Bare Truth on World TV

Award Winning Photography

Winner of Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award

The Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography.

The photography awards were judged by a panel of three; Rob Lile, director of One Shot image library, Jenny Nicholls, Art Director for North & South magazine and Tessa Chrisp, past winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award. The Travel Photographer of the Year is judged on the entire portfolio of published work.

Rob Lile said: “This year a clear and unanimous favourite appeared amongst the many images put forward for the scrutiny of a tough judging panel. While there were many images that caught our eye and invited second and third viewings, one series stood out, indicating the work of a master visual storyteller. Ilan’s images transported us to centuries-old locations to examine modern lives intertwined with layers of time. They displayed patience and sensitivity as a storyteller becomes immersed in the worlds of people going about their ordinary daily lives, as unobtrusively as possible. His presence is accepted; images are not overtly posed nor awkward and each subject is entirely comfortable with the interaction. The creative journey continued through careful post production, printing and mounting, all reflecting the skills of a professional determined to present his vision as perfectly as possible. This was a powerful series that will live in our minds for a long time.”

Award winning photography

 A merchant is surrounded with souvenirs waiting for tourists to visit his shop. Notice that ‘Palestine’ is replacing ‘Israel’ on the map behind him. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.
Travcom Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards Best Travel Image with People runner up Ilan Wittenberg 104B

A hunched nun is walking briskly across the busy platform in front of the dome of the Rock Mosque. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Award Winning Photography

 

Man praying outside the Dome of the Rock the old city of Jerusalem, Israel. This is one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture.

 

 

Teenager transporting gas bottles down the main alley at the old city of Jerusalem.  He steps on the tyre dragging along the ground in order to slow down the trolley when descending downhill.

Silver Award - Documentary category - NZIPP 2015 Iris Awards

 

A man preparing Turkish coffee for his customers at the back of his Shishas smoking shop.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Auckland Portrait Photography

 

A man brushing the brass souvenirs to shine the merchandise.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Award Winning Photography

A merchant is smoking his Shisha, while his apprentice is cleaning the fish at Acre Street Market, Israel.

http://travcom.org.nz/awards/award-winning-photography-2016#cathay-pacific-travel-photographer-of-the-year

Portrait photographer Auckland Studio

WTV interview

Press Release

BARE TRUTH PORTFOLIO IS SET TO TURN HEADS AT HEAD ON PHOTO FESTIVAL

Head On Photo Festival’s Associated programme for 2016 includes at least one show that’s bound to turn heads – a striking collection of monochrome images of bare chested New Zealand men.

One of the key aims of photographer Ilan Wittenberg’s ‘Bare Truth’ campaign was to  counter-balance the portrayal of men as strong, physically and emotionally. “This stereotype sometime leads to dire outcomes when considering how poorly typical men treat health symptoms such as depression, stress and anxiety,” he says.

“I wanted to raise awareness; give men the freedom to express their feelings and connect with their emotions. This fresh look at men is an eye-opening opportunity to see real people without the ‘shield’ of clothes. The project simply reminds us of how fragile we are.”

The combination of shooting in monochrome, using soft, directional light and adopting a special post-processing technique allowed Wittenberg to enhance the features of his ‘models’ so that the images are raw and crisp. The simple backgrounds eliminate distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expression.

The biggest challenge was finding the first man to agree to pose. After a few rejections, Wittenberg created portraits of close friends and family members. As the portfolio expanded, he formalised a consistent style and became confident in approaching strangers – men who had an interesting appearance or whose face told a story.

“While some men are very comfortable with having their portrait created, others feel this is completely outside their comfort zone, particularly when asked to strip down to the waist. One man expected the experience to be therapeutic while others were slightly nervous. The results show a captivating mix of men that are humble, courageous and vulnerable.”

The project gained momentum after selected prints from the body of work won awards in the Portrait Classic category of the 2015 Iris Awards from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. ‘Bare Truth’ was also selected for exhibition as part of the Signature Programme of Auckland Festival of Photography.

The show will run from May 12 to 23 at Gaffa gallery in Sydney.

Photojournalism/Documentary

Ilan Wittenberg – Bare Truth

12 May – 23 May

Gaffa Gallery,  281 Clarence St,  2000 Central Sydney, NSW, Australia

Bare Truth is a captivating collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. Their photographs expose and reveal who they really are. The edgy portraits are presented in monochrome to emphasize their shape and form. The simple background eliminates distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expression.

The combination of using a soft, directional light while adapting a special post-processing technique enabled me to enhance their features so the images are raw and crisp. They look directly into my camera so there is always a highlight in their eyes.

