One of us by Giacomo Favilla

We recently did an origami competition for an event at work. It got me thinking about my origami photography series Origami Me and I wondered what other photographers had done with this beautiful art form.

After some short research I found One of us, a project by Italian Photographer Giacomo Favilla

“They are like one of us. Or rather, we aspire to be like them.”

Origami mask by Francesca Lombardi.
Puma Origami mask folded by Francesca Lombardi, designed by Roman Diaz

Humans and animals become like one in this surreal series. With the perfect blend between reality and fantasy the masked portraits are both magical and realistic, almost like a dream.

‘One of us’ is an exclamation. The same words the Freaks sang in the 1930s cult movie that challenged the concept of normality. In a scene of the film it’s the monsters who accept a “normal” person as one of theirs, in a world turned upside down – in which not only are the physical idiosyncrasies of the circus characters normal, but they hide a good nature that seems to contradict their monstrous aspect.

Absorbed in the black and white atmosphere they appear to tell us that there’s no difference between man and animal, they are like us, in a mythology that blends our world with theirs and stimulates our thinking, by declaring that we’re on the same level.

– One of us exhibition text extract

The choice to use harsh lighting and edit in black and white was a good decision, it really emphasises the folds and edges of the paper masks.

Knowing the context of the project definitely enhances this series, taking away human identity to show that animals/beasts and us are equals is a powerful statement and one that I wholly support.

GTGan’s ‘In the mood for love’

Howdy, it’s been a while…

Let’s re-start this blogging journey with a stunning 2011 series by GTGan for Harper’s Bazaar magazine Singapore called ‘In the mood for love’.

This is a typical superficial series to me, the kind that doesn’t say much about anything but it simply too beautiful to care. The first image in particular is stunning, bright colours and meticulous lighting create a Sin City meets the Simpsons vibe, a weird but undeniably wonderful combination.

‘Porcelain Figurines’ by Martin Klimas

Using a sound activated shutter release (a technique most associated with the work of Harold Edgerton) Martin Klimas has created this stunning series which suspends time and objects.

What I find most intriguing about this series is how through destruction the porcelain figures appear to come alive and are full of movement. Although we know they are being dropped and smashed the figures look like they are almost rising up and breaking out of their confines.

There is a great skill in these images too, Klimas has created images that could never be reproduced, each figure breaks in a unique way and within microseconds of these images being made the objects exist only as a pile of porcelain on the floor. There is something quite beautiful in the idea of life through destruction.

Saying all of this, I think these images would be even better as real sculptures, the beauty and intricacy would be breathtaking.

Check out the full series here.

‘Text Talk’ by Nick Knight

Prolific fashion photographer Nick Knight is constantly re-defining and discussing pop culture in his work, never has this been more true than in ‘Text Talk’, an editorial created for Garage Magazine in 2012. With styling by Katy England and modelling by Lindsey Wixon Nick Knight combines the recognisable imagery of texting and uses them in a way that is reminiscint of Roy Lichtenstein’s work to create a modern take on pop culture.

‘Color Games’ by Julius Lse

Julius Lse‘s series ‘Color Games’ is a triptych of colour and contrast, combining paint, light and the camera to create these surreal deadpan portraits. Very creative and beautiful.

Airbrush: Heiko Weiß
Models: Anni Fast/ Micky Kurz/ Franziska Hiltl

See more here.

‘The Groupies’ by Baron Wolman

Groupies, the original fangirls – dedicated and devoted to rock stars. In the 60’s rock photography legend & chief photographer at Rolling Stone magazine, Baron Wolman photographed these obsessed young girls who were willing to dedicate their lives to getting the attention of rock stars. Wolman gave the followers a change of authority and take centre stage in their own right. Wolman believed that groupies deserved a place on the cover of Rolling Stone just as much as the rockers they loved.

Today groupies have almost levelled up to become the fangirl – to debate which is healthier or more dedicated would be a pointless exercise, the digital age now allows fans to build a fantasy relationship with their idols from the other side of the world, whereas before, groupies would have to follow the band from city to city in order to be a true fan, rather than just on twitter. The prior method meant devotion was built on “real” interaction but a place to call home and often morals were compromised. It would be interesting to consider how technology and digital culture has fed the culture of groupies and transformed them into something completely new.

See the full series here.

Princess Shirahoshi, One Piece cosplay by Ajo

I have avoided One Piece for years – simply for the fact it took me 6 years to catch up on Naruto (& Shippuden) – I have no desire to spend the next six watching all 639 episodes of One Piece. However this photography series I could not avoid! Finding a unique style within the world of cosplay photography can be hard – the unknown photographer who shot this series however is a hidden gem. Their styling and use of colour in this series is only enhanced by the beauty and talent of cosplayer Ajo. I only wish I knew who shot them.

Modern Couples by Carlotta Cardana

Italian photographer Carlotta Cardana explores multiple themes in her ongoing series ‘Modern Couples’ – firstly- subcultures, in particular 2014’s take on the 1960’s British mod movement. Carlotta photographs quirky couples who ooze class and sophistication. Another theme Carlotta explores is relationships and how two people can blend to become almost one.

The most intriguing theme Carlotta talks about is the freedom she gave to each couple, allowing them to style themselves and choose a location, on her site she talks about how she wanted to look beyond the clothing and get the couples to project themselves through their image.

It’s a lovely series that surreally immerses us into a vintage version of our modern age, it seems so detached from “reality”. What I love is the stillness throughout the series – although each couple is uniquely different the images (like her take on relationships) almost become one, this is due to Carlotta’s brilliant editing and how she maintained a deadpean-esque feel that lets the clothes, objects and environment speak for the couples.

See all of Carlotta’s work here.

John Olson – 70’s Rock stars at home with their parents for LIFE magazine

John Olson worked with LIFE magazine to smash all the preconceptions and “coolness” of rockstars – photographing them with their parents at home – we see independent, iconic and untouchable idols brought down to a human level, no longer rock gods. This project is very humbling and despite being made in the early 70’s is a theme that is still current and interesting.

Tokyo Special 2/10 – Sakura by phantastic420

For every day I spent in the greatest city last year I will be writing a post on either a Tokyo based photographer or a series set in the metropolis. An ode to the city.

This is part 2 – Sakura by phantastic420 – Exactly one year ago I had just woken up in Shibuya, ready to take on Tokyo. The smell of Sakura wafted through the city streets and in through my hotel window, it’s a smell that will forever remind me the great city.

phantastic420‘s instagram feed is one of my favourites, abundant with beauty and colour – every day allowing us to escape to the nature of Japan, travelling through the seasons and weather from snow to sunshine. Make sure to follow! 

Tokyo Special 1/10 – Tokyo Nights by Jon Siegel

Exactly one year ago I had just checked into my hotel in Tokyo along with my mum. The 10 days trip was a life changing one and I think about the city I love daily. For every day I was in Tokyo I will bring you a different photo series of the city, each photographer show casing their own view of an element unique to the city.

Seeing as we arrived as nightfall it’s only fair to start with the time in which Tokyo is at it’s best, night time.

This is part 1 – Tokyo Nights by Jon Siegel

I love the tones and colours used in this series, although we know it’s dark the city is still vibrant and energetic in its colours. The salary man having his dinner, the youth dressed to go out and the taxi man working on the roads of this eccentric city, Jon Siegel captures Tokyo from a non-alien view. Check out the full series here which comprises of over 170 photographs.

Bill Finger – Mininature sets & photography

Bill Finger‘s work might seem a little surreal at first, everything looks normal but something isn’t quite right?

That’s because Bill is photographing hand built miniature sets. Using his background in Film he creates these miniature worlds and photographs them. The subtlety is something to be admired, usually photographers who use mini sets want to scream in your face that this isn’t reality, but Bill’s technique goes a lot further in allowing the viewer to ponder on the uncanniness of the images before figuring out that these aren’t full scale.

As I undertake my long project in building 3D printed sets and photographing them Bill’s subtlety is something to bear in mind, although I must be realistic in using 3D printing I will tire trying to make it look “real”.

Jason Chau’s cosplay photography

Last summer I was travelling to as many conventions as I could doing cosplay photography, since then I have been working unpaid so have had no money to travel around the country. I however I will not let this spring/summer’s events slip past me. As I get ready to photograph some cosplayers I thought I would try and find someone who shoots in a similar style to me.

Alot of photographers take the subjects away from the hustle and bustle of the con, put them against a white wall or in the garden of the venue the con is held at, I however like to capture the ongoing convention in the background. Much like those street fashion photographers who stop people on the street and get them to stop where they are and pose.

I found the work of Jason Chau who does the same, I love the fact he has a style, the same sort of framing in every photo and bright vivid colours, the background is still there but using depth of field it is not distracting from the cosplayer. You can see all of Jason’s work here.

Mixing Black – Sun City Poms by Todd Antony

Often photographers and editors have a hard time choosing the black shade of black they want for an image, like painters some photographers avoid using absolute blacks due to the contrast and unrealistic feel, obviously this technique is only applied to relevant projects, some are enhanced by using absolute black. We rarely as people experience the colour black unless it’s man made, even our shadows aren’t absolute black.

Rather than simply hinting towards a colour Todd Antony completely changes his dark areas in this project Sun City Poms, when this technique is applied in the right circumstances it can make a photograph, this is one of those times making the images soft and quite flat, almost like sports cards and complimenting the bright colours.

Tsuri Collection: Autumn/Winter 2010 by The Savants Collective

onitsuki tiger (Japanese clothing and apparel company) released a great promo video in 2010, it was created by The Savants Collective and was influenced by the autumn colours of Japan and fisherman.Whilst the video was great, I am more interested in the stills from the project:

As I’ve been researching miniature sets built with the intent to photograph these still offer something most don’t, it isn’t initially too obvious that this is a set, mainly because most miniature set photographer use a really really shallow depth of field almost like a tilt shift lens has been used, this video and the still however don’t do this.

There is also a constant climate, capturing the air of the season well through lighting and props. This is a great and something I want to aim to achieve when I produce my 3D printed miniature set.

tsuri12

‘Burnouts’ by Simon Davidson

Bringing destruction and beauty together Simon Davidson explores the sub-culture of burnout competitions. Whilst I admire most sub cultures just for the sheer dedication and love people put into their hobbies, this series takes burnouts from a destructive sport to almost angelic looking works of art. The combination of hard bold metal surrounded by smoke clouds almost makes it appear as if the cars are floating on clouds, lost in the moment and pure enjoyment.


“For the past six years I have been photographing the sub-culture of burnout competitions in Australia. The guys and girls who compete in the various competitions across Australia are a passionate bunch. As a photographer I enjoy the visual feast of a superb and powerful car on the black of the burnout pad juxtaposed against the softness of the tire smoke. In reality a burnout is extremely loud and aggressive but in the photos there is a sense of calm… poetic in a way.”

Funky Bunny for Cosmo Girl by Martin Sweers

As I finally start gathering equipment and ideas for my project ‘Everyday Heroes’ I came across the work of Martin Sweers, his great use of coloured backgrounds and lighting compliment and contrast the texture and colour of the wigs.

Before I go to exhibitions and ask cosplayer’s to pose for me I will do a few test shoots, this lighting is beautiful I’ll attempt to get something similar with basic travel equipment.

‘Teenage Stories’ by Julia Fullerton-Batten

With a new interest in miniature sets built for photography I stumbled across the work ofJulia Fullerton-Batten. Her series ‘Teenage Stories‘ focuses on the adolescent experiences of teenage girls.

Using hand built miniature sets and teenage subjects (no photoshop involved), Julia exacerbates the emotions, awkwardness, venerability and self-consciousness of ‘coming of age’. If Julia had depicted these scenes in real city/suburban environments they may appear almost photojournalistic, however her use of scale creating giants out of her subjects adds an uncanny atmosphere which makes us as the spectator explore the issues she’s raising.

See the full series here.

Star Trek by Bryan Pedrazzoli

I LOVE location cosplay, I briefly looked at how much impact the right landscape can have on an image and take cosplay photography to the next level in my post on ‘The Wild Places‘; Bryan Pedrazzoli has done the same with his Star Trek series, taking his subjects into an open rocky desert in America to mimic the ‘unknown planet’ style of the TV series, which often used landscapes like this.

One day I will capitalise on the rich landscapes in England and produce location shoots in order to push myself and the world of cosplay photography out of it’s convention centre boundaries, but for now work like Bryan Pedrazzoli’s will continue to inspire me.

Cosplay by: Jessica Lynn Gonzalez and Jim Logan.