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Stephen McLaren April 29, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Hackney, East London 2006

Stephen McLaren (b. 1967, England) was a television director and cameraman making  documentaries for the BBC before digital cameras brought him back to  photography. He became a professional photographer in 2005 and works mainly in London. His work has been published in The Guardian, Observer, BJP and the New Yorker among others and is set to appear in three exhibitions this year, “London Street Photography” at the Museum of London, FORMAT at the University of Derby, and Look 2011 in Liverpool. Stephan has also curated street photography exhibitions which have traveled in Europe with the British Council and is the co-editor of the book Street Photography Now, published by Thames and Hudson in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“I am shooting a series about how couple’s relationships play themselves out in public, especially when you can tell that some kind of emotional dynamic is affecting their behavior. Okay, its a bit voyeuristic, a bit nosy, but I’m sure we all know what it’s like to be in a public space but reacting only to our partner’s emotional state. So on a stormy day on a canal in east London I am taking refuge from a sudden downpour under a bridge with a couple who are at the tail end of an argument. Rather than hang around and exacerbate the tension the woman decides she’s rather be soaked wet. I have no idea why they were arguing but her reaction left me with lots of questions.”

Lori Vrba April 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Series “Piano Farm” North Carolina, 2009

Lori Vrba (b. 1964, USA) is a native Texan now residing in  North Carolina. She studied at the Glassell School of Art in Houston but is primarily a self taught artist. Her photographs are shot using an old Hasselblad and then developed by hand in her traditional home darkroom where she does all of the processing, printing and toning herself. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2009 Lishui Photo Festival in China, Foto 8 Summer Show in London and most recently, a unique installation of  her project “Piano Farm” in New Orleans. Her awards include: Critical Mass Finalist, 2009 and the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, 2010.

About the Photograph:

“My original plan on the day I made this image, was to photograph the pictures on the clothesline as a still life.  I was fascinated by these old family pictures as a child.  My mother kept them in the bottom drawer of a chest in our hallway. I would pull them out, spread them all around me on the floor, and stay there for hours. I consider this to be my introduction to photography. While shooting this “still life”, my daughter came up into the frame to see what I was up to. As is often the case…that unplanned moment ultimately defines the image. I’ve learned to trust in the idea that cool things happen while I’m working. I remind myself of this when I’m uninspired or doubting myself. ‘Just load some film’. It works.”

David Dare Parker April 25, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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Pham Minh Trieu and his Daughter, Pham Thi Ngoc Vietnam 2010

David Dare Parker (b. 1958, Australia) was one of the original co-founders of Reportage and was a Director of FotoFreo Photographic Festival (Australia). His photographs have been  published in: Le Monde, Stern, L’Express, Focus, Australian Geographic, The Bulletin, The New York Times, Fortune and Time Australia. David’s recent projects include coverage of East Timor’s struggle to gain independence and Indonesia’s first steps towards democracy. In January 2002 he was asked to co-ordinate a safety awareness course for Afghan Journalists in Peshawar, Pakistan for the International Federation of Journalists.  David is a  Walkley Award winning photographer and an ambassador for Nikon Australia. He is represented by SOUTH in Australia and On Asia Images in Asia.

About the Photograph:

It was moving to watch the affection between Pham Minh Trieu and his daughter, Pham Thi Ngoc Minh, 33 years old. This quietly spoken man had been in the Army from 1950 till 1975 and was a medic during the Vietnam War. He remembers hiding in underground tunnels during US Air Force bombing raids. He was based in Baria, Vung Tau, when dioxin was dropped on the area and has strong memories of leaves falling off plants, trees dying and eating fruit from dioxin-affected regrowth. Returning to Ben Tre Provence he married and had a daughter. He blames her defects on dioxin poisoning, a direct result of his exposure during the War. Testing for dioxin in the body is expensive, at around $1,500 per test it is cost prohibitive to most Vietnamese families. Without such tests, there can be no conclusive evidence dioxin was the cause of the defects, offering little chance for compensation, or help, outside of that provided by the Vietnamese Government.”

Paulo Nunes dos Santos April 22, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Algeria.
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Sahrawi girl, Algeria 2009.

Paulo Nunes dos Santos (b. 1977, Portugal) is a Dublin based freelance journalist & photographer. He graduated from the Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa in 2002 with a degree in Communication Sciences/Journalism. He has since traveled extensively documenting conflict, current affairs, humanitarian crises and social issues. His photos and features have appeared in publications such as The Guardian, The Canberra Times, Smithsonian, Expresso as well as in a variety of corporate magazines and websites. Paulo has also undertaken assignments on social issues for organizations such as Landmine Action, Handicap International, Dublin Simon Community, Trade Links and The Immigrant Council of Ireland. He is a member of the 4SEE photo agency.

About the Photograph:

“This image of a Sahrawi refugee girl, standing in the middle of the room she shares with her entire family, was taking during a visit to a landmine and war victims medical center near Rabouni refugee camp in Algeria’s Tindouf province. Sahrawi refugees are among the longest warehoused refugee groups in the world. In a situation lasting over 34 years, more than 150,000 people wait in five remote refugee camps in the desolate Sahara desert in southwest Algeria. The international community has all but forgotten these men, women and children, who fled their homes in the mid-seventies because of fighting between the Moroccan military and the Polisario Front, a rebel group who seeks independence for the Western Sahara. The refugees remain trapped to this day in camps in a remote part of the Sahara often referred to as The Devil’s Garden.”

Stijn Pieters April 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Krisnomony Char, Northern Bangladesh 2009

Stijn Pieters (1976, Belgium) is a self taught photographer based in Gent, Belgium. To date Stijn has completed projects in Nepal, Kashmir, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Swaziland, Yemen, Morocco, Iran, Vietnam, The Philippines, India and Bangladesh. These projects examine diverse issues, from HIV/AIDS in Swaziland to gun culture in Yemen and agent orange victims in Vietnam. For his work in Yemen and Morocco Stijn received grants from the Pascal Decroos Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation. His work has been published in Belgian magazines like MO*, Vrede, Menzo, Tertio, Vacature, Varen and Isel Magazine. In 2009, Stijn was awarded the third prize of the ‘Photopress Prize Flanders’ for his work on acid violence in Bangladesh.

About the Photograph:

“The photo is part of a story I made in 2009 about the Friendship Hospital, an NGO working on the Jamuna river (Brahmaputra) in northern Bangladesh. Friendship provides medical care on a floating hospital and emergency relief during flooding to the isolated communities on the chars, tiny low-lying sandy islands on the mighty river. More then five million inhabitants of the chars live on the frontline of climate change. Melting glaciers and deforestation in the Himalayas lead to frequent and intensive flooding during the monsoon season and pose a serious threat to the char dwellers. River erosion and flooding forces thousands of families to move from one char to another every year. The char dwellers nomadic lifestyle continues because they are very poor and cannot afford to live on the mainland. On the chars the people survive and don’t pay rent or taxes.”

Editors Note: I had the pleasure of traveling with Stijn in Bangladesh on a few occasions over several months. While most of us were shooting digital he stubbornly :) left his DSLR in the bag and only shot with his trusted Leica M-6. He had his film processed in Dhaka and after returning to Europe scanned his negatives. I respect him for the extra effort he puts into his work.

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Adam Hinton April 18, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Gaza City, Israel 2010

Adam Hinton (b. 1965, England) began his photographic career at the age of 12 when his father bought him an SLR camera. Studying photojournalism in the 80′s enabled him to articulate his feelings, beliefs and values into a visual medium that he could communicate to others. After leaving college Adam returned to London shooting for newspapers and magazines such as The Independent magazine, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Observer. From the mid 1990′s Adam has worked within the advertising sector on Charity, Public Service and corporate campaign’s. Throughout his career he has produced personally funded projects and is currently working on a long term project on the growth of urban slum’s in developing countries. He has been awarded numerous awards and exhibited internationally.

About the Photograph:

“Since the Israeli assault on Gaza in January 2010 I decided that I needed to return there to record the effects of the ongoing attrition that the people of Gaza have been enduring. I tried crossing from Egypt a month later but with no luck.  Then in October, The Hoping Foundation asked me to go there to document a school project they had been working on with the UNRWA.  What greeted me was shocking, the place was devastated and was economically shut down. This image was taken in the family home of Jamil Mohamad Tulba and Mona Al Ashwah. There are 11 family members. The house is 60 years old and was built by UNRWA in 1950, two years after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.  The house consists of two rooms which both suffer from damp and the only income they receive is from UNRWA.  These are the conditions of many in Gaza.”

Lee Grant April 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.
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Sudanese Diaspora in Australia, Canberra, 2010

Lee Grant (b. 1973, Australia) has a degree in Anthropology and recently completed a Master of Visual Arts at the ANU School of Art. After a ten year domestic hiatus Lee returned to photography in 2005 and has since exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, the Monash Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery and the Queensland Centre for Photography amongst others. Lee has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize (twice), Head On (twice), the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Prize, Critical Mass 09, Sony/ACMP’s Projections as well as the prestigious Bowness Photography Prize. She was recently published in Hijacked Vol. 3: Australia and Germany and has  been featured in numerous online zines and blogs.

