility. these are not sensationalist, tabloidlike photographs, brito says, and there is not a
single living person in them.
in the photo community, the project has touched
a nerve. britos numerous awards include third
prize in general news at World press photo 2011
and the Descubrimientos phe award at photoespaa 2011, where he was overall winner of a
global competition. the series has been shown in
venues including the russian tea room gallery in
paris and muse de lelyse in Lausanne, Switzerland; its on view through September 1 at circulo de
bellas arts in madrid as part of phe13.
brito himself seems more interested in visual
storytelling than receiving accolades. im not an
artist, he says during a private press tour of his
show in madrid. im a citizen with a problem. Yet
isnt this a story hes conveying in an artful way? i
am trying to report what is happening, he replies.
my job allows me to work on a project to denounce
this problem, using the mask or disguise of art to be
able to reach the galleries.
he concedes that the work is not for the squeamish. i have been told about the emotions caused
by my photographs, he says. once, i printed
the images and someone who worked in the place
where i did it recognized his brother in one of the
photos. he said that he was oK with me being the
one making the picture, because he could see the
respect i feel for the dead and their families.
brito says hes created this project alongside
but separate from his newspaper reportage. ive
never been alone with a corpse, hes explained to
Vice magazine. i was never the frst on the scene.
there are certain people that we call, like the police
and funeral services. there are also usually other
reporters there from other newspapers. We rely
on each other so that were never alone. When im

September/october 2013 17

Work in progress

Fernando brito

Brito has placed many of his

images in photo contests and
art galleries to turn some
heads, he says. Every time
someone sees a photo, they
know more about whats
happening in Mexico and
theyre more inclined to question it and possibly take steps
to end it.


Fernando Brito

Lives In In Culiacn, Sinaloa, Mexico

Studied At Universidad de Occidente
Culiacn (marketing)
Awards Include Descubrimientos PHE
Award at PHotoEspaa 2011; Third
Prize, General News, World Press
Photo 2011; Mexican Expo
Foto Periodismo, 2010 and 2011
Photo Training On the job, as photo
editor of El Debate since 2004. The
moment when I started working at the
newspaper, it changed my professional
career, Brito says. I went to workshops and conferences, and received a
good visual training through work.
In the Bag Nikon D800; Nikon SB-900 AF
Speedlight; lenses include 50mm f/1.4
AF-S Nikkor, 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S Nikkor wide-angle, and 80200mm f/2.8D
ED AF Zoom-Nikkor telephoto.

18 September/october 2013

through with my tour around the body, getting the

photos i need for the paper, i stand in a place where
i will get the shot that i want and wait for everyone
to move out of the frame. Sometimes i take a ton of
photos; sometimes i take only one.
While the crime scenes vary, one common feature in the photographs is a rural landscape. Some
of these people were killed right there, brito says,
and in some cases, the bodies were wrapped, moved,
and thrown away. While much of the violence can
be traced to drug wars, brito says its simplistic to
generalize. many of these victims are innocent people
caught in the crossfre, he says.
how long does he plan to continue the series? it
will go on indefnitely, he says, adding that theres no
end in sight to the violence. i just want to bring to
light issues that some people try to ignore, brito says,
in order to grant the dead a little more time in this
world, so that they wont be forgotten. AP

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In an elephantine tribute, Michael Nichols exposes the underside of Africas ivory trade

earth to sKy: aMong afrICas elePhants,

a sPeCIes In CrIsIs
By Michael Nichols Aperture $34
For more than 20 years, National Geographic lensman michael nick nichols has documented life
in the wilds of africa, traversing the continent with
his longtime collaborator, biologist J. michael Fay.
back in 1992, the two men came across the powerful might of frightened elephants in nations including the central african republic, congo, gabon,
and chad, where the animals are under constant
threat from poachers feeding the ivory trade. Later,
nichols writes, i had the opportunity to spend
time among well-protected, happy herds in Samburu, Kenya. this gave him new insight. Watching
elephant families from dawn to duskand sometimes by moonlightshowed me that these are the

Top: At the Samburu

National Reserve in Kenya
in 2007, surrounded and
protected by adult females,
younger elephants of the
Virtues family play and

20 September/october 2013


most caring and sentient creatures on earth.

thus began a love affair thats culminated with
this richly rendered volume. nichols captures
scenes ranging from warm interactions between
herds to deathly confrontations between animals
and poachers to the heroic efforts of humans who
foster orphan elephants. its a heart-tugging collection, as visually dramatic as it is disturbing. backof-book charts on poaching stats and how-to-help
listings round out the message. the payoff of our
work, and the work of many others with like minds,
was the creation of 13 national parks in gabon, two
in congo, and one in the central african republic, nichols notes. but they continue to face great
challenges from poachers and lack of government
and ngo action. much honest work is still to be
done to establish truly lasting sanctuaries.

michael nichols, National Geographic

Kindly Beasts

At Canon, we see image-making as

a personal endeavor surrounded by
a vibrant, supportive community.
Were here to help you develop your
skills, build your network and fuel
your inspiration.

SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS: With Canon Live Learning, receive top-level

instruction, gain technical knowledge and check out the latest EOS gear
rst hand. Our intimate seminars and workshops are held in a number of
locations across the country. Visit us online for fees, dates and locations.

CANON AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: The Canon Digital Learning Center is a free

online resource for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Instructional content
includes tutorials, downloadable guides and interviews with the pros.

2013 Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon and EOS are registered trademarks of
Canon Inc. in the United States. All rights reserved.


Untold: the storIes behInd the PhotograPhs

By Steve McCurry Phaidon $60

Weve seen mccurrys greatest hitsthe afghan
girl, the iridescent portraits in exotic lands. here
we get the anecdotes behind these images, as well
as a slew of lesser-known shots that indicate his
ever-ready camera and trigger fnger. You cant
get hung up on what you think your real destination is, mccurry notes. You have to be open to
what you see along the way, and ready to seize an
opportunitystop and make the picture.

InvIsIble eve By Yousef Khanfar Rizzoli $75

perhaps the most striking thing about Khanfars
portraits of women who are incarcerated for
nonviolent crimes is their optimistic humanism. many are depicted with their children, some
smiling in the clutch of hard time. in statements
accompanying the images, most of these women
seem remorseful and philosophical, but not bitter,
about the crimes that got them there: Life is not
about fnding yourself, declares Samalyah gipson
(above). it is about creating yourself.
22 September/october 2013

the PhotograPhy of ModernIst CUIsIne

By Nathan Myhrvold Modernist Cuisine $108

Slice it, dice it, and marvel: these food forays take
us from fsh in the wild to microscopic cell studies
and back again. in a section called cutaways,
entire dishessay, a blender full of tomatoesare
cross-sectioned against glass so that we see the
veggies, the machinery, and
the wiring in all their scientifc
splendor. the cooking chapter is sure to inspire culinary
art (too bad its short on actual
recipes). as the abstracted
images veer from ice crystals
to icebergs, we get it: Food
is everything.

clockwise from top left: Steve mccurry/magnum photos; chris hoover/modernist cuisine LLc; Yousef Khanfar

Clockwise from above:

Steve McCurrys shot of a
mother and child looking
in through a taxi window,
Bombay, India, 1993;
Nathan Myhrvolds crosssection of a salad bowl;
Yousef Khanfars portrait
of Samalyah Gipson,
in prison at the Mabel
Bassett Correctional Center
in Oklahoma for possession
of a dangerous controlled
substance within 2,000
feet of a park.




