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Robert Leon Mimi Chakarova Benjamin Rasmussen Jenn Warren Matt Nager LUCEO Images

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Staff Staff Editor MIGUEL A. MOYA miguel.moya@f8mag.com

Design & Layout ANA VIDA Website: www.f8mag.com Contact Information Contact us: contact@f8mag.com Contributors: iwantyou@f8mag.com Advertising: ads@f8mag.com Follow Us: Special thanks to : MARTA PANOJO GALLEGO JOHN MCKEEN ELSYMARIE VEGA MATT NAGER

©F8MAGAZINE 2010 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publishers. The views expressed in F8Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. © Copyright Notice: All images displayed on this magazine are the property of their respective photographers. YOU MAY NOT DISTRIBUTE, COPY, PUBLISH OR USE THE IMAGES OR ANY PART OF THE IMAGES IN ANY WAY WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. YOU MAY NOT ALTER, MANIPULATE, ANY PART OF AN IMAGE WITHOUT CONSENT. Contact the photographer if you wish to obtain a reproduction of an image or if you wish to obtain permission to redisplay an image on another web site.


Editor´s Note Editor´s Note A new year begins and with it comes a new issue of F8 Magazine. After issue Zero – our particular proof of principle- we have been able to find out that our work has been highly valued by both our readers and photography professionals. We continue developing, polishing up the design, expanding contents and working on new sections but, as usual, keeping our main idea: to understand the world by means of its photographs, compiling for this purpose materials of the best photographers worldwide, getting to know how they live and how they work through their own words. During the course of this year we will gradually develop new sections that will deal with these aspects; we are sure that you will like the changes. We are also structuring our website in order to be able to incorporate and expand the content gathered in our publications, besides some new areas that will allow us to know in depth the work of the different photographers who contribute to this magazine. You will be able to punctually follow all these changes on Facebook and Twitter. And what does this new number brings? A little sample of the work done by great professionals, a new trip around word: from the Faroe Islands to the Philippines, from the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico to Utah’s White Canyon, Cuba, Sudan, India,… But it is not about knowing of all the corners of the world, but knowing the people who live in them and, above all, about being aware of the problems they often face in their everyday life. Being aware of military confrontations, race riots, poverty, sex trafficking and all that creates inequality in their lives. Being aware of this as the first step to want to change it. That is also one of our goals. We think that photography can help to change the world. Moreover, we would like to count on your participation so from here I encourage you to contact us to send your suggestions about the contents, sections, etc. To do so, you just have to send an e-mail with your comments to contact@f8mag.com Finally, we want to thank all the past and present photographers who have collaborated with us up to now, as well as our readers for the time they devote to this young magazine. Happy New Year you all!


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Contents

Chris Case

Markus Hartel Benjamin Rasmussen Craig Ferguson

Robert Leon

Jenn Warren Mimi Chakarova

Shen Wei

Matt Nager

Aaron Joel Santos

52 Selects

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Benjamin Rasmussen

Benjamin

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Wandering Soul

Karl Leonsson hold his daughter, Ronja, during a photo shoot in the Faroe Islands

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Hi Benjamin, where do you live? I am currently living in Denver, Colorado, in the United States. I have been here for just over a year and will most likely remain here for another several years before moving on. You have spent your childhood in many different places, like the Philippines, Arkansas and the Feroe Islands.

How has that influenced the way in which you see life today? Although I am American by nationality, I have lived abroad most of my life, only returning as an adult. I grew up on a small island off of the southern coast of the Philippines with a minority Muslim people group and spent my childhood running around the jungle, chopping things with machetes and exploring the island’s beaches and rivers. When I left the Philippines after high school, I moved to the U.S. and went to a Christian college in northwestern Arkansas to study journalism. It felt very foreign for me. The area was wealthy because of the money pouring in from Walmart headquarters near by and was staunchly conservative and pro American.

Current project I am working on are investigating what it means for me to be Faroese, to be a male living I work as a freelancer and split my in the American west and to be a time between news clients in the U.S., citizen of a country so deeply involved commercial clients in the Faroe Islands in Afghanistan. The documentary and my own personal projects. It does projects are fueled by my personal not have the same stability as being on exploration, but I hope to create a staff, but it gives me a lot of freedom body of honest images that resonate to pursue work about which I feel with others who are thinking about passionately. these same questions. Do you work for any specific media or are you a freelancer?

What do you understand by documentary photography? Documentary photography helps me understand the world around me and explore the different parts of my national and cultural identity.

I think that for documentary photography to be powerful it has come from a process that teaches the photographer as much about himself as about the subjects. If we want to move people with out pictures we have to be open to allow the process of capturing them to move us as well.

I grew up on a small island off of the southern coast of the Philippines with a minority Muslim people group and spent my childhood running around the jungle, chopping things with machetes and exploring the island’s beaches and rivers.

After college, I moved for a year to my father’s hometown in the Faroe Islands, a protectorate of Denmark in the middle of the North Atlantic populated by the descendents of Vikings and Irish monks. It is a tiny collection of islands with only 45,000 inhabitants with its own language and cultural history. These three places are all drastically different from each other, but each one is full of people I love and respect. And when I discovered that photography could be used as a tool to connect people from these different world’s to each other, I immediately fell for the medium. It allows me to explore what those different identities mean to me and then to share those discoveries in a way that can communicate beauty and humanity.

Seth dumps water out of his boots while fishing on the island of Svinoy (Faroe Islands).

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You have documented the lives and the people of the Wakhan Corridor, in the Northeast of Afghanistan, in the province of Badakhshan. It is an area which has never felt the influence of the Taliban. What was that experience like? What sort of conditions were you working in? I shot these images while in the Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan in May. I was only able to be in the area for six days because of some logistical problems, but it was an incredible time. The country

is an amazing palette of brown mud brick buildings, with bright splashes of color provided by the bright blue burqas and colored head coverings of the women, as well as the flashy suit jackets that some young men wear over their perahan tunbans. In the Wakhan Corridor, the Wakhi, who live in the valley, have men who wear layers of jackets, pants hats and scarves to keep themselves warm while they care for their herds in the mountains and the women’s clothing have. The Kyrgyz who live high in the Pamir mountains have.

In the Faroe Islands, a protectorate of Denmark with 48,000 inhabitants, the 400-year-old tradition of pilot whale killing still takes place

The conditions were not great, because you are so exposed to the elements in the mountains. But being around the Wakhi men and seeing how tough and hard working they were made me realize that this was nothing compared to what they face when winter starts to close in. In a different area of the planet, in Mindanao in the Philippines, you showed in 2009 the crudeness of an armed conflict in which the civil population was involved. What was the situation like for you? Did you ever find yourself in a situation of personal risk? Working in Mindanao was very important to me because that is a conflict I have grown up with. Having grown up in a Muslim community in the Philippines, I really wanted to get in and find a way to show how the lives of the Muslim civilians were being affected by this current phase of the long running war. Most of my time invested on this story was spent in a small town between the government and rebel positions, so I would fall asleep every night with artillery being fired from one side and landing on the other. And occasionally at night we would see tracer bullets fly overhead as firefights would break out. On occasion I would also do unwise things, like wander too far into rebel territory and hear warning shots or show up at an ambush before things were cleared out. But I had surrounded myself there with people who knew what was going on and were connected with both sides of the conflict. They were dedicated and would give their lives for peace, but were not wanting to give their lives that day, so they were able to helping through the

rough learning curve of working in a conflict area. You have worked in NGOs. In what ways do you think a photographer can contribute to the work of an NGO? I think that photographers can contribute massively to NGOs and vice versa. One of the main NGOs I have worked with is one that fights human trafficking and forced prostitution. I was able to create images for them that documented the work that they were doing, as well as do special campaigns for them targeting specific donor groups. So I worked with them both as a documentary photographer and as an advertising photographer. And the images made were able to create emotional connections with their donors that brought in funds to continue the work they were doing. And for me, they were able to give me access to things that I would >

Most of my time invested on this story was spent in a small town between the government and rebel positions, so I would fall asleep every night with artillery being fired from one side and landing on the other. And occasionally at night we would see tracer bullets fly overhead as firefights would break out. #1

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A fisherman brings in the previous night’s catch as he returns home at dawn in the island of Samar in the Visas region of the Philippines on May 20, 2009

Volunteers of the Bantay Ceasefire peace organization load rice into a pickup truck in Cotabato City, Philippines, on May 28, 2009

Good Friday celebrations in the city of San Fernando, Philippines, April 10, 2009

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Kabiba Lindongaw and her daughter look out of the door of the classroom that houses people fleeing military artillery shelling in Reina Regente, Philippines

> not be able to document without their help. They enabled me to photograph brother raids, teens in prison and girls who had been rescued from their pimps. NGOs can be invaluable to photographers for the access and information they can provide. Tell us about a personal experience that has marked or affected you in terms of friends, places or situations. I just finished a master’s program in photojournalism in the Philippines. The program, which was started with World Press Photo, is mainly for young Asian photographers and stresses the importance of photographing within your own countries and communities. What I learned about being personally invested in your stories from my professors and especially my classmates changed the way I approach my photography. I saw how negative parachute photojournalism was and how much more dynamic work was created when the photographer brought his own cultural understanding and investment with him into the story. What projects do you have in mind at the moment? I am getting ready to start a project here in Denver looking at the large population of gay homeless teens who were kicked out of their homes when they came out. I want to try and tell this story using video, so I am excited to try out a new medium. And I am continuing a long-term project in the Faroe Islands about the relationship between man and sea on those isolated islands. I have been working on it whenever I am in the Faroes for the past couple >

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A young Wahki shepherd on the Big Pamir Mountain, north eastern Afghanistan

> of years and am hoping to turn it into a gallery show near the end of next year. Where would you like to see yourself professionally within the next ten years? I want to be a more consistent photographer and invest the same emotional energy into everything I shoot. Right now I can only build up that energy for something that I feel really connected too and so many of the things that I shoot lack power of my personal work. In 10 years, I don’t care whether or not millions of people are seeing my images, but I want to be producing the kind of work that can have an impact on 100 people. Whether those images appear in major publications, in art galleries or just online are not so important to me, just so long as they make the people who see them think differently about the subjects. And where would you like to see yourself personally? I don’t want to be wealthy in 10 years or have a nice house or car that will weigh me down. I have an awesome wife that I know will still love me through all of the pressures of a photographic life and I am starting to build a community of photographers that I will be excited to give back to when I have 10 years more of experience under my belt. I hope that the next 10 years make me a better and more sensitive person and do not harden me or make me cynical towards my subjects or this industry. Thanks, Benjamin.

A Wakhi woman stands near with her family in the village of Ghaz Khan. Badakshan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world

A Kyrgyz trader feeds his yaks in the village of Ghaz Khan in the Wakhan Corridor

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BEnJaMIn R asmussEn www.benjaminrasmussenphoto.com

Benjamin Rasmussen by Rony Zakaria

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Chris Case

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Nature feelings

Utah’s White Canyon makes a gorgeous, serpentine cut through Cedar Mesa, near Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

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In this story, the photographer was also the boyfriend. When I had to return to my job during the weekdays, it was always a sad moment

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Chris Case

Hi Chris. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born in Connecticut and grew up along the New England coast. I received a degree in neuroscience and worked for a number of years as a researcher in that field, first with patients with schizophrenia and then, literally, slicing monkey brains in a study of Parkinson’s disease. It was in that basement laboratory, under fluorescent lights, slicing frozen monkey brains eight hours a day, that I decided to pursue photography. It was not a terribly difficult choice. Of course, it has been a bit more difficult to succeed as a photographer than it was to take that first step and apply to graduate school for photography.

our life together. I had only known her for eight weeks, and we spent the next four years together. The camera became a part of both of our lives, as much a method for dealing with the circumstances as it was a tool for documenting our shared experience; I documented as many intimate moments as I could. (FUNNY-BLOODLove-and-Leukemia) It wasn’t until later that I discovered Eugene Richards’ work “Exploding Into Life.” Still, time spent slicing brains ultimately led me to seek a degree in the field. That’s how I ended up at the University of Texas at Austin for their master’s program in photojournalism. There, I became devoted to environmental issues, particularly >

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It was in that basement laboratory, under fluorescent lights, slicing frozen monkey brains eight hours a day, that I decided to pursue photography. It was not a terribly difficult choice

What or who got you started in photography? Is there any formal training in your background? I’m not entirely sure what my initial attachment to photography was. In college I was interested in art and photography, as a way to balance my life while studying neuroscience. I ended up with a second degree in art and art history, of which two photography classes were a requirement. The professor I had for that initial photography class would become a great mentor, friend, and influence on my work. But, most important to my development as a visual storyteller, and the most influential and lifechanging work I’ve been a part of came from one of my first “projects.” While I was still working in the neuroscience field, I was in a relationship with someone who was diagnosed with leukemia. I immediately started documenting her life, treatment, and recovery, and Instead of the then-standard bone marrow transplant, Karin received an experimental stem-cell transplant--and a new life

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Throughout the course of my treatment I must allow the doctors to biopsy my bone marrow to eliminate the possibility of relapse

> water, and worked on a number of conservation-focused projects (AGUA-MODERNA-The-ColoradoRiver-of-Texas). After graduating, I worked as a freelance daily assignment photographer for about a year, before I took a position as creative director of the American Mountaineering Museum. I was also the museum’s curator once it opened. This exposed me to great photography, old and new, as well as the feats of mountaineers around the world. From there I diversified and started doing more adventure photography to complement the documentary and conservation photography that had come before. Now, I enjoy the balance of working on difficult, environmental and social issues with the delight of photographing the beauty and ferocity of nature.

For the most part, I consider myself a conservationist as much as I consider myself a photographer. My passions are equally the preservation of wilderness, wildlife, and nature, and visual storytelling that aids in that preservation. That being said, I am also still fascinated by health issues. As far as my style is concerned, it seems to be a reflection of the natural subject matter I’m photographing. It seems to be minimalist in nature; at least, it is in my mind, and that’s what I strive for. I am drawn to the “quiet” work of William Albert Allard, Sam Abell, and W. Eugene Smith. That is

not to say I try to mimic their style, though I am fascinated by the balance of delicacy and complexity that they achieve in their best images. I wouldn’t be surprised if my style further evolved over the years. Certainly, different styles lend themselves better to certain subject matter. The beauty of nature, for example, can effectively be captured in a minimalist aesthetic. Cancer? That’s not as easy. There, the style might often be about juxtaposition and irony, struggle or survival. It’s not as easy, nor necessarily

appropriate, to depict those emotions in a simple, graphic composition. If you could give someone just five tips on this type of photography, what would they be? 1) Stare. This includes climbing high (or flying high), getting dirty while lying on the ground, and finding new angles everywhere in between, all the while observing and analyzing the scene. 2) Be patient. The most effective composition is not always obvious; the most effective photograph may take >

After her diagnosis and initial course of chemotherapy, Karin stayed in the hospital for a month

How long have you been taking photographs professionally? I’ve worked on personal projects for years, but only in the past 12 months or so have I had the experience, determination, and time to pursue photography professionally. Even still, it’s probably more accurate to call me an aspiring professional. I have certainly wanted to be a “professional” for much longer, but my methodical nature has always held me back. It’s a difficult business to pursue--there is not a singular path like there is when you’re a doctor or a research scientist, the world I came from. I suppose I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to forge ahead unguided. How do you describe your photographic style?

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Utah’s White Canyon

> you 100 attempts to get exactly what you want. Don’t settle for anything less. 3) Be intelligent and thoughtful and respectful. Know your subject before you begin photographing, then allow the subject to lead you to what you should be learning more about. Be open minded so that new observations are put to good use in framing the story, rather than ignored because of any preconceived notions of what the story “should” be that you might have started with. 4) Experiment. Forget what you learned and try a new approach. Perhaps that’s creating an abstract world from something familiar, or distilling something highly complex to a graphic essence. 5) Stare some more. Find something better, or different, or unique, and know that you’re the only one that is creating the work, and the audience’s reaction to it is often unpredictable. Don’t make photographs that you think people will like; make photographs you like. You are the editor and director of photography and design of Trail & Timberline magazine, published by the Colorado Mountain Club since 1918. Tell us, what is the focus of the magazine and how does it expand your ability as a photographer? Trail & Timberline is a reflection of the Colorado Mountain Club, so its focus is conservation, education, and recreation, specifically related to Colorado’s mountains and mountaineering. Ideally, there is a mixture of each of those things in every issue (See some samples here).

I am a staff of one: editor, photographer, writer, and designer. Besides being very rewarding, challenging, and fun, working on all parts of the magazine helps me to understand the packaging of photography and visual stories, which in turn makes me think about these things when I’m in the field. It makes me a better photographer, and a better journalist. Of course, there are certainly times when I’d like to be collaborating with a dynamic and creative staff; I’d like the pressure that would come with delivering for a photo editor. But, I have the challenge of balancing all of those roles simultaneously. It’s a very satisfying feeling when it all comes together. What are the typical preparations that need to be made before a shoot? (Both in terms of camera equipment and researching the location itself / weather etc.) Nothing beats spending time with your subject, whether that subject is a person or a place. As far as equipment is concerned, I’m a minimalist. I carry three lenses most of the time; I never use a flash. I am often trying to capture nature, so I feel as if introducing unnatural light would be absurd. If my battery is charged, then I am ready to go. As far as adventure photography is concerned, there are certain precautions that I take, particularly in the winter when there is the risk of avalanche. Checking the avalanche data regularly throughout the winter is just a habit now. Thankfully, in Colorado there is a great website for this.

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be completed because I don’t think there will be a time when conservation doesn’t need the help of story telling. In a more general sense, my work as a story teller won’t be finished because there will always be stories to tell. I just hope that along the way I can contribute to the preservation of a particular landscape, or change the behavior of people, or excite and inspire someone through my work. What’s the most inspiring location you’ve visited so far?

A crevasse cuts across an alpine glacier, found on the Mont Blanc Massif, between Courmayeur, Italy, and Chamonix, France

Likewise, weather is a concern in slot canyons. If there is any chance of rain, it’s not a wise idea to be wandering around in a giant funnel of rock. Having patience and waiting for stable conditions is just a part of exploring that world. Will you ever feel like your work is completed? That is a very difficult question to answer. Certainly, there are times when I feel like nothing can change the environmental catastrophes that seem to be raging around us. There are times when I feel like all of my efforts to tell visual stories won’t change the overwhelming momentum that they’re up against. So, I suppose my answer would be “no.” I don’t think my work will ever

I seem to be fascinated by any new place I go, and tend to be inspired everywhere I go, whether that’s a delicate short grass prairie on the Great Plains, a lush estuary on the Gulf Coast of Texas, or the jagged drama of the Swiss Alps. That being said, I can’t remember ever being as awestruck as when I recently trekked the length of the Haute Route, from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. It’s not the most remote area, or the least populated, but there’s no denying that it’s gorgeous (Walkers HAUTE ROUTE).

and makes me philosophical. And the scenery never ceases to amaze me, or inspire me. Unfortunately, much of this iconic landscape remains unprotected. And the threats to it only increase with time. This is especially true of places like White Canyon (UTAH Landscapes). To think that places like this exist nowhere else on Earth, yet remain unprotected from vehicles, development, oil and gas extraction, is alarming. I couldn’t imagine a world without them in their pristine state. That’s why I work with organizations

like the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to help them educate people to the threats these iconic landscapes face. What kind of impression do you hope to leave upon others who see your photographs? I believe all I can hope to do is make people think. A photograph doesn’t bring about change by itself. A person has to use that photograph, or be used by that photograph, in order for action to take place. And the first action is always thought.

But perhaps the most inspiring place I’ve been is southern Utah. It’s like no place else on Earth. I’ve been countless times to explore the canyons, formations, alcoves, ancient dwellings, mesas, and mountains, and I’ve never been disappointed (UTAH Adventure). It is always inspiring to be present among such a unique landscape, with a palpable feeling of quiet around any corner. The forms, the shapes, the experiences you can only have in a place where time is evident in every rock around you, and you are perceptibly small in a vast spread of geologic time. As may be evident, it helps me to think A detail of Lowell Glacier in Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, Canada

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But perhaps the most inspiring place I’ve been is southern Utah. It’s like no place else on Earth. I’ve been countless times to explore the canyons, formations, alcoves, ancient dwellings, mesas, and mountains, and I’ve never been disappointed. It is always inspiring to be present among such a unique landscape, with a palpable feeling of quiet around any corner.

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Are there any emerging photographers who you admire? If so, who are they? To be honest, I don’t intimately know the work of many emerging photographers. Right now, I don’t have much time to browse through their work because I’m so focused on my photography, improving my skills through practice, researching story ideas, and doing all the work for the magazine. What projects are you currently working on? In addition to the stories and photographs I’m working on for Trail & Timberline, I’m working on a few personal projects. One is focused on the use of wilderness in the U.S., and specifically the ways in which ranching and wilderness intersect in the West. I’m also working on a year-long (or more) project to document the biodiversity and visual variety of a single location in the urban-wildlands interface of Colorado, as an example of the diversity of life and images that can be found most anywhere (SPOT A Bio Visual Study). It is a work in progress that helps me to understand the life that exists right under our noses, in the midst of a fairly developed area, with all the noise and threats that most small habitats face. I’m only 5 or 6 weeks into the 52+ week project. I’m also doing research on a long-term project on excess and consumption. And I’m constantly thinking about other projects and stories I want to start. What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?

For the most part, I’d like to be doing just what I’m doing now. However, I’d prefer to expand my scope and collaborate with more journalists, storytellers, conservationists, and conservation and health organizations. It seems that freelance photographers tend to think of themselves as islands, but I like the notion of pooling the expertise of different creative individuals, with different skills, to produce ever more compelling work. If the objective of the end product (the photograph, magazine article, book, website, and so forth) is to make people think, it makes sense to tell that story using the perspectives of more than one person--you have a better chance of drawing the attention of your audience. Being both a photographer and journalist and magazine editor is how I think I can best tell the stories I want to tell, in the way that I feel fits the subject and makes for the most compelling content. I find it much more satisfying to be a part of the entire process--from taking the photograph to working on the design to working with the writer (or writing myself) to publishing the magazine-than just handing off my work and hoping it gets used well. As the media world evolves and more is demanded of journalists of all kinds, I think it will be imperative to have more than one skill. Having some amount of creative control over multiple facets of our work is just what I like to do. Thank you Chris for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a real pleasure and inspiration.

