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Joey L’s Holy Men

Above the video shot during a visit to India by Joey L and his crew. He visited India to continue his series Holy Men. A portrait series of the men that leave their ordinary and material lives behind and set out to find spirituality. A truly wonderful series. As they put it themselves, they photograph something that seems ancient but is non the less happening in the present. If I think of India, I think busy places, noises, all kinds of aromas. But the photographs by Joey shows a peacefulness. Perhaps the spiritual lives of these Holy Men resonates through the photography of Joey L.

Joey L’s website: www.joeyl.com

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The Road to the Olympics 2014

One way to cover an event is to do it with a bunch of photographers and film crews at the moment it all goes down. Typically this is called journalism. Another way to tell the story is not to tell what is happening, but more why it’s happening. Slow journalism. Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra and writer/filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen are currently working on a series in Sochi, Russia. To cover the events leading up to the Olympic games in 2014. The whole town of Sochi will change in many ways. This is their subject. You can follow their project on www.thesochiproject.org.

Rob Hornstra’s website: www.borotov.nl

Personal Space

Alec Soth, member of Magnum since 2008, documents people and places. He uses an 8×10 camera. Important for him is to photograph a person when he or she is at ease. He said: “My own awkwardness comforts people, I think. It’s part of the exchange.”

The use of a large format camera brings about a softness that corresponds with the photographed subjects. The softness equals the comfortableness of the person photographed. As if Soth has found a way to reduce his own presence  to that of the comfortable vibe a person has in their own personal space. And looking at his projects (Sleeping by the Mississippi, Broken Manual, The last days of W and others) he manages to truly tell a story by creating a mix of portraits, landscapes and interiors. As if we, the audience, get a look into a world we know not much about. A world that only comes about when a stranger is not present.

Documenting the ordinary

Magnum photographer Martin Parr documents the ordinary and extraordinary. He considers himself to be a documentary photographer. And documenting he does. The way we ‘normally’ would label documentary photography is when the subject is that of war, hunger or poverty. Martin Parr gives us quite the opposite. He directs his camera upon the rich western social life.

His work looks like point and shoot photography. Of the normal things we encounter day by day. Like supermarkets, fast food and our fashion style at the beach. But the way he constructs an image makes us giggle and laugh at the weirdness that we all can relate to. He manages to come very close to the subject, almost always using a wide-angle lens. And by using the flash (often a ring flash) his photographs get that signature look. The look of something very colorful that shows us a raw or weird view of the way some of us behave or dresses at for example the beach. When I look at his work I get a cheap feeling of the richness we all enjoy in the west.

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