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The 2006 Lebanon War | Photojournalist: Samuel Aranda

The 2006 Lebanon War | Photojournalist: Samuel Aranda | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
Samuel Aranda Phototographer
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"The 2006 Lebanon War – know in Lebanon as the July War, and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War – was a 34-day military conflict un Lebanon and norther Israel between Israel and Hezbollah.

The conflict left hundreds of dead and thousands of displaced. Whole families lost everything during the war." - Samuel Aranda

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Le voyage d’un jeune artiste de rue à travers l’Inde | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter

Le voyage d’un jeune artiste de rue à travers l’Inde | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Le gamin a dû quitter son village d’enfance, sans même avoir eu la possibilité de dire au revoir à sa mère. Avec son père, ils commencent à parcourir les routes du nord de l’Inde. Cela pourrait être le début d’une belle histoire riche en péripétie qui se terminera le jour où ce gamin devra rester debout tout seul… Son père lui a appris à jongler, à battre le tambour, à faire sembler de pleurer ou de rire. Ils n’ont jamais le même toit au-dessus de la tête. Mais cela reste toujours un toit d’étoiles. Parfois, c’est la constellation du Capricorne, parfois celle du Sagittaire. Ensemble, ils sillonnent l’Inde en gagnant leur vie en donnant des représentations théâtrales et musicales. Dans le bidonville de Kathputli Colony, à new Delhi, ils retrouvent leurs pairs, d’autres artistes de rue. Ensemble, ils sillonnent de concert les rues de New Delhi pour égayer la vie citadine.

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I Am Georgia | Photographer: Dina Oganova

I Am Georgia |  Photographer: Dina Oganova | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

For photographer Dina Oganova, each and every aspect of her country is precious and unique. In her series I Am Georgia, Oganova chronicles the daily facets of the homeland she has always treasured. Here we see children at play, the elderly at prayer, and everyday familial celebrations.


Made up of only four million residents, Georgia has existed as a sovereign state for a little over a decade. Bordered by Russia, Turkey and the Black Sea, the country faced civil war the same year it declared independence from the Soviet Union.


A land of refugees and with a history of conflict, Georgia’s people attempt to hold on to traditions while plunging into the future. In this relatively new and foreign landscape, I Am Georgia is a personal and spirited testament to who the country is and to who it is becoming.

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Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men | Photographer: Lu Nan 呂楠

Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men | Photographer:  Lu Nan 呂楠 | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men: China’s Catholicism & Forgotten People, and 4 Seasons in Tibet

 

Influential Chinese Photographer Lu Nan 呂楠 is a man of mystery, shying away from cameras, the public and publicity. Lu has also been known to hide his name and movements under various pseudonyms. He applied for membership at Magnum Photos under the name Mao Xiaohu.

 

And while Lu once said it didn’t matter who the photographer was that took the pictures (good or bad), it is hard to ignore and not attribute to him his immense body of work, namely the ‘Trilogy’ series which took 15 years to complete. First in the trilogy were Lu’s photographs of patients at China’s mental hospitals titled ‘The Forgotten People, the state of Chinese psychiatric wards’.

 

This was followed by a documentary of the catholic church in China and pilgrimages made by its followers. The last were photographs of peasants in Tibet called ‘Four Seasons’, rumoured to be made whilst Lu was on the run from ‘unfriendlies’. In 2009, Lu also made controversial photographs of prisoners in Northern Myanmar camps.

Photo report's insight:

"Human lives should not be labeled. Labels cover our eyes and make many things invisible to us," Lu Nan said.


Legendary Chinese photographer Lu Nan shook the world with his pictures of people living on the edge of despair.

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Noir & blanc | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter

Noir & blanc | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

I discovered photography when I became a father in 2008. Yes, it is the birth of my daughter that led me to buy my first camera, a Canon 40D. It is in 2010 that I had for the first prestigious client, the Courts of Auditors, a quasi-judicial body of the French government, to photograph the First President, Didier Migaud.

This little overview to the past, duotone black and white is necessary for me as a stylistic evidence. This gallery is not complete, more pictures will be added gradually.

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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, 3:06 AM

Les sportifs du dimanche....

