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Amateur Photographer

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In 2008, accountant and amateur photographer Lee Jeffries was in London to run a marathon. On the day before the race, Jeffries thought he would wander the city to take pictures. Near Leicester Square, he trained his 5D camera with a long, 70-200 lens on a young, homeless woman who was huddled in a sleeping bag among Chinese food containers. “She spotted me and started shouting, drawing the attention of passersby,” Jeffries says. “I could have just walked away in an embarrassed state, or I could have gone over and apologized to her.” He chose the latter, crossed the street and sat with the woman. The eighteen-year-old, whose complexion indicated she was addicted to drugs, told Jeffries her story: her parents had died, leaving her without a home, and she now lived on the streets of London.

This experience had a profound effect on Jeffries, sharpening the focus on the subject matter of his street photography—the homeless—and defining his approach to taking pictures. He didn’t want to exploit these people or steal photographs of them like so many other photographers who had seen the homeless as an easy target. In an effort to make intimate portraits, Jeffries would try to connect with each person on an individual basis first. “I need to see some kind of emotion in my subjects,” Jeffries says. “I specifically look at people’s eyes—when I see it, I recognize it and feel it—and I repeat the process over and over again.” Jeffries tries to keep the contact as informal as possible. He rarely takes notes, feeling it immediately raises suspicion, and prefers to take pictures while he is talking with his subjects to capture the “real emotion” in them. “I’m stepping into their world,” he says. “Everyone else walks by like the homeless are invisible. I’m stepping through the fear, in the hope that people will realize these people are just like me and you.”

Self-taught and self-funded, Jeffries has used vacation time to travel to Skid Row in Los Angeles three times, as well as Las Vegas, New York, London, Paris and Rome, to continue his project. The way that Jeffries processes his images and the heavy use of shadow and light within his pictures is a direct reference to the religious overtones he felt while photographing the beggars and homeless in Rome. The underexposure in camera and process to dodge back light where he wants it—although done in a digital environment—relate more to the traditions of analog printing. The effect of the subjects on the photographer is equally heavy: “When I’m talking to these people, I can’t then leave that emotion, so when I get back to my computer so emotionally involved, sometimes I will start to cry when processing the image,” Jeffries says.

The photographer’s passion has become his life mission. He uses his photography to draw attention to and raise funds for the homeless, posting the images to Flickr and entering the work into competitions. Over the past three years Jeffries has placed third, second and second in an annual Amateur Photographer magazine award contest, and has won separate monthly contests which come with a camera as a reward. Each of the half dozen cameras he’s won has been donated to raise funds for charities, including homeless and disability organizations. The proceeds from Jeffries’s Blurb book, which features homeless portraits, go to the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles and the photographer allows any charity to use his images free of charge. Jeffries also runs the London and New York marathons to raise money for Shelter, a U.K. housing charity. He’s committed himself at a more personal level too, buying lunch for a man who had lost his fingers and toes to frostbite or taking a woman with a staph infection to the hospital when she was sick. Jeffries estimates he has given thousands of dollars to these individuals, but what he has given them in terms of a sense of dignity and outpouring of concern is immeasurable.

Jeffries’s powerful portraits are getting noticed. He recently won Digital Camera magazine’s Photographer of the Year award. There has been an explosion of interest in the last two to three months as the images have been shared across the web, spreading virally via Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, and more recently, appearing on blogs and in mainstream media including the Independent and Guardian. A book is slated to be published next month by Yellow Korner. The increased exposure is welcome news for a man whose self-funded journey can be difficult. “I can’t change these people’s lives,” he says. “I can’t wave a magic wand but it doesn’t mean I can’t take a photograph of them and try to raise awareness and bring attention to their plight.”

Lee Jeffries is a photographer based in Manchester, England. See more of his work here.

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Russellll

Before the recently deceased Ken Russell made such phenomenal films as Women in Love, The Who's Tommy, and Altered States, he was a documentary photographer. In 1955, when he was still in art school, Russell shot a series of incredible photos of London's Teddy Girls, an East End teenage subculture. Here's a PDF of a fascinating article about that project from Amateur Photographer magazine a few years ago back. "The director's cut" (via @coseyfannitutti)

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Features and Essays

Tenth anniversary of the 9/11 is now passed us, but let’s start with some of the features related to it…Lot of good coverage on the New York Times’ web pages, obviously…First, Eugene Richards’ multimedia of his Stepping Through Ashes…

Eugene Richards: Stepping Through Ashes (NYT Lens: September 2011)

