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Tag Archives: documentary photography

Paying it Forward: Stuart Franklin on teaching the next generation of photographers

Stuart was a member of the original Photogragraphers Workshop when we were based in St Marys Road Oxford. It was a darkroom and studio hire centre so anyone interested in making their own photographs could come and develop film and make prints. Stuart lived in Oxford at that time and would come to make prints, he is a very friendly and helpful man so I am not surprised as his role as a Magnum photographer he is teaching the next generation.

The urge to document their world photographically is a drive that has undoubtedly been felt by many Magnum photographers; and it’s a practice that Stuart Franklin explores in his 2016 book The Documentary Impulse, charting the motivation to visually tell stories and represent the world far back beyond the invention of the camera, all the way to cave painting. From pre-history onwards he explores a history of photographic representation in visual culture and many of the practical and ethical issues that form the backdrop to the current landscape of the industry. Through teaching, Franklin aims to help a new generation of photographers go beyond the practicalities of technique and understand their practice within the weight of this context. Here, Franklin discusses what there is to gain from a photography education, and explains how he experienced the ‘documentary impulse’ himself. You can read more here

Stuart Franklin Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China 26th May 1999. ©Stuart Franklin

On a personal level, how have you felt or experienced the ‘impulse’ in your own practice?
An impulse or obsession is almost crucial to a life in documentary. I have explored a number of ideas – still working on some today – with an irrational drive, where work that I’m pursuing, and the way I’m doing it, makes absolutely no economic sense. Most of my books evolve in that way: Footprint, The Time of Trees, Narcissus, La Città Dinamica – even The Documentary Impulse. I work on projects because I am impelled to do so.

“In visual storytelling coherence across a body of work is an essential part of authorship”

– Stuart Franklin

Read the full article here and find out about the course Stuart is running

Stuart Franklin is teaching on the Intensive Documentary Photography Course with London College of Communication and Magnum Photos. More information about this course, including details on how to apply can be found here.

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15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition

By  on Lightstalking

What are the most important aspects of composing a Fine Art Photograph?  The answer to this question certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  What follows is what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Composition….

Much of what Alan says I think is fundamentally true and good starting points to think about photography as a medium for art. I do think that art is a much wider subject than can be addressed by consideration of composition, the definition between fine art and photography as a medium for art is a strongly debated. Just search ‘define fine art photography’ to see how difficult it is to nail a definition. Wiki says

Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

We don’t have to believe or agree with everything in the Wiki world though.

So basically is anything that is not photographed for the purposes of making money art? But that can’t be correct, just look at a site like Flickr to recognise that most people using cameras are not artists they are at best recordists.

These are questions we pose of our students in our Intermediate Photography course, our aim is to stretch their understanding of photography and to encourage them to incorporate these ideas within their own work. To help them to stop just recording what is front of them and to start using their cameras as a means of expressing their ideas.

Here are  of Alan’s suggestions about making images with the intention of creating fine art. As I say I don’t disagree with any of these but I don’t think adhering to a set of rules can create art, fine or otherwise. I think that art is in the intention of the creator, therefore if you intend to make an image that is more than mere representation then you are attempting to create something with art at it’s foundation. Using Alan’s suggestions may certainly help.

Rhine 2 by Andreas Gursky; this is the most expensive photograph ever sold and is considered by some criteria as a pinnacle  of photographic art. What do you think?

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 17.31.11
Click Here: 15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition by Alain Briot (With Photos)

10 Photography Grants and Scholarships for Amateurs and Professionals

The last thing from Lightstalking this time is an article by:

I’m a freelance travel, culture and documentary photographer based in the Philippines. My passion lies in creating images that communicate a strong sense of place and cultural awareness in unique, challenging situations. You can see my work at www.jacobimages.com

For many of us photographers, whether hobbyists or professionals, there are times when additional resources are needed to continue or progress our work. Photography projects can be very time intensive and often require a lot of financial resources to see them to the end. I am a big believer in hard work, but without financial support our hard work can often go nowhere. One avenue of finding those financial resources is through photography grants or scholarships. I have complied a short list of ongoing photography grants and scholarships for those amateurs, students or working professionals. Again, this is a short list and there are many others out there if you search for them. Those listed below cover most all genera of photography, but most emphasis editorial, photojournalism and documentary.

Here are just two of the grants available, go to Lightstalking to catch the rest

FFH_Logowhite_ltblue4 Focus for Humanity (FFH):
FFH offers a Fellowship of up to US$5,000 for a non full-time photographer keen to focus on photography as a career and probably within the humanitarian or cultural field, but who needs that final push or help to overcome that last barrier that is stopping them turning full-time. The fellowship is awarded by means of a competitive portfolio review and an assessment of an online application form.

391px-Getty_Images_Logo.svg Getty Images:
Getty Images offers two types of grant. The first, Grants for Editorial Photography, is available to both professionals and students. Since 2005, they have awarded five Grants for Editorial Photography annually to professional photojournalists. Each grant provides $20,000, plus editorial, logistical and promotional support. They also award four student grants of $5,000 per year to photojournalism students at accredited schools. The second, Grants for Good, consists of two grants of $15,000 annually, to cover photographer, filmmaker and agency costs as they create compelling new imagery for the nonprofit of their choice.

