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Selection of Photos from 2016 that Made an Impact on our World January 19, 2017

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Photograph Sergei Pomaranov Refugee crisis Image from Lesbos Greece

2016 has been an astonishing year. From the refugee crisis to the destruction in Syria, to the forgotten war in Ukraine, to the horrific acts of terrorism in Europe, to the anarchy of politics, to the swing to right wing politics, to the medical inferno created by the Ebola crisis, the documents that photographers have captured continue to define the increasingly medieval world that we live in. The images are impossible to rank in any intelligent way. They have a power to affect us and although World Press continues to select and acknowledge  individual photographers for their achievements it is the collective psychological  map that they create that defines photojournalism and the history of the world we live in.

Here are some images that have affected my world.  Ordinary people have been affected by these political events and have taken an active stand in the name of humanity.

Demonstrator Ieshia Evans is detained by law enforcement as she protests the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, La., on July 9, 2016.

Photo Jonathan Bachmann

Photo Vadim Ghirda Refugee Child Syria Conflict

Photo James Nachtwey Refugee Crisis

Photo Christopher Morris Trump family at US Republican election rally

Photo Daniella Zalcman North Dakota pipeline confrontation

Photo Mary Turner/Getty Images Brexit

Photo Daniel Berehulak/Redux Images Jimji, 6, cries out in anguish, saying “Papa” as workers move the body of her father, Jimboy Bolasa, 25

In the words of Daniel Berehulak: A New York Times assignment

This is Jimboy Bolasa’s funeral. It was on a Sunday, a week into a 35-day assignment in the Philippines photographing President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal anti-drug campaign that have claimed thousands of lives.

There were two funerals that day. We’d followed up with the family of one victim. His body and that of a friend had been found under a bridge. As we made our way back, we decided to stop to the second funeral. When we arrived Bolasa’s family was about to start walking to the church and that’s when I heard the wailing and the piercing screaming coming from inside the wake. I followed the shrills in the tented area. Jimboy’s daughter, Jimji, was there and she didn’t want to leave the side of her father’s casket. She just kept on yelling, screaming: “Papa. Papa. Papa.” The coroners took his casket away and for close to half a kilometer, as they made their way to the church, a family member held Jimji. She kept on screaming until she was overcome, fatigued.

Warren Richardson: World Press Photo of The Year

Photo Kevin Frayer

Photo Corentin Fohlen


Frozen Fox January 14, 2017

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BERLIN (AP) — A hunter in Germany has put on show a block of ice containing a fox that he says fell into the chilly Danube and drowned, in what he calls a warning of the dangers of the icy river.

Franz Stehle told news agency dpa on Friday that the block containing the fox was extracted from the ice on Jan. 2 and put on display outside his family’s hotel in Fridingen. The town is on the upper reaches of the Danube, close to its source in southwestern Germany.

Stehle says it’s not unusual for animals to break through the frozen surface of the river in winter. He says he’s seen a frozen deer and wild boar before.

Whitney Richardson New York Times: African Stories January 11, 2017

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The news is ethnocentric and parochial. Unless it has an international impact on business or economics or a countries vested interests it remains off the Western radar.  Whitney Richardson pushes an agenda for the use of local photographers and journalists to increase exposure to stories that are important internationally. When I covered the Orange Revolution as a freelancer in Ukraine in 2004 most of the working photographers for Western publications were from Western Countries. The wire agencies were not organised enough to be a threat to freelancers. That changed subsequently. As in Iraq and Afghanistan and now Syria local photographers are extensively used. Local contact and local knowledge are more than useful for quality journalism. Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Online

Whitney Richardson NEW YORK TIMES

Akintunde Akinleye was at home one December morning in 2006 when a friend called him with urgent news. Hours earlier, a petroleum pipeline had exploded in a town outside Lagos, Nigeria, his home city, leaving more than 200 people dead. Hopping on his motorbike with his camera, Mr. Akinleye, a Reuters staff photographer based in Nigeria, swerved through miles of thick traffic and arrived on site in less than 30 minutes.

