Archive: Visura Features

BETSY SCHNEIDER | Sweet Is The Swamp

Issue 13

I never have been able to take a good ice cream cone-eating picture. I have tried and tried literally dozens of times. Is it that I am too busy eating and balancing the ice cream that I am unable to really focus on making a good picture? Maybe the idea is too cliché, or maybe it has just been bad luck. This summer when I was trying yet again to do this I dropped my Mamiya 7. It wasn't the first time I dropped that camera but the repair people tell me it was the last. That was bad luck. Since then I have been debating whether or not to replace the camera.

DAVID J. CAROL | No Plan B

Issue 13

As a kid, I never traveled anywhere. My parents would go away sometimes, but they never took me along. I was only on a plane once before the age of 20. I was sent alone to Florida one summer to visit my grandparents for a week. I still remember exiting the plane and being hit in the face with that warm, humid and aromatic tropical air. An unfamiliar yet quite exciting experience. To this day I'm still very conscious of the smell, temperature and feel of the air of a new place as I deplane.

JENN ACKERMAN | Trapped

Issue 13

"Trapped" portrays the life and conditions of the prisoners with mental illness at the Kentucky State Reformatory. My hope is that this long term and ongoing project triggers a dialogue not only about prison reform but the mental health crisis in America.

KERRY MANSFIELD | Aftermath

Issue 13

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 31 years old. This was 7 years ago.

Today, women in their 30’s are the fastest growing group of people with breast cancer in the country. Although it feels like a lifetime has passed since I received treatment, I continue to be haunted by the aftermath of the surgeries, countless combinations of drugs and radical emotional upheavals. The cancer may have left my body, however, its echo never has.

JAN BANNING | Looking for a Hidden Past

Issue 12

I SOMETIMES WONDER, why do people do the things they do. Specifically, why did I become interested in focusing on wartime subjects when I was born and raised in times of peace?

My parents were born during the early 1920’s in the Dutch East Indies, a colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. My mother was sixteen and my father was twenty years old when the War began, which abruptly shattered their happy and prosperous youth, leaving an indelible impression.

KATIE ORLINSKY | Libya

Issue 12

Many people don’t know I was there with Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros on the day we lost them. I wasn’t physically injured—not a scratch. I think the journalists at the hospital all made the decision to take my name out of their stories, because one of the things I blurted out when I returned to the hospital was that my parents didn’t know I was there.

The unrest in Libya began in mid-February and quickly escalated into a people’s revolt that left thousands dead. During the February fighting, protestors looted most of Gaddafi’s military bases in the east of the country. Although some of what was happening was obviously inspired by Egypt, the fact that so many young men carried Kalashnikov rifles and wore mismatched military garb made the scene uniquely Libyan.

PATRICIA LAY-DORSEY | Falling Into Place

Issue 12

I WAS 45 YEARS OLD when I took my first unexplained fall. Until that cold January day in 1988, I had run marathons, ridden 200-mile weekend bicycle tours with my husband, and had only recently stopped taking modern dance and ballet classes. My body had always done whatever I asked of it until suddenly, it became the most unpredictable part of my life. Eight months after that first fall, I was diagnosed with chronic (primary) progressive Multiple Sclerosis. From that moment on, I saw my body as a stranger.

MARKEL REDONDO | In God’s Hands

Issue 12

Many Central Americans leave their home countries for better working opportunities, to provide for their families and escape violence. They receive warnings that the journey is dangerous, and life in the U.S. is not easy. Still, they choose to embark on this arduous journey.

Since 2010, I have been documenting the journey of Central American men, women and children while attempting to cross the borders from Honduras to Guatemala through Mexico and into the United States. I have photographed and interviewed victims, survivors, and heroes; meanwhile, I have witnessed the desperation that drives a person to leave his or her family, home, and country in the hope of a better life.

