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Posts tagged: documentary photography

Photos of Lonely Strangers in the Streets of NYC at Night

“The people in the photos are all strangers,” NYC photographer and filmmaker Daniel Soares tells us, “And I make up these stories in my head, about why they are going to get beer or cigarettes at 1:00 AM.” He’s created Neon Nights over the course of many midnight walks through the hushed side-streets of the city.

On Lake Chad, People Are Living on One Meal a Day

A chipped bowl containing a few grains of rice and some dried beans. Grains are in short supply because the government has banned farmers from allowing their crops to grow more than three feet tall along Cameroon’s highways. Militants had been hiding in the fields in order to ambush passing convoys.

Not so long ago, Lake Chad was one of the largest bodies of water in Africa. The thick reeds and vital wetlands around its basin provided vast freshwater reserves, breeding grounds for fish, fertile soil for agriculture, and grasslands where farmers grazed their animals. But as climate change has taken its toll, the lake has shrunk by 90 percent. Today, only 965 square miles remain. Those who still live by the lake struggle to survive, beset by chronic drought and the slow onset of ecological catastrophe.

This looming crisis has only worsened with the rise of Boko Haram, which has driven some 74,000 Nigerians into neighboring Cameroon. More refugees and fewer crops have proven to be a deadly combination in a region already ravaged by climate change. More than seven million people around Lake Chad are now suffering from severe hunger, including 500,000 children wracked by acute malnutrition. Those fortunate enough to be granted a spot in a refugee camp often receive no more than one meal a day.

We often turn away from images of the starving and hungry, from the skeletal profiles and ­hollowed­­-­out eyes that attest to the misery and suffering. But photographer Chris de Bode has found a way to focus our attention on this forgotten crisis. A single vegetable, a dried fish, a bowl of red maize—sometimes this is all a mother has to divide between her children each day. She may have to choose to feed her two youngest and send the teenagers to a village to beg for food. These images do not ask us to look into their eyes and see ourselves. They ask us to look at the emptiness of their bowls and reflect on the fullness of our own. We see their hunger through what little they have. We measure their suffering in the most universal unit of all: a single meal.

Read the rest of Lisa Palmer’s article on Chris de Bode’s photographs at The New Republic.

Photos of a Strange and Beautiful Australian Mining Town

In 2008, French photographer Antoine Bruy spent a year in Australia. When he returned home, he planned to bring with him more than a hundred rolls of film. All of them were lost. “Since then, I kept thinking of going back, to do something about this place,” the artist says.

Heartfelt Photos of a Father Near the End of His Life

Dad, 84 yrs old, Omachi, Kamakura, Dec 2014

Dad, 86 yrs old, Sagamihara, May 2017

In April 2014, Japanese photographer Shin Noguchi took a picture of his father. A doctor had recently diagnosed 83-year-old with Stage IV Lung Cancer, but Noguchi hadn’t yet told his dad the news. “It was the first time I had a secret about my father that he didn’t know himself,” Noguchi remembers. Over the last three years, he has continued to photograph his father.

This Is What Dinnertime Looks Like in Different Households

Tuesday: Alex, Sophia, Kathy, David, Claudia, Eva & Ana. 2015

Wednesday: Emilio, Rhonda, Benedetto, Skylrae, and Jacomo. 2014

Wednesday: Willie Mae. 2013

“I’m super nosy about people’s habits,” Milwaukee photographer Lois Bielefeld admits. “I’ve always craved going into people’s homes- it’s inspiring, curious. It gives so many sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant insights about someone.”

Photos of a Changing Landscape, Inspired by the Western Meadowlark

In 1994, MTV’s Karen Duffy made the trip to the least-visited state in America, a snow-covered North Dakota, to find answers. When she asked then-governor about his home, he responded, “Well, I think the best reason to visit North Dakota is you can still get lost here.” He paused before adding, “Not necessarily lost on a map, but you can really get lost mentally here.”

It’s twenty-something years later, and Seattle photographer Ian C. Bates has gotten lost many times in North Dakota. He picked the state in part because of its solitude. “It is easy to feel alone there,” he tells us, “I liked that feeling, but it also overcomes you after being there for a long time.”

See the Emerging Photography Awards Exhibition at United Photo Industries

Besan in Gaza, Palestine 2016 © Johanna-Maria Fritz

Water Wheel Falls, Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, CA 2014 © Ansley West Rivers

Rocks © Zoe Wetherall

Every year for the last three years, the Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards have culminated in an exhibition at United Photo Industries in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This time, UPI Creative Director Sam Barzilay handpicked three winning photographers to exhibit at the gallery: Johanna-Maria Fritz, Ansley West Rivers, and Zoe Wetherall. The Winner Showcase opens Thursday night with an Artist Reception at 6:00 PM, with exhibiting prints made on ChromaLuxe® aluminum at the state-of-the-art dye sublimation printing facility at Ken Allen Studios.

Photographer Tells Stories of Women Across Rural India

Japiyammal, 34, sells dry fish to make a living for her family. She also received a notice to vacate her home. After 50 years, the government suddenly seems to have woken up from its deep slumber and recognized the tourism potential in Dhanushkodi.

The fishing community here relies on traditional methods of reading the winds, stars and direction of waves. Without any formal training on modern techniques of fishing and unavailability of any GPS or Wireless devices, it is very hard for Japiyammal and other fishing community, to leave their land and learn the new ways of fishing elsewhere.

Initially, I thought Bharti, 13, was accompanying her parents to the fields since they did not want to leave her behind at home. But to my surprise, Bharti joined the work along with other adults on the salt plant. I saw her lifting the heavy pans full of salt, way too heavy for her thin arms. Her repeated movements of lifting salt and filling the tractors were fast but painful. It’s not just Bharti; there are scores of children waiting endlessly for an opportunity to lead a healthy life beyond these salt pans.

Deepti Asthana is a self-taught photographer living in Mumbai, India. She was born and raised in a north-Indian city called Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, where she grew up in challenging circumstances. Asthana graduated with a degree in engineering from Tamil Nadu and spent some time working in Mumbai and Delhi; all this while she knew she wanted more out of life. In 2011 she was sent to London for a project from her organisation and met a landscape  photographer there. This meeting helped her discover a talent and passion for telling women’s stories through photography, which led Asthana to begin her project titled Women of India, in 2016. Her journey since then has brought the two Indias closer through her work and continues to shape her perspective of travelling alone through rural India.

Photographer conveys the loneliness of ex-prisoners in Kazakhstan

Despite the universal appeal of freedom, acclimatising to life post-incarceration is no easy task. Some might question whether ex-prisoners are really freer beyond barbed wired fences, their lives forever changed, their minds often haunted by recollections of their pasts. Many ex-prisoners struggle when thrust back into the ‘real’ world’ and expected to resume, or construct, a normal life.

While in Kazakhstan for another project, Swedish photographer Mikael Halleström met a number of individuals who had been given parole and their families. Curious about their pasts and equipped with conversational Russian language skills, with time he was able to gain their trust.

Photographer Chris Burkard on Conservation, Fearlessness, and Sony Cameras (Sponsored)

Justin Quintal standing under the northern lights while filming for Under an Arctic Sky. Shot with Sony a7S II with 35mm f1.4 ©Chris Burkard/Massif

Photographer Chris Burkard has navigated frozen waters, survived rugged waves, and walked beaches so remote they don’t have names. He’s smiled his way through harsh blizzards, braved arctic winds, and come face-to-face with some of the wild animals who call this planet their home.

Burkard was only nineteen years old when left his job at the time to become a professional surf photographer, and his connection with water has only become stronger over the years. “My entire life I’ve lived less than a mile from the ocean,” he recently wrote on Instagram, where he has well over two and a half million followers.

But Burkard isn’t your typical surf photographer. “I set out to find the places others had written off as too cold, too remote, and too dangerous to surf,” he told the audience in a TED talk a few years ago. For his book Distant Shores, he documented surfing on six of the seven continents on earth.

His film Under An Arctic Sky tells the story of six surfers who made the journey to Iceland right before the arrival of the worst storm in a quarter-century. They risked everything for a shot at once-in-a-lifetime waves, and with just three hours of sunlight per day, their journey was illuminated by the aurora borealis.

The film is currently touring, and Burkard made time in his packed schedule to tell us a bit about his process and motivations. Below, he shares some of his most memorable stories and insights into the importance of conservation. He also gives us a peek into his camera bag and reveals how he uses Sony mirrorless cameras to make the photographs the Sierra Club once called “too good to be true.”

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