Pacing through flaming rubble, he spotted an older adult man carrying a bright blue bucket of water. Mr. Akinleye lifted his camera and took several shots of him rinsing his face as dark smoke stained the sky. His final frame was circulated to news media globally, and even made the front page of The New York Times. It also earned him a World Press Photo award for spot news single in 2007, making him the first Nigerian to receive the prestigious award.

Mr. Akinleye’s sudden thrust into news media prominence is rare for even the most experienced photojournalists, but it’s an even rarer occurrence for an African one. Of the most covered news events in sub-Saharan Africa over the past several years — including antigovernment protests in South Africa and Ethiopia, the Boko Haram kidnapping in northern Nigeria and West Africa’s Ebola crisis — only a handful of stories were assigned to African photographers by major international publications.

The absence of local coverage in international markets has also been reflected in the top awards. According to World Press Photo’s State of Photography 2015 report, only 2 percent of their contest submissions annually come from African photographers.

Since World Press Photo released its initial report in 2015, Lars Boering, the organization’s managing director, said accessing data about their contest applicants as well as surveying the photojournalism industry were critical first steps in closing this gap. The organization recently held its first Joop Swart Master Class in Kenya, working with photographers across East Africa, and plans to host another one, in Accra, Ghana, this March. Other organizations, including the Magnum Foundation and the Prince Claus fund, have also invested in supporting photojournalists on the continent.

“We needed to flip it open. It will make us vulnerable, but it was important to start talking about it,” said Mr. Boering, who is based in Amsterdam. “There are a billion people living in Africa. We should make sure the visuals we get reflect our worldview.”

Mr. Akinleye, who has spent the past decade covering West Africa for Reuters, said as digital cameras have become more accessible, he has seen a surge in the number of local photographers in the field. But better equipment hasn’t necessarily equated to more opportunities for aspiring photojournalists, he said. With the absence of formal photojournalism programs at universities, young photographers are not learning the fundamentals of storytelling and editing, Mr. Akinleye said. Independent newspapers in his country have also struggled to navigate hostile relations with government leaders known for threatening the local news media, he said.

“Young people are asking, how do we get work,” said Mr. Akinleye, who noted that the majority of working photographers he knew in Africa were stringers for wire services.

“I have told them to look for opportunities abroad to gain exposure and to learn the ethical standards of the industry,” he said. “If I wasn’t working with Reuters, I probably would just be part of the crowd.”

International news agencies, including The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse, have long been entry points for local photojournalists, especially during times of extreme conflict. During the United States-led war in Iraq, news organizations heavily depended on local news photographers, out of concern for safety and financial pressures, to document the scene. Within months of training alongside other wire photographers, Iraqi photojournalists began dominating international coverage of the war — producing award-winning images of the political transformation in their home country.

“We had taxi drivers and former studio photographers and we gave them cameras,” said two-time Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist, Muhammed Muheisen, who is currently the chief photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan for the AP. “The region was getting a lot of attention, so it became a place where Iraqi photographers could develop and show their talent.”

Khalid Mohammed, AP’s chief photographer in Iraq, was one of those emerging talents. Mr. Mohammed, who worked for an Iraqi newspaper before the war, gained the reputation of beating foreign photojournalists to deadly scenes and was one of six Iraqis on the AP team that won the Pulitzer Prize for photography in 2005. Many of his most striking images, including one showing the charred bodies of U.S. contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallujah in 2004, appeared in publications around the world.

“I choose to cover the war to expose the crimes and violations against my people,” Mr. Mohammed, who is currently in Mosul, wrote in an email interview. “You had to be ready to accept the sacrifice and know that this picture may be the last image,” he said.


