August 19 is like Christmas for photographers. That’s because this late summer day marks the annual celebration of the international photography event known as World Photo Day. In efforts to relish in the unbridled passion of the photography community, World Photo Day inspires photographers worldwide to share a single photo with one purpose: sharing their vision of the world with everyone. In honor of World Photo Day, lets take a look at the work of eight brilliant photographers that have captured our attention with their expert craft and stunning ability to capture the world in unique, breathtaking ways.
Artist Danielle Pottberg stumbled into photography by accident, but that happy accident led to the birth of a truly skilled photographer. She started shooting solely with an iPhone, and Pottberg’s eye-popping images made Instagram users take notice. Devoting herself more fully to the craft, Pottberg is now a full-blown addict. “Cameras capture a fleeting moment, which I think is what draws me to the medium. You can never capture the same shot twice,” she says.
To say that Ted Chin’s photos are dreamy would be an understatement. His photographs are crisp and have strength in their structure, but his edits are reminiscent of 18th century watercolors, blurring the line between painting and photograph. Chin creates his mise en scene with whimsical edits that give his nature photography an otherworldly look. Those interested in achieving the uniquely Chin look in their photos should grab a Canon DSLR, wide lens and a tripod – his equipment of choice. They should also get creative – Chin uses many techniques to create atmosphere, such as juxtaposing soft fabric on top of jagged rocks or subtly adding nooses to the power lines.
When you photograph artists like Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi, you’ve gotta know your salt. Thankfully, Matt Robertson is now spring chicken. This is a photographer who’s followed around Kanye West on tour in Paris, and documented Yeezy in all his glory through photos. To capture these larger than life musicians in all of their glory, Robertson flocks to the Sony a7 line or the Canon 5D with some nice Zeiss or L series glass on it. With this equipment and the mentality of “shoot, shoot, shoot,” Robertson effortlessly pulls of photos that capture what it’s like to be a superstar.
A lot of work goes into to crafting a photo of food that not only looks mouthwateringly delicious, but also tells a story to boot. As a stylist and photographer, Monika Walecka is able to set up the perfect shot to convey the taste, aroma and culture of any dish. Her gear is fairly simple (a Canon 5D mark II, tripod and 35mm f/1.2 lens), but it’s her simple approach and use of all natural lighting that really brings her photos and the food in them to life. “I’ve noticed that people have a tendency to use too many props. I prefer my food to look as natural as possible. If you have a beautiful dish, it will be easy to have a beautiful photo.”
Wes Tarca’s breathtaking narratives of New York feature the sparkling skylines, penetrating street shots and beckoning portraits that bleed with mystery and inquisition. What makes Tarca such a compelling photographer is the hard work he puts into honing his craft by studying great artists who share his questioning nature. He learns from their technique and approach to art, and then incorporates that knowledge into his own style. He also has great advice for any beginner photographers: “If you want to be good at something, no matter what that is, you have to work at it. You will suck and that’s ok. If you can analyze what you did wrong and fix it you will only get better.”
One phrase comes to mind when scanning the work of photographer Robert Lüthje: picture imperfect. And yes, that is a compliment! Lüthje’s shoots with Canon 6D and L-lenses. “My all-time favorite lens is definitely the 35mm f/1.4. It’s just the perfect focal length for my picture style and the low minimum aperture enables me to produce high-quality work even when lacking decent light sources.” Lüthje stresses that getting out of one’s comfort zone is the most important thing any photographer can do and that defines his work. Lüthje’s photos prove that he does see and capture things differently. A staircase becomes a spiraling, abstract labyrinth through his lens. A tunnel becomes a portal to a new world. It’s a skill some of the best photographers have – taking something and making people see it in a different light.
If campy, off-the-wall photography is what you’re looking for, and then look no further than the works of Mike Dempsey. His extremely popular Instagram page showcases spectacular, gravity-defying photographs that blur the lines of reality. However, he’s not capturing paranormal activity or death-defying feats. These bizarre aerial photos are created through a form of digital magic, though a large percentage of his work is produced as practically as possible. Dempsey has two secret weapons in his arsenal to achieve his crazy photos: Photoshop and an intervalometer, which is an attachment that controls shutter intervals over a set period allowing him to capture multiple frames each time his subject jumps, catching the moment they appear suspended in mid-air.
San Francisco street photographer Anastasiia Sapon is a completely self-taught photographer making art on her own terms. Her inquisitive mind and gumption has led to her success in the field, not to mention her undisputed raw talent. Her weapon of choice? The Fuji X100S, due to its affordability, great quality and ability to capture tons of photos, even in low lighting. And because light plays such a key role in her photos, her choice of camera helps her capture stunning portraits and gritty street images that represent the real San Francisco – beauty, filth and everything in between.