OLIVIA BEE

olivia bee via au pays des merveilles

Almost five years ago when I just started blogging, I discovered Olivia Bee‘s photos and shared them here.  Back then, she was only 14 years old but that didn’t stop her from landing a shoot for Converse.  One thing led to another and when I read about the 19 year old photographer who got to shoot Cacharel’s newest campaign in the newspaper last week, I was curious to discover her latest work.  Her photos are still as dreamy and full of atmosphere as 5 years ago, although this time I made a selection that feels a little bit more natural and spontaneous then the majority of her work, which is often more staged and posted but equally beautiful, although less in line with my taste.

“I strive to capture the ordinary, in an extraordinary way. Life is beautiful, perfect, and cinematic, if you look at the right moments. It’s not always an accurate summary of life in general, but it is those specific moments that make it worth living anyway.”

This quote of hers captures what I love in this selection very well and reminds me of Ryan McGinley‘s work, (who she names as one of her influences and happens to be one of my favorite photographers as well, proof here) but also of what I’m looking for when I have my camera in hand.

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SEASCAPES

seascape by Hiroshi Sugimoto via au pays des merveilles Seascapes is a series by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.  In 1980, he began to photograph the sea and its horizon all over the world, with an old-fashioned large format camera and varying exposures.   He describes his work as ‘time exposed’, a time capsule for a series of events in time, in this case up to 3 hours of sea in one image.  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I’m fascinated with seascapes myself (see a selection of mine on the blog here and on flickr here) and these images only add to my obsession.  I find it mesmerizing how water surfaces can look so different each time, how the light changes its colors and how something so beautiful can be so threatening at the same time.

seascape by Hiroshi Sugimoto via au pays des merveilles

seascape by Hiroshi Sugimoto via au pays des merveilles

seascape by Hiroshi Sugimoto via au pays des merveilles

seascape by Hiroshi Sugimoto via au pays des merveilles

all images by Hiroshi Sugimoto

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LUIS KEVIN PARAÍSO

luis kevin paraiso via au pays des merveilles

About a year ago, Luis (someone I vaguely knew during my erasmus) asked me for some tips on getting started with analog photography.  Somehow I never got around sharing tips (instead we quickly became friends and decided to go on a roadtrip as seen here, here, here and here), but as it turns out he didn’t need any.  The photos he has made in the past year are stunning and I’m always impressed whenever a new image pops up on his tumblr (always accompanied by a beautiful quote and song) or in my mailbox.  It’s about time I shared my favorite images.

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THE DWARF EMPIRE

The Dwarf Empire by Sanne De Wilde via au pays des merveilles

As I mentioned last week, I went to Amsterdam for the opening of the exhibition ‘The Dwarf Empire’.  Sanne De Wilde, who you might remember from this post, visited The Dwarf Empire in the World Ecological Garden of Butterfly, a Chinese theme park that is home to 77 little people who present a song-and-dance show twice a day.  This empire, with its own capital, its own king, Ministry of Foreign Affaires, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture and its own army, was founded by a tall rich man as a way to provide work and offer a place to live to the little people.  Sanne De Wilde arrived in the park with ethical questions about commercialising social care. Is the park a form of social service, or a kind of modern human zoo? Are the little people happy?  All the answers are contradictory.  As a tall person with blond hair and blue eyes, Sanne soon became a photo opportunity as well and got to experience what it’s like to live in the Dwarf Empire and serve as a photo object, day in, day out.

The exhibition runs until March 14 at Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam.

For more info, check out the interview by cobra.be (only in Dutch) and click below for more photos.

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INGENIOUS HOMES IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Very interesting talk by architectural photographer Iwan Baan about humanity’s ability to survive and make a home anywhere without the help of architects or town planners.  These inspring examples are illustrated by Baan’s amazing photographs (maybe this calls for a blogpost devoted to his work?) and they are definitely worth 15 minutes of your time.

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PEOPLE SLEEPING PROJECT

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

People Sleeping Project is an ongoing series by Portuguese photographer Susana Chaby Lara, who photographs her friends while they are asleep.  It’s a wonderful combination of the beautiful rooms filled with personality and the vulnerability of the sleeping person, letting you into their world.  Find out more at the project’s website or facebook page.

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

people sleeping project by susana chaby lara via au pays des merveilles

all photos by Susana Chaby Lara

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CHARLIE DE KEERSMAECKER

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

There’s few things I love more in photography than images that somehow manage to capture people as natural as possible, and I think that’s exactly what Charlie De Keersmaecker accomplished while photographing dEUS and Axelle Red during their respective recording processes.  If you’re interested in his work and how he makes his portraits, here you can see a documentary about the photos he made for ‘Wakker!’ a book by Annelies Verbeke, where she tells stories of people who work at night.

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveilles

charlie de keersmaecker via au pays des merveillesall photos by Charlie De Keersmaecker

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ROB JACOBS

rob jacobs au pays des merveilles

My friend Rob Jacobs has made it onto this blog before with his band Plaster Wolf, but the guy is not only musically talented, he knows how to handle pencil and paper too.  In his drawings I sometimes recognize our friends and in the words that accompany them, I recognize him.  (Too really get his work, I think you should understand his words, so my apologies as this post only speaks to the flemish and the dutch.)   He shares his work on tumblr and on a wordpress blog, although blog is veel gezegd, as he puts it himself.

rob jacobs au pays des merveilles

rob jacobs au pays des merveilles

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rob jacobs au pays des merveilles

rob jacobs au pays des merveilles

all illustrations by Rob Jacobs

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HÉLÈNE BINET

au pays des merveilles

While doing research for my thesis about architectural photography, I took the time to properly get to know Hélène Binet’s work and her vision on photography.  One thing I’m sure of right now: she’s my favorite when it comes to architectural photography, although it might help that she photographs my favorite architect, Peter Zumthor. (You might have seen his work on this blog before when I visited some of his buildings two years ago.)

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RRRRRRRROLL

This project called ‘rrrrrrrrollconsists of a few friends in Japan, who are making these haunting animated gifs, showing people and objects spinning around their axis.  The idea behind these animations is expressing the flow of time, while making the most minimal animations.  Two thumbs up from me!  (source)

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all images by rrrrrrrroll

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SKATE

Lately I’ve collected a few skate related links in my favorites and the Not in a forthright manner exhibition hosted at the haute cuisine showroom, reminded me that I had to share these with you.  I haven’t seen the exhibition yet, but I’m planning to visit on Sunday (the closing day) as I’ve heard so many good things about it.  By the way, I’ve never skated myself, but I’ve always loved watching others do so!

(all photos by Switn, via 283 days)

[vimeo=http://vimeo.com/41753090]

I have a slight obsession with shadows, so I’m loving this different take on the typical skate films.  (source)

[vimeo=http://vimeo.com/42864902]

Skateboarding kills, great footage and above all great locations: yes please.  (source)

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RUINED POLAROIDS

Chances are I’m not the only one who has been disappointed by the outcome of a polaroid photo at least once.  (px 600 silver shade first flush, anyone?) But as it turns out, even failed polaroids can turn out gorgeous.  William Miller collected his ruined polaroids, results of a broken PX-70 here.

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