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Photojournalism: "Through the Eyes of Charles Ommanney".


Charles Ommanney has been a contract Photographer for Newsweek magazine from 1997 to the present, and has been represented by Getty Images since 2006. His awards include: World Press – portraiture, White House News Photographers Eyes of History (2005 - 2008), 2008 Political Photo of the Year, POY International (2004,2006,2008), PDN and Communication Arts annuals (2002-2008), and the 1999 Alfred Eisenstadt award.

In this gallery we present some of Charles Ommanney's award winning works along with a Q& A session about his work.

About his choice of subjects and stories: "In the past 10 years my magazine has had me assigned to the White House and the politics of Washington DC so naturally I have had to change my way of thinking – being part of a pack, men in suits, masses of waiting for short bursts of energy, rope lines and the control factor etc etc but still the same motivating force stands true for me as it was 'being free' roaming the world in the 90's. Just a fascination with human nature."

How did your recent shoot with Elliot Spitzer happen? "Newsweek assigned me to shoot Spitzer as I had photographed him years ago and they thought this fact might get us a little more time. Well it didn't – I had 12 minutes with him start to finish."

About creating Images: "Newsweek gave me the privilege to enter all types of people's lives for short periods of time and take a little part of them away with me. One only hopes that you give back to them in some sort of way. It can be a beautiful partnership."

On Barack Obama as a subject: "Barack Obama has been a 'good' subject. I first got to know him back in 2003 when we did a "People to Watch" cover story and I think that mixed with knowing a lot of his staff from the Kerry campaigns of 2004 helped me to get inside his 2008 campaign for the presidency. I worked my contacts hard on this story. As to getting 'historical' pictures of the man – its 80 percent about knowing the person on the door and 20 percent technical skill!"

What are some of your biggest challenges when you are on an assignment? What helps you overcome them? "Hitting the ground running is not as easy as it used to be! I am 43 now and sometimes I wonder how long I will be able to physically keep this up. As an example, next week I am hold to go to the Middle East and 15 hours to Kuwait followed by 5 very intense shooting days with no excuses for jet lag can be daunting! You have to really love this gig when you have children at home asking how long your going to be."

On the use of B&W images  as opposed to color images: "Both have their place. Newsweek generally prefers color but I always try and sneak a few BW images in there. I think one has to be careful with the use of black and white because it always just looks more dramatic. The temptation to convert a not so strong photograph to make it more dramatic is not one of the healthier aspects of Photoshop."

About upcoming projects: "On hold to go to Iraq next week for Newsweek. Working on an environmental story for Rolling Stone and traveling to Spain to shoot the Spanish president (behind the scenes) for Vanity Fair."

About his work: "I love what I do. Its the best job in the world. All of us in this business are having to rethink how we go about our approach to photography as the industry changes and adjust to the times we are living in. Its scary but at the same time exciting."





▲ White House News Photographers Association
Portrait, Editorial, 2nd Place


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and LA police chief William Bratton meet to smoke cigars in the "tent"at his offices in the  Capital, March 29, 2007 in Sacramento, California. Governor Schwarzenegger meets with police chiefs and Mayors from all over California to discuss the increasing problem with gang violence in the state. After the meeting . The "Tent" as it is called at the Capital is where much of the Governors business is conducted. It was set up with the idea that because it is in the courtyard he can relax and smoke his cigars whilst in meetings. California has strict anti-smoking in doors laws.




▲ White House News Photographers Association "The Eyes of History 2009"
Inauguration 2009, Editorial, Award of Excellence


Former President George W. Bush waves goodbye to the new First Family as he departs the Capital after President Barack Obama was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol  on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.




Former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer works at the family firm started by his father Bernard Spitzer on 5th Avenue and goes about his business on the streets of New York on April 10, 2009 in New York, NY.  On March 10, 2008, The New York Times reported that Spitzer was a client of a prostitution ring under investigation by the federal government. Two days later, he announced his resignation as governor of New York, effective March 17, citing "private failings".




▲ White House News Photographers Association "The Eyes of History 2009"
Inauguration 2009, Editorial, Award of Excellence


In a holding room at the Capital Barack H. Obama has a moment alone to gather his thoughts before he is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol  on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.




Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), his wife Michelle and two daughters Sasha (6) and Malia (9) play cards in their RV, July 4, 2007 on a campaign swing between Oskaloosa and Pella, Iowa. The U.S. senator from Illinois, who is on a two-day campaign swing through Iowa, recently announced that his campaign had raised $32.5 million in the second quarter, outpacing rival Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who pulled in $20 million.




Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) backstage with his children Malia and Sasha before speaking at a campaign rally at Parkview High School November 1, 2008 in Springfield, Missouri. Obama continues to campaign against Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as Election Day draws near.




Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) backstage before speaking at a campaign event at Mack's Apples October 16, 2008 in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Obama continues to campaign as Election Day begins to draw near as he runs against his Republican challenger, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).




Behind the scenes Senator Joe Biden gives Barack H. Obama some last minute advice before he is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol  on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.




President Bush vacations on his ranch on August 24, 2007 in Crawford, Texas. 'Trailblazer' is the code name the US secret service use for George Bush. When seen on his Prairie Chapel Ranch just outside the small town of Crawford, the term "Trailblazer" seems very fitting.  An avid fitness enthusiast Bush starts the day fishing for Perch on his pond at 6am. This is closely followed by his morning briefing where he is joined via teleconferencing by VP Cheney and members of his National Security team. The day continues as Bush rides his mountain bike on trails he has hand built around his 1600 acre ranch. After lunch and with the afternoon heat rising to over 100 degrees President Bush gathers senior staff and the most hardy of his secret service Protective detail for a afternoon of cutting cedar out on the wilds of his ranch. This is hard work and the President delights in watching as his team members wilt in the August sun.




Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain (R-AZ) boards his campaign plane as he heads to the Republican National Convention September 3, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. McCain is campaigning before heading to the Republican National Convention.




Republican U.S vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican U.S presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and wife Cindy McCain greet the crowd at a campaign stop at a meet and greet downtown on September 5, 2008 Cedarburg, Wisconsin. McCain and Republican U.S vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are making their first post-convention campaign stops after McCain accepted the GOP nomination for U.S. President yesterday at the Republican National Convention.




▲ White House News Photographers Association "The Eyes of History 2009"
Campaign 2008, Editorial, Award of Excellence


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and his former rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) backstage before attending a joint Democratic Party fundraising event at the New York Hilton hotel July 10, 2008 in New York City. Speculation continues over Obama's possible choice of Clinton as a vice presidential running mate.




US President George W. Bush greets workers under a mosquito bed net during a tour of the A to Z Textile Mills on February 18, 2008 in Arusha, Tanzania. The company produces insecticidal bed nets, which help in the prevention of malaria. The company produces insecticidal bed nets which help in the prevention of malaria. The US president has used his visit -- which began in Benin on February 16, 2008, and will take him to Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia before he heads back to Washington -- to highlight US-African cooperation to battle disease and poverty.



▲ White House News Photographers Association
Picture Story/Feature, Editorial, Award of Excellence


Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Sargent, his wife Tonia Sargent, and their daughter Alishia at their home on February 8, 2007 at Camp Pendleton, California. Sgt. Sargent suffered gunshot wounds to the head, August 5, 2004 in Najaf, Iraq. The bullet entered under his right eye and exited on the left side of his head. He is suffering from a loss of hearing, vision. He has lost two inches of his brain, has damage to his corroded artery and his jaw was shattered. Currently he is being treated for PTSD, neurological and urological issues. His days are a constant struggle and only aided by his constant caregiver, his wife Tonia. Kenneth is surrounded by his buddies on the 'shop' floor. Portrait of Kenneth in the living room of his home.




▲ White House News Photographers Association
Portrait, Editorial, 1st Place


Shooting victim, Derek O' Dell at his home on April 20, 2007 in the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Blacksburg Virginia. Thirty-three people were killed, including the shooter, on the campus when Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old South Korean undergraduate student in his senior year, went on a shooting rampage with two handguns in a dormitory building and Norris Hall.




▲ White House News Photographers Association's Political Photo of the Year

Barack H. Obama holds in a crowded hallway backstage at the Capital moments before walking out to be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.


Source: Pixcetera.co.uk


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Charles Ommanney is one of my fave contemporary photojournalists. Just sharing the love.
Tags: photography
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