Photography Legends #3 – Erwin Olaf

Born in Hilversum in the Netherlands in 1959, Erwin Olaf lives and works in Amsterdam since the early 80’s. Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged in the international art scene in 1988 when his series ‘Chessmen’ was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. Since then Olaf has continued to explore issues of gender, sensuality, humor, despair and grace in each successive series.

Printing his early work in documentary style black-and-white, he first gradually introduced color and then digital manipulation. There is great contrast between each series. In his four most recent series Rain, Hope, Grief and Fall, Erwin Olaf returns to classic imagery with minimal computer retouching.

Video and film offer new possibilities to explore. His first film Tadzio (1991, co-directed with painter F. Franciscus) was soon followed by comic videos for children’s television, short documentaries, music clips and commissions by the Dutch National Ballet. Recently Olaf has created autonomous video works like Separation, Rain and Grief, starring models who also appear in the accompanying photo series. In the films they play a different character, as though his moving images provide a parallel history to his color photographs. These short films have been selected for film festivals all over the world.

Over the years many of Olaf’s works – from his unabashed nude portraiture and intense symbolism to the unflinching gaze in his blood-drenched images of staged violence – have provoked controversy. Not surprisingly, this ability to attract attention has seen his work embraced by the advertising world, resulting in commercials for Lavazza, BMW, Microsoft and Nintendo among many others. Lately Erwin is frequently shooting in commission for magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Elle and Citizen K.

Dutch National Soccer Team "New Warriors"

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Photography Legends #2 – Steve Bloom

(www.stevebloomphoto.com)

A writer and a photographic artist who specialises in evocative images of the living world. Born in South Africa in 1953, he first used the camera to document life in South Africa during the apartheid years. He moved to England in 1977 and co-founded one of London’s leading photographic special effects companies. In the early nineties, during a safari holiday, he began photographing animals, and within a short time he had swapped his established city career for the precarious life of an international travelling photographer. Steve Bloom’s concern for the environment is strongly evident in his wildlife images. He strives to capture the animal’s spirit, and blur the lines separating different species.

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Photography Legends #1 Ansel Adams

A selection of work from Photographers – worth taking a look at ! The first chapter of my legends-post without a doubt goes to Ansel Adams.

(www.anseladams.com)
Not only did his vision help to preserve many acres of wildlife and scenic areas – he also was drawn to the beauty of the earth and was determined to share these beautiful places with everyone. Thanks to his endless patience and skills, we can still view these today. Yosemite NP was a very big inspirational point for Adams. He spent a lot of his time during different seasons in Yosemite capturing all the stunning landscapes. His dramatic black and white pictures of the park, show it barely has changed since then. A project he worked very hard on. The was a visionairy, a conservationist and a teacher. One of my favorite pictures is the first one – The Golden Gate, before the Bridge. A classic look into the past.

The Golden Gate – Before the Bridge. 1932

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