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Dan Eckstein May 10, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Azadpur Market. Delhi, India 2013

Dan Eckstein (b.1980, United States) spent four years studying photography at Skidmore College in the foothills of the Adirondacks. After graduation, he moved to New York City to assist renowned photographer Steve McCurry. He later worked with Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey in Paris. Dan’s work has been widely published and exhibited and he was included in The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography. He was recently awarded Best Photo Essay in PDN’s World In Focus photo contest and included in American Photography 30. For Dan’s latest project, he drove 10,000km over the course of three years documenting the trucks, drivers and roadside culture of India. He is  based in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, NY.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Delhi’s Azadpur market which is the biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Asia. The market is filled with brightly decorated trucks bringing goods to be bought and sold from though-out India and I was there photographing them for my book project, Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India. Most of the action at these markets happens in the morning and I was there towards the end of the day so the workers were cleaning up and this guy was having a rest after a hard day’s work.”

Birgit Püve May 7, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Estonia.
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Marianne and Mariette, Pärnu Estonia 2013

Birgit Püve (b. 1978, Estonia) is a portrait and documentary photographer currently based in Tallinn, Estonia. Since she started working on her own personal projects, her works have won several awards. In 2012, the picture editors of The Sunday Times Magazine’s Spectrum, UK, named Birgit the Spectrum Emerging Talent. The initiative was launched to seek out today’s freshest photography.In November 2014 she won the 3rd Prize at the major international competition, The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize organized by The National Portrait Gallery in London. Her works have been exhibited in USA, Canada, UK, Russia, Austria, Germany, France, Latvia, Poland etc and published in publications such as The Washington Post, TIME Lightbox, PDN Magazine, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, GEO, Ryanair Magazine, Newsweek Polska, L’Express, among others.Her first monograph “Elada mitmuses/Double Matters”, portraying more than 80 identical twins and triplets living in Estonia, was published in winter 2013.

About the Photograph:

‘This image is from my photo book Double Matters/Elada mitmuses (Hea Lugu Publishers) that I finished in autumn 2013. I drove thousands of kilometres to photograph more than 80 twins and triplets living in Estonia. It’s always fascinating – when there are two or more identical persons standing in front of you – that nature can create something so unbelievable and magical. There’s a secret in them that we, single-borns, don’t have. I wanted to explore the meaning of similarity and shared identity in a world that so much celebrates and adores uniqueness. How do twins and triplets act regarding the idea of ‘another me’ and how that affects their relationship? I found out that environment is a big part of their shared identity, so I tried to photograph the pairs in their private environments like homes, backyards or simple everyday locations. I found these girls through a local family magazine and instantly liked their physical presence. It was a cold and windy autumn day in October 2013 in their home town Pärnu when we met. They turned out to be big personalities and that added an extra layer to the portrait. This frame is one of the last ones we did that day. They were already tired, it was even colder and they forgot to pose – what I was waiting and looking for. Later, as it turned out, they also became the cover girls of the book.’

Annalisa Natali Murri May 4, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Villa Madalena, Sao Paulo Brazil 2013

Annalisa Natali Murri (1982, Italy) approached architectural photography at the age of 27, while studying building engineering at Bologna University. During her PhD studies, she started to devote herself to photography with more conviction and interest. Soon she started to feel the need to focus on documentary projects, using her vacation time and savings to fund self-assignments and personal projects. Her works have been awarded in several international contests, including 70th and 71st POYi. In 2014 she was selected as an attendee for LOOK between mentorship program. She’s currently based in Bologna, Italy.

About the Photograph: 

“I was on a self assignment covering the bustling street art environment in San Paulo, Brasil. That night I had just finished my shooting in Villa Madalena, a neighborhood in San Paulo once known only for its violent crime but which recently decided to change things around. I think Vila Madá has been able to completely transform itself and its own identity, creating what is now considered one of the most exclusive areas of the city, a popular hangout young creatives and artists of all kinds. I was wandering there, looking for a cab.  Across the street there was a beautiful girl with curly hair and amber skin, who was cheerfully talking with a friend. I was attracted in some way by this couple in front of one of the most colorful building of Vila Madá. I loved the way the red lights of cars stopping at the crossing illuminated the hair of the girl on her back. Then the street light turned green. I would have had to cross the road, but I stopped to take this last shot, when the green light finally lit the girl’s face.”

