What we see when we look at a photograph is filtered through our personal experience. When photographs are ambiguous, it is our unique perspective that shifts how we view them. Work like Angela Kleis’ There’s Been a Terrible Accident series relies on the viewer to determine what’s real.
According to the organization Defeat Poverty DC, as many as 37% of adults living in the District of Columbia are functionally illiterate. This means that while these adults may be able to read or write simple words or sentences, their skills are insufficient for them to excel in society. They may struggle to find employment, and cannot read the important printed information of daily life like bank statements, the news, or a rental agreement.
Earlier this year Lisa Shires traveled to Cuba with fellow photographer Alison Harbaugh to complete a photography project she’d planned for months. Once there, she realized that the logistical challenges of working in a developing country were too much for her original plan, so did what many photographers are forced to do: make something happen. The result is a beautiful series of images of the people she met in Havana. Shires presents her subjects in a vibrant, personal way.
In Artist Spotlight, we occasionally ask photographers to tell us in their own words about their work and how they challenge themselves. Today’s Spotlight is by Pablo Benavente.
– “These people come here to take our jobs, man.”
That’s what the guy on the street said to my coworker. Perhaps he thought that I was just another Latino that didn’t speak English, or perhaps he didn’t care.
Like many of you, I started in photography by taking photos of monuments, the zoo, parades, and sometimes friends and family. I shot using different styles, settings, reflections, sunsets, moon rises, filters, etc. As I learned and practiced, I started getting offers to do professional gigs like weddings, events which I still do. But inevitably, when you’ve tried many things, there’s a point at which you ask yourself: “Now what?”
Humans have been using horses for work, sport, war and fun for thousands of years. Many people know that horses have been helping people recover from physical injuries through therapeutic horseback riding. What many people don’t know is that horses are assisting in emotional therapy, by helping humans heal their minds.
Last year local photographer Christie Zepeda worked with Great Strides, a local riding center that facilitates emotional healing with horses. Her project focused on the human-horse connection, and how horses are active participants in the healing process. The first image above shows one way a horse will react, or “release” as Zepeda calls it, to demonstrate understanding with their human partner. Zepeda created a series of still images and a multimedia piece for the organization.