Websites, part 17
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to make a distinction between theory and truth. Very often, this is the role of photography. Because it is such a perfect tool to capture our perceived reality, we use it as a tool for proof. You can say pretty much what you want, but until you show a photograph, no one will really believe you. Even when we know perfectly well that images can be photoshopped to create scenes that never existed, we still want to see to be convinced.
Obviously, most photographers stay away from any image manipulation while others love to push reality into the realm of the impossible. Midway, some re-arrange what they have captured to better confirm the point they want to make, fabricating a proof in order to make a statement. More than often, they get caught in the act of falsifying and generate the opposite reaction they intended to make. Regardless, we remain starved for visual confirmations, as we have seemingly no trust in words.
We cannot be everywhere, all the time. In fact, we travel little and dream a about places a lot. UK base Travel Photographer of the Year awards satisfy those dreams by showcasing some of the best images of 2010. This year crop has nothing to be ashamed about and delights us with some very impressive visuals of the world around us. Awards’ creator, Chris Coe, has teamed up with the BBC to create a narrated slideshow of the winning images, giving us a little of background on the images and the photographers who shot them.
2. Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington
Sometimes the best tributes are all about those who are not there. New York Magazine, in the wake of the tragic death of Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington and probably worried that this could be the last time this could be done, has turned the camera on those who bring us war photography. You could probably called this group of 20 photographers, the aristocracy of war photographers : those who relentlessly cover the battlefields of the world with less care for their lives than for documenting our world. They are the ones who feed our craving for proof. Shot by Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson, those group portraits are a living homage to those who continue to provide us with the necessary visual link to our present history.
3. Andrew McConnell
Andrew McConnell channels Steve McCurry. He is an expert at capturing colors in a photo reportage setting in order to enhance his message. He also has a bit of a Henri Cartier – Bresson in the way he captures the decisive moment wherever he is in the world. Combining the two, he offers a very individual photographic perspective on the places he documents, reinforcing what he intends to say with extremely talkative images. He remains, however, very much at large from his subject, extremely careful not to influence the scene happening in front of his camera. There is a sense of lassitude in McConnell’s photographs’, reinforced by a delicate use of lighting, that seems to say that along with his topic, he is tired of the too often desolate state of our world.
4. Leica camera
It’s like the chicken and the egg, isn’t it ? Did Magnum make Leica or did Leica make Magnum ? Regardless of your answer, there is no doubt that there is been a continuous love story between the two company. Cartier Bresson could not live without it, Capa took it to every front line and even today, it is impossible to see a Magnum photographer without a Leica camera strap on his shoulder. It has become an additional limb and an indispensable part of their lives. Thus, it is no surprise that Leica would dedicate a page to this ongoing love story between the two masters. The images that these two have captured together are amongst the most seen and most influential photographs the world has ever enjoyed. There is no saying where this relationship will take them, and us along the way, but what we already can be sure about is how much it has brought to us.