Sunday, September 30, 2007

STICKY TOFFEE AND BANANA PUDDING


Woman&Home magazine have just brought out the Autumn 2007 Feel Good Food supplement and it's bursting with wonderful recipes, of which this is one.
Most pudding lovers enjoy sticky toffee pudding. The unusual ingredient in this particular recipe is the addition of chopped banana to the cake batter mix.
The bananas may be good for you, but I'm not sure about the rest of the pudding!
Unlike sticky toffee pudding, this has its own topping of golden syrup that has been poured into the base of the ramekins and then the cake batter mix is added.
When you put your spoon into the cooked pudding you come across the chopped banana pieces.
The custard recipe asked for 45g of caster sugar to a liquid measurement of 175ml. I knew this would be tooth achingly sweet and so I reduced the caster sugar to 20g, but this is obviously one of taste. The custard was chilled before serving with the pudding. Oh, and don't forget to serve the pudding with some sliced banana.
I think this pudding will be a favourite now, but will only make it to the table a couple of times a year. The reason - per serving it's nearly 600cals.


WOMAN&HOME - FEEL GOOD FOOD - AUTUMN 2007

Serves: 4 people

50g butter - softened, 35g caster sugar, 75g dark brown sugar, 1 egg, 100g bananas - chopped, 125g self-raising flour - sieved, 150g golden syrup (this is about one good tablespoon of golden syrup per ramekin).

You will need: 4 x ramekin dishes, greased, with a greaseproof paper disc placed at the bottom of each one.

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C /130°F Fan, Gas 2.
2. Mix together the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the bananas and flour and mix again.
3. Pour the golden syrup into the ramekins, then add the pudding mixture until each ramekin is two-thirds full. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes. If they aren't quite ready cover with foil and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.

For the custard: (slightly adapted)

175ml milk, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 egg yolks and 20g caster sugar.

1. Gently heat the milk in a pan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar together by hand in a bowl. Once the milk has boiled, pour half onto the yolks and whisk again. Place the pan of milk back onto the hob, on a low heat. Add the egg mixture, stirring continuously.
2. The mixture will thicken as the eggs cook. To test, run your finger down the wooden spoon - if it leaves a clean line it is ready.
3. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then chill in the fridge.

To serve: Turn out the puddings from the ramekins, dust them with icing sugar and serve with the sauce and a few slices of banana.

New York Times: Gaza's Youth

Image Copyright © Shawn Baldwin for The New York Times-All Rights Reserved

The New York Times sometimes has an intellectual and moral spine (I think it's vestigial, but that's an argument for another post), and it did the right thing this week by featuring a multimedia slideshow on the plight of young Gazans who pay the price for Israeli security. Narrated by Steven Erlanger in an appropriate compassionate voice and intonation, and produced in collaboration with Cornelius Schmid, it features still photographs by Ali Ali, Amir Cohen, Emilio Morenatti, Edi Israel and Shawn Baldwin.

Here's how the accompanying article starts:

The three Abu Ghazala fathers were in mourning, in the Palestinian way, sitting with their relatives recently in a shaded courtyard, open to the fields of watermelon and eggplant in which their children had died. Israeli fire has killed 18 Palestinian youths in Gaza recently. The children — Yehiya, 12, Mahmoud, 9, and Sara, 9 — were tending goats and playing tag on Aug. 29 when an Israeli shell or rocket blew them apart.

Dangerous Ground

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Digital or Film? : Poll Result

Results of last week's highly scientific poll featured by The Travel Photographer:

Totally Digital: 72% of readers
Totally Film: 15% of readers
Some Digital: 4% of readers
Some Film: 9% of readers

Daniel Pepper: Haiti

Image Copyright © Daniel Pepper-All Rights Reserved

Daniel Pepper studied philosophy and Middle East studies at the University of Chicago. After graduation, he worked as writer and photojournalist focusing on human rights and justice issues. His work appeared in Time, Newsweek, Fortune, NYT magazine, Sunday Telegraph and MSNBC.com among others. He currently resides in New Delhi.

I chose Daniel's work on voodoo in Hati for his powerful images, and dynamic colors. The photograph above is one of my favorites for its saturated colors and the sense of motion that I'm so partial to.

Voodoo is the name attributed to a traditionally West African spiritual system of faith and ritual practices, and its intent is to explain the forces of the universe, influence those forces, and influence human behavior. Voodoo's oral tradition of faith stories carries genealogy, history and fables to succeeding generations. Adherents honor deities and venerate ancient and recent ancestors.

Daniel Pepper

Friday, September 28, 2007

News Update: Myanmar (Burma)


The images from Burma of a Japanese journalists as he lay dying after soldiers opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters have shocked the international community. The above photograph shows Kenji Nagai held his camera above his head to continue taking photos even as a soldier pointed a gun at his chest. He was one of at least nine people who were killed when troops opened fire after ordering the protesters to move on. Another 11 were reported injured.

The military regime is clamping down on the protestors, has shuttered down most monasteries with barbed wire preventing monks from leaving and have significantly curtailed internet acces and communications.

AP reports: "Soldiers clubbed activists in the streets and fired warning shots Friday, moving decisively to break up demonstrations in Myanmar before they could gain momentum. Troops occupied Buddhist monasteries and cut public Internet access, raising concerns that the crackdown on civilians that has killed at least 10 people was set to intensify."

Incredible India: Seema K. K.

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

Seema lives in Trivandrum, Kerala in southern India, and is a graphic designer who recently took up photography with the aim of specializing in the field of cultural and documentary photography. Her keen eye and color sense is amply demonstrated by her exuberant photograph of a Theyyam dancer.

Theyyam is a popular ritual dance of north Kerala, south India, particularly presented in the Kannur and Kasargode districts. It originates from centuries old traditions, rituals and customs, and as such embraces almost all castes and classes of Hindu religion in this region. The term Theyyam is a corrupt form of daivam or God. It is a rare combination of dance and music and reflects important features of a tribal culture.

Seema's other photographs can be seen here

Incredible India: Prabir Purkayastha

Image Copyright © Prabir Purkayastha-All Rights Reserved

During the past fourteen years, Purkayastha traveled through the wilderness of Ladakh, which lies at the northern tip of India, and captured powerful images of the last bastion of ancient Tibetan culture, and says that “Ladakh connects with me at a very emotional and spiritual level. I can spend a lifetime in there."

