Through the Viewfinder with @anastasiatl
“Traditionally, photographers are taught not to share their work before it’s finished,” says documentary photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind (@anastasiatl). “What if someone steals your idea, or the work turns out completely different than what you told people it would be about? Photojournalism is all about being invisible, but I think it’s more honest to show how I work and how I make my photographs.”
Anastasia’s Instagram account stands as a deep look into her photographic process. Since October, she has been working on a long-term personal project called Negative Zero that documents population decline in 19 European countries. She’s shooting entirely on 6x6 negative film using her Hasselblad and Bronica film cameras, but by holding her iPhone above the viewfinder and making photos directly through the ground glass, what she calls “the view from my belly button,” she’s creating a whole new subset of photographs that can be published and shared instantly on Instagram.
For Anastasia, being so open on Instagram “allows me to muse on my own process. To sound things out and be encouraged. It’s a way of pondering what I’m doing.”
Her integration of digital and analog expanded to shooting video portraits when she found herself in Ukraine during the outbreak of anti-government riots in Kiev. With a custom-built flexible mount for her iPhone that attaches to the camera body, she devised a hands-free system to record video while making portraits of protestors inside the barricades of Maidan Square. Through these video portraits, we are able to watch her subjects prepare to have their portrait made: we see the slight shift in their stance, their gaze tilting, and ultimately, the precise moment Anastasia releases the shutter. These videos bring her subjects to life and provide an immediate, living connection to the images that Anastasia will release this summer in a book entitled MAIDAN - Portraits from the Black Square.
"This is not just news, it’s history, and I do want to add something to the recording of that history." Watch The Making of Maidan to go behind-the-scenes of Anastasia Taylor-Lind's new book about the fighters and mourners of Kiev, Ukraine. Limited edition and collector's edition copies are now available for pre-order from GOST Books at http://bit.ly/1kCQagm
Announcing #VIIPhotoDC: Reinventing Photojournalism, a day-long seminar with VII Photo Agency that will explore the opportunities and challenges facing contemporary photojournalists. Register now for the event, to be held in collaboration with NPR and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC on Saturday, May 17.
The schedule of events will include:
Keynote Address: DEFINING DIGNITY | WORLD PRESS PHOTO
EVOLVING AUDIENCES, CHANGING APPROACHES
John Stanmeyer along with Whitney Johnson, Director of Photography for The New Yorker, and Keith Jenkins Director of Photography for National Geographic Digital will discuss how and where photojournalists of the future will reach audiences for whom social media is their funnel and their megaphone.
REVISITING POST-CONFLICT | BEDROOMS OF THE FALLEN
Ashley Gilbertson will discuss his long-term project and upcoming book Bedrooms of the Fallen, in which he visits the bedrooms of men and women who died serving the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and how his work has gotten the attention of Veterans’ Affairs and elevated awareness of PTSD and other issues faced by America’s armed forces.
APPROACHING ADVOCACY & IMPACT
Ron Haviv & Ed Kashi discuss the role of photojournalism and motion in raising awareness on a wide range of social issues and present examples of executed projects that have had measurable impact.
DRONES | A NEW SOCIAL NARRATIVE
Special presentation by Tomas van Houtryve of his work Blue Sky Days—the longest photography feature ever published by Harper’s Magazine—for which he attached a camera to a drone purchased on Amazon. Van Houtryve will discuss his approach to using photography to prompt audiences to consider and understand how constant surveillance affects us as a society.
Following this seminar, we invite you to join VII and The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for Beyond Witness, a special evening panel and reception. All events to be hosted at NPR’s Studio One space.
Starting today, you can pre-order Anastasia Taylor-Lind's book “Maidan - Portraits from the Black Square” to be released in July by GOST Books. Available in a limited edition of 750 copies, the book will include Taylor-Lind’s entire series of portraits of Kiev’s anti-government protestors and mourners, taken in a makeshift photo studio in February 2014. Read more and learn how to pre-order on our website.
About a Photograph: Ed Kashi tells Think Tank Photo about visual instinct and how he had just seconds “where these elements all sort of collided in this moment,”while documenting religious conflict in Northern Nigeria. http://blog.thinktankphoto.com/2014/03/ed-kashi-northern-nigeria-conflict/
In honor of World Water Day, The New Yorker Photo Booth looks at photographic projects that highlight the beauty of water, including work by John Stanmeyer that documents sacred waters such as cenotes, or unground water caves, considered vitally important to the spiritual needs of the Mayan people.
In Context: The Portrait in Contemporary Photographic Practice
featuring Laura El-Tantawy
February 1 – July 27, 2014
Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art
Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
Featuring the work of VII Mentor Program photographer Laura El-Tantawy, In Context brings together conceptual artists whose practices address an underlying sociopolitical agenda as well as photojournalists and social documentarians who utilize conceptual strategies to subjectively shape the portraits they create. The convergence of these approaches yields work that carefully balances aesthetic and political goals to frame important social issues in a contemporary manner. The work presented reflects the realities of a diminishing market within mainstream media outlets for social documentary photography and the simultaneous rise of a ‘social turn’ on the part of conceptual artists.