All posts filed under: Portrait of Humanity

Earth from Space: behind the scenes with Sent Into Space

Last year, BBC One broadcast Earth from Space. Across four episodes, cameras in space told stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective: cities sprawled while forests and glaciers shrunk. China turned yellow with rapeseed flowers while mysterious green lights appeared in the ocean. Elephants struggled through drought while strange ice rings endangered seals. From start to finish, Earth from Space revealed the sublime array of colours, textures and patterns visible from the stratosphere — and crucially, it showed us just how fast our planet is changing.  British Journal of Photography went behind the scenes with Sent Into Space – the company responsible for capturing the striking spectacle of a solar eclipse for the BBC series – to learn about the process behind the footage. Sent Into Space are regarded as the ‘Near Space experts’; in the last decade, they’ve launched over 500 flights taking images of the Earth from the edge of space. Whatever the project, every shot is taken against the spectacular backdrop of the curving horizon of our planet, detailing …

2020-02-27T15:20:11+01:00

Portrait of Humanity is coming to Clear Channel screens near you

We may have only just finished welcoming entries to Portrait of Humanity, but we are now eagerly preparing for the next steps in its global journey. Following on from our international call for entries, which welcomed thousands of images from photographers across the globe, judges now face the daunting task of whittling these down to the winning entries. There will be 200 shortlisted images, 100 commended, and finally, 50 winning photographs. At each stage, photographers will receive worldwide exposure to the photographic industry, international press and general public. Hoxton Mini Press, who created our first ever Portrait of Britain book in 2018, will be binding together 200 shortlisted images in a Portrait of Humanity book, to go on sale worldwide later this year. And we are pleased to announce that up to 100 commended photographs will also be displayed on Clear Channel Out of Home screens across the globe. Our partnership with Clear Channel gives us access to some of the world’s best placed digital screens, which we will be repurposing for Portrait of Humanity. We …

2019-10-21T15:19:27+01:00

Portrait of Humanity: Can photography change the world?

Can photography change the world? It seems like a lot to ask, especially in our age of over-saturation; as of 2018, a staggering 95 million photos and videos are uploaded onto Instagram every day. It’s more difficult than ever for a photograph to have an impact –  we’ve all seen it before, and we’ve probably taken a picture of it too. Yet, despite this, certain photographs still have the power to astound. In September 2015, one image dominated newsstands. The picture, which has come to be known as ‘Death of Alan Kurdi’, showed the dead body of a three-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a Turkish beach. Publications rushed to post it on their front pages, and it spread at lightning speed online. Suddenly, the devastation of the Syrian war was visible, in a way it hadn’t been before. There’s no formula for measuring a picture’s impact, but there was a discernible shift. The image stirred empathy and urgency among both politicians and the public. The refugee crisis became a central focus in the 2015 …

2019-10-21T15:18:29+01:00

Meet Leander Varekamp, our Portrait of Humanity People’s Choice Winner

Portrait of Humanity provides photographers with the chance to share portraits of everyday life around the world, with the world. The aim is to explore and celebrate the many faces of humanity. That’s also the aim of Holland-based documentary photographer Leander Varekamp, whose image was selected by The Guardian editors as one of their favourite Portrait of Humanity entries so far, and voted by our followers as their favourite of the picks. The image, a crisp black & white portrait, is part of a series on Burrneshas – Albanian women who have chosen to live their lives as men. With only a few dozen Burrneshas left, the tradition is quickly dying out, and Varekamp is using portraiture to ensure that this little-known phenomenon is not forgotten completely. Since Varekamp discovered a talent for photography at the age of 17, he has used his camera as a means of investigating communities – such as Burrneshas – that intrigue him. As he puts it, ‘the camera opens doors that would otherwise remain closed’. We spoke to Varekamp …

2019-10-21T15:18:05+01:00

Portrait of Humanity: The Anonymous Project is restoring our collective memory, one colour slide at a time

When filmmaker Lee Shulman bought a box of vintage slides from Ebay, he was hoping for some blurry snaps to flick through on a Sunday afternoon, and maybe a picture or two to keep. But when they arrived, ‘I nearly fell off my seat.’  What he saw amazed him: here were hundreds of snapshots of strangers’ lives. The poses were instantly recognisable: children grinning over birthday cakes, couples squinting on the beach – the simple magic of unstaged life, captured in rich Kodachrome colour. The price of colour photography plummeted in the early Fifties, allowing people to snap away with newfound freedom. But the chemicals that produce the slides fade over time. If the photos were to disappear, then with them so would the memories of our collective human experience – and Shulman didn’t want to let that happen. With the help of a friend, photo publisher Emmanuelle Halkin, Shulman created The Anonymous Project. A Paris-based nonprofit, its aim is ambitious: to collect, scan and catalogue all colour slides produced since the Fifties. Since starting …

2019-10-21T17:06:06+01:00

Portrait of Humanity: The Guardian’s David Levene on capturing the city

David Levene has spent many years photographing for The Guardian, and in particular for their EyeWitness series, which he cites as some of his best work. Beyond The Guardian, Levene has undertaken a great number of projects for charities, photographing the unique challenges, but also the similarities, of people around the world. His interest in that which connects us makes Levene the perfect ambassador for Portrait of Humanity, a project seeking to prove that there is more that unites us than sets us apart. David Levene’s book City combines over 14 years of work shot across 62 different cities, from the suburban banality of Walthamstow, London, to the congested streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing, and the homeless camps of San Francisco. The book provides a startling glimpse into the diverse forms of urbanity that exist around the world. With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, Levene’s photographs tell a powerful story of people, place, and modern life. City is set to be re-released soon as a revised edition, with a …

2019-10-21T15:03:14+01:00

BJP Staff