After a lengthy hiatus recovering from knee surgery, I’m back to work; and first up, is a story about the dark and dangerous world of the artisinal gold miner. Artisinal is a term of art which really means small groups of guys tearing up mountains with prybars and digging holes deep into the ground without the benefit of engineering know-how or equipment to go after the shiny yellow metal which has been rising in price. Consequently, men who have spent most of their lives fishing or farming are now tunneling and often these tunnels are just narrow holes propped up by old sticks and hope.
evening lights, Bangkok
This is a great opportunity to see the intuitive, quirky, beautiful, observant, inventive vision of four of Indonesia’s premier photographers ( Ahmad Zamroni, Dita Alangkara, Mast Irham, and Yuniadhi Agung) explored through their phones’ camera. The book can be ordered here for only Rp 150,000 – thats less than 15 bucks for my non-indonesian friends – check it out!
all images copyright Getty Images/Ed Wray
In every corner of the world, people feel the need to proclaim their fame. To shout out to the universe that “we are significant and here’s the reason why” – There is a “carrot capital of the world”, Holtville, California, the “selfie Capital of the world”, Makati, Philippines and my home state, Idaho seems to be known throughout the world as “famous for potatoes” (at least from the number of people who say potatoes after I tell them that they’ve probably never heard of where I’m from). The small village of Cipacing, Indonesia is one such capital. It is the “Air Rifle Capital of Indonesia.” Dozens of homes in the village have sophisticated metal lathes, and woodworking tools with which the villagers have been turning out firearms since at least the late 1800’s. Although since the 1960’s when Indonesia banned guns, the community has mostly been making air rifles which people buy to hunt small animals and birds; but the skill of the villages gunsmiths sometimes gets used to make illegal firearms which are then sold to criminals or terrorists. Its a fascinating place.
My multi-talented buddy, Darren McCollester, has just written a book “All the Kennedys are Dead”. Its a scorchingly honest look at the slings and arrows experience of being a freelance photojournalist as the news business contracts. A series of vignettes and journals which come together, in my mind, in the unlikely and delightful form of a photo essay without photos. Darren’s eye for the dramatic and telling detail, hilarious, touching and at times poetic make this book a lovely read. I highly recommend it for anyone who freelances or wants to and for anyone that wants to be introduced to a wry, thoughtful, and adventurous voice. I hope he writes some more.