NEW YORK — Nov. 3, 2006 — Today at the PhotoPlus Expo, photographers Phil Borges, Colin Finlay, Natalie Fobes and Matthew Jordan Smith engaged in a group discussion, moderated by Tim Grey, famed photographer, about the power of photography to influence social change. Photography has the unique capability to dramatically illustrate the most critical social issues of our day, from around the world or in our own backyards. Through journalism, lectures and publishing, dedicated photographers championing a cause can enlighten all who view their images and encourage others to take a proactive role in improving society. The top photographers involved in the dialogue offered inspiration and straightforward insights about how they have made a difference with their photography and enlightened those who have viewed their work.
For over 25 years Borges has lived with and documented indigenous and tribal cultures around the world. Through his work, he strives to create a heightened understanding of the issues faced by people in the developing world. His photographic projects are devoted to the welfare of indigenous and tribal people, and his intention is to help bring attention to the value these cultures represent and the challenges they face. Borges also founded the Bridges to Understanding program.
Finlay has documented with compassion, empathy and dignity the human condition as it has unfolded throughout the world for the past 17 years. He has covered war, conflict, genocide, famine, environmental issues, religious pilgrimage, and disappearing traditions and cultures, as well as photographed numerous documentaries for television. He also has photographed more than 40 advertising campaigns for some of the biggest ad agencies and clients in the world. In pursuit of his passion, he has circled the world 27 times in search of that one image that will make a difference in the lives of the people he photographs.
Finlay was invited to join the Microsoft Icons of Imaging program, designed to celebrate and showcase professional photographers who are recognized around the world as leaders in photography and digital imaging. By displaying a sample of their incredible imagery on the dedicated Icons of Imaging Web site, members provide inspiration to other digital imaging photographers to create the best photographic images possible. Finlay joins Bambi Cantrell, Reed Hoffmann, Denis Reggie, John Shaw, Matthew Jordan Smith and Art Wolfe as a member of the Icons of Imaging program.
For over 10 years Fobes documented the Pacific salmon and the cultures of the salmon around the Pacific Rim. First published in National Geographic Magazine, her book “Reaching Home: Pacific Salmon, Pacific People” was released in 1994. Having three books published in five years, mounting a traveling museum exhibit, running a thriving assignment and stock business, and becoming a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of the prestigious Alicia Patterson Fellowship, Fobes is one of the most diverse photographers in the country.
Matthew Jordan Smith
Smith is a Microsoft Icon of Imaging. “Lost and Found,” one of his recent book projects, was co-sponsored by Microsoft Corp. and American Photo magazine. It features the faces and stories of families helped by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, photographed on a journey that took Smith around the United States, not to express sentiment or human-interest homilies, but to tell heartbreaking and joyous, real stories of horror and hope that will change the way viewers see their own children.
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