Tag Archives: Wanderings

Andrew Meredith, Hong Kong Island

Andrew Meredith, Hong Kong Island

Andrew Meredith

Hong Kong Island,
China, 2012
Website – MeredithPhoto.com

Andrew Meredith graduated from Falmouth College of Arts and has, for the past decade, been shooting commercial, editorial and personal projects. In 2008 his personal work was awarded as a category winner in the Creative Review Photography Annual and following up in 2009 receiving the Best In Book award for his Slaughtermen series, depicting the brutal and gory world of the abattoir worker. In the same year Andrew was awarded category winner for his Model Village series. His first solo exhibition, Excursions, images of south american wanderings, was shown in London in 2010 at Riverside Studios and then during the Photomonth festival at Truman Brewery Gallery. In 2011 Andrew was commissioned by Icon magazine to document the Steilneset Witch Memorial by Peter Zumthor in the most northerly town in mainland Eurpoe, Vardo, Norway, deep into the arctic circle. His work has been published worldwide. He lives and works in London.
 

Into the Ether by Fazal Sheikh

The northern Indian city of Varanasi, perched on the banks of the Ganges river, is perhaps the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, a site that has drawn pilgrims literally for millennia. Its famed for its burningghatsthe sloped-approaches to the waterfront where for centuries devotees have brought their deceased loved ones for cremation, then floating the ashes into the mighty, holy Ganges. Some Hindus still believe its auspicious to pass away on these steps. In Varanasis morning fogs and along its shrine-lined streets, visitors can feel an ancient, intangible power, a sense of place that is defined more by ritual and time than geography.

Varanasis burning grounds drew critically-acclaimed photographer Fazal Sheikh, whose latest project,Ether, on exhibit at Pace/MacGill gallery in New York City till Oct. 20, is the product of his own nocturnal wanderings in the old town. New York-born Sheikhs two earlier India-based projectsMoksha(2005), of a community of widows, andLadli(2007), portraits of young women in orphanages, hospitals, brothelshad a decidedly engaged, political edge.Etheris less so. Other documentary pieces of mine are much clearer in the pointed nature of what I wanted to say, says Sheikh, who first came to prominence with his work from refugee camps in Kenya. This project is a bit more open and broad. Its an exploration of a mood.

Sheikhs vigil would begin at nightfall and end at dawn. Ether itself is that mysterious, unfathomable fifth element of the universethe others being water, air, fire and earthand is a property Sheikh attempts to articulate in his work. He makes elemental gestures throughout: The embers of a fire glow with an almost cosmic intensity. The stars wink and gleam in a night sky. Four dun-colored city strays curl into the trammeled earth.

Sheikh describes working in Varanasi as a sort of nurturing experience. The whole place was calming; there was a kind of quiet. InEther, there is a dreamy, contemplative quality to the pictures, but it rarely feels overly sentimental. Departing from Sheikhs earlier portraiture, many ofEthers images are of bodiesboth those of sleepers and the deadwho dont directly engage the camera. The inability of a photograph to fully penetrate its subject fascinates Sheikh: There are some things that a person holds for themselves, some things that will remain inaccessible. carrera de fotografia . But if there are visions of a world beyond our world, its traces are in the ether.

Fazal Sheikh is a photographer based in Zurich, New York City and Kenya. His latest project Ether, is on displayon exhibit at Pace/MacGill gallery in New York City till Oct. 20.

Andrew Meredith, Oslo, Norway

Andrew Meredith, Oslo, Norway

Andrew Meredith

Oslo, Norway,
, 2010
Website – MeredithPhoto.com

Andrew Meredith graduated from Falmouth College of Arts and has, for the past decade, been shooting commercial, editorial and personal projects. In 2008 his personal work was awarded as a category winner in the Creative Review Photography Annual and following up in 2009 receiving the Best In Book award for his Slaughtermen series, depicting the brutal and gory world of the abattoir worker. In the same year Andrew was awarded category winner for his Model Village series. His first solo exhibition, Excursions, images of south american wanderings, was shown in London in 2010 at Riverside Studios and then during the Photomonth festival at Truman Brewery Gallery. In 2011 Andrew was commissioned by Icon magazine to document the Steilneset Witch Memorial by Peter Zumthor in the most northerly town in mainland Eurpoe, Vardo, Norway, deep into the arctic circle. His work has been published worldwide. He lives and works in London.
 

Land of Stories and Myths: Yaakov Israel Photographs His Homeland

The land upon which the nation of Israel sits is steeped in stories and myths. It’s ancient, holy; all three major faiths that took root here see salvation in its domes, its olive groves, its cracked earth. It’s a land where people still seek the messiah. In one Orthodox Jewish messianic tradition, He will return riding a white donkey. On a blistering summer’s day in 2006, Yaakov Israel peered through the heat waves and saw, emerging in the distance, a man atop a white donkey. “He materialized,” says Israel, a photographer based in Jerusalem, “like a fata morgana,” a mirage.

