Oxford School of Photography

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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Holi 2013: The Festival of Colors

This week Hindus around the world celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is a popular springtime celebration observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring, commemorate Krishna’s pranks, and allow each other a momentary freedom — a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images of this year’s Holi festival from across India. From The Atlantic


A Hindu devotee, face smeared with colored powder, leaves the Banke Bihari temple during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan, India, on March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)


Indian Hindu devotees throw colored powder at the Radha Rani temple during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, on March 21, 2013. Lathmar Holi is a local celebration, but it takes place well before the national Holi day on March 27.(Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)


Indians throw colored powder during Holi festival celebrations in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, March 27, 2013.(AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)


Hindu men rest during Lathmaar Holi celebrations on March 22, 2013 in the village of Nundgaon near Mathura, India.(Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images


A transgender Hindu devotee dances during Lathmaar Holi celebrations on March 21, 2013 in Barsana, India.(Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)


Colored powder is thrown on Hindu men from the village of Nandgaon as they sit on the floor during prayers at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana, India, on March 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)


Hindu devotees play with color during Holi celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple on March 27, 2013 in Vrindavan, India.(Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)


An Indian child reacts as colored powder is smeared on her hair during Holi festival in Chennai, India, on March 27, 2013. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors that also marks the advent of spring, is being celebrated across the country Wednesday. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)

Can you resist seeing the rest of these joyful images, if not go here

Act of Terror: arrested for filming police officers – video

When police carried out a routine stop-and-search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma Atkinson filmed the incident. She was detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest. She launched a legal battle, which ended with the police settling the case in 2010. With the money from the settlement she funded the production of this animated film, which she says shows how her story and highlights police misuse of counterterrorism powers to restrict photography

I’m a photographer not a terroristScreen Shot 2013-04-29 at 12.44.38

The Masks We Wear

We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement. In turbulent public settings, obscuring one’s face can protect an individual from retaliation while evoking fear and uncertainty in others. Donning the mask of a cultural, political, or religious figure can lend that person power and further his or her legacy. Those who wear masks to protect their faces from environmental hazards may also end up sending a message of caution to outside observers. In many cases, though, masks play a more lighthearted role, allowing the wearer to take part in a festival and become someone (or something) else for a time. I’ve gathered here a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their faces for a wide variety of reason From The Atlantic


An Egyptian boy wearing a Guy Fawkes Mask holds bread, a symbol of poverty, during an anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, on March 22, 2013. Thousands of protesters from different areas of Cairo marched on Friday to express their rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohammed Morsi’s rule. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)


Protesters wearing masks perform during anti-austerity and anti-graft protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on January 11, 2013. More than 5,000 Slovenians gathered in the center of Ljubljana on Friday to protest against a corruption scandal that threatens to bring down the government. Slovenia’s anti-corruption commission said earlier this week that Prime Minister Janez Jansa had been unable to explain the source of some of his income in recent years. (Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic)


A man dressed in traditional Perchten mask performs during a Perchten festival in the western Austrian village of Heitwerwang, some 90 km (56 miles) west of Innsbruck, Austria, on November 23, 2012. Each year in November and January people dress-up in Perchten (also known in some regions as Krampus or Tuifl) costumes and parade through the streets to perform a 1,500 year-old pagan ritual to disperse the ghosts of winter. About 15 hours are needed for a woodcarver to sculpt each demon mask which is made from stone pine wood with goat horns attached. (Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler)


An Afghan woman receives winter supplies at a UNHCR distribution center for needy refugees at the Women’s Garden in Kabul, Afghanistan, on January 2, 2013. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)


Protestors wear orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods on their heads during protests against holding detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay during a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 8, 2013. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)


A Bahraini boy takes part in a demonstration against the killing of a Shiite protester during clashes with Bahraini police, on February 22, 2013 in the village of Daih, West of the capital Manama. (Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images)

Utterly fascinating, go and see them all here

Syria in Ruins

In 2009 I visited Syria. I did not know what to expect of one of the Axis of Evil states but what I found was the most friendly people, an organised and flourishing society, with religious tolerance to the numerous different religions to be found, a place where history seeped out of the crevices. I don’t doubt that for some people Syria was a despicable state but on an every day level it was rich and fascinating. Now all that has gone, the hotel I stayed in Aleppo with the unpaid bill by Lawrence of Arabia on display, gone; the freedom to walk almost anywhere at any time of day or night, gone. The security to feel safe, gone. It makes me weep and these images from The Atlantic terrify me, what has happened to the people I met and became friends with, the people I drank tea with and watched Champions League football in sport cafes. The small bakeries on the streets, the vendors around the mosque in the centre of Damascus…..

While much of the world’s attention focuses on a possible war with North Korea, the war currently being fought in Syria grinds on. March of 2013 was a month of grim milestones in Syria. It marked two years since the start of hostilities; the number of war refugees passed one million; and it was was the bloodiest month to date, with more than 6,000 people killed. Neither the pro-Assad forces, nor the group of rebels opposing them have gained much ground recently, and little or no progress has been made by international agencies to halt the bloodshed. The following photographs come from across Syria, taken over the past six weeks, showing just some of the devastation in Aleppo, Deir al-Zor, Homs, Deraa, Idlib, and Damascus


Sami (center) speaks with his children in an underground Roman tomb which he uses with his family as shelter from Syrian government forces, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province, on February 28, 2013. The ancient sites are built of thick stone that has already withstood centuries, and are often located in strategic locations overlooking towns and roads. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


Damaged buildings in Jouret al-Shayah, Homs, Syria, on February 2, 2013. (Reuters/Yazen Homsy)


A Syrian woman sits on the ruins of her house, which was destroyed in an airstrike by government warplanes a few days earlier, killing 11 members of her family, in the neighborhood of Ansari, Aleppo, on February 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Abdullah al-Yassin)


A resident inspects the damages at an ancient Souk caused by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, on March 9, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi


A boy takes a picture of his friend who gestures from the top of a damaged building in Deir al-Zor, on April 4, 2013.(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)


People inspect damaged areas in Deir al-Zor, on March 3, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)

See all the images in this gallery here

Native Americans: Portraits From a Century Ago

From the pages of the Atlantic we find these touching images

In the early 1900s, Seattle-based photographer Edward S. Curtis embarked on a project of epic scale, to travel the western United States and document the lives of Native Americans still untouched by Western society. Curtis secured funding from J.P. Morgan, and visited more than 80 tribes over the next 20 years, taking more than 40,000 photographs, 10,000 wax cylinder recordings, and huge volumes of notes and sketches. The end result was a 20-volume set of books illustrated with nearly 2,000 photographs, titled “The North American Indian.” In the hundred-plus years since the first volume was published, Curtis’s depictions have been both praised and criticized. The sheer documentary value of such a huge and thorough project has been celebrated, while critics of the photography have objected to a perpetuation of the myth of the “noble savage” in stage-managed portraits. Step back now, into the early 20th century, and let Edward Curtis show you just a few of the thousands of faces he viewed through his lens.


Left: Koskimo person, Kwakiutl, wearing a full-body fur garment, oversized gloves and mask of Hami (“dangerous thing”) during the Numhlim ceremony. ca. 1914. Right: Hamasilahl, Kwakiutl, ceremonial dancer during the Winter Dance ceremony.(Library of Congress/Edward S. Curtis)


Left: Ben Long Ear, ca. 1905. Right: Hastobiga, Navajo Medicine Man, ca. 1904. (Library of Congress/Edward S. Curtis)


Left: Bird Rattle, Piegan, ca. 1910. Right: Nesjaja Hatali, medicine man, Navajo, ca. 1904. (Library of Congress/Edward S. Curtis)


Portrait of a Native American named Big Head, ca. 1905. (Library of Congress/Edward S. Curtis)

