October 30, 2015

Friday Round Up - 30 October, 2015

This week on Friday Round Up - FotoEvidence Book Award 2016, Photo Kathmandu makes its debut, two Australians take home Lucie Awards, Stephen Shores Complete Works, images from the photography competition run by  the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor raise questions about the aesthetic of documentary photography and Canada's Boreal Collective hits the streets.

2016 FotoEvidence Book Award Open for Submissions

The 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award is now open for submissions from photographers whose projects demonstrate courage and commitment in the pursuit of human rights and social justice. The winning project will be published in a high quality, hardbound book and exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York City during the fall of 2016.

Entries are judged by an international jury of five. The 2016 jury members are international journalist Alison Stieven-Taylor, Visa Pour L’Image director Jean-François Leroy, photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg, Yahoo! News photo editor Kelli Grant and FotoEvidence publisher Svetlana Bachevanova.

“FotoEvidence Press was founded to support documentary photographers working on long-term projects that focus on human rights and social justice and to bring to light work that might otherwise not find publication,” says Svetlana.

The Book Award winner and up to four other selected finalists will be exhibited on the FotoEvidence web site and in the exhibition at the Bronx Documentary Center. FotoEvidence will also offer to collaborate with one of the finalists to crowdfund the publication of their work.

Past FotoEvidence Book Award recipients are Marcus Bleasdale (2015), Majid Saeedi (2014), Robin Hammond (2013), Alex Massi (2012) and Javier Arcenillas (2011).


Organised by photo.circle, a Nepali platform for photography, this is the first photography festival for Nepal. With the theme TIME the festival features 18 exhibitions, artist talks and workshops as well as projections.

“Despite and because we have had an extremely challenging year in Nepal this year (with the earthquake and political unrest), we are pushing forward with this festival because we truly believe that rebuilding a sense of identity can only be done through dialogue and the arts and culture is a powerful medium to facilitate these conversations.” says festival co-director NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati.

Australian photojournalist Philip Blenkinsop has documented Nepal’s political transitions for the past 15 years. A selection of this work will be on show in the old Court House at Mangal Bazar, Patan. He says the timing of the festival “means that there is much hard work to be done, but it amounts to lighting a candle in the darkness. The importance of Photo Kathmandu at this time cannot be overlooked. It is a time for consolidation, for sharing, for rebuilding, for sowing the seeds of inspiration.”

It’s great to see Photo Kathmandu go ahead with such enthusiasm and support. More than 500 photographers submitted bodies of work for consideration in the projections with 80 chosen representing 31 countries. 

(C) Amy Friend

(C) Frederic Lecloux

(C) Kevin Bubriski

(C) Mariya Kozhanova

(C) Matjaz Tancic

(C) Philip Blenkinsop

(C) Rajan Shrestha

(C) Sumitra Manandhar Gurung

Exhibitions will take place in a variety of public spaces in and around Patan including the alleyways, squares and courtyards of the historic city. The idea of exhibiting in public spaces is born from the desire to make Photo Kathmandu a festival for the people and to take photography to new audiences.

To find out more visit the website
3-9 November
Various venues
Patan, Lalitpur, Nepal

The Lucie Awards

Two Australians were winners at this week's Lucie Awards in New York, the premiere annual event honouring the greatest achievements in photography. Kerry Payne Stailey took out the award for Moving Image Photographer of the Year and Ceiba was named publisher of the year for Sam Harris' book Middle of Somewhere. I've written about both Kerry and Sam in recent times. In fact I wrote about another winner, Sandro Miller who won Photographer of the Year for the second year in a row, earlier this year too! Congratulations to all the winners.

My cover story on Kerry Payne Stailey in Pro Photo

From Sam Harris' Middle of Somewhere

My feature interview with Sandro Miller in NZ Pro Photographer

Book Review: 
Stephen Shore - Uncommon Places
The Complete Works 

‘His work is Nabokovian for me: exposing so much, and yet leaving so much room for your imagination to roam and do what it will’ - Tennessee Williams

Stephen Shore is a master at photographing the ordinary in such a way as to make it extraordinary, capturing moments that are invisible to many until illuminated through Shore’s eyes. His love for the vernacular and his ability to frame seemingly banal scenes and tease out their idiosyncrasies has made him one of the most lauded American photographic artists living today.

In Uncommon Places Shore takes us along for a ride across America, a trip he made several times in the 1970s on what he calls “journeys of exploration: exploring the changing culture of America and exploring how a photograph renders the segment of time and space in its scope. I chose a view... (to read the full review and see more images please click on Book Reviews at the top of the blog).    

Uncommon Places
The Complete Works
Stephen Shore
Thames & Hudson 

The Documentary Aesthetic in Question

Faisal Azim

This year’s photography competition run by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a World Bank initiative, attracted thousands of entries from more than 77 countries, yet the aesthetic of most of the winning images showcased on The Atlantic this week shows a concerning trend. Looking at these images I feel there is little differentiation in style, or voice. 

The premise for this competition is to document those business owners who are marginalised and who work outside of the world's banking systems. These photographs present an homogenised, glossy, richly coloured, and stylistically composed view of that world. Documentary photography, in my opinion, should not be so slick as to be mistaken for a scene from a movie or an advertisement. What do you think?

Liming Cao

Sujan Sarkar

Tatiana Sharapova

Loc Mai

Tran Van Tuy

Lê Minh Quốc

Taking it to the Streets in Canada

François Pesant's image of Officers using excessive force arrested 1,118 people during the G20 Summit held in Toronto in 2010. This is the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history. (C) Ian Willms, The Boreal Collective

In the lead to the federal election in Canada earlier this month a group of Canada’s foremost photojournalists, members of the Boreal Collective, took their images to the street in a bid to show the public what they believe has happened to their country. Canvassing topics of elderly care, environmental vandalism, violence against indigenous women and the excessive force of authorities, the Collective wheat-pasted large format black and white prints in public spaces in the hope to generate discussion. #dysturb, a French group, also uses large posters of works by leading photojournalists to draw attention to important global issues and have pasted their work in major cities around the world.

Boreal Collective member Laurence Butet-Roch says, “It's our hope that upon seeing these pictures, passersby will feel the need to get more details, do more research, and get the information they need to cast their vote”.

Ian Willms aerial photograph of the Tar Sands in Alberta pasted at Queen’s Park, Toronto. 
(C) Ian Willms, The Boreal Collective

Eighteen indigenous women have been killed while hitchhiking along Highway 16 and many more are reported missing. Investigation is slow and despite the gravity of the situation there has not been any public inquiry. In Toronto Rafal Gerszak pastes her photo of the Highway of Tears sign in British Columbia. (C) Ian Willms, The Boreal Collective

Marta Iwanek’s portrait of an elderly man caring for his wife with dementia in Toronto.
(C) Ian Willms, The Boreal Collective

October 23, 2015

Friday Round Up - 23 October, 2015

This week on Friday Round Up another eclectic selection of images - Tom Hussey's Reflections, Emilio Fraile's eWaste in Ghana, Stephen Mallon documents NYC's solution for used subway cars, the extraordinary natural vistas of China's Gansu Province and cinematographer and naturalist Feodor Pitcairn's Primordial Landscapes reviewed.

Photo Essay:
Tom Hussey - Reflections

American photographer Tom Hussey has created this wonderful series of images where the subject looks back on their life through the reflection of their younger self in the mirror. Hussey came up with the idea for the series after talking with an 80-year-old World War II veteran who told Hussey that he couldn’t believe he was so old, as he still felt like a young man. Hussey and his team scouted for believable doubles to pose as the younger self. While ageing is something that happens as a natural part of time’s passage, these redolent, meditative images give us all something to think about.

(C) All images Tom Hussey

Photo Essay:
Emilio Fraile - The Fate of Electronic Waste
In March this year Spanish photographer Emilio Fraile travelled to Accra, Ghana's largest city to document the lives of those eking out a living on the electronic dump at Agbogbloshie. This area used to be a wetlands and is now considered one of the most polluted places on earth. Fraile says thousands live "in this hell" and put their health at risk through exposure to toxic chemicals and metals as they strip down this eWaste, much of which arrives on large container ships.

(C) All images Emilio Fraile

Photo Essay:
Stephen Mallon - Next Stop Atlantic

(C) Stephen Mallon

(C) Stephen Mallon

From this (above) to the images below in 5 and 10 years respectively

Photo courtesy viralforest.com

Photo courtesy viralforest.com

New York photographer Stephen Mallon spent three years working on this series which documents the disposal of used subway cars in New York City. These subway cars are stripped and then dumped into the Atlantic ocean, a practice that has seen more than 2500 cars submerged in the past decade. These subway cars are used to build underwater reefs along the US’ eastern seaboard, which creates new habitats for marine life and also is worth an estimated $200 million annually to the US economy in coral. 

(C) Stephen Mallon

(C) Stephen Mallon

(C) Stephen Mallon

(C) Stephen Mallon

China's Gansu Province
These photographs are of the Dramatic Landscape of China’s Gansu Province in northwestern China as reported by Alan Taylor for The Atlantic. You can see the full story and more images here.
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park
(C) Wang Song / Xinhua Press / Corbis

Chen Yonggang / Xinhua / Corbis

Flowering rapeseed plants blossom in a field in Minle, Gansu
SIPA Asia via ZUMA Wire / Wangjiang / Corbis

Salt harvest
Wang Jiang / Imaginechina / Corbis

Terrace Crops
Sheng Li / Reuters

Book Review:
Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed
Feodor Pitcairn with Ari Trausti Guðmundsson

(C) Feodor Pitcairn Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed powerHouse books

In recent times cinematographer and naturalist Feodor Pitcairn, who is 80 years old, has given up shooting underwater films, and turned his attention to terrestrial landscapes. He’s embarked on several expeditions to Iceland to capture the natural beauty of one of the most romanticised places on the planet. These photographs come together in a new book from powerHouse Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed. (You can read the full review and see more of his exquisite images by clicking on the Book Reviews tab at the top of the blog.)