Friday, July 31, 2009

My Work: Manali Street Barbers

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Alongside a participant (who's somewhat visible in one of the mirrors) in my multimedia class at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Manali, who's presenting a photo story about street barbers, I photographed some of them in one of the main alleys of the small town. It seems that these particular street barbers have been working on the same site for over 35 years, and they (as evidenced by the constant stream of clients) have a thriving business, despite their protestation to the contrary.

The Foundry Photojournalism Workshop is, by all accounts, a terrific success and its finale is today in the evening where some 70 students will present their work, after a face off with their instructors in a "friendly" game of cricket.

Peter Steinhauer: Viet Nam

Photo © Peter Steinhauer -All Rights Reserved

Currently based in Hong Kong, Peter Steinhauer is a fine art, editorial and advertising photographer living and working in Asia since 1993, and has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and museums internationally. He published two books on Viet Nam, and in 2007 PDN awarded his second book "Enduring Spirit of Viet Nam" Best Photography Book of The Year.

Peter's clients for his commercial work are Travel & Leisure, Prestige, Frank Muller, Dior, Chaumet, Periplus Books, Sofitel, Melia and Marriott.

There are beautiful galleries on Peter's website, whether categorized as fine art or Viet Nam. I chose his Ethnic Minorities of Viet Nam to showcase here on TTP.

(via Exposure Compensation blog)

And my thanks to Penelope Gan for reminding me that July has 31 days not 30 days.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brent Stirton: Papua New Guinea

Photo © Brent Stirton-All Rights Reserved

Brent Stirton's work from Papua New Guinea is just superlative...have a close look at his series of images of PNG which highlights the uniqueness of its tribal culture and the ritual of dress and dance for which it is most famous.

Brient is the senior staff photographer for the assignment division of Getty Images, New York. He specializes in documentary work and is known for his alternative approaches, and travels an average of nine months of the year on assignment.

His work is published by: National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Discovery Channel, Newsweek, Le Express, Le Monde 2, Figaro, Paris Match, GQ, Geo, Stern, CNN, and many other other will known international titles and news organizations. He also received numerous awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Frontline Club, the Deadline Club, Days Japan, multiple P.O.Y USA awards, and awards from the World Press Photo Foundation and the United Nations for his work on the environment and in the field of HIV. In 2009, he received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, and the ASME magazine publishers award for photojournalism for his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo as published in National Geographic magazine.

Brent's work in Ethiopia's Omo Valley was featured in TTP.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Manali: Rajasthani Young Woman

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

After one of my classes at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, Dar Yasin (a photographer from Kashmir) and I went exploring the small tented settlement of Rajasthanis in central Manali. Most of the settlers are transient, and if my understanding is accurate, they spend around the 4-5 months of summer in the milder climates of Manali. Most of those we spoke to were from Kota, and have established small tented temples where they hold daily pujas. The travel takes them about 4 days by train, and they are regular visitors here. In common with such situations, the locals probably resent the intrusion, but I haven't seen any overt signs of it.

Jeffrey Chapman: Cambodia

Currently based in New York State, Jeffrey Chapman describes himself quite well by saying that he is a freelance cultural, humanitarian and world photographer. He also worked as a director for a World Bank project in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China, as an adviser to the Japanese government's JETRO office in Italy, and as an internationalization and strategy consultant working with corporate clients, presidents and prime ministers in Europe, Asia and North America.

Jeffrey is currently a member of the senior staff at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica, NY, working as an advocate for refugees (primarily Burmese/Karen, Somali and Iraqi) who are resettling in the United States.

Most of Jeffrey's photographs are of Cambodia, although his second and third galleries feature portraits and scenes of Laos and Vietnam.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GAIA Photos

Gaia Photos is a platform and an opportunity for photographers to showcase their work to a broad audience, and it seeks to be a place to explore and discover the issues facing the diverse population and locations of the world. It also seeks to be where professional photo buyers will find international, in-depth, quality reporting from a vast pool of professional photojournalists who can also be contacted directly for commissioned work.

One of its declared objectives is to promote quality and diversity in documentary photography, especially in a time of dwindling editorial budgets.

Some of the photographers working with Gaia are Lisa Hogben, GMB Akash, M. Scott Brauer, Brent Foster, Alex Espinosa, Alex Masi and many others. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Middle Eastern (Arab) or African photographers on the list, and hope that this anomaly will be soon redressed.

Sigma 50mm macro lens reviews

I've been using my new Sigma 50mm macro lens for a couple of weeks now. It's giving great results, as seen in some of the pictures on this blog.

However, my journey into the world of macro photography has barely begun and I'm confident there are much better pictures ahead, waiting to be taken once I've learned more.

Today I thought I'd post links to some reviews of the Sigma 50mm macro lens. It was originally announced in 2004, as seen from this article on the Digital Photography Review site. However, they don't appear to have a subsequent review of the lens when released.

The first review is from the ePhotoZine website, and is dated January 2006. The one difference I've spotted is that the lens reviewed had a switch to move between auto-focus and manual focus. This is absent from my lens, probably because the same switch is built into my Sony A350 camera.

In general the review of the lens is positive, although it does pick out a couple of minor issues with slow auto-focus and the lack of a soft case. The former I've already encountered when trying to take pictures of bees on clover. The bees spend a few seconds on the clover head - plenty of time of a picture - but they're constantly moving as they forage for nectar. This seems to prevent the lens from achieving focus for long enough to shoot.

As for a soft case - I've long accepted that camera and lens manufacturers no longer supply any sort of cases with their products. Irritating, but it's a commercial reality that accessories push up produce prices.

The internet give a voice to ordinary people, particularly when it comes to product reviews. Amazon is a great source for these, and reviews for the Sigma lens are extremely positive. I've linked to the reviews for the Canon mount lens as there are more of these than for Sony.

Other reviews you may be interested in are dphotojournal and dyxum.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I came across an article at, written by Rachel Cooke, on her obsession with the Australian cook Bill Granger.

Now, I could in no way be described as having a Bill Granger obsession, but I am lets say 'quite fond of him!'

Rachel cooked a few recipes out of Bill's books without complaint from her family.

Making these cheesecakes wasn't a happy journey for her, and I believe her obsession with Bill came to a very abrupt ending. Oh well, such is life. These mini cheesecakes are in his book Feed Me Now! She says in her article they came out of the oven looking totally rubbish and nothing like the photograph in the book. Well - we've all been there haven't we! Apparently, she sulked badly, sat on the floor by the oven with gin in hand and quite possibly had a good cry!

I decided to take on the challenge of trying out this recipe. My little raspberry cheesecakes turned out perfectly! Sorry Rachel. Yours got stuck in the paper cases -
I, on the other hand was a clever clogs, and sprayed mine with oil to stop the sticking problem, and I guess that's what the home economists did with Bill's too!! Unfortunately, Bill forgot to pass this information on to us!

The recipe can be found here on the Good Food Channel website.

Sexual Warfare: Congo

The Sydney Morning Herald has featured a superbly produced multimedia project titled Sexual Warfare: The Democratic Republic of Congo. The multimedia is produced by Kimberley Porteous
and Kate Geraghty.

From its website, we learn that sexual violence is a devastating weapon in the war-torn North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese army and rebel groups systematically use brutal gang rape against their enemies, causing crippling injuries and spreading HIV.

Aid groups estimate one in three women in North Kivu have been raped. Over 30 per cent of these have been infected with HIV.

All across this devastated region – in every village, every camp and almost every home – a man-made plague is stealing and destroying the lives of women. In a scale never seen before around the world.

(Via Duckrabbit Multimedia: an always interesting and brave blog, which I encourage you bookmark.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Foundry Photo Workshop-Manali

Well, after approximately 20 hours of driving from Delhi to Manali, we've reached our destination: the Foundry Photojournalism Workshp (Manali) which is to be held at the Green Cottages Hotel. The view above is from my room's balcony.

Manali is at an altitude of 6,398 ft in the Vyas River valley, and is an important hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, providing an idyllic scenery and temperate climate even in the months of July and August. I can actually hear the roar of the Vyas river from my balcony from where I'm typing this post.

As for the question as to why it took us 20 hours for a journey that normally should take about 12-13? Ah, well...perhaps the second photograph will explain it better than I can. Our bus had an unfortunate accident (rather minor) with a truck coming down an incline. No one was hurt on our bus, so we were extremely lucky. However, it meant that the bus' dashboard was somewhat bent out of shape making it difficult to steer. So we boarded 5 4x4s ordered by the Foundry team, and we were on our way. Having lost a lot of time, we were hoping to make it up, but the gods of the Kullu valley were not letting enter that easily. Flat tires and over-enthusiastic policemen conspired to impede our progress, but the team of instructors and administrators, tired and bedraggled perhaps, finally made it.

Chico Sanchez: Pok Ta Pok

"The Popol Vuh, holy book of the Quiché Maya, contains a story of a confrontation between good and evil, played out in the form of a ballgame. Throughout pre-Hispanic history, this ballgame has played an important yet mysterious and debated role in the cultures of Mesoamerica, sometimes taking the form of sacrifice ritual, sometimes a game of chance, always symbolic of a timeless struggle between opposing forces, with an outcome governed by supernatural powers in conjunction with human skill and honor."-(BBC)

Here's a short audio slideshow by photographer Chico Sanchez documenting the ancient ballgame of Pok Ta Pok as played in Yucatan, Mexico. As the preamble above describes, it's a symbolic game between the forces of good and evil.

Chico Sanchez is a freelance photographer based in Mexico City. Chico worked in Venezuela, collaborating with Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, Agencia EFE, and freelances for various newspapers and magazines.

Many of Chico Sanchez's documentary/travel photography slideshows have been featured on The Travel Photographer blog and can be found here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Canon Pro Network: Editor's Choice

The Canon Pro Network has recently introduced an interactive feature that allows Canon photographers to submit their images for review by the world's top photo editors. All of the entries are then viewed and edited by a big name 'guest editor' who makes a selection of the best submitted images.

The guest editor for the second edition Editor's Choice is Magdalena Herrera, director of photography at GEO France. She reviewed 4,471 photos submitted by 721 Canon photographers from around the world.

You can now watch and listen to an in-depth explanation of her final picture selection by clicking here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Work: Maghreb Still Life

Ancient cameras (Marrakech)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Water gourd (Ouarzazate)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Allah (Ouarzazate)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Shelf & Door(Marrakech)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Door (Essaouira)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy -All Rights Reserved

Here's a collection of photographs made in the medinas of Marrakech, Essaouira and Ouarzazate, during my Gnawa Festival Photo~Expedition last month. Some of the old cameras are the very popular Kodak 55X Instamatic; one of which I still have in perfect working order!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On My Way To Manali, India

I will be flying out of London today on my way to Delhi then on to Manali, India. The Second Foundry Photojournalism Workshop is being held at this hill station, located in the Vyas River valley, among the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley.

I will have missed one of nature’s most awesome spectacles, a solar eclipse (here are some photographs of it) which was seen from India's (and China) various cities, especially in Patna, Bihar.

Anyway, back to FPW. The small town of Manali was the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and, from there, over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. Manali and the surrounding area is of great significance to Indian culture and heritage as it is said to be the home of the Saptarshi, or Seven Sages.

I'm part of the faculty that will be teaching various classes to emerging photojournalists, mostly from South and South East Asia.

The workshop will have internet and WiFi access, so I will be able to continue posting....I have a bunch of interesting posts coming up. I hope to also be able to write about the workshop, which may be of interest to the readers of TTP.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Bags: Foundry Photo Workshop

I had a difficult time deciding what camera bag to take with me for the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop. I had the choice of a Swiss Army briefcase roller, a seldom-used Billingham 555 (or whatever the model is...the large one), a Lowepro Computrekker backpack, or a Lowepro Stealth Reporter shoulderbag.

