Seeing Action

New Yorker:

The photographer Samantha Appleton talks to Matt Dellinger about making pictures in Nigeria, Iraq, and Lebanon.



Magnum Photos:

Paolo Pellegrin went to Haiti in February 2006, during the elections, to see the situation at firsthand.


Blush, Sweat and Tears

NYT Magazine:

Since the 70’s, Lee Friedlander has been intermittently documenting Americans at work: employees in a Cleveland steel mill, telemarketers in an Omaha calling center, M.I.T. technicians staring into their computer monitors. A few weeks ago, Friedlander encountered some very different production values when he turned his eye to the glamour factory otherwise known as New York fashion week.




The Soviet collapse spawned 15 new countries that are now established members of the international community. However, economic, political and ethnic disparities also gave birth to a series of far less known unrecognized republics, national aspirations and legacies. Jonas Bendiksen, a Norwegian and Magnum’s youngest photographer, started his “multi-year project about states that do not actually exist”. “Satellites” is a photographic journey through the scattered enclaves, unrecognized mini-states, and other isolated communities that straddle the southern borderlands of the former USSR. The itinerary goes through places such as Transdniester, a breakaway republic in Eastern Europe, Abkhazia, an unrecognized country on the Black Sea, the religiously conservative Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, the spacecraft crash zones between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Jewish Autonomous Region of Far Eastern Russia.


Conflict in Southern Lebanon

Photos by Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum:

Israel has told the world that it is targeting only Hezbollah, not civilians, and that is true to a degree, but day after day the bombing continues. As of August 14, 2006 over 1000 Lebanese civilians have been killed.
These photographs were taken in Southern Lebanon in late July/early August 2006.


A Drive to Root Out the Resurgent Taliban

Photographer Tyler Hicks, from the New York Times:

The Americans face the hard job of trying to tell local farmers from Taliban insurgents, who have gained strength across southern Afghanistan. The Americans set up a base, then probed into villages. They were soon ambushed. The Taliban can easily persuade or coerce villagers to assist them. They arm the villagers or equip them with radios. Almost any man is suspect. During one raid, which was typical, the Americans separated the men. Homes were searched, and the men were marched to the base for questioning.


The Gangs of Gaza

From Magnum Photos, essay by Christopher Anderson:

Tensions in Gaza and the West Bank rise as Palestinian factions begin fighting with each other and violence between the Palestinians and Israelis takes a new turn.


The Congo's Hidden Killers

From Time, via aphotoaday:

Photographer James Nachtwey shows how the health crises created by the war in Congo can kill long after the shooting stops.


Deambulations Japonaises

Gueorgui Pinkhassov photo essay, From Magnum Photos:
Le Bon Marché, Galerie Entretemps, Paris From 6 June to 7 July 2006
This exhibition gathers together colourful views taken in the streets of Tokyo. Stolen moments of the everyday life of the city seem to be frozen into beauty: a car park in a shopping mall, a coffeeshop, the fish market, the traditional sitting pose of a man at the fish market, Ueno park etc. Stamped with the unique eye of Gueorgui Pinkhassov, they are characterized by his mastery of framing and light.The photographer always seem to look where other people don’t and to focus on what other people discard, which gives birth to outstanding compositions with blurred foregrounds, plays on reflections and shadows… All that apparently only depending on where his sightwalk takes him.


Children of Polygamy – Through Their Eyes

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

The photographs in this gallery were taken by the children of polygamist Winston Blackmore, who were fascinated with Tribune photographer Trent Nelson’s cameras. Their play on a summer day at their home in Lister, British Columbia is easily comparable to a school recess that starts in the morning and doesn’t end until it’s time for bed. Dozens of brothers and sisters join for water fights, jumping on trampolines and riding bikes through the green grass and tall trees of the family’s farm.


Angola. Cholera epidemic. 2006.

