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photo-eye Gallery & Photographer's Showcase Artist Update: Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 50

Photolucida has released the list of 2011 Critical Mass Top 50 photographers and we are proud to report that two of our photo-eye Gallery artists and seven of our Photographer's Showcase artists are on the list! You can see the full list here. (You may notice that there are actually 51 photographers listed -- apparently there was a tie this year, and they chose to include both photographers rather than kick one out.) An exhibition with an image from each photographer will be touring the West coast this spring. These photographers is now in the running to win the top prize -- a book published by Photolucida. See books published by previous winners here.

from photo-eye Gallery:
Colette Campbell-Jones
Stories -- Colette Campbell-Jones
"'Stories from Underground' evolved out of considering how imagery provides insight into the psychological mechanisms that filter and shape our sense of reality as well as linking ordinary experiences with universal counterparts existing at the level of legend and myth. I have combined photographic documents with "fictions" to visually reconstruct the oral histories from an unbroken lineage of coal miners and their families (including my own extended family) living in South Wales U.K. The mine is profoundly mythical, associated with the primordial Unknown. 'Stories from Underground' is a dark faery-tale embodying fears of both literally being consumed by the earth below (and its parallel, the ancient terror of being consumed by the archetypal carnivorous Forest lurking deep within our collective psyches) along with the monsterous economic machinery above." -- Colette Campbell-Jones

See more of Colette Campbell-Jones' work here.
Read the photo-eye Blog interviews with Colette Campbell-Jones here.

Mitch Dobrowner
Bear's Claw, Wyoming -- Mitch Dobrowner
"Storms The images produced in this series represent a project inspired by the beauty and power of the planet we live on. Every storm I've witnessed is a true phenomenon… hard for me to describe in words. Each have their own distinct personality and attitude. Supercell thunderstorms are born when the conditions are right. Once created they slowly mature - always fighting against their environment to stay alive, growing larger and stronger as they mature. Some are short lived, some last for days. But all age; and as they do they slowly weaken.... eventually losing their strength as they die." -- Mitch Dobrowner

See more of Mitch Dobrowner's work here.
Read the photo-eye Blog posts on Mitch Dobrowner here.

Michelle Frankfurter
Oaxaca, 2010 -- Michelle Frankfurter
"Destino, meaning both 'destination' and 'destiny' in Spanish, portrays the perilous journey across Mexico of undocumented Central American migrants as they attempt to enter the United States in pursuit of a better life. An unprecedented wave of Central American migration to the U.S. began in the 1980’s – the consequence of bloody civil wars and relentless poverty. In a wandering odyssey, migrants travel by rail, relying on the network of freight trains inexorably lurching across Mexico. Drawn to the frontier edginess and melancholy of the region, I began photographing along the U.S. – Mexico border in 2000, shortly after reading Cormac McCarthy's, The Crossing." -- Michelle Frankfurter

See more of Michelle Frankfurter's work here.

Lucia Ganieva
Dreaming walls -- Lucia Ganieva
"Dreaming is a state of release of reality, where there are no limitations and where nothing is impossible. Everyone of us has his own dreams, and we all try our best to make those dreams come through. Each one has his individual way to create a dreamworld. A special way to materialize dreams is encountered when I visited the Udmurtian region. The people there is very intensely connected to nature, in all aspects of their life their natural environment plays an important role. When they invited me in their homes, I was struck immediately by the photographic wallpapers, that were in practically every house, in their living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens." -- Lucia Ganieva

See more of Lucia Ganieva's work here.

Gabriela Herman
Crushable, 2010 -- Gabriela Herman
"I blog and I read blogs. A lot of them. Blogs have become my go-to source for information; they feed and comfort me. Today, bloggers are widely respected within their industries and have become our new decision makers as they showcase, analyze and filter information for us. While it is heavily debated how modern technology can isolate us, there are undeniably many upsides to this online evolution. I believe bloggers are connecting us, bringing us closer." -- Gabriela Herman

See more of Gabriela Herman's work here.
Read the photo-eye Blog post on Gabriela Herman here.

Fritz Liedtke
York -- Fritz Liedtke
"April, a freckled woman whom I photographed for this series, told me a story from her childhood. One day after playing outside, her grandmother asked her to go wash up. She went to the bathroom and did so, but grandma wasn’t satisfied. 'Your face isn’t clean! Go scrub it some more!' The young girl was distraught, for all that was left on her skin were her freckles, and no amount of scrubbing would make them go away. While many people view freckles as an aberration or blemish, I find them enchanting, unique, even exotic. More than once, while photographing for this series, a model thanked me for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as a flaw." -- Fritz Liedtke

See more of Fritz Liedtke's work here.
Read the photo-eye Blog post on Fritz Liedtke here.

Larry Louie
Toxic Waters -- Larry Louie
"Dhaka, Bangladesh has a huge population of 14 million with over 300,000 migrants arriving annually. But without adequate infrastructure to support the high levels of urban population growth, over 40% of the population in Dhaka are forced to live in informal settlements, public places or urban slums. This means of the 14 million people estimated living in Dhaka, over 5 million do not have a home or are consider a floating population. Along with this urban growth, the prevalence of child labor has also become a serious problem." -- Larry Louie
See more of Larry Louie's work here.

Susana Raab
Perdido, Playa Agua Dulce, Lima, Peru 2009
"Cholo. This loaded term is first recorded in the 17th century in the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s Commentarios Reales de los Incas and is used to identify the offspring of native and black parents. The original meaning signifies a dog of disreputable origin, and was used by the colonial Spaniards as an insult. Today in Peru cholo, or its masculine or feminine diminutive (cholito/cholita) is a common phrase with positive and negative connotations depending on the context, and reflects the complex, unstated socio-economic rules by which modern day Peru continues to abide. Peruvian by birth and father, I left the country at the age of three when my parents divorced. Estranged from my father for nearly all my life, Peru has always been a sort of enigmatic talisman for me, a key piece of a fractured identity." -- Susana Raab

See more of Susana Raab's work here.

Sarah Wilson
Ashley and Victoria -- Sarah Wilson
"Prom night is a momentous occasion for the high school students at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It has become a special night for me as well. I was introduced to the blind community in 2005 while working as a stills photographer and field producer on the Emmy-nominated film, The Eyes of Me, a documentary about four students attending TSBVI. During filming, we made it a point to cover prom, and since then, I have volunteered as the school’s photographer for the event each spring." -- Sarah Wilson

See more of Sarah Wilson's work here.