See all of the images here

The Strange Beauty of Salt Mines

From The Atlantic website we find these often beautiful images of salt

Salt, an essential element for all animal life, is abundant here on Earth, but it still requires extraction from stone deposits or salty waters. The process of mining that salt can produce beautiful landscapes, including deep, stable caverns, multicolored pools of water, and geometric carvings. Some of these locations have even become tourist destinations, serving as concert halls, museums, and health spas touting the benefits of halotherapy. Collected here are images of salt mines across the world, above and below ground


Tourists guarded by local policemen visit sulphur and mineral salt formations created by the upwelling springs of Dallol volcanom on January 29, 2007. (Reuters/Michel Laplace-Toulouse) #


One of the colorful brine pools that are part of a lithium salt pilot plant on the Uyuni salt lake, which holds the world’s largest reserve of lithium, located at 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level in southwestern Bolivia, on November 5, 2012. (Reuters/David Mercado)


Pools of salt at the Maras mines in Cuzco, Peru, on February 17, 2010. (Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil)


An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the world’s second largest salt flat, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, on January 10, 2013. (Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)


Salt layers reflect in the inner lake of Turda salt mine in Turda city (450km northwest of Bucharest), on December 9, 2010. One of the most important salt mines in Transylvania, central Romania, Salina Turda has been known since ancient times, but was put into operation for underground mining work during the Roman period. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)


Ethiopia’s Danakil salt pan, near the Dallol volcano, on November 29, 2004. Dallol is unique in the world because is the only volcano situated below the sea level in Danakil depression, also known as Afar, one of the hottest places in the world with temperatures sometimes over 60 degrees Celsius in the sun. (Reuters/Michel Laplace-Toulouse)

See all 31 images here

Home, my Place in the World Photography Award 2013

Accademia Apulia UK launches Home, my Place in the World Photography Award 2013

Entries Open: 5th April – Entries Close: 28th May

Finalists Announcement 31st May – Winner Announcement: 21st June

Accademia Apulia UK now welcomes submissions for its online 2013 Photography Award.

AAPA 2013 400kb

Home, my Place in the World is aimed at promoting emerging photographers of all nationalities based in Europe WHOSE WORK EXPLORES THE CONCEPT OF ‘HOME’.

According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2010 the number of migrants worldwide was estimated at 214 million – a figure likely to increase as the world faces economic strife, conflict and environmental shifts. In this context, the concept of ‘home’ or ‘homeland’ takes on a whole new meaning. Whilst in the past homeland was represented by one’s place of birth, now it is the place where one feels most at home. From this perspective, ‘political’ barriers between states lose their meaning with everyone becoming citizen of the world.

Submissions for this edition will pay tribute to the concepts of homeland, identity, tribalism and social integration, positive and negative.

Home, my Place in the World is under the Patronage of Amnesty International, the British Council

Further details here

Back to Burma

Steve is at it again…..

Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Association Award calling for entries .

Photographers have until 07 June to enter this year’s Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Association Award, which offers a €8000 grant for the creation of a body of work on social, economic, political or cultural issues Details can be found here and a link to the application form and rules here

Formed after the death of Alexandra Boulat in 2007, the Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Association seeks to keep the spirit of father and daughter alive by making their work available to the public and creating an annual grant for photographers.

 The Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Association Award is open to professional photographers of any age, sex or nationality, and will offer one applicant a €8000 grant to produce “a story that has never been told but that the photographer cannot find support for within the media,” say the organisers.


30 abandoned structures that evoke more than just decay




 THE MAUNSELL SEA FORTS, ENGLAND Via: fivelightsdown.squarespace.com


SUNKEN YACHT, ANTARCTICA Via: ruschili.35photo.ru


ABANDONED MILL FROM 1866 IN SORRENTO, ITALY Source: logicalrealist / via: i.imgur.com

See the rest of these 30 images here on My Science Academy, and thanks to The Recommender for doing what his name says