Jack Picone, born in Moree, New South Wales, is a internationally renowned photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bangkok.
Picone covered eight wars in the 1990s, some several times over, including Armenia, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Palestine, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan, Angola and Soviet Central Asia.
Picone is credited as being part of a new wave of Australian photographers that matured in the 1990s, a group who not only reported on day-to-day events but the deeper social issues at hand. This is no more apparent than in Picone’s more recent commitment to documenting the pandemic of HIV AIDS. His photographic practice is characterized by a non-intrusive and unhurried approach with his subjects, exemplified by his work in the remote Nuba Mountains, Sudan. Picone’s ongoing documentary photography involves interacting freely with other people’s lives, telling their story – first on a micro level, then providing a catalyst for communication between different cultures on a macro level.
Picone is a co-founder of Australia’s REPORTAGE festival and the founder of The Jack Picone Photography and Stephen Dupont Documentary Workshops. He is the recipient of several of photojournalism’s and documentary photography’s most prestigious awards.
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What I love about shooting the FUJIFILM X-T4 in Kathmandu is its unobtrusiveness. Its retro design synchs seamlessly with Kathmandu’s urban and fluid landscape.
Like Kathmandu itself, the X-T4 has a dual personality on the outside; it resonates retro with classic design lines not eclipsed by time. On the inside, it is all twenty-first-century space-age technology. It’s a compelling combination.
Nepal is a spiritually multi-dimensional and creative place. Much of its creativity is rooted in Hinduism. In Kathmandu, Hinduism is omnipresent in life and death. Hinduism is a conversation between life and death. It is reflected in Nepalese culture in its religious iconography, art, writing, graffiti, music and its cremations on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river. Unlike most Western countries, the Nepalese people are unconcerned with the documentation of their dead. They are inclusive of it. It is an intrinsic part of the Hindu religion to share life’s experiences to promote a culture of understanding between people everywhere. Hindus believe we are all the same and we are all in this life together. Sharing death is part of that philosophy.
Photographing the ritual of death is mostly about respect, unobtrusiveness and speed. There can be beauty in pathos, and poetic and sorrowful photographs can be made or lost – forever – in microseconds. I found while documenting the cremations at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu that the fold away screen, large dials and controls on the top of the X-T4 allowed me to work fast, be present, stay in the moment, and learn about the Nepalese peoples’ conversation about death. The opposite of the preceding glued to the screen scrolling through endless menu pages is a lessor experience.
I push my cameras to the extreme ‘edge’ of what they are capable of. Having six and a half stops of image stabilization, lighting fast autofocus, lots of film simulations and extra battery life keeps me on ‘the edge’ where most of the potent photographs happen.
The FUJIFILM X-T4 is intuitive, fast, fluid and a natural extension of me and my creativity.