Archive: photography
Surprising photos of veiled female police squad in Iran

Surprising photos of veiled female police squad in Iran

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2006

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2006
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy, 2006

In 2003 the first females ever graduated from Iran’s police academy in the capital city Tehran, after undergoing a training of three years. Spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself had to give permission to Tehran’s police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf to create the first all-female police unit.

Photographer Abbas Kowsari does not shy away from controversial topics. He has worked for over ten Iranian leading newspapers, most of them now banned from publishing. He was granted permission to take photos of the graduation ceremony, which turned out to be quite unusual. “During Qalibaf’s time as police chief,” Kowsari said, “policewomen performed many martial arts and chase routines, including climbing walls and jumping out of the windows of moving cars. But after he stepped down, that training was eliminated. Last year’s ceremony was limited to a parade, speeches, target practice, and the loading of revolvers by blindfolded policewomen graduates. No photographers were allowed.

Abbas Kowsari currently works as the senior photo editor for Shargh newspaper in Tehran and his photos have been published in The New York Times, Time magazine, Der Spiegel and others.

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2007
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy, 2007

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy

Abbas Kowsari - Dragnet Tehran, 2003
Abbas KowsariDragnet Tehran, 2003

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2006
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy, 2006

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy Edition- 2/7, 2006
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy– 2/7, 2006


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Throwback: New visual language in the field of photography

Throwback: New visual language in the field of photography

Thomas Struth - Pantheon, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth - Pantheon, Rome, 1990
Thomas StruthPantheon, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth is one of the most critically acclaimed contemporary photographers of our time. He is renowned for his black and white photographs of cities such as Düsseldorf and New York, as well as his family portraits. The artist who lives in Dusseldorf acquired his inspiration for his series of Museum Photographs while he was residing in Naples and Rome, where he discovered that there was a connection between paintings of art and religion and how these paintings connect audiences to their spirituality. The Museum Photographs, which was showcased at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, marshaled in a new visual language in the field of photography.

In his series, Struth photographed the art and the visitors viewing it, as well as the viewer observing other audiences. As such, with the many layers of observation, Struth’s intention was to assess the museum’s control of their audience and the criteria that each museum has for exhibiting pieces in the way that it does. The purpose behind the Museum Photographs was to remind people that the iconic subjects of his photographs were once just unfamiliar paintings done by ordinary individuals.

For instance, his Galleria dell’Accademia I, Venice piece shows regular tourists in shorts and casual clothing as they wander around an exhibition hall that is dominated by Paolo Veronese’s 1573 painting The Feast in the House of Levi. Struth’s color print is as large as Veronese’s painting, yet the scene in his photograph is reminiscent of memories of an outing on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. He specifically selected Veronese’s interpretation of the Feast in the House of Levi as a subject because it had a feel of a regular dinner or lunch and it depicted a rather large party atmosphere where people have gathered to drink and make merry. As a result, his photograph of the feast allows today’s audiences to look upon the masterpiece with a new energy and perspective, just like the first time it was put on public display.

For the project, Struth utilized a European 13×18 camera, and he positioned himself strategically so that every photograph he took, whether inside a museum or in the crowded streets of Paris and Vienna, rendered onlookers in random areas, which gives his pictures more power.

In the end, he managed to create a dialogue between photography and paintings, where his choice of paintings echoes his earlier black and white work in Düsseldorf. He effectively manages to bridge the gap between space and time, where the figures in the painting and the figures observing the paintings are connected despite how much time has passed since the paintings were first made public or the space that exists between them.

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum I, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum I, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum II, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum II, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum III, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum III, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum VI, Berlin, 1996
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum VI, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - Stanze di Raffaello 2, Rome, 1990
Thomas StruthStanze di Raffaello 2, Rome, 1990

Thomas Struth - Art Institute of Chicago I, Chicago, 1990
Thomas StruthArt Institute of Chicago I, Chicago, 1990

Thomas Struth - Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990
Thomas StruthArt Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990

Thomas Struth - Galleria dell'Accademia I, Venice, 1992
Thomas StruthGalleria dell'Accademia I, Venice, 1992

Thomas Struth - Kunsthistorisches Museum III Wien, 1989
Thomas StruthKunsthistorisches Museum III Wien, 1989

Thomas Struth - Louvre 1, Paris, 1989
Thomas StruthLouvre 1, Paris, 1989

Thomas Struth - Louvre 4, Paris, 1989
Thomas StruthLouvre 4, Paris, 1989

Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum IV, Berlin, 2001
Thomas StruthPergamon Museum IV, Berlin, 2001

Thomas Struth - National Gallery 1, London, 1989
Thomas StruthNational Gallery I, London, 1989

Thomas Struth - National Gallery II, London, 2001
Thomas StruthNational Gallery II, London, 2001

Thomas Struth - Alte Pinakothek, Self Portrait, Munich, 2000
Thomas StruthAlte Pinakothek, Self Portrait, Munich, 2000


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The fascinating (and disturbing) photos of Asger Carlsen

The fascinating (and disturbing) photos of Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2011, 76.2 x 58.4 cm ← →

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Best known as the photographer with a fascination with distorted human figures, Danish photographer, Asger Carlsen was born in 1973. He began flirting with the idea of being a commercial photographer as early as the age of 16 when he took a photograph of a police officer who was yelling at him and his friends, which he would later sell to a local newspaper. He took to crime-scene photography soon after and this would propel him to commercial photography working for various magazines. The creation of photographic distortions was born in 2006 when he was playing with images on his computer; he laid several human faces on top of each other and the end result was an odd looking face which had multiple pairs of eyes. Naturally, this surprised him and having come at a time when he was trying to make his name as a commercial photographer, he was afraid of what has been created, so he chose to hide it.

Now, many years later, Asger Carlsen is a well-known photographer, thanks to his ability to digitally manipulate images he has photographed. While his works are unique, the images he creates are odd, confusing and shocking. If you can imagine a human being with no face, or with countless pairs of eyes or with an unusual alignment of body parts, then you can imagine the works of Asger Carlsen.

Owing to his awkward art, Asger Carlsen has been featured in various high level publications such as the New Yorker and Huffington Post. His work has been displayed in galleries and museums internationally. Perhaps the most outstanding influence of his work is its power to present humanity in a humorous and eerie manner every time and to give the viewer a sense of familiarity and mystery at the same time. To someone who is looking for a thrilling photographic viewing, Asger Carlsen’s different styles of photos make for an interesting story. While he tries to be unique in this new concept of photography, he remains loyal to brand photography through use of high quality flash and image contrast imaging.

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Fischerspooner, Aus der Serie EGOS, 2015
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Hester), 2011, 76.2 x 58.42 cm
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2011, 120 x 83 cm
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2010, 82 x 100 cm
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2012, 40 x 30 cm ← →
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2010, 80 x 100 cm
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen - Untitled (Wrong), 2010, 40 x 33 cm
Asger Carlsen

Asger Carlsen
Asger Carlsen


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Prohibited photos from world’s most isolated country

Prohibited photos from world’s most isolated country

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Inhabitants of Pyongyang commuting.

A lot of attention was recently drawn to a series of photographs taken by London-based photographer Michal Huniewicz. These photographs are somewhat prohibited as they show the real side of North Korea. Tourists who want to visit North Korea are only allowed to do so through pre-arranged tours booked via travel agencies. When they arrive, there will be tour guides who will be with them at all times throughout their stay in the country. It is quite normal for tour guides to be assigned to tourists so as to ease their movements and make the tour a worthy experience but truthfully, the main job of tour guides in North Korea is to prevent tourists from interacting with locals, to prevent them from taking pictures and keep them away from areas where there is a high rate of poverty and unhappiness. Tourists are not allowed to take photos of soldiers and there are certain places where cameras are not allowed to be used.

These tour guides take tourists to areas where they have things under control and properly managed. Although on rare occasions, tourists can get to take more unbiased photos of North Korea and smuggle them out which is just what Michal Huniewicz did. His photos show citizens of North Korea living in abject poverty in a country that seems to be in a state of deadlock with no apparent signs of moving forward. According to the photographer there was hardly anyone seen smiling. They either looked gloomy or their body languages suggested that they were ready to obey the next order. Nobody showed much excitement at the sight of foreigners and it almost felt like they didn’t see them. In one of his photos, some of the citizens were seen sweeping pavements and public places under the supervision of soldiers. In others, waitresses were seen working in restaurants where propaganda images are shown on television throughout the day. As part of the search conducted on tourists, the controversial Hollywood film, the Interview was checked for on laptops as it is banned in the country. Huniewicz did manage to get the photos out through small memory cards, lying about his camera and keeping a straight face.

Huniewicz would be thrilled to go back to the country when the current regime collapses but he thinks it would be unwise to go anytime soon. This is probably due to an American tourist, Otto Warmbier who got sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for stealing a poster from the same hotel Michal stayed. North Koreans have had their freedom of expression and will take away from them and through these photos, the world can have an idea of what is going on there.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
This was how most photos would be taken – through the minivan window. Pro tip: Take your polarising filter with you to minimise reflections. Pro tip from John Z Wetmore : It helps to wear a dark or black shirt, so the reflection is of black and doesn’t show up. (Thanks, John!)

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Before entering North Korea we were told by our Chinese guide (who did not enter North Korea with us) what would happen if you decided to ignore the limitations and take a stroll outside of the allowed area. Provided they don’t stop you immediately, you’d be arrested, threatened, and then forced to pay in order to be released (the person who actually did do it had to pay $10,000 USD). If you are American, all bets are off though.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
North Koreans supposedly believe that the entire world is in awe of their achievements.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Pyongyang Times is a weekly magazine that was launched in 1965, and is published in English and French. The front page is usually dedicated to the ruling Kim visiting various places and handing precious advice. The magazine claimed that “if the Olympic Games were to be held in South Korea, many sportsmen and tourists of the world would meet death, infected with AIDS”, as so many people had been deliberately infected by American soldiers.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
Patiently waiting for the train to pass.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
I think they were really proud of this area, as they were taking us there constantly.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
This is where you board your train to North Korea. It then slowly moves across the [new] bridge, into North Korea, where a major customs check occurs.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
What’s the last time you saw a kid in the West cleaning anything? Also, the statue on the left features a North Korean soldier stepping on an American flag.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Workers carrying an object across the bridge.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
In North Korea, there are places you can visit and places you cannot visit, and the latter are far more numerous. Well, this is one of them. Usually, we were accompanied by our guides, one in the front, one in the back. But at one point they were both in the front, which allowed for a literally 15-second long detour into this ordinary shop for North Koreans. That gave me maybe 10 seconds to take this and the following picture, before being kicked out by the bad cop, and the atmosphere became rather unpleasant. I’m not sure if he saw me taking these pictures.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
The difference between North Korea and China becomes even more apparent at night, when Dandong becomes a brilliant metropolis, while North Korea plunges into darkness. In the photo, the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, which connects Dandong with the city of Sinuiju, North Korea

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
Across the country.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
This was one of the most strange moments – when we finally arrived in Pyongyang. Through the courtains of the compartment window, we looked at a surreal scene that appeared like something out of a theatre in its perfection and artifice. Elegant men, beautiful women, walking in a simulated hurry, travellers without a reason (ours was the only train that day), all to impress us and so that the station doesn’t look empty. We arrived in North Korea.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
I find socialist architecture brutal and oppressive.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
There was never much traffic in Pyongyang. How were we supposed to participate in a car accident? …

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
You have to be fast. Soon we noticed that while Pyongyang is meant to be a utopian showcase for foreign visitors like ourselves, there are more glamorous bits, and there are less glamurous bits. What’s more, our mute driver was perfectly aware of this, so he would conveniently slow down whenever the surroundings were impressive, and speed up whenever they were less pleasant, to make them more difficult to photograph.
One of us said that taking photos in North Korea was therefore like Olympic archery.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
A honeycomb of flats reminded me of socialist architecture in Eastern Europe.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
The waitresses serving us often seemed a little terrified.
This was our first night in North Korea. We dined in the hotel’s basement, in a small room, debating whether it was bugged, and wondering whether we could trust one another (the whole group was 7 people).

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
The rumour is, the fifth floor of the hotel is entire dedicated to the surveillance of the guests. Some people managed to visit it (the door is usually closed when you take the stairs), so it’s worth googling.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
They took us to this spot over and over again, maybe they were really proud of the mural.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
All the modest elegance and cleanness of Pyongyang… and now this!

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczRoad to North Korea
There is some sparse, 50s-looking infrastructure on the North Korean side of the river.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
But then it doesn’t seem like they volounteer to keep the place clean.
Since South Korea is no longer providing fertiliser, North Koreans are charged with collecting their faeces in winter for spring planting. This is used to produce toibee, a fertiliser in which ash is mixed with human excrement. Factories and public enterprised have been ordered to produce two tons of toibee.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Soldiers in Pyongyang.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
Social realism in sculpture.

Michal Huniewicz - North Korea - Pyongyang
Michal HuniewiczOstensibly Ordinary: Pyongyang
The place is called Mansu Hill Grand Monument, and you are informed that “visitors who take photos of the statues are required to frame both leaders in the entirety of their picture.”


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This is how Hong Kong looked like 60 years ago

This is how Hong Kong looked like 60 years ago

Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Inferno, 1962
Fan Ho – Inferno, 1962

Photographer Fan Ho was born in Shanghai, China in 1931 and immigrated to Hong Kong in his teens where he then began to photograph the drama of city life, ranging from the teeming markets to desolate alleyways. A Hong Kong Memoir completes Ho’s trilogy that he began with Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre, in which he introduced viewers to Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, using his exceptional eye for light, structure, and his patience, waiting for the right moment to take the photo.

His photobook, A Hong Kong Memoir, illuminates the differences in Hong Kong during different times, and highlights the differences in wellbeing when so many different people were immigrating to Hong Kong, many fleeing Shanghai due to the Nationalist-Communist Civil War, serving to create an assortment of cultural diversity and language barriers, and of course social inequality. The government provided those who were born in Hong Kong with housing and education, the incoming refugees were not provided with the same opportunities by any means. This discrepancy is highlighted in Ho’s photos, as you can see the distinct differences between precarity and affluence, while the use of light and dark emphasizes the dualistic nature of life in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.

The influential photographer Fan Ho shows the beauty of life while also showing disparity that accompanies social and economic inequality- using light and dark to contrast the images.

