Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

FOUR CONTINENTS: 17 Photographers

December 21, 2010

We invited photographers we’ve met in workshops around the world — and through this blog — to help us celebrate the holidays by posting a photograph and giving us an update about their work.  So here are images from 17 photographers from FOUR CONTINENTS around the world.

To everyone in our online photographic community, we’d like to wish you a holiday season filled with joy and love. –– Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Matthew Goddard-Jones, New York, 2010


Congratulations to Australian photographer, MATTHEW GODDARD-JONES, whose above photograph was a finalist for a National Geographic prize.  Matt took this photograph during our Master Class this past May in New York.

Matthew Goddard-Jones website

Bill McCullough

Austin-based photographer, BILL MCCULLOUGH, often finds moments on the edges of the weddings he photographs professionally — and passionately, too.  “I love and am obsessed with what I do,” says Bill, who is also a musician. The above is from his limited edition book, “Technicolor Life: American Wedding,’ which you can peruse (and order!) online.

Bill McCullough website

Wenjie Yang, "Low City" exhibition

Chinese photographer, WENJIE YANG — who some of you know as “BaiBai” from the Oslo Magnum Workshop — has been quite busy working on personal projects as well as photographing for clients since she graduated recently from the ICP photography program.  For those in New York, be sure and visit her current exhibition, “Low City, Photographs from Chongqing,” at the Chinese-American Arts Council in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Wenjie Yang website

Wenjie Yang blog

Magdalena Sole, from her upcoming book, "New Delta Rising"

New York-based photographer, MAGDALENA SOLE (who some of you know from the Magnum New York Workshop or the Venice Workshop), is finishing her first book of photographs, which is about the Mississippi Delta.  Called “New Delta Rising,” the book will be released next year by the Dreyfus Health Foundation and distributed by the University of Mississippi Press.  It includes a essay by southern writer, Rick Bragg, and was one of those rare books by another photographer that we chose to edit this year.  You’ll read more about Magdalena’s book next year on this blog, after it’s released.

Magdalena Sole website.

Lisen Stibeck, Palestinian refugee camp, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010

Swedish photographer, LISEN STIBECK, is working on a recent project that has taken her to this refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut (above), as well as to other struggling neighborhoods around the globe, including those in Syria, Lebanon, and, next year, Mexico.  Lisen’s project arose from the work she’s been doing at an orphanage in Marrakesh, where she is currently mentoring teenaged girls.

Lisen Stibeck’s website

Alessandro Marchi

Italian photographer, ALESSANDRO MARCHI, who some of you met in the Lucca Workshop, has photographs that will be exhibited as part of the Format International Photography Festival from March 4, 2011- to April, 3, 2011, in Derby, UK.   Here is a link to the series that will be shown called, “Floating Between Possible Breakdowns.”

You can also see a multimedia presentation of his work from another project, DZMK, in which Alessandro has been photographing many of the workers in a steel factory in southeastern Kazakhstan.

Alessandro Marchi website

Dimitri Mellos, New York, 2010

Above is an image from a long-term street photography project by Greek photographer, DIMITRI MELLOS, on New York City, called “Its Strangest Patterns,” a title inspired by a wonderful quote by novelist Joseph O’Neill.  Some of you met Dimitri at either the Magnum New York Workshop or the first Photo Project Workshop in Dumbo, Brooklyn, this past fall.  We will feature more from his project on the blog next year in an upcoming UNBOUND column.

Dimitri Mellos website

Tone Elin Solholm, cover of her new book, "The Giants' Living Room"

Norwegian designer and photographer, TONE ELIN SOLHOLM — from both the Venice and Barcelona workshops — had her new book, “The Giants’ Living Room,” featured in a recent NEW BOOK column on the blog, a book with a prose poem written by Rebecca called, “Remember When the World Had Seven Rooms…”  To see more images from Tone’s book — and to order a copy of the trade edition or the limited edition of the book — visit Tone’s website below.

Tone Elin Solholm website

Yvonne Liu, Toronto, 2010

Some of you met Chinese photographer, YVONNE LIU, at the Toronto Magnum Workshop in May this past year, in which she took the above photograph.  Although relatively new to photography, Yvonne’s enthusiasm and grace and compassion inspired many of us who have been photographing much longer.   She’s currently working on a new project in Tibet, and will be, we’re sure, an invaluable member of our upcoming Hong Kong Workshop in January.

