Posts tagged with iphonography
Everyday Africa: Stories Between the Headlines
In March 2012, two photojournalists — Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill — decided in the middle of a project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to begin a new, raw media outlet, which portrayed the mundane and casual life of everyday Africans on iPhones and Instagram. A year on, Everyday Africa curates photography from journalists across the continent, and they’re looking to involve locals, too. We spoke to Peter DiCampo to see why he think these images have captured our attention.
What made you decide to start Everyday Africa?
Austin Merrill and I were in Ivory Coast, and we were working on a very specific story on the aftermath of crisis and conflict there. He and I were both Peace Corps volunteers in west Africa, so we spent two years of our lives living in villages. We noticed all of these in-between, daily life, mundane moments, and we realized that, working as journalists, you don’t even shoot these moments. You edit them out ahead of time because they don’t fit into the story you’re trying to tell, which is kind of one of the funny parts about journalism: In some cases, it’s kind of preconceived. In order for a story to make sense, you have to look for certain things.
So we wanted to capture all these other things we were seeing as we went along, which is basically the stream of daily life. Of course “stream” is the key word, because the perfect way to shoot it and the perfect medium to share it is on places like Tumblr, and shooting it on a phone, casually. I think casual and mundane are the key words for this project.
Ruddy Roye: Photography as Voice for the Voiceless
Radcliffe Roye (Ruddy to his friends) is inspired by, as he puts it, “the raw and gritty lives of grassroots people.” And so, as a self-taught photographer, his images — whether shot in his native Jamaica, where he spends two months each year, or adopted home of Brooklyn — document communities on the margins of society. Over the last decade, Roye has published rich, colorful photo essays on the Sapeur fashionistas of the Congo, Jamaican nightlife culture, single moms, and the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He’s also begun shooting daily with his iPhone, including a series of gritty, black and white images documenting the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that were featured by the New Yorker. We spoke with Roye, 43, about his craft.
Tell us what it was like documenting Hurricane Sandy.
Very hard. I was the only black photographer among a group of four white photographers. They had to save me twice. Both times the people in the neighborhood looked at me and asked why I was there, because there were incidents of looting. And they didn’t know why I would be interested in photographing their neighborhood. How can anybody think like this? I try to answer these social questions in my work.
Do you think being a photographer of color gives you a different perspective?
I take pictures not because I am a photographer of color, but I also understand the importance of telling the colored story from a colored perspective. I am however honored that people see my work as important and that alone inspires and motivates me to take photos.
It seems like photography fulfills a social need for you.
All that I photograph comes under the umbrella of focusing on something that we sometimes might overlook. It’s something that I’m trying to put into focus, so it is not ignored.
You were a writer before you took photos. What drew you to photography in the first place?
When I was growing up, there was this oral tradition that’s always been a part of Jamaican culture. For me, photography came out of that need to tell stories. I returned to Jamaica when I was 28, as a writer for a newspaper. I was working with newspaper photographers. I would be telling them what pictures to take, and I started thinking, why don’t I photograph myself? For me, it was at the nexus of two things that I liked: writing and visually telling stories.
Tell us about documenting Jamaican dancehall culture.
In 2002, Vogue sent me to Jamaica to photograph the dancehall fashion look. I was on assignment, so I had to look differently at the subject. I started to see its colors, the pageantry, and the theater. All my senses were open for the first time to this culture that I grew up with. I came from working-class poor, and the subject of dancehall spoke to that level of society on downwards, to people who have been left, whose lives aren’t recognized. Dancehall allows me to get the people’s image.
You covered Hurricane Katrina as part of a collective. What did you take away from that trip?
Hurricane Katrina was heartbreaking. I had no idea that so much social and racial divide still existing in the South. Poverty was insanely high, not to mention the percentage of black men who were once incarcerated. As a result, I believe that the folks who were affected by the hurricane were discriminated against because they were black but also because they were poor, hardworking folks.
You often snap shots of your children. Do they ever come along with you on photo shoots?
Yes. I did a cover for Jet magazine with Whoopi Goldberg at The View where my son Mosi fired the shutter while I focused the camera. The boys like photography and understand its role in capturing memories and telling stories.
Photographer Ray Potes on iPhonography & the Power of Zines
Ray Potes doesn’t consider his work over the last decade anything special. And yet the 37-year-old — the man behind Bay Area photo book, publishing house, and magazine Hamburger Eyes — is constantly creating culture. Originally from Honolulu, Potes works from a back-alley headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he grew his photo journal from a Xeroxed zine — made during his graveyard shift as a clerk at Kinko’s — into a glossy, black and white bi-annual, distributed worldwide. Now with a publishing house of the same name, as well as a series of exhibits and art shows, Potes has become a kind of indie icon among a certain breed of Bay Area trendspotter.
So you really started this thing while working the graveyard shift at Kinko’s? Is it crazy to think about how it’s grown?
It’s a trip because there were no intentions. I had been making zines since high school, when I started working at a fast food place called Del Taco. I actually loved that job but didn’t get enough hours. Across the street was Kinko’s. I randomly applied and got the job. Then I started making more and more zines. One day I made one called “Hamburger Eyes,” and it was more popular than any of the others. I don’t know why. so, we kept it going.
What’s a hamburger eye?
It was just something my friends and I said to one another all the time. “That girl is giving you hamburger eyes. Go talk to her.”
Life Post Sandy: Scenes from Union Beach, NJ
Over the next week, photographer Ben Lowy will be documenting the destruction — and recovery efforts — in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in and around New York City, using nothing but an iPhone camera. Lowy spent yesterday in Union Beach, NJ. Stay tuned for more from Lowy from Tumblr Storyboard, or follow our instagram feed, where he’ll be guest posting throughout the week.
Left to right from top:
* An evacuated beachhouse.
* John Sochacki III stands in the remains of his bathroom. “We survived, but our community did not,” he said.
* Construction crews were at work trying to fix electrical and gas infrastructure.
* “I’ve never been this far north, but in the [North Carolina] outer banks, we know hurricanes.” said one resident.
* A torn American flag still flies on the union beach pier facing NYC.
Tripoli, Libya I July 24, 2012
During the early morning ours after breaking their Ramadan fast, young Libyan men gather at a Tripoli pier to drift and drag race their cars. In typical Libyan fashion, the over-the-top dragging display destroys the vehicles in favor of reckless showmanship. (Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Getty Reportage)
Conflict photographer Ben Lowy, on a grant from the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund, has spent the last two weeks shooting from Libya on a photojournalism inspired Hipstamatic lens — and posting exclusively to Tumblr. Check out Lowy’s Tumblr and Storyboard’s interview with the photographer.
Gharyan, Libya | July 23, 2012
Illegal migrants from Nigeria, held at a Libyan detention center, wait to be processed and receive travel papers, enabling them to be repatriated via a UN chartered plane. Libyan authorities have been increasingly hostile to African migrants and the threat of deportation includes transportation via a truck through the blisteringly hot Sahara desert. (Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Getty Reportage)
Conflict photographer Ben Lowy, on a grant from the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund, is shooting from Libya on the first-ever photojournalism inspired Hipstamatic lens — and posting exclusively to Tumblr. Check out Lowy’s Tumblr and Storyboard for more. Also see Storyboard’s interview with the photographer.