Nelson Mandela’s last photo shoot

Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, passed away on December 5, 2013. Few men in the history of mankind have had more impact on a nation and inspired the world like the former president.

Shortly before he retreated from public life in 2011, Mandela participated in photographer Adrian Steirn’s 21 Icons project — a photographic and short-film series profiling the men and women who shaped modern South Africa.

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“We were lucky enough to have incredible access to Nelson Mandela,” Adrian says. “He was shown the concept of the project about three years ago, and he really liked what he saw. He saw the photographs, a lot of these people were his friends. And it was something that, I think, he really wanted to be involved in.”

Adrian, one of Africa’s pre-eminent photographers and filmmakers, sat down with Madiba (as he’s affectionately called by South Africans) at his boyhood home in the nation’s Eastern Cape Province. His admiration for Mandela and what the statesman had achieved in uniting the people of South Africa post-democracy, inspired Adrian to create 21 Icons.

The photo shoot would become one of the last portrait-sittings with the former leader.

Nelson Mandela Shoot

Nelson Mandela Shoot

“We were very nervous,” Adrian recalls. “We had the lights set up, Madiba came down and he was so good natured, so good humored. He made the crew feel at ease, and I think that any nerves that we felt were gone. He could see that we were very emotional, and he helped us through the shoot, and it’s something obviously that I’ll be eternally grateful for.”

The concept of the portrait depicts Nelson Mandela’s face reflected in a mirror.

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“The theme ‘reflection’ was all about looking at South Africa now, reflecting on where it had come from and the part that Nelson Mandela had played in that process,” Adrian explains.

Adrian described the photo shoot as both lighthearted and deeply emotional. One moment Adrian never forgot is when he showed Mandela several portraits from the project on his iPad. One in particular of F.W. de Klerk struck a cord with the former president.

Nelson Mandela Shoot

Nelson Mandela Shoot

“When Madiba saw de Klerk — who was the last apartheid president and released Nelson Mandela — he stopped and choked up,” Adrian remembers. “It was very emotional because Nelson Mandela is an old man, he doesn’t talk much, he conserves his energy… and for him to see a photo, for that to spark a memory and talk to the entire room — that’s really what kicked off the emotion for us.”

“It’s one thing to be sitting there with Nelson Mandela, talking and having a portrait-sitting with him,” Adrian adds. “It’s every photographer’s dream… but for him to address us in that deeply personable way and to give us insight into what he was going through during his periods in jail — it was unforgettable. I mean, I did look up at one point, and the entire crew was just crying… it was very emotional for us.”

Nelson Mandela Shoot

When asked about Nelson Mandela’s legacy — the man who inspired his series — Adrian’s eyes lit up with emotion.

“I think the first thing he [Nelson Mandela] will tell you is that he’s a human being just like every single one of us, but what he’s come to symbolize for us is the best of humanity,” Adrian says. “He symbolizes forgiveness, he symbolizes a country’s future, he symbolizes all that is good. I feel that Madiba wants us to understand that there’s goodness in all of us. He’s the first thing to tell you: He’s human, he’s made mistakes. But, I think the one thing that he symbolizes for all of us is the goodness in humanity.”

Nelson Mandela Shoot

Visit Adrian’s photostream and the 21 Icons project to see more of his photography. Also, check out the Nelson Mandela Tribute gallery, featuring photos of sculptures and other dedications in memory of Mandela.

**Update – A photographic portrait of the late Nelson Mandela has been bought by a private art collector in New York for $200,000, the highest price ever paid for a local portrait on Dec. 3.

The money will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, currently under construction in Johannesburg, and to the World Wildlife Fund. The construction of a children’s hospital has been a long-held dream of Mandela’s, and before he fell ill, he had campaigned for funds for its construction. The state-of-the-art hospital is scheduled to open late in 2014 and will be a 200-bed facility providing world-class pediatric care.

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Family Secret Leads Photographer on Unexpected Journey

Street photographer Zun Lee, known on Flickr as eudæmon, has always been attracted to capturing images of parents and children. Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, he’s drawn to these moments – specifically fathers and sons. For Zun, exploring this relationship is deeply personal, especially after learning a family secret that changed his life forever.

"In 2004, I learned that I was the offspring of a black man," says Zun. "It was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t know about this until much later in life. Basically my mom had a brief romantic relationship with a black man. When she told him she was pregnant with me, he disappeared."

Father Figure Project: Against All Odds

Father Figure Project: Joe and Miqo

Zun’s Korean mother moved to Germany in the 1960s. After he was born, she married a Korean journalist and they both raised him. Throughout Zun’s life, despite their problematic relationship, his stepfather was the only father he had known. This new revelation not only shocked him, but left him extremely hurt.

"There was a lot of anger, resentment and confusion on my part," Zun admits. "But it was easy for me to hang on to that hurt and not deal with it. Because for me, as long as I could project my feelings of resentment onto a negative stereotype, I could conveniently push it aside and say, ‘I guess I’m just part of the absent black father narrative myself, so what else is new?’"

Father Figure Project: The World Out There

Father Figure Project - Billy and Esmeralda

Zun grew up to become a doctor, but still had lingering questions and thoughts about his identity. Over time, in an effort to understand that stigma of black fatherhood, he began to explore and dissect it.

"It’s a very polarizing discussion," says Zun. "When we talk about black fathers, the imagery associated is that they’re irresponsible, they’re absent, they’re deadbeats and not willing to pick up their share of personal responsibility. The examples to counter the negative stereotypes are Dr. Cliff Huxtable or even Barack Obama. It’s one or the other. There’s very little about the everyday dad who may not be perfect, but is still a part of his child’s life."

Standing Our Ground

Father Figure Project: Decisions Decisions

It’s this idea that set off the theme of his latest work – Father Figure, an exploration into the lives of real black fathers. Zun wanted to delve into the lives of men who made the choice to be active participants in the lives of their children – in a sense, go beyond the stereotype.

"I wanted to show very authentic, true moments of fatherhood," Zun says. "But I also saw an opportunity to find a connection or resolution to the feelings that I had towards the father I’ve never known."

For All It's Worth

Father Figure Project: Lanae's Arrival

In the beginning, finding the kind of fathers Zun was looking for wasn’t easy. He didn’t have a specific image in mind – solely because he wanted to break away from common stereotypes. Zun spoke to hundreds of fathers and eventually found five families to work with on a long term basis.

"In order for me to get the images that I wanted – that for me would refute the stereotype – I knew I would really have to imbed myself into the lives of these families," Zun says. "So what that meant was, for a period of time, I had to live with them for several days or several weeks so they would get used to me being around."

Happy New Year

Daddy's Love

During this time, Zun witnessed many things that caused him to rethink his preconceived notions of fatherhood.

"I had a lot of assumptions about what it meant to be a good father and a bad father," Zun admits. "A lot of these assumptions were shattered just by being in the presence of these fathers – just observing how they parent. A lot of them had very difficult situations but yet they still found a way to make fatherhood work for them," Zun says. "It might not be the Dr. Cliff Huxtable sense or the Barack Obama sense, but nonetheless they’re there. They’re present and their families appreciate their presence."

Father Figure Project: Fly on the Wall and Other Misnomers

Father Figure Project: Angels in Disguise

Zun saw evidence of that appreciation and devotion simply through the eyes of their loved ones.

"When the fathers are around the kids are really upbeat and happy," Zun admits. "And for me that was a big lesson learned in sort of not just focus on fathers, but focus on the fatherly interaction. The fatherly emotion that gets reflected in the families overall. I think the most important thing about fatherhood for the children is the knowledge that they matter. And that is the most important aspect that I try to capture."

Father Figure Project: One Nation Under God

Upper Cut

But at times, emotions touched close to home. Zun had difficulty balancing the role of photographer versus the man who never experienced love from his real father.

"It was tough," Zun admits. "Being around these families who were so forthcoming with love and affection, brought up a lot of emotions from the things I never experienced as a child." Zun adds, "Remembering to press the shutter at certain times was not necessarily the easiest thing to do."

Father Figure Project: The Art of Manliness

Father Figure Project: Love and Unity

One of those moments (and one of his favorite pictures of the series) was with the very first father he photographed, James Reynolds from Harlem, NY.

"James was teaching his son how to tie a bowtie," Zun recalls. "And his son had never done that before. So James tied a bowtie himself and sort of mirrored that behavior to his son. He [James] told his son to follow his footsteps, and it led to a moment where the son is trying to tie a bowtie. And you could see the father hovering behind in the mirror looking at his son… and kind of watching if he gets it right or not."

"Personally it was difficult because nobody taught me how to tie a bowtie," Zun admits. "So again it was sort of—here’s something that I wish my father would have helped me with. And so that was very symbolic for me."

Father Figure Project: Family Secrets

Father Figure Project: One Step At A Time

In the end, Zun’s project was an eye opener; allowing him to witness and capture the reality of African-American fatherhood today.

"All the fathers I profiled take their responsibilities seriously and go about their business very quietly," Zun learned. "I saw the everyday father that’s doing something every day to be there for his kids. It basically shattered the stereotype; which is exactly what I wanted to show."

Father Figure - The Project

Father Figure Project: Home Is Where The Heart Is

Witnessing so many fathers trying the best they can be, also led Zun toward the path of forgiveness and redemption about his own.

"Each of the fathers that I photographed could have been my father," Zun says, "But at the end of the day, for me personally, it wasn’t about whether I wanted to meet the man that I didn’t know existed. It was about resolving how I felt about the situation and the decisions he made. And ultimately just forgiving myself even for having certain preconceived notions about him. And for hanging onto that resentment for so long. I think this project more than anything else helped me be on that path."

The project also encouraged Zun to think about himself and his own desire to possibly become a father someday. "I think I’m much more confident now that I not only want to be a father but also that I would be a terrific one."

Father Figure Project: The World in her Hands

Take a look at Zun’s photostream to see more of his photography, and visit his website to find out more about Zun Lee.

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

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【The Weekly Flickr 大攝影家】齊柏林:以生命記錄台灣之美

Flickr 與Yahoo奇摩影音在今天正式推出中文發音的「The Weekly Flickr 大攝影家」系列短片,為大家發掘出 Flickr 上的優秀華文攝影人,在短片中暢談他們的攝影心路歷程,與最動人的感動時刻。

第一支我們所推出的 The Weekly Flickr 大攝影家影片,請到記錄片「看見台灣」的導演齊柏林先生。齊導在影片中分享了他對台灣土地的熱愛,也談到他長年堅持空中攝影的原動力與初衷。他也希望透過他的空中攝影作品,能喚起更多人認識並了解台灣。

今後每周三,我們都會在Yahoo奇摩影音推出全新的 The Weekly Flickr 大攝影家短片,同時也會透過我們的官方部落格Facebook粉絲團Twitter 同步分享,請密切鎖定,並且分享給你熱愛攝影的親朋好友吧!

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‘Big Me, Little Me’ self-portraits

Imagine waking up one morning to find your body inexplicably grown to giant-sized proportions or shrunken down to the size of a bug. Sounds like a scene out of a movie, right? It’s actually just one of the many creative — and often hilarious — series we spotted in photographer Paul Armstrong’s photostream.

“I like to photograph things that are more child-like, sort of absurd,” Paul tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “Mostly because I find it personally entertaining. I want people to get lost in the photos, find stories and get a little bit more out of it than maybe just a typical photo would.”

Paul’s interest in photography began in 2005 when he became involved in a beard growing contest called Whiskerino. Part of the contest was for each participant to post a daily bearded photo as evidence. Throughout this process, contestants voted on the best and most creative photos of the day.

Portrait: Hiding The Truth In Facades Of Apathy OR Man's Inability To Grapple With Evil

Hospitality

“Taking a daily ‘selfie’ can quickly get very dull,” Paul says. “So, eventually I started to experiment in order to conquer that boredom. I began to get creative and that sort of started this itch for photography in me.”

Paul began to post his bearded photos on Flickr. After some time, he was shocked to learn they garnered an incredible amount of attention.

“I couldn’t understand why anyone would like them,” Paul admits. “I thought it was crazy. The pictures were ridiculous, but I discovered a whole new medium where I could explore ways to tell silly, ridiculous and sometimes meaningful stories.”

I'll just take these Huggies, and whatever cash you got ... (048/365)

Less is More (054/365)

Paul broke away from his beard growing series and began to experiment more. During the contest, he wasn’t allowed to use Photoshop; something he always wanted to do. Now he had his chance.

“It would be me just sort of breaking into new things, new concepts and thoughts,” Paul describes. “It was just really for my own sake. I have this idea, and I have to get it out. I’d ask myself, ‘What can I do, if I can’t do this? What stories can I tell? What things can I try and convey?’ It was fun.”

With much power, comes much responsibility (Part 2)

leave it all behind

One of the first pictures that exploded on Flickr was one he took on his son’s birthday called, With Much Power, Comes Much Responsibility.

“It was his [son’s] birthday, he was getting bigger, and he was excited about getting bigger, so we thought it would be the perfect concept,” Paul explains. “The picture is of him punching and I’m flying through the air because he’s so strong. And we just set that up, and we got a lot of hits and a lot of attention. It was cool.”

Always be prepared

and everyone will say you missed your chance (071*/365)

After some time, Paul accumulated about 200,000 views on his Flickr page. Feeling humbled, he wanted to show his appreciation. This is how his hit series, “Big Me/Little Me” came about.

“The only way I could think to express how I felt humbled was to be small,” Paul says. “So I made myself be small on my desk, you know, going like ‘thank you’ for liking my photos. And that just kept going. It was hilarious that I looked so small! Soon I thought, ‘What else can I do small?’ And that’s how it all began.”

The Little Me™ Action Figure; fits in your pocket!

You never know what you'll find

Paul set up shots around his house, putting together ordinary, everyday situations with the intention of looking tiny.

“It was me at the fridge, How would I get milk?,” Paul explains. “Or how would I get the mail? How would I see myself in the mirror? You know, just fun and absurd.”

Shortly after posting the “Little Me” series, Paul flipped the idea and began to shoot himself as if he were a giant.

Big me

Are you lookin' at me bum? bum looker ...

“I found the juxtaposition hilarious”, Paul says. “I’d be a giant trying to get into my car or at the dinner table dwarfing over the kids. I really liked picking typical, everyday scenarios everyone could relate to.”

Apart from anything else, Paul wants his photography to be more than a temporary snapshot.

“One thing I don’t want to do with photography is waste your time,” Paul admits. “I doubt anyone really cares about what shoes I have, the burger I just ate, or my cat. I want to illicit a response from my viewers — whether it’s a kind of laugh, if they think it’s funny, clever or cute. That’s when I feel like I’ve succeeded as a photographer.”

Wake up!

Lazy Saturday

Paul still feels extremely humbled and surprised by the outpouring of positive feedback.

“I couldn’t have imagined anything like this both at the time and where it is now,” Paul says. “It’s a little ridiculous, but it’s awesome, I love it.”

Visit Paul’s photostream to see more of his photography.

Previous episode: Famous landmarks replaced by tacky souvenirs? You’ve got check out hilarious photos by Michael Hughes.

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

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The Weekly Flickr 發表會,邀你近距離接觸齊柏林、工頭堅!

2013-11-15_18-19-20

在國外頗受好評,每集介紹一個 Flickr 攝影家故事的「The Weekly Flickr」系列影片,也要開始說中文了!在下星期三(11/20),我們不但要正式推出中文版本的「The Weekly Flickr 大攝影家」系列影集,同時還要邀請十位 Flickr 網友,近距離和齊柏林工頭堅貓博士夫人與海洋攝影家 Jenny Huang 接觸,聽他們暢談他們的攝影理念!

發表會的時間是 11/20 上午 10:00 開始,地點在台北市仁愛路四段46號的印象畫廊。有興趣參加的朋友們,請到報名頁面報名,先到先報,名額有限,請把握機會喔!

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Young photographer: “Photography was a form of therapy; probably saved my life.”

Creating art is therapeutic for Christian Hopkins, known on Flickr as Capt. Truffles. He embraces surreal photography as an outlet to release his depression.

“I’ve always had demons I’m battling against — just some really, negative thoughts,” the now 20-year-old tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “Photography has been a therapy for me, because it’s given me control over my emotions in a way that I never had before.”

It was never part of Christian’s plan to become a photographer. A few years ago, his mom bought him a high-end point-and-shoot camera for a trip to China. Out of guilt, not passion, he unwillingly began to take pictures. But after some time, Christian developed an interest in photography and his perspective changed.

Another Cliche Butterfly Picture

“I slowly began seeing the world through my lens and not my eyes — both literally and figuratively,” Christian says. “I’d look for interesting compositions, complimentary colors and contrasting lines. I soon discovered I had an innate selfishness for the world. I would see something I thought to be beautiful, and I would want to take it home with me. All of a sudden, I became ‘that guy’ taking pictures of almost everything, wishing to fortify my collection of beauty.”

Unfortunately a few months later, Christian’s new found euphoria changed to what he describes as a black void. He woke up one morning, and nothing was satisfying to him. He felt everything seemed so pointless and wanted it all to end.

30/365 (Denial)

(5/30) Corruption

“To put it simply, I tried to kill myself,” Christian says. “There was no reason for it. There was no explanation. No warning or a trigger. I just couldn’t stand living the way I was; just waking up to go to sleep and sleeping to wake up.”

At the time, Christian’s doctors and therapists couldn’t discern whether he was bipolar, suffered from anxiety, depression or some hybrid of the three. They finally diagnosed him with Severe Affective Disorder, and he spent three months in a psychiatric ward.

Tinman

Insomnia

“Everything disappeared into that black void,” Christian recalls. “The photography, the beauty — all gone. It was a moment where all priorities and inclinations of the future just dropped. There was no thought or creation at all.”

Photography didn’t gradually come back into Christian’s life, rather it was a sudden transition when he returned to high school. After missing the first half of his senior year, Christian was required to do a senior project. Given his rough year, Christian wanted to find something that didn’t require talking or being around people. It was during this time that Christian discovered Flickr.

15/365

(17/30)

“I came across these stunning self-portraits of these really talented artists,” Christian says. “But it wasn’t just the photography. All these pictures advanced beyond ‘finding’ a beautiful moment and were really about ‘creating’ a beautiful moment. It’s something I never thought about before and it gave me a sense of direction.”

Guilt

51/365

Christian decided to center his senior project around photography; trying to create beautiful moments. At first, he began to take selfies of himself, trying to imitate a lot of the art he’d seen on Flickr. After awhile, it started to evolve into something bigger.

“Instead of trying to create a cool image,” Christian says, “I made each photograph represent a manifestation of some specific demon that I needed to purge from myself before its corruption became unbearable. It’s the pain that drove me. It was the pain that inspired me. Ultimately, my photography became a form of therapy.”

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Christian found it incredibly relieving — creating an image based on a haunting emotion and staring at it through his photography. He felt liberated; almost as if he finally was in control of himself.

“Creating this image and knowing that I have the control to choose what it looks like,” Christian explains. “To decide whether it’s happy or sad, positive or negative. I choose what it looks like, and it’s my choice. That control was the therapy for me. It gave me a sense of closure, even.”

Inner Demons

One of his favorite images is titled Inner Demons. It shows a picture of a subject’s back with hands and faces emerging from it. Apart from the technical and visual aspects of the photograph, Christian admires it because it accurately expresses his feelings.

“I’m always struggling to define my emotions to gain this control over them,” Christian says. “And this picture, you don’t ever have to have felt that emotion before. But you get it. You understand that struggle and its power.”

(19/19) The Mirror of Erised: A Probably Never to be Finished Work in Progress but I Don't Want to Feel like I Wasted My Time so Here It Is.

(13/30)

Christian is still struggling with depression on a daily basis; an ongoing battle that has good days and bad.

“I would love to say that I’ve been getting better,” he admits. “If you asked others, perhaps that’s what they would say. But behind my eyes, I’m still not sure. Fortunately, my photos recently have been less dominated by such a negative force and are starting to be replaced with a fascination of creating worlds and enhancing reality.”

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Purity

While Christian’s mental and emotional state may be heightened at different intervals, he says photography has been an excellent tool in reminding him how human he is – that we all are. “I’ll often, very often, fail,” Christian admits. “I may be sad or I may be crushed by failure, but I’ll never regret it. Because from every failure, I’ve learned something, which makes it worth it.”

“Now that I actually think about it, it’s probably Flickr that ended up saving me at the time,” Christian admits. “Before I actually started, I couldn’t imagine myself with photography. And now, I can’t imagine what I would do throughout the day if I didn’t have photography in my life.”

(16/30) A Good Day for an Adventure

Visit Christian’s photostream to see more of his photography.

Previous episode: Few can tell if this artist’s work are paintings or photographs. Can you?

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

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Stunning photography of the Subarctic

Just south of the Arctic in the Northern Hemisphere, the Subarctic is one of the most far removed regions on Earth. A lonely planet in itself, it is cold, desolate, dark and filled with deep glaciers and dangerous icebergs. But for photographer Dave Brosha, it’s one of the most picturesque places in the world.

“I’ve discovered the Arctic is one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” he tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “The light, the color, the landscape and the people. Being out there is a magical experience, and it changed my life.”

In 2002, Dave and his wife took a giant leap of faith that many of us wouldn’t dare dream of taking. The couple left all they knew in Eastern Canada and moved up to the Nunavut in search of adventure.

