JIMMY & DENA KATZ: Salt Dreams

JIMMY & DENA KATZ: Salt Dreams


 “Salt Dreams”


My wife and collaborator Dena and I used to travel to Salt Lake City often and decided to photograph the Salt Flats. What struck us most was not the sweeping landscapes but the odd man-made objects and artifacts we would encounter. From random trash to car racing setups, the Salt Flats have become the backdrop of human activity.

Instead of focusing our lens on the landscapes, we decided to explore the impact human civilization had in these ancient places. Many images are absurd and even surreal – very much like human existence itself.


WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

I love the surreal quality and absurd humor of this series. The images perfectly capture the folly that human beings are.

Inspired by American landscapes photographers like Ansel Adams, Jimmy and Dena Katz traveled West to capture the Great Salt Lake in Utah. But instead of pristine nature, they found the presence of man everywhere. From seeing trash on the side of the road to reading about pollution, they couldn’t escape the modern world.

Jimmy Katz became fascinated by the unexpected juxtapositions between the timeless landscapes and the man-made artifacts. The contrast between the two often resulted in surreal moments – like finding a group of plastic flamingos planted in a salt bed. The images highlight how humans feel our species is above all else, above nature. But these places have existed for millions of years, while we are barely a blip in Earth’s history.

Spending time in the Salt Flats over two years (2004-2005), Jimmy and Dena Katz met people who come here for annual car racing or rocket launching events. These devoted fans found this unfriendly environment the perfect place for their hobby. And it is true that, with their vast expanse and flat terrain, the Salt Flats are ideal. Ideal but not without danger: arsenic and other heavy metals are commonly found buried underneath. As the lake dries up due to diminishing snow and ice melt, its heavily polluted bed will turn to dust, which will then be carried by winds. As of now, airborne dust is already a problem for nearby residents as particulates can lodge in their lungs and worsen asthma and the risk of heart attacks. The drying up of the Great Salt Lake is an environmental disaster no one knows how to prevent.

Some of the images Jimmy and Dena captured could not be replicated today. With global warming, the Great Salt Lake is getting smaller, from about 3,300 square miles in the late 1980s to less than 1,000 today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There’s less and less water and more and more desert.

“Salt Dreams” is a testament to nature’s fragility in the face of man’s folly.

PS: You can find their book “Salt Dreams” here.



The salt flats of northern Utah, a vast expanse of mineral detritus planed to level smoothness by wind and water, are a perfect surface for testing homemade rockets, race cars, motorcycles and weirder things. This show includes spectacular shots of such activities by Jimmy and Dena Katz, two photographers who have spent a couple of years exploring the terrain with their cameras.

So bright is the light, so boundless is the space, so gorgeous are the distant mountains that the place looks like eternity itself, but with a litter problem. The Katzes’ searching lenses have also found pink plastic flamingos stuck upright in the Great Salt Lake, a pair of couches huddled under an overgrowth of scrub, a larger-than-life plaster cow pierced by spikes and lying on its side, orange traffic cones near a hand-lettered sign reading “Wait Here,” and, by way of pathos, a limp brown hound glumly looking for shade.

The Katzes see the flats as a limitless American playroom, a place where we don’t have to pick up our toys since the party is never over. By Grace Glueck


Jimmy Katz was born in New York City in 1957 and studied photography with John McKee at Bowdoin College. Collaborating with his wife Dena, he has become the most prolific jazz photographer of the last 30 years. Together, they worked on over 580 recording projects, over 200 magazine covers and hundreds of editorial pieces – more than any modern photographer documenting jazz.

To better promote the art form, Jimmy Katz developed an integrated approach to his work, combining still photography, video and high-quality audio. In 2018, at friends’ urging, Katz founded Giant Step Arts, a non-profit organization that documents some of the most important jazz musicians of this era.

“Salt Dreams” came from their frequent travels to Utah and interest in documenting the conflict between man and nature.


Islip Museum, Islip, NY: “Salt Dreams” Exhibit (2007)

Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX: “Salt Dreams” Exhibit and in their permanent collection (2010)



Ex Chiesa della Maddalena: Bergamo, Italy (2022)

Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria: Perugia, Italy (2019)

North Sea Jazz Festival: Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014)

Padua Jazz Festival: Padua, Italy (2014)

*Discover his jazz portraits here.


Portrait of photographer Jimmy Katz
HELENA PALAZZI: Maidens in Mystic Lands

HELENA PALAZZI: Maidens in Mystic Lands


“Maidens in Mystic Lands”


As a native Swede I have always felt a strong connection to the ancient Scandinavian and Nordic cultures. This heritage, passed down through generations by way of epic poems, sagas, and the alphabet Runes, forms the very essence of my inspiration.

Female forest spirits, formidable Norse goddesses, and the history of Viking women warriors, called the Shield Maidens, have taken a central place in my artistic and cultural explorations. 

To capture their mystical quality, which often comes shrouded in romanticized tales, I employ two distinct yet complimentary artistic methods. At first, I create large, softly colored, multilayered photographs. The images offer a tantalizing glimpse into the world of these legendary beings, much as I remember hearing about them as a child. I then weave my visions into textured encaustic photographs. This intricate technique involves the layering of photographs, wax, pigments and resin, to construct a multi-dimensional tapestry of stories and symbols. In the delicate interplay of adding and removing layers, I discovered a profound metaphor for the ceaseless evolution of life and the indelible imprints it leaves behind.

Residing in the Hudson Valley for the past few years has significantly influenced my artistic perspective. The mountains, meandering rivers, and lush forests evoke a deep connection to the Scandinavian landscapes of my childhood. The landscapes bring up memories of children’s belief in mystical beings and deities residing in the shadows, quietly observing. 

WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

How could I not fall in love with this series which celebrates strong female figures?

Working on these images, Helena Palazzi went back to her childhood; growing up in Sweden, she would hear heroic tales of Viking female warriors, and stories from Nordic mythology and folklore, filled with powerful creatures and mysterious forest spirits. As she put it in an interview, “What fascinates me the most are the women and the goddesses of Norse mythology. They are fierce, they are strong, and they are full of spit and fire. They are unapologetically sexual. They just speak to me.” (Reality caught up with mythology when, in 2017, DNA technology revealed that an ancient high-ranking warrior was indeed a woman, a Shield Maiden as they were called. The stories were not lies, but History!)

The images presented here are photographic reproductions of one-of-a-kind portrait and landscape artworks Helena creates in her art studio. For the original pieces, she uses various media and techniques, from shooting with an infrared camera to add a certain otherworldliness to her colors, to printing the different image layers on fragile rice paper before sealing them with encaustic.

The reproductions are printed on luster paper, something with a little bit of shine, to better replicate the depth of the original wax-covered pieces.

The layered images draw you in as you discover textures, details, and symbols buried within them.



A transplant from Sweden now living in the Hudson Valley, Helena Palazzi began her journey into photography as a teen. Growing up in the 1980s, she carried around a secondhand film camera and spent hours in a hand-me-down black and white darkroom set up in her family garage.

In 1993 her journey took her to her father’s homeland, Italy. With other young photographers, she founded a studio and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, Umbria. Less than two years later, she had her first solo exhibition. Many more would follow over the next few years, featuring her photography along with her mixed media work.

She landed in New York in 1998, set on pursuing a career in commercial photography. But fashion and beauty imagery drew her in and she quickly switched gears. Her seductive and refined images got her noticed and she started to work with some of the world’s most renowned clients and creatives.

Since 2019 Helena has made Kingston, NY, her home. She found there the time and freedom she needed to reconnect with her fine-art work and is now engaged in various projects, from fashion editorial shoots to paintings and artistic explorations.

Helena Palazzi in her art studio
STEVEN LOPEZ: Analogue Dreams

STEVEN LOPEZ: Analogue Dreams


“Analogue Dreams”


My work simultaneously glimpses into the past, present and future.

By using film photography, alternative and traditional photographic printing methods, I aim to achieve a feeling of timelessness in my images.

My methods and choice of subject matter are a practice in sharpening the focus on what makes its home in my peripheral vision.


WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

I met Steven Lopez when he interned at Resource Magazine, a photo magazine I had started with a friend. I was struck by his love and knowledge of film photography and antiquated techniques. No cell phone photography for him! He chose hard-to-find film and hours spent in the darkroom instead.

We stayed in touch over the years. We lived in the same neighborhood, the Lower East Side in downtown Manhattan, and would get together for coffee every once in a while. He would tell me about his travels and photographic experiments.

I love his dedication to film photography and his focus on old techniques. His images are carefully constructed; he puts a lot of time and care into them. You don’t get a gazillion frames of the same landscape – there is only a handful at best. Film is in limited supply and printing is time-consuming so Steven thinks long and hard before pressing that shutter.

The resulting images are beautiful and unique, timeless and moving, arching back to a time when we had time.



Steven Lopez is a multimedia photographer based in NYC with a focus on alternative photographic processes and film photography.

He studied at LaGuardia College in commercial photography and applied science. He currently independently teaches alternative photographic printing in his residence in Astoria, Queens, NY.

Portrait of Steven Lopez



“From Above”


In the most basic terms, I click a button to capture a split second in time, especially during aerial photography trips.

In a more complex way, I am a highly detail-oriented and technical photographer with a fanatical approach to composition, color, execution and technique.

One of my favorite forms of photography is aerial photography as the environment is constantly changing. It is incredibly liberating to be in a plane or helicopter with the doors off, corkscrewing around your subject with all the G-forces and blood rushing to your head. You have to adapt quickly to changing conditions and become reactive to your settings and compositions.

These aerial images showcase the beauty of the world we live in, with strong colors and abstract lines. Shot on a Phase One camera, the world’s most expensive camera system, and on the highest pixel count available (151 megapixels), these images are best shown on large-scale prints to showcase the incredible details that were captured.


WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

I love aerial photography’s abstract nature. At first glance (and even at the tenth one), you’re not sure what you’re looking at. It’s hard to decipher a landscape in these strange lines and surrealist (yet true) colors.

Coming closer you sometimes notice small details – a power line, a house – which give you a clue to what you’re looking at. But too often there’s nothing to cling to: most of the images remain mysterious, defying conventions and expectations of what a landscape should look like.

These photographs are striking, with an incredible level of detail. Some are also unsettling as they show the devastating effect pollution has on our environment. Human activity created these strange lines and surrealist colors…

Andrei’s aerial photography shows us beauty in unexpected places.



Romanian Born + British Educated + Ex-Professional Tennis Player + 12 Years in Investment Banking + 85 Countries Traveled + Los Angeles Based

When not on a client shoot, Andrei Duman can be found in his studio working on multiple projects, all in different stages of production and experimentation. Creatively envisioning concepts for a shoot and problem-solving real-time issues to successfully achieve his vision are some of his favorite things to do.

Andrei lives in Los Angeles with his wife Susan and their 2 cats, Foo and Smash. He is a Field Instructor and Ambassador for Phase One Cameras, SanDisk Professional, Broncolor US, Eizo Monitors and f-stop for which he hosts their webinars, “Knowledge Labs.”



1st Place: Advertising Product (iWatch 6 Conceptual)

2nd Place: Automotive (McLaren P1 GTR)

2nd Place: Macro (ExoSkeleton)

Honorable Mentions in following categories: Advertising Product – Advertising Food & Beverage – Automotive – Nature/Landscape


Honorable Mentions in following categories: Architecture – Fine Art Portrait – Aerial – Macro

Portrait of Andrei Duman

MARTIN ADOLFSSON: Suburbia Gone Wild

MARTIN ADOLFSSON: Suburbia Gone Wild


“Suburbia Gone Wild”


Within the past two decades, we’ve seen a huge shift in the balance of economic power. Countries that didn’t have a middle class 20 years ago have seen a rapid transformation from an agricultural economy to an industrial-based economy, so much so that a sizable percentage of the population now belongs to the middle class.

How does that affect the social groups who have been able to benefit the most from the economic boom? How does that influence one’s identity when the change is so rapid? Using a minimalist photography aesthetics, forgoing the fluff to focus on the essence of things, I want to explore that search for identity taking place in the suburbs surrounding Shanghai, Bangkok, Bangalore, Cairo, Moscow, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, and Mexico City.

By omitting geographical and national traces, I seek to create a strong visual narrative between these disarmingly similar landscapes. The similarities interest me more than the national and cultural differences. My intentions are to create a visual narrative that takes the viewer on the front lines of an emerging global movement.

WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

I’ve worked with Martin Adolfsson a few times and loved his minimalist photography and his intellectual approach to his subjects. He’s very meticulous — he comes in with a clear idea of what he wants to achieve and does it! Both as an artist and as a human being, Martin questions what’s in front of him and is interested in the meaning behind the surface. He always wants to understand the ins and outs of the situation he finds himself in.

His minimalist photography might seem simple at first glance, but it is anything but. Through seemingly straightforward images, his work raises thorny issues with no clear answers.

His series “Suburbia Gone Wild” is a perfect illustration of his inquisitive mind. His photographs ask what happens when the world follows an Americanized way of living. How does that uniformity affect local cultures and customs? What does it mean to be of a place if you live in a house that doesn’t pertain to that place? How do you balance globalization and individualism?

PS: Martin created with a friend THE best app on the market, minutiae, which prompts you at random times to take a picture of the minutiae (yet important moments) of your life. The app is a reaction to the overly-stylized Instagram and Tik Tok of this world. It’s both profound and fun. Try it… and thank me later!


Born and raised in Sweden, Martin Adolfsson now lives in New York City, where he obtained a one-year “Artist-in-Residence” at SVA in 2007. Mostly self-taught and equally fascinated by the art of photography and the possibilities new technologies offer, his work lives at the intersection of photography, technology and behavior.

His acclaimed book Suburbia Gone Wild and its minimalist photography focus on the search for identity among the new upper middle class in eight emerging economies. For it, Adolfsson traveled the world disguised as a potential home buyer and captured photos of nondescript model homes. The project was described by curator Petek Sketcher as “amusing and awkwardly eerie, as Adolfsson documents a curious phenomenon that looks more and more like the constructed world of The Truman Show.” Some of the photographs have been shown at Hagedorn Gallery in Atlanta, and the series appeared in many publications like The Atlantic, Slate, La Repubblica (Italy), and CNN among many other places. 

In 2014 Adolfsson was part of the inaugural class of the Art/Tech/Design incubator program NEW INC, the world’s first museum-led incubator created by the New Museum in New York. There, Adolfsson co-created the anti-social media app minutiae with Neuroscientist Daniel J Wilson. The app allows participants from around the world to participate in a daily ritual of capturing mundane ordinary moments at the exact same minute regardless of time zone. The project has received wide attention including Wired Magazine calling it “The curious app that captures your unfiltered life,” and the Financial Times saying, “Anti-social photo app offers antidote to Instagram and Facebook.”

Portrait of Martin Adolfsson




“Garden Wild”


I have been photographing nature, and specifically gardens, for almost thirty years. This exhibit shows a mix of personal images and commissioned projects I was hired for.

Emotions and connection to larger reality are something that I aspire to in my photographs. I hope that, when viewing the images,  you might be moved, guided by your intuition and creative spirit to discover and nurture this special link. My pictures represent humanity and the natural world as a unified oneness.  

In a world where everything moves at lightning speed, I would like the viewer of this exhibit to pause for a moment to contemplate the power of a single still image. My photographs are best enjoyed the same way they were made — in stillness. 

WHY I LOVE IT, by Aurélie

I’ve worked with Andre a few times on his advertising shoots. We bonded over our shared immigrant experience — he’s from Poland while I’m French by birth (but New Yorker by choice and heart!). He’s a lovely man and I immediately thought of him when I came up with the idea of doing an online photography gallery. I knew I wanted to work with him and show his images.

His love for photography runs deep, and his technical mastery is obvious to anyone who works with him. But what I loved the most was how intimate his images are.

While carefully constructed, the photographs are not stiff or precious. A little imperfection, a little unruliness are welcome. Where another photographer would make sure everything is perfectly aligned and stylized, Andre embraces and celebrates the unexpected. It brings life to his images — that’s what I love about his work!

It’s no surprise that nature is the perfect-slash-imperfect model for him!


Based in New York, Andre Baranowski is an award-winning advertising and editorial photographer. His focus has been on food, nature and travel photography. He approaches his subjects with both technical rigor and an appreciation (some would say, an embrace) for the unexpected.

His unorthodox approach to food photography in particular set him apart in the editorial world as he broke away from perfectly styled images. Subsequently, his work found itself on the covers of renowned publications, including Departures, Saveur, Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Garden Design, among others. 

Andre has also photographed and collaborated on a number of widely celebrated books, from Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein; Hudson Valley Chef’s Table by Julia Sexton; Kimchi Chronicles with Marja and Jean Georges Vongerichten; Sustainably Delicious by Michel Nischan, to The Making Of Three Gardens with Jorge Sanchez and The Duke of Devonshire.

His images have been recognized numerous times by PRINT, SPD, PDN, Graphis Magazine and other publications devoted to celebrating the best photography in the world.

Portrait of photographer Andre Baranoswki