All posts by Bruno J. Navarro

Editor, photographer, writer, photojournalist, etc.

A photojournalist and a marine reveal their journey back from war

Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War by Thomas J. Brennan USMC (Ret) and Finbarr O'Reilly Veteran combat photographer Finbarr O’Reilly, on assignment in Afghanistan, and Sgt. Thomas James Brennan of the U.S. Marine Corps struck up a friendship in one of the world’s most hostile environments, amid an uncertain war, the photojournalist writes in a Lens blog post.

It was 2010 and both had found themselves amid Taliban territory in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, when a grenade explosion knocked the soldier unconscious. O’Reilly made photographs of the immediate aftermath, unaware then that the event would bind the two men’s experiences in untold ways.

We don’t often discuss the issue publicly, but war correspondents experience similar rates of post-traumatic stress as combat veterans (about one in four, according to experts). The causes can be different, but guilt plays a prominent role for both. During his years in combat, Sergeant Brennan did and saw things that will haunt him forever. My own conscience is nagged by the fact that I was paid to photograph people at their most vulnerable while being able to do little to help. I took pictures of Sergeant Brennan moments after he was injured and nearly killed. Our odd alliance offered us both a shot at redemption.

The friendship developed into a collaboration, various blog posts on the war, and, eventually, a book they co-authored, “Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back From War.”

 

Source: After Combat, a Photographer and a Marine Find Common Ground – The New York Times

Jonathan Bachman discusses his iconic Black Lives Matter protest image

Jonathan Bachman, a freelance photographer on assignment for Reuters, witnessed protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when he spotted a black woman standing in the middle of a road, arms crossed as she faced a line of police officers in riot gear. Her long, flowing summer dress billowed in the summer breeze, as armed cops moved in to arrest her.

“She had no facial expression at all,” Bachman said. She just stood there.”

Bachman, 31, who was covering the protests sparked by the police shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography. (Daniel Berehulak, a freelance photographer, won the category for his harrowing images of the drug war in the Philippines.)

The image of defiance represented the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement, which had grown out of recent police shootings of African American men, and it soon went viral, running in hundreds of news outlets over the following day.

In its account of Bachman’s experience behind the photograph, Reuters wrote:

The Atlantic magazine called the image “a single photo from Baton Rouge that’s hard to forget,” while the BBC hailed it as “legendary.” The Washington Post said it “captured a critical moment for the country,” while Britain’s Daily Mail website called it “an iconic arrest photo.”

Yet Bachman said he never considered himself part of the story and never even posted it on his social media profiles.

“I was just doing my job,” he said. “I felt like this was going to be an important photo, so I just took it.”

Charlotte Jansen asks, ‘How should we look at women?’

Woman seen from behind on a bed with 'Feminist' written on the back of her underwear
“Sherris in Palm Springs” (2014) by Mayan Toledano

Charlotte Jansen interviewed 40 artists from 17 countries as part of her effort to understand the role of women in photography — as subject and muse, and also as creators.

“They can be a way to understand identity, femininity, sexuality, beauty and bodies,” she writes in a book excerpt published on CNN.com.

Jansen — a freelance writer, editor-at-large at Elephant magazine and author of “Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze” — asks, “How should we look at women?”

“The photographs women take of women can be a tool for challenging perceptions in the media, human rights, history, politics, aesthetics, technology, economy and ecology; to get at the unseen structures in our world and contribute to a broader understanding of society,” she writes. “What you can get is not always what you might see.”

“Girl on Girl,” featuring work by Mayan Toledano, Maisie Cousins and Juno Calypso, among others, was published April 8, 2017, by Laurence King Publishing.

Cover of photography book 'Girl on Girl' featuring two images of a woman facing each other
‘Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze’ by Charlotte Jansen

Daniel Berehulak, E. Jason Wambsgans win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes

NEW YORK — Daniel Berehulak, a freelance photojournalist based out of Mexico City, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography for his reportage of the human toll of the Philippine war on drugs launched by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Daniel Berehulak
Daniel Berehulak

Berehulak, a three-time Pulitzer finalist and two-time winner, documented 57 homicides in 35 days in chilling detail in the capital of Manila.

The photo reportage, titled ‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,’ depicted the aftermath of extrajudicial killings on urban streets — from the bloody crime scenes to the child mourners left behind, from the victims’ empty homes to the overworked funeral homes that struggle to deal with the body count of vigilante violence.

“For powerful storytelling through images published in The New York Times showing the callous disregard for human life in the Philippines brought about by a government assault on drug dealers and users,” the Pulitzer Prize jury wrote.

E. Jason Wambsgans of the Chicago Tribune won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography.

The jury wrote that the prize was awarded “for a superb portrayal of a 10-year-old boy and his mother striving to put the boy’s life back together after he survived a shooting in Chicago.”

The FENCE submission deadline is about to close

The deadline for photographers to submit to The FENCE, a large-scale outdoor photography exhibit that will be seen in seven cities, is about to close on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

The project, which debuted in 2012 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, was conceived by United Photo Industries and Photo District News in 2011, establishing a popular public photography event.

