The Photo Blog

April 24 2015 10:37 AM

The Overwhelming Calm of Kyoto’s Buddhist Temples

Jacqueline Hassink’s work oftens explores public and private spaces absent of a human presence, from the boardrooms of Europe’s largest corporations to the fitting rooms of haute couture designers.

“They are meant to communicate or reveal something about the people who are in there,” she said about her work. “There is a story with them.”

Last year, Hassink completed a 10-year series with a focus on the Zen Buddhist temples and gardens found in Kyoto, Japan. “View, Kyoto” has already been seen in Europe and is currently on view atBenrubi Gallery in New York City through May 9A corresponding monograph, her ninth, was published this year by Hatje Cantz.

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April 23 2015 12:42 PM

What It’s Like to Have Down Syndrome—and Care for a Sister With Disabilities

Growing up, Lani Holmberg rarely interacted with a boy in her town who had Down Syndrome, and, when she did, the uncertainty of how to communicate with him proved to be too strong of a barrier. This experience stayed with Holmberg into adulthood. She was interested in challenging her own discomfort and was reminded by her aunt that she has a distant cousin, Alyssa, who has Down Syndrome. She contacted Alyssa’s family and ended up spending six months documenting their lives for the multimedia series “And Holland Has Tulips.”

Alyssa lives with her mother, Lois, and one of her two sisteres, Carly. From the beginning of the project, Holmberg followed the rituals of the people living in the house: daily chores, Alyssa’s work at Kmart, and social events. Although Holmberg writes on her website that she isn’t a fan of routine, witnessing it helped her to better understand Alyssa.

“Photography is my way of seeking wisdom,” she said. “I meet all of these people and get insight into how to approach life and what lessons they’ve learned and I incorporate that into my own life. The camera is an excuse to open myself up and keep improving and opening up my mind.”

April 22 2015 10:30 AM

This Photographer Spent 1,021 Days Traveling the World. Here’s What He Saw. 

Uruma Takezawa was in his 10th year as a professional marine photographer when he started to yearn for a change of scenery. In 2010, he decided to come ashore for a journey.

April 21 2015 10:38 AM

Recreating the Middle Ages as They Should Have Been

Most people don’t have work colleagues who regularly come into the office with bruises and photos of their weekend clashes with armored warriors. But that was the case for Euan Forrester a few years ago, whose co-worker, he learned, was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international group of 60,000 people who share a passion for recreating medieval culture. Forrester was intrigued, and, in 2010, he started accompanying his friend to his practices at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in British Columbia, Canada.

April 20 2015 11:17 AM

You Don’t Have to Be High to Think These Photos of Marijuana Buds Are Far Out

Like any plant, cannabis comes in many varieties—and, in addition to having distinct effects on the body when smoked, different strains have different appearances. Leaves range from bright to dark green, hairs can be purple or orange or red, and the concentration of crystals covering the buds can vary. And with names like Kryptonite, Dirty Hairy, and Chocolate Thunder, strains can even seem to have individual personalities.

April 19 2015 11:12 AM

What Life Is Like on Brown University’s All-Female Rugby Team  

Brown University’s Women’s Rugby Football Club was founded in 1977, eventually becoming a varsity sport in 2013. The active roster of roughly 30 players, many of whom had never previously played rugby, are part of a tight-knit group of student athletes.

Spanish photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra discovered the Bears while looking to cover a community of women participating in a traditionally male-dominated environment. She was also interested in concentrating on the dynamic of the individual within the collective university setting. Her previous series, “Fall In,” dealt with a group of students enrolled in ROTC and how the military environment influenced their individuality.  

Once she decided to focus on the Bears, Carles-Tolra began to tag along to their practices. Among the many challenges she faced was the fact that she knew very little about rugby, the players had little time to hang out before or after practice because of academic demands, and, most importantly, how to break into the tight-knit group.

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.

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.