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Jeff Rich July 13, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Watershed Project, Erwin Tennessee 2011

Jeff Rich (b. 1977, USA) documents water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse.  He explores these subjects by using long-term photographic documentations of very specific regions of the United States. Jeff received his MFA in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. His project “Watershed: The French Broad River” was recently published as a monograph by Photolucida as part of the 2010 Critical Mass Book Award.  His work has been featured in Fraction Magazine as well as Photo-Eye’s Photographer’s Showcase. Jeff was recently named as one of the winners of the Magenta Flash Forward 2011 Emerging Photographers Competition. He has shot assignments for Oxford American Magazine and The New York Times.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is of Steve Harris, at the confluence of North Indian Creek and the Nolichucky River. This is a spot on Steve’s land where he goes to commune with nature. Steve’s property is along the Nolichucky River and is less than a mile from the Nuclear Fuel Services Plant. The company processes used radioactive materials, mostly Uranium and Plutonium from reactors. Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) has a record of accidents and spills over the past 50 years of company operations. Recent water and soil testing revealed evidence of Uranium and Plutonium pollution up to 50 miles down the Nolichucky River. He is considered an MEI, or maximally exposed individual. In other words because of his close proximity, he is exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the NFS pollution. Radioactive pollution is completely invisible and detectable only by special instruments.”

“Steve has owned his property for over 40 years. The land was reclaimed from a pit mine operation, and he created a community on the 20-acre property and has hosted numerous festivals and gatherings. Steve had plans on turning the property into an  organic farm and artist community. This project seeks to capture what Steve’s land was like before the discovery of the pollution, one man’s Arcadia along the river. The project also shows what his property has become, an empty landscape, devoid of the community that once thrived here.”

Erin Siegal July 9, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico, United States.
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Border fence into the USA, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, 2012.

Erin Siegal (b. 1982) is an Ethics and Justice Journalism Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and a Redux Pictures photographer. Erin was a 2008-2009 fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is the author of two books, Finding Fernanda, which examines a dramatic case of international adoption corruption between the U.S and Guatemala, and “The U.S. Embassy Cables: Adoption Fraud in Guatemala, 1987-2010.” Finding Fernanda was issued a 2011 Overseas Press Club Award Citation for Best Reporting on Latin America, and earned a 2011 James Madison Freedom of Information Award. Her photos have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times, and various other outlets. Erin is currently based in Tijuana, Mexico.

About The Photograph:

“This is where the border meets the sea, the place where México and the United States cease being separate countries. The man looking through the fence is looking at the United States. Since the U.S. Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a record number of people have been deported. Under the current law, every non-citizen convicted of an “aggravated felony”offense is subject to permanent, mandatory deportation. There’s no fighting it, and no prosecutorial discretion. The list of crimes qualifying as ‘aggravated felonies’ and trigger automatic deportation is lengthy, and includes non-violent drug offenses and even some misdemeanors. Human rights advocates as well as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have criticized the mandatory nature of deportations under this law. In the first three years of his presidency alone, Barack Obama has removed approximately 1.2 million immigrants, more than any other president in U.S. history.”

Thilde Jensen June 25, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Jess at School, Syracuse, New York 2009

Thilde Jensen (1971, Denmark) attended the  European Film College and K.U.B.A. School of Fine Art Photography. After moving to New York, she attended the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Society of Contemporary Photography in Kansas City, the New Century Artist Gallery and The Back Room Gallery in New York City, and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. A solo exhibition of Canaries was previously represented at Light Work in Syracuse in July, 2011. Thilde’s photographs have appeared in: The Observer, Contact Sheet, The New York Times Sunday Review, Double Take Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Details Magazine, and Blender Magazine among others.

About the Photograph:

“The Canaries series is a personal account of life on the edge of modern civilization – as one of the human canaries, the first casualties of a ubiquitous synthetic chemical culture. Since World War II the production and use of synthetic petroleum derived chemicals has exploded. We live in a world today where man-made chemicals are part of every breath we take and where electromagnetic emissions are beaming at us from every corner. As a result it is believed that more than ten million Americans have developed a disabling condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). MCS is a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals like perfume, cleaning products, car exhaust, printed matter, construction materials and pesticides.” (more…)

Antonio Bolfo May 24, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Police Officer on Vertical Patrol, New York City 2010

Antonio Bolfo (b.1981, United States) attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He majored in Film/Animation/Video and became the senior animator at the video game development company Harmonix.  After leaving the video game industry he attended the ICP Photojournalism program in 2009.  He is the recipient of the New York Times Foundation Scholarship, 1st place winner in the 2011 NPPA Best of Photojournalism, winner in the 2009 World Wide Photography Gala Awards, and 2011 participant in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Antonio’s work has been published in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, American Photography, and Communication Arts. He is based in New York City and is represented by Reportage by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“I made this photograph of a rookie cop sizing up a housing project that he is about to enter, also known as a Vertical Patrol. As standard operating procedure, the NYPD puts the newest, most inexperienced cops in the city’s most crime ridden neighborhoods. With only six months of Police Academy training, these rookies hit the streets running and learn the ropes through a trial by fire. I have been working on this photo project since the autumn of 2008. As a former police officer, it has been a personal journey and a means of closure for a period of my life. It’s a story that I lived and something I feel that needs to be told. I hope this project will offer a glimpse into the reality that is often veiled behind the curtain of TV shows and action films. It was not the politics, or the social statements, or the action that attracted me to this project, but the story of the people who learn to be police officers at one of the most pivotal stages in New York City’s history.”

Ken Schles Invisible City iBook May 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chazz and Melanie, East Village, NYC 1985

A Special Weekend Post: Photographer Ken Schles and Matthew Johnston from the Photobook Club present the iBook version of Invisible City. You can download it for your iPad from the link below. It contains all of the original photos and text plus additional material. 

DOWNLOAD – Ken Schles: Invisible City from the iBook store.

Ken Schles (b.1960, United States) studied photography at the Cooper Union graduating in 1982. His books include: Oculus (Noorderlicht 2011), A New History of Photography: The World Outside and the Pictures in Our Heads (White Press 2008), The Geometry of Innocence (Hatje Cantz 2001) and Invisible City (Twelvetrees Press 1988). A reprint of Invisible City is forthcoming from Steidl. His work is included in private and public collections such as MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Ken is an adjunct teacher at ICP and is currently a blogging correspondent for FOAM, the photography museum in Amsterdam.

About the Project:

“In 1978, when I was still 17, I moved to NYC’s East Village where I went to art school. The neighborhood was a hotbed of sociological and cultural change and we were witness to cultural phenomena that eventually would transform and dominate the larger world: AIDS and performance art; punk and hip-hop; the no-wave and new-wave movements; squats; the gay-rights movement; the downtown art scene. Upon graduation, I found my home deep within the ghetto, on Avenue B, an avenue that was dominated by a huge heroin trade. There was an insanity to the nihilistic abandon we were all feeling and trying to make sense of at the time. It was a world my friends and I embraced as our own. I struggled to come to terms with this reality I desperately needed to make sense of—if only for survival’s sake. And it was there, in that struggle, that I found my invisible city.”

“Nearly twenty-five years later I’ve come to revisit the work. Invisible City was a short run photographic book in the pre-internet age. While critically acclaimed in its time, the nature of its limited physicality left few admirers. New technology and new ways of communicating overtook that era, even while incorporating its legacies. So I feel the time is right to find new ways to share this legacy and bring this work to a new generation and a larger audience. The Photobook Club and I found each other and we both share a determination to explore technological possibilities to communicate ideas. The i Book they devised as a study of Invisible City formally presents another piece of that puzzle.”

Pete Pin May 14, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cambodia, United States.
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Cambodian Wedding, Bronx, New York 2011

Pete Pin (b. 1982, Cambodia/Thailand) is a documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in a refugee camp on the border of Cambodia and Thailand after the Cambodian genocide and immigrated as a refugee to California in the mid 1980’s. He received his BA at the University of California at Berkeley and later enrolled in the Documentary and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography, where he was awarded the Allan L Modotti Scholarship. Pete purchased his first camera months before embarking on an eight-year PHD program at Berkeley in the Social Sciences and abandoned his doctorate studies to pursue documentary photography. He is a Fellow at the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund and is an Emerging Talent under Getty Reportage.

About the Photograph:

“The photo above is of the wedding of Molly Sopouk and Todd Prom in the Bronx, New York. The image stood out for me for two reasons. First and foremost is this struggle to maintain one’s cultural identity. The unique circumstances of the Cambodian genocide severed the cultural continuity over generations for members of the diaspora community. However, in spite of this, there is an incredible resilience by Cambodian Americans. Second, and this speaks to me personally, I am interested in the physical and cultural space we inhabit as refugees and immigrants. What’s striking about this image, for me, is the boundary between the wedding couple and others, demarcated via the rug in which they are occupying.” (more…)

Mike Kane April 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the series “Gangland USA”. Grant County, Washington 2009

Mike Kane (b. 1976, USA) is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Seattle. In 2004 Mike received a Journalism MA under Donna DeCesare at the University of Texas, and in 2005 was awarded a two year Hearst Journalism Fellowship which lead to an accomplished career in newspapers. In 2009 he became a freelancer and has since been honored to work with investigative journalism nonprofits, foundations, and publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Mother Jones Magazine. Mike’s ongoing documentary work with gangs has been recognized by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Blue Earth Alliance, the Center for Documentary Studies, and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

About the Photograph:

This is an early image from “Gangland, USA”, an ongoing project about the proliferation of Latino gangs in rural parts of the United States. For almost two years Creeper was my entrée into the world of gangs in Grant County, Washington. A 20-year old, mid-level gangster with contacts on all tiers of a local Sureño clique, Creeper guided me through his world, a contradictory collision of youth and adulthood, gang life and family ties, rural and urban aesthetics. My purpose has been to document the inner workings of rural gangs and their effects on families and communities, and as such contribute what I can to the public understanding of an under-reported and oft-denied reality: gangs are infiltrating and disrupting rural life in a serious way and are no longer just the problem of large, dense urban areas.

Amani Willett March 26, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chinese New Year Parade, New York 2006

Amani Willett (b. 1975, Tanzania) was recently featured in the books “Street Photography Now” and “New York in Color” and is a long-term member of the iN-PUBLiC collective of street photographers. His photographs have been widely published in print including in National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek, and The New York Times. Amani’s photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among other spaces. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

About the Photograph:

“For a time, I was frequenting public events with the specific purpose of photographing anything but the event itself. I found these occasions to have all the ingredients for great image making: crowds, energy and a constant dose of the unexpected.  On this particular occasion, I was photographing the Chinese New Year parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown.  I hadn’t made any images that excited me and I was just about to leave when I got thrust into the middle of a very packed crowd on the street. I looked over and saw the boy framed perfectly through the balloon and knew immediately it was the image I had been looking for all day.”

Ross McDonnell February 9, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Vagabond Inn, Bakersfield California

Ross McDonnell (b.1979, Ireland)) is an Irish image-maker working as a director, cinematographer and photographer. His work has been published by Time, The New York Times, Art in America, The Observer, The Washington Post and Esquire among others. He has received grants and awards from The Jerome Foundation, The Irish Film Board and The Simon Cumbers Foundation. Twice nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award, his film work has been shown around the world, most recently his documentary ‘Colony’ receiving it’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and winning the First Appearance Award for best first feature film at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

About the Photograph:

“The Vagabond Inn was cheaper than the Days down the street. They had a loyalty scheme too. Tenth night came free. For fifty bucks, it was a pretty good deal. The A/C didn’t work great in the summer when the temperature hit a hundred but beggars can’t be choosers I reckoned. There was a Starbucks Drive-Thru in the same parking lot, next to the Subway. It was better for breakfast than the Fruit Loops and carburetor coffee they had in the lobby. The Wi-Fi worked fast closer to the reception on the ground floor. It was right next to 99: Gateway to the Central Valley. I was living the dream. Photographers love Americana and I’m no different. Bakersfield was my Robert Frank’s road trip. My Eggleston’s South. The Vagabond was my Ground Zero.”

Romain Blanquart February 3, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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John’s Carpet House, Detroit

Romain Blanquart (b. 1973, France) studied advertising photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and for the last ten years he has been a staff photographer at the Detroit Free Press newspaper. He was named Michigan Photographer of the Year twice and received numerous accolades for his photography and video work from Best of Photojournalism, the Emmy Awards, PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, International Photography Awards and The Society for News Design.  Romain is represented by Giovanna Simonetta Gallery in Milan. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Fader and Vanity Fair among others. He lives in Detroit and for the past year has been working on the video Living With Murder about the effects of homicides on is home town.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of a collaborative project with photographer Brian Widdis called Can’t Forget The Motor City. Every Sunday from May to October around 3 pm ’till dusk, as many as five hundred people gather in an empty field behind the Detroit incinerator to listen and dance to a live jam of some of Detroit’s best blues artists, their instruments powered by a generator. The place is called John’s Carpet House after John Estes who was a junk man and drummer and sometimes singer. Twenty years ago, he built a wooden shack, decorated it with scraps of carpet, and invited blues musicians to play every Sunday. John died about seven years ago and soon after his house burned down. The party has now moved across the street from John’s old shack.”

