The following post is brought to you by Captured52. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
I have to admit, a few years ago, I was all about the gallery wall. The more stuff crammed on a wall, the better. I’m sure I lost entire days to futzing with walls (it’s not an easy look to get right!). And while I still like an eclectic look, these days, we here at Design Milk are landing solidly in the corner of the oversized images: One key piece that packs a big punch. And there’s nothing we love more than when our gut feeling on trends aligns with what’s in the market. (Who doesn’t love being right?) So we were thrilled to discover Captured52, a year-old photography company that’s all about the large format image. Each week, the company offers a new oversized original photograph for sale that is available for only one week, resulting in a season of 52 images from 52 invited photographers. The images are chosen not by the photographer’s pedigree (although there are some pretty impressive names, from all over the world, on the list), but the way in which the photographs lend themselves to an immersive experience. “I don’t look for photographers, necessarily. I look for images. I look everywhere. I’m constantly looking for images that I feel best represent the power of scale,” said company founder Peter Johnson.
Each of the images has a story to tell. Peter’s overarching goal has been to create a community of photographers and those who support them, through 52 unique photographs. So at the end of the season, everyone who purchased a print during that season is sent a compilation journal of all 52 images and the stories. And to further that sense of community, every photographer receives an equal share of the percentage of the total sales from that year. It’s a cool way to make sure that each photographer gets compensated even if he or she doesn’t have a particularly trendy image. For a look at some highlights from Captured52’s first season, see our picks below.
Opt in for Captured52’s second season email list, and you’ll be entered in a contest to win a one night stay to at Portland’s Hotel Lucia plus dinner for two at the Imperial and one 40″ x 60″ Captured52 image of your choosing.* All you have to do is enter your email address for the weekly VIP First Look and special access benefits here.
Photographer Allison Beondé made this image while she was working on her project ‘1947, Roswell’ in Roswell, New Mexico. Allison said of this shot, “I was thinking about our classical mid-century American imagery of police officers eating donuts, as well as donuts as a stand-in for common descriptions of flying saucers and U.F.O.s. The image became significant in its imperfection – it’s both beautiful, and just a bit ‘off,’ asking the viewer to question its very significance.”
Russian photographer Danil Golovkin took this photo for Collezioni Russia Magazine. He was inspired by the movies of Wong Kar-Wai. The team conceived of the concept in early autumn and then waited until winter to realize their vision. The image was shot in the forests outside Moscow using decorative cherry tree branches. “On the day of the shooting it was a bitter cold for outdoor shoot. It was around minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Danil. “All the team was frozen by the end of the shooting day, but the final pictures were worth every minute that the team spent that day in the forest.”
At first glance, this photo by Dillon DeWaters feels like a modern oil painting. But not only is it a work of pure photography, it’s also been created without any manipulation in Photoshop. Everything is done on film and in the camera. “It is a meditation on themes of science fiction, thought, consciousness and the sublime,” Dillon says.
Chris Crisman took this photo of running horses just outside of Big Sky, Montana, at the historic Lone Mountain Ranch, which sits at an elevation of 6,700 feet. Chris explains how he captured the image: “A few times a week the horses move from their staging paddock to and from the high country. This transition creates a unique moment where the horses are racing together up a large hill to wide open grassland where they can move freely and graze. Working with some of the ranchers, I was able to find a spot atop the hill where I would have just a few seconds to capture the majesty and grace of these beautiful animals.”
Artist Frank Rödel is a painter in addition to a photographer, which explains why his work has such a breathtaking visual presence and painterly quality. This captivating image is of scientists in Antarctica. It’s simple, straightforward, but feels completely magical. “[I was] impressed by the contrast of the complementary colors and the disproportion between the tiny people and the giant shelf ice in the middle of nowhere. They looked like little ants, only important in the context to themselves,” said Frank.
Photographer Stephen Tomasko took this photograph in a location that was proven to pivotal to his artistic development. He was working on a series of spare and graphic drawings of saplings just beginning to burst with leaf buds. To aid his drawing efforts, he was documenting the process with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera. Suddenly, nearby star magnolia burst into bloom and he began to play around with capturing the flowers. ” Brimming with petals and pollen and gorgeous spring light, which I then supplemented with a small modified flash, the process seemed a worthwhile end in itself. The resulting cheap 4″x6″ machine prints made their way to my studio walls and then the most extraordinary thing happened. Everyone who visited my studio would look at them and exclaim, ‘It smells like flowers in here!’” said Stephen. Buoyed by this positive response, Stephen began to shift his attention to work full force with photography to capture small moments in nature. The ensuing years have brought better equipment and technique as he has traveled to ever expanding range of parks, gardens and arboretums. But his vision remains the same. “It’s with the same sense of wonder and adventure that I first experienced a short distance away from this exposure that I continue with this one, the large and luscious saucer magnolia,” said Stephen.
Photographer Adam Senatori is somewhat of an airplane aficionado and his love of planes is certainly reflected in his work. Which makes sense when you learn that he’s also a commercial airline pilot and former airline captain. For Adam, this shot was particularly special.” [It] was the culmination of my experience making photographs of aircraft in the air and simply being positioned perfectly between the setting sun and the plane. I’d been shooting all day in the heat of the Arabian Desert outside of Dubai and I was about ready to pack it in when this aircraft started making dramatic low passes across the airfield. This frame may have in fact been the last one I made that day.”
What at first looks like an impressionist painting of a family picnic, is actually a photograph depicting veterans celebrating The Victory Day, May 9, in Sevastopol. “It is a very brave town survived two horrible defenses in 19th and 20th centuries. This year, 2015, the celebrations was unusually triumphant as Crimea became Russian,” said Russian photographer Mikhail Mordasov.
Swiss photographer Joël Tettamanti travels all over the world taking photographs. But this image was taken a little closer to home in the Swiss Alps. It’s part of a collection of images that make up his very first series, but even though his travels have taken him to all parts of the globe, it’s a spot he still returns to. “It’s a totally other world, but still very related to here, the city. I will probably never really finish that series of pictures. As it’s my start in the photography.”
*Overnight hotel accommodation is based on availability and black-out dates may apply. Dinner at the Imperial is up to $150, excluding gratuity. This may not be combined with any other promotions.