June 20, 2012

June Pro Photo - Head On and Carla Coulson features

The June issue of Pro Photo is out and features my stories on Carla Coulson (on the cover) and the Head On Festival.

Carla Coulson is an Australian photographer living in Paris. In this profile I talk to Carla about her latest book, Chasing the Dream, in which she shares her love of 'life through the lens', and her new venture - timeless, elegant portraits of women.

Also in the June issue is my feature on Sydney's Head On Festival that includes images by Australians Megan Lewis, Alexia Sinclair and Louise Whelan as well as Pablo Bartholomew (India), Valeriy Klamm (Russia) and David Alan Harvey (US).

Pro Photo June is out now.

Pablo Bartholomew (C)

Alexia Sinclair (c) The Regal Twelve Marie Antoinette

June 13, 2012

Foto Freo Ten Years On - feature available online now

My feature in Pro Photo - Foto Freo Ten Years On - is now available on my website. 

"From ‘Bob’s Backyard’, to a significant bi-annual event on the international photography festival calendar, Foto Freo’s evolution is testament to the passion and commitment of a small group of photographers including Max Pam, Graham Miller, Brad Rimmer and David Dare Parker and businessman Bob Hewitt, who were tenacious enough not to take no for an answer and to push ahead with their vision despite the obstacles. 

Over lunch in March in Freo, Max, David, Brad, and Graham noisily, and amiably, share with me stories of past festivals. All four have been involved in Foto Freo since its nascent days when the programme was planned literally in Bob’s backyard - Bob is universally recognised as the festival’s father, and this year its official director, a businessman who in retirement is busier now than ever before...." Please click here to read the full story.

June 08, 2012

Michael Coyne Exhibition Opens Sunday 10 June

Multi-award winning Australian photojournalist Michael Coyne has a new exhibition - "The X Factor" - which opens this Sunday, 10th June at Photonet Gallery in Fairfield (Melbourne).

"The X Factor" features new photographs shot on Fujifilm's X100 and X-Pro 1 cameras, which are gaining praise around the world for their high quality images and retro design.

Coyne, who I have interviewed several times in recent years, is best known for his landmark coverage of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s which culminated in the scoop of his career - in 1989 he was one of the last Western photographers to capture the Ayatollah Khomeini shortly before the Iranian cleric's death that year.

Of that image he says, “Every time I went to Iran I asked if I could photograph Khomeini. They never said no, but it never happened. And then one day I got a phone call and was told to come straight away to the Ministry for Islamic Guidance”.

At the Ministry they revealed Coyne was going to Khomeini’s house the next day. He was intrigued, but had no idea what he would be witness to. As instructed he left his camera gear and film with the Ministry and arrived at Khomeini’s house with only a handkerchief in his pocket. After passing through numerous security checkpoints including the obligatory body search, he was finally handed a box containing his “gear” and ushered into Khomeini’s private mosque.

“So I was standing there and all of these people were crowded around and it was very tight and hard to manouevre. The light was terrible and you can’t use flash, so I was pushing film as far as I could. I had two cameras one on wide angle and another with a long lens. Suddenly the door opened on this platform above me and Khomeini’s son stepped out, all these guards appeared and then Khomeini himself came through the door, a very old man. I used the camera with the wide angle lens and just went bang, bang, bang, and then he moved to a chair where I couldn’t quite see him. I saw a ladder and pushed past the guard, which is a really dangerous thing to do, and an Iranian photographer and myself leapt up to the TV platform. I shot a roll of film on a really slow shutter speed. I didn’t know if I’d gotten anything worthwhile and within minutes he had left. But the whole thing just worked,” he says still marveling at his luck.

Since that time Coyne has traversed the world photographing a wide range of subjects including social documentary projects. He's also published over a dozen books, completed a PhD and today runs workshops around the globe.

You can read my profile feature on Michael Coyne here

(C) Michael Coyne

Photonet Gallery
15a Railway Place, Fairfield www.photonetgallery.com.au

June 01, 2012

Stephen Dupont picks up Momento Pro Award

“Stoned in Kabul”, a book by award-winning Australian photojournalist, Stephen Dupont, and featuring words by journalist Jacques Menasche, has won the 2012 Head On Festival’s Momento Pro Photobook of the Year Award.

I am not surprised that this book was chosen out of the 33 finalists - Stephen's artistic skills in book making combined with his powerful images have resulted in an exceptional publication.

I extend my congratulations to Stephen, who I believe, is one of the finest photojournalists in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen in the past and his passion, commitment and intelligence, is obvious. This book is further evidence of his desire to tell important stories that otherwise would remain hidden.

A self-confessed perfectionist, Stephen said he had "absolute trust" in the team at Sydney's Momento Pro, one of Australia's leading photobook print companies, to produce a book that is also "a work of art".

“Stoned in Kabul” traces the tragic journey of two brothers who are addicted to heroin and living in atrocious conditions in war-ravaged Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It is a sobering work that is delivered with journalistic clarity as well as compassion. In addition to the book there is also a documentary film of the same name.

To view this and Stephen's other works, please click here

Stephen Dupont (C) Brothers Reza and Hussein shoot up heroin, Kabul, 2006