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Scott McIntyre August 30, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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New Hampshire 2009

Scott McIntyre (B. 1986, USA) took an introductory photography class at Western Kentucky University in 2006 and has since worked with  various publications including The Louisville Courier-Journal, The Concord Monitor, and National Public Radio. During his time at WKU, Scott’s work has been recognized by College Photographer of The Year, The Hearst Journalism Awards, Atlanta Photojournalism Conference and The White House News Photographers Association. Scott was named the 2009 Kentucky Student Photographer of The Year and will graduate with a BA in Photojournalism along with a minor in Folklore from Western in spring 2010 after which he will begin a six month internship with the St. Petersburg Times.

About the Photograph:

“While I was interning at the Concord Monitor, I was working with a writer to find a farm family to put a face to the growing problem of dropping milk prices in New Hampshire. Dairy farmers across the state were facing the lowest milk prices in recent history. Several dairy farms across New Hampshire were shutting down after not being able to pay bills or pay to feed their herd, putting families out of work. The writer, Chelsea Conaboy, and I drove to Salisbury, NH, to talk with the Drowns family about how their dairy farm was dealing with the low milk prices and to see if their story was the right one to tell. While we were talking to the family, a farm hand came from the pasture to tell the family about a cow in labor with its first calf. We all went to the pasture to find that the calf had turned itself around inside the womb causing it to suffocate. Jake Drowns, pictured, stripped off his shirt to try and turn the calf around by hand so it could pass through. After several attempts, he found it was too late and the calf had died. ‘Sometimes you just can’t win them all,’ said Drowns.”

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Michael F McElroy August 27, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Collecting water. Amravati District, India 2010

Michael F McElroy (b. 1969 USA)  is a photographer based in Miami, Florida. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Revue, Monocle and Burn as well as other international magazines and newspapers. His work has been recognized by POYi, Communications Arts, Atlanta Photojournalism and the Society for News Design.  He is currently working on a project documenting India’s water crisis.  Michael is represented by Wonderful Machine and Zuma.

About the Photograph:

Water has become the most commercial product of the 21st century. The stress on the multiple water resources is a result of rising population and changing lifestyles combined with intense competition among agriculture, industry and domestic users. For the women in India’s rural area’s getting a bucket of drinking water is a daily struggle in which most cases women walk an average of 2.5 kms to reach a source of water that is often contaminated with high levels of fluoride or is to saline to drink.  Despite the installation of 3.5 million hand pumps and thousands of water projects, sources are drying up due the lower than average monsoon rains, leading to acute water scarcity. The end result of this lack of water in the rural areas is pushing villagers to move to the cities that are already bursting at the seams with people and facing there own water problems. As India’s population of 1.15 billion people grows by 18 million a year, the situation is only expected to worsen.”

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Lalo de Almeida August 25, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Church Musician. Suburbs of São Paulo 1998

Lalo de Almeida (1970, Brazil) studied photography at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Milan, where he began working as a photojournalist with small agencies, covering Police work in the city. Since 1995 he works for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo in Brazil. In addition to his work for the newspaper, he has also worked on documentary projects such as “ O Homem e a Terra (Man and Land)” concerning traditional Brazilian populations. He is the photographer of the book: “Nas Asas do Correio Aéreo (Flying with the airmail service)” published in 2002.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this picture while on assignment for the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo about the borders of São Paulo, a city of over 11 million people. My idea was to visit the extremes, from South to North, from East to West. The North border was a neighborhood called Jardim Paraná and when I visited for the first time in 1998 it has just been occupied by homeless people, mostly migrants from the Northeast of Brazil. While I walking on an unpaved street I saw this boy carrying his guitar leaving from a small Evangelical church. Ten years, later, in 2008,  I came back to the same place. The street was paved, the church was much bigger, but the boy, now a man, was still playing guitar in the same church.”

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Brendan Hoffman August 23, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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Lina Nersesyan in her house. Nagorno-Karabakh, 2006

Brendan Hoffman (b. 1980, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Washington, DC.  Self taught, he began his career in 2006 after working for several years in the field of environmental policy. In addition to covering news and politics in the nation’s capital for clients including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Getty Images, and Bloomberg News, Brendan has tackled a variety of personal projects in Mexico, Peru, Russia, Upstate New York, and elsewhere. In 2009 he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop, and recently covered the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, where he continues to travel regularly. Brendan’s work is currently syndicated by Corbis.

About the Photograph:

“One of the first projects I embarked on after deciding to take up photography was about the ongoing impacts of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. It’s one of multiple frozen conflicts that occurred during the breakup of the Soviet Union, and is profoundly important to both countries. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azerbaijanis were forced to flee the territory before fighting ceased in 1994, and have yet to return; many Armenians suffered as well. This photograph was made in the town of Sktaturashen, Nagorno-Karabakh, which used to be home to over 70 families. During the war, everyone left because the town was heavily attacked, and only this woman and her husband came back. To me, she looks like a ghost, a reminder of what used to be but is no longer. She represents one of many towns with a past but no future.”

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Meridith Kohut August 6, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Venezuela.
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A follower of Maria Lionza enters a trance. Venezuela 2009

Editor’s Note: For the next two weeks I will be taking a break from my computer screen but promise to be back on August 23rd with more great images. I want to thank all of you who have generously shared your work, and helped create what has now become a community that includes picture editors, designers and curators as well as professional photographers. Those of you who appreciate the effort involved in maintaining this blog, please consider making a donation.

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Meridith Kohut (b.1983, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Caracas, Venezuela, where she works covering Latin America for editorial and corporate clients. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Journalism and former first assistant to Eli Reed of Magnum Photos. Her images have been published by The New York Times, The United Nations, TIME magazine, Newsweek International, The Washington Post Magazine and have been exhibited in galleries throughout Latin America, Europe and The United States. In between assignments and travels, Kohut may be found roaming the streets with her Leica, up to her elbows in fixer in the darkroom or working with NGO’s to teach photography to disadvantaged youths in the slums Caracas.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken as part of a reportage for The New York Times covering the annual María Lionza pilgrimage to Sorte Mountain in Yaracuy, Venezuela. Each October, beginning on Venezuela’s Day of Indigenous Resistance, thousands of Marialionceros flock to the remote mountain to perform rituals and pay respect to María Lionza and a pantheon of diverse saints and spirits. Devotees chant to drumbeats, smoke tobacco, and construct shrines of figurines, fruit and multi-colored candles. They draw elaborate chalk designs on the ground, and lie within them in effort to receive cleansing and channel the souls of the saints. Once possessed, followers talk in tongues and their bodies shake and writhe, which they say leads to the healing or wisdom that they seek. Some devotees cut their faces with razor blades while others walk barefoot on burning coals to show their devotion.

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Silviu Pavel August 4, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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From the series “A Good Childhood”. Romania 2009

Silviu Pavel (b. 1980, Romania) graduated with a Masters degree in Telecommunications from Bucharest Politechnic University. In 2005 he studied photography at various schools in Bucharest including the Scoala de Poetica Fotografica Francisc Mraz. “I want to keep my passion and do the kind of photography that is important to me. I love meeting simple people, especially from isolated parts of Romania and hearing their stories.” In 2009 Silviu participated in the Rio Film festival as a photographer for Nisimazine and won first prize at the MEDIP Transnational Photographic Exhibition photojournalism competition. His work has been published in different online magazines including  N-Sphere, local newspapers and in group exhibitions.”

About the Photograph:

“The photograph was shot in the Dobrogea region of Romania last summer of the local youth playing in an old abandoned boat on the Danube river shore. It is part of a personal project called ‘A Good Childhood’ that came to life by itself and continues in 2010. In the Dobrogea region, I discovered a world of children full of enthusiasm. It impressed me and reminded me, a city boy, of what a  good childhood is all about. I started to take photographs of them playing in this mix of joy and sadness and a project was born. I’ve been in these villages several times and have returned often. Every time I found the same pure and true emotions that I want to transmit in these images.”

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Brent Lewin August 2, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Thailand.
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Bangkok  2009

Brent Lewin (b. 1979, Canada) is a self-taught photographer currently residing in Toronto and Bangkok. His work has largely focused on the plight of the Asian elephant and their caregivers in Thailand. Brent’s work has been awarded by Pictures of the Year, Px3, the International Photography Awards and American Photo. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, New York Times Lens Blog, Discovery Channel Magazine and Geo. He was recently selected as one of the photographers for the PDN 30 in 2010. Brent is a contributing photographer with Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“I began photographing Bangkok’s street elephants and their caretakers in 2007. Pictured is a mahout washing her pet elephant Boopae at their temporary camp site. For me, watching the mahout’s ritual washing of their elephants is a touching demonstration of the deep bond shared between human and elephant. A bond that stretches back several hundred years among the Kui. The Kui, translating to ‘the people’, are an ethnic minority in Thailand that have traditionally made their living from capturing wild elephants and have disdained conventional work. The Kui are concentrated in a collection of villages in Surin province. Village leadership and administration are closely associated with the elephant shaman, and the local economy to the elephant. The villages have long been known for their role in capturing wild elephants to be sold onward for war or heavy labor. The Kui caught their last elephant in Thailand in 1970 and have been keeping them as pets ever since.”

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