The Photo Blog

July 2 2015 10:49 AM

The Most Exciting Part of the Tour de France Is the People Who Watch It

If photographing the Tour de France doesn’t sound difficult enough, imagine doing it while riding on the back of a motorbike travelling up to 60 miles per hour. Laurent Cipriani has been doing that for the Associated Press since 2011, part of a team of photographers, editors, and drivers—what he refers to as “a travelling theater.”

While Cipriani’s focus is on the cyclists, what initially made an impression on him was the amount of people lined up along the streets watching the race. He said the evolution of photography—from the length of telephoto lenses to the aesthetic decisions to focus primarily on the cyclists—create images that don’t tell the entire story about what happens over the three-week event. In 2012 he tried taking some pictures of the people he saw whipping past him but wasn’t happy with the results, primarily because he didn’t have time to think about doing anything but the job at hand.

In 2013, however, after a year of thinking about how to capture the bystanders, he started work on “Along the Road,” a series about them.

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July 1 2015 12:03 PM

These Inadvertent Photographs Give an Unlikely View of New York

Early in Martin Elkort’s career, the New York photographer would walk out of his home and adjust his camera settings to prepare for a day of street photography, with the comparable success rate of an amateur meteorologist lifting a finger to test the weather.

There were days when he would come back home with nothing exposed. There were also days when the film was filled with images he had taken for which he had little or no explanation. It was only later in his career that he was able to see certain patterns for picture making that had been following him.

“I supposed my subconscious mind was making decisions,” he wrote via email. “I began to realize that something was at work helping me to take pictures. Something subconscious that I didn’t understand.”

June 30 2015 1:31 PM

A Seasoned Photographer Captures the Drama of the American Landscape

“America,” Burk Uzzle says “Comes at you hard.”

The prolific photographer, who has been a member of Magnum and worked on assignment for Life magazine, has been photographing for well over half a century, much of it around the United States. He sees America as complex, with movement and collage and disruption; his images celebrate this idea. More than 70 of them are on view at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City until July 31, part of the appropriately titled series “American Puzzles.”

“The national flower of America is asphalt,” Uzzle wrote via email. “From the bustling, ricocheting chaos of New York to the aching quiet and stillness of vast deserts, America delivers its drama with theater and extremes.”

June 29 2015 10:17 AM

All the World’s a Heavy Metal Stage for These Slayer Fans

Sanna Charles first encountered the American thrash metal band Slayer when the British music magazine NME sent her to cover Midlands’ rock festival, Download. The experience was transformative.

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.  

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.