Category Archives: Photographer Projects

Personal Project – “Handmade”

As attention spans continue to shrink and the cult of the instant gratification grows exponentially, material possessions hold less meaning, and no longer tether us to lands visited or memories. Cheap charlatan goods are everywhere for our pleasure, and we consume them with reckless commercial abandon. It's in this culture that Joe Klementovich found an inspirational antonym, and pursued a project around these artisans that create handmade crafts.

In a time of trade wars with China, border walls being built and sanctions being placed, it’s nice to find refuge in the studio of an artisan: a good old fashioned workshop, piled with sawdust, paint cans and scraps from long done projects. Time seems to slip away once you get inside one of these sanctuaries. In New England, there is a long and proud history of making things by hand, from scratch. For me, this project is a way of getting back to that history and appreciating the skill and effort it takes to create something from hand.

I think the first artisan I photographed was Fred Dolan. Fred carves birds from blocks of wood and makes them look real by the time he’s done. Since then I’ve been able to join jewelers, sculptors, boat builders, blacksmiths and others in their workshops. The latest was a fiddle maker in Northern New Hampshire who can tell you where each tree came from for all of his fiddles. Truly handmade.

You can see more of Joe's work on the Artisan project, as well as other projects and campaigns, at https://www.klementovichphoto.com/Artisans
Mike Pease, one of the two brothers that own Pease boatworks in Chatham, MA, working on a repair of a peapod.
The thoughtful hands of Fred Dolan, marking the high spots of his swan.

Personal Project – Cape Town Water Crisis

Even with the frequently depressing and disturbing visual documentation of climate change's effects on our environment, it's often too easy to turn a blind eye to a crisis occurring when it doesn't affect you.  Julia Cumes took some time between assignments in her former hometown of South Africa, and her striking images ring mental alarms. Perhaps we're safe up here in Portland, Maine, but this is a "prescient look at things to come for other urban areas as climate change and its effects take hold."
 
As someone who grew up in South Africa during a time when Cape Town was considered one of our wetter cities, it was painful to see the cracked, dry mud bed of Theewaterskloof dam, the lines of people waiting to fill up on drinking water at public springs, the dying vegetation and the strikingly empty public swimming pool in Mitchell's Plain where hundreds of local children usually cool off in the summer.
 
Last year, when Cape Town's water sources dropped to critically low levels, the city declared the possibility of a “Day Zero”, when the public water supply would largely be shut off. This would place Cape Town in the unusual position of being the first major city in the world to run out of water. While “Day Zero” has now been pushed off till 2019, the water crisis is still dire and local residents are adapting their lives to deal with it. Below are some of my images capturing life in Cape Town and its outskirts during this unprecedented time period.

You can see more of Julia's images, focused on this story and others, at juliacumesphoto.com

Capetonians fill up their water containers at the Newlands spring in a suburb of Cape Town. The spring, whose water is supplied by nearby Table Mountain, has flowed without interruption since record keeping started in South Africa, but has only recently becoming a critical collection point. Because of rising water costs and tight restrictions on municipal water usage, local residents come to the spring to fill up on the clean mountain water they use primarily for drinking and cooking.
Capetonians fill up their water containers at the Newlands spring in a suburb of Cape Town. The spring, whose water is supplied by nearby Table Mountain, has flowed without interruption since record keeping started in South Africa, but has only recently becoming a critical collection point. Because of rising water costs and tight restrictions on municipal water usage, local residents come to the spring to fill up on the clean mountain water they use primarily for drinking and cooking.
During Cape Towns current water crisis, family outings to fill up on public spring water are commonplace as collection is limited to 25 liters a visit. Families may come to the spring as often as two to three times a week to fill up on water they use primarily for drinking and cooking.
During Cape Towns current water crisis, family outings to fill up on public spring water are commonplace as collection is limited to 25 liters a visit. Families may come to the spring as often as two to three times a week to fill up on water they use primarily for drinking and cooking.
The cracked, dry bed of Theewaterskloof Dam-the largest dam in the South Africa's Western Cape water supply system is an indicator of how severe the water crisis is in South Africa's Western Cape Province. The dam, which usually supplies Cape Town and its population of over 4 million people with 41 of its water, is now at critically low levels. Last year, Cape Town announced plans for Day Zero, when the municipal water supply would largely be shut off, potentially making Cape Town the first major city in the world to run out of water. While Day Zero has now been pushed off till 2019, the water crisis is still dire and local residents are adapting their lives to deal with it.
The cracked, dry bed of Theewaterskloof Dam-the largest dam in the South Africa's Western Cape water supply system is an indicator of how severe the water crisis is in South Africa's Western Cape Province. The dam, which usually supplies Cape Town and its population of over 4 million people with 41 of its water, is now at critically low levels. Last year, Cape Town announced plans for Day Zero, when the municipal water supply would largely be shut off, potentially making Cape Town the first major city in the world to run out of water. While Day Zero has now been pushed off till 2019, the water crisis is still dire and local residents are adapting their lives to deal with it.
As with any crisis, creative entrepreneurs have found ways of making some income from the Cape Towns water crisis. Here, enterprising workers, for a fee, offer to transport heavy water containers from a public spring on Spring Road to residents waiting cars.
As with any crisis, creative entrepreneurs have found ways of making some income from the Cape Towns water crisis. Here, enterprising workers, for a fee, offer to transport heavy water containers from a public spring on Spring Road to residents waiting cars.
A public protest in front of the parliament building on South Africa's Freedom Day on April 27th this year included signs protesting the privatization of water. Ironically, Cape Towns water crisis has been a boon to water privatization with the bottled water industry seeing huge growth in sales and private desalination plants setting up shop on the Western Capes shoreline.
A public protest in front of the parliament building on South Africa's Freedom Day on April 27th this year included signs protesting the privatization of water. Ironically, Cape Towns water crisis has been a boon to water privatization with the bottled water industry seeing huge growth in sales and private desalination plants setting up shop on the Western Capes shoreline.
One of multiple private desalination plants sets up its temporary structure in Monwabisi on Cape Towns False Bay. The plant, which was erected in a matter of months in reaction to the water crisis and is expected to produce seven million liters of drinkable water per day when it is complete, pulls water out of the ocean 1km out to sea near a popular pool and beach area.
One of multiple private desalination plants sets up its temporary structure in Monwabisi on Cape Towns False Bay. The plant, which was erected in a matter of months in reaction to the water crisis and is expected to produce seven million liters of drinkable water per day when it is complete, pulls water out of the ocean 1km out to sea near a popular pool and beach area.
One of multiple private desalination plants sets up its temporary structure in Strandfontein on Cape Towns False Bay. The plant, which was erected in a matter of months in reaction to the water crisis and is expected to produce seven million liters of drinkable water per day when it is complete, pulls water out of the ocean 1km out to sea near a popular pool and beach area.
One of multiple private desalination plants sets up its temporary structure in Strandfontein on Cape Towns False Bay. The plant, which was erected in a matter of months in reaction to the water crisis and is expected to produce seven million liters of drinkable water per day when it is complete, pulls water out of the ocean 1km out to sea near a popular pool and beach area.
A woman washes clothing in a shallow bucket of water in Asanda Village - an informal shanty town settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. Many of Cape Towns more poorer residents have pointed out that their communities - where residents don't generally own washing machines, dishwaters and swimming pools - are not the ones using large amounts of water and yet are being penalized more than the wealthier communities where many residents have put in expensive bore holes (wells) and are thus skirting water restrictions.
A woman washes clothing in a shallow bucket of water in Asanda Village - an informal shanty town settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. Many of Cape Towns more poorer residents have pointed out that their communities - where residents don't generally own washing machines, dishwaters and swimming pools - are not the ones using large amounts of water and yet are being penalized more than the wealthier communities where many residents have put in expensive bore holes (wells) and are thus skirting water restrictions.
A public mural in Salt River, a suburb of Cape Town, is just one of many artists responses to the water crisis unfolding. A street art festival in February of this year offered the prompt Nature Doesn't Need Us. We Need Nature to artists to inspire public art centered on the environment.
A public mural in Salt River, a suburb of Cape Town, is just one of many artists responses to the water crisis unfolding. A street art festival in February of this year offered the prompt Nature Doesn't Need Us. We Need Nature to artists to inspire public art centered on the environment.

Personal Project – “Non Grata”

Ake Ericson's book, Non Grata, is an unflinching, unadulterated look into the lives of an unwelcome people, who are discriminated against on a daily basis in many countries. With his keen eye, ability to capture poignant moments, and dedication to photojournalism, Ake's able to take the viewer extremely close to the situation. His stark black-and-white photos strongly bring to focus the harsh realities he's documenting. The book is now available for sale, and works from the book will be exhibited at gallery La Moulinette  in Montmatre, Paris from the the 20th of September until the 7th of October.

For over 8 years, I have been documenting the life of the Roma people's daily life across Europe in 18 journeys. I began this project after visiting the southern part of Czech Republic where I witnessed vast discrimination. This moved me so greatly that I committed to photographing this vulnerable community of people. This commitment has taken me on a journey through Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Kosovo, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Spain and Slovakia to bear witness to these shunned societies.  I have used photography to show the Roma’s living conditions and how they are deprived of political, economical, cultural and social rights. The other aspect of this project has been to show the difficulties the Roma have everywhere to win political influence and get a voice in the media. 

In this long-term photo project, my vision is to continue to shed light on the various facets of the Roma’s life and struggles in Europe today.My genuine hope is that my photo stories can bring a better understanding to the world and help facilitate actions by politicians. My goal is to sustain this project beyond just being another Roma photo story, to dive further into the deeper stories that exist in the shadows of this community. My mission is to show not only show the tragic consequences of the Roma’s reality but also the positive aspects of the Roma being integrated into European life.

You can purchase Ake's book here.
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2/2-2014 Kosice,Slovakia. Outside Kosice many Roma people are displaced in some small villages up in the mountains.
2/2-2014 Kosice,Slovakia.
Outside Kosice many Roma people are displaced in some small villages up in the mountains.
6/28-2013.Lunik IX,Kosice,Slovakia.A childrens game in the ghetto.Juraj Mizigor doing a backflip.
6/28-2013.Lunik IX,Kosice,Slovakia.A childrens game in the ghetto.Juraj Mizigor doing a backflip.
12/22-20154 Stockholm.Sweden. Many Roma from Romania sleeping out in the string Lyla at Olof Palmes gata in Stockholm.Cirka 500 Roma people are homeless in the center of Stockholm.
12/22-20154 Stockholm.Sweden.
Many Roma from Romania sleeping out in the string Lyla at Olof Palmes gata in Stockholm.Cirka 500 Roma people are homeless in the center of Stockholm.
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Personal Project – “Oregon Outback”

David Hanson is in the middle of a long-term documentary photo project near his Oregon home. Sherman County is a rural, sparsely populated county in the eastern rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. It's only two hours from Portland but light years away in terms of culture, politics, and way of life. The main artery through the county is Highway 97, which runs north-south down the east side of the WA-OR Cascade Range. In Sherman County, the towns along Hwy 97 are spread out at nine-mile intervals because that is an appropriate distance for a horse to travel in a day.

Ranching and wheat farming remain the backbone of the economy in Sherman County.  Kids actually stick around and take over their parents' ranches. But other than high-tech windmills on the wide-open landscape, not a lot new has come to the towns, and much of the old has gone. There are empty storefronts and the high school recently shuttered due to lack of funds. Most people have to travel to The Dalles (45 minutes) for groceries and medical care. David is beginning to collect images of the daily life in these ranches and small towns that are both timeless and fading.

You can see more of David's work on this project here: https://www.davidhanson3.com/oregon-outback/

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Personal Project – “Woodsmen”

Too often, we vilify industries involved in our natural resource management, judging those involved, without knowing much about their lives or even the industry itself. This holds doubly true for industries with a checkered past and those that seem to belong more to the yesteryear than the present.  Michael D. Wilson spent time talking with and photographing loggers and folks in the lumber industry, people we often don't think about, but who have been vital to local economics in our home state of Maine. His beautiful portraits, best seen as large prints or in the 'zine he put together for his solo show in Portland, Maine, grant us some insight into their lives and work, and humanize this oft-maligned industry, continuing a cultural, historical and financial pillar in the region.

From the time the first sawmill opened in South Berwick in 1634, to the 1830’s, when Bangor was the world’s largest lumber port, through the mechanization of the industry in the 20th Century, to the current day’s focus on sustainability, logging has been part of the fabric of Maine.  In an industry constantly changing and reinventing itself, the one constant has been the Woodsman.  The faces pictured here represent in many ways Maine itself – hardy, resourceful, and determined.  Keenly in tune with the land, they continue to provide, as their predecessors did, the foundational materials for building and maintaining strong communities. - Michael D. Wilson

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