The Photo Blog

Nov. 23 2014 10:00 AM

A Side of Palestinian Life That Doesn’t Usually Make It Into the News 

Tanya Habjouqa believes it is a disservice to ignore the humor and joy of Palestinian life. Preserving a sense of playfulness and fun despite tremendous obstacles, she said, speaks to the people’s strength and is essential to their survival. Her series, “Occupied Pleasures,” is a portrait of the life that doesn’t often make it in news reports. 

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Nov. 21 2014 9:57 AM

Inside India’s Amazing Customized Trucks

India’s highways are hectic. In a single trip, a driver might encounter bikes, motorcycles, ox-drawn carts, rickshaws, pedestrians, and herds of animals. But even among the clutter, it’s hard to miss the trucks. 

Dan Eckstein was traveling through Rajasthan after a 2011 wedding in Goa when he first noticed the colorful, personalized trucks that would later become the subject of his book, Horn Please, to be published by PowerHouse Books in December. 

He returned to India in 2012 and 2013 for two three-week trips, and traveled more than 6,000 miles on highways across the country to photograph the amazing vehicles. Along the way, he stopped at restaurants, repairs shops, truck stops, and roadsides to meet drivers and learn more about India’s unique driving culture.

Nov. 20 2014 12:36 PM

Meet the Supermodels of the Goat and Sheep World

Turns out unruly goats and sheep make for some of the best portrait subjects. Kevin Horan found this out while photographing his neighbor’s sheep for what would become his series “Chattel.”

Horan—who was recently named to the 2014 Critical Mass Top 50, for which I’m a judge—began the series in around 2007 when he moved to the Whidbey Island, Washington, from Chicago, where he had worked as an editorial photographer for 30 years. He noticed some sheep across the street from his home and was intrigued.

Nov. 19 2014 10:50 AM

Why Independent Bookstores Are More Than Just Places to Buy Books

Like the independent bookstores he photographs, Bryan David Griffith is a bit of a throwback. He does have an email address, but if you want to reach him on the phone, you have to dial a landline, and most likely track him down through his answering machine. His yearlong project covering more than 20 independent bookstores around the country was photographed with a large format film camera; he travels to each location from his home in Arizona via a makeshift camper in which he sleeps, loads film, and stores his equipment.

“I’m kind of old school,” he said. “I have an engineering degree, so it’s not like I’m a technophobe. I just haven’t adopted technologies that don't enrich my quality of life.”

Nov. 18 2014 10:15 AM

A Glimpse Inside Crown Heights’ Hasidic Community in the ’90s

 

When Chie Nishio started frequenting the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights in the mid 1990s, she wasn’t the most likely candidate  to document the neighborhood’s Hasidic community. But Nishio, who immigrated from Japan in 1969, and her camera were welcomed into that famously close-knit world, and her photos, now on display at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch, show no signs of being the work of an outsider. 

 

 

Living in Manhattan, Nishio would often see men with full beards, black hats, and long coats in the Diamond District. Her husband, a non-observant Jew, had little information to help satisfy her curiosity, so she decided to find out more on her own. Initially, Nishio tried photographing the Hasidim in Williamsburg, but found she “couldn’t make a connection with anybody.” When she tried Crown Heights one day, during the Sukkot holiday, she had better luck.

 

Nov. 17 2014 11:09 AM

A New York Times Editor’s Photographic Ode to Her Office

It’s hard not to fall in love with the New York Times headquarters, the Renzo Piano-designed 52-story building on Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue. For Kathy Ryan, the director of photography at the New York Times Magazine, the main appeal is the beautiful light inside, which enters the building between irregularly spaced horizontal rods that make up part of a “double-skin curtain wall

Nov. 16 2014 11:00 AM

The Coolest Places in London Are Underground

Bradley L. Garrett, who has a background in archaeology, knew almost nothing about London when he moved there in 2008 to pursue a Ph.D. Now, he’s created the most comprehensive photographic account of subterranean London ever produced: Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital, recently published by Prestel. “It just goes to show how much things can change when you devote yourself to learning a place from the inside out,” he said.

For the last six years, exploring (or writing or talking about it) has “dominated almost every waking hour” of Garrett’s life. He’s also explored in Paris, Chicago, and Las Vegas, experiences which are documented in his first book, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City. But when he first started, he was just struggling to get a toehold in London’s exploring community. 

Nov. 14 2014 11:06 AM

The Wonderful World of Cat Shows

Even before the Internet meme’d them, cats have always been a favorite for photographers, something Dustin Fenstermacher knows well, having traveled around the country documenting feline pageants for more than six years.

“I knew other people had done it before, but everyone was doing it differently than how I would do it,” he said about photographing animal shows. “You just have to do it in your own voice.”

Part of that includes finding candid moments or seeking out images that are unintentionally humorous, unlike the title of the series, “M’ow M’rrrrrrow” that is more indicative of Fenstermacher’s sense of humor.

Nov. 13 2014 12:04 PM

Scars That Reveal History and Beauty

As a child growing up in Madrid, Sandra Franco loved looking at family photos with her grandmother. “For me, the images were little treasures. I always liked the idea of tracing your past through photography,” she said.

Franco ended up studying photography in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was given access to some quality gear, including a Hasselblad film camera. The opportunity to work with the camera, combined with her continued interest in learning about other people’s histories, motivated her to take an intimate look at physical scars in her aptly titled series “Scars.”

 

Nov. 12 2014 12:23 PM

“I’m Trying to Photograph Myself in You, Dance As Crazy As You Can Until You Become Someone Else”

When Alejandro Cartagena was 13 years old, his family moved from the Dominican Republic to Mexico. For Cartagena, the shift in cultures was an intense, even scarring experience. “It was a troubled time for me,” he said. “In a way that moment is still present in a lot of my work. The portraiture I do always has something to do with trying to identify with the new culture I’ve been inserted into.”

When the organizers of the Nrmal music festival in Monterrey, Mexico, invited him to photograph during the festival, Cartagena created his series, “Bliss,” a nostalgic, somewhat therapeutic way for him to revisit the time during his childhood that was filled with pure joy.

 

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