The Photo Blog

Jan. 13 2015 10:28 AM

Stunning Photos of the World’s Most Beautiful Theaters 

From the ancient to the ultra modern, theaters are among the most visually diverse and awe-inspiring buildings in the world. A new book, Reflections: Theatres, which was published by Roads in November, pays tribute to these architectural gems. 

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Jan. 12 2015 11:29 AM

These Images Are Designed to Trick You

Other peoples’ junk—dated encyclopedias, vintage photography manuals, and snapshots—is the stuff of Sara Cwynar’s art. 

Jan. 11 2015 11:00 AM

Children Photographed With Their Most Prized Possessions 

Anna Ream tried careers in both investment banking and financial advising, but often felt like a fraud. When she started studying photography in 2008, things finally clicked.

“I find with photography I don’t care how dumb my questions sound because I’m so driven to know the answer,” she said. “I’ve always been on the quiet end of things, and this has given me a voice that nothing has in my life and I want to learn how to use that effectively.”

Early on in that process, Ream turned her camera on what was both near and dear: her children.

Jan. 9 2015 11:40 AM

This Guy Took a Photo Every Time He Saw Someone Reading a Book on the Subway

Reinier Gerritsen doesn’t think books will be around much longer. That’s why you see them everywhere you look in his series, “The Last Book,” which is on display at New York City’s Julie Saul Gallery through Feb. 7. 

Like a scientist cataloging the last of an endangered species, the Dutch photographer wandered the New York City subway system for weeks, snapping pictures of readers of printed books among an increasingly dominant population of iPhone and Kindle readers.


Jan. 8 2015 11:00 AM

What’s Left of Former Soviet Cultural Centers 

In the former Soviet Union, Palaces of Culture—known in Russian as Dvrortzi Kultury, or DKs—were important community centers. They hosted dance performances, hobby groups, and movie screenings. Today, many still stand, but few are operational or properly funded. 


Jan. 7 2015 11:00 AM

A Look at How Youth Violence Affects Communities in Philadelphia and Chicago

Carlos Javier Ortiz began working on what would become his series “We All We Got” in 2006, when stray bullets in Chicago killed two young girls—one was celebrating her 11th birthday in her home, the other was getting ready to go to school.

Ortiz wanted to tell the entire story of youth violence that focused on both the despair and resilience of the affected communities. He began introducing himself to the people who lived in neighborhoods in Chicago and Philadelphia where youth violence had occurred and asked if he could photograph them.


Jan. 6 2015 10:50 AM

Up Close, Dust Is Cooler Than You Ever Imagined

As Klaus Pichler was moving from his old apartment in Vienna’s seventh district to a new apartment in the second district, he noticed something curious: The dust bunnies in his old living room were red, while the dust bunnies in his old bedroom were light blue.

Jan. 5 2015 11:12 AM

Capturing a Hallucinatory Period in American History

Roger Steffens describes himself—with a booming laugh that justifies his voiceover credits—as an old hippie. In addition to the stage and film acting he’s done, Steffens is a Vietnam vet who was awarded a Bronze Star and a well-known reggae scholar who is said to own the largest archive of Bob Marley memorabilia.

He’s also a photographer who began shooting in earnest in the late 1960s when he was drafted into the Vietnam War in the psychological operations unit. Steffens worked with refugees and was told to photograph his assignments during the last two years of his service, something he took to heart shooting more than 10,000 frames in Vietnam. Once out of Vietnam, Steffens made his way across the United States, settling in Berkeley, California, where he lived with Tim Page, the war photographer who was seriously injured four times while working in the field and who inspired Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now. Page also taught Steffens a lot about photography.

Jan. 4 2015 10:30 AM

Classic Hollywood Films as You Were Never Meant to See Them 

When it came to movie publicity in the 1920s and ’30s, photographers used to stage glamour portraits using large, mounted cameras. In the ’50s, as studios dissolved their in-house photography departments and smaller hand-held cameras using 35mm film were becoming popular, photographers began to take more candid photos on and sell them to magazines like Photoplay and Look, which boomed through the mid-’60s. 

To decide which ones deserved printing, photographers, stars, and publicists relied on contact sheets, many of which were forgotten after they served their purpose. But in her book, Hollywood Frame by Frame, which was published by Princeton Architectural Press last year, journalist Karina Longworth excavates some of those contact sheets, elevating them from a practical tool to an art form, tracing the history of film in the process.

Jan. 2 2015 11:00 AM

When Looking at the Tourists Is Part of the View

Ross Paxton grew up in Whitby, a seaside town in the north of England popular among tourists because it served as the inspiration and setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Paxton was in his hometown a few years ago working on another project about the local culture when he decided to climb aboard a tour bus to take a photo. In the background of his shot stood the ruins of the imposing Whitby Abbey, and in the foreground were tourists frozen in time, looking ahead, as he saw it, “into their future.”