The Photo Blog

Oct. 22 2015 12:20 PM

When a Broom Is a Work of Art 

Two years ago, Yan Kallen happened upon a broom in Sheung Wan, one of Hong Kong’s oldest neighborhoods, and was fascinated by its form, craftsmanship, and resemblance to a plant. He bought the broom, and then kept buying more of them from places around the world. He photographed them for his series “Rhythm of Nature.”

“In cities like Kyoto and Taipei, there are shops that have been selling and making brooms for hundreds of years,” he wrote via email. “It’s a pleasure to roam the shops, to interact with the owners and experience the heritage that has been passed down for generations.”

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Oct. 21 2015 11:11 AM

These Athletes Gracefully Master Their Jumps Despite Physical Disabilities 

Before Inge Hondebrick became a professional photographer, she worked as a physiotherapist in a rehabilitation center. She often encouraged her patients to make athletics a part of their lives, but when she browsed through publications intended to inspire them to do so, she found that the images they used focused more on the disabilities and less on the sports themselves. She felt she could take photographs that better captured the thrill of competition, and so she started trying her hand at it. 

Oct. 20 2015 10:36 AM

The Vintage Interiors of Ebony Magazine’s Historic Former Headquarters  

In 1972, the Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, moved in to their Chicago headquarters. Designed by John W. Moutoussamy, it was the first major downtown building in Chicago designed and owned by black people in more than two centuries.

Oct. 19 2015 10:31 AM

Hippies of the 21st Century Don’t Need Drugs. They Just Meditate. 

The yoga-practicing, organic food-eating, sometimes nude, joyful men and women in Steve Schapiro’s book, Bliss: Transformational Festivals & the Neo Hippie, which was published by PowerHouse Books earlier this month, may look something like the hippies of the 1960s, but don’t be fooled: They’re not merely cookie-cutter copies of the flower children. 

Oct. 18 2015 10:20 AM

The Enduring Allure of Forests, Real and Imagined 

When Anna Beeke first visited Washington, she didn’t quite know what she’d hoped to find: Her parents had lived there before she was born—she was conceived there—and her lack of familiarity with the state seemed strange. She explored Seattle and checked out a few logging towns but inspiration didn’t strike until she came to San Juan Island and the Hoh and Quinault Rainforests. One of the first images she took at the time is now the cover image of her book Sylvania, which Daylight Books will publish later this month.

Oct. 16 2015 10:41 AM

These Amazingly Small Concrete Homes Are Like Japanese Time Capsules 

Built in Tokyo in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is a concrete structure upon which 140 removable “capsules,” roughly 100 square feet in size, have been attached to each other to be used as living or work spaces.

Designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa, the tower was part of an avant-garde architectural movement he spearheaded called Metabolism, which promoted progress and harmony. The capsule idea was meant for easy replacement that would allow the building to be maintained over time.  


Oct. 15 2015 10:43 AM

Looking Back at the Million Man March 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago, more than 1 million black men gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Million Man March, an event inspired by Louis Farrakhan and organized by the Nation of Islam, the National African American Leadership Summit and other civil rights groups. The goal was to combat negative stereotypes about black men and call attention to issues, including unemployment and poverty, impacting black communities.

Oct. 14 2015 11:59 AM

One Photographer’s Autobiography as Seen in Her Portraits of Others

Aline Smithson started out as a painter and held a number of jobs, including as fashion editor for Vogue Patterns, but it was photography that proved to be her true calling. Long before she picked up a camera, she says, she had been taking mental portraits in her head.

Her ode to James McNeill Whister’s famous painting “Portrait of the Artist’s Mother,” in which she collaborated with her mother who was in her mid-80s, was featured on Behold three almost years ago. “It’s still to this day, it was the time of my life where I felt like I was just on a creative high all the time,” Smithson recalled about the work that she said “put me on the map.”

Oct. 13 2015 11:13 AM

Celebrating the People at the Heart of the Bronx’s Lively Jerome Avenue

At this point, a rezoning plan for a 57-block stretch of the South Bronx’s Jerome Avenue—which would bring in high-rise residential towers and rising rents, likely pushing out local businesses and residents—is still just a gleam in the city’s eye. But the 16 members of the Bronx Photo League are preparing for the worst. When they saw the writing on the wall for the sort of development that has transformed other New York neighborhoods, they started a project to put faces to the people who’d be adversely impacted by the changes. “The Jerome Avenue Workers Project,” which is on view at Vasquez Muffler on Jerome Avenue through Oct. 18, is the group’s first major exhibition.

Oct. 12 2015 11:28 AM

A Father and Daughter Take a Walk in the Wilderness

When Jesse Burke’s oldest daughter, Clover, was nearly 5, he took her on a road trip from their home in Rhode Island up the coast to Canada. His plan was to photograph landscapes, but inevitably, he started taking photos of Clover as well. Halfway through their journey, he realized that those photos were the most interesting ones. Wild & Precious, which will be published by Daylight Books on Oct. 15, collects photos from more than two dozen trips the pair took together over the next five years.