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Kenneth O’Halloran September 29, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ireland.
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My Father, Corofin, County Clare, Ireland, 2010

Kenneth O’Halloran (b.1968, Ireland) graduated from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. His project ‘Tales from the Promised Land’ was shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Award 2010 and a portrait entitled Twins: Puck Fair was shown in The National Portrait Gallery in London, as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2010. Kenneth has recently received third prize in the Portrait Stories category of the World Press Photo awards and is also the recipient of the Focus Project Monthly Award (March 2011) and has been selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (Taylor Wessing 2011). He has been published in The New Times Magazine, Paris Match, Le Monde Magazine, PDN, and the British Journal of Photography.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from the series entitled ‘Life after Death’, an intimate portrait of my Father, who turned 81 last August. Having spent half his life working, he recently retired, closing his drapery store. His undertaker’s business continues. For me and others in the family it meant that death was never far away or overtly mysterious. We became accustomed to the dead of our parish being prepared for the final ceremonies before burial. We would often come home from school to see who had died that day. The house where I grew up in the west of Ireland is where my father now resides with his wife and their daughter Susan; all the rest of the family have flown the nest, some starting families of their own, one in New York where she has become part of the Irish Diaspora. I made this image of my father with his feet in the oven a few years ago but he only saw it for the first time recently. He laughed when I showed it to him but my mother was less enthusiastic. My Dad lives a very quiet life and is devoted to his children and grandchildren. In their company he seems tranquil. At peace. His work done.”

Robin Hammond September 26, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Uganda.
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From a Project on Mental Illness in Northern, Uganda 2011

Robin Hammond (b.1975, New Zealand) moved to Tokyo when he was 21. After returning to his hometown he enrolled in The Advanced Diploma in Photography at Massey University. After graduation he moved to London. For eight  years he worked there and abroad for newspapers, magazines and non-governmental organizations. His photographs have been published in: National Geographic, Time Magazine, Newsweek and The Sunday Times Magazine among others. In June 2011, for a third year in a row, Robin won Amnesty International’s Media Award. His story on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo won the Photojournalism category. In April 2011, he won second place at the Sony World Photography Awards. Robin lives in Cape Town.

About the Photograph:

“A 14 year old boy who’s been tied up for six years. His mother says his illness started with Malaria, then convulsions that lasted a long time. After that he fell unconscious for two days. A health professional from a local mental health NGO says he has epilepsy with psychosis. The mother refuses to have the child admitted to a hospital two km away in Northern Uganda. Decades of war have left a population traumatized and under-investment has meant services that cater to their needs and the needs of the rest of Ugandans with mental illness are severely lacking.”

Jake Price Video with Orion Magazine September 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Haiti, Jordan, Uganda, Video.
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While corresponding with Jake for his up-and-coming profile on Verve Photo he included this link in one of the emails. I’ve seen many similar type of multimedia pieces, but this one is particularly well done and it resonated for me, especially his reasons for being involved in these three very different projects.

Chelsea MacLachlan September 22, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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From the project “Unaccompanied”. Cape Town 2009

Chelsea MacLachlan (b. 1987, South Africa) got her first camera at the age of 12 and has been photographing her environment ever since. Receiving a scholarship to study at Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) meant she could develop her skills and passion further. Since graduating she has spent a year in Italy working for Colors Magazine at Fabrica, been nominated for the Tierney Fellowship twice, been a finalist on FotoVisura and had her work exhibited in Cape Town, Vienna and San Francisco. She is currently based in Cape Town freelancing for various publications while pursuing personal projects.

About the Photographs:

“These two portraits are part of a project and exhibition entitled “Unaccompanied”. It examines a notion within South Africa whereby people are dying in separation from their families. It seeks to use portraits to reconnect families in a small way. For Hanjiwe Mbejwu (right), who is being “held” by her daughter and granddaughter in Mount Frere, Eastern Cape, she needed to move to a city to make money for her family living in the rural areas. Unaware of her HIV positive status meant that she got Aids quickly; Hanjiwe suddenly found herself stuck in Pietermaritzburg alone and unable to return home due to financial constraints. She talked fondly of her family and especially of her granddaughter Lucy whom she had not seen since she was a baby. In delivering the image to Zanele and Lucy, they were delighted, as they did not have any photographs of Hanjiwe. The portrait hung above Lucy’s bed. Hanjiwe passed away from pneumonia in winter 2009.” (more…)

Brad Vest September 19, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the series “The Best We Can”, Amesville, Ohio 2010

Brad Vest (b. 1985, USA) became interested in photography while souping film in the basement of his dormitory attending the University of Illinois. At the time he was completing a Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences degree. After graduating in 2008 he moved on to work at newspapers in Seattle, Kansas, and Milwaukee focusing on daily storytelling and exploring longer term, narrative stories. In 2009 following his passion to continue long-term documentary storytelling he moved to Ohio University. In 2010, he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and was a winner in the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2011. He was also featured during the LOOK3 SHOTS presentation of 2011. His work has also been recognized by the College Photographer of the Year competition and the NPPA Best of Photography competition.

 About the Photograph:

“After raising two children, Kim Wilson represents the changing role of grandparents in southeast Ohio. After Kim’s daughter’s drug related custody forfeiture of her two children, Jenna and Ayden, Kim and her husband, Darren, took the kids into their home and have found themselves as parents the second time around. This photo was taken during one of the many days that I spent with the Wilson family while documenting families affected by the ongoing prescription drug epidemic within Appalachia. Kim is helping Ayden and Jenna brush their teeth before sending Jenna off to school. The family doesn’t have running water to their bathroom sink so they use their kitchen for most of their running water needs. Kim and Darren’s decision to raise their grandkids has them confronting the challenges of raising young children while negotiating the issues around aging and their independence.”

Lorenzo Meloni September 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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After a Rave. Dead City, Rome 2009

Lorenzo Meloni (b.1983, Italy) studied at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia for three years. He has reported on Palestinian refugees and Yemen where he is planning to relocate. Other works include retrospectives on the Italian techno-rave and hip-hop youth scenarios.  Lorenzo’s work has been exhibited at: The Luigi Pigorini National Ethnographic Prehistoric Museum in Rome and the Fotoleggendo Festival. His photographs have been published in L’Espresso, La Republica  and TIME.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was shot during an illegal rave party on the outskirts of Rome, in an area known as the ‘Dead City’. These three young people are regaining mental clarity after a night dancing under the effect of drugs and alcohol. The music, blaring out of a 20,000-watt sound system, still hasn’t worn them out and to chat, they have to speak in each others ear. The silence of the woods surrounds them, but the mix of drugs and alcohol, continues to keep them close to the vibrations of the music. This photo is part of a project on illegal raves that I have been following for the last two years. The purpose is to tell the story of a non-place, where there are no rules; an unfettered realm, where the conventions of the real world don’t exist and illegality and drugs are the only means to find pleasure.”

Pete Marovich September 12, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Mennonite family in Virginia, 2008

Pete Marovich (b. 1961, USA) has been a photojournalist for 24 years working for newspapers, wire services and magazines. From 1986 until 1999, Pete worked as a contract photographer for major golf publications while covering the professional golf tours. He was named the 2008 NPPA Region 3 Photographer of the year as well as runner-up in 2006 and 2009. Images from his coverage of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration were included in the Official Inaugural Book as well as the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History. He is currently the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for ZUMA Press covering the White House and Capitol Hill. His photography has appeared in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Sports Illustrated, The Huffington Post, Politico, Bloomberg and others.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from a project on an Old Order Mennonite family in Virginia. I had been working for the newspaper in Harrisonburg and there is a large Mennonite community in the surrounding county. The project was not easy to photograph since Old Order Mennonites are similar to the Amish in that they do not like to be photographed. I was introduced to this family by a family friend who had grown up knowing the family. Permission to visit them and “observe” their way of life was granted by the patriarch of the family with the understanding that they would not pose for any images. I spent about eight months making visits to the family while getting to know them, gaining their trust and making the occasional image. This particular photograph was made during a community gathering at a nearby farm. Jesse, the youngest of the children, was hanging out with the men.”

Stuart Freedman September 9, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Capoeiristas, Rio de Janiero 2007

Stuart Freedman (b.1967, England) has been a photographer since 1991. His work has been published in Life, Geo, Time, National Geographic,  Der Spiegel, Newsweek and Paris Match covering stories from Albania to Afghanistan and from former Yugoslavia to Haiti. Stuart’s work has been recognized through many awards from Amnesty International (twice), Pictures of the Year, The World Sports Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society and UNICEF. In 1998 he was selected for the World Press Masterclass and the following year for the Agfa Young Photojournalist of the Year. His work has been exhibited widely. Solo shows include Visa Pour L’Image, The Scoop Festival in Anjou, The Leica Gallery in Germany, The Foire du Livre (Brussels), The Museum of Ethnography (Stockholm) and The Association and the Spitz Galleries in London. Stuart is currently based between the UK and India.

About the Photograph:

“The story was on Capoeira, the martial art/dance once the (banned) preserve of African slaves, now a national symbol of Brazil. It was shot on assignment for a car magazine – Lexus – with whom I’ve photographed and written travel pieces on and off for nearly a decade. My fixer had arranged for five models – all expert Capoeiristas, and the idea was that in addition to photographing some Capoeira classes in the city, we’d make the main images on Copacabana and Leblon beaches. I remember it rained for a couple of days so I had to shoot the beach twice before I was happy. Initially I shot with two portable strobes but that felt too ‘fashioney’ so I went back to a much simpler set-up – shooting at dusk with available light and couple of fixed lenses: a much more traditional reportage feel. I’d worked in Brazil only once before in 1999 as part of a five country reportage about the Politics of Hunger. I’d shot a piece with the Landless Peasant’s Union (the MST) on squatted land in the far north: the Capoeira story was far removed from that and some of the images have formed the basis of a lifestyle folio that sees me work on ‘lighter’ stories away from pieces in Africa and Asia that I am perhaps more known for. A good balance, I think.”

Benjamin Rasmussen September 6, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan 2010

Benjamin Rasmussen (b. 1984, USA) spent his childhood with an indigenous group of people on an island in the southern Philippines, his university years were with evangelicals in a small town in northern Arkansas, and a year with the descendants of Vikings in the Faroe Islands, a nation of 45,000 residents in the middle of the North Atlantic. Ben’s  work has been selected for the American Photography 26 Annual, shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography, chosen as one of Photolucida’s 2010 Critical Mass Top 50 and awarded first place in the 68th POYI Science/Natural History category. His clients include the New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is based in Denver, Colorado.

About the Photograph:

“This image of a Wakhi mother is from a story I shot in the Wakhan Corridor, located in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan. I was drawn to the people in this area because they are so different from the Afghans I was used to seeing in the media. The Taliban has never had a foothold in the region, and the people are isolated from much of the turmoil in the rest of the country. This photograph was taken in the late afternoon in the town of Gaz Khan on my last day in the Wakhan. I was wandering through the tiny village and speaking with people when I saw this woman. She reminded me of the renaissance depictions of the Madonna, and she summed up the beauty that I felt was missing in the way the public views Afghanistan.”

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