Sally Brownbill

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Archive for Ben Lowy


Q&A with New York based photojournalist Ben Lowy

– posted by Sally

For the last 2 years, I have been lucky enough to meet and work alongside Ben Lowy at the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. Boy, I though I had a lot of energy!

Ben began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. He has received numerous awards from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts and American Photography. His work from Iraq, Darfur, Afghanistan and Libya have been collected into several gallery and museum shows including the Tate Modern, SF MOMA and the Houston Center for Photography.

In 2011 Lowy's Iraq | Perspectives work was selected by William Eggleston to win the Duke University First Book Prize in Photography. In 2012, Lowy was awarded the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund to continue his work in Libya, as well as the ICP Infinity Award for Photojournalism.

Give us a current description of what you do Ben.
I am a globe trotting photojournalist. Or used to be before the editorial industry tanked. Now I have my fingers in every pot - documentary, commercial, social media, teaching and starving artistry.

What inspired you to become a professional photographer?
I came across Jim Nachtwey's book Inferno while studying illustration in University. It changed my entire perspective about art and representation and educating people.

How did you get your first break?
Another photographer was denied a visa to Kuwait for the build up to the Iraq war in 2003. I walked into this photo agency's office at just the right moment and raised my hand.

What paths have you taken to get to where you are today?
Sacrifice, hard work and frankly tunnel vision with a single goal in mind.

What advice about the do's and don'ts would you give to an aspiring photojournalist/ photographer?
Don’t show work or shoot something that you think the community or editors want to see. Shoot something, show something that you want them to see. And inherit a lot of money. Because that will always help pay the rent better than photography.

Tell us about what you're currently working on and what sets you and your work apart from other photographers?
I am constantly innovating. That is where I see media and technology going. The only way to stay afloat is to constantly change my tools, my aesthetic and my presentation. I am constantly letting each project I work on guide me into a new way to visually articulate. That creativity is an important feature that can help anyone stay relevant in today's world.

Ben Lowy

Head On Photo Festival


The Genesis Project. Head On Photo Festival

– posted by Sally

19 prominent photographers have delved into their archives to find the image that first made them think, “that’s it!” Each photographer will exhibit their seminal image together with an image for which they are renowned.

The exhibition aims to explore at what point photographers become photographers. What were the catalysts that transformed a child, teen or young adult into a pro photographer? What was the moment when through creating an image the child, teen or young adult realised "this is what I want to do - to make photographs, become a photographer and…to capture life’s moments”?

"In every artist's genesis there is a point - an image - that we can look back on with the realisation that the photograph taken was a defining moment of internal creative clarity. My first image that lay at the gateway of this perception was discovered on a journey through the ancient desert of South West America - in the windswept stones of Utah. A storm had laid a few tumbleweeds to rest in a hole in a ravine - a sacred place-  a burial site for Native American elders. When I took that image some thirty years ago - I knew I had creatively passed through a door of perception. I knew then the path I needed to follow internally and creatively as an artist. Photography has become for me a passport to understand the world around me. I am drawn to the edges - where light and dark, black and white, good and bad meet. They say every photograph taken eventually becomes a self portrait - regardless of where the camera is pointed. The most recent image of a traditional Cultural Mask Dance ritual in West Africa is a continued genesis of that early image. The journey continues ever deeper -  more refined as an image maker - into personal discovery, clarity of vision - and personal passion." Chris Rainier

The Genesis Project.

Exhibiting photographer(s):
Ben Lowy, Roger Ballen, Murray Fredericks, Chris Rainier, Brian Cassey, David Dare Parker, Fiona Wolf, Jackie Ranken, Katrin Koenning, Martine Perret, Sam Harris, Glenn Campbell, Jon Lewis, Peter Eastway, Craig Golding, John Donegan, Peter Solness, Phil Hillyard, Moshe Rosenzveig.

Click here to read the stories behind the seminal images of 2 of the exhibiting photographers, Chris Rainier and Murray Fredericks.

Official Opening:
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Dates of Exhibition:
Tue, 20/05/2014 to Sun, 8/06/2014
Artist Talk:
Wednesday, 9 April 2014 - 11:45am
Gallery opening hours:
Tues – Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun-Mon 11am to 4pm
M Contemporary
37 Ocean Street
2025 Woollahra,

Head On Photo Festival


24 hours with Ben Lowy at Head On

– posted by Sally

Benjamin Lowy is an award-winning photojournalist and a guru of mobile photography. His mobile phone work has resulted in the first ever mobile phone Time-Magazine cover.

Head On Photo Festival is offering you the chance to traverse the icons and underbelly of Sydney, receiving once in a lifetime mentoring and feedback from Ben whilst shooting alongside him.

Offering six 3-hour sessions from 9am, Saturday, 17 May, with each mystery location revealed on the day of the session.

The daytime sessions (9am to noon, 1pm to 4pm & 5am to 8am on Sunday) will focus on mobile photography.

The night time sessions (5pm to 8pm, 9pm to midnight and 1am to 4am on Sunday) will focus on the dark underbelly of Sydney using cameras (not mobile phones).

Not satisfied with just 3 hours? Grab a position in as many sessions as you want, but get in quickly as there are only 10 positions available per session. Want the ultimate get together with friends? Then book out an entire session – first come, first served.

24 hours with Ben Lowy
9am Saturday 17 May to 8am Sunday 18 May

Book day session here

Book night session here


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