Saturday, March 31, 2007


I’ve been very lucky recently and I have received three wonderful Easter Eggs to review. The eggs, and the lucky tasters, had been waiting patiently for some time to get to work on this project. I decided the best thing was to host an Easter Egg Tasting Event at home. We would like to thank the manufacturers of the Easter Eggs for allowing us to carry out this difficult task!!
I did some research on chocolate and we all had a checklist. Not wishing to eat one Easter Egg after another, this tasting took place over two days.
All of the Easter Eggs are quite beautiful in their own unique way and have been reviewed on their merits.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat Exuberantly Fruity Egg was gratefully received. The packaging was so well thought out that you just knew the egg was safe, which was a relief, especially as I had received such an amazing egg to review.
The gift packaging was quite plain, but the attached label with a photograph, told quite another story about the contents within.
The egg came silver foil wrapped in two parts and we all waited in anticipation for the opening ceremony. Then gasps of wow!! The aroma!! The colours!! Oh my goodness!! The list goes on and on.

We all had the tasting list, but it just had to go, we were all hopelessly seduced by the excitement of the egg!!
One of the first things you notice is the thickness of the 40% milk chocolate shell. The fruit filled shell is crisp when you break into it with small pieces of raspberry. Within the egg are raspberry and peach, apricot, blackcurrant, strawberry, redcurrant and mango truffles, these are inside crisp chocolate shells that have been rolled in real fruit powder. These eggs stimulate the senses - sight, taste, smell, different textures, even the sound of the chocolate snapping.
We all thought this was an Easter Egg for lovers to share, or, if you have just been chucked by your boyfriend, you will feel much better after devouring one of these.
If you don’t live within easy reach of a Hotel Chocolat shop, the postage costs are very reasonable.

Hotel Chocolat has everything right with this egg, from the packaging to the eating experience and well done to them.

Green & Black’s

I received Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70% Chocolate Egg with Smooth Praline Mini Eggs.
The packaging for posting and the gift box is constructed from 100% recycled board. The gift box was well packed in bubble wrap.

The dark brown gift box depicts Springs fresh growth of wild flowers with a scattering of birds, dragonflies, bumblebees and a rabbit, all in different shades of brown and gold.
The egg had a bittersweet flavour and melts beautifully in the mouth with a smooth texture. A long lingering aftertaste is experienced with this chocolate. The chocolate also has a very clean snap.

The small eggs were filled with smooth praline, and the dark chocolate and praline were perfect partners.
This Easter Egg will be appreciated by dark chocolate lovers who know how to make chocolate last a few days. Certainly not to be eaten all in one sitting!!
Green & Black’s Easter Eggs have two entries in the Top Ten Best Selling Easter Eggs list this weekend, which has been compiled by Tesco's, and I really think this says it all.

Bettys by Post

Bettys sent me their Milk Chocolate Foiled Egg to review and this was also packaged superbly and received safely.
The egg was enclosed in pleated gold foil and stood on a small gold coloured stand, this was then wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with a small Betty’s ribbon. The egg is made using Swiss chocolate with 38% cocoa solids. The egg was in one piece and the inside was hollow.

The chocolate was smooth in both texture and flavour and was quite mild.
Although on our notes it said to do the snap test on a bar of chocolate, we still proceeded, and the chocolate had a good snap.
If you like to eat an egg greedily at one sitting, then it is very easy to do so with this particular chocolate.
We felt Aunts and Grandmothers would appreciate this egg, and particularly if they had been to Bettys Teashops and experienced the ambience surrounding this very British experience.

The Best of Photojournalism 2007

Image Copyright © Carolyn Cole - All Rights Reserved

Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times won the coveted Photojournalist of The Year award for her coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in July, 2006. The contest is a project of the National Press Photographers Association, and is described as the contest designed by photojournalists for photojournalists.

Carolyn's work can be seen on BOP's website, and includes the above photograph whose caption tells us that it is of the bodies of civilians, many of them children, killed in the Israeli bombing of Qana lie wrapped in plastic and sprinkled with flower petals. They were among the 1,100 Lebanese civilians who died in the month-long conflict.

Here's her winning gallery on the BOP website.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Simon Larbalestier: Cambodia

Image Copyright Simon Larbalestier

Simon Larbalestier's photography has moved over the past 20 years from album artwork for iconic rock bands to a more documentary approach. His current work involves detailing and documenting chronic disability in Cambodia through the help of The Cambodia Trust, a UK based Charity that operates in the poorest provinces of Cambodia. He's also interested in working within cultures that are trying to re- establish themselves and gain a new foothold in the 21st century.

He says that he's rooted in traditionalist methods of picture making using B&W film and range-finder cameras, and although now using digital methods to output work for clients, the origination is always from film. He's based between the UK, Thailand and Cambodia preferring to hand print his own photographs back in the UK.

His website has a handful of galleries, and I suggest you start with his beautifully toned images of Cambodia. The gallery then moves to Thailand, Laos etc.

Simon's Gallery

PS. To the members of my Angkor Wat photo-expedition: Don't Simon's images of children in Angkor War remind you of our own photo shoots in Banteay Samre?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ami Vitale: Kashmir

Image Copyright © Ami Vitale -All Rights Reserved

I can't believe that I blogged so far and not mentioned Ami Vitale on the pages of TTP!

It's been written of Ami Vitale that she's nothing short than a terrific photographer, whose work is about being with people in every sense. A feature on her from 2003 on the Digital Journalist site says "She does not simply report her stories. She lives them."

Vitale is regarded as one of today's most memorable visual storytellers. In addition to multiple POYi awards, Vitale has received recognition for her work from World Press Photo, the NPPA, Photo District News and the Society of American Travel Writers, among many other organizations. In 2002 Vitale was awarded the first-ever Inge Morath grant by Magnum Photos. The Alexia Foundation has also awarded her grants for World Peace and the city of Gijon, Spain. Vitale's photographs have been published in major international magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Geo, Discovery, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian and Le Figaro. Her photographs have been presented in international exhibitions including: Visa Pour L'Image, Perpignan; Reporters Sans Frontiers, Paris; the FotoArt Festival in Poland; the Open Society Institute and The United Nations in New York.

She believes in spending time on a story, and in living with the people she photographs. This, she says, has helped her to get beneath the surface of a story. In an interview on the Digital Journalist, Ami says: “You have to get into a culture to actually live there to understand things aren’t as sensational when you understand them in their context. I’ve jumped in, parachuted into a few places before and I didn’t like it. It’s very dangerous and I’ve felt like I wasn’t portraying things truthfully, or it was a different truth.” This speaks for itself.

Here's Ami Vitale's website.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Johanna over at thepassionatecook is running the challenge Waiter, there's something in my ... Easter Basket!

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns.

I am sure we all learnt the above as school children, but I don't think Hot cross buns were ever made into a pudding or at least I don't have any knowledge of this.

Making sure the custard is not cooked too much is important here, I like my custard to have a wobble! The custard layer was very deep, and for all egg custard lovers this pudding will be a delight.

This is quite a substantial pudding, one for the boys maybe? On looks this would be far more attractive if it had been made with mini Hot cross buns and then a smaller portion or second helpings could be enjoyed by all.

A couple more Hot cross bun recipes I have seen recently are - James Martin's new cookery book Desserts and also in the April issue of Delicious Magazine.

Note: The original recipe came from Bart's Spices Website and unfortunately they have removed the recipe from their site. I didn't make a copy of the recipe but I believe it is a rich custard mixed with vanilla and cooked in the usual way.

James Nachtwey: United Nations Show

Image Copyright © James Nachtwey- All Rights Reserved

The United Nations is currently exhibiting the superlative photographs of James Nachtwey depicting the pain and suffering of people afflicted with AIDS and tuberculosis.

A poignant passage about the exhibition from the article in the New York Times:

"In Thailand, north of Bangkok, he (Nachtwey) came across an American priest named Michael Bassano who spends endless days with the most desperate of AIDS patients, massaging their feet, changing their diapers, helping them die. Their flesh clings like cellophane to their bones, and their eyes roll up in their heads. In one photograph Father Bassano’s arm just barely extends into the lower right corner of the frame, clasping the tiny wrist of a young woman named Lek. She stares doe-eyed back at him, as if from the grave."

Here's the whole article (registration might be required).

Dirk Panier: 'Must-See' Multimedia

Dirk Panier is a photographer from Belgium, and has created an incredibly beautiful multimedia flash website...probably one of the best I've seen. It's a 'must-see"....not necessarily for the photographs, but for the creativity of the whole feature.

His multimedia galleries are not only creative, but are inventive, of extremely good taste, and are visually and aurally compelling. Cuba, Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Syria, Jordan, Istanbul, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand are represented, and are all exceptionally attractive galleries.

Dirk's galleries are accompanied by interesting music and chants. The gallery of Tunisia is accompanied by an Egyptian soundtrack, but this slight oversight hardly matters. Don't miss the steam coming out of the teapot's spot in the Moroccan feature!!!

I have considerable admiration for the aesthetic skills and creativity required to bring all the elements of this multimedia package together, and I strongly encourage you to devote ample time to savor it and then bookmark it. I'm envious of Dirk's may be too.

Dirk Panier's Travelling

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evan Abramson: Bolivia

Image Copyright © Evan Abramson - All Rights Reserved

Evan is a freelance photographer in Bolivia for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald and Bloomberg News. His website tells us that he dedicated the past three years to creating a visual narrative of the lives and experiences of Andean farmers in some of the highest and farthest settlements of humans in Bolivia. He participated in as much of the daily lives and rituals of the Andean farmers as he could, including the Tinku, or “Encounter”—a ritual fight between members of neighboring zones or villages—even going so far as to learn the Pre-Columbian Quechua language more widely spoken in the Andean countryside than Spanish.

He lived and traveled through a wide network of rural Andean villages and provincial lands of barren pastoral settings, meeting mostly farmers, economically impoverished, but humble and earnest in their approach to life.

His affection for the Bolivian people, and his strong connection to Bolivia, are both evident in his powerful, and yet sensitive, work.

This is the second posting on Evan's work. The first was in mid February, when his work on the Tinku festival was published in a slideshow feature in the New York Times. I look forward to admire further work from Evan.

Here's Evan Abramson website.

POV: Techniques

Image from A Bali Canang-Copyright 2005 Tewfic El-Sawy

On my photo expeditions, I constantly encourage my fellow photographers to vary their camera height when photographing people in particular. Changing camera height to even a small degree can result in a huge difference to the background. A low angle allows the photograph to use the sky as plain background, while a high viewpoint can provide a more interesting background. The traditional technique in photographing people is to do so at eye level, as it provides "natural looking" images...but how boring! Breaking the rules and experimenting is so much more satisfying.

In the image above, I was photographing in a 'medresa', or Islamic school, in Bali and had to crouch on the ground to capture an eye level realistic image of the students horsing around while their teacher's back was turned. As photographers, crouching down and even lying down is necessary to get realistic shots. Perhaps elementary advice, and in this case a no-brainer...but I'm always surprised at how many of us still photograph children from our high vantage point.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Q. Sakamaki: Bangladeshi Sex Workers

Image Copyright © Q. Sakamaki - All Rights Reserved

Q. Sakamaki graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree in International Affairs, Concentration in Conflict
Resolution and Human Rights. Born and raised in Japan, he now makes his home in New York City and has been photographing war zones throughout the world such as Afghanistan, Iraq,Palestine, Liberia, Bosnia and Kosovo - documenting not only the political landscape but people’s emotional relationship to conflict.

His photographs have appeared in books and magazines worldwide including Time, Life, and L’espresso and have been the subject of solo shows in New York and Tokyo. He has published three books, including "Palestine", is a Karate master, and a writer who contributes mainly to the Japanese media. He's represented by Redux Pictures.

To illustrate this post, I chose an image from the Banglan (I'm unsure what Banglan means, but I suspect it's another word for Bangladeshi) Sex Workers gallery on Sakamaki's website. The image is of 15 year-old Rotina, a sex worker who has contracted HIV. Most of his images are toned, and are powerful examples of what responsible social photography is capable of.

Q. Sakamaki website

Let's Go Photo Contest

The publishers of the popular Let's Go guidebooks have recently announced a photo contest. They're looking for primarily scenes that capture the essence of the books being updated this summer. The contest deadline is April 15, 2007. Let's Go will put your photograph on the cover of the Let's Go Guide and give you a copy of the book. The guides will come out in November.

Interested? Before you go rushing to your inventory of photographs, read this bone-chilling condition in the contest's release form:

"By participating in the photo contest, you hereby grant Sponsor (ie Let's Go) all rights to the image(s), including the right to edit, adapt, modify, or dispose of any proper names, likenesses, photographs, and/or city/states on any image(s), as well as all rights to publish, and use in any manner, on any Let’s Go, Inc. products and/or publications, print or electronic, and in any other media for advertising and promotional purposes for this and similar promotions in all media (including and without limitation, the Internet) without any consideration or payment to you, except where prohibited by law.