“We looked north to try to expand our careers and just to not be the person who’s stuck in a rut in their hometown the rest of their life,” Dave explains. “We wanted to give things a chance, just see what else the world had to offer. My wife got an offer in Nunavut, and we thought, ‘Why not? Let’s try this!’”

A Breath of Baffin

The Winterland

They settled in Resolute Bay, Nunavut — a tiny community of about 220 people north of the Arctic Circle. “Nothing but miles and miles of land between you and the next community”, Dave describes.

“In the beginning, we experienced complete culture shock,” Dave admits. “But one thing we realized as soon as we got there, was this was an incredibly unique place that very few people have seen. And it very quickly grew on us.”

Ice on the Elbow

Arctic Passage Colours

At the time, Dave was an aspiring writer and created a blog to share stories and experiences with his family back home. Throughout this project, he quickly became drawn to the physical beauty of his new home. He soon bought a camera to capture every moment: the scenery, the animals, the people, etc. Within a few months, Dave knew he wanted to be a photographer and would work to make it happen.

Dave was in awe of the landscape and the unique conditions the Subarctic provided for photography. In terms of light, he experienced twenty-four hours of sunlight in the summer and the opposite – complete darkness – in the winter. Temperatures too were also a factor, offering unimaginable shooting conditions.

We Three Kings

Northern Artistry

“The coldest day I ever had was 72-degrees Celsius below zero with the wind chill,” Dave recalls. “I can’t count how many times I’ve gone out photographing in minus 40 or minus 50 degrees. It takes a special breed of person, I think, to live up here, but it’s one that grows on you very quickly. You experience lonely but fascinating conditions everyday, but it’s worth it when you look at what you capture. It’s beautiful.”

After spending two years in Resolute, Dave and his wife moved to Yellowknife — a bigger city in the Northwest Territories. During this time, Dave became more serious about photography, but in order to become a professional, he knew he’d eventually have to photograph people — something he was initially terrified to do.

Eyes of the Arctic

"You Can't Take The North Out Of The Girl"

“I was very reluctant to photograph people because I was petrified of the idea,” Dave admits. “At the time I was very much an introvert. Let’s face it, I was used to shooting landscapes and being on my own! But I begrudgingly did it. And after a few portrait sessions, I quickly realized that I loved it.”

Dave got heavily into portraiture; spending months inside different studios, perfecting his photography. Over time, however, Dave felt a big part of his creative soul was missing.

Dream, Butterfly

Sub-Arctic Butterflies:  Drift Away

“I’ve always had this love for landscapes,” Dave says. “And one day, I thought, ‘Why can’t I do what I’m doing in the studio — in terms of the portraits of people, trying to light them perfectly and evoke emotion — but do it by taking advantage of the broader landscape around me?’ I had these beautiful landscapes to work with, and it would just be a matter of mixing them together: people and place. I wanted to try and come up with something more beautiful.”

Thus began Dave’s evolution as a photographer that he continues to explore today.

“I think it’s my favorite kind of photography to just have a person or an idea and mix it into the great natural landscape — creating something magical!,” Dave says. “It’s a fun thing, and I love that creative process.”

Learning To Fly

Oracle

One of his favorite series is called Territory, which personifies women as Mother Earth. It’s an idea he had with one of his favorite models. With the help of a make-up artist, Dave painted the model in mud and used elements of moss and parts of the Canadian landscape around her.

“It was eerie,” Dave says. “She looked like she was part of the land, but it was such a stunning photo shoot. It ended up being one of my favorite creative shoots.”

Originally when Dave and his wife moved to Yellowknife, they had a two-year plan. They figured they’d move to a remote place, live their adventure, make some money and eventually retreat back to civilization. Today, 11 years later, they have three beautiful little children who were born in Yellowknife, and he considers Yellowknife home.

"A Warrior's Soul

Breathe Me / Lady Winter

“It’s a place that’s been great to us, it’s a place where I feel like I can be who I want as a photographer,” Dave admits. “This place that just feels right.”

“My photography is my life,” Dave says. “It’s become my identity. I’m just very fortunate and very happy that I’ve had the chance to do that. I can’t imagine anything else.”

Visit Dave’s photostream to see more of his photography.

