The Photo Blog

May 27 2016 10:29 AM

These Photos of TV Sets Celebrate Life’s Mundane Moments

As Joy Episalla traveled around the world, she stayed in a number of hotels and crashed in rooms belonging to friends and family. She documented those visits through a single photograph of their television sets that became part of the appropriately titled “TV Series.” For Episalla, the photographs represent a kind of portal that enables the viewer to catch a glimpse of her fleeting presence in those spaces.

“That seemed to me to be the most interesting, that the room has been used now by me, but also because places that you stay, thousands of other people have stayed there, too, but you come in and it’s all fresh and all new and then you come in and make it your own,” she said. “It’s also this thing about public and private. Usually you turn on the TV and you bring the public into the private, but here is the opposite: We’re brining the private into the public and I’m also making my own content.”

Episalla began the project in 1998 in Naples and continued taking the photographs as she traveled the world. She said all of the images in the series represent the “parting shot” when she would exit the space for good. She said she only takes one shot and that whatever is reflected in the TV from wherever she is standing becomes the image.

Although Episalla began the work using film photography and consistently took the images, she didn’t begin to print them until 2005 when she discovered the benefits of using Photoshop. That allowed her to crop out the backgrounds within the shot, leaving only the parameter of the television screen and what was reflected within them.

“Photoshop is another kind of camera for me,” she said. “I knew I loved [the work], and I knew there was something there, but I had to wait [for Photoshop].”

May 26 2016 10:11 AM

Meet the People of the Tibetan Diaspora

Italian photographer Albertina d’Urso went to Tibet for the first time in 2000, eager to experience firsthand a culture she’d only read about in books. The encounter was not what she’d expected.

“Once I arrived there I could see that even though the beautiful nature and architecture were still quite unspoiled, people were scared to speak. They were even afraid to answer a simple question like ‘Are you Buddhist?’ Of course no one ever talked about the Dalai Lama, as saying his name can lead you to prison,” she said.

A few years later, when visiting a camp for Tibetan refugees in Bylakuppe, India, d’Urso had an entirely different experience. Though far from their homeland, the Tibetans she met could freely practice their religion and speak about their beliefs. 

May 25 2016 11:02 AM

The Majesty of Our National Parks, Captured in Images From the Mid-1800s to Today

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the National Park Service. To commemorate the centennial, the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, will present an exhibition about our parkland and how we see these spaces through photography.

May 24 2016 10:05 AM

Hanging Out After School With New York City Students

When school lets out for the day, New York City students inhabit a world all their own. As Cassandra Giraldo documents, it’s a place of special sincerity and subtle poetry, where the exuberance and fragility of youth is most genuinely on display.

May 23 2016 10:04 AM

Gorgeous, Diverse Images Created by Legendary Magnum Photo’s Newest Nominees

Few do documentary photography quite like the members of Magnum Photos.

“Magnum Photos: New Blood,” a recently ended exhibition at New York’s Milk Gallery, testified to the legendary 69-year-old international cooperative’s enduring standards of excellence, as well as its commitment to showcasing diverse voices and innovative approaches to storytelling.

The exhibit showcased the work of six photographers in the nominee stage of membership—five admitted in 2015 and one admitted in 2014. After extensive portfolio development and review, the photographers progress through the ranks until they can be considered for full membership.

May 22 2016 10:04 AM

What It Was Like to Grow Up Gay in Ireland

On May 23, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Irish journalist Charlie Bird witnessed the celebrations and decided on that day to interview and photograph those directly affected by the law’s passage. The project was published as a book, A Day in May, this month by Merrion Press.

“The amazing scenes of joyous celebration in cities, towns, and villages across Ireland on that sunny spring afternoon were shown across the world,” Bird wrote via email. “For many, including myself, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Over two months, Bird conducted 80 interviews (52 are included in the book) from people across Ireland who shared stories about what it was like to grow up gay. He found many of his subjects through word of mouth and recommendations from people he met. His only criterion when interviewing his subjects was that he wanted people to tell the stories—of both tolerance and abuse—in their own words.

