Monday, 2 August 2010


Vuvox is great for creating slideshows, presentations and collages with photos. The slideshows are in a Flash format and easy and simple to use. But best of all its free. The Slideshow above I knocked up in about 10 minutes. To learn more about VUVOX visit:

To see an excellent example of vuvox's application in the communiy visit:

Saturday, 5 June 2010

British Journal of Photography June 2010

BJP has some interesting articles in its June edition. These include history of community photography in the UK; DIY photobooks; and using video in photography. You can either buy the mag in the shops or read the articles on the BJP website:

Photo Therapy Techniques - using photography as a healing tool

Judy Weiser a psychologist, is one of the earliest pioneers of "Photo Therapy" techniques. She has spent over thirty years developing, teaching, and providing consulting and mentoring about these techniques (and also about the related fields of "Therapeutic Photography", "VideoTherapy" and "Photo Art Therapy").

Photo Therapy techniques uses people's personal snapshots, family albums, and pictures taken by others (and the feelings, thoughts, and memories these photos evoke) as catalysts to deepen insight and enhance communication during therapy or counseling sessions.
For more information visit:

Photography helps children in Sierra Leone realize their right to self-expression

Photo copyright: UNICEF/Davies/2009
For the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF featured a series of stories about this landmark international agreement on the basic human rights of all children.

Children were loaned digital cameras and received basic photography training from renowned Italian photographer Luca Babini. In Sierra Leone, cameras and computers are luxury for children, especially those living in rural areas. Access to the Internet is limited to the capital and provincial towns.

As a result of these trainings, UNICEF – in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs – produced a photo booklet consisting of pictures taken by the children. The booklet expresses the views of children on an array of social issues, such as education, child labour and early marriage.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Photo Competition

Shoot Nations is an annual, global photography competition for young people. Each year focusses on a different global issue and the photographs produced are presented to the United Nations in New York. The theme for this year's competition is CITY LIVING.
Judges chose this theme as more than 50% of the world’s population now live in urban areas. Images which depict everyday life in the world’s cities are expected, from London to Lagos.

Shoot Nations leader George Anang’a says, “This year we want to use the cities theme to build a picture of what urban environments mean to young people whilst focusing on the movement of people and the impact this has on the surrounding environment.”

The competition is free to enter for any photographer under 25, and is split into two categories, 11-16 years and 17-25 years. Entrants can submit up to 3 shots each, along with a brief explanation of why each photo demonstrates ‘City Living’.

For more information on the competition visit the Shoot Nations homepage.

Photo Competition for Young People

Digital Camera Magazine's Young Photographer of the Year 2010 is now open for entries.

This year, teachers can download resource packs for running classes on photography from Key Stage 1-4 to encourage learning about photography at school. If you’re under 18, or know a young person who is, why not enter. Entry is free and you have until 14 Sept 2010 to submit shots. Winners are announced in December.

More information can be found on the Digital Camera Young Photographer of the Year website.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Disabled Photographers Society

The Disabled Photographers Society is a UK charity helping disabled people take up and continue photography as either a career or theraputic hobby. Members come from all walks of life and parts of the UK, representing a large and diverse range of photographic abilities. Most of the Committee and helpers have physical disabilities, so can readily appreciate the challenges and diversity of solutions each disabled photographer needs.

To find out more about the Disabled Photographers Society visit:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

I Wanna Take Me a Picture by Wendy Ewald

Another good book from Wendy Ewald. Written especially for parents and teachers its an accessible and practical guide to getting children involved in photography. Striking photographs of children"s work show the benefits of her programs. You can buy it on Amazon and read reviews at:
You can also read more about Wendy Ewald and her work on wikipedia:

The Best Part of Me - Children talk about their bodies in words and pictures by Wendy Ewald

This is a great book from one of my favourite community photographers - Wendy Ewald. School children select a favorite body part to photograph and then write a poem or story about it. I use the book alot in my workshops exploring similar themes. It helps to inspire children and give them ideas. You can buy it on Amazon and read reviews at:
You can also read more about Wendy Ewald and her work on wikipedia:

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Face of Tomorrow

The Face of Tomorrow is an ongoing combined art and anthropology project examining global identity. The artist "Mike Mike" takes 100 photographs of individuals in different cities around the world, then uses "morphing" software to create combined average faces for each location, male and female (usually -- in a few locations, Ankara, Instanbul and Damascus, only men were photographed). The resulting face is haunting, attractive, and suggestive of what tomorrow's demography will hold.

The site currently has face composites from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Spain, Portugal (where the image in this post is from), Turkey, Syria, China and Australia. Mike Mike is currently working on more cities, and has an open call for contributions of images. He refers to the process as "open source," and spells out in detail just how the photos are taken, and what is to be done with them. He's also selling a poster and book to help support the project.

It's no surprise that the results show attractive composite faces, even while the individual parts of the composite are quite normal-looking. It's long been recognized that blended "averaged" faces look startlingly attractive. Although the project doesn't bias for attractiveness, it does bias towards youth -- the average age in the world is 25, Mike Mike argues, and tomorrow belongs to the young.

