The Photo Blog

Sept. 2 2015 11:24 AM

Mesmerizing Photos That Capture the Thrill of Reading

Ellen Cantor and her husband have amassed an untold number of books in their many years together. But, as is the case for many book owners, she hasn’t exactly read them all. Among the ones she has, there are 12 that hold a special meaning for her—some that she had read as a child and others that were childhood favorites of her mother. With that in mind, Cantor created the series “Prior Pleasures,” for which she has now photographed 25 classic childhood books.

“When my parents passed away I started thinking of memory and time and place and what’s important and the concept that people will always be reading but the way they read will change dramatically,” she said. “There was something I wanted to capture about these books.”

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Sept. 1 2015 10:36 AM

Photographing London During an Era That Defined What It Means to Be Cool

In 1966, Time, accompanied by a vibrant, colorful cover, proclaimed London to be “The Swinging City.” That era, one that defined cool, still resonates, even if its fleeting moments are hard to re-create, says Zippora Elders, who is curating the exhibition “Swinging Sixties London: Photography in the Capital of Cool,” at the Amsterdam photography museum Foam. The exhibition, which closes Sept. 2, is celebrating the era by looking at “the transformation the capital underwent in the decennia after the war, from a grim, shattered city to an international and lively epicenter for style, culture and fashion.”

“The energetic atmosphere, the optimism, the feeling that one can become whatever or whomever they want to be, the careers of these self-made models, photographers and actors who were originally working class … of course that’s attractive!” she said.

Aug. 31 2015 11:26 AM

The Men Who Make Manhattan’s Flower District Blossom

This winter, Maggie Shannon, like many New Yorkers, was feeling a little tired of city life. She wanted to go somewhere where she could be surrounded by green. Turns out, it wasn’t as hard to find as she thought: One day, her boyfriend surprised her with a trip to Manhattan’s flower district, a cluster of plant merchants on 28th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway.

Aug. 30 2015 10:31 AM

The Beautiful Old Signs of Paris Are As Elegant As the City Itself 

Starting in her early 20s, Louise Fili spent years wandering the streets of Paris, photographing the beautiful old signs she saw along the way. She was beginning to discover graphic design at the time, and her documentation of the vernacular signs was for for her own reference and enjoyment.

Aug. 28 2015 11:02 AM

A Photographer Who Documented Katrina’s Destruction Returns to Take Pictures of the Exact Same Spots

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which ultimately killed at least 1,836 people, forced 1.5 million people to evacuate the region, and did an estimated $81 billion of property damage. In 2005, Carlos Barria documented the destruction. This year, he returned to locate some of the people he’d met.

He was able to track down a few of them, but had difficulty finding others. To help him with his search, Barria had brought along some of the prints he had initially taken and began to revisit some of the locations captured in those images.

Barria began to play with the lines of the prints and how they fit into the modern day locations, photographing them with the older images and capturing the differences 10 years later.

Aug. 27 2015 11:04 AM

Finding the Perfect Time of Day to Photograph America’s Changing Cities 

Photographers often speak about the joys of shooting during the “magic hour,” typically an early morning or late afternoon moment when the world seems surrounded by a soft, golden hue.

Lynn Saville knows this time well, although her definition of it extends even earlier to when the first bits of light come up in the morning and even later when the last ones fade into night. It’s during these moments when Saville, often armed with a digital medium format camera (she also uses an SLR) documents these lonelier moments. Her recent collection of this work, Dark City, will be published by Damiani in October.


Saville said some of her earliest memories of nature’s magical ability to play with light occurred as a child when her parents took sabbatical in Italy and she crossed the Atlantic with them by boat.  

Aug. 26 2015 11:35 AM

Shifting the Focus From Detroit’s Decaying Buildings to Its Resilient Population

Dave Jordano grew up just north of Detroit. When he left, after graduating from the College for Creative Studies in 1974, the city was still vibrant; the downtown office buildings were full of employees, the streets were bustling, and shops were open. 

Aug. 25 2015 10:00 AM

Why It Took 10 Years to Create These Magnificent Images of Europe’s Churches

After two decades of work as a photographer, Markus Brunetti was feeling underwhelmed, uncreative, and bored.

To mix things up, Brunetti, along with Betty Schoener, his “partner in work and life,” built a truck, left home, and began traveling around Europe. It was meant to last one year, but has since turned into a decade-long way of life that they say is “open-ended.”  

Like many tourists traveling around Europe, the couple was impressed by the seemingly endless number of churches they encountered; a visual definition of “background noise.” Although they were the subjects of countless tourist snapshots, Brunetti began to imagine them as a larger project—a photographic exploration of the churches that he calls “Facades.”

Aug. 24 2015 11:29 AM

Striking and Surreptitious Photos That Capture the Grit of Pennsylvania in the ’70s

Many people who’ve been photographed by Mark Cohen probably never saw him coming. For years, on the streets of his home city, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and surrounding working-class towns, Cohen shot quickly and assertively. He held his flash in one hand and his camera in the other and shot extremely close to his subjects, frequently focusing on a single body part or article of clothing. He never looked through his viewfinder to compose the frame. 

Aug. 23 2015 9:03 AM

An Ode to the Disappearing Neon Signs That Light Up the Streets of San Francisco 

Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna have always loved San Francisco’s neon signs, but they didn’t give them too much thought until the Hunt’s Donuts sign was removed from the Mission District. That’s when they realized that the best neon signs in San Francisco would not be around forever. They decided to photograph as many as they could and collected them for a book, San Francisco Neon, which they self-published last year under their publishing house, Giant Orange Press.