Photography Archive

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    I’m sure there are plenty of documentary photographers for whom going to Brazil to capture the World Cup would be something of a dream, but as far as I’m concerned none of them even come close to the exceptional Jane Stockdale. After having her application to photograph the crowds watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow turned down three times, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and jumped on a plane to Brazil to shoot audiences there instead.

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    Colombian-born, Spanish-based photographer Manuel Vazquez was an economics student before he decided to make his living from image-making. A quick transfer to Spain, some courses at New York’s School of Visual Arts and a Masters in Photography and Urban Cultures at Golsmiths later and he’s quite the photographic talent. The economy’s loss is photography’s gain. Now he shoots regularly for the likes of The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times and The British Journal of Photography predominantly taking slick portraits.

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    You don’t get much better than an award-winning National Geographic photographer, unless of course it’s one that spends most of his time underwater snapping away at enormous whales. Parts of this series make me want to cry, others make me want to jump for joy at the wonders of nature, but mostly they make me want to shit my pants with terror. Imagine being underwater, where man is not supposed to dwell, and being in the company of a prehistoric beast with a mouth as big as a 4×4, imagine how scared you’d be. One flip of its tail could probably shatter your legs. Anyway, the point here really is that one-time Photographer of the Year Brian Skerry is not only excellent at being brave in the presence of beasts, he’s also a superb photographer with composition skills and a knack of capturing wildlife with a flair that evokes raw emotion in you. Don’’t forget to check out his sharks series. If you dare.

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    Thomas Rousset and Raphaël Verona’s Waska Tatay is fairly ambiguous at first glance. The cover is a simple yellow-to-blue fade with the title placed inconspicuously on the spine; but the content is altogether more arresting. Using a mixture of reportage and staged portraiture the photo book documents the pair’s trip to the Altiplano region of Bolivia and their encounters with witch doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men; uncovering the rites and rituals of these ancient orders and illuminating some of their extraordinary mythologies.

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    Every year thousands of gloomy-looking characters descend on Whitby, a British seaside town that’s steeped in folklore and literary heritage. Bram Stoker set parts of Dracula there, Robin Jarvis created a mysterious series of children’s books on its streets and a ruined abbey stands at the top of one of its cliffs, maintaining a physical, eerie presence on moonlit nights – and those goths just can’t get enough.They host an annual goth weekend which this year photographer Annie Collinge decided to document, stopping the black-clad revellers on the streets and in graveyards to pose for her potraits. The resulting images offer a fantastic snapshot of one of the most longstanding genres of alternative culture, though I say that with bias, as I used to be one. “Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

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    I hope everyone got involved in a mosh pit at some stage during their adolescence, it’s a rite of passage as important as – if not moreso than – your first kiss. Fun and life-changing as it is, cool it is not, and so this strange, sweaty, somewhat folkloric activity tends not to be photographed in favour of adult versions of something similar at grown-up festivals and the like. Good on Emily Stein, then, for having the balls to just dive in with those sweating teenagers and take photos of them at their wildest and most passionate. Some photos are close-up enough that you can even see their faint beginnings of wispy facial hair. Wonderful stuff.

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    There are fashion photographers, and then there are fashion photographers who have pioneered the very definition of the genre, branching out and experimenting where others wouldn’t even dare to tread and doing so 20 odd years before their time. Hans Feurer is such a one. Born in Switzerland in 1939, he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and art director before deciding to take up photography during a trip to Africa.

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    Harley Weir’s strikingly organic compositions seem to be made out of the same colour and textures as an Egon Schiele painting. Her photographs are mysterious and unguarded, and there is something very personal and pure about the way that she captures her subjects.

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    In Matt Sweeney’s bio he refers to himself as “mudstone” with regards to the rock’s porous, disruptive nature. His photographs, predominantly street photography taken in downtown Hollywood, are shot through a wide angle lens on cinematic Kodachrome film between 1979 and 1983 and have the voyeuristic quality and timing of Diane Arbus mixed with the curiosity of Vivian Maier. His other projects, such as this series about a man who’s kind to cats are equally as arresting, and take us on a journey into hot, dusty, unpredictable and somewhat chaotic America – a visual feast perfect for a boring Monday morning.

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    In my opinion there are no photographers who walk the tightrope between the mediocre and the exceptional so expertly as Dutch photographers Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm. A previous project for Baron magazine saw them charge everyday images from lightbulbs and IKEA lamps to book spines and sheets of paper with such eroticism that it was hard to look without blushing. Their most recent project for that same title, Baron, which Nowness aptly describes as lying “at the intersection of art and pornography,” follows in the same vein.

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    Your garbage says so much about you. Going through a week’s worth of a person’s trash, you can learn what they like to eat, what they wear, the things that they want to keep hidden, their secrets, their desires. We don’t think about what our garbage says about us, and when we throw it away, we forget about it entirely. We live in a society that produces such a monstrously entropic overload of garbage, and it is easy to distance ourselves from the big idea of global pollution.

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    Deep in the heart of Alaska is a 200 resident strong town called Whittier, accessible only via a 2.6 mile long tunnel which runs through the neighbouring mountain, and which closes at nighttime. This leaves Whittier incredibly isolated overnight, even more so due to the fact that almost all of the town’s inhabitants live on top of one another in a 14 storey condominium.

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    Akasha Rabut’s compositions are incredibly cheerful, especially in this series, where she captures the fun and magic of dance related after school activities. Edna Karr, named after the high school in New Orleans where the photographs were taken, contains a lot of fun and frolicking, and you can almost hear the rhythmic music radiating from the joyous snaps.

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    Mike is one half of artistic power duo Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, a pair who from the 1970s through to the 1990s used the camera to create curious, innovative documentary-style series that doubled up as intriguing works of art. Many of their projects are some of the most selfless, fascinating research-based works ever made. The other day in the office we all found ourselves immersed in Mike’s Flickr page, upon which he has placed his specific series of photographs.

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    Arguably the most distressing thing about growing up is that sudden realisation you reach one day that all the trappings of your childhood have disappeared – all the people you knew have aged, the places you went have disappeared and it’s impossible to ever go back. Bleak! But although this is a feeling we all feel at some point, very few get the chance to walk into their past and document it again.

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    Klaus Pichler’s Middle Class Utopia focuses on allotment gardens in Vienna, a.k.a “Schrebergärten”: little green spaces made up of loads of little sheds, which look like a Lynchian suburb where you can imagine awkward moments like the chicken dinner in Eraserhead taking place. There are 26,000 of these tiny allotments in Vienna, and they’re mostly visited by older people as a form of escapism from the city. Apparently there are quite strict rules in the Screbergärtens about how things should look and how you have to behave, which maybe contributes to the eerie mood and specific atmosphere of the place, which Klaus magically captures with his camera.

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    Hidden away in the thick Russian forest, surrounded by barbed wire, and until very recently completely un-findable on Google Maps, Star City sounds like the mystical final destination of a science fiction epic, or like the sister city of Oz. In reality the closed off and highly secretive community is home to the Yuri Gagarin Russian State Science Research Cosmonaut Training Centre, the training centre for all Soviet and post-Soviet Cosmonauts since the late 1950’s. Yuri Gagarin lived and trained there, and his wife and children still reside in the historical and strangely ghostly city.

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    We LOVE Neil Krug. We forgot his name for a minute and were like “Who’s that guy who photographs all those babes in the desert and makes them look like they have Instagram filters over them but they don’t?” Anyway, it’s Neil Krug, and he’s a spectacular and unique photographer who, like many spectacularly unique photographers, gets to travel around the world photographing beautiful people in outrageously exotic locations for a living. His latest series is of the sad-eyed lady of the Lowlands herself Miss Lana Del Rey and is perfect for her suburban, melancholic siren’s sound. Like what you see? There’s bags more over on his Flickr page and site.

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    Polish-born photographer Kuba Ryniewicz spends his days in Newcastle but can more often be found travelling the globe in pursuit of stunning scenery. His destinations to date have included Myanmar, Thailand, Dubai, Cambodia, Iceland, South Africa, and numerous other places in between. In each he’s captured extraordinary moments in both rural and urban landscapes, interacting with the local people and wandering off the tourist trail. Kuba’s images possess a snapshot spontenaiety that suggest a real intimacy with his subject, whether its close friends reclining on a hillside or a monk showing off his skateboard tattoos.

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    When Yoshinori Mizutani first moved to Tokyo and saw huge hordes of lime green parrots jetting through the city’s sky, he says that he was scared and felt like he’d fallen into a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. Getting over the initial shock, Yoshinori began to photograph the surreal spectacle, and he discovered that the birds were originally brought from the tropics to Japan as pets in the 1970s.

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    The largely secular nature of the western world means it’s rare to find yourself up close and personal with a religious procession. But in Sicily the Processione die Miteri di Trapani is an annual occurrence, and no more unusual then Notting Hill Carnival is to a Londoner. The procession takes place during Holy Week before Easter and details the stories of the Passion – traditionally acted out by members of local guilds – up until the resurrection.

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    To outsiders the art industry tends to come across as a fairly shielded place, where dealers and customers are shrouded in tales of mystery and all deals seem to go on behind closed doors. As Andy Freeberg argues in the statement to his project Art Fare however, this isn’t really the case.

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    Sometimes it can be weird when you see people doing things differently, like watching your friend cut a sandwich into rectangles instead of triangles. But creatively speaking I feel it should always be embraced with open arms, which is why Verena Michelitsch’s project Reflections created with Tobias van Schneider instantly intrigued me.

