Born in Germany and based in Stockholm, photographer Ole Elfenkämper
has produced a couple of documentary series in Albania recently: one covers environmental concerns, and the other, which I'm happy we could put together into a feature here, is about a strike by chrome miners that lasted three months and is the longest industrial action since the fall of communism.
Bulqiza is a town in eastern Albania and is one of the richest areas in chrome in the Balkans. On July 4th its chrome miners downed their tools to protest for better working conditions, a wage increase, and changes to the administration of the mine for the sake of its future.
The miners started their protest in Bulqiza but after 16 days of general strikes and protests they went to the capital, Tirana, where they camped in a park nearby and went each day for five days to protest in front of Prime Minister Sali Berisha's office. With no hearings by the government forthcoming they decided to return to
Bulqiza, and a group of 15 miners went 1400 meters underground to begin
a hunger strike.
On October 8th, after three months of strike and long negotiations, the miners went back to work having agreed a deal with the management which included a wage increase. Just twelve days later, 1600m underground a massive explosion took place and one miner died and two out of seven wounded were fighting for their lives.
After the incident, the Union for Inspection and Rescue of Mines closed the mine until the company fulfills the security requirements for the 'galleries.' With the mine closed and the owners having not paid the workers during the months of the strike, the lives of the miners have become more and more difficult. They are forced to risk their lives working in other, sometimes abandoned, mines. As a result of working in unsafe conditions another deadly accident took place on November 11th in the chrome mining area in Bulqiza, bringing the total to 15 deaths in the last three years. Prosecutors are still investigating.View the full screen magazine photo feature
.© Ole Elfenkämper
Thanks to Ole for the photographs and text for this feature
Here's another young, raw photographer whose work and attitude I find exciting: Harry Gould Harvey VI
is a self-taught 19 year-old high school dropout based in Newport, Rhode Island. We've been emailing for a few months, talking about punk music, wealth disparity, Occupy Wall Street and discontent in general. In between first contact and the publication of this feature, HGH has been on the road with his own hardcore band, Convulsions. I really appreciate the value that this young artist put on connecting with me, saying how hard it is to otherwise access "the world of contemporary photography." This is part of an ongoing series, a sarcastic, social commentary that is meant to be alarming and disconcerting, to convey a sense of anger, and is shot in and around the mansions of Newport. View the full screen magazine photo feature
© Harry Gould Harvey VI
Also worth a look: HGHIV and his partner run The Amerikants
, a project that "has been created to showcase the artwork of people who are involved in the hardcore/punk/metal scenes around the world. The ideas and art that will create this site are all based around the DIY ideal, and it is an opportunity to expose work with peers having similar interests."
© Christopher Auger-Dominguez
Styling: Amy Auslander. Jacket: Stella McCartney. Guitar: Squire Mini by Fender.
has embarked upon this fabulous personal project, Vinyl Idols
, which I of course fell in love with when we met at NYC Fotoworks.
"Each image will be a reproduction of, or inspired by, famous album covers in rock and roll. "Jimi Hendrix" was inspired by the album Radio One
."I have been talking about #Hendrix a lot lately in my work with Baron Wolman. Baron doesn't like
the question of who his favourite subject was, he says it's like asking
a parent which is their favourite child, but when pressed, it's
Hendrix: his amazing style and presence always shone.
There are now several examples of the bigflannel Portfolio template
live online. Sharing some of those here. I encourage photographers to keep this in mind for a new, highly affordable main portfolio site, or for book
projects, personal work or other series that you might want to profile under a
separate portfolio to your main website.
Like a cat bringing a mouse to its owner, a tattooist in England reported this rendering of a self-portrait by Mr. Karsh to our curator. The gentleman doesn't know quite how he found the image, nor did he know who it was until recently, but had "managed to convince one of my friends to have the portrait"... we don't know where. The big joke among my Karsh colleagues is how I plan to handle this copyright infringement.
© Leslie Jean-Bart
Another interesting find at a portfolio review, Leslie Jean-Bart
was sent to me by a fellow Brit so I could see his tea-stain photos, which I really enjoyed.
I was also drawn to his colorful, abstract series. For this ongoing summer project Leslie spends hours at Coney Island, studying the sea, the sand, the boardwalk, the people, their interactions. His goal is "to get back to 'seeing', to a kind of pure photography not driven so much by narrative or issues, but by light, by color, shape and form. I am completely at the mercy of the elements since the sand and tide move at times faster than a mosquito flying by one's ears in the summer."View the full screen magazine photo feature
Samples from the 'tea stain' series
All images © Leslie Jean-BartFellow northern hemisphere dwellers: It's only 5 weeks till the shortest day.
At this year's Classic Rock Magazine annual award ceremony for contribution to the rock music industry, my great friend and colleague Baron Wolman
was given a VIP Award. This was the first time it had been given to a photographer. When we last spoke, he hadn't decided on his acceptance speech but by that night he'd nailed it: According to Dave Brolan
, Baron said he couldn't
understand how Pete Townshend could smash his guitar, but saw how great he looked
and that he's always wanted to do it. So he threw a camera onto the
stage and it smashed... the place went wild, Pete came over and said "Well
done!" and that he'd always liked his photos. They hugged & posed
for pictures. This is how rock history is made!
IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS the premium editions of Baron's book are running low. Go get one now
and make someone's Christmas.
vet all their potential portfolio review attendees and this does change the dynamics slightly for a reviewer. We can expect a certain level of work experience and practiced professionalism. At my first review for them recently, there were a few photographers whose work I really enjoyed and I hope I was able to impart useful knowledge to each of them.
Of all the great shots Kevin Steele
showed me, Mount Rushmore made me beam. Kevin's a rock climber too, of course! and all his work has that edge of exhilaration. Hey, if you can climb rocks, why not take breathtaking rock climbing photographs.Go and enjoy some vicarious thrills
Bir Nabala, Palestine, West Bank, 2010
Quiet work betrays a bold personality: when complaining on Facebook about a photographer who didn't follow up on my offer of publication, Berlin-based Benedikt Partenheimer
cheerily suggested I publish his work instead. After a look through the different series on his website, making an exception to my "no horses" rule, I was most taken by 'Expiration' for its cool, calm look at the West Bank city of Bir Nabala, once a commercial center but now sealed off from Jerusalem by the Wall. View the full screen magazine photo feature
.© Benedikt Partenheimer