count Jason P. Howe as a damn good friend. His conflict pictures and
documentaries are inspirational, to say the least.
It was a few years ago, over drinks in a hot
and sweaty Bangkok, when Jason told me of his plan to publish a book about his
time in Colombia, documenting the conflict between the government FARC rebels
and his general experiences of life within this part of the world.
The idea of photo
documentary books isn’t new; however, the approach that Jason has taken is. Jason
accompanies his stark images with a diary of the events and his personal
experiences, which add context and emotion to the reading experience.
When you usually think of
war photographers, and those covering conflicts, one can’t help striking up the
idea of a glamorous, adrenaline-fueled, lifestyle of those covering it
In stark reality, this is
often not the case.Â Jason does a fantastic job of really giving the reader an
idea of what it is like to cover such tense situations, the amount of time
spent doing nothing and waiting on others, and then the life-threatening
situations where you, the photographer, is being targeted.
Jason drops a colossal
bombshell halfway through the book regarding his relationship with a young
lady, one that made him question what he was doing and also the relationship he
had with her.Â
He immersed himself for 5 years in Colombia to really get behind
the sensational headlines and document what life is really like for so many ordinary
images are in Jason’s honest and blunt style: hard hitting shots of dead
policemen, cocaine production, hardened rebels sharing intimate moments and
various other characters that make up the overall story.
It’s not often I urge people to buy a book, but Jason’s is one I whole-heartedly recommend you to buy. This is documentary photography as its best.
All images Â© Jason P Howe.