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Marc Ohrem-Leclef Brings Voice to Rio’s Marginalized

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that the preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics are a mess. Just yesterday it was announced that the city would receive a bailout of almost one billion dollars from the federal government of Brazil because their budget has been so mishandled. In the years leading up to this summer’s games, thousands of Brazilians have had their homes stolen from them while communities are effectively bulldozed to make a more aesthetically pleasing and convenient home for the games, and their voices have been largely silenced. Until now. Photographer and documentarian Marc Ohrem-Leclef has given them a platform in his series and film ‘Olympic Favela’ that tells as much of their stories as he can. The Olympics are usually the best opportunity to show the world a country’s culture. The host country has all eyes on them and it’s when we’re introduced to their ways of

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Singing an Expression of Hope with Stephanie Keith

It’s just not summer until the ocean’s royalty dances down Surf Avenue in Brooklyn. Coney Island has always been a refuge for self expression in the most colorful and flamboyant of ways, and every summer The Mermaid Parade explodes at the beginning of the season. Gawkers line up block after block to celebrate the ocean and a cast of characters who just don’t give a damn. Since this is an event singular to New York City, not everyone gets to make the trip so photographer Stephanie Keith packed her camera to act as an envoy for everyone who had to miss it. This year the parade took on a particularly important role. Since the beginning of the Mermaid Parade 33 years ago it’s included a powerful representation of the drag and LGBT communities. With the recent shooting in Orlando last week, the Parade this time was a powerful display of

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All History Together with Ilker Gurer

Istanbul has been the center of history for millennia. Originally called Byzantium upon its founding more than 2600 years ago, the occupants of this city have gone by more names than the city itself, each building their lives on top of the history below them. Photographer Ilker Gurer has lived there since birth and has taken it on as his own personal creative challenge to give a visual voice to this incredibly rich place. “Istanbul is a never-ending story,” Ilker tells the Huffington Post, “caught in the middle of the past and present—thus, timeless.” He’s put together a collection of photographs into a series he calls ‘Layers,’ that shows us how Istanbul’s history converges in unique ways. “For the last eight years, I have been reflecting on the everyday life of the city with my own perspective to show Istanbul’s many faces,” he explains. “‘Layers,’ is an endless project—it reflects

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Todd McLellan and the Beauty That’s Hidden Away

Everything we come in contact with, no matter how compact, is a well-designed conglomeration of pieces brought together by product designers and engineers. Every constituent part has its own purity, each playing a pivotal role that creates something amazing and in many cases incredibly useful. Our daily detritus is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Curiosity is sometimes the only thing that stands between an object being useful and understood. Photographer Todd McLellan crossed that curious line in his series ‘Things Come Apart’ in which he effectively dissects everyday items like a typewriter or snow blower and lays them out for a photograph. The irony is that when Todd explodes these items they are no longer usable, but they become useful in a different way. By seeing them taken apart the way Todd does lets us see what we take for granted in a way that would otherwise

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It’s Time to Reframe Diversity

Advertising is some of the most powerful communication in our world. There are few spaces that speak more loudly about who we are and what we want than inside of advertising. We measure our worth and test our values against our aspirations and it becomes crucial to represent who we are in reality rather than just a small percentage of us. It’s about more than diversity. This can’t be diversity for diversity’s sake, but rather represents a responsibility to show the world as it is. The power of advertising isn’t just to sell products, but also present our value systems. All of us need to be involved in that representation, regardless of what their skin, family, or bodies look like and few people have a better understanding of this than Lee Coventry-Walsh, the Creative Director at Gallery Stock London, who recently gave a talk at Shoreditch House in London about

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Rory Carnegie Closes the Gaping Maw of Time

For most of us a scarlet ibis or a radiated tortoise or a clouded leopard is not something that we normally see on our way to work. These are outlandish animals that we could only find in a zoo or, if we’re extraordinarily lucky, in their own habitats on safari. But they may not have always been as far away as we think. When British photographer Rory Carnegie learned that some woolly rhinos were being excavated within England his imagination lit up about what could have been sitting next to him in a different decade. It turns out that only time stood between him and a zebra on the British Isles. As a photographer he wanted to explore what that could mean. Rory’s ongoing series, ‘Long Ago and Far Away’ takes photographs of these “exotic” animals and imagines them in spaces that are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

