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Exotic Sports Portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Multiple award winner, Polish photographer Tomasz Gudzowaty is one of my all time favourites. He captures soulful, high contrast black and white portraits of the lesser known sports around the world, with the help of a good old large format camera. His newest exhibition Beyond the Body shows some of his finest work from the last decade. It consists of sixteen photo-essays, all with exotic sports portraits from different, mostly non-commercial, non-mainstream sports around the globe.

Gudzowaty went from nature photography, to social documentary, and in the last few years he’s been focused on sports photography. Especially exotic, atypical sports that rarely get covered by the media. He’s always been a fan of the humanistic photography style and the classic form of the black and white photo-essay.

Mexico’s Car Frenzy tells the story of a group of auto enthusiasts in Mexico City. It’s regular people who have to work full time to support their passion of custom tuned muscle cars.

Mexico's Car Frenzy - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Mexico's Car Frenzy - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Mexico's Car Frenzy - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Mexico's Car Frenzy - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Mexico's Car Frenzy - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

“Streets, highways, parking lots, ramps, and even indoor spaces – any place can become a racing ground for a more or less spontaneous event.”

The Nadaam Race is a horse racing event during Nadaam, the greatest national festival in Mongolia. It is a 25-30 km race through the Mongolian steppe, and mostly a test for the horses. The jockeys are usually children, since their weight and riding skills don’t really influence the score.

Nadaam Race - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Nadaam Race - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Nadaam Race - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Nadaam Race - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Nadaam Race - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

“Hundreds of contestants ride through the steppe until one rider decides to break for the finish line and the rest of the group follows after. The first five to finish are showered with koumiss, which is poured on the head and the hindquarters of the horse.”

Urban Golf in India was developed by a group of boys living in the slums. Even though golf is considered somewhat a game of the wealthy, with just a crooked metal stick and some balls from the toy store, anyone can play this urbanized version of the sport.

Urban Golf in India - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Urban Golf in India - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Urban Golf in India - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Urban Golf in India - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Urban Golf in India - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

“In a modernizing India, the younger generation is increasingly exposed to Western lifestyles, and sometimes their enthusiasm produces an interesting mix of local traditions and realities with new inspirations.”

Flying Warriors is about Kalaripayattu, which is considered the oldest known form of martial arts. Kalaripayattu masters devote their lives to studying the secrets of the human body. The knowledge is used for healing discomfort or injuries, as well as killing an opponent with a single strike (at least hypothetically). The sporting version of Kalaripayattu can be dangerous too, which makes the medical expertise of the masters very helpful.

Flying Warriors Kalaripayattu - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Flying Warriors Kalaripayattu - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Flying Warriors Kalaripayattu - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

Flying Warriors Kalaripayattu - Exotic sports portraits by Tomasz Gudzowaty

“Each duel is an astonishing performance of wonderful choreography and perfect timing that seems to defy gravity.”

Source: Tomasz Gudzowaty & World Press Photo
all photos © Tomasz Gudzowaty

This entry was written by admin, posted on November 13, 2012 at 2:10 AM, filed under Analog, Black and white, Large format, Portraits, Sports and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, NYC

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Photographer Chris Arnade doesn’t just take pictures of people on the street. He gets close and comfortable with both the people and their surroundings, listen to life stories, dreams, burdens, and writes about it on his Flickr page in the most moving way. Most of the times he even returns later with a printed portrait and a warm blanket.

“I am not a journalist, I don’t verify, just listen.”

Banker by trade, Chris has been strolling around parts of New York City that people normally don’t visit. He’s been doing that for the past twenty years, and with a camera in his hand for the past five, not once feeling uncomfortable or fearing for his safety.

The subjects of these emotional portraits are real people, with real problems, living in a rough part of town. But once you get past the exterior image, you learn that there is a warm hearted, respectful, and welcoming human being behind almost every one of them, taking it day by day, just trying to get by.

The highly acclaimed Faces of Addiction is an ongoing project since 2010, and some times Arnade can spend up to months before even raising his camera, just getting to know the people and the world they live in. He’s an avid supporter of HPAC, Hunts Point Alliance for Children. You can help too.

“Often forgotten amidst the headlines of addiction and crime is that roughly 4,000 families live in Hunts Point, cut off from most of the resources New York City provides.”

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

Faces of Addiction in Hunts Point, by Chris Arnade

A photograph is only half the story, especially in this series, so I encourage everyone to take a good look at Chris Arnade’s Flickr galleries at the link below. Even though he claims not to be a journalist, the texts are very well written, and it gives you an insight to a part of the world you probably weren’t that familiar with. And it’s OK to shead a tear or two, yours truly did that too.

Sources: Flickr gallery & The Gothamist
All photos © Chris Arnade

This entry was written by admin, posted on September 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM, filed under Portraits, Street photography and tagged , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.




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