A Vitec Group brand

on the wall

Unveiling Views
she Who teLLs a story: Women
PhotograPhers from iran
and the araB WorLd
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Aug. 27 Jan. 12, 2014

this group show applauds the work of 12 prominent women photographers who have pioneered
their discipline in the arab world. the collection explores cultural anchors such as identity
and tradition within countries that recently have
been roiled by political upheaval and power shifts.
showcasing the work of photographers across a

Nermine Hammams The

Break, 2011, part of the
group exhibition She Who
Tells a Story at Bostons
Museum of Fine Arts.

24 september/october 2013

By Lindsay ComstoCk

number of genresthe artsy war views of nermine

hammam (above), the provocative documentary
work of shirin neshat, the philosophical fne art
of Jananne al-ani, the revealing gender studies
of newsha tavakolianthe show sheds light on
a complex part of the world at a time of critical
change. tavakolian also has an eponymous solo
show at the Los angeles county museum of art
(, in which the iranian-born photojournalists empathetic portraits in her native land lift
the veil shrouding an oft-misunderstood culture.

nermine hammam

The enigmatic insights of women on both sides of the lens in the Middle East


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F aBout faCe: ContemPorary Portraiture

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, through Jan. 19, 2014

this exhibition includes 36 works by 29 artists around the world who have
stretched the boundaries of portraiture beyond an images face value. here
traditional ideals of gender, beauty, and expression are cast aside in an attempt
to understand what lies beyond the skin. including work by pieter hugo, gohar
Dashti, richard Learoyd, Latoya ruby Frazier, and alec soth, the exhibition
coincides with Making Pictures of People, an online exhibition of portraiture
culled from the web-based photo community and curated by
creator andy adams.
From top: Prized Possession, Democratic Republic
of Congo, 2008, by Jim
Goldberg, at NelsonAtkins; Alamogordo
Blues, 1986, by Patrick
Nagatani and Andre
Tracey, at Amon Carter;
Lewis Hines shot of a
child in Paintsville, KY,
circa 1930, at ICP.

Also Showing
at the Window: the Photographers
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 1 Jan. 5, 2014
This group exhibition focuses on windows and how photographers throughout history have used them, both as
a compositional device for framing and as a voyeuristic
entry point into hidden realms. Featured photographers
include William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron,
Eugne Atget, Robert Adams, and Sebastio Salgado.

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Sept. 14 Jan. 5, 2014
This years installment of MoMAs annual collective
presents eight artists who stretch the objectives of the
photographconceptualizing the medium as an elastic
digital platform through which bookmaking, music, social
media, and medical imaging techniques interact with and
transform still photography.

the errand of the eye:

Photographs by rose mandel
de Young Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA, through Oct. 13
Though Rose Mandel worked alongside photographers like
Ansel Adams and Minor White, her black-and-white images
of San Francisco street scenes and surreal images of
the natural world remain underappreciated. This retrospective traces her artistic growth throughout her
career, from the late 1940s through the early 1970s.

CoLor! ameriCan PhotograPhy transformed

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX, Oct. 5 Jan. 5, 2014

color is so integral to photography today, says curator John rohrbach, that

it is diffcult to remember how new it is or realize how much it has changed the
medium. this show spans the genres growth, from Levi L. hills pioneering
experiments in the 1800s to fne-art forays by the likes of William eggleston to
the cinematic imagery of contemporary artists such as gregory crewdson.

F LeWis hine and LeWis hines

Lasting LegaCy
International Center of Photography, New York, NY, Oct. 4 Jan. 12, 2014

these concurrent shows represent an unprecedented

overview of Lewis hines contribution to social documentary photography. included are hines infuential
portraits on ellis island, his ambitious documentation of the american red cross in europe, and his
Works progress administration series in the 1930s,
for which he shot more than 700 images to document
working conditions in industrial towns.
26 september/october 2013

Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, through Sept. 7;
New York, NY, through Sept. 8
Drawing on gallery owner Stephen Cohens collection
40 years in the making, this show focuses on imagery with
an immediacy that is untrained and colloquial in nature.
Collecting vernacular photography is a compulsion for a
truth, Cohen notes, an honesty and sometimes a profound beauty that has been found in the artless intent of
their makers and far removed from their original purpose
and which continues to capture our imagination.

John divola: as far as i Could get

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA,
Oct. 6 Feb. 2, 2014
This four-decade surveythe frst solo exhibition of
John Divolas worktraces his amalgamation of photography, painting, and conceptual and performance
art into a distinctive style, a cross-media exploration
of subjects ranging from otherworldly landscapes to
architectural interiors.

From top: Jim goldberg; patrick nagatani and andre tracey; Lewis Wickes hine, international center of photography, gift of mildred baker

new Photography 2013

OCTOBER 16, 2013

Beneath a canopy of clouds, the impressive Arenal Volcano stands

in the distance and a verdant world of tropical forests, twisting
canyons, and cascading waterfalls awaits. Join Nikon professional
photographers Lucas Gilman and Reed Hoffmann to experience the
beauty of Costa Rica and explore the benefits of using video to tell
a story using Nikons latest HD-SLRs. At Arenal Natura Ecological
Park, we will turn our cameras to frogs, birds, reptiles, and other rare
species to capture the array of brilliant colors present here. Press the
record button to gather a world of sounds unique to this region.
Consider your mentors best advice as they assist you in capturing
the simple movements of graceful butterflies or representing the
vibrant, yet peaceful ambience of the cloud forest. Secure your camera
gear and sail above the treetops on a zip-line, and navigate through
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camera movement techniques youre learning along the way as you
record the action of a brave adventurist rappelling down a river canyon
over brilliant waterfalls and into the tropical waters beyond. Learning
basic HD editing techniques and the considerations to be taken
when motion and sound are added to your travel journal will leave you
prepared to narrate a richer, fuller story.

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Visual Odyssey


OCTOBER 18-20, 2013

Home to expansive state and national parks, forests, lakes and rivers,
Northern Michigan is situated in the heart of the stunning Great Lakes
region. Head north to a territory rich in history and beauty, where
generations of traders, sherman and farmers have left their mark in
time. Join Mentor Series and Nikon professional photographers Mark
Alberhasky and Bob Smith this October for a workshop designed to
take advantage of the seasonal foliage and warm autumn colors that
are brought to life by fall in Northern Michigan. With its miles of sandy
beaches and bluffs extending 400 feet above Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear
Dunes National Lakeshore offers spectacular views of the areas expansive
shoreline and surrounding forests, inland lakes and streams. Photograph
from scenic vistas and explore the terrain as you make your way to the
dunes below. Experience sunset at Point Betsie Lighthouse, a historic
landmark situated at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage, and
watch as the painted sky melts across the cool waters of Lake Michigan.
On the picturesque Leelanau Peninsula, explore the original farmsteads,
orchards and hillside villages. Visit the charming fishing village
of Leland to photograph the rustic docks and shanties. Discover the vast and
unrivaled beauty of the precious Great Lakes region on an unforgettable
weekend workshop. Explore Northern Michigan with Mentor Series in
October 2013, and bring your digital photography to life.

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Mentor Series Worldwide Treks


NOVEMBER 110, 2013

From the glint of golden temples to the flash of city lights and saffroncolored robes, focus your lens on the vibrant colors and iconic scenery of
Thailand. Join the Mentor Series and Nikon professional photographers
David Tejada and Reed Hoffmann as we travel to the majestic cities
of Bangkok, Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai. In Bangkok, we begin our
tour with a visit to the Grand Palace, a complex of courtyards, gardens,
and buildings adorned in gold leaf and colored glass, followed by a
visit to the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Photograph local
merchants selling fresh fruit, vegetables, and orchid blossoms from boats
overflowing with produce in the crowded canals of the Floating Market
at Damnoen Saduak. We continue on to Northern Thailand, where the
kingdom borders Laos at the Mekong River, offering views of lush jungle,
elephant farms, hill tribe villages, and tea plantations in Chiang Rai. Visit
the northern city of Chiang Mai, with its characteristic teak and gold
temples. Photograph hillside temples at sunset, visit a tiger sanctuary,
and attend morning prayer sessions with local Buddhist monks. Spend an
afternoon with the elephants as our mentors offer tips and techniques
for capturing these impressive creatures up close. This year, with Mentor
Series at your side, experience the exquisite natural beauty of Thailand!