He's an Indian photographer who exhibited in New Delhi and at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany. His photographs have been published in leading newspapers and magazines in India. He also won the National Habitat Award for Best Photography Exhibition for 2002. In the summer of 2005 he published his picture book Ladakh.

I attended a photo talk by Prabir at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC a couple of years ago, where he described how he gilded a selection of his photographs of Ladakhi murals using a technique suggested to him by the monks themselves.

Prabir Purkayastha

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NY Times: Myanmar (Burma) Unrest

The NY Times has published a slideshow depicting the latest photographs of the unrest in Rangoon. The photographs are by various news agencies, and not attributed to specific photographers.

The government's security forces cracked down today on nationwide protests, firing shots and tear gas, and raiding at least two Buddhist monasteries, where they beat and arrested dozens of monks. A monk at the Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery, pointing to bloodstains on the concrete floor, said a number of monks were beaten and at least 70 of its 150 monks taken away in vehicles.

The government told Japan’s Embassy in Rangoon that a Japanese national was killed, and reports indicate that he appeared to be a photographer.

To me, the above photograph (Reuteurs) in the slideshow is representative of the current situation...a monk defying the security forces. It's not really iconic but is a photograph that tells the story in its simplicity. However, it's cropped...the horizontal version (at least part of it) is here

It appears that tourist visas are still issued by some embassies of Myanmar...but at a slower pace and with greater scrutiny, while some photojournalists and journalists do not seem to have been given visas.

The whole slideshow is here: Burma's Unrest (Registration may be required)

NY Times: Delhi's Garbage Collectors

Copyright © J. Adam Huggins/International Herald Tribune-All Rights Reserved

The New York Times features a slideshow of Manwara Begum, one of the garbage collectors working in Delhi. More than 95 percent of New Delhi has no formal system of house-to-house garbage collection, so it falls to the city's ragpickers - one of India's poorest and most marginalized groups - to provide this basic service.

In the above photograph, Manwara hauls a garbage cart along her morning collection route in Netaji Nagar, blowing her whistle to notify residents of her arrival. It's backbreaking work, and Manwara earns about 40 rupees rupees a day, roughly a dollar. The NYT refers to Manwara as Ms Begum...which is incorrect. Manwara is Muslim and the name Begum is a honorific, not a surname.

Delhi's Garbage Collectors (Registration may be required)

Incredible India: Sanjit Das

Image Copyright © Sanjit Das-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

Sanjit's work addresses social issues in the backdrop of changing economic and political scenario in India, which reflects the changing India through the lived experiences of people, especially women and children. His work is published in books, book covers, newspapers and journals in India and overseas, and he has exhibited his work in galleries in India and France. He has worked for various international newspapers, magazines, corporates, UN agencies and NGOs.

This photograph is of a Varanasi boatman rowing on the Ganges.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Washington Post: Myanmar

Image Copyright © AFP/Getty-All Rights Reserved

Here's a slideshow of recent photographs of the current events in Myanmar as published by the Washington Post. In this photograph a monk uses a large megaphone to speak to the crowd gathered in Yangon on Sept. 25. At first the monks simply prayed and chanted "democracy, democracy." As the public joined, demonstrators demanded dialogue between the government and opposition parties, freedom for political prisoners, and adequate food, shelter and clothing.

The Washington Post's Burmese Protestors Defiant (Registration may be required).

Incredible India: Sohrab Hura

Image Copyright © Sohrab Hura-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

Sohrab Hura was born in 1981 in India, and studies for a masters degree in economics at the Delhi School olf Economics. Although he has no formal training in photography, he's been photographing since 2001.

He takes inspiration from the work of many photographers...such as " James Nachtwey's endeavour to illustrate social injustice, the perfect moments captured by McCurry, the photos of kids by Fransesco Zizola, the contrast between Raghu Rai's works on "Mother Teresa" and "The Bhopal gas tragedy" and at the same time their similar deep impact; all of it has inspired me. I 've chosen to start my work with underprivileged children because they are closer to my age group and childhood is a phase that I've already been through; I hope to capture moments that tell us about their dreams, despairs, and joys. I intend to slowly extend the subject of my work in the future..."

I chose Sohrab's photograph of two brothers completing the last rites for their deceased father. "On asking them how they managed to remain so calm even after they had lost their father, they said that it was because they had fulfilled their dying father's last wish to be cremated in Benares. "

Sohrab's work was suggested to me by Claude Renault...a fellow Indiaphile and a talented photographer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

News: Nepal

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Nepal's (nominal) king Gyanendra missed his annual blessing from a virgin "goddess" breaking a tradition seen as crucial for the Himalayan monarchy's survival. The Royal Kumari festival is a 250-year-old tradition the king of Nepal needs to attend in order to remain the country's undisputed leader.

The Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl selected from a Buddhist community in Kathmandu valley and taken from her family to live in an ornate palace in the centre of the capital's ancient quarter. She is worshiped as the living incarnation of a Hindu goddess, and her annual blessing is considered a spiritual seal of approval for the palace in the conservative Hindu-majority nation.

The final status of the monarchy is to be decided after elections in November for a body that will rewrite Nepal's constitution....that promises to be interesting since the current government seeks to abolish the monarchy, and for Nepal to become a republic. Few, if any, will miss King Gyanendra.

One of the possible destinations for my 2008 photo expeditions is Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley so I'll be watching these developments with interest.

News Update: Myanmar

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

As a follow up to my post on September 19 : the Associated Press now reports that thousands of Buddhist monks and sympathizers defied orders from the military junta by protesting today in the country's two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay. Soldiers, including an army division that took part in the brutal suppression of a 1988 uprising, converged on the capital.

Today's actions increase the pressure on the junta to either crack down on or compromise with a reinvigorated democracy movement. The monks have taken their traditional role as the conscience of society, backing the military into a corner from which it may lash out again. However, the military is restrained by China which has considerable investments in this country. The recent announcement by the Bush administration that more economic sanctions are to be placed on Myanmar is only political theater to claim that it plays a role in the current upheavals. When will we learn that sanctions are never effective, and that only home-grown democratic impulses work?

The military government has just banned assemblies of more than five people and imposed curfews in Myanmar's two largest cities. However, China has quietly set up some behind-the-scenes diplomacy asking junta envoys to reconcile with opposition democratic forces, and to consider releasing the leading opposition figure, Aung San Suu Kyi.

