Kabukicho | Tokyo Red Light district

There is something magic and electrifying about walking around Tokyo at night. The kabukicho district in Tokyo is certainly one of the most lively and extravagant district out there. Between bars, live shows and love motels, I enjoyed a few days in the city to shoot some of the streets with a medium format analog camera. Here are some of those photos:

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Tim Franco is available for editorial and commercial assignments in Japan and greater Asia.

China - North Korea border | Rivers of defection

As both Koreas are trying to work towards a peace solution, the defections from the DPRK are happening daily. In my first chapter ( http://www.timfranco.com/unperson ), I have interviewed & portrayed those defectors. This time, I traveled along the border of the secretive state and China. The two countries are separated by two rivers and one mountain. Most of the defectors are crossing the rivers into China before finding their difficult way into South Korea. Crossing those rivers is the first step into a new world. Those photos are documenting those places and showing how close and easy it is to make this first step. 

North Korea from the city of Dandong

North Korea from the city of Dandong

Chinese fishfarm overlooking North Korea

Chinese fishfarm overlooking North Korea

 

 

 

North Korea

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China

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just a few meters between China and North Korea

just a few meters between China and North Korea

An old bridge destroyed to cut the traffic between the two countries.

An old bridge destroyed to cut the traffic between the two countries.

All those photos are copyrighted Tim Franco 2018 and available for editorial use upon request.
Get in touch timfranco@gmail.com

North Korean portraits | Unperson

This is the first portrait of my new series about North Korean defectors.

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When Kim Pil-joo was a young boy, his mom was often traveling to China illegally to purchase and sell products. Every time she got back, a smell of candy and sweets was invading their home. He imagined China as a big candy factory. At 12, during a rough year of famine in the country, he experienced a public execution. The man had stolen a copper safety line from a mine and tried to sell it. It took him two attempts to manage to escape North Korea. His mom was already in China and it was a question of survival. When he finally arrived in South Korea, he was first shocked by how welcomed he was by the local government. All his life he was told how evil the South Korean were. Even thou he now lives and studies in the south, he finds it difficult to integrate fully the social and hope for a unique identity, where north and south are just one.

To reflect this incredible transition, I chose to portray those defectors on an analog material that is not supposed to exist. Just as their situation, the negative of a Polaroid is not supposed to be usable. It is only obtained through a series of chemical purification’s of the back paper of the original image. The result is often uncertain, dirty and imperfect. This series of portraits is the first chapter of a project reflecting on North Korea and the notions of borders and identity.

The complete series is available for publication upon request @ timfranco@gmail.com

Metamorpolis Exhibition in Paris

During the summer of 2017, a collection of photos from my Metamorpolis project are exhibited at the "Maison de la Chine" in downtown Paris. The venue has a Chinese Tea House which includes exhibitions year around. Here are few phone photos of the exhibition.

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The exhibition will be displayed until the end of august. For inquiries please contact me directly : tim@propagandastudio.asia

kathmandu Jazz Scene - Nepal Portraits

A few month ago, I was assigned by Silk Road magazine to travel to Nepal to shoot a story on the small growing local Jazz Scene in Kathmandu. During a few days in the capital, I have met many musicians and shot their portraits. Here are some of them

Tim Franco is an Asia based photographer living between Seoul & Shanghai and available for assignment in China, South Korea, Japan and all over asia. Contact him at tim@propagandastudio.asia

Ulan Bator | A new Democracy in Mongolia

More photos from a story I have worked on a few month ago about the new democracy in Mongolia. During my time there, I had the chance to visit local herders and resident from the Capital city Ulan Bator as well as prominent politician & Journalists. Here is a few photos taken in the Mongolian Capital city

The smog arriving from the Ger city into the downtown area

The smog arriving from the Ger city into the downtown area

The full story is available here

Tim Franco is a documentary and commercial photographer available for assignment all over asia.

herders in the Mongolian Steppe

Last month, I had the chance to travel back to Mongolia to work on a story about Democracy and the coming presidential election for Monocle Magazine.  We have spent an intense week meeting all kinds of interesting characters from herders to the probable future president of the country. Here are few photos taken in the steppe.

Tim Franco is available for editorial and commercial assignment all over Asia, please contact him at timfranco@gmail.com and follow him on istagram @timfranco

Chongqing Feature in the Good Life Magazine

Earlier this year I traveled back to Chongqing to work on a story for The Good Life Magazine. It was a nice experience to look around the city and see how much has changed since I have last visited it. Here are a few of the images from that body of work as well as the tearsheets.

Tim Franco is available for editorial and commercial photography assignment in Asia. He is based between Seoul and Shanghai and often travels to the following destinations : Hong Kong, beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok & Singapore. Please contact him directly at timfranco@gmail.com

Fashion Designer Portraits

This month issue of the Silk Road magazines feature a story about up & coming fashion designer in China that I have shot . As I often work with this magazine, each portrait was done on my old time favorite Hasselblad Medium format Film camera. Here is a couple of the portrait as well as the tearsheets. 

Tim Franco is available for editorial and commercial assignments including portraits, stories and architecture in China, Korea and Hong Kong please contact him at timfranco@gmail.com

Fisherman in the Lofoten

A couple month back as I was visiting the Lofoten islands , i had to pleasure to meet Roger, a very nice fisherman eager to share his knowledge and stories, here are a few photos from a beautiful morning spent discussing the preparation for the Cod Fishing Season near Roger's boat. I am hopping our path will cross again !

Tim Franco is available for travel and documentary assignments please contact him at timfranco@gmail.com

Urbanism & Modern architecture in Baku - Azerbaijan

Baku has a really impressive range of architecture. From the traditional old city to the out of proportion Flame Towers, it is hard to understand where the city is going in terms of urbanisation. Here are a few photos from my "Crude Gentrification" project about some of the craziest and more modern part of the city's architecture.

The series is available for editorial usage with my agency , click the link here

Khazar Islands - A failed urban dream ?

During my time in the Azeri Capital, working on my Crude Gentrification Story, I tried to visit and learn about as many places and project as possible . The Khazar Islands project is by far the one that surprised me the most ! This gigantic complex, as large as a small city is suppose to be spread on 30 Km2 over the caspian Sea and house about a million residents over luxury villas and supposely the tallest tower in the world ( Azerbaijan Tower ) . As per the wikipidia page , the project is suppose to go and be finished by 2025 but the reality seems otherwise. The site has been abandoned after only a few of the buildings have been erected. The Khazar Islands project can be seen as a reflection of the situation in Azerbaijan, a country that is trying hard to shine through new urban development and international event but that fails to see its realities . Here are a few images of it and some renders of the project found on the wikipedia page.

Only the entrance building with its swimming pool seems to rise at the entrance - here below a few of the rendering of how the project should look like 

Along the Caspian Sea

As part of my work on urban gentrification in Baku Azerbaijan - I have got the chance to spend a lot of time on the coast of the Caspian Sea. From Luxury Resort to trashed public beach, the caspian sea around the Azeri capital offers a unique glimpse of the disparity of the local life. Here are a few images . The whole project can be find here on this site and the compte series on my agency Institute Artist

The story is available for Publication through Institute Artist | or contact me  timfranco@gmail.com

Crude Gentrification in Baku | Azerbaijan

Dominated by the flame towers, the city of Baku seems to pride itself in its successful oil history. Once known as the black city, the abundance of oil inland and on the caspian sea has seen this fairly new country (Azerbaijan) rise from the ground. Located between two big power of the Region (Russia and Iran) and still involved in an ethnic conflict on its west border with Armenia, the country has been looking for ways to build up a national pride around its successful oil profits.

From organizing international events (European Games, Formula one amongst others), the country has invested a lot into impressive infrastructure and working together with big names in architecture to gentrify and modernise its capital city . Oil money has even sometimes ignited dreams of giant projects such as the Kazar island, a Dubai-like housing project with the highest scryscraper in the world surrounded by luxury residences that has seen a brutal stop. Other original projects involve the white city located in what was once the center of the oil industry in downtown Baku, based on Haussmanian / Parisian architecture. With the fluctuation of oil prices, the economy of Azerbaijan is at risk.

From war migrant camps to futuristic architecture, this photo series portrays the capital city of a the land of fire !

I am very happy to present you this new photographic series if you are interested in publishing it, you can view the whole set and purchase images with my agency directly @institute artist by clicking the following link : Crude Gentrification Complete Series

Wolmido vintage park | South Korea Photographer

Between assignments, I am spending some good and deserved rest time in my new home in Seoul / South Korea. But i can't help myself to pick up the camera and shoot what attracts my eyes. Recently I discovered this really vintage amusement park on a small island in Incheon, a one hour ride away from the capital city by subway.

Tim Franco is a documentary & commercial photographer now based in Seoul South Korea and taking commercial photography assignment in the whole east asia region.

First Light - Fishing in the Celtic Sea | Documentary Photographer

While back in Brittany for the summer ( western part of France where my family is from ), I traveled to a small village of fisherman in the remote part of the region to start a new photography project. While the main project just started, I also did a mini series while going fishing with some local fisherman in the Celtic Sea.

We left around 2.30 am to reach the the trawling point at sunrise around 5.30 to 6 am. The boat is trawling his net at the bottom of the ocean three to five times per fishing sessions. The main catch is Langoustine but about 20 to 30 % of the revenue is still made with other fishes , squids, crabs and other kinds of ocean creature that get caught in the net. 15 to 17 hours are spent on the sea every day on the weak and the work can be dangerous especially in big waves when the boat is rocked in every direction. Accidents can happen quickly 

This series is available for editorial usage | please contact me at timfranco@gmail.com

Future Sound of China | Editorial Photography

Last month I have traveled around China to portray the Future Sound of China, a story about upcoming and underground musician around the middle kingdom. All the portraits were shot on my old and favorite hasselblad on film. Here are some of the portraits and the tear sheets of the article 

Tim Franco is a photographer based in Asia out of Seoul and travels monthly to China and East asia for editorial and commercial photography assignment

Seoul travel story | Travel Photography for L'Express

I moved earlier this year to my new apartment on the beautiful hill of Namsam in the center of the capital city of South Korea. A few weeks ago I was assigned by the french magazine l'Express for a travel story here in Seoul. Here are a few tear sheets from that story.

Tim Franco is Seoul / Shangai / Beijing based photographer available for editorial and commercial photography assignment all over Asia. 

America Road Trip with old Rolleilfex part 2

A couple month ago, I took off to America for the Metamorpolis Book Launch in New York and then traveled by Car from Florida to California. Most of the time, I enjoyed discovering new places and meeting with friends, taking a break from photography but once in a while I took my old rolleilfex twin lens out of the bag to capture a few photos, here are some of them