Martin Strmko

Donnie Sexton

FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS, the Mentor Series has taken photo enthusiasts to
destinations across the country and around the world. With top Nikon professional
photographers accompanying participants every day and teaching them how and
what to shoot, theres nothing like a Mentor Series trek. You and your photography
will never be the same!

DECEMBER 5-8, 2013

Discover the turquoise waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the white sand
beaches and deep coves beckon like hidden treasures. Join Mentor Series
and Nikon professional photographers Layne Kennedy and Jeff Diener in
December as we explore the captivating islands of St. Thomas and St. John. St.
Thomas offers everything from windsurng, snorkeling, and deep-sea shing, to
bustling markets and outdoor cafes, all encased by the islands pristine white sand
beaches. Paradise Point offers dramatic views of Charlotte Amalies harbor and
an ideal setting to capture a beautiful evening sunset. St. John is the smallest and
least densely populated of the U.S. Virgin Islands, with more than two-thirds of
the island preserved as a national park. The uninhabited beaches, rocky coastline,
and beautiful crescent-shaped bays of St. John will provide wonderful
opportunities for exploring and further developing your photography skill set.
Next, well visit Trunk Bay, a picture-perfect, quarter-mile-long beach considered
one of the worlds most beautiful. It is famous for a 670-foot snorkeling trail
marked with underwater informational signs. The Nikon 1 system, Nikkor
lenses and Nikon underwater housing will be available for you to use or borrow
so you can explore beneath the surface with our expert mentors at your side.
Dont miss the opportunity to experience some of the worlds most beautiful
beaches while building on your photo expertise in a delightful tropical location.

Come on a Mentor Series trek and try out

some of the latest equipment that
including their high-performance HD-SLRs,
NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon 1 System and a
variety of COOLPIX compact digital cameras.

Special thanks
to our premier



Corey Arnold

of the Sea

On the Job

On chronicling the life and work of commercial fshermen

By Corey Arnold as told to Meg Ryan Heery

september/october 2013 31

he bering sea is one of the most plentiful

sources for crab in the world, and with
swells that can reach as high as 40 feet,
its one of the roughest oceans that is regularly
fshed. rogue waves can sweep across the deck,
50-knot winds can lash the boat in a storm;
occasionally a line under extreme tension snaps.
the crab pots, huge metal cages weighing 800
pounds each, have to be swung into the boat by
hand. even in relatively calm weather, they can
turn into wrecking balls. somehow i managed
to break only three camera lenses in my seven
years photographing commercial fshing while
working as a crabber.
i consider myself both a photographer and a
fsherman equally. i actually started working as
a fsherman several years before i made money
from photographywhich didnt really happen
until years after i started shooting Fish-Work
in 2002. Four seasons ago i bought a permit to
commercial-fsh for salmon in bristol bay, alaska,
and have been making a portion of my living off
of salmon ever since.
the seven weeks each summer when i fsh
bristol bay is my favorite time of the year. its my

Above: Eric Nyhammer

and Matthew Sullivan sort
Opilio crab in the Bering
Sea aboard the F/V Rollo.
Right: Matthew Sullivan
holds a Pacifc sleeper
shark we caught while
long-lining for halibut
aboard the F/V Two Bears.
Previous spread: My frst
season crabbing in the
Bering Sea, shot in 2003
aboard the deck of the
F/V Rollo.

32 september/october 2013

escape from staring at a glowing screen in order

to manage my photography business. i completely
detach from the outside worldits often hard to
take photos out there because when im fshing,
im fully immersed in the community and the job
of managing a fshing operation. but i try, in my
photographs of life here in alaska and in the
fshing industry around the world, to show all
aspects of a commercial fshermans experience
the work, the camaraderie, the vastness and diversity of the ocean, and the often surreal encounters
with the natural world that few people will ever
experience frsthand.
in the ocean, there is a seemingly endless variety of sea creatures. its not like, say, sport-fshing
in a lake, where youll fnd maybe fve species of
fsh. What lies beneath the surface of the sea is
always a mystery. there is always the possibility of capturing something huge or strangea
rare bottom-dwelling shark that weighs several
hundred pounds or a prehistoric-looking ratfsh.
thats part of the reason i became addicted to
ocean sport-fshing early in my youth. my dad had
two businesses, an avocado grove and a wholesale
tropical houseplant business, that required long

corey arnold (2)

On the Job

On the Job
The deck of the
F/V Dutch Beam
Trawler heading out in
the North Sea, 2010.

Photographer and commercial fsherman Corey

Arnold, based in Portland, Oregon, shows his work
and shoots editorial and advertising assignments
when he is not captaining his wild salmon gillnetting
operation in Bristol Bay, Alaska. His lifelong project,
Fish-Work, documents the commercial fshing lifestyle around the world. He is represented by Charles
A. Hartman Fine Art in Portland, Richard Heller
Gallery in Santa Monica, CA, and Redeye Reps in
Los Angeles. See more of his work at

34 september/october 2013

corey arnold (2)

work hours. he kept a 21-foot boat docked at

oceanside, california, and fshing was his escape.
he began taking me out to sea as soon as i could
walk, and for many years we would launch our
boat a few times a month targeting yellowtail,
tuna, bass, rockfsh. my dad was also a photo buff
and catalogued our catch of the day religiously
after every outing. (he bought me a pentax K1000
when i was about 10 years old and inspired me to
start shooting, too.) in elementary school i was
known for dazzling the crowd with my ice chest
full of odd sea creatures: a fsh id never seen
before or a miniature shark. skate eggs were a big
hit in class. theyre perfectly disguised as kelp,
but when you hold them up to the light you can
see the embryo, complete with umbilical cord.
When i grew older we began taking trips
north in the summer, frst to british columbia
and eventually to alaska. in 1995 i got a job on
a salmon boat in bristol bay and fshed every
summer through college. When i graduated from
the academy of art college in san Francisco, i
assisted photographers for a couple of years, but
with the dot-com collapse in 2001, it didnt seem
like a very good time to strike out on my own
photo career. instead, i drove up to seattle in
search of fshing work on higher seas.
Deckhand work is long and tedious, often
dangerous, and you are living in close quarters
with people you are not required to like. everyone
on the crew handles the pressure differently. at
any given time during one of our 18- to 20-hour
work days, one guy might be stumbling around
on the brink of exhaustion; another is losing his
temper and wildly throwing things around on
deck; someone else might just be catching his
third or fourth wind and working super hard.
all together it gets pretty intense.
at the same time, i knew this could really
make for an interesting project. not many people
had photographed commercial fshing, and the
general public didnt have a very good understanding of what modern commercial fshing looks like.
people read about overfshing, the environmental
costs of the industry, or sustainability, but a direct
connection to the fshing industry was lacking.
i wanted to celebrate the lifestyle of fshermen
but also explore deeper issues about ocean sustainability on a global scale.
at frst i fgured id work on a boat for maybe
two years, then switch to another boat and work a
couple years, documenting different types of fshingfrst off alaska; then norway, where i split
my time for several years working and photographing; then around the world. instead i ended
up working on a crabbing boat called the F/V
Rollo for seven years.
the captain of the Rollo (yes, the same Rollo
that was featured in the Discovery series Deadliest Catch) was eric nyhammer. he was the type
of leader who didnt yell or stress you out. he just

