Monthly Archive for July, 2010

michael christopher brown – china

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EPF 2010 Finalist

Michael Christopher Brown

China

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I feel most alive while on the road. As a result, I am often drawn to photograph people in a state of transition. Fifty years ago President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the construction of Americas Interstate Highway System, which helped open the Heartland and West and create a culture that would eventually spread around the world. China is experiencing a similar boom in industrialization and culture and I am currently driving around the country, photographing along the expanding road network. While the final form of this project remains unclear, while crossing the country I can only continue to listen, record and grow.  A loose approach, using small film cameras while often photographing without looking through the viewfinder, has enabled me to focus less on the lens and more on having an experience.

 

Bio

Raised in Washington State, Michael moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer in 2006. His clients include GEO, Time, National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian, Fortune, The Atlantic and ESPN The Magazine, among others. When not on assignment he might be found driving around China in his modified bread van.

 

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Michael Christopher Brown

 

ability to tell….

“Having a story to tell and willingness to tell it, is nothing – a total zero… ability to do it is much more important and valuable…”

this is just a part of a very provocative, and soon to be very controversial  comment, by one of our readers , Anthony RZ , under our most recent  multimedia essay  by Kerry Payne…so provocative, that i felt it should be right out here for general discussion…why?  because it is one of the most important discussions in photography today in my view…..this topic has been discussed a bit before here on Burn and on my previous Road Trips blog, but i do not think it can ever be thought about enough…..please read the entire comment by Anthony…it will definitely make you jump one way or the other….

the discussion here should not be to single out Kerry who obviously has a heartfelt story to tell and who will most likely be moved to tears by the comment of Anthony….any form of diplomacy/sensitivity was clearly not his intent…however, he was honestly direct…..i do not want to fuel that fire for its own sake, yet at the same time with passions now raw among us and  surely on full alert, this seems like a good time for more of a  general discussion about content and form …about stories to tell….about the ability to tell them….about storytelling and storytellers….and clearly about the medium itself…and even about the purity of  still photography  and  it’s morphing into multimedia….

obviously we all want a great story, brilliantly told…but, the question here put forth by Anthony  is of priorities….

so, what do you think?

what is most important for you as a viewer:  the story or the ability to tell it ?



kerry payne – left behind

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Kerry Payne

Left Behind

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In a small Australian town on June 12th 2001, my father, Myles Hilton Bean took his own life, aged 60. It was a decision I had no say in, but one which would alter me and the way I viewed the world forever. In the years that followed I encountered many social stigmas and outdated taboos associated with suicide. Whilst outwardly I functioned brilliantly, inwardly I was broken. I felt completely alone; haunted by emotions common in suicide bereavement — guilt, regret, anger, a sense of failure, shame, abandonment and utter confusion all hung in heavy layers over the expected feelings of grief and mourning.

Because I never spoke of what had happened, I prolonged my healing unnecessarily. Each year, 1 million people worldwide die by suicide — more than in war, terrorist activities and homicides — making it the tenth leading cause of death in the world. For every person that dies by suicide at least 20 more will attempt to do so, yet despite the high rate, little attention is paid to the phenomenon.

At least 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness – such as depression, bipolar depression, or some other depressive illness. In many cases, it is a treatable, preventable tragedy. Although most suicides are caused by mental health problems, mental health-care allocations often comprise less than 2 per cent of national health budgets. Greater attention must be given to suicide prevention, such as increased funding for research, help lines and mental health facilities.

I will continue this work and by sharing my story and those of my fellow survivors, it is my hope that others will learn from our experiences, speak up about their own, and seek comfort and support in the knowledge that they are not alone. We are many. The silence, secrecy and stigma that surrounds suicide has to end and if my work prevents a single suicide or helps one survivor avoid the many mistakes I made, it will give some meaning to a loss that nine years later, I still struggle to make any sense.

*If you or somebody you know is in crisis call 1800-273-TALK (8255) [USA]

thank you Dad, for the love you gave me in your life and the purpose you have given me in your death..

 

Bio

1969. Australia. I am a traveler and the urge to roam and my love of photography are happy companions. A reformed corporate world entrepreneur I now spend my days pursuing and documenting stories that matter; preserving my own version of history (with a small ‘h’) for the curious few who follow. I’ve had the honor of learning from some of the world’s most inspiring and generous photographers and I count my blessings every day to have discovered my passion so early in life. Some never do.

 

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Kerry Payne

 

justin maxon – when the spirit moves

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EPF 2010 Finalist

Justin Maxon

When the Spirit Moves

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I’ve heard people say that since America has it’s first Black President in office, we have transitioned into a post-racial society.  If he can succeed, then all people of color can do the same.  This supposed land of the free is at liberty to those that have the wealth to buy it.

Those living in Chester, PA, USA, grow up in an environment where forces everywhere are against them; where gravity seems to be stronger and less forgiving. It is a place where pollution alters cognitive development, violence and crime are commonplace, poverty is oppressive, jobs are virtually non-existent, and people with nothing take from others who have little

If you walk these streets, you pass people in a trance, who speak without being heard. You see children with shallow eyes, with scars deep. Ghosts are everywhere, fading from neglect. There is little for people to grasp a hold of for support, to deliver them through. People are forced into carrying this burden of weight and thus are required to be strong to withstand it.

I was besieged while witnessing the issues weighing heavily on the lives of the people in this community. In experimenting with multiple exposures, I’m attempting to speak to the complexities I felt were so tightly woven into their lives.  With out this approach, my work would not begin to unfold the many consequences that have come out of their collective struggle. In this process of layering interrelated moments next to one other, I’m cautious not to bend or manipulate reality beyond recognition, for the benefit of my own aesthetics or ego. I want these moments to be believable and not just passed off as artistic representations of the truth.

This project is an attempt to bring awareness to the issues that plague many inner city Black communities, like Chester, throughout America. Mostly importantly though, it’s an attempt to show the resilience and strength that is present in these communities.

 

Bio

Justin Maxon (1983) was born in a small town in the woods of northern California. Nothing but trees and hippies sorta thing. He first got into photography at an early age, but then only took pictures of mountains and other woody features.  Today, Maxon is mainly interested in pursuing long-term projects that examine the complexities of human struggle, where he seeks out the hope always present in the shadows of life.

Maxon has received numerous awards for his photography, from competitions like UNICEF Images of the Year, POYi, and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. He won first place in the 2007 World Press Photo Daily Life Singles category, along with winning the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year at the 2008 Lucie Awards. In 2009, he was named one of PDNs 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch.

His clients include TIME, Newsweek, Mother Jones Magazine, Fader Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and NPR.

 

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Justin Maxon

Razon Collective

 

kate stone – at the seams

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EPF 2010 Finalist

Kate Stone

At the Seams

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In “At the Seams” I used photographs of domestic interiors and common architecture to construct impossible, uncanny spaces that evoke a feeling of hesitant curiosity, a nervous desire to explore the room, to peek around the bend or to see what lies behind the door at the end of the hall. Our acceptance of photography as reality makes these images hard to understand, especially for those who know the original place. At first glance the rooms and buildings in these photographs appear real. Upon closer examination, however, something is clearly wrong. Doorways are misplaced and once rigid walls are twisted and torn. Distorted perspective creates incongruent angles and improbable shadows. These spaces are literally falling apart at the seams.

 

Bio

Kate Stone received her BA in photography from Bard College in 2009 and currently lives and works in Chicago. She was recently a recipient of the Tierney Fellowship and her work has been shown by The Center for Photography at Woodstock, The Photo Review, ARTribe NY and Eleni Koroneou Gallery.

 

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dima gavrysh – insha’allah

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EPF 2010 Finalist

Dima Gavrysh

Insha’Allah

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I took a photograph of Captain Harris, the commander of Combat Outpost Tangi, in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, as he was waiting for a helicopter to take him to the funeral of one of his soldiers. While he was covered by a cloud of dust, he seemed lost and overcome by his surroundings  the photo turned out to be truthfully despondent. His people are hated by the locals. He hates to lose his people to IEDs. I bet he hates the role he is assigned to play in winning hearts and minds of the locals, and he probably doesn’t believe in it even if he tries.

The photographs I shot through a night vision device had a quality reminiscent of early silver gelatin process and modern video games at the same time. In the first picture of my portfolio, the soldiers portrait acquired a GI-Joe-like quality, with the humanity taken out of his appearance. He looks like a war robot, a part of greater military machinery, and not as an individual human being. There is uneasiness and despair mixed with confusion. No one knows the right way to fight this war and when it is going to end, if ever. All of it looks like some huge experiment, where a civilization is being pushed forward through warfare. It doesn’t seem to work and yet we try.

 

Bio

Dima Gavrysh is a Ukrainian-born, New York City-based photojournalist. He started his career in the mid-90’s in Kiev, Ukraine. For the past 10 years, he has worked with major news agencies such as Associated Press, Agence France Press, European Press-Photo Agency, Gamma-Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg News.

Dima’s work has been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide including The New York Times, Time, People, Paris Match, Independent, Marie Claire, Stern and Newsweek.

Awards:

AI+AP (American Photography + American Illustration): published in 2008- 2010 yearbook.

2010 PDN Photo Annual Contest: Photojournalism.

International Photography Awards ? Lucie: honorable mention: 2008-2009.

XVIII Eddie Adams Workshop participant: winner of an internship for the Washington Post.com: 2005

 

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Dima Gavrysh

 

emile hyperion dubuisson – siberia, the far north

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Emile Hyperion Dubuisson

Siberia, the Far North

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I went to Siberia without a camera. I bought it there. I was eighteen. Before being there, I never photographed. After shooting these images, I did not photograph again for more than ten years. For my first experience, I was assistant director on a long-term documentary film project shot in Russia. After few months of traveling all over the country, we landed in Siberia. The film was hard to make because of the weather conditions, and I started exploring the landscape by myself. I am here in this unreal set, on the north part of the polar circle and practically no light; it’s the middle of the winter, the coldest time ever. No one strolls for pleasure. Excursions are limited to the necessary. A few furtive silhouettes stirred in the dim light around the wind-swept encampments half-buried in snow. What did I shoot? I don’t even remember. I was not a photographer and survival took all my attention. These frames now appear to me to hold a deep intensity. Is it the reminiscing to that long-ago time when photographing was for me a totally instinctive and free act?

A few weeks later, we went back to Moscow and I started to process the film… My lack of experience and the absence of notice on the film, made the development very random. Half of my films were blank, the other half almost translucent. I decided to store the negatives. I left photography. Right after, I went back to Paris and start working as an assistant and then a cinematographer on feature length films for ten years. It’s only after coming in New York to study photography at the International Center of Photography in 2006 that I decided to look at the negatives again. The curiosity and the new technology help me to discover what was behind. Very quickly, the images from Siberia kept my attention and I realized how they were important for me. They signify the beginning of my photographic endeavor and that first step onto which I could build. A random chemical process, an unconsciousness of the image, and a lot of chance came together to create a series that is at once constructed and magical, consistent and surreal. To my now professional eye, these images of Siberia resonate. Diving back into this work from the past, I am rediscovering a part of my innocence. While structuring these images I have discovered unexpected meaning.

 

Bio

Emile H Dubuisson was born in Paris. He attended the International Center of Photography in 2007, furthering his knowledge of photography. Prior to that he studied cinema at Universite Paris 8 in France. His work reflects disciplines of both fields. Dubuisson is currently working as cinematographer on a feature length film.

 

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Emile H. Dubuisson