Africa has been on my radar for a while. Having shot around Europe, India and South America, I was up for a completely new challenge, and also for exploring a continent that in many ways was different to anywhere I’d experienced. I knew it wouldn’t be easy – I’ve heard stories from fellow photographers on how certain African countries weren’t the most camera-friendly of places, and Ethiopia was one of them. In spite of this, I still wasn’t fully prepared for the intensely challenging experience I was about to embark on.
Joey Lawrence has been photographing the tribes of Ethiopia since 2008. Drawn by the aesthetic of the country itself and its residents, it’s a place he’s returned to many times since. In 2013, Joey started a kickstarter to raise funds for a cinematic narrative film. The film was to be shot in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, and star the members of the tribes he found there.
The film has toured the festival circuit, picking up a number of very respectable awards. Now, the film is online, available to watch for anybody with an Internet connection. Joey has also released several behind the scenes videos to accompany the piece. You will want to sit back with a good amount of time spare to watch through it all, but it’s well worth it.
As I was watching this clip of Lonely Planet photographer, Philip Lee Harvey, scale sheer vertical cliffs so he could photograph the Abuna Yemata church in Ethiopia, all I could think was how awesome his cameraman and film crew are. The climb, which took them 2500 feet up, involved no ropes or safety gear, and was completed barefooted in heavy winds. The trek Harvey made was borderline crazy. His crew was doing the same trek while carrying up all the camera equipment and filming while they were at it. Kudos to Harvey and his crew for getting it done.
Watch in wonder as the team climbs to one of the most inaccessible churches in the world:[Read More…]