Photo Essay by Paolo Pellegrin, from MagnumPhotos:

Since February 2006, Angola is going through its worst ever cholera epidemic, with 33,000 cases reported and more than 1,200 deaths. Over the 16,200 cases occurred in Luanda, Angolan capital city, more than 13,000 have been treated by the medical orgqnisqtion Médecins Sans Frontières. The outbreak has rapidly spread from Luanda to the provinces and to date, 11 of the 18 provinces are reporting cases. The outbreak erupted in Boa Vista, one of the poorest shantytown that surround the centre of Luanda.


Minutes to Midnight, by Trent Parke

Photo Essay by Trent Parke, from Magnum Photos:

A journey of 90,000km around Australia; Parke’s attempt to find his place within an Australia vastly different from the one in which he grew up.

Latrobe Regional Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia 20 May to 24 June 2006


Coal Hollow, photos by Ken Light

From The Digital Journalist (link to gallery at bottom of page):

Ken Light, who teaches photography at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, has five previous documentary books to his credit and also produced Witness In Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers (Smithsonian Press, October 2000). He prefers photographing with the medium format (but used 35mm for his book Texas Death Row, where he wanted the discretion and high film speed it allows). For Coal Hollow he used Mamiya 6s, a rangefinder camera with a 6 x 6 cm negative that handles like a Leica. Although working with an eye-level viewfinder, he often gets low with the camera, going eye-to-eye with a short dog or looking up at faces. His close-to-the-face portraits leave us no doubt that many of these people have had hard, damaging lives without decent medical care. All of the 82 duotones are full-square, and nearly fill their 11-inch square pages, allowing full appreciation of their rich tonality and detail. Some believe the square format is a difficult working space – the frame lacks a dominant direction, leaving a potential for static compositions. Ken is a master of the square composition and his images are alive with energy and dynamic interest. In addition to landscapes, signs, portraits, close-ups and environmentals, he records active situations including a tent revival and a wrestling match.


First at Chernobyl, Burning Still

From the New York Times, photographer James Hill’s photo essay:

“What they described in newspapers and magazines — it was all rubbish,” said Anatoly Rasskazov, the station photographer who was there that day.

“The ruins that I photographed from the ground and the upper part were retouched so it couldn’t be seen that there was a ray coming from there, that everything was glowing,” he said. “Just a ruin. So as not to get the public up in arms.”

Here. Make sure you check out the multimedia gallery.

Eugene Richards' first essay on VII

Photo Essay on VII from new member Eugene Richards: A Procession of Them: The Plight of the Mentally Disabled, Paraguay:

Few human beings are subject to as much misunderstanding, cruelty, and neglect as the mentally ill and mentally retarded. People with mental disabilities are often abandoned or hidden away in public institutions, which are grossly overcrowded and unsanitary, and which offer little in the way of medical care or training. The developmentally disabled are mixed with the mentally ill, young with the old, unhealthy with the healthy. Deprived of medical and dental care, proper nutrition, education, and counseling, the mentally disabled have little chance of living productively and safely within these institutions, and little opportunity of ever leaving.

Working as a volunteer for a human rights organization I traveled to Asuncion, Paraguay, with the intention of gaining entry into the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, the country’s single public psychiatric facility. This frighteningly substandard institution warehouses 460 patients, a great many of them ‘abandonados,’ people placed there because they have absolutely nowhere else to go. I photographed patients living out their lives in filthy dormitories, sleeping on bare mattresses, utilizing open, dirty toilets, bathing in ice-cold water. Among the patients being supervised by what can only be called a sub-custodial level of staff were two teenaged boys who’d been held for six years in tiny, unlit, cage-like cells. This 12-image selection, part of a personal, long-term project, received first place in the Issue Reporting Picture Story category at this year’s POYi.


China, by Edward Burtynsky

From Lens Culture:

Canadian photogapher Edward Burtynsky worked through diplomatic channels to gain access to photograph many sites undergoing enormous change. With his large format camera, over the course of three years, Burtysnky has captured the vast scale and minute details of monumental transformations of a society. He documents today’s “factories for the world”; the dumping grounds for the hand-recycling of the world’s e-waste; the unprecedented migrations of millions of humans toward brand new urban environments; and the ecological footprint of Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam on the planet that forced the relocation and threatened the livelihoods of more than 1.13 million people.