Yvonne Liu website

Shea Naer

LA-based photographer, SHEA NAER, from our New York Master Class last May in Dumbo, had seven portraits from her series, “Pugilists” published in the NYC journal, Canteen, this past summer.  This coincided with a group exhibition, which included some of this same work, at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn last August.

Shea Naer website

David Bacher, Sud Tirol, 2010

“At least once a year I visit the South Tirol, which is the area where my father was born. It is like a pilgrimage back to his roots and mine as well, as my parents often took me there when I was growing up. This past October I spent a week near the town of Brixen with my father. One of the neighboring valleys is called the Vilnösstal. It is where the mountaineer Rheinhold Messner grew up and is the location of one of the most famous and breathtaking massifs in the Dolomites, the “Geislergebiet.”

Being near the mountain fills me with an overwhelming source of energy, purpose, and place. It is the most beautiful place I know.” — David Bacher

David Bacher website

Francois Dagenais

Canadian cinematographer and photographer, FRANCOIS DAGENAIS, currently has work included in three group exhibitions in the U.S., including “HumanKind,” a juried invitational photo exhibition at the powerHouse Arena that opened on December 17th, and “Scene on the Street: Photos from Public Places,” at the Vermont Photo Space Gallery, an exhibition which was curated by National Geographic photographer and VII member, Ed Kashi.

Francois Dagenais website

Justin Partyka, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, 2010

“This year I was commissioned by the publishers Full Circle Editions to produce a new photo essay to appear in their reissue of the classic oral history collection ‘Fenwomen,’ first published by Virago in 1975.

The essay I have produced, ‘Black Fen they call it….’ (taken from the first line of the book) was made in and around the village of Isleham in the Cambridgeshire Fens, where the oral history was originally collected by the author Mary Chamberlain. Twenty-three photographs will be featured in the book.

The book went to press on 29 November, and will be available in January. A series of events and exhibitions are currently being planned for 2011. Details of the book are available from the publishers website, where the book can also be ordered.”–Justin Partyka

Justin Partyka website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson, Cuba

THOMAS LINDAHL ROBINSON is continuing to work on his long-term project on Cuba, and the above photograph is from this series.  Thomas is also working on a project on China, which is not yet up on the website below, as well as blogging.

Thomas Lindahl Robinson website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson blog

Steinar Haugland, cover of his Blurb book, "Aloneliness"

Norwegian photographer, STEINAR HAUGLAND, who some of you met during the Venice Workshop, has published his first Blurb book, “Aloneliness,” and you’ll find the cover above.

Steinar Haugland Blurb book, Aloneliness

Uwe Schober

“This summer in Spain, I have been working on a series that I have named ‘Perturbadora Pasión | Disturbing Passion | After Francisco Zurbarán.’ The idea came when I was walking through the streets of Barcelona at night and saw all the homeless people sleeping in church entrances, on benches, shops and restaurants. The characteristically yellow light reminded me of Goya and especially of Zurbarán. So I decided to photograph the homeless in just that way with a reference to Spanish masters of the 17th century – not to mock the homeless, quite the opposite: to give them a different voice.  I will exhibit part of the series in a group exhibition this winter in the ‘atelier freier fotografen’ in Berlin.”–Uwe Schober

Uwe Schober’s website

David Belay, Istanbul, 2010


“I was drawn to Istanbul both by Alex’s book and by the many things I had heard about Istanbul from so many different people. I found a city that is so complex and multifaceted that, in my opinion, the best way to try and capture its spirit is just to ‘sample’ it, as in this wonderful enumeration of places, moments, etc. in the essay by Orhan Pamuk featured at the end of Alex’s book. It seems to me that a collection of pictures is just the visual equivalent of that, and therefore that photography is a great medium to approach this unique city.”–David Belay

To see more of David Belay’s photographs

TWO LOOKS: Trent and Narelle

November 23, 2009

Trent Parke, a Magnum photographer from Australia, is one of the first photographers that Rebecca and I showed our Violet Isle book dummy to a couple of summers ago in Paris.  There was good reason: He and his wife, Narelle Autio, the wonderful and painterly photographer, had already published a joint book of their photographs, The Seventh Wave (2000). So no surprise that Trent was the first to notice how our two bodies of work played off each other.

Unlike Rebecca and I, Trent and Narelle have photographed not only in the same location, but in the very same spot, sometimes even taking their photographs just minutes apart, as their TWO LOOKS column below explains.  To read more about these two Australian photographers –– and to see more of their lyrical images –– click on the links at the end of this posting.––Alex Webb


Trent Parke, Cottesloe Beach, 2004

Trent took this picture while we were travelling around Australia, living out of the back of our 4WD. We were in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was a 40°C day (104°F ) in the middle of a week-long heat wave and like most Australians –– and especially those living in a tent –– we headed for the beach. At the time I was literally immersed in my project Watercolours. I had spent three days photographing in the ocean, hanging around in deep sea. Strangely, during most of this time I had had to be forced into the water. Normally totally at home in the water, I couldn’t shake that ‘sharky’ feeling. After three days of Trent’s urging me back in the water and convincing me not to worry, I finally said that’s enough.

Not long after, a loud wail screamed over the beach. The siren sounds –– not unlike those signalling an air raid –– but on an Australian beach no one looks up at the sky. Within seconds the crowded water was empty, the beach now lined with people looking seaward, searching for the telltale shadow. And there was the shark –– all five metres of it –– swimming up and down the beach, oblivious of the commotion it had caused.

When I first saw this picture of Trent’s I was devastated –– in a friendly rival kind of way. I wanted it. It was such a fantastic unusual view of the beach. I had also attempted to capture the strange sight of hundreds of people looking out to an empty sea, and, although I was yet to see my transparencies, I knew I would have nothing as strong in colour. His black and white image conjures up those chilling, historical images of unknowing spectators watching atomic test explosions, their shielded faces lit by a mesmerising, blasting light.

This photograph, which went on to become an important part of his Minutes to Midnight series, is a classic example how Trent approaches his work. The image, while standing alone as a documentary photograph, has become something quite different. It now also represents a dark episode in our history and seen together with the rest of Minutes to Midnight it becomes an apocalyptic chapter out of this epic imaginary story about Australia.   He has used symbolism and a joint memory to take it to another level. It is something that Trent does with maddening regularity –– but it always amazes me.––Narelle Autio


Narelle Autio, "Splash" from the series, Watercolours.

This photograph of Narelle’s is one of my favourites from her Watercolours series. It has all the elements of herself and her photography in it: Her trademark use of colour and light, her optimistic outlook, and her painterly approach.

For three days we returned to this beach in Fremantle, Western Australia. Out past the breakers on Cottesloe beach is a floating buoy.  It is sizable enough to hold three or four people –– that is, if you have the arm strength to haul yourself up. I remember for two days Narelle continually swimming out to the buoy and photographing the swimmers throwing themselves off and plunging in. However, on the third day after swimming out, she turned around and came back to shore. I asked why. It was, after all, the reason we had continued to return to this same beach. She said she didn’t feel comfortable and had that “sharky” feeling. (I had swum out to the buoy myself the previous day and had also encountered that same sharky feeling. It was that sort of place.)

Regardless of the fact that a five-metre shark did manage to close the beach less than an hour later, I am very glad she did decide to come back to shore. Because otherwise she would never have taken this picture (above).  Yes, there was the other small fact that she could have been eaten by a  shark.  But what is more important when you take a frame like this?

I also remember being in our two-man tent at a caravan park further up the west coast, when her processed transparencies arrived back from the East Coast. I remember coming to this sleeve of negs and my eye immediately going to this frame. I think I said it to her then: “You won’t beat this frame on this trip –– and neither will I.”

Of all the amazing photographs she has taken at the beach and under the water, I still come back to this frame as the one that truly represents her work. If you look at both photographs we took on the same day, maybe only several minutes apart,  it gives a pretty good indication of our personalities and the way we look at the world.  And it shows how two photographers can be at the same place at the same time, but the resulting photographs can have completely contrasting emotions.

Oh, and by the way, several swimmers did get stranded standing on the buoy. The whole beach watched as they waited to be rescued by the coast guard as the shark circled nearby. As one man tried to mount the rail of the boat, he slipped and fell into the water.  I have never seen someone swim so fast in my entire life. The ensuing thrashing and panic was incredible as he tried to haul himself back on to the buoy. It really was like a real life scene from the movie Jaws. ––Trent Parke

Visit the Still Gallery website to see more of Trent’s and Narelle’s work and read their bios:

In addition, you can see Trent’s work on the Magnum site: