My project Off Season is a photographic pursuit which aims at the discovery of visual appeal in a battered space of a cheap and vulgar seasonality. The place under scrutiny is the infamous tourist resort of Laganas in my native island Zakynthos, Greece, in the period of its absolute abandonment during the winter months.
The place has been “developed” in the recent years — the word “developed” is on overstatement — in an erratic, kitsch and casual way as to be harmonized with the low-class tourist wave that floods the resort during the summer.
In the winter, when the wave withdraws, the natural and built landscape that is being unveiled looks even more depressing and wrecked. And yet on this abandoned and battered place, the discerning and empathetic eye can still uncover some nuggets of vernacular appeal and visual character.
This project reconfirms my belief in the power of photography to make magical even the ugliest and most dreary place.
— Zisis Kardianos, Zakynthos, Greece
Altered Corners is a photographic series consisting of more than 30 photographs. They were all made by me, mostly over the past few months in the area close to where I live in Tulbagh, in the Cape Winelands of South Africa.
My natural impulse to document change and adjustment in my surroundings aside, this series is a note on the exchange between man and nature, sometimes subtle and sometimes extremely clear.
Most of my work is collected on short road trips or exploratory outings on my motorbike, usually to places not easily accessible to everybody. I try to go out on sombre or atmospheric days, because I’m not only intrigued by our connections and relationships with the environment, I also want the photographs to allude to intangible subjects like melancholy, loneliness and introspection.
Unlike some of my other work which often featured people, my relationships with them, and their interaction with each other, I now find myself interested more by the landscape, and our relationship and dialogue with the environment. In future, I wish to express myself more in this way.
— Louis Vorster, Cape Town, South Africa
The Wurmberg is the highest mountain of Lower Saxony in Germany. For 20 years there have been decreasing numbers of tourists. The strategy to respond to this is to install snowmakers and build new ski slopes. Approximately 6,000 trees have been cleared. On the top of the mountain a big mountain lake, which should supply the snowy cannons with water, has been created.
Climate experts foresee that this snowy arrangement can last for a maximum of 10 years, because of climate change it will become too warm for such an arrangement. To be able to use the snow machines you need a temperature of minus 3 degrees Celsius.
The big opening in December 2013 was cancelled, because it was much too hot.
Last year I went several times to the Wurmberg, to see the great nature and what is going on there.
— Birte Hennig, Braunschweig, Germany
In less than a century, man has modified the Sierra Chica de Zonda in San Juan, Argentina and their surroundings. This project, 500 Million, explores those spaces that often chaotically are redefined by human intervention, setting a new landscape and inevitably leaving behind another one — one which had remained untouched for 500 million years.
— Leonardo Ponis, San Juan, Argentina