Now if you're still willing to participate, then go to: Let's Go Contest

My position on this issue is that the Let's Go publishers will get no professional photographer's work in this contest, and that they should pay monetary (or at least a substantial prize) compensation for the chosen photograph. As it stands, they're essentially getting something for nothing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beyond The Frame: Indian Gypsies

Image Copyright © 2003 Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

At the end of the Pushkar camel fair a few years ago, I traveled in a crowded and creaky train between Phulad and Jojawar in South Rajasthan. The train stopped at Jojawar station, and I disembarked along with a few locals still dressed in their festival finery and carrying shopping bags heavy with presents for their families.

Near the small one-room stationhouse, I noticed a small group of Indians, dressed in colorful dresses and turbans. These were Lambanis or banjaras, who originate from these parts of Rajasthan. They are part of the nomadic tribes of India, and travel from place to place in search of a livelihood. They have their own language which has no script, their own culture and a unique social structure. It is said that the Roma gypsies in Europe are decended from the Lambanis tribes.

A couple stood out because of their dress and friendly demeanor, so I approached them and after a few moments of indecision, they agreed to be photographed. I wasn't sure if they were husband and wife (and I still don't know), but after a few photographs and good laughs, I jokingly gestured the man (who wore a necklace and had long hair tucked under his turban) if he could get closer to the woman. He surprised me by quickly hugging the woman...a public display which is highly unusal in rural India, and which was accompanied by the hoots and catcalls of his group. I tried hard to get him to hug the woman again, but to no avail. The fleeting moment had passed, and it was not repeated.

This photograph appeared in a two-page spread in the Digital Photographer magazine.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

NY Times: Old Delhi

Image Copyright Tomas Munita for the New York Times

I usually think that the New York Times multimedia features are quite good, however this week's Sights & Sounds of Old Delhi is disappointing. The feature documents some of Old Delhi's chaotic neighborhoods, bazaars and narrow lanes.

The accompanying article by Jonathan Allen is informative and well-written. I like this particular paragraph:

"Much of Old Delhi life goes on unabashedly out in the open. Young men get facials in open-fronted male beauty parlors, or you might spot a gaggle of children getting bucket-washed in the courtyard of a haveli, a once-grand mansion sunk into decay. Some kind of encounter with goats is virtually guaranteed, many of them dressed attractively in ladies' sweaters during the winter. None of them seem even remotely alarmed at the sight of stalls piled high with severed goats' heads."

But back to the slideshow...the photographs are less than inspiring and the audio is terribly amateurish. Although I liked a couple of the pictures (the one of the car spare parts is on earth can they find anything in this mess is beyond comprehension), most of them are nothing to write about. I'm sure that the NY Times photographer, Tomas Munita, is an extremely competent photojournalist, but this feature is a dud.

Judge for yourself (you'll have to resize the opening window):

Sights & Sounds of Delhi

Pascal Meunier: Mauritania

Image Copyright © Pascal Meunier - All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite travel documentary photographers is Pascal Meunier, the French photographer, who specializes in documenting the Arab-Muslim cultures.

I posted about Pascal's wonderful imagery of the decrepit public baths in Cairo earlier on TTP, and now bring you another of his galleries depicting the oasis of Oualata in the Mauritanian desert. I have some favorites; the one above and another (#09 in the gallery) which contrasts the hennaed design on a woman's palm to the geometrics on a house...maybe a bit of a cliche, but I liked it.

Before you visit the gallery, here's some interesting background on Oualata: it's a an ancient town on a caravan route in south east Mauritania, near Mali.The city was founded in the eleventh century, when it was part of the Ghana Empire, and was destroyed in 1076 but refounded in 1224, and again became a major trading post for trans-Saharan trade and an important centre of Islamic scholarship.

Today, Oualata is home to ancient Qur'anic manuscripts, and is known for its highly decorative architectural style, evidenced by beautiful geometric designs on the red-clay inner and external walls of its houses. It is also a World Heritage Site.

Some of you may find that the concept and designs of Oualata similar to those found in certain villages in Rajasthan. The main difference between the two is the absence of the human form in those of Oualata, because of the Qur'anic prohibition of such images.

Here's Pascal Meunier's Oulata

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat are running an Online Easter Egg Hunt competition to win one of 20 luxury hampers
The competition is open to everyone (UK and abroad) and closes 2nd April 2007. To enter
Why not have a go, you may be one of the lucky winners. You will then be able to sit back, watch a film, and indulge!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Emerald Miners: Hindu Kush

Here's an interesting multimedia slideshow by Andy Nelson of the Christian Science Monitor. It documents the miners of emeralds in Afghanistan. High in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, far from Kabul, these miners dig for emeralds using unsophisticated methods. It's a departure from the usual fare we get out of Afghanistan; women issues, Taliban violence and poppy-field/opium cultivation.

I wasn't aware that the CS Monitor was involved in web-based multimedia journalism...and it's a welcome addition to the growing roster of national newsmedia that have the vision to do so. CS Monitor used the efficient Soundslides format for this multimedia feature. I wish CNN and the BBC -among others- did the same instead of using their lousy viewers/players.

The CS Monitor's Emerald Miners

Lens Hoods: Free!

From Great Britain (where else?) comes this website which provides easy-to-use PDF plans or templates of most lens hoods manufactured. These PDFs can be downloaded, and the templates printed, then cut/trimmed into a paper, card (or thin plastic) lens hood which you need. All the instructions are legible and easy to understand.

The advantages of these hoods are that they're disposable, replaceable, easy to pack and free. How they handle rain and wind is another matter.

If anyone is tempted to make and test one, I'd be interested to know if it works.

Here's Lens Hoods

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lorenzo Moscia: Havana

Image Copyright © Lorenzo Moscia

Lorenzo Moscia is an Italian photographer living in Santiago de Chile. His flash-based website is a trove of amazing photographs from various countries such as Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and even Zanzibar.

I recommend his galleries of Havana (his website has two of those) to readers of TTP. Although one may think that Havana has been overdone from a photographic standpoint, Lorenzo's images reflect the naked reality of how Habaneros live their lives in their wonderful city, despite the hardships, the dearth of necessities, and difficulties. His use of color, composition, the personality of his subjects, choice of the 'decisive' moment, all contribute to masterful work.

As I said, there are two galleries for Havana on Lorenzo's is older than the other, and both have images that are breathtaking. For example, in the 'older' Havana gallery, my very favorite is image #003 of a man plopped on a mattress...a mattress supported by a pile of bricks. He's presumably watching television (unseen in the photograph), but an antique small electric fan is blowing air in his face.

And how about the one above this post; a woman cleaning a plateful of uncooked rice, watched by a child? How well this image tells the story! Personally, this image resonates. While growing up, I watched our family's cook do exactly the same thing.

Having visited Havana for a photography workshop, I can attest to the Cubans' spirit, creativity, generosity and kindness. How can anyone justify political isolation and impose economic sanctions on their own kin (or on anyone, for that matter) is beyond comprehension.

My hat is off to Lorenzo for his talents and sensitivity.

Lorenzo Moscia's website

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Justin Mott: Cambodia

Image Copyright Justin Mott

Justin is a talented photojournalist currently based in Hanoi, Vietnam and works with the World Picture News agency. He discovered his interest in photography and photojournalism after attending a workshop in Siem Reap (Cambodia) with Gary Knight, a co-founder of the agency VII. Since then, Justin has documented social issues in Southeast Asia, and has done freelance work for Medecins Sans Frontieres.

To show his photographic style, I've chosen the above one from Vietnam. I very much like the composition; the out of focus subject on the center-right of the image, with the traditional Vietnamese hat, the texture of the well-worn yellowish wall behind her and the contrasting red color of the birdcage. For me, the composition and the color combination of this photograph is perfection...maybe I would've cropped the sliver of the window on the right, but maybe not.This image is from Justin's personal blog (available via his website).

However, I want to showcase his work on what he describes as the 'temporary monks of Siem Reap'. This is a subject matter I've worked on on a number of occasions, and I'm always interested in other photographs from the same area. I found a Soundslides production on his website, with background music and ambient sound (just click on Multimedia)....and a similar one as a FilmLoop slideshow from the WpN website (ie with WpN's logo on the side). Both links are at the bottom of this post, and readers can choose whichever they prefer. One of the images on the slideshow is of a monk (or novice) with a dog...another perfect candid composition from Justin. May he continue his excellent work.

Justin Mott's "Temporary Monks" slideshow (WpN)

Justin Mott's website

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

POV: Fixers

Mandalay, Burma - Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy

My Point Of View this week is prompted by the recent release of an Italian journalist and his guide in Afghanistan.

By fixer, I mean someone local who helps you, whether photojournalist or a travel photographer, to get where you need to go, to translate, and who smoothes your way into making the photographs you need. You can call him a guide, if you like...but I prefer describing such a person as a fixer because that's what they are. They 'fix' they're fixers.

I've had many fixers helping me during solo assignments and travels. When we first meet, I always spend at least an hour to get to know them better...and to see if they have what it takes to be fixers. I want someone who can watch my back when I'm busy photographing, someone to make sure that I'll get where I want to be at the right time...someone who has the flexibility and street smarts to suggest alternatives if something doesn't work for me...and to suggest what I haven't thought of.

On a recent project in Varanasi, I had the good fortune to hire a local person who had a solid network of connections, and who called on his contacts (whether official or unofficial) at street level to deliver what I needed. While photographing in a Sufi shrine, I was saved from probable injury when he quickly and literally pulled me away from an uncomfortable situation (I hadn't seen that I was threatened by someone wielding a stone) so i'm indebted to him for far more than just fixing. While photographing indian widows in Vrindavan, I had just the opposite...a fixer who was scared of his own shadow, and I was left to fend for myself when I got into some difficulty.

I know I'm preaching to the converted, but there's no harm in saying the obvious. A good fixer is an extremely valuable resource and for photojournalists, the relationship may need to be cultivated over many months or even years. I've had good ones, and had bad ones. The good fixers have considerable pride in their work...and develop a kinship with the photographer. I've often seen photographers treat their guides (or fixers) not as well as they should, and they end up being disappointed in the results of their assignments or projects. So fixers are of critical importance, and shabby treatment -be it shortchanging them or being too bossy- is counterproductive.

But the 'hard core' fixers are those who assist conflict photographers. Most of the photographs we see in the newspapers and in the rest of the media out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine were made possible because a fixer was involved to some degree, or at some stage. Some pay for their job with their lives...others are kidnapped. These are the real fixers. Some conflict photographers go on to win international and national recognition, awards and prizes...but most fixers stay where they are...earning modest wages to feed their families while surviving difficult situations. In my opinion, they certainly deserve part of the credits that are heaped on the photographers....are they honored when the photographers receive their well-deserved prizes, awards and recognition? I hope some are...they certainly deserve it.

What The Duck

Monday, March 19, 2007

Charles Traub: Advice for Photographers

Charles Traub is the chairman of the School of Visual Arts’s photography MFA program, and Popular Photography's blog has recently published his closing remarks from a panel discussion about photography at the Aperture Foundation in New York.

Among his advice to "young" photographers are these two gems; one is tongue in cheek, while the other is serious:

Do it sharp—if you can’t, call it art.

Don’t photograph indigent people—especially in foreign lands.

You can read the rest here.

Sebastián Belaustegui: Guardians of Time

Image Copyright Sebastián Belaustegui

Sebastián Belaustegui was born in 1969 and although from Argentine, is currently living in Tepoztlan, Mexico. He has been an independent documentary photographer since 1991, and dedicates himself to photographing the native world of Latin America.

Sebastián’s work is exquisite, and can be seen in his gorgeous book Guardianes del Tiempo (Guardians of Time), which group his photographs of indigenous peoples of Central and Latin America. My favorite is of a Peruvian couple sitting in their room, a hamster peeking at the photographer between their legs.

His photographs appeared in National Geographic, Camera Art, Planet, and Gatopardo, as well as in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Sunday Times.

His website is here, and I urge you to visit his Personal Work section and his Guardians of Time gallery. I expect his book is available at bookstores.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Beyond The Frame: Hard Core Sufi?

From The Sufis of the Darghas-Copyright 2007 Tewfic El-Sawy

During my photography travels, I constantly despair at the sight of local people wearing baseball caps (sometimes back-to-front!) and gaudy t-shirts instead of their beautiful native dress, and in so doing mar the image of their cultures and heritage. So imagine my joy when I saw Ali Shah Jalil Shams Uddin walking into the shrine of Nizzamuddin in Delhi, an impressive beard jutting out of his handsome face, head topped by a traditional turban, and bejeweled with bracelets and necklaces made of carnelian beads.

Yes! There was a man with a story to tell...a paragon of authenticity and most probably a genuine Sufi to boot. Barely containing my excitement, I approached him along with my trusted fixer in Delhi, Joginder, to photograph him during his prayers and for an interview. He had composed an ode to the saint Nizzam Uddin, and not a wallflower by any means, belted it out in the center of the shrine. Flattered by the attention, he jumped at the chance to talk especially since a small crowd, sensing an event of some sort, had now formed around us.

I photographed while Joginder asked him questions about his life and background. He revealed that he had been a devout Christian, but had converted to Islam over 25 years ago, and had since then lived as a recluse in a cave in Madras, dispensing Islamic sermons and advice to the faithful. He was a Sufi ascetic, who traveled to Delhi to visit the shrine of Nizzam Uddin and pay his respects to the preeminent Sufi saint in the Indian subcontinent. He told the attentive crowd that he frequently wore a vest made of chains and padlocks as penitence for the sins of mankind.

I was in heavens...photographing as quickly as I can, trying to capture his incredible expressions as he orated to the now awed thoughts racing with images of his ascetic way of life...until I heard the ring of a cellphone. My initial irritation at being distracted by a cellphone owned by someone in the crowd was quickly replaced by utter disappointment. My expectations were compleltely was none other but Ali Shah who had reached in his robe's pocket for a Nokia cellphone. According to Joginder, Ali Shah was having a conversation with his wife, who was still in Madras. You can even see the blue cord of his cellphone dangling from his neck, along with the rest of his necklaces.

Ah, least he wasn't wearing a baseball cap.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Travis Fox: Video Journalist

While this is about television photojournalism rather than photography, I think it's worthwhile to mention that the National Press Photographers Association awarded Travis Fox first and second place in the in-depth online photojournalism category of its Best of Television Photojournalism contest.

Readers of TTP will recall my earlier posts on multimedia features produced by Travis Fox for the Washington Post. One of these posts covered the excellent feature on Darfur and another on Islamic Numerology.

Al Thompkins on Poynter On Line has an interview with Travis Fox, and says this: "The Washington Post's Travis Fox has done it again. Travis is a backpack journalist who travels the world documenting stories with video for the Post's Web site. He is just home from Darfur, and the work he brought home with him may be his best yet."

Read the whole article here.

Anand Khokha: South & South East Asia

Scriptures & Incense (Bhutan) - Image Copyright 2006 Anand Khokha

Not only is Anand a regular participant in my photo expeditions, but he is a peripatetic traveler for both business and leisure purposes. He accumulated an impressive inventory of travel photographs of India, Cambodia, Bhutan and Thailand on his delightful website, which I believe is a joint production with his creative son. His forte is people photography, capturing candid expressions, and registering human interactions. I have also seen his recent landscape photographs of Bhutan, and I can vouch that they are as good as his candid images.

Anand's keen eye and photographic flair are obvious, and his altruism in dedicating the proceeds from the sale of his photographs to St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Tamil Nadu, South India, a deserving charitable institution, also speaks for itself. Here's Anand Khokha's website.

Jehad Nga: The Faces of Africa

Image Copyright © 2006 Jehad Nga

I have recently admired and commented on Jehad Nga's fabulous work which appeared on the pages of the New York Times. I posted in early February about his work on Ethiopia's Stone Churches, and today I bring his latest multimedia gallery Faces of Africa, in which you'll see images of Somali and Kenyan café patrons made in the dark, only a single ray of sun highlighting the individuals themselves; an arresting collection of images by a master photographer.

Here's Jehad Nga's New York Times gallery: The Faces of Africa. (you'll probably need to adjust the size of the window).

Cake Flavourings

I love baking and have accumulated several essences and extracts that I just couldn't live without.
My favourite and most used is vanilla extract, this transforms a plain sponge just by adding a teaspoonful to a basic cake mixture.
Vanilla paste purchased from is a gourmet grade made with real vanilla seeds. This is perfect to use in custard, icecream etc.
How about using almond extract in a simple sponge fruit cake topped with toasted flaked almonds.
Lemon extract is wonderful, it helps lift lemon cake by giving an extra hit of lemon, or use it sparingly in lemon icing.
Orange flower water is wonderful in a syllabub, cream or just simply add to cake mixture.
One of my new discoveries is coconut essence, which can be purchased from and was first introduced to me through reading Nigella Lawson's cookery books. In How to be a Domestic Goddess it is used in coconut macaroons and there are a couple of recipes in Feast where she also uses this. This essence is also wonderful in any baking where you use coconut.
It is important to buy good quality extracts and to use them sparingly.


There are numerous recipes for Lancashire hot pot and the only thing they have in common are the main ingredients of lamb, onions and potatoes. In some recipes kidneys, black pudding and even oysters are used.
In the photograph you can see I have used lamb chops and this is the way I prefer to eat mine.
Brian Turner in his book Favourite British Recipes uses lamb chump chops and Mark Hix in his book British uses lamb neck fillet.
I haven't called this dish Traditional Lancashire Hot Pot for the very reason I do not come from that part of the world and even in Lancashire I am sure everyone has their own particular way of making this wonderful dish.
This recipe is very simple and requires good quality ingredients. I use lamb from my local Q Guild butcher, organic carrots and herbs from my garden. For the stock I buy a Beef concentrated bouillon.


ISBN 1853917303 - PAGE 35

SERVES: 4 people

Skill Level: Easy

Taste Test: The lamb is meltingly tender and the stock is very flavoursome.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C(350°F/Gas 4). Melt 20g butter in a frying pan and over a high heat, quickly fry 1kg middle neck of lamb chops until lightly browned. Remove from the pan.

2. Slice 900g peeled potatoes into 2mm thick discs and cover the base of a casserole dish with about a third of the slices, season lightly. Place the lamb on the potato, scatter with 2 large onions which have been finely sliced, 2 carrots sliced into 2mm thick discs, ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme and a bay leaf, season lightly with salt and pepper. Put the remaining potato slices on top. Pour 500ml of brown stock to come up to just under the top layer of potato, by pouring the stock down one side of the dish, so that the top layer doesn't get wet. Brush with 60g melted butter and season. Place a few sprigs of thyme on top. Cover and cook for 1½ hours.

3. Remove the lid, then add more stock if required. Return to the oven for about 45 minutes, uncovered, until the potato top is browned. Serve hot with a green vegetable.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Le Creuset Casserole Dish

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jon Anderson: El Camino de los Negros

Batey Smoker - Image Copyright © Jon Anderson

A superb photographer and photojournalist, a talented writer, a blogger of incisive intellect, a captivating storyteller, a graphic artist, a website designer and a multimedia artist, Jon divides his time between Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and New York City. He was recently awarded a fellowship by the Alicia Foundation to pursue his ongoing project documenting the plight and exploitation of braceros (gatherers and cutters) in the sugarcane plantations of the Dominican Republic.

