The Photo Blog

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.

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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. 

Oct. 11 2015 10:27 AM

The Lives of Home-Schooled Children in Upstate New York

When Rachel Papo moved to Woodstock, New York in 2010, she met a mother who was home schooling her 5-year-old daughter. Papo had never met anyone who home-schooled his or her child and was intrigued. Turned out, it was fairly common in the area. Over the next couple of years, Papo photographed these students along with their families for her series “Homeschooled”; she currently has a Kickstarter campaign to help turn it into a book.

“I choose a topic that I think will have some kind of visual interest and then I kind of dive in and spend a few hours and let them do what they do and I follow them around,” she said. “I never really plan anything.”

Oct. 9 2015 12:57 PM

The Distressing Reality of Texas’ Penitentiary System in the 1960s

In 1967, Danny Lyon drove from his home in New York to Huntsville, Texas, where, over the course of 14 months, he visited and photographed seven penitentiaries.

The director of the Texas Department of Corrections granted Lyon full access to the prisons, which housed a range of inmates: Some, like The Walls and Ramsey, were for the general population. Others, like Ellis, were where the most dangerous inmates lived. The resulting images, a poignant, personal look at the daily lives of the inmates resulted in a book, Conversations With the Deadthat was first published in 1971; after nearly 45 years out of print, last month Phaidon published a new edition of the book.  

Oct. 8 2015 9:24 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen Who Lunch

Although it seems implausible now, there was a time when people took a lunch break. In the late 1970s, while working at Columbia College in Chicago, Charles Traub would bring along his Rolleiflex SL66 camera to photograph passersby during his break. He later did it again while working in New York’s Light Gallery. After a few years and more than 400 shots, Traub had enough work to exhibit the photographs in Chicago and a few other cities.

Oct. 7 2015 11:33 AM

What It’s Like to Be Raised by LGBTQ Parents

When Gabriela Herman was in high school, her mother came out as gay. Herman’s mother and father separated and eventually her mom married her longtime partner.   

“It was very traumatic for me,” Herman said. “I didn’t speak to my mom for a year. Having this major thing happen in life and not being able to discuss it … we tried going to family therapy a couple of times which was disastrous; I wish we had pushed harder to keep going.”

Five years ago, Herman decided to create a series about kids who had either grown up with gay parents or whose parents had come out as gay while they were still children. Herman’s sister introduced her to Danielle Silber in San Francisco, an organizer for the non-profit group COLAGE, the only national organization with a focus on supporting people with LGBTQ parents. When Herman attended a meeting, she was surprised by how deeply she related to the people in attendance.  

“I was shocked not only because they all had gay parents but because they were talking about it out loud so everyone could hear about it and I thought, I definitely need to do this project,” she said. 

Oct. 6 2015 9:49 AM

Coming of Age in a Seaside Irish Town

The photographs in Doug DuBois’ book, My Last Day at Seventeen, which Aperture published in September, depict the youthful residents of the Russell Heights neighborhood in Cobh, a small seaside town in County Cork, Ireland. But they’re seen through a very specific lens—no adults appear to exist in their world, and the youths seem to playfully roam in an endless summer—in service of DuBois’ constructed coming-of-age narrative.

Oct. 5 2015 10:11 AM

A Bird’s-Eye View of America’s Spiritual Heartland 

For those who don’t live there, the vast, dry and sparsely populated places west of the 100th meridian are often considered part of American “flyover country”—a landscape one might cursorily view from an airplane headed elsewhere but never visit. Andrew Moore, however, was motivated to take a closer look when he took a fateful photo at a cattle branding in Keene, North Dakota, in 2005. 

Oct. 4 2015 10:40 AM

The Agony and Serenity of Getting a Tattoo  

Getting a tattoo can be a pretty grisly experience, but there’s also beauty in the delicate, often meditative encounter between a tattoo artist and customer. Anne Burlock Lawver highlights both the agony and the serenity of tattooing in her series, “Indelible,” which comprises more than a year’s worth of photographs from a single Washington Heights tattoo parlor, Gunmental Tattoos, which has since closed.

Oct. 2 2015 9:46 AM

When Cleveland Was a Hotbed of Rock ’n’ Roll: 40 Years of Photos

When Janet Macoska was 12 she worked at Cleveland’s top 40 radio station, WKYC answering fan mail. One day, Sonny and Cher came into the station and Macoska took a photograph of them. She submitted it to the magazine Teen Scene, which ran it in an “encounters with stars” section, paying her a couple of dollars.  

“It was huge!” Macoska said. “It’s like OK, I got published. This is good! And it set the template for what was going to happen.”