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May 06, 2004

More Photojournalism: Asian Transitions, Gangs of Different Eras, and L.A. Night Life

Some photojournalistic links that have been brought to my attention recently:

Gilles Sabrie is a New York based photojournalist who, like many others, documents transitions in different parts of the world, and his excellent website has a series of photoessays with color and black and white work. I've mentioned issues that I have with a lot of photojournalism online -- that it usually fails to come alive because of inadequate reproduction or inadequate context (words, stories). I like Gilles' site because he's provided *large* images that really make one feel the texture of the places and people he photographs. The longer photo-essays (20 photos or so) seem to me the most effective and evocative, particularly the ones based in China.


Gilles Sabrie image, from Beijing Transitions

Robert Yager is a Los Angeles based photojournalist who's done assignments photographing the usual suspects (politicians, celebrities, breaking stories), but he's also spent over ten years documenting gangs in Los Angeles. His photographs formed the core of a story Time did on L.A. gangs a few years ago: the entire story can be found here, along with a photo-essay by Yager and an interview with him in which he describes how he came to gain their trust.

There's a more comprehensive selection of Yager's bracing and thoughtful documentation of the L.A. gang scene on his own home page, which may speak to the way mainstream media outlets tend to frame stories. Oddly, I found myself reflecting on a comparison of Yager's gangs to Bruce Davidson's documentation of Brooklyn gangs from over 40 years ago...apples and oranges, I know, but still interesting to consider. The distance of time, the iconography that drove the Brooklyn gang poses (and arose from them) that's been captured in countless movies (masking strong insecurities and tough life conditions), and the vulnerability Davidson captured in his gangs, are quite a stark contrast to Yager's hardened gang members, where softness and vulnerability are mainly seen in the women and families...I actually wish Yager had more images and insights online into the women gang members he discusses in his interview, though you can see a small grouping of images of women gang members here.


Robert Yager image from L.A. Gang series


Bruce Davidson image from Brooklyn Gang

I discovered Yager initially not through his gang photography, but through a more recent series he appears to be doing of women and L.A. party nightlife...glamorous, glitzy, colorful, but nevertheless unnerving in its own way.


Robert Yager image

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wow this is very beautiful. i like it.

Posted by: museting at May 9, 2004 10:25:15 PM

hope you still check and will respond, i was extreamly curious about the flick with the boi sitting on the roof top... i saw that photo awhile ago... not sure but i think when you first printed it, anyways... any information about the photos would be coo, like was that you who took it... what was the surrounding sounds like... the threat alert... the tension... stuff like that... thank you... la from oahu, bless

Posted by: lagrim 6s6S6x at May 26, 2009 7:35:58 PM