I post what interests and inspires me, and I hope to inspire you in the process.
I blog about Photography, Art, Music, Coffee, Craft Beer,Food, & Politics,
Plus a bunch of random nonsense I find entertaining on the web.
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I also run "Take a Photo, Pass it On" as well as several other Tumblr blogs
"Days of Night/Nights of Day" is about the daily life of the inhabitants of Norilsk. Norilsk is a mining city, with a population of more than 170,000. It is the northernmost city (100,000+ people) in the world. The average temperature is -10° C and reaches lows of -55° C in the winter. For two months of the year, the city is plunged into polar night when there are zero hours of sunlight.
If U.S. citizens knew how it felt to be targeted by deadly flying robots, it might shape domestic attitudes toward the Obama administration’s drone program. Artist Tomas Van Houtryve is using video and photography to foster that discussion by putting average Americans under drone-like surveillance.
“The drone has become the preferred tool of the ‘War on Terror,’” says Van Houtryve. “We live in the most media-connected age ever, and yet the American public has no visual narrative of the drone war. This is a secret war, making it easier to push to the back of our minds or only think about in abstract terms.”
To make the abstract real with his series Blue Sky Days, Van Houtryve mounted his DSLR on a quadcopter he bought online. He flew it over weddings, funerals, groups in prayer, and people exercising in public places—circumstances in which people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes abroad. “We’re told that the drone program saves American lives, and that civilian casualties are avoided with the surgical precision [of the technology]. The former claim is true, the latter is seriously in doubt,” says Van Houtryve.
The Obama administration doesn’t release a lot of details, so firm figures are hard to come by. But the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates unmanned aerial vehicles have killed between 2,296 and 3,718 people, as many as 957 of them civilians. Last week, Dr. Larry Lewis of the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally funded military research organization, called on the government to to gather and disclose more accurate data regarding civilian casualties from drone strikes. Many of these strikes are covert, which makes it difficult for the public to even know about them, let alone debate their merits. “If a technology with extremely powerful spying and killing capabilities is shielded from public scrutiny there is bound to be abuse,” says Van Houtryve.
Despite all the hype surrounding drones (rumors that Amazon will be unleashing a drone delivery service among them), “drones are not what they seem to people who haven’t played around with them,” Slavin says. “They’re just remote controlled quadcopters.”
*Immediately goes to buy a drone*
Photographer Sasha Leahovcenco decided to travel to many rarely reached villages in Chukotka, Russia, to create this impressive documentary project entitled “People From the End of the Earth” featuring portraits of the indeginous people from remote Siberia photographed for the first time
In Rituals, the photographer Noorann Matties catalogs the strange, mystical moments between woman and mirror, capturing young ladies in private moments of self-preparation and styling. As her subjects stand barefaced before public and private mirrors, work in eyebrow pencil, lipgloss, and mascara, seemingly memorized by and in poignant discovery of their own features.
Shooting many of the women from behind so as to capture the self in dialogue her reflection, Matties seemingly preserves the innocence of the experience, allowing the girls to engage with themselves undisturbed and unaware of onlookers. These sacred rituals, haloed in early morning sunlight and fluorescent lightbulbs, celebrate the quiet moments before the start of the day. In the instant before her subjects present their faces to the public, Matties stops the clock, preserving the beautiful self-absorption afforded by secrecy.
Chang Chao-Tang hardly suspected that he would grow up to become one of Taiwan’s most important photographers — in fact, he had such little regard for this kind of future that he did not even bother to save his negatives. Yet half a century later, these images have been in major exhibitions, including one that opens this week at the Gallery Tosei in Japan
The Last People of the Pit is photographer Sorin Vidis‘ document of the communal remnant of an abandoned landscape, dug by man and transformed by the earth in a culmination of political and social upheaval. Just on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania, the location was originally the site of a 17th century monastery and a district of houses with large gardens, demolished by the Ceausescu regime to make way for a manmade lake in the 1980s. The project never came to pass and natural underground springs created an urban oasis in the wake of the deconstruction, flowing with green deltas and flourishing vegetation. The pit is now home to individuals fallen on hard times who find refuge in the forsaken landscape.
Brooklyn-born and New York City-based photographer and educator Jerry Vezzuso explores the “juxtaposition between past and present photography through the traditional practices of the family album” in his project “Table of Contents.” The work is currently showing at United Photo Industries (UPI) in Brooklyn through May 24, 2014. Creative director of UPI, Sam Barzilay, says Vezzuso’s exhibition “presents work that spans more than 60 years through the use of his own photography as well as photos drawn from family albums, in a personal exploration that focuses on his parents, the dining table, and his own mortality. Jerry is one of the most fascinating individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing in my time in New York and I am very excited to be hosting a personal retrospective of his life (if not his life’s work), but I think this is a work best seen, rather than explained.”
Vezzuso formerly printed for Philip Lorca DiCorcia, Gregory Crewdson, and Nan Goldin to name a few. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), Teachers College and Columbia University, and is a co-founder of the Tierney Fellowship in photography.
At an estimated 60,000 years old, the indigenous culture of Australia, the Aboriginals, are estimated to be the oldest still-surviving culture on the planet. And in the above video world-renown photographer Amy Toensing shares her experience photographing this incredibly unique culture for National Geographic, delivering an extremely heartfelt talk about the hardships the Aboriginal culture has continually faced since their land was colonized in 1788.
Toensing is a New York-based photojournalist who has shot for National Geographic,Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, just to name a few. Her husband, Matt Moyer, and herself run a blog on which they share their experience traveling around the world capturing life and culture one frame at a time.
If ever there is a presence imbued with the spirit of our homes, it would be our pets. Photographer Maija Astikainen draws a portrait of the furry lords of the urban domicile in her series One-Dog Policy.
Since its birth in the New York ballroom scene of the 1960s, voguing has made a few notable entrées into mainstream culture, such as Madonna’s song “Vogue” and the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. But French artist Frédéric Nauczyciel’s portraits of modern voguers highlight the ballroom scene’s continued relevance as an underground culture, one that serves as a platform for self-expression for queer people of color in urban communities across the globe.
Nauczyciel was in Baltimore on a grant from the French government in 2011 when he stumbled across some voguers performing in a parking lot. He posted photos of the event to Facebook and quickly found himself flooded with new connections in the ballroom scene. “Before that, I had maybe 50 friends on Facebook. Suddenly I ended up having 200 friends—voguers from Baltimore and New York,” he said.