Thursday, August 5, 2010

more from mada

As I edit more photos and continue to experiment with my editing process, I find myself wondering how others will perceive my images... what they will get out of them or a feeling they might come away with.

These two photos were taken when our group visited the Indian Ocean near the city of Toamasina. This little girl was so adorable... she was happily playing with other kids and came running over when her dad began cutting up coconuts for our group to try. She was a happy little girl who appeared perfectly content with her lifestyle, but I wonder whether others will find her looking sad in these images.

The photos above are not the only time I am going to question my images... While I was in Madagascar I began thinking a lot about photojournalism and how African countries are portrayed in the media. Population growth is an issue that I am particularly interested in... the WWF wrote a paper entitled "Population trends and the environment in Madagascar". The article states,"Madagascar's exploding population exacerbates its economic stress. The island’s average population growth rate ranks among the highest in Africa at 2.8 percent per year. The population of around 14.1 million is expected to double by 2025. Since in-migration is negligible, population growth is driven by high fertility rates. In turn, poverty and a lack of reproductive health facilities contribute to the high fertility rate. Research has also shown a clear correlation between fertility and women's access to education. This is significant for Madagascar as over 40 percent of the female population over the age of 15 is illiterate. Female literacy is exceptionally low in the spiny forest but higher in the central highlands in and around the capital, Antananarivo".

This is clearly a complex problem to solve. My question as an artist is whether creating sad, even beautifully sad, images of children is going to do any real good... because unless real changes are made, Madagascar may see some very catastrophic effects due to their population growth. As a photographer is this a meaningful use of my time? And is it even truthful when I think about the actual happy children I saw?

Monday, August 2, 2010

HOLY S*@#!

Check out this:

This is one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time... another reason why I am DYING to get into underwater videography (and perhaps finally decide on my next camera purchase and go with the Canon 5D mark II ??) writes, "In this remarkable clip, world freediving champion Guillaume Nery stands at the edge of the world's second deepest underwater sink hole. And he jumps. The ensuing photography is a hypnotic adventure into the impossible. While Nery contends that no freediver can nor ever will make it to the bottom of Dean's Blue Hole, he spent four afternoons pulling off the stunts to simulate the effect while girlfriend/freediver Julie Gautier, just as impressively, filmed them (while freediving herself!) with a Canon 5D Mark II".