Jon Tonks October 23, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Falkland Islands.
Tags: Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands 2011
Jon Tonks (b. 1981, United Kingdom) studied product design before becoming a staff photographer at a local newspaper in 2005. He moved to London soon after and got a Master’s Degree in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at The London College of Communication. Jon works for a variety of editorial and commercial clients including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, The Financial Times Magazine, Monocle and Nokia. His work has also been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing National Portrait Prize in 2012, and selected twice for the Terry O’Neill awards. Empire is his first book and was released in December 2013. The work from Empire will tour around the UK, starting at the Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, in October 2014.
About the Photograph:
“This is the cover image from my book Empire. The image itself was relatively unplanned. I had been on East Falkland for ten days, and I had gone on a short trip out to Long Island Farm to experience life away from Port Stanley and into the countryside, which is termed as living in camp. I had already had tea with the farm owners, and they were waiting for a coach full of German tourists to arrive as they were giving a farm tour. I decided to go for a walk around, and came across a field of sheep waiting to be shorn. I had been out there five or ten minutes when I saw a small white object moving across the horizon; there are hardly any trees on the Falkland Islands so you can see for miles, and as the object grew I realized it was the coach load of impending tourists, fresh off a cruise ship. One of the farmers came outside to have a look, and promptly told his son go put the flag up.”
“The Union Jack was hoisted, creating the perfect backdrop for my picture, and Long Island Farm was ready to receive their guests. I spent ten minutes or so running from one side of the penned field to another in an attempt to get the sheep to stand directly in front of the flag. I then had to get them to stand still long enough to focus the lens before they bolted, which happened a few times before I felt content with what I had shot. The contact sheet from this episode is fairly entertaining, as it most probably was for the onlooking farmers.”
Brett Gundlock October 20, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
Michoacán, Mexico 2013
Brett Gundlock (b. 1985, Canada) is a founding member of the Boreal Collective. After working for three years as a staff photographer at the National Post, Brett struck out on his own and divides his time between assignment work and personal projects. Brett’s work explores the subcultures that exist in tandem with mainstream culture. Skinheads, 2010 G-20 detainees, and recent immigrants are several of the marginalized groups he has worked with. Regular Clients include: The Wall Street Journal, Vice, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Business, Toronto Life, Reuters, Telegraph Magazine and Bloomberg News Service. He is currently based in Mexico City.
About the Photograph:
“This is a portrait of a vigilante fighter in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. It was taken in a camp set up by the vigilantes, as they organized and prepared to take over their town. There continues to be a lot of violence in the area, including retribution from the press. Groups of citizens, farmers, business men, teenage boys and retired hunters have been banding together to drive organized crime out of their communities over the last few years. What started as a single confrontation, seeing a small group of townspeople barricading their city and fighting back crime groups has led to a wave of citizens organizing and taking control of communities all over the state of Michoacán, freeing this troubled state from the violence of the cartel.”
Sean Proctor October 16, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
Tags: United States
Dairy Section Jedi, Midland, Mich., 2013.
Sean Proctor (b. 1989, USA) is a 2011 graduate of Central Michigan University and currently a staff photographer at the Midland Daily News in Midland, Michigan. Before landing at the MDN he interned at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan and The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia. While in college, he was a multimedia intern at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. His work has also been published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Most recently he and some friends started an Instagram feed, @goes_ever_on, based on the interpretive vision of the paths we choose in our life and where they lead. Sean is the winner of the inaugural Bill Eppridge Memorial Award from the 2014 Eddie Adams Workshop.
About the Photograph:
“I made this picture while working on a feature about a group the Reformed Jedi Order (or RJO) who held lightsaber fights in Midland. They refer to it as Live Action War-play (LAW) as opposed to Live Action Role Play (LARP.) I’ve grown up on all things sci-fi, so when I heard about this group I was super excited to live out a major part of who I am with fellow geeks. While working on the essay, I spent about half the time photographing and half the time joining in on the action. This particular picture came when a couple of RJO members decided to duel in the middle of Wal-Mart. Cloaked and masked, they sheepishly walked through the aisles, afraid they were going to get into trouble before they even started. We made our way to the corner of the store, which provided them with ample room to fight while staying mostly out of the way. However, they were still timid. Small, controlled bursts of fighting, punctuated by quick glances to see if someone who looked in charge was heading their way.”
“At one point, a Wal-Mart employee walked by and Carl and Scott (the two fighting) and they thought they were done for. Slowly crossing their blades, preparing to explain themselves and leave the premises. A minute later, the employee came back with his phone out. He said something along the lines of ‘don’t mind me!’ and started recording them. Carl and Scott went full out, blades flying through the air, all care and worry out the window. Shortly after, a manager came up to me and told me I couldn’t take pictures inside due to company policy, but made little mention of the lightsaber battle. We all laughed and they continued to fight for a while longer.”
Jian Gao October 13, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
From the project ‘Red Fragments’ Chongqing. 2012
Jian Gao (b. 1987, PRC) is a social documentary photographer and staff member at Magnum Photos in New York. In 2012, he worked on a project- Red Fragments, traveling over ten thousand miles from northeastern China to the extremely far west exploring social issues caused by Chinese government policies and their environmental impact. Jian is an alumnus of Eddie Adams Workshop and was nominated for World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2014. His work has been published in National Geographic, PDN, Communication Arts and L’ Oeil de la Photographie. His work has been shown at The Municipal Museum, Malaga, Spain. World Affairs Council, San Francisco and DUMBO Arts Festival, New York.
About the Photograph:
“This photo is part of my long term project- Red Fragments, about Chinese culture and Chinese living conditions in several symbolic Chinese cities through a personal visual journal. My goal was to capture the values, traditions and rituals of Chinese culture in these cities to mirror the reality that China is going through a the present time. I traveled through nine symbolic cities from the northeast to the extreme far west of China in this over ten thousand mile journey and focused on contemporary social issues such as the burgeoning tourism market rapidly increasing as the number of Chinese people who are eager to explore their country more than ever before. Real estate and construction are the main investment strategies of recent Chinese entrepreneurs, and at the same time it brings problems to the construction workers who cannot get paid immediately after they work. The price of homes is growing tremendously, and the gap between rich and poor is becoming even larger.”
“I took this photo in Chao Tian Men dock in Chongqing. The Yangtze River has a special meaning for most Chinese mainly because it serves as one of the mother rivers in the mainland. For me, it’s always connected to the Three Gorges Dam in some way. This huge water system project that drove so many people to move to other places and restart their lives. Newly built apartments are becoming more and more popular which indicates that the gap between rich and poor is getting larger and larger. I visited the same place five times while I was in Chongqing for around two weeks and was always drawn by the sadly romantic feeling of the Yangtze when I came across this man who was watching a kite.”
Juuso Westerlund October 9, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Finland.
The invincible Kinnunen Brothers 2014 Finland
Juuso Westerlund (b .1975, Finland ) studied photography in the University of Art and Design Helsinki and Turku Arts Academy. Many of Juuso’s personal subjects deal with Finnish identity. He is fascinated by ordinary men living ordinary lives, doing or at least dreaming about something extraordinary. At the moment he is working with projects about his family and Kalevala, The Finnish national epic. In 2013, Juuso’s work was chosen among five portfolios at the Arles Photography Festival. In 2011, he was nominated as the Finnish photographer of the year. Juuso shoots a mix of personal work and commissioned work for editorial and commercial clients both home and abroad. His work has appeared in: Le Monde M Magazine, Financial Times, VICE and New York Times. Juuso is currently based in Helsinki.
About the Photograph:
“The Finnish national epic, Kalevala, features the trials & tribulations of many mythological heroes. I’m searching for these legendary characters from the people of the same Kainuu region in Finland where the Kalevala stories were originally collected. In this image I have photographed three brothers who have won more or less every sports competition they have attended. The picture was taken at their living room and the shimmering things behind them are the trophies they have won. And there’s plenty more of those in the next room.”
“The brothers still live at their childhood home with their parents. The two on the left are twins and they share the same room as they did as a child. As in the mythological heroes there’s always something very heroic and tragical in the people I have photographed for this project. I believe these are the kind of people that the stories would have been told and collected in the time of writing of Kalevala. This picture is part of my personal project called Looking for Heroes which is also a part of a collaborative Kainuu-project with four other photographers. “
Luke Duggleby October 6, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ethiopia.
Christmas Ceremony in Tigray, Ethiopia 2011
Luke Duggleby (b. 1977, UK) is a British freelance documentary photographer based in Bangkok. His work has been published in National Geographic Magazine, GEO, The Guardian Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Smithsonian and TIME. Over the years Luke’s pictures have been recognized in global competitions such as POYi, PDN Annual, IPA Awards, DAYS Japan, Photo Philantropy Awards, Px3 and as Environmental Photographer of the Year. His second book about salt making places will be published in 2015 by Mare, Germany. Luke is represented by Redux Pictures in New York.
About the Photograph:
“I had just spent a week documenting the ancient salt caravan in the Dankil Depression in the Afar Province of Northern Ethiopia. Loving Ethiopia I decided to stay a bit longer and document the ancient land of Tigray, which sits next door to Afar. An ancient land and completely different place, with unique people, landscape and culture. The province often feels like you have stepped back in time. Without any particular angle in mind my fixer and I spend several weeks driving around the Province, drawn to the fascinating rock-hewn churches that dot the landscape. I am not a religious person but find religion fascinating. It was Christmas Eve and my fixer told me of a remote church that was holding a ceremony the next day. Ethiopia is an Orthodox Christian country and celebrates Christmas Day in January, but our Christmas Day happened to fall on the birthday of this particular Church’s saint. After gaining permission from the Priest we were told to return at 4 am the following morning.”
“In the early morning people were already congregating in the shadows of the church. Wrapped in white shawls and reading silently from tiny prayer books the whole atmosphere was mysterious. Inside the thousand year old church were hundreds of people, rocking in prayer, playing music and being blessed by red robe clad priests holding enormous bibles. After the main service had finished inside everyone went outside where the priests began to bless the congregation with holy water. This photograph was taken as the crowds began to assemble to receive the water that was propelled at them so fast by the Priest at the microphone it must have stung their faces.”
Kevin WY Lee October 2, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
Maha Kumbh Mela, in Allahabad, India 2013
Kevin WY Lee (b. 1973, Fiji) is a photographer and creative director based in Singapore. In 2010, he founded Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA), an organization which has since grown to become a leading, influential platform for Photography & Visual Arts in Asia. His work has been featured in CNN, Straits Times, Discovery Magazine, GE11 Book and the Twentyfifteen Project. Aside from his own practice, Kevin is also active in producing, curation and jury duties for various awards and programs. Kevin is a Design graduate of the College Of Fine Arts, University Of New South Wales, Australia.
About the Photograph:
“This photograph was made in the wee hours before the dawn of 10th February 2013, the holiest day of the Maha Kumbh Mela, in Allahabad, India. Maha Kumbh Mela is a pilgrimage to the River Ganges that happens once every 144 years. That day saw the largest human gathering on a single day. Over 30 million devotees and holy men had gathered to take a holy bath at the Sangam banks. These marching band members and many other common folks I encountered in Allahabad looked like they had waited an eternity for this day of reckoning. After I made this picture and more, I waded through an endless sea of humanity back to camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten. The day after, I celebrated my mid-life birthday.”
Eduardo Leal September 29, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Portugal.