Arctic Landscapes: Science Meets Art at Earth’s Northern Tip Photographs Jean Gaumy Magnum“I like to go to hostile lands to be at the limits,” says Magnum’s Jean Gaumy, of his ongoing life’s work photographing the Arctic, a subject matter that is becoming increasingly urgent – and politicized – in light of climate change debates. “I have had a curiosity about these places since being a child, and now, as the climate reaches a new ecosystem on the planet, I think it’s important to see what I can see about that.” January 9, 2017

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Photo Jean Gaumy

“I like to go to hostile lands to be at the limits,” says Magnum’s Jean Gaumy, of his ongoing life’s work photographing the Arctic, a subject matter that is becoming increasingly urgent – and politicized – in light of climate change debates. “I have had a curiosity about these places since being a child, and now, as the climate reaches a new ecosystem on the planet, I think it’s important to see what I can see about that.”

More important than war photos Jean Gaumy confronts the issue of global warming where it is most evident. Metaphor Online

Photo Jean Gaumy

In January 2017 British explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams spoke out to call for politicians to take action on climate change after a recent trip to circumnavigate the polar region by boat via the Northeast and Northwest Passages – which traditionally should take three years – was completed by his team in just four months and a day because the ice had melted so much. This follows the news from 2016 that scientists have concluded that man’s impact on the planet is now so significant that the Earth has entered a new age – which they call Anthropocene.

Photo Jean Gaumy


Tribute to Ron Daniel Frank Founder of Camera Electronic in Perth January 6, 2017

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It was sad to hear that Ron Frank, a seemingly indestructible force and the  governing Director and Founder of Camera Electronic passed away recently. He was an unforgettable character and gentleman whose iconic business travelled a journey from Angove Street in North Perth to Fitzgerald Street in North Perth to the current site in Stirling Street in Perth. Larger than life and obsessed with analogue photography  Ron Franks will be missed by his wife Valerie, his sons Saul and Howard, his daughters-in-law Farrah and Christine and five grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by the larger Perth photographic community who have travelled with him on his amazing journey and will always remember his serious contribution to photography in the city of Perth.

A true pioneer .


Wasteland: Photographers Marcus Koppen+Darren Smith January 6, 2017

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Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Wasteland – Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith, taken at Wasteland 26 November 2016 North Sea Venue, Zaandam
Wasteland is Europe’s most notorious adult playground where the fetish lifestyle is celebrated and applauded. Photographers Marcus Koppen and Darren Smith had the privilege to be invited backstage to document the visual transformation of the artists and performers into otherworldly characters. The series of photographs plunge us into a dystopian world with an overlay of neon, futuristic science-fiction.
Here, temptations lurk in every corner and come out from the darkness to be photographed under the the vivid studio lights. These portraits take us inside a fetish-fuelled future to unveil astronautrix space adventurers, exotic alien races neither angel nor demon, primitive natives with untamed desires, and femme fatale sexbots perfect in every way.

Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Marcus Koppen + Darren Smith

Marcus Koppen Bio:

Marcus was born in the beautiful countryside of North Rhine Westfalia in ’73 Germany.  received his Bachelor’s degree in photography in 2001 from the Southampton Institute of Art and Design, and since 2003 has settled him self in Amsterdam. As a freelance photographer his works frequently appear in several publications like Vrij Nederland, Esquire, Elle, Rails,  KLM, EasyJet, Stern and Der Spiegel. Further down the years his focus shifted towards collaborating with commercial clients and he was a driving force behind the exhibition Hong Kong Visions in partnership with Cathay Pacific, and received the Dutch Photography Prize – Zilveren Camera and the New York Photo Award.

Over the last years his focus and passion has centered on people and urban environments, and capturing them in a way that shows their character and strengths

Koppen’s photographs are part of many collections in the Netherlands, such as Foam Editions Amsterdam, Movares Art Collection, Utrecht, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Embassy, Washington DC, USA.


Darren Smith Bio:

Darren Smith is a talented commercial photographer based in Amsterdam.

He has followed a unique career path from New York to Boston, with a sojourn in the south of France, to a decade in the isolated city of Perth, before landing in Amsterdam.

He has combined with Marcus Koppen to shoot the remarkable photos for the series “Wasteland”.




