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Nov. 21, 2011
Ira Block
"The Leaf image files are fabulous, with very accurate color and skin tone reproduction - plus the workflow is seamless." Ira Block
Ira Block is an internationally renowned photojournalist, teacher, and workshop leader who has produced over 30 stories for the National Geographic Magazine and its affiliates N.G. Traveler and Adventure. He began his career as a newspaper photographer, earning numerous press club awards. As an expert in lighting, Ira is sought after for assignments ranging from shooting ancient artifacts in Greece to photographing dinosaur fossils in the Gobi desert and documenting Moche mummies in Peru.

The photographs presented here are from one of Ira's recent exhibitions - Faces of Hope.

"Since the September 11, 2001 bombings of the World Trade Center, I have been documenting this horrific event. I photographed the Twin Towers of Light the first time they were illuminated six months later, and I also shot a story on the efforts to rebuild the downtown area. To commemorate the tenth anniversary, I wanted to focus on the positive. This proved to be a daunting task.

I started by photographing the personal objects that were salvaged during the clean-up process from the rubble. This was a very emotional experience for me, knowing that the items I was shooting belonged to the people who had perished. I also had access to Hangar 17 at Kennedy International Airport, where some of the large pieces of the Twin Towers were being stored. Photographing what were once the two tallest buildings in the world, now reduced to fragments of metal was unverving. I began to realize that documenting personal items and pieces of the Towers was not giving me the mood I wanted to achieve. It was too somber, too devastating, too final. My focus shifted to representing the living.

If these photos have a mission, it is this: to capture the images of the survivors, the people who escaped from the Towers and moved on with their lives. A woman who now has two young children, a mother and daughter miraculously reunited, two brothers, now in high school, all survivors, each with a story to tell."

Upcoming National Geogrpahic Expedition: Workshop in Bhutan

See Ira Block's work on the Leaf Gallery >>

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