Sven Zellner April 30, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 2014

Sven Zellner (b.1977, Germany) received his diploma in cinematography from the University of Television and Film, Munich in 2010. His work moves between film and photography, and between art and documentary practice. In 2012 he received the ARTE-Documentary Film Award for his debut documentary film Price of Gold, a portrait of Mongolian nomads illegally prospecting for Gold in the Gobi desert. His photographs have been published in: GEO, Terra Mater, DAS MAGAZIN, Leica Fotografie International, and VIEW. Sven lives in Munich and lectures at the HFF, Munich and the University of Applied Science, Darmstadt. He is currently working on projects in Romania, Greenland, the USA, and Mongolia.

About the Photograph:

“In the autumn 2013 I began my project Mongolian Disco focusing on the urban life in Ulaanbaatar. A rush for natural resources like coal and gold has filled pockets in Mongolia, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. But the country is also facing rising inequalities. Members of the upper class in Ulaanbaatar enjoy a luxurious life-style while two-thirds of the population live on the outskirts in massive yurt districts.”

“I took this photo when it was still dark when I woke up. Through the window I could see that there was fresh snow. I got out and walked through the darkness some kilometers north into the yurt district to take photos. I was on my way home when I came to this place with these tracks curved through the snow, the fences and the construction site in the back. A girl was walking next to me on her way to school. I climbed on a sandpile to take the photo of her crossing the tracks. I was lucky that there was a pile to climb on and that she didn’t look at me. After I took the photo I had to rush back because at that time I was in Ulaanbaatar for the shooting of an independent movie by the Mongolian-German director Uisenma Borchu. I was the cinematographer for that film and I had to be at the set in time. The title of the film will be Don’t Look At Me That Way.”

Aaron Sosa April 27, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Venezuela.
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Caracas, Venezuela 2007

Aaron Sosa (b. 1980, Venezuela) is a freelance photographer based in Panama City where he works serving agencies, international editorial and corporate clients. His work has been exhibited in over 100 gallery showings across Europe and Latin America. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards for his documentary work and has served as an ambassador of the arts throughout Latin America on speaking tours and through teaching University-level workshops, most notably with the Latin American Kaleidoscope Project. In between assignments and travels, Sosa may be found roaming the streets with his Holga, up to his elbows in fixer in his darkroom or working with children’s NGOs to teach photography to disadvantaged youths in the slums of Caracas.

About the Photograph:

“The photo above was taken on April 14, 2007 during a rally of Chavez supporters and shows members of the army seen in the foreground against a health food store located in Puente Llaguno. It was the very same place where five years earlier a slaughter occurred during a rally against the government of Chavez. During his time in office, his supporters were called in to take part in demonstrations, The military police and national guard were a fundamental part of these concentrations. While Chavez was in power it was mandatory for public employees to attend meetings wearing red colored clothes as a way to express their support for the government.”

Tommy Ellingsen April 23, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Norway.
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Børge Hansen on his boat in Vesterålen, Norway 2014

Tommy Ellingsen (b. 1986, Norway) works for several major Norwegian newspapers and magazines. He is part of the European documentary collective, Project Sea Change, where 13 photographers have been documenting European youth. He has photographed young people in the small country of Iceland. Being half Icelandic, this assignment has been very personal. In 2012 Tommy won the award for picture of the year in Norway for a picture of the Norwegian prime minister mourning the Utøya massacre. Tommy is a member of a creative collective in Stavanger, and was a Nikon ambassador for two years.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this photo for DN Magasinet, a Norwegian business magazine together with journalist Toril Risholm. It’s the sound of money, the fisherman says while he aims for the cod with his gaff. The razor sharp steel sinks into the head of the cod as it appears on the water surface. Then he pulls the fish over the gunwale and into the boat. Børge is one of the few traditional fishermen who still goes out alone in his small boat to fish for cod in Vesterålen up in Northern Norway. The industry has been taken over by rich businessmen who buy the quotas from small boats and make a big profit using large trawlers. The new generation growing up don’t want to be fishermen. They want to work in the offshore oil industry or do something else. Fishing is one of the most dangerous professions and is in the process of disappearing. According to Børge, in ten years, there won’t be anymore traditional fishermen left.”

