December 2, 2013
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György László at L1GHTB1TES keeps finding gems to tantalise us with, this one is from his first post.
GL: Your pictures from Dakar are currently on display at the Somerset House in London. When I saw them I sensed a mixture of immediacy and formal discipline. How did you take these pictures?
MM: While working on En Route To Dakar, I was lucky enough to be mentored by Mr. Martin Parr, whom I like to call Mr. Martin. Once, as he was commenting on my photographs, Mr. Martin told me, to spend much more time on taking my photographs. “Mr. Martin, more than one hour per photograph?”, I asked. “One hour? Mimi, you must stay one day, one week, one month on a photograph… until it is good!”
So I went back to Dakar and applied the methodology suggested by him. This picture must have been taken in March 2008. There was this spot along the motorway, where a bridge was to be built, but at that moment people still had to just cross the highway to go from one part of Dakar to the other. Every day from early morning until the evening, commuters, school kids, vendors, women… Everyone was flowing from one side to the other and I thought this was pretty symbolic, important for my story, and mostly, it was visually compelling!
I waited in the middle of the carriageway and stayed there all morning and the day after all afternoon and the following day from morning until late afternoon and so on… I have a lot of photographs of people jumping across the highway. This is one I am quite happy about. I like the colors, and I like the posture of this lady imposing her elegant and eloquent figure on my frame.
GL: How do you get ready for such moments mentally? And how do you make sure that the image is going to be okay technically?
MM: Generally speaking, I believe in the photographer’s expertise to be able to catch volatile moments, to be able to render them universal in a photograph. This is what is exciting about reportage/documentary photography. Only by doing so can you maintain a good honest balance between you, the photographer, and the reality you are trying to capture.
It’s a bit like fishing. If you go out to the ocean, place a bomb into the sea, detonate it and then come and collect the dead fish, this is not what I call fishing, this is plain and simple mass murder! But when you go out and spend a day with your rod waiting for the good catch, not only you’ll feel more in balance with nature, but you’ll have thought a great deal during that day. That’s why fishermen and photographers are usually wise people, because they learn to observe and to listen. The means are as important as the end!
I am always aware of the moments I would want to catch with my camera, even if for some reason I do not have the camera with me. This is my natural attitude towards life. Yes, I do go to places where things are more likely to ‘happen’ but photographs are virtually everywhere!
As far as the technical aspect of capturing the right image, here you need some skills, you need to know your tools, you have to master your camera and be ready to capture the moment without hesitation. I must admit that I did loose a few photographs along the years, but this is also part of the game. If it is true that you learn from your mistakes, then I must be very clever by now!
March 19, 2013
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Daniel Beltra, Oil Spill, 2010. Aerial view of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico
This novel exhibition will be the first of its kind anywhere to show both the harsh, even brutal realities of the changing environment, as well as its enduring and stunning beauty, is a wide-ranging and ground-breaking exhibition featuring more than 70 of the world’s most highly regarded photographers from North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, with many of them showcasing previously unseen and recently completed works.
Focusing on our rapidly changing planet the exhibition will feature more than 130 original works of art taken by enterprising photographers employing technology ranging from 19th Century plate-camera techniques to the use of planes, drones, robots and even satellites to capture vivid images of earth’s varied terrain – and even distant planets. Many of the major names in photography will be represented…..go to the Somerset House website here for more details
14 March – 28 April 2013
Daily 10.00-18.00 (Last admission 17.30)
East Wing Galleries, East Wing. Terrace Rooms & Courtyard Rooms, South Wing
David Maisel, Terminal Mirage 18
Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings No 34Photograph: Edward Burtynsky/courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto/Flowers London
Daniel Beltra, Brazil 3, 2012. Aerial view south of Santarém and along the road BR163 of the rainforest in the Tapajós River
You can see more images from this exhibition on the Guardian website here
October 29, 2012
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This exhibition features some of the colour photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson
Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2R 1LA
8 November 2012 – 27 January 2013
Until 21.00 on Thurs 8, 29 Nov & 6, 13, 20 Dec
Terrace Rooms & Courtyard Rooms, South Wing
It is well-known that Cartier-Bresson was disparaging towards colour photography, which in the 1950s was in its early years of development; his reasoning was based both on the technical and aesthetic limitations of the medium at the time.
Featuring 10 Cartier-Bresson photographs never before exhibited in the UK alongside over 75 works by 14 international acclaimed photographers, this extensive showcase will illustrate how photographers working in Europe and North America adopted and adapted the master’s ethos famously known as the ‘decisive moment’ to their work in colour.
Further details are available here
March 9, 2012
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“The 2012 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards is just around the corner – coming to London in April. But, the World Photography Organisation has today announced its shortlisted photographers………
The World Photography Organisation has today unveiled its shortlist for the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards, which includes dozen of professional and amateur photographers selected from more than 112,000 entries.
In the Professional competition, photographers could enter images in more than 12 categories in three sections – Photojournalism & Documentary, Fine Art and Commercial.
The selected photographers, and finalists, will see their work exhibited in April at Somerset House in London, with the winners announced in a high-profile ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on London’s Park Lane.” writes Olivier Laurent in the BJP…MORE
This series depicts Death row prisoner’s last meals. The project was a collaboration with graphic designer, Matt Prosser, who used the images to illustrate a mock-up book on the subject. The crime committed by each prisoner was printed on one side of the book, the image on the other, juxtaposing text with image. © Helen Thompson, UK, Professional Shortlist, Still Life, Sony World Photography Awards 2012.
February 9, 2012
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Whilst writing yesterday about the Vienna photography awards I reminded myself that I had intended to bring worldphoto.org to your attention. This has a number of partners who are all involved with photography from a number of different aspects. primarily at the moment the point of focus is on the Sony Photography awards,
“Announced at the 2011 Sony World Photography Awards in April, the current Focus Award has been awarded to Save the Children. The focus of this new collaboration is to draw attention to the millions of children caught up in disasters around the world every year. Over the last year Save the Children has responded to children’s needs in disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan, the food crisis in Niger and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as many others which never make it onto our TV screens. This partnership will help raise the profile of children caught up in these disasters and help save many more young lives. ”
Proudly sponsored by Sony, the Sony World Photography Awards is widely recognised as the leading global photographic awards programme in existence today.
Through conducting a range of annual competitions, our mission is to discover talent across many diverse fields of photography. We support photographers beyond just receiving their award; featuring their work across the WPO website and in international exhibitions, offering unparalleled exposure through our annual marketing campaign and international media coverage, and publication inside the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.
The Sony World Photography Awards now includes more competitions and awards than ever before, with each one appealing to photographers of different levels:
- Open Competition – for amateurs and enthusiasts
- Professional Competition – for serious photographers with a true passion for the job
- Youth Award – for anyone under the age of 20
- Moving Image Award – for those experimenting with moving image narrative formats
- Student Focus – for higher education photography students aged 18 – 28
- The World Photo Organisation is more than just competitions, it also has galleries of work on themes from all around the world, there are events, forums for discussion and image critique areas. Here are some of the events arranged for London