Tag Archives: Photography

Art or garbage?

Can a plastic bag ever be art and not garbage?

Sho Shibuya, the founder of Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary brand design studio PLACEHOLDER, thinks so. One of his most cherished pieces of art is a framed plastic bag, and while there are probably stranger things you could hang on a wall, for Shibuya, it kickstarted a project that’s been long in the works for him titled PLASTIC PAPER.

This project focuses primarily on a 144-page book stacked with gorgeous photography of plastic bags with the hope of raising awareness about the waste created by single-use plastics as well as the importance of reusing and valuing these items.

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Mothercare campaign

A mother holding a newborn baby is one of the oldest and most enduring subjects in art, a staple of religious iconography and a classic dramatic trope.

But – from the Renaissance through to the glossy magazines of now – the physical effects of childbirth on a woman’s body have always been an aspect of motherhood hidden from public view. 

Even in our more open times, frank discussions about the sometimes brutal impact of birth are rare, and instead are still largely dealt with in private, with the media actively celebrating those women who bounce back quickly to their pre-birth figures.

Now, a new advertising campaign from Mothercare that is being trialled across 30 tube stations on the London Underground is bringing a more honest depiction of new motherhood into the spotlight.

Mothercare said in a statement: “Body Proud Mums boldly seeks to normalise mothers’ experiences, spark a positive conversation and help mums feel confident and proud of their bodies. At the heart of the campaign is the belief that all mums are beautiful. After all, their bodies have just performed a miracle.”

Shot by British photographer Sophie Mayanne, the campaign comprises of ten celebratory portraits of women who have very recently become mothers. They’re shown holding their babies close and smiling as the kids laugh, gawp at the camera in bemusement, or, in some cases, scream their heads off.

The photographs have apparently been published without digital retouching, and the effects of birth are evident, yet the scars and stretch marks are not the focus of the portraits. But, equally, they’re not hidden. Each portrait is accompanied with the simple phrase: ‘Beautiful, isn’t she.’

Big jigsaw puzzle of the city

A new book, CTY, by artist Antony Cairns brings together dozens of enigmatic images of the ‘megalopolis’, taken late at night in eerily empty parts of New York, Tokyo, London and LA.

Cairns says that because cities are filled with crowds, our experience of the architecture around us can be dulled as a result. Part of his aim with CTY was to explore how architecture feels when people are absent, which means many of his images were shot at unsociable hours. He was particularly drawn to the ‘light structures’ that are common in major cities, particularly in shopping malls where bulbs blaze late into the night despite no-one being around.

“They’re places where they want people to be, but they want you to consume and leave,” he says. “They don’t want you there for hours on end, loitering around. If you’ve been there a while, it starts feeling uncomfortable because it’s so bright. I often shoot late at night as well to get nobody there, and it enhances the feeling of the architecture slightly bearing down on you. I don’t shoot it that way to make it feel negative or positive though, I just record it as a document.”

CTY is printed on slightly pearlescent paper – a reference to Cairn’s practice of printing directly on aluminium when working in the darkroom, which allows the light to bounce off the images. “We wanted to give the same feeling of transparency – a kind of luminescence when you look at it, and it shines back at you a bit.”

CTY is published by Morel Books, priced £45; morelbooks.com; antony-cairns.co.uk

Anthony Gerace

Anthony Gerace has a knack for creating images that grab your attention and invite closer inspection. His project There Must Be More to Life Than This is an intriguing collection of tiled collages created using vintage ads. People Living – another collage series – combines photographs and lettering with colourful scraps of paper to striking effect.

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McDonald’s minus the food

Many of McDonald’s recent campaigns, particularly those for France, have had a stripped-back, minimal aesthetic. Now TBWA\Paris has revealed a new set of minimalistic posters, which follow the popular sparkly Open Late campaign, launched just last month.The three posters in this campaign feature just the packaging of the brand’s three archetypal products – the Big Mac, the Nuggets and the French Fries. The brand takes minimalism to a new extreme with these posters which are devoid of any text, or even the actual product; just a few lonely crumbs.

Photographer Giles Revell

In his new exhibition and book Cartographic Colour, photographer Giles Revell deconstructs flowers to reveal the beauty and the complexity of colour in nature. Working at Kew and the RHS Wisely garden, Revell photographed a selection of blooms which, using a grid placed over each image, he then set about analysing.In each square, Revell created graphic representations of the constituent colours of the flower concerned, revealing that what we might see as one strong colour, is often actually a combination of many. Cartographic Colour is divided in two. A series of ‘palettes’ reinterpret the colours of well-known flowers, abstracted to eliminate the distraction of form. Petals and stems are reduced to accurate graphic examinations of their constituent hues. “The plants were stripped of identity through the process of mapping, with the aim of creating a series of images where engagement is purely through scale, shape and position of colour,” Revell explains. “I was hoping to make arresting interpretations without the necessity of structure and form.”

World press photo of the year 2017

Contemporary Issues – Third Prize, Stories, Copacabana Palace ©  Peter Bauza 
Edilane and 3 of her 7 kids (at the time of the shoot) are resting on a mattress on the floor. She is giving soon birth to a son. Despite all her problems and struggling often how to feed her kids next day, she is still positive about her life. Recently she was able to build up a very small and basic Internet store inside the buildings. Out of approx. 10 old computers she makes one for the store.This represents some 5 USD daily. The people of “Copacabana Palace”, also usually called Jambalaya or Carandiru, are the “sem tetos, sem terras”. Generally hidden from view, they represent the dark side of Brazil’s multibillion-dollar spending spree on global sporting events such as the 2007 Pan American Games, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2016 Olympics. There are thought to be several million people in Brazil without a stable roof (sem moradias), and the number is rising. Despite government housing schemes „minha casa, minha vida“ and anti-poverty policies the “sem tetos, sem terras” (homeless and landless) face a bleak future.

Nature – Second Prize, Stories, Pandas Gone Wild © Ami Vitale, for National Geographic Magazine
Seven-year-old giant panda Min Min had a baby girl at Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan Province, China . It was 3 long days and nights of waiting for her to give birth and the vets thought it was likely to be a still birth. A very healthy giant panda cub emerged with a loud scream. She is the largest cub born this year to first-time mother Min Min. Giant pandas are born tiny, blind and helpless. The limbs of newborn pandas are so weak that they are not able to stand and for the first two months baby pandas only nurse, sleep, and poo. They are weaned between 8-9 months and a year old.

People – Second Prize, Stories, Enfarinat © Antonio Gibotta, Agenzia Controluce
Each 28th december, in Ibi – province of Alicante, in Spain -, the “The floured’s war” takes place. It’s a festival in which the citizens are divided into two groups: the first is called the Enfarinat (the floured), that simulate a coup d’etat; the other one tries to calm down the rebellion. The teams plays with flour, water, eggs and coloured smoke bombs: the photos taken during the match are beautiful. It has been celebrated since 200 years and it’s linked to the day of the massacre of innocents, when Herod, king of Judea, ordered to kill each baby in order to find Jesus.

Nature – First prize, stories, Rhino Wars © Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine 
“Care for Wild Africa” is a donor run orgnaniation that specializes in caring for wounded animals. They have a special focus on rhino and have taken in many rhino orphans from the poaching wars across South Africa at this time. Their latest orphan is Lulah, her mother was killed in Kruger National Park and when the rangers found Lulah she was estimated to be one month old. Hyenas had attacked the tiny calf and chewed off her ears, parts of her nose and inflicted a large bite on her rear right leg. Lulah has a strong will to live and despite fighting off infection in the wound she is looking like she will survive. Lulah has a full time caregiver Dorota Ladosz, 25, who are full time staff at C.W.A. Dorota has an honors degree in both Animal Science and Wildlife Management. She lives full time with Lulah at the time of this picture and sleeps with her in her enclosure. She maintains a constant watch on Lulah’s injuries and her temperature and feeds her at regular intervals. Lulah received surgery on this day and her wounds were cleaned out by Jan-Louis Ras, a surgeon who volunteers his services to Care for Wild Africa but actually usually works on humans. Infections in Lulah’s leg were cleaned out and her ears and the top of her head were dressed and disinfected. Care for Wild Africa has taken care of multiple rhino calves like this and today they have 27 survivors living on the property. Paying for their upkeep and their security is difficult.

Long term projects – First prize, Black Days Of Ukraine  © Valery Melnikov, Rossiya Segodnya 
Civilians escape from a fire at a house destroyed by the air attack in the Luhanskaya village

Contemporary Issues – First Prize, Singles, Taking A Stand In Baton Rouge © Jonathan Bachman, Thomson Reuters
Lone activist Ieshia Evans stands her ground while offering her hands for arrest as she is charged by riot police during a protest against police brutality outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana, USA, on 9 July 2016. Evans, a 28-year-old Pennsylvania nurse and mother of one, traveled to Baton Rouge to protest against the shooting of Alton Sterling. Sterling was a 37-year-old black man and father of five, who was shot at close range by two white police officers. The shooting, captured on a multitude of cell phone videos, aggravated the unrest coursing through the United States in previous years over the use of excessive force by police, particularly against black men.
Daily Life – First prize, Stories, Cuba On The Edge Of Change © Tomas Munita, for The New York Times 
Members of the Ejercito Juvenil del Trabajo waited along the road to Santiago de Cuba at dawn for Fidel Castro’s caravan on December 3, 2016. Cuba declared nine days of mourning after Fidel Castro’s death, a period that culminated with his funeral.

View all the shortlisted and winning work at www.worldpressphoto.org