Iwamoto's Photos

Painting with light.

Brandon Iwamoto is a freelance photographer based in Aurora, Colorado, USA

ESPN: Bodies We Want

Might be a little NSFW, but entirely tasteful and well executed… What a cool concept, and I’m totally shocked that they managed to talk so many athletes into doing this series. Very cool though.

James Nachtwey's Unpublished 9/11 Photos

James Nachtwey has a haunting way with war photography. Nothing about that changed when the war was brought home. Check out these pictures, such an incredible look back in time.

War Photographers: The Shot That Nearly Killed Me

A great interactive slideshow from The Guardian, with short discussions from the photographers on the risks of shooting in a warzone and why they keep doing it. I still can’t believe somebody told me once I would make a good war photographer. I still don’t believe it.

The Eddie Adams Workshop

Attention Young Photogs: Start applying, the deadline is only three weeks away. Do not miss this opportunity. That is all.

Kenji Kawano

I didn’t get around to posting about Kenji earlier in the week, so I thought I would today. On Monday I met and had lunch with a photographer by the name of Kenji Kawano (河野謙児). He’s a Japanese man from Fukuoka who has been living on the Navajo Reservation since the 70’s and is well known for this portraits of the famed “Code Talkers” of WWII.

Kenji shoots film, mostly Tri-X in a variety of formats. His access to the Navajo is unparalleled and his portraits often touching. I’d like to get a chance to shoot with him sometime out on the reservation, it’s a place I think has a lot of untapped story potential.

Check him out, his stuff is generally pretty cool.

/Brandon

The Bang Bang Club

"I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners…I have gone to join Ken, if I am that lucky"

-Kevin Carter

The Bang Bang Club is a group of four photographers that, if you’ve studied the history of photojournalism or delved into the ethics of photojournalism, is a familiar story for us.

Kevin Carter. Joao Silva. Greg Marinovich. Ken Oosterbroek.

Two of the photographers own Pulitzer Prizes. There are (as the sick joke goes) only one and a half of them left (for those of you who don’t remember, Joao Silva was severely wounded by a landmine in November and has lost both legs).

Tonight, I got to watch the movie adaption of what they went through and it was… unnerving, to say the least.

I wrote 20-page essay once on ethics and photojournalism, their relationship and the toll it takes the human being behind the lens that goes untold, ignored in favor of the suffering of those in front of the camera. I also talked about the audience’s criticism of such photos, and their view of what a photojournalist’s ethics ought to be. I talked in-depth about Kevin Carter and his famous image of the vulture and the child, how it was received and how it affected him.

The lead-off quote is taken from his suicide note. It was written 3 months after he was awarded the Pulitzer.

Later that year, I purchased a copy of the documentary “War Photographer" about James Nachtwey. In the documentary is raw footage of the gun battle that claimed Ken Oosterbroek’s life. The images of Nachtwey and Silva running behind an armored truck as it carried Oosterbroek and the wounded Marinovich away stuck with me.

And so I knew what I should expect during those scenes. Even so, there was a sickening revelation that, “I know what is about to happen,” followed by the production adaptation of the scene that I remember still. It was powerfully familiar. It was like finally putting two and two together and seeing (a movie adaptation of) what happened in the moments before and after that moment in time.

The movie was, as far as movies go, more than decent. However, it’s how close to home it hits for a student of journalism that makes the movie far more enjoyable and powerful, in my mind.

If anybody is interested in the essay I can see if I still have the digital copy of it saved somewhere on my old computer (I have a hard copy of it as well). Let me know.

In the meantime, I highly recommend watching “The Bang Bang Club.” It may not hold the same significance for you that it did me, but the movie is worth watching regardless. Kinda like “Only The Brave" was for me.

That’s all for tonight. Cheers.

/Brandon

P.S. NPR posted this interview a few days ago from both Silva and Marinovich as it relates to photographers being wounded and ethics in photojournalism, in light of the deaths of Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington.

You would know Hondros for this picture:

Tim Tadder and Photoshop

I don’t remember if I’ve posted about Tim Tadder before, but he’s a fellow former Colorado Springs Gazette intern and an all around incredible commercial photographer who has really made a name for himself with his innovative lighting and post-production techniques. Here’s a little behind the scenes video of him working with Adobe Photoshop CS5 demonstrating how he does what he does.

One Week Later

Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog is without a doubt one of the best photo blogs out there today, and their persistence in covering the crisis in Japan is unrivaled. Take a look, what a stark contrast between a disaster here and disasters elsewhere.

/Brandon

The Bang-Bang Club

Now THIS is a movie I need to see when it debuts in the U.S. Especially after what happened to one of the members, Joao Silva, in November of last year.

Anyone else as excited as me?

Strobist: Fun with PocketWizards

I read this and about DIED laughing. As much as I should be above this kind of immature behavior… I kinda wanna try it some day. So epic xD Thank you D.H. for the laughs tonight.

/Brandon