He studied journalism at Columbia University, and initially joined the famed Black Star photo agency.

To showcase Jon's many talents, I chose his multimedia documentary El Camino de los Negros, which deals with religious rituals and some of the endangered traditions of the Dominican Republic. We all heard of santeria and voodoo practiced in parts of the Caribbean, but this is somewhat different.

Jon's enormous talents are in clear evidence here; the composition of his black and white photography, the intelligent juxtaposition of ritualistic music and songs with narration, the judicious use of the Ken Burns effect, combined with his narrative make this powerful documentary a mandatory stop for all of us who are entering the world of multimedia photography.

Jon's El Camino de los Negros

Jon's website "Dark Horse Images"

Jon's Blog: The Spark of Accident

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GMB Akash: Bangladesh

Image Copyright © G M B Akash-All Rights Reserved

I'm pleased to see that GMB Akash, a photographer from Bangladesh, has been named as one of PDN's 30 New & Emerging Photographers for 2007. Since I started TTP blog, I've been introduced to the enormous talent coming from South Asia and Asia itself. This emerging talent is still under-represented in the international media and lacks the exposure it deserves, but it's getting there.

Akash (I don't really know what GMB stands for, so I'll use Akash rather than an acronym) is a brave photographer, documenting sides of society that are not pretty. His photographs are courageous, complex and make us think. His use of color, available light and sense of timing allows him to photograph what others may not.

I read that his photograph of the young boy in chains caused a furore in Bangladesh, and that Akash has had to seek temporary refuge, or was stranded, in Germany. I don't know if that is true or not, but he now seems to be back in his country, photographing as usual.

I've chosen his gallery of photographs on Muslim medresas to showcase here on TTP. While some of you will form an opinion on Muslim schools from these photographs (if you don't have one already), I'd like you to also consider that not all medresas shackle their students nor treat them badly. I don't know why this unfortunate boy was treated in such a barbaric and primitive way but for the sake of fairness and objectivity, here's a photograph I've taken in an Indonesian Muslim school in Bali (Indonesia). The photograph is from my Bali Canang gallery. I had just dropped in on the school where I was warmly welcomed, and invited to photograph as I pleased. You'll agree that the difference is striking.

Still reflecting on the boy in it to keep him from running away, and joining street kids...and is it therefore for his own good? He looks well-fed, clean and healthy. Is there a story behind the photograph, and was it that which caused the furore in Bangadesh? There must be a reason why this child is treated this way and not the rest of the medresa's children. I'm certainly not condoning this treatment (which I deem barbaric) but questions must be asked and hopefully answered, and I -for one- will not take the photograph at its face value.

Akash's website has many other galleries, most of which deal with issues related to certain facets of non-mainstream South Asian society, so go ahead...explore a world many of us do not know.

GMB Akash's Muslim Schools

Image Copyright © GMB Akash

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Books: William Dalrymple

The Last Mughal is the most recent book by one of my favorite authors, William Dalrymple. I bought this book in London, and read a few chapters during my flight back. It's a massive book, and a must for any Indiaphile. It presents a brilliant narrative of last days of the Mughal empire, its capital and its final destruction.

Dalrymple lives in Delhi, and rearched this book by minutely combing through the Indian National Archives. I was struck -even by the initial chapters that I read so far- that the Great Mutiny which brought about the downfall of Emperor Bahadur Shah, the last Mughal, by the British, parallels contemporary events. For instance, the Indian rebels (sepoys) raised the flag of 'jihad', and called themselves 'mujaheddin' to legitimize their conflict. A fascinating read, which only proves 'plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose'.

Candace Feit: Darfur

Image © Candace Feit

I hesitate to describe Candace Feit as an emerging photojournalist, since her remarkably striking photographs are as powerful as those I've seen from many more experienced photojournalists.

I read that she only took up photography seriously 2-3 years ago, and took the opportunity of traveling to Dakar in the Senegal to photograph its streets on a daily basis. She then hooked up with a couple of photo agencies, and suddenly was covering the Darfur conflict, Togo, Liberia and Ghana. Her photographs appeared in the The New York Times, Le Monde, Le Figaro, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and Time magazine, among others.

For this post, I've chosen one of her striking photographs in which the contrast between the starkness of the landscape, the darkening sky, and the colors of the woman's clothes (just look at her flip-flops!) is testament to Candace's skill for composition and her color sense.

Except for countries of Northern Africa, the Sudan and Ethiopia, I haven't traveled in Africa...and it's talented photography like Candace's which tells me if it's high time to start. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Candace Feit...she'll keep impressing us.

Candace Feit

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dinesh Khanna: Living Faith

Image Copyright Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna is an Indian photographer, who specializes in travel photography, and showcases his love for color in his two books, Bazaar and Living Faith. I'm impressed by the perfectionism of his imagery...but let me also make the important distinction that he is more of a 'commercial' travel photographer than a documentary travel photographer. His images are stylized and beautiful, and his color sense among the best I've recently seen. Reaffirming his style, he describes some of his successful photographs as being staged. You'll see in one of his gallery an image of camels wading through the Yamuna river behind the Taj Mahal. While obviously color-enhanced, this image was used very successfully in advertisements for India Tourism.

Here are excerpts of what Dinesh says about color:

" Color is almost a language in India. It's in food, clothes, on walls, in architecture. Color is such an integral part of life that to take it away would be killing a part of the story. As a photographer, I find color challenging. Black-and-white photography is easier because it makes the image alien to the way the mind sees things. Color is always around us. To transcend that, to show reality the way it is, and yet, have an interesting composition or an interesting moment is far more challenging.

Absolutely! Color is a language in's a way to communicate, influence and swamp the senses. Color is what pulls many photographers to this wonderful country. For me, India has three irresistible magnetic fields: its people, its art of devotion and its language of color. Language of color...yes, I'm grateful to Dinesh to have shared this expression.

Dinesh's website is here. I recommend his galleries which are titled Staged Street and Books.

POV: Semantics?

From Laos: Monks & Wats-Image Copyright 2005 Tewfic El-Sawy

One colloquialism describing a photographer that I personally find particularly irksome is the word "snapper". It's mainly used in Britain, and it's irritating that even some of the broadsheets and dailies use it. Even worse is to hear it spoken. I know....I know...some photographers freely use it to describe themselves, but I still cringe when I hear it. Another word commonly used is 'shoot' in 'he is shooting in afghanistan' when describing the whereabouts of a photojournalist. I don't think that pressing the shutter of a camera is akin to shooting of a gun. I must admit culpability in using the equally grating term of 'photo shoot'.

However, this is not what I'm going to vent about today. No, today's about the difference between 'making' a photograph and 'taking' a photograph. Generally, the action is described as 'taking' a photograph (or taking a picture) but, to me, here's the difference:

Taking a photograph is when I photograph a spontaneous scene or portrait. There's no prior preparation, and I just see a scene that makes visual sense to me, and I take its photograph. But making a photograph is different, because making implies a degree on personal involvement. In other words, when I spend time with a subject and direct him or her to stand in a certain way, then I'm 'making' a photograph. Some people use 'create a photograph', but I find it rather pompous sounding.

While photographs that are made or taken are equal, they require different skills...interpersonal skills, pre-visualisation skills, and predictive skills. Taking a photograph requires predictive skills, while making a photograph requires interpersonal skills....that's my personal take.

Having said all that, I leave you with this: is it a photograph, a picture or an image?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Darvis: Burma

Image Copyright Darvis

Darvis (he seems to use one name only) has been a freelance photographer for over twenty years. He traveled extensively and is keen to document our disappearing civilization. He shoots his pictures then reinterprets the original images through the media of toning and water colour.

This creates a finished image which is a blend of photography and painting. This was originally an option used by traditional artists to make a portrait affordable. Only the rich could commission an original painting.

Darvis says "Although it is already too late to turn back the wheels of industrialism and technology to a simpler age of handcrafting I hope that by documenting and photographing our disappearing civilizations with their time honored methods of worship, ritual and festival that we can begin to nurture a compassionate affinity with the ways of our ancestors."

His website showcases a number of galleries; Burma, Laos, Thailand, etc, but navigating it is rather annoying. I was disappointed in his Indonesia gallery, but thought his images of Burma were really artistic. I wonder whether my preferring the Burma gallery is because the country's isolation give more 'credence' to his hand-tinted photographs with the retro look to them. I don't know...maybe.

All in all, it's too bad that that his website's navigation doesn't do any justice to his craft.

Darvis Photography

Compact Flash Cards on eBay?

For those of you tempted to buy Sandisk Compact Flash and/or SD cards from eBay, be cautious. It seems there are many eBayers who have already been deceived by inferior quality, unpopular cheap CF disguised as SanDisk Extreme III as more than 95% of all 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB CF listed on eBay are counterfeit items and many have fake capacities.

Here's the link to the eBay webpage: Fake CF Cards

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beyond The Frame: Semana Santa

Antigua's Semana Santa- Image Copyright Tewfic El-Sawy

In an early anticipation of Easter, this week's Beyond The Frame deals with the colorful and immensely significant Semana Santa in the lovely town of Antigua, a couple of hours from Guatemala City. The Semana Santa in Antigua is considered by many as the most beautiful religious celebration in the Americas, and the largest Holy Week observance in the Western Hemisphere. Beginning on Palm Sunday and continuing through Easter Sunday, it is best known for its colorful religious processions.

I recall the tremendous fervor expressed by the Guatemalans who participate in the processions and its preparations, creating an extraordinary outpouring of Christian faith and devotion. I found it quite easy to photograph in Antigua during the Semana Santa, as there are ample accommodations, the routes of the processions are planned in advance and no one minds photographers. Just be aware that pickpockets prefer to operate in crowds!

The processions in Antigua feature feature huge platforms, called andas, on which religious statues are mounted. The first platform, holding a figure of Christ with a cross, is carried by 60 to 100 men, called cucuruchos, dressed in purple biblical clothing. This is followed by a platform with the Virgin Mary, borne by women wearing black mourning.

Hundreds of parishioners will work overnight to create carpets, called alfombras, that display detailed pictorial and geometric designs made of flower petals, pine needles, dyed sawdust and colored sand.These will run for several blocks long in front of a church or along a procession route. In addition, people who live along a route create their own alfombras on the street in front of their homes. Antigua’s best processions take place on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Oh, and the best capuccino I've ever had was in Antigua. Sadly, I forgot the name of the place, but it's there!

The Cafetiere Dilemma

I own a couple of cafetieres - a large one to use for after dinner and a one cup cafetiere.
The large cafetiere is called a 'Smart Cafe' and was designed by Sebastian Conran. The only difference between this and the usual cafetiere is you fill a 'capture pod' with ground coffee and then you place this inside the cafetiere. After you have finished your coffee you then withdraw the plunger, unclip the pod and tap out the used grounds, straight into a bin. Unfortunately, this is quite a messy task.
I am not sure why, but I have to say this cafetiere does make a really good cup of coffee.
The small cafetiere works in the usual way, where you put the ground coffee straight into the inner jug and obviously, have to pour the used coffee into the sink and rinse away.
I think we are still waiting for the 'no mess' cafetiere to be invented!


The photograph in the book from the people at Delicious Magazine looked so pretty I just had to make these. I am always looking for opportunities to use my small loaf tins, and this recipe didn't disappoint.


ISBN 9781844004454 - PAGE 247

Makes: 6 - 10 mini loaves.

Skill Level: Easy

Taste Test: The sponge was soft textured and the lemon in the icing along with the ginger, complimented each other perfectly.

The recipe says this will make 6 small loaves but I found it made 10 and my loaf tins were the same size as specified in the recipe.

I found it best to leave these cakes until the next day to eat, they will then become sticky and the sponge becomes moist. If you eat them straight away they are a little dry.

The amount of icing specified coated the 10 little loaves.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line the base of the 185ml mini loaf tins.

1.Take 200g unsalted butter, 160g dark brown sugar, 60ml golden syrup and melt them over a low heat. Cool for 10 minutes.

2.Whisk 2 eggs and 165ml milk in a bowl to combine, then stir into the cooled sugar mixture.

3.Put 300g sifted self-raising flour, 2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt in a separate large bowl. Beat in the egg mixture and 1 tablespoon of chopped crystallized ginger.

4.Divide among the loaf tins, place them on a baking sheet, bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked. Cool slightly in the pans, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

For the icing, stir 150g sifted icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice until smooth, adding a little more juice or water if needed. Drizzle the icing over the cakes. Decorate with the 3 tablespoons of chopped ginger.

Store in an airtight container. Can be served warm by heating in a microwave for a few seconds.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Mini loaf tins.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kumbh Mela: An Indian Odyssey

From The Sadhus of the Kumbh Mela-Copyright 2001 Tewfic El-Sawy

I've posted photographs and galleries from the Kumbh Mela on TTP a few times already, but it's such an outstanding venue that I decided to add another. A new multimedia feature from Time magazine is of the Kumbh Mela, which took place in Allahabad over the past two months. The photographs are black & white, which is a welcome departure from the rest of the images I've seen of this spectacular 'not-to-be-missed' religious event. The photographer is Prashant Panjiar, who has done a great job capturing the atmosphere of the Kumbh. I noticed that nothing changed since I attended this phenomenal gathering of humanity in 2001.

Prashant also narrates the piece very well, which adds a welcome dimension to his work. On the negative side, I personally didn't care much for Rohan Panjar's music that accompanies the feature. The title of the feature chosen by Time is corny, and they should've done better. However, Prashant's photographs are superb and he obviously had excellent access to wherever he chose to photograph.

I've illustrated this post with one of my own photographs of the naked sadhus, or nagas. For those who are interested, I refer you to G.S. Ghurye’s comprehensive book, Indian Sadhus, in which the naked nagas are described as remnants of private armies that temple establishments maintained in India for centuries for protection and privacy. Naked warriors bore arms, were trained in the art of warfare and cleared the way for pandits and mandaleswars during their travels. India’s nude ascetic warriors were supposed to gain their strength and ability for battle from their of life and their long penance in the mountains. With the coming of the British, the naked ascetics warriors were outlawed and became marginalised freaks. But until today, most akharas (sadhus' ashrams) have a lance (or a trident?) planted in the ground in front of their gates that remind passerbys of their warlike ancestry.

An Indian Odyssey

Sigma DP1

I'm on the lookout for a small backup camera, which must also be well suited for street photography. So I was interested in the Sigma announcement (in time for the PMA) of the new DP1 high end point and shoot digital camera equipped with 14 megapixel (2652x1768x3 layers) large size direct image Foveon sensor (APS-C). Its press release says that the DP1's silicon embedded layers of photo sensors take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. This camera incorporates both RAW and JPEG image recording formats "enabling photographers to capture the highest possible picture definition and smaller file sizes."

It certainly sounds interesting, however the DP1 comes with a fixed f 4.0 28mm lens. Two problems right there: for this camera to be truly a running success, it needs a wider aperture...2.8 would be useful, and 2.0 would be wonderful. I expect that a wider aperture lens would have made it heavier and bulkier, but hope springs eternal. I don't mind the lens being fixed, but it would've been so much better if its lens was a 20mm or 24mm instead. These issues were raised to Sigma, and the answers can be found on the link. I will wait for the hands-on tech reviews, but I'm hopeful that the hands-on results of this camera will trump the theoretical expectations.

No word about the price yet...nor when the DP1 will be available.

Sigma DP1

Friday, March 9, 2007

Audio: New Zoom H2 Digital Recorder

The Japanese Samson company has just announced the Zoom H2 digital audio recorder, which follows its successful Zoom H4. Few details are available at this time, but it's assumed that it is SD based. The price is estimated at $199.

More details at Photoethnography

Olivia Arthur: The Ramnamis

Image Copyright Olivia Arthur

After a degree in Mathematics from Oxford and a diploma in photojournalism from the London College of Printing, Olivia worked in India for two years, freelancing for British publications, including The Observer Magazine, The Independent Magazine, and The Telegraph Magazine.

I was very interested in her brilliant gallery In The Name of God, which documents the Ramnamis in central India. These are members of the untouchable caste, who are prohibited from entering any temple with any Hindu. They tattoo the name of God (Ram) on their faces and/or bodies to announce that they have God with them at all times. This angers the upper caste who see this as polluting Ram's name with their 'untouchable' bodies.

I contacted Olivia for more information about the Ramnamis, and she was gracious to give me some guidance.

Olivia Arthur's In The Name of God

PhotoShelter Storage

PhotoShelter announced that photographers could access 1 terrabyte of redundant storage for an annual fee of $1000, or 1/2 a terrabyte for $600 a year. I don't think that's a bad deal at all...since it currently costs more than that to just buy the drives, and have them in safe locations. I wonder if the annual fee will change, remain the same or drop. It ought to be the latter since the cost of manufacturing storage has been declining over the years.

PhotoShelter warns that the average lifespan of a hard drive is 4 years, and that storing images on computer's hard drive or on DVD/CD's is an extremely risky proposition. (!!!)

PhotoShelter's Press Release

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Darfur: Travis Fox/Washington Post

Image Copyright Travis Fox/Washington Post

The Washington Post has a brilliantly-produced multimedia piece on Darfur by Travis Fox.

The government of Sudan is accused of arming and supporting the Janjaweed, an Arab militia in Darfur, who are accused of being guilty of brutal attacks on civilians. More than 450,000 people have been killed by violence and disease. Millions more have been forced off their land in what the US government calls genocide. Recently, attacks have spread to eastern Chad, where the ethnic make up is the same and the border porous.

I find that the panoramics in the piece were extremely well chosen, and give the viewers/readers the sense of actually being there. The more I see panos of that kind, the more I think that they will become an integral part of future photojournalism productions, since they impart such a sense of effective immediacy in the storytelling. Certainly, travel photographers would be well advised to learn the technique as well.

I also watched the movie, and it's as effective as anything I've seen on this on television. Watch the emotional recounting of the unfortunate woman who was raped by the Janjaweed. I could understand enough of what was said that I can confirm that the translation in the subtitles is accurate.

The Washington Post multimedia features are really terrific, and are probably among the best on the web.

Crisis In Darfur Expands

Antonio Mari : The Yanomami of Brazil

Image Copyright Antonio Mari

Antonio Mari is a Brazilian journalist and photographer based in New York City, specializing in ethnographic subject matter--documenting peoples and cultures outside the mainstream of western civilization.

He has completed documentaries on the vanishing folklore festivals in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, the historic architecture of Brazil's colonial towns and the Amish community of Sugarcreek in Holmes County, Ohio. He has also spent almost a decade documenting the fragile existence of the Yanomami Indians in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. His reportage on the subject has been widely published throughout the world, including multipage spreads in Newsweek , TIME Magazine, Science Magazine and the Boston Globe.

Naturally, I chose his work with the Yanomami to feature on TTP. The Yanomami generally refers to the indigenous tribespeople who live in an area that spans parts of the northwest Amazon Rainforest and southern Orinoco,

Antonio's website is Flash-based, as most photography websites are these days, and you need to choose his gallery The Yanomami: Children of Eden. It's an automatic slideshow of 27 photographs, and captions are available when clicking on the little arrow at the bottom.

Antonio Mari