Photography as an art form allows us to explore the real and the imagined; metaphor and dream; memory and fantasy; shadow and light; emotion and abstraction and so much more.

It can refer to what has come before, or define whole new approaches to expression and communication. The following Fine Art / Conceptual works were among the favorites with the readers of LensCulture in 2015. Enjoy!

—Editors of LensCulture

Lily Zoumpouli, Discolouration

Personal, intimate, sexy and provocative photography from Greece and England—extending a lineage from Nan Goldin and Jacob Aue Sobol to a new generation.

Arito Nishiki, Namikake: At the Coastline of Niigata

Dream-like images of an ever-changing Japanese landscape and the weather that continually forms and reconfigures its wild beauty.

Alessandro Calabrese, A Failed Entertainment

Bridging classical, color-film practice and innovative, (almost) post-photographic methods, Calabrese stands at the exciting intersection between present and future.

Eduardo Leal, Plastic Trees

Aesthetically stunning while also deeply disturbing, these images aim to stimulate social awareness of our use of plastic bags—the planet’s most ubiquitous consumer item—which can be found littered across the natural world.

Matthias Olmeta, Night Flights: Portraits in Ambrotype

Something in these powerful ambrotype images evokes desire, memory, the hallucinatory and the mystical. We are not asked to observe these pictures—but to absorb them.

Todd Hido, Khrystyna’s World

Why should a sequence of photographs have to conform to a conventional narrative structure—how else can images work together? Todd Hido, a master of the photobook, investigates in his latest collection.

Sebastiaan Bremer, To Joy

In this brilliant new book, Bremer takes us through layered moments in time, blending images, dates and places into a single frame.

Jean-François Lepage, Recycle: Reimagining Fashion

Welcome to an offbeat universe where cut-up photographs make us daydream…Pictures, both alluring and disquieting, absorb us in a deconstructed world conducive to emotional and physical discoveries…

Isabelle Menin, Inland Photographs and Disordered Landscapes

A jumble of flowers seems to float in a sea of liquid color, their images echoed on reflective surfaces —vibrant, blooming metaphors for the overflowing human spirit.

Kurt Simonson, Northwoods Journals

“Not be opened until my death.” A photographic journey that pieces together a disconnected ancestral narrative—all beginning with a single, enigmatic letter in a sealed envelope.