Daniel Traub April 19, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Guangzhou, China 2012

Daniel Traub (b. 1971) is a Brooklyn based photographer and filmmaker. Since 1999, he has been engaged with long term photographic projects in China including Simplified Characters which explores the transformation of China’s cities, and Peripheries which looks at the border region where urban and rural China meet. Daniel’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, the Print Center in Philadelphia, and are in public and private collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work has appeared in publications including Aperture, European Photography and The New York Times Magazine. His first monograph, North Philadelphia, was published in 2014 by Kehrer Verlag.

About the Photograph:

“Xiaobeilu is a immigrant neighborhood in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. It is home to internal Chinese migrants as well as tens of thousands of Africans, primarily Nigerians. The Africans, in particular, work largely as traders buying fabrics, electronics and machinery produced in the Pearl River Delta, and selling these products in Africa. Since 2009, I have been photographing the people and activities on a pedestrian bridge that runs through the neighborhood.

“On this bridge, I also came across a group of Chinese migrants with cheap digital cameras selling their services as photographers to Africans who might want a souvenir of their time in China. The Africans would hire them to make a portrait for 10 RMB ($1.50), which were then printed on a portable printer. I approached one of the photographers, Zeng Xian Fang, to have a look at the images and found them compelling. Zeng was taking the photographs purely as a means of survival, he would erase the camera’s memory cards at the end of each day. So I asked Zeng, and later  another photographer Wu Yong Fu, if they would be willing to allow me to collect the images and put them together in book form. They agreed so I bought them both portable hard drives. To date, I have collected over ten thousand of their images. The project as a whole, which consists of my photographs, the collected images and a film, offers insight into the complex and deepening relationship between China and Africa. Little North Road will be published in Fall 2015.”

Gaia Squarci April 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Gay Pride LGBT Parade, New York 2013

Gaia Squarci (b. 1988, Italy) is a photographer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn. She studied Art History at the University of Bologna and photojournalism at ICP. Since 2012 she’s been working on Broken Screen, a project about blindness, driven by her interest in the way physical perceptions influence people’s way to interact with one another, and within society. Gaia has also been documenting the activities of the Living Theatre, the oldest experimental theater group active in the USA, and the personal life of Judith Malina, who founded the company in 1947 with her husband Julian Beck. Gaia also shoots documentary video for personal projects and commissions. Her clients include the New York Times, the New Yorker, TIME Magazine, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and Reuters.

About the Photograph:

“Just a few days before, the Supreme Court had ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. The Gay Pride LGBT parade was blasting meters away. Downtown Manhattan was loud, and overflowing with people. I tried to take photos that could represent that moment in time and its meaning and also preserve a dignity of their own if taken out of context. I had stopped at a corner when the girl with the orange nails came by, framed by a food truck. I was hit by something timeless in her grace. We didn’t talk. I don’t know whether she and the other women in the photo were at the parade because of their life history, or because they simply supported the values that were bringing people to the street. Like many that day, they were both spectators and part of what was happening, not far from the Stonewall Inn.”

Ernesto Bazan April 13, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.
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Dog and Hawk, Viñales, Cuba 2002

Ernesto Bazan (b.1959, Italy) received his first camera when he was 14-years-old and began photographing daily life in his native city and in the rural areas of Sicily. Photography has been more than a profession: a true passion, a mission in his life. Ernesto has published several books including The Perpetual Past and Passing Through. His recently launched publishing house, BazanPhotos Publishing, released Bazan Cuba and Al Campo in 2011, an in-depth color exploration of life in the Cuban countryside. ISLA, the last part of his Cuban trilogy, was self-published in 2014. He has won The W. Eugene Smith Grant and the World Press Photo award. He has also received fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and a Guggenheim. His photographs are the the collections of  MoMA and ICP in New York, SFMoMA in San Francisco amoung others.

