27 SEPTEMBER 2017

LA DIFFERENCE – By Veronique Van Hoorick

L A  D I F F E R E N C E
By Veronique Van Hoorick

Veronique Van Hoorick on Lens Magazine

Copyright To Veronique Van Hoorick © All Rights Reserved

Documenting life inside an Indian home on Mauritius island. I had the chance to have a close contact with the people and be invited into their homes. I could experience their way of living from another perspective. Mauritius an island nation in the Indian Ocean with a rich history, cultural diversity and contrast of colors. The Island retains the mark of these colonization periods by its places, architecture or language.
People are so welcoming in their homes. Yet 60 percent of the island is Hindu, even though only 40 percent originally came from India. The rest of the Mauritian people are primarily Christian or Muslim.
Daily rituals, simplicity and family love are there.
Wherever we live, it is about freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness.
Indian Ocean, Mauritius Island.

Veronique Van Hoorick on Lens Magazine

Copyright To Veronique Van Hoorick © All Rights Reserved

About Veronique Van Hoorick

Veronique Van Hoorick Portrait on Lens Magazine Issue 36

Veronique Van Hoorick Portrait on Lens Magazine Issue 36

 

Veronique Van Hoorick is a Freelance photographer, born in Belgium in 1981. Her personal projects are most influenced by her travels throughout Asia and other parts of the world. She discovered a calmness and simplicity in the wilderness of the everyday life. She works in photography to visualize her journey, feelings, dreams and her relationship with the nature and the world.
She spends many weeks out of the year travelling to some of the most remote corners in the world and capture moments, to be inspired and share with others.
More recently, Veronique’s work has evolved into photojournalism and documentary arts. Her work has been exhibited in several galleries and arts centers in Asia, San Francisco and Belgium.
Currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36 

Copyright To Veronique Van Hoorick © All Rights Reserved

Copyright To Veronique Van Hoorick © All Rights Reserved

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Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine
26 SEPTEMBER 2017

COLOR by Allan Kliger

COLOR
by Allan Kliger

Color by Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

Color by Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

So the first you need to know is that I’m color blind.
Apparently 7% of all men are color blind, but I think I may be in a league all to myself. Red/green, blue/green and lots in between. Sometimes I have no idea what I see compared to what you, or most people, see. Sort of explains why I shoot mostly in black & white, but color is color. There’s something magical about color. If there wasn’t, our world wouldn’t be in color. Flowers, birds, trees in autumn, it’s all a spectacle. Just a little different kind of spectacle for me.

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

For me to “see” color, it has to be vivid, Real vivid. In your face vivid sometimes. Give you an example here. On canoe trips (I’m Canadian, eh) – that’s where you’re in the wilds, all your belongings in your canoe as you paddle from lake to lake, you often have to “portage” – or carry – your gear and canoe along a trail as you go from one lake to the next. Sometimes you know where the trailhead is, the start of the portage, from a map. Other times you just have to look for the portage sign to know where to land your canoe and get started. The portage sign is pretty easy to spot. Most often it’s a bright red, or yellow, or orange sign. Real bright. Electric bright. Bright enough so that in a blinding rainstorm, when the heavens are opened up and the rain is driving at you sideways, you can still see the sign like a lighthouse beacon, waving you in to seek shelter from the storm. Unless you’re me that is. If you’re me, it’s all just pretty. The trees, the leaves, the birds, the clouds. You get the drift. I just ain’t gonna see that damn portage sign so I better make sure I either know where it is beforehand or I’m with someone who isn’t color blind like me.
Or the time I bought my first navy double breasted blazer. I had just graduated law school (a lifetime ago, it seems) and like any aspiring young lawyer (actually, I wasn’t very aspiring, I just liked the education and the mental sparring of arguing the law) the first thing I had to buy to fit into the fancy “eat or be eaten” crowd was a sharp navy blazer. So off I went to a local haberdasher. Turns out the salesman saw me coming from a mile away. You see what he sold me turned out to be a green blazer. Yup, definitely not navy.

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

Apparently it was halucious. And, to make it worse, you can appreciate that all the pants I bought to go with what I thought was a navy blazer just didn’t go with that green blazer. You think someone would have told me. You think I would have noticed the strange looks at the office, but nada, nope, no one said a word. Until one day one of my buddies, Richard Hoffman, stops by my apartment for a visit. I can still hear him knocking at my door. I can still see him barrelling past me as I let him in. I can still see him racing to my closet, grabbing that damn green blazer and, still pushing me out of his way, running down the apartment hallway straight to the incinerator chute where he proceeded to hurl my beautiful and treasured blazer down with glee. I was speechless. Why would anyone do that to my beautiful new navy double breasted blazer, I thought? And in between his fits of hysterical laughter, he explained it to me.

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

Allan Kliger on Lens Magazine

So, that’s what it’s like to be me. It’s all good. I love color. It’s explosive, sensational, mind blowing, breathtaking and more. And this is what color looks like to me. People, Portraits, my version of Landscapes, all as I see them… Hope you enjoy my images.
/Allan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36

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Tal Vardi on Lens Magazine
24 SEPTEMBER 2017

Living ​Amongst​ ​GIANTS By Tal​ ​Vardi

Living ​Amongst​ ​GIANTS
By Tal​ ​Vardi

Tal Vardi on Lens Magazine The Valley Of The Ten Peaks Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

Tal Vardi on Lens Magazine The Valley Of The Ten Peaks Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

“In​ this​ ​ collection​ ​ ​I​ ​have​ ​documented​ ​the​ beautiful​ ​ landscape​ ​ ​and​ ​scenery​ ​that​ ​mother​ ​nature​ ​has to ​offer.​ ​​These​ ​photographs​ ​were​ ​all​ ​part​ ​of​ a​​ journey,​​ each ​with​ ​ ​it’s​ ​own​ ​story.​ ​These ​​moments are​ hard​ ​​to​ ​describe, ​​yet ​so​ ​easy​ ​​to ​​experience ​when​ ​ wandering​ ​in​ ​the​ ​wilderness.​ ​​This collection​ shows​ ​ my​ ​​perspective ​of​​ ​the ​places​ ​​I’ve​ ​explored, ​from​ ​ the​ ​Canadian​ ​Rockies​ ​in​ Alberta​ to​ ​the​ ​ ​mountain​ ​ridges ​​of​ ​British​ Columbia​ ​ ​and​ ​the ​Pacific​ ​​Northwest.”

A Million Little Pieces Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

A Million Little Pieces Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

About Tal​ ​Vardi

Tal-Vardi on Lens Magazine Issue 36

Tal-Vardi on Lens Magazine Issue 36

“My​ ​name ​is​ ​Tal​ ​​Vardi ​​and ​​I ​​am​ ​a​ ​full ​​time​ ​adventure​ ​photographer. I ​was​ ​ ​born​ and​ ​ ​raised ​​in ​​Israel​ and​ ​ today​ ​​I​ ​live ​​in​ Vancouver,​ Canada.​ ​However,​ my​ ​ real​ ​ ​home is ​​up​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mountains,​ beside​ ​glaciers ​and​ ​in​​ ​the​ ​Ocean,​ where​ ​ ​most​ ​of ​​my​ ​inspiration​ ​comes from. I ​find​ ​ that​ ​​the​ ​experiences​ ​you​ ​go​ ​through,​ the​ ​ people​ ​​you ​meet​ ​ ​and​ ​the​ ​memories​ ​you​ ​make during ​​these ​​adventures ​are​ ​ the​ ​ ​foundation​ ​of​ a​​ ​good​ photograph.​ I ​offer​ ​ ​Adventure ​​Photography​ courses​ ​that​ ​teach​ ​ the​ ​ ​basics​ of​ ​​photography​ ​while​ ​exploring​ ​the great​ ​landscapes​ ​that​ ​Canada​ and​ ​​the​ ​Pacific​ ​Northwest ​​have ​​to​ ​offer.”

Last Light Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

Last Light
Copyright To Tal Vardi © All Rights Reserved

EQUIPMENT ​AND​ ​​TECHNIQUE:

For ​​landscapes​ I​ ​​use ​​the ​Canon​ ​ ​6D ​with​ ​​three ​main​ ​ lenses:​ ​​Canon​ EF​ ​70-200mm,​ ​Canon​ 16-35mm​ for​ ​ ​most​ landscapes​ ​ and​ ​​the ​Rokinon​ ​ 14mm​ ​for​ ​ Astrophotography.​ For ​long​ ​ exposures​ ​​I ​use​ ​ ​the​ ​Lee​ ​Filter ​​system​ ​with​ ​Neutral​ ​Density ​filters​ ​​to ​reduce​ ​the​ ​amount​ of​ ​light​ ​coming ​into​ ​​the​ camera​ ​and​ ​some​ ​​Graduated​ ​filters​ ​to ​control​ ​​exposure​ differences​ within​ the​ ​ frame.​ ​ If​​ ​I​ choose​ ​ to​​ ​enhance​ some​ ​of​​ ​the​ colors​ ​and​ ​remove​ ​ ​any​ ​reflections, ​​I​ ​use the​ ​Lee​ Landscape​ ​ Circular​ ​Polarizer​ ​ as​​ ​well. To​ ​get​ the​ ​ ​most​ ​details ​​from​ ​each​ ​photograph, ​​I​ ​shoot​ ​with ​Raw​ ​format.​ ​ For​ ​​post-processing​ I​ use ​the​ ​ Adobe​ ​ Lightroom​ ​ ​software. For ​​me, ​the​ ​ best​ ​ and​ ​ most​ ​ ​complementing​ time​ ​ ​to​ ​shoot ​​outdoors ​is​​ during​ ​ ​sunset,​ ​sunrise​ or​ moonless​ ​nights​ ​when​ ​you​ ​can ​see​ ​​the​ ​Milky​ ​Way​ with​ ​ the​ ​ ​naked​ ​eye.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36 

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23 SEPTEMBER 2017

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

FIELDS OF COLOR
By A. Cemal Ekin

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

“On August 7, 2008, I took a helicopter ride over the Great Salt Lake in Utah arranged by my wife and daughter for my 65th birthday. The primary destination was the Spiral Jetty which was well worth the trip. But, the journey proved to be equally rewarding with unexpected colors, patterns, and an amazing variation of scenery. The ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake contains a rich variety of elements. They create borders and boundaries where one stops and the other begins.

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

From the air, the Great Salt Lake greets the eye with a range of hues that both amaze and delight. Patterns on and around the lake created by nature challenge the best of a painter in visual structure and artistry. Below me, at times, was a reddish orange view with white sprays on it; surface, depth, and bottom were hard to distinguish from each other.

Inside the red body of water below me, a mysterious glow emanated from the bottom and delineated shapes, of what I did not understand. The ecosystem with high salinity and other mineral deposits creates a great range of hues through evaporation. The natural process of evaporation is then parceled out and controlled for the production of specific minerals.
And, the result is the Fields of Color.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


About A. Cemal Ekin

 A. Cemal Ekin Portrait, Lens Magazine

A. Cemal Ekin Portrait, Lens Magazine

Retired from Providence College in 2012 as Professor Emeritus, I benefited from teaching for over 40 years. It affected my photography, and how I share what I know with others. That, in turn has helped me to learn more about photography, my photography, the art of photography.
I practice photography as an interested, curious observer, and am a fully self-taught photographer through practice, experimentation, failures, reading and looking at photographs. I write about photography to sharpen my understanding of it.
I have been involved in photography for over 60 years, but digital photography presented a fertile ground for me since the early 1990s. I have learned the tools of this new world, Photoshop, and later, Lightroom, to be totally comfortable in them. I enjoy sharing what I know in presentations, workshops, private mentoring and tutorials.
My photographs present my vision and I keep an open mind about making all necessary adjustments to my photographs to convey my vision. Despite that, I strive to produce work that is free from processing artifacts and look “effortlessly done.”
I have had ten solo exhibitions in three cities; issued limited and open edition folios; published photo books and magazines featuring my work. My photographs are in the public and private collections in the USA and abroad. The prestigious magazine, LensWork published more than 70 photographs from my Infrared Earthscapes series in November 2011. I am included in the first edition of the International Masters of Photography published in December 2012.
Festival Ballet Providence commissioned an original ballet inspired by and featuring a collection of my photographs of dried orchids. The ballet, Orchis, was performed in March 2013, and then in March 2014 in Providence.

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

FIELDS OF COLOR By A. Cemal Ekin

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36

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Abu-Dhabi-skyline
23 SEPTEMBER 2017

A DEPICTION OF REALITY By Carmine Chiriacò

A DEPICTION OF REALITY
By Carmine Chiriacò

Carmine Chiriaco Portrait

Carmine Chiriaco Portrait

Carmine Chiriacò is a self-educated photographer based in Rome, the place where his passion for photography started in 2014. His remarkable work is a depiction of reality as he perceives it and also a mean of portraying his own layered reality. Carmine’s passion for photography comes from narrowly observing the everyday life on the street; he is most interested in capturing what it is beyond the scenes happening in front of his camera, thus revealing us the unique and sophisticated visions on the urban surroundings. The combination of the multiple and long exposure techniques is successfully mastered by Carmine in his admirable photography and the results convey the impression of detailed overlapping sketches of the beautifully chaotic (but still organized!) composition.

 

Manhattan by Carmine Chiriaco

Manhattan by Carmine Chiriaco

“My passion for photography comes from watching everyday life going by on my street; therefore, Henri Cartier-Bresson would be my pick. Not just because of his great photos, but because his approach to photography which was to walk down the street, to photograph the reality and seize the right moment. This has really inspired my photography. Another photographer that I like a lot is Alex Webb because of his extensive use of colour, light and emotions to create beautiful and complex images. After reading an article, I found out and enjoyed the works of a contemporary artist and photographer: Grant Legassick, the inventor of the technique Multiple Exposures Composites. It’s his work that nowadays inspires the most of my last photos. It’s a common technique used by many photographers.”

Flatiron by Carmine Chiriaco

Flatiron by Carmine Chiriaco

Through photography I try to communicate the emotions that I am feeling in that moment, to the observer. My aim is to tell a story each viewer can experience, and allow him to see the world through my eyes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abu-Dhabi-skyline

Abu-Dhabi-skyline by Carmine Chiriaco

“Photography gave me the opportunity to meet, personally or virtually, other talented and extraordinary people with whom I share my passion. Photography motivated me to travel a lot and to discover new places and different cultures. Photography is not just a hobby for me, it’s my world!”

