The Photo Blog

Aug. 30 2015 10:31 AM

The Beautiful Old Signs of Paris Are As Elegant As the City Itself 

Starting in her early 20s, Louise Fili spent years wandering the streets of Paris, photographing the beautiful old signs she saw along the way. She was beginning to discover graphic design at the time, and her documentation of the vernacular signs was for for her own reference and enjoyment.

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Aug. 28 2015 11:02 AM

A Photographer Who Documented Katrina’s Destruction Returns to Take Pictures of the Exact Same Spots

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which ultimately killed at least 1,836 people, forced 1.5 million people to evacuate the region, and did an estimated $81 billion of property damage. In 2005, Carlos Barria documented the destruction. This year, he returned to locate some of the people he’d met.

He was able to track down a few of them, but had difficulty finding others. To help him with his search, Barria had brought along some of the prints he had initially taken and began to revisit some of the locations captured in those images.

Barria began to play with the lines of the prints and how they fit into the modern day locations, photographing them with the older images and capturing the differences 10 years later.

Aug. 27 2015 11:04 AM

Finding the Perfect Time of Day to Photograph America’s Changing Cities 

Photographers often speak about the joys of shooting during the “magic hour,” typically an early morning or late afternoon moment when the world seems surrounded by a soft, golden hue.

Lynn Saville knows this time well, although her definition of it extends even earlier to when the first bits of light come up in the morning and even later when the last ones fade into night. It’s during these moments when Saville, often armed with a digital medium format camera (she also uses an SLR) documents these lonelier moments. Her recent collection of this work, Dark City, will be published by Damiani in October.


Saville said some of her earliest memories of nature’s magical ability to play with light occurred as a child when her parents took sabbatical in Italy and she crossed the Atlantic with them by boat.  

Aug. 26 2015 11:35 AM

Shifting the Focus From Detroit’s Decaying Buildings to Its Resilient Population

Dave Jordano grew up just north of Detroit. When he left, after graduating from the College for Creative Studies in 1974, the city was still vibrant; the downtown office buildings were full of employees, the streets were bustling, and shops were open. 

Aug. 25 2015 10:00 AM

Why It Took 10 Years to Create These Magnificent Images of Europe’s Churches

After two decades of work as a photographer, Markus Brunetti was feeling underwhelmed, uncreative, and bored.

To mix things up, Brunetti, along with Betty Schoener, his “partner in work and life,” built a truck, left home, and began traveling around Europe. It was meant to last one year, but has since turned into a decade-long way of life that they say is “open-ended.”  

Like many tourists traveling around Europe, the couple was impressed by the seemingly endless number of churches they encountered; a visual definition of “background noise.” Although they were the subjects of countless tourist snapshots, Brunetti began to imagine them as a larger project—a photographic exploration of the churches that he calls “Facades.”

Aug. 24 2015 11:29 AM

Striking and Surreptitious Photos That Capture the Grit of Pennsylvania in the ’70s

Many people who’ve been photographed by Mark Cohen probably never saw him coming. For years, on the streets of his home city, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and surrounding working-class towns, Cohen shot quickly and assertively. He held his flash in one hand and his camera in the other and shot extremely close to his subjects, frequently focusing on a single body part or article of clothing. He never looked through his viewfinder to compose the frame. 

Aug. 23 2015 9:03 AM

An Ode to the Disappearing Neon Signs That Light Up the Streets of San Francisco 

Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna have always loved San Francisco’s neon signs, but they didn’t give them too much thought until the Hunt’s Donuts sign was removed from the Mission District. That’s when they realized that the best neon signs in San Francisco would not be around forever. They decided to photograph as many as they could and collected them for a book, San Francisco Neon, which they self-published last year under their publishing house, Giant Orange Press.

Aug. 21 2015 10:25 AM

A Look Inside the Only Remaining Theater on Yangon’s Cinema Row

Stephen Kelly moved to Myanmar in 2013 to document the country’s political and economic transformation after decades of military rule. He would often ride his bicycle down Yangon’s Bogyoke Aung San Street past the Waziya Cinema and stop to take a look. As he learned more about the theater, he saw how changes in the Myanmarian film industry reflected changes in the country.

The Waziya is a rarity in the historic Myanmarian neighborhood—it’s the only remaining cinema on a strip once known as “Cinema Row.” In an attempt to modernize, the five other pre–World War II theaters that once lined the street have been replaced with high rises, shopping malls, condominiums, and hotels. 

During the first half of the 20th century, the film industry in Myanmar was one of the most successful and prolific in the region, and there were more than 300 theaters showing local films. When the government took control in 1968, the number of theaters sharply declined and the quality of films suffered.

Aug. 20 2015 11:07 AM

Sometimes the Best View in the House Is From Backstage 

In 2010, while photographing a theater, Klaus Frahm snapped a color Polaroid of the audience from backstage. On his way home he took a look at the frame and had a surge of inspiration looking at the deep red seats that seemed to pop out of the image. It proved to be a catalyst for a series, “The Fourth Wall: Stages,” which he has been working on for nearly five years.

“I’ve been doing this with other projects because from behind they look interesting,” he said. “You don’t know what it is. So the idea was already sleeping but there was that moment when I saw the Polaroid, I thought, is this something?”

Frahm began traveling around Germany shooting theaters from backstage, slowly gaining more and more access once he was able to show theater managers the photos he had shot. They often allowed him to shoot between breaks or after performances.

Aug. 19 2015 11:49 AM

What Are We Still Doing in Afghanistan?

After 14 years of combat, thousands of deaths and injuries, and billions of dollars, the war in Afghanistan is technically over, yet thousands of NATO-led troops remain in the country as part of Operation Resolute Support. This past June, Jason Koxvold spent a week photographing the series, “BLACK-WATER,” to find out what our continued presence in the country looks like.