Author: Charlotte Harding

Paradise Lost: Defetishising perspectives of the Amazon

A traditional prophecy said that some day a giant snake would come and swallow up the Suruí people, destroying them and everything else in its path. The snake arrived in 1969. It’s called the Trans-Amazonian highway. In the wake of its completion, missionaries rushed in to evangelise the Suruí people, who are native to the Amazon rainforest. This act of faith profoundly changed indigenous beliefs because the missionaries encouraged the shamans to abandon their ancestral rituals. Perpera Suruí was the wawã, or shaman, of the community of Lapetanha. He is now the gatekeeper for the Evangelical church in the village and has given up his shamanic practice. The Suruí’s story is just one of many that alludes to the rapid acculturation faced by indigenous communities since the days of colonialism. A witness to evangelisation campaigns, infrastructure development, abuses of the rubber trade and natural resource extraction, the world’s longest river continues to arouse greed, competition and fascination in its visitors. Following in the footsteps of past expeditions, The Jungle Book: Contemporary Stories of the Amazon and Its Fringe is a visual …

2016-11-24T16:10:29+00:00

Sophie le Roux’s dreamlike Icelandic landscapes

When was the first time you became aware of photography? How old were you? One of my favourite books as a child was a photographic book on Iceland that I found on the street with my Mum. It contained so many wonderful film spreads of Iceland (mostly aerial shots, and a lot of sheep farming). I am deeply attached to the book and take it wherever I go. I always vowed to go to Iceland as soon as it was possible. I went, last month, and finally got to take pictures of my own. One day I would like to see it in a helicopter, if I keep down my carbon footprint for a bit. How did you learn to become a photographer? I was taught how to use a darkroom by a few people at various stages during my childhood. I have barely any technical knowledge yet. I’m working on that. I started off working with an SLR, so learned the basics, but then went to digital for several years before returning to film. …

2016-11-21T19:25:08+00:00

From the Experts: How to Succeed in the Editorial Photography Market

Our November workshop will provide an invaluable insight into the dos and don’ts of the editorial photography market and how to get that assignment. Speakers include: Magnum photographer Diana Markosian and leading photography commissioners including; Hamish Crooks (Magnum Photos), Emma Bowkett (FT Magazine and Port Magazine), Alexia Singh (Reuters, Magnum, Save the Children).  For emerging photographers, the prospect of breaking into the editorial market is a challenging one – building portfolios, approaching editors and winning commissions are all crucial, yet daunting tasks. At our upcoming workshop, speakers such as Magnum Photos’ Hamish Crooks will help photographers learn more about the detailed process of how to get that breakthrough assignment and succeed in the editorial market.  Behind the scenes tips, practical advice and portfolio reviews with the speakers and Magnum staff will provide photographers with an honest, constructive and critique of existing work. “If you want to work on editorial stories, spend time to develop your narrative sense – choose a subject you are passionate and have a very definitive viewpoint on, and then shoot, re-shoot and shoot again until you feel your pictures match your …

2016-11-28T11:26:57+00:00

IPA judge Michael Mack on the permanence of the photobook and what he’s looking for in this year’s entries

Michael Mack, one of the judges of the British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Prize, grew up in Zimbabwe and was educated in Yorkshire. He worked at the top of Steidl for seventeen years before launching his eponymous independent publishing company.

2016-11-28T11:27:32+00:00

Photographing Masonic Community in South Wales

In his latest exhibition, David Barnes explores community and social identity in South Wales – a topic that has fascinated him for 20 years. Taking its title from a quote by cultural critic and historian Raymond Williams, Barnes’s In Solution is the culmination of four years’ work made with the support of Ffotogallery. Barnes, who grew up in South Wales, immersed himself within the small, tight-knit communities in the Valleys and neighbouring border regions, observing and recording everyday life and rejecting the romanticised vision associated with the region. “The whole idea of Wales as depicted in How Green Was My Valley? and all these things is a myth,” he says. “The things I want to look at aren’t being looked at, or aren’t very fashionable to look at. When I go into places like Tesco or Halfords, I see a community of individuals. Modern Welsh culture is not this homogeneous idea of people standing on the hills singing and drinking pints of warm bitter. The real experience includes places such as retail parks as sites …

2016-11-03T13:10:39+00:00

BJP’s The Food Issue is out now!

Food is big business right now, from esoteric street food diners to upscale Michelin restaurants, backed up by a wealth of imagery online, in magazines, in cook books and even in galleries. A recurring theme in art history, it’s also a favourite with advertisers, and a key insight into cultural mores. Food, like photography, can be high art and pop culture, aesthetically driven and plainly utilitarian. This issue, we showcase an extended collection of Martin Parr’s famed food photography. Described as “a chronicler of our age”, and known for his character-filled, satirical approach to documenting modern society, Parr believes food has a great social history: “When I started, it wasn’t really being explored. Now we all photograph what we eat, all the time.” Parr’s inimitable relationship with food is the subject of his recently published book Real Food, a compendium of his greatest nosh shots taken everywhere from Britain to Sri Lanka, including everything from buttered bread to rotting fruit. We also feature Per-Anders Jörgensen’s project with Michelin-star chef Konstantin Filippou, which captures the chef ’s sensitivity to …

2016-11-08T15:50:36+00:00

Magnum photographers discuss their Conditions of the Heart

The connection between photographer and subject is a vital element in the power of an individual photograph. In turn, the image has the power to inspire, inform and communicate human engagement. In 1948, David ‘Chim’ Seymour would come to pioneer this visual form of emotional empathy through his work with UNICEF – following the children orphaned and scarred by the consequences of the Second World War. Working for six months on a dramatically reduced fee, Chim painstakingly travelled across Europe shooting 257 rolls of film, going beyond mere illustration of UNICEF’s work, the assignment became a labour of love, revealing his unique capacity to awaken the public’s conscience to war’s most vulnerable victims. His unapologetically compassionate approach reflected both his deep seated humanism and unique ability to treat those he photographed with equanimity, reverence and respect, developing a genuine human connection that would become emblematic of the engagement at the heart of documentary photography today. Chim’s photographs remain an indispensible part of history, creating a style of photography which has not only shaped the ethos of Magnum Photos …

2016-11-10T10:12:08+00:00

Reimagining War Beyond its Exceptionality

The inescapable horrors of war have arguably come to define our modern world. With the ongoing refugee crisis, the endless atrocities unfolding at the hands of ISIS and the Yemen war making headlines, both domestic and international conflicts continue to mark our global landscape.  Though the world has become a much less violent place since the end of the Second World War, the last decade has seen an increase in terrorism and violence – with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), finding that out of 162 countries, only 11 of the world’s nations are in a full state of peace. In our ever globalised world, these conflicts will continue to effect us, both at home and abroad. Traces of War is a major new exhibition which seeks to show that war is not confined to moments of crisis or battlefield locations; but rather a force which disrupts the normality of everyday life. Internationally renowned artists Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho, and Shaun Gladwell explore the most enduring, and, some would argue, most dangerous aspect of conflict – its presence and intersection with …

2016-10-28T17:20:16+00:00

Maximum Exposure: The Art of Online Galleries

Online art sales topped £2.3bn in 2015, thanks in part to e-commerce platforms such as Paddle8 and Artsy, supported by venture capitalists and angel investors such as Google and other big-ticket financial backers. The platforms are a world away from traditional galleries, where high-end art sales are the preserve of private shows and relationship-building. But the increase has been so noticeable that well-respected gallerists, who have historically made their fortunes through bricks-and-mortar shows, are taking note. “I’ve been noticing an uptick in the volume of sales my gallery has made online,” says Stephen Bulger, founder of Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, adding that these sales come from all over the world. In fact, one British collector, who had seen an André Kertész picture consigned by Bulger’s gallery for a show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, contacted him online and eventually bought a print for $20,000. This got Bulger thinking, and the result is ffotoimage.com, a new e-commerce photography platform complete with virtual galleries, set to launch in November 2016. Featuring work from Bulger’s physical gallery inventory, it adds …

2016-10-27T16:55:49+00:00

BJP Staff