Reportage

Posts Tagged ‘War’

A Small Selection Of Testimonials

In Ethics, Photography, Photography News, Workshop News on August 14, 2018 at 5:29 PM

Caption: Photoshop is “OK” but undeniable magic is experienced when a confluence of moment, aesthetic, light and emotion is delivered to the photographer in the form of a poetic photograph by the universe.

Join us in Havana for our upcoming photography workshop this November. Click here for further details.

 

Below is a small selection of testimonials from former participants who have attended Reportage Photography Workshops.

“For me, the Kathmandu workshop has been an unforgettable and very inspiring event in my life. Now after one week, looking back, I have only one word to summarize this experience: … wowww!!! It was a pleasure and honour to participate. Apart from the very professional instructions and guidance on photography from Jack and Stephen, it was amazing to discover that it is not only a great photo that counts but also the passion, vision, social/cultural involvement and messages of a great person behind all the work that was shared with us”.

Merci beaucoup!

Steven Van der Kruit

“Would I advise friends to do this workshop? YES

Would I do it again?

YES overseas to live a different experience and see a new place

Did I get out of the class what I expected?

YES, a lot more than what I expected.”

Andrea Francolini

“I had a very enjoyable time at the workshop and feel that I accomplished what I set out for – that is to hone my skills, learn new skills and become better able to take pictures of life here.  It was a wonderful experience and I think I took some of the best pictures that I have ever taken, so I’m completely chuffed”.

Luke Stephens

“Just wanted to say a big thank you to Jack for saying and insisting, “what’s your narrative about – tell me – I want to know”. To David for pushing me to explore things and persisting when I had a mini-crisis about it. To Steve for your artistic sensibility, sharing of your work and for questioning the suitcase shot. To Ed for your patience, encouragement and contemporary eyes for things. I was lucky to be part of it.”

Cim Sears

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop experience. All four mentors offered sensitivity, encouragement and insight and were able to see the possibility of my work and push me to my strengths. Even though the critiques were casual the comments were direct and informed. After each critique, the bar was set that bit higher, as a consequence I was pushed into unfamiliar territory and subsequently into getting more interesting shots. The mantras “1 in 15” and “you don’t know until you go” keep me shooting and persisting. As a result, I built my confidence, resilience and stoked my photographic fire.

Skye

 “I have to say that I really enjoyed the week (even though it was hard work!) and felt that my photographic eye and technique improved significantly…I benefited greatly from the session with Jack and Steve in putting together my final selection for the showing on the final day – and the group praise from the panel afterwards was reassuring.”

Kieron Crawley

 ‘’I think what the Workshop is doing great is to give a different perspective to those pictures we “usually see without seeing”… and this is great and very refreshing! And also the Workshop has 100% fulfilled its expectations for me in terms of “inspiring people”! Great job!

I learnt a lot from the workshop, a totally new experience and can’t wait to go in the street taking pictures again.’’

Cecile Ducreux

 “Don’t miss the opportunity of learning photography with Jack Picone. He is a unique combination of professional photographer, local guide, and best friend. Work at your own pace. Have Jack review your images on a daily basis, discuss your shots in-depth, or shoot eight hours a day. He will let you know what to look for in a scene and be able to gain access into intimate situations. Jack is a photojournalist on a Magnum and National Geographic level with a passion for teaching. Take your photography to the next level and enjoy a memorable travel experience too.”

Jeffrey Jue

“Without a doubt the most inspiring six days I’ve ever experienced. I was inspired to develop my own style and to follow what I believe to be true to me, and more importantly, to go out and have fun! Thanks again for a fantastic six days. I went out to Kings Cross and I’m confident I’ve taken some of my best shots for my project immediately following the workshop… oh! and I’m shooting in film now. That’s how influential Jack, Stephen was, to the point of experimenting with a different medium”.

Ian Flanders

“The Reportage Photography Workshop” was an extremely valuable experience. It was an immense help to me to hear Jack and Steve both talk about their work, the changing world of photojournalism, and what it takes to be a photographer in this day and age. Not only that but their expert advice in relation to photographic techniques, equipment and critique was immensely beneficial. It was also a great opportunity to meet other talented photographers during the workshop. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone with the desire to extend their documentary/photojournalism photography. It was a very inspiring few days.”

Zoe Morley

 I attended the Sydney Workshop even though I don’t necessarily want to specialise in photojournalism. I found that the learning was applicable across all photographic disciplines. I came away with more knowledge and confidence about framing, composition and storytelling – what makes a great shot. But possibly the greatest thing I took away from the workshops was inspiration. To hear the stories and see the pictures made by world-class photographers like Jack Picone and Stephen Dupont renewed my energy to shoot and my passion for photography. The range of other presentations from legends of the industry like Tim Page and others only value-added and widened the appeal and scope for me. I found Picone and Dupont to be frank and honest in their critique of my work and yet sufficiently gentle in their suggestions and friendly nature not to crush my spirit.  I’ve found it very difficult to get honest and considered feedback on my photography over the years – but I found it at the workshops. I would encourage anyone who was thinking about attending one of their workshops to do so.  The more you put into it, the more you’ll get back.”