There's no question in my mind that civil upheavals are bound to happen shortly...a number of top photojournalists are on their way to Myanmar to cover the anticipated events.

Update 9.26.07: A dissident radio station says five monks have been killed, while the AFP agency puts the figure at three. Around 80 monks were arrested at Rangoon's Shwedagon pagoda and others were beaten as they tried to enter the building complex. One exiled dissident group said 300 monks had been arrested across the city.

Incredible India: Altaf Qadri

Image Copyright © Altaf Qadri-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

Altaf Qadri is a photojournalist based in Kashmir, who has been covering the conflict in Kashmir for several years.. His photographs and stories from events in Kashmir have appeared all around the globe including Time, The Guardian, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post and The Times among others.

The above photograph is of a Kashmiri Muslim woman looks into the sanctuary of a shrine in Pakharpura, some 50 kms from Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian held Kashmir.

Incredible India: Gaddi Tribe

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

The Gaddis reside in the Mandi, Kangra and Bilaspur districts near Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis are not fully nomadic since they live in villages with stone houses. Although the origin of the Gaddis is unclear, they believe that their ancestors fled from persecution of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

The Gaddi women wear colourful dresses that are spun in their homes, and their ornaments include semi precious stones, little mirrors in their necklace and peacock feather. These two women were thrilled to pose for photographs, and proud to display their dresses and silver jewelry.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Incredible India: A Kite's View

Image Copyright © Nicholas Chorier-All Rights Reserved

Nicholas Chorier's aerial photographs provide wonderful perspectives of familiar Indian monuments and vistas, which are photographed using large kites. A camera (a Canon 5D) is mounted on a rig that hangs below the kite, and is operated by remote control from the ground.

Chorier feels a deep gratitude for India for giving him the opportunity to show his work.

“In a sense, I feel like I am giving something back to the country— that I didn’t, like the colonialists of yore, simply ‘steal’ without giving back anything.”

It's because of this statement that I include Nicholas on TTP's pages this week.

For a short slideshow (courtesy of the BBC): A Kite's Eye View

Nicholas Chorier's website

Incredible India: Ran Chakrabati

Image Copyright © Ran Chakrabati-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

Ran Chakrabarti is a lawyer and graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked with the United Nations in New York and Reuters in New Delhi. He has exhibited his work in Singapore, London and publishes occasionally in the Times of India and the UK quarterly travel magazine, Traveller. The above photograph is of the Khuri Sand Dunes, near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Incredible India: Kathputli Puppeteers

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

As no emerging photographic talent from India is being promoted during the Incredible India @ 60 extravaganza in New York City, "Incredible India on TTP" is a week-long series of posts in a small effort to redress this oversight by showcasing unknown, under represented or emerging Indian photographers, as well as some of my own photographs of this amazing country.

I photographed this husband and wife team of puppeteers at the Kathputli Colony, a slum beneath the bridge of Shadipur Depot in South Delhi. Kathputli Colony is what's called a tinsel slum, with some 800 families of artists such as magicians, acrobats, mime artists, puppeteers, jugglers, folk singers, snake charmers, bear handlers, monkey trainers and other street performers.

Kathputli also refers to string puppets of Rajasthan. As seen in the photograph, these are doll-like figures made of mango wood, usually without legs and feet. The word Katha means story, while the word Putli means puppet. The puppeteers are traditionally from the Bhatt community. The main puppeteer is the sutradhar and is accompanied by the bhagavat (narrator-singer), an assistant, and musicians for the drums, cymbals and the harmonium. A reed-like bamboo instrument that emits a shrill sound is peculiar to Kathputli.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

PEACH AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE



This isn't any old crumble recipe, this is Rachel Allen's Peach and Strawberry Crumble.
Other than making the crumble, this is more or less, just an assembly job.
The ripe peaches are cut into quarters and the strawberries are quartered and then sprinkled with golden caster sugar.
After cooking, the peaches were still identifiable and the strawberries made a beautiful bright red sauce.
The crumble only took about a minute to make and had the perfect amount of crunch.
For the love of crumble, please don't buy a packet of ready made crumble mix.
If you don't want to get your hands messed up making crumble, for a few pounds you can buy a pastry blender, this makes quick work of rubbing fat into flour.
I was fortunate with the strawberries because I have some September fruiting plants in my garden and I couldn't think of a better way to use my strawberries at this time of the year than to combine them with peaches and a scattering of crumble. The strawberries can be replaced with raspberries or blueberries.

RACHEL'S FAVOURITE FOOD FOR FRIENDS by RACHEL ALLEN


ISBN 0717139999 - Page 81

Serves: 6

300g peaches - stoned and cut into quarters, 200g strawberries - quartered, 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar.

For the crumble:

100g plain flour, 50g demerara or golden granulated sugar, 50g butter- chilled and cubed.

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
2. In a 1-litre capacity pie dish - or 6 large ramekins, place the peaches and strawberries. Add the golden caster sugar.
3. For the crumble topping, place the flour and demerara sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter, but not completely - it should still be course. Scatter the crumble over the fruit and refrigerate until you need to cook it.
4. Cook in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (or 15-20 minutes for the individual dishes), until golden and bubbly.
5. Serve on its own, with a dollop of lightly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Incredible India @ 60

India's 60th anniversary of independence is being observed with a week-long celebration in New York City starting today, Sunday September 23rd. The celebrations are sponsored by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and India's Ministry of Tourism, as well as other Indian entities.

Among the events is an exhibit of photographs by Steve McCurry at the Bryant Park Hotel (40 West 40th Street in NYC). I attended the opening event on the hotel's 25th floor this morning, and came out of the exhibit with a sense of disappointment and dejection...and here's why...

I would think that the Government of India should use the celebration of its independence from foreign colonialism by promoting its own artists. It is true that Steve McCurry is a talented and famous photographer, and perhaps that will come as a shock to the Ministry of Tourism, but he is not Indian. Why can't the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture exhibit photographic works by young emerging Indian photographers, instead of McCurry's? Why can't these unimaginative bureaucrats shrug off their inertia and promote indigenous talent? I know of a dozen of Indian photographers who would be proud -and thrilled- to exhibit their work in New York City. If the bureaucrats wanted established glitz and fame instead of promoting young talent, why not exhibit Raghu Rai and Raghubir Singh then? I just don't understand the logic. Why can't the Indian Ministries of Culture and Tourism give their emerging and talented photographers a break...rather than promoting those who are already at the peak of their careers and who hardly need the exposure.

