Up Close and Personal

The first time I saw an Anton Corbijn photograph was when I bought the U2 album "All that you can't leave behind" in 2000. I very much liked the photos although at that time I had no idea who the photographer was. I tried to convince my boss at the IT University in Gothenburg that we should use a similar style when shooting pictures for the marketing material, but she went for something more colourful which was probably wise.

Having accompanying the members of U2 for several years, Corbijn has been able to take a number of very relaxed and unexpected photos, some of them on display lately at the Museum of Photography in Stockholm
I suppose that it's quite a different situation when you take pictures of people you've just met and will probably never see again. This was likely the case for Pieter ten Hoopen’s who took pictures of Indian entrepreneurs in the area of sustainable environmental work, who are involved in self-help projects initiated by the organisation Hand in Hand in collaboration with the local population. The exhibition is called Spirit of Change.
When I was working at Chalmers, we started to look into what we called "Impact Photography", that is pictures illustrating change as the result of scientific knowledge. It turned out that the database of photos at the university consisted mostly of pictures of university buildings, students or researchers in white lab coats or standing in front of a bookcase. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to set things in motion before I left.

Change is difficult to describe in one photo, since it's a process. But I think we need to try harder. With the access of rather good cameras in smartphones many more people can take pictures, capturing processes. Getting more up close and personal. Because change is personal, not only for people in India. Or Burma for that matter.

The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind
U2, Walk On

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