For nearly two decades, my aunt and uncle have lived in Hong Kong as expats, so naturally it has always been a place I have been curious to visit and see for myself. When I eventually made it to Hong Kong for the first time in early 2013, I was struck by the varying nature of the landscapes I encountered — which contrasted greatly with my preconceptions of the city and its surrounding territories. At this point, over 70% of Hong Kong’s landmass remains undeveloped due to mountainous terrain and owing to the high population density in Central and the Kowloon Peninsula.
– Sarah Pannell, Melbourne, Australia
Being fascinated by the ambiguity of our relationships with the city — its artifacts, its tools, its morphology and its topography, I seek out the forgotten, neglected places and try to read their stories: sad, amusing, beautiful and often very quiet.
I discover silent dialogues in these locations. Dialogues between foreground and background, between objects and subjects, between past and present, and, in the case of Berlin, between East and West.
My work is about celebrating humanity without the confines of having to show human beings. By focusing on the elements that tell the stories of our past without any true indication of time or place, the viewer is able to experience a world that is open to his own personal experience and interpretation.
– Markus Lehr, Berlin, Germany
No Man’s Land represents isolated women occupying the margins of southern European environments, shot entirely with Google Street View.
– Mishka Henner, Manchester, United Kingdom
A Sense of Place speaks to our hopes, dreams and sense of identity based on place. The childhood landscape generally is thought to produce a primal landscape that one completely identifies with — thus comparing further ideas of place in one’s future. When we are young we attach ourselves and become emotionally involved in these spaces. Places take on personality and identity. Memories get locked into these places even though they are of a different time.
In the series Sense of Place, I focus on the spaces from my childhood. I photograph them as I try to remember a different time and place. I explore that sense of identity and coming-of-age within a particular landscape. I look for the emotions in the landscape and explore how these spaces have become almost stuck in their own past.
The landscapes portray the inner landscape of place in society: old mills, churches, empty fields and forgotten landfills elicit an imaginary space of isolation and lost dreams.
I focus on the landscape of place or hidden spaces, the spaces where one may wander or hide without organized identity or to escape an unwanted reality.
I also juxtapose a few places that have no identity. These organized spaces without emotional resonance such as banks, cineplexes and a mall are reminders of a contemporary lifestyle devoid of personality to identify with.
Mikhael Antone, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
My photographic series Lisbon-Moscow presents 27 villages and towns in Ontario named after significant European cities.
I immigrated to Canada from Poland as a young adult and I have spent more than half of my life here. This is perhaps why I got intrigued by the names of the places, which came here a long time ago from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean — like I did, and got settled in their new home for good, so well that now some people don’t even realize that these names were not born in this land.
Names like “Paris” or “Moscow” seem to be the remnants of the influence which Europe bore on shaping Canadian culture. On the other hand, in most cases it would be hard to trace any connection between those Ontario towns and the old cities, which lent them their names.
Some of the places I photographed are just small villages, some are flourishing cities, but all of them represent very well how most of the inhabited Ontario looks like outside of Toronto and Ottawa. That’s Ontario countryside, Ontario suburbs, Ontario mid-size cities.
– Andrzej Maciejewski, Yarker, Ontario, Canada
Sometimes natural phenomena can become so estranged and mysterious that we are inclined to describe them as unreal realities. It might be the extraordinary shape of a tree, a mountain, a shadow, a cloud or the mirroring reflection of nature in a lake, but it is foremost the unfamiliarity of the natural aesthetics of reality. My works can be seen as attempts to capture these temporary phenomena and atmospheres of nature within the still medium of photography. By seeking for the absence of human intervention, by waiting for the climax of the temporal aesthetic and by pushing the camera to its technical limits my photographs become both exotic reports as autonomous artificial worlds.
– Misha de Ridder, Amsterdam, Netherlands
What Remains is a project I realized in December 2012 during a journey along the west coast of the Jutland peninsula, in Denmark. The identity of these desolated places, suffering a constant depopulation from decades, seems to inhabit a suspended time, which rises from the monumental witnesses left from history: this is what remains of the Atlantic Wall, an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Hitler along the European coastline — about 1,500 bunkers from lower France to the north of Norway. Inspired by the book Bunker Archeology, written by Paul Virilio, my journey goes over these traces, probing fragments of landscape: what is left is the vision of a possible balance between a memory of the past and an ever-changing present.
– Filippo Menichetti, Naples, Italy
Oblivion leaves sediments too. On the surface of cities or in the depth of the sea. It may in time become memory.
The Mediterranean is the geological and intangible heritage of all these sedimentations — open basin or cosmopolitan diversity graveyard to three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe.
I have explored Mediterranean territories and cities such as Beirut, Athens, Palermo, Tripoli, Barcelona, Marseilles, Alexandria and Cagliari.
My eyes are those of an urban geologist, but my gaze is erratic: I stroll its landscapes as if self-exiled.
Sedimentations of songs, stories, myths, migrations & longings leave a trace behind my path, some visible and some hidden.
Layout and stratification, alienation, raw fiction, the poetics of light and humor all play their part in this narrative.
– Georges Salameh, Palermo, Italy
Greenham Common is land that was once heavily used by the Ministry of Defense and the US air force throughout World War II and the Cold War. Abandoned in 1997, it was left open for the public to roam.
Control towers, missile silos and remnants of the once-longest runway in Europe were left behind, giving individuals access to an area that was once of high security and importance.
Methods of perception in the military are just as important as physical weapons used for destruction, with infrared film being a key method of perception for the military. Therefore I photographed using infrared film to express the invisible happenings that occurred on the landscape. With rumors of nuclear activity and other unknown activities, it is a landscape that stands witness to many undisclosed goings-on.
– Rebecca Sharplin-Hughes, Reading, United Kingdom
There is a seam between the remarkable and the overlooked. That’s where I try to hang out. There are arrangements of forms that stimulate my interest regardless of subject matter. A mountain is a mountain, whether it is made of rock or rubber.
Built into those forms are texts. The objects often align themselves in a way whereby they talk to each other. Finding that alignment can reveal humor, ambiguity, curiosity, tenderness, foreboding.
I’m not too keen to find other’s tripod holes. There are only two or three books that I have read twice. I make my stew a little different each time. At the market, I reach for the unfamiliar bottle of wine. But I return again and again to visit with my friends.
For the most part there are no answers gained from making photographs. They usually freeze another question in mid-air. Never quite getting there is very satisfying.
– Pete Grady, Boise, Idaho
Since 2010 I have photographed with a view camera the fronts of neighborhood grocery stores in Paris by night. No human presence is fixed on the sensitive surface of the film, voluntarily.
Located in every neighborhood, often open late at night, those little grocery stores are typical (quintessential) of the Parisian urban landscape and urban life.
Point of exchange and meeting point for residents in the neighborhood, points of light in the sleepy town by night, these places gradually disappear, replaced by large retail chains.
With this disappearing it’s a page of French history intimately linked with North Africa that flies away, as well as know-how of how delicately to harmonize fruits and vegetables on colorful stalls, which still encounters the gray tarmac of the city to the delight of eyes — yes, but for how long?
– Marie Hamel, Paris
The photographs in Posts and Poles in Contemporary Landscapes are showing a reality impossible to forget and to not see, an invading presence in the urban landscape as much as in the rural landscape, stuck there in the ground, vertical more or less: the post or the pole.
Anyone with a camera, one day or another, has been frustrated by its annoying presence in his viewfinder; like a scar in the middle of a field, in front of a building or in the background behind someone. Here, instead of trying to remove it, I have used its presence to be part of the image, to create the landscape around it.
– Carol Dallaire, Jonquière, Québec, Canada
National parks are massive tourist attractions: spectacular nature and wildlife living side by side with cars, roads, signs, parking lots, RVs, gift shops, cafeterias, campsites and cabins.
It is the tentative relationship between nature and the affect of humanity that commands my attention when visiting a national park.
These three photographs from my Park Views portfolio and all my photographs are presented totally as seen with no digital manipulation or photo assemblage.
I hope the joy I felt in making these photographs and the absolute love and affection I have for the national parks comes through and whoever sees these pictures delights in them.
– Alan Kupchick, Santa Monica, California, USA
Connected is part of a larger project that seeks to examine our current detachment from the rural landscape and the industrialisation of food production. It also touches upon our visual disruption of the land and our perception of the rural environment and its conservation.
The area photographed has been the subject of planning for some 10,000 homes since 1998. I have no doubt that due to the housing crisis in the UK these homes will be constructed, and only recently the leader of the opposition referred to this parcel of land directly and confirmed his commitment to construction.
The temporal nature of this area is what initially inspired the work, but as it progressed three different themes emerged. The photographs presented explore the concept of being connected, both in metaphor and actuality. The profusion of overhead power lines and other structures evident in these images, at first appeared an eyesore. As I contemplated my surroundings, I became aware that their presence provided an unexpected form of visual continuity.
– Steve Meyler, Stevenage, United Kingdom
In these pictures there isn’t any human presence, but it can be seen in the belongings in the windows.
I wanted to show my urban sensibility related with my sociology studies, and also wanted to (re)ask this question: How do we humans live?
This urban sensibility is related to geometry and pattern repetitions, so it seems that the chaos has an apparent order. Does it really? I think the answer is no. Besides that, the cities are distressing and oppressing. There is no sky, there is no ground. There are many histories behind each window, behind each picture, but in the cities the distance prevents us from seeing it.
These images were taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.
– Martin Volman, Buenos Aires, Argentina