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.


Alex Majoli, Bio Position System

From Magnum Photos:

Alex Majoli’s work in Marseille finds its form here in a series of diptychs: a “portrait in black” appears next to a close view of a nocturne close-up landscape of areas under work in Marseille. They were made for the Ministry of Culture about the social-architectural transformation of the city of Marseille called EUROMED.

From this juxtaposition results an impression of beauty, strength, and visual pleasure. It doesn’t come only from a visually pleasant image, but from a unity, a meeting of intents that are both at the origin of and enriched by the specific process of creation of this particular project. The combination of the two pictures is sustained by the strong priciple of the personal experience, constant in the work of Alex Majoli, and by the unique taste and direction: always wanting to go to the core point, always having the essential questions, questions with no answer, always being “clinical” as Alex himself says.

The black background in the portraits is an effect created during the shooting, in full daylight. With a very limited exposure and a strong flash. The people in the portraits are mostly people doing the same routine trip in the streets of Marseille center. Some are passing by here by very chance. Alex isn’t interested in the posture but by the position: where are they? The exact position on Earth retrieved by the GPS is the unique complementary information given by the photographer. Can the latitude and longitude give us an answer?

The same artificial light characterizes the landscapes, photographed at night, while the city is sleeping. Alex went back during the night with the same GPS navigator. As the person is no longer the character of the plot of life imposed by the context, “the landscapes are not really landscapes.” They are small pieces of reality, just as we are. -Lorenza Orlando


Black and White

Photo Gallery from Jason M. Olson Photography:

another gallery. this time the demolition derby in duchesne. part of the glory days of utah six. you know, back when it existed.

Allison V. Smith: Marfa, TX

Incredible Photo Essay from Blueeyes Magazine:

Founded in the late 19th century as a railroad water stop, Marfa was a town in extreme West Texas, near the Mexico border, rooted in its utility. Even after it later served as a training home to several thousand pilots during World War II, the town was still largely unknown except for its fame surrounding the strange light phenomenon called Marfa Lights. However, in 1971 the renowned minimalist artist Donald Judd took up permanent residence and began installing his art into converted hangars and barns. Their presence in Marfa, and the thousands of fans who still make the trek every year to see his art, became the seed that grew into a vibrant arts community in the small town, which today has just over 2100 residents.


Toshiki Senoue: Caucasus

Photo Essay from Blueeyes Magazine:

After centuries of invading armies and the clash of hundreds of different cultures, the Caucasus region, located between Russia and Asia, is not only the dividing line between Europe and the East, but it is also one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse places on Earth. Caucasus, towered over by the mountain range of the same name, is rooted in the past, and is a place disconnected from time. Noah’s Ark was said to have landed there at Mount Ararat, which the Greeks believed to be one of the pillars supporting the world. Today Caucasus is littered with the remains of the Soviet Union’s collapsed empire, and is home to now dormant civil wars that some believe will never be officially resolved.


Martin Parr: Uruguay

Martin Parr photo essay, from Magnum Photos:

Punta del Este is a popular vacation spot on the southern tip of Uruguay. It is regarded as “the Saint-Tropez of Latin America”, since it has become a playground for the rich and famous of Southern South America, mainly Argentinians, local Uruguayans, Paraguayans and Brazilians.
Martin Parr captured the beach life of the South Americans sunning themselves and sipping their Mate teas. Over 300,000 tons of Mate is produced yearly for consumption in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It is truly the South American passion!


Final Salute Photo Gallery

From The Digital Journalist:

A single Marine might be able to fold a flag for the widow of a fallen brother. But it wouldn’t have the perfect feel the job demands.

The same might be said of the story Final Salute by photographer Todd Heisler and reporter Jim Sheeler of the Rocky Mountain News. Of course, Todd’s photographs stand on their own. As do Jim’s words. Separately, they were recognized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors as the best examples of photojournalism and non-deadline writing in 2005. But together, these two talented journalists created something more complete and more powerful than either could have done alone.