Richard Heinichen, owner of Rainwater Bottled Water Company, looks to the skies to fill his massive tank farm--dubbed “Tank Town.” In the Hill Country west of Austin, well-water is calcium laden, pants-stiffening and virtually undrinkable

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CHRI S Ca S E www.chriscasephoto.com http://chriscasephoto.wordpress.com

At the Austin Water Utility Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend, the duckweed covered ponds are used to reduce the algae levels of the treated wastewater

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Markus Hartel

Markus

artel

The pulse of the city

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You like to use short focal length … The short lens –I prefer a 28mm FOV– renders a scene wide enough, which requires me to get pretty close to the subject, and as a result this FOV presents a certain intimacy to the viewer. Do you think that street photography can be done with telephoto lenses? Anything can be done, but I deem street photography with a telephoto lens as cheating, I mean, where is the fun of shooting from >

Hi Markus. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

What motivates your photography and drives your creativity?

I was born in Duisburg, Germany, and grew up in a pretty rural area in the Northwest. I think that’s why the urban scenery and street photography appeals to me so much, as it was not available where I grew up.

The hunt for the next great photography is a great motivator and the streets of New York are inspiring by itself. Other than that, I love to watch (foreign) movies and read quite a bit of everything. I try not to look at other photographer’s work too much.

Do you have any formal training in photography? No, I have a background as a typesetter and darkroom work with a copy camera was as close to a formal photography education as it gets.

The hunt for the next great photography is a great motivator and the streets of New York are inspiring by itself. Other than that, I love to watch (foreign) movies and read quite a bit of everything

Of all the gear you’ve ever used, what’s your favorite? The Leica M for its simplicity, the EOS 5D for its image quality.

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> across the street. I consider a 50mm lens short telephoto and would not touch it for street photography. For a rookie street photographer, approaching a short distance from a subject, is the hardest step. How did you overcome that invisible barrier? Start out a little longer, the aforementioned 50mm is not a bad starting point, a 35mm is almost ideal, and then work your way closer and wider. People will generally not get offended, when approached with a camera. I always make sure that my camera is visible at all time. Have you had any problem with any subject to photograph? In eight years of shooting street in NYC I had two incidents where the subject got offended, but I would normally agree with a nod and walk away, most times I bagged a shot already. What do you like most about street photography? There is a certain challenge in the unknown, you never know what you will get that day, and I like the fact that I can create a piece of art out of readily available subject matter. What you see on a subject to make it a photo? Technically, everything makes for a photo. A good street photograph tells a story in one frame, at a 250th of a second. The best street photographers are storytellers and even manage to add a pinch of humor or a good juxtaposition to their photos.

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When you photograph on the street, do you have a theme in mind? Normally, I’d go out without a theme for the day, but I do seem to have a preference for certain images – many involve umbrellas or billboards. I also love to shoot at night. You usually shoot from the hip... Hip shooting is done without using the viewfinder, in order to excel at this kind of shot, the photographer needs to be able to mentally frame his lens. Shooting the same FOV is extremely helpful. Is NYC the best background for street photography? New York City lends itself to street photography, as the island is densely populated and culturally and visually very diverse. You like to use B&W photography. But, what makes you choose to shot something in B&W over color? Black and White is a great storyteller, where the viewer can concentrate on the composition and content of the image. When I shoot film, the look is defined by the film stock and 99% of the time I would use black-and-white film. With digital technology, my RAW file is initially color and sometimes a frame does work better in color. Any special projects in the works yet for 2011? I’m hoping to continue to photograph “The Americans” out west and >

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Markus Hartel

Black and White is a great storyteller, where the viewer can concentrate on the composition and content of the image

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> I’m thinking about hosting street photography workshops. What advice do you have for street photographers just starting out? Shoot a lot, edit, edit three times over, and wear comfortable shoes. Well Markus, that’s all I have for now, Thanks for your time. Thank you for having me.

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Markus Hartel

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MARKUs H arTEl www.markushartel.com

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Make your own way

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, Pingxi, Taiwan

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Craig Ferguson

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Taiwan’s Ba Jia Jiang, the eight generals temple guardians at a religious festival

You know, I’ve never really thought about it. I guess that fact that I often get to have a more in-depth look into the lives and practices of other people is one of the more appealing aspects of it. I dislike the idea of rushing through and getting the pictures quickly, much preferring to slow down and get a sense of a place and possibly form some kind of relationships with people in the area. What type of photography is your favorite? Do you have a particular style you love to do? Travel and cultural photographer is what excites me the most. Trying to break down stereotypes by showing the inherent similarities that exist amongst people everywhere is a responsibility I take seriously and consider my photography successful if I can help achieve that in some small way. Traditional fishing village, Danshui, Taiwan

I dislike the idea of rushing through and getting the pictures quickly, much preferring to slow down and get a sense of a place and possibly form some kind of relationships with people in the area

Hey Craig. How did you get started? Any mentors or great stories here? For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in photography. It definitely started when I was a child with a Kodak 110 Instamatic. From there I moved to manual SLR’s as a teenager basically teaching myself as I went along and reading photography books and magazines that I found in the library. In terms of travel and cultural photography, that just naturally came about as I traveled and discovered that it was what I liked to shoot the most. I’ve recently started adding environmental / ecology work as well,

which is fitting as I have a degree in environmental science. I’ve never had a direct mentoring relationship with anyone and with the exception of a one-day workshop with Joe McNally, have never had any lessons or formal education in photography. Where are you based? I’m currently in Taipei, Taiwan and have been here for almost 8 years. Three words that describe you? Inquisitive, adventurous, open-minded What is it you like the most about being a photographer?

How many countries have you travelled so far? What is your favorite place in the world to photograph? I’ve been to about 15 countries, all across Asia. Your work has appeared in publications such as Lonely Planet or National Geographic... Lonely Planet represents me for travel stock photography. They got in touch with me a while back and asked me to consider joining them. Prior to that however, I’d had work published in one of their guidebooks that they’d sourced via another stock library that I used to submit to. Now with an exclusive relationship with Lonely Planet, I’m eager to see the partnership grow into the future.

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Thaipusam Festival, Batu Caves, Malaysia

National Geographic came about after I’d submitted some photos to them and one got selected for use on their website. I’ve yet to make it into print with them but I hope that will change in the near future. You are the founder of Taipei Photo School. What can you tell me about this? Taipei Photo School came about because there didn’t seem to be any avenues for English-language photography instruction in Taiwan. Obviously, Taiwan is a Chinesespeaking place, so there’s not a whole lot of need for English instruction.

Although I got to briefly meet Dr Goodall, I still haven’t managed to meet President Ma even though I’ve photographed him 4 or 5 times. “The photography can change the world”. Do you agree? Yes, definitely but probably more as a catalyst than a direct cause. Images such as Nick Ut’s famous shot of Kim Phúc or the photographs of Abu Ghraib in Iraq are all drilled into the minds and consciousness > of

However, a local expat internet forum would often see people looking for photography lessons in English, particularly from people who’d just bought a first DSLR and wanted to know how to use it. So I decided to jump in and fill the gap. It’s not a formal school by any means with most students just coming for a few basic lessons in a 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 format. I’ve run a couple of workshops as well, mostly on lighting. One of your clients in the field of NGOs was the Jane Goodall Institute. Have you met Jane Goodall? Yes, I was briefly able to meet Dr Goodall. It wasn’t much more than a hello though! The whole thing happened by chance really. Somebody I knew was working for the local chapter of the Jane Goodall Institute and they a photographer for a tree planting event with Dr Goodall and Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou. Myself and another photographed happened to be available that day so we went out and photographed.

Jane Goodall, September 5th 2010

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KLCC Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Coastal views at Shalun Beach, Taiwan

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Portfolio Birthday of the Bao Sheng Emperor, celebrated at Taipei’s Bao-an Temple

> people everywhere and can spur people to action. On the smaller scale, organizations such as the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers (IGVP) aim to break down stereotypes via imagery. What would be your ideal assignment? That’s a tough one. A National Geographic assigned journey to the Mustang region of Nepal, Zanskar in India or anywhere in Bhutan would be great. Tell us a little about your new work… I’ve got a few things in the works now, one coming to an end and others in the early or planning stages. I’m putting the final touches of a year long project that has seen me posting photo tips and tutorials daily on my blog. It’s kind of like a 365 project supersized. That’s due to finish at the end of 2010. For new work that’s underway, I’m working on a small environmental photography project at the moment. I aim to have this complete in early 2011. I actually have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science so I’ve decided that I should make use of it by way of environmental photography. I’ve already been in touch with some environmental NGOs and hope to build a solid body of work in this field. Craig, thanks for taking the time out to talk with us. We wish you continued success. Thank you for inviting me to take part.

Cosplay at National Taiwan University, Taipei

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Farmer walking through agricultural fields on the outskirts of Taipei city, Taiwan

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craig f erguson www.craigfergusonimages.com

Yang Feng Old Trail, Yangmingshan

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Shen Wei

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Who is Shen Wei? I am a Chinese photographer currently works in both New York and Shanghai. I am fascinated with people and culture and obsessed with travel and technology. Born and raised in Shanghai, you are based in NY. How this change of scenery has influenced your photography? In fact if I have not moved to US, I probably would not become a photographer. I studies design in college in Shanghai and worked in

advertising industry for a few years before moving to the US. Before that, I have never even touched a SLR camera. Until my first photography course in my first year at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I then discovered photography and found passion in it. Is USA definitively, the country of the opportunities? USA of course offers a lot of opportunities, so does the rest of the world. There are so much more opportunities have emerged >

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> in China in the past few decades. I travel intensively throughout the world and I see opportunities everywhere if you are looking for it. How would you describe your photography? Sensitive. What artists, photographers or not, have influenced in you now? There are many artists have influenced me. I am a huge fan of classical paintings, my new project I Miss You Already is somewhat inspired by many of the masters, such as Thomas Eakins, Jan Vermeer, Caravaggio and so on. What do you think about the level of Chinese photographers today? I am often amazed by the work from China, especially those works by the young Chinese photographers. They are so many interesting things happen in China right now, which provides endless fascinating subjects. What capital sin would you choose as theme for a photography project? Lust. “I Miss You Already” is a project focused on personal exploration and self-discovery. Do you believe in self-portraits as a way to get selfknowledge? Absolutely! In “Chinese Sentiment”, you make a personal search for your origins through loaded images of a certain nostalgia and fantasy. Where did your quest has led?

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I have spent almost 3 years traveling all over China, from mega-cities to small villages. I was seeking an authentic Chinese daily life and they are really everywhere surrounded me when I started to looked carefully.

complete my self-portraits project and looking forward to exhibit and publish the project. At the same time, I would like to make artwork other than photography, Id like to make some paintings and 3D work.

You are preparing a book on this series of photos...

Thank you very much for your answers and congratulations for your work, Shen.

The Chinese Sentiment book is published by Charles Lane Press in New York, with an essay by Peter Hessler and edited by Leslie Martin. The book will be released in April 2011. Where can we see Shen Wei in a few years? In the next few years, I hope to

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I have spent almost 3 years traveling all over China, from mega-cities to small villages. I was seeking an authentic Chinese daily life and they are really everywhere surrounded me when I started to looked carefully

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SHEn W EI www.sehnphoto.com

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Nyabol Badeng, from Torkej, dismantles her tukul to sell the wood and grass in Nasir for food

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Sister-in-law hosting Tibisa Chol Gach’s family in Hai Majak, an area of Nasir with many displaced people from Torkej

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Jenn Warren

Who is Jenn Warren? I am a photographer focusing on humanitarian and development programs, primarily for NGOs and UN agencies. I always make the distinction that I am not a photojournalist. I work very closely with the communications offices of international organizations, to help tell their stories and the stories of people they are working to help. I spend a lot of time in the field visiting programs and communities, documenting living conditions and access to basic services through photography and interviews. My work focuses mostly on health and education issues, and creating communications materials for use in the rural areas of Southern Sudan. You live in Juba, Southern Sudan. What reasons have led you to live in this place? I first came to Juba in July 2008 on assignment for Population Services International (PSI), an NGO focusing on malaria, water-borne diseases and HIV/AIDS prevention. PSI commissioned me to photograph their first distribution of 1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets in Southern Sudan, and to produce a ten-minute multimedia video on the program for government partners and donors. Since 2008, the organization has distributed over 6 million mosquito nets here. While working with PSI, I could see that photography was in high demand in Southern Sudan. Due to living conditions, Internet speeds, and lack of access to journalism, photography and arts communities, Juba can be

a difficult place to live, but I saw the potential for work and moved. Since then I have worked for a number of NGOs, UN and intergovernmental agencies here, and I find the work to be rewarding and interesting. Why produce documentary photography? Documentary photography allows me to meet and spend time with people I would never have the chance to otherwise. People I meet are often open and welcoming, and share very personal and sometimes heartbreaking aspects of their lives. This work humbles me. What is the most difficult situation you have experienced in your work? Working with Médecins Sans Frontières is always challenging and emotional. The work that MSF does in the communities they serve is tremendous, and the staff is extremely dedicated. Last year I was commissioned by MSF to visit villages in Southern Sudan that experienced tribal clashes and brutal violence. After collecting testimonies from victims and family members, and photographing the remains of attacked areas, I returned to the MSF hospital to spend some time documenting the doctors and nurses at work. A young girl in a coma was brought in and diagnosed with severe malaria, and the nurses immediately gave her a drip. Shortly thereafter, her grandmother began wailing and I realized that the girl was dying. There was nothing that the nurses or doctors could do, and certainly nothing that I could do besides put down my camera.

Documentary photography allows me to meet and spend time with people I would never have the chance to otherwise. People I meet are often open and welcoming, and share very personal and sometimes heartbreaking aspects of their lives. This work humbles me. The toughest moment as a photographer is deciding when to stop taking pictures and simply bear witness to a situation you are experiencing with the people you are photographing. How do you think your photos can help people? Documenting helps in many ways. Sharing images and people’s testimonies connects Southern Sudanese communities with the west and brings awareness to issues that trouble them, whether that be violence, food insecurity, or access to basic services like clean water, education and healthcare. The communications side of my work helps people here more directly. I photograph and design health >

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The toughest moment as a photographer is deciding when to stop taking pictures and simply bear witness to a situation you are experiencing with the people you are photographing.

Diamonido Marino, 65, is treated for malaria by an IOM nurse in Ezo, Western Equatoria

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Nyachuol Gatbel (L) was shot in the leg during a 3am raid on her village, Torkej. Tibisa Chol Gach (R) lost her daughter in the attack and now cares for the orphaned grandchildren

> messages for NGOs, including the production of posters, billboards and flipcharts to raise awareness about diseases like HIV, malaria, trachoma and worms, and their prevention through improved hygiene practices. The materials are sent to schools and health clinics around the country to raise awareness. Do you think you will someday return to the USA? I visit the US every ten months or so, and I hope I can visit it more frequently in the future. I will continue to be based in Juba for another year or two, so I can witness this historic time for Southern Sudan. The referendum took place this week, beginning on January 9. The vote allows Southern Sudanese people to choose to either remain part of Sudan or secede and form an independent nation. There is so much excitement in the air, as it is expected that the majority have cast their vote for secession. Many believe that once they are separated from the north, all their problems will disappear. This will take time. Important times are ahead for Southern Sudan, and I hope to see some of these changes take place. After leaving Juba, I plan to move to South Africa. My work and experience are on this continent, and it would be a step back to live anywhere else. Has living in Africa changed the way you see life? Absolutely. I’ve spent all of my time in East and Central Africa, so I would say that Uganda, Kenya and Sudan have changed the way I see life. I first visited Uganda in 2000 and experienced the idealistic naïve thinking that comes >

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UNHCR trucks transport Congolese refugees and their possessions to the newly created UNHCR site in Makpandu, Southern Sudan

Children line up for primary school attendance call in Kyanyawara, Uganda

remainder of the day walking from house to house, talking in family tukuls (locally-constructed homes), and photographing. What kind of equipment do you usually carry when you are in remote locations? Already being a foreign person with fancy equipment drives me to pack light. I use the Canon 5D Mark II, and have three primary lenses –the L series 24-70mm, fixed 24mm and fixed 35mm. I carry a backup camera, lots of charged batteries, and a car lighter power adaptor. I use an Eridol-9 and a small shotgun microphone for audio, and use the Mark II for video. Of all of the locations I have visited in Southern Sudan, I have never been without power to charge equipment every other day or so; there are corner shops everywhere that charge cell phones using small generators! What I’ll never forget are a flashlight, mosquito repellant and water. You have worked with various NGOs. How do you value the work they do in Africa? > with many westerner’s first visit to “Africa” –really just the exposure to a daily life that is so different from ours. Once the rose-tinted glasses came off, I saw that the place was still just as beautiful. The suffering and imbalance that many people experience in poorer nations should not be ignored, while the nature of everyday people shines through in a way that I can’t see in the west. Tell us about a day’s work in your life as a photographer.

When I am out in the field with an organization, I start my assignments with staff meeting to get a sense of what the program is doing, what villages they are operating in, and who the beneficiaries are. Reaching some of the villages in Sudan is the longest part of the journey –a flight in a single-engine prop plane and a bumpy, dusty ride into the middle of nowhere. Upon reaching a village, I introduce myself and the purpose of the visit to the local authorities, and I receive advice about areas to focus on and people to talk to. Once I have gone ahead, I spend the

That is a hard question because I see the good and bad aspects of the NGO (and international) presence in East Africa. On the one hand, I see that many communities who have been at war for decades, experience “donor fatigue” –they feel like food and other items should always be free even after an emergency, and they haven’t been able to farm or support themselves because of the great trauma they have experienced. I have also witnessed some NGOs which don’t live up to their expectations, or that have real problems with staff and delivery of services. Overall though, I believe that most NGOs are doing >

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18-year-old Peter Logie fits his new, second prosthesis. Peter lost his leg below the knee due to an Antonov bomb in 2003. The joint ICRC-GOSS Physical Rehabilitation Reference Center in Juba, Southern Sudan provides physical therapy and prosthetic devices free of charge. 30 September 2010

> important work, particularly organizations in emergency and disaster relief such as MSF and ICRC. PSI, the NGO that first brought me to Sudan, has a unique approach to humanitarian work: social marketing. Social marketing focuses on communications and education campaigns encouraging communities to take control of their health and future through behavior change and affordable products for sale, such as chlorine tablets for safe water, mosquito nets to combat malaria, and condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. I believe this approach is more sustainable, and we should all be asking: “What will happen if this assistance goes away? Who has the resources and knowledge to continue offering these services?” Show us one of your photos that has impacted you most personally and tell the story behind it. I recently did an assignment for the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), at the Physical Rehabilitation Reference Center in Juba. The center is run by the government, and serves war-wounded victims of gunshots and land mines supplying amputees with prosthetic legs and physiotherapy for free. I only spent two days at the center, but working with the patients for those two days was so uplifting. This photograph of Peter putting on his new prosthetic leg is really an hour of spending time with him and playing volleyball, while he tested the fit – much more than one minute for a photograph. Do you think about publishing a book of your pictures?

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Mabe Oba, age 11, fled from the village Nampari in northern Democratic Republic of Congo

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A schoolgirl collects water from a tepid pond in Kyanyawara, Uganda, an area frequently attacked by LRA rebels near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo

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One day I will publish my work. I’d like to collaborate with an organization on a publication that focuses on malaria. What can you tell me about Seeking Shelter, one of your latest projects? Seeking Shelter is an ongoing project documenting three UNHCR settlements in Southern Sudan for Congolese refugees fleeing the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Following the joint military operation “Operation Lightning Thunder” beginning on December 14th 2008, the LRA have expanded their area of attack and kidnapping into the Democratic Republic of Congo,

Southern Sudan and Central African Republic over the past two years. Over 20,000 Congolese have fled into Southern Sudan seeking refuge, where UNHCR is working with a number of humanitarian organizations in the relief effort. Repeated LRA attacks on nearby villages leave the refugees and local communities at great risk. I am collecting images, audio and video interviews from people in the settlements, and will continue to follow the situation for at least the time I have remaining in Sudan. What projects are you going to prepare in the future?

Nyagene Jacquelina, 45, seeks treatment from an IOM nurse in Ezo, Western Equatoria, for what is believed to be advanced stage of AIDS

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I have a few ideas in mind regarding the referendum coming up in January. It is going to be a very important year for Southern Sudan and everyone here, and I am looking forward to being a part of it. I am documenting Southern Sudan’s transition from a semi-autonomous country to the (very likely) newest independent nation - the 54th country in Africa and, I believe, the 193rd country in the world. We would like to come back soon to talk about one of your projects in detail. Would you agree to a follow feature? Sure, thank you for your interest. Thank you very much for your answers Jenn, and congratulations for your work.

Batula Sheikh, who’s family says she is 124 years old, is a Somali nomad living outside of the Dagahale Refugee Camp near Dadaab, Kenya

Nomads bring their camel to the CARE-sponsored well in Kumahumato, which means “that which supports cattle” in Somali

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JEnn W arren www.jennwarren.net

Aerial over Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Southern Sudan

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9-year old Lacandon Maya boy “Pancho” at Cascadas Lacanja in Montes Azules (Biosphere Reserve), Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas State, Mexico

Robert Leon

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Robert Leon

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How would you describe your photography? I’m a travel and documentary photographer and photography is my way of contributing to other people’s appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures and their traditions. I photograph people in their environment, especially traditional and indigenous people or people with lots of character who have interesting stories. You lived in Italy for nine years. You worked there as a fashion photographer. What are your personal opinions about that stage in your life? Living and working in Italy was a great experience. Art is everywhere and living immersed in it evolved my photography’s aesthetic characteristics. Italy is a big creative center with historic and contemporary artistic environments for creative people, so the creative vibration of the arts gets absorbed into your being along with Italy’s passionate way-of-life.

