The Photo Blog

June 28 2015 10:15 AM

“You Can Come Here and Be Who You Really Are”

Brandon Tauszik grew up in suburban Florida, where chain barbershops ruled. So, when he moved to Oakland five years ago, the number of independent barbershops blew him away. He started visiting the shops as a way to get to know his new neighborhood, and quickly learned they were cultural institutions that were about much more than cutting hair. In his series of GIFs, “Tapered Throne,” Tauszik captures the atmosphere of these places in the subtle yet significant interactions between barbers and their customers as well as the brief movements of individuals that convey a sense of stillness and quiet.  

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June 26 2015 10:37 AM

Capturing Basketball’s Greatest Moments

If you caught the NBA Finals last week, you know it’s the biggest event of the year in American professional basketball. It’s also the most important time of year for Andrew Bernstein, the league’s longest tenured photographer. 

June 25 2015 11:14 AM

The Best Views in Paris Are Into Other People’s Windows

The inspiration for Gail Albert Halaban’s international Rear Window–esque photography series is, like the Hitchcock film, a bit creepy.

In 2007, Albert Halaban, her husband, and their newborn daughter moved from Los Angeles to a loft-style apartment in Manhattan. On her daughter’s first birthday, balloons were sent to the apartment from the florist across the street. There was a note saying how great it had been watching their daughter grow up. The family had never met the florist.

“At first I was really creeped out,” recalled Albert Halaban. “And then I spoke to a friend who has a flower shop on the street and he said tha It’s a window and if you leave your shades open you should expect people are watching you. And then I realized it was so much less lonely knowing people were watching me. I was curious if other people had gotten that comfort from a window.”

June 24 2015 11:27 AM

How Strangers Posed for the Camera in 1960s and ’70s Hollywood

Looking at the black-and-white portraits Dennis Feldman took of strangers along Hollywood Boulevard during the late 1960s to early ’70s, there is a clear sense of the passing of time, not only in the obvious aesthetic differences, but also in the subtle details.

The 37 images that make up his book, Hollywood Boulevard: 1969-1972, are striking for many reasons, but primarily for how he got strangers to stop on the street and pose for him, sometimes for up to 10 minutes. Although he shot primarily with a Rolleiflex, on occasion he used a large format camera complete with a tripod and dark sheet over his head.

“People were very flattered in a lot of cases,” Feldman said. “That they deserved the attention of a picture. A picture was more important [back then].”

Making a picture was also a lot more expensive. Although today it doesn’t sound like much, Feldman said he would spend around $3 on a roll of film and then additional expenses when developing and printing the images for chemicals and paper. In total, each image would cost him roughly 50 cents.

June 23 2015 10:25 AM

Honest and Bold Photos of Young Womanhood Taken by Young Women

Petra Collins’ favorite photographers celebrate young womanhood through images that are unvarnished and unapologetic. They photograph menstrual blood and pubic hair as frequently as Bratz dolls and flowers. In her new book, Babe, which Prestel published this month, the 22-year-old photographer (and frequent collaborator with Tavi Gevinson, who wrote the book’s preface) shares the works of these photographers and other artistic contemporaries. It’s a yearbook of sorts for a new generation of female photographers raised on the Internet and leading the way in creating better, bolder images about the female experience.

June 22 2015 10:52 AM

Bringing the Stars Down to Earth

Ellie Davies spent much of her childhood playing in the New Forest in southern England, building camps and dams and tree houses with her twin sister. 

“It is a very varied landscape; it was originally established as Henry VIII’s deer hunting ground and later the huge oak trees were cut down to build ships to fight the Spanish Armada in the late 1500s. This land was not replanted and much of it became a grazed heathland. However, large areas of the ancient forest still remain and it is a constant source of inspiration,” she said via email.

June 21 2015 11:19 AM

How One Father Found a Way to Make His Children (and Himself) the Center of His Work 

The black-and-white family photos that make up Tim Roda’s series “Hidden Father” were, for the most part, taken with an old Minolta 35mm camera, the same model Roda’s father had used.

It might not seem to be an important detail, but it is significant since Roda’s work is often rooted in family history and domestic life coupled with his attraction to more traditional forms of photography, specifically the film negative.

Like Roda’s other work, “Hidden Father” explores the role of the father and the son’s relationship within the family unit. The title of the work is a reference to the “Hidden Mother” portraits of the Victorian age when mothers would disguise themselves as props within the portraits so only their baby would appear in the final image. For Roda, who comes from an Italian background, the series title’s play on the past is partly an exploration of gender roles that in his household have always been blurred, especially as he and his wife raise four boys together.

June 19 2015 11:03 AM

The Faces That Keep The Rocky Horror Picture Show Alive

While taking a photography class at Los Angeles City College, Lauren Everett was given the assignment to shoot five portraits of people involved in a specific subculture. At that point she had only seenThe Rocky Horror Picture Show a few times as a teenager, but a friend’s roommate had been involved with it for years.

“I remember thinking it was fun and also really adult because I was so young,” she recalled. “I was like, oh, what was that about?”

Six years and hundreds of portraits later, Everett has published a book, People Like Us, which includes images of members of “shadow casts” around the country. The cast members dress up as characters in the film and recreate what’s happening on screen. This September marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the film, whose cult following is traced back to 1976 at the Waverly Theatre in New York when Louis Farese, a kindergarten teacher from Staten Island, screamed to the character Janet who was walking in the rain to “Buy an umbrella you cheap bitch.” Dori Hartley is credited as being the first person to come dressed as a character, in 1977, as Frank-N-Furter, setting off four decades of the theatrical/cinematic experience. Everett notes today, the film is regularly playing on 86 screens in the United States and 10 overseas.

June 18 2015 11:05 AM

There’s Something a Little NSFW Hidden in All These Photos 

In 2010, Ruben Brulat packed up his 4-by-5 large format camera, put some clothes in a backpack, and left on an epic journey through Europe to Asia. For the next 1½ years he traveled by train, truck, donkey, and foot to places he’d never seen before. Along the way, he met a lot of people, both locals and fellow travelers. Some of them became the subjects of his series, “Paths,” which he had had already begun while visiting Nepal.

June 17 2015 12:06 PM

Living With a Rare Disorder That Causes Dwarfism and Immunity From Cancer

A few years ago, Charlotte Schmitz, a German photographer based in Istanbul, read about a 2011 study in the journal Science Translational Medicine about a group of people who were living with Laron syndrome, a rare form of dwarfism that also appeared to cause immunity to both diabetes and cancer. News of the study, developed over two decades by Jaime Guevara-Aguirre in a small village in the south of Ecuador where nearly one-third of people known to have Laron live, quickly spread around the world.

In an interview with ABC News in 2011, Guevara explained that he noticed that this area of Ecuador had a high rate of cancer, yet none of these patients were dying from it. “I’m talking about a total of 135 names that I can think of. None of them has ever died of cancer,” he said. “To me the possibility that that is a coincidence is almost none, because every single family in this case has at least one or two or three relatives that have died of cancer.”

Schmitz, who lived in Ecuador as a university student, wanted to meet the people profiled. She went back in 2012, and, through contacts with both her friends and her host family, was able to meet the villagers. Yet, after being visited by countless journalists since the story broke, the villagers were somewhat reluctant to be interviewed.