UNLESS YOU WILL

When I unpacked Jaka Babnik’s “We are dogs” book, I thought for a moment that I received a dogdog book – you know the kind – lovely, happy dog images with sunsets in the background, forever cute, chasing a bone, being cheeky etc.
But no – while Jaka’s book begins in all innocence – it broke my heart.
This book is about the brutal world of dog fighting. While I am glad we do not witness the extreme violence, it is what we do not see that makes this book so compelling.
The book starts slowly, makes you adore the little furry creatures, makes you wonder if the fights are real, or if the dogs are just playing innocently. But as you turn the pages, something sinister creeps in, something dark and untold. Your imagination is trying to connect all the little give away details in the images. And finally you find yourself asking – who are these people? Who is organising these illegal dog fights? Why? And how wide spread is this sport? Why do we need a sport of mutilated and bloody dogs?
“Dogs are highly social pack animals who need and deserve love, attention, and exercise and thrive in an environment that offers the companionship of other dogs and human guardians. Dogs who are used for fighting are chained, taunted, and starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggression.” via Dogfighting makes me sad, sick & angry, but is unfortunately a $500 million and growing industry.

This stunning book is printed and handcrafted in their own backyard by Rostfreipublishing – a new publishing house in Slovenia.

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A new year always brings with it hope, dreams, growth, mistakes, passion, new resolutions & opportunities, love, wonder, doubt, laughter, words to be written and photos to be taken. Make 2013 the year that you soar high. Go out there – make it happen!

In the mean time, be inspired by these ten artists. This issue is about those dreamy interpretations that one often can not describe necessarily – of relationships with nature – an emotional response to light, spaces to dream, ideas of getting away. To gaze at a reality of beautiful landscapes and reasons to continue searching. Ten amazing artists, and a massive issue 57MB – which you can view here

Jungjin Lee
Sonja Thomsen
Lauren Henkin
Amelia Bauer
Andres Gonzalez
Jessica M. Kaufman
Renata Buziak
Ingvar Kenne
Max Juhasz
Tito Mouraz

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“In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.” Saul Leiter

We all have heros and I have found mine – Saul Leiter. You do not often find a photographer as candid and straight forward as Saul and I find his viewpoints refreshing. After reading this interview I was mighty dazzled and wish I could meet him. His exhilarating colour images radiate and have an energy I havnt seen in a long time. But why has he only come to our attention now? Most of these images were taken in the 50/60/70, so why did it take 50 years to see his images in galleries? Not enough marketing? Jokes aside, I am happy that Martin Harrison (art historian writer/editor of “Early Color”) admired his work and pushed for it to be seen. Thank you Martin.

Tomas Leach made a film about Saul which I can not wait to get my hands on. Here you will find an interview with Tomas on making the film “In No Great Hurry: 13 Life Lessons with Saul Leiter”.

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The way we share our images has probably changed more in the last 5 years then the previous 100 years (a rough guess)… What would have taken months, even years, can be condensed into a couple of weeks and the first dummy book is ready. We get to share our stories rapidly, instead of them gathering dust in a cupboard. One month ago Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, today we have an online publication by five emerging photographers, providing us with a fresh perspective on documentary photography. The images are more imaginative then what you see in the news, they are crisp and full of vigor. Jay Peg is a small collective of five photographers:
Gaia Squarci
Johnny Milano
Cassie Giraldo
Josh Raab
Daniel Tepper

Check out their new publication

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I feel a bit prickly and I am not sure how, or where to begin… Roughly four years ago I started constructing book sculptures which look like they have been sitting in the rain for too long (where the initial inspiration came from). I constructed more and more sculptures out of the old books and one day I thought I should photograph them. (At that stage I was painting more then I was taking photos). I did a few test runs and was rather excited and I remember feeling very happy and pleased with myself. I thought it was a great project, plus I hadnt seen anything like it before. I continued to collect more old books, to bend & shape them and leave them in the sun to age the paper more. By that stage I had only taken a few rolls of film, plus some test runs on a friends digital camera. One day I opened a magazine and saw one of these old books. My first initial response was – what is my photo doing in the magazine, but it was Cara Barer’s image. I looked at her website and first was simply stunned and then devastated. I was obviously not as clever as I had thought… as another photographer had the same idea, and while we took very different images and used different books – it was still the same idea. I introduced myself to Cara via email, telling her we are working on the same idea (as far as I can remember, she never replied). I ummed and ahhed what to do and after two weeks of feeling devastated (as I really enjoyed this project) I decided I could not continue or finish that project and I had to find a different angle. I used my test runs and had some fun in photoshop, mirroring them, hence where the name “Kaleidoscope” came from… (I can not remember having seen mirrored images on Cara’s website) A couple of months later I began the project “A piece of luck and other stories”, and completely moved away from the deconstructed books.

Today I received an email from David Bram asking me about my image I offered for sale on Fraction print sale. He received an email from Cara who is saying that I am directly copying her work. I felt flabbergasted and shaken. I had not copied her work (in fact I stopped my project because of her). These images have been on my flickr account and website (before I updated it in 2011) since 2009 and always under the name of “Kaleidoscope”.

A few years ago, I did not continue this project of my sculpted books (not the mirrored, but single books) because of Cara, but now I feel rather protective of my images and the idea behind them. This scenario has left me feeling a bit frazzled, but I thought it would be interesting to share this. How are we to go about our ideas? How do we protect them? And who owns the idea? First in – best dressed? Will it come to a stage where we will trademark photographic ideas?

I feel my images are different from Cara’s, but would love to hear what you think.

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I came across Cristina De Middel self published book “The Afronouts” when Joerg reviewed it on Conscientious in July. Of course it is hard to say how a book looks and feels – if one only has the digital experience looking at images on a screen, but I could tell Cristina had created something engaging and very interesting that resonated with me. I remember I could not find a link where to purchase that book, but when I checked again today – it was sold out and I am sure will become an collectors item. I also noticed that Cristina has been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 and I wish her luck. I also found her images on this book is true and what I liked about this website is that you can see what camera she used, what focal length and shutterspeed. Not that it really matters, but sometimes it can be an interesting fact.

“In 1964, at the very height of the Space Race, Zambian grade-school science teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso announced he was creating a national space programme. He claimed he would beat both the Soviets and the United States by launching a rocket that would send twelve astronauts and ten cats to Mars. He wrote an editorial for a newspaper din which he revealed how he had asked Unesco for a £7,000,000 grant for his space program, and how he had instructed the missionaries not to force Christianity onto the native Martian inhabitants if they didn’t want it. Unfortunately the funds from Unesco were not forthcoming and to make matters worse, one of the astronauts, a 17-year-old dubbed ‘spacegirl’ got pregnant and was taken away by her parents.” (via)

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