Kids with cameras

Kids with Cameras is a non-profit organization teaching photography to marginalized children in communities around the world. Heres the blub from their website

"We use photography to capture the imaginations of children, to empower them, building confidence, self-esteem and hope. We share their vision and voices with the world through exhibitions, books, websites and film. We are committed to furthering their general education beyond photography either by linking with local organizations to provide scholarships or by developing our own schools with a focus on leadership and the arts".

If you are interested in academic research on participatory photography they also produce a great toolkit for practioners and educators with an extensive bibliography.


PhotoVoice facilitates a range of participatory photography projects with young people both in the UK and abroad. Clik here for more info:

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Photo mosaics

Creating mosaics out of hundreds of different photos is always popular at the workshops I run for children and young people. They might look complex to do but they are very easy to do with right software. There are lots of low price or free software packages out there. The above pics were created using Ezmosaic:

Digital Morphing

This portrait is actually a composite of several teenagers to give the typical look of the teenager. It was achieved with Fantamorph software.


Sirka Liisa Konttinen's work on Byker was one of my early inspirations for community photography.

Sirkka spent over a decade in the sixties ans seventies documenting Byker as it fell under the redeveloper's hammer. The planner's dream, the people's nightmare. Like much of the redevelopments of the sixties and seventies it was the destruction not only of homes but of working class culture and close relationships which were never re-established in the schemes that replaced the so-called slums. At the end of the carnage part of the spirit of the place had gone and less than one fifth of the original inhabitants remained.

Throughout the book the people of Byker speak for themselves, in anecdotes, reminiscences, fragments of conversations often illustrating the complexity of human relationships. In her poetic, intimate introduction to the book Sirkka Liisa Konttinen draws the reader into what was a very personal experience which nevertheless makes broad political statements about the nature of the society we live in. You can buy it on Amazon and read reviews at:

Seen and Heard by Mary Motley Kalergis

A collection of black-and-white photographs accompanied by interviews from 50 American teenagers, who talk about what their lives are like.

They include a farmer's son and a recent immigrant from Mexico, kids from small towns and the daughter of famous parents. There are poets, baton twirlers, football stars, and skateboarders. Given the opportunity, even the most rebellious of the book's subjects admits he lies awake worrying at night, because he is "getting a little bit scared" about the future. "I want to be as fearlessly honest as I can while I'm alive," another of the interviewees declares.

The book shows how photography can be used as a tool for opening communication between adults and young people.

Buy it and read the reviews on Amazon here:

Shootback by Lana Wong

Lana Wong is a American Photographer who I believe is now living in France. Previously she worked for five years in Africa, during which she worked on a participatory photography project called Shootback, which subsequently led to the book of the same name.

Shootback put basic point-and-shoot film cameras into the hands of 32 teenage boys and girls from Mathare in Nairobi, one of Africa's largest slums. The book documents the results: provocative, compelling images and hand-written words, revealing unexpected sides of these teenager's lives. The photographs show the young people's friends, family life, football fever and the harsh realities of everyday life in the slums with hope, an infectious humor and a disarming sense of honesty.

I have use the book for ideas when developing my own words and pictures workshops. It is also useful for showing young people living in the developed world the harsh reality of how many young people live in povery in parts of Africa.

You can buy the book on Amazon and read reviews at

Through Hmong Eyes

On a recent trip to Vietnam I came across the book Through H'Mong Eyes, published by the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi. The book is the outcome of a participatory photography project funded with a grant from the Toyota Foundation. Hmong girls from SaPa in Northern Vietnam were given cameras to documented their lives in words and photos for the book. The book I believe dates from 2003.

By mixing images with written stories the book provided an opportunity for the girls voices to be heard by audiences at local, national and global levels. It also created an awareness of the Hmong not as objects of study – as they have so often been treated in the past – but as active agents and subjects, the shapers of their own identity.”

The book also shows the dilema that so many young people face living in popular tourist destinations like SaPa that were until relatively recently fairly remote. The young people still wish to retain many of their traditional customs as well as embrace so called modern customs.

The book was also used as source material for a feminist essay on Contemporary Women's Roles in Vietnam:

To get a copy of the book I'm afraid you are going to have to visit the Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi or scour the many second hand book shops in Hanoi. Good luck.

Identity by Catherine Balet

I use this book alot in workshops with young people to explore ideas around identity. In the book photographer Catherine Balet took pictures of signs, labels, codes and icons that have social and aesthetic significance in the teenage world from across Europe. Here's the blurb:

"Teenagers in their struggle for identity and self-esteem, troubled by an urgent desire to be different, usually adopt the codes of a group, often inspired by music trends and always tweaked by circumstance, conscious individuation or both. In each city, Balet discovered the same music, fashion, brands, bands and labels. Only the details differed, reflecting the complexity of the history of each country or the influence of its migrant populations.

In London and Barcelona, where the uniform is a school institution, details are all that students have by which to define themselves: Balet captures the way's in which these students customize their outfits. Her large, richly descriptive portraits, set in the street, combine documentary style with poetic sensibility, capture the complex mix of youth and age inherent to adolescence, and the era's new mix of global homogenization and local individuation."

You can buy the book on Amazon and read reviews at: