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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

Photography

Otherworldly landscapes and ethereal portraiture from the hugely talented Benjamin Schmuck

Posted by James Cartwright,

Parisian photographer Benjamin Schmuck has a gift for creating images that are simultaneously jaw-dropping and quietly understated. His vast and expansive landscape shots are as breathtaking as they come, yet the soft-focus finish of his signature style imbues them with a translucent, softened quality that mutes some of their earthy power. Likewise his portraits take everyday faces and elevate them to an ethereal level, removing them from their natural environs and transplanting them somewhere heavenly. Quite how he does this is a mystery to us, but his ability to turn a suburban back-street into somewhere we’d desperately like to visit is definitely not to be sniffed at.

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

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    Benjamin Schmuck: Itinéraires

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

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    Deep in the heart of Alaska is a 200 resident strong town called Whittier, accessible only via a 2.6 mile long tunnel which runs through the neighbouring mountain, and which closes at nighttime. This leaves Whittier incredibly isolated overnight, even more so due to the fact that almost all of the town’s inhabitants live on top of one another in a 14 storey condominium.

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    Akasha Rabut’s compositions are incredibly cheerful, especially in this series, where he captures the fun and magic of dance related after school activities. Edna Karr, named after the high school in New Orleans where the photographs were taken, contains a lot of fun and frolicking, and you can almost hear the rhythmic music radiating from the joyous snaps.

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    Mike is one half of artistic power duo Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, a pair who from the 1970s through to the 1990s used the camera to create curious, innovative documentary-style series that doubled up as intriguing works of art. Many of their projects are some of the most selfless, fascinating research-based works ever made. The other day in the office we all found ourselves immersed in Mike’s Flickr page, upon which he has placed his specific series of photographs.

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    Arguably the most distressing thing about growing up is that sudden realisation you reach one day that all the trappings of your childhood have disappeared – all the people you knew have aged, the places you went have disappeared and it’s impossible to ever go back. Bleak! But although this is a feeling we all feel at some point, very few get the chance to walk into their past and document it again.

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    Klaus Pichler’s Middle Class Utopia focuses on allotment gardens in Vienna, a.k.a “Schrebergärten”: little green spaces made up of loads of little sheds, which look like a Lynchian suburb where you can imagine awkward moments like the chicken dinner in Eraserhead taking place. There are 26,000 of these tiny allotments in Vienna, and they’re mostly visited by older people as a form of escapism from the city. Apparently there are quite strict rules in the Screbergärtens about how things should look and how you have to behave, which maybe contributes to the eerie mood and specific atmosphere of the place, which Klaus magically captures with his camera.

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    Hidden away in the thick Russian forest, surrounded by barbed wire, and until very recently completely un-findable on Google Maps, Star City sounds like the mystical final destination of a science fiction epic, or like the sister city of Oz. In reality the closed off and highly secretive community is home to the Yuri Gagarin Russian State Science Research Cosmonaut Training Centre, the training centre for all Soviet and post-Soviet Cosmonauts since the late 1950’s. Yuri Gagarin lived and trained there, and his wife and children still reside in the historical and strangely ghostly city.

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    We LOVE Neil Krug. We forgot his name for a minute and were like “Who’s that guy who photographs all those babes in the desert and makes them look like they have Instagram filters over them but they don’t?” Anyway, it’s Neil Krug, and he’s a spectacular and unique photographer who, like many spectacularly unique photographers, gets to travel around the world photographing beautiful people in outrageously exotic locations for a living. His latest series is of the sad-eyed lady of the Lowlands herself Miss Lana Del Rey and is perfect for her suburban, melancholic siren’s sound. Like what you see? There’s bags more over on his Flickr page and site.

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    Polish-born photographer Kuba Ryniewicz spends his days in Newcastle but can more often be found travelling the globe in pursuit of stunning scenery. His destinations to date have included Myanmar, Thailand, Dubai, Cambodia, Iceland, South Africa, and numerous other places in between. In each he’s captured extraordinary moments in both rural and urban landscapes, interacting with the local people and wandering off the tourist trail. Kuba’s images possess a snapshot spontenaiety that suggest a real intimacy with his subject, whether its close friends reclining on a hillside or a monk showing off his skateboard tattoos.

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    When Yoshinori Mizutani first moved to Tokyo and saw huge hordes of lime green parrots jetting through the city’s sky, he says that he was scared and felt like he’d fallen into a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. Getting over the initial shock, Yoshinori began to photograph the surreal spectacle, and he discovered that the birds were originally brought from the tropics to Japan as pets in the 1970s.

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    The largely secular nature of the western world means it’s rare to find yourself up close and personal with a religious procession. But in Sicily the Processione die Miteri di Trapani is an annual occurrence, and no more unusual then Notting Hill Carnival is to a Londoner. The procession takes place during Holy Week before Easter and details the stories of the Passion – traditionally acted out by members of local guilds – up until the resurrection.

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    Sometimes it can be weird when you see people doing things differently, like watching your friend cut a sandwich into rectangles instead of triangles. But creatively speaking I feel it should always be embraced with open arms, which is why Verena Michelitsch’s project Reflections created with Tobias van Schneider instantly intrigued me.