Tim Anger

 “This was an excellent workshop, with some outstanding international photographers coming in to show us their work, and to tell us their story. It was very inspiring. For me the best part was absolutely the critique of the images being taken, as it is very hard to get good honest critique, and to have the photos that you have just taken really given a working over was a very good experience and offered good insight into what other people are looking at and experiencing with the photos. The theme of photographing ‘Hope’ was also very interesting, as this was the first time I had been given such an assignment, and it was very helpful to see the thought processes that I went through.

“At 21 I was probably the youngest person in the workshop, possibly with the least experience, but this was no barrier; everyone was equal, everyone has constructive criticism, everyone had a story to tell, it was really lovely being in such a group. Given the opportunity, I would not hesitate to recommend this on to others, or to participate in the workshop again.”

Mitchell Mathieson

“The workshop was a chance to get up close and personal with two (Picone and Dupont) outstanding members of the professional photographic community as well as the guest presenters who were all amazing in their own right. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet, discuss and interact with the other students in an open forum. I will be using my experience as a foundation for my photographic style which will no doubt benefit from the valuable guidance I received”.

David Gross

 “I shot a lot of photos and I gained enormous insight into the editing process in regard to how to tell various stories from the one body of work. I also greatly appreciated the guidance in refining my shooting techniques. The relaxed environment was surprisingly conducive to learning and the opportunity to listen in on critique sessions of other participants was particularly insightful”.

Trish Macris

“For me, the Sydney workshop was really valuable, not only in the obvious ways but also in the quiet moments of conversation, discussions and image reviews.  Spending time with photographers actually successful in their vocation was something that made it all very tangible. It was truly valuable to see portfolios of work by high quality, significant photographers and their personal commentary as they presented their own work…  Stephen’s work on PNG and increasing focus on the anthropological aspect of his art,  Jack’s work on the Thai-Burma border and pearls of wisdom throughout the week, Tim Page’s extraordinary body of work during the Vietnam war, and documenting the impact of agent orange since then.  I found the reviews of my own work and the work of my colleagues really helpful. Tim Page’s brutally frank reviews were really helpful and an eye-opener.  Jack’s thoughtful insight into what makes a good and interesting photograph resonated deeply.  Stephen’s eye and holistic view when it came to image selection, editing and presentation were excellent.  I came away with a great appreciation and respect for the photographers we spent time with and more clarity for my own path ahead.”

Kate Baker

‘I learned a lot. The shooting assignment was a brilliant idea… scary, but brilliant. Not only did it provide a platform to be critiqued by Jack and Steve, but I personally felt really encouraged to push myself. I found Jack and Steve’s passion for photography, encouragement and aiming for excellence very contagious. Having additional visiting photographers share their stories as well as just being really inspired by the creative energy of the other participants in the workshop all around made for a great week. I think I was on a high all week… I thoroughly recommend it!!’

“A”

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Exclusive book signing at Ballarat International Foto Biennale, August 22.

In Photography News on August 11, 2015 at 5:30 AM

Stephen Dupont will be signing copies of his new book published by Steidl titled Generation AK: The Afghanistan Wars 1993 – 2012. This will be a first time signing of the book. Go along to the Art Gallery of Ballarat on Saturday August 22nd between 2pm and 3pm to purchase books. Stephen will also have some of the last limited edition copies of Piksa Niugini available and more of his books. 1510687_117759638564598_746103430785015757_nAlso Stephen and myself are taking bookings for our next workshop event in Havana, Cuba Dec 6th – 11th. Click here  for further details.  All enquires to jack@jackpicone.com and stephendupont@bigpond.com

 

Al Jazeera Magazine | War Veterans | August 2014

In Photography News on August 3, 2014 at 5:17 AM

Reflections of a war photographer.

© Words and photos by Jack Picone
jack@jackpicone.com

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I have never felt more intensely alive than I did in the moments before I was certain I was about to die.

This is how war can make you feel.

War. Even the word is ominous.

People sometimes assume that photographers go to war zones because they are adrenaline junkies. This was not the case for me. Obviously, war zones can be adrenaline-charged places, and by helping you to think clearly when faced with danger, that adrenaline can keep you alive. But my motivation for documenting war has been more layered and nuanced than a need to feed some adrenalin craving or an inclination towards voyeurism – another accusation sometimes directed at war photographers.

