Month: February 2016

It’s Just Love: Finding beauty and empowerment in the porn industry

“Porn has been done before. Porn has been done a number of times,” professes French-born, Amsterdam-based photographer Sophie Ebrard, the featured photographer for Firecracker this month. “I was very conscious of that, but it was a subject of real interest for me. I was just so passionate, I just wanted to do it, and so that’s how it started”. Ebrard’s photographic exploration into the polarising, multi-billion dollar industry of porn took four years. She spent the time immersed in the background of high-end pornography sets, the results of which created her evocative new series It’s Just Love. The resulting images are shocking, but not in a way you might expect. Each image is so soft and subtle, they almost appear mundane. Ebrard’s photographs exude a graceful stillness and Botticelli-esque quality; she strips away the brash, societal notions the word porn conjures by neutralising and humanising the gaze which usually befall these bodies. Shooting with a medium-format camera, Ebrard has found a way of focusing on the beauty in the twists and folds of human flesh, and the …

2016-03-01T14:04:28+00:00

Image © Laurent Kronental

Retrofuturism – imagining a future that never arrived

In December 2005, then would-be Prime Minister David Cameron faced down Tony Blair in the House of Commons by telling him: “You were the future once.” Because it was true, it stung as a criticism and it stuck as a soundbite. But it also contained something deeper – the inescapable truth that, no matter how shiny with promise the future may seem, the lustre will probably fade with time. Both Noritaka Minami and Laurent Kronental are interested in this tarnishing process, and both have undertaken long-term projects documenting buildings that once stood for hope and progress. Minami’s 1972, which has just been published as a book, focuses on the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo’s Shimbashi district. Designed by the Metabolist architect Kisho Kurokawa, it symbolised a future in which design would stimulate social change, based around efficiency and equality. With 140 dwellings arranged between its 13 floors, each home measured just 2.3m x 3.8m x 2.1m, and they came equipped with built-in furniture (including a toothbrush). Minami hadn’t originally intended to shoot the Nakagin tower. …

2016-03-01T12:16:51+00:00

BJP International Photography Award Exhibition launches in London

Both Calypso and Hammond were awarded at a private view on Wednesday night, and will display their work until Saturday 19th March 2016 at London’s TJ Boulting gallery. The IPA Series winner, Juno Calypso is showing six photographs and a video installation from her series Joyce, a collection of self-portraits of her invented, signature character. Her work, she says, “modern rituals of seduction and the laboured construction of femininity.” Calypso, 26, a graduate of London College of Communication, won the Series prize from over 1,500 entrants by a judging panel including The Guardian’s photography critic Sean O’Hagan, Self Publish, Be Happy founder Bruno Ceschel, TJ Boulting’s Hannah Watson and BJP’s Executive Editor Diane Smyth. Her character Joyce, rising green and inscrutable, or emerging from a pink heart shaped bath or stood, veiled, in a hall off mirrors,  has been featured in The Guardian, Dazed & Confused and in the Projects section of BJP earlier last year. “Juno Calypso’s work is representative of a new generation of female artists that are refreshing the long tradition of self-portraiture,” Ceschel said in the judging process. “And in doing so, she challenges, …

2017-10-24T14:53:24+00:00

Obituary: Peter Marlow

Magnum described Marlow, who joined in 1980 and became a full member in 1986 as “part of the essential glue that has held us all together.” Along with Chris Steele-Perkins, Marlow founded Magnum’s London office in 1987, living in a penthouse above the office in London’s Old Street area. Stuart Franklin, the Vice President of Magnum Photos, paid tribute to Marlow, saying he was an integral member of the world-famous agency. “Peter was a quiet, calm man, a peace maker amongst us,” Franklin said. “I have no memory of him ever raising his voice, quite remarkable for a man who’s been Magnum’s President twice and Vice President on numerous occasions. He internalised his frustrations, and lately his pain. “We have lost a very good friend to all of us. Our feelings reach out to Peter’s family at this terrible time.” Steele-Perkins, a lifelong friend as well as Magnum contemporary, said of Marlow: “I saw Peter at the London Bridge Hospital on Wed 10th February and he was tired, bored in hospital and optimistic. He had been ill …

2016-03-04T14:22:49+00:00

BJP’s Breakthrough Awards 2016 are open for entries

The second edition of British Journal of Photography’s Breakthrough Awards are now open for entries, offering students and recent graduates an opportunity to showcase their work and gain international exposure. There are two award categories, one for Undergraduate students and another for recent graduates and current MA students. Both categories offer a Series Award and Single Image Award. Four winners will be selected to have their work exhibited in east London as part of the Free Range graduate shows, and published in BJP’s revered monthly magazine and across our online social channels, reaching over a million creatives worldwide. The winning images will also be showcased globally on WeTransfer, the leading file transfer site with over 70 million visitors a month. Runners up in each category will be featured on the BJP website and receive free WeTransfer+ accounts. Photographs can be captured in any format – film or digital – and in any style or genre. Students and graduates of non-photographic courses may apply. This year’s entries will be judged by a panel of leading creatives and industry experts, including Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director …

2016-04-01T10:56:53+00:00

Hasaka, Syria - August 1, 2015. A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, 16, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, center, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, at a YPG hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka. According to YPG fighters at the scene, Jacob is an ISIS fighter from Deir al-Zour and the only survivior from an ambush made by YPG fighters over a truck alleged to carry ISIS fighters on the outskirts of Hasaka. Six ISIS fighters died in the attack, 5 of them completely disfigured by the explosion (c) Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

Giving a human face to ‘the other side’ at this year’s WPP

“Mauricio Lima’s image of the young Islamic State fighter is fascinating,” says Vaughn Wallace, who was on the Documentary jury of the World Press Photo competition this year. “It’s quite possibly the first time an Islamic State fighter has been portrayed on such an intimate, visual level.” As Wallace says the image, which shows a 16-year-old fighter named Jacob being treated for severe burns, puts a very different face on a figure usually vilified in the Western media – but for Wallace, this is one of the things that helped win it first prize in the General News Singles category. “Mauricio’s image really stands out in contrast to the ways we typically engage with the IS visually, often through propaganda sourced from social media,” he explains. “Mauricio’s image tells a story and gives a human face to ‘the other side’, sitting in the same tradition as Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s work embedded with Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Kate Brooks’ photographs of government forces during the early years of the Syrian Civil War. Images like Mauricio’s provide context and perspective to multi-dimensional, highly-political conflicts.” Wallace is the deputy photo editor at Al Jazeera America, the international news broadcaster part-funded …

2016-02-19T13:58:25+00:00

World Press Photo head Lars Boering on introducing stringent new Ethics Code to ensure ‘truth’ of entries

Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, has claimed this year’s World Press Photo awards will not be hamstrung by findings of image manipulation, after the introduction of a new Code of Ethics for all entrants. Boering said of the 2016 awards, which were announced today: “We are delighted by the outcome this independent jury produced, and ready to present an exhibition of powerful imagery to an audience that can trust what they see.” The new code of ethics ensured “a transparent and rigorous verification process,” he said, adding: “This resulted in many more entries being checked, but fewer problems than last year being found. In ten days, we will be releasing a detailed technical report reviewing the verification process, and we will then lead the public conversation on these issues.” Last year was not one World Press Photo will remember with fondness, with news breaking – on the day the winners were announced – that more than 20 percent of the final-round entries had been disqualified. The images in question, the jury had decided, had been manipulated after the …

2016-02-19T11:26:25+00:00

World Press Photo’s chair of the ‘People’ jury on looking for strong concepts

“This is the only category where you can have a concept for the photography,” says Narda van t’ Veer, founder of the Dutch photo agency UNIT C.M.A and creator of the Amsterdam-based Ravestijn Gallery, and chair of the People category jury in the 2016 World Press Photo competition. “The other categories – the spot news, general news and so on – are mainly about urgent matters. We were interested in series which, though they might be about urgent matters, could also be considered in a conceptual way, in the way that they’re photographed. That is why we chose Exposure by Kazuma Obara.” Kazuma Obara’s image, which won first Prize in the People stories category, traces the life of a girl born in Kiev just after the Chernobyl disaster. The image was shot on 30-year-old colour film found five kilometres from the abandoned nuclear power plant, and the faded, patchy, grey images eloquently evoke a life also been blighted by the disaster. “It is a beautifully illustrated story,” van t’ Veer tells BJP, “and has a very strong concept”. This conceptual …

2016-02-18T13:16:21+00:00

After spending two days and two nights sailing on the Mediterranean Sea on the deck of the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos, rescued migrants - still wrapped in their emergency blankets - catch sight of the Italian coast for the first time soon after dawn. 23 August 2015 In 2015 the ever-increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy vessels towards Europe led to an unprecedented crisis. Nearly 120 thousand people have reached Italy in the first 8 months of the year. While the European governments struggled to deal with the influx, the death toll in the Mediterranean reached record numbers. Early in May the international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières (M.S.F.) joined in the search and rescue operations led in the Mediterranean Sea and launched three ships at different stages: the Phoenix (run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station), the Bourbon Argos and Dignity (c) Francesco Zizola

Francis Kohn, chair of the 2016 World Press Photo jury, on judging the prize

“We had a great number of stories, the majority of stories, were on the migrant refugees in Europe,” says Francis Kohn, photo director of Agence France-Presse and chair of the 2016 World Press Photo jury of the prize this year, after judging the general news, spot news and long term project categories. “There is a big gap between these stories and Nepal – a lot on the earthquake in Nepal – I think third would be….attacks in Paris, Charlie Hebdo in January and then in November. The rest [of the stories] are quite spread out.” Making his comments in a video made by the WPP team, Kohn added he was looking for images that witness an important event, as “this is World Press Photo”, but beyond that “obviously a picture has to be strong, compelling, has to work on so many different levels – being there, witnessing, and then it has to tell me something.” But, he cautioned, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in monochrome – as the eventual winner, by Warren Richardson, turned out to …

2016-02-18T14:42:31+00:00

Lost Family Portraits © Dario Mitidieri

World Press Photo: The Winners

The title of World Press Photo of the Year goes to Warren Richardson for his picture of a man and child captured by moonlight as they attempted to cross the border from Serbia to Hungary last summer. And the first places in each of the four main news categories include scenes from the shores of Lesvos, a Kurdish hospital, and the heavily bombarded suburb of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus. Announced from Amsterdam this morning, following newly introduced checks to ensure the winning images met tightened codes on image manipulation, the jury gave prizes in eight categories to 41 photographers, selected from 82,951 images submitted by 5775 photographers from 128 countries. Richardson, an Australian photographer based in Hungary, wins 1st prize in the singles category for Spot News with the same image, while the 1st prize story goes to Sameer Al-Doumy for his reportage from rebel-held Douma, which has been subject to months of heavy aerial bombardment on the back of a two-year siege. In General News, Mauricio Lima, a veteran Brazilian working on …

2016-02-22T12:09:57+00:00

BJP Staff