About Nawfal Johnson Nur

Artist’s Bio

Email: nawfalnur@gmail.com

WEB PORTFOLIO & PHOTO BLOG: http://smokephotographist.wordpress.com/

Photo-Blogs: http://smokephotographist.wordpress.com/  &
https://nawfalnur.wordpress.com/
“Behind the Lens” Photo-Journals

http://interpretationsofdance.wordpress.com/
Interpretations of Dance

“Nawfal Johnson’s online Print Sales Gallery Site link:” http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/
Nawfal Johnson Fine Art Prints!

Nawfal Johnson Nur

Artist’s Bio:

“Taking ordinary subjects and creating unusual images from them is my ideal photography exercise, or ‘photography-maze,’” says Nawfal Johnson.

Nawfal’s background is not in photography or art, but he says he’s been a student of photography for the last 30-odd-years. He started his photography journey in his grandmother’s flower gardens, taking macro photographs of anything in that magical place, using his first SLR camera, a PENTAX K1000.

Nawfal graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, in 1990, with a Master of Community & Regional Planning. He spent some time working in City Planning and Computer Software while living in Lincoln.

In 1994, Nawfal and his family moved to Malaysia. “Most people think that moving across town is a chore; well, try moving you and your ‘stuff’ halfway around the world, that move for us was a gargantuan task!”

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM

Abstract Expressionism Influences:
Abstract Expressionism is a painting style that Nawfal loves, and he tries to incorporate the feeling of this style when he does any Abstract Photography. Nawfal’s favorite Abstract Expressionist painters who made up the “New York School” of Abstract Expressionism, namely, Jackson Pollock: “One of my favorite Pollock paintings is titled, ‘Blue Poles'”, says Nawfal.
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Title: “First Day Raya, Edit D.”
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Title & Date of Creation: “09-9103, #3, Edit B,” ABSTRACT PAINTED PHOTOGRAPHIC ART COLLECTION, APRIL 2014.
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Mark Rothko, another of the New York School masters, has played a major role in Nawfal’s abstract photography style, with Nawfal’s “Urban Colour Field” series:
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Title: “Abstract #2, Edit B,” on 11 June 2015.
Copyright 2015 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Piet Mondrian’s calculating exactness, neatness, and colourfulness, have been keenly adopted by Nawfal:
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Title: “Orange Dot, Edit B”.
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

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Title: “EYES, EDIT E.”
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Nawfal has been particularly impressed with Paul Klee, who was a pioneering master of Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Abstraction.
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Title: “TEXTURES #32”.
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

In no small way, Nawfal’s “Alien Water” and Splash photography collections are an extension of Pollock’s paint splatters, but with Nawfal’s personal style:
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Title: “KING’S CROWN”.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Title: “Black Mocha”.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Get in Close!

Nawfal is a firm believer in what Robert Capa said about creating good photographs:

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.

Getting in close is something that Nawfal tends to gravitate toward. “I must fill the scene with the subject when working on macro photography – the closer the better!”
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Title: “Painter’s Thumb.”
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Nawfal has been inspired by many photographers, but New York Commercial Photographer, Carl Fischer, is the one that comes to his mind first. “I had no idea at the time, that many of the magazine photographs from ESQUIRE and LOOK magazines I marveled at in my youth were Carl Fischer’s,” said Nawfal.

“I fostered a respect for his professionalism and creativity as a photographer and his work was quite inspiring for me. I can probably attribute my fascination with Special Effects Photography to Fischer.”

Nawfal says that two photos by Fischer are especially memorable for him: Andy Warhol drowning in the can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup (1969); and, another important Fischer image is of world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in 1967, as the martyred St Sebastian. In the 60’s, these photos took 3-days to complete, and all done by hand – no computer manipulation: Totally amazing.