Having been used to my minimalist gear on my previous two international trips, I was loath to return to the heavy Swiss Army roller, the Billingham requires steel fingers to close its clasps, and the Stealth Reporter seems to auto-inflate in front of the Virgin Atlantic check-in desk. I was left with the Lowepro backpack, and the Domke F-8.

The Domke F-8 could comfortably carry all my camera gear but my Mac laptop wouldn't fit (I have to take the Mac since the Acer's screen is too small for my multimedia class), The Lowepro backpack was the logical answer, but I decided to drop by the nearest Army Surplus Store, and buy an IDF Messenger Bag for about $20. That bag has the identical canvas material and hardware as the Domke's really uncanny how they seem to be made from the same cloth.

So all my photo gear is in the Domke F-8 (except for my 70-200mm lens, which I'll have to lug around in my checked luggage) and my laptop is happily ensconced in the IDF bag. Both are secured to each other by a couple of carabiners (D-rings), and to me so far, this is an excellent alternative to carrying a heavy backpack or shoulder bag. I can easily separate the two, and carry each on a shoulder...or carry them from each hand. When they're coupled together with the carabiners, I look a little like a homeless person schlepping his belongings around, but looks are not everything in life.

Is it the holy grail? Not by a long shot...but so far so good.

Matt Powell: Humanitarian Photographer

Matt Powell is a documentary photographer and a multimedia producer ( his bio tells us that he's also a budding documentary filmmaker), as a well as a writer, who works for the Christian humanitarian relief agency Samaritan’s Purse. It's a job which takes Matt all over the developing world, and nourishes his passion for visual storytelling and his desire to improve the world.

Soon after his graduation, Matt undertook a 2.5 month trekking journey into some of the most remote terrain in South East Asia to perform an ethnographic survey of tribal minorities known to be living under severe religious and ethnic persecution. It was the adventure of his lifetime, and established his career as a humanitarian photographer.

His subsequent assignments took him to Indonesia, Cambodia, PNG, Viet Nam, India, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, to mention just a few.

I'm greatly impressed by Matt's commitment and talents, and feature his Portraits portfolio, however I also encourage you to explore his work beyond this gallery, and check the rest of his galleries and informative blog .

It's immensely refreshing to meet an altruistic photographer, and Matt Powell is it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jonas Bendiksen: The Places We Live

Jonas Bendiksen began his photography career as a 19-year-old intern in the London office of Magnum Photos. Eventually leaving office life to travel through Russia and pursue his own work as a photojournalist, he worked on numerous projects throughout the world, including his ongoing project about the world's slums.

The installation for "The Places We Live" project was developed and produced in cooperation with the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, where it was launched a year ago.

From 2005 to 2007 Jonas Bendiksen documented life in the slums of four different cities: Nairobi, Mumbai, Jakarta and Caracas. The Places We Live is the result.

Oliver Weber: Marrakech

Oliver Weber is a German photographer who currently lives and works on the Canary Island of La Gomera. He specializes in reportage, portrait and street photography.

It was his 2007 photo exhibition “Humans” in Bredevoort, Netherlands, that Oliver Weber became more broadly known to an international audience, and his first book of photographs was published and nominated for the German Photo Book Award.

His interest in street photography is based on spontaneity and the awareness of situations and moods. He seeks to grasp the right moment since once the moment is over, it's gone forever. His black & white street photography of Marrakesh interested me the most amongst his galleries, since I've just returned from there, and I've posted about the immense frustration facing anyone photographing in Morocco. And yet, Oliver seems to photograph with such ease and fluidity.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nom Yogurts

I received a very generous selection of yogurts from Nom Dairy in rural Shropshire to review.

In these recession hit times, it is quite reassuring to see a huge investment being made in Shropshire. A £60m state of the art dairy has been completed and they are now producing Nom yogurts. On their website they tell us Shropshire was their chosen location due to the amount of high quality milk required for their recipes. Nom have been making yogurt and yogurt drinks in Austria for over 100 years and this is their first venture into the UK market.

