Thirty Minutes With Magnum Photographer Josef Koudelka

julius motal the phoblographer josef koudelka

I was standing with a group of street photographers at a bus stop in Istanbul when an old man sauntered up to us to ask for directions. “That’s Josef Koudelka,” said one of our group and we collectively froze the moment we turned to look. There he was, the photographer in exile, Magnum member since ’71, author of GypsiesExiles and more. He looked as though he had just gotten back from an expedition, the pockets of his vest stuffed with papers and his one-of-a-kind Leica S2 hanging off his shoulder. For all of us standing there, he’s an icon, and for 30 minutes, we helped him find his way. Koudelka was in Istanbul for a presentation at FotoIstanbul, an annual photo festival, and he was due to present new work – a series of 145 black-and-white panoramas of Greek and Roman ruins in Turkey.

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Pierre Belhassen’s Photography Explores Relationships Between Cities

julius motal pierre belhassen NYCcol054ter copie

All photographs are copyrighted and used with permission by Pierre Belhassen.

“In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few.” -Shunryu Suzuki “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”

This mindset characterizes Marseilles-based photographer Pierre Belhassen‘s approach to photography. While he has been photographing for quite some time, he recognizes that he has so much more to learn, and that frees him to make the images he wants to, and in many ways has to, make. His images often have a certain quietude that draws you in and keeps you there. He finds tranquil moments in urban chaos, whether it’s in New York City’s subway system or a street in one of Istanbul’s bustling neighborhoods, and they leave you looking for more.

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Letting Go of Technical Precision in Photographs

julius motal the phoblographer two weeks in new york 08

As the plane touched down in JFK, I felt something stir. There was an inexorable push to jet out of the plane, camera in hand, to photograph my city, despite my exhaustion from a 12-hour flight. I’d spent nearly half a year living abroad, which is just a blip in the grand scheme of things, but it was enough time to reframe my mind visually. I couldn’t necessarily anticipate how I would see New York, but I had a feeling that the images I would be making would be different than the ones I made before I moved to Istanbul.

Living abroad has freed me from technical precision in my personal work. Before I left home, my camera was like a ball and chain around my ankle. If I left the house without it, I’d have a panic attack, and I’d usually backpedal home to fetch it, fearing what happen if I missed a photograph because my camera was elsewhere. This was before I realized the photographic potential my phone had. Back then, if I didn’t make it with my camera, I wouldn’t keep it because I felt it wasn’t serious enough.

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Pleasantly Chaotic: Photographing Gypsy Weddings with Arjen Zwart

Wedding party - Alemdar 2003

Wedding party – Alemdar 2003

All images are copyrighted Arjen Zwart, and are being used with permission.

The music could be heard from several blocks away. It was a comfortable volume at that distance, but as we got closer, I slid two earplugs in that would serve as my saving grace. Children in mismatched clothes ran all over the side street as a tight circle of Roma men and women danced in a circle around the bride and groom. The music was a Gypsy spin on popular tunes, and it barreled out of the speakers with the intensity of a thunderstorm. The earplugs were wisely suggested by Arjen Zwart, a Dutch photographer who invited me to this brilliantly colorful and very loud ceremony of Gypsy matrimony. He had a pair of earplugs, too, that he only removed when a Roma he knew leaned in to talk with him.

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ISO 400: Sarah Pannell Talks About Projects in Other Countries

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All images are copyrighted Sarah Pannell, and are used with permission.

In this episode of ISO 400, we hear from Sarah Pannell, a documentary photographer from Australia. She shoots primarily in color and with a wide perspective, and she manages to keep her images clean and uncluttered.

She just had her first book published. It’s called “Şehir” (Sheh-hear), and it looks at the transition Istanbul has been going through. Her photography’s taken her to a number of countries, where she’s worked on projects and forged friendships with other photographers.

In this episode, she talks about publishing her first book, working in the US, Hong Kong and Turkey and more.

As always, our music is provided by Yuki Futami.

For more of Sarah’s work, check out her website and follow her on Instagram @sarahpannell. Her book Şehir is available here. A selection of her work and the episode is below.

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Alex Wroblewski: In the Heat of Protest Photography

Alex Wroblewski.

Alex Wroblewski.

All images used with permission by Alex Wroblewski. Lead image by the author.

The crowd gathered at the intersection with their flags raised. The main road led down to the center of town marked by a bull statue where police vans and water cannons were stationed quietly, waiting for the slightest indication to act. It was the one-year anniversary of the death of Berkin Elvan, a young boy in Turkey who fell into a long a coma ten months earlier after a tear gas canister struck his head. His visage has become one of the symbols of collective unrest in Istanbul since the Gezi Park protests two years ago. Alex Wroblewski and I were standing with our cameras ready about 100 feet from the crowd. We were about to leave when several protesters, some in Guy Fawkes mask and others in black scarves, broke off from the main group and marched down the main road towards the police.

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Zack Arias Declares DSLR to be Dead in a New Video

A while ago, Zack Arias did his own review of the Fujifilm X100s. And he loved it so much. He is now being featured in a brand new video from Fujifilm Middle East where he declares the same thing. Overall, the video has some wonderful photos from Arias, though some of them aren’t his strongest work. Some of the video work during the day isn’t the best either in the opening footage while the rest is positively beautiful. The video is worth a look to see what he captured while in Istanbul.

We also reviewed the X100s, and even though we found a couple of cons with the camera, we overall still declared it to also be quite excellent. However, we’re not quite ready to say that the DSLR is dead yet.