jueves, 23 de agosto de 2012

On how I became an innocent abroad and lost my ability to think straight after the barber gave me a horrible haircut // Or (...)

Original title: On how I became an innocent abroad and lost my ability to think straight after the barber gave me a horrible haircut // Or how I lost my faith in low fat milk and realized the road brings nothing but loneliness and a distorted shadow of your bicycle.
Written by Jesús Rodríguez

Carl De Keyzer - Magnum Photos

With the malaysian visa approved, I left home 13 months ago. Which meant I never wrote one single word for this blog until now. And for that, readers, I apologize. Even though this blog is not about my history, I thought the subject might catch your attention, because it is wise to have a compassionate heart.

Writing these lines, basically to say that I´m back, means nothing but a good return to what it was once good and exciting. Forgive me if I missed any photojournalism event that I could have wrote a post or even mention in this space, but I have to remind you that all men go abroad to find monsters and sirens, hopefully, I will find at least inspiration.


Herbert List - Magnum Photos


So, after summarizing these 13 months in the title, I have to add that I´ve been cycling around Kuala Lumpur every day and I´ve been reading a lot. Therefore, lets hope that I´m fit physically, mentally and emotionally for more exciting and new stories here.

Richard Kalvar - Magnum Photos

See you next week folks!

lunes, 21 de marzo de 2011

On James Nachtwey; a living portrait of what it means to be the ultimate and most influential war photojournalist of the last 30 years. Or How (...)

Original title: On James Nachtwey; a living portrait of what it means to be the ultimate and most influential war photojournalist of the last 30 years. Or How a 63 years old photojournalist documented an inferno on earth and 10 years later he´s still a messenger with a transparent presence.

James Nachtwey in action / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

During the last 30 years, people around the world have seen the worst human catastrophes on TV, newspapers and magazines every day. Human scenes so breathtaking that makes people love even more their simple life and their family.

All three photographs taken by James Nachtwey / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Some of the most disturbing pictures of recent history have been taken by a man who sacrificed the idea of an ordinary life and a family in order to become a messenger with a real sense of purpose: to use whatever he knows about photography to help the people he is photographing. That man behind the camera is James Nachtwey.

Photograph taken by Diana Quintela / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

James Nachtwey was born in Sicacusa, New York 1948. Nachtwey is considered for many colleagues, editor and curators the best and “the one and only” photojournalist working in our days. His body of work has traveled across the world and big cities like Paris, New York, London and Johannesburg blind-opened their doors for him without any idea on what to expect.

James Nachtwey (right) helping a colleague / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Last two photographs taken by James Nachtwey / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

His recent work shows how sublime and moving can be Mr. Nachtwey when he is on an assignment. He made cars looked like dead fishes and gives a sense of time and space like no other journalist. James Nachtwey was one of the first photographers to arrive to the northern Japan to cover the terrible effects of the earthquake and tsunami.


All three photographs taken by James Nachtwey in Japan 2011/ Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

“First there is shock — disbelief at what you are witnessing with your own eyes. The surface of reality is unimaginable. Huge man-made structures were swept away like toys tossed about by a furious child. Houses, cars, ships and locomotives funneled up river channels, smashed against the sides of hills and swept back again as the raging waters receded, left in grotesque positions, as if by a sculptor gone mad. Towns and villages were annihilated, by a few minutes in the process of a cosmic organism, devoid of knowable intent. The aftershock is a profound sense of grief, amplified by the futility of anger.” James Nachtwey, March 20, 2011.

All two photographs taken by James Nachtwey in Japan 2011 / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Back in 2001, James Nachtwey published his acclaimed book “Inferno”. Nachtwey himself described it better than anybody: "If I can upset people, if I can ruin their day, then I have done my job”. He told the Washington post.

Book cover of the book Inferno by James Nachtwey / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.
Photograph of the book Inferno by James Nachtwey / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Inferno is a heavy and big book that shows shocking images of social issues and conflict zones. It´s definitely not a book for the casual photo enthusiast. It’s meant to bring and give you an idea about the lowest and unfortunate situations of people in despair and hopelessness.

Photograph taken by James Nachtwey / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

To know more about the work of James Nachtwey you can visit his official website and you will be warned with these words: “I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated”. With those words, I’m sure you will feel awkward and in doubt to enter, but don´t worry, you won´t find any exploitation or sensational images there, you will meet a man who has became the cornerstone of photojournalism, a sample of photojournalism at its best with a sense and sensibility that nobody can learn in the journalism school.

James Nachtwey holding a baby in a conflict zone.
Photograph taken by Gilles Peress / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

You can also watch Nachtwey in action in the 2001 documentary War photographer. It´s one of the greatest documentary ever made about a photojournalist. check it out and you will see why people are still talking about it even 10 years later.

James Nachtwey official site can be seen here
James Nachtwey latest work in Japan can be seen here
You can buy Inferno by James Nachtwey here
War Photographer documentary official site


Thank you friends! see you on the road.
good luck!

Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com

martes, 8 de marzo de 2011

On how the traditional process from never been kissed to first kiss and you may kiss the bride lost its track and most important ally: time. And (...)

Original Title: On how the traditional process from never been kissed to first kiss and you may kiss the bride lost its track and most important ally: time. And by some means became so obsolete that gave birth a couple of words that shook us all; Child Bride // or how a girl (interrupted) is just a kiss away from whatever awaits her in life.

Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. She had hoped to be a teacher
but was forced to quit her classes when she became engaged.
Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


It´s well known that politicians, lawyers, journalists, teachers, business men, housewives, street vendors and all the people that are part of our society read the paper every morning. So back in 2007 when I got to my desk in the department of photography I was shocked when a co-worker asked me with her eyes wide opened if I´ve read the paper that morning.

Family and friends gathered to celebrate Ghulam's engagement. The father of the bride,
Mahmoud Haider, 32, said he is unhappy giving his daughter away at such a young age, but
has no choice due to severe poverty. Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

I’m just arriving girl, gimme a break! I replied with a bit of indolence. Ac/dc is still rocking in my iPod and I gotta go buy some breakfast. She turned around and left my desk while I was turning on my computer and taking off my backpack. She returned a few minutes later and threw me a newspaper to my chest and said; “Explain this to me, ´cause I don’t understand. Do you?”.

In Afghanistan, some daughters sent off to be married are just children.
Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


I picked up the front page and all I thought was “Who…What…Who is that man???”. It was a photo of a girl with an old man sitting next to each other. The caption of the photo was “Portrait of soon to be wed Faiz Mohammed, 40, and Ghulam Haider, 11, at her home in a rural village of Damarda in Ghor province.”

Majabin Mohammed, 13, left, sits with her husband of six months, Mohammed Fazal, 45,
his first wife and their child. // Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


"The girl's life was interrupted." She told me. And she was right. I was looking at a child whose was a kiss away to be somebody´s wife and the scene was bizarre. Dishonesty and the feeling of a stolen destiny and dreams were portrayed in that picture, a picture I couldn´t take my eyes off the photo.

Majabin was given away as payment for a gambling debt.
Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


There was no sense in trying to find a justification. I´ve heard of Children getting married in some countries but this is what does good journalism; it slaps you in the face with truth and leaves you with a disillusion that won´t leave you in a long time.

Roshan Qasem, 11, will join the household of Said Mohammed, 55; his first wife;
their three sons; and their daughter, who is the same age as Roshan. Photograph taken
by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


It´s a situation where there is no gain, it´s only less and less and less. The girl is the photograph wanted to go to school, become a teacher, be independent, own her own house and someday be a mother. Needless to say, such things are never going to be part of her life.

The girl's wishes are customarily disregarded, and her marriage will end her opportunities
for schooling and independent work. // Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair /
Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


American photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair took this series of photographs known all “Child Brides”.

Portrait of American photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Sinclair is well known for getting access and become invisible in intimacy situations. After she graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Journalism and Fine Art photography she started to work for the Chicago Tribute and later was sent to cover the early stage of the war in Iraq.

With such experiences, she moved then to Beirut, Lebanon and covered the region for six years as a freelance photographer. She joined the famous photo agency VII when it was formed in 2008 and became a full member of VII in 2009.

She won the “Unicef Photo of the Year 2007” for her photograph of the engagement party of 11-year-old Ghulam Haider to 40-year-old Faiz Mohammed. Because of that award her work was even more known in countries in South America.

Photograph taken by Stephanie Pilick/EPA / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Sinclair discreetly took the girl aside when she took the photograph and asked the girl: “What are you feeling today?”. The girl answered: “Nothing, I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?”.

Ironically, the only sound that generates the photographs is silence. That´s what every person do when they see the photograph. They can´t understand it and can´t or won´t follow the story beyond the first look, most people prefer to let it go and keep it as a ghost in the back of their mind.

Husbands are not ordinarily old enough to be their wives' fathers or grandfathers //
Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


Some facts: "Parents sometimes remove their daughters from school to protect them from the possibility of sexual activity outside of wedlock. It is hard to say exactly how many young marriages take place, but according to the Afghan women’s ministry and women’s NGOs, approximately 57 percent of Afghan girls get married before the legal age of 16. In addition, once the girl’s father has agreed to the engagement, she is pulled out of school immediately. Early pregnancies also result in an increase in complications during child birth.
These Child brides are often seen as payment to others men. The father of a girl can offer her as compensation if he loses in a gambling game or to pay for services."

Photograph taken by Stephanie Sinclair / Used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.

Paraphrasing Bob Dylan, I can think of a lyric of one of his songs named Desolation road, in which he sings; “Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window, For her I feel so afraid, On her twenty-second birthday, She will be already an old maid.

Almost 4 years later, people still talk about this work everywhere and we all wonder what happened to these girls, these child brides.

Stephanie Sinclair´s official site can be seen here.
Stephanie Sinclair´s most recent work can be seen here.
All photographs are used for purposes of illustration/ nonprofit.

Thank you friends! see you on the road.
good luck!

Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com

lunes, 7 de marzo de 2011

On the guilty pleasure of the limitless extravaganza of the behind the scenes photos at the Oscar.

You´ve asked for you, you´ve got it folks! Here´s a collection of moments backstage at the Oscar. First, let´s see the photos in color.


And for the Black and white photography lovers, here they are:

All the material taken from:
theage.com.au
framework.latimes.com

All photos provided by AP, Reuters & LAtimes. All photos were used only for purposes of illustration/nonprofit.


Hope you enjoyed it friends... see ya on the road.


Bye!
Written by Jesus Rodriguez
Feel free to comment!
jrphotojournalist@gmail.com