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Bureau of Ideas April 2, 2017

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MENU: The astonishing work of Chef Robbie Postma and Photographer Robert Harrison in Amsterdam March 26, 2017

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School of Visual Arts New York : Thomas Roma Documentary Photographer March 26, 2017

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Tomas Roma Documentary Photographer:

I have never heard of Thomas Roma (maybe because he was born Thomas Germano in 1950) but I learnt so much from his talk for the School of Visual Arts You Tube Channel that I am surprised I have never ever heard of him before. His  video presentation is based on the 16 books he has published to date and it is an astonishing body of work. What is amazing about it is his choice of subjects, and his methodology of sharing it. He is obviously a great teacher with a sense of humour and a quality of personal deprecation that contributes to understanding the photographic process that both art photographers, documentary photographers, and photojournalists can earn from. And best of all, he even made his own camera. This You Tube Channel is inspirational. And so is Thomas Roma.

Siciliano Camera Works

In the 1970s, Roma started manufacturing and selling cameras under the name “Siciliano Camera Works”. He produced the medium format “Siciliano”, the 35mm panoramic “Pannaroma”, as well as a rewind crank for the Leica M2 & M3. To create the panoramic camera, Roma used a Nikon F camera body that was gutted and served merely as a film holder. He milled an adapter out of aircraft aluminum to go between the Nikon body and a Mamiya 50mm Sekor lens. He also made a bright-line optical viewfinder for the camera. The camera was called a “Pannaroma 1X3″, making a play on words between “panorama” and Roma’s wife’s name “Anna,” to create the word “P-anna-roma“.

Thomas Roma (formerly Thomas Germano born in 1950) is an American photographer who has worked almost exclusively since 1974 exploring the neighborhoods and institutions of his native Brooklyn, photographing scenes from churches, subways and everyday life, using a homemade camera.

Roma is currently a Full Professor at Columbia University‘s School for the Arts, and the Director of the Photography Department which he founded. He has also taught photography at Yale UniversityFordham UniversityThe Cooper Union, and The School of Visual Arts.


Published on 13 Mar 2017

Twice a recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships and a New York State Council for the Arts Fellowship, Thomas Roma’s work has appeared in international exhibitions, including one-person shows with accompanying books at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the International Center of Photography. His talk is part of the i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series, which features fine-art, commercial, editorial, documentary and fashion photographers and industry experts including publishing, galley, software and hardware professionals. Presented by MPS Digital Photography.


Lone Wolf Attack in London’s Westminster kills three March 23, 2017

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The devastation created by a knifeman brought chaos to the heart of Westminster . The attacker mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before slamming his car into railings and stabbing a policeman outside Parliament.

Dozens of emergency service personnel attended the incident, which left one police officer and at least two others dead.

The assailant was shot dead by plain clothes police quickly on the scene.

London’s Westminster and parliament was in lockdown shortly after the incident.


The Eagle Huntress: Luna Cinemas Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 20, 2017

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‘The Eagle Huntress’ has opened at Luna Cinemas, and tells the story of Agalai, a hunter and his daughter Aisolpan, who wishes to become an eagle huntress. British advertising director Otto Bell, inspired by a photo by Israeli photographer Asher Svidensky, completes the film in a creative shaping of the story. Folklore researcher Adrienne Mayor of Stanford University says that the tradition of women as eagle hunters goes back at least 1000 years so Aisolpan is not unique in the genre. The film is thus more fiction than documentary.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Joining the crowd at Luna gave me the opportunity to meet the Mongolian community proudly mingling with regular movie goers and to photograph them in their folk costumes.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Great Escape: Mongolia’s Altai Kazakh Eagle Hunters Festival by Debbie Papyn

“Welcome to Bayan-Ölgii,” says Canat, “a strong country, for and with strong people.” Our host and the organiser of the Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival – the reason for our visit – he knows the region better than most. We are in a remote stretch of western Mongolia, about 45 miles from the Russian border, and surrounded by a barren but impressive mountain range, lightly sprinkled with snow.

A 2.5hr-flight from Ulaanbataar this is the Far West of Mongolia. The festival is typically only attended by 100 or so foreigners each year, but this may soon change. The newly released film The Eagle Huntress is providing international audiences with unprecedented insight into these people’s customs and celebrations.

The surrounding area is home to the remarkable Kazakh eagle hunters, or berkutchi, who live in simple houses or well-insulated gers, scattered across the valley and specially built to endure heavy snow. More than 100 will take their trained golden eagles to the competition.

The birds are usually taken from their nests as chicks to be trained. Western animal lovers might protest about the practice, but try arguing the point with a proud Kazakh whose ancestors have been doing it for centuries. A golden eagle lives in ‘captivity’ for approximately 40 years. The hunter grows old with his bird.

In comparison to Mongolia’s Naadam Festival (a major festival focused on archery, wrestling and horseracing that takes place in July), the Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival draws a small attendance – Canat tells us that about 1,000 locals descend from various regions of the Sagsai Valley for the event.


The Legacy and the Ecstasy: The West Australian Election Result. March 12, 2017

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Stephen Price with family and supporters claiming victory in Forrestfield Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Sunday Times political journalist Joe Spagnolo wrote in this morning’s paper: ”

In the end, WA voters had one simple message for the Liberal party: ‘We don’t like the company you keep.”

I have absolutely no doubt that a decision by the Liberals to get into bed with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation largely contributed to this bloodbath.

The deal was seen for what it was. Opportunistic and poor, poorly executed. It smacked of desperation.”

He also wrote a warning to the incoming premier.

“I love elections. I love democracy. Because in the end the people always get to choose who they want to govern.

The bottom line is this. McGowan and Labor have four years to do what Barnett could not.

If he is all talk, and no action, West Australians can turf him out in four years time.

These are challenging times and McGowan must now show that he has what it takes to be premier.”

Political commentator Peter Onselen wrote in the same paper in an article Barnett’s historic leadership legacy to stand the test of time ” He will go down in WA’s political history as one of the State’s most significant figures.”

He lists Colin Barnett’s achievements: his support for the mining sector through infrastructure development during tough economic times internationally, the lifting of restrictive trading rules, the new stadium and Elizabeth Quay.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Achievement is never enough in the world of politics. Sentiment is also important. Labels like the ‘Emperor’ and the ‘dictator’, an out of control budget,  the Pauline Hanson factor, all contributed to a perception that there was a need for change.

John Day and Ken Wyatt watch polling results Photo Bohdan Warchomij

There is a lesson in this for all politicians. Labor won this easily with a lacklustre, unimaginative campaign.

Being in the hot seat of government will change the focus quickly and Mark McGowan and his team will need to learn quickly and provide responsible and effective government.

Photo Rebecca Le May AAP



West Australian Election turns dirty: Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 10, 2017

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POLICE were called to the Paddington Ale House where protesters were disrupting an event being hosted by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson who started her evening with a Sky News interview.

Accusations of racism and fascism were liberally and passionately dispersed through doggerel political chants by the protesters who were well organised.

One Nation supporters egged the young protesters on through out the protest.

Senator Hanson, who is in WA as part of a week long campaign ahead of the State Election on Saturday, held a Pizza and Pots event inside the Mount Hawthorn pub for her supporters.

There were reports of punches being thrown outside the hotel after about 50 protesters gathered outside the pub at about 7pm and that at least one person was taken away by police. There were confrontations between the protestors and One Nation supporters who were separated by police.

Police said that two people were issued with move on notices but no arrests were made.

Sculpture by the Sea PERTH 2017 Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 5, 2017

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List of Exhibiting Sculptors:

Toby Bell, WA Maggie Johns, England Denise Pepper, WA
Zadok Ben-David, Israel / England Akira Kamada, NSW April Pine, WA
Ivan Black, England Shelly Kelly, QLD Jörg Plickat, Germany
Steven Buckles, WA Sangsug Kim, South Korea Jimmy Rix, NSW
Tim Burns, WA Milan Kuzica, Czech Republic Alessandra Rossi, WA
Andrew Burton, England Lou Lambert, WA Margarita Sampson, NSW
Mikaela Castledine, WA Jina Lee, WA Evi Saavaidi, Greece
Olga Cironis, WA Barbara Licha, NSW Anthony Sawrey, VIC
Tony Cragg, England Tim Macfarlane Reid, WA Ryan Shaw, WA
Tony Davis, WA Aliesha Mafrici, WA Jianshu Song, China
Tom de Munk-Kerkmeer, WA Desmond Mah, WA Jordan Sprigg, WA
Kevin Draper, WA Tsutomu Matsungaga, Japan Sally Stoneman, WA
Harsha Durugadda Vardhan, India Janine McAullay Bott, WA Benjamin Storch, VIC
Ben Fasham, VIC Dan McCabe, WA Oliver Stretton-Pow, New Zealand
Manuel Ferreiro Badia, Spain Hamish & Stuart McMillan, SA Masauki Sugiyama, Japan
Norton Flavel, WA Karl Meyer, SA Elyssa Sykes-Smith, NSW
Fiona Gavino, WA Britt Mikkelsen, WA Takeshi Tanabe, Japan
R.M. (Ron) Gomboc, WA Lubomir Mikle, Slovak Republic Zhou Tengxiao, China
Simon Grimes, NSW Nenad Milovanovic, Serbia Pimpisa Tinpalit, VIC
Wataru Hamasaka, Japan Kayako Nakashima, Japan Keizo Ushio, Japan
Zero Higashida, Japan Anne Neil, WA Andrea Vinkovic, WA
Takahiro Hirata, Japan Kozo Nishino, Japan  Zheng Yuan Lu, China

Robert McPherson Metaphor Images: A finalist in the Jacob Riis 5th Documentary award March 3, 2017

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Photos Robert McPherson/Metaphor Images

Congratulations are due to Robert McPherson.