The highs and lows of life as a documentary photographer

In the Guardian…..

On the road for six months of the year, covering everything from the Iraq war to Agent Orange, Ed Kashi writes home to his wife

aleppo, syria

Taken 13.04.09

Aleppo, Syria (above)

“Today in Aleppo, it’s a brilliant, crisp sunny day, after a night of thunder and rain. I’m always coming and going from home. This constant state of flux creates the sense of being suspended between worlds and always feeling isolated on some level, since I can’t ever get grounded or fully connected either at home or on the road. One of the issues at home is how distracted everyone is, whether from your work or the digital gadgets and friends of the kids. And, of course, you all must live your own lives, so you are not in sync with my rhythms and moods.”

Zululand, Africa

zululand, africaTaken 21.09.97“I am once again facing the demons of a tough fixer, the loneliness of the road and less than perfect conditions. But my problems pale when I think about our new baby on the way. It was a shock when I first got the news but now I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement. Who knows what we’ll have? I know you want a girl this time. I just want a healthy baby.

Today we went out at dusk to photograph the cane fields being burned. It was exciting, and I had a near miss. Hot embers were flying everywhere and they had these Zulu workers armed with big sticks to bat the embers down as they tried to fly to an adjacent field not ready for burning. That would be devastating for the farmers. I was on the fire break road that separates the fields, trying to photograph the worker swinging at the embers, when a bunch of them fell on me. They burned holes in my clothes, caught my forearm and left a small mark.

Every night I go to sleep thinking of your swollen belly and all the magic that’s inside. I can’t wait to meet our new child. Only a few months left.

I love you so dearly and deeply”.…..MORE at the Guardian

 

 

Vienna Photographic Awards

At this time of the year many forthcoming competitions and awards are announced, this one comes from Vienna.

“The capital city of Austria, Vienna one of the most important cultural cities in Europe enjoys a good reputation in its music, literature, theater and fine arts for many years. However, in the field of contemporary photography Vienna has a rising demand to follow up with the rest of the world. Inspired by many international competitions in photography we therefore decided to set up and organize the annual Vienna International Photographic Awards « VIPA » for documentary photography.

In Vienna interest for photography has been there for a long time, the European Society for the History of Photography has its seat there, and the major Viennese museums feature important exhibitions of photography. It is therefore only logical that the Vienna International Photographic Awards « VIPA » have been founded in order to renew the photographic heritage of the city nowadays.

KUNSTNETZWERK (modern contemporary art gallery and network) and founder Raed Bawayah (photographer), in collaboration with « Eyes-On » the European Month of Photography Vienna will organize the first Vienna International Photographic Awards « VIPA » in 2012 for documentary photography. Our mission is to salute the achievements of the world’s finest photographers, to discover new and emerging talents, and to promote and enhance contemporary photography in Austria and all over the world. The « VIPA » conduct an annual competition for professional, non-professional and student photographers.

Besides the total value of 7.000 EUR in money prizes the short-listed winners will be able to take part in a group exhibition in November 2012 in Vienna (during the European Month of Photography) as well as in the publication of VIPA’s official catalogue. The awards will be divided into three sections: 1st prize (4.000 EUR), 2nd prize (2.000 EUR) and 3rd prize (1.000 EUR). The awards of the prices, the presentation of the official catalogue as well the opening of the group exhibition will be held on the 15th November 2012 in Vienna. Participants will choose the theme of their photo series submission.

The competition will be judged by a board of highly esteemed photo editors, curators, art directors and other luminaries from the international photography community.”

 © Gregor Sailer

Foto8 Seminars – Business seminars from the makers of Foto8

Foto8 runs a programme of seminars for photographers, in which speakers share experience and production in particular areas, such as creating a photo book or putting together a photo story.

With a mix of speakers, several important aspects are covered, and attendees are limited to a small number to keep the event as intimate and informal as possible. And with our new series of seminars, participants are able to receive direct feedback on their work from the prominent industry professionals involved.

“Foto8 is holding three day-long seminars between November 2011 and March 2012, inviting industry speakers to give photographers an insight into the business of image-making.

Making It Happen, on 26 November, will explore practical business models for those with work to publish, while New Documentary Forms, on 28 January, will examine the intersection of aesthetic and testimonial concerns in documentary photography. Different Contexts, on 03 March, will consider the demands of editors, agencies and NGOs, and how photographers can best meet them while creating work with its own integrity. ” As reported in the BJP

26 November 2011

8 Useful Tips For Your Next Photo Documentary

From Lightstalking and By   I thought this was a very useful post and telling stories with your camera is so much more satisfying than just taking pictures

“There are numerous things to think about and often challenges to overcome when working on a photo documentary. Here are eight useful tips that I believe will make the process easier and help you create more compelling and powerful stories.”.…more