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Posts by: Eva Clifford

A Death Photographer on the Sacred River Ganges

Warning: this article contains images of dead bodies.

The expression “when one door closes, another opens” seems apt when Italian photographer Matteo de Mayda recounts the tale of how this series began. When a project to photograph India’s bicycle inventors fell through at the very last moment, de Mayda found himself in Bombay desperate for a story. By chance, he stumbled across a local video report on the death photographers of Varanasi. On hearing the report, De Mayda wasted no time and caught a 30-hour third class train to the holy city.

The Couple Who Found A Shared Love For Tornado Chasing

07 May 2016: A classic severe weather set-up in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray, which yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic while its parent supercell continued to be manageable. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

07 June 2014: A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US in June 2014, each with its own rotating updraft. It appeared as though one updraft was anticyclonic, resulting in a very turbulent scene. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing us back to the US Plains each year.

The Irish philosopher Edmund Burke wrote in 1757:”The passion caused by the great and sublime in nature… is Astonishment; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror.”  Referring to the aesthetic concept of the sublime, Burke explains how fear – especially the fear of God – can be evoked by the power of nature, and it is exactly this mixture of awe and fear we feel when looking at these apocalyptic images by British couple Cammie Czuchnicki and Tim Moxon, aka Weather Studios. Each spring for the last seven years, the couple made the trip to the US to follow the tornado season north – from Texas to the Dakotas – to photograph the spectacular weather. In their photos, the storms are shown raging across the land, rolling in like mega-tsunamis, making it hard not to focus on our vulnerability as humans.

These Majestic Photos Capture a Disappearing Way of Life

In 2001, California-based photographer Oliver Klink embarked on a project to document the disappearing traditions and customs across Asia as modernization and cultural homogenization takes its toll. “When the Three George Dam was completed, the water level rose by over 100 meters (300 ft),” says Klink, and he saw the displacement of 1 million people from the edge of the Yangtze River. This proved to be just one example of how such communities are being affected by the change.

Mother and Daughter Reconnect Through Photography

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When her mother’s health began to deteriorate in 2009, American fine art photographer Sarah C. Butler travelled from Boston to her mother’s Maine home, where they were reunited after a long estrangement. Confronted with a mother she hardly recognized, Butler turned to her camera and began to take photographs which chronicle the turbulent relationship between the two of them, set against the backdrop of her mother’s dilapidated but beautiful home. The project, it turned out, was far more than simply a document of her mother’s life; it became a way to reconnect with her, or in Butler’s words, it opened space for them to have a relationship. The photographs, now compiled into a book called Frozen in Time, manage to capture their relationship in a way that makes them at once universally relatable.

Welcome to a Town Called Bliss

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Elden

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Easter Vase

It was by chance that led Milwaukee-based photographer Jon Horvath to a small Idaho town called Bliss, located in Gooding County. His resulting series “This is Bliss” gives a unique insight into the town, with its population of around 300. We speak to the photographer to find out more about the project and his motivations behind it.

Timeless Portraits Highlight our Connection to the Natural World

Parts of the Earth

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Parts of the Earth

Keeper

Florida-based photographer Erika Masterson’s Parts of the Earth series started with a portrait she took of her niece with a pheasant (Refuge), leading to Keeper – the girl with the coyote. After entering several of her images into competitions and winning, Masterson continued the theme, finding the animals through clients, collectors and a taxidermy store located in Miami called ‘Art by God’.

Two Photographers Turn Their Lens On One of the Most Violent Areas of Naples

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This young kid from the Spanish Quarter in Naples plays with a replica gun firing plastic bullets in one of the small alleys of the neighborhood. His gestures are mostly inspired by the successful TV series “Gomorra,” taken from the best-seller book. Stories of criminals and mafia gangs in Naples are the cornerstone of each episode. Since many non-professional actors, casted from the streets, are featured in this TV series, kids are very much attracted by the opportunity of becoming stars of the small screen. For that reason, they start to carry themselves like real gangsters. Real-life criminals are also seen by kids as successful and generous people who managed to escape from the poorest communities of the city.

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Paco is a rottweiler, the “mascot” of a gang based the Spanish Quarters in Naples. This group of men ranges from the slacker to the wheeler-dealer, involved in all types of traffic. They usually hang in the street, smoking or eating, always patrolling the area with an expert gaze. They all are very kind and welcoming with strangers. They can afford a very relaxed attitude, being high-ranking among the gangster entourage. The owner of the dog is nicknamed Al Pacino as a tribute to the movie “Scarface”.

Rome-based photographer duo Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni’s latest project, Forcella, came about after they first met four years ago. Caimi was working on his first book Daily Bread and asked Piccinni – who was then working as an art curator – to edit down the mass-accumulation of negatives from the project. “We soon found that our ideas and photographic approaches could be entwined,” says the pair, “and eventually decided to start a series of projects together.”

Exposing the Shantytowns of America’s Homeless

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Eddy and the New Guy
MIAMI, FLORIDA / JULIA TUTTLE CAUSEWAY, BOOKVILLE, PAROLED SEX OFFENDER CAMP. In Miami, Florida laws were passed making it impossible for paroled sex offenders to move home with their families. They were required to wear leg monitors and sleep under a bridge each night or they would violate their parole. Released convicts were dropped off at the encampment without so much as a sleeping bag. Older residents like Eddy on the right would sometimes help out the new arrivals. Eddy has a three room wooden shanty that includes a bathroom with a toilet that flushes into the bay.

Structure out of Chaos: Shantytowns of America's Homeless
Carol and Molly’s Van
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA / RESCUE MISSION CAMP Carol lived in a van with her dog Molly. She drove to New Orleans from Iowa with the hope of a milder winter. The vehicle was full of her belongings and there was no space to sleep unless she removed her valuables.. Her days were spent in a small cramped area at the steering wheel. When the temperature dropped below freezing she refused to go to a shelter because dogs were not welcome there.

Structure out of Chaos is the name given to New Orleans-based photographer Mary Lou Uttermohlen’s ongoing documentary project observing homeless people in the United States, who organize their lives by building shantytowns. As authorities strive to wipe away these communities, police conduct regular sweeps which plunge residents back into chaos. While this vicious cycle continues, Uttermohlen aims with her project to open an informed dialogue on the issues of chronic homelessness in the US and beyond.

A Transient Community in the Industrial Ruins of the Netherlands

Venturing out one February morning in 2012, Netherlands-based photographer Gerard Kingma, had a fixed idea in his mind about what images he wanted to shoot that day. As a member of a local photography group, he was invited by a museum to produce an exhibition exploring the industrial heritage of Groningen, the most northern province of the Netherlands, where the photographer lives. Kingma decided to photograph the once thriving brickworks industry. Amid a landscape scattered with smoke stacks, drying sheds and the ruins of 55 factories, just one factory remains.

Capturing the Unexpected in the Streets of Mexico

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Comitán, Chiapas, 2007  from Alex Webb: La Calle (Aperture/Televisa Foundation, 2016)

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Near Creel, Chihuahua, 1978  from Alex Webb: La Calle (Aperture/Televisa Foundation, 2016)

Curated by Alfonso Morales, La Calle brings together over thirty years of street photography by San Francisco-born Magnum photographer Alex Webb, spanning from 1975 to 2007. In this selection of photographs all taken on the streets of Mexico, the multi-layered compositions touch on multiple genres. As Geoff Dyer writes, “Wherever he goes, Webb always ends up in a Bermuda-shaped triangle where the distinctions between photojournalism, documentary and art blur and disappear.”

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