BOJAN'S BLOG

Photographs, words and sounds
Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Rural Routes episode on immigration in rural Canada

A new episode of Rural Routes is up!

A neglected podcast and a neglected blog. Ha! Much of my work time these days is taken up by proposal writing, negotiating, and administrative tasks. It feels a lot less productive than creating content and developing ideas on how to translate academic research into something that can be of use to people outside the university bubble. Rural Routes podcasts have certainly been one of those experiments that have exceeded any expectations I originally had. It feels good to be working on that project again.

This new episode features the work of Dr. Michael Haan from the Western University in London, Ontario on immigration in Canadian context, especially in rural Canada. Have a listen.

The photo is from a recent celebration at our friends place here in St. John’s. The amount of talent around that table is ridiculous.

A wedding…

Our good friends Katie and John were married this past Friday and I had the great pleasure of being their photographer. Classy people that they are, the whole thing was done on black and white film and it was so much fun to do, I can’t even tell you…

Bus rides, dispatches, Salgado, tomato watering robots

We recently moved our offices off campus. The move is temporary during the renovations of the alumni house. The new office, a colleague nicknamed it The Alcatraz, is sort of in the middle of nowhere. It’s not so much that it is in the middle of nowhere, but in good North American fashion you can comfortably get to it only if you have a car and we don’t. And we don’t really want one either. So now every morning I take a bus to work. It’s really no trouble at all and those 20 minutes or so became my time to read whatever I feel like reading without any interruptions. That’s how I finished reading the first issue of dispatches magazine. If you are looking for an intelligent, well written and well edited magazine dealing with global issues, this is what you want. I don’t think there is anything quite like it on the market. It’s almost more of a journal than a magazine, but most of the texts are really just good journalism. As a bonus you get a good website and interesting photography and an extensive off and on-line reading list. Check it out.

Also, on one of the forums I occasionally visit somebody posted a link to an hour and a half long interview and discussion with Sebastião Salgado.

And just for a friend I miss these days: MIT is developing some cutting edge technology – tomato watering robots.

Croatian word of the day: časopis magazine [cha so pis]

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Wedding, photojournalism

I am on my way to Ottawa and this flight seems like the first time in a while that I feel comfortable taking the time to write a blog post. This photograph is from the second wedding I agreed to photograph this year. Anne and David are the most fun people you can imagine and they love to share that with others. We had a great time at their wedding.

Here is something I meant to write for a while:

Recently, James Nachtwey completed a project on extremely drug resistant TB. The success of the project hinged on a clever marketing campaign that attempted to harness social networking as a way to spread the word and link to the multimedia piece Nachtwey produced. Some in the photojournalism community cried foul for employing, essentially, a marketing technique to spread a news story. I will concede that it is possible to make a viable argument that in this particular case the ethic bounderies might have been pushed. Personally, I have no problem with the way Nachtwey used the opportunity to highlight an issue he saw as important. That is the other thing – many have pointed out that there are more important or just as important issues that he could have used the TED money to explore and bring to our attention. Of course there are – and if he picked any other issue, there would have been those complaining about it. He picked one he felt strongly about. We live in a pretty messed up world. There is, unfortunately, plenty of issues for all of us to work on.

The criticism of Nachtwey’s work that I find the most interesting concerns something else. A blog post on J.M. Colberg’s blog questioned the effectiveness of photojournalism employing traditional language of black and white photography. The idea is that we need new visual language that is not as stale and that will grab our audiences by now desensitized to the visual language employed since 1920s. Colberg conveniently does not allow comments on his blog, but, luckily, Magnum blog picked up the discussion. Here is what I think. Complaining about James Nachtwey shooting like James Nacthwey and not like Simon NorfolkMikhael SubotzkyMartin Parr or Jonas Bendiksen is silly. He IS James Nachtwey. Why would he pretend to be somebody else? I am not the greatest fan of Nachtwey, there is coldness and surgical precision to his photographs that never resonated with me. But they resonate with plenty of other people, so let Nachtwey be Nachtwey.

There is a recent interview with Martin Parr where he calls for photojournalism to get on with the times and modernize its approach and language. I don’t see anything wrong with photojournalism. There is plenty of fantastic staff out there if you know where to look. There are bigger problems with the media and publishing industry, but that’s a subject for another post.

I opted for an earlier flight this morning so that I can catch an exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada featuring the work of André Kertesz, one of the photographers who pioneered photojournalistic approach to photography. Many a photojournalist owes debt to Kertesz even if they are not aware of it. I was going through some of the books I have with his work and his photographs are still surprising and sweet and revealing. In terms of visual language deployed today, we have come a long way from Kertesz, but like any language, many of the roots will lead to his attempts to portray the world around him. I don’t believe that we have to somehow drag photojournalism into the 21st century kicking and screaming. I think that, as we go forward, new dialects and new branches will grow from the tree that at its roots has the work of people like Hine, Kertesz, Cartier-BressonLangeMcCullin and W. Eugene Smith.

Croatian word of the day: evolucija evolution [ea vo loo tz ia]

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[Old Blog] Entry 82

This is another photo of my friend Maxim. You can see two more here and here.

Rannie Turingan, an excellent photographer from Toronto and the brains and eyes behind Photojunkie.ca had some photos stolen from his site and posted on – get this – another photoblog. Now, aside from pure illegality of it, how stupid is that? Why would you steal somebody else’s photos for YOUR photoblog?

[Old Blog] Entry 75

Did I mention that Maxim and I had a blast taking these shots?

Okay folks, I want you to go here. It’s a real feast for your eyes. And this shot is absolutely gorgeous too. Karen has been taking some amazing photographs in Turkey. Pitcherlady is on a river trip check it out! Rick’s been flying recently and he will make you fly too. Some people have waaaay to much time on their hands. This person is attempting to write the dullest blog on the net – and let me tell you he is doing a marvelous job 😉

[Old Blog] Entry 73

Back to blogging. I feel I owe an apology to people who have left comments on these pages and I never bothered to send a thank you note, or return the visit to their respective blogs. I am sorry. It’s been a bit hectic around here in a good kind of way. The photo essay on South End in Telegraph-Journal is definitely a go so I have been busy writing, making photographs and developing. I will post the images here over then next few days.

This is a photo of a good friend and a roommate Maxim. We had a blast one night few months ago taking some portraits. I just developed those last night.

I better get back to work because you never know…

You can visit Polar Penny here

[Old Blog] Entry 64

This is so stupid I am just speechless. There are places in this world where people seamlessly switch between half a dozen languages. The fact that I spoke Croatian with my family while learning English did not prevent me from learning the language. This New Brunswick bigotry and pigheadedness about French and English is absolutely mind-boggling. When we lived in the north of the province my wife got rocks thrown at her because she was an “English b!tch.” There is a guy occasionally protesting in front of the local brewery because a label on one of their lagers reads “Bier Lager Beer.” He wants English word first – well pal its called grammar. Arghhh…

This is photo of my friend Tom from Germany climbing a spire at the Cathedral of Koeln (Cologne). It’s a long climb, but worth the effort. A sign at the bottom, though, warns people with heart conditions not to attempt climbing the stairs. The passage is in places so narrow that medical personnel simply would not be able to help in an emergency. NOTE: The photo was originally a colour slide because I run out of black and white film. It has been slightly cropped and turned into grayscale image in Photoshop.)

The largest organ in human body is skin. And if you thought you own your own skin – well, think again.

By now you probably figured out that SUVs annoy me for so many reasons that I won’t even bother listing them here. Here is a French way of dealing with it…

[Old Blog] Entry 36

“There is nothing better than imagining other worlds,” he said, “to forget the painful one we live in. At least so I thought then. I hadn’t yet realized that, imagining other worlds, you end up changing this one.

Baudolion by Umberto Eco

The Family Resource Centre is just across the street from the boxing club. This is a fun and safe place for both parents and children to exchange stories and play together. They also offer excellent parenting classes and various craft workshops. The little girl and her mom are making frogs.