Archive: Visura Spotlight


Robert, a psychology student, did not attend his morning lectures nor catch the bus to the Jagielonski University in Krakow. He did, however, get up early and take the rubbish out. That was 20th January 1995, when he was 21 ­– since then, nobody has seen him or knows what has happened to him.

Every year the Polish police file 15,000 missing person reports. Every day the faces of missing people gaze out from posters designed to attract our attention, yet with every passing day we notice them less.

JASHIM SALAM | Water World, Bangladesh

In the past few years, climate change has begun to take a major toll on my home city of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Tidal surge – water levels rising significantly above the tide levels that astronomy predicts-has begun to affect the city as much as twice a day, resulting in frequent flooding of residential and business areas.


In the Spring of 2011 I was invited to go on a cruise to the Caribbean on Princess Cruise Lines. As always, I saw this as an opportunity to make pictures. The environment I encountered on the Crown Princess is in many ways artificial and man-made.

BRAD VEST | The Best We Can

Darren and Kim Wilson represent the changing roles of grandparenting in southeast Ohio. Following Kim’s daughter’s drug related custody forfeiture of her two children, Jenna and Ayden, the grandparents find themselves as parents for the second time around. Their decision has them confronting the challenges of raising young children while negotiating the issues around aging and their independence.


The myth of Iperborea tells the story of legendary civilizations collapsed in the cataclysm, known in the various myths of the world as The Flood. As the ones of Atlantis and Uthopia, the myth reminds us of legendary places—a no-man’s land that we are invited to seek and find. It also suggest the dichotomy of the modern man, struggling between desire and civilization.


Ingar Aasen calles himself the Art Ranger and is today an established artist, both in Norway and on the west coast in America. He was born in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1964 and has been living in a communal area called Øra, just outside Fredrikstad City, for the last twenty years.

PAUL SZYNOL | Natale Solum

Natale Solum is a series of photographs about Poland, where I was born and lived as a child, before leaving for New York City.  I returned to Warsaw only some 20 years later.  These photos are about the country I've been discovering since then.

ELLEN WALLENSTEIN | Pocketbook of Drag Queens

The waitresses and performers became friends; they allowed me to photograph them both “on” and “off”. There was mutual trust. As a woman photographing men dressed as women, I was doubly aware of the surrealism involved. It made me question what I used to take for granted, about appearances and what constitutes gender.


Three countries - Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have all gone through unprecedented political and socioeconomic changes over the past year heralding the beginnings of a new era in their country's history. New hopes and new dreams have interwoven into the daily lives of people. The complex realities on the ground however paint a different picture, where the future still looks murky and uncertain and where the dust hasn't yet settled.

DAVID BACHER | Bei’s Fashion

Making one’s way into the limelight of the fashion industry in Paris has not changed since Coco Chanel sought support from members of the wealthy bourgeoisie at the turn of the 20th century. I took these photos in 2006 at a small, by invitation only, fashion show in the apartment of a well to do French family. The building was located a stone’s throw away from the Champs Elysees.

BESS ADLER | Bodybuilding

In this series, I document a community whose members devote massive energy to strengthening and displaying their bodies. Rigorous and exciting competitions determine who has the most perfect physique. Line up, walk, display, flex, and judge. These men and women march across a well-lit stage, stop midway and expose sculpted bodies, the product of perseverance and hard labor.


Montefiore Children's Hospital, located in the Bronx, hosts an annual prom for their teenage patients every year, offering them a temporary escape from their illness by providing them an opportunity to feel like normal kids for an evening.


Home is an ongoing project on the people living close to my mother’s house in Abasto, a little town in Argentina. These people have been our neighbors for a long time, since I was a child but only now, after many years living in another country, I come back and see them with a different light. I see them as extra-ordinary characters.

MARCIA MICHAEL | The Study of Kin

E-cite, a slide show presentation featuring a selection of five online blogs and magazines — New York Times Lens Blog, Time Magazine Lightbox, NPR Picture Show Blog, PDN Photo of the Day Blog & Visura Magazine—that have inspired the FotoVisura community. In a collaborative effort, each of these forums has created a unique presentation to represent their respective platforms.

XIAOMEI CHEN | Puzhu In Transition

Wind whistles through the leafy forest. In the distance, the sound of cutting bamboos mixes with the murmur of people chatting, birds chirping, cocks crowing, and oxen snorting. Dogs bark sporadically. Sometimes bamboo logs rumble down the hillsides, their clatter muffled by the filter of the forest.A tiny village sits at the edge of this green world, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Chinese villages stretching back for generations. This tranquility is what the cities lack, what city inhabitants can recall only in dreams. It is what people love about Puzhu, but must leave behind.

NOTES FROM JAPAN | Gianni Giosue

Each journey involves traveling in time and space. Moreover each journey originates a journey within ourselves. We meet people, we think about what they say. We consider how life is working and why we exist. I see the crumbs then try to follow and understand them. For me every time I travel my senses are on full alert, I tend to be very receptive and responsive. Every time I have the chance to discover something new about me and others.

SUSAN A. BARNETT | Not In Your Face

In the series Not In Your Face the t-shirt is starkly evident but these photographs are not about the t-shirt per se. They are about the stories of people who tell their own story. I look for individuals who stand out in a crowd by their choice of the message on their back. The messages are combinations of pictures and words that are appropriated from contemporary culture but have the unique effect of mixing up meanings and creating new meanings. On the streets these personalities create their own iconography that explores the cultural, political and social issues that have an impact on our daily lives.


In October 2009 a series of rallies were called by the “English Defence League” in Leeds and their welsh associate, “Welsh Defence League”, in Swansea and Newport. The group first appeared in Luton in April and initially claimed that it was responding to a protest against British troops returning from Afghanistan organised by a fringe Muslim organisation, but its “Support our troops” demon-strations were used as an excuse to attack Muslims.

STEPHEN REISS | Home: A Portrait of a Unique American Family

According to a study conducted by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the University of California Los Angeles, same-sex couples in the Bronx are more likely to have children than those in any other New York City borough and 49% of those couples have children. Eshey Scarborough and her partner Paris Amari run a foster home for at-risk youth in Mott Haven, located in the South Bronx, one of the poorest congressional districts in the country.

BRYAN MELTZ | Resettled: Clarkston, Georgia

Arbai Barre Abdi is 1 of nearly 13,000 Somali Bantu refugees that were resettled throughout the US beginning in 2004. I met Arbai that same year, when she and her four children were placed in Clarkston, Georgia directly from a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. Over the past decade, Clarkston, a former railroad town outside Atlanta, has been transformed into the Ellis Island of the South for refugees from every corner of the globe. It is estimated that one of every three of Clarkston’s residents are immigrants and over sixty languages are now spoken in this small Southern town.

DOMINIC BRACCO | Life and Death in the Northern Pass

Sprawled across the tail end of the Rocky Mountains you can find one of most violent cities in the world, Ciudad Juarez, historically known as El Paso del Norte or The Northern Pass. This ongoing project focuses on the residents of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who are trapped in a war that is as complex as it is horrifying. I grew up in Texas on the Mexico border, and never thought much of the reports of violence.

PACCARIK ORUE | Nothing Beautiful Around Here

I was born in Lima, Peru to a lower-middle class family. I grew up during a terrorist crisis, and witnessed poverty, crime and the struggles of my family trying to make ends meet. Before immigrating to the United States, I had a very warped idea of how prosperous the country was, and did not understand the extremely complicated social issues surrounding race and class. After many years struggling as an immigrant in Miami, Florida, I moved to San Francisco and had the opportunity to go to school and study the thing I was most passionate about: photography.

SUSAN DUCA | Shadow / Light

This work explores the interplay between shadow and light, specifically how people move through each, how situations can take on new forms or meaning, and by playing upon the power of juxtapositions, a creative narrative is developed. While photographing in Italy ten years ago, I couldn’t decide whether to shoot in black and white or color. Ultimately, I chose both–alternating the film each time I reloaded the camera. Over time, I noticed it wasn’t the film I was attracted to but rather towards compositions and subjects hidden in the shadows or exposed to light.

LI WEI | The Earth

I was born in Hohot, Inner Mongolia in 1976. Located on the northern border, Inner Mongolia is the largest grazing region of China. In 1997, I left this area and moved to Beijing to study and later to work. I still have a lot of love and affection for my hometown, which sparked my interest in completing this series.


Philadelphia is both dead and alive at the same time. The city is home to approximately 60,000 abandoned properties, nearly half are empty row homes located in North Philly.

ERIC PERRIARD | Fascinations

I was born in Korea, left at the age of six as an adoptee, and came back more than twenty years later. Korea surely triggers inspiration, but more importantly, I feel very close to its landscapes and colors. This relationship with South Korea has an impact on my vision: I see this land with exoticism even though I am related to it, and nothing in Korea ever becomes boring to me. One aspect of this exoticism, which captivates me more so than others is the contemporary chaos of Korea.


