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Review of the Year 2018: Top 25 Photography

It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? And your eyes are tired, aren’t they? We can help. Why not soothe those sore lids by taking a visual stroll down recent-memory lane with 25 of our most read photography pieces of 2018? From KangHee Kim’s satisfyingly shimmering images of celestial streetlamps to Sam Gregg’s gloriously vivid snapshots of life in sun-soaked Naples, all of life this year gone is here.

  • Aronklein-kukeriproject-photography-itsnicethat-1 Work / Photography Aron Klein's captivating images of the Bulgarian demon chasers

    “Kukeri is an ancient pagan ritual practiced annually across the Balkan mountain regions where local men wear carved wooden masks of beasts’ faces and hang heavy bells around their waists as they perform arcane dances,” says London-based photographer Aron Klein. The Kukeri Project is Aron’s magical and dreamlike series that consists of hypnotic images of large men in carnivalesque costumes, posing menacingly in the wintry Bulgarian mountains. These figures are intended to dispel evil spirits and protect their community from ill fortune. The project came about after Aron started working as a photographer for Meadows in the Mountains music festival in the Rhodope Mountain range between Bulgaria and Greece. “I’ve fallen madly in love with this forgotten corner of Europe with its tiny villages, steeped in ancient folklore and mysterious traditions,” he tells It’s Nice That.

    Daphne Milner
  • Jonathan-higbee-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Jonathan Higbee captures “random but absolutely beautiful moments” on the streets of New York

    Jonathan Higbee’s ongoing series Coincidences represents street photography through and through. A “love letter” to New York City, it is a documentation of the city’s surroundings, its people and the serendipitous moments that occur when these two things coincide. Throughout the fascinating series, road markings, reflections, shoelaces, balloons and other ephemera perfectly align producing a host of too-good-to-be-true images astutely captured by Jonathan’s camera.

    Ruby Boddington
  • Jack-johnstone-photography-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Photography Photographer Jack Johnstone's dreamy images are so soft they're almost otherworldly

    Many budding photographers get their start thanks to the helping hand of a family member who shares their passion. Whether it’s a hand-me-down camera or a tutorial on the difference between shutter speed and aperture, it’s often the first step towards what becomes a career. For London-based Jack Johnstone, it was the trips he took with his uncle Andy which introduced him to the medium.

    Ruby Boddington
  • Asusual.111_list Work / Photography Brooke DiDonato’s surreal portraits leave the viewer to fill in the gaps

    If you’ve never had the desire to disappear into the background then you’re either a very confident person or a verbally continent one. But for those of us wallflowers with our feet permanently in our mouths, photographer Brooke DiDonato’s As Usual series will have a particular resonance. Mixing the everyday with a touch of the fantastical, Brooke’s photographs capture surreal moments when people are obscured, subsumed or lost in the environments around them. “There is an aspect of performance to this type of photography I really enjoy,” Brooke tells It’s Nice That. “I’m not creating these backdrops; I’m simply using them as a stage.”

    Laura Snoad
  • Thirsty-then-boosted-photography-itsnicethat-08 Work / Photography Cornelius de Bill Baboul's latest project is "like Baudelaire in the age of McDonalds"

    Cornelius de Bill Baboul’s latest project sees the Berlin-based artist ask and answer a simple question. What, he wondered, would happen if you let white flowers sit and stew in half-filled bottles of the sort of lurid energy drinks that men with seriously swollen arms clutch to their heavily-developed chests at the gym?

    Josh Baines
  • Junocalypso-whattosowithamillionyears-photography-itsnicethat-4list Work / Photography Juno Calypso's eerie new series sees her posing inside Nevada’s plushest bunker

    Imagine your average Doomsday prepper’s underground bunker; a low-ceilinged, dark, dingy room with a make-shift sofa bed and cupboards jam-packed with tinned food. Luxury and fallout shelter don’t seem like an obvious match. Juno Calypso’s latest surreal self-portraits, however, prove this assumption wrong. Her series What to do with a Million Years, which is currently on display at London’s TJ Boulting gallery, sees the artist posing inside Nevada’s — perhaps even the world’s — plushest bunker.

    Daphne Milner
  • Untitled32 Work / Photography Photographer Sam Gregg shoots the true face of Naples

    “See Naples and die,” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe of Faust fame espoused in his book Italian Journey in 1786. Leaving behind his claustrophobic fame, his duties as Privy Councillor in the Duchy of Weimar and a long-term flirtation, Goethe, like many rich men of his day, travelled to Naples as part of a Grand Tour and found the city so beautiful, so opulent, that he knew that he would die without regret after visiting its shores. That and the fact that there was hella debauchery going on.

    Laura Snoad

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