The Photo Blog

April 13 2015 11:48 AM

The Magical and Decaying Places Where Cars Go to Die 

Where do cars go when their driving days are done? Many are crushed or recycled, but others are left out in nature to decay and crumble. It’s not the most efficient—or environmentally sound—method of disposal, but for Cologne-based photographer Dieter Klein, it’s the most magical.

Video Advertisement

April 12 2015 9:21 AM

The Secret History of Hunky Male Beefcakes

This post contains nudity.

In the same way that porn magazines are often hidden under pillows or locked away on the top shelves of closets, the history of “beefcake” photography has been highly secretive. The photographer and models who created the hunky, hyper-masculine work beginning in the 1940s right up to the pre-disco age, did it on the sly often dodging strict obscenity laws that landed some of them in prison, forced them to endure harassment and attacks, and kept almost all of them hiding deep in the closet.

For Petra Mason, the editor of 100% Rare All Natural Beefcake, published by Rizzoli, trying to track down the images, and, more significantly, the holder of the copyrights, turned out to be a bit like falling down a rabbit hole.

April 10 2015 11:00 AM

What 20 Years Have Done to the People of This Small Indiana Community 

In September of 1986, Jeffrey Wolin read about Ellen Marks, a woman who had been murdered in the low-income area of Pigeon Hill in Bloomington, Indiana. He had spent a few years working as a police photographer and the experience inspired him to go to Bloomington and photograph some of the residents of Pigeon Hill.

During the four years he spent there, Wolin, an Indiana University professor, became known as “Picture Man.” He ended up creating 2,500 images with his medium-format camera. In 2010, a tragic parallel brought Wolin back: A woman was murdered and Wolin recognized her as one of the people he had photographed two decades earlier. He wanted to find out what had happened to the other residents he had photographed and set out to find them, a process that turned out to be extremely difficult.

In order to thank the community for telling him their stories 20 years earlier, Wolin taught a photography class to kids at the local Boys and Girls Club and walked around the neighborhood after class with some of his old images to find out if anyone knew the people in them. Facebook turned out to be the best method of tracking people down, although many of the subjects had moved away, were in prison, or had died.

April 9 2015 8:49 AM

A Final Tour of the Lower East Side’s Famous Matzo Factory


In the gentrified Lower East Side, Streit’s matzo factory has long remained one of the last vestiges of the neighborhood as it once was—an area of immigrants, many of them Jewish Europeans. One of those immigrants was Austrian immigrant Aron Streit, who, in 1915, turned a couple of brick tenement buildings on Rivington Street into a business that has manufactured the unleavened Passover bread for generations.



Joseph O. Holmes has lived in New York since the 1980s, and has been walking by the Streit’s factory for decades, often stopping on the street to watch the workers unload matzo from the oven on the ground floor—and hoping, on summer days, that one might break off a piece and pass it through the window. When he heard this winter that Streit’s would be shutting down its Lower East Side factory and moving operations elsewhere sometime after Passover, he knew that had to make a record of the inside, which he’d seen only once on a tour years ago. After getting permission from Alan M. Adler, Streit’s great-grandson, he visited once or twice a week for five weeks beginning in March.


April 8 2015 11:31 AM

The Intimate Results of Photographing Subjects for Eight Minutes Each

The word intimate is often overused in photography, but there really isn’t any other way to describe Gary Schneider’s on-again, off-again series “Heads.” Lying down on mats, cushions and black velvet underneath Schneider’s large format camera, the subjects are then “exposed” over eight minutes by a tiny light Schneider uses to explore around their heads.  

Schneider, who grew up in South Africa and moved to New York for graduate school, began the series in 1988. At first, he shot in black and white and took two portraits that lasted roughly half an hour each, but, when he started working on the series again a few years later, he switched to color film and “a tighter script.” After setting the aperture, Schneider begins exposing the hair, followed by the forehead, down the side of the face (his right) and then up the left side.

“For me, it’s very psychological,” Schneider said. “We’re in a dark space, it’s very intimate and it’s very structured but it becomes very personal because each person has a unique relationship to me and we engage in an activity together.”

April 7 2015 11:38 AM

Dogs Who Act Just Like Their Owners

In their book, In Dogs We Trust, published last month by Victory Editions, childhood friends Ollie Grove and Will Robson-Scott take images of man and his best friend to a whole new level.


April 6 2015 12:12 PM

Bringing Elegance and Order to the Chaos of Nature

Nature can seem messy, chaotic, even frightening, but in Christopher Marley’s world, it’s a bounty of useable materials that can be infinitely organized and aestheticized. In his new book, Biophilia, which will be published April 14 by Abrams Books, the photographer and designer pairs pristine images of individual organisms alongside spectacular mosaics of creatures in geometric configurations.

April 5 2015 11:13 AM

This Photographer Spent 33 Years Capturing the Subtle Changes in Her Small New England Town

While taking a documentary photography class at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Barb Peacock was told she could travel the world looking for great shots, but a good photographer has the ability to find them in her own backyard.

Peacock took that to heart and brought her 4-by-5 camera to a local store where she grew up in Westford, Massachusetts, when she noticed a group of kids hanging out around a table. The next day she went back and noticed the same kids doing the same thing in the same position.

“It struck me and everything gelled at that moment. I realized life is really short and we’re all moving really fast but in the meantime it is really slowed down,” Peacock recalled.

April 3 2015 11:00 AM

The Awe-Inspiring Power of Baroque Churches

Looking at the gorgeous, dramatic images of Baroque churches in Cyril Porchet’s series, “Seduction,” you might mistake the photographer for a religious man. But Porchet is more interested in the power they represent than the religious ideology.

April 2 2015 12:14 PM

One Man’s Lifelong Battle With Obesity 

Hector Garcia always felt judged for being overweight—people rarely stuck around to get to know him.

“Where else do you see people getting ridiculed and allowed to get away with it if it’s not over a fat person,” he said. “Food’s the only thing I could ever do that wouldn’t ridicule me, that wouldn’t give me a hassle, it was like my friend and it became a crutch and before you know it, it became disastrous.”

Lisa Krantz, a staff photographer at the San Antonio Express-News, met Garcia in 2010 through his sister, Rebecca Freed. Freed was trying to find a photographer to mentor her daughter in photojournalism. She was also hoping to find someone who would be able to tell her brother’s story so he could find help.

Garcia attempted to lose weight many times—including a gastric bypass surgery in 2000—but a number of factors contributed to the common roller-coaster weight loss and gain many people face. Without private insurance, Garcia was unable to pay for care including weight loss drugs or behavioral counseling.

Krantz spent four years working with Garcia and his family on what she initially thought would be a weight loss story. It turned out to be a much more in-depth story about Garcia’s struggle, his relationship with his family, bouts with depression, a desire to inspire other people to try to lose weight, and, ultimately, his death.