The Photo Blog

Aug. 28 2014 12:06 PM

A Unique African-American Culture, Hundreds of Years Old, That Could Go Extinct

Growing up in Beaufort, South Carolina, in the 1970s, Pete Marovich often overheard locals speaking “a rapid-fire language that sounded similar to English.” At the time, he had no idea then that it was a dialect that had been passed down from their enslaved African ancestors, or that it was just a small piece of the distinct and rich culture of the Gullah people, who’d maintained a strong connection to their roots as, generation after generation, they remained along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia (where they’re known as Geechee).

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Aug. 27 2014 12:36 PM

Haunting Photographs of Artifacts From the Hiroshima Atomic Blast

Through Ishiuchi Miyako’s lens, the things we leave behind are not merely totems of ourselves, but rather objects with lives of their own. An upcoming exhibit at Andrew Roth gallery presents “Here and Now: Atomic Bomb Artifacts, ひろしま/Hiroshima 1945/2007—,” Ishiuchi's photos of objects in the archive of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Aug. 26 2014 11:52 AM

What Animals Look Like When They Eat One Another 

Modern Americans, especially urban dwellers, are often removed from nature; it’s an arena usually reserved for well-manicured public parks or Discovery Channel documentaries. New York City-based Catherine Chalmers wanted to interact with the natural world in a more significant way. In the 1990s, she started raising houseflies in her apartment, and as she learned to care for them and photograph them, she realized it was a way for her to “understand something I wouldn't have access to otherwise.”

Chalmers kept careful watch over her houseflies, but she kept missing some essential aspects of their life cycle: specifically, eating and dying. She became determined to capture these two aspects when she started raising other animals, which she purchased from biological supply companies and other private sources. “I was trying to choose things that were interesting aesthetically,” Chalmers said. “Why have a brown caterpillar when you can have a turquoise one?”

Aug. 25 2014 1:08 PM

The Quiet Vulnerability of Children at the Bus Stop

As summer comes to a close and the new school year begins, the landscape across the country begins to shift with the familiar scene of children waiting at the end of their driveways for the school bus to pick them up.

When Greg Miller and his family moved to Connecticut in 2007, he took note of the lonely, often sleepy figures and thought about how quickly they are transported to a world separate from his own. The idea of photographing them for a series that focused on their vulnerability began to take shape. 

“I thought it was so beautiful, maybe after living in New York for so many years, seeing children waiting out there all by themselves, tapped into a vulnerable place,” Miller said.

Aug. 24 2014 10:38 AM

This Is What Asia’s Longest River Looks Like

At nearly 4,000 miles from mouth to source, the Yangtze River in China is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world. Its banks are home to about one-third of the country’s population, or around 400 million people—which is more than the entire population of the United States. For thousands of years, the Yangtze has played an essential role in China’s culture, economy, and politics, and since 1950, the river and its basin “have been the focus of much of China’s economic modernization.”

Aug. 22 2014 11:41 AM

Take a Ride in One of Mumbai’s Iconic Taxis Before It’s Too Late

There are few things that throw a traveler into a city’s culture faster than a ride in a taxi.

In Mumbai, that used to mean the once ubiquitous Premier Padmini taxi. The cars, introduced in the 1960s, are quickly becoming extinct after a 2008 law, paving the way for a more modern taxi fleet, made it illegal for cars older than 25 years to remain on the streets.

Dougie Wallace spent roughly one year documenting the drivers and passengers inside the taxis that encapsulate, both inside and out, the chaotic energy of the most populous city in India. He is set to publish a book about the series he titled “Road Wallah” by Dewi Lewis next spring.

Aug. 21 2014 1:33 PM

The Baltimore Bottle Cap Factory That Became a Haven for Musicians and Artists 

Since its construction in the 19th century, the Victorian-style warehouse on Baltimore’s Guilford Avenue has been a site for innovation, but in the last 100 years of its history, the nature of that creativity has changed. When it was first built, it was home to the Crown Cork & Seal Co., which used the space to produce bottling machines and about one-half the world’s supply of Crown Cork bottle caps (the invention of its founder, William Painter).

Crown Cork & Seal relocated to Philadelphia in the late 1950s, and by the ’60s, new businesses had moved in, including Copy Cat Printing, which placed a billboard bearing its name on the roof, earning the building its nickname, the Copycat. Most businesses moved out in the 1980s, and gradually the space converted into residences. Today, more than 140 people live in the Copycat, including scores of artists, musicians, and other creative types.

Aug. 20 2014 11:28 AM

The Clever Photographic Trick That Makes a Family’s Everyday Life Seem Magical

Family histories and memories are often formed through significant events: birthday parties, graduations, weddings. More often than not, however, the quieter, seemingly less significant moments resonate in our minds in a more profound way than any structured ceremony.

A few years ago, Charlotta María Hauksdóttir began looking for a way to capture the subtle, intimate moments families share in their homes and created a series about them, she titled “Moments.”

“I became interested to see how people were being shaped by their homes, creating their home and especially in regards to how children were growing up in the home and what memories they were creating,” she said. “I wasn’t interested in documenting a birthday but more just about how people live everyday.”

Aug. 19 2014 11:45 AM

Here’s Why We Need to Protect Public Libraries

We live in a “diverse and often fractious country,” writes Robert Dawson, but there are some things that unite us—among them, our love of libraries. “A locally governed and tax-supported system that dispenses knowledge and information for everyone throughout the country at no cost to its patrons is an astonishing thing,” the photographer wrote in the introduction to his book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. “It is a shared commons of our ambitions, our dreams, our memories, our culture, and ourselves.”

Aug. 18 2014 12:03 PM

The Inspiring Desks of Art World Stars 

E. Brady Robinson was waiting to photograph staff members of the nonprofit arts organization CulturalDC for an assignment when she casually took a photo of one staffer’s workspace. She describes that moment as a “happy accident,” one that inspired an extensive journey to capture the spirit of the art world all along the East Coast. Her forthcoming book, Art Desks, collects 57 images of the workspaces of artists, curators, art dealers, critics, museum directors, and others from New York to Miami. “I wanted to create an archive of people who are making important contributions to art and culture,” she said. “I’m interested in the idea of the desk as portrait and the social experiment of navigating the art world.”