About Eli Reed
Eli Reed has been a full member of the elite photography agency Magnum Photos since 1988, and a Clinical Professor at Austin’s University of Texas since 2005.
Over his years as a photographer, Eli has worked in many different genres of photography and has taken on assignments covering news, fashion, advertising and conflict documentary in areas including Central America, Africa, Haiti, and Lebanon. He has also published two personal books; Beirut, City of Regrets and Black in America.
Eli has been the recipient of a number of significant photographic awards including the NPPA World Understanding Award, the Oversea Press Club Award, a World Press Photo Award, the W. Eugene Grant for Documentary Photography and the Lucie Foundation Award for Documentary Photography. He was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1981.
Eli’s is currently working on a short fictional movie shot on the Sony α7 camera. His photography retrospective; Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home is due to be published in May 2015.
Why did you choose to shoot your #FutureofCities story in the Cheonggyecheon area?
I’m both amazed and gladdened by the distance South Korea has gone to remake the Cheonggyecheon area, which was previously pretty terrible.
The redevelopment project has taken a long time and considerable expense, but Seoul has been really successful in transforming this area into a place of beauty for the residents of the city. It’s re-connected the urban landscape to nature, and created an ambiance that welcomes families and foreign visitors.
During my years as a photographer I have worked in so many places around the world that people truly believed were a lost cause. They couldn’t even conceive of changing things or investing in making the places better.
Cheonggyecheon has proved the people who doubt wrong, and shows that the possibilities for positive change are everywhere if you choose to acknowledge them.
What do you think of Sony’s involvement in the #FutureofCities project?
The Future of Cities project has come at the right time. The campaign is the perfect reminder of what can be done to change the world for the better.
It’s a great project for Sony to be involved in, and represents a call for people of conscience to take a proactive stand towards our global future.
Sony’s cameras have helped me document the world; the good and the bad. They’ve helped me photograph human suffering and sadness, as well as new possibilities and visions of a better future. Sony camera gear has been there for many people who care about the fate of the earth.