About the Photograph:

“My favorite image from Isla is probably the cover image, of a dog in the middle of a field looking up at what seems to be a flying hawk, while a farmer, in the background, takes his cows to pasture. When I took this image I was riding a horse. The vantage point is unique, but what makes the picture a true miracle are the elevated dog’s tail and his head looking up. They coalesce into what Roland Barthes would call the punctum. It’s a magical moment that, with a great amount of luck, turned into an ethereal, timeless photograph.”

Adriane Ohanesian April 8, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma, Myanmar.
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KIA military training in Kachin State, Myanmar 2013

Adriane Ohanesian (b.1986 USA) graduated from the International Center of Photography’s photojournalism and documentary photography program in 2010. Upon the completion of her degree, she moved to Khartoum, Sudan and has been photographing mainly in Africa ever since. Over the last few years Adriane has photographed in South Sudan, rebel controlled Sudan, Somalia, and rebel controlled Myanmar. Her work which documented the lives of the women rebel soldiers in Kachin State, Myanmar earned her recognition by Magnum Photos as one of the top ’30 under 30’ photographers for 2014. Adriane’s photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and TIME. She is currently based in Nairobi.

About the Photograph:

“My personal project on the women soldiers of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was a challenge that I wanted to take on for myself as most of my work has been focused on eastern Africa. Kachin State, in northern Myanmar, is not solely controlled by the government, but is held by the KIA. The KIA is the last remaining major rebel group in Myanmar that has not signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. The women of Kachin have few opportunities in this isolated region aside from serving with the KIA. From the age of 16, women are eligible to join the army and they often remain there until they are discharged for marriage. While some join out of dedication to their people, others are forcibly recruited.”

“This photo was taken before sunrise on the KIA’s military base outside of the town of Mai Ja Yang, on the border of Myanmar and China. I had been granted permission to spend the night on the base. It was still dark outside and the only light came from an orange bulb that hung from the ceiling of the small hut where ten women slept side by side on a woven platform. The soldiers, having slept in their uniforms, were reluctant to wake up for their training and snuggled down under the blankets. This scene was important to me because I felt invisible, a comforting feeling that meant that the women were open to my presence. I was standing above these two women and was tiptoeing around the others that were sprawled out next to one another. This scene demonstrated the loneliness that I often saw amongst new recruits to the army. For most of the women, military training was their first experience away from their homes and their families, and now they only had each other to turn to for support.”

Xiaoxiao Xu April 6, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Wenzhou Zoo, China 2013

Xiaoxiao Xu (b. 1984, China) moved to The Netherlands in 1999. In 2009 she graduated from the Photo Academy of Amsterdam. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass. Her work has been exhibited at The Lianzhou Photo festival in China, PhotoVille (New York), Noorderlicht (Netherlands), and the FotoMuseum in Antwerp. They have been published in GUP and Photo Raw magazine. In September 2014 her book The Way To The Golden Mountain about her hometown in China was released. Xiaoxiao currently lives in Amsterdam.

About the Photograph:

“I made this portrait of a caretaker and his monkey in the zoo at Wenzhou as part of my journey back to my hometown after moving to Holland. It’s one of the favorite places from my childhood. The location is literally on a mountain in the middle of the city. This zoo creates the illusion of letting animals live in the wild. When I saw this caretaker with the monkey I was immediately fascinated by the way he treated animal. He held the monkey like it was his baby and played with him. And then it was time for a break when he gave the monkey the lollypop. It was the perfect moment for picture taking. The monkey is actually abandoned by his family, but adopted by this caretaker.”

Francesco Anselmi April 1, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bulgaria.
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Sofia, Bulgaria 2013

Francesco Anselmi (b. 1984, Italy) studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography where he received a scholarship from the New York Times. Soon after finishing his studies. In 2012 Francesco joined Contrasto Photo Agency; that same year he started traveling to Greece, where he has been based for an ongoing project about the economic crisis. A selection of images from his Greek project screened at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan and at Image Singuliere festival in Sete, France. In 2013 he was awarded a grant from the Chris Hondros Fellowship Fund. More recently his work has been selected as a finalist project for the Leica Oskar Barnak Award and exhibited at the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalists. He divides his time between New York, Milan and Greece.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in a daycare center in Sofia, Bulgaria. It’s of a Syrian Kurdish family from Qamshli, who just escaped the conflict. After Greece built a wall along its border with Turkey in the Evros region, Bulgaria became the main  entrance to Europe for thousands of asylum seekers escaping the Syrian conflict through Turkey. In the end of 2013, Bulgaria was not ready to face this wave of immigration and the conditions in which migrants and refugees were kept were dire. No food or medicines were provided to them. They barely survived. Most of the refugees coming from Syria were women and children, their husbands and fathers were either dead or still fighting.”

Becky Harlan March 29, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iceland.
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A family soaks in the hot tub at a pool in Fludir. Reykjavik, Iceland 2012 

Becky Harlan (b.1988, United States) is a documentary photographer, multimedia producer, and photo editor based in Washington, D.C. She has a BA in Art History from Furman University and a Masters in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Her work has appeared in the New York Times, NPR, The Morning News, and on National Geographic’s photography blog, Proof. She has been recognized by Fotoweek DC, and PDN. She currently works as a photo editor for the digital side of National Geographic magazine.

About the Photograph:

“Icelanders love soaking in the geothermally-heated pools and tubs. Every town I visited during my stay had a public space for doing so. The air is brisk, the scenery beautiful, and the geothermal energy is flowing. This photo came out of a workshop I was taking in Reykjavik. I spent my days there wandering around small towns in the south talking to whomever I met and asking them to point me in the direction of someone or something interesting. I came upon this moment at a public pool in the  tiny town of Fludir, after a morning spent visiting a greenhouse and the home of a woman who had a makeshift doll museum in her garage. The pool staff let me in for free since I wasn’t swimming, but I had neglected to take off my sandals, which was against protocol. So after a kind but firm correction I was feeling a bit self conscious as I began looking around at what I might photograph. The bulldozer peeking over the fence instantly brought me back to the moment, and after gesturing to the family in the hot tub for permission to shoot, I stepped back, hunkered down, and went to town, hoping that they would forget my presence. I probably shot 20 frames, but this was my favorite because of the reclined and almost sculptural posture of the boy. He seems so delicate and kind of absorbed in his own world. I like the quirky contrast between him and the industrial work going on behind the fence.”

Tim Matsu March 25, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Thailand.
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Chiang Mai, Thailand 2007

Tim Matsui (b.1973, USA) is an Emmy-nominated visual journalist and filmmaker focusing on human trafficking, alternative energy, and the environment. Tim’s clients have included Newsweek, Stern, Der Spiegel, GEO, Wired and other domestic and international publications. Tim partners with editorial outlets, non profit organizations and corporations to tell meaningful stories built upon the tenets of journalism. He has received grants from the Alexia Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Fledgling Fund, and The Fund for Investigative Journalism.  His most recent project is the feature documentary film The Long Night (which recently won the POYi and the first prize for Long Feature of the World Press Photo Multimedia Contest) and the accompanying audience engagement project Leaving the Life.

About the Photograph:

“Young women, mostly in their teens, hire a transgender make up artist to prepare them for an evening serving drinks at a karaoke bar in Chiang Mai, Thailand. If a client wants to date the server they’re permitted to leave the establishment after paying a bar fee. I’d met the make up artist through a Thai non profit that’s a resource for the transgender community. Because of that she vouched for me, while I had some restrictions. The bar owners were ok with my presence. All of the legwork to get to that place to make the picture involved most of the work but the actual photography was pretty straight forward. Strangely enough, one of the more challenging parts was meeting my expat friends afterwards for drinks. They were gossiping about who was with who and catching up on weekend plans, but my head was still where I’d just been.”

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