“Born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1984, photographer Farzana Wahidy was only a teenager when the Taliban took over the country in 1996. At age 13 she was beaten in the street for not wearing a burqa, she recalls, and she describes those years as a “very closed, very dark time.” To carry a camera would have been unthinkable…”
Monthly Archives: March 2013
Incredibly beautiful portraits, some of the best I have ever seen. Photos I dream about that I could call my own. They cry out majestically, inviting you in to their secret lives, daring you to stare for longer- a trait I want to get across in my portrait work.
“These bedrooms once belonged to men and women who died fighting in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These fallen men and women were blown up by IEDs, RPGs, hand grenades and suicide bombers. They were shot down in ambushes and by snipers. They died in helicopters, in humvees, and in tanks. It all took place thousands of miles away from home, and the country they fought to defend. The purpose of this project is to honor these fallen – not simply as soldiers, marines, airmen and seamen, but as sons, daughters, sisters and brothers – and to remind us that before they fought, they lived, and they slept, just like us, at home. Bedrooms of the Fallen was conceived in 2007 as a way to memorialize soldiers and marines who died in Iraq. It was expanded to include casualties from Afghanistan in 2009. The project is a work in progress, and ongoing. The initial goal is to photograph forty bedrooms, and publish a book of the work.”
This project by Ashley Gilbertson is an extremely ‘close to the heart’ gallery for thousands of people who have experienced first hand the pain he is capturing on camera. It has inspired me enormously and led me towards wanting to capture past and present pain on camera for my film portrait module. A topic that millions can relate to, empathise with and respect- cancer. I want to capture the aftermath of suffering with cancer and how the scars (physically and emotionally) can affect all of us whether we had the illness or knew someone else with it, a battle fought together, never alone.
- An outdoor group portrait (with a minimum of 4 people, preferably more).
- Consider the positioning of the people within the portrait as well as the overall structure of the composition.
- Considerations: Page layout, composition, focus, lighting a large area, dealing with lots of people.
Inspired by Zed Nelson’s ‘Love Me’ project:
“Love Me reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty.
Over a period of five years Zed Nelson visited 18 countries across five continents. The project explores how a new form of globalization is taking place, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand.”
Far right image: Brazil’s Peladão is one of the largest football tournaments in the world. Each of the 800 competing teams are required to ﬁeld a beauty queen, who competes in a parallel beauty pageant. Rules state that if a losing football team is knocked out of the league, they can be reinstated if its beauty queen reaches the ﬁnal rounds of her competition. Newly selected Peladão beauty queens gather at Manaus football stadium for pre-match judging and registration. Manaus, Brazil.
I chose to use only natural lighting in my group portrait as I prefer to work this way- flash is too ghastly a lot of the time and not to my everyday liking. The sunlight was glorious and available for only a few minutes before it disappeared behind clouds for the day. I brought the models forward from the shadows into the direct sunlight so that it would pick out their eyes and bring a more natural (ironic I know) feeling to the shot. I didn’t have them all looking directly at me as I wanted to represent how desperate they are to please and show off i.e look at every camera possible and hold a pose for anyone willing to capture it. I should have moved them all to the right a fraction more as I did not notice the lamp-post growing out of the far left models head, I didn’t make the most of the natural framing I had available to me between the two lamp-posts, definitely missed a trick there! I like the contrast between their outfits- some made up completely, some hair done makeup not, others with the correct shoes others in trainers… I feel it adds an element of comic value to the shot as they all compete with each other to be the most beautiful there.
Sent out with the task of getting the best portrait in the class (assuming all of our fellow course mates were “tourists” competing against us), Iona and I decided to focus on the environment and capture people on their way to work either walking or cycling. It was a beautiful day so the light was good and we knew people would be around, however what with it being a Monday morning it was difficult getting many people to stop for us. Below are our two favourite shots followed by a series of others. To improve these two shots we should have cropped the first one slightly so there was less gutter space above her head and in the second one we should have moved our model back into the sunlight- this would have brought out the colours in his clothing more so he wasn’t so bland and in his eyes.
“Miss Crown and Glory was set up in 2013 by Hannah Hunter. The reason for creating the pageant was something deeply close to Miss Hunters heart. Hannah fundraises in the memory of her Nan June Gratrix who sadly lost her life to Cancer and now carries on the good work of her Uncle Kevan Gratrix after sadly loosing him in a motor bike accident.
Miss Crown and Glory was created with the purpose of raising money for The Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Caring for more than 1,500 people from Chester, Deeside and Cheshire every year The Hospice of the Good Shepherd helps to improve the quality of life for those living with any incurable illness and gives support to families, friends and carers. To provide free care, we need to raise more than £6,800 every day.” http://www.crownandgloryevents.co.uk