Archives for posts with tag: portraiture

 

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Examined. In 2012 the animal welfare organization Wakker Dier (‘Animal Awake’) launched a campaign against industrially bred broiler chickens. Wakker Dier gave this breed the name ‘plofkip’ (chicken fit to burst) because of its rapid growth within six weeks from a chick to a 2.3 kilo bird, having consumed exactly 3.7 kilos of feed to get there. The chicken in the photograph is getting a health check from a vet at the request of Wakker Dier.

When I was asked two years ago to make an in-depth study of the subject of Food for de RijksMuseum in Amsterdam, I was full of preconceptions about the food industry. I saw it as dishonest, unhealthy and unethical. More than that, it was contributing to the decline of our planet, unlike in the good old days, and I felt that the magic word ‘organic’ was going to solve everything. So when I embarked on this project, my first impulse was to bring to light all the misunderstandings about food once and for all.

After two years of research and photography, I realized that the discourse on food production can be infinitely refined and that this often puts supposed advantages and disadvantages in a new light. Scaling-up can actually enhance animal welfare, for example, and organic production is not always better for the environment. Often, an excessively one-sided approach to the subject of food is a barrier to real solutions. Food is simply too wide-ranging and complex a subject for one-liners or to be describing in terms of black and white.—Henk Wildschut

Dutch photographer Henk Wildschut enters a world of debate and controversy, documenting the modern processing and production of our food. After spending extensive time with those who handle the day-to-day management of various animals and plants, Wildschut concludes that the entire issue of demand, population growth and government regulation is far more complicated than the general public understands. Shot in a clinical but thoughtful method, Wildschut presents us with the facts that are before him, refusing to take up an agenda or make direct comment on what we see. Food was recently published as a photo book, full of further stories and images from Wildschut’s research. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Henk Wildschut

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Semi-finished. With brown poultry it is possible to breed a variety that makes a visual distinction between a hen and a cock. A young female is brown and a young male white. This difference is essential at a hatchery for layer chickens, as males don’t lay eggs.The selection process is now less complicated and can be carried out by eye by non-specialized staff. Using a conveyor belt, 20,000 brown and white chicks can be separated every hour.

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Sexing. As for white poultry, there has been no success as of yet in achieving a clear visual distinction between the sexes. A specialized external firm is enlisted to sex these chicks. The difference can be read off in the wing feathers. One specialist can sex 25,000 chicks a day. The male chicks are carried off on a special production belt to the gassing unit.

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Feces. After three weeks in the Patio module, the chicks–now a full 700 grams–are carried by a conveyor belt to the ‘ground floor’, where within three weeks they will grow to 2.5 kilos. After each cycle, the two levels are washed and disinfected. Once the manure is removed, the whole area is cleaned with a detergent and later thoroughly disinfected with a sprinkler. The process of cleaning takes three days for the Patio module and two days for the ground floor.

henk_wildschut_Photography -196 C. A bull produces an average of 480 doses per approved ejaculation. A popular bull can supply up to 300,000 doses in its lifetime. Each such dose is collected in a straw. The straws are stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196 degrees Celsius. Every beaker holds 3000 straws. Altogether there are some 600,000 straws in a container. The colour, together with a code, name and date, makes each straw unique.

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Washing. The veal industry took off in the Netherlands at the end of the 1960s as a response to the growth of the dairy industry, which had created a surplus of calves. The Ekro slaughterhouse processes 350,000 calves a year and is the world’s largest veal producer.

henk_wildschut_Photography Collecting. A calf’s liver has an average weight of 4.5 kilos and after removal of the carcass it cools off to 1 degree Celsius within 24 hours. The racks speed up the cooling process and prevent damage to the delicate organ tissue.