HENRY JACOBSON | Communiqué

Issue 12

I recently had a discussion about evolution. I argued that the next stage in human evolution was in the brain, in how it functions, and most importantly, how it communicates. I suggested that this shift would be rapid, fueled by advances in communication technology. It so happens that this debate took place after watching David Fincher’s the social network, in which the great Justin Timberlake utters a cocaine-fueled vision of the present/future; We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we're going to live on the Internet.

FOTOVISURA PAVILION | In Love and War

Issue 12

In Love and War exhibition reflects on the fragility of human life, in the hopes of bringing the viewer to a place of compassion and solicitude. This exhibition—featuring photographers Milagros de la Torre, Henry Jacobson, Richard Mosse, Jessica Hines, Justin Maxon and Grant Worth—was part of The FotoVisura Pavilion—sponsored by The Viso Lizardi Family—during the 2011 New York Photo Festival.

FOTOVISURA PAVILION | Dia

Issue 12

Dia Exhibition unites eight photographers who documented New York’s Puerto Rican communities from the Lower East Side to the South Bronx during the 1960′s to 1980s. This exhibition features photographers Frank Espada, David González, Ricky Flores, Perla de León, Joe Conzo, Pablo Delano, Francisco Reyes II and Máximo Colón.

FOTOVISURA PAVILION | E-cite

Issue 12

E-cite, a slide show presentation featuring a selection of five online blogs and magazines — New York Times Lens Blog, Time Magazine Lightbox, NPR Picture Show Blog, PDN Photo of the Day Blog & Visura Magazine—that have inspired the FotoVisura community. In a collaborative effort, each of these forums has created a unique presentation to represent their respective platforms.

The Envision Foundation Presents: Eyes and Angles

Issue 12

Students from the High School of World Cultures in the Bronx took part in a 5 month long program run by the Envision Foundation for Photography and Digital Media.

By recording their everyday life, these teenage artists reflect on the role of self within the core of the family, school and community that they have settled in. Their images explore questions of connection and isolation that arise when making a home in a new country.

ELINOR CARUCCI | A Retrospective

Issue 11

MY MOTHER WAS THE FIRST person I ever photographed when I was 15, and I still continue to do so obsessively. Gradually, the subjects of my work expanded; from my mother, to my father and brother, to the extended family, to my husband, Eran, until, in recent years, when the center shifted, at least partially to my children. The camera is a way to get close, and to break free. It is a testimony to independence as well as a new way to relate to my family.

CARRIE LEVY | 51 Months

Issue 11

IN 1996, MY FATHER WENT TO JAIL on my 15th birthday for 51 months. Truthfully I do not care about the sequence of events. A prison sentence for a father is a prison term for his entire family. Until the day we found out my father was going to jail, I lived an average life on Long Island, New York. Since all we could do was go on living a normal life, I continued to go to school, apply to college, hang with friends, spend time with my mother and brothers, and somehow try to do the same old activities. When someone is in prison it feels more like a death and then a resurrection.

ANNABEL CLARK | Journal

Issue 11

A FEW DAYS BEFORE Christmas in 2002, my mother shared the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Having lived with the impression that cancer was a death sentence, I was devastated. I began to imagine what she would look like without hair and a breast. As the idea was forming, she asked if I would photograph her through this process. I felt that if we turned the disease into a project, it would become less scary. We could objectify and observe it. If we could anticipate the completion of the project, then we could anticipate the end of the disease.

ALINE SMITHSON | Arrangement in Green and Black

Issue 11

I am the youngest of two girls, born in Los Angeles to parents who did not think it was possible to have children. My mother was a proper, educated, and elegant woman, the daughter of a Hollywood minister. My father was the kind of man who could do anything—he grew up on a ranch in Arizona, and tried his hand at trick riding, carnival performing on the Bed of Nails, drumming, mining, became an automotive foreman, and by the time I came along, had settled into the daily grind of life as a salesman. My parents met in Alaska. My father was working as a photographer for a construction company, and my mother, not finding any suitable men as an elementary school teacher, took the bus from Los Angeles to Alaska, wearing high heels and a hat. I like to think she struck gold in the Yukon. Both my parents were charming, fun, and had a wicked sense of humor. Though my parents supported my artistic leanings, my mother strongly suggested that I become a dental hygienist. Contrary to my mother's wishes, my dreams led me to New York City and the world of fashion and art.

JESSICA HINES | My Brother’s War

Issue 11

IT WAS IN 1967, during the Viet Nam War, that my brother, Gary, was drafted into the US Army. The Viet Nam War, a Cold War Conflict, was occurring not only in Viet Nam, but also in Laos and Cambodia; it lasted from November 1st, 1955, until May 15th, 1975. When vacancies in the US armed forces could not be filled voluntarily between 1962 and 1973, American men were drafted. It has been said that by 1967, almost half of the enlisted men were draftees. This was the case with my brother.

STEPHEN CROWLEY | Voices of Afghanistan

Issue 11

I SPOTTED MY FIRST STREET PHOTOGRAPHER, Meera Jan, in a market outside an Afghan refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. I sat for a portrait, watched him work and then asked if I could rent his camera.

The pictures of the barber and vendors at the bazaar along the edge of the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Peshawar, are a reflection of the effects of jet lag, culture shock and my first impressions of the region. It was one of the most exhilarating and demanding few hours I have spent as a photographer.

JEFF DOJILLO | The Romance of Mourning

Issue 11

I WAS BORN ON JUNE 9th, 1979. I am the youngest of three children and the product of Filipino immigrants. I grew up in the greater Los Angeles area in a Roman Catholic family raised largely by my sisters and my mother.

Religion has played a large part in my life and upbringing. It has been a source of comfort and a time for reflection. Like many Filipinos, I adopted the value structure dictated by Catholicism.

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ | Inappropriate Behavior

Issue 10

This series is an inventory of individuals subject to rejection or exclusion based on their sexual preferences. It is a denunciation of homophobia. Symbolically it is also a call to respect differences—political, ideological and religious. Homophobia is not exclusive to Cuban society. “It is curious and even surprising that a revolution such as the Cuban revolution, which set out to eradicate the hereditary social structure and create a new social ethic, would, in turn, passively inherit homophobia from the previous society.”

TIM HETHERINGTON | Restrepo

Issue 10

Outpost Restrepo lay at the furthest point of American control in Afghanistan’s unruly Korengal Valley. It clung to the rugged mountainside, protected on one side by a steep rock wall and commanding view and was manned by the men of Second Platoon, Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne. I arrived in the valley with the author Sebastian Junger in September 2007, on assignment for Vanity Fair while the world’s gaze was still firmly centered on events in Iraq.

RUTH KAPLAN | Some Kind of Devine

Issue 10

I AM NOT SURE WHAT INITIALLY LED ME to photograph churches since my interest in religion has always been minimal. My father had a feeling for religion and tradition which was deep in his core, and meaningful and enriching to his life. My mother would observe the holidays, but lived as a practical, social woman, rooted in the day-to-day with no interest in transcendence. Her father and two brothers were killed in the Holocaust and her mother had died a few years earlier. After the Nazis came into power in Lithuania, she spent the war in the concentration camp Stutthof, as part of the slave labour forces. Though they believed in tradition, my parents never imposed religious views on my sister or me.

JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ | Personal Violence

Issue 10

I began photographing gangs in Los Angeles in 1992. I saw Los Angeles as the postmodern wild west, a land governed by the gun. It was an uncontrolled and scary place, a land of dreams and beauty, playing by its own rules. In 1993, I continued photographing gang life in East Los Angeles. My aim was to get to the core of violence in America, not just the physical violence against one another, but also the quiet violence of letting families fall apart, unemployment, our educational system, and the violence of segregation and isolation.

FRANCK VOGEL | Zeru, Zeru: Being Albino in Tanzania

Issue 10

AROUND LAKE VICTORIA, Tanzania, evil acts are driven by the belief that albino body parts possess magical powers, which bring wealth if used in potions produced by local witchdoctors. Most clients are rich businessmen, impatient to extract more gold from their mines, or politicians, eager to be elected into office. Since 2007, official reports indicate that over 54 people with albinism have been brutally murdered; their body parts hacked off and sold for large amounts of money: $2,000 for a leg or an arm, and $10,000 for a whole albino body.

FERIT KUYAS | Reflections on Chongqing

Issue 10

MY FIRST VISIT TO CHINA was in 1997 when I went to photograph the “World Elevator” fair in Shanghai. From that moment, I felt at home in China. One year later in September 1998, I met my future wife. When we went to visit her family, I saw Chongqing for the first time. This was the starting point for City of Ambition. My first impression of Chongqing was a heat and brightness so strong that it hurt my eyes. My wife and I were only able to visit my in-laws in the city during summers, which are hot and humid. I was deeply impressed by the drama of the place itself: three dimensional, hilly, very busy, construction sites everywhere, and two huge rivers blending in the middle. I immediately knew I would photograph there.

ALEJANDRO CARTAGENA | Suburbia Mexicana

Issue 10

IN 1990, I MOVED FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC to Monterrey, Mexico, my mother’s home country. Sixteen years later I was still searching for my Mexican identity. After two years of photographing, I came across the work of the Mexican photographer Eugenio Espino Barros. In a way, it was seeing how he understood and organized both urban and natural spaces that I became compelled to pursue a body of work that dealt with the Mexican landscape.

PER-ANDERS PETTERSSON | In Transition

Issue 09

I arrived in South Africa in the spring of 1994 to cover the first historic democratic elections in of the country. Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa. He had been free for four years and had toured the world like a rock star. The election was one of the most significant events in recent history; from the ashes of a repressive, segregated and racist state emerged miraculously a multi-racial nation and one of the greatest success stories on the African continent. 

LUKE SHARRETT | Home Away From Home

Issue 09

Holding the highest elected office in the nation has its perks. Entire airports, interstates, and city blocks are shut down to accommodate the President of the United States. Anytime he travels outside the White House compound, a small army of secret service agents, military aides, support staff, and press follow along. Often, the quickest and most secure method of transportation is by motorcade. Shielded by inches-thick reinforced armor and glass, the President leads the way in his limousine. Then come the Secret Service; watching, waiting, always alert.

LANA SLEZIC | A Window Inside

Issue 09

There is no room for love in Afghanistan, said a young teenage girl as we sipped tea in the sitting room of her family’s Kabul apartment. She said this as if it were true, had been for years, for as long as she could remember. Not in that moment, but in the twilight of that evening and for several years after, her remark caused me to reflect on the kind of space that love can consume.

JAMES WHITLOW DELANO | Selling Spring

Issue 09

Selling Spring, or Baishun in Japanese, reflects age-old attitudes towards prostitution, a form of servitude; it is simply impossible to make generalizations about this subject. Usually, the deeper the poverty, the higher the likelihood young women, and sometimes young men, will wind up in this dangerous profession.  Quite often they are coerced or betrayed by a perceived friend or even a relative in whom misplaced trust results in a form of bondage, though this is not always the case. Even in Thailand, which has made great economic strides over the last thirty years, prostitution is still prevalent, and Patpong and Pattaya are still synonymous with the sex industry.

HENRY HORENSTEIN | Show

Issue 09

Over the years I’ve photographed many different types of subjects, including animals and the human form. But I’ve always returned to my roots as a documentary photographer. More than anything, I like a good story. And I try to tell one in a direct way, with humor and a punch line if possible. With this in mind, I have photographed country musicians in Nashville, my family and friends in Massachusetts, horse racing at Saratoga, nightlife in Buenos Aires, old highways everywhere, everyone in Cajun, Louisiana, South American baseball, camel breeding in Dubai, tri-racial families in Maryland, and much, much more.

CHERYL KORALIK | Notes from Africa

Issue 09

I COME FROM A LARGE FAMILY. When proudly introducing all of his children, my father would jokingly say he bought me from the gypsies. The seed was planted and I guess that's how it started—my wanderlust, traveling and exploring the world, never being able to settle down in one place for long. It was February 1991 when my feet first touched on the West African soil of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. And as if it were yesterday, those initial visuals remain vivid in my mind's eye. Ouaga was so full of life. Motos (small motorcycles) filled the unpaved roads, weaving through the crowds creating a mirage of dust. Still, the vibrant colors of the Burkinabée women’s native dress illuminated as they balanced baskets of food on their heads and carried babies on their backs.

ALEX WEBB & REBECCA NORRIS WEBB | Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs

Issue 09

Alex Webb: Our book, Violet Isle—a little known name for Cuba inspired by the rich color of its soil––began as two separate projects: my exploration of the streets of Cuba and Rebecca’s surprising discovery of unique and sometimes mysterious collections of animals throughout the island—from tiny zoos and pigeon societies to hand-painted natural history displays and quirky personal menageries. As we photographed more extensively in Cuba, however, we began to see that despite the differences in our visions and our choices of subject, our work sprang from a response to a similar notion: the feel of a nation in a kind of bubble, an economic, political, cultural, and ecological bubble. Following a book publisher’s suggestion, we decided to try weaving our photographs together.

BOB BLACK | The Oxen of the Sun

Issue 09

II Words, like small billows under hull, tiller the jib of my meandering thoughts. Pictures, like wisps of exhalation, rudder the carriage of my body's hinting. I have always worked both, rhyme and flap, to set my life's navigation right—Ballast of Boom and Keel—the steerage from which I have tried to helm my way home. A halyard in its pulling.

III How does one see through the clouded time of unseeing, especially when they themselves tell stories with pictures while all along they have struggled with the nature of how to see. So, it is me. I am blind, blind in my right eye from a congenital disease, Coat's.

WELOME TO METALLURG | Rob Hornstra

Issue 08

I am asked to open the door to my bedroom. An extremely large woman with a cloth on her head stands threateningly in front of the door to my bedroom at Metallurg sanatorium. Still rather dazed from a healing radon bath I have just had, we both enter my room. Already shaking her head, the head cleaner points vigorously at my unmade bed. This is completely unacceptable. Together we shake out the covers and make the bed. From now on, please do this before breakfast. Just like at home, she adds sternly.

THE PARADE | Nadav Kander

Issue 08

The Parade is the name of a quiet coastal road in South East England.

Stretching for approximately two miles, the 150 or so houses that line one side of the road all share uninterrupted views of the sea from the front, whilst from behind they are overshadowed by Dungeness, the oldest nuclear power station in England. Contained within the seemingly private space of their own homes, we watch people performing domestic actions that are not remarkable, nor individual but similar and universal—for me they reveal so much about ourselves.

THE BLENHEIM OAKS | Simon Norfolk

Issue 08

Blenheim Palace near Oxford—one of the greatest of England's stately homes—was a gift from a grateful nation to a General, John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, for his victories in battle. In William Fordice Mavor's New Description of Blenheim, a contemporary guidebook to the palace and its gardens, the extraordinary suggestion is made that the original layout for the planting of the oaks imitated the disposition of the troops at the beginning of the Battle of Blenheim on August 13, 1704. Just think: a battlefield, laid out in the heart of England in a massive leafy reminder of a faraway military conquest!

SHRINES: PUBLIC WEAPONS IN AMERICA | Paul Shambroom

Issue 08

What happens to weapons of war when they are no longer useful for their original purposes? Those that are not scrapped are often given second lives in the public sphere, mounted in places of honor in communities across the United States. Town squares, city parks, armories, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts display retired cannons, tanks and aircraft from past American conflicts.

REAL BEAUTY | Jodi Bieber

Issue 08

This new body of work has been inspired by a number of events, primarily by my own maturity. My forties have brought a feeling of more comfort in my own skin than when I was younger, even though my body shape has shifted dramatically. This project is a reaction to a Dove billboard advertising campaign in London showing ordinary women in their underwear advocating and speaking up for real beauty. Advertising campaigns don’t usually draw my attention, but this one did.

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