"People are living life desperately. Sometimes lonely, sometimes helping each other, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing. I capture people going about their daily lives because there are moments that they themselves do not realise are more beautiful and full of a human touch than the carefully choreographed movies of Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini or Shakespeare's plays."
These are the words of Shin Noguchi, an award-winning street photographer based in Kamakura and Tokyo who describes his focus as an "attempt to capture extraordinary moments of excitement, beauty and humanism" amongst the flow of everyday life in Japan.
In his latest series, Something Here, he captures the rather quirky side of the Japanese, photographing those peculiar but charming moments that might occur when we don't think anyone is watching.
"I want to share these beautiful moments with other people and, at the same time," he adds. "I want them to understand that these extraordinary moments exist in our daily lives and that they can happen anywhere and at anytime. I'm here, just here. You're here, just here. There is something here, something beautiful something special. It may last but a moment, but we are always connected to each other."
Images from the series “The Darkest Colour,” photographed by Yannis Davy Guibinga, featuring Tania Fines and Madjou Diallo, and with bodypainting by Jean Guy Leclerc. All images via Yannis Davy Guibinga.
Self-taught Gabonese photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga is known for portraits that highlight the diversity of cultures and identities in the African diaspora. His works are often richly hued, with subjects positioned against bright gradient backgrounds or adorned in warm tones.
In his project The Darkest Colour however, Guibinga moves away from his multi-colored photo shoots to focus entirely on the color black and its relationship to darkness, mourning, and death. The series is set in front of a matte black background and features two nude models whose skin has also been painted black. The works seek to unpack the negative aspects of the both the color and its symbolism.
“Black is generally the colour associated with tragedy, death, and mourning, and the act of passing away is considered to be a tragedy in many cultures,” Guibinga tells Colossal. “‘The Darkest Colour’ seeks to redefine association of black and death with tragedy and sadness by representing the act of passing away as more of a relaxing experience.”
The 22-year-old photographer is currently a student in professional photography at Marsan College in Montreal. You can see more of his portraits, like his series 2050 which explores the future of fashion from a black woman’s perspective, on his website and Instagram. (via WideWalls)
The auction of Andreas Gursky’s photograph Rhine II for a record-breaking $4.3 million in 2011 had an unintended artistic consequence: it inspired two Swiss photographers, Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger, to try to recreate the image as a three-dimensional, miniature model. The original, which depicts a strip of the Rhine under a gray, low-hanging sky, was recreated using transparent paper and cotton wool for the clouds and plastic foil for the water. Now, six years and some 40 models later, they've released a collection of their recreations titled Double Take: The World’s Most Iconic Photographs Meticulously Re-created in Miniature.
Since the project began in 2012, Cortis and Sonderegger have built miniature models for some of history’s most recognizable photographs, from Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s 1826 image View from the Window at Le Gras, to the iconic photo of the Hindenberg disaster, to Pennie Smith's shot of The Clash's Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar in London. Along the way, they had to find creative ways to replicate everything from billowing clouds to moon dust.
“When we start, we discuss the materials, but it’s always trial and error,” says Sonderegger in an interview included in the book. One particularly tricky reconstruction was of Buzz Aldrin’s photograph of his footprint during the 1969 moon landing. The team tried several different substances to mimic the surface of the moon, including sand and flour, before settling on concrete powder. The footprint was fashioned from a piece of wood, which had to be pressed with just the right intensity for an accurate outline.
Cortis and Sonderegger try not to rely on Photoshop and can spend weeks getting a recreation right. They photograph their models surrounded by their studio tools, sometimes with a printed-out version of the original. But the scale of their models can still be surprising: their version of an aerial photograph of the Exxon Valdez tanker leaking 11 million gallons of crude oil is 7 meters deep, and about 1.5 meters wide at the front.
The pair have chosen images that depict tragedies, momentous historical events, and even a faked photograph (the famous 1934 Loch Ness monster image Nessie, by Marmaduke Wetherell). The book also summarizes the history of the photo they've recreated which, as Sonderegger notes, makes for some mind-bending realizations: “someone took an image, it became two-dimensional, then we make it three-dimensional again, and then we make an image also, so it’s back again to two dimensions!”
But historical photographs aren’t always immune to manipulation. Gursky altered his Rhine II image, and historians have investigated the authenticity of Robert Capa's Spanish Civil War photograph The Falling Soldier, a recreation of which appears on the cover of Double Take. For Cortis and Sonderegger, creating models of these images is a form of visual examination. Says Sonderegger, “We want to activate the viewer; to push them to think about our photographs, and think about the original.”
Atlas Obscura has a selection of images from Double Take.