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Geoffrey Hiller | Annual Vacation July 19, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Life on the Line. Portland, Oregon 2015

Geoffrey Hiller: It’s that time of the year. I am taking a couple weeks off and will resume posting on September 7th. During the past seven and a half years Verve Photo has showcased almost 1,000 photographers. I won’t be sitting in the sun but working on my new local project in Portland. Happy summer to all. Stay cool. See you in September.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of my project called Life on the Line that focuses on a bus line that traverses Portland. It will feature stories and profiles about the people, places, landmarks and businesses along the route.

Marco Casino July 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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Weight Room at the San Siro Racetrack in Milan, Italy, 2012

Marco Casino (b. 1986, Italy) studied Biomedical engineering before becoming a a photographer. In March 2012, he won the Leica Talent 24×36 contest with the series The Death of Italian Horse Racing. The same year he was nominated ambassador for Leica Camera in Italy and founded the commercial agency Made in Milan. In 2014  he was a recipient of the annual scholarship grant from the Lucie Foundation and won the PDN Award and the the first prize in the Short Feature category from World Press Photo Multimedia Contest. His pictures has been published in National Geographic Proof, D di Repubblica, CNN and Wired among others. Marco is based between Milan and Turin and is represented by the LUZ Photo Agency.

About the Photograph: 

“Dario Vargiu, one of the best Italian riders, in the weight room at the end of a morning training session. A jockey must weigh as little as possible to prevent handicaps during the race.​ This picture was made during the Italian horse racing general strike. All the 43 race courses were closed in 2011. In February 2012​ after more than a month of a strike the race tracks reopened to the public. The real risk is that a quaint and charming world might forever disappear. A world that is responsible for countless personal and family economic downfalls but at the same time inspired writers, painters, designers, directors, and fueled the dreams of many small owners and punters helping to explain and enhance Italy abroad.”

Yeong-Ung Yang July 13, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Bus Terminal Waiting Room. Sands Casino. Bethlehem, Pa 2013

Yeong-Ung Yang (b. 1984, South Korea) graduated from the Photojournalism & Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City where he received the Rita K. Hilman Award. He was recently recognized as one of the 2015 PDN’s 30. Yeong-Ung completed an 2013 Emergency Fund Fellowship at the Magnum Foundation. His multimedia piece ‘Endless Bus Trip won Best of Show in the 2014 NPPA Northern Short Course Contest and Honorable Mention in the fourth Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalists. Yeong-Ung is based in New York City and his clients include the New York Times, Newsday, Corbis Image, Vogue Korea,and DAUM Media.

About the Photograph:

“Among thousands of people who ride the bus to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa, many of the patrons use the daily trips to make money by selling the free-play card that comes with each bus ride. The people who take the Chinese buses are from heavily Asian-populated neighborhoods mostly from Flushing, Chinatown and Brooklyn. They sell the gambling voucher worth 45 dollars in credit for 40 dollars cash. This earns them 25 dollars a trip subtracting the bus fare. Many of them go straight to the waiting room in the bus center without entering the casino fearing they may spend it inside the facility. In order to take the bus back home, they have to wait five hours. There is not much to do in a casino if your not gambling so most people sleep. I shot this image in the early stage of the project, and was surprised to see the waiting room packed with people all night long. Many of them sleep, some even play traditional Chinese board games or cards betting in coins.”

Jacob Russell July 8, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iraq, Kurdistan.
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A Peshmerga soldier sleeps on the outskirts of the city of Kirkuk, Iraq 2014

Jacob Russell (b. 1984, United Kingdom) is a freelance photographer and journalist based in the Middle East. He works internationally focusing on the northern Iraqi Kurdish regionHis photographs have been published in the Guardian, the Times of London, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, USA Today and CNN, among others. His video work has appeared on NBC.com and Time.com and he has also published written work in  Al Jazeera English and Roads & Kingdoms. Jacob is also a regular contributor to Raw Music International covering stories that center on music around the world. He currently lives in Lebanon.

About the Photograph:

“In June last year I had been living in Iraqi Kurdistan for a year and a half when the Islamic State suddenly took Mosul and most of northern Iraq. While everyone who lived and worked in Iraq knew that the situation was coming to a boiling point, the speed and scope of IS’s advance was still shocking. The disputed areas of northern Iraq are claimed by both the Kurds and Baghdad, and when the Iraqi army collapsed and withdrew from these areas, the Kurdish Peshmerga rushed in gleefully. This photo was taken on a base outside Kirkuk, in the disputed areas, which had fallen into the Peshmerga’s hands a couple of weeks previously. A commander had come to the meet General Sherko, whose men occupied the base, and his escort took the opportunity to get half an hours sleep away from the merciless heat outside.”

“The year of conflict that has passed since then has changed the Peshmerga but at that point they were hardly a professional army. With little weaponry, training or fighting experience they were mostly young men with a lot of fighting spirit and not much else. Commander Sherko was killed some months later defending the same base from an Islamic State assault.”

Stan Raucher July 6, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Young Women Shaking Tambourines during Pentecost Celebrations. Loreto District of Peru, 2014

Stan Raucher (b.1948, United States) has been photographing people interacting with one another and their surroundings for the last ten years. His award-winning work has been published in LensWork, Adore Noir, Slate, Lenscratch, Black & White Magazine, The Daily Mail, Featureshoot, F-Stop Magazine, Camera Arts and Shots magazine. His prints have been shown in numerous solo and juried exhibitions around the world. He was a CDS/Honickman First Book Prize finalist in 2012, and Critical Mass finalist in 2012 and 2013. Before he began his photographic journey, Stan was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Washington for over three decades.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from my  documentary project The New Promised Land. I took the photo on June 2014, in a small village located on the banks of the Amazon River in the Loreto District of Peru, during the Pentecost celebrations of Los Israelitas, an evangelical Christian group whose beliefs harken back to biblical times.”

“I first encountered this group in 2013, and they invited me to observe and photograph their religious services. During the celebrations, the priests prepare a burnt offering on an altar in front of their sanctuary, and the congregation gathers outside with a brass band playing and men praying on one side of the altar, and women and girls singing, dancing and shaking tambourines on the other side. I was move by the joyfulness of this celebration, but I wasn’t able to capture an image which adequately reflected that emotion during that year. I returned to the village again for five days in 2014, and I was fortunate to take this photo on the very last day of my trip. I went back again in June 2015 and brought the community both individual prints and copies of the LensWork article. I believe that for projects of this type, it is important to both go back repeatedly and to give back to the community.”

Sean Carroll July 2, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Grazing Buck, Yosemite National Park, California, 2013

Sean Carroll  (b. 1978, United States) is an artist working in photography and video raised in coastal Massachusetts now based in New York City. His works have been shown in exhibitions in New York, Detroit, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and North Carolina, including most recently, at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. His photos have been featured by PDN, Fraction Magazine, Ain’t Bad, and Lint Roller. He received an MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a BA in Visual Media from American University in Washington, DC.

About the Photograph:

“Yosemite Valley is one of the most visited natural sites in America. A lush river valley surrounded by dramatic waterfalls and sheer granite cliffs it attracts crowds of tourists to it’s famous vista points. To serve the visitors it is filled with a myriad of options for lodging, dining, transportation, and shopping. The diverse wildlife that call the valley home must coexist with the crowds and live within the shadows of hotels, parking lots, RVs, and gift shops. Late afternoon in September I came upon this male mule deer grazing in a small meadow in Yosemite Valley adjacent to the historic Ahwahnee Hotel and it’s bustling outdoor restaurant. For nearly an hour the deer enjoyed a late afternoon snack before slipping back into the forest as a steady stream of visitors, weary from the day’s adventures, made their observation of the wildlife.”

