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Issue No. 16 - Chaos

Mike Magers: Haiti

Blinds - Port au Prince

Port au PrinceThis was just a great stolen moment - there's no real story to it other than that.  Street photography opportunities like this are pretty rare and the lighting/contrast were just perfect.  The subject did catch me shooting and was pretty tolerant of it.

 

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Barber Shop - Jacmel

Jacmel is a coastal town about 2.5 hours southwest of Port au Prince.  It's really the artistic center of Haiti, known especially for the giant papier mache masks made for carnival time.  I was there specifically to shoot a rag tag group of surfers led by a ex-pat French aid worker, but had a chance to wander around town as well.  Barber shops and beauty salons are all over Haiti and I loved this 1-chair set up.

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Tap Tap - Port au Prince

Tap Taps are a ubiquitous form of transport across Haiti - brightly painted buses and trucks that serve as the main form of transportation for most Haitians. We were driving along side of this particular Tap Tap and the light coming in across the passengers' faces was just terrific.

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School Girls Dodging the Rain - Port au Prince

I was traveling with another journalist, a writer, to do a story about the growth of basketball in Haiti and we had embedded ourselves with the two teams vying for the championship. In the run up to the big game, we spent time with each team watching them practice. However, rainy season had just arrived in Haiti and as this particular practice started, we found ourselves in the midst of a thunderous downpour. It just so happened that a high school game had been played on the same courts just before practice was starting and so everyone there, players, fans, etc. went running for cover. This group of girls had priceless looks on their faces, I think partially because they caught me pointing a camera at them.

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Liquor ads - Port au Prince

Often times in developing countries I spend a lot of time shooting from vehicles.  I was heading up to the hills above Port au Prince and we passed these two huge glossy liquor ads just as two women were crossing in front of them with baskets on their heads.  There was something about the juxtaposition of the modern and traditional that struck me.

 

I spent 10 days in Haiti shooting stories on both basketball and surfing, and found the time to do a bit of street shooting as well.  Port au Prince is a tricky place to shoot - the country is still recovering from 2 devastating natural disasters and Haitians are sensitive to cameras in general.  However, I was fortunate to work with some terrific people along the way and come back with stories that show a different perspective of the country.

Interview with Kyle DeWoody: A Grey Area

Interview with Paola Pivi: Fearless