Beauty & The Beast
JOURNEY TO AFGHANISTAN - 1977 by ŠJoanne Warfield
to Afghanistan was in 1977, right before the coup and the Russian invasion.
I was invited to go there to design a line of clothes and quickly grabbed
the opportunity for adventure.
where I spent most of my time, was a fascinating city with both the
old and new world. The old city (old town) was where the public markets
were, and it was like a journey back in time. Things were displayed
and sold much as they had been for hundreds of years against the backdrop
of the old earth and clay buildings and dirt streets. The merchants
wore traditional clothing of loosely draped pants and shirts with the
modern addition of a Western-style suit jacket! The market had a full
offering of vegetables, grains, nuts, textiles, and tin--everything
that was needed for daily living was there, in addition to tea houses
part of the city reflected the connection to the modern world with the
likes of Mercedes cabs, small hotels, offices, a trattoria, and women
in contemporary dress (even knee length skirts!). Many Afghans who had
the means were educated in Europe and spoke many languages-including
of course English-and were engaged in business throughout the world.
IMAGES: All 1977 and in Kabul
Girls; I was watching a Kite flying competition and was standing on
a car to get a better view. These beautiful little girls came to see
what I was doing.
Spice Merchants; On one of my days in the Old Kabul market I found these wonderful spice merchant pals who were as jubilant as their spices and loved having their picture taken.
In contrast to Joanne Warfields 1977 photo documentation of the beauty of Afghanistan, prior to two decades of war is a recent film by Documentary Reporter Saira Shah, who risked her life and traveled into Afghanistan with a camera crew to document the torment and injustice of the Taliban rule. The documentary exposes the horrific beast that has eaten away the beauty of the people and the country.
I asked permission to take photographs, which was kindly granted. I knew at the time that this was a unique and special opportunity, since one did not see women dressed this way in the street. Little did I know at the time what a rare event this was.
beautiful images are from a now-distant past.
was not acceptable to take photographs of traditional women in public,
which I respected and honored.
Beneath the Veil, Reporter: Saira Shah, Camera: James Miller,
screen photos and documentation for WIPI website by Jean Ferro
Lara Jo Regan
By: Helen K. Garber
Copyright Helen K. Garber
Lara Jo Regan is having an amazing year. After spending many years covering her niche, the American culture, she inadvertently created her own cultural phenomenon. Her imaginative photographic series taken of her alien-creature like dog, Mr. Winkle, caught on like wildfire with the American public and now the media covers Lara Jo.
on Rosie O'Donnell, a four-book deal with Random House
and reportedly a seven-figure deal with Mattel Toys have changed
Lara Jo's life forever. "Everything is so familiar, but so completely
upside down. The media comes to my house and they are directing me like
I used to direct my subjects. It is nice to be creating something in
the culture rather than just covering it."
is now a fully developed children's book character, complete with a
voice delivering positive, affirming messages. Lara Jo is able to speak
through him to deliver her perception of reality. Her goal is to try
and re-enchant people with reality and the authentic world.
That same point of view earned Lara Jo the World Press Photographer of the Year Award with an image from her series entitled, The Uncounted. The project originated as an assignment from the now defunct Life Magazine.
Uncounted was to document groups of Americans who go uncounted in
the census. Officially, they do not exist in the records of America.
"It was a way for me to explore the America that most people do
not know exists. My work before this had a lot to do with de-mythologizing
American Culture. Most Americans get their view of America via sitcoms,
TV and movies rather than from America itself. It really bothers me
that most people can name everyone on Friends, but they do not
know who their neighbors are. I don't think that TV ever intended to
disconnect people from reality in their community."
got the Life Magazine assignment by showing her self-generated
project, American Street. She has been photographing her neighbors
on her Los Angeles street inside and outside their homes. She is focused
on documenting the subtle nuances of life. "If you hang out with
people long enough, they drop their public face and there is a subtle
beauty. Like trees and their leaves dropping on the ground in a pattern
- like perfect imperfection."
her passion for photography by age 15, Lara Jo knew that she wanted
to be a photographer by the time she went to The University of Colorado
was a shy but at the same time passionate young woman who felt deeply
about many things. She realized that she could use the camera to translate
her feelings. "A really good picture not only renders something,
but shows how you were feeling when you were taking it by what choice
of lens and what angle you choose." She majored in anthropology,
but honed her photographic skills by shooting for the school's yearbook.
Lara Jo's first break was as an intern at the Boulder Daily Camera. She said it was a dream working for the small town paper. They allowed her to do what she wanted and guided her technically. She soon found her images on the cover of the paper.
"Most breaks come from self-generated projects - not waiting for an assignment." One project that Lara Jo volunteered for was to shoot a charity's brochure for free. She composed a photographic essay on homeless kids who lived in abandoned buildings in Los Angeles. The director gave her access to the kids and their weird underworld - the images eventually ended up as a spread for Vogue Magazine.
her late twenties, her growing reputation led her to become the only
photographer allowed backstage at The Oscars telecast four years
in row. "It was an amazing opportunity, but very difficult because
of the politics backstage. Guards were manhandling you. Although it
was supposed to be a behind the scenes story, there was such an effort
to control you it was made nearly impossible."
Lara Jo approached the prestigious assignment with her same philosophy - she wanted to de-mythologize the spectacle and show the celebrities as humans. She wanted to show anything outside the carefully scripted pageant. "It was vaguely humiliating covering Hollywood. We are worshipping these people who are stars who are celluloid gods. They are not the real astronaut or the real teacher or the real leader, but the people pretending to be them in TV and movies. And then they get these publicists to magnify their importance through talk show appearances.
cover these people you are in the way perpetuating the illusion... and
even though I was shooting the Oscars from an anthropological point
of view and a different perspective, it was still celebrating them in
a way. I couldn't stand it anymore - my soul was sick doing this. "
when she started to do her street project, which led her to the Life
Magazine project, which allowed her to win World Press Photo
of the Year. "Much more universal and timeless kind of work."
And when questioned about advice for those considering a photographic career, Lara Jo said, "Photography is so expensive and so competitive that you really, really have to love it to stick with it. And hopefully make money at it. People who don't totally love it just drop out because it is so expensive and so competitive. You have to pay your dues over and over again it seems.
film and processing, but portfolio, promos, the expenses never seem
to end. Eventually I started working a lot and getting a little ahead
of the game. Don't ever go into the profession for money because there
really is not a lot of money and you have to work so hard.
build a reputation in the field - very slowly over the years. I always
tried never to be trendy photographers who do that become yesterday's
news. Stick to your own vision and your own style. Works out much better
in the long run
much more staying power not being trendy."
is working eighteen-hour days to shoot all the needed images to complete
the Mr. Winkle product line. She wants to release the reigns on that
commercial but very lucrative project and use her well-earned financial
freedom to continue to document today's real America. www.mrwinkle.com
Written by: Helen K. Garber
Documenting births has been an obsession of mine since 1987, when I assisted the first homebirth, waterbirth, in New York City. Over the past fourteen years I have slipped in and out of one of the most intimate experiences known to life. I've had the privilege of documenting in three separate environments; homes, hospitals and birth centers. My specialty is underwater birth.
takes place when the baby is actually born from the womb of water inside
the mother, to an extended womb of water, which could be a bathtub,
a portable birthing pool, a jacuzzi, a water trough, or an ocean.
with the available light. Because of its invasive nature, I rarely use
a strobe. I find available lighting creates a truer, softer,
take anywhere between 5-8 rolls of film. I participate quietly in the
labor and birth dance by making myself as inconspicuous as possible and
shoot further away rather than close up. I work with the Canon EOS, SLR
system; two cameras at a time with the Canon Elf as a third back up if
we are transferring to the hospital or birth center. I use a EF 50mm f1:4
and EF 70-200 f1.2.8 lenses. I advise taking along a wide-angle lens such
21mm or 28mm for the confined areas.
When shooting, it1s important to focus on the details. Focus on becoming a Zen photographer and capture tender moments of father comforting mother, a gentle touch on a belly, a reflection in a mirror, a flower floating in water.
you are fortunate enough to be invited into the OR in a hospital,
Judith Halek is the director of Birth Balance, the east coast resource center for under water birth. Judith is now in the process of moving her 15 years of photography out to the public. She has been published in numerous birth journals such as Midwifery Today, The Journal of Perinatal Education an ASPO/LAMAZE Publication as well as New York Magazine. She will be debuting her first solo show at a prestigious birth center in New York City this winter.
