Work From Our Readers: Projects, Books, Crowdfunding

By David Schonauer   Friday October 19, 2012

Our series looking at work from Pro Photo Daily readers continues with new projects, books, and a Kickstarter proposal for a photo tribute to the heroes of contraception: Between magazine assignments, Brooklyn-based photographer Rebecca Greenfield has spent the past four years documenting the coming-of-age rites of girls in the United States, and she hopes to conclude the work in progress by next year. Japan-based James Whitlow Delano was in Rome when a tidal wave caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, but he rushed home and has since been photographing the efforts of those who want to reclaim the radio-active no-man’s land. Brian Rose’s new book Time and Space on the Lower East Side looks back at a New York City neighborhood on the creative cusp of renewal. And photographer Mike McGregor Kickstarts a photo calendar project focusing on “the leaders on the front lines of the battle to keep all forms of contraception legal and accessible.”


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Work in Progress: “Coming of Age”

When not shooting for clients like the New York Times Magazine, Elle, Elle Decor, Details, Marie Claire, Fortune, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn-based photographer Rebecca Greenfield has been working on a personal project documenting coming-of-age traditions for girls in the United States. The work encompasses rites of passage in a number of cultures, including debutante balls, quinceañeras, proms, homecomings, bat mitzvahs, evangelical purity balls, Apache sunrise dances, and sweet-16 parties. Greenfield, whose work has appeared in American Photography 25 and 27 (look for it also in the forthcoming AP 28) began work on the project four years ago and hopes to finish it sometime in 2013. Her goals: A book and exhibition.




Project: “Fukushima: Taking Back a Nuclear No-Man's Land”

“There remains a vast network of nuclear ghost towns in the shadow cast by Fukushima Daiichi's radioactive fallout, outside the no-entry zone, where residents have begun the Herculean effort of taking back a vast irradiated no-man’s land,” says James Whitlow Delano. “But,” he asks, “how many residents will want to return?” The US-born photographer has lived in Japan for 18 years but was in Rome when a tsunami-caused tidal wave in March 2011 brought about the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Returning shortly thereafter, Delano began photographing the area around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. He has continued since, documenting the land and those who are trying to regain their lives in the region—such as the farmer seen here, wearing a hazmat suit to protect against high rates of radiation as he cuts weeds in preparation for plowing under the radiation-contaminated topsoil.




Kickstarter Calendar Project: “The War Against Contraception”

Brooklyn-based photographer Mike McGregor has worked for magazine clients like Fortune, Wired, and Texas Monthly, as well as organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Al Franken for Senate campaign. Right now he is in the final stages of shooting a wall calendar with noted feminist author Cristina Paige commenting on a social and political issue that has become one of the focal points of this year’s election: contraception. “We are creating graphic, challenging portraits of the leaders on the front lines of the battle to keep all forms of contraception legal and accessible,” says McGregor. "We have already shot a US Surgeon General, a State Senator, and many activists making sacrifices to keep our sex lives just that, ours.” McGregor and Paige are raising Kickstarter funding for the project, with ten days to meet their $12,000 goal.





Book: Time and Space on the Lower East Side

Today Manhattan’s Lower East Side is a world of hip treats, with trendy restaurants and bars and platoons of partiers marching along its streets through the night. It wasn’t like that in 1980, when photographer Brian Rose began documenting the neighborhood in staggeringly vivid 4x5 color images. Buildings were crumbling and burning, and the nighttime escapades there were of a far different kind. But, as Rose makes clear in his new book, Time and Space on the Lower East Side(Golden Section Publishers), it was the area’s defining edginess that began to draw the artists and musicians who eventually turned it into a hot spot. As Photo-Eyenotes, Rose’s images, which sat forgotten for two decades, “suggest a clarity of vision to match the clarity of composition. This is a place, the book suggests, characterized by variety and improvisational energy.”






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