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Otago Daily Times: Olive Baboon

Fine Art Photography

Olive Baboon at the 2020 Dunedin Art Show

Awesome to have my Olive Baboon featured as part of The 2020 Dunedin Art Show! Had to put on my cheese cutter hat for this portrait opportunity 😀 Grateful to John and Kate who kicked my bum to take part in this wonderful event.

Yawning Camel

Giza Pyramids, Cairo

Nominee at the 15th Annual Black & White Spider Awards

15TH ANNUAL BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER ILAN WITTENBERG FROM NEW ZEALAND

LOS ANGELES, November 11, 2020 – Professional photographer Ilan Wittenberg of New Zealand was presented with the 15th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee title at a prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow.

The live online gala was attended by industry leaders and the photography community from around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the world’s premier event for black and white photography. 15th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; Sotheby’s, London; Travel/Discovery Channel, New York; Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland; Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; The Guardian, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; ADK Creative One Inc., Tokyo; Hiroshima MOCA, Japan; MACBA, Barcelona; and Pereira O’Dell in New York who honored Spider Fellows with 610 coveted title awards and 919 nominees in 32 categories.

“Simply Stunning.” Justine Gruser, Specialist at Sotheby’s commented. Bernardino Castro, Director at Portuguese Center of Photography (CPF), Porto said “The amazing quality of the images in the competition made it very difficult to select the winners. I would like to reinforce the relevance and impact of Black & White Spider Awards as a mobilizing agent in promoting the production and dissemination of excellent photography at an international level.” Christopher Doyle, Creative Director at Travel Channel/Discovery, New York added, “Always look forward to the way in which these photographers see the world in a unique and curious way.”

“It’s an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 6,378 entries from 69 countries we received this year” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Ilan’s Yawning Camel,” an exceptional image, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present him with the title of Nominee.”

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

Popup Gallery at Milford Mall

2020 Iris Awards – Travel Category

Travel Photography Cairo

Faces of Cairo is a collection of photographs that take you on a tour of the land and its people; the streets, the markets, the African desert, and the path of history.

Cairo is chaos at its most magnificent, infuriating and beautiful. From above, the distorted roar of the muezzins’ call to prayer echoes out from duelling minarets. Below, car horns bellow tuneless symphonies amid avenues of faded 19th-century grandeur, while donkey carts rattle down dusty lanes lined with colossal monuments. This city’s constant buzz is a product of its 30 million inhabitants, simultaneously stretching Cairo’s infrastructure, crushing it under their collective weight. The smog is heavy and car toots are overwhelming, but its energy is stimulating and exhilarating!

In January 2020, I was lucky to visit the ancient city and tell the story of its people. What stood out to me the most was how friendly the people were. I first shook their hands warmly and then asked in Arabic: “Can I take your photo?” I gave people my full attention and most were delighted to have their portrait taken, especially once they learnt that I came from Israel and that I live in New Zealand. I showed them the image on the back of my camera which made them feel respected. I consider it my privilege to be able to share these glimpses into their lives with the wider world.

I wanted to visit Cairo for a long time and was so glad when the opportunity came. I always admired the long and rich history of Egypt and found the experience of modern-day Cairo to be incredible in its own right. The whole city buzzes with all kinds of different people, and despite many of them being poor, they have a wonderful faith in Allah.

My visit to Egypt was a spiritual journey, I always dreamt of visiting Egypt. The historical link between Israel and Egypt goes back thousands of years: a history of war and peace. In reading the Haggadah during Passover Seder every year, I celebrate the ancient history together with the family. The Haggadah describes the exodus of the Israelite slaves who built the pyramids in Egypt. The most interesting part is the ten plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptian people in order to convince Pharaoh to free the Twelve Tribes.

Faces of Cairo is a documentary collection. Most of the photos had little or no retouching. I asked people to look straight into my camera, so these are not candid photos. The strength of this series is in giving viewers a rare opportunity to connect with the common Egyptian people in their natural environment. This diverse group of people serves as a timely reminder that, despite our many cultural differences, we can unite as a community through the power of photography. The collection is a celebration of our shared values: hard work, the importance of family and caring for each other as humans. I hope that through this portfolio viewers learn more about the Egyptian people. In sharing this portfolio I encourage viewers to show empathy: to accept others and to recognise the value of cultural diversity. We would all experience an enhanced sense of community if we took the time to appreciate interactions which allow us to discover the world beyond our familiar boundaries. We are all wonderfully unique, yet, at the same time, we are deeply similar.