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957

Fan Ho - World Upside Down, 1960
Fan HoWorld Upside Down, 1960

Fan Ho - Works, 1964
Fan HoWorks, 1964

Fan Ho - W, 1959
Fan HoW, 1959

Fan Ho - The Omen, 1964
Fan HoThe Omen, 1964

Fan Ho - The Lone Ranger, 1954
Fan HoThe Lone Ranger, 1954

Fan Ho - Sun Rays, 1959
Fan HoSun Rays, 1959

Fan Ho - Street Scene, 1956
Fan HoStreet Scene, 1956

Fan Ho - Steps
Fan HoSteps

Fan Ho - Private, 1960
Fan HoPrivate, 1960

Fan Ho - People Crossing, 1957
Fan HoPeople Crossing, 1957

Fan Ho - Pattern, 1956
Fan HoPattern, 1956

Fan Ho - On the Stage of Life, 1954
Fan HoOn the Stage of Life, 1954

Fan Ho - Obsession, 1964
Fan HoObsession, 1964

Fan Ho - Mother's Helper, 1967
Fan HoMother's Helper, 1967

Fan Ho - Man Carrying Box, 1954
Fan HoMan Carrying Box, 1954

Fan Ho - Lines & Forms, 1959
Fan HoLines & Forms, 1959

Fan Ho - Journey to Uncertainty, 1956
Fan HoJourney to Uncertainty, 1956

Fan Ho - In a Chinese Street, 1959
Fan HoIn a Chinese Street, 1959

Fan Ho - In a Buddhist Temple, 1961
Fan HoIn a Buddhist Temple, 1961

Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962
Fan HoHong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Her Study, 1963
Fan HoHer Study, 1963

Fan Ho - Flare, 1966
Fan HoFlare, 1966

Fan Ho - Danger, 1965
Fan HoDanger, 1965

Fan Ho - Daily Routine, 1961
Fan HoDaily Routine, 1961

Fan Ho - Coolies and Hawkers, 1958
Fan HoCoolies and Hawkers, 1958

Fan Ho - Construction, 1957
Fan HoConstruction, 1957

Fan Ho - Childhood, 1959
Fan HoChildhood, 1959

Fan Ho - Busy Harbor, 1964
Fan HoBusy Harbor, 1964

Fan Ho - Between Showers, 1962
Fan HoBetween Showers, 1962

Fan Ho - Ashore, 1963
Fan HoAshore, 1963

Fan Ho - As Evening Hurries By, 1955
Fan HoAs Evening Hurries By, 1955

Fan Ho - Arrow, 1958
Fan HoArrow, 1958

Fan Ho - Approaching Shadow, 1954
Fan HoApproaching Shadow, 1954

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957


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The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

For a couple of years now, photographer Gideon Mendel has taken it upon himself to show the world what it is like in other parts of the world where the climate is very unfavourable to them. Mendel has not minded the dangers and lengths he has to go through to make sure he delivers the pictures in the clearest form possible. In his most recent project, Drowning World, he takes us round the world through his camera lenses and shows us calm portraits of flood victims in areas we would not expect. Drowning World shows the real picture of climate change around the world, the real picture behind the statistics and with real people the floods affect directly.

The project is inspired a great deal by the biblical symbolism of the flood and the way Mendel captures his images show people in environments submerged by water. In all of the images, the victims often appear still, dormant, numb, stoic or paralyzed in various cases but according to Mendel, he says the subjects usually tell him they are glad he is there as a witness to document their situations.

The images show how vulnerable and fragile some people are in certain parts of the world. This only goes a long way to prove that there is a shared vulnerability amongst races, cultures and tribes across the world. Although most of the images are taken just moments after he has met the subjects, they still show a kind of intimacy between the photographer and the victims. He always works with an assistant who helps him communicate with the victims and carry his equipment. The unique part of his work is he uses a camera that makes use of films instead of using a digital camera. He thinks that this way is magical to the results he achieves with the images he captures.

In most of the areas Mendel has taken pictures, the victim all had one common angst which is the fact that they were not pre-warned about the floods. Most of them had less than 20 minutes to run from their homes when the floods started which made them lose a lot of valuable properties. They were all angry with their governments.

The significance of the work Mendel is doing with the portraits of the flood victims is to sensitize us towards the plight of the victims. He is asking us to put ourselves in their shoes and realize that it could have been us instead of them. Mendel believes climate change is a very big problem around the world, to children and upcoming generations. As much as there is little control over the climate, it is still important that people get warned beforehand about upcoming floods. There are a lot of flood disasters in different parts of the world and Mendel’s work only makes for a tiny percentage.

Gideon Mendel - Ahmad Wani Mushaq and Shafeeqa Mushtaq, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ahmad Wani Mushaq and Shafeeqa Mushtaq, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Ahmed Khairpur Nathan Shah
 Sindh Pakistan September 2010
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ahmed Khairpur Nathan Shah
, Sindh, Pakistan, September 2010

Gideon Mendel - David Morris Andrews South Carolina USA October 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – David Morris Andrews, South Carolina, USA, October 2015

Gideon Mendel - Florence Abraham Igbogene Bayelsa State Nigeria November 2012
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Florence Abraham Igbogene, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, November 2012

Gideon Mendel - Francisco Lopes da Silva Taquari District Rio Branco Brazil March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Francisco Lopes da Silva, Taquari District, Rio Branco, Brazil, March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Jameela Khan, Bemina, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Jameela Khan, Bemina, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - JB Singh, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, 24 September 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – JB Singh, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, 24 September 2014

Gideon Mendel - João Pereira de Araújo Taquari District Rio Branco Brazil March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – João Pereira de Araújo, Taquari District, Rio Branco, Brazil, March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Johora, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 15 September 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Johora, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 15 September 2015

Gideon Mendel - José Alcides dos Santos and Erenilce Lima e Silva, Rio Branco, Brazil, 10 March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – José Alcides dos Santos and Erenilce Lima e Silva, Rio Branco, Brazil, 10 March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Mohammad Younus Khosa, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Mohammad Younus Khosa, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Ripon Islam and Tarajul Islam, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 13 September 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ripon Islam and Tarajul Islam, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 13 September 2015

Gideon Mendel - Sakorn Ponsiri Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok Thailand November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Sakorn Ponsiri Chumchon, Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel - Shirley Armitage Moorland Village Somerset UK February 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Shirley Armitage, Moorland Village, Somerset, UK, February 2014

Gideon Mendel - Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel - Wilaiporn Hongjantuek Amornchai Bangkok Thailand November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Wilaiporn Hongjantuek Amornchai, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel works in Srinigar, India. Photo Gowhar Fazili
Gideon Mendel works in Srinigar, India
Photo: Gowhar Fazili


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40 powerful photos of masked horsemen in Southern Africa

40 powerful photos of masked horsemen in Southern Africa

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 5. Lebohang Monyamane - Letseng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong5. Lebohang Monyamane – Letseng, Lesotho, 2016

In the Drakensberg Mountains, the Semonkong region of Lesotho is comprised of various small villages. Semonkong is nestled high up in the mountains; so the area is almost entirely inaccessible by car. Some villages are close to four or five hours apart, so the local population has to find creative ways to move from one community to another. Mostly, the villagers utilize horses as their primary means of transport; the horses also come in handy for trading and herding.

In May 2016, photographer Thom Pierce spent 8 days in the Semonkong highlands capturing the rawness of the majestic horsemen and women against the most astounding Lesotho background. Through his photographic medium, Pierce manages to blur the line between fine art, portrait, and documentary photography. His photographs engage the viewer almost immediately, and one cannot help but feel a connection with the men, women, and children that took part in the series.

The immediacy in his portraits grabs our attention to transfer such pertinent information within a nanosecond. With the proliferation of photographic images nowadays, it is often difficult for a photographer to captivate audiences within such a short time frame.

The images speak for themselves without having to necessarily rely on text-based descriptions. The series contains a total of 42 photographs, and they consist of horsemen and women, young herders, as well as the commuters Pierce encountered during his journey. The blankets adorned by the subjects make such as the strong visual statement that makes it impossible to ignore them.

There is a quality to the portraits and the subjects that almost resemble knights of valor partly because of the blankets and balaclavas, but also because of the horses. The combination of the horses and the stunning Lesotho landscape produces a product that is quite dramatic, yet there is a balance between the drama of the subjects and their horses and the exquisiteness of the landscape. The result is portraits that convey the majesty and pride of the people of Semonkong.

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 1. Thabo Lekhotsa - Ha Lesala, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong1. Thabo Lekhotsa – Ha Lesala, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 2. Letima Tokata - Ha Sechache, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong2. Letima Tokata – Ha Sechache, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 3. Thapelo Moiloa with his dog Limo - Ha Salemore, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong3. Thapelo Moiloa with his dog Limo – Ha Salemore, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 4. Hlokomelang Motoko (8 years old) - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong4. Hlokomelang Motoko (8 years old) – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 6. Paleho Silase - Ha Bati, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong6. Paleho Silase – Ha Bati, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 7. Tholonna Mopa - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong7. Tholonna Mopa – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 8. Fusi Lekhotla - Ha Mateketa, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong8. Fusi Lekhotla – Ha Mateketa, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 9. Lehlohonolo Phethoka - Ha Molajafe, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong9. Lehlohonolo Phethoka – Ha Molajafe, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 10. Thabang Ntomane - Ha Maluke, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong10. Thabang Ntomane – Ha Maluke, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 11. Chabeli Mothabeng - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong11. Chabeli Mothabeng – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 12. Fihlela Ramanyatsi - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong12. Fihlela Ramanyatsi – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 13. Bokang Lijo - Ketane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong13. Bokang Lijo – Ketane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 14. Bokang Makhala - Ha Thabo
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong14. Bokang Makhala – Ha Thabo, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 15. Thabo Ntoi - Ha Muahloli, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong15. Thabo Ntoi – Ha Muahloli, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 16. Thabo Moso - Tsenekeng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong16. Thabo Moso – Tsenekeng, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 17. Tseko Masotsa - Ha Lesale, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong17. Tseko Masotsa – Ha Lesale, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 18. Thabang Moholi - Ma Letsunyane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong18. Thabang Moholi – Ma Letsunyane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 19. Shabe Shakhane - Ha Ramosoathoane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong19. Shabe Shakhane – Ha Ramosoathoane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 20. Teoho Malme - Ha Hlalele, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong20. Teoho Malme – Ha Hlalele, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 21. Teboho Mokhele - Ha Lesale, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong21. Teboho Mokhele – Ha Lesale, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 22. Morolela Mosetako - Ha Matete, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong22. Morolela Mosetako – Ha Matete, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 23. Motlatsi Lesenyetho - Ha Bati, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong23. Motlatsi Lesenyetho – Ha Bati, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 24. Mokhabi - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong24. Mokhabi – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 25. Tlali Tlali - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong25. Tlali Tlali – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 26. Lilotho Ramalei - Ha Tsekane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong26. Lilotho Ramalei – Ha Tsekane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 27. Lucas Phethoka - Tsenekeng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong27. Lucas Phethoka – Tsenekeng, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 28. Thabiso Tsietsi - Ha Mahluti, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong28. Thabiso Tsietsi – Ha Mahluti, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 29. Taboho Pakara - Tsenekeng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong29. Taboho Pakara – Tsenekeng, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 30. Retselisitsoe - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong30. Retselisitsoe – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 31. Mamasisi and Masisi Letsapo - Mohlakeng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong31. Mamasisi and Masisi Letsapo – Mohlakeng, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 32. Maphakela Kuenehelo - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong32. Maphakela Kuenehelo – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 33. Rethabile Motsapi - Tsenekeng, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong33. Rethabile Motsapi – Tsenekeng, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 34. Paulosi Lethibelani - Ketane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong34. Paulosi Lethibelani – Ketane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 35. Khothatso Motake - Ketane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong35. Khothatso Motake – Ketane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 36. Mpho Khanyapa - Ketane, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong36. Mpho Khanyapa – Ketane, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 37. Motiki Lepheane - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong37. Motiki Lepheane – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 38. Motaba Motaba - Ha Seqhoasho, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong38. Motaba Motaba – Ha Seqhoasho, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 39. Mohlouoa Makafane - Ha Seqhoasho, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong39. Mohlouoa Makafane – Ha Seqhoasho, Lesotho, 2016

Thom Pierce - The Horsemen of Semonkong - 40. Mohasoa Motoko - Semonkong, Lesotho
Thom PierceThe Horsemen of Semonkong40. Mohasoa Motoko – Semonkong, Lesotho, 2016


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