*Judith Halek is among the photographers of WIPI's 20th Anniversary International Tea Time exhibit
from feature article "Black and White photography from Down Under".
Written by Alison Holland for Black and White Magazine for Collectors
of Fine Photography. Buy the September 2001 issue to read the full story...
distance from Australia to Northern Hemisphere centers historically
contributed in obscuring the view of a wealth of talented fine art photographers
living down under'.
technologies shrink the globe, these advances enable more Australian
photographers to reach international markets through 'traditional' exhibitions,
increased book publishing and online galleries.
however were never disadvantaged in their experimentation and use of
early to modern photographic innovations. The pace of technical and
stylistic development of photography always reflected that of Europe
and the US. Influences were gleaned from the world's most noted photographers,
however the distance also contributes to a unique perspective.
country's climatic and geographic diversity coupled with a unique sociological
and multi-cultural mix, Australian photographers found inspiration in
a country that had white settlement beginnings in 1770, and indigenous
roots reflecting back 60,000 years to one of the oldest civilizations
in the world.
Sydney-born, Los Angeles based photographer Stephanie Flack began documenting the complex lives of an Aboriginal community living on Palm Island located off Australia's coast of Northern Queensland in 1999.
contemporary Australian Aborigines can pose as a sensitive task that
touches on assorted social and historical complexities.
was borne when white settlers in their quest to expand their land holdings,
booted the Aborigines off their land and shipped them off to Palm Island.
Over the years, authorities also removed "troublemakers" from
their tribes on the mainland and relocated them to the island," says
The Palm Island Aborigines suffer many of the social problems that are inherent in indigenous communities throughout the world: a high rate of unemployment, drug & alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Stephanie sought these people as a challenge, to look beyond these issues and certainly not to sensationalize, exploit or betray Aborigines but to portray them with dignity and respect. Images from Palm Island include an intense portrait of an Aboriginal Elder's face, a battered couple who stand hugging and smiling outside their dilapidated house, and glistening playful boys jumping off a jetty highlighting their unaffected nature.
For Stephanie, photography is a passion that encompasses two key dimensions, a medium for expression and a matter of record to be experienced by others. She is drawn to cultures such as India, Tibet, Ghana and remote areas of Australia in order to capture both the unique and the universal.
"I want to create images that arouse awareness and evoke a response. I want to capture the ephemeral."
of time is the subject of Deborah Mooney's photography. Nude portraits
of her 94-year-old Grandmother photographed in her bedroom under natural
light, highlight the beauty of human flesh in all ages. Deborah's series
is titled 'Passage'.
to the work of Joel Peter Witkin, these images however are not freakish.
The grandmother is a subject treated with adoration, love and respect.
Glimpsing the women's wedding ring, we realize that her life has already
been full. A capacity that continued when she agreed to reveal to us
who she is at the close of her life.
represented in the US by G Ray Hawkins Gallery, the Fototeka gallery
in Los Angeles recently showed the entire installation in February 2001.
'Passage' exhibits as an installation of 24 photographs. Sitting atop the installation are two large protruding wings rising up over six 24 x 24 inch nude portraits of Deborah's Grandmother as she poses seated with no more than a simple feather as a prop. 16 supporting images of feathers, leaves, bird skulls and a butterfly set off the subject's frail aging form.
sculptural shapes are revealed where the flesh drips off the body as
it moves away from its skeleton. Deborah highlights the beauty of the
aging skin by sepia toning her black and white prints after she had
applied numerous scratch marks to the negative. Signifying cyclical
life, the repeated, almost frenzied circular scratchings cocoon the
Grandmother, acting as both a protective tomb and a frame that transports
the woman back to the warmth of the womb.