Eugenio Grosso June 28, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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Faith in Sicily – Easter in Enna Italy 2012

Eugenio Grosso (b. 1984, Italy) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. He worked as a part-time commercial photographer since 2007 and then as full-time photojournalist since 2009. He is a regular contributor to Italian publications including: Corriere della Sera and la Repubblica and la Stampa. His work has been featured in the Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC and the Washington Post. He is currently working on the theme of immigration and the relationships between the populations living on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Eugenio is based in London.

About the Photograph:

“I was born in Sicily and left my hometown when I was 18 to move to Milan in the north of Italy. Since then I have always had a conflicting relationship with my region. On the one hand I missed it while on the other I felt I was changing and couldn’t find myself in the same place and condition where i lived before. At the time when I took this photograph I was developing a project about religion and rituals in Sicily, trying to return to my roots and re-discover Sicily.”

“Photographing Easter in Sicily made me feel a bit uncomfortable at the beginning but, after a while, it became natural and the rest of the day went smooth. The main challenge was to keep the tourists with their smartphones out of the frame. Exploring the environment I was raised up in as an outsider helped me accept the pros and cons of my homeland and build a new more mature relationship with my origin.”

Gergely Szatmari June 25, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Hungary.
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From the series “Meadowlands”. New Jersey 2009

Gergely Szatmári (b. 1966, Hungary) is a former university adjunct of the Photography Department, MOME, Budapest. He received his diploma from the same establishment, and also completed the doctoral programme there. Recently his activity turned towards his autonomous long-term photographic projects. His interest extends from documentary through narrative to conceptualism. His works has been exhibited at Viennafair, the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London, the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg, the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, in Miami Scope, at London Art Fair and in the Lucca Photofestival in Italy. In 2008, he spent a year in the USA as a guest researcher, at Montclair State University (NJ). Alongside pedagogical activity, he also works as a curator.

About the Photograph: 

“Construction cake: The story takes place somewhere in New Jersey on a sleepy Saturday afternoon, when days are usually slowly passing by, but today is a special occasion. My Uncle and his wife drive to their daughter’s place, to the next street, to celebrate their grandson’s birthday. The boy loves cake and cars and construction vehicles. In the morning his grandparents had to drive to a neighbouring city, to pick-up the cake from a Mexican pastry shop to fulfill these desires. This is the only local place where you can commission such a cake. This shot was made using 10 by 8 inch film focused on a typical suburban moment of human engagement.”

David Pace June 22, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burkina Faso.
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Two Tailors Bereba, Burkina Faso 2008

David Pace (b. 1951, United States) received his MFA from San Jose State University in 1991. He has taught photography in universities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years. As Resident Director of Santa Clara University’s study abroad program in West Africa from 2009 – 2013, David spent ten weeks each year in the small country of Burkina Faso, where he has been photographing annually since 2007. For nearly a decade he has been documenting daily life in Bereba, a remote village without electricity or running water. His images of rural West Africa have been exhibited internationally and have appeared in LensCulture, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, PDN, Wall Street International, r and the German magazines Camera and View. His work has been featured on NPR’s The Picture Show and the Art Photo Index (API). A monograph of his project Sur La Route was published by Blue Sky Books in the fall of 2014. He resides in Los Altos, California.

About the Photograph:

“One August afternoon as I was walking through the ancient market that wraps around the towering baobab tree at the heart of the village of Bereba, a hypnotic humming sound attracted my attention. I followed the sound to a squat, windowless, mud-brick building. Natural light streaming through the doorway illuminated the faces of two tailors laboring at worn treadle sewing machines in a dark, cramped room. The walls of the room were draped with colorful fabrics and articles of clothing. Scraps of cloth were strewn about. The temperature, normally around 100 degrees, was even higher in the tight, airless space. I stood, mesmerized by the heat, and the intense concentration of the tailors, until the tailor in the background paused and gestured, indicating that I should take their picture. The tailor in the foreground remained absorbed in his work and never once looked up.”

Jason Tannen June 18, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chinatown, San Francisco 2011

Jason Tannen (b. 1950, USA) is a photographer, curator, and photo educator. For over three decades his work has explored the urban landscape, utilizing both an observational street photography approach, and a more controlled and cinematic style. Recent exhibitions have included SF Camerawork, Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL, and Fukushima Contemporary Art Biennale, Fukushima, Japan. From 1998 to 2014 Jason was the curator at the University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico, where he also taught Film as Visual Art and the History of Photography. He is currently developing Two Truths and A Lie, an exhibition featuring work by New York tabloid photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig 1899-1968) for the University Art Gallery, California State University, Chico.

About the Photograph:

“In 2010, I started a project photographing San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood. I was drawn to Chinatown’s physical and visual density of buildings, storefronts, signs and symbols. For me, those elements could best be explored in black and white. Over time, I was struck by the neighborhood’s ever-present cultural mixing of East and West, especially a unique, personal and sometimes highly eccentric approach to commercial display. When I photographed Pyramid, I was shooting close to the windows, looking deep into the storefronts and allowing foreground objects to loom around the edges of the frame. The result here is a composition featuring diagonal lines and crossing shapes, the reflected urban backdrop, and a reference to the human presence.​”

Irving Villegas June 15, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Day of the Dead. San Andrés Mixquic, Mexico City 2013

Irving Villegas (b. 1982 Mexico) is a freelance photographer currently based in Hannover, Germany. Since 2005 he collaborated with national and international newspapers, photo agencies and NGOs. In 2011 he began his studies in photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover. He is currently working on a project called working far away about seasonal workers in different countries. For the first chapter of this project he received the Grant Novel Authors from the Photo Festival Spain and Honorable Mention at the Perugia Social Photo Festival in Italy. Irving is a contributor at INSTITUTE for Artist Management.

 About the Photograph:

“Between adults and young people there are two kids on their knees praying. The youngest one watches his grandmother to mimic her movements. For this family, as it is for many others in this town, it is important that children participate and learn about traditional celebrations so they can last for a very long time. After praying and singing, participants receive some food to take home, later at night they go together to the tomb of a relative in the cemetery. In this part of the city, people are struggling to preserve their traditions, even while the American tradition of Halloween has been spreading in many of the towns most of the Mexican families maintain their traditions. This image is part of the photo essay Tradition is still alive“.

Jessica Auer June 11, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Las Vegas, Nevada, 2004

Jessica Auer (b.1978, Canada) is a documentary-style landscape photographer concerned with the study of cultural sites focusing on themes that connect place, journey and cultural experience. Jessica holds an MFA from Concordia University and is the recipient of several awards such as the W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Travel Fellowship and the Roloff Beny Prize. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces across Canada and abroad. Her first book, Unmarked Sites, was noted by Photo-Eye and the Indie Photobook Library as one of the top ten photography books published in 2011. Jessica is a co-founder of Galerie Les Territoires in Montréal and teaches photography at Concordia University.

About the Photograph:

“This was the first photo that I produced for a series titled Re-creational Spaces, a project that I pursued for seven years and became my best-known work. At that time I considered creating a photographic series exclusively about Las Vegas and booked a cheap ticket to do some scouting. I had just read Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s Learning from Las Vegas as part of my MFA thesis research and the opening sentence stuck with me, Learning from an existing landscape is a way of being revolutionary for an architect. Having long been interested in landscape and the built environment, I was curious to see for myself how the Strip had shifted and evolved since the 70’s.”

“When I arrived camera in hand, I gravitated towards the hotels that were smaller-scale replicas of other places in the World – Paris, New York, and in the case of this photo, Venice. What I remember most about the moment I took this photo was contemplating how this site must have looked before the city was built, and this image in mind – a nearly blank desert landscape – was such a stark contrast to what I was witnessing. When I later looked at this image in print and was able to spend more time with all details, such as the gondola driver on his PDA, and the words Mirage repeated over and over, I decided to only use this one photograph. From there, I began a series linking different tourist destinations, showing how the landscape has been altered and commodified for sightseeing.”