NYT Magazine slideshow ‘Images from a Post 9/11 World’..includes various photographers’ work… Benjamin Lowy, Lynsey Addario,Peter van Agtmael, Ashley Gilbertson, and others… also links to the articles, which their images originally illustrated…

After 9/11, National Guard and police patrols had become part of the commute at Grand Central Terminal. Security was increased further after the Madrid bombings. Related article: “Lesser Evils.”  photo: Antonin Kratochvil/VII

New York Times Magazine: Ten Years’ Time: Images from a Post 9/11 World (NYT Magazine: September 2011)

Ashley Gilbertson has some new work on the New York Times site also…

Ashley Gilbertson: Remembering Lost Loved Ones (NYT: September 2011)

Todd Heisler: The Moment Before, and After (NYT: September 2011) 9/11

Fred. R. Conrad: The Faces of a Towering Project (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Magnum: 9/11 and Aftermath (Magnum in Motion: September 2011)

Susan Meiselas: Ground Zero Artifacts and Construction (Magnum: September 2011)

Scott Goldsmith: Flight 93 and Shanksville, PA: The Forgotten Part of 9/11 (TIME LB: September 2011)

To other features…

Sanjit Das: East Africa Crisis (Panos: September 2011)

New work by last year’s Canon AFJ winner Bacigalupo, whose exhibition ‘My Name is Filda Adoch’ impressed a lot of people at Visa…

Martina Bacigalupo: Mogadishu, Somalia (Agence Vu: September 2011)

Patrick Brown: Bengal’s Burden (Panos: September 2011)

Espen Rasmussen’s In Transit project has now a dedicated website…

Espen Rasmussen: Transit (Project website: 2011)

Afghanistan…

Hipstas by Zalmai on Lens blog…

Zalmai: In Afghanistan, ‘Unbelievable Force of Life’ (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Norfolk on New Yorker Photo Booth…

Simon Norfolk: Postcard from Afghanistan : Echoes of Wars Past (New Yorker: September 2011)

Alixandra Fazzina: Pakistan: Preparing for disaster in south Punjab (Guardian: September 2011)

Mitch Dobrowner: The Storms (TIME Lightbox: September 2011)

Have another look at Medecins Sans Frontieres’ and VII Photo’s Starved for Attention campaign online… There’s a travelling exhibit going around the States this autumn…

photo: Marcus Bleasdale

MSF and VII Photo: Starved for Attention 

Andrea Bruce: Conservative Muslims in Russia (Washington Post: September 2011)

Christian Als: The Disappeared Generation (Panos: September 2011)

Moises Saman: Detained Sub-Saharan Africans in Libya (Magnum: September 2011)

Foreign Policy  have a three-part series online featuring Kate Brooks‘ work from Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya…The photos are taken from her new book

Kate Brooks: What War Looks Like (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: Those Who Face Death (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: From Revolution to War (FP: September 2011)

Johannes Eisele: The Casualties of War: Afghanistan’s Medevac Missions, Up Close (TIME LB: September 2011)

Stanley Greene: A Drop of Blood between Turkey and Syria (NOOR: 2011)

Kozyrev’s Tripoli photos now also on the NOOR site…

Yuri Kozyrev: The Battle for Tripoli (NOOR: September 2011)

Ruben Reyes: Foreign Laborers in Dubai (NYT Lens: September 2011) Reys’ website

Japan…

William Daniels and Espen Rasmussen: Six Months On (Panos: September 2011) Japan

Jake Price: Japan six months after tsunami (BBC: September 2011)

Ed Kashi: Eye Contact (VII Magazine: September 2011)

Laura El-Tantawy: The Veil (TIME LB: August 2011)

Edward Keating: Blue Highway (TIME LB: September 2011)

Anthony Suau: The 99ers (TIME: September 2011) Long-term unemployed in America

Mauricio Lima: Few Treatment Options for Afghans as Drug Use Rises (NYT: August 2011)

Jean Gaumy: Climate challenge : The Indonesian case (Magnum: September 2011)

David Trattles: Girl Boxers of Calcutta (Foto8: September 2011) Trattles’ website

Jessica Earnshaw: At a Bronx Hospital, a Teenage Milestone (NYT Lens: September 2011) Earnshaw’s website

Interviews

First some 9/11 anniversary related interviews…

Robert Clark : 9/11 (burn magazine: September 2011)

Lynsey Addario : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Samantha Appleton : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Joel Meyerowitz : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Meyerowitz interview also on TIME… looks like he’s working with Leica S2 here…

Joel Meyerowitz : Ground Zero, Then and Now (TIME: September 2011)

Eric Hoepker : 9/11 (CNN: September 2011) CNN’s Errol Barnett speak to photographer Thomas Hoepker who took one of the most controversial 9/11 images

Steve McCurry on 9/11…

Steve McCurry :  memories of 9/11 (Phaidon: September 2011)

Interesting thing I noticed the other day looking at some of McCurry’s 9/11 photos on his blog was that he has a frame almost exactly like one of Nachtwey’s… The two men must have stood pretty much side-by-side…The colours are different, but I presume it’s because Nachtwey was shooting C-41 and McCurry E-6…It’s fascinating how similarly the two photographers framed the scene…

Marco Grob : on the Making of Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience (TIME LB: September 2011)

Steve McCurry (Leica blog: September 2011)

Steve McCurry : Revealed – the true story behind the ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ (Phaidon: September 2011)

Olivier Laurent’s excellent Yuri Kozyrev interview in British Journal of Photography…

Must read. Yuri Kozyrev : on covering revolutions in the Middle East (BJP: September 2011)

Kozyrev interview also on Lighbox…this about one of his Iraq War photos, one the most memorable and powerful images of the entire conflict by anyone I’d say…Couldn’t help but notice the file has been re-processed…

Yuri Kozyrev The Aftermath of 9/11: Ali Abbas (TIME LB: September 2011)

Fred Ritchin : Ritchin letter regarding the Q&A (Wired Raw File: September 2011)

Broomberg and Chanarin (ph-research.co.uk: 2011)

Kadir van Lohuizen : Via Panam part 2 (Nikon blog: September 2011)

David Chancellor talks about ‘Hunters” (Polka: 2011)

Donovan Wylie : Outposts (National Media Museum Vimeo: 2011)

Donovan Wylie : Ways of Looking (National Media Museum: Vimeo 2011)

Martin Parr : Parrworld (Phaidon: 2011)

Nadav Kander (Conscientious: 2011)

Mario Tama : 9/11 (Dallas News: September 2011)

Jodi Bieber : Capturing Aisha (Montreal Mirror: September 2011)

Catalina Martin-Chico (BJP: August 2011)

Tyler Hicks : Gaddafi Family Album (NYT Lens: August 2011)

JR (The Atlantic: 2011)

Jared Soares (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Pete Brook (thoughtsonphotography: September 2011)

Articles

9/11 related articles… I particularly enjoyed reading and looking at this one from TIME Lightbox…

photo: Jonathan Torgovnik

TIME Lightbox: 9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most (TIME LB: September 2011)

How magazines picked their 9/11 anniversary covers…

NYT: Magazine Covers on a Topic Known All Too Well (NYT: September 2011) 9/11

NPR: Sept. 11 Through The Eyes Of VII, Magnum And Life (NPR: September 2011)

Guardian: 9/11 anniversary: photographers recall day of horror (Guardian: September 2011)

New York Times: The Reckoning: America and the World a Decade After 9/11 (NYT: September 2011

Thomas Hoepker: I Took That 9/11 Photo (Slate: 2006) Photographer Thomas Hoepker on Frank Rich’s column, and why he thought his picture was too “confusing” to publish in 2001.

David Campbell: September 11, 2001: Imaging the real, struggling for meaning (DC blog: September 2011)

Alan Chin: Pushpins on a calendar (BagNewsNotes: September 2011)

Chris Floyd: The 9/11 Patriotic American Road Trip (Photographer’s Blog: September 2011)

Peta Pixel: How Photographers’ Rights Have Eroded Since September 11th (Peta Pixel: 2011)

Other articles…

photo: David Alan Harvey

Ideas Tap: Magnum: Advice for young photographers – part 2 (Ideas Tap: September 2011)

UK Photographer’s Rights (Amateur Photographer: September 2011)

The Observer New Review’s monthly guide to the 20 best photographic exhibitions and books…includes a shout-out to Luc Delahaye at Tate Modern..only three prints on show though (installation shot I took with my phone when I visited the show in August)…I enjoyed them…

Jenin Refugee Camp, 2001. Luc Delahaye.  From the exhibition New Documentary Forms at Tate Modern, London…worth a visit also for Mitch Epstein’s American Power…not so keen on the other three…

The Observer: The Month in Photography September 2011

NY Daily News: To honor slain photojournalist Tim Hetherington, fellow photog opens docu-film gallery in Bronx (NY Daily News: September 2011)

Reportage by Getty Images: Tom Stoddart shoots the ICRC  ’Health Care in Danger’ campaign

Photo Stories: Webdoc Favourites (photo-stories-org: 2011)

BJP: Photographers’ Gallery delays reopening until 2012

BJP: Photojournalism award launched in tribute to fallen photographer Lucas Dolega

BJP: Guillaume Herbaut and Bruno Masi win the Web Documentary Award at Visa Pour l’Image

Magnum: Steve McCurry Wins First Leica Hall Of Fame Award  (Magnum: 2011)

New Statesman:  The ambiguous art of Taryn Simon (New Statesman: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Oded Balilty (Guardian: August 2011)

Verve: Stuart Freedman (Verve Photo: September 2011)

Verve: Pete Marovich (Verve Photo: September 2011)

Pete Kiehart: Once: A New Magazine Model (Photo Brigade: September 2011)

BJP: Fujifilm commits to instant photography (BJP: September 2011)

Agency Access: Agency Access Acquires ADBASE and FoundFolios to Become Most Robust Photo Marketing and Illustrator Marketing Resource

10 Famous Street Photography Quotes You Must Know (Erik Kim Photography blog: September 2011)

Pulitzer-winning photojournalist resigns rather than lay off staff

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

UNICEF Pictures of the Year Award 2011 (link to PDF)

Five finalists for the inaugural Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant

Tracy Baran Award : $5000 grant for an emerging US female photographer

Congrats to all this year’s Foam Magazine Talents…

photo: Ivor Prickett

Foam Magazine Talents 2011

Royal Photographic Society : Annual Awards 2011

Guardian Student Media Awards shortlisted

Click About It

Books

Kate Brooks: In The Light Of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11

Conversations with Photographers (Conscientious)

Out November 1…

VII: Questions Without Answers 

Ken Jarecke: Husker Game Day – Farewell Big 12 

burn 02

The Family by Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Crowd Funding

Laura El-Tantawy just launched an Emphas.is crowd funding campaign to help her continue her work in Egypt…go and have a look…

Laura El-Tantawy: In the Shadow of the Pyramids (Emphas.is)

Agencies

VII September 2011 newsletter

Shell Shock Pictures

24Productions

Events

British Journal of Photography : ‘From stills to moving images’ at The Social on Monday 26 September, at Barrio Central, Poland Street, London W1F 8PS

Exhibitions

“If I don’t photograph it, it won’t become known.” Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus : At War : Berlin : 10 September – 4 December 2011

Chris Floyd: 140 Characters  : Host Gallery : 3 November – 17 November 2011 : press release

Photographers

Pamela Chen

Robert Nickelsberg

Patrick Smith

Diana Markosian

Conor O’Leary

Magda Rakita

Videos

Danfung Dennis’ film Hell and Back Again opening in US theaters on Oct 5…

Hell and Back Again Trailer

C.J Chivers, Andre Liohn: Lethal Lessons in Misurata (NYT: 2011)

Aperture education Youtube channel

Workshops

Magnum Photos workshop Munich, 10-14 Oct with Pellegrin, Dworzak & Anderson

Jobs

Open Society Institute : Exhibition Coordinator

Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University

To finish off…

I was reading Finnish magazine Kuukausiliite this morning which had an article about Google Street View along with some photos by artist Jon Rafman… Noticed one of the images was similar to one by Mishka Henner…Looks like Henner and Rafman have used the same Google Street View frame for these two…

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Features and Essays 

From Newsweek, or should I say Daily Beast….Russia’s far-right groups on the rise…photos by TIME contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev…

Yuri Kozyrev: Russian Hate (Newsweek: August 2011)

John Moore: Somalia (Life.com: August 2011)

Todd Heisler’s been keeping busy…He too has been to Somalia…

Todd Heisler: Waging War in Somalia, a Country in Chaos (NYT: August 2011)

But also Norway…Do listen to his comments also…

Todd Heisler: Loss and Healing in Norway (NYT: August 2011)

More on Somalia crisis…

Sven Torfinn: Somali refugee camps in Kenya (Guardian: August 2011)

Brendan Bannon: Dadaab Refugee Camp (Boston Globe Big Picture: August 2011)

Francisco Zizola: Northern Kenya (MSNBC: August 2011) Zizola’s comments

Libya…

Francesco Giusti: In Case of Loss (TIME: July 2011) Giusti’s site

New York Times: Battle of Libya gallery

Paul Moakley: An All-Boys Roman Catholic School on Staten Island (NYT Lens: August 2011) Moakley’s site

Maureen Drennan: On a California Farm Where Marijuana  (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Irving Penn: Radical Beauty (TIME LB: August 2011)

Katie Orlinsky: Mexico’s Drug War, Feminized (NYT: August 2011)

Murray Ballard: Frozen in Time (BBC: August 2011)

Teun Voeten: Narco Estado (Magnum Emergency Fund: 2011) Juarez, Mexico

Stephanie Sinclair: Bihar State India (Phaidon blog: August 2011)

Thomas Hoepker: Views of a Vanished Country (TIME LB: August 2011)

Ernst Haas: Color Corrections (TIME LB: August 2011)

Mustafah Abdulaziz: On the Road, Embracing the Distance (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Lauren Lancaster: UAE (New Yorker: August 2011)

George Steinmetz: Picturing the American Drought (TIME LB: August 2011)

Sylvia Plachy: The Pageant Winner (NYT Mag: August 2011)

Matt Lutton: Balkanization (PDN Photo of the Day: August 2011)

Kadir van Lohuizen: Working for a Family Far Away (NOOR: August 2011)

Jocelyn Bain Hogg: Britain’s Discontent (New Yorker: August 2011)

Ed Smith: On These Isles (Photographer’s website: August 2011)

Gethyn Rees: Business on Migingo (Foto8: August 2011)

Lucy Clemence and Darren Karl-Smith: Anarchy in the UK (Purple.fr: 2011)

Maggie Steber: Madje has Dementia (AARP.org: August 2008) via @wemarijnissen

Interviews

Elliott Erwitt (NPR: August 2011)

Paolo Pellegrin (Wayne Ford Posterous: August 2011)

Martin Parr (Vignette Magazine: August 2011)

Bruce Gilden (Viceland: 2011)

Danny Lyon (northernarizonanews: February 2011)

Amanda Rivkin (NG radio: August 2011)

Jonathan Worth (Hungry Eye: August 2011)

Jussi Leinonen (NYT Lens: August 2011) Leinonen’s site

Articles 

photo: Anastasia Taylor-Lind

Guardian: The month in photography (Guardian: August 2011)

Guardian: Luc Delahaye turns war photography into an uncomfortable art (Guardian: August 2011)

Leon Neal: London Riots (Photographer’s blog: August 2011)

LA Weekly: David Strick, Celebrity Photographer, Suing L.A. Times For Publishing His Photos After he Left The Paper (LA Weekly: 2011)

The Jewish Chronicle: Ernst Haas: the Mad Men’s favourite photographer (Thejc.com: 2011)

Newsweek: Jerome Liebling: Chronicler of the Streets (Newsweek: August 2011)

Frenobee.com: Lenses shield 9/11 photogs as they capture history (Fresnobee.com: August 2011)

Thames&Hudson blog: Magnum Contact Sheets – Commissioning #2 (T&H blog: August 2011)

Poynter: AP, Google offer scholarships to digital journalism students

Seattle Times: White House Photo Of Dover Ceremony Sparks Controversy 

Guardian: Photographer Murray Ballard’s Best Shot (Guardian: August 2011)

Guardian: Photographer Adoplhus Opara’s Best Shot (Guardian: August 2011)

Amateur Photographer: Ian Berry at Berlin Wall (AP: August 2011)

Verve: Stuart Matthews (Verve: August 2011)

Verve: Eric Michael Johnson (Verve: August 2011)

The Best Street Photograph Ever  (sevensevennine.com: 2011)

photo: Kevin Carter

30 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs From The Last 30 Years (buzzfeed.com: 2011) via @yunghi

BJP: Bringing crowdfunding to book publishing

BJP: BBC caught in Twitter copyright row 

BJP: Apple’s MacBook Air v. iPad 2: which is better for professional photographers?

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

photo: Tamas Dezso

Winners of the 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards

BJP International Photography Award 

People’s Choice : Summershow 2011

multiMediaHungry Eye Magazine

Talks - ”Aesthetics have no place in photographing famine” with David Campbell & Jon Levy August 18 on OPEN-i

Collectives – MJR : Weekly Collection 94

ServicesBob Books

Books

Questions Without Answers, a 368pp book featuring 20 yrs of world history by the VII photographers, will be published by Phaidon November 1.

Independent : Seba Kurtis: Drowned review

Photographers

Maureen Drennan

Mustafah Abdulaziz

James Mollison

Tessa Bunney

Lorenzo Meloni

Richard Sandler

Jobs

MediaStorm : Operations and Social Media Manager

Magnum Photos NY is hiring a Print Sales Manager

AP photo editor position open in Cairo

The New Yorker is seeking autumn multimedia intern : email kristina_budelis@newyorker.com  or DM @dbudelis

Fast Company is looking for an intern

Red Eye is looking for a part time Events Co-ordinator based in Manchester

To finish off…

Youarenotaphotographer

and…

Stasi fashion via msnbc photoblog

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