Previous video episode: Photographer captures 2,000-degree lava in incredible photos

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Posted by Ameya Pendse
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The Weekly Flickr celebrates Halloween

One of the best parts about Halloween is opening your front door to cute kids in costumes. In this special edition of The Weekly Flickr, we asked you to share photos of your little ones dressed as their favorite “spooktacular” characters.

We received countless adorable photos from participants, and here you’ll find a selection of them submitted to us. Happy Halloween!

After you’ve watched the video, be sure to check out the photos in our Halloween galleries.

Halloween for the Kids!

Sweet Pea First Halloween

mini edward, halloween 2010

Big Glasses

Photos from Lara604, Torrie, cara slifka, Khoi Vinh, and A_CoolBean.

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

Posted by Ameya Pendse
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Shooting the spooky Southwest backroads

“As a kid, I liked sneaking into abandoned places and haunted houses,” says photographer Troy Paiva, known on Flickr as Lost America. ”It’s that spooky factor.”

“I guess I just never grew out of that,” he tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “Everyday, there’s a never-ending list of unique, strange… or access-sensitive locations for me to shoot… and I love that!”

Wandering the deserted backroads of the American Southwest, Troy has explored the abandoned underbelly of America since the 1970s.

“When I was a kid, my family made road trips all over the West,” Troy says. ”I witnessed firsthand the demise of all these little roadside towns. I was only 12 years old, but was amazed people would just walk away from a whole city like that. Once I began driving myself, I began to explore these sites on my own in a much deeper way.”

Flooded Trailer

The Captain is Dead

Troy started taking pictures of these abandoned towns at night in 1989. He calls his method ‘night photography’ — timed exposures out in the desert, under a full moon.

“There’s only 12 full-moon weekends a year, so there’s a very limited number of days that you can actually do this kind of photography,” Troy says. “I think that’s part of the attraction for me; the rarity of it.”

His technique is very simple. Troy uses a DSLR on a tripod and locks the lens open for two to eight minutes. Many of the subjects he shoots are already gone: bulldozed, burned down, melted for scrap or simply vanishing beneath the shifting desert sand. Mobility is important, because most of the time, he’s sneaking in and out of these locations.

Cockpit Heater

Monte Carlo Moonrise

“I have to work fast and light,” Troy explains. “I’ve come close to being arrested dozens of times. I’ve been rousted by every kind of security, from minimum-wage guards to border patrol to even federal agents, but I’ve always been able to talk my way out of it. Once they see what I’m doing, and that I’m just a harmless weirdo taking pictures, usually they’ll say, ‘Alright, have fun. Weirdo.’”

Troy’s colored lighting is done with either flashlights or strobe flashes masked with theatrical lighting gels. While he does minor digital adjustments to some of the photographs, most of the lighting effects are all done on site during the exposure. These images are not Photoshop creations.

Puckersmash

Quentin, the Evenrude Cat

“With my lighting, I’m trying to create something that really isn’t there,” Troy explains. “I’m always trying to tell a story, create a mood, and I’m trying to just make people go, ‘Wow’.”

One of Troy’s favorite images is called Mrs. B’s Dirty Washcloth. It’s of a Cadillac interior in a junkyard.

“The thing that caught my eye here is obviously the dirty washcloth,” Troy explains. “I love the mystery and the incongruity of it. Why is the washcloth on the steering wheel in the first place? I’m just fascinated by these weird kind of mysteries and things that you find in abandoned places and junkyards.”

33 Passenger Drill Bit

Beached

Troy isn’t the only one who has this fascination. His work and style has gained worldwide attention, appearing in major publications and in several foreign museums/galleries. The attraction and interest to his “Lost in America” series has captivated many; a reason, he says, is innately human.

“I think it’s a normal feeling for humans to be mystified and curious in abandoned places,” Troy explains. “You look at the history of humanity and our attraction to places like Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Greek, Roman and Egyptian ruins. They’re all pointing to the fact that we’re obsessed with ruins as a species.”

The Seventh Inning Stretch

Late Reservations

More than anything, Troy loves the serenity he feels in these places. He explains, “I love that feeling of being alone in a place that was crawling with people but is now empty and filled with their ghosts. And the ghosts of a culture.”

When asked how much longer he’ll continue night photography, his answer is quite simple.

AK Blush

Thunderbirds Are Go!

“I’ve been doing this for 24 years now, and I still have the approach of an amateur. I don’t do this to please anyone. I do it because I’m passionate about it, and this is what I love to do.”