In my experience, people rarely do extreme things for a singular reason. And willingly entering a war zone is an extreme thing to do. My grandfather had fought in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War and I’d read extensively on the topic; all of which had helped to form the nagging question in my own mind of whether I had the resourcefulness and courage to document such events. At the time I was a staff photographer on a major daily Australian newspaper; a job I found repetitive and unchallenging. So, when the picture editor of that paper asked its 20 staff photographers whether any would be interested in covering the first Iraq War, my response was immediate. I was the only one to say ‘yes’.

But my first war proved anticlimactic as my time in Baghdad was short-lived. I was arrested by Iraqi secret police for transmitting photographs of Iraqi troops crossing the border into Kuwait, put on an empty plane and deported to Jordan.

My first ‘real’ war experience came some after, and it couldn’t have been more different. The Nagorno-Karabakh War had been raging in Armenia since the mid-1980s. I arrived in 1992, aged around 30 and ready to answer the question I’d carried around with me for years: could I keep my head, literally and metaphorically, as I documented an exchange of gunfire between warring soldiers?

I was making my way towards Armenian soldiers positioned in trenches by the side of a mountain when I got my answer. The mountain suddenly reverberated with the sound of gunfire and exploding mortar shells. Ink-blot black clouds snaked their way eerily towards the sky. A shallow hole – a perfect ready-made grave – provided my only cover from the incoming bullets and cluster bombs. I remember thinking as I lay there, that while this was too picturesque a place to be the scene of war, it was certainly a beautiful place to die.

Then I looked up and saw an Armenian soldier signal for me to run to him. His trench was only about 80m away, but that short run seemed to go on forever. I took some shrapnel in the lower back and head but I was alive. My heart pounded, adrenaline surged through my body and I felt that kind of affirming, edifying euphoria that comes with escaping death.

On reflection, I can conservatively estimate that I should have been killed at least five times over by now: once at the hands of a mob in Rwanda, another time in southern Sudan, when a Sudanese government soldier put his pistol to my temple and screamed that he was going to pull the trigger. On both occasions, only a chance intervention helped me cheat death.

I have worked in some of the most dangerous places on the planet: Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Gaza Strip, Israel, Soviet Central Asia and the former Yugoslavia. It could be argued that most of these were unconventional wars, where armed groups and rebel factions took each other on and where it was possible for a photographer to cover both – or indeed multiple – sides of the conflict. Far from being embedded with one side or the other, as you might in Iraq or Afghanistan, a photographer in less structured conflicts can cross enemy lines, evading censorship and propaganda. But these wars also pose their own challenges – leaving you open to accusations of spying and making it much easier to ‘disappear’.

During many of the African conflicts I covered, photographers and journalists were killed at roadblocks by bored soldiers, who were often stoned, drunk or both. It’s no mystery why they were targeted. War photographers can carry more money and equipment than a rebel soldier in an underfunded rag-tag army can hope to earn in years.

Having escaped death several times, I gained a new-found confidence that I could document the ‘bang bang’, as seasoned war photographers sometimes refer to it, and stay alive. But with this came the realisation that documenting war really ought to involve more than simply photographing soldiers. What seemed exponentially more important was telling the stories of the innocent people – the children, women and elderly men – caught in its crossfire. I shifted my focus from the frontlines to the ordinary people on the edges of war.

Apart from the inbuilt danger of working in a war zone, photographing war is a philosophical, emotional, ethical and moral minefield (pun intended). On many occasions, I have found myself questioning what I was documenting. But the decision about whether or not to press the shutter has to be made in a micro-second and is fraught with responsibility.

I haven’t always made the right choice. During the famine in Somalia in 1992, I photographed an infant cradled in the arms of an aid worker. “You can stop taking pictures now Jack,” the nurse told me in her thick Irish accent. “The baby just died.” The thought that the last thing that child saw was me photographing it, has haunted me ever since. The fact that the aid agency had asked me to photograph them at work in order to help publicise the desperate plight of the Somali people offered no consolation. I was inconsolable.

A photographer has a role to play in a war zone: to bear witness, to make the invisible visible, the unheard heard and to create a visual history. For me, these tenets have acted as a filter for all but the most horrific situations I have encountered in the theatre of war. But the emotional torment often followed me home. In denial, I told myself, my friends and my family that I was unaffected by what I saw. But then the nightmares began. The emotional hangover from witnessing and documenting violence too dark to describe exacted its toll. I self-medicated with alcohol and drugs, which only worsened my problems. I still haven’t come to terms with what I’ve witnessed, but I have stopped trying to use substances to control my emotions and am instead simply trying to co-exist with the discord.

War is many things, most of them barbaric. But what disturbs me most about it is its repetitiveness: the same play, just with a new cast. That being said, nothing seems more important to me than documenting the plight of those caught up in it. Right at this very moment, human beings are frenetically killing each other in countries across the world. All we can really do is bear witness; to hold up a mirror to man’s inhumanity to man in the scant hope that future generations will succeed where we have so conclusively failed and break the cycle.

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Note: You can download the Al Jazeera App — for free — to view and read Part 1, in its entirety. I really recommend downloading the App for a dynamic experience including still image galleries, moving 3D images and brilliant layout.
Click here to download the latest issue via iTunes: aje.me/magazine and on Android devices: aje.me/ajemagazine 
Compatible with iPhone (5, 5S and 5C), Android tablets and phones.

BIO:

Jack Picone is an Australian, Bangkok-based photojournalist and documentary photographer who has been covering war zones since the early 1990s. He has travelled from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and multiple countries on the African continent documenting the fall-out from war.

Documentary Photographer Jack Picone Interviewed In Vice Magazine

In Photography News on August 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM

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 Photograph: Jack Picone at work in Bangkok during Thailand’s political discord in 2010.

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                                  Angolan civil war © Photograph by Jack Picone

Documentary photographer Jack Picone interviewed by Vice Magazine Jack  about working in the short term in conflict zones and working in the long term as a documentary photographer on social issue based subjects. Read the full Q & A here.

I Am A Sniper by Ed Giles

In Photography News on December 9, 2012 at 3:09 AM

“The Martyrs of Truth”

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                                                                                                                                  © Photographs by Ed Giles

View this compelling (and at times chilling) report by  Ed Giles  who recently joined Syrian rebels fighting for the Free Syrian Army as they venture into Aleppo’s no-man’s land. The unit’s senior fighter Anas (who Ed’s report largely centers around) leads around 50 men, called Shuhada e-haq, or “The Martyrs of Truth”. Yet to be known, Anas will become a casualty of war. Having personally been on the receiving end of a sniper’s delivery in various conflicts, and witnessing the violence and horror of their work, Giles’ report resonates with me. This report affords a view (rarely seen) and communicates an understanding of the motivations underpinning a snipers deadly work.

Please View here:

Jack Picone

War Photographer

In Ethics on August 12, 2011 at 4:04 AM

War Photographer

In his darkroom he is finally alone
with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
The only light is red and softly glows,
as though this were a church and he
a priest preparing to intone a Mass.
Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.
He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays
beneath his hands which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England. Home again
to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel,
to fields which don’t explode beneath the feet
of running children in a nightmare heat.
Something is happening. A stranger’s features
faintly start to twist before his eyes,
a half-formed ghost. He remembers the cries
of this man’s wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must
and how the blood stained into foreign dust.
A hundred agonies in black-and-white
from which his editor will pick out five or six
for Sunday’s supplement. The reader’s eyeballs prick
with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers.
From  an aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns a living and they do not care.
 

 War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy  

Meditation On The Death Of A Hero

In Photography News on June 3, 2011 at 4:21 AM

An insightful, thought-provoking and beautifully written piece on conflict photography by  Melanie Light. It centres around the recent demise of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros both killed while covering the ongoing political turmoil in Libya.

Curiously enough, I had just had a conversation with a very talented young multimedia journalist who is being seduced by the powerful current that is war photography. I was imparting to him the acute danger associated with covering conflict and asking him to question the true worth of it, to himself, family and friends.

My animated and at times passionate delivery to him, heavily laden with reasons why not to go down this particular path, felt somewhat hypocritical as it left my lips.

Sadly, I could see my rhetoric was not reaching its mark.

Jack

War: A Book By Degree South

In Photography News on April 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Jon Levy editor of Foto8 reviews War: A Degree South Collection #1 (from Issue 27 of 8 Magazine).

°SOUTH also called ‘Degree South’, is a photographic collective of Australia’s most creative and award-winning documentary photographers who have covered conflicts from Vietnam to present day Afghanistan.

The contributors to War and the conflicts they cover for the book:

Tim Page – Vietnam and Laos
David Dare Parker – East Timor and Indonesia
Ben Bohane – Burma, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Kenya, Tibet, Solomon Islands, West Papua
Stephen Dupont – Afghanistan, Angola, East Timor, Palestine, Rwanda
Jack Picone – Angola, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan
Michael Coyne – Iran
Ashley Gilbertson – Iraq
Sean Flynn – Vietnam (Honourary Member & Absent Friend)


MPLA Government soldiers attack  and shoot a young unarmed Angolan man who refused forceful conscription by Government soldiers, 1993 Angola.  © Photographs by Jack Picone

“Restrepo” director Tim Hetherington killed in Libya

In Photography News on April 20, 2011 at 11:26 PM

I have just received the sad and shocking news that Tim Hetherington has been killed on assignment in Libya.

Tim was working with Chris Hondros when they took mortar fire on Tripoli Street, the main thoroughfare leading into the center of Misrata.

It is now confirmed that Chris has died as well.

Tim was a friend and colleague.

Rest in peace Tim and Chris.

Please view the Reuters account of this tragic event.

Jack