Procession of St. Bartolomeu. São Bartolomeu do Mar, Portugal. 2011
Eduardo Leal (b, 1980, Portugal) graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo and has an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication. He worked as a consultant to The Arpad A. Busson Foundation on the Cuban in Revolution and The Struggle During the Apartheid photography collections, where he was an assistant curator for exhibitions at ICP in New York, 2010, and at the Garage CCC in Moscow, 2011. His work has been published in: TIME, Dagens Nyheter, Sydsvenskan, Al Jazeera, Wired, Publico, Fotografia Magazine and the British Journal of Photography. In 2013, he was selected as Coup de Coeur by l’Association Nationale des Iconographes at the Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the Kuala Lumpur Photo awards. Eduardo is based between London and Caracas.
About the Photograph:
“I’m glad you choose a photo from this project. People tend to focus in other works I’ve done, but I really like this story, maybe because it has some personal connection. The image was during the St. Bartholomeo festivities in Portugal. This project is part of my rediscovery of Portugal. After living for so many years abroad, I started to document traditions in my own country. It was a way to not only discover and understand where I came from and also myself and St. Bartolomeu was my first project in this identity search. My mother was born on a city close by and during summers we used to pass there and see the celebrations. So it made sense for me to start from a place I knew.”
“While photographing the celebrations, I thought it was strange, even bizarre that there were so many people in their swimwear enjoying a day on the beach and pretending as nothing was happening. Well some of them look, went to see the statues of the saints and took photos, but they were there more to enjoy the day on the beach than to participate in the ceremony. I loved the contrast of the people dressed up accordingly to procession and the other just enjoying the day. I specially love the hairy man walking to the procession, something that a few decades ago would be consider a sin, and the children playing with the sand as if nothing was going on. I think it shows what is happening in Portugal in terms of religious beliefs. Portugal is a deeply Catholic country, but more and more people, especially the young generations are not interested in. Its just something that people almost erased from their lives.
Taylor Weidman September 25, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
Confrontation at Belo Monte Dam. Altamira, Brazil 2013
Taylor Weidman (b. 1983, USA) graduated with a degree in Photojournalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. His work has been published by TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, BBC, The Guardian, GEO, Der Spiegel, and others. After working as a contract photographer for the C.S. Monitor, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph the Loba people of Upper Mustang, leading to the publication of Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom, with a foreword written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Taylor has produced long-term projects in Mongolia and the Brazilian Amazon and currently lives in Chiang Mai working shooting news and feature assignments throughout Asia. Taylor is a co-founder of the Vanishing Cultures Project, an initiative which partners with indigenous groups worldwide to safeguard cultural values and practices.”
About the Photograph:
“Last year, I spent a few months in Altamira, a small outpost town in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon. Altamira is the site of the Belo Monte Dam, Brazil’s largest ever construction project and the world’s third largest dam. Belo Monte is the first of a series of dams planned throughout the Amazon and is facing fierce resistance from local fishermen, indigenous groups, and international environmentalists. During my stay, a group of indigenous Munduruku traveled from the Tapajos River where several dams are being planned, to protest construction of the Belo Monte. They occupied the construction site and halted all work at the main turbine site, demanding an audience with the Brazilian government to voice their complaints. As I photographed the occupation, a group of heavily-armed military and federal police were dispatched to confront the Munduruku men. The Munduruku refused to leave and eventually were granted a meeting with the government in Brasilia.”
Sam Harris September 22, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.
Uma and Cheepy. Balingup, Western Australia 2013
Sam Harris (b. 1967, England) taught himself photography as a teenager, turning his London bedroom into a makeshift darkroom. Throughout the nineties Sam photographed portraits and sleeve art for numerous recording artists. He also worked as an editorial portrait & features photographer for The Sunday Times Magazine, Esquire, Telegraph Magazine and Dazed & Confused. The over commercialization of the music industry during the late 1990’s was the catalyst for a big change in direction, both photographic and personal. Sam abandoned his London career in favour of quality family time, slowing down and turning his camera inwards. After several nomadic years with his family between India and Australia, Sam settled in the forests of Western Australia where he now photographs his on-going family diary and runs photography workshops. Sam’s self-published photo book Postcards from Home received several awards including the Australian publishing industry’s Galley Club ‘Australian Book of the Year’ 2012.