Israel’s book The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey will be released in the U.S. this fall.

This man on a donkey was no illusion — nor, most would contest, was he the messiah. Instead, his arrival from the desert and into Israel’s lens gave the photographer a guide for a photo project he has worked on for the past decade, crystallized in a new book, The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey. Israel’s pictures are the product of years of wanderings in Israel, in the Occupied Territories and in the spaces in-between, seeking to document a vision of its people and landscapes away from the noise of an intractable political conflict and the rumbling news media that watches it.

In the spirit of U.S. photographers who chronicled their journeys through the American vastness, Israel would wake up early in the morning and head off in a direction, photographing what he saw and whom he encountered along the way. Of course, unlike in the U.S., Israel, traveling in the country that bears his name, would invariably run into one or two political borders by nightfall. And so his gaze dwells on the quiet of certain moments — “the small clues for me that exist in each image,” as he puts it — that tell a story of daily life in a land whose deep history and uncertain future are woven through with gestures that are at once religious, political and inescapably human.

A girl wades into the Sea of Galilee, her arms held wide as if choosing between crucifixion and baptism. Spools of barbed wire are followed in the book by tangles of thorns and a sea of dandelions; men with guns look on, at times curious, at times detached. A backpacker sleeps. The hills glow and soak in sunlight.

Israel emphasizes the everyday nature of his subjects — “these are people I’m just bumping into every time I go out.” Often, they would go out of their way to accommodate Israel, posing patiently, introducing him to family and friends, pointing to new vistas for his camera. In one scene, a pair of Arab workers who had intended to go to work choose instead to hang out with Israel and share their breakfast with him. “These episodes of human courtesy happened again and again,” says Israel. “For me, these small things tell another kind of political story.”

The man on the white donkey, a Palestinian farmer, was no different. In 45 degrees Celsius heat, he agreed without hesitation to participate in Israel’s project, desperately trying to keep his steed still until an image became clear.

Yaakov Israel is a Jerusalem-based photographer. See more of his work here.

The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey will be available in the U.S. this fall. The project recently won the PhotoEspaña Descubrimientos (PHE12 Discoveries) 2012 Award.

Medellin Snapshots

I’m leaving Medellin today after a nearly six week stay. I’m dying to get my medium format rolls developed. In the meantime, here are some snapshots with my digital camera from my wanderings around Medellin.

The city sits in a narrow valley with neighborhoods climbing both sides, quite high. After the flatness of Buenos Aires, I find the topography of the city fascinating.

Metrocable to La Aurora

This is a very postcard-y picture of the cable car leading to La Aurora on the eastern side of the city. A lot of the neighborhoods climbing the hillsides are impoverished and have difficult access. Medellin is the first city in the world to use cable cars as mass transit (Caracas, with a similiar topography, is now also using them). I had to post this picture because as a child I used to fantasize about cable cars being used as mass transit (I was a very geeky child). These cable cars are probably the coolest thing about Medellin.

Overhead noon-day sun in Medellin

The hottest thing about the city is the noon-day equatorial sun. Being at 5000ft. above sea level does take some edge off the heat but the sun striking directly down from overhead is intense. The city is just 6 degrees north of the equator and I find there’s something odd and not at all photogenic about the way things look in this kind of light. Trying to find interesting ways to photograph under these conditions has been a challenge (one that I’ve mostly failed).

Botanical garden on a sunny day

Like most places I go, I like the regular architecture and decoration of houses in middle-class neighborhoods.

House in Las Granjas

House in Belen

The rich neighborhood is called El Poblado. It’s one side of the valley with brick apartment high rises climbing far up the side of the mountain. It’s sort of this neo-liberal hell whose residents think they’re in heaven. It’s all mega-apartment complexes meant to be driven into or out-of but the road infrastructure is so poor that you spend 30 minutes in traffic just to get to the supermarket. Still, the views are interesting. You’re often somewhere in the middle with buildings above and buildings below with no clear sense of where the ground is. I like that.

El Poblado

And finally, I’ve been photographing a lot at dusk. I’ve been taking two pictures of the same view separated by 15 minutes, like I did for my Pulmones project in Buenos Aires. It’s a really simple device but I like the effect. Plus it’s been a good goal to try to find myself someplace interesting every night at 6:20pm (the time of sunset doesn’t vary a lot. We’re close to the equator).

Dusk, La Aurora

Dusk, Calasanz Alta

Dusk, Las Esmeraldas

And here’s the full set on flickr.

Andrew Meredith, Vardo, Norway

Andrew Meredith, Vardo, Norway

Andrew Meredith

Vardo, Norway,
, 2011
Website – MeredithPhoto.com

Andrew Meredith graduated from Falmouth College of Arts and has, for the past decade, been shooting commercial, editorial and personal projects. In 2008 his personal work was awarded as a category winner in the Creative Review Photography Annual and following up in 2009 receiving the Best In Book award for his Slaughtermen series, depicting the brutal and gory world of the abattoir worker. In the same year Andrew was awarded category winner for his Model Village series. His first solo exhibition, Excursions, images of south american wanderings, was shown in London in 2010 at Riverside Studios and then during the Photomonth festival at Truman Brewery Gallery. In 2011 Andrew was commissioned by Icon magazine to document the Steilneset Witch Memorial by Peter Zumthor in the most northerly town in mainland Eurpoe, Vardo, Norway, deep into the arctic circle. His work has been published worldwide. He lives and works in London.
 

Jonny Cochrane

This week we are exploring the work of the Fiveleveninetynine Collective of London, the creators of the Broken Train and A Royal Wedding.

Jonny Cochrane is a London based photographer whose personal work examines people, places and experiences with an often peculiar nature. He’s busy looking at a little bit of everything, capturing the absurdity of modern civilization with a curled lip and a big grin. He finds inspiration in photography’s ability to elevate the mundane and uses atmosphere and mood to create narratives that are suggestive rather than explicit. Jonny graduated from the London College of Communication with distinction with an MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography. Besides working as an editorial and commercial photographer, he has exhibited in England, Ireland, and Finland.

I Want That: Our default condition is one of wanting. Often, we foolishly pander to our desire to have by attempting to get a little closer to the people, places and objects that we believe are symbolic of fulfillment, satisfaction, success and happiness. All characteristics of the life we endeavor to live.

Dreamy wanderings amongst the opulent surroundings of London’s most luxurious neighbourhoods begin with an uplifting pleasure in the allure of clean white stone against immaculate green privet, gold trim on black glass, impossibly glossy shop window displays and deliciously colourful confectionary. Rapidly the pleasure is tarnished by an awareness of the distance between us and them. We are reminded of the disdain we feel for our current situation as the lure of the beautiful luxuries fuels our hankering for a ‘better’ life. It is all so painfully out of reach. Abrupt self-awareness follows with a sense of shame brought on by the ease in which we have been so senselessly seduced.

Due to the democratic nature of all elements within the frame, the photographic image encourages us to interpret what we consider right before our eyes with autonomy. Rather than being senselessly, yet often subconsciously seduced by the opulence surrounding us, we have the opportunity to scrutinise, just as the camera does, every detail of the things that ordinarily
and routinely are the catalyst for that wanton desire to grab a hold of what we do not have. Perhaps we then discover something less familiar. These photographs encourage us to consider the absurdity of our methods and irrationality of our misguided appetite for that taste of happiness. The happiness we dream of obtaining when we are one day able to wrap ourselves up in the lavishly coloured, fine textured cloak of luxury.

I hope that in these photographs of beautiful things, there is another kind of beauty.

Jonny Cochrane

This week we are exploring the work of the Fiveleveninetynine Collective of London, the creators of the Broken Train and A Royal Wedding.

Jonny Cochrane is a London based photographer whose personal work examines people, places and experiences with an often peculiar nature. He’s busy looking at a little bit of everything, capturing the absurdity of modern civilization with a curled lip and a big grin. He finds inspiration in photography’s ability to elevate the mundane and uses atmosphere and mood to create narratives that are suggestive rather than explicit. Jonny graduated from the London College of Communication with distinction with an MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography. Besides working as an editorial and commercial photographer, he has exhibited in England, Ireland, and Finland.

I Want That: Our default condition is one of wanting. Often, we foolishly pander to our desire to have by attempting to get a little closer to the people, places and objects that we believe are symbolic of fulfillment, satisfaction, success and happiness. All characteristics of the life we endeavor to live.

Dreamy wanderings amongst the opulent surroundings of London’s most luxurious neighbourhoods begin with an uplifting pleasure in the allure of clean white stone against immaculate green privet, gold trim on black glass, impossibly glossy shop window displays and deliciously colourful confectionary. Rapidly the pleasure is tarnished by an awareness of the distance between us and them. We are reminded of the disdain we feel for our current situation as the lure of the beautiful luxuries fuels our hankering for a ‘better’ life. It is all so painfully out of reach. Abrupt self-awareness follows with a sense of shame brought on by the ease in which we have been so senselessly seduced.

Due to the democratic nature of all elements within the frame, the photographic image encourages us to interpret what we consider right before our eyes with autonomy. Rather than being senselessly, yet often subconsciously seduced by the opulence surrounding us, we have the opportunity to scrutinise, just as the camera does, every detail of the things that ordinarily
and routinely are the catalyst for that wanton desire to grab a hold of what we do not have. Perhaps we then discover something less familiar. These photographs encourage us to consider the absurdity of our methods and irrationality of our misguided appetite for that taste of happiness. The happiness we dream of obtaining when we are one day able to wrap ourselves up in the lavishly coloured, fine textured cloak of luxury.

I hope that in these photographs of beautiful things, there is another kind of beauty.