Websites, part 15
They say that 95 % of communication is non verbal. This is the realm of photography. It explores and transports through time and space, the world that resides outside the Word. Confusingly enough however, we tend to give much more credit, and emphasis, the written/spoken word. Our newspapers and magazines spend more space on word than they do in photography, forgetting so often the famous adage that an image is worth a thousand words. We seemed convinced that if we do not read it, or hear about it, it cannot really be real. So, an amazing amount of energy, time, and money is spent on collecting data that can then be transmitted via words when a few images could easily, and more powerfully do the same. Centuries of dubious philosophies however, started by Plato himself, has taught us not to believe what we see. A concept we still carry that legacy into the 21st century.
How many times have we witnessed a scene without hearing a word and immediately understood what was going on : people arguing on a street corner, a women paying for cloth in a store, a kid receiving his first ice cream of the year, all do not need a word for us to understand fully. No explanation.
That is what makes photography so great : not a word and yet a universe of comprehension. A vehicle of understanding that even Plato would have enjoyed.
1. Daniel Beltra
When Daniel Beltra travels, it’s not a good sign. Unlike other mortals who enjoy a trip as a vacation or discovery, Daniel scouts the planet to witness and photograph the damage we do to it. On call for Greenpeace for decades, Daniel is the photojournalist of our environment. Instead of document bullet flying, soldiers dying and cities being destroyed, Daniel documents the damages we repeatedly inflict on our planet. Already the recipient of numerous awards, including the World Press, he has tirelessly witnessed and capture such catastrophes as the drought in the Amazon, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the incessant whale hunting, the deforestation of our rainforest. Because he is a Greenpeace photographer, he stays a long time on his stories and dives deep into every aspects. His images are not only informative but extremely powerful. If only we would understand them better
2. Camille Seaman
Camille Seaman is fascinated by our extremities: The North and the South poles, more precisely. Every year, she boards a ship whose destination is one of the coldest and most desolated regions of our world, and spends weeks photographing them. She is not so much interested in its animal population as she is by its landscape. Where Camille genius steps in is in her acute mastery of light. She uses the Sun incessant game with our clouds to capture some of the most amazing images of places never visited. With such mastery and comprehension of natural lighting , she could probably photograph anything and transform it into masterful artwork.
Her work on the last icebergs, for example, is a fascinating, and beautiful, essay on those lonely floating ice giants that take a human dimension of immense solitude.
3. Pictures of the Year International
The Pictures of the Year International ( or POYi) began as a photographic contest in the spring of 1944 in Columbia, Missouri, by the Missouri School of Journalism. It has grown to be one of the most respected award in photojournalism. Probably because its judges are changed every year and come from a broad background of photojournalism. Al thought it is international in its nature, it has yet to fully be known internationally. Probably because the photographers that submit , and thus the winners, are almost entirely US based. That doesn’t take away the value of the winner’s work.
Handed out over the course of a few days, the awards cover a wide range of photography, 51 in total, from spot news to best editing. It is a an amazing feast for the eye, and a great opportunity to review some of the best images of the past year. It might take a while to visit all the gallery winners but it is certainly worth the time.
4. Fromme toyou
You can do with photography on the web things that were impossible on print. You just have to be careful that you do not turn it into a overwhelming trend that makes everyone sick because it is seen too often. You also have to avoid gimmicks. Jamie, a fashion photographer from New York has avoid both. By inserting a tiny bit of movement in areas of his still images, he has create a new form of photography that is very nice. Because it is done so nicely, with such grace, an subtility, it enhances his images instead of overpowering them. This might just become something that we will see more often in online publication, making our visual discovery process a little bit more charming. Jamie’s images are not bad either, which makes the experience more enjoyable.