Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Half of "Los Bomberos de Ave Fenix" by Monte Swann

Hi Folks, Monte here from Minnesota. I just wanted to thank Michael Chavez and Ron Haviv for all their work as well as all the other presenters and volunteers at the Foundry Workshop.

Please have a look at my ten final files...

Copyright 2008 by Monte Swann Photography LLC.

Second Half of "Los Boberos de Ave Fenix" by Monte Swann

Copyright 2008 by Monte Swann Photography LLC.

More of The Image Makers from Monte Swann

Copyright 2008 by Monte Swann Photography LLC.

Images of Image Makers from Monte Swann

Copyright 2008 by Monte Swann Photography LLC.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

more pics from the workshop...

Conflict Photography Panel: An Intense, Intimate Discussion

The first night's panel on war photography- with Stephanie Sinclair, Andrea Bruce, Paula Bronstein, Stanley Greene, Ron Haviv, Kadir VL, Kael Alford, Ben Lowy, Guy Calaf, Eros Hoagland, Shaul Schwarz- and special surprise guest Anthony Suau, one of the world's great conflict photo-js- and moderated by Mike Robinson-Chavez, himself no stranger to conflict zones, turned into one of the more intense and personal discussions of the entire workshop. The topics ran the gamut from why people do this line of work to the emotional and psychological ramifications- and the high price to pay- for being a conflict photographer. Tears were shed (we wont say whose- youve got to be at some things) and brutal honesty reigned, from the emotional pain of seeing people die, the affects of PTSD- and how each person dealt with these affects- and the difficulty of maintaining personal lives in this industry. An audio and video clip of the event is forthcoming, but Ill leave you with some photos.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hogar Dulce Hogar

I did my workshop project in a children's home called Hogar Dulce Hogar (Home Sweet Home).

Thanks for an amazing workshop to all the instructors, especially Andrea, Stephanie, Shaul, and Ben, and my fellow students. See you again next year.


p.s. for some reason I could only post five images. I'll post the entire final edit on my blog at .

May an end be merely a new beginning.

Photo: Samson

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Peregrinos, Basilica de Guadalupe

(Not sure how to add audio to this, but there is audio. Just ask Tewfic.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wall to Wall Paneling

Its late so Ill do a brief post, but for the last three nights- after fabulous slideshows by Stanley Green, Ron Haviv, Kael Alford, Mike Chavez, Rodrigo Cruz, Eros Hoagland, Adriana Zehbruaskas, Daniel Aguilar, Stephanie Sinclair, Paula Bronstein, Andea Bruce and Renee Byer, we;ve been having some powerful panel discussions (filmed and audio recorded; excerpts of which will be posted here/one the Foundry website for all to enjoy). Weve enjoyed special guests Dario Lopez, head photo editor for AP Mexico, Enrique Martinez, head of Latin American AP, the legendary photographer Anthony Suau dropped by, and World Press WInner Daniel Aguilar joined in. Thus far we've discussed conflict and war photography- a very emotional panel, with a strong emphasis on difficult experiences, being a journalist versus a human being, helping others, the power of the image in creating change, and the personal toll/PTSD affects of so much war and suffering. Last night we heatedly discussed the current state of affairs of Latin American photojournalism- opportunities and challenges, especially concerning low pay rates, a lack of Latin photogs in major agencies and in print, and the lack of print space given to Latin American stories and issues since 9/11.
Tonights panel (no pics yet) was on women and their changing role and power in photojournalist today. Leica also had a sponsor presentation by the ever gracious Roland Wolff, who also loaned Stanley Greene's class 10 Leicas (including M8s) to use in the field. A wonderful experience for all invloved; stay tuned- with 140 studnets in the field all covering stories- from Mexican clowns to womens prisons, from prostitution and train riding immigrants to Orthodox monasteries and Santa Muerte worship- a whole host of stories and powerful images is developing; perhaps even a final book...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Santa Muerte Two

Just to add to Jaime post below, here's another image of Santa Muerte made during Sunday's photo shoot. It also has other names, such as La Santísima Muerte, and Doña Sebastiana. This is a religious figure who receives petitions for love, luck and protection, and is often depicted as a female figure.

Research indicates that the cult of Santa Muerte dates back to pre-Christian beliefs during the Aztec era.

Santa Muerte

On Friday  through Rodrigo Cruz's hard work and absolute kindness to us participants at the workshop he got a driver and a van to take us to the Doctores neighborhood to photograph one of the shrines to Saint Death or Santa Muerte. The subject intrigued me as soon as Eric posted some of the themes that could be documented once we arrived in el DF.
 It was the first day of the the workshop and it was raining. Rodrigo first scoped the site to see if it would be ok to photograph.He gave us the go ahead.
To my sense of relief and to my surprise not only were people at the shrine accepting of our presence, they were welcoming. What I had assumed would be a trip to a dodgy neighborhood turned out to be a rosary where families with their children attended. At no point did I sense any danger or feeling that we should not be there. I asked questions about the meaning of the different colors of Saint Death; Green for Money,Red for Love, Purple to ward off envy (envidia) and Black the most powerful of all providing protection from all evils that may befall the believer. People patiently answered my questions and agreed for me to make their portraits while it rained on us. We were there perhaps twenty minutes and because of space constraints we had limits as to how close we could shoot once the rosary began after all it is a religious ceremony that we had to respect and we also had to show upmost care not to over extend our welcome.The whole affair was short but meaningful to me, it challenged my preconceived notions about shooting in a place where I could have been viewed as an intruder.  I was instead not only tolerated but welcomed. Rodrigo deserves the credit for gaining us access and for having been such a giving human being. Muchas gracias de todo corazon.