a place for sharing all things photographic and some things not

Other works

Welcome Home (Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography)

The Pulitzer panel of judges have finally announced their picks for this years photography award. I’ll just be focusing on the award for Feature Photography because a long series is harder to pull off in terms of maintaining quality across all the images and being able to communicate an evocative story.

This year the award was given to Craig F Walker for his series Welcome Home. He documents the return of veteran Brian Scott Ostrom from the war in iraq and the difficulties that he faces in returning back to his normal life, especially in the manifestation of personal trouble due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The entire set of images can be viewed at http://photos.denverpost.com/mediacenter/2011/12/special-project-welcome-home/26786/

This too ties in with the article by Nicholas Kristof from the New York Times about a veteran committing suicide every 80 minutes. It’s apparent that the issue of veterans returning from war is going to be a problem that will plague the US for many years to come.

Interestingly enough, Walker has won the prize just 2 years ago, for his series Ian Fisher : American Soldier. Also, I’m feeling rather proud that I saw Welcome Home before it won the pulitzer (just a small sidenote, perhaps my only highlight of the day). Do check out all the links! They’re well worth your time.

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Travel Journal (a story for tomorrow)

I’m not sure how you guys spend your holiday but I spend mine with camera always in hand or within arms reach. It helps me relax when I’m doing what I love best.

This couple though, have taken that to a whole new level. Within 40 days they’ve recorded enough to form a short narrative video which took me away for a couple of minutes. While watching the video I kept wondering how much they had to deviate from their actual holiday plans just to put this project through! But then again I suppose if it’s what they love it’s less labour and more love.

How would you choose to document your travels? And how would you put a story to your journey?

I love the way that they’ve done it with theirs, though the amount of effort must have taken a ton of time. Despite that, it’s really well done, and definitely worth your time, especially if you (like me) are yearning to get away from everything!

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and they only found me, their future, quietly waiting. And I asked them the same two questions that I will someday ask you –

is it possible to be happy with this life? did you enjoy your story

gorgeous.


Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race 2012

This post comes a little late – the photos were up a long while ago but I’ve just been sitting on the collection, they’re a gorgeous set of images that once again hail from the Big Picture (the picture editor has been doing a fantastic job) and are definitely worth a look.

The Iditarod Race is basically one of the toughest races in the world, a man/lady, a couple of dogs and miles and miles and miles of ice. It’s been featured in a couple of documentaries and has a really long heritage.

Enough of the talk – here are some of the pictures I particularly like!

One of Matt Gilbin’s dogs grabs a quick snow snack as they wait for a slower musher to move into the finish shoot at the BLM airstrip along Campbell Creek during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 3 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Richard J. Murphey/Anchorage Daily News via Associated Press)

A musher and his dogs seen in a long exposure compete on a track near the Mont-Cenis Path during the ninth stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dogs race on Jan.17. The race crosses the Alps in France covering over 1000 km (621 miles) over 11 days. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

A musher greets his dog during a break in a stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne v Orlickych horach on Jan. 26. Each year, racers from all over Europe arrive to the village of Destne in the Orlicke mountains of the Czech Republic to take part in the race series. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

And the rest of the images can be found here! Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race


Letters to the Future – a short film

It’s been a while since I’ve watched any films – short films in particular. There was this period where I went on this short film craze and was devouring short films like crazy. I can’t remember half the films that I used to love and watch over and over again (though Validation was one of them) and I don’t want to remember the half baked one that I tried to make, but I definitely still love them very much!

This one comes from Woo Ming Jin who’s one of the featured filmmakers for Nikon’s Through Asian Eyes campaign. Aside from the Nikon bit (yay!) his film is also very captivating (whether or not it has anything to do with the choice of camera, we’ll never know).

It’ll play right into the hearts of poetry lovers/book lovers/romantics/nostalgics … well you get the idea of the genre. It feels like a poem being read aloud and supplemented with some beautiful images (I’m simplifying things a bit too much here) but watch it for yourself and see!


North Korea – 2 worlds.

I know I usually reserve weekends for some long post on one topic or another, but this week I don’t really have very much to say. So I’ll just stick to one of the things that I do best – talking about stuff that other people do.

