The Photo Blog

July 24 2014 10:55 AM

Are These Photos Staged? Does It Matter? 

A few years ago, Bradley Peters showed his wife’s 10-year-old nephew an image taken by Garry Winogrand titled Central Park Zoo. While trying to convince the young boy about the magnificence of the photograph, Peters was surprised when he said he didn’t believe the image wasn’t staged. At that moment, Peters became aware of a monumental generational shift regarding the authenticity of photography.

“I grew up with a different faith in what a photograph was describing when compared to his generation,” Peters wrote via email. “My predisposition was that images are truthful, but with the understanding that there was a chance I was being deceived, while his experience is the opposite.”

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July 23 2014 11:05 AM

The Way We Eat Dinner Now

Growing up, both of Miho Aikawa’s parents had full­time jobs, which made it difficult for the family to find time to spend together. As a result, it became a rule that they would gather for a family dinner whenever possible. “As a teenager, I was unconcerned about the importance of that family rule. However, now I understand that the dinnertime we had together as a family had irreplaceable value to all of us, and it meant a lot,” Aikawa said via email. “Having dinner is not just about eating food, and dinnertime portrays more aspects of our lives than lunch or breakfast would, since the term ‘dinner’ refers to the main meal in a day. Even if the food provides the necessary nutrition, that alone is not enough. The question is: ‘What is a quality dinner?’”

July 22 2014 1:33 PM

Mesmerizing Portraits That Capture Multiple Moments in a Single Second

For many of us, trying to recall even a handful of conscious moments we have during a day is difficult enough. Imagine trying to remember 40 moments recorded in a single second.

That is part of the inspiration behind Isabel Martinez’s series, “Quantum Blink,” an analog produced project that examines the idea that time consists of a series of “nows” we continually connect like links in a chain.

Martinez said she came up with “Quantum Blink” after reading about a neurophysiologist who discovered that our brain activity oscillates at an average rate of 40Hz which would translate (according to quantum mechanics) to 40 conscious moments a second.

July 21 2014 11:03 AM

The Cold War May Be Over, but Its Decaying Relics Can Be Found All Over Europe 

The Cold War is over, but signs of it still exist all over Eastern and Western Europe. In the course of more than a decade, Martin Roemers traveled to hundreds of locations in 10 countries photographing the often abandoned and decaying underground tunnels, barracks, monuments and other structures that remain decades since the war’s end. “It was a strange conflict. There was no fighting but it left its mark in Europe and you can still see it even today,” Roemers said.


July 20 2014 4:15 PM

Intimate Portraits of the Genderqueer Community in San Francisco

In a way, the evolution of Chloe Aftel’s series “GenderQueer” is parallel to the progress by which we continue to define gender.

Initially, Aftel’s series was titled “agender.” She began it as a personal project by taking a portrait of Edie, who identifies as agender (someone who identifies as as having no gender identify and/or no gender expression), and who was dating Aftel’s friend’s son. Around the same time, Aftel was assigned to photograph an agender teen, Sasha Fleischman, for San Francisco Magazine. While riding a bus in San Francisco, Fleischman’s skirt was set on fire, resulting in second- and third-degree burns. The incident made national news and became an opportunity for exposure to the hardships many people who identify under the genderqueer umbrella face.

July 18 2014 11:16 AM

Are People Invisible Against These Backgrounds, or More Visible Than Ever?

The colors and textures Natalia Wiernik uses as backgrounds for her portraits of both people and inanimate objects is often misinterpreted as the artist’s desire to camouflage her subjects in her images.

For Wiernik, it’s the opposite.

“People in the pictures are not disappearing,” she wrote via email. “I think they are more visible, more memorable; the background can be some kind of continuation of the subjects.

July 17 2014 11:48 AM

A New Way to Talk About Poverty in Troy, New York

Brenda Ann Kenneally takes photographs, but to call her a photographer isn’t quite accurate. She prefers the term “digital folk artist,” and when you hear how she interacts with her subjects—families living below the poverty line in Troy, New York—and tells their stories, it seems an apt description. Kenneally doesn’t simply create media, she curates it: She collects family photo albums, school and medical records, letters from prison, scrapbooks, and even screenshots from Facebook. Since she began her project, “Upstate Girls,” more than 10 years ago, she’s amassed thousands of photos, several terabytes of video, and scores of other documents. “If you're doing documentary, you need to be the foremost authority on whatever you're doing. I don't know anything about almost everything; there are so many things to know now. But I know some stuff about these couple places, and you have to want to share that,” she said. “The pictures are just a way to remind me about what I've learned. No longer do I care about having pictures in a frame on the wall.”

July 16 2014 11:34 AM

The Fierce Competition of Senior Athletes 

While on assignment in 2007 to photograph a story about experimental anti-aging treatments, Angela Jimenez learned about the USATF Masters track and field meets, including one about to take place in Kentucky.

The meet, one of many on the USATF Masters schedule, is intended for athletes ages 35 and up, broken down into categories of five-year increments. Jimenez, a former Division 1 college track and field heptathlete at the University of Pennsylvania was intrigued and decided to head to Kentucky to photograph the meet, essentially beginning her project “Racing Age” that focuses on retirement age athletes in their 70s and up.

July 15 2014 11:00 AM

Wisconsin’s Quirky and Hardworking Family Business Owners

Carl Corey began meeting family business owners while documenting Wisconsin bars for his book, Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars. Inspired by the experience, Corey decided to seek out family businesses all over Wisconsin, from hardware stores to bakeries to organ builders. Corey’s new book, For Love and Money: Portraits of Wisconsin Family Businesses, comprises portraits of single families who’ve owned their business for at least 50 years. “They're proud and they love what they do, but there’s no doubt that their lives are extremely difficult,” he said.

July 14 2014 11:53 AM

Music Fans Are Crazy

Erin Feinberg began her career photographing concerts as a way of getting to see her favorite musicians up close and for free. But as digital photography became popular, photo pits became overcrowded and restrictions for photographers at shows became overbearing. “The creative freedom I once had photographing concerts was disappearing and so to make things interesting for myself I needed to find other ways to document the live music experience,” Feinberg said via email.