expected you to do the job and do it well. he had a

way of making you want his approval without saying anything; he also happened to be a painter. We
meshed really well, and he understood what i was
trying to do, so he let me shoot a little bit here
and there while at work.
i had to bargain with the crew every time i
wanted to shoot for a few minutes, because whenever i had to jump off deck and grab my camera, it made a lot more work for them. theres a
system that works harmoniously on deck, and if
one person is out of the mix, it makes everything
a little bit harder. but the tradeoff is capturing
these moments that dont happen anywhere else:
You can be working 20-hour days, in close quar-

ters with the same people for weeks at a time;

youre exhausted and everything hurts. then, you
look up at the horizon; its just birds everywhere
and beautiful deep green waves, and you disappear from the chaos and exhaustion of the boat.
one fascinating thing about this work is that
despite all the drama of storms or the excitement of hauling in a catch, the ocean itself moves
very slowly. one fsherman i work with in bristol
bay has been there for 50 years and has watched
boom and bust cycles happen fve times over. its
not always to do with overfshing. a lot goes on
in the open ocean that is hard to understand.
natural fuctuations occur all the time. Just a few
years ago the crab supply was much lower than
september/october 2013 35

Commercial salmon set-net

fsherman Rian Ten Kley
stands on the mud near the
mouth of the Kvichak river,
near Bristol Bay, AK.

36 september/october 2013

and high-quality fshery. then youve got factory

trawlers hauling up sometimes a million pounds of
groundfsh in one tow, and all these incredible fsh
are getting crushed and mushed and made into
fsh sticks. in many ways the individual fshermen
are really the heart of coastal communities. the
preservation of a way of life is a big part of why i
take these pictures.
the graveyard point series shows a seasonal
community of fshermen, including myself, who
spend the summers in a remote part of bristol
bay, at the mouth of the Kvichak river. We live
in an old cannery that was built around 1900 and
abandoned in 1952. about 130 people and about

corey arnold (2)

it is now. there have been periods when some

regions have been overfshed, but because theyve
been managed well, theyve been able to rebound.
some of the most obvious changes so far are
procedural. When i started crabbing, it was in the
derby days, when about 300 boats started the season together and raced, without sleep, to catch as
much as possible before the overall feet quota was
gobbled up. that might take fve days, ten days,
or a few weeks. nowadays a lot of fsheries are
switching to catch shares, where owners purchase
a percentage of the quota of fsh. You have all year
to reach the quota, so the pace has relaxed a bit,
but we dont know yet what the effects on fsheries or the environment might be.
You have to look back much further to see the
impact the fshing industry has had on whole communities. the days of all the harbors flled with
fshing boatsthose photos you see in fsh restaurantsare very romanticized. now those harbors
are practically empty. Fishing boats are much
more effcient now, so there are fewer of them. i
think, who knows what this will all look like in 60
years, how different will things be? and i just want
to keep documenting these incremental changes.
Whatever happens in those coastal communities, fshermen hold the keys to keeping them alive.
a lot of them were built around small-boat fshing
operations; today more individual quotas are owned
by large corporations. thats dangerous, because it
shortchanges the inshore small fshermen. its like
the difference between a huge corporate farm that
uses pesticides and modifed seeds to maximize
proft and the small organic farmer who gets the
higher price and handles their food with better
quality. in bristol bay, the feet is divided up into
thousands of tiny boats that all have an equal shot
at catching fsh. We are small, and we handle
our fsh really well. this is a truly sustainable

On the Job

50 boats live and fsh out of there in June and

July. two mining frms want to dig a massive
open-pit copper mine, known as pebble mine, at
the headwaters of the Kvichak and the nushagak
rivers. now, these two rivers are very remote, but
combined they yield more than half of the sockeye salmon in the world. the water there is also
very pure, with extremely low mineral concentrationsan ideal salmon habitat.
if they proceed, pebble mine would become one
of the largest mines in the world, generating 10 billion tons of wastewater to be contained in perpetuity. according to a 2012 report by the Wild salmon
center, even small amounts of mineral contami-

Commercial salmon
fshermen from Graveyard
Point explore a nearby
abandoned cannery called
Nakeen during some rare
time off in fshing season.

nants and sediment would alter ph levels enough to

jeopardize the ecosystem and potentially devastate
the fsheries. my graveyard point series is a picture
of a community that, if the mine goes through,
probably wont exist for more than another 100
years or so. this is part of my home and livelihood,
so its more than just a photo series or an environmental issue to me.
Fishing is in my blood, and i want to keep working and photographing on boats around the world,
putting out books and making exhibitions as i go.
i want to continue showing the world a broader
perspective of the people who are bringing wild
seafood to the masses. AP

september/october 2013 37



Exuberantly defant in its variety,
the work of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott
is consistent in its brashness. And its made
the duo among the most sought-after and
talked-about photographers in the business.
PhotograPhs by Mert alas & Marcus Piggott
story by Matthew isMael ruiz

38 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM SePteMber/october 2013

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Mert & Marcus


Fashions Reigning Auteurs

ert Alas and Marcus Piggottaffectionately known in fashion circles as simply
Mert & Marcuslive a charmed life. As
art-conscious club kids in the 90s, they fell backward into fashion, each others arms, and, most
important, photography.
they choose not to discuss their romantic status,
but their creative collaboration is so powerful that it
has long transcended physical attraction. Alas told
us that for him, making Mert & Marcus pictures is
about the time they share and the work that goes
into themneither has any desire to work separatelyand continually pulling from an eclectic range of
infuences in the service of their point of view.
the duos discerning, constantly evolving aesthetic makes them coveted among haute-couture
magazines and advertisers who give them the freedom to make images without the constraints placed
on many of their fellow photographers.
in the economics of photography, the divide
between commercial and editorial work is pronounced; for fashion, even more so. Fashion
photographers use editorial work, often unpaid, to
express themselves artistically and to attract the
attention of deep-pocketed luxury brands. Alas and
Piggott developed their aesthetic shooting and styling for forward-thinking magazines such as Dazed
& Confused and i-D and moved on to regularly shoot
editorial work for the likes of Vogue and W and ads
for brands such as Louis Vuitton and givenchy.
Stylists love the pair because their infnitely
expanding collection of infuences means they might
be working with any imagery, from raw nature to
space alien to zombie baroque. Designers love them
because they entice people into a world where a
handbag costs more than some cars. our job is to
create an identity for brands so people can relate
to them, Alas says. but that doesnt mean that it
doesnt hold any artistic value within that process.
Such a perspective is not necessarily unique, but
what sets them apart is their range. Many photographers become known for an easily identifable style that editors and art directors can bank
on. but these two seem to be from the bruce Lee
school of photography. the martial artist whose
style became famous for having no identifable
style was unbeatable because opponents could
never predict his next move. by not restricting
themselves to one styleoften even they dont
know whats coming nextAlas and Piggott have
made themselves appealingly versatile.
it probably would be easy to have one style, to
be honest, Piggott says. but we would get bored.

Mert Alas &

Marcus Piggott

40 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM SePteMber/october 2013

Above: Natalia
Vodianova, for W,
2012. Previous spread:
Lara Stone, for French
Vogue, October 2010.

September/OctOber 2013 americanphOtOmag.cOm 41

Fashions Reigning Auteurs

Below: Jessica Stam, for
W, March 2005. Right:
Christina Ricci, for POP
Autumn/Winter 2004.