Many cultures portray men as strong, physically and emotionally. This stereotype sometimes leads to dire outcomes when considering how poorly typical men treat health symptoms, depression, stress and anxiety. One of the goals of this project is to raise awareness; give men freedom to express their feelings and connect to their emotions. This fresh look at men is an eye-opening opportunity to see the real people without the ‘shield’ of clothes.

We are all flesh and blood and we are here on this planet for a short period of time. This project simply reminds us of how fragile we are. In creating this collection I aim to demonstrate a clear style, to tell a story while being imaginative and thought-provoking. I wish to inspire people with distinct images that are crisp and sharp, to be creative and artistic, to evoke emotions and to show a personal vision.

The idea of creating portraits of men who expose their chest evolved gradually. The biggest challenge was finding the first man to agree to pose. After a few rejections and setbacks, I created a portrait of a close friend and became really engaged with the look in his eyes.

At the beginning I asked only family and friends to participate. After gaining valuable experience and formalising a consistent style, I expanded the portfolio and became confident in approaching total strangers. Having a small folio helped in overcoming objections, until the project gained a critical mass with dozens of portraits. I focused on capturing a variety of ethnic groups, poses, age groups and body sizes.

Once the portfolio increased in size, I became more selective and started approaching men who had a more interesting appearance; those whose face tells a story. While some men are very comfortable with having their portrait created, others feel this is completely outside their comfort zone.

The Bare Truth project gained further momentum after selected prints from this body of work won prestigious awards at the Portrait Classic category of the 2015 Iris Awards form the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography as wall as international awards.

The Bare Truth portfolio was later chosen to be exhibited as part of the Signature Programme of the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday:10:00 am-6:00 pm
Artist Talk: 14 May 12PM
Saturday: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Bare Truth Exhibition


Naked honesty at Bare Truth exhibition

TV3 Newshub –

Wednesday 8 Jun 2016 5:32 a.m.

Auckland’s North Shore currently features an exhibition of topless men — but it’s not what you think.

Bare Truth is a collection of 40 black and white photos of men showing their vulnerability and their pride.

For Dave Grant, it was picturing him as he’d never been pictured before, as he was once certainly not be proud of his body.

“When I was very young I got quite a large burn on my chest and I’ve hidden it,” he says.

“This is the first photo that’s ever been taken of me like this and I’ve just turned 50, so it’s taken a while for me to get here. This is a very healing process.”

Mr Grant’s wife volunteered him for the shoot and he’s grateful.

“I think this is a therapeutic step so that hey, I’m going out there but hey, this is who I am, this is really me,” he says.

And Mr Grant is not the only one baring his soul for the first time. Photographer Ilan Wittenberg found many with life’s battle scars.

“And when they take their shirt off I suddenly discovered all these tattoos that remind them to be clean of drugs, or remind them of loved ones who have died or simply huge scars of a triple bypass or chemotherapy or some operation they went through.

“It simply reminds them of how fragile we are,” Wittenberg says.

“I think it’s important that men are shown to be vulnerable and not just, you know, big tough guys. That you get your kit off and you bare yourself, you expose yourself in a different kind of way.”

John Botton is a photographer too, a friend of Wittenberg’s; not always the proud man staring back at the lens, but rather someone who had to fight to get noticed.

“I had acne as a child so I did have a self-image problem, and looking at myself in the portrait now I’m quite proud of myself,” he says.

“I think I’ve earned my scars and they look good.”

Wittenberg has a portfolio of more than 100 photographs, but it took time and courage for subjects to agree.

“Four people said no to me, four said maybe and two said yes but only one showed up, so that’s the statistics behind this,” he says.

But there’s a serious message too: men should embrace their vulnerability and not feel any stigma in asking for help, emotionally or for their health.

“They show courage they’re proud of their bodies, they feel comfortable in their own skin even though some are not as lean or muscular, this is beautiful,” Wittenberg says.

The exhibition continues at Northart Gallery for another two weeks.

Newshub.


