I was fascinated by Koudelka's work when i first saw an his work exhibited at Arles. An understated man he attended the showing of his film at the ICA saying but a few words . This film is a great insight into his practice as he returns to the same locations on multiple occasions, revisiting and revising past compositions. As photographers we can learn much from his steady perserververance. He returns until the there is nothing left for the place to give him. In a world of fast and transient imagery, Koudelka is a master of his craft. Handholding his beast of a Fuji GX17 camera is if nothing else a physical feat, as well as a testament to his skills developed over a lifetime. This film is full of humour, from a figure that is not seeking the limelight. We are invited into the intimacy of his practice; from sitting on the side of the wall loading film, to inching closer to border guards. This is a much watch for every photographer no matter your genre.
Thank you Gilad Baram for his film and Josef Koudelka for allowing us into your world.
As you can see from the image below, the miners have no special tools or equipment to protect them from the toxic fumes. Some can afford gas masks which filter out some of the gas. From personal experience I can tell you than when the wind changes direction, the gas is so noxious it causes your eyes to water your throat to burn and that is with a mask.
I am excited about 2017. A new year, full of possibilities.
2016 was a wonderful year of travel, I visited many different countries, which have provided me with a fresh outlook on my own. The image above was taken in East Java, Indonesia. This is one of the places which had the most impact in the last year. Here men work in toxic gases to collect solid sulphur to sell and make a living. When not mining they are farming; in both of these trades through necessity they life large weights across difficult terrain. But in spite of all this hardship. it is striking to witness their positive outlook. As Mount Ijen is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist attraction, the miners have now a new form of income, as one of the villagers has developed a home stay and tour business see here contracting the villagers to host tourists. Through this they have been able to lobby the government to get a metalled road into the village. It is amazing how the impact of one individual can impact a whole community.
I am now excited about 2017 with new opportunities to collaborate with individuals and organisations. My aim to continue to produce projects which shine light on the misunderstood and misrepresented.
To contact me about a project or for more information about my work drop me a line on email or social media
Hawthorn Tree in Colour ©Laurence Gibson
Continuing my series on Fairy trees.