About the Photograph:

“I started working on this project about the Sudanese diaspora in Australia after photographing a Sudanese family for another project set in suburbia. According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Sudanese community is  one of the fastest growing groups in Australia. In the last few years many Sudanese immigrants have moved into the outer suburbs of where I live. This photograph is one of a number of formal portraits taken as part of this ongoing series. Anna (17) holds her sleeping daughter, Aguet (2 months). Like many other young Sudanese, Anna faces a future of challenges – balancing family responsibilities and other traditional expectations with both opportunity and prejudice in a new social and cultural environment. She continues to go to school when she can but more often than not stays at home to look after her daughter and help her Mother with the rest of her extended family.”

Matt Nager April 13, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Tea Party Rally, Texas 2009

Matt Nager (b. 1983, USA) graduated in News Editorial Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His travels have taken him throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. In addition to photography he works in video and film. Matt has been recognized by the 61st College Photographer of the Year competition with an Honorable Mention for Documentary, the 2006 Hearst Journalism Awards as a National Finalist and by the Society of Professional Journalists. His clients include: AARP, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Blick (Switzerland), The National  (Abu Dhabi), Bloomberg News, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News and Rocky Mountain News among others.

About the Photograph:

“I have covered the Tea Party Express and other Tea Party events several times in Texas during the past year and a half. This particular image was shot on assignment for The New York Times. The story was a feature looking into the Tea Party Express as they were making their cross country tour speaking out against the passage of the health care bill. During this moment, the organizers of the event were conducting a prayer for armed forces members who have died while serving. It was interesting to see how much patriotism was used to draw an emotional response at the Tea Party rally. The other observation I made when reflecting on this image is the portrayal of President Obama as the joker. I remember back to some of the signs from this event and remember the dramatic imagery and terminology used.”

Guia Besana April 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul, Turkey 2006

Guia Besana (b. 1972, Italy) is a freelance photographer currently living in Paris. After studying media and communication in Italy, she began photography in 2004. With her first personal photographic essay, “Inside Teheran”, she was selected as a finalist for the Leica Oskar Barnack award. Since 2004 her photographs have been published in magazines including Leica World Magazine, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, D La Repubblica delle Donne, Max and Marie Claire. In 2005 she documented Aids in Swaziland, South Africa, with her project “Traces” which was published as portfolio in Courrier International. In 2006 she joined Anzenberger Agency and works on several public commissions and personal projects with particular attention to subjects related to women.

About the Photograph:

“The woman in the picture is Ferda Erdinç, owner of Zencefil, a vegetarian restaurant in Istanbul. As it usually occurs to me when I start thinking of a photographic project, I try to find a visual structure which can illustrate an idea I already have in mind. In 2006 I decided to approach the subject of  Turkey joining the European Union and  my idea was to review woman’s opinion on this. I decided to make a series of portraits of women of  different religious and social backgrounds. This series of portraits is titled  “Interview in Istanbul” and is accompanied by an interview of each woman portrayed. The restaurant was on the ground floor of a very beautiful old building. As soon as I entered her blue office and saw her sitting on the sofa I knew I had my picture and the interview begun.”

Condition ONE- A New Form of Multimedia April 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Libya.
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Dennis Danfung and Patrick Chauvel been documenting war for years, first with still photographs, then in motion, culminating with the award-winning documentary Hell and Back Again. Still, he found himself unsatisfied, feeling that coverage of war was becoming “mundane, almost ordinary,” he says. “Society was numb to the images of conflict.” An idea was born: Condition ONE, an app to provide a new form of storytelling. “It combines the power of the still image, the narrative of films and the emotional engagement of tactile experiences to create a new language that is so immersive, it will shake viewers out of their numbness to traditional media and provide them a powerful emotional experience. Instead of opening a window to glimpse another world, we are attempting to bring the viewer into that world as an active participant.” Condition ONE, under development for the Apple iPad and other tablets, uses a custom camera system developed by Dennis that “fuses the ethics, method and aesthetics of photojournalism with the tradition of cinematic film-making with virtual reality. The entire human field of view is captured on these camera systems, and the stories are edited specifically for the tablet application to create a truly immersive experience.”

Joseph O. Holmes April 8, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Columbus Circle, New York City 2005

Joseph  O. Holmes (b. 1954, USA) was raised in a factory town in rural Pennsylvania where his father taught him how to develop and print photos in the home darkroom. Joe has exhibited in dozens of group and solo shows in the United States. Among other awards, he was honored with a Curator’s Commendation at the Houston Center for Photography (2010), first prize in MPLS Photo Center’s 2010 Portraits Exhibition, Honorable Mention in the Silver Eye Gallery’s Fellowship Competition (2008), and Honorable Mention in the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Competition (2007). He was a winner (2010) and finalist (2007) in Critical Mass/Photolucida and twice invited to the Review Santa Fe juried portfolio review (2007 and 2010). Joe is represented by The Jen Bekman Gallery (NYC) and Wall Space (Santa Barbara and Seattle).

About the Photograph:

“I was once invited to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from the enormous windows of Jazz at Lincoln Center, fives stories above Columbus Circle, and I thought I’d take the most amazing photos. But after an hour up there, I couldn’t get a single interesting shot. It just wasn’t happening. I finally gave up, put away my camera, and sat down, only to look up and see what I’d been missing the whole time: across the room against the windows was a row of silhouettes apparently looking out over the late autumn leaves of Central Park. The scene had nothing whatsoever to do with a parade. And so I got out my camera and took what became one of my favorite shots. I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned that day: I have no obligation to document a scene or an event. My job is to look around for an image that will make me happy. Sometimes I come home with a wonderful picture that’s 180 degrees from what I thought I’d be shooting.”

Zalmaï April 6, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Pretoria, South Africa, 2009

Zalmaï (b.1964, Afghanistan) fled his country at the time of the Soviet invasion in 1980 and settled in Switzerland. He studied photography at the Lausanne School of Photography  and began to work as a freelance photographer, traveling around the world and eventually returned to Afghanistan, where he continues documenting the ongoing war and sufferings of the Afghan people. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers including Time Magazine, Le Temps, Newsweek and others. He has worked for a number of International Organizations and NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Refugee Agency. His work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities and has earned him several international awards, including Visa D’ Or and Days Japan. Zalmaï is currently featured in Reportage by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Pretoria, South Africa, a year after the May 2008 upsurge of xenophobic attacks, which spread quickly throughout the country and resulted in 100,000 people being displaced and around sixty killed. The people mostly touched were refugees and asylum-seekers from Zimbabwe, Somalia and other African countries. I was there on assignment for the United Nations Refugee Agency. The young Zimbabwean in front of an old wire warehouse was transformed into a makeshift shelter by a group of around forty  Zimbabweans that had suffered such assaults. The last day of my stay in Pretoria I went there again to find the warehouse but it was burnt to the ground overnight by locals. Nobody was to be found. The place was empty, except for ash and debris.”

Carey Kirkella April 4, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Julia throwing doll, Middletown, New York 2008

Carey Kirkella (b. 1977, USA) studied photography and media arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY; earning a BFA in 1999. Her work has been recognized by the Santa Fe Center for Photography, the International Photography Awards and Critical Mass. She was included in the Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, and in the recent book ‘Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2009′ by The Magenta Foundation. In October 2009, she received the ‘Kick Award’ through the international competition ’10 Best 10′ by WIN-Initiative and Resource magazine.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from an ongoing documentary portrait project about my niece Julia as she grows up in Middletown, NY. It was Easter and my brother and I were sitting on the floor of our sister’s living room. Julia handed me one end of a jump-rope and then simultaneously flung her doll in the air while turning the other end of the rope. It was one of those split second moments that I would never be able to recreate if I tried. Julia is a healthy seven year old girl full of life and creativity and drama. She’s an only child. I’ve been photographing her regularly every few months since she was about three years old. I hope to capture the spirit of her childhood, and to explore ideas about growing up in a typical, middle class family in a suburban town in America today. She inspires me.”

Alberto Lizaralde April 1, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Costa Rica.
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From the project “Frail”. Costa Rica 2010

Alberto Lizaralde (b. 1979, Spain) is a freelance photographer based in Madrid. He studied at Blank Paper School (founded by the first photo collective in Spain). Alberto combines his work as creative supervisor at Contrapunto BBDO advertising agency with his projects in documentary photography. In 2006 he worked on a series called “24 hours with Rakesh” in Kolkata. In 2008 he completed: “Taiwan: China through the looking glass”, a personal view on past traces and future steps of the Chinese society in Taiwan. Alberto has been finalist in Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña 2010 and nominated three times at the New York Photo Festival. He has exhibited at San Diego TAOFS Gallery, Association of Photographers Gallery (London, UK), New York Photo Festival ’09,  and Kkien Atelier (Milán, Italy).

About the Photograph:

“This picture is one of the first photos from a personal project called ‘Frail’. Frail is about those everyday moments when everything collapses. Small instants where our life changes, spins and breaks. Suspended moments in which something has just happened or is about to. Situations in which time, objects and places lose their physical nature and are full of us. Its a project about one single idea: We are vulnerable in the everyday. I took this picture traveling by car in Costa Rica with my friend Jaime. We meet Daniela and Mariana and we spent some days together. This photo was taken in our hotel room after a long day talking about personal confessions.”

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