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Title: “Melting Collar, #2, Edit C”.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Title: “Magic Purple Eraser”.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Freelance Photography Work

In 1998, Nawfal started shooting freelance: His first assignment was writing and photographing a story for Standard Chartered Bank’s gold card magazine, rightly called, GOLD. For this assignment, Nawfal had to become familiar with and compile an understanding of the ancient Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam.
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Description: Bharatanatyam Dancer—Classical South Indian Dance.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Description: Bharatanatyam Dancer Hand Gesture.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Description: Odissi Dancer—one of the main Classical Indian dance styles.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
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Description: Modern Dance style, with extravagant costume.
Copyright Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Over the years, Nawfal has worked on many photo-essays, focusing on Malaysian cultural subjects such as Malay weapons, antiques, jewelry and ethnic dance. Nawfal has published feature stories in GOLD, BLADE, Dance Teacher Now and Dance Spirit magazines. Nawfal has also shot numerous dance and stage productions for local dance companies.

Lately, Nawfal has been working on Still Life and Fine Art Photography and currently sell prints through Imagekind, ( http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/), here you can see and purchase his Art Photography: he has nearly 1,500 art photographs to see at his Imagekind gallery!
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Portraiture by Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

In 2007, Nawfal was a participant in the, “This Planet” Photography Project, where photographers from around the world took photographs in their region, all at the same time. For Nawfal in Penang, he took his photograph at 10:07 pm. You can see the preliminary website for this project, here.

In 2008, Rock & Roll Band, MILLION DOLLAR RELOAD (aka., Million$Reload, and M$R) contacted Nawfal regarding artwork for the cover of their new album.  In Oct 2008, M$R cut their new album/CD, “Anthems of a Degeneration”,  for worldwide distribution.  You can see the album cover and hear some of their songs at their website:

http://www.milliondollarreload.com/

In April 2009, Nawfal photographed at a charity concert, capturing performance images of Malaysian artists, Mawi, Stacy, Ahli Fiqir and Mila.  Some of these images can be seen here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nawfal_nur/sets/72157617335609102/

eFolio Fine Art Photography Publications

Nawfal published a Black & White photography collection called, SHELLS & SANDSTONE, on 11 March 2010.  This is a photography collection of shells and sandstones that Nawfal collected from beaches around Penang Island, Malaysia.  These photographs were created in 2009 and 2010.
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On 30 September 2011, Nawfal published his soft-cover book, Ethereal Dreams & Hope: a Photographic Collection with Words to Boost Your Spirit.  Nawfal delves into how chronic pain, such as arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) in his case, can affect your life.  He also covers the basic principles and circumstances of Depression.  Nawfal reveals how AS is linked to depression and ways depression has affected his life.  The book has 136 pages, exhibits 34 of Nawfal’s Smoke-Art photographs, and includes inspirational hope quotations and Nawfal’s reflections and thoughts on the hope quotations.
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Title: “Alien Pigeon, #2, Edit D”.
Year: 2010.
Copyright 2010 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.

Nawfal has several other eFolio photography books published, including two collections of Black & White abstract clouds photography, abstract textures, and one titled, “BENDING SPACE”, and another one that exhibits his abstract Penang Trees photography.
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In October, 2011, Nawfal photographed a dance review called, “Dancing to Connect,” featuring New York dancer, Sean Scantlebury, of The Battery Dance Company, and accomplished Malaysian dancer, Lorna Hoong.  Through the photographs he created during that performance, Nawfal created the “Interpretations of Dance Thru the Lens,” photo-blog.  Nawfal also created a dance eFolio also called, “Interpretations of Dance.” (October 2011).

Also in October 2011, Nawfal had several photographs published in a new book published by Lark Books (New York: NY), FOCUS:  REFLECTIONS: Your World, Your Images. Nawfal works with various commercial clients providing photographic solutions. He has contributed many images to print and Internet publications. Most recently, Nawfal has completed writing a biography about a local Malaysian business tycoon: the expected publication is in 2016. He also hopes to publish his “ALIEN LANDSCAPES” art photography eFolio in early 2016.

All in all, Nawfal, when he picks up a camera, any camera, his main goal is to create better photographs than the last time he picked up the camera, and that’s not such a bad goal to have.

Thank you for your visit!

Updated on 15 Nov 2015

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