42 americanphOtOmag.cOm September/OctOber 2013

wOuld be easy TO have
One sTyle, TO be hOnesT.
buT we wOuld GeT bOred.

alas concurs: the substance directs the light, the

look, the colors, not our style, he says. it would be
so vain to start a project with our style. thats not
how we approach it.
When alas and piggott met in 1993 at a party
on a pier in hastings, england, they were barely
in their twenties, both club kids looking for the
next party. alas, a turkish emigr who had studied
classical music, tells us that before they met, they
hadnt lived much life yet, and that, in effect, growing up together formed the basis of their fuid working relationship. We kind of experienced everything
together anyway, from the start, so its so easy to
communicate. its like looking back at your diary
to say, Oh, do you remember this? it evolves very
quickly between ourselves.
their meeting began a whirlwind romance that
ultimately led to their picking up a camera and
learning how to make pictures together. they ran
with an artsy east London crowd, going to galleries
with Lee mcQueen (founder of the alexander

alas: IT wOuld be sO
vaIn TO sTarT a PrOjecT
wITh Our sTyle.

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott (2)

SePteMber/october 2013 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM 43

mert alas & marcus piggott (2)

Fashions Reigning Auteurs

mcQueen design house) and stylist and fashion
editor Katy england, and chasing artists like groupies. piggott taught alas, who was assisting mcQueen
at shows during the early 90s, how to use a camera,
and they developed their workfow and aesthetic in
a loft on Old Street. the two would go to bookshops
on charing cross road, look at the their favorite
monographs, and try to fgure out the lighting. For
their earliest shoots, they did everything themselves
styling, hair, makeup, and set design. their frst
published work in Dazed & Confused was sparked,
unsurprisingly, over drinks with friends who just
happened to work there.
early work for cult titles like Dazed allowed them
to work in fashion while retaining the freedom to
push their limits artistically. the Love magazine, the
i-D magazine, and in the old days, The Face magazineall these magazines didnt have so much of a
commercial purpose, but they did have prices of the
clothes, alas says. So, yes, we want to do art, we
want to show the world that were not just about a
bag and shoe. Yes, we are rebels and we dont care
about money. but its an industry. its commercial,
plus culture, plus art. in one bag.
the pairs pragmatic attitude has helped them
navigate the world of commercial fashion, but their
taste is responsible for their status as trendsetters.
they borrow only from the best. images by mert &
marcus draw on the work of such notables as guy
bourdin, robert mapplethorpe, and helmut newton,
and the duo continually pull from new infuences.
but with that approach, their visibility opens them
to controversy. a 2011 Love magazine editorial alas
and piggott produced called What Lies beneath
drew criticism online for bearing an undeniable
likeness to photographer Jeff barks haunting series
Woodpecker. their 46-page spread, with its striking
similarities in subject, tone, and iconographyand
even some propscan be said to expand upon the
vision of berks original eight images, with a bigger
budget and higher production values.
indeed, not much shackles their creativity: their
shoots boast some of the biggest budgets, most
talented collaborators, and hippest infuences. they
create images with cameras and computers with
help from a small army of digital technicians, retouchers, and art assistants before, during, and after
their shoots, obsessing about every detail and fnding solutions to every problem that arises. having
a team allows them the luxury to concentrate on
the more artistic decisions to be made on set rather
than be bogged down by technical troubleshooting.
those artistic decisions are typically collaborations with like-minded creative rock stars like Love
founder and editor Katie grand or Vogue creative
director grace coddington. their circle of coconspirators is small but close. they talk on set in
a sort of culture-vulture shorthand, using loose associations to describe the desired vibe for the shoot.
When they say to coddington, Factory girl, 60s
england, shes poor, shes lonely, shes depressed,

Left: Adele, for U.S. Vogue,

March 2012. Above: Daria
Werbowy, for French
Vogue, September 2012.

everyone knows what theyre going to get.

So when Vogues imposing fashion director,
tonne goodman, invited them to do last years
infamous shoot with adelewhich we included in
our 2012 images of the Year (January/February
2013)they trusted that their vision would make
it to the page. though they were excited fans of
adeles music, alas and piggott had no interest in
painting the medias well-worn picture of a heartsick young starlet with a sharp cockney cackle and
velvet vocal chords. they wanted to bring her into
their world, make her one of their characters. We
wanted to embrace her beauty, her fgure, alas
says. bring her into this world of romance.
again, controversy followed. the resulting images drew jeers from critics who called for more
authenticity, up in arms at the extensive post-

September/OctOber 2013 americanphOtOmag.cOm 45

46 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM SePteMber/october 2013

Fashions Reigning Auteurs

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott (2)

Left: Angela Lindvall,

for POP Fall/Winter
2002/2003. Above:
Malgosia Bela, for
LOVE Issue #8.

alas: we wanT TO dO
arT, we wanT TO shOw
The wOrld ThaT were
nOT jusT abOuT
a baG and shOe.

SePteMber/october 2013 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM 47

processing applied to the images. Alas could not

care less. When i see a celebrity the way the celebrity [always] is, i have no interest, he says.
Alas and Piggott do not confne their artistic expression to glossy magazine pages. For years theyve
been working on an archive of personal work,
including plenty of nudes, destined eventually for a
book (theyve been offered deals by a few major publishers but have yet to sign). Whatever a Mert &
Marcus book ends up looking like, the duo will likely
have moved on to something new. And to be sure, it
will unpeel more layers of artistic inspiration.
For Piggott, those eclectic touchstones include
dreams and holidays and life, while Alas explains
how his travels infuence the work. You go to a
museum, you remember Mona Lisa looking at
you, he says. You see a girl that looks like Mona

Above: Jeisa Chiminazzo,

for POP Autumn/Winter
2005. Right: Kate Moss,
for Love Issue #3.

48 AMericAnPhotoMAg.coM SePteMber/october 2013

Lisa, and you remember that experience.

that such art informs their work doesnt mean
theyre trying to make a new Mona Lisa. they
dont hide their infuences; they made a cactus
shrine to helmut newton at their palacio in ibiza
after the photographic great died. Lots of photographers borrow from newton, and from richard
Avedon and bill brandt. but what holds these
two together as a team and sets them apart from
others is their point of view and their restless
hunger to try something elseand then something
else again. Alas says that he doesnt even like 80
percent of their past work. its that drive and dissatisfaction that pushes them forward.
i think thats the hardest thing, when you have
a certain level of taste, Piggott says. trying to
please yourself. aP

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott (2)

Fashions Reigning Auteurs

50 september/october 2013

matthew brandt

Matthew Brandts Marys

Lake MT 2. The fnal image
is a C-print soaked in water
from Marys Lake, which is
depicted in this photograph.


While darkroom experimentation
is largely a thing of the past,
the longing to connect with a
physical aspect of picturemaking remains, especially for
photographers working with
natural subjects. Their resulting
photos broaden the exploration
of elemental phenomena, and
engage more personal ties to
land, material, and memory.
By Lori FredricksoN

Natures Mark

choing generations of landscape photographers, matthew brandt says, What makes

nature such a compelling subject is that its
truly inexhaustible. the 31-year-old Los angeles
based artist has explored the natural world and its
disruptions over the past few years, most prominently in his series Lakes and Reservoirs. these
landscape photographs are bathed after printing in
solutions made partly of water collected from the
source hes depicting. brandt has incorporated the
material of his subjects into images ranging from
bees to trees to demolition projects near his studio.
if experimenting with the processing and
surfaces of photographic prints seems like a relic
in the digital age, its far from it. if anything,
todays predominance of screen-only interaction
has made the importance of the photo as object
more beguiling to both emerging and established
photographers. Von Lintel gallery in new York
city held a show last spring organized around such
an interest. titled Unique, the group show featured
photographers including brandt who explore the
material process of image-making. gallery director
amy sande-Friedman says that the artists in the
show tended to work physically with their photographs when they used natural subjects.
theres a renewed interest in hands-on types
of work, sande-Friedman says, citing Klea

From top: Brandts American

Lake WA E3, C-print soaked
in American Lake water;
Dexter Lake OR 3, C-print
soaked in Dexter Lake water.