Sadhu Yogi Baba Ramaeshuranand, Pushkar Lake, Rajasthan, India

Who is Robert Leon? I’m originally from Montreal Canada and I’ve been a professional photographer for the past 30-years. I started in photography as an advertising and corporate photographer and in 1987 moved to Milan, Italy where I lived and worked for 9-years as a fashion and advertising photographer. While in Italy I rediscovered my love of travel and documentary photography, which is what I’m now doing. I’m now based out of Vancouver which is a beautiful place

to live, because it’s surrounded by mountains and the ocean. I think that the National Geographic and LIFE magazines have had something to do with your decision to be a documentary photographer… When I was a young child the world of images I saw in my parents’ collection of National Geographic and Life magazines fascinated me and I’d dream of going to those places because I was fascinated by the World’s cultures and exotic places.

transported to another World and get a sense the energy of the image whether it’s a person or a place. After awhile, the context of fashion photography became very meaningless in terms of fulfilling my desire to photograph reality and places around the world. Since the content of the work wasn’t providing me with the satisfaction that my true calling as a photographer would give me - which is to show authentic people, places and nature around the world with a positive viewpoint. I had the opportunity to shoot, travel and work on documentary assignments for Italian magazines and eventually left the fashion industry to work on what really interests me; experiencing life while seeing the world with interesting people and >

When I was a young child the world of images I saw in my parents’ collection of National Geographic and Life magazines fascinated me and I’d dream of going to those places because I was fascinated by the World’s cultures and exotic places.

At that time, fashion photography was a good creative outlet for me that expanded my abilities to work with people and convey moods or feelings that transcend photography’s flat 2D-plane so that images can go beyond the photograph’s flat physical dimension and express emotions or feelings of people and places. In other words, getting the equipment and technique out of my way so my heart and soul come out to play visually and poetically without gimmickry so imagery can transcend photography’s flat 2D-plane and communicate a mood, or convey a sense of person and place so while looking at a 2d image they are Greek woman laughing, Therassia Island, Cyclades Islands, Greece

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Mohawk Peacemaker, Kanentakeron (Mike Phillips)

> making a contribution for positive evolution by showing the beauty we have on Earth. You are passionate about people, travel and indigenous cultures. Is photography your excuse for travelling and satisfying your curiosity? No, it pays the bills. Just joking! It’s not an excuse, it’s a way-of-life I choose and make happen because I’m passionate about the World and my life in it. I love photography because it’s my way of creative expression - I’m a right-brained visually inclined person.

My way-of-being has evolved by learning many things in many places about people and myself. My curiosity about the Earth and people has progressed into a mission as a responsible observer showing truth and beauty around us. My passion for photography has evolved into being a visual voice for all cultures and making a contribution to society, while evolving myself as a person with the experiences I have and expanding out to others sharing and learning from their experiences. The curiosity to see and go places evolved into enthusiasm to do

something good, which gives me the energy to continue doing what I do. I consider us all indigenous people of Earth so we are all responsible for the Earth; my photography of indigenous cultures has no boundaries and includes everyone. When you live with indigenous people for a period of time, how do you feel personally? How do you see the modern society in which we usually live? I’ve felt connected in some profound ways, in terms of feeling at home with authentic people who have >

Mohawk man Albert Stalk flying like an eagle in the sky

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Mohawk Warrior, Kanentakeron (Mike Phillips)

> wisdom and good sense of values living harmoniously with Earth and each other. But in other ways I feel alienated from them because I’m from the Western World where a lot of people are very destructive to the Earth. It looks like Indigenous people have a very large amount of disdain towards “modern society” - they see the huge amount of damage being done to the Earth – who they (and I) consider Mother Earth - and so they take the raping of the Earth for Her resources very personally. So bridging that gap between me, being a Westerner, and the indigenous people takes patience and gaining their trust. It’s a bridge with a huge gap between the two sides; on one side of the bridge is the “modern” world’s immense population with unsustainable consumerism and on the other side are people living and sustaining themselves in harmony with each other and Mother Earth. But the side with most power - the “modern” world - has the most damaging effects in terms of the environment, nature and social wellbeing. The discrepancy seems really enormous, like a battle between David and Goliath. It seems the only way balance will be reestablished on Earth is by an enormous shift in people’s consciousness and evolving humanity - or a Divine phenomenon like an Avatar coming to Earth to reset the balance and restore harmony. On two occasions in the midnineties you were with the Lacandones, a Mayan indigenous group, in the Lacandona Jungle, in Chiapas, Mexico. What can you tell us about this experience? It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was the >

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Yucateca Maya man at the Chichen Itza ruins, Yucatan, Mexico

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Portovenere Village at night (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Riviera Di Levante, Liguria, Italy

jungle hiding behind bushes and trees as I crept along photographing the cut trees… and nobody saw me. When I returned to Naha village the Lacandons knew I wasn’t there to exploit them - I was there to tell their story. They accepted me into their village and let me photograph their leader, Chan K’In Viejo, and rituals that few outsiders have ever seen at that time.

Tzutujil Maya women wash in Lago Atitlan near Santiago Atitlan village, Guatemala

It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was the only non-Lacandon person there and had an authentic immersion into their culture. It was a great opportunity to serve a greater cause doing my lifework and being a voice for Indigenous people and Earth, because when I arrived at the Lacandon village called Naha it was being threatened by people invading their land and illegally cutting trees.

> only non-Lacandon person there and had an authentic immersion into their culture. It was a great opportunity to serve a greater cause doing my lifework and being a voice for Indigenous people and Earth, because when I arrived at the Lacandon village called Naha it was being threatened by people invading their land and illegally cutting trees. The trees where being cut in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve which is part of the Selva Lacandona region, the Lacandon Maya home that is protected by the Lacandons. They where in a state of crisis and told me the people cutting down the trees would kill anyone getting near them and who tried to stop them. With two Lacandon guides I hiked through the jungle and when we got close to the area - about 1 kilometer from where the trees were being cut - the Lacandon guides told me I was on my own. As I tried to be brave in front of them - as if I did this everyday - I tried to stop thinking I was insane and thought to myself… “Great, there’s no toilet around here to change my underwear!” So I continued into the

When you stay for long periods of time in places which lack certain infrastructures such as electricity, what photographic equipment do you tend to take with you? I’m shooting digital now but still have my film cameras and could take those in a situation where there’s no electricity or I’ll use solar powered chargers for the digital cameras in that situation. I try not to be too reliant on infrastructure and like to travel with only essential gear so I’m basically selfreliant.

A Tzutujil Maya fisherman man paddles a “hoku” canoe on Lago Atitlan at the base of San Pedro Volcano. Santiago Atitlan Village, Guatemala

Cuba, Greece, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Israel… Which of these places would you go back to with your camera? Right now, India’s vibrant culture draws me there to continue photographing more of the incredible culture that their country has to offer. It’s a country with so much going on and the stories are never ending. Plus, I really love Indian food! And what new places would you like to visit? What new projects do you have in mind? As I mentioned I’ll be going to new places in India and also Bali to photograph the culture and spirituality for a book project I’m working on.

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Portfolio Sgra. Rosa Alisa Fraga sitting in her home praying with Rosary beads and Statue of Santa Barbara, Trinidad, Cuba

In the series “North American Legends” you present a few mythological images of the Mohawk culture. How did this idea come about? With The North American Legends assignment I had creative freedom to photograph a 24-page fashion editorial. I was in a transitional stage doing more travel/documentary photography and wanted to do something different rather than a typical fashion editorial.

and Albert Stalk, the iron worker who climbed the Eiffel Tower on the outside without a safety rope. We had a great collaboration which helped keep the feeling of the Mohawk people and authentic meaning of the Mohawk symbology. Do you recall any photograph which is particularly special for you and, if so, the moment in which you took it?

Yes, one of my favorite images is of a Sadhu in Rajasthan India. A disheveled So I combined fashion with the man was putting symbols on people’s Mohawk’s cultural story and traditional foreheads as a blessing. He comes symbolism. I researched their to me and makes a symbol on my mythological and cultural symbolism, forehead, but seeing I’m a Westerner got input from the Mohawk people he blesses me saying cheerfully: “Merry and then created images that reflected Christmas!!!” …but Christmas is not their culture. Rather than being just near. We start laughing hysterically. fashion photographs the images tell When we straighten ourselves out a story about Mohawk culture, their he says his name is Sadhu Yogi Baba symbology and mythology. Ramaeshuranand and eagerly invites me to his temple. I was fortunate to photograph a couple of great Mohawk elders; In his eight-by-eight foot cinder block Kanentakeron or Mike Phillips who temple he did a spiritual practice and portrayed the Huron native elder started raising his hands up in the air named Sachem in The Last Of The and laughed with joy. At that moment Mohicans staring Daniel Day-Lewis; a beam of sunlight came through a > Cuban children, Santiago De Cuba, Cuba

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Rajasthani tribal woman grinding flour inside a camel dung, dirt and sand hut in a desert village without electricity or running water. Nimb Ki Dhani Village, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India

> doorway lighting-up his hand. I later asked him what he was doing and he said: “I’m sending joy and happiness up to the Universe so it falls back to Earth as a rain of joy and happiness onto people”. I thought about what he said and realized that’s a summary of what I wanted my photography and life to be about. I want to show people around the world in a positive way by sending images into the World and hopefully it will have a positive effect. Sure, there’s a time to show hard World issues but I also like to show more positivity and beauty because I believe showing positivity will create positive change. Do you think that photography helps us to get to know our roots better both as individuals and as a society? I think photography helps gain insight onto our roots, but not just cultural roots. Documentary photography shows who we are and what we’re doing on Earth in an essential way. It shows where we where, where we are and where we’re potentially going. It’s a track record showing our roots and our probable future direction. Photography is a mirror reflecting humanity back at people to contemplate themselves. It raises our consciousness individually and societically by revealing our true nature and our relationship with Earth and inspires evolving in positive proactive ways. When needed, photography can show adversity on Earth to make a comparison between what we don’t want and what we want; showing choices between positive and negative, light and dark, good and bad – what we want or don’t want to have as our roots.

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Rajasthani boy running across newly dyed textiles drying in the sun, near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

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Indian girl climbing stairs at Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory. Jaipur City, India

I hope photography will somehow foster greater compassion and love for people and the Earth, or maybe help people see and appreciate the beauty in all cultures and Earth. Photography has the ability to strip all of the facades away, the clothes, the environment and you see in the person’s eyes and the true essence of their soul is shown. Images can speak beyond a two-dimensional plane into multidimensional planes where emotions are experienced and a person’s roots can be revealed in a very clear manner. Photography has a magical energy that can change many things for the better and I believe that understanding our roots can be very healing for our planet.

Where would you like to see yourself in ten years’ time? I’d like to see myself still in really good health with my lifework flowing smoothly doing what I love to do and have books or projects out that have a positive effect on people. I’d like to see my photography making a contribution to society and the Earth this would be the most gratifying thing for me regarding my photography. Thank you, Robert, for sharing your thoughts and your photos with us.

Seeing we all have souls we can look at each other very differently than just looking at another person as a material subject for personal gain…there’s too much of that going on now and people are sick of it. Semana Santa (Holy Week) procession. Antigua, Guatemala

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rOBERT l eon www.robertleon.com

Robert Leon (Center) and friends, Pushkar Lake, Rajasthan, India

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A child stands close to her older sister at the Islamic Studies Center in Accra , Ghana 2002

Hi Mimi. Thanks for taking the time out to be interviewed by F8 Magazine. What drives you to take the photos you take? For me, photography has always been like music. They’re one and the same. When you look through the viewfinder, at someone’s face, for that split moment you feel a connection, a depth into someone’s being, you are completely disengaged from the rest of the world, even when surrounded by danger and chaos. It’s a higher state of mind. And music, well, art has the power to take you places that you wouldn’t otherwise venture into. Most importantly, it transforms you. So what drives me to take photos is the idea that a single fraction of a second has the ability to reveal a truth deeper than any written word. Photography is immediate and instinctual. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.

consciousness and influence change. And for inspiration, I look at the work of those who came before me. Your photography portfolio is mostly dedicated to social issues. How do you decide on topics, locations, subjects?

with a strong voice and sensibility; And their coverage was pretty thorough. Then there are stories, for example, sex trafficking that lacked the appropriate coverage it deserves, which in my opinion, is because it’s a dangerous, controversial and tricky story to expose.

I usually take my time on researching a topic. I would read everything that’s been reported on a place or an issue and look at the images that represent it. If I feel that I can somehow add to it, show a different angle or dive deeper, that’s when I plan my initial reporting trip.

So I thought with my images and stories of the situation, I can contribute to the public discourse and give my views on the subject as a female photojournalist. This entails is a deeper commitment. Sometimes you have to spend years on an issue to really understand all the factors involved.

For example, I have a lot of colleagues who covered Katrina and this past year, the devastating earthquake in Haiti. I felt no urge to be there because these are incredible photographers

This is the ultimate test. How long can you endure, to expose something that is physically and mentally draining you? When do you really say enough?

The real reason for doing the work is the refusal to be complacent or to consume what others serve you. It’s the hunger to be out there and see reality with your own eyes. But if you were to go even further into what gets me going, it’s this belief that somehow my images will move people to change their minds about certain issues, that I can raise public consciousness and influence change.

What motivates you to take your style of photos? This is a complex question. On one hand, what motivates me is fear. I can’t tell you how many times I am about to board a plane and I have this feeling of… “What the hell I am doing? Will I come back in one piece?” But that’s only on the surface. The real reason for doing the work is the refusal to be complacent or to consume what others serve you. It’s the hunger to be out there and see reality with your own eyes. But if you were to go even further into what gets me going, it’s this belief that somehow my images will move people to change their minds about certain issues, that I can raise public

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What kind of impression do you hope to leave upon other’s who see your photographs? Especially in the context of social issues… Well, first and foremost, an appreciation for the craft and artfulness of my work. That’s really my hook. I want to draw you in with beauty. Once you enter the frame, I try to gradually reveal all the other pieces that will educate you on what it is that you’re seeing. Multimedia has the power to do that. If you hear someone’s voice, their sigh or laughter, it fuses the still image with real time. It brings you a step closer to someone else’s story. I hope that when people see my work they can leave with questions and the initiative to ask more. If you’re not informed, you are living in darkness. Although there is this notion of ignorance as bliss and I understand its appeal. The more you know, the more responsible you become of changing. I was walking by a mural the other day and saw a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” So once you know what happens to others, it is your duty as a human being to take a position. Pretending that what’s right in front of you doesn’t exist just because it disrupts your comfort zone is unacceptable. What was your most memorable project you have ever experienced as a photographer? Asking me this question is like asking me to pick a favorite fruit. I would go with mango but I also love figs, watermelon and grapes…. Every project has its own life. And in every

place you photograph, you leave a piece of yourself. It’s an exchange. You are not only taking a photo; you are giving your attention and concern. Sometimes you don’t even take photos. You sit and observe and help, if you can. When someone opens their home to you, shares the little bit of food they have and offers you their bed because sleeping on the floor is out of the question, you are a guest, not a journalist. And you treat people with the respect your mother taught you. I am fortunate to say I have a wonderful mother who instilled that into me. And I can return to the places I’ve visited over the years without ever feeling unwelcome. The people we photograph should never be referred to as “subjects.” And the dynamic is way too complicated to ever pretend that we can be objective with the work we do. You’ve been to quiet a few countries, Cuba, India, South Africa, Jamaica, Ghana, Dubai... Which country had the biggest emotional effect on you and why? I didn’t leave Dubai on good terms, that’s the only place I would have difficulty returning to. Every country you mention has had profound effects on the person I am today. Being in Cuba was like revisiting my childhood in Bulgaria. There were so many reminders of the communist system and the hunger in people’s eyes when you CAN’T leave to better your life. India is a place so diverse and rich in engaging all your senses, writing anything about it as a country would be difficult to capture to do it justice. South Africa, Jamaica, Ghana, Iraq, Guatemala… and all the other places I haven’t covered yet, the way I see it is I grew up in one geographical > Family on wheels, Camagüey, Cuba 2001

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> location and left it to come to another. I’ve always been a person without a country, which makes me a good candidate for the photography I do. You can’t be homesick when you’re on the road. You don’t have that luxury. So you have to embrace every place you travel to as your own. And your photography is so much stronger for it. Can you tell me the story behind one of your images you have sent us?

One of the photos I’m sending you is of a little girl in Moldova. You see the anxiety on her face. She was worried about the fate of her older sister who left for Turkey three years prior to this photo being taken. The family had only heard from her once – a letter she sent to her home village. Her parents didn’t know whether their older daughter was still alive. They gave me the letter she had sent them. I traveled to Turkey a few weeks later and was able to track her down. She had been trafficked for sex in Istanbul. A client

helped her escape. He took her to his hometown (3 hours from Istanbul) and married her. They have a child together. Tania called her parents the day I found her to tell them she’s still alive but can’t return home because the leaders of the trafficking ring kept her passport. She remains in Turkey as an illegal immigrant. She rarely leaves the house out of fear of being deported and losing custody of her son. She’s afraid that her family would disown her if they knew she had been sold into prostitution.

I look at this image as a reminder that one person’s life has a mark on many others. After eight years of work, on your project “The Price of Sex”, which shows the tragedy of sex trafficking in Eastern Europe and parts of the Middle East. What can you tell us about your project? I just finished the feature long documentary film, “The Price of Sex” which will be available to view in 2011.

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What I can tell you is that this was a topic that required for more than photography. Over time, it was critical to incorporate video and have the women tell their stories on camera. I also started doing more investigative work around trafficking and where the women end up being sold for sex. I still took photos but in the last few trips, I’ve had to also focus on videography and directing the film.

Also, it can reduce the stigma and shame. By showing how many women this happens to, others who are living in silence can speak up. Photography and documentaries like my project can become an outlet for change. About your project in Kashmir, What can you tell us about this serious conflict?

I can tell you that the civilians, as in many other places of conflict, are Do you think photography projects trapped in the middle. They suffer the like yours can help eradicate this? biggest consequences of war and loss. There were villages in Kashmir that Photography projects will never would be raided by the Indian army eradicate the dark side of the human during the day. They would harass and nature. What they can do is expose it molest the women. Then the militants in ways that get the public to react. would come down >

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Photography projects will never eradicate the dark side of the human nature. What they can do is expose it in ways that get the public to react. > from the mountains a few nights later and do the same. I’ll never forget the words of an old Sufi poet who had lost his whole family in a blast. “If I had another life, one thing I wouldn’t want to be is a woman or a donkey.” Have you ever found yourself in an especially dangerous situation while shooting? It’s impossible not to find yourself in dangerous situations no matter how prepared you think you are. There are too many variables beyond your control when you enter high-risk situations. I always tell my students that staying alive in this line of work is a combination of common sense based on experience, instinct, your powers of observation and the rest is really luck. Once it runs out, you’re done. What photographers (past and present) inspire you in your own photography? There are so many... I am really inspired by the young people shooting out there. Their names aren’t well known but their vision is fresh. And of course, Josef Koudelka.

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Mimi Chakarova selfportrait

But beyond the work we do, there is also the comradery. I was leaving Kashmir about five years ago and at the airport the security went through my bags and wanted to confiscate my film. I was there on my own, no press credentials, no journalist visa. Bob Nickelsberg from Time magazine, who was covering the violence and surge of car bomb blasts, happened to be on the same plane to Delhi. He saved my film. He said, “She’s with me” and

showed them his credentials. Now, this is someone I had briefly met at a militant shoot-out where many were killed. To understand the importance of your film you have to understand the situations you’ve put yourself in to get the images. You can’t imagine how much it hurts when someone tries to destroy your work or keep you from bringing it to the world. Over the years I became friends with Bob but it all started there, at the airport. One remarkable deed can last a lifetime. What advice do you have for photographers just starting out? I could write a book full of advice and still have more to give. Be humble. Be respectful. Never put your camera before decency. Know that this world is smaller than it seems. You’ll run into the same people throughout your life. Do right and never forget why you wanted to be a photographer. It’s a tool to communicate and explain what others don’t know or don’t care about. Your job is to be honest. You must be driven beyond your limitations. You are serving a greater good if photography is your purpose. If you want to share any other thoughts, new projects, advice, etc. I read this by Rumi, one of my favorite poets: “My heart is so small, how can You put such great sorrows in it? Look He replied. Your eyes are even smaller yet they hold the world. “ Thank you for your time to talk with F8 Magazine, It’s been a great pleasure. We look forward to documentary and wish you success with this and future endeavourers.

Kashmir, 2003

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MIMI C HaKaROVa www.mclight.com

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Aaron Joel Santos

ome irls

A project by

Aaron Joel Santos A portrait of Tu at her home in Pattaya, Thailand. Tu, now 32 years old, has performed at Tiffany’s Show, one of Pattaya’s largest ladyboy cabarets, for the past 10 years.

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About Some Girls I’ve long been interested in those people and subcultures that exist on the fringes of society, the outcasts, the eccentrics and the hangers on. I take photographs as an excuse to learn about people and the world. So it was that I ended up here.

Some Girls straddles the line between fantasy and reality and aims to explore the lifestyles of the transgender community in Thailand, from the daily lives of young women in Bangkok to the sex workers and cabaret stars of Pattaya and beyond. In the real world, some girls are born boys. Their dream is to escape or transcend that body. To flourish and transform into a beautiful and more feminine being. Oftentimes these worlds merge in wonderful and weird ways. Life becomes a stage where the myths and stereotypes of gender are all played out. Some Girls is a work in progress and as such is constantly growing and transforming, much like the subjects it depicts.

About the Author

Aaron Joel Santos grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and graduated from schools in San Francisco and Boston before moving to Vietnam in 2007. These days, Aaron is an editorial and documentary photographer based out of Hanoi and working for clients across Southeast Asia. He is represented by Wonderful Machine in the United States & Invision Images across Europe and Japan. He is also an attendee of the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop. www.aaronjoelsantos.com A portrait of Sense, a transgendered woman working as a designer and model in Pattaya, Thailand. #1

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A portrait of Ant, a 21-year-old ladyboy performer in Bangkok, Thailand. Ant began taking female hormones at age 12 in her home village in northeastern Thailand. She always knew that she was born into the wrong body, she says, a sentiment shared by many other girls like her.

