Shadow Hymns is an exploration of photojournalism and foreign correspondence by filmmaker Austin Andrews. Photo spreads in the book include Desert Sundials: Angles on the sand seas of Namibia; Pyramiden: Midnight latitudes of Svalbard, and Frontier Empire of Ascension Island.
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About the Author
Canadian photographer Austin Andrews has profiled stories on six continents for TIME, Foreign Policy, Maclean's and Intersection, and in the online edition of National Geographic. Previously with The Times newspaper in Johannesburg, Austin has also undertaken long-term projects for the governments of South Africa and the European Union, and NGOs including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the International Organization for Migration. His on-the-ground radio dispatches from the war in Afghanistan have been picked up by BBC World News and ABC Radio National.
Read an Excerpt
From the Introduction: Enter curiosity. This is maybe the single most important trait any documentary photographer can have. Human behaviour is fascinating stuff. Wonderment, cooperation, scepticism, hypocrisy; these are some of the most decadent photographic subjects, and to place these familiar behaviours in an unfamiliar setting is something I will never tire of. It's a welcome reminder that no new place is ever really that alien. Sometimes it means getting uncomfortably close to your subject, and there are photos in this book that were framed from the hip, and others that were serendipitous mistakes. Sometimes meaning is accidental.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more complex the engagement with a subject, the narrower the audience becomes. This may be why artists working in every medium will challenge themselves to sneak the Trojan horse of commentary and critique into highly aesthetic packages. This is as true of pop songs and blockbuster films as documentary photography, and to capture or create images that succeeds on both these levels has become an intoxicating pursuit.