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36 

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TAIWO-LYCETT by Iké Udé
22 SEPTEMBER 2017

Iké Udé – Nollywood Portraits

Iké Udé
Nollywood Portraits
A Radical Beauty

TAIWO-LYCETT by Iké Udé

Taiwo Ajai- Lycett, 2014-2016
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett is a Nigerian actress, journalist, television presenter, and cosmetologist. She is a feminist and was the first editor of Africa Woman magazine in the 1970s.
Pigment on Satin Paper
50 × 48 in 127 × 121.9 cm
Copyright To Iké Udé © All Rights Reserved.

Starting in the early 1990s, Nollywood has quickly gained worldwide relevance as the world’s second most prolific film industry (almost 2,000 titles released annually) ahead of Hollywood and behind Bollywood with revenues topping $600 million annually. Historically, film in Africa had a European sensibility with parochial scenes laboriously captured on expensive celluloid, owing to the colonial funders. Nollywood, in contrast is characterized by independent cheap and quick filmmaking, capitalizing on the falling prices of digital recording equipment and meeting the demands of a continent for authentic stories that reflect the reality on the ground. An entrepreneurial rags-to-riches story, its producers are private individuals getting little or no assistance from government who make and distribute film across the continent despite infrastructure deficiencies and barriers to trade.

BEVERLY NAYA by Iké Udé

BEVERLY NAYA, Nollywood Portraits
Copyright To Iké Udé © All Rights Reserved.

In October 2014, artist Iké Udé returned to Lagos, Nigeria, after three decades away, and took photographs of 64 Nollywood personalities. Udé captured an impressive cross section of the industry including renowned screen icon Genevieve Nnaji, veteran actor Richard Mofe-Damijo, established actor/director Stephanie Okereke, maverick filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, as well as the next generation of rising stars. The objective of this project is to celebrate these African celebrities in the timeless, classic, elegant style the artist is known for.

About Iké Udé
Extraordinary & Unique Portrait

ike_ude_artist_Lens Magazine

Iké Udé artist_Lens Magazine

 

With his ongoing photographic self-portrait series “Sartorial Anarchy”, wherein he is dressed in varied costumes across geography and time, Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman, and fashion/art. Conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé offers a new take on aspects of performance and representation, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personas with his art.
Udé plays with the ambiguities of the marketplace and art world, particularly in his notorious art, culture, and fashion magazine. His articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide, and Vanity Fair included him on their International Best Dressed List in 2009 and in 2012.
-Artsy

Sartorial Anarchy #4 by Iké Udé

Sartorial Anarchy #4, 2012
Pigment on satin paper
Copyright To Iké Udé © All Rights Reserved.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #36

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17 AUGUST 2017

An Interview with MICHAEL NOVOTNY

An Interview with
MICHAEL NOVOTNY
by Anastasia Tsypkina

An Unspoiled Spirit in GREENLAND?

Michael Novotny  © All Rights Reserved

Portrait of Photographer Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

Michael Novotny is a young photographer from Prague, Czech Republic, where he graduated from the Czech University of Life Sciences in 2013 receiving a Master degree in Landscape Architecture. He’s always been strongly influenced by nature and even more after the environmental studies what’s reflected in his work.
Living half-nomadic life Michael spent the year 2015 in Iceland, currently lives in Swiss Alps and travels whenever it is possible. He visited more than 40 countries in the last couple of years. Using only analog techniques over the years he developed a unique style and during his travels, he’s capturing the worldwide landscapes in its rawness with a dreamy and mysterious touch and joy of traveling.
In recent works „We lost the Sea“ and „Kalaallit Nunaat“ he‘s shifting his attention to a socio-environmental storytelling document. The one was shot in Uzbekistan and focused on an ecological disaster of drying Aral sea. The other one captures how today’s life in Greenland is involved by modern technology and the world and how the old unspoiled spirit of wilderness life and self-sufficiency is slowly being replaced by western lifestyle.

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

It was a big luck to hear about the trip to Greenland in Michael’s own words and to just eventually chat with him. While traveling among the cold lands and the wild seas, they say it’s almost impossible to turn back a traveler to reality from romantic landscapes and to get him talking about our boring man’s topics.

Hi, Michael, your expedition to Greenland seems to be very successful. The topic about changing worlds is relevant now as it never has been before. We all observe pure civilizations are influenced by more developed ones. How is this process of influence shown in Greenland? In what spheres of life?
M.N. I tried to capture both the youngest and the older generation – there, the difference is most visible. While old people still hold on to their roots, keep the traditions and hunt for a living, young people mostly play football, listen to hip hop and dress like their internet heroes. It seems they’re completely losing connection with what they ancestors used to be. And the internet (which is relatively new there) is to blame for sure.

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

Which of your photos reflect this idea? (Like, I really think of the photo of a boy holding a gun in his hands – one of the main in the series, mainly because it shows this western influence).
M.N. First of all it’s needed to be said that the series works best as a whole. But even though the complexity is very important, there are some photos which could work as a representative. For example, the portrait of a young boy with his „Greenland“ hat, pointing the gun at me. It was a very spontaneous shot – he was holding the gun against me, so I approached him, while he was still pointing at me and took a quick photo of him. He looked and acted like a real American ghetto boy, which is pretty ridiculous, because when you look around your shoulder you can see unspoiled nature and an ocean full of icebergs. Or the football goals in most absurd landscapes.

You could also describe me how did you feel about the natural Greenland, did you find it? Where?

M.N. On my second visit to Greenland couple of months ago, I was in much more authentic place than the first time. People still hunt there for living on a regular basis. I had a chance to go hunting seals with them – that was probably the most natural and authentic thing I‘ve ever seen. And it completely changed my way of seeing my own way of life and made me even more sad about what is happening in bigger Greenlandic cities. I mean it’s not that bad, but you can still see the Inuit spirit is disappearing. There I also decided to change the whole concept of my Greenlandic work – instead of trying to capture the social shift, I will go back some more times and capture the disappearing until it’s possible. Or maybe both and then make a comparison.

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Michael Novotny © All Rights Reserved

What was the most shocking and hard-to-understand thing you’ve met there?

M.N. The most shocking part was when I found out, that they shoot polar bears for meat and furs. They actually shot one, when I was in the village (Ittoqqortoormiit) and I saw its intestines just laying in the snow and being eaten by dogs. But if you think about it, it’s not that hard to understand – there’s no way to grow any plants, so they have been hunting what was around. And the number is limited to 35 polar bears per year. The funny part of it is, that when I was leaving back to Iceland, some lady handed me a big bag of frozen polar bear meat to smuggle it there for her friends.

How did these trips to Greenland and series change your views over photography or people or way of life?

M.N. It moved me forward a lot – in terms of technique and my career as well. And it changed my way of how I look to western society now. We’re doing so many meaningless things and are just focused on material happiness. Over there in Greenland, you just go and catch or hunt your food, don’t own much and are happy anyway. A simple life is a happy life.

 

Read the full interview on Lens Magazine Issue #35

 

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17 AUGUST 2017

March of St. Nicola by Allan Kliger

March of St. Nicola
by Allan Kliger

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

“I’ve never actually met David Alan Harvey.
We came to know each other several years back. I had become familiar with his work and the agency he works for, Magnum. He’d been an accomplished National Geographic photographer, leaving them to beat to his own drum. His style of photography engaged me. Different than mine, to be sure, but one can’t argue with his success. He seemed “all in”, even living with a family to truly document and photograph their lives – his “Tell It Like It Is” story. We had planned to meet in Rio de Janeiro where he was going to run a workshop. He and I would shoot together for a few days so I could “see” what he sees, add another arrow to my shooting quiver and push my creative eye.
My bags were packed, camera batteries charged, hotels booked. I was excited about the trip and made my way to the airport. October, 2013, as I recall. As I was checking in and handing the airline counter agent my passport, she asked for my Visa. “Visa”, I replied…”I don’t need a Visa, I’m Canadian and heading to Brazil”. She looked at me, knowing the storm to come which was as yet unseen by me. “As of recently”, she explained, “All Canadians require Visas for travel to Brazil. I’m sorry, but without a Visa, you will be refused entry when you land.
Can you change your travel plans?”. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say, which, if any of you know me, is something that pretty much never happens. I just looked at her, thanked her for her time, picked up my bags and walked away. “C’est la vie”, I thought. Wasn’t meant to be, and so back to the office, I went, stoically trying to process how this could have happened.

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Back at my desk, I called David to break the bad news. I was expecting him to feel sorry for me, to commiserate and share my disappointment and surprise at needing a Visa from one of the most civilized and respected countries in the world, to tell me how sorry he was that we wouldn’t be shooting together. No such luck. No sympathy there, I quickly learned…”You should have done your homework first” he said, “should have looked into whether you needed a Visa”. Felt like I was kicked in the head while already on the ground, but he wasn’t wrong. I assumed that I wouldn’t need one, felt ticked off that no travel agent alerted me to the need for one, that even Air Canada hadn’t said anything when I booked my ticket, but, hey, the damage was done. Live and learn for the next time I wanted to head to Rio.
We stayed in touch, emails and texts from time to time. We’ve still never met but seem to have established some kinship. Perhaps it’s the full head of hair that we both sport, or that we’re both mature, at least age wise. Be that as it may, We both share a love of photography, of capturing unique moments and emotions – each in our own way. From time to time, I’ll get a message from David commenting on one of my images. He thinks I shoot too much like Steve McCurry (I’m much better than McCurry) or that I seem to feel that the exotic locales are needed for great images (I do love to travel and the more exotic the better so guilty as charged), but one thing David mentioned recently on one of his Instagram blogs (i.e. not directed to me personally but to aspiring photographers at large) was why he was presently shooting an assignment at home, in his own backyard rather than some exotic locale.
“Follow your passions and interest,”
he wrote. “It will show in your work.
Editors notice these things. They also notice if you go running off to India or Nepal or Cuba to just shoot some exotic pictures because you think that’s what editors want. Wrong…

You need your own voice…What matters is the body of work…the meat of content over form and over time”. And so, David was shooting a story in his own backyard. Nothing exotic to be sure, but images no less striking. Lighting, composition, drama, characters, story. All the same thought, just don’t have to travel far to do it. So, here’s my story. Shot in my own backyard. Thought it would be fitting for this issue to go along with David’s work and message.

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

Copyright to Allan Kliger © All Rights Reserved

March of St. Nicola – Every year, late in June, a very special gathering takes place in Toronto. It’s not on any “Best To Do This Weekend” web site, in fact, if you’re not a member of the local St. Nicola Di Bari Parish in Toronto, chances are you’d never know about it all. I certainly wouldn’t have known about it I had I not been driving along St. Clair Avenue West one Sunday in June a few years ago when something caught my eye. I drive by the church almost every weekday on the way to work, and knew the relatively non-descript building, the church of St. Nicola di Bari, was there but today something was different. There was a large crowd gathered outside, even a band standing around seemingly ready for something, and, local politicians in their Sunday finery, with their medallions and ribbons, festooned all over their chests and shoulders. I pulled over, grabbed my camera, and went to check it out.
A parade was about to begin. Each year, about this time, rain or shine, the local Italian community, many of whom settled here after the Second World War, would gather to have a special mass and celebrate their patron saint, St. Nicola. Celebrate their past; celebrate their roots, their families, their coming to Canada and their great city of Toronto which had given them a place to call home. To give thanks to the present, and to look to the future. And so this community, many of whom were now elderly, were about to begin their celebration. It was a time for catching up, for warm greetings and embraces with their Pastor, perhaps an exchange or two about remembrances forgotten. A time for laughs among friends who had come from the old country so many years ago, and a time to pay homage to their patron saint. Proudly, and with reverence, this small community would each year embark on the tortuous process of removing the large effigy of their saint from their church, place it on a large wagon, and pull it through their streets, band a’playin, for all to see.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #35

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17 AUGUST 2017

An Interview with Mustafah Abdulaziz – Water

An Interview with
– Mustafah Abdulaziz-
Special Project: Water

Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Children journey to collect water. Sindh, Pakistan, 2013. Copyrights to Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

The project Water (2012-2027) is a long-term photographic documentation of a resource in crisis. The focus of the work is on the intersection of culpability and ecology, where large-scale behavioral trends reveal how we exist within the natural world and ultimately how we imagine ourselves to be. Water, as seen from a global standpoint, is present in all aspects of human development and so is both defined by our behavior and in turn defines our potential.

The goal of Water is to build an overarching understanding of how humans and water interact at this critical juncture. If we are to see ourselves as one with nature—sustainable and not inseparable from it—then we must see ourselves in the reflection of our natural world.

When I set out to make this fifteen-year project it was only a dream—a dream to use photography as a means to study and reflect on the most critical element necessary for life. What propels me to pursue this work on water is the same then, at the start, as it is now: the belief that our resources may have limits but our capacity as a species to become better caretakers of our planet does not. We carry with all of us the potential to face the challenges of the 21st century, in the hope that we might leave a better world behind than the one we were given.

Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Mustafah Abdulaziz on Lens Magazine Issue 35

Mustafah Abdulaziz (b. 1986, New York City, USA) lives in Berlin, Germany. His ongoing fifteen-year project “Water” has received support from the United Nations, WaterAid, WWF, VSCO and Google. It has been reviewed by Phaidon, Monopol and published in Der Spiegel, The New Yorker, TIMES and The Guardian. Abdulaziz worked as the first contract photographer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2012, he was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch and in 2015 received the first prize of the Syngenta Photography Awards, allowing for the independent creation of new work on California’s extensive drought. His solo exhibitions include: Strandvägen, Stockholm (2015), The SCOOP, London (2016), Dumbo, New York City (2016), National Geographic Museum, Washington D.C. (2016) and Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver (2017) and Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney (2017).

Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Cholera education. Holy Trinity Primary School, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012. Copyrights to Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Hello, Mustafah! Thank you for agreeing to this interview with Lens Magazine. Please introduce yourself to our readers. Where did you grow up, what is your background in photography and where are you based today? 
My name is Mustafah and I’m an American photographer working on a project about water around the world. For the last six years I’ve lived in Berlin, which serves as my base as I slowly build this fifteen-year body of work. My early background in photography was photojournalism, which I’ve now departed – and moved into something of a blend between conceptual photography and the documentary tradition.
Tell us a little bit about your photography journey and what motivates you.
I discovered photography at a bookstore, through the work of Richard Avedon’s magnum opus, In The American West. This experience left a profound impact on me; it led me to other books, to hobbies in other disciplines and interests in the lives of others. What photography symbolized was more than imagery. It was a way to reckon my own insecurities and questions about the world. It offered no guarantees but promised perpetual evolution. To this day, my personal feelings and creative process in photography are heavily defined by this sense of change and growth. A large part of my current work is, in fact, almost a direct extension of this idea.

Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Water point. Kroo Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012. Copyrights to Mustafah Abdulaziz© All Rights Reserved

Your Special project, ‘Water’’, focuses on a very disturbing issue – from the poisoned marigold fields of Kanpur, India, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where just two polluted rivers provide water for 21 million people. Since 2011, you have travelled the world, highlighting the impact of the global water crisis. Please tell us more about this series of work; what drew you to document this subject? 
There’s an inherent problem in the way in which people discuss environmental crisis and visualize it for the public. Even the term “global water crisis” implies a certain concept that is at odds with the way we actually exist within the natural order, just as the word “drought” implies an end to a condition. What is more critical—and what made me conceive of the overarching nature and concept for visualizing it— came from this idea that words and images were failing us. I felt there needed to be something ambitious done. A photographic telling of epic proportions that would flow towards new ideas and concepts, building itself until a new way of discussing the topic existed. This would place water at the topical center and Mankind in its orbit. It would also take time and what I now know, after 6 years of working on it, ambitious scope wherein the true nature of the work is slowly revealed as it is created.

How many countries are in the project? How did you choose what areas of these regions to document?
Currently there is something like 12 countries in the work. The ultimate goal of the work will include somewhere between 30-40 countries. These are simply the places where the topics and themes are found, but this really belies an important idea that readers should appreciate: water is not limited to the borders we create. Where one issue or crisis occurs, so does it continue on. A river may flow into the lands of our neighbor and that which we do in one place may affect us all. It’s very important to me, particularly in interviews where I can slightly control the narrative, to impress upon viewers a more challenging viewpoint from which to see this subject.
Tell us about the countries you were most attached by.
I would like to talk, rather, about the countries in which exhibited striking behavioral trends touched on larger themes of existence and importance towards human beings. There is, during the course of creating a work like this, a risk of the photographer or creator becoming too much of the story. My personal attachments matter to my process but they are also that: personal. What I did notice, and that I think is valuable for anyone to hear, at risk of redundancy and preaching to the choir, is that we are one family. Our behavior with water and the natural world defines and reveals the ways in which human beings see their place on Earth. Through this prism, one can see the refraction of our excesses and disconnections with our own history and evolution. We are living in irrational ways, regardless of the countries I visit, and it is this observation that forms a fundamental concept of the work.

Read the full Interview on Lens Magazine Issue #35

 

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Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved
17 AUGUST 2017

Special Interview with GIOVANNI CAPRIOTTI

Special Interview with
GIOVANNI CAPRIOTTI
by Catalin CROITORU

Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

Giovanni Capriotti on Lens Magazine Issue 35

Giovanni Capriotti is the recipient of the 2017 World Press Photo’s 1st Prize – Sports Stories. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, MacLeans Magazine Postmedia Network, UNHCR ( United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), National Geographic Italia, Spiegel Online, Tetu, Corriere Della Sera, Il Post and several other publications and Media outlets. Giovanni lives between Montreal and Toronto and juggles photography, video production and multimedia.

Born in Italy, he moved to Canada back in 2009 and ever since has established himself as one of the finest documentary photographers of the country. He started his learning process by using vintage film cameras because at the time he could not afford newer gears to support his passion. Attracted by the vibrant 90s, he moved to Amsterdam, and, eventually, to London, UK, prior to returning to Italy to serve his country.

 

 

 

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Abdullah Ramallah, right, trains a young boxer at Sully’s Boxing Gym on Monday June 24, 2013, in Toronto, Ontario. Sudanese born Ramallah was an olympian in Seoul 1988, when he was only 16. From the series: “It’s Better To Build Boys Than Mend Men” Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

Lens Magazine: I will start this interview by bringing you back in time to somewhere in the middle of your career as a photographer. There was a moment when you were hired by an airline company; tell us how did you manage to get that job? And how did that job change (or improve) your view about the world and about photography?

Giovanni Capriotti: I went to school in England, back in the 90s, at the London College Of Communication, where I studied traditional photography. After my graduation, I went back to Italy for the mandatory National Service and once I was done I took a year off traveling through Europe. At the time I was trying to put into practice everything I had learned in school. I thought I was a photographer, however, I was not.
After my sabbatical year, I had the opportunity to get employed by a major Italian airline, for the joy of my parents that considered me set for the rest of my life. I started at the bottom as a booking agent and I climbed up to the Revenue Management, which is basically the core business of an airline. The airline job was not for me, however, the cheap tickets to travel worldwide kept me there for over 10 years. During the second part of this decade I spent as a white collar I started shooting for the in-flight magazine of the airline and I contributed to introduce into the magazine more reportage oriented content.

Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

Performers are photographed in the backstage as they get ready for their exhibition at the Festival de Mode & Design on Saturday August 22, 2015, in Montreal, Quebec. From the series: “The Circus” Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

L. M.: Back, at home, you have a wife and a daughter that are waiting for you. How is your family perceiving and accepting your work and these periods of time when you are missing from their side?

G. C.: I live between Montreal and Toronto and I enjoy being part of two different realities. I am a documentary photographer, I shoot editorial assignments and I am a multimedia image and video producer for the University of Guelph-Humber, I am always on the road. I was recently in Montreal to shoot the CD cover and booklet of a Japanese artist who performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival. My wife, Meredith, is pretty used to this lifestyle. I met her in Tibet back in 2009 while traveling and shooting. What can I say? She knew what to expect. My family is pretty used to me being away, working on projects or assignments, and I must admit – they are pretty supportive. I would not have won the World Press Photo without Meredith’s and Lulu’s (wife and daughter) support.

Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

Muddy York Rugby Football Club players Michael Smith, left, Devin McCarney, centre, and John Paul Markides are photographed during a rehearsal for their performance at the annual team’s fundraiser drag show on Saturday November 5, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario. Fundraisers, along with sponsorships, play a major role for the team’s season budget. Each player pays an annual fee to the club, that covers the uniforms, practice facilities and Rugby Ontario fees. Muddy Yorks helps or provides players who can’t afford the payment, with an exemption. From the series: “Boys Will Be Boys” Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

L. M.: Let’s get back to present time. This year, you were awarded by World Press Photo for your documentary called “Boys Will Be Boys”. How did that project get to the attention of the WPP Jury? Tell us the unknown story of this prize and of that project…

G. C.: I have to tell you a little bit about the story itself – how I started, how I ended up with the subject… I believe that in photography, and especially in long-term projects, slow-visual journalism has different steps of understanding. I have started chasing this story back in 2010, at the time I had just arrived in Canada. On a Pride themed weekend I decided to take part in a 5K run. Right before the start, I spotted a few guys in rugby uniforms handling flyers. I reached out to them mainly because my intention was to join the team. However, at the time, I was trying to establish myself as a photographer in a new country; you don’t want to get smashed and injured when you are a freelancer.
Anyway, I kept the flyer and revamped it when I was at Loyalist College studying photojournalism as part of an assignment. Then, eventually, I started shooting the story in June 2015 after pitching it to the Globe and Mail. The story got published by the Globe and gained a discrete success. On December 2015, Pedro Marcelino from Muddy York RFC got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to continue to tell the story of his team, as the club was headed to Nashville, Tennessee for the Bingham Cup, often labeled as the LGBTQ rugby world cup. I accepted and traveled with the team to Nashville in May 2016. That’s when I gained access to the life of the players on and off the pitch and got accepted as a presence in the locker room and in their lives. I believe the World Press Photo was able to understand through the month long process of judging, that technically this is a sport story, but rugby is just the frame of the whole issue. Throwing the macho stereotypes of the game out of the window was the first step of a long process, then eventually the concept of deconstructing and re-describing masculinity through the sport’s performance took over. After I got awarded, I realized how the whole story was, indeed, a very feminist one. Recognizing the value of femininity within any individual, no matter the biological gender, that was the purpose of my project. I believe the jury was able to grasp all this even before I did.

Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

Muddy York Rugby Football Club’s player Danny Perez (standing) and his partner Jonathan Buckley cuddle on the balcony of their condo on Monday July 4, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario. Perez is one of Muddy York Rfc’s best players. He marched, along with his teammates, in the pride parade the day before. The past month was an epic one for Muddy York Rfc. The club, for the first time ever, participated in the Bingham Cup with a full side. Muddy York Rfc is Toronto’s only inclusive rugby side. The team primarily competes against “straight” sides in the Toronto Rugby Union and is affiliated with the International Gay Rugby Board. From the series “Boys Will Be Boys” Copyrights to Giovanni Capriotti © All Rights Reserved

L. M.: In one of your documentary projects, the subject said “singing is a gift from God”; Do you see your pictures as parts of a song that you are singing?
G. C.: I like to look at my pictures as songs, parts of an album, or – if you prefer to see it that way – as a symphony. Music is an association of notes and keys. Visual narratives are the same thing done through visuals.

Read the full interview on Lens Magazine Issue #35

 

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