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Laura Jean Zito
Laura Jean Zito
Laura Jean Zito

Laura Jean Zito

Country: Ireland

"I began photographing in order to understand what elements of a scene would render that scene worth painting, given the time and materials commitment painting demands. The voyage led to a desire to document that which will no longer be, like trying to remember a dream. I wanted to document the world as I actually viewed it, in all its irony, and to marvel at the actuality of it rather than to distort that reality. The veracity of film itself was a tool to me to reveal with integrity the extent of what is possible in the universe. With digital manipulation, who knows what is real anymore?

With film, I was proud of honing skills of recognizing an event before it happened, being quick and ready to snap it, and being astute enough to compose it in a way to tell the whole story in a single image. I had practiced these skills as a stills photographer on feature films, including my brother's classic hip hop film, "Breakin'," where the photographer is the only one on set not actually working on the movie but has to wrangle their way right next to the director at peak moments without disturbing anyone on crew, to convey the plot all in one image.

Other people skills came from years of shooting for NBC News Graphics, where I had to approach strangers on the street on a daily basis to shoot stock photos for their files. I compose with a Caravaggio sense of action and emotion in mind, and look for color schemes or black and white contrasts that symbolically represent the emotions manifested. Street photography has changed so much with the digital age and a camera in everyone's phone. While the documentation of fact may be lost, the fields of imagination may be found, opening new ground for discovery."


About Moment
"Moment is a project of photographs taken over the last 40 years, in towns surrounding the birthplace of my grandparents, Ballintober and Strokestown, in County Roscommon, Ireland, as well as in cities and countryside. Moments represented are so casual and usual, that while they might go as unremarkable in their own time frame, when viewed through the lens of another era, their very everydayness shows how times have morphed into a more generic way of doing things.

The photographs bestow an ambience that would likely not be missed until it was no longer available: pubs and public places full of character and characters, from farmers in faraway hills of Connemara to foreign ministers in Dublin Castle, their body language and gestures bringing past into present focus. These, and landscapes taken before developments displaced haystacks, mesh an aesthetic appeal with an historical one to highlight how, though visuals might have changed, issues never have and might never. The photographs are about a moment in time, a thought that comes to mind, that blows through the consciousness like a dandelion wisp in a summer breeze. And in that simplicity and ephemeral delicacy lies the potency and deepness and timelessness. The frame and filter we view through brings new insight and reflection, giving nuance to what we view as truth and reality."
- "Moment" © 2021 Laura Jean Zito All Rights Reserved
 

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Richard Nickel
Poland/United States
1928 | † 1972
Richard Nickel was an American architectural photographer and preservationist best known for documenting and preserving historic architecture, particularly the works of renowned architect Louis Sullivan. Nickel, who was born on May 31, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, developed an early interest in photography and architecture. Nickel began documenting Chicago's architectural legacy in the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on buildings designed by Louis Sullivan, one of the forefathers of modern American architecture. His photographs captured Sullivan's buildings' intricate details, ornamental features, and craftsmanship, highlighting their beauty and significance. During the mid-twentieth century, Nickel became increasingly concerned about the destruction and neglect of historic buildings in Chicago. He understood the significance of architectural preservation and saw photography as a means of raising awareness about the need to protect these structures. Nickel actively advocated for the preservation of historic buildings in addition to his photography. He campaigned against the demolition of Sullivan's iconic Chicago Stock Exchange Building, which, despite his efforts, was demolished in 1972. Nickel's photographs of the building, as well as his writings on the subject, raised public awareness of the loss and inspired the Chicago preservation movement. On April 13, 1972, Richard Nickel was killed while photographing the ruins of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, which was being demolished. Despite his untimely death, his legacy was preserved and exhibited posthumously through his photographs. Nickel's work had a significant impact on architectural preservation and historic building appreciation. His photographs captured not only the physical structures of the buildings, but also their spirit and essence, revealing their historical and cultural significance. His dedication to architectural preservation continues to inspire individuals and organizations working to protect our architectural heritage. Richard Nickel's contributions as a photographer and preservationist serve as a reminder of how important it is to document and cherish our architectural treasures so that future generations can appreciate and learn from them.
Patrick Zachmann
Patrick Zachmann, born on November 21, 1955, is a renowned French photographer and filmmaker acclaimed for his insightful documentation of cultural and social issues. With a career spanning decades, he has become synonymous with the Magnum Photos agency, a prestigious cooperative of photographers. Zachmann's journey into photography began in the 1970s. He initially pursued studies in cinema at the University of Paris, but it was during a trip to New York in 1976 that he discovered his passion for still imagery. Captivated by the bustling streets and diverse communities, he decided to shift his focus to photography. In 1982, Patrick Zachmann joined Magnum Photos, a cooperative founded by legendary photographers like Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. This association marked a turning point in his career, providing a platform for his distinctive visual storytelling. I became a photographer because I have no memory. Photography allows me to reconstruct the family albums I never had, the missing images becoming the engine of my research. My contact sheets are my personal diary. – Patrick Zachmann A significant chapter in Zachmann's portfolio is his work on the Chinese diaspora. In the 1980s, he embarked on an extensive project documenting the lives of the Chinese community in various countries, exploring themes of identity, migration, and cultural adaptation. His empathetic lens captured the struggles and triumphs of individuals within this global diaspora, resulting in a powerful body of work. One of Zachmann's notable projects is Wén, a documentary that delves into the life of a Chinese family living in France. This intimate portrayal earned him widespread acclaim for his ability to navigate complex narratives with sensitivity and depth. The project exemplifies Zachmann's commitment to shedding light on marginalized stories and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Throughout his career, Zachmann has covered significant historical events. He documented the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, capturing the emotions and reactions of individuals on both sides of this momentous divide. His work during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 further solidified his reputation as a photojournalist with an acute sense of social responsibility. Beyond his photojournalistic endeavors, Patrick Zachmann has explored personal and introspective themes. His project My Father's Testimony is a poignant reflection on his own family history, incorporating photographs, letters, and personal artifacts to create a visual narrative that transcends individual experiences to resonate on a universal level. In addition to his photographic pursuits, Zachmann has ventured into filmmaking. His documentary China, the Empire of Art? offers a nuanced exploration of China's contemporary art scene, reflecting his multifaceted approach to storytelling. Patrick Zachmann's contributions to photography have earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious Nadar Award in 1993 and the World Press Photo Award in 1994. His work has been exhibited in major galleries and museums worldwide, solidifying his place as a respected documentarian and storyteller. As he continues to explore new facets of visual storytelling, Patrick Zachmann's enduring commitment to capturing the human experience with authenticity and empathy underscores the timeless relevance of his work in the realm of documentary photography and filmmaking.
Lee Jeffries
United Kingdom
Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and discuss with the homeless girl. His perception of the homeless completely changes. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: "Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait." From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world. "If you will forgive my indulgence, This work is most definitely NOT photojournalism. Nor is it intended as portraiture. It's religious or spiritual iconography. It's powerful stuff. Jeffries gave these people something more than personal dignity. He gave them a light in their eyes that depicts transcendence, a glimmer of light at the gates of Eden, so to speak. The clarity in their eyes is awesome to behold as if God is somewhere in there. He has made these people into more than poor old broken homeless people lazily waiting for a handout from some urbane and thoughtful corporate agent. He infused them with light, not darkness. Even the blind guy has light pouring from his sightless eyes. I think Jeffries intended his art to honor these people, not pity them. He honors those people by giving their likenesses a greater meaning. He gives them a religious spiritual significance. He imbues them with the iconic soul of humanity. I think that's what he was trying to do, at least to some degree thereof."Source: www.yellowkorner.com Lee Jeffries leads a double life – as a full-time accountant near Manchester, and in his free time as an impassioned photographer of the homeless all over the world. A self-taught photographer who started out taking pictures of stock in a bike shop, his epiphany came in April 2008 when, on the eve of running the London Marathon, he snatched a long-lens image of a homeless girl huddling in a doorway, and felt compelled to apologize to her when she called him out for it. Their resulting conversation changed not only his approach to photography; it changed his life. Since that day Lee has been on a mission to raise awareness of – and funds for – the homeless. His work features street people from the UK, Europe, and the US whom he gets to know by living rough with them, the relationship between them enabling him to capture a searing intimacy and authenticity in his portraits. He has published two critically acclaimed fund-raising books, Lost Angels and Homeless, worked with the Salvation Army on a major campaign, and donated the half-dozen cameras he's won in prestigious imaging competitions to charity. He estimates he's given thousands of pounds of his own money to help those he photographs. All this, and he's still 'an amateur'. Source: Nikon In-Frame Read Our Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries
Marc Riboud
France
1923 | † 2016
Marc Riboud was a French photographer best known for his extensive reports on the Far East, including The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China. Photography cannot change the world, but it can show the world as it changes. -- Marc Riboud Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval and attended Lyon's lycée. He photographed his first picture in 1937, using his father's Vest Pocket Kodak camera. From 1943 to 1945, he was a member of the French Resistance as a young man during WWII. From 1945 to 1948, he studied engineering at the École Centrale de Lyon after the war. Marc Riboud worked as an engineer in Lyon factories until 1951, when he took a week-long photography vacation that inspired him to become a photographer. He relocated to Paris, where he met the founders of Magnum Photos, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour. He was a member of the organization by 1953. His ability to capture fleeting moments in life through powerful compositions was already apparent, and he would use this skill for decades to come. Eiffel Tower Painter, Paris, 1953© Marc Riboud Riboud traveled around the world for the next several decades. He was one of the first European photographers to visit China in 1957, and he documented North Vietnam in 1968, 1972, and 1976. Later in life, he traveled extensively throughout the world, primarily in Asia, Africa, the United States, and Japan. Marc Riboud has witnessed war atrocities (photographing from both the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam War) as well as the apparent degeneration of a culture suppressed from within (China during Chairman Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution). In contrast, he has captured the graces of everyday life in sun-drenched corners of the world (Fès, Angkor, Acapulco, Niger, Bénarès, Shaanxi), as well as the lyricism of child's play in everyday Paris. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later. Riboud's photographs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Life, Geo, National Geographic, Paris Match, and Stern. He has received the Overseas Press Club Award twice, the Sony World Photography Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and major retrospective exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the International Center of Photography in New York. In 1998, Marc Riboud was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. The eye is made to see and not to think.... A good photograph is a surprise. How could we plan and foresee a surprise? We just have to be ready. -- Marc Riboud Eiffel Tower Painter, taken in Paris in 1953, is one of Riboud's most well-known photographs. It depicts a man painting the tower, posing like a dancer and perched between the tower's metal armature. Paris emerges from the photographic haze beneath him. Riboud's images frequently feature lone figures. In Ankara, a central figure is silhouetted against an industrial backdrop, whereas a man lies in a field in France. The vertical composition emphasizes the landscape, the trees, the sky, the water, and the blowing grass, which all surround but do not overpower the human element. The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, Washington D. C, 21 Octobre 1967© Marc Riboud Riboud's photograph, The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, taken on October 21, 1967, is one of the most famous anti-war images. The photograph was taken in Washington, D.C., where thousands of anti-war activists had gathered in front of the Pentagon to protest America's involvement in Vietnam. It shows a young girl, Jan Rose Kasmir, holding a flower and looking out at several rifle-wielding soldiers stationed to block the protesters. Marc Riboud stated about the photograph, "She was just talking, trying to catch the eye of the soldiers, maybe trying to have a dialogue with them. I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the bayonets." In contrast to the images in his photo essay A Journey to North Vietnam (1969), Riboud says in an accompanying interview, "My impression is that the country's leaders will not allow the slightest relaxation of the population at large [...] it is almost as if [...] they are anxious to forestall the great unknown - peace." He expanded on his observations of life in North Vietnam in the same Newsweek article: "I was astonished, for example, at the decidedly gay atmosphere in Hanoi's Reunification Park on a Sunday afternoon [...] I honestly did not have the impression they were discussing socialism or the 'American aggressors' [...] I saw quite a few patriotic posters crudely 'improved' with erotic graffiti and sketches." Vietnam, 1976© Marc Riboud There is a gap between what is photographed (or published) and what Riboud said in his interview. The author Geoffrey Wolff commented on this in 1970: "Riboud's photographs illustrate the proposition. The French photographer has been to North Vietnam twice [...] and he is most friendly, on the evidence of his pictures, to the people and the institutions he found there. His photographs are of happy faces,[...] An Air Force ace illustrates how he shot the American 'air pirates' from the sky [...] Who knows the truth about these places?" Rage Against the Machine, an American revolutionary political Rap Metal band, used two of Riboud's photographs for their second single Bullet in the Head. Both images convey strong political and social messages, but they are very different. The front cover depicts American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the 'flag' (Stars and Stripes) in a classroom; the back cover depicts a young (probably Vietnamese) boy pointing a pistol, with soldiers on parade in the background. It's unclear who or what the boy is aiming at, or if the gun is real or a toy. Since the 1980’s Marc Riboud keeps travelling at his own tempo. He published many books, among which the most famous are The three banners of China, Journal, Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven , Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism, Marc Riboud in China. Riboud married the American sculptor Barbara Chase, who was living in Paris at the time, in 1961. They had two kids. Sally Hemings (1979), her debut novel, received critical acclaim and went on to become a best-seller. They divorced prior to 1981. He later married journalist and author Catherine Chaine. Riboud died on August 30, 2016, at the age of 93, in Paris. In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.
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