Photographer Tom Schifanella is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the project ‘Body and Soul’.  To see Tom ’s body of work, click on any image.


Burden of Truth
The truth is becoming harder to find even as we have access to more information. I see this as a burden that we must bear as our lives become increasingly complex and interconnected.


I spend a lot of time in nature and these experiences are revitalizing. In this portrait, I wanted to convey the feeling of nature filling my senses and renourishing me.


Modra špilja (Blue Cave)
I created this image to convey the feelings I had entering a sea cave in Croatia. I took a photograph of my wife’s hand touching the water as a blue ethereal light glowed underneath us and combined that with my own hands for the self portrait.


Through the Narrow Gate
I was inspired to create this self portrait after viewing the frescos of Morača Monastery, in Montenegro. They connected with me on a spiritual level and I wanted to convey that in the portrait. The title refers to a passage in the Bible about the meaning of faith.


Photographers from Man Ray to Robert Mapplethorpe have used their face and body as a medium for artistic expression. Inspired by this historical narrative, I investigate the beliefs and experiences that continue to shape my life through self portraiture. These visual explorations of nature, religion, politics and morality are an intimate photographic diary of my journey through life. In the age of the selfie, I want to make self portraits that connect emotionally with the viewer and push artistic expression to new heights. 


The Long Arc
We are living in a time where many of us fear the other. In this portrait, I used pages from a book to convey that we are all part of the same human story even though we come from different backgrounds. The title is part of a quote from Martin Luther King which says, “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice.”


All of the self portraits in this series are made by combining two separate photographs into a single image. I begin by taking a photograph of my body which becomes the canvas or foundation of the portrait. The second photograph represents the experience and emotion of the portrait, what I call the soul of the image.


The sea is where I find peace and renewal. This self portrait was inspired by the simple beauty of a breaking wave in the early morning light.


All images and text © Tom Schifanella



See also:

In Praise of the Earth

By Tom Schifanella




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