Paul Colangelo June 7, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Canada.
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Iskut River, British Columbia 2010

Paul Colangelo (b. 1980, USA) is a documentary photographer focusing on environmental issues and wildlife. For the past five years he has worked on a long-term project called “Our Home and Native Land” that looks at how cultural and wildlife hotspots across Canada are affected by the nation’s expanding resource industry. Paul is a National Geographic grantee, a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and was included among PDN’s 30. Paul has worked with National Geographic News, BBC, WWF, Canadian Geographic and Orion.

About the Photograph:

“This river begins in the Sacred Headwaters. Back in 2004, very few people outside of the Tahltan First Nation had ever heard of this area. On maps it wasn’t labelled nor delineated—it was hidden in the vast wilderness of northern British Columbia. Back then it wasn’t even called the Sacred Headwaters. It was known as the Klappan. But this type of name, with its multiple pronunciations and lack of obvious meaning, wouldn’t serve well in a conservation campaign. So the Tahltan settled on the Sacred Headwaters—their best effort to convey the importance of this place to their ecosystem and culture. Their campaign was launched in response to Shell gaining tenure of about a million acres in the Klappan for a coal-bed methane development.”

“For nearly a decade, the Tahltan Nation and its supporters fought to get Shell out of the Sacred Headwaters, and in 2012, they actually won. A small remote community took on one of the world’s largest corporations and won. Along with other photographers, I did what I could by photographing the Sacred Headwaters to bring it into the living rooms of people who would never go there themselves. The goal was to encourage them to raise their voices alongside the Tahltan. Unfortunately, less than a year after this success, a coal mine was proposed for the very same place that Shell just vacated. The Tahltan are once again fighting for the Sacred Headwaters.”

Sarker Protick June 4, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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John and Prova. Dhaka, Bangladesh 2012

Sarker Portick (b.1986, Bangladesh) discovered photography finished his bachelor’s degree and he enrolled at Pathshala. His photographs have been published in The New York TimesGEO The New YorkerNational GeographicDie Zeit and Wired among others. In 2012, Sarker won the Prix Mark Grosset Internationales De Photographie and the World Bank Art Program. In 2014, he was named in British Journal Of Photography’s annual Ones to Watch. The same year, Sarker was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2015, he went on to win a World Press Photo award for his story What Remains and selected for PDN’s 30. His work has been exhibited at Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Noorderlicht Photo Festival and the Photovisa Festival,

About the Photograph:

“It was in the afternoon. I was sitting on my grandpa’s couch. The door was slightly open and I saw light coming through,  between the white door and white walls. All of a sudden it all started making sense. I could relate what I was seeing with what I felt. John and Prova, my grandparents.”

“While growing up, I found much love and care from them. They were young and strong. As time went by it shaped everything in it’s own way. Bodies took different forms and relations went distant. Grandma’s hair turned gray, the walls started peeling off and the objects were all that remained. Everything was contained into one single room. They always loved the fact that I took pictures of them, because then I spend more time with them and they didn’t feel lonely anymore. After Prova passed away, I try to visit more so John can talk. He tells me stories of their early life, and how they met. There are so many stories. Here life is silent, Everything is suspended. A wait for something that I don’t completely understand

“John and Prova were married for more than 50 years. In their late years, they had to sleep separate because Prova required a special bed for her back. The two beds occupied most of the space in the room along with other furniture. For this reason, it was not possible for them to sit close together. I was happy to take this photograph because it brought them close together after a long time. They touched, kissed and held each other and I was able to witness that beautiful moment. Long after grandma passed away I realized this is the only photograph of my Grand Parents together from their last years. Now it hangs in the same room where only John sleeps.”

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