Robert McPherson/ Metaphor Images: Robert is a finalist in the Jacob Riis 5th Documentary award
A short series from Robert McPherson’s latest trip to Nepal from a  brick factory Kathmandu. 

Photos Robert McPherson/Metaphor Images

Story description: 

600,000 homes were destroyed by the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015. The demand for bricks to rebuild new houses increased, and child labour is involved in rebuilding the country.

In Nepal 28,000 children are engaged in child labour.

Children who work at brick factories breathe in dangerous red dust that circulates in the air.

One consequence is chronic bronchitis.

Children die yearly in relation to accidents in the workplace.

Besides long hours and heavy work, the brick factories have consistently poor sanitation facilities that also lead to other diseases.



FAUSTO PODAVINI  (Rome, Italy), for his Series MiRelLa.

Australia’s INGETJE TADROS  (Broome, Australia)

was a finalist

for her Series Kennedy Hill

Covering the Ukraine invasion: Anton Skyba for the Globe and Mail February 27, 2017

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In 2004 I was lucky to work for the Globe and Mail for Mark McKinnon and Jeremy Page during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime for a freelance photographer, confronting history and working for two amazing journalists.

It kicked off a long free lance career for me that has led me back to Ukraine regularly to astonishing scenarios and opportunities to share on the scene realities. Reporting on the downing of Malaysia’s MH17 in Torres was my most recent and most traumatic experience.

Mark McKinnon continues to report on Ukraine for the Globe and Mail and correlates the connection between the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president and the newest outbreaks in the eastern frontline of Ukraine. Photojournalist Anton Skyba has contributed extensively to Mark McKinnon’s latest report.


“It was six days after the first official phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that a rocket destroyed Nina Zharekova’s kitchen.

Nobody was hurt, Ms. Zharekova whispers, peering up through the hole left when a Grad rocket, fired by Russian-backed separatists positioned just a few kilometres away, tore through the roof of the modest home she shares with her daughter and five-year-old grandson. “But it’s a miracle we’re alive.”

A relative quiet had reigned for months along the swerving front line between the Ukrainian army and the separatists who control two enclaves along the Russian border. But the day after the Jan. 28 call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, the regular rattle of small weapons in Ukraine’s Donbass region was replaced by the thunder of artillery, tank and rocket fire, all of it in violation of a 2015 ceasefire agreement.

It’s almost as though someone is trying to test the rookie U.S. leader – by roughly tripling the level of violence – to find out where he really stands on the three-year-old war in what used to be Ukraine’s industrial heartland.”






In 2014 a young reporter Anton Skyba spoke excitedly in Lviv about his experiences on the frontlines in eastern Ukraine. He described Russian-backed separatists shelling villages and sending civilians running for their lives.

“I can’t believe this is happening in my homeland,” said Anton Skyba, who runs a small information agency and had never covered a war before. He is lucky to be alive.

When he ventured into territory held by pro-Russian forces, he was captured, beaten and accused of spying, he said. After being held for several days, he was turned over to another rebel group, which freed him.

Skyba recalled these events during the November 2014 Media Forum held in Lviv, Ukraine, near the Polish border. The crowd was abuzz with reports that Russian troops and tanks were pouring over the border. Four months later, Business Insider included Ukraine on its list of the world’s 15 worst war zones.

“Our journalists are not experienced war correspondents. They are not ready for this,” said forum organizer Ostap Protsyk. “[The Russian invasion] is the biggest story for us. Our media have to cover it.”

Skyba’s story echoes a harrowing trend of local journalists switching from education, politics and crime beats to reporting on the violence in their back yard when conflict strikes. Many have paid dearly.


The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that nearly nine in 10 work-related fatalities since 1992 involved journalists covering news in their own country. More than 95 percent of journalists jailed worldwide are local reporters, photojournalists, bloggers and editors, according to CPJ.

After the Lviv Media Forum, around 40 members of the Ukrainian press corps gathered for a workshop on safety tips. Among the advice:

With the 2015 Global Risks report listing international conflict as the greatest threat to world stability over the next 10 years, the realities of 21st century conflict underscore a key point: The need for safety training for journalists has never been greater.

Global media watchdogs have compiled resources and guidelines for journalists covering conflict. Here is a sampling of what’s available online: