FOCUS ON Experimental Photographer Troy Schooneman

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FOCUS ON Experimental Photographer Troy Schooneman
Troy Schooneman, "Felipe", c2014.

Bob Mizer experimented in his portraiture constantly over the decades, every day that he worked with his models. Stunning images of men, women, and even children have come to light during the archiving of his estate, many completely unseen before today. Mizer eventually mastered the art of portrait lighting, as seen in these samples below.

Current day photographer Troy Schooneman, carries on the tradition, and lends another example of experimental photography for the 1st Annual Bob Mizer Foundation Emerging Photographer Competition.

Bob Mizer, "Untitled, [Dale]", c1952.

Troy Schooneman, "Alexis", c2014.

He has created a beautiful, soft, almost Renaissance feel to lighting his subjects of hard edged Muay Thai boxers, a perfect contrast in subject and technique. Schooneman, who goes by the pseudonym iconic19 for his photography work, captures elegant portraits of the men practicing the ravaging Thai sport, donning athletic shorts, boxing gloves and little else. Yet despite the macho brutality of the sport that binds these subjects together, Schooneman's portraits display something else quite entirely. Soft and sensitive, the men reveal a side to themselves in sharp contrast to the sport they play in.

Troy Schooneman, "Muay Thai #34", c2014

Troy told the Huffington Post,  "In my portraits I hope to uncover the profound beauty created by juxtaposing the strength, courage and physical presence of these fighters with emotions that they often hide from view - such as loneliness, fear, uncertainty, and sadness.  I wanted to create simple yet distinctive portraits of the fighters who bring to life the discordant emotions that the spectator often experiences when viewing the sport."

Bob Mizer, "Untitled, [Gerald Oglesby]", c1984.

"I find great beauty in sadness and this is something that is not always easy to explain to the fighters that sit for my portraits. I never ask them to smile. Instead, during my photo shoots I play rather sad music and encourage them to recall times in their lives that they have faced difficulties. I do this in an attempt to evoke emotions, expressions and glances that I would otherwise never see."

To see more, check out Troy's website.