Remembering a Bygone Era: Nostalgia By Mauricio Candela

Times have changed. A lot. There have been more scientific and technological advancements in the last century than in any century before it. And of course, with all those changes have come a whole lot of drawbacks. After all, advancement rarely comes without its own set of consequences.

It’s been over fifty years since Bob Dylan recorded “The Times They Are a-Changin,'” and even he probably would never have guessed how much more things would change in his lifetime.

Mauricio Candela Nostalgia

Photographer Mauricio Candela’s latest series, Nostalgia, focuses on how times have changed for children in particular. His photographs bring us back to a time before smartphones and the internet. Before kids had to worry about social media and having the latest gadgetry. As he puts it, “imaginations are now at the mercy of tablets and dictated by smartphones and video game consoles.” Nostalgia is all about remembering a time when childhood meant simpler times and an abundance of innocence.

You can see more of Nostalgia below, including the photographer’s own statement about the series.

For more of Candela’s work, visit his official AtEdge page.

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All Images © Mauricio Candela

Photographer’s Note

Nostalgia by Mauricio Candela.
What once was childhood.

Childhood and the Nostalgia of it have a curious relationship.
It’s not something that children are conscious of, but as adults, it plays a big part as a reference in their lives.

Remembering our own childhood conjures up images and thoughts of a seemingly simpler, easier time.

When we see today’s children surrounded by technology, it seems as if their own imaginations are now at the mercy of tablets and dictated by smartphones and video games consoles.

Almost like a still silent scream, these photographs are presented to remind us that innocence, simplicity and creativity are the foundations of any childhood. Having any of these elements in our past is what makes the nostalgia for them so strong in present times.

This artwork shows the reality of a child. We can clearly experience a “feeling” in viewing it. It acts almost like a warning to the inner adult carried inside. It’s a reminder that any childhood flourishes by such very basic, simple things within a nurturing environment.

It will serve as a safety net or foundation. By enabling this context, they’ll be armed at defending themselves from the assault of today’s world and its technological tsunami.

The process of creating these images was done over a long and slow timetable. It took almost a year to find all the ideal characters to reflect the meaning of what I wanted to impart in the artwork. Using neutral color palettes and staging each scene organically, without makeup or tricks, without over-producing them.



The Irrational Portrait Gallery

Every year, I give myself a new personal project to work on. In the past, they have been different series of portraits focusing on people that interest me. For my personal work I’ve photographed mixed martial artists of all levels and experience and members of The Patriot Guard Riders, a national organization who welcome home our soldiers, among others.

My most recent personal project is a bit different from anything I have done before. This is because the finished products of the series are completely out of my control. Aptly named The Irrational Portrait Gallery, the portraits focus on 21 Long Island based artists of all styles. The portraits are shot on white seamless, retouched and printed on Epson canvas. The 44″ by 58″ prints are then given to the artists for them to manipulate however they want.

I partnered with FRESH, a Long Island art collective, on this project to decide which artists to invite, as well as the right venue in which to display the exhibit. We eventually decided on a museum space in Southampton, NY that’s large enough to display all of the 21 prints with enough breathing room in between each one.

I saw the project as an experimentation in how people would confront a larger than life photo of themselves that is already considered a finished piece and then take it the next step. Would the artists cover my photograph completely with paint so that their work stood out more? Would anyone leave it alone altogether and only show the portrait? How will an abstract artist work with a photograph to create the final piece? We didn’t know what anyone would do and that’s what made this project so exciting.

Bryan Landsberg

The project conceptualized in December 2012, and has been 1.5 years in the making. Along with the portraits themselves, the combination of nailing down a venue and promoting the event took many hours of time and coordination. I think one of the biggest challenges in this project was finding the right venue for the exhibit. We needed ample amount of space between each piece on the walls to let them breathe and allow the viewer to focus on just one piece at a time without distraction. We eventually got a contact at the new Southampton Arts Center, which used to be The Parrish Art Museum, and got a meeting with the new director. There was about a month or two wait before we finally got confirmation that we had the space for our exhibit. That lead us into our next big challenge which was getting promotional materials together (postcards, posters, stickers, promo video, website, etc) and get those promos out with just over a month before the show date. We also got sponsors and music on board for the opening reception. It was pretty crazy timing but we made it happen!

Peter Freeleng

One of the most important details of the printing process was selecting the right medium to print on, allowing the artists to work on their piece however they liked. Rick ran about a dozen test prints on different Epson canvases, hitting them all with a variety of paints and other materials to test the durability. He wanted to be sure that regardless of what was used, the integrity of the photo print would not be compromised.


After the Hamptons show, we plan on bringing the exhibit to Manhattan or Brooklyn to further our reach. In the long term, I plan on working with another set of artists for the sequel of The Irrational Portrait Gallery in 2015.


The show’s opening reception on June 28th was a total success with over 550 attendees. The overall feedback on the exhibit has been outstanding, which can be seen on the Press page on the project’s website at http://www.irrationalportraits.com/press. Along with the great reviews we’ve been receiving, the show is also currently featured on the cover of the July/August 2014 issue of Long Island Pulse magazine and a 3 page article inside.

Percussion Portrait

A photograph of a musician is a bit of a contradiction. As hard as you may try, you will not be able to listen to an image.

However, AtEdge photographer Saverio Truglia is able to distill the essence of what the avant-garde group Third Coast Percussion does in this Portrait of the Week.

Rather than their faces being the focal point of the photograph, we instead see their drumsticks and percussion tools. Appearing molecular in structure, they form a chemical bond of music.

Explore more fascinating portraits from the best commercial photographers in the world at At-Edge.com

Scientific Portraits

Portrait of the Week:

Late last year, Elena Zhukova was commissioned to photograph the five Nobel Laureates who teach at UC Berkeley.

With her subjects’ expertise ranging from astrophysics to economics, Zhukova applied her own photographic skill in capturing these titans of research in their element.

Here is her portrait of 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine winner Randy Schekman.

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Portrait of the Week: Kid Edition

Baby and kid photography is particularly difficult because you cannot communicate in a detailed and complex manner with your subject. You must be skilled in not only framing, lighting, and composition but you must also be adept at keeping a little person content and directing their attention to the camera. Thankfully, AtEdge photographer Lisa Wiseman possesses these skills and more.

Personalities begin to form well before a person is able to speak and Wiseman’s portraits capture the beginnings of a consciousness, of a being that may not know what the mechanical object is in front of it’s face but it knows that everyone gets super happy when they smile and so they may as well smile.

The person in this week’s portrait is not smiling though. He is interested, critical even, of his experience in front of the camera. He is matching the photographer’s gaze in a remarkable way, certainly not expected from a child. You can’t help but wonder what type of person his little guy will grow up to be.

Be sure to explore Lisa Wiseman’s AtEdge portfolio and website for more outstanding work.


R & M

The letters “R” and “M” could stand for a variety of things: rambunctious and mysterious, realistic and macabre, rollicking and multidimensional.

In our case, “R” and “M” are the initials of a photography duo whose work happens to embody all of the aforementioned adjectives.

Ransom & Mitchell are Jason Mitchell [director | photographer] & Stacey Ransom [set designer | photo illustrator] and their combination of visual strengths have produced the Portrait of the Week titled “Hubris”.

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