Documentary Photography

Posts tagged “documentary


Proud to announce that I’m one of 22 selected in this years FreshFaced+WildEyed annual graduates exhibition.

My work from Syria will be showcased at The Photographers Gallery, (16-18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW), from the 15th to the 30th of September.

Here’s more about the judges and my fellow exhibitors (taken from the website):

“The Judges for 2012 are Bridget Coaker, Night Picture Editor, The Guardian and co-founder of Troika Editions; Anthony Luvera, artist, writer and lecturer, Karen Newman, Curator, Open Eye Gallery and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery.

This year’s finalists are Brendan Baker & Daniel Evans, Alison Bettles, Anders Birger, David Birkin, Jonny Briggs, Emma Critchley, Helen Goodin, Paula Gortázar, Maria Gruzdeva, Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir, Gemma Marmalade, Marianne McGurk, Nadège Mériau, Vilma Pimenoff, Minna Pöllänen, Martin Seeds, Chloe Sells, Alison Stolwood, Elisavet Tamouridou, Helen Thompson, SeoYeoung Won”

See the whole story here: This Damn Weather

and please drop by the gallery!


Roskilde Festival 2012

Roskilde Festival was a blast! Plenty of great concerts, amazing people and drunken sunrises all around. This year I managed to leave my camera behind while I listened to some of the greats on today’s music scene. Instead I made sure to focus on the one most important thing on a festival. Your friends!

Instead of photographing the biggest names I went searching through the underbrush of modern music for the unique festival experience.

Here’s what I found…

Roskilde Festival

I’ve been commissioned to shoot at the Roskilde Festival again this year. I’ll be working with the news site on stories and series from the festival starting today.

Really looking forward to get some good shots of musicians and bands such as Jack White, The Gossip, Janelle Monáe, The Roots, Bruce Springsteen and some of the other 127 bands playing on this years festival.

As a warm-up for today’s grand opening I’ve put together a “best-of” last years festival. Follow me here and on for the next week and a day to get in knee deep with Danish festival culture!

Here we go…

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Exhibition in London City Hall

My exhibition with the London 2012 Inspire Program in London City Hall went well. It’s now taken down to tour a selection of companies, city halls and private venues all partnering with the Inspire Program. Here’s how it was presented…

This Damn Weather

There are reports of violent clashes and untimely deaths pouring in from all over Syria. These are getting mixed up with whispered rumours and half-truths that are all being fed into a virtual world build of binary ones and zeroes. In this second reality all information is chopped up, mixed together and handed back to the people in bite sized, 140 character packages easy to consume but hard to digest. The people of Damascus live in a world shaped by another world that in reality doesn’t really exist. The only thing real is the fear. The fear of what will come.
This project is an exploration of the modern theater of war. In a reality shaped by a digital battlefield, the roles played are not always clear. Feeding on pieces of often violent and graphic information issued to us from second realities such as Twitter & Facebook, we recreate the world around us and mould it into shapes that bounce off our predetermined mental imagery.

A pair of tired eyes peers over the photo page of my beetroot coloured passport. “Occupation?” he asks me. “Student” I reply.
Next to the custom official hangs a poster showing the Syrian dove caught in mid air, wings spread and proudly carrying an olive branch in its beak, all around it cannons are aiming. Each can- non is branded with one promi- nent news channel logo after the other, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC. They are all there trying to shoot down the peace dove of the re- gime. Another glance through the passport then my details are thoroughly noted into the sys- tem. First in fluent Arabic, then
in slow shaky capital letters, “TOURIST”, two quick stamps reiterate his verdict. “Welcome to Syria”, he hands back my documents and ges- tures me towards the door.

Syria is a country being swept by a storm that refuses to quieten down and Damascus is the eye of the hurricane. With all tourists long gone the streets are left un- naturally quiet. From walls and rooftops all over town president Bashar Al-Assad and his father Hafez, the leader of the 1970 coup are scouring the city look- ing on from posters and pedes- tals. Here in a city besieged by
secret police and undercover agents the people would never discuss politics openly, instead they refer to old president Hafez as “The Lion King”, this turns Bashar into Simba and the Jack- als are the ones you always fear might be listening in.

Inside the national museum ev- erything is quiet, I’m walking the long empty halls of history cast in clay, iron, silver and gold. A lone guard sits on his footstool surrounded by 10.000 years of history, here are lives lived and lost, battles fought and civiliza- tions crumbled.
Outside in the overgrown garden the last of the evening light throws long shadows of the an- cient stone statues of the ones that were, among them sits one that still is. We talk, he tells me of his life, a good life, well at least it used to be. Things have changed recently.
“It’s because of the weather”, he says, looking me into the eyes. “This damn weather”

There are reports of violent clashes and untimely deaths pouring in from all over the country. These are getting mixed up with whispered rumours and half-truths that are all being fed into a virtual world built of binary
ones and zeroes. In this second reality all information is chopped up, mixed together and handed back to the people in bite sized 140 character packages, easy to consume but hard to digest. The people of Damascus live in a world shaped by another world that in reality doesn’t really ex- ist. The only thing real is the fear, the fear of what will come.

I’m walking through the streets of the old city observing the hopelessness, feeling the ten- sion thick in the air. People look at me like I look at them, here we are all strangers. The act of rais- ing my camera feels like a threat
to shatter this carefully con- structed glass citadel so I tend not to. A street sweeper stops me, he demands to look through my pictures, there is nothing in- criminating there so he nods and lets me go, I hurry down a side street aware of his eyes fol- lowing me.
Looking back I notice anoth- er shadow on my heels, I take a right then a left but he’s still there, our eyes meet and he stops, turns around and gets his phone out, I disappear. My heart is pounding, who was he? I slowly realize that I have become a part of it, this theatre of war.

“And They Lived Happily Ever After”

Nothing like a good wedding shoot. Thanks to Will & Shirin for a great day!


Re entering the faith…

I’ve been back to see Jeff.

As you can see earlier in this blog, Reverent Jeff Yelland is an Associate Minister of St Paul’s Church in Dorking, Surrey.

I still haven’t found out which direction this story is going. I just know that there’s strong pictures and a even stronger story hidden in there somewhere. Wont get in to writing too much about it right now, better save that for my “Aha-moment”

Ideas are welcome!

The church

Human relationships…

How do you define a relationship? What is a relationship? First thought was mother and child, employer – employee, man and woman, man and man… Suddenly the list is endless. People interact with each other every moment of every single day. Even when we’re not together, we interact! But how to capture this in pictures! This single most important human feature, the meeting of two individuals.

I wanted something that had more soul than an office, but at the same time I was attracted to the idea of a workplace. I chose a church. I see priests as people working with and in faith, with and within the soul. Perfect for the assignment and perfect for me personally. Having been brought up without religion, the church and the people within (which of course are the church) always interested me. What was it that made the church? What was it that people claiming god in their heart found there? Is there still a room for the church in our time? Luckily, I’m surrounded by good and generous people and within a day I had a contact. I met with Reverend Jeff Yelland from St. Paul’s church in Dorking and started working right away.

This is an ongoing project, and I’m going back this weekend to shoot some more. I hope to be able to convert this one from a single assignment in to a major project. This is the intro:

The Christian faith that used to be so strong within its many followers seems to be declining in recent years. Today most of the British population know the outside of the church better than the inside. This is not the case with St. Paul’s Church in Dorking. With a congregation of 350 people, which includes 100 children, this church is full almost every Sunday. Come in and meet Reverent Jeff Yellard and see the work of a modern day Vicar.


The streets of London

This week is all about street photography.

After collecting inspiration from masters as Bruce Gilden and Henri Cartier-Bresson and especially their extremely different approaches to the subject, there was not much else to do than to go out guns blazing!

I always hate the first hour out shooting. I’m tense and often too worked up to see what is going on around me. After that hour (and a lot of failed shots) I start to relax, steady my pace and finally open up my eyes. I stop feeling as afraid of people and their reaction to me photographing.

At the best of times I can almost see myself being detached from the street and watch it from the outside, as a scene in a play.

Well, this time I did two shoots each one an hour long, so not much theatre here. The first one was a night shoot in the midst of the chaos on Oxford Street. Second one (the last two pictures in the set) was a day shot around Borough Market.


The Dog Gulag

So the first month, first week and first assignment.

We where told to go find a “Person at work” and find their inner passion or lack of same. I think I found something altogether different.

Bearing in mind that I did two professions, about 4-500 shots of each, edited 80, liked 20 and ended up with four (!) pictures for the blog, you can say that I went through a process.

After showing the 80 edited pictures to my group it was clear that the classic shots didn’t really tickle me pink. It came down to the dark and spooky, underexposed, unsharp pictures…. As usual.

Even though Ruth from “Taking the Leash” was the nicest person and had an amazing contact with the dogs and their owners, I must share these pictures with the world.

Here we go, The Dog Gulag…