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To “fight for recognition” for themselves and for photography as an art form, in late 1932 a circle of photographers that included Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams formed Group f.64, a San Francisco-area collective that would have a profound impact on the history of photography. The group bucked against the East Coast’s dominance of the medium (led at the time by curator and photographer Alfred Stieglitz) as well as the Pictorialist movement, which emphasized a handmade quality in images often created through manipulation by the artist. Group f.64 espoused “the qualities of clearness and definition of the photographic image,” as they wrote in their manifesto, and also the “Photography of the West,” which they felt was unrecognized by New York-based gatekeepers like Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. The group organized exhibitions and published books; their ranks would eventually grow in number to 13 and include Dorothea Lange.
While visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Andrés Wertheim noticed a disparity between the crowds gathered to look at Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, and the lack of people noticing just about anything else.
“It felt to me as if the characters in those artworks looked as if they were feeling, down, ignored,” he wrote via email.
Two years ago, Voyager 1 became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, a mind-boggling 18 billion kilometers from the sun. Its sister, Voyager 2, is not far behind, exploring the edge of our solar system in a mission that began 36 years ago.
The extraordinary probes, which have performed far beyond our best expectations, continue sending invaluable information to the most ordinary of places: An office between a dog training school and a McDonald’s on a nondescript street in LA. It looks more like something out of Office Space than mission control for a milestone in our space program.
“The mission control room is really just some screens, a couple rolling chairs and a fax machine,” says photographer Noah Rabinowitz, who was allowed to photograph there as well as the mission control replica at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1977. They were designed to study Jupiter and Saturn, and each carries a Golden Recordthat contains images, sounds and greetings to any extraterrestrial civilizations.Voyager 1‘s primary mission ended in 1980 and its sister’s in 1989, but the little probes kept going. And going. And going. Voyager 1 passed Pluto in 1990, and NASA announced on September 12, 2012 that it had entered interstellar space. Despite the vast distance, the two probes continue transmitting information. That means there must be someone at home to receive it.
Want to see an early example of beauty retouching in photography? Here’s one. The side-by-side images above from the early 1930s show what a glamour portrait looked like before and after manual ‘Photoshopping.’
Photographer George Hurrell shot the portrait of actress Joan Crawford as a publicity shot for the 1931 film Laughing Sinners.
The famous Swiss photographer René Burri left us today, at the age of 81 after a long illness. He leaves behind an important body of work on recent history, which has been published in countless newspapers, journals, magazines, exhibitions and books all over the world. Among his most famous photos are portraits of Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier, a breathtaking view into the streets of Sao Paolo and his stories of Cuba and Vietnam. Born in 1933 in Zurich, early on he went to Paris whilst studying with Hans Finsler at the Arts and Crafts school of Zurich. After the premature death of one of founders of Magnum, Werner Bischof in 1954, he became a member of the prestigious photo agency in 1956. His world embracing engagement as a photographer and film maker led him to what became his credo, we all live in ‘one world’.
National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer recently witnessed the exodus of more than 100,000 Kurds from Syria as they fled from ISIS into neighboring Turkey. This is his first-person account of the momentous scene that took place at the border in mid-September.
As of this writing, the current situation in Kobane is still fluid, as Islamic State and Kurdish fighters battle for control of the town.
In the 1960s just outside of Tallinn, Estonia, workers of a military factory were given free patches of land for people to plant gardens and grow vegetables. The location gradually became a sort of shanty town in the spirit of the Russian “dachas” (a small seasonal house away from the city), while some citizens chose to call it their permanent residence. Photographer Annika Haascaptures the fading pieces of this eclectic culture, soon to be paved over in service of the nearby airport. Plane Watchers memorializes the spirit and stories of those who call the dacha district their home, cherishing each and every day until they are forced to leave.
The Singh Project is a wonderful, celebratory look at a modern, multicultural Britain and features members of the Sikh community. British photographers Amit and Naroop are exhibiting 35 very different portraits as a visual exploration of faith, style and identity. These intimate images highlight two very important symbols of the Sikh lifestyle – the beard and the turban (Dahar). The turban in particular is a representation of honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. Sikh men (and women) wear the turban to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh), and are also seen in this series brandishing a traditional Sikh sword (kirpan).