The Photo Agency of the Future: Molly Gottschalk on Instagram for Artsy January 5, 2017

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Molly Gottschalk is writing editorials for Artsy and stamping her intellect on photography. While studying at Savannah College of Art and Design, working toward her photography degree,  she was selected to work as an assistant for the legendary David LaChapelle. As if that weren’t incredible enough, her position turned into a two year stint as LaChapelle’s muse, where she not only honed her craft, but found her way into creative direction and professional styling.

She has touched on understanding issues that are important to photography and none more so than the rise of the smart phone in creating a brave new world of journalism.

To read the complete article go the link at the bottom of this post. Definitely food for thought.



Photo David Guttenfelder




JANUARY 21 2016

February 13, 2010. Marjah, Afghanistan. A troop-carrying helicopter drops acclaimed American photojournalist David Guttenfelder into the front lines of the then-biggest American air assault in the war against Al Qaeda. Seeing the Marines that surround him snapping photos on their smartphones, he drops his DSLR, reaches for the iPhone 3G (his first) in the pocket of his flak jacket, and begins shooting photos, hoping to mimic the intimacy of those the soldiers were sending back home.

“They weren’t taking the kinds of pictures that I was taking, news photography; they were photographing their own life and this huge experience in their life. So I started shooting with my phone, too….

When Guttenfelder picked up his phone, he broke all the rules of traditional photojournalism—and, by some accounts pushed forward a medium that has been evolving since its inception. Six years later, extemporaneous documentation for journalistic use (and via selfie) has become the norm and Guttenfelder, with 854,000 followers on Instagram—the mobile image- and video-sharing app that has swelled to over 400 million users—is something of a new-tech godfather in the field. But having spent 20 years covering conflict overseas for the Associated Press, in the beginning carrying chemicals on his back, developing film in the field, and hanging it to dry on clotheslines, the photojournalist knows well the history of his craft.

During World War II, photographers carried weighty 4×5 cameras and hitchhiked to rush-deliver unseen film; in Vietnam, film from Leicas and Nikons was wrapped in condoms to keep it safe from the swamps; and at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, still-nascent digital photography invited massive logistics operations that used body bags to transport hundreds of pounds of gear. Now, a smartphone paired with Instagram—both a camera and a publishing platform—has freed up photographer time and stamina, and marked a shifting paradigm for documentary photography, forging new opportunities for photographers of all ilk, all over the world.

Photo David Guttenfelder

Teru Kuwayama, from Instagram’s image-sharing app says“I look at my Instagram feed and it’s a network; I’m seeing through the eyes of people around the world” . Following two decades as a noted photojournalist, covering war and humanitarian crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir, the TED Senior Fellow now works on the community team at Instagram, specifically with photojournalists and the wider photo community. “So many eyes and so many minds are coming online and being harnessed to this grid,” he says. For Kuwayama, this collective network and its unprecedented audience serves as the greatest draw for his involvement. “It’s unlocked a totally different spectrum of reporting,” he says.

Communities in certain corners of the world like North Korea aren’t just creating content but, in many cases, consuming uncensored images of their reality and of their country for the first time. Following his stint embedded in Afghanistan, David Guttenfelder went to the DPRK capital of Pyongyang in 2011 to help set up a bureau for  AP, the first of any Western news agency. “This is a country that was completely isolated; there’s not been photography from there. It’s all been propaganda distributed by the state,” he says. “There’s no communication allowed. It’s a total black hole.”

DavidGuttenfelder has made over 40 trips to the country since 2000 and is one of the first and only Western photojournalists to be granted regular access. Now, he has used his iPhone to shine a mini LED flash into the abyss. Instagramming from the streets of Pyongyang was “like throwing a window open on a totally unknown place,” says the photographer. “It was more powerful than any of the traditional ways that I used to publish, because you’re not just publishing at people; people go with you into the field, they follow you there, and you take them along for the ride.” Rather than the heavily censored portrayal of their world through government-controlled media outlets, for the first time locals were seeing a journalist represent their country as they knew it to be. “They said, ‘Follow this guy on Instagram. He’s unlike the mainstream media; he’s showing the real North Korea.’”


