The Photo Blog

Sept. 4 2016 10:17 AM

This New York Street Photographer Took 30,000 Images in a Decade

Richard Bram’s new book, Richard Bram New York, published by Peanut Press, contains 51 photographs that were edited down from an astonishing 30,000 frames.

“This is not an exaggeration,” Bram wrote via email. “Editing is the other half of the skill equation. This is the hardest task for any photographer. … This is a very painful process.”

When Bram started thinking about putting together a book, he said it became clear that it should be like a greatest-hits album. He pulled images from 2005–15, with the majority coming from the latter five years. He feels it’s a summary of his time living in New York; he is currently preparing to return to London, where he has worked and taught off and on since the 1990s.

New York and London offer strong settings for street photography because they are both dense, with sidewalks teaming with people almost all of the time, Bram says. “In some ways, it is easier to work on the streets in New York,” he wrote. “It is so crowded that no one notices another guy with a camera in a city swarming with tourists. … There are more neuroses on view per square meter than any place I’ve ever been.”

Sept. 2 2016 10:16 AM

In Front of This Photographer’s Camera, LGBTQ Bangladeshis Can Be Themselves

The LGBTQ Bangladeshis in Gazi Nafis Ahmed’s series “Inner Face” look by turns joyous, tranquil, and carefree, but outside the small worlds of love and acceptance they’ve built together, life in Bangladesh is precarious. Same-sex relations are criminalized in the country, and LGBTQ people there can be arrested based on their appearance alone. They’re also in danger of verbal, physical, and sexual assault, and the threats have increased alongside the rise of Islamist fundamentalism. In April, Xulhaz Mannan, the founding editor of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBTQ magazine, Roopbaan, and his friend, Tonoy Mahbub, were hacked to death by extremists in Dhaka.

“I explore love in my work. Love is what matters—love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share. We human beings are here for a certain period of time, and during this time if we’re not allowed to be who we are, we are not appreciating the gift that was given us. We are only saved by love,” Ahmed said.

Sept. 1 2016 12:20 PM

These Simple yet Stylish Portraits Celebrate American Sikhs

Three years ago, British Sikh photographers Amit Amin and Naroop Jhooti began noticing that beards had become a popular fashion statement among hip Londoners. That got them thinking about Sikh men, for whom facial hair isn't merely a fad. For the next year and a half, they photographed 36 Sikhs of all ages and occupations, including a boxer, a magician, a watchmaker, and a filmmaker, for their series, “The Singh Project.” Their studio photographs highlighted the distinct ways they wore their turbans and beards, both ancient signifiers of Sikh identity.

Aug. 31 2016 10:46 AM

170 Years of the World’s Greatest Sports Photos

If you’re missing the excitement of the Olympic Games, no need to worry—there’s an exhibition currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum that celebrates more than 170 years of sports photography.

Show curator Gail Buckland, who also curated the Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present,” enjoys bringing every genre of photography into the exhibition fold. “When I did ‘Who Shot Rock and Roll,’ I realized I could not only enlarge the canon, I could bring people into an art museum who have never gone in before,” she wrote via email. “And do so without compromising the aesthetic, intellectual, societal, historical requisites of a major museum.”

“Rock and roll is big, but sports is even bigger,” she added. “It has a longer history. The drive to stop the boy in motion is as old as the Greeks and a perennial subject of artists.”

The exhibition incudes roughly 230 photographs taken by more than 170 photographers, including well-known sports shooters such as Bob Martin and Al Bello; iconic images such as the raised fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City; and photographers who were known for images they took of athletes when they weren’t competing.

Aug. 30 2016 11:53 AM

This Photographer Turned His Back on the World’s Most Photographed Places

Most people who visit the Mona Lisa go to see the painting. Those who venture to the Statue of Liberty usually want to see the statue. Tourists standing beneath the Eiffel Tower tend to look at the tower.

Not Oliver Curtis. For the past four years he’s gone to some of the most visited sites in the world and photographing anything but the main attractions.

Aug. 29 2016 11:32 AM

“Anybody Could Fall Into Such Hardship”: A Photographer’s Look at Poverty in America

Joakim Eskildsen never considered himself to be an assignment photographer. That changed when Kira Pollack, Time’s director of photography, asked him to work on a project about poverty in the United States. Pollack had seen Eskildsen’s book The Roma Journeys, a detailed look into the lives of Roma Gypsies living in seven countries. So for a project in 2011, Pollack asked Eskildsen to photograph some of the most impoverished areas in New York, California, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Georgia over seven months.

Aug. 26 2016 12:36 PM

A Photographer’s Quest to Document Every Resident of a Historic Hollywood Apartment Building

Driving around Los Angeles, Pamela Littky often looks with curiosity at the apartment buildings she passes. What do they look like inside? Who lives in them? And what is it like to live there?

She’d been wondering about the Villa Bonita, a distinctive complex in Hollywood, for at least a decade. So she decided to satisfy her curiosity and document the building and all of its residents. Her photographs, made over the course of a year, are collected in The Villa Bonita, which Kehrer Verlag will publish in September.

“I wanted to show a glimpse behind closed doors, and present the residents in a super personal and intimate way,” Littky said via email.

Aug. 25 2016 10:09 AM

A Lawyer Finds a “Whole New World” in the Magic of Street Photography

Len Speier’s middle name is Mitchell, but the 88-year-old photographer said that throughout his life, those initials were often translated as “Lucky Man Speier.” As a young man, Speier went to City College in New York, and he was drafted in the Army just as World War II was ending, serving at Fort Knox and in Japan. He eventually ended up attending law school at New York University.

While working for the law film after graduation, a couple of lucky accidents would reshape Speier’s life and career. As a boy, Speier had been intrigued by the “magic” of photography: He shot with a small Bakelite camera, and his uncle had given him a basic film developing kit. One of the senior partners at the firm lived in Westchester, New York, and had a high-end darkroom that needed to be cleaned up and organized. He proposed to Speier a deal: If Speier would clean it up, he could use it for free. Over the next year, after work and dinner with his own family, Speier would drive to Westchester and work in the darkroom until around 2 a.m. before returning to his own home and back to his day job.

Aug. 24 2016 10:07 AM

These Early 1990s Photos Document Family Life in the Newly Independent Ukraine

On this day 25 years ago, Ukraine became an independent state.

Adam Hinton was a 26-year-old recent graduate of England’s Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) at the time, and he wanted to see what life in a new nation was like, particularly in industrial areas whose working class had been romanticized during Soviet rule. He’d never been to the country before and he knew he’d have trouble communicating there, but he’d studied Soviet politics in school and was eager to witness history.

Aug. 23 2016 10:36 AM

These Photos of Hurling, Camogie, and Other “Gaelic Games” Showcase Ireland’s Beauty and Community

Ireland is a diverse country, but everywhere you go, you can find people playing Gaelic football, hurling, camogie, Gaelic handball, and rounders—sports known collectively as the Gaelic games.

Like many Irish people, Paul Carroll grew up playing in one of the many amateur clubs organized for people of all ages by the Gaelic Athletic Association and related organizations. But he didn’t think of photographing them until 2009, when he came across Hans van der Meer’s book European Fields of European amateur soccer matches. Over the next seven years, he traveled more than 31,000 miles back and forth across Ireland, photographing hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football games in all of the country’s 32 counties. The result is Gaelic Fields, a book that he’s currently raising funds on Kickstarter to publish.

“I thought if I was going to capture the national games, I couldn’t leave anyone out,” Carroll said. “I tried to get as many different aspects as possible about Irish life and community and identity into these pictures.”