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ABOUT


"Taras is a very talented and dedicated photographer.

His passion for visual communication is great, and he works tirelessly on his projects."

-- Kent Kobersteen

Former Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine



.

Whatever your level of experience in photography I hope you find pictures here that are of interest and value.

As a contemporary black and white documentary photographer I always aim to be strait-forward, honest and real. As you'll see, my pictures and emotions are firmly rooted in the tradition of photo 'reportage' -- that is,  reporting interesting visual moments in still images and arranging them in a certain way to tell a larger story.

Building on the foundations of a solid editorial background, and after an extended period of time spent away from photography, I now concentrate exclusively on producing long-term documentary photo essays. It's far from easy, but very gratifying and educational work.

Each of the stories published on this site have been self-directed and self-funded -- always, it seems, on a shoe-string budget.

Six months photographing and living among residents of the Brush Park ghetto, Detroit, for example, was a labor of love, with no guarantees for print publication.

Epicenter of Detroit's race riots in the late 60's, Brush Park was once the ancestral home to America's captains of the automotive industry and is also the acknowledged birthplace of 'Motown'. I was intuitively drawn to this incredible neighborhood in transition, which, currently, is experiencing a period of gentrification, driving many of its marginalized residents further afield.

In 1998 a 42-ton Bowhead whale -- an internationally recognized endangered species -- was hunted and slaughtered by Inuit in the Canadian Arctic, allowed by treaty rights stemming from the Nunavut land agreement. A pack of sonar-equipped, radio-linked outboard speedboats, the use of a 50-caliber anti-aircraft rifle and an explosive-tipped harpoon gun shattered and replaced all of the naive images I had previously held of a 'traditional' hunt.

A very difficult period living through and documenting my father's untimely passing lead me to a radical reassessment of the structure and form my life had then taken. With a head full of quandary - and after having executed well over ten thousand editorial photo assignments spanning nearly a 2 decade period - I embarked upon a then-much-needed 'extended sabbatical'. I entering a very secluded life in a small-town Canadian farmhouse, I temporarily put my cameras aside, embraced such 'indulgences' as meditation, and plunged into a huge stack of fantastic books -- ones I had been telling myself for years that I was, at some point, "going to read".

My photographs from a section of the Pan-American Highway probably best represent the photographer I am today. The project - to photograph my impressions of daily life along the entire Latin American length of the mammoth transcontinental artery - is on-going.

I hope you enjoy your stay here. And thank you for your patience as I slowly build the site.

 

Taras Kovaliv

 

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BACKGROUND


FREELANCE:

It was my privilege throughout the 1990's to have photographed at various times for:


The Globe and Mail (Canada)
The New York Times
The South China Morning Post
The International Herald Tribune
The TIMES (London, England)
The Guardian (London)
The Independent (London)
TIME magazine, Asia (Hong Kong)
Canadian Geographic Magazine
Saturday Night Magazine
SHIFT Magazine
Maclean's Magazine

And others...


STAFF POSITIONS:

The Eastern Express - Hong Kong - 1995/96
(daily English-language broadsheet newspaper)

The Hong Kong Standard - Hong Kong - 1996/97
(tri-weekly English-language broadsheet newspaper)

The Delta Optimist - early-mid 1990's
(tri-weekly canadian community newspaper)



INTERNED

Canadian Press - 1990
The Calgary Herald - 1991
The Hamilton Spectator - 1992



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AWARDS:

SOUTH ASIAN JOURNALIST'S ASSOCIATION AWARD (1st) - 1997

Outstanding Photograph of South Asia - "Paradise Lost: Bullets and a Buddhist Temple, Colombo (Sri Lanka)"

Taras Kovaliv for TIME. Appeared in TIME Asia, February 9, 1998

 

BEIJING PRESS CLUB - FEATURE PHOTO AWARD (1st) - 1997

For single image of the Hong Kong hand-over (flag presentation in rain storm photo).



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EXHIBITIONS:

 

CONTACT FESTIVAL, Toronto - BRUSH PARK, DETROIT. A photographic study of urban gentrification .

Visual Empire Gallery.

Curated: Carlos Avalos


CONTACT FESTIVAL, Toronto - "ANGEL" (Please see GALLERY on this website)

Joseph D. Carrier Gallery

Curated: Flavio Belli



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Please note:
The photo essay documenting my father's final months is presented here for journalistic interest only. Falling just outside of the official window for Hepatitis C compensation claims, Stepan Kovaliv remains one of the many as-yet-unrecognized victims of Canada's notorious 'tainted blood' scandal.
These memories are not for sale.