Street Party in Northbridge City of Perth for New Years Eve Photos Bohdan Warchomij January 2, 2017

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Quiet celebrations in Northbridge posed few problems for police and paramedics as revellers turned up in smaller numbers and behaved themselves  at Perth’s Northbridge Piazza, Latin American dancers made a video at sunset at  Scarborough Beach to promote an approaching  dance festival in April and young women took selfies of themselves at midnight to record  the approach of a new year.

Business as usual.

Happy New Year 2017.

Between the Pages: Journalism 2016 Revisited December 31, 2016

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Vigil at the Creek Bed where Elijah Doherty died Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Working as a freelancer for newspapers in Australia like anywhere in the world is a little like being an endangered species.

Investment in quality journalism is increasingly contracting and shrinking and newspapers instead of investing in their product are reducing accountability and a search for truth into a book keeping exercise, worrying about cost and survival and bottom line budgets. Readership continues to plummet with a few notable international exceptions.


Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times Manila The Philippines

The New York Times has invested heavily in Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak who has covered the ebola crisis in Africa for them and the paranoia of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte and his approach to drugs in that country. Berehulak, originally a Getty photographer from Sydney, and now a busy freelancer, rewarded them with a Pulitzer Prize for their commitment.

The innovative digital platform that the New York Times has built has contributed to the newspaper’s resurrection as a quality product. The Guardian in England has adopted a similar approach to photography to drive an innovative search for subscribers.

So what are the stories that need to be told? The stories that need to be photographed? Contributing to The Australian allows me to work on important stories that have a significant moral and political component. They help to contribute to justice in an unjust world.

 Report from the New York  Times on the cruelty of Australia’s refugee policy:

“The dead refugee had a name. But even in death Australia did not want to humanize him. For years now he had been no more than a registration number — BRF063 — under the country’s cruel refugee deterrence system known as “offshore processing.”

The brief announcement on Dec. 24 from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection said: “A 27-year-old Sudanese refugee has sadly died today from injuries suffered after a fall and seizure at the Manus Regional Processing Center.”

This was all that Australia could muster for Faisal Ishak Ahmed, who fled the Darfur region of Sudan in 2013. His was a death foretold, like that of the other deceased asylum seekers and refugees banished by Australia to the small island nation of Nauru and to Manus, a remote corner of the Papua New Guinea archipelago.

Since July 2013, Australia has herded more than 2,000 desperate people into these island prisons. There has been no “process” in centers housed in poor countries paid by Australia to do its dirty work. Human beings have been left to fester, crack up and die, as I observed on Manus during a five-day visit last month. Draconian nondisclosure contracts have gagged staff, although the whole system is beginning to crumble under the weight of its iniquity.

The Death of Elijah Doherty in Kalgoorlie: Photographed by Bohdan Warchomij for the Australian Journalist Paige Taylor

A MAN charged over the death of a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy appeared in a Perth court  after violent protests outside Kalgoorlie Courthouse.

The 55-year-old man faced Perth’s Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link charged with the manslaughter of Kalgoorlie teenager, Elijah Doughty.

Elijah’s death triggered charges of racism and dysfunction in the mining town.

Shontaye James, the brother of Elijah Doughty in Boulder Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The restraint of his family and brother and the aboriginal community helped to defuse the anger and sadness of Elijah’s death.

Hayley Garlett 18 stood in front of a police line to protect them from protestors. Photo Bohdan Warchomij




The Elegance of Roger Federer at the Perth Arena December 30, 2016

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Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Enthusiastic fans gave tennis legend Roger Federer a rousing ovation as he took to Perth Arena this Thursday for an  open training session with WA’s Matt Ebden.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij of Roger Federer Terminal One Perth International

Federer arrived in WA in the early hours of Thursday morning alongside wife Mirka and his children, signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans and autograph hunters.

The elegant and humble champion from Switzerland won the hearts of many of the fans anxious to see him fin Perth for the first time in 14 years.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Federer entered the playing arena to a hero’s welcome in his first WA appearance since 2002 and at the end of the session signed autographs for 30 minutes, giving many the opportunity to brush shoulders with a gentleman of the tennis circuit.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij