Articles Tagged with: Portraits
Kiev | Katja
Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Katja, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summilux, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

My friend, the artist Carlee Fernandez, long ago accused me of photographing people only so I could have something that the light would fall onto.

She was not wrong.

Check out her stunning work here.


Kiev | Olga R., Part II
Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Olga R, Kiev, Ukraine; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Hiroshi Watanabe | Rikishi (2005)

My expenses are almost as high as my photography income and I have so little left at the end even when I am lucky. So, maybe I am not qualified to answer this question. Then why am I doing photography? I think it is a combination of passion and stupidity. For me, photography is intellectual, …artistic, and curiosity fulfilling. I love making photographs.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Touki, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Touki, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

I am not sure if I am successful professional photographer. If “successful professional” means I can live a good, somewhat luxurious, life by the profession, then I am certainly not.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Fukujumaru, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Fukujumaru, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation, and that I constantly seek to expand.
I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, studying my subjects in preparation, while at the same keeping my mind open for the surprises. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. Mostly, I seek to capture people, traditions, and locales that first and foremost are of personal interest, while other times I seek pure beauty.
I always go to places with some kind of expectation and I come back with a lot more, with images I never expected.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Kumanosato, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Kumanosato, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Ichinoya, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Ichinoya, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

My father bought me a Minolta 35mm SRL and that was my first camera. I had no prior interest in photography. I played a lot and enjoyed the four years of college life, but somehow I became serious about photography as I studied it. When I graduated, I found a job in the US which happened to be a production company specializing in making commercials for Japan. I thought I would work for the company for a year or two and look for a photography job meanwhile. But one photographer whom I met suggested that I stayed on with the job. He said advertising and filming had much potential while photography had no future. At that time, I was starting a family and I had the responsibility. So, I stayed on with the job and a four years later I started my own production company. After I ran the business for 15 years, one morning, I woke up and all the sudden I decided to become a photographer again. I don’t know why but I had decided. I traveled and built up a portfolio between commercial jobs for 5 years and after that I closed down the business and became a full time photographer. It’s been 10 years since then and I am still a photographer.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Asakubo, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Asakubo, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

I try to find something that I don’t understand. That’s what drives me.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

Rikishi 3, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

Rikishi 3, Rikishi series © Hiroshi Watanabe, 2005

My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity.
I wish for my images to distill scenes ranging from the ephemeral to the eternal, from the esoteric to the symbolic. A current that underlies my work is the concept of preservation.

– Hiroshi Watanabe

To view more of this series and the work of the master Hiroshi Watanabe, click here.


Bucharest | Gypsy Apartments

I love the Romani people and I seek them out wherever I travel in Europe.

I am always warmly received by them and conversely, most every place where they reside, they are marginalized and on the outskirts of society, the latter being their choice as well. Have just always curious about these people.

In Romania, there were many gypsies and in Bucharest, they were scattered throughout the city instead of just occupying one neighborhood or corner. I was walking along this road, just lost and wandering as always when I saw this group of kids. The cluster of apartments formed a gypsy enclave of just a handful of Romani families. Spent just a few minutes playing with the kids, talking to their father.

There were many kids absent from the photos as he has fourteen of them.

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Gypsy Apartment, Bucharest, Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Romania | The Shepherd

We were driving north about an hour out of Bucharest when I saw the cluster of sheep on the horizon. The land at this point had flattened out into a billiard table plain and the only feature besides the road and the power lines running along side was this flock of sheep. We pulled over and trudged through the soft ground. The sheep dogs came out early and challenged us and the fixer I was with, froze in fear. Lots of issues with feral dogs in Bucharest. The shepherd appeared from his shack and admonished the dogs and the dogs were still barking at us and the fixer called out that we wanted to talk to him for a bit so soon the flat plain was full of shouting and barking.

Everyone settled down soon enough.

The shepherd was happy that we were there as he did not get a lot of visitors. He did not have any tea to offer but a bottle of palinka, the Romanian fruit brandy grain. The shack where he lived was just clapboard and blankets, a small stove and pots and mugs. This was not his flock of sheep, he said, but he acted as a caretaker for two villages who pooled their sheep and goats together. He milked the goats and delivered the milk daily.

I turned around slowly in a complete circle to take in the vast plain. Except for road gutting it down the middle, there was nothing but those two villages and some hills on the horizon. The through line to the past was strong and a straight line in that moment. I asked him if there had been a shepherd here, in his role for a long time. Maybe hundreds of years? Without hesitation he said that this had always been pastureland and the two villages had been there for at least a thousand years, so yes, there was always a shepherd here.

I was taken back to all the folktales I had read, stories from when I was a kid in the states of harsh winters, woodcutters, strange visitors from the forest.

And what about wolves, I asked.

Not much anymore. Too many people, he said. But that is why I have the dogs.

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Romania; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Chiang Mai | The Karen Hill Tribe
Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Karen Hill Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Chiang Mai | Longneck Hill Tribe

When I was in Chiang Mai, I did not find a fixer so instead I hired a normal tour guide to drive me around the northern hill tribe area. For the most part it was a great and fruitful couple of days, visiting villages, following whim and taking chances. There were a few times where he tried to take me to touristy shit: elephant training camps, waterfalls, etc.

The one place he did take me to that was a complete tourist trap was a Padaung Karen “village”. It was obviously a piece of show because there was a gravel parking lot to accommodate buses, lots of signage in english, the people springing up when I came by in the wooden shacks, tribal wares on display.

It was only afterwards that I did some research and realized how much controversy surrounds these “longneck” hill tribes. Please refer to this article on CNN for more information.

Putting these images up in the hope that people doing research for their trips to the hill tribes area can find this and stay away from any longneck villages. There are plenty of tribal villages to visit which are authentic and you can participate and contribute, even spending the night and doing work for and with them.

It’s a fine line. Did I document a people that are disadvantaged or was I exploiting these same people or was I even documenting their exploitation?

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen "longneck" hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Padaung Karen “longneck” hill tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Bangkok | Siyamon
Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Siyamon Bangkok, Thailand; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim