The camera is a very delicate instrument. It can, in the hands of talented and sensitive people/photographers, make us see life and what is happening to us or our fellow beings. And more than that, photographs make us react and act. Good or bad, beautiful or ugly images do that. What would the world be without cameras? The thought makes me dizzy.

Here is a wonderful series of images that makes me react, and perhaps act too…

Text to featured image:

Christopher Anderson (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2009)

“In 2008, my first child was born. Up until that point, my photographs as a ‘war photographer’ had been about the experiences of others in far away places. Now, for the first time, I found myself photographing my own family,” says the photographer Christopher Anderson. His intimate portrait – far removed from the frontline – is included in a new project by Magnum. Up Close and Personal features the work of 68 photographers: some domestic snapshots, others glimpses of strangers in a moment of vulnerability. At the click of the shutter, one subject is caught crying, never giving the reason; another is lost in mourning. Strangers flirt; a father lifts his son in the air; a prostitute clutches her client’s back. Yet the images reveal as much about the people who took them as their subjects. “It didn’t occur to me that these photographs had anything to do with my ‘work’,” says Anderson, talking about his own family photos. “But I now realise that these images were actually my life’s work and that every photograph I had made up to that moment was just a preparation to make these photographs of my family.” Up Close and Personal features the most intimate images from Magnum Photos, as interpreted by more than 60 photographers and artists. Signed and estate-stamped prints for $100 will be available for a limited time, from Monday 9 November until Friday 13 November, on the Magnum website. (Credit: Christopher Anderson/Magnum)

p037lplxNewsha Tavakolian (Tehran, Iran, 2010)

The act of photographing can itself induce emotion within the subjects. “I decided to turn my own apartment into a studio, and have neighbours and friends come over to have their portraits taken,” says the Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian. “Naghmeh is one of the most popular young women in Tehran, she’s beautiful, smart and funny. I took pictures of her in total silence. Suddenly, her face expressionless, tears started welling up in her eyes, as if she was trying to show me something. Afterwards she said goodbye quietly and left.” The power of the image comes through that spontaneity; Naghmeh’s unguarded look is a far remove from a posed portrait. “Later, when I had the image framed, one of the glass plates had a scratch on it and the framer asked if he could keep it,” says Tavakolian. “He hung it in his shop. Customers debated, wondering why she was so sad. ‘You could write a book with all the stories people come up with when they see this portrait,’ the framer told me. I never asked her why she cried.” (Credit: Newsha Tavakolian/Magnum)

p037lpvnSteve McCurry (La Esperanza, Colombia, 2004)

The photographer of the ‘Afghan Girl’ image, which ran on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, believes that photography itself is an act of intimacy. “In this picture, the relationship between a father and his young son reveals total intimacy with each other, and intimacy with the photographer who records that moment in time, who then transmits this feeling of intimacy with viewers wherever and whenever they see this photograph,” says Steve McCurry. “This family was not rich in material things, but very rich in relationships, trust, and the kind of love that drives away fear. They are both at ease and completely comfortable in each other’s presence without any self-consciousness whatsoever. It doesn’t get any better than that.” (Credit: Steve McCurry/Magnum)

😊  Pelle   Another BBC story

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