Portrait Photographer Auckland

Bare Truth – Auckland Festival of Photography

Ilan Wittenberg – Bare Truth

Northart Gallery • 5 June – 22 June

Opens 4:00pm on Sunday 5 June
Hours 10am-4pm daily
Where Norman King Square (Opposite the Library), Ernie Mays Street,Northcote Shopping Centre

021 503441
https://ilanwittenberg.com/bare-truth/
Yes

Artists Ilan Wittenberg
Theme Exhibitions

Bare Truth is a captivating collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. Presented in monochrome to emphasize their shape and form, the simple background eliminates distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expression. Using soft, directional light and adopting a special post-processing technique enhances the men’s features, creating images that are edgy, raw and crisp. The Bare Truth portfolio was chosen to be exhibited at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and has won national and international awards.Artist talk: Sunday 12 June at 2pm

 

Auckland portrait photographer

Faces of Jerusalem Exhibition

The Streets of Old Jerusalem

Ilan Wittenberg, Faces of Jerusalem: An Interfaith Journey, as installed at Te Uru. Photo: Sam Hartnett

 Ilan Wittenberg

20 February – 1 May 2016

A suite of 27 photographs that look at some of the personalities who operate as vendors in the four quarters (Muslim, Jewish, Armenian, Christian) within the Old City of Jerusalem, Ilan Wittenberg’s images are characterised by density of detail, spectacular acuity and lots of tonal midrange. Almost everything is in focus, there is very little bright white, and the eye is caressed as it wanders across the print’s surface. Even with the deep perspective of (say) receding shelves, the plethora of detail flattens and accentuates the picture plane.

For those of us who have never visited this city, these photographs pack in a lot of information, such as the types of product being sold, the market being pitched to, the ethnic traditions of the shopkeepers, the architectural backgrounds around each stall and materials used. We see (for example) pistachios, hookahs, oils, prayer beads, gas cylinders, images of saints, plates, busts, incense, brass gongs, bells, tobacco, tea, tunics, smocks, lamps, and plaques – a vast range of easy-to-transport (instantly purchasable) merchandise. Here is a selection of Wittenberg’s images with this link.

It is the fineness of the detail, an intricacy of each particular documented element that fascinates, a compactness that is without graininess or blur, that density providing clarity.

While about three-quarters of the images feature vendors (most indoors, one outside), there are also a few street shots of people out and about, like a boy with a cart, or a nun crossing the street. The titles however are pretty non-descript and it is a shame they don’t include the subjects’ names, so that the cultural mix is made even more immediately apparent and we can get more specific information about their stories.

Somehow there is something missing with this show. These are terrific images that are loaded with information you can extract (if you are familiar with the city), but a few details in the titles – identifying each person and each site – would have made it so much richer for a New Zealand audience. Less touristy and shallow. Less voyeuristic. More contextual.

John Hurrell


Ilan Wittenberg — Faces of Jerusalem: An Interfaith Journey

by on design assembly 11/03/2016 Recipient of the 2015

Auckland Photographer of the Year award, Ilan Wittenberg is currently exhibiting at Titirangi’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.

Faces of Jerusalem — An Interfaith Journey runs from February 20th until 1st May.

Ilan says: “Faces of Jerusalem is a compelling collection of photographs. This documentary portfolio offers a journey to the Old City through its people. Their proud portraits reflect the rich culture and turbulent history of Jerusalem. Created during January 2015, it presents a glimpse into their lives. The different merchants are surrounded by their products. The souvenirs are intended for tourists and pilgrims who walk the ancient, narrow streets while visiting some of the holiest and most sacred religious temples in the world.

In many cases I was able to talk to the merchants so they are looking straight at me with a natural expression. I find that this results in more engaging portraits than candid photography. Most photos were taken in ambient light without flash or tripod so to create a more authentic scene.

The images are presented in monochrome which emphasizes shape and form. The sepia tone creates a timeless atmosphere while eliminating distracting colours. This makes the set more uniform regardless of the light or the time of day. It helps in focusing viewers’ attention on the people, their body language and their facial expressions. It also gives me the opportunity to create dramatic images using contrast and structure.

My goal in creating this portfolio is to show an authentic view of a foreign land. I aim to demonstrate a clear style, to tell a story while being imaginative and thought-provoking. I wish to inspire people with distinct images that are crisp and sharp, to be creative and artistic, to evoke emotions and to show a personal vision.”

Te Uru states:  “The turbulent politics affecting prominent cities like Jerusalem can often have depersonalising effects, whereby the people who live there become secondary to the tug of war over the spaces they occupy. In this series of photographs, Ilan Wittenberg provides us with a rehumanised look at the Old City of Jerusalem, which occupies less than one square kilometer. The images feature proud merchants from across all four quadrants of the Old City: the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Christian Quarter. Together, they offer a portrait of the city as one occupied by real people eking out a living from day-to-day transactions in places densely packed with culture and history. 
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Wittenberg was awarded the title of 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography for this body of work.”


Ilan Wittenberg – Faces of Jerusalem – An Interfaith Journey
February 20 – May 1, daily 10am to 4:30pm
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery
420 Titirangi Rd, Titirangi
www.FacesOfJerusalem.co.nz

You can find our more about Faces of Jerusalem and Ilan’s work at:

Good Magazine

95bFM Interview


This article showcasing Faces of Jerusalem has been brought to you by mychillybin.


Don’t miss the compelling new monochrome-style photography exhibition from Auckland photographer of the year, Ilan Wittenberg

Ilan Wittenberg’s collection of monochrome, documentary-style images are on display now until May 1 at West Auckland’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery. Earlier last year Wittenberg, who was born in Israel, made a special journey to Jerusalem to capture on film portraits of some of the many residents and merchants of the Old City who had captivated him on previous trips.

It is this collection of photographs from Wittenberg’s visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site that contributed to him winning the NZIPP 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year award.

Wittenberg spent days exploring the winding, cobbled streets and tiny, dimly lit shops of the Muslim, Jewish, Armenian and Christian quarters and capturing a range of people going about their daily lives.

It was the city’s merchants that Wittenberg was particularly drawn to. Explaining why, Wittenberg says “many people are not happy, you can see that, but that’s for good reasons: the economy is down. There are very few customers and very little foot traffic because there is a lot of stress in the streets. Wars, religious tension and the ongoing political conflict scare the tourists away.”

But Wittenberg was welcomed by the merchants after introducing himself as a Kiwi – (he has been a New Zealander since arriving in 2001). He chose to present the prints in monochrome to eliminate distracting colours and help focus the viewer’s attention on the people, their body language and their expression.

Wittenberg has only been in the photography industry since 2011, but has already won both coveted national and international awards.

Faces of Jerusalem Gallery Notice


 

Faces Of Jerusalem Exhibition


 

Portrait Photographer Auckland



 

Portrait Photographer Auckland


 

Portrait photographer Auckland

Faces of Jerusalem

Auckland portrait photographer

Faces of Jerusalem – An Interfaith Journey

20 Feb 2016 – 30 Apr 2016

 

Experience rich culture and turbulent history at the Faces of Jerusalem exhibition.

Beggars and scholars, slaves and warriors have all walked the narrow streets of the Old City of Jerusalem.

In early 2015, Auckland Photographer of the Year Ilan Wittenberg set out to capture the stoic nature of its inhabitants.

The result is a compelling collection of portraits – ‘Faces of Jerusalem’.

This unique documentary portfolio offers a journey to the Old City through its people – their proud portraits reflect the rich culture and turbulent history of Jerusalem.


Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

ILAN WITTENBERG: FACES OF JERUSALEM

The turbulent politics affecting prominent cities like Jerusalem can often have depersonalising effects, whereby the people who live there become secondary to the tug of war over the spaces they occupy. In this series of photographs, Ilan Wittenberg provides us with a rehumanised look at the Old City of Jerusalem, which occupies less than one square kilometer. The images feature proud merchants from across all four quadrants of the Old City: the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Christian Quarter. Together, they offer a portrait of the city as one occupied by real people eking out a living from day-to-day transactions in places densely packed with culture and history.

Wittenberg was awarded the title of 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography for this body of work.

20 February – 1 May 2016

Silver with Distinction Award - Portrait Classic category - NZIPP 2015

Pukana

‘Pukana’ from the series ‘Bare Truth’, 2015 

Fine Art photogrpher - Auckland photography

Exhibition Virtual Tour

Silo Six, Auckland Waterfront

Exhibition Video


Exhibition Invite

Black, White and Colour Exhibition on the NZ Herald

Photographic Exhibition, Silo Six, Auckland

Award winning photographer Ilan Wittenberg is proud to present unique photographic art at Silo Six. Named ‘Black, White and Colour‘, the exhibition contains inspiring and thought provoking works, featuring three diverse themes: Portraits, Landscapes and Fine Art.

Opening night on November 19 at 7pm.
Keynote speaker: Sir Bob Harvey – Chairman, Waterfront Auckland

Silo Six is a massive structure of old cement silos which dominates Auckland waterfront. Located in Wynyard Quarter, it is the perfect venue to display more than 50 edgy and crisp photographs. The large format prints echo the industrial space of the silos, complementing their prominent structure and providing an aesthetic visual experience which visitors are sure to remember.

This exhibition aims to promote photography as an art form. During the exhibition Ilan will be giving talks to classes and families, describing the stories behind selected images. This will create opportunities to engage in discussing the photographs on display as many have an interesting story to tell. Ilan will describe the techniques behind the creative process so young people will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain valuable insight.

Save the date and grab your ticket today – admission is free!

Photographic Exhibition, Silo Six, Auckland111