Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 26 of 26

Thread: more noise (african style)

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    more noise (african style)

    some stuff taken whilst on assignment on the west coast of Africa. all of it with a g10, manual focus and fire away!

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=24971&full=1

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=24970&full=1

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=24969&full=1

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,431
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    17

    Re: more noise (african style)

    John,
    As always, it's a pleasure to see you and
    your images on the forum....
    How's the trip going?
    Don

  3. #3
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,462
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    those are killer!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Very well all things considered my friend! Beyond a brief arrest and detaining by the local security thugs, a very difficult time aquiring the visa and small altercation at the end of a big machete last night I am alive and well.

    I wish I could post more and show just how powerful of a tool small, discreet cameras can be. I have taken photo's that anything but a small, silent point and shoot could not have managed. Photo's of the trial of millitary hitmen, inside of maximum security prisons, police stations, you name it. I packed the usual trip bag full of big nikons and whatnot but it has been the G10 95% of the time since arriving.

    Once I arrive back home (late June/early July) I will update the website with photo's of the above nature. I am somewhat convinced it would be ill advised while I am here.

    It always makes me scratch my head when small, compact cameras are so easily disregarded as not being "serious" image makers?!?

    I hope all is well with you my friend. I see you have been keeping busy yourself fighting a very good fight. Perhaps one day I could hop over the border and join you for a day?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Very kind of you viablex1!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    some more from the middle of nowhere!

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=25095&full=1

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=25097&full=1

    http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=25098&full=1

    I will update my site and provide lot's of background info when i arrive home... apologies for for the "scant" info!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    549
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Some of these are quite stunning.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    really appreciate these. looking forward to what you have when you come back. with a compact you seem like a tourist and can't be serious!

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    exactly! well other than the TOTAL lack of any tourists in Nigeria. seriously though, photography is EXTREMELY difficult here and the G10 has been working very hard! The police and security forces are a menace here and come out of the woodwork as soon as cameras come out. The infrastructure has completely collapsed and violent confrontation has broken out in the delta states. Nigeria is a country on the brink of all out civil war and it is quite concerning to see. Cameras and foreign press are nowhere to be seen other than the occasional cnn marionette out on patrol with the jtf in the delta. (and a few crazies operating as "under the radar" as they can)

    sizifo - very kind of you to say!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    maybe it's time to come home! stay safe.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

  11. #11
    Member kai.e.g.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy
    Posts
    150
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Very impressive work - keep it up, but stay safe. Nigeria has always spooked me.

  12. #12
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    My God
    Terrific documentary work there
    Be Safe

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    thank you folks for the warm reception! Nigeria is most certainly a very spooky place! i will be heading home soon but must finish shooting the story i am here for. the conflict in the delta has grown immensely over the past few months so i reckon i will return in the fall. i have been feverishly laying the ground work for that trip. i have been assured i will be able to travel safely by M.E.N.D and a few of the militant groups so keep your eye's peeled for more!

  14. #14
    PIXIllate
    Guest

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Fantastic images, wonderful examples of using what works.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Thank you everyone. Images have been uploaded to my website at www.galler7.com

    click on the homepage photo to enter the gallery or use the "nigeria" heading in the gallery section.

    about 95% of this was shot on a g10!

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    just went through the photos. absolutely great reporting. astonished at your resourcefulness! keep up the good work.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro
    Posts
    2,393
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Very touching. Excellent work.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Thank you very much! i am thrilled to receive such praise!

    I think "resourcefulness" is the number one skill one must possess to make it as a photojournalist. You can have all the gear and all the schooling in the world but nothing trumps resourceful. I take that as a great compliment!

    I am trying to organize a return trip to the Niger Delta for the fall. What is going on there is really quite unbelievable and the western media coverage thin to say the least. I will most certainly post some more work here!

    It is important that as many people see the living conditions of the people there as possible. We spend a great deal of money with the Nigerian government and so far very little of that money is getting to the people. It is a disaster waiting to happen and it is preventable.

    Thank you again.

  19. #19
    wbrandsma
    Guest

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Thank you for sharing your work John and giving us an insight in the current situation of Nigeria. Greed and lust for power can be so destructive in my opinion.

  20. #20
    ddk
    Guest

    Re: more noise (african style)

    Very interesting John, was this a personal journey or an assignment?

    In the early 80s while I was living living in the UK, we had some young, wealthy Nigerians as neighbors, probably either children of the pastors that you mention or of ranking government officials. We met them through other friends who had business dealings with the family, I realized that there was a lot of corruption in the country and it was nothing new, but I had no idea that the people were in such dire straights. Your images are of 25 years later from that time and I can't believe how bad things are in 2009. This is totally unexpected, was it this bad all over or are these from the worst areas?

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    this was all work from an assignment. the assignment was focused on the failing judicial and prison system and it was bad in a big way.

    truth be told it was bad all over. i was in the delta region laying some groundwork for a return trip later in the year. it is virtually impossible to photograph there without the blessing of the someone... local militants etc. i have managed to secure that and a guarantee of safe passage so i am busy pitching right now.

    i will do my best to not climb to high on the soap box but it was a bad situation. in my opinion the country is as close as one will ever see to all out disintegration before it actually occurs. the infrastructure has totally and completely collapsed. the npf (police) and sss (security forces) act with little to no reproach. the police are often not paid and resort to extortion to pay the bills. the propaganda coming out of the mostly government owned media outlets is that groups like M.E.N.D are terrorists and there is quite a bit of "tribal lines" being drawn. life expectancy hovers somewhere around 45-47 and the country has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. the "official" unemployment rate is under 10% but most knowledgeable folks laugh at that number and upwards of 50-60% seems more likely. in the north the poverty is shocking. there are now very radical islamic movements operating there including the taliban. sharia law prevails in much of the northern states. the country is a petri dish for growing radicalism.

    all of this is truly maddening as nigeria sits atop one of the largest crude oil deposits in the world!?! the government has allowed all other industry and agriculture to collapse in a myopic attempt to steal as much money from the countries oil wealth as possible. everywhere you go people are very, very angry. the delta is quickly becoming an environmental disaster with millions of very poor people living amongst the oil spills and gas flares.

    anyhow, i appreciate everyones interest and willingness to listen. i would love to post more if the work however other folks have dibs. i am planning to return to the nigeria delta region within the year and will keep everyone abreast. this is a situation that in my opinion cannot be ignored.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    john,
    i don't know if you're interested, but i'd send this work to someone like alex majoli at magnum. seems to me it's right up their alley. and an invitation to join magnum would be a feather in your cap, whether or not you wanted it. this is perfect magnum reporting and your energy, willing to take risks, and dedication their style. also the story could be a big one. congrats.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

    ps. at thirteen i wanted to be a journalist. quickly realized i was too private a person and lacked the people chops. your story confirms it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    i am truly flattered by your comments my friend. truth be told, and without getting to ahead of myself, agency representation has become a very serious priority for me this year. i have all but ceased the wire service and press work to concentrate solely on long term, documentary type projects and really need to make up a lot of the lost income.

    i cannot explain how deeply committed i feel about properly representing the situation over there. it seems as though i must have "nerves of steel" however i assure you fear is a constant battle for me. i find it very, very difficult to deal with but somehow, taking it one hour at a time, i manage to somehow convince myself (and others) that i am not terrified. barely. the return trip will be a real test of nerves as i will spend the entire time in the delta.

    thank you so much for the props and i promise to keep you up to date on how the search for an agency unfolds!

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    "ps. at thirteen i wanted to be a journalist. quickly realized i was too private a person and lacked the people chops. your story confirms it."

    it's funny you should say that as people who know me well will tell you i am insanely private and very, very thin on conversation. people fascinate me though. always have.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    i'm sure you know the video 'war photographer' but if you don't, highly recommended:
    http://www.amazon.com/War-Photograph...6235060&sr=8-1

    and alex majoli famous partly for using an olympus 5050 point and shoot. check him out on the magnum site. i'd suggest contacting a lot of magnum photogs and see if you can get an invitation.

    this book by majoli the most moving b&w book i have:

    http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Majoli-Le...6235197&sr=8-1


    keep us posted.
    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    montreal/london/suitcase
    Posts
    296
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: more noise (african style)

    i have war photographer on my laptop and have spent many a night in the middle of nowhere swattin mosquito's and watching it.

    i am a big fan of the new vanguard at magnum. majoli, pellegrin, anderson etc. honestly it is funny you should mentioned magnum as it is my singular ambition as of late. i have missed submissions for 2009 sadly (june cutoff) but will be gunning for it next year.

    i have long been a big admirer of the collective/agency itself as they have refused to draw a line in the sand as to what photography is or can be. they are always going out of their realm to select new members who challenge what image making is. it would have been easy for them to say bresson or cappa was it and that was their identity however they have continually sought new ideas and pushed the boundaries.

    larry towell lives just up the road from me (and was a major influence for a long time) so maybe i will make some contact. either way my portfolio will be in NY next year at this time.

    thank you for the words of encouragement wayne and it is a real gift to hear them! every once in a while folks inadvertently give me these "nudges" in the right direction and i am always grateful.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •