Winning the Gold in the Documentary category at this year’s College Photographer of the Year competition was a moving and interesting set of images by San Francisco-based photographer Alex Welsh. He photographed the rapidly changing and troubled neighborhood of Hunters Point in San Francisco over a long period of time, gaining deep access to the community. This project stood out, far and away, from other cpoy work I saw this year for its depth, consideration and visual language. And more recently I’ve been impressed by this interview with Welsh published by The Visual Student blog from the NPPA.
At times, I was extremely scared for my own safety and well being, and over time the dangerous lifestyle that the kids around me were living began to take a toll on my sanity, but the more time I spent with the them, the more my convictions about the importance of the work deepened. No journalists in San Francisco really spent enough time in the neighborhood to gain access to the gangs, so it upset me that if I just bailed out of the project, the story simply wouldn’t get told.
This is incredibly strong, personal and important work from a young photographer and I look forward to seeing more from Welsh in the future. Be sure to visit his website for more images from this project and many others.