Archive for the ‘Photos’ category

The Great Adventure of Latin American Photography

November 4, 2011

Pages from the photo book 'Fotografías'
Pages from the book Fotografías (Photographs). All pictures courtesy of publisher RM S.A DE C.V.

Pages from 'Bares cariocas'
Pages from Bares cariocas (Bars of Rio de Janiero).

Pages from 'Doorway to Brasilia'
Pages from Doorway to Brasilia.

Pages from 'Chile o muerte'
Pages from Chile o muerte (Chile or Death).

Pages from La última ciudad (The Last City).

The Great Adventure of Latin American Photography
One volume covers 150 of the best books of photography created from the 1920s to today in countries like Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina
El País: La gran aventura de la fotografía latinoamericana
Elsa Fernández-Santos reporting from Madrid November 4, 2011

Like a chain of precious jewels on paper, the volume El fotolibro latinoamericano (The Latin American Photo Book) unites 150 jewels of photographic bibliography created in the countries of Latin America. Unique books, many of them unknown, found in old bookstores and libraries, which shape a route beginning in the 20s and ending in the present day and including along the way some of the most beautiful and singular works of publication and photography realized in recent decades. Works of art in which literature, history, anthropology, and simple beauty meet on the page, pieces which have not only survived the passage of time but also have become authentically unique.

The adventure of El fotolibro latinoamericano began in 2007, after the first Latin American Photography Forum celebrated in Sao Paolo. There the concept of creating a research book was born, one to be headed by Horacio Fernández, a former committee adviser for Martin Parr, Marcelo Brodsky, and Ramón Reverté, among others. “It isn’t a mere bibliographic compendium. It’s a critical study that shows the enormous contribution of Latin America to the photo book,” write the authors. “It has been a detective search. As this had not been researched before, we had to do a lot on pure intuition,” Horacio Fernández explained.

His team traveled to each country, dove into bookstores and libraries, and got in contact with people who could give them tips on unique books. “The selection criteria were simple: they had to be authors who were born in or lived in Latin America, and they had to have participated decisively in the publication and realization of their books.” From the page setting to the proper photographic discourse, each detail was important to the selection of books for this compendium. “The photo book is a collective work in which the photography is as important as the design or the graphic edition. It’s a way of looking at photography that’s very different from the way one would at a showing. I like to compare it with film: it’s a movie on paper, a visual story with a certain order.”

The Latin American photo books created by literary figures especially capture one’s attention. “In the 30s, Neruda had already begun to include photographs in his poetry collections,” Fernández points out. In the same vein, there are editions of Último round (Last Round) by Julio Cortázar, designed in Mexico by Julio Silva; Versos de salón (Salon Verses) by the Chilean Nicanor Parra, with photographs by Daniel Vittet and design by Fernán Meza, next to España en el corazón (Spain in the Heart) by Neruda, with photographic compositions by Pedro Olmos. They surprising works like Bares cariocas (Bars of Rio de Janiero) by Luiz Alphonsus, Fallo fotográfico (Photographic Failure) by Eugenio Dittborn; Fotografías by Fernell Franco, and Letreros que se… (Signs That…) by El Grupo, created in Caracas, “the most photogenic (and photographed) city in Latin America”.


Railway Fans Pack Chiba’s Chōshi Station to Send Off “Suka-Colored” 113 Train on its Farewell Run

September 26, 2011

Crew of 113's Farewell Run Takes a Commemorative Photo
Railway fans take commemorative photos of the 113 before it departs. Chōshi Station, September 23, 2011.

Railway Fans Pack Chiba’s Chōshi Station to Send Off “Suka-Colored” 113 Train on its Farewell Run
Yomiuri Shimbun: 「スカ色」113系、ファンに見送られ記念運行
September 25, 2011

JR East passenger train #113, much loved for its kon– and cream-colored exterior (kon is navy blue), made farewell runs on the 23rd and 24th, from Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Station to Chiba’s Chōshi and Tateyama Stations, respectively, in honor of its retirement from regular service.

About a hundred camera-toting railway fans packed into Chōshi Station to reluctantly say farewell.

Train 113 began service in Chiba in 1969. It ran between Chiba and Kurihama, Yokosuka until 1999 (a route which rounds Tokyo Bay, passing through central Tokyo into Yokohama), including stints on the Sōbu Rapid Line and the Yokosuka Line. Its kon and cream paint job was nicknamed “Yokosuka Colors” or “Suka Colors” for short.

On the 23rd, the 113 made a round trip between Ryōgoku and Chōshi Stations on tracks used by the Sōbu and Narita Lines. It departed from Ryōgoku, and it arrived at Chōshi at 12:24 PM. After it had parked at “home”, the passengers and crew took commemorative photos with it.

At 2:05 PM, fans said “thank you” and waved to the car as it departed. 28 people on a “farewell team” assembled by Chōshi tourism attendants wore yellow happi coats for the occasion.

Mr. Hiroshi Sakurai (53), a former passenger, said: “We’ve been fond of this train ever since the Showa Period. There’s an intensity of feeling here and a sad aspect to this retirement as well.”

On the 24th, the train set off from Ryōgoku again and made a farewell run down the Sōbu Line and around the Uchibō and Sotobō Lines (which circle the inner and outer shores of the Bōso Peninsula [Chiba], respectively).

Original/原稿: (more…)

ICLP電子報第47期:北港媽祖廟會 ~ Beigang Mazu Festival (Featured in 47th ICLP Bulletin)

May 10, 2011

ICLP 電子報: 北港媽祖廟會 (Original Article Which Includes Photos)

Beigang Matsu Festival
By James Smyth

On Thursday, April 21, a group from ICLP went to Beigang for the most important field trip of the school year. This year, over 30 students and teachers left together from Taipei; other students fit the trip into their own travel plans and met us there. Some students said this was their first time to leave Taipei and come to “the real Taiwan,” so it was a precious opportunity for them.

Because teachers and students have contributed so many pictures and videos, I think writing too many words to describe the trip would be like drawing legs for a snake (superfluous (unless it’s Trogdor the Burninator)), so instead I’ll just explain what you’re seeing in the images. Mazu (“Mother Ancestor”), also called Shengmu (“Holy Mother”), is a traditional Chinese goddess. She is a patron saint of the people of southeastern China, including the Taiwanese. In 1694 (Year 33 of Qing Emperor Kangxi’s reign), a figure of the goddess was brought from Meizhou, Fujian to Taiwan, and the people of Beigang built a temple to house her. Now more than a million people visit Chaotian Temple every year, and the busiest time of year is her birthday, the recently-passed 19th day of the third month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Obviously, the incense, offerings, paper money, dice, censers, and donations were busy at Chaotian Temple, but the most distinctive part of the festival was the parade of pilgrims circling the temple, led by Mazu’s “advance guard.” They must have been exceptionally brave because all around them, people were setting off fireworks, mascots were dancing, and people and gods were both acting as Mazu’s servants. People carried images of the goddess in carts on their shoulders. Not only the Americans but even many Taiwanese thought it was brutally loud. So many fireworks were set off that when the wind blew or cars drove by, their tattered wrappers took to the air like they were dancing. Judging by this tradition, Mazu and the people have a mutually beneficial relationship: the people defend her from manmade threats, and she defends them from natural ones.

The parade floats (called “artistic pavilions”) were like no other. Small children dressed as Mazu sat atop beautifully decorated vehicles and threw candy to the people. I could tell from the many emotional faces in the crowd that they felt like they were encountering the goddess through the children. The children were extremely well-behaved; though the time they spent in makeup must have been longer than a typical school day, and the floats were blaring all kinds of cheerful music, even arch-American anthems like “Yankee Doodle” and “Jingle Bells,” they kept on serving their elders. The next Monday, to keep the positive cycle going, I threw candy I received to my classmates and teachers at school.

