178 years ago the French government released the patent for the Daguerreotype. Though it sounds like some kind of chemical weapon, the Daguerrotype was in fact one of the world’s earliest photographic processes. It involved treating a silver-plated copper sheet with various fumes that made the surface light sensitive.
In the spirit of World Photo Day, and as a thank you to the inventor Mr Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre and the benevolent French government of 1839 who made the Daguerreotype publically available, we’re celebrating five artists who take photography to new levels. These are artists who, through subject or technique, push the limits of photography, who test its boundaries, and by doing so stretch the photographic art. Much like Mr Daguerre once did.
Five photographers who take it to the Next Level
Miguel's 'Second Skin' series investigates the animal in us all. No, he doesn't wrestle wild animals into polar necks and dinner jackets. The Spanish photographer splices together photos of taxidermied animals and human models, doing so in a way that the personality of the animal matches the clothed body of the person beneath.
His latest work has shifted away from animals, towards everyday objects and household items. And it's seriously funny stuff. We're talking emboddied teapots, apples, shells and fish bowls.
2. Anup Shah
Anup is a Nairobi-born photographer whose work straddles documentary photography and fine art photography. His astonishing images capture nature up close - too close for comfort in most cases.
How does he get these shots? Anup sets up 'outdoor studios', placing his camera in strategic spots where the lighting is good and where his subjects are likely to trot - or stampede - by. Miguel then operates the camera from the safety of his 4X4 some 50m away. He adjusts the shutter speed, zooms in and out and prepares for the opportune moment to take the snap.
Samsofy calls himself a 'plastician photographer'. The Frenchman combines photography with street art, model making and installation techniques to make Lego universes. His witty worlds, while contructed out of children's playthings, are really microcosms of life.
Samsofy began his career photographing extreme sports. Hence the piece above. Now he lets his love of all things geeky guide his work.
Vikram's photographs are semi-surreal. The Indian artist stages dreamlike scenarios that are more than a touch bizarre. Shooting on an analogue camera adds another layer of richness to his imagery, giving his photos a sense of antiquity, memory and nostalgia.
Vikram takes inspiration from his childhood memories and from stories like Alice in Wonderland. His photographs blur the boundaries between fiction and reality, drawing his viewers into a world of dreams and timelessness.
Etienne creates and photographs detailed miniature dioramas. The French photographer draws on fact and fiction, history and legend to tell a different tale in each scene.
Blonde Wendy is the artist's alter-ego. Etienne's ‘Wendy’s World’ series is made up of images set in derelict urban areas that are charged with social and politicla histories. Etienne then constructs miniature stage sets in the foreground, creating witty scenarios that are heavy with social critique.
See more photographs by these artists in our collection