About the Photograph:
“I’ve been photographing my daughters for some time now, but with more dedication since 2008 when I started the series Postcards from Home. I photograph spontaneously, as and when the moment, or the light hits me. When I took this photo all the attention was on Cheepy, Uma’s budgie. So when Uma raised her necklace to play with Cheepy I seized the opportunity to grab a couple of frames. Otherwise I doubt she would have allowed me to get quite so close with my camera. And so it goes photographing my daughters growing up. My book The Middle of Somewhere will be published by Ceiba Foto, spring 2015.”
Guillem Valle September 18, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Syria.
Kurds from Srekaniye Syria. 2013
Guillem Valle’s (b.1983, Spain) first interest in documentary photography began when, he traveled to Sarajevo at the age of 14 on an Exchange Student program. He has been based in Bangkok since 2010 covering Southeast Asia for The New York Times, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal among others. In 2011 he covered the Arab Spring including the civil war in Libya and the Kurdish struggle in Northern Syria. His work has been recognized by World Press Photo and Best of Photojournalism.
About the Photograph:
“In July, shortly after rebels struck in the Syrian capital with unprecedented attacks and a bomb blast that killed four of President Bashar Assad’s top security aides, Syrian security forces began pulling back from several towns and villages across the border area, ceding de facto control to armed Kurdish fighters (YPG) who have since set up checkpoints, hoisted Kurdish flags, and began exercising a degree of autonomy unheard of before. As they start developing their own agenda and unstoppably walking towards their independence, they often battle other rebels groups, specially the Islamic factions.”
Matthew Niederhauser September 15, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
Ai Weiwei poses in front of his studio with one of his cats. Beijing 2012
Matthew Niederhauser’s (b.1982, USA) interest in Asia and photography emerged in high school with Mandarin courses and late nights in the darkroom. His photography covering youth culture and urban development in China has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Wired, Stern, Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, Foreign Policy, and TIME His first monograph Sound Kapital delved into Beijing’s underground music scene through portraiture and concert photography. Otherwise he continues to concentrate on two projects entitled Kapital Creation and Counterfeit Paradises that explore harmonious cities and emerging consumer trends across China. Matthew earned his MFA in Art Practice through the School of Visual Arts which allowed him to continue his studies while remaining in the Middle Kingdom.
About the Photograph:
“I was very familiar with Ai Weiwei’s oeuvre before taking his portrait. A number of my friends work in his studio, and as an avid China watcher, I stay on top of his new creations and tangles with the Chinese Communist Party. He is always popping up in the news. This definitely put a little pressure on me before the shoot. I really admire how he holds himself and wanted to capture something that would stand out from his other portraits. Plus, I generally work in the moment, so I had to suss everything out in the hour allotted to me at his studio. Working with him ended up being a breeze, though. I spent about twenty minutes scouting the grounds before positioning him in various locations. I let him assume his own poses and offered suggestions occasionally. The only oddity was that Ai Weiwei enjoys taking photographs of photographers as they take his portrait. A number of my shots are of him with his iPhone trained on me. It became a bit of a game of cat and mouse as we took pictures of each other. This portrait was one of the last ones I took that morning. I wanted to capture him with one of the many cats that hang around his studio. I choose an orange kitten since it set off the teal of Ai Weiwei’s front gate so well. There was a tense moment when I didn’t think the kitten was going to cooperate, but it finally glanced back allowing me to get a few frames with everything melding together.”
