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Wonderful black and white photography
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Black and white portraits by Serge Bouvet - YouTube

Do you want a great picture in your room? It's easy! 1. Visit http://sergebouvet. 2. Choose your photographs you like. 3. Send an email 4. And you will recei...
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Trading to Extinction | Photojournalist: Patrick Brown

Trading to Extinction | Photojournalist: Patrick Brown | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Most people hear the term “poaching,” and they think of hunters gunning down endangered species like elephants and rhinos on the plains of Africa. But in many ways the heart of the illegal wildlife trade is not in Africa, but in Asia. It’s in rising countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia where the demand for illegal wildlife products is strongest, driving the hunting and the trafficking. And it’s in Asia where poaching is still going on in the forests of countries like Burma and Laos, in the last scraps of wilderness in one of the most densely populated parts of the world. Every year it’s estimated that up to 30,000 primates, 5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins and 500 million tropical fish are bought and sold in Asia.

 

That bloody trade is revealed by Patrick Brown’s stark black-and-white photographs, published in his new book, Trading to Extinction. The Bangkok-based Brown spent more than 10 years documenting the underbelly of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, from ill-equipped rangers patrolling the forests of Thailand to markets in southern China, jam-packed with threatened species. He shows the shadowy smuggling routes that take wildlife products across poorly guarded borders, and shines a spotlight on the sheer inhumanity of man’s treatment of majestic animals like the endangered Indochinese tiger. Brown prowls the markets of Bangkok, where massive ivory elephant tusks—almost surely taken by a poacher—sit in a store window, mute symbols of a murderous trade. Another photograph shows a pile of tiger and snow leopard skins—worth three-quarters ofa million dollars—seized in Thailand’s Chitwan National Park.

 

Money is what drives the illegal wildlife trade, which is now worth as much as $10 billion globally. Brown notes that a poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350, but that same horn will sell for $1,000 in a nearby market town, and as much as $370,000 once it reaches dealers in Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East. It’s little wonder that international criminal syndicates have gotten into the wildlife trade, which is now estimated to be the fifth most lucrative illegal enterprise in the world. Some of that money flows to international terrorists as well, making wildlife trafficking a security threat, as well as a conservation one.

 

The good news is that the world is beginning to get serious about wildlife trafficking. On Feb. 11 the U.S. announced a new national strategy for combating poaching, as well as a ban on commercial imports and exports of ivory. Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, the highest-level summit ever on wildlife trafficking. Bringing a halt to poaching will require a commitment from developed nations like the U.S. and England. But as Patrick Brown’s moving photographs show, the battle will be fought in Asia.

Photo report's insight:

Patrick Brown is a multi award-winning English photographer based in Thailand. His work focuses on critical issues across the Asia region. Trading to Extinction is available through publisher Dewi Lewis.


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Best works | Photographer: ANDERS PETERSEN

Best works | Photographer: ANDERS PETERSEN | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Anders Petersen is noted for his intimate and personal documentary-style black-and-white photographs. He studied photography under Christer Stromholm in Sweden, 1966-1967. In 1967, he started to photograph the late-night regulars (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers, drug addicts) in a bar in Hamburg, Germany, named Café Lehmitz, and continued that project for three years. His photobook of the same name was published eight years later, in 1978, by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany, and then appeared in France (1979) and Sweden (1982). Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography.One of the photos from this series was later used as the cover art for Tom Waits' 1985 album Rain Dogs.

 

In 1970, he co-founded SAFTRA, the Stockholm group of photographers, with Kenneth Gustavsson. At the same time, he taught at Christer Stromholm's school. He has been director of the Göteborg School of Photography and Film. He began to photograph for magazines, and he continued his personal photo diary work, which continues to this day. He has photographed for extensive periods of time in prisons, mental asylums, and homes for old people.

 

In 1978, Petersen received a grant from the Swedish Authors' Foundation. In 2003, he was elected Photographer of the Year at the Recontres d'Arles. In 2007, he was one of four finalists for the £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Petersen has published more than 20 books, mostly in Sweden, and has had solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia.

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Syrian refugees in Iraq | Photographer: Andy Spyra

Syrian refugees in Iraq | Photographer: Andy Spyra | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
Photo report's insight:

"With the civil war ongoing, Syria's Christians have, just as their brethren in Iraq, been caught in the crossfire: endangered and largely forgotten, they have become victims of someone else’s war. At the time of writing, only the Christians in the north-eastern Kurdish areas are still living in considerable safe conditions. The town of Qamishli, unofficial capital of the syrian Kurds and located directly at the turkish-syrian border has become one of the last safe havens for Syria's Christians and will be the focus of my documentation." - Andy Spyra

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Sunday Morning Sports | Photographer: Salvi Danes

Sunday Morning Sports | Photographer: Salvi Danes | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Countless photographs have been captured along Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Brighton Beach. From Lisette Model and Weegee’s famous images of bathers on into the present, sun revelers have been an endless source of inspiration to photographers. Spanish photographer Salvi Danés takes us tohis Coney Island in a series he calls Sunday Morning Sports. In one image, a bather descends down jagged rocks into the water, his body engulfed by the textures around him—water, rock, light and body becoming one. The men ofSunday Morning Sports, active and invigorated, are less worried about life than they are about living. We recently caught up with Danés to find out more about this community.


“They are neighbors who have always lived together in “Barceloneta”, a neighborhood in Barcelona. They are acquaintances, friends, even relatives, who since they were teenagers, have spent their time having fun doing exercise outdoors and enjoying the sun that the beach offers them.” - Salvi Danes

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Pierric Chalois's curator insight, February 11, 2014 3:06 AM

Les sportifs du dimanche....

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Salt Water Tears | Photographer: Munem Wasif

Salt Water Tears | Photographer: Munem Wasif | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Every ecosystem has its fragile balance. That much we have already learnt. Scientists routinely now seek to document the excesses that will lead to imbalance, even where they can do nothing about them. And sometimes, just sometimes, legislation and implementation and eventually protection may follow.

In the far south-west of Bangladesh, Munem Wasif shows us just what these abstract-sounding paradigms mean in practice. Nobody knows certainly why the water levels are changing in the Bay of Bengal, but they are. In a famously low-lying country, more and more people are under threat of catastrophic flooding. Coastal erosion, too, is accelerating, a matter of grave concern in a country where (under the pressure of population) every inch of usable land is at a premium. 

Munem Wasif found a region where changes to a single measurable fact – salinity levels in the water table – can be seen to have affected every part of the matrix of balances. Salinity has risen. The old agriculture is no longer possible because the old plants simply can’t grow. Shrimping – a new industry – has grown up, largely for export, using fewer workers and threatening the livelihood of many others. Shrimping in turn exposes more land to salt or brackish water. Farmers are reduced to occasional labour. Established structures of work and the societies centred on work change and break down. 

Many people have to venture into the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans (a national park on the Indian side of the border, but not yet on the Bangladeshi) to fish or to collect roofing materials which used to be available closer to hand. In the Sundarbans they are exposed to a terrifying catalogue of risk, including attack from dog sharks, crocodiles, king cobras and the Bengal tiger. Women (it’s always the women) have to go ever farther in search of fresh water. New diseases become frequent, obviously connected to all these changes, but not yet provably so. So it goes on, a kaleidoscope of interconnected shifts, not fully understood, and not half predictable with accuracy. 

Munem Wasif has not gone to this blighted region to show us the abstractions of climate-change experts or the theories of macro-economists. Photography deals in the particular, and this project deals in the very particular. Wasif is himself Bangladeshi. Not for him the flak-jacket, the adrenaline rush, and five hours in the red zone. These are his people, although not quite in his part of the country. The accent is different but the language is shared. Wasif in fact rented a motorcycle to complete this commission, and when he tells you the names of the people in the pictures it’s because he met them and heard them, and knew them a little. 

The pictures, then, are almost by definition subjective. Too much ink has been spilt trying to work out when and whether photographers tell the truth. These pictures are absolutely personal to Wasif, absolutely his expression of his sentiments. But that doesn’t stop them being also a remarkable – and true – document of what is happening in the interplay of some of the complex of variables in this corner of Bangladesh.

Photography reads big and small. Wasif shows you Johura Begum’s long arm reaching out to her husband as he dies of cancer of the liver, that simple tenderness is the only available healthcare in a village whose population are in desperate need. It’s a little tiny truth, certainly. The husband died, the woman lived on, widowed. The photographer was there, he knows. But it is also and at the same time a complex of many metaphors. There are many pictures like this because this scene has been played out so many times all over the world. It’s a picture ‘about’ infrastructure and financing, too, as well as morality and ethics. In another searing picture, containers of fresh water are dragged on foot in boats through clinging sterile mud. Shajhan Shiraj and his brothers from Gabura, we’re told, travel three hours in this kind of way every day. Stunted trees, clear water only in the distance, three men, three boats, and the keel-trail they etch in the mud. It’s not just a beautiful picture: the irony of boats travelling so painfully slowly by land with water as their only cargo is unimaginably painful. 

There is a powerful crossover in the way pictures work. Read these pictures only as little truths and they will wrench out your heart. Read them as big truths and they will drive you towards planning practical effort for change. you don’t need to know that Johura Begum’s husband was called Amer Chan to be moved to action by Wasif. 

We read about donor fatigue, compassion fatigue. Every viewer of these pictures will have at some point the sense of having seen them before. Salgado in the Sahel, just as shocking, maybe more. Very similar in feel and tonality. But it is not up to the photographers to provide us with new scenes. As long as those scenes are there and look the way they do, photographers will continue to show them to us. Some people will look at Wasif’s pictures here and call them derivative, and they’ll be right. But it isn’t fashion. There is not going to be a new length of trousers this season in the liver cancer business. Photographers can only do so much. If viewers are tired of being harrowed, tired of seeing these scenes one shouldn’t have to look at, perhaps we can understand that it’s the viewers who need to perk up their ideas, not the photographers. Munem Wasif, for one, is doing his bit. Now it’s up to us. 

– Francis Hodgson
Head of Photographs, Sotheby's
Chairman of Judges, Prix Pictet
From the essay Munem Wasif: Tiny Truths, Big Truths 

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Shadows In Greece | Photojournalist: ENRI CANAJ

Shadows In Greece | Photojournalist: ENRI CANAJ | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

The centre of Athens, as I first remember it, was full of life. During the period before the Olympic Games, there was great development. New hotels appeared in order to host the visitors, shops, restaurants and cafes kept sprouting out, it was full of people everywhere. All this happened within a few years. It was as if the city put on new clothes. During the days of the Olympics, the city was clean and well-guarded. You would not see street-merchants, drug-addicts or immigrants, just tourists and people who came in order to have a good time. In my eyes, it looked like another place. As time passed, the city started deteriorating and gradually recovered its previous character. Time passes fast.

 

The city is now fading. Some people abandon it due to the crisis. Many shops and hotels have shut down,  the centre is now almost deserted. People fear they will get ripped-off, they hear that this happens all the time.They even fear seeing all the poverty and destitution, they drug-users who will rip you off for their shot, the women prostituting themselves. But for me, those people were always there. I found them all there when I first arrived as a 9-year old child. They were always there when I was growing up. They are somehow trapped in their lives.  The immigrants live in small rooms that they rent, many of them together, without much hope.

 

The women prostitute themselves even in the streets for 5€. Yet, hanging around with them has been my daily routine. This way, it was easier to approach them. They are sensitive people with a lot of problems, with ruined families behind them. Sometimes they give the impression that no one has cared for them. As if they want someone to talk to, as if they want to get out of the misery they are in. For some of them I had the sense that they were almost looking for someone to open up to and take it all out. Like confessing. What made an impression on me was that they often opened up and talked as if they knew me. I would only shoot when I sensed that they were more comfortable, after some time had passed. The images I have selected are stronger for me, because I know the story behind them. - 

ENRI CANAJ

Photo report's insight:

Photographer Enri Canaj documents the heart-wrenching decline of a once-prosperous city in his series 'Shadows of Greece.' Plagued by poverty, crime, sex trafficking and the political protests of fascist and anti-fascist groups, Athens no longer offers its citizens a safe environment. Canaj, who migrated to Athens at age 11, takes a special interest in the city's immigrant populace and the agonizing conditions and treatment they are subject to.

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Фото и рисунки, арт и креативная реклама - Fine art photographer: Serge Bouvet

Фото и рисунки, арт и креативная реклама - Fine art photographer: Serge Bouvet | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
Фото и рисунки интересных людей, гламурные фото от лучших фотографов, красивые рисунки замечательных художников. Фанстастическо мышление, рисунки в стиле фентези, сказка, красивые иллюстрации. Профессиональны фото.

 

Twilight Tales

In Japan, I discovered the works of Lotte Reiniger. I saw some very good cartoons where the shadows made it very effectively evoking the posture of the protagonists and the plot was more striking narrated.

So I noted in my notebook December 5, 2006: “Shadow and narration. Photography”…

One day, I took my camera and I went down into the courtyard. My 5 year old girl looking for ladybugs and snails in the pile of dead leaves that lay along the shed. She wants to give me the benefit of each of these discoveries.

It is by chance seeing our shadow on the lawn that I remembered the work of Lotte Reiniger.

I came back at home to draw an animal on thick paper. The animal is a fawn paper which I drew the outline of a box that I put on a low wall. The photo was taken at dusk. The best time to photograph the shadows.- Serge Bouvet

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A casual lunchtime snap, or the world's most iconic publicity stunt?

A casual lunchtime snap, or the world's most iconic publicity stunt? | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
This photograph of construction workers casually eating their lunch on a skyscraper beam suspended high about Manhattan can lay claim to being one of the 20th century's most recognisable images.

 

Yet, in the run up to its 80th anniversary today it has emerged that, far from catching the subjects unaware, the image was set up as a publicity shot for the Rockefeller Center.

The identity of the photographer of Lunch Atop a Skyscraper is unknown. He or she was among a pack of snappers sent by news agencies to cover the event at the RCA Building. Another, less celebrated, image shows the workers pretending to be asleep on the beam.

Ken Johnston, chief historian and archivist for Corbis Images, which owns the rights to the photo, said: "The image was a publicity effort by the Rockefeller Center.It seems pretty clear they were real workers, but the event was organised with a number of photographers."

The photograph was taken on 20 September 1932, during the construction of the RCA site – later renamed the GE Building – which forms part of the Rockefeller Center.

The original caption on the photo marked that it would be the largest office building in New York City, the archivist said.

 

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A Tale of Two Slums | Photographer: Stephen Dupont

A Tale of Two Slums | Photographer: Stephen Dupont | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

There are two excellent photographic essays of Polaroids made in the Mumbai slum Dharavi and the Senen slum of Jakarta by Stephen Dupont, an Australian photographer.

Dharavi is one of the world's largest slum and lies on prime real estate in the middle of India's financial capital, Mumbai and has a population estimated to be 1 million. Many businesses flourish in this slum, such as traditional pottery and textiles, a recycling industry, which generate an estimated $650 million turnover a year.

As for the Senen slum, it's a trackside slum in central Jakarta. It's also a center for recycling, and its inhabitants live cheek to jowl with the thundering trains.

  Stephen Dupont has produced a photographs of fragile cultures and marginalized peoples, which capture the human dignity of his subjects, and do so with great intimacy and often in some of the world’s most dangerous regions. His work has earned him prestigious prizes, including a Robert Capa Gold Medal citation from the Overseas Press Club of America; a Bayeux War Correspondent’s Prize; and first places in the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, the Australian Walkleys, and Leica/CCP Documentary Award.

His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Aperture, Newsweek, Time, GQ, Esquire, French and German GEO, Le Figaro, Liberation, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Independent, The Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, Stern, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, and Vanity Fair.

He has held major exhibitions in London, Paris, New York, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo, and Shanghai, and at Perpignan’s Visa Pour L’Image, China’s Ping Yao and Holland’s Noorderlicht festivals.


A Tale of Two Slums Part I: 

http://stephendupont.squarespace.com/essays/a-tale-of-two-slums-part-i

A Tale of Two Slums Part II:

http://stephendupont.squarespace.com/essays/a-tale-of-two-slums-part-ii

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Pooja Singh's comment, October 23, 2013 8:50 AM
Our homes and dreams are being taken away from us: Campa Cola Compound Story - The Facts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZsivIMNiOY Show your support by sharing the video and by signing a petition onhttp://bit.ly/savecampacola
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Mental illness | Photographer: Lauren Simonutti

Mental illness | Photographer: Lauren Simonutti | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Lauren E. Simonutti, 1968, USA, passed away last week due to complications from her illness. On March 28th, 2006 she started hearing voices and was diagnosed with "rapid cycling, mixed state bipolar with schizoaffective disorder". She felt she was going mad and spent her last years almost in isolation. She turned the camera on herself and the space she was living in. She has left us with an impressive, honest and strong body of work. With her photographs she gave a voice to those that suffer in isolation.

 

Mental illness is not something easily understood. Most of us only hear about it through television or the cinema, which tends to sensationalize the condition. Rarely do we meet a person truly afflicted with mental illness who can explain it. In 2006, Lauren E. Simonutti started hearing three distinct voices in her right ear, the ear she lost hearing in years prior. After numerous hospitalizations and mis-diagnoses, Lauren was finally given a name to her illness, rapid cycling, mixed state bipolar with schizoaffective disorder, and given proper medicines which allows her to function with great clarity on a daily basis. 

Taking pictures since she was twelve, Lauren turned the camera on herself, photographing within the confines of her home, which she has rarely left since 2006. The result of this self-imposed isolation is a haunting, honest body of work about mental illness and a testament to her resilience and need to confront and understand her condition.

 

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Sunil Janah dies

Sunil Janah dies | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
NEW YORK — Sunil Janah, an Indian photographer who achieved international fame with his pictures of the famine that devastated Bengal in 1943 and 1944, died June 21 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 94.
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Drape | Photographer: Eva Stenram

Drape | Photographer: Eva Stenram | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Stenram’s most current series, Drape, uses vintage pin-up photographs as its source material. The women in these photographs are posed in interior domestic sets in front of curtains or drapes, offering a glimpse into intimate space. In Stenram’s versions of these images, the curtains are extended to partially obscure the women.

 

The background envelopes the focal point and the foreground slips into the background. The curtain vacillates between striptease-drape and blind or shutter, reinforcing its role as a barrier between public and private. The resulting image makes no attempt to look ‘real’; rather, it submits to a cut-and-paste collage aesthetic whose ultimate referent is the act of photography itself.

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L'intuition dans la photographie | Conseil photo: Serge Bouvet

L'intuition dans la photographie | Conseil photo: Serge Bouvet | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"J’ai encore présent à l’esprit de nombreuses gravures illustrées de John Tenniel, de Cornelis Visscher, d’Émile Bayard, de Léon Benett, de Gustave Doré ou de Thomas Johnson. Je dois beaucoup à ces illustrateurs qui m’ont rendu avide des écrits de Jules Vernes, de Jean de La Fontaine ou de Miguel De Cervantès. Par ailleurs, il m’ont donné le goût des récits d’aventures, d’histoire et de documentaires anciens comme le Petit Journal par exemple.

Les illustrations ont fait entrer dans ma caboche des dizaines de récits visuels sans trop d’effort. C’est la force des images, n’est-ce pas ? Les images font entrer les idées essentielles dans l’esprit avec une grande aisance. Pour l’enfant que j’étais, ce moyen pour retenir certaines choses me convenaient parfaitement. Une cascade de mots ou de chiffres, c’est parfois trop abstrait pour l’imagination. L’image s’efface difficilement de la mémoire." - Serge Bouvet

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Taso's curator insight, November 17, 2014 3:37 PM

ajouter votre point de vue ...

Emily NEYROUD's curator insight, November 24, 2014 9:29 AM

ajouter votre aperçu ...

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Presets Lightroom Noir & Blanc Bichromiques gratuits | Photographe: Serge Bouvet

Presets Lightroom Noir & Blanc Bichromiques gratuits | Photographe: Serge Bouvet | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

La mise en valeur d’un visage lors d’un portrait en noir et blanc, impose un traitement gouverné par le choix d’un contraste soigné. L’attrait de la photo se mesurera à l’équilibre de la composition dépendante du style, du contour et de la forme. Pour vous causer de mon approche, je vous propose en outre de télécharger 3 préréglages de qualité du logiciel Adobe Lightroom1 que j’ai conçus pour mes travaux de photographie en noir et blanc. Allons à l’essentiel, téléchargez maintenant gratuitement ces 3 templates Lightroom

Photo report's insight:

(...) Un autre exemple d’application du preset Vintage Duotone Portrait BW – Hight Contrast avec un effet « lost and found » – enjeu esthétique

Tout ne doit pas être éclairé. Bien souvent, il est mieux de suggérer que de montrer quelque chose. C’est ainsi que l’imagination peut se mettre en route. Pour la photo suivante du jeune Jaîn que j’ai prise dans le nord du Rajasthan, j’ai accentué le vignettage et le contraste pour simuler l’effet « lost and found » conceptualisé par Jimmy Wong Howe. 

 

Une partie du sujet se fond dans l’obscurité. Le low key, dans son mouvement qui consiste à cacher des éléments de la figuration dans des noirs profonds, sert le portrait avec richesse et structure, par sa forme, de véritables leitmotivs. L’épure par le noir isole les parties claires en les rendant essentielles à la composition du plan et à la lecture de l’image. Leur importance, leur pouvoir expressif s’en trouvent renforcés en laissant l’excédent figuratif, parfois superficiel, disparaître dans des zones d’obscurité partielles ou complètes.

L’effet « lost and found » immergeant  le sujet dans un lieu d’indétermination sombre composée de hautes lumières et d’ombres, renforce le mystère du Jaïn. (...) - Serge Bouvet

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Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold

Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

A body, used as a canvas, every inch of skin filled with sacred text and figures of mythical creatures, all forming a protective shield. A boxer, a monk, a construction worker, a police man, a soldier, a taxi driver, a shipyard worker, a shaman, a tattoo master; men, women and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck. Enter the world of Thailand’s spiritual “yantra” tattoo tradition. - Cedric Arnold

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Kashmir | Photographer: Andy Spyra

Kashmir | Photographer: Andy Spyra | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Emerging photographer Andy Spyra (1984, Germany) is currently focusing on two personal, long-term projects in the Kashmir Valley, the location of the longest unresolved conflict in the history of the United Nations. Today, over 700,000 Indian soldiers and paramilitary forces are stationed in the region. This makes Kashmir the most highly militarised zone in the world.

Kashmir is not poor: unlike the rest of India it is rich in natural resources and most of its population has (by Indian standards) a good standard of living. But rising militancy, which began in the early 1990s, changed the valley’s fate and turned it into the so-called ‘Valley of Tears’. Before the partition of British India into the now archenemies India and Pakistan, Muslim Kashmir was an independent kingdom with its own culture and language. Nowadays, the people living in the region still feel more Kashmiri than they do Indian: they don’t want to belong to India, which is geographically, ethnologically and culturally so far removed from their own roots.

The Kashmir conflict has already lead to four wars in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999, and  resulted in the death of over 60,000 people, with a further 10,000 still missing. Although there have been marked improvements in bilateral relations between India and Pakistan in the past, the situation in Kashmir remains fragile and tense.

 

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Arrivals and Departures | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol

Arrivals and Departures | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"It was a trip I had always wanted to take; The legendary journey along the Trans Siberian Railway.

Denmark, my native country, you can cross in five hours by train, but in Russia the distances are huge.

I was curious if the connection between people and places would feel different considering the fact that I would pass every tree, every house and every village on my way to Beijing.

The first chock came already when I entered the train. It was completely empty.

 

The whole idea of the project had been to meet people on the train and make intimate stories from the train compartments. But riding this ghost-train, I had to change the concept:

The intimate work had to come from my encounters with people in the cities and the train became the read thread connecting Moscow, Ulaanbaartar and Beijing.

On the train I ended up with my camera glued to the window photographing the change of landscape as we were let along the russian forests, the mongolian desert and through the mountains to Beijing.

 

But it was not only Russia, Mongolia and China that was unknown land to me - so was my equipment. It was my first time using a digital camera. Everything was new, but then again, my ambition is always the same; to use the camera as a tool to create contact, closeness and intimacy. I want to meet people, to connect with the cities, to make the places mine, even if it’s just for a short while.

I had the greatest experience in Mongolia, when I ran into a group of Mongolian hunters who invited me to join them on a trip through the mountains that surround Ulaanbaatar.

This reminded me of my life in Greenland. When I  was 23 I lived in a small settlement of the East Coast of Greenland, where I was trained as a hunter. The relation you create to nature as a hunter has had a big influence on my life and my work.

Meeting the Mongolian hunter, I immediately felt like putting the camera on a shelf and picking up the riffle. When he shot and slaughtered a deer, we drank the warm blood and ate the raw liver together." - Jacob Aue Sobol

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The Rape of a Nation | Photojournalist: Marcus Bleasdale

The Rape of a Nation | Photojournalist: Marcus Bleasdale | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed health care system and a devastated economy.

 

The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

 

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.

Photo report's insight:

Marcus Bleasdale was born in the UK to an Irish family, in 1968.  He grew up in the north of England and initially studied economics and started work as an investment banker. Although he was a director in a large international bank he resigned in the mid 1990s and began to travel through the Balkans with his camera.

 

He returned to study photojournalism at the prestigious London School, during which time he won the Ian Parry, Young photographer Award for his work on the conflict in Sierra Leone. He has established himself as one of the worlds leading documentary photographers concentrating on Conflict and Human Rights.

 

He has been awarded many of the worlds highest honors for his work and continues to highlight the effects of conflict on society. He is a member of the photo agency VII. He lives with his wife Karin Beate in Oslo, Norway.

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Mutazioni | Fine art photographer: Gian Luca Groppi

Mutazioni | Fine art photographer: Gian Luca Groppi | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Gian Luca Groppi is a modern storyteller, who mixes cards and genres, giving his works a caustic lyricism that deliberately does not offer solutions or panaceas, but is rather an attempt at trying to shake us from widespread social and emotional inertia.” And here he is again the "storyteller", who brings together in this exhibition years of works that he himself calls "his only children." 

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Yoga performers | Photographer: Tomasz Gudzowaty

Yoga performers | Photographer: Tomasz Gudzowaty | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

There are many interpretations of yoga, both in India and in the western world. In the Vedic religious tradition, yoga is seen as a pathway to achieving spiritual enlightenment through physical training and as a way of living in harmony with your body and nature. It is also an accepted form of gymnastics and is often used as therapy. Yoga, with its Indian roots stretching back 2000 years, is not typically associated with sport since it does not involve any competition. However, every three years, pilgrims, spiritual masters, and yogis travel to India for the Kumbh Mela Hindu feast. Different schools and sects meet to display their achievements in the practice of yoga and pranayama (control over the breath).


It’s the biggest gathering of people in the world. One of Shiva’s manifestations, the god Nataraja, is the patron saint of the event. Over time, the rules of competition were formally organized and most recently, yoga asana has been included in modern sport yoga. Yogis who participate in the contest are separated into age groups and perform in singles, pairs, or groups. But even with all these formal rules and regulations, the technical aspect does not eclipse the spiritual. The official rules of the Yoga Federation of India state that “while performing yoga positions the contestant should show his/her happiness and spirituality.” This helps keep contestants in touch with teachings of the ancient Hindu masters, who regarded happiness as a task well within the reach of all humans.

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Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold

Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

The sacred tattoos in Thailand are much more than just an art form, and with a culture deeply rooted in superstition and spirituality, such tattoos are believed to have magical and healing powers. Thai men and also women have their sacred tattoos done at Buddhist temples, for protection against evil spirits, and as good luck charms.

Cedric Arnold's website tells that these sacred tattoos can be scripts based on ancient Khmer, and the original Buddhist Pali, along with figures and mythical creatures. Using large-format and Polaroid cameras, formal black-and-white portraits were made of boxers, monks, construction workers, policemen, soldiers, taxi drivers, shipyards workers, a shaman, and tattoo masters.

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Muay Thai Bangkok | Photographer : Mark Carey

Muay Thai Bangkok | Photographer : Mark Carey | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Here's a gallery of monochrome photographs of Muay Thai training made in Bangkok by the talented Mark Carey. These appealed to me as they were photographed away from the glitzy lights of the top Muay Thai arenas in Bangkok, but show the rather edgy side of the sport...as I tried to do in my recent photo essay of the Muay Thai ring in Loi Kroh Road in Chiang Mai. 

Mark Carey is a London-based documentary photographer, who tells us he never had an interest in photographing posed or set-up shots, whether for his wedding photography or during his travels. I think he somewhat bent his rule with some of the frames of the non Thai fighter in the Muay Thai series, but these are the exception and are well worth adding to the gallery...the fellow looks absolutely fierce.

Muay Thai is a combat fight practiced in Thailand, and referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact".

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Human condition | Documentary photographers: Colin Finlay

Human condition | Documentary photographers: Colin Finlay | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Finlay has documented the human condition with compassion, empathy, and dignity for almost twenty years. His work has taken him around the world many times. He covered conflicts in Northern Ireland, Israel, and Haiti; was in Rwanda during the time of the genocide; and photographed imprisoned child soldiers, abandoned children dying from AIDS in Romania, and child laborers in Egypt’s “City of the Dead.” He has also documented the effects of climate change on the Arctic Circle and Antarctica as well as on people in locations such as the Sudan.

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Detroit | Photographer: Ian Willms

Detroit | Photographer: Ian Willms | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"Detroit" is an exploration of blue collar America in the wake of globalization. The economic prosperity that came with domestic automotive manufacturing drew many hard-working Americans to Detroit and other industrial cities over the last century. As free trade facilitated the mass-outsourcing of labour, many of America's domestic manufacturing jobs evaporated. The impact this had upon working-class Americans was and continues to be devastating. 

My work in Detroit is a document of the industrial American culture that is quickly beginning to vanish. As old factories lay empty and silent, awaiting their inevitable demolition, fewer and fewer goods are manufactured locally. Free trade has not only taken jobs from the community, but it has also taken the pride away from the workers who remain. From the cars on the street to the clothes on a person's back, goods are now made elsewhere by people that we have never met. America no longer has a use for places like the Detroit, and like so many surplus labourers, the city itself has been abandoned like a broken down, old car. 

For most people, the story ends there. We take our pink slip and swallow that lump in our throat as we pack up and move away. Fortunately, the decades of back-breaking labour that built America made Detroiters into a tough breed. Those who remain in the Motor City display a remarkable level of creativity, resourcefulness and resiliency.

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