I present these photographs in timeless monochrome, to ensure consistency and flow of the series amidst the chaos and clutter of the busy environment. My aim is to create an authentic portfolio of diverse individuals in a foreign land, to tell their stories using a clear narrative style and enduring quality. The portraits are crisp and sharp, to allow the details to inspire your imagination and to evoke emotions. I hope that viewers will experience the atmosphere and connect with the people.

2020 Mono Awards

2020 Mono Awards

Delighted to win the Top 10 in the People category of the 2020 Mono Awards for Timid 

2020 Mono Awards

Photography Sessions at UXBRIDGE Arts

Photography Sessions

Four photography sessions are offered by UXBRIDGE ARTS & CULTURE

Improve your photography – Photo Critique: Saturday 20 June 10:30AM – 11:30AM
This workshop will explore your own digital images. Please email 2 or 3 of your own images to programmes@uxbridge.org.nz (2-5 MB). As a group we will look anonymously at each photo and Ilan will critique them from different angles, looking at where improvement could be made.

Improve your photography – Technique: Saturday 20 June 12:00PM – 1:00PM
This workshop will focus on light, setting and poses to maximise your portrait photography. Ilan will show some of his portrait collection of New Zealanders who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. Ilan will use these to share techniques on how to emphasize and observe shape and form to create edgy images that tell a story to the viewer.

Faces of Cairo: Wednesday 24 June, 6:30PM – 7:15PM
In this session you will view and enjoy time to question some images from  documentary series ‘Faces of Cairo’ –  a tour of the land and it’s people; the streets, the markets the African desert and the path of history. Learn the art of telling a story with a clear narrative style using the lens.

Scapes: Wednesday 24 June, 7:30PM – 8:15PM
Scapes is a series of wide-format prints, exploring the timeless nature of unique locations using sepia tone, which emulates analogue lithographic techniques. This distinct and compelling monochromatic style creates strong images which inspire the imagination and provoke conscious consideration. Discussions on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ are encouraged in this session.

Click here to book your free session

Photographic Exhibition

 

Scapes exhibition at the 2020 Auckland Festival of Photography

Timid

Travel Photography Auckland

Timid: Winner of the 2020 SONY Alpha Awards Editorial category. Semi-Finalist at 2020 hEAD oN Photo Festival

‘Timid’ is part of a collection of captivating portraits of the Maasai people from Tanzania. I found myself deeply inspired upon meeting the Maasai tribe and realised the opportunity to document their unique culture which is being eroded by Western influence and modern technology. On a personal level, this reminds me of the true value of photography: preserving memories in order to relive special stories and pass them on to others. Through this series of carefully composed photographs, the Maasai people can share their rich culture with the world.

The collection is presented in a film-noir monochrome, capturing these portraits in a classically timeless style; lending a unifying appearance that emulates analogue lithographic techniques. I wanted viewers to focus on the humanity aspect of each portrait: expression, body language, shape and form. I eliminated distracting colours to ensure that viewers focus on the people within the photos and make emotional connections with the Maasai.

This is a documentary collection; most of the photos had little or no retouching. I waited for people to look straight into the camera so we can see highlights in their eyes. The strength of the series is in giving viewers an opportunity to connect with the Maasai people in their natural environment. This diverse group of people serves as a timely reminder that despite our many cultural differences, we can unite as a community through the power of photography. I hope that through this portfolio viewers learn more about the Maasai culture. We are all wonderfully unique, yet at the same time, we are deeply the same.

I aim to depict the Maasai culture in an authentic and honest way, using a clear narrative style which shows the significance of their culture, as well as their individual personalities. My goal is to provoke viewers imagination regarding the traditions of the Maasai people and the stories behind their portraits. In sharing this portfolio, I encourage viewers to show tolerance: to accept all people and to recognise the value of cultural diversity. We would all experience an enhanced sense of community if we took the time to appreciate interactions which allow us to discover the world beyond our familiar boundaries.

Portraiture Workshop – 2020 hEAD oN Photo Festival

Scapes exhibition at the 2020 Auckland Festival of Photography

Golden Monkey

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Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus kandti) – Acceptance at 2020 PSNZ National Exhibition, Nature Print

Lions Mating

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Lions Mating – Acceptance at 2020 PSNZ National Exhibition, Nature Projected Image

Portfolio Items