Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’
Bosch Lab, a subject sits with head tilted
back in a VR-headset. She bathes in the glow
of a screen-projected forest. Scientists are
measuring the degree to which virtual reality
versions of nature reduce stress. The image
sparks a number of disconcerting questions.
Might our dislocation from nature be assuaged
only by more analytics and technological
experiment? If we cannot reverse losses in
the physical world, how might we recreate or
restore our connections to it?
“Human Nature” avoids polemic. It doesn’t
shout; it whispers uncomfortable truths. The
book moves through topographic themes:
first, in cities and woodlands and laboratories,
and later, across farms, deserts, ice fields and
oceans. It opens and closes with what Foglia calls
“interpretations of paradise.” For corporations,
paradise is an elaborate terrace of urban
forest, or a McDonald’s with a lawn for a roof.
Individuals, by comparison, find paradise by
stripping down, climbing trees, sinking into
pools and having sex in tropical bushes. In all
cases, Foglia reveals to us our world anew.
Often, photographs intended to raise public
awareness succeed when they are good-looking.
Of course, there’s a tension in this icky visual
seduction. The photo of an animal in peril is
another trope. Both types of images manipulate
viewers (mostly harmlessly) and reinforce
what we expect environmental photography to
be. “Human Nature” does something entirely
different. It delivers a vision of a world with
which we are in communication, not in ever-increasing detachment. Foglia points to, and
believes in, our agency.
“We need to change our lifestyles,” says
Foglia. “Spending more time outside, eating
less meat, traveling by bicycle or public
transportation, and preserving forests would
be good first steps.”
In Foglia’s world, small-hold biodynamic
orchards are just as important as state
regulations on the lumber industry.
Harvesting spinach at daybreak will tell us
as much about nature as the scientist who
monitors brain activity. If we are for the
world, it will be for us. Foglia’s sometimes
deadpan and always beautiful images in
“Human Nature” are, arguably, source for
optimism. We’re building responses and
raising consciousness. We remain curious.
The answers are within us.
Nazraeli Press will publish the book Human
Nature in September 2017, in conjunction
with exhibitions at Michael Hoppen Gallery
in London, Fredericks & Freiser Gallery in
New York, Foam in Amsterdam, and Museum
of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.
Continuous Light: Not Just
for Motion Anymore
For Richmond, Virginia’s Ariel Skelley, the world doesn’t stop at 1/250th of a second.
“When people hear the pop, pop of strobes, they pretend they’re posing for a Vogue
cover, which is so not what I need. I let the action go a while. Frankly, it’s a lot better telling
the story in ten seconds. If it’s a kid opening a Christmas present, you get to see what’s
inside the present.” Ariel’s buyers agree.
Ariel is represented by Getty, Blend Images & Corbis. To learn more go to
Learn All About the Joker at
After over two successful decades shooting
stock, Ariel found her stock photo income
was eroding. Her solution was to add
motion to her offerings. To do this, Skelley
needed powerful continuous lights, and not
just for her video capture. The transition into
still + motion led Skelley to swap all of her
flashes for K5600 Jokers.
Ariel selected two recent stills and provided us with the videos that go with them. “We
rolled the lighting cart into the maternity ward and captured little Nora on her birthday…
then turned around the next day and lit the local airport during a monsoon. We prepped
and pre-lit, and had 3 cameras rolling simultaneously…we wrapped in 2 hours and
got all the motion we were after and boatloads of stills –– all at f5.6 1/250 sec.!”
PDN Ariel 2/ 3.indd 1 8/7/17 3:20: 24 PM