All posts tagged: America

A man has his head shaved, South Beach, Miami

Miami is a seaport city on the Atlantic Ocean in south Florida. Miami's metro area is the eighth-most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S., with a population of around 5.5 million.

Miami is a major center, and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami "America's Cleanest City", for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, and city-wide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world's fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America", is the second largest U.S. city with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.

©Peter Dench/Getty Images Reportage

Is America great again? Peter Dench goes beyond the red, white and blue to document the “land of the free”.

Over the years he’s created a huge archive of images documenting ‘Britishness’, covering topics such as Brits abroad and alcohol consumption in England. Now Peter Dench has his sights set on America. In the summer of 2015, commissioned by Olympus, Dench travelled to Dallas to record his first instalment in documenting the daily life of the people who live there. He photographed everything from a bikini contest to Buddhist monks, baseball fans and Sunday worshippers, capturing in his images the essence of what it means to be American in the 21st century. He’s also photographed in Miami and San Francisco, all part of his quest “to challenge what I thought I knew of the country.” Dench, a pro photographer for more than 20 years, has long been fascinated by America. As a teenager in the 1980s he remembers how he “voraciously consumed the American soap operas Dallas and Baywatch”, and when he was studying photography he read books by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Tony Ray-Jones. These photographers “alerted me to the fact …

2017-03-03T11:07:22+00:00

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Documenting the American family from the other side

When Swedish photographer Alice Schoolcraft visited her relatives in America for the first time she encountered a gun-owning American family, who held beliefs, interests and ideas completely contrary to her own but treated her with love and affection. In her cousins, aunts and uncles she began to see herself reflected back, and the University of Westminster graduate imagined an alternative personal narrative: is this what her life would have been like had she grown up in America, not Malmö? Schoolcraft’s series The Other Side explores this question, pushing the boundaries of familial ties and personal identity while documenting an America we don’t often see on TV. We talked to Schoolcraft about connecting with documenting family, being an outsider and working on Fridays:   What prompted you to explore this ‘unknown path’ of your American family? Growing up in Sweden, we had a portrait of them in my house so I’ve always known about this side of my family, but I had never met them. I finally met my dad’s cousin Myles very briefly a couple years ago, …

2016-07-12T17:08:54+00:00

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Connecting the stars, the landscape and our bodies through the image

3 young photographers, 8 American states, 28 days. Celestial Bodies, a new photobook by young artist-photographers Eleanor Hardwick, Rachel Hardwick and Chrissie White, travels through the American West to explore the relationship between our bodies and nature.  “In society and the media, the female body seems to be either hyper-sexualised or shamed, and rarely appreciated for the incredible feat of nature that it really is,” says Rachel. “I think that presenting the female form as somewhat other-worldly and alien, all preconceptions that many of us have linked to the idea of the nude body are stripped away. By looking at it with fresh eyes, within the context of landscapes that almost look as if they could be on another planet, we are able to take a step back and view the world from a new perspective.” London-based sisters Eleanor and Rachel came across Chrissie, based in Seattle, on Flickr years ago, forming a firm kinship around a shared love for photography, exploration and the natural world. The series is rooted in the incredibly varied landscape …

2016-02-02T13:44:26+00:00

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Paul Thulin’s Pine Tree Ballads

In the early 1900s, Paul Thulin’s great-grandfather settled on the coast of Maine because it resembled his homeland of Sweden. Thulin’s family has returned to Gray’s Point each summer for over a century. Runner-up in the Series category at BJP‘s International Photography Awards 2016, Thulin’s photographic sequence resonates, he says, “with a subtext of struggle and hope that mirrors my narrative sense of self and heritage.” We talked to Thulin about the creation of his stunning series: How did you first get into photography? My journey into photography started as a way to rebel against my growing contempt and frustration with the limits of language to effectively communicate. In 1996, I returned  from a stressful year of studying Philosophy in a Master’s program at Syracuse University and I remember wanting to escape into the mountains to possibly join a Zen monastery; I wanted to meditate and remain silent in an effort to really just experience the world. This desire led me to discover the writings and images of photographers Minor White, Frederick Sommer, and Emmet Gowin, …

2016-01-27T15:04:18+00:00

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Portraits of adversity in California’s Central Valley

Stretching deep through the spine of California’s Central Valley is Route 99. Once the primary north-south highway on the West Coast of the US, it has now given way to the much larger Interstate 5. As a result, a string of towns in the 60-mile-wide, 450-mile-long route have been forgotten by the majority of travellers on their way to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Nestled deep in this dust-filled, insufferably hot region are the sites of Katy Grannan’s The Ninety Nine and The Nine. The title of the series of portraits, The Ninety Nine, references Route 99 and the small towns along its reach. The Nine is the title of a series of accompanying large-scale, black-and-white landscape photographs, as well as an upcoming film. This title refers to South 9th Street in the town of Modesto, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the region. It is also the place where many of her subjects reside.     The landscape of the Central Valley is empty, physically expansive and physiologically charged. The valley is …

2016-01-08T16:31:22+00:00

A young couple kiss passionately by a red wall in a Newquay nightclub. July 2001

Cowboys, cheerleaders and the stars and stripes: classic Americana through British eyes

“Dallas is BIG,” writes British photographer Peter Dench in the forward to his book Dench Does Dallas. “The flags are big, as are the signs; sky; storm drains; food portions; restaurant tips; drive thrus; cows; cow horns and ‘brestaurants.’” So are his larger-than-life photographs of the city, which capture cheerleaders, junk food, baseball matches, men in cowboy hats and a healthy dose of starts and stripes. A celebrated photojournalist, Peter Dench is most well known for his iconic images of the British doing what they do best – drinking. As the title suggests, these pictures are all taken in the scorching-hot capital city of Texas, Dallas. Instead of travelling by car, Dench decided to traverse the 40-mile across Metroplex by foot and on public transport, in the middle of July in 35-degree heat.   The project began when Dench was approached by Olympus, who wanted him to test run their new camera, the E-M5. “They asked me where I would like to photograph,” Dench says. “And I said America. They then asked where, and I raced …

2015-11-24T15:24:58+00:00

Louis Stettner: A Station of The Metro

A young girl in her Sunday best fixedly follows the pools of light thrown down on the magnificent stone floor, her shadow keeping her company amidst the suits and stoic silence of Penn Station, New York City. On a commuter train drawing out of the station, a business man curls up for some shuteye, the dark windows framing his exhaustion. Louis Stettner’s Penn Station, New York, a new photobook from Thames & Hudson, is full of such theatrical composition and voyeuristic opportunism; momentary observations of the working and office classes in post-war America. “When things work out, it’s like a miracle,” says nonagenarian Louis Stettner, talking from the South of France, from where he’s working on an upcoming nature series.     “I had the light, the camera was very good, a wonderful lens. Film back then was better,” he says. “Today, it would be quite impossible to get permission to photograph in the railway station. A lot of forces came together which made it very favourable.” If time proves the value of anything, as Stettner has often …

2015-11-06T12:04:20+00:00

Looking into the eyes of Iraqi detainees

More than a decade has passed since we first saw the horrors of Abu Ghraib, but they remain seared into our collective memory. Piles of bruised, naked bodies lorded over by grinning soldiers, collared men dragged across the floor with dog leashes, triumphant posing over mutilated corpses and, most strikingly of all, a hooded man balanced in a box with electrodes wired to his fingertips. These were tortures explicitly authorised by the US Government. Their aim? To erase the humanity of the detainees. Chris Bartlett chose to address this injustice through photography, using his camera as a tool to restore the humanity and identity of the subject. The result is a powerful series of black and white portraits of Abu Ghraib detainees, accompanied by a brief explanation of the tortures they suffered. The effect is searingly humanising. Bartlett’s photography has the effect of erasing nationality, religion, class, even to some extent, ethnicity. BJP spoke to him about the genesis of the project, it’s intent and how it continues to evolve. How did the project begin? “Back …

2015-11-03T12:47:29+00:00

BJP Staff