A transgendered woman waits to go onstage at Tiffany’s Show in Pattaya, Thailand.

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Aer Kong-on drives her car to theatre rehearsal on the grounds of Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. Aer was born a male but lives life as a woman. When asked about taking hormones, she replies, “I make my own hormones.�

A portrait of Mae, a transgendered woman in Bangkok, Thailand.

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A portrait of Ya Benyapaponds, a 23-year-old transgendered hairdresser in Bangkok. Ya began taking female hormones, in the form of over-the-counter birth control pills, when she was 13, and has been seeing a doctor for hormone injections for the past five years.

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Backstage at Tiffany’s Show, one of Pattaya’s largest and most well-known ladyboy cabarets.

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Ant changes backstage at the music club where she works. Ant is a 21-year-old ladyboy performer who has been taking female hormones since she was 12, in the form of over-the-counter birth control pills.

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Young ladyboy performers get ready backstage at a traditional Isaan music club in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Tiffany’s Show in Pattaya, Thailand. Tiffany’s is one of Pattaya’s largest and most well-known ladyboy cabarets, and has been around for over 30 years.

A ladyboy sex worker wears a belt with a dollar sign on it while holding condoms and lube handed to her by Sisters, a transgendered outreach and community services organization in Pattaya, Thailand.

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New York City by Robbie McClaran

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How and when did the idea of creating 52Selects.com come about? The idea for 52Selects.com was born shortly after I closed my H2 Gallery in Atlanta. H2 was like no other gallery in the southeast as it exhibited strictly photojournalism and documentary photography. Visitors to the gallery loved the concept…they were used to seeing “fine art” photography at Atlanta venues like Jackson Fine Art, Lumiere and Fay Gold. All had exhibited photojournalism to one degree or another – W. Eugene Smith, Capa,

Bresson – but most were priced out of reach of the average collector. While trying to keep our prices affordable, I too had to structure my pricing to cover gallery overhead (not cheap!), marketing, transportation of exhibition pieces and after everyone else had been paid - hope for a profit. I had visitor after visitor to the gallery become totally engaged with the images we were presenting. But at a median price of twelve hundred dollars, they simply couldn’t afford them.

Bodybuilders do push-ups backstage during the Mr. Tallahassee bodybuilding contest. Photo by Craig Litten

The photographer in her hotel room, for a profile piece. Joe Patronite

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I came to the realization that there were many people who had a lifelong relationship with photojournalism. They’d see a photograph that they’d connect with on an emotional level, cut it from the page of the newspaper or magazine in which the photograph appeared, and then display it on the door of their refrigerator in a sort of a “self-curated mini gallery”.

most important part of 52Selects. com. On the business and operations side is my business partner, Martha Warrington and myself. Martha also is the owner of a web design firm, and a talented musician with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. I continue to work daily as a photojournalist in addition to my role as curator with 52Selects.com.

between the print and the required space.

I wanted to see photojournalism and documentary work honored, preserved and grow into a collectable, affordable marketplace. I believed that this wouldn’t happen if I continued down the path of just having another traditional gallery.

In what type of photography do you specialize?

In 2008, I moved west to Oregon and began working on the online gallery concept that became 52Selects.com.

Too many times gallery visitors walk away from a fine art photography exhibition saying “what was THAT all about?”.

As our friend Jay Maisel likes to say the photograph is all about light, color and gesture. These are all taken into account when selecting images for our fledgling collection, but because we’re talking about photojournalism, I add two more criteria – significance and relation.

Who is behind 52Selects.com? Our contributing photographers are the

photo by Bill Frakes

52Selects.com is tightly focused on photojournalism and documentary work and we don’t cater to “snob appeal”.

What are the services offered by 52Selects.com? In addition to the prints offered on our website, we offer custom sizes through 40” x 60” , archival 4, 6, and 8 ply matting and gallery framing. We work with clients on custom orders to create an appropriate balance

What are the criteria for selecting photographers? Obviously, they first have to be a great photojournalist…secondly they must be ethical in their work…and then there are the intangible qualities.

The significance of an image refers to historical or social significance – look at the work of Jay Mather in our collection. His works – especially his Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the Cambodian refugees who fled Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge – are literally world changing photographs. These images brought world attention to the plight of the most vulnerable of people – those fleeing the killing fields. And when I to refer relational images, I think that Bill Pierce’s photographs of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland – are both historically and relationally significant – especially his image of a child mimicking a British soldier on patrol in Belfast.

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A young boy, whose growth was stunted by poverty, stares out from his grandmother’s shack. Corriverton, Guyana. Photo by Benjamin Rusnak

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Just look at the relationship between the soldier and the child...it speaks on several levels to the human condition.

How can 52Selects.com help a photographer publicize their work?

I think that that’s exactly what people love about great photojournalism – they can consider the image on so many different levels!

We get a lot of eyes on our pages.

What would you say to a photographer to convince him or her to join you? It really doesn’t take much convincing - as there’s no risk to the photographer…we haven’t discovered a downside. The benefits are sales and exposure to a new market. The photographer creates the image and we do the rest – from printing to marketing to client relations, fulfillment and shipping.

We link and crosslink with a good number of blogs and photo sites. We’ve even had magazine photo buyers contact us to license our contributor’s works for publication. When we get calls like this, we refer the buyer back to the creator and don’t charge a percentage of the sale. It’s another reason why our contributors seem to like us. Are all 52Selects.com prints are signed by their creators?

We get a lot of eyes on our pages. We link and crosslink with a good number of blogs and photo sites. We’ve even had magazine photo buyers contact us to license our contributor’s works for publication

On February 1, we’ll begin our new offering of two >

photo by Bill Pierce

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52 Selects photo by Billy Weeks

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Hat Store, Taos, New Mexico, with neon saguaro. Photo by Alan Berner

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A group of women, new arrivals in a refugee camp, hear their options for shelter, food and water. Cambodia, 1979. Photo by Jay Mather

> levels of collectable prints. The first is our original 11” x 14” “Signature Series” print collection signed by the photographer at the image border. The “Signature Series” prints are priced at a remarkably low $225.00. Secondly - we’ve had numerous emails from our friends & supporters telling us that while they’d like to begin a collection, they can’t afford $225.00 for a signed print, we’ve listened… and we’ve created our “Collector’s Series”. Each print from the “Collector’s Series” is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the photographer…and each print is available in your choice of three sizes – 8” x 10” ($50.), 11” x 14” ($75.) and 16”x 20” ($100.). We’ll even do custom sizes just by contacting us at curator@52Selects.com. It’s a great value! What kind of customers buy prints from 52Selects.com? Individuals, agencies? Up until this point, all of our clients have been individual collectors. Having said that, I’m working with a botique hotel about acquiring a portfolio of our prints to hang in their lobby and conference rooms. How would you convince a customer to buy photos through 52Selects.com? There’s no hard sell at all. Either a client loves a photograph or they don’t. Our photographs tell stories and clients tell us that our prints have become focal points in their homes. The learn about both the photographer and the stories behind the image..it makes for great conversations.

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photo by Brauer (Up)

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photo by Rich-Joseph Facun

photo by Leah Nash (Up)

August 2008: Beijing Summer Olympic Games. Photo by Neelman

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photo by Scott Robinson

photo by Greg Foster

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photo by Scott Strazzante and help to create a new and vibrant marketplace for great photojournalism.

How does 52Selects. com offer such a competitive price? 52Selects.com’s initial mission is to make great photojournalism affordable. We’d much rather help a client acquire say, five prints and have them end up paying less than for one photograph from a a conventional gallery. Our contributors are wonderful to work with us to offer lower prices

52Selects.com is an online gallery. Do you have relationship with traditional exhibition galleries? Actually yes, our opening in April 2010 was held at Ampersand Gallery & Bookstore, our brick and mortar gallery partner in Portland, Oregon. We’ll likely have an announcement in the second half of 2011 to announce further partnerships. Can a photographer submit work for your consideration? If you’re a photojournalist or documentary photographer, we’ll be happy to look at a potential

contributor’s body of work as time permits, but I have to mention - please don’t expect a critique. As they say in politics – we’ll give you an up or down vote. The best way to present work to us is to put up a web gallery and send a link to curator@52selects.com. Please be patient! Ken, How far would you like to see 52Selects.com grow? Our goal is to have 52 contributors from around the world by the end of 2011 and begin establishing relationships with small exhibition venues in the U.S. and Canada.

Ken Hawkins, photojournalist and curator of 52 Selects.com

Thanks Ken.

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52 selecTs www.52selects.com

photo by Marta Ramoneda

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ampania In-Felix (unhappy country)

(unhappy country)

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Matt Nagert

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For nearly two decades, Campania, the southern region of Italy where Naples is located, has witnessed the ongoing practice of illegal toxic material dumping. This practice has taken place in the provinces of Naples and Caserta known as “The Triangle of Death” taken from the towns of Acerra, Nola and Marigliano. The material that is illegally dumped in this vastly fertile region comes mostly from industries in Northern Italy. As of today, the management of waste material in Campania is fully in the hands of the Camorra – a mafia organization with vast economic and political power. The waste material, including aluminum salts, ammonium salts, lead, rubber from tires, and asbestos, is unlawfully incinerated. As a result, high levels of dioxin are released in the atmosphere causing high rates of cancer and diabetes among the people who are living in the contaminated area. Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) explores the presumed connection between waste, health and environment in the area of the Triangle of Death, recognized by local doctors as the most polluted area of the region, and is presented as a series of triptych images composed of three square images shot on medium format slide film. I chose to present the project as triptychs to emphasize the polarizing environments directly affecting the people living in the region. Life exists stuck between the beauty of the historically fertile land on one hand and a new tradition of waste and destruction on the other.

Mario Cannavacciuolo, a sheepherder, on his abandoned land in the countryside outside Acerra, Italy, Thursday, July 1, 2010. The Cannavacciuolo family has been destroyed by illegal toxic waste disposal and a government sponsored garbage incinerator, which was constructed adjacent to their land. His flock of sheep, of about 3000, died due to dioxin contamination. His brother, Enzo Cannavacciuolo, died shortly after, and tests show his body contained levels of dioxin, purins, and PCBs 30 times the amount allowed by the World Health Organization. The Cannavacciuolo family no longer earns money off the land, which has been in their family for generations.

According to the Italian environmental group Legambiente, “If all the trash that… escapes official inspection were collected in one place, it would form a mountain weighing 14 million tons and rising 47,900 feet from a base of three hectares. Mont Blanc rises 15,780 feet, Everest 29,015.” -Excerpt from Gomorrah’s chapter Land of Fires by Roberto Saviano.

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Overgrown trees and vegetation cover the road leading to Mount Vesuvius which last erupted in March 1944. Due to the nutrients delivered by volcanic eruptions to the agricultural land surrounding Mount Vesuvius, the Campania region of Southern Italy contains some of the most fertile soil in all of Europe. Produce from the region has been prized the world over and has been a key ingredient and export for all Italian cooking. Unfortunately, the rise in Camorra mafia activity has hurt the ability for businesses to grow and has led to increases in prostitution, illegal waste disposal, and environmental degradation to the famous volcano.

