Tag Archives: Florida

A Year of Photographers in the Picture

A little shy of a year agowith the world’s attention focused on a change of power in North Koreaa photo of Kim Jung Il’s funeral, released by KCNA (North Korean Central News Agency), sparked controversy. The image had been manipulatedless for overt political ends, more for visual harmony. Blog Submission . The photo’s offending elements, photoshopped from the image, were not political adversaries or top secret information, but a group of photographers who had disturbed the aesthetic order of the highly orchestrated and meticulously planned occasion.

KCNA/Reuters

Dec. 28, 2011. A limousine carrying a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il leads his funeral procession in Pyongyang.

In an age where seemingly every occasion is documented through photography from every conceivable anglean estimated 380 billion photographs will be taken this year aloneit’s not only North Korean bureaucrats who are wrestling to keep hoards of other photographers out of their pictures.

Photographers frequently appear in news photographs made by others. Banks of cameras greet celebrities and public figures at every event; cell phones held high by admirers become a tribute in lights, but a distraction to the viewer. Amateurs and professionals, alike, appear in backgrounds and in foregrounds of images made at both orchestrated events and in more candid moments. squido lense . The once-invisible professional photographer’s process has been laid bare.

On occasion, photographers even purposefully make their fellow photographers the subject of their pictures. The most difficult picture to take, it seems, is one without the presence of another photographer either explicitly or implicitly in the frame.

Everyone wants to record their own version of realityironically, it turns out, because by distracting oneself with a camera, it’s easy to miss the true experience of a moment. At a recent Jack White concert, the guitarist requested that audience members stop trying to take their own photos. “The bigger idea,” his label noted in a statement, “is for people to experience the event with their own eyes and not watch an entire show through a tiny screen in their hand. We have every show photographed professionally and the pictures are available from Jack White’s website shortly after to download for free.”

The abundance of camera phones and inexpensive digital cameras has changed the photographic landscape in countless and still-incompletely understood ways, and it’s not just the North Korean government trying to find ways around the hoards of photographers making their way into everyone else’s shots. Here, TIME looks back on the past year to highlight an increasingly common phenomenon: the photographer in the picture.

RNC In Pictures: The Protests

Tropical Storm Isaac led organizers to cancel Monday’s lineup at the Republican National Convention, but protests in Tampa went ahead mostly as planned. Some protesters even camped out in the rain on a rented lot, dubbed “Romneyville.” Some met up with a larger group of several hundred activists and “Occupiers,” who marched one mile from Perry Harvey Park to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where Republican delegates are gathering this week. Hoisting placards and chanting slogans, protesters from as far as California registered their disapproval of the GOP ticket throughout the day. Security was intense. Photographer Grant Cornett was on scene to capture the scene.

Adam Sorensen is an Associate Editor at TIME covering politics.

Grant Cornett is a New York City-based photographer. LightBox previously featured his photography in Beautiful Decay.

Faces of Protest for Trayvon Martin

After Trayvon Martin was shot to death in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26, police told his parents that no arrests would be made, even though Trayvon was a minor and his shooter had already confessed. Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, which allows shooters to invoke self-defense rights, seemed to protect George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot Trayvon, from all sides.

“I had no doubt in my mind what the Sanford Police Department was telling me – it didn’t sit well with me at all.  Not knowing – our son,” Tracy Martin told TIME in an interview last month. “I knew at that point that my mission, personal mission, had begun. And that mission was to seek justice for my lost son.”

Hundreds of thousands of Americans soon joined this mission. Protests crisscrossed the country like wildfire, from Miami to Detroit to Los Angeles to New York to Atlanta. Churches bused participants across state lines. Entire families came, pushing infants in strollers, waving homemade signs, marching from city halls to civic centers to police stations and refusing to be overlooked. Hoodies defied Florida’s 80-degree heat. Skittles became a symbol of justice. Boycotts flared up against companies with ties to the Stand Your Ground law. And word spread that Trayvon resembled another Martin, whose mountaintop address often played in the background as crowds chanted, “No justice, no peace.”

Forty-five days and 2.2 million petition-signatures later, on April 11, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in Trayvon’s death. His trial arraignment date is set for May 29.

More photos: Trayvon Martin’s death sparks national outrage, mourning

In the midst of this emotional time for so many, photojournalist Andrew Kaufman traveled across Florida to document the groundswell of protests in Miami and Sanford. During that time he began to compile the work in journals with cut up contact sheets and handwritten text. “I had to make these pictures,” says Kaufman. “Seeing the anger and frustration in the news, I felt compelled to see and talk to the people who were taking their feelings to the streets.”

Kaufman was in Sanford when special prosecutor Angela Corey filed second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman. Many people he encountered told him they felt relieved that an arrest had finally been made. But, as Travyon’s family lawyers also pointed out after the arrest announcement, there can be no real celebration. “The worst part of this project,” Kaufman says, “is knowing that Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, won’t have her son any more.”

Andrew Kaufman is a Miami based photographer who has been a contributor to TIME since 1998. You can see more of his scrap books on his blog here.

Elizabeth Dias is a writer/reporter in TIME’s Washington bureau. Follow her on Twitter @elizabethjdias

Exclusive: Photos of Miami’s Homeless by Lee Jeffries

Last month LightBox featured the work of Lee Jeffries, a self-taught photographer who is crusading to bring attention to the plight of the homeless. Most recently, he traveled to Florida from the end of January through early February to continue the series he began in London four years ago.

It was a poignant time for Jeffries to be in Miami. The Sunshine State held its Republican primary on Jan. 31., and the following day, contest winner and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney said in an interview that he was “not concerned about the very poor” because “we have a safety net there.” In Miami, the photographer documented some of the city’s most impoverished—many of whom have fallen through the “safety net” Romney described and find themselves homeless, living on the streets. As he does on every trip, Jeffries met and spent time with people on an individual basis—listening to their life stories, taking their portraits and trying to help them in any way he could.

Here LightBox presents an exclusive first look at Jeffries’ latest images of his powerful and moving portrait series on the homeless population—a series that has previously taken him from his native Manchester, England, to Rome, Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas. Jeffries says first few days of each trip are always tentative. He tends to make small steps into the areas he has researched prior to his visit. This time around, Jeffries focused on Miami Beach, Downtown Miami, Fifth Street and Overtown, which has achieved a certain notoriety for being one of the tougher areas of town.

As this trip progressed Jeffries found that each area of Miami had its own distinct characteristics. Miami Beach, which includes South Beach, had a homeless population that tended to drift in from the downtown areas during the course of the week, perhaps for safety or the relative ease of panhandling from the richer tourists. Seeing downtown Miami’s sidewalks literally lined with homeless people surrounded by bags or trolleys of their entire worldly possessions immediately took Jeffries’ mind back to the hundreds of homeless people he had encountered lining Fifth St. and St. Julian, the address of Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood.

In Overtown, located just above downtown, Jeffries found a mix of homeless people and housed families. Originally called Colored Town during the city’s segregated past, it is a major center of the African-American population and Jeffries says he found the community a little daunting to enter at first. But that didn’t last long. “I soon met some people who touched my heart so deeply I will never forget them,” he says, noting that only chance stood between their situation and that of anyone else.

One such person was Latoria, a 29-year-old who has lived in Overtown for just over a year and whose genuine sadness made a particularly deep impression on the photographer. “I spent time with her every day of my trip since our first meeting,” says Jeffries. “Her uncompromising addiction to crack cocaine was both obvious and tragic and I often watched helplessly as she fed that addiction. Perhaps the most moving aspect for me was witnessing her almost child-like vulnerability. There was just something about her that just screamed the tragedy of a wasted life.”

Then there was Terri, also living in Overtown, who has been on the streets on and off since she was 13;  ”Flowers,” a cool Jamaican property owner; “Cooper,” a homeless man Jeffries met in a cemetery;  and “Calvin” from Overtown, who was shot in the eye 1981 during a gang war.

“They are all part of the community,” Jeffries says, “and that is exactly what places like Overtown and Downtown Miami are: communities of people who shouldn’t be feared but respected and embraced and helped wherever possible. I have the utmost respect for every person I met there, and I hope I left with theirs.”

See Jeffries’ earlier work on LightBox here.

Lee Jeffries is a photographer based in Manchester, England. See more of his work here. Jeffries asks that readers interested in helping the homeless population of Miami visit Caring for Miami.

Pictures of the Week, January 27 – February 3

From deadly clashes in Syria and Egypt, to the first anniversary of the Tahrir square uprising and the walk-up to this year’s Super Bowl, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

A Sunshine State of Mind for the Florida Primary

Spanish photographer Ricardo Cases is known for his signature bright colors—colors that were on vivid display in his most recent book, Paloma Al Aire, which captures the traditions of pigeon racing. This week, TIME asked Cases to turn his eye to a different kind of sport: politics.

The photographer traveled to Florida to cover Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary, which Mitt Romney easily won. Although Cases had never photographed American politics before, he said he found the atmosphere one that was well suited for his photographic process.

“Florida has everything I need to work: color, color, color, good weather and all the consequences of these four factors in the development of the society,” he said in an email to TIME.

Cases was not very familiar with the topic he was sent to shoot, but he didn’t need to do much preparation to capture these vibrant images of candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the voters he hoped to persuade, as well as events for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. In fact, Cases said he rarely does much preparation for a shoot, preferring to rely on randomness as a catalyst for his pictures. “What stimulates me is the freshness of the first encounter with a new place, with a new people,” he said. “I think that chance is a great tool for a photographer.”

And now that he’s experienced that moment with birds and politicians alike, what’s his take-away for the future?

“It’s easier to work with politicians,” he said, “because they can’t fly.”

Ricardo Cases is a Spanish photographer. See more of his work here.

Interview with Ricardo Cases translated by Javier Sirvent.

Pictures of the Week, January 20 – January 27

From the State of the Union and the Year of the Dragon to ballot boxes and backstage fashion, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.