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Tag Archives: John Wreford

Update from my little corner in the Old City of Damascus

My great friend John Wreford lives in Damascus, he could have left but he is still there, this is a recent update from him

Friday in the Old City was completely deserted, hardly a shop open, the only people about were local residents, generally things were calmer around most of the city, the rubbish that had not been collected for a couple of days and was beginning to reek was being cleared, Raslan, Osama, and Hasan the kids in my alley were using wheelbarrows to cart it off elsewhere, as night fell there were still echoes of what was going on further away, a gun battle that sounded quite close only lasted a few minutes then very little.

Around 2.30 Am I heard a sound that pleased me more than I can say, a sound that in previous years had annoyed the hell out of me, the banging drum of Abu Tableh, the human alarm clock, letting everyone know it was time to prepare the pre-dawn meal before a long day of fasting, Ramadan has arrived, the children in my alley all ran out to greet him, nothing is normal anymore in Damascus but Syrians are resilient and determined, they will persevere and they overcome this terrible situation.

Ramadan Kareem

Stay safe John.

All Photography Tutorials and Links June 2012

These come to you from Toad Hollow Photography via Lightstalking, put your feet up, take a break and catch up with the latest tutorials and links.

It’s been a very eventful week in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching the internet for the best tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone.  This week’s list is full of great content and images, and we sincerely hope that everyone enjoys viewing and reading these posts as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you……MORE

Here is a taste of the links:

Low Light Portrait Photography Tips – sometimes the simplest things can generate the best results.  This brief and straightforward post highlights some great tips and tricks on low light photography.

Quick Photo Tip: “When You Get Lucky, Be Ready” – perhaps simplistic in nature, these words provide the perfect backstory for great photography.  Joe Baraban shares some insights and tips about preparing for that next “wow shot” as well as shows some of his best work that exemplifies this concept.  Absolutely well worth the time to visit and read, this post is rather inspiring.


Nisqually Glacier – Scott Wood creates another of his totally unique and utterly captivating IR based pieces in this post.  The otherworldly feel that you take in from this image really creates a strong juxtaposition in the viewers mind that helps to create a renewed sense of interest and love for the world we all live in.

Ione: Unfinished Business – Bob Lussier does a fabulous job of creating this image which exemplifies the pure nature and essence of what drives us personally in our love of photography.  This ability to tell an incredible story with one frame is something that we find to be dramatic and emotional in nature.  Bob finds and shoots a scene that has remained untouched for 50 years, leaving the viewer with a strong sense of connection and longing for more.

Young Turkish Couple, Taksim Istanbul ©John Wreford

John Wreford Photographer Damascus

In the 30 years that The Photographers Workshop has existed we have been lucky enough to meet many wonderful photographers, skillful, artistic professional photographers. For perhaps more than 20 years John Wreford has been a friend and colleague whose work we have greatly admired. In the recent times he has been based in Damascus and lives there with a house in the old city. Using this as a base he has traveled widely through the middle east and taken the opportunity to work for a number of the worlds great magazines and newspapers and to add to his stock of intelligent intimate, mature images. He is a man with great vision and empathy for his subjects. Do go and have a look at his excellent site here is the link

Galatasaray Football fans celebrate winning the Turksih domestic league, Galata Istanbul. ©John Wreford

Samia a Turkish transgender sex worker at home in Istanbul ©John Wreford

A Turkish boy plays on an abandoned car in the run down Fener neighborhood of Istanbul. ©John Wreford

The Maidens Tower at sunset, Uskudar on the Asian shore of Istanbul. ©John Wreford

Young Turkish Couple, Taksim Istanbul ©John Wreford

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, National hero regarded as founder of modern Turkey ©John Wreford

Do go and have a look at the rest of his pictures here

Crisis in Syria: Photography of an uprising

Another really great set of pictures collected by The Denver Post for their pblog series.

I was very pleased to see my friend and photographer John Wreford recently returned from Damascus. He lives there, has for a number of years, knows the country well, so his understanding of what was happening offered another perspective. The warm, friendly, generous Syrian people are suffering, dying and the world stands by and does nothing.

“(AP) Fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and members of the Free Syrian Army continue in Syria. The U.N. estimates that Syria’s crackdown has killed more than 7,500 people so far. The killings add to the pressure on U.N. Security Council members who are meeting to decide what to do next to stop the violence. The international community’s current effort—a peacemaking mission by Annan—is faltering, with both the Syrian government and the opposition refusing to talk to one another.”

Syria launched a long-anticipated assault to crush the opposition in the rebellious north, bombarding its main city with tank shells from all sides and clashing with rebel fighters struggling to hold back an invasion.

President Bashar Assad rejected any immediate negotiations with the opposition, striking a further blow to already staggering international efforts for talks to end the conflict. Assad told U.N. envoy Kofi Annan that a political solution is impossible as long as “terrorist groups” threaten the country.

Photos: Crisis in Syria


Ahmed, center, mourns his father Abdulaziz Abu Ahmed Khrer, who was killed by a Syrian Army sniper, during his funeral in Idlib, north Syria, Thursday, March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

Photos: Crisis in Syria


Members of the Free Syrian Army in Idlib Prvoince, Syria, February, 2012. The Free Syrian ArmyŐs strength lies inside the towns. The regular Syrian Army, which has proved to be unreliable and is already stretched thin, is reluctant to storm the towns and consolidate control. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

Photos: Crisis in Syria


Armed only with rifles and homemade bombs, members of the Free Syrian Army attack a column of Syrian Army Tanks in Saraqib, in Idlib Province, Syria, Feb. 15, 2012. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

Photos: Crisis in Syria


A fighter with the Free Syrian Army, the armed opposition group made up largely of defectors from the Syrian military, attacks a column of Syrian Army Tanks in Saraqib, in Idlib Province, Syria, Feb. 15, 2012. The armed opposition in Syria is led by the underequipped Free Syrian Army. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #


John Wreford in Damascus

John Wreford, a great friend of OSP and The Photographers Workshop, is a freelance photojournalist living in the heart of the ancient Syrian city of Damascus.
He has a fascination for the regions history, culture and political intrigue that will often see him travelling throughout the Middle East working for clients as diverse as The Financial Times, United Nations and the European Investment Bank.

His work has been exhibited in Aleppo, Istanbul, and Beirut and has appeared in publications around the world.

When I visited Syria in 2009 John was the perfect companion to travel around with, visiting places with another photographer always allows for the time needed to take pictures. They understand you may have to wait 15 or 30 minutes for the right light and can find things to shoot for themselves. Here is my Flickr link to my Syrian pictures