Month: September 2013

Magnum Photos readies paid-for online membership platform

Faced with a changing market in which photographers’ copyrights are more insecure than ever in the mist of an increasingly visually aware and virtually connected society, Magnum Photos is six months away from launching a membership initiative that will allow the 66-year-old photography collective to build a community of paying supporters,BJP has been told. The move comes 15 months after Magnum unveiled a new website that did away with watermarks. Speaking to BJP in September last year, Clément Saccomani, Magnum’s editorial director in Paris, explained that Magnum was trying to make it easier for “fans” to talk to and promote the agency. “We launched a new website that shows images with a width of 900 pixels, without any watermarks. If you right-click on them, you can download them. When I was talking with Chris Anderson and Jonas Bendiksen, they were telling me that if visitors just wanted to print an image and put it on their fridge, they could do it.” He added: “There’s no point trying to protect ourselves from the sea with sandcastles. Trying to prevent people …

2013-12-11T11:20:52+00:00

Chloë Ellingson’s Someone Else

“I met Lauren when we were both at university, but we didn’t get to know each other well at the time,” recounts Chloë Ellingson, a Toronto-based photographer. “When I heard she was pregnant I was both surprised and curious, and imagined what my own life would be like if I were in the same position. I started following Lauren’s blog and was struck by how insightful her view of this life-change was. Both our peer groups assumed that people need to have achieved key milestones before becoming parents. Lauren’s experience was not what she had planned, but she plunged into it anyway. Hearing her talk about her life, and watching her with her family, helped me demystify the experience of parenthood.” Ellingson began photographing Lauren three years ago, while studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario. “I knew I was interested in the idea of women becoming mothers at a young age, but I didn’t have much clarity about the project beyond that,” she says. “Lauren and I kept in touch, and in October I …

2013-12-11T11:21:10+00:00

Antonio Olmos: The Landscape of Murder

For his project, Landscape of Murder, photojournalist Antonio Olmos set out to photograph the places where killings had occurred within London’s M25 orbital motorway. The idea came to him after he heard about a young woman who had been murdered a few streets from where he lives. Upon visiting the crime scene, he was struck by the normality of what he found. “Nothing about the place or the landscape suggested a murder had occurred,” he says. “Even people on the street seemed unaware. All these things led me to start exploring other murder sites.” Shooting the images over a period of two years, Olmos, who was born in Mexico but has been based in London since the mid-1990s, photographed all over the capital and outside its borders. “If you think of London as a circle, with the M25 as the edge, most of the murders I documented happened on the east side of that circle. I started noticing that many were the result of domestic violence. I also noticed that many murders had happened in places …

2013-12-11T11:21:21+00:00

Sadaf Chezari offers a personal look at migration and belonging

At its core, Sadaf Chezari’s project, Somewhere Else, explores the photographer’s personal experiences of migration through images taken in and around her family home in Tehran and in England. Chezari, who graduated from London College of Communication this year, and who lives and works in the British capital, was inspired by a previous project in which she photographed her father, who gave her a bag of family photographs she hadn’t seen before. Through these family photographs and her own work, Chezari wanted to explore the loss she felt and the idea of belonging, she explains. “I made the decision that it was important to return to the place where these photographs had been taken. Migration is a common phenomenon in my family and no one lives in the [family home] any longer; the house exists in ‘suspension’, so initially I wanted to portray the uninhabited spaces. This is, in part, occasioned by Iran, a homeland that [for me] is distant and fading.” Chezari took the images over the period of a year. The work is an engagement with cultural theory, she explains, …

2013-12-11T11:21:27+00:00

Getty Images’ Jonathan Klein: “We need new economic models”

Since its inception in 1993, Getty Images has acquired a reputation among photographers for driving the price of photography down with agressive business models around stock and microstock photography. At Visa pour l’Image, the world’s largest photojournalism and press photography festival, CEO and co-founder Jonathan Klein sat down with BJP‘s Olivier Laurent to discuss his company’s role and impact on the photographic industry, as well as its commitment to photojournalism through the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography. Olivier Laurent: Was it hard to justify the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography within the company? Why are you doing this? Jonathan Klein: It depends who I’m talking to. In terms of our employees, partners, contributors and the photographic community, it’s nothing. It’s so easy. We spend more in five minutes on paid search on Google. It’s really nothing in that respect. I think if we were a different kind of company and we weren’t still run by the founders and if we had shareholders who were very focussed on micro-managing everything, then it would be difficult, because …

2013-12-11T11:22:08+00:00

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography: Eugene Richards

BJP

In 2010 Eugene Richards published the book War is Personal, which documented the devastating effects that serving in Iraq has had on some veterans and their families. Now with the help of another Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, Richards plans to continue the project, looking this time at soldiers returning from Afghanistan, reports Rachel Segal Hamilton BJP: Why did you decide to photograph Iraq war veterans for War is Personal in the first place? Eugene Richards: At the time, most of us who were questioning people didn’t buy [what we were being told] about weapons of mass destruction. It got to be crazy frustrating. I felt like that even before: after 9/11 I knew we were about to enter into 50 or 100 years of war, that this was going to be a pivotal point in changing all our lives – and it depressed me to death. I never went to Iraq and always felt I should have. Then the guys and women started coming home and I felt, I’ve got to do something. BJP: What …

2014-10-31T19:27:32+00:00

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography: Marco Gualazzini

BJP

Marco Gualazzini began documenting the conflict between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army in 2012. After winning the $10,000 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, he is now returning to the region to continue his work, reports Rachel Segal Hamilton BJP: Before starting this project, you’ve worked in Kivu in 2009. What made you return to document the situation there in 2012? Marco Gualazzini: I decided to go back because I have strong ties there, missionaries to whom I feel especially close. The Congo has also always fascinated me. It’s a vast land with an extremely tragic history of unresolved conflict, which has burst out over and over again with almost predictable timing for half a century, since the first massacres between Hutu and Tutsi in the sixties in Rwanda. When I started out in photojournalism, those were the years of the genocide and the photographers who most inspired me, like [James] Nachtwey or Gilles Peress, were working in Goma. Nachtwey says in an interview that after documenting the genocide they went on to …

2014-10-31T19:17:32+00:00

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography: Samuel James

BJP

Samuel James has been working in Nigeria for the past five years. For The Water of My Land, he documented the illicit oil trade on the Niger Delta. James will continue the project with the support of a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, reports Rachel Segal Hamilton BJP: What motivated you to document life in the Niger Delta and Nigeria’s clandestine oil trade? Samuel James: Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, accounting for approximately half of sub-Saharan output, and the fifth largest supplier to the United States. As Africa’s second largest economy, oil accounts for almost 80 percent of the government’s revenue, yet very little trickles down to the people. In the Niger Delta, at the source of production, the vast majority of the population exists on less than a $1 a day in an increasingly ravaged environment – shut out from the billion dollar industry that pumps oil directly from their land. This story is about the consequences of a system rooted in the unrelenting global consumption of oil. It is …

2014-10-31T19:00:33+00:00

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography: Matt Eich

BJP

For the past three years Matt Eich has made the journey to Greenwood, Mississippi, to document the everyday lives of the local people. Using the Getty Editorial Grant he now plans to develop this into a large-scale participatory project that will bring members of the community together, reports Rachel Segal Hamilton BJP: You went to Greenwood on an editorial assignment. How did that develop into Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town? Matt Eich: I was sent there in early 2010 by a publication called the AARP Bulletin. They were doing a piece on an Iranian healthcare system that they were trying to implement in the Mississippi Delta. I went to Baptist Town for three hours at the end of this assignment and it was like a completely different world. When we’d rolled into town, it looked beautiful, very quaint, lots of southern charm, and then suddenly we were in this place that looked like it was straight out of the 1950s. I realised quickly how open people there were and how badly they wanted to …

2014-10-31T19:01:43+00:00

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography: Tomas van Houtryve

BJP

After spending seven years photographing life in countries under communist rule, Tomas van Houtryve has turned his attention to America’s drone war. With the $10,000 awarded to him through the Getty Editorial Grant, he intends to use a drone-mounted camera in his work, reports Rachel Segal Hamilton BJP: Why did you decide to do a project on drones? Tomas van Houtryve: The drone war has been going on for about 10 years now and I feel like there isn’t any good visual translation of it. This is somewhere photojournalism has failed because we can’t get to sites where drone strikes are happening. Drone technology is developing quickly; it’s being relied on more and more by politicians in America and photojournalists aren’t participating in the debate. Because I couldn’t go to these Pakistani tribal zones or difficult areas of Somalia and wait for a drone strike, I decided a photographer’s job is also to bring the conflict home. One way to do that is to bring the perspective, the technology and the point of view of …

2014-10-31T18:30:44+00:00

BJP Staff