Almost Weekly Photo

Polar Bears Up Close!

If you had to choose a position from which to…

Trying Something New?

Bhutan mountain landscape.Phase One XF, 100MP Trichromatic back, 240mm Schneider-Kreuznach…

The (Mini) Photo Essay

The Boss is getting cold.Phase One XF, 100MP Trichromatic back,…

Wide or Close?

Wangdue, BhutanPhase One XF, 100MP Trichromatic back, 35mm wide-angle lens…

Photography by Tony Hewitt and Denis Glennon, Girt By Sea exhibition.

Regular readers of this blog will know of Tony Hewitt because he and I lead a number of photography workshops together (and there's still a place left for Middlehurst in NZ next month if you're keen!)

However, what you might not know is that Tony and his mate Denis Glennon recently circumnavigated Australia in a small plane, taking photographs as they went. It was a remarkable adventure, undertaken in partnership with Canon, and the result is a fantastic exhibition of 100 large prints, now showing at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney.

I have a fuller article in preparation for the September issue of Better Photography magazine, but if you live in Sydney, NOW is the time to see the exhibition in the flesh (details below).

Location: Paddington Town Hall, 249 Oxford Street Paddington, NSW 2021
Dates: Saturday 16 June – Wednesday 27 June
Time: Daily 10am-6pm
Entry: Free Admission

World Press Photo of the Year 2018, Venezuela Crisis, by Ronaldo Schemidt, captures 28-year-old José Víctor Salazar Balza ablaze amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela on 3 May 2017. © Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse

Each year, Canon sponsors the World Press Photo exhibition at the State Library of NSW in Sydney – and should be congratulated for being a part of it. The 2018 awards are currently on exhibition until 24 June this year, so if you live in Sydney or you’re passing through, it’s well worth a visit.

Looking around the walls this year, the photographs were incredibly powerful. Maybe I’m getting older, but this is to my mind one of the stronger collections – and there was a range of both good and bad news stories.

The exhibition features 150 winning images selected from among 73,044 photos taken by 4,548 photographers, representing 125 countries.

Of note, the coveted World Press Photo of the Year was selected from six nominees, including Australians Patrick Brown (General News, first prize singles) and Adam Ferguson (People, first prize stories).

Many readers will know my views on photography and its authenticity. For art based photography, there is no need for honesty, but I understand and commend the documentary world for trying to keep their profession clean.

It’s not easy. A few years ago, the winning photograph was unfairly criticised by many ‘experts’ as being a composite. The photographers name was dragged through the mud, not that he was aware because he was away on assignment. When he finally returned, the photo was confirmed to be a single capture and all those so-called experts were wrong. I wonder if any of them apologised?

The reality of photography today is that you can’t easily tell if an image is a ‘fake’ or not. What’s even more confusing is that the amount of ‘allowable’ post-production applied varies greatly, and what one photographer thinks is a lot of editing, another thinks is just the start! The rules and regulations are incredibly rubbery, requiring each winning image to be carefully vetted by the organisation for authenticity. I can’t see any alternative.

David Campbell, World Press Photo’s director of communications and engagement, gave the photo press a guided tour before the opening in Sydney. You can imagine my ears pricking up when he suggested that black and white photographs may be too far removed from reality and that some photographers are suggesting black and white no longer be allowed.

It’s an interesting point. When it comes to a colour photograph, you’re only allowed to do minor adjustments to exposure, contrast and colour – so you could slightly increase or decrease colour saturation, but no more. It’s a good rule, but then on the next line (so to speak) the rules allow you to turn your colour file into black and white! Why?

Well, we all know why, but it’s an intriguing irregularity in documentary photography’s current philosophical arguments. I think this calls for a glass of red wine and further discussion!

Early morning bread run, Kashan, Iran.
Canon EOS 5DSR, 11-24mm lens, 1/125 second @ f5.6, ISO 125

Iran is going to feature at the Evening Atelier at Dee Why RSL next Wednesday evening (all welcome - $9.95 entry fee). I'm seeing if Nuran is around, but I think he's overseas, possibly enjoying some of the marvellous breads you get in this part of the world.

Bread is a staple food and there are bread shops everywhere you look. It's mainly unleavened bread as I understand it and I have been entertained by a number of bakers in different parts of Iran.

One of the ideas I use when travelling is to pick a theme and create a series of images around it. I don't have just one theme, rather there will be a series happening at the same time. I think I've posted a few yellow taxis from Iran in an earlier blog post, and I might have posted this gentleman somewhere as well, but he is a special 'bread' favourite.

I have taken bread photos inside bakeries, outside bakeries, on the way to bakeries and on the way home from bakeries. I have old people with bread, young people, religious people and people riding bicycles. 

Themes like this can be used to create a small portfolio, a chapter in a book or a section of an audio visual. It also gives you something to focus on, especially in a new location where the photographic opportunities can sometimes be overwhelming.

Click through to the website to see three more bread extravaganzas! 

S5 Box

Login

Untick the newsletters you don't want to receive.

S5 Register