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Quarantine. The smoking compartment in the canteen is there to combat infection. Staff are not allowed to leave the building during working hours. The company is hermetically sealed off from the world at large to minimize the risk of infection. There is overpressure throughout the interior to ensure that polluted air is kept out

henk_wildschut_PhotographyGrowth. Sweet pepper producer De Wieringermeer grows red, yellow and green sweet peppers on a 40-hectare site. The colour is determined by the stage of the ripening process (green is unripe, red is ripe). The plants grow between 5 and 10 cm a week. The red-and-white ribbon marks off a compartment of one hectare. This division into hectares gives a good understanding of the growth process among young plants; the work can then be planned accordingly.

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2,400 m2. Torsius has a total of 120,000 laying hens. Besides the standard free-range birds the hatchery has a further 5700 organic laying hens. At Torsius there is no need to debeak the chickens; the barns are minimally lit with special high-frequency strip lighting so that the chickens are kept calm. They also have enough distractions and enough room to move. Stressed-out chickens tend to peck others, something that happens a lot less at Torsius. Torsius produces about 100,000 eggs every day, putting it in the major league among hatcheries.

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Pasture. The Brandsma Dairy Farm is a dynamic-organic company of 55 cows and 25 sheep. Brandsma is widely known as an ‘ear-tag objector.’ For them, ear tagging is a violation of the animal’s integrity. After 20 years of legal wrangling, these farmers are allowed to register their animals using the traditional I&R method, that is, hide brands and other surface marks. For six months in the year, Brandsma’s cows have free access to the pastures around the barn. For the product to qualify as pasture milk, the cows need to graze outdoors for 120 days a year, 6 hours a day.

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Lavatory. Research on Pigsy, a toilet for pigs, began in 2012. A pig usually looks first for a place to sleep and then–at a comparatively great distance away–a place to defecate. Piglets are trained early on to relieve themselves in a special corner of the shed. A major advantage is that the feces can be collected and removed in a shorter time. This lowers the level of ammonia emissions in the shed, the advantage for the farmer being that there is no further need for air washers.

Henk WildschutShower. Paul Steenbekkers is manager at one farm, Ven/Heide, where they keep 1700 sows and 3300 piglets. Paul works from 7:30 in the morning until 10 past four in the afternoon. All staff and visitors are required to take a shower before entering the farm and don a complete set of company clothes. These strict rules on hygiene have meant a reduction in the use of antibiotics in recent years of 70%. The administering of antibiotics was a preventive measure until 2009.

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Export. To avoid the fish becoming dehydrated they are coated in a glaze solution. The deep-frozen fish are then drawn through a shallow layer of water. This treatment, which is sometimes done repeatedly, adds to the weight of the fish so that more can be sold for less.

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Infusion. By optimizing plant growth conditions—the ideal mix of water, light, nutrition, CO2 and temperature—PlantLab seeks to revolutionize plant cultivation. According to PlantLab, this way plants produce up to 10 times more than in a regular greenhouse and use something like 90% less water. And there are no pesticides involved. A plant treated this way proves to be no longer susceptible to diseases and epidemics.

Amber McCaig

By using a combination of portraits and still life elements, I have been able to create an exploration into the idea of identity and imagination, providing an insight into what it is like to live out your fantasies in everyday life. Spanish pirates, Venetian noblewomen and 11th century Vikings have escaped out of the darkness of the past and are now living in the future, placed on a stage for all to see. Laden with armor, treasure chests, maps and lore, these fantasies show the power of our imagination and what we can create if we dare to dream.
— Amber McCaig

Australian photographer Amber McCaig explores when history and storytelling converge in the colorful and elaborate world of Medieval and Renaissance reenactors. The Society for Creative Anachronism is an organization where thousands of dedicated people are committed to researching and recreating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th century Europe. Members feast, fight, and dress all in the era of their choosing, often using the transformation to alter their own personalities and temperaments. Here one can choose who they wish to be and often craft a ‘hyper’ version of themselves in a way unavailable in everyday society. McCaig’s interest in this transformative identity plays out in painterly photographs full of dark, deep tones and stoic poses. The mixture of portrait and still life act as potential clues to who these characters may be and every detail is constructed with great care. Unlike the every day social struggles and pretensions, Imagined Histories is a world where the past and future can be all one’s own. Imagined Histories is currently showing from November 6-23 at the Edmund Pearce Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. McCaig also recently won the Ballarat International Foto Biennale portfolio review prize for the same work. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Amber McCaig

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nolan_conway_PhotographyDave Gooding, Liz Deno, and Shaggy (dog), from Georgia, are on their way to Montana. “You meet a lot of good people who like to help out, so when people do that,” Liz says, “it’s like a karma broker. You give people an opportunity to give good karma back.”

I have this image burned in my mind from middle school of an old beat up station wagon filled with someone’s belongings, parked way in the back of a Walmart parking lot. When I saw this scene it was winter in my hometown in Eastern Washington state and the car had plastic sheeting in the place of a missing window. I was a naive, relatively privileged kid, but I knew that someone would be shivering in that car that night, and it affected me. It was this memory that eventually led me to take photos of the people I came across in the parking lot.—Nolan Conway

Brooklyn photographer Nolan Conway spent three weeks exploring the culture of the United States’ largest retail chain and the people who loiter there. Waking Up at Walmart is a series of portraits featuring curious characters and vagabond tales, all clustered around the edge of various Walmart parking lots in Flagstaff, Arizona. Here is a world of loss, leisure and the occasional adventure. In a place where a failed economy and a corporate giant juxtapose, the common man still gathers to seek comfort in the fluorescent lights radiating 24/7. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Nolan Conway

nolan_conway_PhotographyJ.D. Gilkey sold the family home and has been driving around the country researching his family’s genealogy. He says his travels have brought him to 500 Walmarts in the U.S. and Canada. “Christmas of 2011, there were about nine of us in the Walmart parking lot in Albuquerque,” he says. “Christmas Eve I put a note on everybody’s door to come over in the morning, and I fixed Christmas breakfast for everybody.”

Nolan ConwayHeiko Bergman, from Germany, rented an R.V. with his family to tour the southwest. A nearby R.V. park was full the previous evening. The people who ran the R.V. park recommended that they try the Walmart parking lot.

nolan_conway_PhotographyFrom left: Megan Hoffman; Sophia Stauffer and her boyfriend, Alex Daby; Deanna Bunch and Kerouac (dog). They were traveling from Prescott, AZ, to Montana. Each of them plays at least one instrument, and they fund their travels by “jamming” on street corners. Sophia describes the nomadic life as an opportunity to “do what I want to do and not have to worry about all the bills and worry about what’s happening next.”

Nolan ConwayWilliam White was shipping store fixtures from a closed pet store in Flagstaff to Las Vegas. He gets good rest sleeping in Walmart lots. “When you have 40 or 50 trucks in a truck stop, it’s like trying to sleep in a beehive.”

nolan_conway_Photography“We sold everything we had and decided to find, as we put it, our American dream,” says Josiane Simpson. She, Jared Holfeltz, and their son Gabriel are currently living out of their car. Jared hopes to start a contracting business helping rebuild after natural disasters, but he recently hurt his wrist working a construction gig. So their dreams are on hold for a few weeks until his wrist improves.

nolan_conway_PhotographySheldon and Jacquie Britton from Phoenix, AZ enjoy their morning coffee by the gas fire in their “fifth wheel” camper trailer. They are on their way to Milwaukee for the 110th Anniversary of Harley-Davidson. “I have everything in there that I require without having to pack a suitcase and take it into a hotel,” Jacquie says. “I have full-size walk-in closet…I even have my china if we’re entertaining somebody.”

nolan_conway_PhotographyJack Spano and and Dawn Lovingood are Army veterans from Colorado. They are in Flagstaff visiting the veteran’s hospital.

nolan_conway_Photography“These are the best years of my life,” says retiree, Leroy Morris. He lives off social security in his small R.V. with his dog, Maggie. He spends summers in the Flagstaff Walmarts and winters in southern Arizona.

nolan_conway_PhotographyCaleb Goodaker-Craig from Austin, TX, a painter on an 11,000-mile solo bike trip. “I was riding through to check out Walmart, and I met an older guy who invited me for a glass of wine. He let me sleep between the truck and his R.V.”

nolan_conway_Photography“My wife threw me out, because I’m a drunk,” says Sal. “I drink too much vodka.” He currently works odd jobs and lives out of his pickup.

nolan_conway_PhotographyRick Keller, 75, says he doesn’t live in his R.V. for economic reasons, “I belong in the woods.” He lives in the woods, but comes to Flagstaff on weekends to restock. “I just pray that the Lord keeps me alive one more year, because these are such exciting times,” he says, referring to the Arab Spring.

nolan_conway_PhotographyStephen Pike and girlfriend Christina Plascencia are traveling north with no destination in mind. They started in Bisbee, AZ. They were kept awake by a street cleaner driving in circles through the parking lot the night before. Stephen says, “I think he’s a subliminal irritant—keeping us up, instead of asking us to leave.”

Ackerman_Gruber_Photography

Our first trip to a county fair was all it took for us to be drawn in and to know it was something we needed to document. We have also always loved people watching and state fairs and county fairs attract a wide cast of characters. Throw in a camera and you are suddenly given permission to stare.
—Ackerman + Gruber

Minneapolis-based husband and wife photo team Ackerman + Gruber (Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber) have always been intrigued by Americana. After moving to the Midwest three years ago, they were interested in exploring the fair culture that they had heard so much about. During their first year in the Midwest, they spent time driving around the state visiting small county fairs, embracing mini-donuts, pork chops on a stick, 4-H animals, and demolition derbies in all their splendor in an ongoing series entitled Blue Ribbon. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Ackerman + Gruber

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county-fair Minnesota

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Olivia LocherIn Texas it is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.

Graduating just this year with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, photographer Olivia Locher has already made a name for herself with her masterful use of color and playful sensibilities. In her ongoing series I Fought The Law, Locher turns unusual still-existing laws in the United States into quirky, absurdist photographs full of candy-colored grit and humor. The flagrant disobedience of these bizarre laws make the series even more good fun and we’re happy to report that Locher intends to defy rules and regulations across all 50 states. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Olivia Locher

Olivia LocherIn Alabama it’s illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times.

Olivia LocherIn Hawaii coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.

Olivia LocherIn Connecticut pickles must bounce to officially be considered pickles.

Olivia LocherIn California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

Olivia LocherIn Wisconsin it is illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese.

Olivia LocherIn Delaware it is illegal to wear pants that are “form-fitting” around the waist.

Olivia LocherIn Arizona you may not have more than two dildos in a house.

 

Daniel CoburnDad’s Authority

A complicated relationship with family, and an immersive experience with an evangelical Christian church resulted in my loss of spiritual and domestic faith. My work relates specifically to these personal struggles and explores the quiet suffering that occurs within the perimeter of a family unit living under the auspices of the American Dream. — Daniel W. Coburn

It’s difficult to pinpoint why Daniel W. Coburn’s Next of Kin feels so particularly powerful and honest. Shot in the heart of rural Kansas, the raw unbridled nature of one family’s relationship bleeds through what should be a series of mundane images. Titles for each photograph render simple yet telling hints of an internal dialogue that can only exist from years of things unsaid and every detail feels deeply personal. Coburn captures the silent drama of something so close to him it leaves the viewer unable to separate themselves from the emotion present in every frame. Perhaps it is this homely confrontation that leaves us so spellbound, a mixture of resentment, questions, and hurt always present in a ferocious love. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Daniel W. Coburn

Daniel_Coburn_01Mom Cooling Off in the Pool

Daniel CoburnDad Preparing His Meat

Daniel CoburnLila Breaks

Daniel CoburnMom as Martyr

Daniel CoburnSomewhere Far Away

Daniel CoburnJake’s Embrace

Daniel CoburnDane On His Last Leg

Daniel CoburnDisposal

Daniel CoburnEssential Accessories

Daniel CoburnMom Has the Final Say

 

Salva Lopez

Through this project I do not attempt to create a faithful portrait of their reality. Instead, I hope to recreate the reality of the experience of living with them. — Salva López

Spanish photographer Salva López documents the 5 years he spent with his grandparents in his poignant series Roig 26. Living in a tiny flat in central Barcelona, López slept in the very room where his grandmother was born decades before. From this stage of domestic history, a portrait is painted of Jóse and Marina, their daily lives and patterns washed in soft light and quiet words. Though he acknowledges that his familial archetypes exist in a world of roles and customs foreign to him, Lopez’s view is one of a compassionate participant, full of ever-present love and understanding for those who represent a part of himself. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Salva López

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Shot in 1995, Las Vegas 95 is Berlin-based and Wonderful Machine photographer Markus Altmann’s look at sin city in the midst of its transformation from an old gambling town to a family entertainment metropolis, stacked high with mega hotels and theme parks. Intrigued by the aesthetics of the newly constructed facades and how they relate to the seemingly more authentic realities of the older surroundings, Altmann weaves together surreal, almost otherworldly shots that give off the feel they are at once set in the past and future. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Markus Altmann

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David Vintiner

In 2012, as well as the Olympics, London played host to the World Memory Championships.  Contestants travel from far and wide to sit a series of challenges, such as memorising a number containing as many as 2200 digits.  My series ‘Recall’ reveals some of the methods these talented participants use to succeed, as well as the mental strain of this idiosyncratic event. — David Vintiner

English photographer David Vintiner opens the door to a quirky world filled with drama and challenge, all while quietly sitting perfectly still. In his series Recall, Vintiner documents the over 70 participants in various memory tests, from memorizing an entire pack of cards to a set of names and faces. Though their poses and ‘equipment’ might seem humorous, this year’s champion Johannes Mallow mastered a number of 2,245 digits in an hour and a number with 500 digits in 5 minutes, setting a new world record. The challenges take place in sterile lighting and gymnasium interiors, but the intensity with which the participants battle is every bit as rigorous as its’ physical counterpart in the Olympics this past year. The competition was so fierce that Vintiner was required to sit absolutely still and silent during the events so as not to disturb the mental athletics taking place. In a roll less celebrated, the intellectual triumphs of Recall are every bit as noble and grand in strength, proving human achievement and uncanny ability stretch farther than we could ever imagine. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © David Vintiner

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Mike Rebholz

On the southern tier lakes of Wisconsin, “10 Weeks” is typically the period between late December when a thick enough layer of the lake freezes and ices over, until the first Sunday after the first day of March. It’s during this time when you’ll find Mike Rebholz on one of the five lakes near his home town of Madison making pictures of the ice shacks and the culture that exists within them. Rebholz, an architectural photographer and self-described born and bred mid-westerner, was initially fascinated by the abstract nature of these lone structures resting upon lakes of ice. Because there are no regulations, the creators of these shacks, the fishermen, are free to build whatever type of structure they fancy. Thus, the design and adornment completely represent the sensibilities of their creators, and the near endless backdrop of ice and sky makes for the perfect seamless, accentuating the form and colour of each shack while reinforcing the singularity and expression of its creator and occupant. Rebholz isn’t content making 10 Weeks a mere typology of ice shacks; he goes deeper and examines the distinctiveness within each structure. In the process, he has discovered, like any other sporting event, that the fishermen span the cultural gamut of the local population and the variance equally vast in how they entertain themselves when the fish aren’t biting. Yet whether it’s overcast and miserably cold, or sunny and transcendently beautiful, from shack to shack the fishermen all share a common longing—their camaraderie and being some place they love. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Mike Rebholz

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