© Les StoneLes Stone
, working on a documentary on coal mining in McDowell County, West Virginia, has found his story morphing into a broader look at health care.
"McDowell County is one of the poorest and most remote counties in the United States. In fact Welch, the county seat, had at one time the highest concentration of millionaires in the United States. Thousands of immigrants came from all over the world to work in the coalfields. Now, Welch is scarcely a shadow of its former self. Still, today more coal is taken out of this area than at any time in its history, however, mechanization and non-union mining left the county destitute. In addition, many of the coal companies have treated the people there with disdain and have taken advantage of the miners and their families. .
Black lung, heart disease, diabetes and drug abuse just a few of the problems that have come with poverty in McDowell County. Black lung disease is on the rise among all the miners after several years of decline. Many of the formerly rich towns in the area are now little more than ghost towns and still the only jobs that pay more than minimum wage are the most dangerous jobs in the world - coal mining. Very few people here have health care insurance or access to medical clinics.
In the context of the national economy where many of us are currently suffering, this project is a reminder that some of our fellow countrymen have had it much worse for a long time and they should not be forgotten. In fact, they need to be celebrated as heroes. They are the reason the lights are still on in our homes. However that is not to celebrate coal - we need to find alternatives and quickly - but as in all decisions involving policy, you cannot forget that people's lives are deeply affected." - Les Stone.
Many thanks to Les for the text.
Read an interview with Les, "How A Photojournalist Used To Work," on Stella Kramer's blog
.View the full screen magazine feature
If you're going to have a rep, you'd be lucky to have one like Mollie Jannasch, of Agency MJ.
She's charming, enthusiastic, unpretentious and tenacious. We met at
NYCFotoworks where she showed me portfolios from the photographers in her stable and these two
series from Claudio Napolitano stood out. Generally speaking, I steer clear of photos
of kids, but I love Claudio's emotive fantasies.
Plus, people still smoke! A few of Claudio's dark portraits.
I met Mr. Toledano
at a shi-shi event a couple of years ago. We wore similar outfits and shared an accent. I remember being embarrassed that I didn't know his work at the time, which I discovered to be bloody clever.
Since then, he put out the moving and beautiful "Days With My Father
", an incredibly personal project to which we can all relate. Then came the quite brilliant 'Kim Jong Phil
' "It occurred to me that being an artist is a great deal like being a dictator." and 'A New Kind of Beauty
' "Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the
technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?" and now he's further along his glittery path to world domination. Toledano is a gift that keeps on giving, for want of an appropriately terrible cliché.
"I just went to Egypt to get in touch with the Arab Spring, the second
part of the revolution and of course I didn't want to just photograph
only protest. I want to photograph the people around Tahrir as well. It
is interesting that so many young kids take part and during the day you
see so many families on Tahrir.
Of course I was curious about the
mood, one year after the first protests occurred there. I spent one
week there, not enough time to go deep enough into the whole matter." Ole Elfenkämper
All images © Ole Elfenkämper
"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
Yousuf Karsh made more than 15,000 sittings across six decades. This
feature is but a small selection of the artists he photographed.
There is lots of information and images on the official Karsh website
, it's great value so I recommend a long visit.View the full screen magazine photo feature.Alberto Giacometti, 1965 © Yousuf Karsh
It's not all Audrey Hepburn
and Helen Keller
over here at the Karsh satellite archives - we've got plenty of controversial figures in the files. As protests in Egypt continue into their second year, here is ex-President Hosni Mubarak, photographed by Yousuf Karsh
in 1983.Hosni Mubarak © Yousuf Karsh
The ever-entertaining Dirk Anschütz
has a new post on his Heavy Light
blog about a shoot he did with his football mates (soccer buddies) 'Chinatown Ballers - The Miracle on Turf
"Some of the regular highlights of my New York existence are the amateur soccer games I play in Chinatown. Some fellow kickers and I started to get together quite a long time ago for a midweek pick-up game on a 7-a-side pitch at the edge of Barrio Chino. The game proved to be very robust and survived the cold winters, hot summers, stretches of low popularity, stretches of too much popularity, and many personnel changes for over a decade now. Even though soccer has its fair share of whiners, complainers, braggers, spoiled brats, bullies, people teetering dangerously close to sanity, as well as people that are all of the above, we managed to keep the game clean, competitive, friendly and fair." Read the back-story
All images © Dirk Anschütz
Maloyn Chatelin © Denis Darzacq
In other series Denis Darzacq
uses dancers and athletes to capture able bodies in suspension, in urban settings. In 'Act,' 2008-2011, he photographed people with physical limitations, from a variety of backgrounds, careers and locations from the south of France to the north of England and the States; the goal was for each to express their individuality through a collaborative effort with the photographer. Denis worked with institutions, dance and sports groups to find eager participants. "Everyone, from the moment he decided to play the game, took an active part in the image by choosing gestures, attitudes, clothing, a place."
This body of work was brought to my attention by friend and colleague Jerry Fielder
who enjoyed Denis' exhibition in Paris at Galerie VU last November. Denis has won a World Press Photo Award, and been exhibited and
collected by multiple institutions, and is a member of Agence VU. Visit Denis' website for more, in particular check out Hyper
, and La Chute
.View the full screen magazine photo feature
.Thanks to Denis for providing his interview with Virginie Chardin.
Masauna Kristiansen with whip, Inglefield Fjord, North Greenland 1987 © Ragnar Axelsson
A new show opens next week at Proud UK's Chelsea gallery. A little different to the usual, 'Last Days of the Arctic' features photographs by Ragnar Axelsson of the Inuit.
Girl in a swing, Tiniteqilaaq, East Greenland 1997 © Ragnar Axelsson
"This is a moving and insightful photographic portrait of a disappearing landscape and its Inuit people. As the world turns its gaze toward the Arctic; the landscape whose inhabitants have done the least to cause climate change is where the devastating effects are most visible. Their ancient culture is set to become extinct; the probability of these communities continuing to live traditionally is becoming increasingly unlikely. In his native Iceland, Ragnar looked at the fisherman and farmers of remote villages and thought if he did not photograph them, then no one would know they ever existed. It is this thought that has led to this unique body of work captured in Greenland, with unprecedented access to a community that rarely let outsiders in."
Exhibition runs from 26th January - 11th March 2012 - not to be missed!
Little Bent with puppy, Kap Hope (Itterajivit), East Greenland 1995 © Ragnar Axelsson
Polar bear skin, Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland 1996 © Ragnar Axelsson
All images courtesy Proud Gallery