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August 05, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Photography

Master Classes in Mexico with National Geographic Photojournalists
Photo courtesy of James Batt

Next month, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, an luxury eco-resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, will host a series of Wildlife Photo Master Class weekends (from $2,500) in collaboration with National Geographic contributing photographers Brian Skerry (September 4–7), Steve Winter (October 30–November 2) and Tim Laman (December 11–14).

With access to the carefully conserved Caribbean shores of the five-star property—replete with dunes, mangroves, forests and coral reefs—guests have the chance to photograph 200 species of birds and native wildlife, explore protected sanctuaries and take on-foot excursions through nearby reserves and heritage sites—including Mayan ruins—under the guidance of the world’s foremost experts.

During the three-night program, neophyte and advanced photography students alike will receive one-on-one instruction on composition, lighting, metering, equipment and photo editing while staying in a privte villa at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

“Any time you do what you love, it is an incredible experience to share it with others with similar interests,” says Winter. “I like to help folks individually and solve any questions or problems that might be holding them back from being the photographer they want to be. I am an open book during these workshops.” Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juárez Km. 298; 52-984/877-3688; banyantree.com.

October 24, 2013
By Melissa Wiley | Photography

Annie Leibovitz’s American Lens
Annie Leibovitz

Photographer Annie Leibovitz, best known for her iconic editorial and commercial work, takes a different route in “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage,” an exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina (through January 5, 2014). On tour since debuting at the Smithsonian last year, the show represents a departure from Leibovitz’s seminal approach. “She usually has to answer to somebody,” says curator Victoria Cooke. “This is a personal journey that she made that is all about her own interests, her own aesthetic.”

That journey took the photographer everywhere from national landmarks to parks to the homes and private collections of Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in search of an understanding of her American heritage. The 78 photographs (shot between 2009 and 2011) in the show feature landscapes, objects and interiors that tell stories within four galleries loosely related to naturalism, England, the notion of freedom and the American psyche. The exhibit (whose appearance at the Columbia Museum is sponsored by Edens) closes its tour in August of next year at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

One highlight is a photo of a dress worn by Marian Anderson, an early-20th-century African American singer. When a concert hall in Washington, D.C., refused to host her, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt helped to facilitate a groundbreaking, pre–Civil Rights Movement performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Other photographs, including shots of the studio where the memorial sculpture was crafted and objects from Roosevelt’s home, provide context, a “sense of flow through history—and connections through history—that aren’t immediately obvious,” says Cooke. 1515 Main St.; 803-799-2810; columbiamuseum.org.

July 24, 2013
By Shivani Vora | Photography

Ahae at the Chateau de Versailles
Courtesy of Ahae a Versailles

Paris has no shortage of notable art exhibits, but the one to see this summer is undoubtedly “Ahae. The Extraordinary Within the Ordinary,” which features the works of Korean photographer Ahae in the Orangerie Hall at the Château de Versailles. The show, continuing through September 9, opened June 25 and drew more than 5,000 visitors in its first four days alone.

The exhibit of 220 photographs is a part of Versailles’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre (1613–1700), who was the master landscape architect and gardener at the palace during King Louis XIV’s reign. “Ahae's exhibition shows photography of an un-managed landscape, and this was seen by Versailles as a particularly relevant juxtaposition to a celebration of the formality of the 17th-century gardens," says Guy Oliver, designer of the exhibit. "There is beauty in both, with and without the interference."

To make the works easier to appreciate, they are divided into multiple galleries, each representing a theme, such as birds, land and sky, sunset and clouds, nightscapes and water reflections. The 72-year-old has depicted the cycle of a day, from dawn till dusk, but what stands out about his method is that all the images were taken from a single window in his studio in the South Korean peninsula, all made different by simply changing the angle of his lens. And the exhibit’s uniqueness isn’t limited to Ahae’s technique: Every picture is untouched and un-manipulated—a rarity in photography.

Ahae was born in 1941 in Kyoto, Japan. His family had been relocated there during Japanese colonial rule, and returned to Korea at the end of World War II. He began taking photos in the 1970s but didn’t venture into his single-window approach until two years ago. He rarely leaves his home (his son, Keith Yoo, attended the exhibit opening in his stead), taking between 2,000 and 4,000 shots a day. All told he has captured more than two million images. "Ahae's work teaches us to really look at what we see in an outlook—it isn't merely a view," says Oliver. "Reflections, shadows, light and color...the variations are infinite." Place d’Armes, 33-1/30-83-78-00; chateauversailles.fr.

February 20, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Photography

V&M Photography Gives Back
Chris Friel

Holding to a philosophy that photography is the art of our time, V&M Photography, the month-old sibling of online vintage purveyor V&M (Vintage & Modern), aims to spread the good word with its equally new Emerging Artist series. Dedicated to the cause—the site will post one new photo from a burgeoning artist every day—it is also eager to give back. Through February 24, V&M Photography will donate 50 percent of net proceeds to the New York Foundation for the Arts (nyfa.org), which supports artists affected by Hurricane Sandy.

It is a generous outpour, riffing on an overall desire to foster both the famous and the fresh. “We’re as committed to the shock of the old as the shock of the new,” says Courtney Eldridge, curator of the Emerging Artist series. “We’re equally devoted to the genius of masters like Stanley Kubrick and Sam Haskins as to exhibiting breakthrough photographs of relatively unknown artists—works that deliver the promise of famous careers in the making here and now.”

The talent runs deep. A photo encapsulating a tender moment between a boy and a girl, shot by 17-year-old Connie Gegenfurtner from Germany, provides a raw (though no-less-sophisticated) perspective. Renowned photographer Chris Friel—short-listed for the Sunday Times Landscape Photographer of the Year award four years running—is represented by a mesmerizing unedited shot of the sun taken with a handheld camera from a fast-moving boat (pictured here).

Eldridge and R. Adam Smith, V&M CEO, sifted through hundreds of photographs last November to choose the first 30 images for the series. Their approach mirrored what the site strives to do—let the images speak for themselves. “We didn’t discuss age, nationality, when or where the artist had been exhibited before,” says Eldridge. “[We chose] solely on the merit and brilliance of the individual photographs.” Prints, from $75; photo.vandm.com.

December 21, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Photography

201212-b-photoworkshop-adventures.jpg

Jill Merriam

“I’ve been a photographer since I was 11 years old,” says Michael Chinnici, who founded Photo Workshop Adventures in 2008 as a way to merge his interests in photography, business, travel and teaching. The initiative combines a luxury vacation with top-notch photography instruction in a small-group setting—and not just any setting. The operation travels to some of the world’s most beautiful locations, including Iceland, Spain and Croatia, and is adding even more destinations in 2013.

One of the most exciting recent additions is a nine-day trip to Cuba, a country that has been on Chinnici’s list since 2010 and offers rich photographic opportunities in tobacco farms dotting the countryside, French Colonial architecture and a small village where Ernest Hemingway often fished. Though the United States doesn’t maintain full diplomatic relations with the island nation, a special visa program allows U.S. citizens to travel there for cultural and educational purposes. Chinnici focuses on teaching during the trip, and his co-leader, Collin Laverty (who spends more than half the year in Cuba and has written numerous articles on U.S.-Cuba relations and Cuban society), handles on-the-ground logistics. The journey kicks off in Old Havana and winds its way through Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with stops along the way to meet with scholars, artists and local photographers.

Chinnici stresses that all levels of students are welcome. “We attract the enthusiast and amateur, as well as the semi-pro who is looking for a photography-centric, pre-scouted destination,” he says. “Anyone can take great photos.” March 16–24, 2013; $3,895 (U.S. citizens); 888-834-0288; photoworkshopadventures.com.

December 12, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Photography

201212-b-motor-city-muse.jpg
Karin Jobst, 2012

When legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson stopped to photograph Detroit in 1947 during a cross-country road trip, he kicked off a legacy in the city that has lasted nearly 70 years. “People don’t think about a photographic tradition in Detroit,” says Nancy Barr, curator of the exhibit “Motor City Muse: Detroit Photographs, Then and Now” at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “But Cartier-Bresson wanted to do a book on Detroit about the American dream and people living it out.”

Barr, a native Detroiter, has long focused her energies on bringing her city’s storied artistic history to life. The latest exhibition, which opens December 14, mixes historical fine-art photography with more contemporary pieces to create an eclectic representation of life in the Midwestern town. The show runs the gamut from high to low, including Bill Rauhauser’s everyday portraits (a woman smoking in the art museum, a teenager selling curly fries) and contemporary works like Nicola Kuperus’s juxtaposition of staged homicides with vintage cars.

And not to be forgotten, the legacy of the automobile—which put Detroit on the map when Ford Motor Company opened its plant at the turn of the 20th century—rightly serves as a unifying theme. December 14 through June 16, 2013; 5200 Woodward Ave.; 313-833-7900; dia.org.

July 30, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Shopping, Photography

November Girl and Lamp by Sam Haskins
Photo by Sam Haskins

The playful, undeniably sexy photographs of South African photographer Sam Haskins transcended traditional views of nudes when they came onto the scene in the 1960s. Now, in a partnership between his estate and Vintage and Modern, an online purveyor of vintage goods, some of his most memorable images from the ’60s and ’70s are on sale through October.

The offerings are notable. Black-and-white photos from Haskins’s first book, Five Girls (1962), did double duty, informing his signature style and bringing nude photography to the artistic fore. Cowboy Kate, published two years later, sold about a million copies and was the first of its kind to use photo narrative exclusively. Whether focused on his obvious visual details or looking deeper into his underscoring philosophy, photographers today continue to draw inspiration from his approach and eye. “Fashion photography and fashion design keep revisiting the ’60s,” says his son, Ludwig Haskins. “Since Sam’s books were part of the broad creative explosion that helped to define that decade, it is natural that his photography is constantly being referenced by contemporary shooters of fashion.” vandm.com.

May 11, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Photography

Leica Cameras
© Courtesy Leica Camera

Jean-Louis Dumas, the former president of Hermès and an avid photographer, passed away in May 2010, but his legacy is being preserved by another brand with which he had a special bond: Leica. The renowned cameramaker has announced the debut of the limited-edition M9-P Edition Hermès Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas camera set ($50,000; available in July), created to honor Dumas, who famously carried a Leica camera and a small red notebook everywhere he went. Only 100 of the cameras will be made. (The standard M9-P Edition Hermès camera, which sells for $25,000, will be available in June.)

The design of the M9-P Edition Hermès combines silver chrome and ochre Hermès calfskin and comes with three lenses: the Summicron-M 28mm, the Noctilux-M 50mm and the APO-Summicron-M 90mm. Owners of the special set will also receive a hand-finished Hermès camera bag, the first bag the company ever created for Leica cameras, and a portfolio of 200 black-and-white images taken by Dumas on his Leica M. Consider it a bit of inspiration—and good luck. Available in Leica stores and boutiques worldwide, including 977 F St., Washington, D.C.; 202-787-5900; leica.com.

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