52 september/october 2013

this page: matthew brandt. opposite: Jane Fulton alt.

mcKennas photogram series Rain Studies, the

chemigram-based work of amanda means, and
the traveling camera obscura of John chiara.
When we increasingly use the computer to
mediate between ourselves and the natural world,
theres more desire to engage with it directly.
these artists are interested in really getting
inside natureboth in organic imagery and
working with nature as an idea.
brandts work on Lakes and Reservoirs extended
in part from experiments with salted-paper printing, but he says chemistry was more a road to an
idea than the idea itself. he was also inspired by a
popular story that the british landscape painter
J.m.W. turner had himself strapped to the mast of

Jane Fulton Alts Burn

No. 49 is one of a series
for which the photographer
trailed restoration
ecologists to capture
controlled prairie burns.

a boat in order to experience the full force of a gale

before painting it. its having a fuller understanding of nature when working with it, brandt says.
Watching the way that lake water degraded print
emulsions gave him a broader sense of the process
of natural erosion.
as he continued to develop his technique, brandt
found that he was getting results that, much like
erosion itself, were controlled yet unpredictable.
i like the idea of guiding, assisting, brandt says.
When things end up being overly controlled, you
can tell that it lacks gesture.
since his lake-water experiments, brandt has
incorporated a range of natural phenomena
into the photo-making process. For his series

september/october 2013 53

Honeybeesconceived in 2007, when he began

noticing masses of bees dying on a local beach
from colony collapse disorderbrandt photographed the insects and used their carcasses
in the emulsion for his prints. in a more recent
series, Night Skies, he applies cocaine directly
to black photographers velvet then sandwiches
the image between plates of clear glass.
and brandts heliographs of the La brea tar
pitsstemming from the frst-ever permanent
photographic process of 19th-century inventor
Joseph nicphore nipce, which involved hardening an asphalt derivative on pewter and washing away certain areas with lavender oilmake
both the substance and capture of his subject
part of the unique fnal images.

Burn No. 79 by Jane

Fulton Alt.

54 september/october 2013

smoke screen
interacting with nature in the process of making
an image can be intensely personal. in her six-year
series The Burn, evanston, illinoisbased photographer Jane Fulton alt shadowed restoration ecologists to capture images of controlled prairie fres,
a subject she frst encountered in 2007 during an
artists residency at the ragdale Foundation in Lake
Forest, illinois. Witnessing a controlled fre on the
grounds there, she photographed it, collected some
ash, and asked some of the ecologists involved if she
could follow them for a shoot.
alts frst trip out the following spring had a
greater signifcance: it coincided with the birth of
her frst grandchild. it was also her sisters frst
day of chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

Jane Fulton alt (2)

Natures Mark

When she looked through the viewfnder, alt

says, i was thinking about the parallels between
the burn on the prairie and the burn going on
in [my sisters] body. For me, it became a whole
parallel universe and process and a way of trying
to understand the life cycles.
the ensuing series, which recently concluded
and which is being released in october as a book
(The Burn, Kehrer Verlag), was as much about the
images as it was about focusing on that connection,
which sustained alt throughout her sisters battle
with the disease. they became much more subjective pictures than they would have been if i had
simply documented the burn, she recalls. i shied
away from shooting the freit felt too violent, and i
was more interested in the ephemeral quality of the

Alts Burn No. 53.

smoke. the images focus instead on its obscuring,

destructive, and regenerative properties.
photographically, The Burn was also an extension of alts earlier work altering image surfaces
with beeswax to add luminosity to prints of natural
subjects. the smoke, she says, was the frst time
id found that luminosity in the subject of the print
itselfand while she was satisfed with uncoated
prints for the book and exhibitions, on individual
prints for custom copies of the book she applies
coats of beeswax to add depth.
the shooting experience was both intense and
strangely soothing, especially as she returned to it
repeatedly over time. While the restoration ecologists alt trailed were careful to keep her out of
danger, she found herself nevertheless compelled

september/october 2013 55

toward the hot ash, making images, coming home

with her clothes and equipment blanketed in soot.
For alt, it was as much about being immersed in
the physical environment as it was about capturing fnal imageshaving the tangible experience of
natural burn and regrowth helped her to tie the
idea for the series into a broader idea of both ecological and human life cycles.
her sister died of her disease, but alt found that
having worked with controlled fres as closely as
she had enabled her to cope in a way she otherwise
might not have. i was able to focus on the loss
within a larger idea of regeneration, the idea that
new life comes out of things that die or pass away,
she says. the work is dedicated to her sister.

For her series Thrice Upon

a Time, Odette England
asked her parents to
walk the grounds of her
childhood home with her
negatives of that place
attached to the soles of
their shoes. Above: Mum
#4 (Right Foot).

constructive destruction
For australia-based odette englands project Thrice
Upon a Time, working with the material of the landscape was literally tied to the land itself. england
focused on the terrain of her childhood home, a
200-acre farm in the small settlement of ponde in
south australia, by a two-step process: a 2005 jour56 september/october 2013

ney (before conceiving the project) to capture the

location on flm, and a 2010 return by her parents,
who re-trod the area with the processed negatives
attached to the soles of their shoes.
For england, the concept of having the flm
work the land related to how her parents physically worked the land when she was a child, before
the threat of fnancial troubles forced her family to
leave in 1989. Living on a farm not only ties you to
a specifc economy, but also to seasonal rhythms,
she says. the farm has changed hands four or fve
times since then, and with each passing year and
new owner, i cant help but feel that the farm dies a
small death.
england relocated to a nearby rural area as an
adolescent and later would often drive past the
farm; it wasnt until December 2005, returning with
a medium-format hasselblad flm camera, that she
captured it. she processed the flm and held onto
the negatives but wasnt sure what to do with the
project. in 2010, while living in providence, rhode
island, she ran across the negatives and began
experimenting with them on a lightboxscratching

odette england; courtesy of Klompching gallery, new York city

Natures Mark

The moment when you no longer

take pictures, you make them.
This is the moment we work for.


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Natures Mark
some, cutting others, burning a few. it was cathartic
and horrifying, but i was enthralled, she says.
Feeling more directly connected to her childhood
memories of love versus loss, england ultimately
came upon the idea of her parents revisiting the
farm: traversing it on my behalflooking for locations of where theyd taken snapshots of my brother
and me as children, she says. over six to eight
months, her parents took numerous treks, each time
with three to fve negatives taped to each shoe. some
came back relatively intact, others in fragments;
england turned them into large-scale pigment prints.
Ultimately, she says, photographing the farm
wouldnt have made sense without a material connectionwhat had been lacking in her memory was
that physical relationship. it was an urgent thing
to understand this particular patch of dirt, england
says. it was the material that made me. AP

odette england; courtesy of Klompching gallery, new York city

From top: Englands Dad #10

(Right Foot), and Mum #3
(Right Foot), from her series
Thrice Upon a Time.