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Luca Zordan and the Inspiration of Innocence

The adage goes to never work with kids or animals. Both are too unpredictable to follow direction closely and you never know if you’re going to get what you were planning. But if you prepare for the unexpected you might get exactly what you want. It becomes less about planning for perfection and more about capturing energy. These skills have been honed by Luca Zordan over his photography career recently coming to a head in his digital magazine, L’Enfanterrible, that focuses on kids’ fashion, art, and design. Late last month he divulged his best advice to PDN and illuminated us on why photographing kids is his passion. The wide world of photography is focused almost exclusively on adults: selling products and fashion to grown-ups. But as we grow older we also develop obstacles to creativity. That’s something that Luca wants to avoid. “Children have a very interesting ability to be

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Stephan Zirwes’ Oases from On High

At the height of summer the cooling embrace of a pool can be a dream come true. We think of them as oases in veritable deserts, offering a respite from the press of summer. That’s our emotional experience of the aquatic outposts but it’s rarely the realty. Pools are usually found in backyards or in public parks, making them far less romantic. But that doesn’t mean our mental images have to change. Photographer Stephan Zirwes has been photographing pools from more than a thousand feet up, for his show ‘Moving Stills,’ giving us a new literal perspective that enforces our emotional one.   “Public pools are a part of my childhood,” Stephan tells Mashable. “As child, and also as teen, it was the best place at hot summer days to meet friends, neighbors, and by coincidence you met people you hadn’t seen for long time. So it was always a

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Adam Hinton Finds Light in the Shadows

As cities swell, so do the opportunities that come with communities and the joining of minds. That opportunity acts as a magnet, making these population centers denser and denser. We’ve built the world up around us into these dense communities, and as we come together we find ourselves also throwing out a lot. We pile up that waste with dirt and detritus, and there are those who find lives around and within that filth for it often offers its own refuge. In fact, all over the world there’s an entire class of communities that spring up in these fringes, these corners, in the shadows that are cast by the high piles of what we’ve forgotten. But photographer Adam Hinton doesn’t think we should forget. In eight years he travelled all over the world, visiting slums in India, Brazil, South Africa, and the Philippines, capturing what life there is like and

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A Tension of Time with Nick Ballon

All of human effect is inherently ephemeral. The planet was here long before us and will be here long after us. Cities are built and buried, civilizations rise and fall, and with that ebb and flow comes the tides of our passions and expressions. In the Indian Rajasthani desert during the 19th Century countless elites covered their homes with hand-painted frescoes as a marker for their wealth and commentary on current events. Hundreds of years later they still show themselves on the same walls that are crumbling away grain by grain, holding up against the press of time but losing ground every day. Photographer Nick Ballon traveled to Marwar, the city where most of these buildings are, to capture them in their current state. His photographs are currently being shared with audiences through The New York Times in a new piece about their history and contemporary implications. Largely abandoned, these

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Nathan Perkel Helps Show the Strides Towards Gender Equality

It’s no secret that as a country we’re dealing with a gender inequality issue. We’ve been having this conversation for decades, and in many respects we’re finding that equality, while in others we’re still a long way away. In some circles, like in Congress, it’s easy to see what change needs to be made, but in other’s it’s quieter and more hidden. Photographer Nathan Perkel ventured into the world of horseracing to examine how Maria Remedio is fighting her own battle against gender inequality. As Nathan shows us, that fight has nothing to do with skill or determination. In a piece for Refinery29, we learn that Maria has celebrated her 500th win at Parx Racing in Pensylvannia, just one of a dozen tracks she races. The sport is about a relationship with the animal and understanding the mechanics of how a race works, not about the gender of the jockey.

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Marc Trautmann Brings Dreams within Reach

Cinema is something of a dream. Each film creates a world separate from our own in a fictional space. Whether it’s a telling of a true story, or one that applies rules that are totally different from our own, they act as a way to escape and show us realities that we may not recognize. When a film is expertly made sometimes we lose ourselves in its world and it follow us outside the theatre. Photographer Marc Trautmann has been playing on these themes in his ongoing series CINEMA SCOPES that he continues in a new chapter called “The Approaching.” Throughout all of this work he finds a way to extend the perfectly created realities that are at once alien and taste almost like something we know. The series was photographed in March of this year in Los Angeles, and plays with color and composition to imply more than we