Photos can be a powerful tool. Both in a negative and in a positive way. Photos show reality the way it has happened, objectively and truthfully. At least that’s been the opinion of most people for a long period of time.
Nowadays one has become a bit more skeptical concerning photos and videos. We know that professionals can manipulate and also exploit almost every detail of an image with Photoshop and other programs and we’re aware that images nowadays can also be willingly used to serve certain purposes.
However, photos can also cause something positive. They can make people think, inspire and delight them. They can also create social changes, reforms and revolutions.
One guy who has changed the situations of many people in a positive way with his pictures is Jacob Riis.
Being a princess, working as a vet, becoming an actress, swimming with whales as a marine biologist, founding an animal shelter, traveling around the world as a photographer… All these are the dreams I had or still have. Some of them, or at least parts of them, have already come true. Others most likely will never come true and yet they’re part of me and of the person I am.
Dewi lives in a slum in New Delhi, and wants to be a teacher when she’s grown up. (Photo: Chris de Bode)
I don’t know if you feel the same way but I realized that I often keep focusing on photography and on photographic inspirations in the western world only. I spend a lot of time in social networks and mainly browsing photo journals to find exceptional photographers, trends or news. Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I keep mainly focusing on inspirations from the US, from Europe and sometimes from South America, but I rarely write about the world of photography in Asia or Africa. That’s why I’ve decided to expand my horizon. And I’ll start today by introducing you to China’s most feted photographer: Lu Guang.
There’s no doubt that drone photography and a bird’s eye view which is becoming more and more popular have been a clear trend in the world of photography for quite some time.
No wonder because they allow you a perspective that human-beings aren’t likely to experience otherwise.
It’s these new perspectives that form the work created by Johnny Miller. In his last projects the photographer has dedicated himself to drone photography and what he shoots isn’t breathtaking sceneries or spectacular images in cities. With his photos he rather highlights the striking contrasts between rich and poor.
In 2015 refugees were a big issue in Europe. In border areas in particular the agitation and the stream of people seeking refuge could be noticed. Hungary and the train station in Budapest were affected quite a lot as well. Thousands of refugees kept waiting there for transit permits, gathering on the spot. These events were covered by a lot of media and resulted in some impressive photographic creations. The works created by contemporary photographers are now displayed in Vienna’s Galerie Westlicht, showing images of the things that happened at the Austro-Hungarian border in autumn 2015.
The war in Syria is a very up-to-date issue for more than five years now. Nevertheless people don’t really look at it and many people, primarily those in the Western world, aren’t aware of the extent of this tragedy. A man who wants to change this is Szymon Barylski.
Years after Sharbat Gula has become an icon in documentary photography thanks to a photo taken by famous photographer Steve McCurry she made it into the headlines again. Unfortunately not for a positive reason though. The 45-year-old woman who is now a mother of four children was deported back to Afghanistan, her country of birth. In the beginning of the 1980s she and her family had come to Pakistan, which she called her new home country where she wanted to live and to die. The deportation on the grounds of allegedly having forged papers for which she was even imprisoned for some time is very hard for her.
Steve McCurry had traveled to Pakistan in 1984 where he took pictures in a refugee camp near Peshawar to cover the fate of Afghan refugees. At this time Afghanistan was a country suffering from the war with the Soviet Union. There he met Sharbat Gula whose portrait was published on the cover of an edition of National Geographics magazine, which made her famous as “the girl with the green eyes”.
Since the first of October the winners of the Greenpeace Photo Award 2016 have been announced. On www.photo-award.org 11 nominees have presented their environment-themed photo projects to the public. The audience prize, which has been voted for by more than 19,000 visitors, was finally awarded and the winner will receive an amount of 10,000 Euros. Besides this, another two jury prizes were awarded by international experts. These are also worth 10,000 Euros each.
The prizes sponsored by Greenpeace are used by photographers to realize their projects. In 2017/18 the jury prizes will be published in GEO Magazine while the audience prize will be featured in Greenpeace Magazine.
MARIZILDA CRUPPE received the audience prize for her project “To live and to die for the rainforest”. The Brazilian photographer wants to accompany women fighting for the survival of the Amazon rainforest over a longer period of time. The result will be a multi-media project consisting of photos, videos, audio recordings and texts.
I watched my first TED Talk about 2 years ago and since then I’m hooked. Whenever I feel uninspired, down or have troubles getting started, I watch a TED Talk and it motivates me instantly. There are countless inspiring talks on the website and there are talks for pretty much any topic or situation. No big surprise that my favorite category is of course: Photography.
I have to admit, that I watched my favorite photography TED Talks far more than once. Among those favorites is definitely the talk by Jonathan Klein. He speaks about pictures that changed the world and highlights the immense power and influence that pictures can have on history and people. During his talk he shows some of the most famous pictures in the world and informs his audience about the link between those pictures and milestones in history of mankind.
Photographs can be opinion-forming, they can be thought-provoking and they can make people reconsider their behavior on certain things. I’m highly recommending this TED Talk to all of you.
„Images provoke reaction in people and those reactions provoke change.” (Jonathan Klein)