58 september/october 2013


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what photographers need The Goods 62 hands on 64

Big iQ
Phase Ones 80MP medium-format IQ280 back
proves that size matters By stan horaczek

egapixel counts are on the rise in DSLRs,

and manufacturers have started claiming
medium-format-like performance from
their cameras. Phase Ones 80-megapixel IQ280
digital back, however, is a clear reminder that
theres still a signifcant gap between the 645 format and 35mm, in more ways than just the price.
The IQ280 that the company lent us for review showed up in a 30-pound hard case and felt
like a piece of industrial equipment; opening it up
augmented the effect. Everything about the back
and the Phase One 645DF+ body it was attached to
upon arrival seem driven by one purpose: Achieve
maximum image quality.
The back is controlled by four simple buttons
and a 3.2-inch touchscreen display. High-end
DSLRs put up many pages of menu options; the
IQ280, just a page and a half. Its ISO range goes
from 35 to only 3200 (and thats in expanded mode,
which reduces resolution to 20MP)paltry in a
time when consumer-grade DSLRs routinely climb
to, or above, ISO 25,000. And the cameras autofocus system is loud and a little fnicky.
It quickly becomes apparent that none of this
matters. After uploading the frst batch of massive

imageseach RAW fle is roughly 100 megabytes

I was shocked at the detail. I zoomed in to 100
percent (actual size) on a models eye and could
count the daisies on the set refected in it.
The default fles come out looking a little fat,
but thats by design. Once you start editing in capture One software, required for RAW conversion,
the beneft of true 16-bit capture becomes evident.
The blacks and whites seem the same, but all that
data translates into smoother, more accurate color.
Despite its spartan build, the back has plenty of
bells and whistles. The built-in wireless connection
lets you control the camera and preview high-res
fles in real time via iPhone or iPad, and it does so
with unexpected speed. Plus, it has live view and
a version of focus peaking Phase One calls Focus
Mask for making use of shallow depth of feld.
Ultimately, this isnt a camera to take out shooting; its a camera to build photo shoots around. It
affords incredible photographic power, but it will
also underscore your faws as a shooter. And its
an amazing machine, a lot like a high-performance
race car: It has few frills and unbelievable horsepower, but it needs someone who can open up the
throttle without smashing it into the wall. ap

SENSOR 80MP medium-format
(53.7mm x 40.4mm) CCD
resolution); 1403200 (20MP
COLOR DEPTH 16-bit per color
Capture One)
LCD SCREEN 3.2-inch, 1.15MP
touchscreen with 170-degree
viewing angle
645DF+; Mamiya 645DF+ (also
RZ67 Pro II and RB67 via adaptor); Hasselblad H1, H2, 555ELD,
553ELX, 503CW, and 501CM;
Contax 645AF
4x5 CAMERAS Via FlexAdaptor:
Arca Swiss, Cambo, Linhof,
Toyo, Sinar, Plaubel, Horseman
BUY IT $51,000 for kit with
Phase One 645HD+ body and
Schneider Kreuznach 80mm
f/2.8 Leaf Shutter AF lens;


the goods
Hot new tools and toys for photographers
By the editors of american photo

sMALL BUt sPeedy

SanDisk 64GB Extreme MicroSDXC

Video shooters prize fast, high-capacity memory
cards, but action cams like GoPros, which take
MicroSD, have been sidelined in the speed race.
No longer. This new card, the fastest in the format,
allows 80MB/sec read and 50MB/sec write speeds,
is built to withstand more abuse than SanDisks Ultra
cards, and comes with a download of RescuePro
Deluxe recovery software. Buy it $200;

NeW tWist oN AUtofoCUs

PiCtUres iNto PAiNtiNGs

Corel Painter X3 Now in version 13, Painter is a favorite

among photographers who use its huge array of
realistic paintbrushes, papers, and paint types to
transform photos into paintings. When output on a
surface such as watercolor paper or canvas, the
resulting print appears as if done by hand.
Buy it $429 new, $229 upgrade;

eNtry-LeVeL X

Fujiflm X-M1 The latest addition to Fujiflms spiffy X-series ditches

the electronic viewfnder in favor of a 3-inch, 920,000-dot tilting
LCD. Like the X-E1, the X-M1 has an APS-C-sized 16.3-megapixel
X-Trans sensor with an expanded ISO range of 10025,600. But it
adds built-in Wi-Fi and focus peaking, and its new 1650mm f/3.5
5.6 stabilized kit lens employs 12 elements (three aspherical) in 10
groups. Buy it $700 body only, $800 with kit lens;
62 SeptemBer/octoBer 2013

Canon EOS 70D With an innovative phase-detection

system that puts fast and accurate autofocus
right on the image sensor, this upgrade of Canons
popular EOS 60D offers special benefts to live-view
and video shooters. Traditional still photographers
will fnd plenty to love, too: a boost to 20.2 megapixels from 18, an additional stop of sensitivity (to
ISO 25,600), burst shooting of 7 frames per second
(up from 5.3), touch controls on the articulating
3-inch LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi. Even the regular AF
system got a lift to the same 19 cross-points as
on Canons top APS-C model, the 7D. Buy it $1,200
body only; $1,350 EF-S 1855mm f/3.55.6 IS STM
lens (shown);


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Backside illuminated (BSI) sensors, which

put the circuitry behind the silicon wafer rather than alongside
the pixels on the front, have boosted low-light performance in
smartphone and security cameras for a few years, but with this
updated compact Sony introduces the frst BSI sensor in the much
larger 1-inch format. Although the 20.2MP pixel count remains the
same as on the original RX100, sensitivity extends a stop further,
to ISO 12,800. The 28100mm (equivalent) f/1.84.9 Carl Zeiss VarioSonnar T* lens returns, but theres now a multi-interface shoe for
accessories. Wi-Fi? Built in. Buy It $750;


Manfrotto Pixi Built for ILCs, this little tabletop

tripod and button-control ballhead holds up to 2.2
pounds. The legs fold together into a comfortable
hand grip, too. Buy It $28;


Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera or phone? Both, please. Nokias new smartphone
sports a 41-megapixel sensor, f/2.2 lens, and Xenon fash. All those pixels give
images enough resolution to crop or apply noise reduction without sacrifcing
quality. It runs Windows Phone, so apps arent as plentiful as they are for iOS
and Android (no Instagram!), but it includes Nokia Camera Pro for manual
control over exposure and focus, among other useful capabilities.
Buy It $300 with two-year AT&T contract;


tokina 1228mm f/4 At-X A reformulated replacement

for Tokinas popular 1224mm f/4 for APS-C-sensor
DSLR bodies, this new constant-aperture zoom
does more than just add reach. Two super-low
dispersion (SD) lens elements fght chromatic
aberration, while a pair of aspherical elements
work together to minimize distortion, maintain
sharpness at the edges, and help focus marginal
light rays. A new magnetic precision sensor helps
the AF system achieve fast and accurate autofocus.
See how it fared in our sister publications lab tests
at Buy It $600;


Lomography Konstruktor It looks like

a model-building kit, but after an
hour or two of assembly the result
is a working 35mm flm camera with
a 50mm f/10 lens and waist-level
viewfnder. The Konstruktor, like other
plastic cameras such as the Holga
and Diana, provides little control or
predictability, but thats half the fun.
Buy It $35;
September/october 2013 63

hands on

on the


The best mobile apps for before, during,

and after a shoot By Theano nikiTas
y now theres probably not a photographer
on the planet who doesnt carry a smartphoneand a tabletin their camera bag.
but the role of mobile apps and devices in photography goes far beyond the instant gratifcation of
snapping and sharing with instagram or hipstamatic. now photographers are integrating their
devices and apps into their regular workfow.
Separating an app stores gold from its dross can
be a real chore, though. So weve pulled together
some of the best appssome quite new, some that
have proven their worth after years of usethat
provide tools to make the most of your mobile
device, regardless of what camera you use. For
each category, we highlight our favorite and offer a
couple of alternatives that deserve a look.

anyone who photographs

strangers (or even friends)
or on private property knows
the value of a signed release.
Without this crucial permit, a
photo can be much harder to
selland much easier to get
sued over. thanks to apps like
Easy Release, paper forms
are rapidly becoming a thing
of the past. this app, recognized by stock agencies
such as getty images, provides standard release
forms with felds for info about the model/property
and shoot with room to customize (even more if
you buy in-app options). pDFs of the release can
be e-mailed, and cloud storage syncs data across all
ioS devices. a bonus is that pDFs are available in
a range of languages (13 for ioS, 12 for android).
its altogether convenient and, as the name implies,
easy to use.
Buy it $9.99, plus $3.99 for in-app options; ioS
5.0 or later, android 2.1 or later;
ASMP Releases: Free; ioS 4.0 or later;
Top Model Release: $8.99; ioS 5.0 or later;

64 September/october 2013

GeT help foR

ouTdooR phoTos
For landscape shooters,
available light is all. that
means knowing when the sun
will strike the scene from the
best angle or when a full moon
will appear over the horizon.
the Photographers Ephemeris comes with multiple search
options, including location,
date, lunar phase, and the suns
angle. For shooting in the mountains, for example,
the app can show whether the sun will rise high
enough to illuminate a particular area of the landscape. Learning how to interpret some of the data
takes a little effort, but the app provides built-in
help and its website has online tutorials. its an
amazing app well worth the learning curve.
Buy it $8.99 ioS, $4.99 android; ioS 5.1, android
LightTrac: $4.99; ioS 5.0 or later, android 1.6 or
PhotoMoon: $2.99; ioS 5.0 or later;
(requires sign-up with e-mail address)
Sun Seeker: $6.99 ioS, $5.99 android; ioS 5.0 or
later, android 2.2 or later;

theano nikitas (new York Fashion Week images)

Model Releases
aT The Ready

Above: Prezent (page 68)

puts sophisticated portfolio
options within reach. left:
Easy Release keeps track of
crucial permissions. Right:
the Photographers Ephemeris provides geographical
and astronomical details for
landscape shooters.








Taught by Joel Sartore,

Professional Photographer
national geographic magazine



of Photography


lecture titles

Learn the Inside Secrets of

Professional Photographers
Photographs can preserve cherished memories, reveal the beauty
of life, and even change the world. Yet most of us point and shoot
without really being aware of what were seeing or how we could take
our photo from good to great.
Just imagine the images you could create if you trained yourself to
see as the professionals do. With Fundamentals of Photography,
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cameras features, and capture magical moments in any situation or
setting imaginable.

Ofer expires 10/11/13



Making Great Pictures

Camera EquipmentWhat You Need
Lenses and Focal Length
Shutter Speeds
Aperture and Depth of Field
Light IFound or Ambient Light
Light IIColor and Intensity
Light IIIIntroduced Light
Composition ISeeing Well
Composition IIBackground
and Perspective
Composition IIIFraming and Layering
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Advanced TopicsResearch
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Advanced TopicsLow Light
Advanced TopicsProblem Solving
After the SnapWorkow and Organization
EditingChoosing the Right Image
Telling a Story with Pictures
The Photo Essay

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hands on

For mobile image-editing

prowess, nothing comes close
to Filterstorm Pro 2.6.1. it
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layers. edits can be saved as
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left: Filterstorm Pro 2.6.1

allows sophisticated editing
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shaRed iMaGes
copyright infringement runs
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downloaded, and reposted.
photojournalist John D.
mchugh designed Marksta
to help alleviate it. this quick
and easy watermark app goes
beyond just adding a copyright line: You can add multiple lines of text, logos,
hashtags, iptc (including contact information),
eXiF, and location data to the image so theres no
doubt who owns it. it may not halt copyright infringement, but using it to watermark images on an
iphone or ipad before sending them off is an excellent deterrent. Buy it $1.99; ioS 5.0;
Add Watermark: Free; android 2.0 or later;
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theano nikitas (new York Fashion Week images)

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hands on
With Wi-Fi built into
ever more cameras,
remote shooting is now
easier and more commonplace. but true
remote image capture
and viewing with control
over camera settings has
always been relegated
to computer software. apps like Phase Ones
Capture Pilot and Capture Control have
changed that. capture pilot provides remote
viewing on mobile devices; capture control
lets photographers adjust parameters such as
aperture, shutter speed, and iSo. and they
work not just with phase one cameras but
with tethered canons, nikons, Sonys, and
other DSLrs. For full functionality the apps
need capture one software ($299). a more
budget-friendly option is the capture pilot
app, which works with capture one express 7
software, albeit with limitations.
Buy it Free (capture pilot) or $14.99
(capture control, in-app purchase); ioS 4.3
or later;
Camera Remote: Free, $0.99 for ad-free version; android 2.0 and later;
Hasselblad Phocus Mobile: Free; also requires
free hasselblad phocus software (does not
require a hasselblad camera); hasselbladusa

ask any two photographers for the best

tablet portfolio app and youll get two different answers. there are snazzier ones than
Prezent, but it puts sophisticated functions
within reach. prezents ability to combine
motion on the same page as (or even within)
a still image is particularly compelling. it
allows links to related media from the main
pages, and video plays automatically when
the viewer swipes to a page with motion
content (set sound levels before launching
the app). Buy it $8.99; ioS 4.3 or later
(ipad only);
FolioBook Photo Portfolio: $12.99 (plus $1.99,
in-app purchase, for video plug-in); ioS 5.0
or later (ipad only);
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later (7-inch and 10-inch devices);
Xtrafolio: $16.99; ioS 4.0 or later (ipad only); ap

theano nikitas (new York Fashion Week image)

show off phoTos and

Videos wiTh sTyle



20th Annual


The 20th Annual Popular Photography Photo Contest

gives photographers the opportunity to win prizes and
have their work recognized in the January 2014 issue of
Popular Photography, the largest photo magazine in the
world, as well as on our website,



PeOPLeS ChOICe - PopPhoto readers will vote for their

favorite image! All entrants will automatically be entered

in this category.

The competition is open to work produced from
June 2012October 2013. All submitted artwork
should be of reproduction quality.


October 20, 2013

Credits (clockwise): MB Birdy, Ben Goode, Jacom Stephens, Jasmina007, Kent Weakley

For a complete set of contest rules, prizes or to enter,

please visit:
The Readers Contest, sponsored by Popular Photography magazine, a publication of Bonnier Corporation, is open only to individuals who are
sixteen (16) years or older at time of entry, excluding residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, the province of Quebec, Sudan, Syria, and any other
jurisdiction where this contest is prohibited by law. To enter and for complete Ofcial Rules, visit
between May 13, 2013 and October 20, 2013.


Emotional Reservoirs
s a pediatric emergency physician, Wendy
Sacks photographed her young patients
to clinically document their illnesses and
as an emotional outlet for the stress and grief
associated with her job. i turned everything
into pictures, Sacks says. after a debilitating
connective-tissue disease forced her to leave
medicine, she started taking photos of her own
children. While photographing them during
bathtime, her own intense feelings about life,
death, healing, and physical struggle emerged,
and her series Immersed in Living Water was born.
Sacks showed some of her images to a
photographer in January 2010; in march of the
same year she was encouraged to take a leap
of faith and brought her work to FotoFest in

Brothers, by Wendy
Sacks, 2011. See this and
other images from the
series at wendysacks

72 September/october 2013

By Jill c. ShomeR

houston. positive response there and at other

portfolio reviews was immediate and tremendous,
and Sacks was soon having her work displayed and
winning awards around the world.
Sacks photographs her young subjects in a
stainless-steel tank at her home near rochester,
new York. She doesnt use professional models
the boys in the photo above are the sons of a man
Sacks met at a local festival. She feels strongly that
each session is a profound experience and that her
work captures and celebrates the feeting nature
of the moment. Yet she embraces her audiences
individual reactions to the images.
Immersed in Living Water will be part of a book
published by contrejour, the publishing house of
French photographer claude nori, in 2014. AP

Wendy Sacks

Wendy Sacks taps into primal feelings with her photo series Immersed in Living Water

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