The Photo Blog

April 18 2014 11:02 AM

A Stunning Testament to the Life and Work of Chris Hondros

A collection of photographs and writing by the late photojournalist Chris Hondros titled Testament, published by PowerHouse Books, has been released nearly three years after Hondros was killed while on assignment in Libya. Testament includes a significant amount of Hondros’ work covering conflicts around the world beginning in the late 1990s, including those in Africa and the Middle East.

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April 17 2014 11:04 AM

America’s Black Basketball Pioneers

Long before the National Basketball Association became racially integrated in 1950, black players had been charting their own course in basketball. The New-York Historical Society’s exhibition “The Black Fives” tells that nearly 50-year history in photographs, objects, and other memorabilia. Taken together, it celebrates the pioneering teams (known as “fives” for their five starting players) and athletes who shaped the early days of the game and paved the way for progress in other areas of black life.

April 16 2014 11:08 AM

The Rio Residents Displaced by Olympic Spirit

As Brazil prepares to host both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, many of the poor communities in Rio de Janeiro's favelas are being forcibly evicted from their homes as construction in preparation for both events ramps up. The favelas, or slums, have been a part of Rio de Janeiro since the late 1800s and are home to roughly 1.4 million people. Many of the residents don't understand the legal steps involved in an eviction and have been unable to challenge the government as it removes—and often destroys—their communities.

April 15 2014 11:04 AM

Portraits of Baltimore’s Voguers 

Since its birth in the New York ballroom scene of the 1960s, voguing has made a few notable entrées into mainstream culture, such as Madonna’s song “Vogue” and the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. But French artist Frédéric Nauczyciel’s portraits of modern voguers highlight the ballroom scene’s continued relevance as an underground culture, one that serves as a platform for self-expression for queer people of color in urban communities across the globe.

April 14 2014 11:02 AM

You’ve Never Seen Group Portraits Like These

Neal Slavin has a unique perspective on human relations. As a photographer who’s specialized in group portraiture for four decades, he has captured the strange, fascinating, and often humorous sociological phenomena that occur when people pose for a photograph together.

April 13 2014 11:07 AM

Capturing the Eccentric Moments of Everyday Life

Thomas Alleman began writing for a political tabloid in Lansing, Mich., in the early 1980s. Although he liked the writing at the weekly, he wasn’t impressed with the photography. So he began to teach himself to take photographs; he modeled his style after artists he admired, like Sylvia Plachy and James Hamilton. He turned out to be a quick learner.

April 11 2014 11:13 AM

Touching, Beautiful Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals

Like many animal lovers, photographer Sharon Lee Hart is concerned about the mistreatment, abuse, and neglect of animals. But for her book, Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals, Hart decided to tell a different kind of story about animals that have seen hard times. “Folks are disturbed by images that depict abuse and torture that can occur on factory farms, and I don't blame them. It is unbearably disturbing, but I think those types of images are essential because they inform the public about the horrors that are occurring,” Hart said via email.

April 10 2014 10:42 AM

Defining Cool, From Steve McQueen to Audrey Hepburn

Joel Dinerstein has whittled down the definition of “cool”: a person who shows a “relaxed intensity.” Together with co-curator Frank Goodyear III, Dinerstein is responsible for the “American Cool” exhibit on view at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington through Sept. 7. The exhibit represents, through portraiture, people whose relaxed intensity has made them icons of cool within their generations.

April 9 2014 11:05 AM

A Quiet yet Profound Look at the American West

A fascination with the American West has been a central inspiration for so many artists, including Robert Adams. For more than half a century, Adams has walked, photographed, and lived the frontier landscape: from majestic redwood forests to asphalt rimmed tract homes. “The Place We Live, a retrospective of Adams’ work organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, mixes a sadness over environmental destruction while cherishing unexpected moments of beauty, often within the frame of a single photograph.

April 8 2014 11:04 AM

A Contemporary Portrait of Native America

Matika Wilbur was living in Seattle in December 2012 when she decided to sell most of her possessions and embark on an epic photographic journey. Since then, she’s been on the road working on “Project 562” with the goal of photographing all the federally recognized tribes in the United States. (There are now 566.) With support from Kickstarter donors and several grants, she’s traveled nearly 100,000 miles and visited about 200 tribes, capturing beautiful images and important stories along the way.