The Photo Blog

Aug. 11 2014 12:53 PM

Can These Dignified Portraits Save Abused Greyhounds in Spain?

Once hunting season is finished in Spain, many Iberian greyhounds are abandoned or killed (often hanged) if the dogs have either underperformed or are too expensive to keep until the following hunting season.

A few years ago, Mathias de Lattre learned from his gallerist Alain Biscotti about the dogs and subsequent fight to rescue them. Deeply moved by the story, de Lattre spent nearly two years creating portraits of some of the rescued and adopted Galgos and Podencos breeds of greyhounds. This past spring, de Lattre’s work was exhibited in a gallery in Paris; he also created a book, ¡Salvados! published by HPRG editions.

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Aug. 10 2014 11:00 AM

A Stroll Through Ireland’s Eerie Ghost Estates

From the mid-1990s through 2006, home prices in the Republic of Ireland increased steadily, fueled by a period of economic prosperity known as the Celtic Tiger. In 2008, the property bubble burst, and investors who’d built housing developments in remote rural areas found themselves unable to sell their properties or, in many cases, even finish their construction.

Aug. 8 2014 12:16 PM

Devastatingly Beautiful Photos of Japanese Tsunami Victims in the Ruins of Their Homes

The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 caused catastrophic destruction throughout the country. People were hit especially hard in Otsuchi, a fishing town on the Sanriku Coast where a series of waves as high as 60 feet tall destroyed about 60 percent of the city. Alejandro Chaskielberg was in Tokyo for an exhibition of his work in 2012 when his curator, who had family in Otsuchi, told him about the devastation.

Chaskielberg made his first visit to Otsuchi 1½ years after the tsunami. When he arrived, he found a great plain of land where the city had been before. Red flags dotted the grasslands, marking where victims had been discovered. Large mountains of debris were scattered throughout the area.

Aug. 7 2014 2:53 PM

Bugs Can Be Surprisingly Beautiful When Seen Up Close

Ever since David M. Phillips took an entomology course at the Boston Museum of Science as a teenager, he’s been hooked on bugs. As a graduate student, he developed a love of microscopes during a course on cell biology. More than two decades ago, when he began working at the Population Council as a scientist studying HIV and AIDS, his interests intersected. Phillips would come into the lab early before work or on the weekends to use the in-house electron microscope to photograph insects. His photographs are now collected in the book, Art and Architecture of Insects.

Electron microscopes aren’t available to many hobby photographers. They can take up a good part of a small room and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Using one is a little like flying a spaceship. There are all these buttons knobs and gages,” Phillips said.

Aug. 6 2014 12:05 PM

New York City Snapshots From Chinatown in the ’80s

Over 30 years ago, Bud Glick set out to photograph the New York Chinese community as part of the New York Chinatown History Project (NYCHP), now the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. The work, along with oral histories collected of the Chinese community was meant to record a part of New York culture that was rapidly changing within a city that was itself rapidly changing. 

Glick worked on the project for a little over three years, from 1981-1984, with a primary focus on the bachelor society, so called because of the disproportionate number of men living in the United States without their wives and/or children.

This culture can trace its roots back to The Chinese Exclusion Act that was enacted in 1882 and excluded all immigration of Chinese laborers into the United States. The bachelor society existed until the act was lifted in 1943; in 1965, the Immigration and Naturalization Act abolished the quota of Chinese allowed into the United States, greatly increasing the population and beginning the end of the bachelor society.


Aug. 5 2014 11:00 AM

Quirky and Passionate Hobby Groups Photographed in Their Elements

In their book, HobbyBuddies, Swiss photographers Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini celebrate the wide range of human interests and activities in all its splendor, joy, and strangeness. The photographs in the book, though carefully staged like Wes Anderson compositions, show real people from all manner of clubs, leagues, and organizations whose volunteer members are bound by common interests including diving, camping, tattooing, and chess. “It’s a work about all people,” Sprecher said via email.

Aug. 4 2014 2:24 PM

What It Looks Like When America’s College Graduates Move Back Home 

Damon Casarez graduated art school in Los Angeles in the summer of 2012 with more than $100,000 in student loans. For a while, he was getting enough editorial assignments and jobs assisting other photographers to make ends meet. But after about a year, he hit a dry spell. Within a couple of months he’d drained all his resources. “After selling some equipment I had to call it quits and the last resort was to move home. I moved onto my parents’ couch in the living room because my old room was turned into an office,” he said. “After a month and a half being back home, student loans were constantly on my mind. I just started wondering, ‘What is everyone else in this situation looking like?’ ”

Aug. 3 2014 11:35 AM

The Lady Gaga of Myanmar and the Country’s Growing Creative Class

For nearly five decades, Myanmar (also known as Burma) was one of the world's most repressive and isolated states, ruled by generals who stamped out dissent with censorship laws and imprisonment. Now that Myanmar has been released from the grip of the military junta, the country’s generation of young adults is finding new ways to express itself through various creative channels. Diana Markosian, who was living in Yangon, the country’s largest city, after a month-long fellowship in the country, found the changes taking place inspiring. “I think the new generation aspires to a different kind of future. They want the government to follow through with this promise of a new era of openness. You can feel this on the streets in Yangon as more and more youth are daring to emerge from the political shadows,” she said.

Aug. 1 2014 12:11 PM

They Come for the Food, Stay for the Art

Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, has a vibrant art scene known for, as photographer Jan Caga calls it, “strong personalities.” Among them are the members of the ever-present, unstoppable Pigeon Fleet.

Anyone who frequents the various museum and exhibition openings around Brno knows the Pigeon Fleet. Composed of former arts journalists and older art lovers, its members have made a name for themselves in Brno’s art community for their unrelenting pursuit of a single goal: to “eat as much food and drink as much wine as possible.” Even before events formally begin, Caga said, they can be found at the refreshment table going at it, sometimes taking away extra helpings of free food in bags. What’s more, he said in a statement, they “do not hesitate to loudly criticize the quantity or quality of the food.“

July 31 2014 11:35 AM

Hallucinatory Portraits That Rethink the Ways We Look at Women

Through formal portraiture mixed with plastic flowers, images from Playgirl magazine, reference to nightshade potions, and other source material, Melanie Willhide’s series “Henbane for Honey Bun” takes a hallucinatory look at the ways in which we look at women.

The series took root, so to speak, a couple of years ago when Willhide began photographing flowers. At the same time, she was also making portraits of women in her life she felt were fascinating beyond their physical beauty.

Willhide, who is in her late 30s and a native East Coaster, was also beginning to feel as if she were being forced outside the realm of visibility in Los Angeles.