World Press Photo 2017: al Palazzo delle Esposizioni il meglio del fotogiornalismo

Visitare una mostra di fotogiornalismo è già di per sé un’esperienza molto forte, farlo all’interno di uno degli spazi più belli e affascinanti della Capitale aggiunge alla sostanza anche la forma. Il World Press Photo anche quest’anno torna a Roma: 45 fotografi, provenienti da 25 Paesi differenti, mettono in mostra il meglio del fotogiornalismo dell’anno passato, attraverso otto categorie: dalla cronaca allo sport, dalla natura alla vita quotidiana, mostrandoci non solo una galleria di immagini sensazionali, ma un vero e proprio documento storico che permette al pubblico di rivivere in prima persona alcuni eventi cruciali del nostro tempo.

Ci si avventura così in un percorso di storie ed immagini, un microcosmo in cui le barriere culturali e linguistiche vengono abbattute a favore di un altissimo e senza dubbio immediato livello di comunicazione. Impossibile non soffermarsi sulle scale della prigione di Quazon City, con i detenuti ancor più costipati dallo scatto di Noel Celis. Si prosegue osservando il reportage del New York Times realizzato da Daniel Berehulak, They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals, che mette al centro del suo sguardo la violenza dilagante per la guerra al narcotraffico tra le strade delle Filippine. Continuiamo a camminare, saltando in pochi metri dal Sud-est asiatico all’Iran, agli Stati Uniti, dove ci possiamo intrufolare nella quotidianità di Table Rock, un paesino del Nebraska (neanche 300 abitanti) raccontato dalle immagini di Markus Jokela. E ancora, i neonati brasiliani affetti da microcefalia sono mostrati in bianco e nero attraverso l’incredibile sensibilità di Lalo de Almeida, per non parlare di una Pietà di Michelangelo aggiornata ai nostri tempi, in Afghanistan, grazie ad un impressionante scatto di Paula Bronstein.

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Ciò che balza immediatamente agli occhi davanti a tutte queste immagini è la straordinaria invisibilità del fotografo: più volte è facile domandarsi come abbia fatto l’autore a trovarsi in un determinato punto senza essere notato dai protagonisti delle sue fotografie. Un’invisibilità che permette allo spettatore di trovarsi catapultato al centro della scena, sul sedile posteriore di un taxi cubano o su una barca di profughi, nel Mediterraneo. Quando invece questa invisibilità viene meno, c’è magari qualcuno che guarda dritto in obiettivo, lasciando andare tutto il suo terrore e riempiendo l’immagine di una potenza ancora più dirompente, come per esempio nello scatto di Laurent Van der Stockt, in cui una bambina si trova fuori dalla sua abitazione durante una perquisizione delle forze speciali irachene.

Si arriva infine alla foto dell’anno (scelta nella categoria Spot News Stories), realizzata ad Ankara dal fotografo Burhan Ozbilici, che mostra l’uccisione dell’ambasciatore russo in Turchia, Andrei Karlov, da parte del poliziotto turco Mevlut Mert Altintas durante l’inaugurazione di una mostra d’arte: un’immagine che lo scorso dicembre ha fatto il giro del mondo per la sua incredibile ed immediata potenza visiva.

Sarà possibile visitare la mostra al Palazzo delle Esposizioni da venerdì 28 aprile fino al 28 maggio. Semplicemente imperdibile.

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Milagros Caturla, the spanish Vivian Maier

In 2001 an american tourist from Seattle, Tom Sponheim, went to Barcelona with his wife. In a flea market next to La Sagrada Familia he found a stack of negatives on a table. Tom took a look at them and he saw that they were well exposed, so he bought the envelope with the film for 3.50 dollars. Once at home in the States, he tried to scan a random picture and it was a very good sample of street photography: a young girl behind a bench where two old ladies are talking. But Tom understood to be in front a master of photography when he found another amazing picture with three priests walking near the Cathedral.

In 2010 Tom created a Facebook Page and he reached a lot of people from Barcelona, really surprised to find their friends and relatives depicted in those pictures. But no one knew who was the author of the images. This year Begona Fernandez, an amateur photographer from Barcelona, decided to investigate in order to discover who was the mysterious photographer. After a long research, she found an old magazine with a picture already seen in the Tom’s page. The author was a woman, Milagros Caturla, 4th winner of a photography contest in 1961.

Milagros Caturla died in 2008, suffering from Alzheimer’s. She never got married and she never had children. She worked as administrative in Barcelona’s Regional Council. Lluis Caturla, Milagros’ nephew, said that she had a huge passion for photography and she also had a photo lab in her apartment in Barcelona. Now Begona want to tribute Milagros with an exhibition of her pictures: “We feel her as our Vivian Maier”.

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Photo of the day #81

Photo of the day today comes from… I don’t know where, but it’s beautiful. The photographer is the spanish Pedro Bada and this picture is the best way to begin a new week. I really like every detail in this image: the light on the wall (and on the floor), the colors and obviously the two kids, the position of their bodies and the decisive moment always underlined by Henri Cartier Bresson. This is really a great shot.

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Tram 19

My last project is finally finished… Like the last two years, I did a new “Roma Coast to Coast”, a walking trip through my city. In the first two walks I followed the track of the two lines of the roman underground, watching the different faces of my city. Last tuesday I followed the track of the most important streetcar of Rome: Tram 19: 44 stops along 14,3 kilometers. From south-east to north-west, from Centocelle to the Vatican, through Pigneto, San Lorenzo, Coppedè, Parioli and Prati. Tram 19 is the iron artery that crosses Rome: it’s the longest line of a streetcar and also the most charming one, where you can meet students, workers, romans, foreigners, artists and priests. From Piazza dei Gerani to Piazza Risorgimento, it’s been a journey between sacred and profane, among the popular Rome and the bourgeois Rome, the multiethnic Rome and the touristic Rome. Here a gallery with a selection of photos (you can see the complete gallery on my Facebook page).

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How to build your own style in photography

Today I was reading an interesting article by Eric Kim (always him, maybe it would be better for you to turn off my page and open Eric’s blog!): he suggests to combine your passions and your different interests in photography, in order to build something new and, most important, something really personal. This is a part of the last post I’ve read on Eric’s blog and I want to share it with you:

“A way you can brand yourself and make your photography stand out is to combine your outside interests. For example, Sebastiao Salgado studied economics and was horrified by how workers were being treated. He combined his passion for humanitarian work and photography to make his work unique. Saul Leiter was a painter and loved color. He shot photos that were essentially paintings (but on the streets). Richard Avedon was a portrait and commercial photographer. His favorite body of work was “In the American West” where he would connect with common folks in the streets, and shot portraits of them. Daido Moriyama was a former drug addict, and called himself a “wandering dog.” He channeled his emotion, frustration, and sense of wandering in his street photography. Personally, I studied sociology in school, and see myself less as a “street photographer” and more of a “street sociologist.” I think what makes my approach unique is how I try to use a camera as a research tool”.

I’ve studied cinema for five years at the university, so maybe for this reason I always look for a “movie inspired” scene in my pictures. And what about you? If you work in a office and you love photography maybe you can shoot a reportage about your job, or if your passion is football, you can take pictures of people wearing a football shirt (I know, it seems to be a bullshit, but it’s just an idea). So, tell me, what about you?

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Photo by Saul Leiter

 

 

Photo of the day #80

Wow. This was a prophecy or what? This amazing picture was taken in London a week before the Oscar Night and we can see a perfect mix between “La La Land” and “Moonligth”, the two movies involved in the weird and absurd ending of the night. This is a great picture, also for other reasons: the beautiful lights of this cinema and the superimposition of a taxi driver in an amazing out of focus. I really love it, I love colors, composition and the mood is really stunning. Furthermore, I can see a lot of movie references in this scene and it’s really awesome to me. Congratulations to Laura McGregor!

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Pizza and Street Photography

You can do Street Photography everywhere: this is a dogma. Last monday, for example, an inauguration party in a roman pizzeria became a good occasion to take pictures to the crowd. This kind of event is quite interesting because you can approach people without explanations (and taste good pizza as well!). Here some shots of the event. And remember: the best subject to photograph is whatever happens around your life.

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How to win “World Press Photo”

This morning it’s been announced the winner of World Press Photo 2017. Before that, french newspaper Liberation made a research to understand which kind of photos usually win this important prize. Since 1955 we have 58 Best Pictures: let’s take a look at their characteristics.

Photographer: 54 times the prize went to a man from USA or Europe, more or less a 35 year old.

Where: The most of the winning pictures were taken in Asia (17) or Middle East (11). Vietnam is the most photographed country, especially during the war. Here a map of all the places, with year and photo.

Themes: The most photographed theme is war (24 on 58), then natural catastrophes (7 on 58). In almost half ot the images of war there is a child, and in 17 images on 58 there is someone dead or that is going to die, like the famous “burning monk” in 1963 (protest images are 6 on 58).

Colors: Black and white was the only way to shoot, for more then a decade. Colors came in 1967. The ’80 were the decade of colors, but the ’90 saw a return of black and white photography.

Frame: The first winning image was also the only one in a squared frame. Usually the winning images are rectangulars and horizontals. But the last winning photo, this morning, is vertical.

World Press Photo of the Year