installation is an altarpiece paying homage to my Grandmother. It bears
witness to the passage of time. The organic processes, mortality of
the body, and the transcendence of the soul. There is an element of
ritual in the placement of the smaller fetish-like images surrounding
her. The bird (feathers and wings) being symbolic of the release of
the spirit from bondage to the earth. The butterfly is a symbol of the
soul and of attraction to light. Blue in the center piece represents
Alison Holland is a photography curator specializing in work by Australians, New Zealanders and selected international artists. Photographic art can be viewed online at www.ausARTweb.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Poggio, Born and Raised in Turin Italy, Living in Germany
By Paola Poggio - Italy
(all images copyright Paola Poggio)
Born January 31, 1968 in Turin - Italy, I drawn myself to the photography after I had attended the Applied Art and Design Institute and the Courses of Classic Drawing and Photography at the Pictor's Art Studios in Turin. From 1989 to 1994 I was free-lance assistant in the main advertising photo studios of Turin. Afterwards I started to be a professional photographer, associated in a studio with other two photographers till 1997 and then independently till 2000.
Shoes Turin 1991
same time, during those years, I have been dedicating myself to personal
research that prevalently resulted in manually elaborating images previously
photographed by myself in different size (from classic 35mm camera to
the monorail view camera). The manual techniques used more frequently
are overlap, reversal process develop, mixed polaroid transfert with
watercolor retouching, color mixed with B&W, photocopy and retouching.
The purpose of these elaborations would be to have an emotional interpretation
of a reality that transcends the significance of the individual images.
These material experiences, having molded the contents of the work,
have been utilized for some commercial projects but, first of all, have
resulted in the following contemporary artistic projects.
Mostar East Mostar 1996
Philip Glass Turin 1990
The images have been photographed with a Nikon 35 mm camera using b/w film. The photos have been saved/scanned on a PC and elaborated using Photoshop Some of this images, printed on fiber based paper made of brushed aluminum, are conceived coupled with the relevant sound. The prints with music are accompanied by a musical piece belonging to the specific musician (see below the list of artists), acting as a type of background for the image. The audio storage system is a type of "solid state" that thanks to its reduced dimensions has been positioned on the back of the frame with only a minimal added thickness of 1.5 cm. Each piece of music (which lasts approximately 20 seconds) is turned on by a photocell that is sensitive to the presence of the viewer.
Cotton Threads Turin 1994
List of the photographed musicians: BEN HARPER , BILL FRISELL, BNET HOUARIYAT, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, CARLA BLEY, CASPAR BROTZMANN, DAVE HOLLAND, DERVISHES REVOLVING OF DAMASCUS, DON BYRON, JAN GARBAREK, JOHN CALE, LE MAITRE DU GUEMBRI, MARC RIBOT, MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA, MICHAEL NYMAN, MUSICIANS FROM BALI, MUSICIANS FROM RAJASTAN, NANA VASCONCELOS, NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN, PENGUIN CAFE HORCHESTRAL, PHILIP GLASS, PJ HARVEY, SALIF KEITA, TRILOK GURTU and YOUSSOU N'DOUR
Nana Vasconcelos Turin 1997
Bosnia 96, images taken in 1996 at the end of the conflict in Ex-Yugoslavia. This work is the documentation of the itinerary that I have token through the Bosnia territories and cities with the ONG voluntary organization Beati i Costruttori di Pace, on the occasion of the first free elections after the war. The pictures had been reinterpreted via the manual overlap techniques according to the instinctive sensations that this experience had left in myself, in portraits that condense the essence of a war, its destroying violence marked in the walls, the hope of the life that starts again with the youth. (for the newspaper La Repubblica Olga Gambari, May 2001). The project was exhibited at a charity for the C.O.I. Association (International Cooperative of Dentistry) in Miland. On the occasion of the Italian culture Week in Banja Luka a time of Italian artistic expression in the Srpska of Bosnia Repubblic's capital, this project has been exhibited as opening event in Turin at the Amantes Gallery (A.R.C.I. association www.arteca.org) from 27th April to 12th May 2001.
Sarajevo Library Sarajevo 1996
Since the end of 2000 I am living in Munich, Germany where I have decided to interrupt my work of commercial photographer and to devote myself completely to the artistic pursuit in order to make it my first profession.
Tea Three Munich 2001
For articles, see F2 eZine Archive 8 - Oct - Dec 2001