The Photo Blog

April 17 2015 11:57 AM

These Inspiring Women Are the Firsts in Their Fields

“I kept hearing about ‘first’ women on the radio and news and it became obvious that there were several moments that needed to be captured,” Anita Corbin said. “I wanted to create a collection of iconic portraits we could look back on 100 years from now.” She felt that, unlike the statues and paintings that typically celebrate historical men, using the more contemporary medium of photography would be a great way to develop an archive celebrating these women.

First Women is a 10-year project that began in 2008 and will be revealed through a traveling exhibitionin 2018, which marks the 100th anniversary of the year women were given the right to vote in the United Kingdom. The 100 women selected for the project have made their mark in art, sport, politics, science, and education. And although some of them are well known, Corbin insists that’s not the point of the project.

Video Advertisement

April 16 2015 10:32 AM

These Famous Artists Really Love Their Cats

A few minutes into my phone conversation with Alison Nastasi, I heard her cat, Lynx, screaming in the background. Nastasi, an artist and journalist, recently adopted Lynx and his sister Luna, who hang out with her while she works in her Philadelphia studio. “Their personalities are so quirky and unique. When I’m working, they’re nice to have around. I’m able to turn to them when I have a moment to think and reflect on something.”

April 15 2015 9:00 AM

The Secret to Love, From Couples Who Have Lasted More Than 50 Years Together

When Lauren Fleishman’s grandfather, her last surviving grandparent, passed away eight years ago, she felt a sadness knowing she was no longer anyone’s granddaughter.

Around that time she also discovered a box of love letters he had written to her grandmother during World War II. It provided Fleishman with an epistolary connection to her grandfather, one that would shape a seven-year project that focuses on couples who have been together for more than 50 years, now a book published by Schilt titled The Lovers.

“I think it’s the type of project that doesn’t only appeal to a photo-based community,” Fleishman said. “Part of it is that the couples are accessible; people can see their parents or grandparents in the images.”

That’s exactly what Fleishman looked for when she began working on The Lovers. The first image she took was of her friend’s grandparents but she then began to visit senior dances looking out for couples whose faces reminded her of her grandparents. She would then approach the couple, ask to take their photograph, send them a print, and hope they would agree to be part of the series. From there, Fleishman would spend about an hour interviewing each couple and shooting their portrait with only two rolls of medium format film.

April 14 2015 9:55 AM

Where Did John Wilkes Booth Run After He Shot Lincoln? 

During a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre, exactly 150 years ago today, John Wilkes Booth stepped into the presidential box and shot President Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head. What happened next was equally dramatic: Booth jumped out of the box onto the stage, fled the theater, and, with his accomplice David Herold, evaded authorities for the next 12 days. At the time, it was the largest manhunt in American history. Today, as Nate Larson shows in his series, “Escape Routes,” the path Booth took is a mix of truck stops, suburbs, highways, and back roads. 

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.

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.