To celebrate India's 60th as an independent nation, TTP will post over the coming week the work of emerging and unknown photographers from India. If India's bureaucrats do not have the imagination to promote them, I shall.

That being said, I attended the exhibit that consisted of about 25 photographs by McCurry. All of these were of Indian scenes and portraits...most of which have been already published in one way or the other. There's no question that the photographs are beautiful...but that's hardly the point I'm making. McCurry himself was giving an interview to a TV station at the time, so I didn't get a chance to shake his hand. Had he been an emerging talented Indian photographer, I would've waited until he was finished.

Incredible !ndia's website

Poll: Digital or Film?


Digital or Film?
Are You Totally Digital or Do You Still Use Film?
Totally Digital
Totally Film
Some Digital
Some Film






Carolyn Drake: The Lubavitch

Image Copyright © Carolyn Drake-All Rights Reserved

Carolyn Drake is a Brown University graduate who worked as a concept designer and producer of multimedia projects in New York before deciding to become a photographer. She studied at the ICP and obtained a masters in Visual Communications. She was chosen by Magenta Foundation as one of the emerging photographers in 2007. Carolyn currently lives in Istanbul. This is the second time I feature her work on TTP...the first was on her work on the Uighurs.

The Chabad-Lubavitch is one of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism and one of the largest Jewish movements worldwide, especially in the United States, the Former Soviet Union, Europe and Israel. The word "Lubavitch" is the name of the town in Russia where the movement was based for more than a century.

The above photograph of the Lubavitcher holding the Torah appealed to me because of Carolyn's choice of a wide aperture, focusing on the book and hands and blurring the rest. The photto essay was also featured on National Geographic.

The slideshow photo essay is flash-based...just click on each photo to move to the next.

The Lubavitch

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New York Times: Yom Kippur

Image Copyright © Rina Castelnuovo/New York Times-All Rights Reserved

The New York Times brings us a short slideshow of photographs by Rina Castelnuovo of the preparations for Yom Kippur in Jerusalem. It's an interesting feature which provides us with a tiny glimpse into how Orthodox Jews prepare for the Day of Atonement, considered to be one of the holiest and most solemn days of the year, and whose central theme is atonement and repentance for sins against both God and one's fellow man.

Jewish oral tradition calls for observant Jews to refrain from eating and drinking, wearing leather shoes, bathing, annointing oneself with perfumes, and marital relations for a day before Yom Kippur. Another tradition is the ritual slaughter of chickens known as kapparot, where the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl, which is swung around a person's head three times before being slaughtered. The fellow in the above photograph is swinging a hen over the heads of his sons, presumably to free them from sin.

All religions have 'unusual' traditions and rituals...the fasting, the sacrifice of animals, wearing special clothes, abstinence...are all traditions that are common to all religions.

By the way, for those of us who live in New York City...Yom Kippur means that B&H is closed.

Yom Kippur in Jerusalem

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jakub Sliwa: Deshnoke (India)

Image Copyright © Jakub Sliwa-All Rights Reserved

Jakub Sliwa was born in Krakow and is a graduate of Oriental Philology studies. His principal interest is in documenting human condition, and he has traveled to the Middle and Far East in search of various documentary projects. His website lists a variety of projects including a leper colony in Puri (India), the Ganges, a spiritual center in the Ukraine, the Zabaleen (garbage collectors in Cairo), the last days of El-Qurna and the Rat Temple of Deshnoke.

The famous Karni Mata Temple in India's small northwestern city of Deshnoke (Rajasthan) is home to 20,000-odd rats considered holy by the population. These rodents are called kabbas, and pilgrims travel great distances to pay their respects. The temple was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata.

The legend is that Karni Mata, a mystic matriarch from the 14th century, was an incarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. Among the thousands of rats in the temple, there are said to be four or five albino rats, which are considered to be especially holy. They are believed be the manifestations of Karni Mata herself and her kin. Sighting them is a special charm, and visitors put in extensive efforts to bring them forth, offering prasad, a candylike offering. I recall walking in the temple (in stockinged feet) and frankly, the sensation of rats running over one's feet is difficult to forget.

During the century of this temple's existence, there has never been an outbreak of plague or other ratborne illness among the humans who have visited. When I visited the temple, I was also told that the nearby farms and fields are free from rat infestations since they prefer to live in the temple. I suspect that Jakub spent more time that I did in this temple...his photographs attest to that.

Jakub Sliwa

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Geoffrey Hiller: Heavenly World

Image Copyright © Geoffrey Hiller-All Rights Reserved

Geoffrey Hiller is one of the first advocates of multimedia on the web, and has worked as a photographer for over 30 years. He lived in Brazil for three years where he was a staff photographer for Manchette and Revista Geografica (Brazil’s National Geographic). He worked as a documentary photographer working on extensive photo essays in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

His work has been published in major international magazines and he has received grants from the California Arts Council and Eastman Kodak. Since 1995, Hiller has been passionate about telling stories with photography on the Web. Hiller has directed Creativesight for Tektronix/ Xerox, and has completed a number of independent projects. He has received three Macromedia Site of the Day mentions and has recently completed projects on Brazil and West Africa.

I feature Geoffrey's Heavenly World, a collection of his excellent images from all over Asia...however take the time to explore his website, especially Burma: Grace Under Pressure, a multimedia feature on Burma. It may be somewhat outdated by now, but Hiller is one of those who started the multimedia revolution. His coverage of Burma is still very relevant in light of the current events in this nation.

Heavenly World

Burma: Grace Under Pressure

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Canon 5D???


The rumor mill has it that the Canon 5D may be replaced before the year is out, so coming sooner than thought. Dubbed as the "Canon 5D Mark II", the crystalball gazers believe that it will arrive late fall 2007. The Canon 5D Mark II is rumored to include a 16MP DIGIC II, 3″ LCD, Live View, Semi Weather Sealing and 4-5 fps.

News: Myanmar (Burma)

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I follow international -political and financial- news very closely for a number of reasons, and the current events in Myanmar are disturbing. I've traveled to Myanmar a number of times, and I consider it to be one of the most photogenic countries in South East Asia...and its people are warm, friendly, and attractive. In a way like Cuba, its political isolation enhances its attraction to travel photographers, but change might be in the air.

The international media is reporting that Buddhist monks staging anti-government protests in Myanmar pushed past closed gates to occupy the Sule pagoda temple in downtown Yangon, and took it over after finding the gates locked at the Shwedagon pagoda, Myanmar's most revered temple, which sits atop a hill dominating Yangon. These actions reflect long pent-up opposition to the repressive military regime.

In the central city of Mandalay, more than 1,000 monks marched, while about 100 others in dark saffron robes staged a peaceful march in the western Yangon suburb of Ahlone. More than 100 Buddhist monks from some monasteries in South Okkalapa township in Yangon's northern suburbs also marched in protest, returning to monasteries without incident.

The interesting aspect of these developments is that monks in Myanmar have historically been at the forefront of protests, but the authorities know that restraining monks poses a dilemma. Monks are highly respected in Buddhist Myanmar, and abusing them in any way could cause public outrage. The Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks has asked its followers across the country to refuse alms and offerings from anyone connected to the military. This is deeply humiliating for the military regime and its supporters, since such an action by the monks will be taken extremely seriously in this Buddhist country. Without such rites, a Buddhist loses all chance of attaining nirvana, or release from the cycle of rebirth.

In my view, something's about to happen in Myanmar...I suspect there'll be increased repression and continued civil unrest in the months to come.

Ashok Sinha: Peru

Image Copyright © Ashok Sinha-All Rights Reserved

For a change in pace from yesterday's post: Ashok Sinha is an emerging travel photographer who was born in Calcutta and is now based in New York City. He works primarily on travel/tourism related assignments, and has traveled around the world on such assignments. Most of his portfolio on his website is of intensely colorful photographs of Mexico, Peru and India.

Ashok's photographs have a commerical slant to them, and I expect that they are generally aimed at travel and tourism clients, magazines and brochures. For instance, the one above of the Peruvian woman walking on a cobblestoned street is compositionally ready for a double page spread in a travel magazine...with the title of the feature printed on its right hand side. His website has other examples of this type of composition...especially those of India.

Ashok Sinha .

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fazal Sheikh: Ladli

Image Copyright © Fazal Sheikh -All Rights Reserved

Here's the work of a photographer who, by any definition, is the pride of this profession; Fazal Sheikh not only makes pictures, he presents us an unblinking, but immensely compassionate view of the poor and disenfranchised...he doesn't only photograph, but interviews his subjects about their lives, he adds his own commentary on the people, their country, and the situation in which he finds them.

Fazal Sheikh went to Vrindavan, "where he began to grasp the full extent to which women in India are the victims of religious and cultural codes that reduce many of them to little more than child-rearing servants. He returned to India to find out more from young women growing up in a society that, whatever economic advances it may boast, is still widely prejudiced against them."

As I have made it clear through my photography and through this blog, I'm an Indiaphile, however India's treatment of women has marred my deep affection for this country. On one hand, many women in India have reached heights that few women in the United States have, but on the other I (like Fazal) have seen the shameful treatment of widows in the ashrams of Vrindavan and Varanasi.

Fazal Sheikh's 'Ladli' is not a gallery of portraits to be looked at quickly and superficially. No, this is work that grasps us by the throat, and fills our hearts with compassion for those portrayed in such dire conditions.

Here's Ladli .

Monday, September 17, 2007

GOOD-FOR-YOU GRANOLA


Mostly for breakfast, I like to eat homemade muesli - I have a favourite recipe taken from Sainsbury's Magazine by Nigel Slater. The main reason I favour this is because it is unsweetened.
However, I decided to make granola for a change and this recipe is taken from the bbcgoodfood website. It both looks and tastes delicious. I found this granola quite sweet but it has a wonderful crunch. To counteract the sweetness a dollop of natural homemade yogurt goes with it perfectly.
Even though I found it a little sweet, it still beats anything you can buy off the supermarket shelf.
A few spoonfuls on vanilla ice cream would be good or a bowl filled with granola to snack on throughout the day would be perfect.

Panier Goes to Yemen

Image Copyright © Dirk Panier -All Rights Reserved

I've written about Dirk Panier's multimedia website in a March 2007 post. Here's another multimedia creation from him which deserves top accolades for creativity. The feature is on the Yemen, and is well worth your time. Yemen is one of the most intriguing countries to visit, and its history spans thousands of years.

There's precious little information on the web on Dirk Panier and his background other than he's Belgian. All I know for sure is that he's damn good in producing multimedia.

His website is entirely flash based, so you'll have to click on the blue round icon over Yemen on the map to open the new feature.

Here's Dirk Panier Multimedia .

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ardh Kumbh Mela 2007

Image Copyright © Bombay Flying Club -All Rights Reserved

Here's a multimedia treat for those of us who are Indiaphiles...A four-part flash multimedia feature of the 2007 Ardh Kumbh Mela produced by the 'Bombay Flying Club' featuring the photographs of Poul Madsen, the sound editing of Frederik Holge and the narration of Mandy Bhandal.

This is a really well-crafted piece of multimedia...it provides the essence of a Kumbh Mela within the restrictive parameters of the web and broadband so I applaud the creativity and professionalism of all those involved. If I had the choice, I would've chosen to use larger photographs, but that might have made the feature too slow to load.

"A story in words, pictures and sound about the world's largest religious festival in India"...Indeed, it tells that story very well and as I wrote earlier, a visual treat for all. Perhaps our national media will notice the quality of these multimedia features that are produced by individuals... whose quality and subject matter, in my view, surpass 90% of the multimedia features produced by these newspapers.

Kumbh Mela

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramadan For Palestinians

Image Copyright © Nasser Shiyoukhi/Associated Press -All Rights Reserved

The New York Times brings us a slideshow of still photographs by Musa Al-shaer, Nasser Shiyoukhi, Emilio Morenatti, Jamal Aruri, Marco Longari, Muhammed Muheisen, Thaer Ganaim, and Sebastian Scheiner on the prevention of Palestinians from worshipping at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jesrusalem on the start of Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

One of the captions: Only men above the age of 45 and women above the age of 35, who had also obtained special permits, were allowed to enter Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine of Islam, said police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby.

Here's Ramadan Begins in Jerusalem in the New York Times.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Photojournalism Workshop: Mexico City


The Foundry Photojournalism Workshop will be held June 16-21, 2008 in Mexico City, and is the brainchild of Eric Beecroft, a photographer and educator who teaches photography and photojournalism/documentary photography at the Walden School in Utah.

The concept behind the workshop was to establish a venue where many instructors would share their expertise with emerging photojournalists, creating an impromptu community of sorts.... a workshop where getting into the field, producing real reportage, getting candid, real time feedback, and making new friends and developing contacts were first and foremost.

All the instructors at this workshop are donating their time and talents. Its objective is to help the passionate student, the emerging photojournalist, to hone his or her skills, to have a chance to work with some of the world’s best photographers in the field, on real reportage projects, to create multimedia, to see some of the best work being done today, to collaborate, to make contact, to plan future projects, develop personal vision and leave the workshop energized, exhausted, and more committed then ever to concerned photography, storytelling and to documenting our world through the lens.

Some of the instructors are: Lynsey Addario, Kael Alford, Jon Anderson, Paula Bronstein, Andrea Bruce, Tewfic El-Sawy, Stanley Greene, Jason P. Howe, Hugo Infante, Scott McKiernan,Tomas Munita, M. Robinson-Chavez, Saul Schwarz, Brian Storm, Ami Vitale and Holly Wilmeth.

For further details and to apply: Foundry Photojournalism Workshop

Beyond The Frame: Kecak Dance

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy -All Rights Reserved

Kecak or Ketchak is a dance usually performed at night, surrounding a bonfire. Tourists generally refer to it as The Monkey Dance. There can literally be upwards of a hundred or more bare chested men, sitting down on the ground surrounding the bonfire, led by a priest in the middle. The only music to accompany them are the beats of their palms hitting their bodies, or their claps, rhythmically accompanied by shouting and chanting.

I've seen it performed at the spectacular temple of Ulluwatu overlooking the sea, and at Pura Dalem in Ubud. The above photograph was made at the latter temple, and I found that the Ubud performance was more authentic that the the one in Ulluwatu.

This photograph reminds me of an artist's rendition of Hell...The dance was very atmospheric with the bonfire lighting the dancers' moves, and their rhythmic sounds suddenly rising to crescendos. Photographing the Kecak dance at the Pura Dalem was not easy with the stage lights and bonfire in the scene, and one has to find an appropriate angle.

The story behind Kecak is taken from the Hindu epic Ramayana, and it recounts the tale of Prince Rama who rescues Princess Sita, kidnapped by the evil King of Lanka.

Despite it being based on the Ramayan epic, Kecak is a modern creation (ca 1930) by Wayan Limbak and the German painter Walter Spies to create the dance movements and themes in the traditional sanghyang exorcism ritual and portions of the Ramayana.

Energizer DUO Charger

I've belatedly concluded that I ought to switch to rechargeable batteries, instead of schelpping non-rechargeables with me wherever I travel to. My Canon 520 flash consumes Lithium batteries very quickly, so it's high time that I used rechargeables...I found a device that may suit my needs.

The Energizer DUO Charger lets you power up (two at a time) AA or AAA NiMh batteries by plugging it either in a wall outlet or in the USB port of a computer. The charging time varies between 2 and 4 hours depending on battery type. It's small and light...so it's a good traveler. It ships with two Energizer AAA batteries and costs anywhere between $12-15. The downside of this charger is that it only charges two batteries at a time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Congolese Sape

Image Copyright © Héctor Mediavilla/Zone Zero -All Rights Reserved

Héctor Mediavilla has documented the unusal world of the 'sapeurs' while teaching photography in Congo. The 'sapeurs' or 'Sapes' are a subculture of men who derive their lifestyle and sense of well-being on being elegant and wearing fine French clothing. This subculture goes back more than four generations, however, it was virtually unheard of outside Congo, even in France, until Héctor came across it.

The Los Angeles Times has picked up on this culture, and recently published an article describing this sub-culture:

"The white man may have invented clothes, but we turned it into an art," said Congolese musician King Kester Emeneya, who helped popularize the Sape movement with the legendary Papa Wemba, who is often called the pope of the Sapes. Emulated and admired by a generation of African musicians, Wemba once called fashion his religion, advising devotees that what they wore was more important than school.

I don't know if the Sape sub-culture has any religious connotations, but the opening photograph in the multimedia slideshow shows a dapper Congolese Sape with a wall frame containing a poster asking "Jesus Is Coming Back...Are You Ready?".

The multimedia piece The Congolese Sape is produced and brought to viewers by the stellar Zone Zero.

Here's The Congolese Sape

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

LaCie Golden Disk

LaCie has just announced the Golden Disk, a 500 GB Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port (USB 1.1 compatible) hard-drive, in a distinctive, golden wave design. This cross-platform hard drive can be used with either PC or Mac computers. It’s plug & play, driver-free (Windows® 2000, Windows® XP & Mac® OS X), and fan-free for quiet operation. The price is $189.

I'm not sure who would want to have this designer golden hard drive on their desk, but it does look sleek...but sleek or utilitarian, gold or aluminum, all hard drives will fail at some point....so back up all your precious files on alternative storage media.

Here's the LaCie's Golden Disk

Steve Raymer: India In Diaspora

Image Copyright © Steve Raymer-All Rights Reserved

The Digital Journalist brings us the work of Steve Rayner on the India diaspora. Professor Rayner a National Geographic magazine staff photographer for more than two decades, teaches photojournalism, media ethics, and international newsgathering at Indiana University in Bloomington, and is also on the advisory committee of the university's India Studies Program.

The foreword to India In Diaspora is by Nayan Chanda, editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, who writes:

" India's awakening to independence at midnight in August 1947 altered the long-established equation, with millions of Indians voluntarily leaving their homes in search of a better life elsewhere, the most attractive being the former colonial countries and the rising economies of Europe and the United States. Opportunities for employment in the oil-rich Middle East also offered a strong pull. By the beginning of the 21st century, the Indian diaspora had swelled to some 20–25 million, touching every continent."

Here's Steve Rayner's India In Diaspora on The Digital Journalist.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

LEMON LINGUINE


I love eating this, but trust me, it doesn't taste the same if eaten indoors! A wonderful warm sunny day so that you can eat alfresco is a must.
Unfortunately I couldn't get any linguine, and so I had to second-best it and use spaghetti, still ok but not quite the same.
When a recipe asks for pasta, lemon, Parmesan cheese and parsley you really can't go far wrong.
Some green leaves need to be served alongside this, I opted for watercress. A piece of toasted ciabatta is good too.
How to Eat by Nigella Lawson is still one of my favourite cookery books. It's packed with recipes and just a handful of photographs.
The weather forecast is good for this coming weekend, so here is something quick, simple and very tasty.

HOW TO EAT BY NIGELLA LAWSON

ISBN 0701165766 - Page 253

Serves 6 (can easily be scaled down)

750g linguine, 2 egg yolks, 150ml double cream, 50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon, 15g butter, fresh flat-leaf parsley.

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil. Add some salt. Tip in the pasta, bring back to the boil and cook for a couple minutes less than it says on the packet of pasta.
2. In a bowl, put the yolks, cream, grated Parmesan cheese, zest of the whole lemon and juice of half of it, a pinch of salt and a good grating of pepper and beat together until just combined.
3. Remove a cup of cooking liquid, drain the pasta and then, off the heat, toss it back in the pan, throw in the butter and stir and swirl about to make sure the butter's melted and pasta covered by it all over.
4. Stir in the egg, cream, cheese and lemon mix and turn the pasta well, adding some of the cooking liquid if it looks a bit dry (2 tablespoons or so should do it).
Sprinkle over some just-chopped parsley and serve straight away.

Francine Orr: India, The New AIDS Capital

Image Copyright © Francine Orr/LA Times-All Rights Reserved

Francine Orr has been a photographer with the Los Angeles Times since 1999. She has traveled and worked extensively in Asia and the Pacific, and in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Angola, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Orr also spent several years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Federated States of Micronesia. According to the Los Angeles Times, her interest in covering poverty issues grew from documenting women living in poverty in India and America. Orr has received numerous awards for her photography and writing.

I featured Francine's work in Uganda a few months ago, and the link to that post is here. She has now produced a photographic feature on AIDS in India and its incredible toll on human lives. The images are graphic and very powerful...regrettably, Francine's narration borders on the listless and has none of the compassion so evident in her photographs. Perhaps I'm too harsh in my criticisms of photojournalists' slideshows, but I feel that narration can either make or break meaningful projects such as this one. I'd much rather rely on captions (this one has them too) than a narration that does little to enhance the photographs.

Francine Orr's (Los Angeles Times) India: The New AIDS Capital.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lynsey Addario: Darfur

Image Copyright © Lynsey Addario-All Rights Reserved

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist based in Istanbul, Turkey, where she works for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Fortune and National Geographic among others. With no professional training or studies, she began photographing in 1996 for The Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina, where she worked for one year before returning to New York. In 1997, she began freelancing for the The Associated Press and has since covered many international stories for a variety of the world's top publications.

She works in natural light with digital cameras (Nikon D200 ) and frequently uses a Widelux, a panoramic camera. Lynsey believes that working in the Muslim world as a woman is much easier than for a man. She tells us "Muslims for the most part are incredibly warm and hospitable and often families will invite you into their homes to meet their wives and children and to share a meal. I think this gets a little tricky for male photographers and the more religious families, where men outside of the family shouldn't see women uncovered. "

Her website is replete with a wide range of photo essays...including Darfur, the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and intriguingly Saudi Arabia. For TTP, I feature Lynsey's excellent work on Darfur...it's hard-hitting and graphic...but it's this type of photographic reportage that will continue to prod hypocritical governments, lethargic world bodies and reptilian politicians into action.

Lynsey Addario

Sunday, September 9, 2007

NY Times: Captivating Cappadocia

Yoray Liberman/Getty Images, for The New York Times-All Rights Reserved

Here's a fluff travel feature slideshow by the New York Times on Cappadocia in Turkey. The area Cappadocia is in Central Anatolia and is known for its unique moon-like landscape, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks.These unusual rock formations were created as a result of eroding rains and winds of thousands of years.

Its troglodyte dwellings carved out of the rock, and its cities dug out into the underground, present an otherworldly appearance. During the Roman era the area served as a shelter for escaping Christians. It is believed that Cappadocia's area is 250 miles in length by about 150 miles in breadth, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I call it a fluff piece because this feature needs more photographs...photographs of the people living in these caves...of their communities...and some audio, either a narration or ambient music by the musician in the above photograph. Since it doesn't have that, it's nothing more than a page filler for the NYT.

The New York Times' Captivating Cappadocia .

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nina Berman: Under the Taliban

Image Copyright © Nina Berman-All Rights Reserved

Nina Berman is based in New York City, and has been a documentary photographer since 1987. She worked in various countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia, India and Vietnam, but she says that most of her time has been spent traveling the United States trying to understand the American way of life.

She won many awards and grants, and has a long list of clients including Time, Life, National Geographic, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Mother Jones, and many others.

She earned deserved nationwide recognition for her Purple Hearts project; a series of photographic portraits and interviews with American soldiers returning badly wounded and maimed from the Iraq conflict. The images on her Purple Hearts website are simply heartbreaking.

However for TTP, I feature Berman's gallery with some of her work in Afghanistan which she titles "Under The Taliban". Her website has other galleries which are equally interesting.

Under The Taliban .

Friday, September 7, 2007

Beyond The Frame: Nepali Circus Workers

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Samantha Appleton's work on the Nepali circus girls which I featured on TTP a few days ago (link) reminded me of my unannounced visit to an Indian circus in Chhattisgarh during a solo photo expedition.

I recall that my fixer Babu had a difficult time persuading the circus manager to allow me in and photograph. He didn't mind me spending as much time as I needed to photograph the clowns putting their makeup, or the mangy lions (covered with tumeric powder to heal their sores), or any of the stagehands...but he was adamant that I could not photograph the Nepali acrobat girls unless he was present. He claimed -with a straight face- that it was to ensure that I didn't ask them to pose in ways that would "embarass" them.

I photographed the young women with the manager hovering nearby, muttering directions as to how they ought to stand and telling Babu that the shoot was taking too long. The Nepali young women were uncomfortable despite their nervous giggling, and my entreaties that they ought to relax. Realizing that the shoot was pretty much useless, I stopped and moved to another area of the circus. Babu told me that the manager had used crude language when instructing the women and that they feared him. I could not then, nor do I now, judge whether that particular manager was physically abusive...but what I sensed was these women were frightened of him. Interestingly, the acrobat in the middle made sure that the cross around her neck was visible when I started to photograph them.

What I didn't know then was that traffickers, both Indian and Nepalese, who are in constant touch with Indian circus management, have a thriving business of procuring girls from in and around certain specific Nepali regions by convincing the parents and the families to send their young daughters to circus industry by making false promises and distorted claims of fortune, and especially by bribing them. These children are brought under a contract for 3-10 years and once signed they became bound. Their meagre salaries are collected by parents and they remain trapped forever and are unable to leave the circus even if they want.

A number of NGOs are fighting this sad problem, and some have succeeded in rescuing many Nepalis from these circuses. One of these NGOs and charities is the Esther Benjamins Trust whose worthwhile work is detailed on its website.

Esther Benjamins Trust

Pentaxians?


The PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the launch of a community-based website developed for PENTAX photographers. The website features videos that share the stories of four Pentaxian photographers. One is a former NASA scientist and computer technology executive turned urban street photographer, another is a former Doctor of Medicine turned freelance international surf photographer, a third is a professional nature photographer and a fourth is a cruise ship marketing executive who picked up her first digital SLR two years ago and now freelances on the side as a photographer.

I think this is a great idea for a camera company to have...Pentax is reaching to non-working photographers and beginners with this slick website, and is creating a community of like-minded people. I wish Canon had a similar one to supplement its professional websites...I think a similar approach to Canon owners could be a huge success...or has it done before?

PENTAX has another companion website designed to give photographers the opportunity to be represented in a gallery.

The links are Pentaxian and Pentax Photo Gallery

[Thanks to Imaging Insider]

Noor

Noor was officially launched during the 19th Visa Pour l’Image festival in Perpignan, and is a collective of nine independent documentary photographers, pooling their resources to make impact on world views and opinions through photography.

Noor will promote, sell and exhibit the work of its founding member photographers:

Samantha Appleton
Jodi Bieber
Philip Blenkinsop
Pep Bonet
Jan Grarup
Stanley Greene
Yuri Kozyrev
Kadir van Lohuizen

Noor is the Arabic word for light...and before seeing the list of photographers, I hoped it would've been founded by some of the emerging and talented photographers of the Near and Middle East, however that's not the case.

Here's NOOR (Firefox works better)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Getty Images: Reportage

Image Copyright © Palani Mohan-All Rights Reserved

Reportage is a new website by Getty Images and home of photojournalism work from renowned photographers, and emerging new ones in documentary photography.

It's well produced, and contains galleries of marvellous photographs by Paula Bronstein, Chris Hindros, Farah Nosh, Spencer Platt, Amy Toensing, David Turnley, Reza and Ghaith Abul Ahad among others...most of whom have been featured in one way or the other on TTP's pages.

There's no question that this is an "inspiration stop" for all photographers, whatever we may think of large photo agencies.

Getty Images' Reportage

Samantha Appleton: Nepali Circus Girls

Image Copyright © Samantha Appleton-All Rights Reserved

Samantha Appleton has worked on stories in Iraq, malaria in Africa and fishing communities of Maine. Most of her projects are self-motivated and concentrate on the social and political consequences of conflict and neglect.

She began her journalism career as a writer and became a fulltime photographer after assisting James Nachtwey in 1999-2000. Since then she has been named one of the "30 Under 30" photographers featured in PDN, received the Kodak Professional Award, attended the 2005 World Press Master Class, and won first place from Pictures of the Year for her September 11th feature. Her primary clients are TIME magazine and the New Yorker magazine.

Out of her galleries on her website, I chose the comparatively tame gallery of the Nepali Circus Girls. I had a personal experience with that subject matter when photographing in Chhattisgarh, India. In Raipur, I visited an itinerant circus and persuaded the manager to let me photograph the performers. I spent a few moments photographing Nepali female acrobats but couldn't speak with them unless the circus manager was present. They were shy, downcast and unwilling to say anything...nor even to accept a small tip...within sight of the manager. There was a lot of tension while I was photographing, and my fixer confided to me that the manager had threatned the girls not to speak with me. I may post a photograph or two of these women in a few days.

Samantha Appleton's website .

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

FRUIT LOAF WITH FRESH LIME AND GINGER


Anyone for a slice of cake? This fruit cake is light, moist and has a lovely lime icing. The unusual thing about this particular cake is that you simply throw everything into a bowl and mix. By doing this the fruit won't sink to the bottom of the cake. If you decide to make it the 'proper' way, then as I found out, the fruit all sinks to the bottom of the cake.
Lucy Young has put stem ginger into this cake and it is a wonderful match with the limes.
I've made this cake several times and sometimes use Nigella Lawson's Malibu icing instead of the suggested one here. Below I have also given the recipe for this.
Lucy Young wrote this book for the Aga but also gives instructions for conventional cookers. Lucy works for Mary Berry and helps run Mary's Aga workshops.


SECRETS FROM A COUNTRY KITCHEN BY LUCY YOUNG

ISBN 0091896754 - Page 180

Makes 2 cakes.

175g self-raising flower, 100g soft butter, 100g caster sugar, 3 eggs - beaten, 50g raisins, 50g glace cherries - quartered, washed and dried well, 150g sultanas, 4 bulbs stem ginger - finely chopped, finely grated zest of 2 limes.

1. You will need two 450g (1 lb) loaf tins, greased and base lined.
2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas 3.
3. Measure all the ingredients for the cakes into a large bowl. Mix well until smooth. Divide between the two loaf tins, and level the tops.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes until golden brown or test if cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Leave to cool in the tins.

FOR THE ICING

100g icing sugar - sieved, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 bulb stem ginger - chopped,
finely grated zest of 1 small lime.
Simply mix the icing sugar and lime juice together until smooth. Spread over the top of the cakes. Garnish with ginger down the centre and arrange lime zest over the top.

Recipe taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson - Page 23.

MALIBU ICING (slightly adapted)

125g instant royal icing
1 tablespoon Malibu
1 tablespoon water

Simply mix together until smooth and pour over the cake.