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Reely and Truly: a new film on photography by Tyrone Lebon

Posted: October 31st, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Music Video / Film, Photography | Comments Off

Filmmaker and photographer Tyrone Lebon has created a new documentary that offers a loose portrait of over 20 photographers at work, and muses on the nature of photography today...

The film, which is shown below, features some of the most significant figures in contemporary photography, from Juergen Teller to Mario Sorrenti, Nobuyoshi Araki to Ari Marcopoulos. Yet it is as much an account of a personal journey for Lebon: shot in a cinema vérité style, it chronicles his thoughts and experiences in making the piece (including phone calls to his father, Mark Lebon, another acclaimed photographer), and also features many different shooting styles and techniques. This encourages the audience to think about the nature of image-making while also absorbing the stories revealed by the participants. The film is shown below:

Lebon has enjoyed significant success in recent years, in his commercial shoots for brands such as Gap, Nokia and Stüssy, and in his personal projects, which include a book of work for Baron magazine, exploring how digital technology has impacted on sexuality. Yet for this project, he took a pause to reflect.

"I've always been fascinated by photography and photographers since my teens," he tells CR. "I wrote my dissertation for my anthropology MA on a photographer, my dad's a photographer, but I thought I would make documentaries and didn't want to be a photographer. Anyway, as it worked out, photography became my career and then as I got busier over recent years, I felt like I needed to take some time away. Taking time to reflect on where I was at by being able to observe and talk to photographers I admire and am interested in felt like an exciting thing to do. So in December last year, I decided to take six months off shooting photos myself to do a project on photographers."

Choosing who to include in the film happened in a number of ways. "It was a mix between some of my favourite photographers whose work I admire, and then some were recommended and introduced to me by others, and some are friends I’ve known for years," Lebon continues. "Photographers are often pretty tricky people and busy photographers have a lot of demands on their time. So getting hold of them to even properly explain what you would like to do is hard enough.

"Juergen took me two years to properly get hold of," he continues. "He had been filmed for another documentary a year or two before and wasn’t keen to allow that again. But I was persistent and eventually he agreed. Araki, even though he was in an exhibition with Juergen, was hard to track down and it was actually thanks to a friend inviting me to his karaoke bar in Tokyo that I eventually managed to meet him. Takeshi Homma is one of my favourite parts of the film and he is an amazing person to meet and talk to, but the few hours I got to spend with him were only confirmed just before. Similarly there were other great photographers I would have loved to have included in this, and came very close to meeting but things just didn’t quite work out for one reason or another. But I am pretty persistent and will continue to track them down!"

The film's loose style was in part due to Lebon's decision to make the work alone, which presented a number of difficulties. "Travelling and working as a one man band was pretty hard while doing certain sections of the filming when I was moving quickly to different countries," he says. "Jetlag, constantly organising the next bits of filming, film jams, trying to get good sound, and all this while try to be focused and interview someone at the same time was pretty exhausting. But I needed to be alone as I wanted the film to feel intimate and even if I could’ve had a big crew it wouldn’t have helped to get the footage I was after."

Some of the appearances by photographers in the film are pretty fleeting, so it makes sense to discover that this version of the project is not the completed work. "This film should actually be seen as an extended trailer for a bigger book project," explains Lebon. "The book will include photographs, texts and films about 30 or so photographers – each film will be a short, 15 minute-ish portrait of each photographer, and I hope to have it finished by this time next year."

Despite the film being one of the more comprehensive explorations of the work of contemporary photographers, Lebon doesn't see it revealing any grand truths about the medium. "I don't think it reveals anything specifically about photography today," he says. "I hope it gives an insight into the ways these different photographers think and approach their work and their lives. But the thing it probably reveals most clearly is the journey I went on while trying to make this film about photography. As my dad says in the introduction, a film about photography should be seen as a lie about a lie, or maybe a truth about a truth..."

The film is released today via Canvas, a new platform sponsored by Grolsch that is "committed to promoting original cultural thinking and creativity". It is created in collaboration with Somesuch production company and DoBeDo.


The crafty one: CR November issue

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

The November issue of CR is a craft special with features on several contemporary makers: from bicycle builders and bespoke shoemakers, right through to the latest creators of virtual reality...

This issue also features news of CR Club, our subscriber initiative which replaces Monograph. CR Club will offer subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands. Details of our first exclusive invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching – are here.

Our November issue cover – the text of which is painted onto etched glass – is by Ashley Bishop of The Brilliant Sign Company (see below) and introduces the idea of 'Tradition and Technology'.

And the first stop in our investigation into modern craft is, appropriately enough, the Makers Cafe in London: the first coffee shop to also offer a 3D printing service. Illustration by David Doran.

We then look at how The Partners have worked with illustrator Kristjana S Williams to create an original 3D collage for the capital's Connaught hotel, elements of which are then used over 100 applications in the building, communicating its distinctive brand of heritage and modernity.

Introducing five original documentary films which will be soon be debuting on the CR website, we meet the makers who will be profiled in the series. And while they make everything from jeans and shoes, to cycles, signs and mobile phones, they each share a passion to create the very best in their field.

We talked to Hiut Denim Co:

The Brilliant Sign Company (whose Ashley Bishop created our signwritten cover, top):

Makers of handsewn shoes, Carréducker:

HTC, who design human- and precision-crafted mobile phones:

And Rusby Cycles:

Broadening out the notion of craft into the cutting edge of the digital world, Eliza Williams talks to some of the leading proponents of virtual reality, including Oculus Rift, Marshmallow Laser Feast and Unit9.

And finally in our craft section, what happens when great craft skills are mixed with great ideas? Studio Carter Wong know fully well as they've been working like this for thirty years: to celebrate their anniversary, they took us through ten of their favourite projects.

In other features we have a seven-page visual feast of graphic design from the forthcoming GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years show which opens at The Royal College of Art next month and celebrates the great work produced by the college's students over the past fifty years.

And talking of longevity, we also look at the career of Erik Spiekermann – alongside our timeline of his life and work, we republish a fantastic interview with the designer and typographer which appears in a new book dedicated to his craft: Hello, I Am Erik, out now from Gestalten.

In Crit, Rachael Steven attends the second Modern Magazine conference, while Rick Poynor enjoys the thrill of an exhibition dedicated entirely to the Gothic at the British Library.

And in reverse formation, the front section of this month's issue sees Daniel Benneworth-Gray attempting to navigate the York Book Fair without causing any lasting damage; while Michael Evamy looks at the various identity projects which have graced the World Trade Center, pre and post-9/11.

This issue also features news of CR Club, our subscriber initiative which replaces Monograph. CR Club will offer subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands. Details of our first exclusive invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching – are here.

If you are not already a CR subscriber, you can find out about our various subscriber packages, here.


Introducing CR Club

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Burgoyne | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Letterpress @ The RCA. Photo: Richard Haughton

This month we are launching CR Club, offering subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands you love...

The October issue of CR saw the final issue of our Monograph publication (see above). We'd run Monograph for nearly eight years. In its time it had been really valued – it even won an Art Directors Club Silver award and a place in the Design Museum's Designs of the Year show in 2008. But we were beginning to suspect that it was getting a little tired and was no longer proving much of an incentive for subscribers.

Over the summer we carried out extensive research with our subscribers which bore this out. We know that some of you still really enjoyed Monograph and will be sad to se it go but the clear majority were telling us that it was time to move on. So, we are trying something new and we'd like your help.

Over the next few months we will be announcing a series of special offers, events and treats for our subscribers via CR Club.

The intention is to make our subscribers feel very much part of a privileged community by giving them the opportunity to attend shows, talks or events and behind-the-scenes tours; gifts such as exclusive prints and discounts on brands you love. (If you don't already subscribe, you can check out the various subscriptions packages, here.)

Our subscribers come from all over the UK so we want to make sure that we have a range of activities and offers for everyone. Here, we'd really like your assistance. If you are based outside of London and the South-East, please let us know which local galleries you would like us to approach in order to secure exclusive deals and special offers for our subscribers.

We'd also like to know which brands you would like us to approach for CR subscriber discounts. We already have deals with the Design Museum, publishers Thames & Hudson and clothing brand, Tripl Stitched.

We're kicking off CR Club with an exclusive Creative Review invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching which will take place at The Royal College of Art in London on the evening of November 11. Following the lecture, guests will have an opportunity to view the college's GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years exhibition.

In order to benefit from these offers, you will need to log-in to the site using your subscriber number. If you don't know what that is, please call us on +44(0)207 292 370. To subscribe to Creative Review, go here.

We're viewing this very much as an experiment over the next few months as we look to put together a fantastic package of benefits and offers for our subscribers. Please let us know what you would like to see in the comments below and we will do our best to make it happen.


Introducing CR Club

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Burgoyne | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Letterpress @ The RCA. Photo: Richard Haughton

This month we are launching CR Club, offering subscribers exclusive access to events, free gifts and money off a variety of brands you love...

The October issue of CR saw the final issue of our Monograph publication (see above). We'd run Monograph for nearly eight years. In its time it had been really valued – it even won an Art Directors Club Silver award and a place in the Design Museum's Designs of the Year show in 2008. But we were beginning to suspect that it was getting a little tired and was no longer proving much of an incentive for subscribers.

Over the summer we carried out extensive research with our subscribers which bore this out. We know that some of you still really enjoyed Monograph and will be sad to se it go but the clear majority were telling us that it was time to move on. So, we are trying something new and we'd like your help.

Over the next few months we will be announcing a series of special offers, events and treats for our subscribers via CR Club.

The intention is to make our subscribers feel very much part of a privileged community by giving them the opportunity to attend shows, talks or events and behind-the-scenes tours; gifts such as exclusive prints and discounts on brands you love.

Our subscribers come from all over the UK so we want to make sure that we have a range of activities and offers for everyone. Here, we'd really like your assistance. If you are based outside of London and the South-East, please let us know which local galleries you would like us to approach in order to secure exclusive deals and special offers for our subscribers.

We'd also like to know which brands you would like us to approach for CR subscriber discounts. We already have deals with the Design Museum, publishers Thames & Hudson and clothing brand, Tripl Stitched.

We're kicking off CR Club with an exclusive Creative Review invite-only event, ‘Letterpress @ The RCA' – a talk by the world-renowned typographer, design and letterpress practitioner, Alan Kitching which will take place at The Royal College of Art in London on the evening of November 11. Following the lecture, guests will have an opportunity to view the college's GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years exhibition.

In order to benefit from these offers, you will need to log-in to the site using your subscriber number. If you don't know what that is, please call us on +44(0)207 292 3703

We're viewing this very much as an experiment over the next few months as we look to put together a fantastic package of benefits and offers for our subscribers. Please let us know what you would like to see in the comments below and we will do our best to make it happen.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Antonia Wilson | Filed under: Photography | Comments Off

From cosy geladas to luminous squid, here are some of our highlights from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 winners and shortlisted works...

Now in it's 50th year, the competition - co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide - invites professional and amateur photographers from around the world to submit work into categories including Mammals, Birds, Amphibians and Reptiles, Invertebrates, Plants and Fungi, Underwater Species, Earth's Environments, Black and White, Natural Design, Timelapse, and World in Our Hands.

There are also special awards for Best Single Image, Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year, Rising Star, various age group categories for under-18s, and more. Winners were announced last night at London's Natural History Museum, where the exhibtion will take place from Friday until 30 August 2015 before touring the UK and internationally.

Pictured above: Little squid by Fabien Michenet (France), Underwater Species finalist. Whilst night diving off the coast of Tahiti, Michenet became fascinated by this young sharpear enope squid, measuring just 3cm long, floating motionless 20m deep.

The last great picture by Michael Nichols (USA), Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 winner. Taken in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, Nichols snapped the five females of the Vumbi pride lying with their cubs calmly sleeping, who were used to his presence after he had been following them for nearly six months.

Photographing them in infrared, "cuts through the dust and haze, transforms the light and turns the moment into something primal, biblical almost," he says.

Transparent care, by Ingo Arndt (Germany), Amphibians and Reptiles finalist. Arndt captured a beam of sunlight shining down thorough a leaf and through the skin of a tiny glass frog guardian a clutch of eggs, in the Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica.

Touché by Jan van der Greef (The Netherlands), Birds Finalist. This image was shot in Ecuador using multiple flashes to freeze the sword-billed hummingbird's wing-beat (more than 60p/s). With its 11cm bill designed to reach nectar at the bas of tube shaped flowers it is the only bird with a bill longer than it's body, excluding tail.

Spider in the frame by Juan Jesus Gonzalez Ahumada (Spain), Black and White Finalist. To isolate this prickly pear leaf skeleton from the surrounding vegetation Ahumada placed a piece of white card behind it, being careful not to disturb the tiny spider hiding in a gap in the framework.

The price to pay by Bruno D'Amicis (Italy), World in Our Hands winner. As part of a long-term project investigating the issues facing endangered species in the Sahara, D'Amicis shot this image of a teenager from a village in southern Tunisia offering (illegally) to sell a three-month-old fennec fox, one of a litter he dug out of their den in the desert.

Communal warmth by Simon Sbaraglia (Italy), Mammals finalist. Just before sunset in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, Sbaraglia waited at the edge of a cliff for a group of geladas to return after a day's foraging. As they returned it was almost completely dark, but setting his ISO to maximum and using a gentle pulse of flash he caught this great image of the huddled troop.

Apocalypse by Francisco Negroni (Chile), Earth's Environments winner. After the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex began to erupt, Negroni travelled to Puyehue National Park in southern Chile to shoot this volcanic lighting also known as a ‘dirty thunderstorm'. "It was the most incredible thing I have seen in my life," he said.

Feral spirits by Sam Hobson (UK), Birds finalist. Ring-necked parakeets, an Afro-Asian species are now wild in Britain, as a result of escapes and deliberate release of captive birds. Hobson took this picture in London, where the birds thrive, in a cemetery where there were several thousands of birds flying past in constant streams of 20-30. He used a burst of flash at the end of a long exposure to create the shadowy tails.

Delta design by Hans Strand (Sweden), Earth's Environments finalist. Shooting from the air over Iceland, battling motion sickness and the strong winds, Strand captured the delta (landform created at the mouth of a river) of the Fúlakvisl, with the murky river appearing as tangled silvery threads over the black volcanic soil.

www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Antonia Wilson | Filed under: Photography | Comments Off

From cosy geladas to luminous squid, here are some of our highlights from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 winners and shortlisted works...

Now in it's 50th year, the competition - co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide - invites professional and amateur photographers from around the world to submit work into categories including Mammals, Birds, Amphibians and Reptiles, Invertebrates, Plants and Fungi, Underwater Species, Earth's Environments, Black and White, Natural Design, Timelapse, and World in Our Hands.

There are also special awards for Best Single Image, Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year, Rising Star, various age group categories for under-18s, and more. Winners were announced last night at London's Natural History Museum, where the exhibtion will take place from Friday until 30 August 2015 before touring the UK and internationally.

Pictured above: Little squid by Fabien Michenet (France), Underwater Species finalist. Whilst night diving off the coast of Tahiti, Michenet became fascinated by this young sharpear enope squid, measuring just 3cm long, floating motionless 20m deep.

The last great picture by Michael Nichols (USA), Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 winner. Taken in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, Nichols snapped the five females of the Vumbi pride lying with their cubs calmly sleeping, who were used to his presence after he had been following them for nearly six months.

Photographing them in infrared, "cuts through the dust and haze, transforms the light and turns the moment into something primal, biblical almost," he says.

Transparent care, by Ingo Arndt (Germany), Amphibians and Reptiles finalist. Arndt captured a beam of sunlight shining down thorough a leaf and through the skin of a tiny glass frog guardian a clutch of eggs, in the Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica.

Touché by Jan van der Greef (The Netherlands), Birds Finalist. This image was shot in Ecuador using multiple flashes to freeze the sword-billed hummingbird's wing-beat (more than 60p/s). With its 11cm bill designed to reach nectar at the base of tube shaped flowers it is the only bird with a bill longer than it's body, excluding tail.

Spider in the frame by Juan Jesus Gonzalez Ahumada (Spain), Black and White Finalist. To isolate this prickly pear leaf skeleton from the surrounding vegetation Ahumada placed a piece of white card behind it, being careful not to disturb the tiny spider hiding in a gap in the framework.

The price to pay by Bruno D'Amicis (Italy), World in Our Hands winner. As part of a long-term project investigating the issues facing endangered species in the Sahara, D'Amicis shot this image of a teenager from a village in southern Tunisia offering (illegally) to sell a three-month-old fennec fox, one of a litter he dug out of their den in the desert.

Communal warmth by Simon Sbaraglia (Italy), Mammals finalist. Just before sunset in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, Sbaraglia waited at the edge of a cliff for a group of geladas to return after a day's foraging. As they returned it was almost completely dark, but setting his ISO to maximum and using a gentle pulse of flash he caught this great image of the huddled troop.

Apocalypse by Francisco Negroni (Chile), Earth's Environments winner. After the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex began to erupt, Negroni travelled to Puyehue National Park in southern Chile to shoot this volcanic lighting also known as a ‘dirty thunderstorm'. "It was the most incredible thing I have seen in my life," he said.

Feral spirits by Sam Hobson (UK), Birds finalist. Ring-necked parakeets, an Afro-Asian species are now wild in Britain, as a result of escapes and deliberate release of captive birds. Hobson took this picture in London, where the birds thrive, in a cemetery where there were several thousands of birds flying past in constant streams of 20-30. He used a burst of flash at the end of a long exposure to create the shadowy tails.

Delta design by Hans Strand (Sweden), Earth's Environments finalist. Shooting from the air over Iceland, battling motion sickness and the strong winds, Strand captured the delta (landform created at the mouth of a river) of the Fúlakvisl, with the murky river appearing as tangled silvery threads over the black volcanic soil.

www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com


Hans Eijkelboom’s People of the 21st Century

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Books, Photography | Comments Off

We are used to seeing photos of people who stand out on the street – those who are snapped by fashion mags for having a 'look' all their own. But what about the rest of us? We might just find a place in Hans Eijkelboom's new book, People of the 21st Century...

The book, published by Phaidon, chronicles a body of work created over a 22-year period. Each page features an assemblage of shots all taken in an individual place: Eijkelboom sets up camp for a short period in an area of a city (usually a busy shopping district) and then picks a 'type' to photograph. The grouping could be made through a particular item of clothing, or object, or by a behaviour – couples walking arm in arm, for example. The day's shots are then organised as a group and dated.

 

The book is fascinating to flick through – in part to see the changing fashions (remember when everyone was wearing lumberjack shirts?) but also in the deeper questions it provokes. Are we all fashion automatons? Do we not have any unique style? When advertising is so often focused on promoting the idea of free expression and individuality, it is somewhat disheartening to see that in actuality, we all end up looking the same.

Eijkelboom describes his work as being rooted in "identity" and states that this project was sparked by a desire to explore his place within a society dominated by commercialism. "When I started the project, I wondered whether I was a product of the consumer society, rather than my own man," he says in a recent interview. "I wanted to make the series almost as a mirror, in which to see myself. If I can see the surrounding society, then I can see what makes me who I am. I think ‘how can you be so naïve to go to a shop, to buy clothes that sum up your personality, and not realise that, at the same time, 10,000 men and women around the world do and think the same things?’ But I do it too, of course. We’re told we’re individuals, and we buy these things, and we are a product of the culture that we live in."

In the introduction to the book, David Carrier argues that beyond the common factor grouping the figures, much diversity is revealed, yet it is difficult not to see Eijkelboom's work as a statement about our conformity and desire to fit in. This is reinforced by the snatched style of the images – Eijkelboom grabs his shots via a remote trigger hidden in his jacket pocket, so the passers-by are oblivious to being photographed. The style sets his work apart from other recent photographic projects such as Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York, which, through the combination of short interviews and carefully shot portraits, serves to highlight the individual rather than the crowd.

Eijkelboom's work draws comparison with Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek's Exactitudes project, which also groups people according to their clothing styles, though in a more formal setting. It also falls within a lineage of documentary photography that includes the work of Martin Parr. Yet there is something undeniably contemporary about Eijkelboom's exploration of conformity and individual expression, and also in his demonstration of the fact that we are more conscious than ever that our clothes are vehicles of self-expression. Even if it turns out that lots of other people express themselves in exactly the same way.

People of the 21st Century by Hans Eijkelboom is published by Phaidon, priced £24.95. The book is designed by Hans Stofregen at Phaidon Press. More info on the title is here.


Robert Wilson’s Helmand photographs brought to UK streets

Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: Antonia Wilson | Filed under: Photography | Comments Off

A photo series by photographer Robert Wilson, documenting the homecoming preparations and final withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, has been displayed on 59 billboards and bus stops in a site-specific exhibition across England and Scotland.

Wilson first visited Afghanistan in 2008, travelling to Helmand to document British forces on the front line, with the resulting images being published as a book (Helmand, Jonathan Cape, 2008). As a commercial photographer, commissioned mainly for editorial and advertising projects, this was a step away from familiar subjects. He then became an official "war artist" after being invited to Afghanistan by the Commander of the forces in Helmand.

Returning to the site in April this year, his aim was to photograph the troops' final tour of duty, and the process of withdrawal from Camp Bastion in Helmand and other camps in Kabul.

After getting to know the troops, Wilson aimed to somehow capture, as he describes it, their "thousand-yard stare" - a certain expression on their "bedraggled" and exhausted faces, having seen images that will never leave them.

The stright on portraits are amongst the strongest in the series. There's something about the look in their eyes, those dusty creases, the sunburn and the freckles - the intensity of these close-up shots tells just a snippet of a much greater story of conflict.

The location of each of the billboards was determined by biographical data gathered from the returning troops, and Wilson hopes this will mean that the outdoor exhibition becomes "both a literal and a metaphorical return home", he says.

The large-scale portraits of the dusty, exhausted faces are stunning (see more from the original series on Wilson's website), and the semi-abstract shots of the aircraft engine and the ammunition are particularly beautiful too.

Wilson aimed to actively engage the public in part through juxtaposing the images with familiar everyday locations, breaking down the sense of a war being 'elsewhere' or happening to 'other people', although some of work better than others. Pairings include an image of the Post Office in Camp Bastion being on display near a local Royal Mail Depot, or a makeshift church image opposite a war memorial in London.

Creating a public exhibition is surely a great way to bring the work to a wider audience and to communities who might share the effects of the troops' homecoming. But is there something about the fact that they are appearing on billboards and bus stops as stand alone images without written explanation (and only a QR code in the corner), that could lead to a misreading of them as big and bold army recruitment ads? Perhaps that doesn't matter if they still serve as a reminder of the conflict, and act as a temporary site of remembrance for communities locally.

Although the public exhibition lasted only a couple of weeks, and has now officially ended, some of the billboards are yet to be rebooked so keep an eye out for the images around the country, (click here for the full list of locations). A gallery show of the photographs is also on until November 30 at Gallery One and A Half, London.

 

www.helmandreturn.com

 


Actis launches photography exhibition for tenth anniversary

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Photography | Comments Off

Entebbe, Uganda

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, private equity company Actis commissioned photographer Harry Cory Wright to capture the communities, projects and businesses the company has invested in worldwide. His photos, taken using a nineteenth century plate camera, are now on display in a touring exhibition and book designed by London studio Rose.

A Vantage Point features photographs of a vast range of people, places and projects; from a tea estate in Mukono, Uganda to a hair salon in Mumbai and Johannesburg's Nelson Mandela Bridge. The series offers a fascinating look at changing infrastructures, rural communities and local businesses, as well as promoting the company's work in emerging markets.

George Goch-Johannesburg-Naledi Railway, S Africa

"The idea was very simple: to try and represent the breadth of the company's work, which is very diverse, and shape that into a show," explains Cory Wright. "It was important to represent the key markets [the company invests in India, Africa, China, Latin America and South East Asia] and key sectors but most importantly, the set had to work as a series ... we wanted each image to capture not just the investment, but the life around it," he adds.

Based in Norfolk, Cory Wright is best known for his landscape photography, such as Journey Through the British Isles, a series documenting the British countryside. His series for Actis, however, features a mix of portraits and still lifes, from close-ups of industrial machinery to scenes of chaotic cities, building sites, busy restaurants and medical centres.

"It's quite different to the photography used in a lot of our branding, which is more people based [often featuring close-up portraits], but every picture tells a story," says Actis chairman Paul Fletcher.

A picture of a jeweller outside his shop in Cairo, for example (below) represents the swathe of businesses in emerging markets switching from cash payments to card in a growing economy, while one of a family outside their home in rural Uganda (top) represents investments in the electricity poles and cables supplying power to the area. Insulated cables make it more difficult to tap into the power supply, while reducing the risk of death or serious injury when attempting to do so.

7 Days Inn, Beijing

Emerging Markets Payments, El Beeb jewellers, Cairo

Cory Wright travelled to India, China, Africa and Brazil to shoot the series, spending around two weeks in each country he visited. "I didn't have to report back much [while shooting] - Actis put a lot of faith in me," he says. “It’s quite an unusual project for them - and for me, having that level of freedom and no art director around - but they realised that if you allow people to just do their thing, the result is ten times better than it would be otherwise."

The full set of over 60 images is compiled in a book, designed by Rose, which will be sent out to Actis' key clients. Twenty-one have also been reproduced as large scale prints for an exhibition curated by Nicola Bunbury.

Investments in tractors, ATM machines and electronic payment systems may not seem like compelling subject matter for a photography series, but Cory Wright has captured some beautifully detailed scenes that offer a real snapshot of life in the areas where Actis invests.

Byculla Pharmacy & Stores, Mumbai

Images were shot on a large format plate camera, which Cory Wright has been using for over 20 years. "It's very slow, and expensive [the cost of film and processing is around £50 per shot] but it's very good at dealing with place and space - it affords everything a relevance in the picture," he says.

"It's very easy to compose in a way, as such a large screen, but [with this kind of camera], it's not so much about the precision of how you take the picture. You can only ever get the notion of something – you can never read the scene closely when you’re there – so you just rely on what the camera will reveal later. It’s a very pleasing process. You know when the film comes back there’s going to be all this other stuff in the scene that you hadn’t thought about," he adds.

One of the biggest challenges during the project, however, was transporting the camera and film, explains Cory Wright. "The biggest concern was travelling through airport security - as there was no guarantee the film would survive X Ray scanners [which can damage unprocessed images]. After travelling to India we had to come back to the UK, have pictures developed and restock with film before we went to China," he says.

Following a display at London's Saatchi Gallery this week, the exhibition will travel to Sao Paulo later this month, before visiting Mumbai, Beijing and Johannesburg.

Super-Max, Precious Hair Cutting Salon, Mumbai

Heritage Place, Lagos

Banque Commerciale du Rwanda, Kigali

 

Spread showing image of tea estate in Mukono, Uganda

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, Easter Cape

Exhibition invitations designed by Rose, who also created the identity and graphics for the show

Images on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London last week


Win these six books in our #1mCR pile up!

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography | Comments Off

As part of today's #1mCR Twitter fun we are giving away a couple of splendid prizes, including this set of six new titles from Laurence King. To be in with a chance of winning them, all you have to do is get your visual-thinking hat and read on...

As we reached 1m followers on Twitter this morning, we thought we would like to say thank you for helping us get there and offer up a great prize for one lucky CR reader.

Publishers Laurence King have kindly dontated six new books for us to giveaway (as displayed above).

They are: Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars; Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts; TM by Mark Sinclair; Editorial Design by Cath Caldwell and Yolanda Zappaterra; Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera by Robert Shore; and 100 Ways to Create a Great Ad by Tim Collins.

As we're celebrating a digital achievement, for this competition we thought we would turn the focus onto our other love: print. So to win this fine selection of paper-based objects, all you have to do is correctly guess the height of the pile when the six books are placed on top of one another*. Old school competition! (*Not end on end! Books will be piled up on top of one another, you know, in a conventional book-piling manner.)

If it helps, page numbers (and dimensions) of each of the books are available on the LK website. But you're a canny lot – and we reckon someone can have a decent go at guessing the combined thickness of all six. If you guess correctly, or if you come closest to the exact figure as verified by our ruler-wielding friends at the publishers – you win the stack.

A few pointers:

– Answers in millimetres, in the comments below, please. Remember to leave your name and also email address along with your guess. If you don't leave an email we won't be able to contact you if your guess is correct.

– Tt would be wise to try and plump for a figure that no-one else has guessed so far, but in the event that the correct answer is left by several commenters, the first to have left the answer wins.

– The competition closes on Monday October 20th at 11am. Any answers posted after this will not be counted. The correct answer and winner's name will be published on the post later that day.

Good luck!

This competition is now closed – Winner announced!

Thanks to everyone who entered, but we can now reveal the winner of the six Laurence King books.

The height of the pile of six books was measured at LK HQ and confirmed as:

151 mm.

Our winner is "Stephanie" who was the first (and only) person to guess 151 mm correctly at 16.08 on October 16. Well done Stephanie! An email is on its way to you now.

To celebrate reaching one million followers on Twitter, we're also offering 30% off all subs packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.