Henko, variable light by Massimo Giovannini

Henkō is a Japanese word composed by the kanjis 変Hen, meaning “change” and 光Kō, meaning “variable/unusual light”. In fact, more than a word, Henkō is a sound that bears a concept, that of a shifting light which transforms our perception of the objects that it illuminates.

Henkō is a Japanese word composed by the kanjis 変Hen, meaning “change” and 光, meaning “variable/unusual light”.

In fact, more than a word, Henkō is a sound that bears a concept, that of a shifting light which transforms our perception of the objects that it illuminates. I felt what I was trying to do with my camera in this project was precisely that, to shed a different light on a complex subject matter, offering unusual perspectives on it.

If simple lighting and a skin-deep make over can get viewers to question their understanding of gender, may it be that the border between the feminine and the masculine is in fact hazier than we are led to believe? Rather than a rigid, arguably reassuring view of society, of humanity as a series of easy dichotomies: man/woman, hetero/gay, black/white, should we not just regard identity as a fluid concept?

The Henkō project started back in 2016, as the Italian Government approved a law to allow same-sex marriage in what remains a very Catholic country. I was troubled by the superficiality many on national media approached the topic of gender with, and in particular by the idea that the righteousness of love, of a family could supposedly only belong to a union between a man and a woman.

Then one lazy September afternoon, I happened to share my reflections on the concept of gender with makeup artist Lucia Santorso, a friend and talented collaborator. One thing led to another and before we could truly think the project through, we had our first model in front of us – a common friend whose androgynous looks helped us figure out what we actually wanted to do.

All props and backdrops were removed, as we felt the image’s message would be clearer and stronger without any distractions. In fact, we went further and got our model to disrobe, in an attempt to rid of all cliché the topic of gender. The choice of format – the traditional photographic portrait, combined in diptychs – and the directedness of an apparently bare, uncomplicated image effectively veil the profound complexity of the subject matter, and at the same time force the viewer to question the medium, and their ability to see through it.

Technically, I used a single light on both subject and background – which was neutral or matching the subject’s eye colour – while Lucia worked skilfully on the makeup. A part from some retouches to either soften or accentuate the models’ Adam’s apple, no image was photoshopped in postproduction, leaving only the lighting, the makeup and the subject’s facial expressions to convey the symbolic gender reassignment.

Our subjects were all friends and acquaintances, selected because some of their facial features looked to us transposable to the opposite gender. The challenge, working exclusively with non-professional models, was for the resulting images not to become a caricature, as we soon realised even minor changes in expression or pose could turn them into mockery. The portraits were then combined into diptychs according to purely aesthetic values and personal appeal.

Henkō is not intended to trick the viewer, only to insinuate a doubt, to get them to question preconceived ideas on gender, and the presumed veracity of even the most candid photographic image. [Official Website]

More Stories

Pride and prejudici by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudici by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudici project was selected and published in our print edition 23. This ongoing series of studio portraits of young men is intended to challenge the viewer with social constructs that are centered around masculinity and femininity. Gender bias, gender roles and stereotypes can affect everyone negatively.
Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

I first met Lexi at the beginning of her medical gender affirmation journey in December 2020. At 58 years old, she had identified and lived as a woman for decades behind closed doors. She was born and raised in Ecuador where the LGBTQ community faces intense discrimination which often ends in violence.
Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

With the innovation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence in the 21st century, the world of metaverse is being witnessed around our lives such as games and movies. The age of mixing virtual with reality. In the metaverse world, the cyberspace where virtual and reality are harmonized is called mixed reality MR.

Portrait Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Portrait Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best portrait for this year, 2023.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2023

PHOTO BY © JOSE GIRL
Border without limits by Monika Ruiz-Bernal

Border without limits by Monika Ruiz-Bernal

As far as I remember, I have always questioned my own identity, and in fact, the mere notion of identity. I was born and grew up in Bogota, Colombia, a South-America high-altitude city, spreading north to south, ranging from the poorest to the wealthiest neighborhoods, where the notion of classes is very vivid.
Mapusa Road Washermen by Henri Kartmann

Mapusa Road Washermen by Henri Kartmann

At daybreak, the light is splendid on the plain of Mapusa road. The laundry seems to float in the void. The laundry team is already hard at work. They are low caste people, none of them speak English, but after exchanging tea and cigarettes contact is established and I spend the morning with them.
Snow Journey by Mitsuharu Maeda

Snow Journey by Mitsuharu Maeda

Mitsuharu Maeda creates works based on the concept of journey. It's a more evocative landscape, with snow as a motif. This is because I believe that the severe yet beautiful snowy scenery, which has lost its color to the extreme due to monochrome,

Featured Stories

Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

This project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Being a child in a Mundari camp is synonymous with working tirelessly from dawn to dusk. From their earliest age, they actively participate in the care of their livestock
Iceland ; Silence by Vassilis Triantis

Iceland ; Silence by Vassilis Triantis

Once in Iceland one cannot be but taken aback by the vast landscape and the minimal presence of human intervention. It is almost a meditative experience to be engulfed by nature away from any urban distraction.
Still lifes by Belén Argüeso

Still lifes by Belén Argüeso

More or less three years gave me my first camera ...... I'm not a professional photographer ... just a simple fan trying learn and improve every day,. I started taking pictures of my dog, and uploading them to a pet forum
Poetic lyrics : Il pleut sur Nantes by Philippe Marchand

Poetic lyrics : Il pleut sur Nantes by Philippe Marchand

Barbara was a famous French singer who died about ten years ago. Her very evocative and poetic lyrics are still very successful all over the world.
The Mara by Anup Shah

The Mara by Anup Shah

I live in the wild for long stretches of time. Inevitably, I fall under the spell of wild animals. It dawns on me that these are intelligent, emotional, social and personable beings. I connect with their sentience.
Tierwald by Frank Machalowski

Tierwald by Frank Machalowski

Is this fiction or reality? This is the question underlying the series – the images provoke the viewer question what they see. Is this a picture of a warm rain forest or a cold German mixed forest? Are these animals really living in this forest or is it a giant zoo?
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/bannerpr.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Portrait Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/banner24.jpg

Call For Entries #24 | After 23 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Because of my short career as photographer, my portfolio is mainly practice material and shot close to my home. Finding the beauty in things you see every day, requires me to see things in a different perspective and develop myself.
The exposed city by Sevil Alkan

The exposed city by Sevil Alkan

Taking photography by mobile phones created a new trend by changing the border and direction of the photography
The state of emotional destruction; Bandage Portrait by Kai Nagayama

The state of emotional destruction; Bandage Portrait by Kai Nagayama

This series I named Bandage Portraits. It is meant to explore the state of emotional destruction and resilience. It is so easy to be ignorant to your own feelings even though you are aware of them.
Collodion Portraiture by James Walker

Collodion Portraiture by James Walker

James hopes simply to change the viewers mind in some way than what it was before they saw the work in a positive meaningful experience. Either to learn, or question something about themselves
Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland and the Environment is a conceptual series touching on a variety of contemporary issues facing Scotland today, such as plastic pollution, marine conservation, intensive agriculture and woodland protection.
Three Chapters Of Illumination by Ann George

Three Chapters Of Illumination by Ann George

This series symbolizes a metaphorical journey towards liberated living.  The wolf within the work represents allegorically fear and the temptation to be driven by it allowing its control over our lives.

Trending Stories

Rapa by Carlos Cazurro

Rapa by Carlos Cazurro

'Rapa' tries to show the thoughness of a centuries-old Spanish tradition called 'A rapa das bestas' that happens every summer on a few northern towns, mainly in Galicia, in which a few men (known as "aloitadores")
Faith by Francis Meslet

Faith by Francis Meslet

Face to FAITH Decades went by before I felt the need to enter a church again. Not that I have any bad memories of them, in fact my memories were pretty good and could be summed up in interminable laughter between friends during the Sunday mass under the red nose of the priest who had placed us there to keep an equally red eye on us.
Interview with Larry Louie; Published in our print edition #06

Interview with Larry Louie; Published in our print edition #06

I like printed images.  There are so many online magazines, but I feel a photograph should be seen on paper. So, I love it that you have an actual magazine available to your readers.
The Convention

The Convention

Jessica Dimmock, a New York City native, worked as a public school teacher in brooklyn before pursuing photography. Since graduating for the International Center of Photography, Jessica has won numerous international awards
Alveare by Isabella Sommati

Alveare by Isabella Sommati

I overheard these sentences while shooting in the locker room describe the daily micro eeality of the female universe: different interests, cultures and ages melting in a sport that is usually played by men.
In Parentheses by Philip LePage

In Parentheses by Philip LePage

They say home is where the heart is. It is a place I have never been able to forget, nor find my way back to. I have always thought of it as a series of islands. It is such an immense, densely populated city.
Cyrille Druart ; The world as I see it

Cyrille Druart ; The world as I see it

Cyrille Druart was born in 1980 in Paris. His interest in Art leads to experimenting various fields from an early age. In parallel with Design studies at ESAG-Penninghen in Paris, he learns photography by himself and begins travelling in order to make images.
Ma Petite Fleur by Margaux Chopinet

Ma Petite Fleur by Margaux Chopinet

This series is everything to me, but also nothing. It’s “nothing” because I went against all my technical instincts as a photographer. I did it with only my heart and soul, not with lights and a camera.
Interruption by Indranil Banerjee

Interruption by Indranil Banerjee

Busy street corners, Blaring horns of vehicles, Homeless people sleeping on the footpaths, traffic jam,school children of a nearby girls school crossing the road, like all their daily routine, It was just like another day in the Metropolitan.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.