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July 28, 2017

Auckland photographer wins prestigious gold award

Ilan Wittenberg's Man With a Leather Jacket' was taken in February 2017.
Ilan Wittenberg
Ilan Wittenberg's Man With a Leather Jacket' was taken in February 2017.
An Auckland photographer's unique approach has snapped up a gold at the NZ Institute of Professional Photography's (NZIPP) Iris Awards. Ilan Wittenberg won a gold award in the Portrait Classic category for his photo Man with a Leather Jacket in June this year. The NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards is New Zealand's only professional photography competition. "Winning a gold this year was a big achievement for me, simply because they are so hard to come by," Wittenberg said. READ MORE: * Photographer Ilan Wittenberg exposes the Bare Truth in portrait exhibition Although the photograph of a Takapuna native Ken Talarc did not win the category, it was the only gold-winning portrait not to have been taken in a studio. Shot in Talarc's home, the photo was as much about the subject as it was his environment said Wittenberg who won NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year in 2016. "One continues the story of the other. The environment that he sits ... all of that tells a story." "The artifacts behind him actually tell a story about his life and about his parent and the things he does in his life," Wittenberg explained. Wittenberg met Talarc while buying vegetables at the Takapuna Sunday market on Auckland's North Shore. The photographer approached the man selling bric-a-brac out of his truck to ask if he would have his photo taken.
It took several moves around the house, Talarc had inherited from his parents, to find the winning spot in the living room.
"You look at him and you look at the background and they are on the same plane field." "I like the fact that he looked straight at me. I think that, when a person looks at you, you sort of make a connection," Wittenberg said.  

 - Stuff





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Ilan Wittenberg wins Gold at the 2017 Iris Awards

July 6, 2017

Portrait Photographer Auckland  
Congratulations to Ilan Wittenberg on winning Gold at the 2017 Iris Awards! Held in Wellington this year, the Iris Awards is New Zealand’s only professional photography competition. The aim of these print awards is to recognise and honour the best in contemporary photography from New Zealand and overseas. The awards showcase cutting-edge imagery and top, creative photographic talent. They celebrate the excellence, providing a platform for recognition within the industry and the wider public. The event also raises the profile of photography throughout New Zealand, providing an annual showcase of cutting-edge imagery and creative photographic talent. It provides an excellent opportunity for photographers to gain widespread exposure for the fruits of their creative efforts. The Iris Awards are open to all photographers in New Zealand and to members of approved overseas professional photography organisations by entering up to 10 prints across a range of categories. All prints are judged in an open forum over a three-day period, the best of which are awarded gold, silver and bronze awards. The judging sessions are open to the public in order to educate, inspire and inform. Each print is scored by five industry experts and Ilan was honoured to be invited to join the judging team for the first time this year. “Judging the Landscape, Student, and Portrait Creative categories was a very humbling experience” says Ilan, “You really have to take time, examine the print and respect the author with constructive feedback” . Wittenberg won a total of ten awards including a Silver with Distinction award for his book Faces of Jerusalem. Click here to see Ilan’s latest award winning images including beautiful portraits from Morocco which he hopes to exhibit in Auckland.




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Tracey and Brendon Wedding

July 3, 2017





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2017 NZIPP Iris Awards

June 23, 2017

Auckland Portrait Photographer



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Black and White Spider Awards - Honourable Mention in Portrait

June 23, 2017





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One Eyeland Photography Awards

February 17, 2017

One Eyeland Photography Awards Portrait Photography Auckland



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Black and White Spider Awards Winner

November 8, 2016

Portrait Photography Studio North Shore



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2016 Auckland Photographer of the Year

September 15, 2016

NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year



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D-Photo Magazine Article

September 12, 2016

Within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem

Within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem

“Ilan Wittenberg takes Lara Wyatt along on his visual journey through Jerusalem’s Old City to capture images for his series Faces of Jerusalem
It’s not hard to see why the Old City of Jerusalem captured Ilan Wittenberg’s attention. It is beyond anything I have ever witnessed before. It’s a place with more than 2000 years of history, all bricks and iron gates, and tiny shops packed floor to ceiling with cultural items, souvenirs, religious artefacts, and day-to-day requirements, all up for sale. And then there are the merchants with very few smiles but plenty of pride and honour. “They’re not happy, you can see that … but they are serious for a good reason: the economy is slow. But it’s who they are, this is their natural way. If you see people on the street, most are not smiling, and these people have seen their own share of hardship,” Wittenberg explains emphatically about the merchants. It was during a family trip to Israel that they all went on a trip to the Old City of Jerusalem and came across the capital of Israel. “Usually I go with my camera and do my own stuff, but this time I said no, I’ll be part of the family,” he says, remembering. “I needed a strong collection of photographs to submit as a portfolio for my fellowship application to the Photography Society of New Zealand — and then I saw the huge potential there. It opened my eyes only when I got there, even though I’d been there many times in the past. It was interesting — the ancient streets, the people, the merchants, the mosques, the churches — it really is interesting.” Adamant that this trip would be about family bonding rather than stopping to pull out his camera all the time to the dismay of his family, Wittenberg had to delay the spark of an idea that was forming in his mind for another day: “I said to myself, OK, I’ll go back again, and I extended my stay just a little bit longer. My wife hates it when I stop and take photos, she simply keeps walking while I stay behind. It’s not really enjoyable to walk with me, because I stop and I start talking to people — I could spend half an hour just photographing a wall. So, it really is just no fun … I accept that, so I made four other trips to Jerusalem … it was important to me.” With each trip, he packed his Sony 7R and set about wandering the streets, entering many stores and speaking, or, if necessary, miming, to the merchants to gain their permission to take their photo. Wittenberg didn’t want to portray the merchants in any way other than their natural state. He did not set about posing them — other than a few very rare situations in which he needed to raise someone’s arm to get the composition of the image right — he did not ask them to smile, he only used the lighting available (no flash and no tripod), and he didn’t create a photo-shoot atmosphere. Most of the time he would only take a single image, then put his camera away. On one occasion, though, he disobeyed all these rules when he was trying to take a photo of a man working in a traditional coffee shop, but it achieved a beautiful result. “It was extremely dark and grimy,” Wittenberg recalls. “He became a little embarrassed because I took so many photos of him, because, to be honest, they weren’t all in focus and there was such bad light. I think he was joking with the people behind him that he was a model, that he was now a movie star. You can see the movement of his hand — that’s how slow the shutter speed was. It’s like a gamble when I take these photos; some are as slow as 1/30s, using high ISO because of the dim light.” With a cold atmosphere and a lack of customers filtering through the city, an air of tension is bred, and Wittenberg put out all the right signals he could to ensure he did not incite any trouble during the course of his roaming the streets and photographing. “When I travel there, I am a proud New Zealander, which removes a lot of tension. People are relaxed and agree to have their portrait taken. I am also an Israeli, but I have to be careful not to mix politics in, because, if they knew that, it may create unnecessary tension. Some wouldn’t be as natural with the camera or wouldn’t allow me to photograph them. I walk the dark and empty streets at night, by myself — it could become dangerous too. If you say you’re from New Zealand, ‘Oh, Kiwi, welcome!’. Part of the problem, is that there are very few customers, very little foot traffic, because there is a lot of stress in this region — wars, religious tension, and ongoing conflict, which scares tourists away,” he explains. But after showing his work to people and entering it into awards, including the Epson / New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Iris Professional Photography Awards at which he was named a finalist and his images received a silver award, many tell Wittenberg that they want to go there. “Not just because of the photos,” he says, though. “They’ve always wanted to visit the holy land, so even though these are not always happy faces, people say, ‘Wow, that’s such a different culture’.” In terms of how the Faces of Jerusalem photographs work as a series, Wittenberg is quick to point out how the sepia toning of the images was a way to give them a timeless look while also ensuring they had a consistent and uniform appearance. “If I was actually trying to put these in colour — which is nice to be able to see the colourful merchandise — then the faces would turn out yellow, orange, or pink because of the different light sources; some are fluorescent and some are ambient … I can remove the issue of different colours of their faces this way, or it would have been very distracting,” Wittenberg explains. Titirangi’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery exhibited Faces of Jerusalem during early 2016, fulfilling Wittenberg’s goal of bringing the series to an audience to experience. “I want people to see it, it’s a rare opportunity to see large prints,” he says. “People who come to the exhibition will be able to gain more insight … most have never been in this sort of environment. You are actually there, you can see how they live and how they play, and you can see their faces — they tell a story.” At the 2016 Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards, Wittenberg's Faces of Jerusalem series of photographs saw him win the Travel Photographer of the Year award.
 



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Beautiful Ellie

September 7, 2016

Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland Tattoo Photographer Auckland  



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