The Azores are an archipelago in the North Atlantic that consists of nine small islands. The smallest, Corvo (Raven), is only 17 km2 and has about 400 inhabitants. The largest is São Miguel (San Miguel), where I was born and where I continue to live and work.


In the summer of 1999, my older sister Maija was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was only 20 years old. Her prognosis was not good. With the help of different treatments and a strong will, she was able to extend and periodically enjoy her life.  

LIZ DOLES | Pinhole Perspectives

I long to apprehend the world in a single stroke of art. I strive to speak of the numinous manifested in our quotidian reality; to make that unique, idiosyncratic mark which sums up the enormity of reality; to author images equal to the intensity of being alive. I’ve worked in a wide range of media. I’ve chased my vision with techniques and materials that allow for the fortuitous accident. Brush and Chinese ink; paint dripping off the brush and flowing down the canvas—the element of chance in street photography suits me well.

LAURA EL-TANTAWY | Unveiling The Veil

Having grown up in a culture that places so much weight on the realities of life rather than the prospect of dreams, photography has become my ultimate companion—my soul mate. With my camera, I can confront the harshness of reality and delve into my own world, a softer edge frame inspired by my vision—my feelings—and always dominated by mystery and dreams.

RUSS MARTIN | The Hosta Project

For many years, my wife and I have taken walks around the campus of Vassar College near our home. On one of these walks, I spotted two small gardens containing plants with large leaves. Later, I was told that they are “Elephant Ear Hostas” since the leaves are so large.  I was immediately attracted to them because of their size and their design potential.

KATE ELLIOTT | A Modern Bohemian

Much of my work is preoccupied with a search for identity and an investigation into the breakdown of conventionalized forms of representation. Through the medium of photography I try to deconstruct ways of looking at femininity and masculinity; in the process, I question traditional boundaries of gender identity and the painterly conventions of self-representation. 

JESSICA INGRAM | A Civil Rights Memorial

Five years ago, I wandered downtown Montgomery in the sweltering heat, picked up a walking tour trail, and found myself facing a large, ornate fountain situated on a brick pavilion. A “Historical Site” sign said that I was standing in the former Court Square Slave Market, where slave traders sold men, women, and children to the highest bidder. It presented cold hard facts, detailing dollar values for slaves at the time and how none were given last names.

MICHAEL ITKOFF | Between Two Lakes

Ever since I was born, I have lived in many different apartments and houses, but I have returned to the same cabin in the Pocono Lake Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania for over twenty years. I know that cabin and the surrounding landscape better than any other place in the world.

MARTIN REEVES | Hidden Realms

I am a British-born, self-taught fine art photographer and filmmaker. I have spent the last twenty-four years under Asia’s spell taking photographs of lost cites, temples and hill-tribe villages around the region. The photographs above are some of my favourites from this personal project.

MIKE MABES | People & Moments of Architecture

I usually spend my days with a camera under my arm. I seek beauty in everyday life—from the hidden layers of a landscape to a brief memory of a stranger’s face. My approach to photography is quite varied in subject matter, but the common denominator for my imagery is emotion.

BRENT LEWIN | Want Not, Waste Not

Want Not, Waste Not is a series of pictures I took at various tipping floors and material recovery facilities (MRFs) in the Greater Toronto Area over the course of a couple months. They are simple images with a simple message: We produce an enormous amount of waste that does not disappear when it leaves our front lawns. I have always been fascinated with how we as societies deal with our waste.


With Europe's largest population of immigrant Muslims, France is torn between its democratic traditions and its fears that the country is losing its identity with this huge foreign influx. The government has promoted a debate asking what it means to be French. Meanwhile, there are at least 400,000 illegal immigrants inside the country, according to government estimates. Even with stepped up deportations, only half of that number have been sent back to their home countries, showing that, this issue has reached a stalemate.


The diverse city of San Francisco is considered home to cultures from all around the world. These ethnic groups transform the city by creating strong communities in which their identities, rituals, and traditions are celebrated and nurtured. In other words, they recreate their old homes within their new environment. Bound together by language and tradition, these cultural enclaves continue to thrive both separately from and as part of the diverse fabric of San Francisco.

MIKKO TAKKUNEN | Post-War Recovery in Sierra Leone

This series of 15 photographs from Sierra Leone was taken in the spring of 2008, when I spent a month in the country documenting the foreign aid projects of the Finnish Refugee Council. I have recently been revisiting the work as I had been invited to show a selection of it at Ozwald Boateng in London in the spring of 2010.
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