Follow Troy’s photostream to see more of his photography.

Watch a previous episode, featuring a risk-taking photographer shooting urban decay.

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

Posted by Ameya Pendse
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Maroon 5 discovers young photographer on Flickr

Most artists dream about being discovered by a celebrity, instantly catapulting them to success and stardom. Few actually experience it. But believe it or not, it happened to a young, unsuspecting photographer who was sought out on Flickr by one of the most popular bands on the planet.

"Photography was really just a hobby for me," Rosie Hardy tells us in the accompanying video. "Never really in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be discovered by Maroon 5 and it would launch an entire new life for me. I still can’t believe it has happened!"

Four years ago, Rosie was just an average teenager from Manchester, England. She initially got into photography for reasons most girls her age would understand.

38/365 - twenty seven minutes

14/365

"It was all a very cliché experience," Rosie admits. "I was a fifteen year-old girl, and I really wanted a pretty My Space picture to make the guy I had a crush on fancy me. So I did with a little point-and-shoot camera. But what started off as taking pictures of myself turned into me going outside, getting adventurous and really loving it. I posted them on Flickr and started getting great feedback."

After some time, Rosie began to take her photography more seriously. She became inspired by both famous photographers in magazines and those she followed on Flickr. Rosie pre-produced her shoots, scouted locations and explored different styles. Soon her work evolved to become a mix of conceptual photography, but on a very human level. This got the attention of a select few, and she slowly began to book local clients and gigs.

That Sinking Feeling

"Eventually people started to trust me," Rosie says. "So when I asked them to get into a puddle of mud, people thought it was normal! I was not only proud of my work, but it was fun! So it’s all been a very interesting journey… although it all changed when I turned 19, and I never looked back after that!"

In 2010, Maroon 5 was set to release their newest album "Hands All Over", but they had a problem. The band did not have a picture for their album cover. The management team feverishly hit the Internet, using the search words "Hands All Over" and immediately came across a doodle-turned-portrait on Rosie’s Flickr page.

53/365 - i need to feel your hands all over me

"They really liked the concept," Rosie explains. "So they contacted me and asked if I could redo it, but in a more sexy way for the band. At first, I didn’t believe them, and I thought it was an Internet troll. You know, trolling at his best. I figured they were just trying to trip me up, so he could publish my response on Reddit for the entire world to see!"

"But when I got contacted again, I realized this was legit," Rosie says. "So I started to follow through and see what I could do."

Rosie jumped on her parents’ bed and took several self-portraits. She posed with her hands going everywhere: hands in her hair, hands in the sky, you name it. She edited it all together and sent it back to the Maroon 5 team. Their response was one she never expected.

"They took a look at it and said, ‘Right, we’re happy with this. No other model needed. It’s going to be you on the cover’," Rosie says. "I couldn’t believe it. I pretty much fell off my chair when I realized that it was actually happening!”

Hands All Over

Not only was her photo on the cover of the album, but it also appeared on billboards and buses across the globe. On Facebook, her friends began tagging her in pictures of posters and signs of the album cover in different cities. The instant, overnight success completely opened Rosie’s career to a level she never thought was possible. Major clients reached out to her, and she began working on many different projects. It was a dream come true.

Alice's Night Circus

Bright Eyes

"I would say for my future, I would love, love, love to be the kind of future Annie Leibovitz of photography," Rosie admits. "I would love to shoot celebrities, take their stereotypes and create amazing pictures that no one has seen or thought of to do before. But at the same time, for me, I just love photography. And that is still there. The 19-year-old girl, the 16-year-old girl, who loved taking pictures, that’s still me."

Rosie says Flickr completely changed her, not just her photographic career, but as a person. "I grew up being inspired by people and having people support me," she says. "That confidence means so much, and I am so grateful."

Swan Lake - Helen Flanagan Photoshoot

Spines to rest your spine

Her advice to aspiring photographers:

"Let inspiration inspire you and take every opportunity," Rosie says. "It doesn’t matter whether it’s something big or small, but it will lead somewhere as long as you try hard and do a good job. And have fun doing it! It’s pointless to spend your life doing something that you don’t enjoy. As long as I’m shooting, as long as I’m taking pictures and asking people to climb into mud puddles, and painting my front driveway yellow, I’m happy. And I can’t wait to see what’s next!"

Visit Rosie’s photostream to see more of her photography.

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

Posted by Ameya Pendse
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