The FENCE is a series of large-scale photography exhibitions printed on vinyl mesh and installed outdoors in 7 cities: Boston, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Houston, Santa Fe, Durham and Denver. Each exhibition is on public view for a minimum of 3 months in areas with massive pedestrian traffic, ensuring an unprecedented audience for your work.

via The FENCE 2017

Bhupendra Karia: ‘Listening to India with one’s eyes’

NEW YORK — India, with its complex history, mix of cultures and massive population, represents a world unto itself that is at once a force to be reckoned with on the global stage and an unknowable land to outsiders. It is this veil that artist, teacher, theorist, curator and photographer Bhupendra Karia sought to pierce, and in the process humanizes the nation with a unique, visual synecdoche that reflects his cultural awareness and personal vision.

Among the most striking images in the exhibit: A vertical B&W print of a turban, a shawl and a rifle hanging on peg embedded in a terra cotta wall. The deceptively simple image evokes India’s cultural identity (or one segment of it), its struggle for independence, and the violence of Partition in 1947 — when lands occupied by the British Empire were carved into Hindu and Muslim nations to form what is current-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Estimates of the death toll vary between 500,000 and 1.5 million, marking one of the most tragic periods in modern history.

Karia’s Population Crisis project produced views of urban life in Bombay (Mumbai), from the manual labor of men lugging cloth, tied in bundles, on their backs, to the quotidian hustle and bustle of commerce and transportation clogging the city’s streets in every direction, with such richness in its subjects to provide the viewer an immersion, however brief, into life in India; from food vendors preparing to distribute lunch orders in stacked tins from crudely constructed wooden carts, to residents making their way around tenement-style, colonial-era housing.

In the second half of the 1960s and the early 1970s, Karia undertook extensive photographic journeys that would last weeks, sometimes months, at a time, logging some 80,000 miles across India’s rural landscape — likely fueled by an anthropological impulse to explore and record rural India and its native creative traditions–textiles, pottery, and architectural decoration. The resulting project comprises a quarter-million images, which Karia edited down to a portfolio of 74 photographs that he called “the meager harvest of my first 20 years in photography.” Twenty of those images are included in the current exhibition, Bhupendra Karia / India 1968-1974, through March 19 at sepiaEYE, with selected work from the Karia Estate, comprises two projects, Selections from the Portfolio and Population Crisis.

Bhupendra Karia / India 1968-1974 at sepiaEYE, 547 W. 27th Street, #608, New York, NY, Feb. 4, 2016, through March 19, 2016.

Lecture: “An Evolving Archive: The Photographs of Bhupendra Karia with Paul Sternberger,” at International Center of Photography, 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 16.

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Bhupendra Karia, Population Crisis B.45.70, Bombay, early 1970’s, Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Population Crisis B.8.74.70, Bombay, early 1970’s, Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Population Crisis B.88.70, Bombay, early 1970’s. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Population Crisis B.96.70, Bombay, early 1970’s. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Population Crisis B.229, Bombay, early 1970’s. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Old Bombay Dwellings, Bombay, 1970. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Birdcage and Saris on Porch, Sankheda, 1967. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Hand Print on Wall, 1968. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Lamp and Two Umbrellas, Baroda, 1968. Vintage Silver print
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Bhupendra Karia, Turban and Gun, Bhavnagar, 1969. Vintage Silver print

Wim Wenders on Walker Evans, Polaroids

Filmmaker Wim Wenders speaks with MoMA curator Josh Siegel about the inspiration for his 1974 film, “Alice in the Cities.”

The conversation is part of a retrospective of the German-born filmmaker, organized by the Museum of Modern Art.

The film exhibition runs March 2-17, 2015.

Cat photos help raise privacy issues

Owen Mundy has taken online cat pictures to another level.

On the surface, his website, I Know Where Your Cat Lives, appears to be a feline-lover’s dream, offering up random pictures of public photos of a wide range of kitties from all over the world.

But in his Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for web hosting, Mundy of Tallahassee, Fla., explains a deeper purpose to his efforts.

“This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all,” he writes. “This website doesn’t visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.”

The Kickstarter campaign runs through 9 August 2014.

Facebook selfies as depiction of the American girl

Jenna Garrett waded through countless Facebook self-portraits, or “selfies,” for a new exhibit that examines the concept of the online identity.

As part of the Aperture Summer Open project, Garrett’s series, “The Public Profile of An American Girl” comprises nearly 5,000 public images of young women posted to the social-media website.

“It’s very important to me that the work be viewed as an installation—there is something really visceral about seeing 500 images of people licking one another. So much of what we do online feels intangible—people post photos, share their entires lives and say so many things without so much as a thought. Making images online a physical thing (public images that anyone could stumble upon and see) changes the dynamic entirely,” she tells Cool Hunting.

Garrett’s series is part of a larger body of work, titled “The Public Profile Project.” In one of its pieces, “Pretty/Ugly,” she creates a disturbing mosaic of YouTube videos from a recent phenomenon in which teenage girl invited viewers to weigh in on her looks.

Steve McCurry reveals stories behind the images

Steve McCurry took inspiration from New Zealand photographer Brian Brake‘s famous 1962 image of an Indian girl in a monsoon years later when covering the subcontinent’s rainy season.

“During my monsoon coverage in India, I learned that there was this terrible flood in one of the cities in Gujarat. So, I got a flight, and to my horror, I saw that three-quarters of the city was underwater. People were living on their roofs. They had no fresh water. They had no food. So, I set about documenting this situation,” he said a video accompanying his book, “Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs,” published by Phaidon.

“I literally spent the entire day walking around up to my waist or my chest in water, and the water was very dirty an fully of dead animals. It was very disgusting,” McCurry added. “But It was fascinating how people persevere, how they can live through these situations and actually cope and do quite well, despite this kind of very difficult circumstance.”