The Spring season took its good old time to get here and we have so much to celebrate! Not only have the nor’easters ceased trapping us at the office under multiple feet of snow, but we recently received our copy of the ASMP Infinity magazine at the office and noticed that several Wonderful Machine members are among the “Best of 2017” award winners.
Cincinnati-based photographer Teri Campbell was on assignment in Kathmandu, Nepal when he shot this image. He was documenting the efforts of an NGO that provides programs and relief for sex trafficking victims.
As the bus returned to the hotel after a day of shooting, Teri noticed the frenetic energy and chaos of the intersection, a microcosm of Nepal in itself. He snapped away as the bus crossed the intersection, given only a minute to capture this urban scene.
To me, this photo perfectly sums up the chaos and symphony that is Nepal. I don’t know if I could have expressed that when I clicked the shutter, but I did feel a need to capture this image – and I took as many shots as I could while our vehicle danced through the intersection, even straining my neck to get one or two more frames as it disappeared behind us.
Teri’s ASMP submission was awarded First Place in the Commercial category.
See more of Teri on his website.
Drinking is deep in the culture of Philadelphia. It’s a city with history on every level. Stories are everywhere, but they always end up at the bars late at night. With this project, I wanted to capture the current state of dive bars and what that means to the regulars going there.
Philadelphia-based photographer Gene Smirnov has been frequenting the watering holes of the City of Brotherly Love in search of interesting people and their stories.
Gene was originally assigned a project photographing area dive bars by design director Jamie Leary and photo editor Claudia Gavin for Philadelphia Magazine in 2015. His goal was to keep the style of the project simple and authentic, using available light and settings. He made his rounds to the local holes-in-the-wall, simultaneously making conversation and images.
Regulars at the bars were generally pretty friendly and receptive to what I was doing. But it wasn’t easy, even with people being nice, it always felt I was intruding to someone’s special time.
Gene was excited that the project ended up being printed in a 5-page spread in the publication with minimal text and ads, which was a nice surprise.
Several years later he was drawn back in search of an interesting personal project to showcase at the Gravy Studio, a gallery in Philadelphia. He picked up where he left off, though shooting without a deadline was a different experience this time around. He approached different bars and bartenders, striking up conversations with the locals and regulars along the way. At one point, Gene met a local musician who offered to give him a private tour of some of the dingiest spots around, places he wouldn’t normally be welcome with his camera.
Gene feels very connected to the project and the many wonderful people he’s met along the way.
In retrospect, I started the project with a methodical approach, but finished feeling as a regular patron of these places. I was pretty comfortable being anywhere.
See more of Gene and his Last Call series on his website.
Steve Greer is another Philadelphia-based photographer who made this year’s list. Though he can usually be found photographing active seniors, he often gets the urge to stretch his creative legs with sports and conceptual photos.
Steve conceptualized this project and shot it on spec, using an actual triathlete that he knows who has previously qualified for the Iron Man World Championship. Over the course of the day, his team made promotional photos of the triathlete swimming, running, and riding his bike.
Steve shot the project on a shoestring budget, in this instance setting up with two friends holding Elinchrom strobes and modifiers in the water. The athlete’s girlfriend was roped into holding a reflector.
It’s always a little sketchy working with battery powered strobes over water, and because the athlete was also splashing, extra precautions were taken to protect the gear and the assistants standing in the water, yikes!
Steve’s ASMP submission was awarded Third Place in the Self-Promotion / Personal category.
See more of Steve on his website.