Sometimes we assume that everything that we see or that we are presented with are true and represent both sides of the coin. Maybe … or maybe not. I’ll elaborate. Take a look through this series – just a brief glimpse through the collection of photos and the general impression that you get from them. A Glimpse of North Korea, from The Big Picture

Image by Carlos Barria, Reuters.

Now perhaps I might redirect your attention to another article that has recently surfaced.

It appeared on in The Guardian as is titled “How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp“. Admittedly it is a very lengthy article as it’s also an excerpt from a book but it could just as fittingly be titled “A Glimpse of North Korea.” I suggest you read through it in it’s entirety and perhaps draw your own inferences and comparisons to the collection above.

On what seemed to be the morning of the third day, guards wordlessly entered Shin’s cell, shackled his ankles, tied a rope to a hook in the ceiling and hung him upside down. They did not return until evening. On the fourth day, the interrogators wore civilian clothes. Marched from his cell, Shin met them in a dimly lit room. A chain dangled from a winch on the ceiling. Hooks on the walls held a hammer, axe, pliers and clubs. On a table, Shin saw the kind of pincers used for carrying hot metal.

“If you tell the truth right now, I’ll save you,” the chief interrogator said. “If not, I’ll kill you. Understand?”

The chief’s lieutenants pulled off Shin’s clothes and trussed him up. When they were finished, his body formed a U, his face and feet toward the ceiling, his bare back toward the floor. The chief interrogator shouted more questions. A tub of burning charcoal was dragged beneath Shin, then the winch lowered towards the flames. Crazed with pain and smelling his burning flesh, Shin twisted away. One of the guards grabbed a hook and pierced the boy in the abdomen, holding him over the fire until he lost consciousness.

Shin looked at his father. He was weeping silently. When guards dragged her to the gallows, Shin saw that his mother looked bloated. They forced her to stand on a wooden box, gagged her, tied her arms behind her back and a noose around her neck. She scanned the crowd and found Shin. He refused to hold her gaze. When guards pulled away the box, she jerked about desperately. As he watched his mother struggle, Shin thought she deserved to die.

Shin’s brother looked gaunt as guards tied him to the wooden post. Three guards fired their rifles three times. He thought his brother, too, deserved it.

– Excerpts from the article.

There is a stark difference between the two and suddenly the prose becomes more visceral than the images.

There is probably a chance that both sets of documents are skewed in some way and not completely objective reports, but as objective as they might be, their viewpoints and content are completely different.

We forget that journalists are sometimes limited to what they can see and what they are allowed to say. Not that we shouldn’t take things at face value but it would be worthwhile to do some evaluation of what we have been told and what else there might be that was left unsaid.

It would be ironic, wouldn’t it, if the North Koreans weren’t the only ones trapped in a box of dictated thoughts and viewpoints.


Why Athletes [and also the Nikon D4]

I was wandering through the Nikon Asia website (one of the things that I do in my spare time where I fantasize about what I’d do if I won the lottery) and I found this pretty neat video which is a promotional for the new D4, done by Corey Rich. The visuals look stunning and undoubtedly we have a new competitor in the previously Canon dominated HDSLR market. They pushed the video to showcase all the things that the D4 can do.

Aside from that however, I love the passion that is transmitted through the video, the subject matter is interesting and the presentation is seamless. I love the variety of the stories, it’s a great break from the traditional ones that I’m used to here in Singapore. I’m quite into different types of sports so this appeals to me on a basic level too (especially the kayaking). It’s cool when passionate people come together; on both sides of the camera.

Overall, it’s a fantastic promotional video if you ask me.


The magical world within musical instruments

There’s another one of those viral photography feats going around, this time thanks to the ingenuity of photographer Bjorn Ewers; by the commission of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, he photographed the inside of some musical instruments in macro, and they look absolutely stunning (not to mention like the inside of a music hall). I haven’t seen anything quite as brilliant in a while!

 

nothing quite screams GENIUUUSSSSS in the same way. Look at the photos for a while and try and figure out how they were taken. I don’t think he could’ve squeezed a macro lens + camera in the space but since there isn’t any leaking light I don’t think he sawed the instruments into half either (it would be such a waste).

Regardless, this is a beautiful piece of work!