Gregg Segal November 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Bill and Carol Bates, Atlanta 2010

Gregg Segal (b.1964, United States) studied photography and film at the California Institute of the Arts. After detouring through film and an MFA from New York University in dramatic writing, Gregg returned to photography in 1994 with a writer’s sense of theme and irony. His photography has been recognized with awards from American Photography, Communication Arts, PDN and the Society of Publication Designers. Gregg’s portraiture is regularly featured in a wide array of publications including Time, Fortune, Esquire, ESPN, Dwell, German GQ, and Wired UK.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph of Bill and Carol Bates is from a series of portraits of people with Alzheimer’s. Each photograph combines a present-day portrait of a patient living with the illness and a projected image from his or her past. For people with Alzheimer’s, distant memories shift from background to foreground. To illustrate the past’s prominence, I’ve included it in each picture. The most wrenching part of witnessing the dissolution of a loved one is that you have them whole in the same moment that they’re gone. That simultaneity of having and losing, that nostalgia, is at the heart of Remembered. We have a tendency to look at an older person and forget who they once were. Often, we have a hard time picturing old people as ever being young. I want you to look at these pictures and be reminded that the people here loved, married, were vibrant, passionate; they lived life fully.” (more…)

Bryan Derballa October 31, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Artist Chili Moon Town, New York 2009

Bryan Derballa (b. 1982, USA) is a Brooklyn-based documentary photographer. He studied English at the University of California in Berkeley before taking up photography. In 2006 he started Lovebryan, a photo blog site featuring a community of friends. Together many of the Lovebryan contributors have pushed each other to become working photojournalists, filmmakers or acclaimed fine art photographers.  Bryan has used the site as an outlet for personal projects and assignments in Israel, Colombia, Venezuela, Russia, New Zealand and most recently Brazil. Bryan has photographed for clients including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The FADER, AARP, The Daily, Wired.com, Juxtapoz, Nike, Adidas, and Huck Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“A ragtag conglomeration of marching bands filled the lobby of a building in midtown Manhattan just before the beginning of a performance piece called “City of Dreams” by the artists Chili Moon Town. The were about to pile into a decorated double-decker bus banging  and blowing their instruments on a drive down Broadway. It was a grand spectacle for all of New York City to see. But for me, this photo of Kate Riegle van West was far more interesting. It was the quiet moment before the cacophony that no one really noticed. She seemed so sincere- playing to herself while all the others were pacing around and joking with one another. A lot of things happened in front of my camera that day, but nothing felt so subtly emotive. When it comes down to it, that’s always my favorite feeling to photograph.”

Brandon Thibodeaux October 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Shishmaref, Alaska 2006

Brandon Thibodeaux (b. 1981, United States) is a member of the New York based photography collective, MJR. Following his university studies in photojournalism and international development he now resides in Dallas, Texas, where he regularly contributes to the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a member of the Getty Reportage 2009-10 Emerging Talent, and the Eddie Adams XIX alumnus.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from my first real project endeavor during my senior year of college.  In August 2006 I traveled 120 miles northwest of Nome, Alaska, landing in the small island village of Shishmaref.  Its roughly 550 Inupiaq residents faced a looming migration due to the severe erosion plaguing the tiny island.  Climate change was keeping protective sea ice from forming around its shoreline leaving its brittle sand and permafrost foundation vulnerable against harsh winter storms. I was taken aback by the elements of pop culture that I found, like 2 Pac posters, and video game consoles, intertwined with the community’s more traditional ways of life.  Shortly after this image was taken we feasted on caribou steaks and Akutaq – otherwise known as Eskimo ice cream made from whipped caribou fat and seal oil, mixed with fresh picked salmon berries.”

Brian Widdis October 3, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Grand Rapids, Michigan 2006

Brian Widdis (b. 1969, USA) began his professional work in 1995 doing commercial photography in Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2001, he relocated to Detroit and began doing editorial work. In 2009, Brian photographed the ritual of collecting the daily mail as part of the series ‘Delivery’. Since 2007, he has been photographing his home life and his experience being a dad for a project titled ‘The Home Front’. Brian is also working with fellow Detroit photographer Romain Blanquart about the city of Detroit called ‘Can’t Forget the Motor City’. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, Time, The Guardian, The New York Times, Education Week and NPR. Brian lives with his family in Detroit.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of my project – ‘The Passion of St. James’. In 2006, my elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan closed. Before they closed, I made a final visit to see how my memory compared to its last days as a Catholic grade school. Squinting through the viewfinder, I was reassured by things familiar to me – unchanged classrooms and the sunken gymnasium with the same 1970‘s blue and gold carpet that I remembered. Also reassuring was the unfamiliar – a new media center with computers and new textbooks told of a school changing, as of course they must. St. James was the site of many milestones for me – my first crush and my first Communion. My personal history at the school was confirmed by a library book – a biography of baseball player Roberto Clemente that I remember checking out, still bore the deliberate cursive ‘Brian W.’ some 30 years later.”

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