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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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Street children of Ukraine | Photographer: David Gillanders

Street children of Ukraine | Photographer: David Gillanders | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

In 2000 I was travelling through Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union developing a project on the transmission of HIV through intravenous drug use. I stumbled upon a group of young kids who were being chased from a McDonalds restaurant by a very aggressive restaurant manager. I intervened to prevent the manager beating the kids on the street. The kids had been removing leftovers from empty tables. This act led me into an underground world where young children live and die in the most squalid and horrible conditions I have ever experienced. Orphans, runaways, wee broken souls fending for themselves in a cruel and unforgiving world.- David Gillanders

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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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Ten Thousand Scrolls | Photographer: Kirk Crippens

Ten Thousand Scrolls | Photographer: Kirk Crippens | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
“Traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand scrolls” is a Chinese proverb that speaks to the heart of Kirk Crippens’ recent portrait project. He was hungry for knowledge of China that he couldn’t get just by reading, so he traveled from his home in the East Bay area to the small city Chinese city of Lishui. With just two words of Mandarin (Ni hao, which means “hello”), he managed to meet hundreds of people who allowed him to photograph them and who took him into their homes and into their confidence. Crippens is one of three photographers (along with Maggie Preston and David Wolf) participating in the 2012 RayKo artists-in-residence program. A joint exhibition is currently on view at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco through December 14th, 2012.
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Wanawake | Photographer: Martina BACIGALUPO

Wanawake | Photographer: Martina BACIGALUPO | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"Every minute in the world a woman dies of childbirth. 99% of these women live in developing countries. More than half of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. For every maternal death, 20 women suffer pregnancy-related injuries, infections or diseases and, in some case, long term disabilities. The majority of maternal deaths and disabilities can be prevented through access to basic health-care services during pregnancy and delivery.

The more affected are women living in poverty, who lack the decision-making power and the financial resources to access basic health care.
The lack of progress in reducing maternal mortality highlights the low price placed on the lives of these women and testifies to their limited public voice.
In the urban western world a woman reaches a hospital in less than 7 minutes. In the Congo women who manage to reach a health center have walked, pregnant and alone for hours, often for days." - Martina Bacigalupo

Photo report's insight:

Martina Bacigalupo was born in 1978 in Genova.

She is member of Agence Vu in Paris.

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Zahida's curator insight, December 5, 2013 10:10 PM

This article interests me because of the major differeances in the avaerage time it takes for women to get to the hospital when they become pregnent. In the urban western world a women gets to the hospital while in the Congo, women get to the hospital after walking for hours or even days. Many people want to help in a specific way want to donate to a cause that they know that they can directly impact people.  The half the sky book concentrates on specific examples, while this article concentrates on one aspect of the overall goal that the Half the Sky book is trying to promote. 

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Children’s dreams | Photographer: Arthur Tress

Children’s dreams | Photographer: Arthur Tress | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

For his 1960s project on children’s dreams, legendary photographer Arthur Tress visualizes the subconscious fears of the innocent mind. While working with educator Richard Lewis of The Touchstone Center, he observed an exercise in which young people were asked to construct poems and paintings of their dreams; inspired, he began collaborating with children to create haunting silver gelatin photographs.

Influenced in part by the concept of Jungian archetypes, the images represent both the anxieties of the individual and the collective dread of the transformative decade. Here, domestic life and its mundane chores cease to provide comfort, and the home—and by extension, the mother figure herself— becomes irreversibly corrupted and decayed. Uprooted literally and figuratively from the safe space of wakefulness, the children must navigate a landscape riddled with a perversion that they do not yet comprehend.

As the virtues of childhood fade the reveal the sins of a hopelessly adult world, the threat of punishment and humiliation is ever-present, in the form of a dunce cap or in a vengeful flood brought by some unknowable deity. Ultimately, the impulse to grow and mature with the times is met with the irresistible urge to retreat, to pinch oneself and to awake from a nightmare that seems inescapable.

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LIFE | Photographer: Junku Nishimura

LIFE | Photographer: Junku Nishimura | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Junku Nishimura live in small coal-mining village in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. His father is now old and Junku’s dream was to pass the last years with him growing and harvesting rice in their family paddy fields. He had left years ago to become a salaryman in big city Japan.

 

Anyone who knows Junku knows he has three great loves – Photography, Music and Whiskey. He found his love for music and whiskey while moonlighting as a DJ in bars serving customers from the US Military Base. He found photography while snap-shooting his blue collar peers in his early days in Japan’s building industry.

 

A friend of Junku’s recently got married and invited him to the wedding ceremony. He asked if it was okay to go without a suit because he didn’t own one. He quit his suit for a camera years ago. The friend replied “Yes, as long as you don’t smell.” Junku showed up, with his signature, heavily stitched and patched fisherman hat. Vintage Junku!

 

I’ve always believed the notion that every photograph is a portrait of the photographer. Here is a selection of Junku’s photographs of Japan – a portrait from a Larrikin Ex-salaryman.

Photo report's insight:
More from Junku Nishimura: www.flickr.com/photos/junku-newcleus
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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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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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Bangkok | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol

Bangkok | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

I came to Bangkok for the first time in the spring of 2008. It is a city that has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, yet it is also a place where the gap between the poor and the rich is increasing rapidly.    

I found my interest in the sois, the narrow streets, which surround the muddy River of Chao Phraya, the street kids in Sukhumvit and the families who live by the old train track that runs through the slum of Klong Toey. This, as opposed to the fancy shopping area around Siam Square, is where people caught my attention - people I felt a connection with or an attraction towards, and who were willing to communicate with me or just share a brief moment of closeness. 

However, I could also often feel the distance between us, and so I often found myself in the role as the spectator photographing the constantly changing scenarios in the city. Underlined by the difference in language, race and social status, it was a continuous struggle to create an equal meeting. But when this succeeded, it was often in this encounter – on a one to one basis - that I got the feeling of the closeness and intimacy I was searching for.  - Jacob Aue Sobol

Photo report's insight:
Jacob is a member of Magnum Photos. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rita Castelotte Gallery in Madrid and RTR Gallery in Paris also represent him. Jacob was born in Denmark, in 1976 and grew up in Brøndby Strand in the suburbs south of Copenhagen. He lived as an exchange student in Strathroy, Canada from 1994-95 and as a hunter and fisherman in Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006 he moved to Tokyo, staying there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. He now lives and works in Copenhagen.
 
After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed. In the autumn of 1999 he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book Sabine was published in 2004 and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

In the summer of 2005 Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006. In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years he created the images from his resent book I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain), Peliti Associati (Italy) and Mets & Schilt (The Netherlands) In 2008 Jacob started working in Bangkok and in 2009 in Copenhagen. Both projects will be published as books in 2013. Jacob is currently working on the project Arrivals and Departures - a journey from Moscow to Beijing - in co-operation with Leica Camera.  
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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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The 13th floor | Photographer: David Gillanders

The 13th floor | Photographer: David Gillanders | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

"Paul Mann, and Marie Ward are living in desperate poverty in one of the remaining high rise block of flats in the Gorbals, Glasgow. The council accommodation they live in, which is scheduled for demolition, is riddled with dampness causing illness to their children. Both Marie and Paul are long term, third generation unemployed and are completely dependent on the state, not just for benefit but for help in caring for their 4 children. The family have since be relocated to a newly built townhouse in the Gorbals but continue to struggle." - David Gillanders

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Albania-A Homecoming | Photographer: ENRI CANAJ

Albania-A Homecoming | Photographer: ENRI CANAJ | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Albania is a small country in the heart of the Balkans. Despite its rich culture, people outside do generally not know much about it. It is also my homeland, the place of my early childhood. I grew up seperated from it, and returned later to pick up the threads that were left behind. 

What I found was modernity and tradition living together. I traveled a lot and started to know my birthplace, the people, their mentality, and their traditions. I felt very welcome, and was fascinated by all the people I met. They were kind, friendly and curious about my work.

 

I made this journey together with my wife. When people realized we were a couple, they were very open, they welcomed us inside their homes and extended wishes, blessings and congratulations. Marriage is very important in Albania. Everyone has to get married, it is considered to make men stronger and more respected in society.

 

In this photographic project I would like to show the everyday lives of Albanian people – the big picture, as well as the small, seemingly insignificant moments. What impressed me most was the strong family union, the connection among people. I found it everywhere – in married young couples and their babies, at a funeral ceremony where relatives shared their pain, at a wedding party, or when a son accompanied his father at work. I didn’t see any lonely people. - 

ENRI CANAJ
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I See A Darkness | Photojournalist: Matt Lutton

I See A Darkness  | Photojournalist: Matt Lutton | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

 “As soon as you appeared on this roof you made yourself ridiculous. It was your tone of voice. You spoke your words as though you denied the very existence of the shadows or of evil. Think, now: where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow? Shadows are thrown by people and things. There’s the shadow of my sword, for instance. But shadows are also cast by trees and living things. Do you want to strip the whole globe by removing every tree and every creature to satisfy your fantasy of a bare world? You’re stupid.” - Mikhail Bulgakov for Matt lutton

Photo report's insight:

Lutton has lived and worked in Serbia since 2009, documenting the complex climate of a country that he says is still “emerging from the hangover of the 1990s, where atrocities were carried out in their name just across newborn borders, and constructive reflection about the consequences of those years is long over due.” As a documentary photographer, the image is everything—it unveils the nuanced stories that wait to be told,

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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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