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Beyond the obvious

Smarter, fresher, different

Why you should care

Because this is where the next Annie Leibovitz or Ansel Adams might be hiding.

With the world of photography expanding at the speed of light, thanks to digital SLRs and social media, trying to keep up with current trends becomes more challenging and yet more exciting every year. Your grandmother, your neighbor, and your nephew would have it easier than I — a photo editor of 17 years — if they wanted to learn all about photography. But for photo fans, art collectors, image junkies? You might need another source.

Here’s my secret taste-maker: Every year, there’s one magazine I look forward to more than any other: Photo District News’ 30 (for short, PDN’s 30 ). Don’t ask if I was ever on it: The list was once called ”30-Under-30,” and I took the long route, graduating from college at 31. But in any case — this is the bible of up-and-coming photogs, and it’s voted annually by some of the greats of the creative world.

Since 1999, PDN’s 30 has been a guide to turn to for new talent and different styles of photography. And we really mean new: Only those who’ve been professional photographers for less than five years can be considered. Those are five years of sweat, cup of noodles and many, many meetings just trying to get your foot in the door. These folks have pushed to make the big things happen. Rising stars from this list in the past have gone on to do big things: from shooting Jesse Jackson to being displayed at the Whitney. It’s like a Forbes or Foreign Policy hit list of the people you need to know, or ought to — but instead of entrepreneurs, you have artists.

But I’m a photog, which means I want pictures, and I know you do, too. Here’s a little taste of this year’s list, coming out April 2014.

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Ozy

Leslie dela Vega

Ozy Author DAY-TO-DAY TEAM