May 20 2016 10:03 AM

The Outlandish, Otherworldly Costumes of London’s “Night Flowers”

As the sun goes down, London’s “Night Flowers” start to wake up.

Who are Night Flowers? According to Damien Frost, who’s borrowed the term from performer Maxi More, they’re “a loose-knit community of drag queens and kings; club kids; alternative queer, transgender, and gender-queer people; goths; artists; and cabaret, burlesque, and fetish performers” who bring the beautiful and the bizarre to the city’s streets.


In 2014, Frost, an artist and graphic designer, had the goal to set out after work with his camera and make a photo of an interesting Londoner every day of the year. On late-night strolls through SoHo, where he works, and East London, where he lives, he started encountering the elaborately dressed people who’ve come to make up his book, Night Flowers: From Avant-Drag to Extreme Haute-Couture, which Merrell Publishers released in March.

May 19 2016 11:41 AM

Intimate Photos That Imagine What Happens When Dancers’ Movement Stops

Even after working on two series about dancers, Israeli photographer Nir Arieli insists he still cannot speak their language.

“I look at them sort of like aliens, and what they’re doing is beyond what I understand,” he said. “This is why I find it so fascinating.”

Arieli’s recent work, “Flocks” is a two-year study about the relationships dancers have with themselves and within their companies. In Hebrew, the word flock means both a group of animals and a dance company; the translation speaks to the closeness with the companies Arieli is trying to show.

“I wanted to create a body of work that was speaking about what happens after the movement is over or when the movement is drained from the body,” he said. “You get an intimate moment about this special group of people who spend so much time together and so much intimate time together. They’re very physical with each other … there are very interesting relationships formed with these people, and I hope this project is speaking about that in a visual way.”

The series began when Arieli was approached to create a poster for the Batsheva Dance Company. He asked if there was a budget (there wasn’t), so in return, he requested they work within the parameters he would set. Thrilled with the results, Arielli showed the work to 20 more companies around the world for two years, asking them to participate with their own unique take on the formations; the work is on view at Daniel Cooney Gallery through June 4.

May 18 2016 10:11 AM

A Theater Group’s Immense Photo Archive Captures the Spirit of Community Art

Jubilee Theatre and Community Arts Company began in 1974 with a group of local drama students inspired by the educational and cultural changes of the 1960s. Its mission: change the way art was made and experienced at a local level.

It started out with two grants of 75 pounds ($108), performing street theater in the British metropolitan borough of Sandwell, which had no theater, art center, or bookstore at the time. The group had the use of a disused library branch, a kitchen for a darkroom, an old ambulance, four kazoos, several boilersuits, and an outside toilet. It later acquired a double-decker bus, which became a mobile arts center. For more than two decades, until it was absorbed into a larger cultural entity, Jubilee became well-known in the region for its street and educational theater, festivals, and murals.

May 17 2016 11:12 AM

What Happened to These World’s Fair Sites?

At one time, the World’s Fair conjured up excitement about the future. What would we be doing in a few decades’ time? What would our homes and cars look like? Would we be living in outer space? Would our neighbors be The Jetsons?

Started in 1851, the World’s Fair expositions grew in popularity and developed a kind of sci-fi edge into the mid 20th century. From the beginning, they’ve also been the birthplace for a number of iconic structures around the world, including Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel (built in Chicago), the Unisphere in New York, and the Space Needle in Seattle.

Jade Doskow has always been interested in the history of structures; she grew up in a 275-year-old house her friends would claim was haunted.

“I was always very sensitive to the aura of a place,” she wrote via email. When she was 17, Doskow moved to New York, where, like many New Yorkers, she began to notice how quickly buildings were built up and torn down. This awareness became even more acute when she moved to Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood. While studying for her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Doskow went on a family vacation to Spain and stumbled across the abandoned site of Seville’s 1992 World’s Fair.

“The strangeness of this huge site immediately struck me,” she wrote. “Acres upon acres of post-modern, once gleaming white pavilion buildings stretched as far as the eye could see.”