I was sent a collection of Naturally Creamy two-sided yogurts and these came in 150g pots. They are a large creamy yogurt on one side with a smaller separate portion of fruit or cereal. I received, senga strawberry, morello cherry, alponso mango and passion fruit, granola and Belgium choc chip, and granola.

Next, was a pack of Nom Naturally Good fruit layer yogurt, these came in a pack of 6 x 125g yogurt pots. I received three senga strawberry and 3 morello cherry. These comprised a layer of compote topped with a creamy layer of probiotic yogurt. Unless you look at the labeling you would be totally unaware these were probiotic yogurt pots.

These would be ideal for breakfast or any time of the day - I ate one for lunch and was surprised at just how filling and satisfying they were.

I couldn't fault them on presentation of the products or quality. The fruit compote or granola was excellent. My personal preference, and also that of my husband, was we preferred the fruit compote pots over the granola based products.

Justin Jin: 100Eyes Magazine

Justin Jin worked for more than than a decade as an independent photojournalist with leading magazines and newspapers, specializing in documenting people in hidden, harsh and sensitive situations, such as authoritarianism in Russia, exploitation in China or illegal immigration in Europe.

Based for the last four years in Moscow, Justin is doing reportage and
corporate assignments in Russia, China and beyond. While some of his projects are commissioned, others are self-initiated.

The beautifully produced 100Eyes Magazine features Justin Jin's edgy photo essay Made In China-Blues After Midnight which documents how workers in Chinese factories toil through the night scrubbing, spraying and tearing trousers to create the rugged look of blue jeans so favored by consumers all over the world.

Justin Jin's website is here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The challenge of photographing bugs

I enjoy photographing insects. That's one of the reasons whyI bought a macro lens. Ideally I'd have bought a 90mm or 105mm lens, as that would allow me to keep a distance from the subject.

I've already explained that financial constraints led to me buying a 50mm Sigma macro lens. Just because it isn't the ideal for working with insects doesn't mean I won't give it a go. This photo of a hoverfly on a flower is the best I've achieved so far.

The fly was relatively easy to capture because it was static and allowed me to get very close. This picture was taken at maximum magnification, 1:1, and the end of the lens with only a few millimetres from the subject. Fortuntately it chose not to move, allowing me several shots.

A motionless subject is a great help in macro photography. But there are still other challenges to deal with, particularly when working outdoors.

With this particular picture I had to deal with the wind blowing the plant that the fly was on. The wind was relatively light, but gusty, and it was enough to move the subject in and out of the focal range of the lens very quickly. I took about twenty photos from exactly the same position and this was the only one where the fly was in focus.

Terri Gold: World Imagery

Photo © Terri Gold -All Rights Reserved

“I believe images that share our stories can have a positive impact on our world.”
- Terri Gold
Terri Gold is an award-winning photographer and artist based in New York City, and has built an impressive reputation for her rituals, rites of passage, festivals, celebrations and portraits from all over the world. Her ongoing personal project “Still Points in a Turning World” focuses on Asia’s vanishing tribal heritage, and has been widely exhibited.

In January 2009, she was chosen as the Lightroom Featured Photographer in Photoshop User Magazine. She has won numerous awards and has been published on book covers for Random House, Penguin Putnam and Henry Holt. She is represented by Picture Arts and Archangel Images and has taught at the Cape Cod Photo Workshops and is a member of ASMP and National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

On her assignments, Terri tells us that she wears up to four cameras around her neck; a digital camera, a digital camera converted to infrared, a XPan with cross-processed film (or B&W), and a Mamiya 7. She also uses a Zero image pinhole camera and a Diana. As can be seen from her websites, she's an expert infrared photographer, worked with polaroid transfers, hand-painting and is a lith printer as well. Terri digitally recreates these techniques.

To see more from this highly accomplished and impressive artist-photographer, Terri's commercial work can be found on Terri Gold Imagery and her travel portfolios on Terri Gold World Imagery.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Phil Borges: Women Empowered

Here's an immensely worthwhile project that I'm very glad to share with you.

Phil Borges, the acclaimed documentary photographer and CARE, the humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls, are continuing a successful multi-year collaboration with the launch of the Women Empowered Project.

Using Phil Borges’ photography and video, The Women Empowered Project spotlights some of the issues that women and girls in the developing world face while demonstrating practical, proven solutions to fighting global poverty.

The new website, which was created in conjunction with liveBooks includes three mini-documentary films: Learning to Lead portrays the transformative power of education and leadership for girls and women; Vigilantes de la Vida shows how childbirth can lead to heartbreak rather than happiness when adequate maternal health care is not available, and Strength in Numbers illustrates how African women can turn tiny amounts of money into sustaining capital through village savings and loan programs.

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Phil Borges in his Seattle home, and had the pleasure of traveling with him to Dharmasala, and photographing in this Tibetan-In-Exile Nothern Indian enclave.

Pablo Corral Vega: Andes

Pablo Corral Vega is a photojournalist from Ecuador whose work is published in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, the Smithsonian Magazine, the New York Times Sunday magazine, Audubon, the French, German, Spanish, and Russian editions of Geo, and other international magazines.

His work has been exhibited in Perpignan, Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Tokyo, Seville, Washington, D.C., and Houston, and he has published six books of photography: Tierra Desnuda, Paisajes del Silencio, Ecuador: De la Magia al Espanto, Ecuador, Andes and Twenty Five. For the book Andes, published by the National Geographic Society, famed Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa wrote twenty short stories inspired by the photos.

It is Andes that I choose to feature today on the pages of TTP.

Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography for the National Geographic Magazine wrote the following text about Corral for his book "Twenty Five":

"Pablo Corral Vega brings to his photography great passion, an unparalleled aesthetic, and a high degree of concern for both his work and his subjects. (He) is a world-class photojournalist, and in my opinion one of the finest Latin American photographers working today." "

There's no question that Pablo Corral Vega's work is incredibly beautiful, and his imagery of the various cultures depicted in Andes is passionate, emphatic and in many cases, superb. The photograph of the man and the shadows is certainly one of those.

I also greatly enjoyed Pablo's video work showing the same places he photographed for the National Geographic. Yes, I recommend viewing Pablo's personal view of this musical genre and its associated sensuous dance form. But be careful...after viewing the video, you will want to book your flight to Buenos Aires, and spend the rest of your life in these cafes and restaurants, immersed in tango atmosphere.

My thanks to Eric Beecroft for the heads-up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Snobbism & The Photography Industry

Kochi (Kerala)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy -All Rights Reserved

"Photography has its social classes, almost like a feudal society. It has its kings and knights ( in shinning armor, no less), its jesters and courtesans, and of course, a huge amounts of peasants. If you want to play in the court of the respected and approved, you have to follow some well established rules."

And so writes Paul Melcher in his inimitable Thoughts of A Bohemian blog.

As way of background, Paul Melcher brings more than 17 years of experience in technology breakthrough and leadership roles for world-renowned photography agencies and was named by American Photo as one of the "50 most influential individuals in American photography."

Firstly, I'm pleased that this post seems to be spreading quickly in photo industry circles, and is extremely popular. It probably will deservedly ruffle some feathers, and, through humor, make the self-appointed industry luminaries look at themselves, and perhaps laugh.

Secondly, I'm rather miffed that travel photographers are not mentioned on the list. It appears that the top photo "royalty" are conflict photographers, and the bigger the scarf, the higher they are in the hierarchy, while the "low lifers" are amateurs and microstock photographers.

I really don't want to be royalty nor do I want to be a what about a knight? Yes, that's a good place to be.

Dhiraj Singh: Nagas

Dhiraj Singh is a photojournalist and editorial photographer in Mumbai, whose work has appeared in various international publications including Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC among others.

He recently won the third place in the ‘war and disaster’ category at the China International Press Photo Award-2009 and third place in Spot News at “The Asia Media Award” which was held in conjunction with IFRA’s Publish Asia 2008. His pictures of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 were also part of a group exhibition titled, ‘Bearing Witness’ held in that city in 2009.

One of Dhiraj's non-audio SoundSlides photo essay is on the Nagas. The Naga Sadhus are part of a mysterious society, and are worshipers of Shiva. The term Naga means ‘naked’, and they're also known as Naga Babas. They mainly appear in public during the annual Kumbh Mela.

Dhiraj Sigh and his work were also profiled on Verve Photo.

My own work on the Sadhus of the Kumbh Mela is featured here.

Lens Culture Photo Contest

Lens Culture International Exposure Awards seeks to discover, recognize, reward and promote talented, new and emerging photographers from around the world, so it's looking for exciting images from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, photojournalism, street photography, poetic, personal, abstract and human.

An international jury of photography experts will review and judge every photo submitted. Four winning photographers will each earn cash prizes — plus photo features in Lens Culture, giving them access and broad exposure to an enthusiastic, influential worldwide audience.

Additionally, 25 photographers will win Honorable Mentions, including the display of one single image each in the Winners' Gallery in Lens Culture, and a link to their personal or professional web pages.

As in all and every photography contests, I strongly encourage all interested photographers to make sure they carefully read the contests' terms and conditions, especially since misunderstandings between organizers and contestants over terms, prizes and other issues sometimes occur.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Andrew Sullivan; Samba da Bahia

Photo © Andrew Sullivan/Courtesy Burn Magazine

Sometimes I stumble on a photograph that just stops me in my tracks. I can't really explain the reason, but all I know is that it has that effect on me...and Andrew Sullivan's sublime photograph made me stop. The caption reads that a delivery man called the waitress on the right "belleza pura", and he's right, but it's not only her that makes the photograph. All of its elements work...the positioning of the people, the shadows, the look, the all works just so perfectly.

Andrew Sullivan's photo essay Samba da Bahia is on the wonderful Burn magazine, which is amongst of the best photo websites I've seen in a while. Burn is curated by the legendary David Alan Harvey, one of the heroes of photography for his superlative work, and for his unstinting generosity in mentoring emerging photographers.

Andrew describes himself as a reformed newspaper photographer, but it's best to read his biography in his own words, as well as about his essay on the Samba da Bahia link above.

As a multimedia and samba aficionado, I must confess I literally ached to hear the sound that could have accompanied this photo essay. If only...but I can always look at them and play Jobim at the same time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bhutan: Land of Druk Yul Photo Expedition

Due to a last minute cancellation caused by a personal change in circumstances, the Bhutan: Land of Druk Yul Photo Expedition currently has room for only one participant. The dates of the photo~expedition are from September 23 to October 7, 2009.

If you're interested, click on the photo~expedition link, review the terms and itinerary and register at the earliest if it works for you. This opportunity will only be available until July 16.

Toni Greaves: Samburu Rites

I know...readers are thinking "enough already with this Gnawa work you've been hammering us with for the past weeks" I listened, and what better way of proving that I listened than by featuring Toni Greaves on the page of The Travel Photographer?

Toni Greaves is a documentary, editorial and portrait photographer with a passion for storytelling. She has an extensive background in design, having worked for over a decade as an Art Director & Creative Director in both the USA and Europe. Toni was recently named one of the "30 Emerging Photographers to Watch" by PDN magazine, an impressive tribute to her deserving photographic work.

She was awarded a New York Times Scholarship for her photojournalism work, was a finalist at the New York Photo Awards, and was the recipient of a fellowship by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, among many other national and international awards. Her clients include The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The FADER, Sports Illustrated, and The New Jersey Star Ledger.

Since this is a travel photography blog after all, I chose to showcase her Samburu Rites of Passage photo gallery, despite her lovely work on the nuns of the monastery of Our Lady of The Rosary in New Jersey.

The Samburu are an ethnic group in northern Kenya that are related to the Maasai. They are semi-nomadic pastoralists, who herd cattle, sheep, goats and camels. They are extremely dependent on their animals for survival, and their diet consists mostly of milk and sometimes blood from their cows.

Toni Greaves' website demonstrates the wide range of her photographic interests, which range from essays on pediatric cardiac surgeries to cheerleaders.