© Sean Lotman

Sean Lotman is a native of Los Angeles residing in Kyoto. "I am drawn to individuals who, lacking means and opportunity, nevertheless convey a poignant dignity."


"They say power is seductive but in my travels I've often been drawn to the social underdog. It's easy to forget in our fast-paced, high-tech lives, how many of us struggle to make ends meet. But such striving does not go for naught, often making the man, transforming an underdog into a talented, multifaceted individual... We're talking a kind of person who can fix a bicycle chain, remove a carburetor, tune a guitar, make a fire, and speak two or three languages despite dropping out of school at the age of twelve. Many walk the fine line between chaos and order on two dollars a day and for all that economic repression, stay sane and start a family too. I've been awfully fortunate to not only meet these hardy individuals but to take their portraits as well."



All images © Sean Lotman


A wounded fighter in Lebanon © Carsten Stormer

Reporter and photojournalist Carsten Stormer sent in this story of Syrian refugees who have escaped to Lebanon.


A wounded Syrian refugee in a hospital in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. His right arm was severed in a mortar attack by the Syrian army. © Carsten Stormer

"In this backwater of terror refugees keep trickling through the porous frontier, washed up like flotsam nobody wants. Once they are in the Lebanon, their suffering takes on a new form. Here there are none of the refugee camps found in Turkey. There are scarcely any organizations ready to provide the refugees with their basic requirements, blankets, warm clothing, milk for the children, medicines; there is a lack of all these."


A wounded refugee boy in an apartment that is shared by three families. © Carsten Stormer

"They are third class refugees. Their only hope for survival lies with sympathetic Lebanese people who are ready to share what little they have with them, or take them into their homes. The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli is the epicentre for Syrian refugees. In the town's hospitals lie the victims of the war. All of them tell of massacres of civilians, of snipers shooting indiscriminately at anyone who ventures out of doors, of bombardments of residential areas lasting for days, of demonstrators being executed in public, of dead bodies being left to rot in the streets as a deterrent. Most of the refugees ask to remain anonymous, as they fear the long arm of the Asad regime even in the Lebanon. It is said that on numerous occasions members of the opposition and other refugees have been picked up by Syrian or Lebanese secret agents and sent back to Syria."


Refugees, picked up by a farmer, arrive " front of a dingy barracks. Helplessly they stand there like a herd of frightened sheep." © Carsten Stormer

"The Lebanese government finds itself in a dilemma. On the one hand it is bound to Syria by treaty, which is why it officially discourages Syrian absconders from staying in the Lebanon, but on the other hand it has no wish to alienate its other Arab neighbours by sending refugees back to Syria. Anyone who does manage to enter the Lebanon from Syria is regarded as a visitor rather than a refugee, and is allowed six months' leave to remain on that basis. In this way Lebanon manages to salvage its humanitarian reputation and at the same time avoid a diplomatic rebuke. Syrian activists in the Lebanon estimate that around 20,000 refugees have already slipped into the country. And the number is growing by the day. Despite this the Lebanese Red Cross fails to see the need for any action. Every day hundreds of people queue at official entry points for stay visas. Others are smuggled past the landmines, checkposts and army patrols into Lebanon by activists or the Free Syrian Army. They know of only one direction to go: out."


A Syrian refugee in no man's land between Syria and Lebanon. © Carsten Stormer

"Surviving on the borders of legality, these refugees are put up in private flats arranged by workers in the activist network, or in schools, commercial premises or slums on the city outskirts. Often there are as many as thirty of them in a small space, several families to a flat. Accommodation is scarce, rents are rising astronomically. Seats are in short supply in the rescue ship of the Lebanon. And life revolves around the latest news and rumours. Have there been fresh battles or onslaughts? How are the family members getting on back in Syria, are they still alive at all? Life has turned into a timeless vacuum."


Wounded Syrian refugees celebrate the anniversary of the revolution in a hospital in the city of Tripoli. © Carsten Stormer

Carsten_Stormer_refugees_08.jpgA wounded Syrian refugee in a hospital in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. © Carsten Stormer

Many thanks to Carsten for this photo and text submission, and for his amazing work and dedication. Big respect to you out there in Manila!


© Abby Ross

Delightful youngster Abby Ross, seen here in aCurator magazine last year, has not stopped growing; currently "she has been logging some hours in Africa... Congo and Somalia."

I'm very fond of this photographer, of her style and determination. Check her out.




All images © Abby Ross


© Dan Eckstein

Horn please! I love Dan Eckstein's project on long-distance drivers in India. Dan covered some 2500 km - it was worth it!


"'Horn Please' is the mantra of the Indian highway and some version of the sentiment is written on the back of practically every truck on the road. In a place where lanes are a mere suggestion, side-view mirrors are seldom used and modes of transport range from horse-drawn carts to eighteen-wheel trucks, the ever-present horn is an essential part of driving etiquette."


"Along the highway, one unmistakable feature is the brightly decorated trucks that ply the country's roads. The men who drive these trucks spend long hours on the road and can be away from their families for weeks at a time so their trucks act as a second home and they take great pride in them. The interior and exterior of the trucks are colorfully decorated with paintings, stickers, garlands, tassels and shrines, which are not only a unique form of folk art but also an expression of individualism."




All images © Dan Eckstein

Nice one, John! Here's a short video from Daylight Multimedia about John's Cyr's genius project on the developer trays of the famous. He terms it here a "treasure hunt," with many photographer's trays no longer around. The series was featured here in aCurator magazine in full-screen glory two years ago this month - it's wonderful to see this project go from strength to strength!


Barbie and Ken © Jana Cruder

Jana Cruder and I met last year at NYC Fotoworks. Go see her exhibition at Barneys New York, Las Vegas, which opens on June 15th.

"The collection of new works, Great Expectations, explores sexuality, identity, and the dichotomy of the male-female relationship in the 21st Century."


A New Day. Platinum Palladium print from waxed paper negative © Peter Liepke

Every day we're faced with more and more 'iPhoneography' or whatever the hell it's being called. If someone wants to turn a little phone-camera file into a platinum print maybe I'll pay more attention*. In the meantime, making me feel calm is Peter Liepke, a photographer working on this series 'Above and Beyond' - "the most ambitious fine art project I've done to date since leaving the commercial photography world."


Listening to Sinatra. Platinum Palladium print from waxed paper negative © Peter Liepke

"Some people have said that perhaps it's my own visual love letter to New York, and maybe that's partly true, but to me it's much more than just that. To me the series is about each of us chasing a dream, while at the same time finding and exploring our own sense of place, with each of us being a small but valuable individual piece of a much bigger jigsaw puzzle."


Morning Commute. Platinum Palladium print from waxed paper negative. © Peter Liepke

The prints are already selling well through Peter's galleries "All of the prints are combinations of Platinum/Palladium, Gum Bichromate, and Cyanotype hand made only by me... All of my gallery frames are made from scratch as well."


Let's Go Home. Platinum Palladium print from waxed paper negative © Peter Liepke

Peter intends to produce about 40 images in the series and is planning the book (with foreword by a secret A-list New Yorker!)

Peter_Liepke_Sollsbury-Hill_02.jpgHead over to Peter's website for many more.

Sollsbury Hill. Platinum Palladium print from waxed paper negative
© Peter Liepke

*Get off my lawn etc.


© Tabitha Soren

On June 1st, 2012, Tabitha Soren's series 'Running' opens at Indianapolis' Museum of Contemporary Art as part of their 'Natural World' exhibition. Photographing first friends and then strangers, Tabitha says "My static landscapes needed people on the verge of something." The photographer has been shooting this series across three years in Mexico and Canada, and the prints are nice and big.





All images © Tabitha Soren


1960s, California © Anderson Smith Sr.

Anderson Smith, photographer and radio show host, told me about having proudly inherited his father's archive. Left in boxes, the logistics and challenges that accompany sorting, editing and digitizing analog materials are complicated and stressful and I wish any of you good luck with that! I am thrilled to publish his work for the first time - here's to you Mr Anderson!

"My father's name was Anderson Smith Sr. He was a machine shop worker who had a passion for photography. He was a part of the Chicago Camera Club and had won numerous awards. He photographed everything. He was very passionate about photography, however never really pursued it professionally."


Muhammad Ali



Anderson_Smith_Sr_walk.jpgAll images © Anderson Smith Sr.

Tune in to One Hour Photo, Wednesdays at 1 pm on Armada FM


Huldrekall © Felipe Vasquez

You have to love photography students - well, those with vision and skill and determination, anyway. I admire Felipe Vasquez. He took his vision, and costumes, off to Patagonia...



"'Chimeras' is a photographic project that explores mysticism within different societies of the world, as interpreted through conceptual self-portraiture. This series was shot in the Patagonia region of Chile during the months of January and February of 2012.

'Chimeras' consists of four distinct characters inspired by factual ritualism practiced in primitive cultures, in addition to humankind's faithful beliefs in the supernatural. All of these characters were created with the help of artist Andrew Jordan, whose incalculable expertise was fundamental to the development of my vision.

Jordan and I designed the costumes for 'Chimeras' so that they would complement Patagonia's remarkably diverse and rich terrain. Its mountains, lakes, forests and meadows quickly became home to the creatures and through the camera, I was able to capture their metaphysical existence."




Lilith. All images © Felipe Vasquez

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