Han Feizi said that when all is peaceful under heaven, the people do not need to ask for help from ghosts or gods, and their faith diminishes. Religious belief is weaker every year in modern Europe; might rapidly developing Taiwan suffer the same phenomenon? I’m not qualified to say, but before we arrived in Beigang, a minor accident destroyed my sense of “invincibility.” I was resless at a rest stop, and I decided to get some exercise, so I took off running. Somehow, I slipped, fell, and slid across the concrete headfirst like a baseball player, cutting open my elbow, knee, and stomach. I must have looked like a small child. I was treated on the bus, at the next destination, and in a Beigang hospital, and I’m already much better, but it made me think that no matter what our circumstances, our lives are fragile: a natural disaster or a manmade one, a disease or an accident could break us down. I personally believe that people cannot outgrow religious faith. Speaking of which, recently sea travelers have decreased dramatically, but more people ride airplanes every year, especially Taiwanese, who often travel abroad, and they need a protector goddess, too. Perhaps Mazu is already on the job!

부산/釜山 ~ Busan

March 4, 2011

부산/釜山 ~ Busan

Busan is the second largest metropolis in Korea after Seoul and the fifth largest port in the world.   Since it’s right across the sea from Fukuoka and borders a river, it has been a port for trade with the Japanese for hundreds of years.  Nestled between the mountains and sea on the southern coast, it was one of only two cities not conquered by the invading northern armies at the beginning of the Korean War.  The weather is lovely: the average low in January is 0°C; the average high in August is 29°C.  This is one of the few big cities with beautiful mountains and beaches both accessible by subway.  I visited in September 2009.

Busan Street
I had lovely weather both days in the city. This is a really beautiful and wide road, isn’t it?

Path to Beomeosa Temple
Climbing to Beomeosa Temple

Beomeosa Temple Courtyard

Geomjeungsan and Fortress Walls
The city surrounds the mountain. Atop the mountain, Geumjeongsan (peak: 801.5m) are a temple and a castle. It would take an entire day to hike all the way around the perimeter of the fortress, and afterward you’d be exhausted.

At Peak of Geomjeungsan

Haeundae Beach

Busan Sunset

Korean Test Books
There are aptitude tests for everything.

桃園 ~ Taoyuan

March 3, 2011

桃園 ~ Taoyuan

Here are some of the pleasant sights northwest of Taipei: Yingge Pottery Street (鶯歌老街), Sanxia’s Zushi Temple (三峽長福巖/清水袓師廟) and Minquan Old Street (民權老街), Xiao Wulai scenic area (小烏來), and Chiang Kai-shek’s summer home and the camphor museum in Fuxing (復興). We took this trip in October of 2010: I remember this because the Rangers were battering the Yankees’ Sabathia at the time.

Yingge Pottery Shop

Yingge Pottery Street

Eggplant with Signatures

ASS Authorized Service Shop

Sanxia River Scene

Sanxia Zushi Temple

Sanxia Temple Pillar

Sanxia Temple Capital

Wulai Mountain Town

Fuxing Chiang Park

Sanxia Temple Ceiling (more…)

On the Road in Hindustan

March 2, 2011

On the Road in Hindustan

The places between the places I visited. The “Hindu Belt” is the northern plain of India.

My Driver, Raj
I, the Passenger
Slightly Flooded Street
City Cow
Oversized Load
Elephant Driver
Roadside Camel Stand
New Buildings Outside Delhi
Young Camels (more…)

Surprise Birthday Album for David Ensor

February 25, 2011

Surprise Birthday Album for David Ensor

David Ensor was born in November. So of course I am posting this album now. I’d prefer you call me sneaky, not lazy. We celebrated with Korean Barbecue, a Communist Bar, and Drunken Jenga.

Korean Barbecue Pit
The Grill
Korean Barbecue Ventilator
The Ventilator
David Ensor Birthday
The Men
Barbecue Meat
The Meat
Company No. 12
Paris Commune Company No. 12
Communist Bar Menu
Cuba Libre is still served here.
Communist Bar Bathroom
The most aesthetically pleasing part of the bar, which says a lot about Communism.
Intense Jenga
The Jenga was intense.
Jenga Tumbling
All good things must come to an end.