Assia Cerciello suffers from a variety of illnesses including, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hypertension, uterus cancer and diabetic neuropathy affecting her nervous system. Her health issues started when toxic waste build up began in the historical irrigation canal, Vasca San Sossio, which run by her neighborhood. A majority of the families in her neighborhood have similar health issues. Vasca San Sossio no longer transports water, as it is been plugged with concrete to prevent the spread of toxic waste due to illegal dumping in the canal. The canals, which were created by the Bourbons in the 1700s, brought clean water from Mount Somma, to the fertile agricultural lands outside Naples.

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Black tarps cover piles of toxic waste to prevent the spread of chemicals in an abandoned farm and extra textile fabric marks the land recently used as an illegal dumping ground in Calabricito near Acerra, Italy. Urban waste can be found throughout the provinces of Naples and Caserta. Surrounding farms have seen a drop in production quality of produce. This waste will unlikely be removed or treated to lessen toxicity levels as the area has been deemed secure by government officials..

Francesco Cipolletta, an agent with Corpo Forestale dello Stato, the federal forestry department, marks and documents found urban waste sites in the countryside. The Corpo Forestale dello Stato is a government agency in charge of running missions documenting actual illegal waste disposal and securing found waste sites. These sites often take years to be cleaned up and disposed of due to bureaucratic hold ups.

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People gather and gossip after a wedding in Marigliano, Italy. Doctors refer to the area around Marigliano, Nola, and Acerra as the Triangle of Death, as a result of the high levels of toxic waste and health issues facing communities. Another term, the Ecomafia, has also been used to describe the environmental problems caused by organized crime. For the past 20 years, the Camorra has been dumping industrial waste brought from Northern Italian industries into the Triangle of Death.

Gennaro Esposito, an environmental activist, doctor, and member a nonprofit organization called Doctors for the Environment, lives in Saviano, and has worked for several years documenting and uncovering waste sites and looking into health issues that result from contamination. Quarries are known to have been used as a toxic waste dumping site by Camorra organizations who illegally dispose of waste from Northern Italian industrial companies. Once the waste is dumped, it is quickly absorbed into the ground water and irrigation canals in the region. Health issues are on the rise amongst the population including cancer, hormonal imbalances, and tumors.

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Giuseppe Esposito, a local farmer and ex-police officer from Marigliano, Italy openly discusses his lack of action and direct participation in illegal waste disposal in the past. He now grows his own organic food and condemns the continuation of waste disposal in the land around his city. Esposito reflects on the history of Marigliano and has trouble seeing a brighter future for his grandchildren with the current health issues facing the region. While organic farming is not widely used in the Southern Italy, these alternatives may offer hope to people suffering from food related illnesses.

Old televisions, computers, tires, asbestos and toxic chemicals mark a landscape which still holds beauty created by Mount Vesuvius.

Antonio Marfella, an oncologist, is the leading doctor currently doing testing of people with health issues coming from the countryside outside Naples. Recent cutbacks in funding have delayed future testing and dramatically illustrate the struggles linking the rise in health issues with illegal waste disposal. Old televisions, computers, tires, asbestos and toxic chemicals mark a landscape which still holds beauty created by Mount Vesuvius. While organized crime can blamed for much of the illegal toxic waste dumping from Northern Italian companies, local citizens have, as well, become accustomed to illegal dumping of waste leading to further contamination of the countryside and continued health issues.

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Apartment buildings named Case Popolari were built to house families after the 1980 earthquake displaced families. It was about this time that illegal dumping of toxic waste from Northern Italian industries began, earning money for the region.

Bruna Gambardella, from Saviano, Italy, has experienced endometriosis and a weakened immune system due to high levels of PCBs accumulated in ground water and produce found in Marigliano. In 2008, Antonino Vassallo, a member of the Camorra, confessed to dumping toxic waste into the countryside around the provinces of Naples and Caserta. Gambardella has turned to organic farms to avoid eating local produce and has noticed some relief of health symptoms and a rise in energy. While some of the fertile land in the Campania region is facing polluted ground water, toxic dumping and rises in urban waste, there are opportunities for sustainable farming and healthy agriculture.

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Alessandro Cannavacciuolo, sits with piles of newspaper clippings and other documents of his families struggles with illegal toxic waste disposal on their farm in Acerra, Italy.

Alessandro, who no longer earns money off the land, which has been in his family for generations, now focuses his time on earning a law degree and fighting city officials for justice.

The Cannavacciuolo family has been destroyed by illegal toxic waste disposal and a government sponsored garbage incinerator, which was constructed adjacent to their land. The family’s flock of sheep, of about 3000, died due to dioxin contamination. His uncle, Enzo Cannavacciuolo, died shortly after, and tests show his body contained levels of dioxin, purins, and PCBs 30 times the amount allowed by the World Health Organization.

The documentary Campania In-Felix (unhappy country) is currently under postproduction and will be finished in May 2011. Visit the film’s website for more information: www.unhappycountry.com

About the author: Born in the mountains of Colorado in May 1983, I spent much of my youth outdoors rock climbing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. My love for nature and the environment, as well as my interest in people and culture, is center to my photography. I am interested in photographing environmental and social issues and the effects this has on people and communities living with the land. My goal is to learn and share stories about the co-habitation of people and their land.

A selection of my recent clients include: Mother Jones Magazine, DISCOVER Magazine, US News & World Report, AARP, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://mattnager.com/

My travels have taken me throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

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LUCEO Images

LU C E O I M AG E S

photo by Matt Slaby

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photographs by Daryl Peveto LUCEO believes that photography is about dialogue, discussion and LUCEO Images is a photographer shared ideas. It is with this belief that owned and operated cooperative LUCEO reaches out beyond its group established with the goal of supporting to establish relationships with other the significant work of its members. individuals and collectives. Our hope LUCEO produces the highest is to build a network of partnerships quality commercial and editorial that gives us opportunities to fulfill our photography and works to provide goals and to offer unique products and creative nourishment to our member services to our clients. photographers. Who participates in LUCEO Images? LUCEO’s six founding members came Our members are David Walter Banks, together during a time of industry Kendrick Brinson, Matt Eich, Kevin transition that has impacted the way German, Daryl Peveto, and Matt Slaby. in which imagery is created, distributed Our photographers are based around and consumed. We are meeting these the United States and Southeast Asia. challenges with creative ideas that offer solutions to our clients and allow us What is your philosophy about opportunities to work on projects with photography? purpose. What is LUCEO Images?

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LUCEO is united in a common belief that, > Our partner organizations work with LUCEO in order to help us bring the through these times of right team to a commercial shoot. In change, the still image essence, we offer our clients the option to enlist our partners’ services for any continues to be relevant. shoot, creating a team that can expand and contract to meet their specific We believe that history needs. Not only does this help us guarantee a consistent, high-quality extends beyond the news product, but it also allows us to draw from our history of working together. cycle, and that ordinary The benefit is clear: a seasoned team is more efficient, cost-effective, and goalpeople and personal oriented. struggles are avenues What can you tell a client to convince you to join? through which we can We always deliver high quality work explore the biggest issues to our clients, but we offer something else. > facing our world.

photographs by David Walter Banks Our philosophy revolves around the operations controlling the direction creation of long-term projects and of our company. We work together bodies of photographic work. LUCEO to develop, edit and pitch projects is united in a common belief that, for clients and actively market each through these times of change, the still other for assignment work. To put it image continues to be relevant. We in simple terms, instead of one agent believe that history extends beyond the marketing all our services, we have news cycle, and that ordinary people six photographers marketing for each and personal struggles are avenues other. through which we can explore the Tell me about the commercial biggest issues facing our world. services you offer. In what way LUCEO helps its Photographically, LUCEO members? photographers offer a distinct vision LUCEO supports our photographers that weaves raw and honest poetry both financially and creatively. We into a rich, visual narrative. We tell market together, and help each other stories. But what’s more, we create a grow as photographers. Each member feeling of place and time, of smells, has a place in our executive structure, sounds, touch and taste. With just a and an active role in day-to-day picture, we take you there. >

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> Simply put, every commission permits our clients to support significant photographic work. We believe in actively encouraging the completion of significant personal bodies of work which lack funding through mainstream outlets.

high-quality images to sell their products and services. We offer the peace-of-mind in knowing that their money goes towards supporting more than just our wallets. What is the purpose of this LUCEO Student Project Award that you have recently created?

In pursuit of this ideal, LUCEO Central to LUCEO’s mission is our contributes a percentage of all editorial belief in the importance of longand commissions toward the LUCEO term projects. We also understand Project Fund. This Fund exists solely that developing photographers need to support the long-term projects support. of LUCEO’s member photographers. We also believe that developing To advance both of these causes, photographers need support. LUCEO LUCEO has created the LUCEO pledges a portion of this fund towards Student Project Award, which is the LUCEO Student Project Award. disbursed annually to a talented student photographer in support of a Through this we offer our clients significant and developing body of > something more than consistent

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photographs by Kevin German

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> work. Entry instructions and rules can be found on our website: http://luceoimages.com/ What kind of partnerships do you have? Collaboration is essential to what we do. We feel it’s more important to offer solutions, rather than just products. To accomplish this, LUCEO actively partners with talented industry leaders who have staked their careers to provide the best in visual services. We have teamed up with partner organizations to help provide photo editing services, art direction, web design, audio and multimedia production, and printing services. We select our partners based on previous working experience with each person. We are particularly drawn to people who are capable of producing original, consistent, and high-quality work. From editorial shoots to fully produced commercial layouts, we have always believed that the final image is only as good as the entire team working to create the stage for its presentation. Do you consider requests for membership? Each year we consider applications at our annual meeting in January. If you are interested in applying for membership, please visit our website for detailed instructions on how to apply and contact information. Can you tell me about some new project that some member of LUCEO is developing?

photo by Matt Eich

Keeping in line with our foundation of teamwork and collaboration, LUCEO photographers have undertaken a group project documenting Small Town America. Over the next 24 months, LUCEO photographers will participate in a group project >

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> exploring the nuances of the rural American town. The project will focus on changes influencing rural population and economics. Particularly, we will look at factors effecting a net gain in rural populations. While some communities continue to dwindle and dry up, the last forty years have also seen a subtle rural resurgence, driven, in part, by a globalized and increasingly decentralized and de-regionalized economy. Do you have growing expectations? Yes, but very calculated. We have added only one member since founding LUCEO in 2007. We do accept applications on a yearly basis, but have strict requirements for membership and new members must be voted in with a unanimous vote from our members. Once accepted, new photographers are brought on as associate members for a trial period before full assimilation into the company. All members are expected to actively contribute in running our organization and must attend both of our bi-annual in person meetings as well as produce a required amount of new project work each year. While we do have intentions to grow, we have an internal cap on that growth and aim to always remain a boutique company in order to maintain the level of quality control, open communication and forward momentum that our clients have come to expect. Thanks for your words and good luck in your projects, guys.

photo by Matt Eich

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lUCEO Images http://luceoimages.com

photo by Matt Slaby

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Profile for F8 Magazine

F8Magazine #1 January - 2011  

F8Magazine #1 January - 2011 English Edition

F8Magazine #1 January - 2011  

F8Magazine #1 January - 2011 English Edition

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