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.
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.”
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, Reuterswrote:
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Cheryl Dunn casts a spotlight on nine decades of New York street photography — with some of the discipline’s best-known practitioners and a few unheralded ones — in her new documentary film, “Everybody Street.”
“If you want to get a really broad slice of humanity, you can find it in New York,” Dunn tells Wired. “Every kind of person is out there and I think that’s what’s attracted all these photographers.”
The “Everybody Street” Vimeo page contains selected clips from the interviews, including one in which Meyerowitz responds to a question of what makes a good photograph.
“I hitchhiked to Mexico, and in Mexico I saw this. It’s a shooting gallery, and in the shooting gallery there’s a wooden trunk, and in the trunk is a baby who’s screaming. Probably the gunshots,” he said. “I mean, I was able to see that that there was kind of an overall thing, rather than just looking at the baby. So, I think early on, I kind of developed a sense of, you know, what might make an interesting photograph.”
Barton Silverman, a New York Times sports photographer, recalled an exciting moment near the start of his illustrious career, as a 19-year-old in Brooklyn witnessing construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1962.
“I started pulling on the rope and my foot slipped,” Silverman told the Times’ Lens blog. “Half my body was off the bridge. I had this huge camera bag pulling me down. I didn’t know if I should drop the bag into the water or save myself. Six construction workers came to help.”