Sam Owens September 11, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
Tags: United States
Belpre Christian Academy. Ohio 2013
Sam Owens (b. 1992, United States) is a graduate of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, where she studied Photojournalism and Anthropology. Growing up in a blended family made her inherently interested in the relationships blossoming and wilting around her. Photography is a tool that has allowed her the opportunity to be more than a curious observer. She seeks to document her interactions with others or their bonds with the world around them, while using whatever device is at hand to record moments of connectedness. She has worked for the Evansville Courier & Press in Evansville, Indiana, for the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia, and as a full-time assistant for freelance photographer Matt Eich in Norfolk, Virginia. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, while working as photography intern for the Tampa Bay Times.
About the Photograph:
“This photo was taken during my last semester at Ohio University in September 2013. At the beginning of the school year, I was driving to the Washington County Fair in Marietta, Ohio, when I noticed a small grey and blue building on the side of the road as I was driving though the small town of Belpre, Ohio, along U.S. Route 50. That building happened to be Belpre Christian Academy, a private K-12 Christian school that has a religious curriculum that runs similar to a homeschooling program. I affectionately liked to think of it as a modern one-room school house. The school registers as a non-profit, and survives off of money made through donations, fundraising and student tuition prices.”
“I was initially drawn to photographing in the school because the school experience these kids were getting was completely different than my own. My mother has been a public school teacher all of my life, so naturally I went to public school. I did not grow up with a heavy religious background and the high school I went to housed over 2,600 students, which led to my graduating class being well over 650 people. This past 2013-2014 school year there were 34 students at BCA, from first to twelve grade, enrolled in the school; no kindergarteners were enrolled and only one graduating senior.”
In this particular picture, the faculty and students were participating in a daily morning prayer, which happens right after the bell rings and school is officially in session. The faculty members strived to create a calm and quiet nature at the beginning of each school day with morning prayers. I wanted to capture the mood of the quiet morning routines, which usually got pushed aside for much more active moods and activities once lunch time rolled around.”
Lawrence Sumulong September 8, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Philippines.
Inmates and their family gather for portraits inside Leyte Provincial Jail. Palo, Philippines 2014
Lawrence Sumulong (b.1987, United States) is a Filipino American photographer based in New York City and Manila. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College and studied contemporary American poetry under scholar and writer, Ralph Savarese. Among others, his work has been shown by The New Yorker: Photo Booth, Le Monde’s M Magazine, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, the Milk Gallery, Chobi Mela VI, and his postcard series for the publication, Abe’s Penny, is in the permanent collection of the MoMA Library. His documentary work explores the idea of alterity within the Filipino culture and diaspora.
About the Photograph:
“I took this photo on an assignment which required me to verify whether families of inmates were continuing to live inside Leyte Provincial Jail in Palo, Philippines. I was collaborating with the journalist, Aya Lowe, who had originally broke the news that inmates and their families were seeking shelter in the jail after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda. Leading up to my trip, there was word that access was restricted and the families had long since relocated. Since my fixer had went to school with many of the wardens, I was able to gain entrance and spend a few hours inside.”
“To my surprise, all of the families had continued to commingle alongside the inmates and wardens. Allegedly, I was the first Filipino American to ever set foot within the compound. With a water purifying system, electricity, rations, a sick ward, and security, the jail arguably provided more amenities than what one could find outside of the walls of the jail in the post-Yolanda landscape. Even more surprisingly, a woman who was related to one of the inmates even ran a vegetable stand in the middle of the prison, which gave the appearance of a local store that one might find in a small neighborhood or barangay.”
“During the family portrait sessions, the presence of family members made it difficult to ascertain and comprehend the crimes that the inmates had been accused of. I was told that petty crimes such as robbery and drug trafficking were the main culprits. However, upon looking at the makeshift release forms that I had asked each family and inmate to sign, murder and rape were the most prevalent. With the loss of court records due to the typhoon, the judicial process has been completely crippled and the future of all of the inmates and the livelihoods of their families lies lost in limbo.”