Month: March 2014

Amy Elkins wins Aperture Portfolio Prize

Los Angeles-based photographer Amy Elkins is the recipient of this year’s Aperture Portfolio Prize. Elkins, who is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, wins with two bodies of work, Parting Words and Black is the Day, Black is the Night. Both projects “stem from Elkins’s explorations of the issues surrounding capital punishment and her participation in letter exchanges with inmates serving death-row sentences,” writes Lesley A. Martin on the Aperture website ( On her own website ( Elkins describes Parting Words as “a visual archive of the 500 plus prisoners to date executed in the state of Texas.” The series features black-and-white portraits and mugshots of executed men and women. Each image is constructed from the repetition of the prisoner’s final words. Black is the Day, Black is the Night expands some of the topics of Parting Words. Elkins exchanged letters with prisoners on death row and interspersed these letters with images she created based on the correspondence. The series also features portraits of inmates whose faces are pixelated to various degrees depending on how long they have been incarcerated. On …


Journalists freed after six-month Syrian ordeal

After six months in captivity, photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova and El Mundo journalist Javier Espinosa have arrived back in Spain, the newspaper has announced. “El Mundo said [both men] made contact Saturday evening from Turkey, where they were in the care of the military,” the Associated Press reports. It remains unclear whether both men escaped from their captors, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Espinosa and Garcia Vilanova were working for El Mundo when they were abducted on 16 September 2013 at a checkpoint in the town of Tal Abyad in the eastern province of Raqqa. In a press conference held by El Mundo earlier today, both journalists declined to explain how they were released. Syria remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists with more than 20 of them remaining in captivity – including French photographer Edouard Elias.


A Fine Beginning exhibition in Wales

Welsh photography collective A Fine Beginning holds its debut exhibition in Cardiff. The exhibition features work created in Wales by the collective’s core members and images by photographers who have featured on the collective’s blog. A Fine Beginning is the brainchild of photographer James O Jenkins who founded the collective in May last year. The aim, he says, is to provide a platform to showcase contemporary Welsh photography. “There seemed to be a lack of platforms to showcase contemporary photography created in Wales,” Jenkins tells BJP. “We launched the collective with a zine and we also regularly blog on our website ( Our hope for the future is to continue to hold exhibitions to showcase what we’re blogging about. Our website and social media are important, but we like to have exhibitions to show printed work, although these don’t always have to be held in a white-walled gallery.”  On show alongside work by Jenkins are photographs by A Fine Beginning members Jack Latham, Gawain Barnard, and Abbie Trayler-Smith. Other featured photographers include: Chloe Dewe Matthews, Dan Wood, Michelle Sank, and James Morris. …


“I’m not afraid to die. I’m just afraid of how I am going to die.”


“I could say it’s a suicide admission,” says Chabedi Thulo, a 22-year-old black South African, when asked to describe why he train surfs – an exponentially increasing phenomenon known in South African lingo as “staff riding”. “Everybody is afraid to die,” Thulo later says. “But I’ve tried it, and I’m not afraid to die. I’m just afraid of how I am going to die.” Thulo is talking to the 27-year-old Italian photographer Marco Casino, whose film Staff Riding, which captures young men like Thulo practicing what they term a “sport” – running, dancing and quite literally surfing the roof of high-speed trains – won First Prize in the Short Feature section of World Press Photo’s Multimedia Contest. “Casino’s project stood out because, from the start, you feel that something is about to happen,” says Jassim Ahmad, head of multimedia innovation at Thomson Reuters and chair of this year’s judging panel. “The film has a nervous energy, and there’s a lot of tension from the first frame.” Talking exclusively to British Journal of Photography, Casino says: “I …


VII Photo adds five photographers to two-year mentor programme

First launched in 2008, the VII Mentor Program pairs emerging photographers with VII Photo’s members who, for a period of two years, will help them build and develop their skills and professional practice, as well as create relationships with editors, publishers and galleries, says the agency. While the VII Mentor Program used to be a one-on-one educational and professional opportunity for young photographers, VII Photo Agency is now looking to expand the scope of the programme. “We are in the planning stages of expanding the programme to add more mentees and also stage annual meetings and more,” says VII Photo member Ed Kashi. “Our idea is to establish a programme that allows us to create more camaraderie and deeper collaborations.” But the agency’s plans will be dependent on external funding. “Over the coming months, the agency will be seeking partnerships with other organisations to increase the opportunities it can offer to the mentored photographers,” the agency explains in a press statement. In the meantime, five young photographers will be joining the VII Mentor Program: Poulomi …


The winners from World Press Photo Multimedia Contest 2014


The fourth World Press Photo Multimedia Contest today awarded prizes for films documenting train surfers in South Africa, protestors in Turkey, and the significance of the high-rise building throughout historical architecture. First prize for the Short Feature section was awarded to Staff Riding, shot by Marco Casino. The Italian photographer, 27, who is currently based between Milan and Turin, orientated his project around the South African “sport” of train surfing, known locally as “staff riding”. Using split screens and info-graphics, Casino documents the young South African men and women, the vast majority of whom are under 25 years of age, as they manage to remain standing on the roof of speeding trains. Despite the dangers of staff riding, which frequently result in limb amputations and even death, Casino’s subjects described staff riding as a form of expression. “You want to take out the anger, instead of beating someone or robbing them.” In a statement, World Press Photo said of the work: “In a context where violence, alcohol and drug abuse, rampant poverty and AIDS reign …


HIPA looks to the future

On Monday 17 March, photographer Fuyang Zhou became $120,000 richer. The Chinese enthusiast photographer is the recipient of the Grand Prize at the third Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA). The top prize is awarded to a photographer for a single photograph. As reported by BJP live from Dubai where the ceremony took place this week, HIPA awarded cash prizes totalling $389,000 to 17 photographers. The winners came from all over the world. Speaking to BJP after his win, Zhou, who is from Jiang Xi province in southern China, spoke of his delight at winning the top prize, and told a little about how he came to take his winning image. [bjp_ad_slot] “I took the picture last October at one of the most ancient places in China – the Da Lian San district in Si Chuan province, central China. Some of the people who live there are very poor but they work hard and make great efforts to improve their life. I went there because it’s a simple place and the countryside is very beautiful.” The 54-year-old photographer, who first picked up a camera as a young …


Nan Goldin in London for book signings

The American photographer is in the capital to celebrate the release of her new collection of photographs, Eden and After, which will be published by Phaidon on Monday 24 March. Goldin will be signing copies of the book on Tuesday 25 March at Koenig bookshop on Charing Cross Road at 4.30pm, and at the Tate Modern on Wednesday 26 March (also at 4.30pm). “It has been some time since Nan was in London with us (2003 for the launch of The Devil’s Playground), so it is quite a rare opportunity,” says a spokesperson from Phaidon. [bjp_ad_slot] Eden and After features some 300 photographs of children taken over thirty six years – from 1977 to 2013. According to a Phaidon press statement, the book is divided into thirteen themed chapters and “traces the mysterious path of childhood from pregnancy and birth through to early adolescence and adulthood.” The children who feature in the book are Goldin’s godchildren, children she has known all their lives and others she has met on her travels. This is the first time Goldin has made them the major subject of her work. “Goldin …


Fourth HIPA contest open for entries

Organisers of the annual HIPA competition name the theme for the fourth season as Life in Colour. The official announcement was made at a press conference in Dubai this evening, (18 March). There are four main categories: General, Faces, Night Photography, and Life in Colour. Photographers are invited to submit one entry per category, which can include black and white photography. Cash prizes will be awarded to five photographers per category. This year, the total prize money stands at $400,000, which includes a $120,000 cash prize awarded to a single photographer. HIPA will also award two special prizes made by invitation: a $20,000 Photography Appreciation Award that recognises a photographer’s commitment to photography, and a $25,000 Photographic Research and Report Award. The Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) was launched in 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. Of the long term aspirations for HIPA, photographer and board of trustees member Henry Dallal said: “Our patron, His Highness the Crown Prince of Dubai, is a photographer, and …


HIPA announces prize winners at grand ceremony

China’s Fuyang Zhou wins the grand prize of $120,000 at the annual HIPA competition in Dubai. The Chinese photographer is among 17 winners at the grand ceremony, which took place at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on the evening of 17 March. With prize money totaling $389,000, HIPA is the richest photography competition in the world. HIPA also announces the winners across its four categories: General, Black and White, Street Life and the main category and theme, Creating the Future. Cash prizes were given to photographers from both within the UAE and outside. Among the international winners are: Yanan Li from China, who takes first place in the Black and White category ($16,000); Ali Kh Al Zaidi from Kuwait, who wins first prize in the Creating the Future category ($20,000); and Vladimir Proshin, who takes first prize ($14,000) in the General category. The Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) was launched in 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. The contest “was conceived to promote …


BJP Staff