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    Nomadic photographer Jessica Barthel has had a fairly illustrious career to date. Having studied Fine Art Photography at Parsons in New York she’s floated between India, Berlin, Buenos Aires and LA shooting stories for the likes of Harpers Bazaar, Dazed and Confused and Glamour as well as producing heaps of personal work along the way. Not content with her photography degree, she also studied graphic design in Berlin, which has almost inevitably influenced her crisp, angular fashion shoots. On her travels however Jessica takes loose, hazy photographs that crackle with the energy of exotic locations and serve as tantalising, abstract snapshots of what seems like one big adventure – an adventure we’d all like to be on.

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    Andy Warhol once said that “My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person.” The legendary Australian photographer Rennie Ellis’s Famous and Infamous series is both in focus AND features famous faces, but the series is more than just a collection of good pictures: it’s a collection of great ones.

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    Jason Nocito was a teenage rebel who failed all his classes at school. Fast forward X-amount of years later he’s a bonafide photographer who is probably near the top of most amateur photographers’ inspiration lists. His photos are pure, unadulterated fun mixed in with a healthy dose of appreciation for the world’s bottomless beauty. Whether he’s pointing his lens at some sexy lips (I think those are Azealia Banks’ lips) or some gangly, freckled teenager, every shot Jason produces has got a raw weirdness and silliness to it that I just think are the most attractive traits ever when it comes to the medium. There’s a really good interview with him over here on HUH that tells you all about his road trip with Tim Barber, the time he met his wife, and his dick. After you’ve read that just go and browse his back-catalogue – it’ll probably be the best thing you do today.

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    We first posted about Rosa Rendl’s photography last year and with the shining report we gave back then it seems appropriate to revisit her work now that she’s holding her first solo exhibition, entitled HOW ALIVE ARE YOU, in Vienna. The exhibition “deals with notions of loneliness and the creeping feeling of emptiness disguised by online hyper-socialism and consumerism.” It’s a complex amalgamation of concepts, but one that’s dealt with neatly by Rosa’s photographs. A richly coloured, angular wooden background features a mobile phone, a packet of cigarettes and an advertising campaign for Jaguar cars in three different images, aligning the notion of consumerism with a sharp, polished finish and the sensuous colour palettes that seem to run throughout her portfolio.

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    The news cycle is a curious thing, or maybe just wearyingly predictable. The story that dominates TV bulletins and newspaper headlines for days disappears barely mentioned once media managers decide we must be bored of it. It’s often left to photographers to persevere where the TV crews once stood, and so it is with the situation in Ukraine, where a turbulent few months have racked the country physically and emotionally.

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    I love how Ryan McGinley will just burst on to the scene with a bunch of new work every now and again to remind everyone of his utter greatness. As soon as you see the new shots you realise that while you’ve been peddling backwards at a nine-to-five, Ryan’s been photographing kids jumping into phosphorescence-filled bays, streaking wildly through prairies or lying in meadows of fluff given off by procreating trees. Some people call him a one-trick pony, sure, but it’s pretty obvious that they’re just jealous. At the moment, Ryan’s work is on show at the high-rise Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong where it seems to hover, hundreds of storeys up, looking down over the city, so go check it out if you’re in the area.

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    I’ve been noticing a lot of really bad hats whenever I read through the Metro in the morning, specifically lots of terrible meshy and pokey headwear at Ascot. Looking through Dolly Faibyshev’s shots of the 146th Belmont Stakes in the US, I’ve come to the conclusion that American’s do their horse racing hats much better than we do. And instead of wearing silk pastel powdery gowns and sharp heels that get stuck in grass, the visitors at the Belmont Stakes go for chunky turquoise clogs and clownish bow ties and blazers, and they adorn themselves with novelty horse heads. The images look like what might happen at an Ascot-themed children’s party.

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    This morning at the It’s Nice That office we’ve been listening to Editor Liv Siddall’s “Dad Car Mixtape”’ which includes all the greats like U2 and B.B King and The Kinks. It therefore seems kind of like fate that we stumbled across Eilon Paz’s blog Dust & Grooves, an incredible archive of photographs and interviews with record collectors from around the world. The pictures are refreshingly natural and celebratory, and the collections documented are not too Dad-rock or nostalgic at all. Instead they’re unusual and surprising, kind of like Steve Buscemi’s immaculate collection in Ghost World.

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    If you’d listened hard enough a couple of weeks ago on May 23 you’d have heard a collective gasp sweep across Great Britain as the news spread that a fire had taken hold of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Renfrew Street in Glasgow, a much-loved and iconic piece of Scottish architecture. A campaign has since been launched to restore the building to its former glory, but in the meantime, former alumni and students of the school have created the Mac Photographic Archive, a brilliantly interactive website allowing contributors to click freely around different parts of the building and to publish their own photographs of the interior.

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    We’ve featured Jessica Backhaus’ images before and while this series Jesus and the Cherries isn’t one of her most recent projects being shot back in 2004, it still feels relevant in the type of work we’re seeing more and more of these days. The difference being is Jessica has been capturing people, objects and places in this style for more than a decade now so there’s a real authenticity to her work.

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    When backpacking in Australia in 2006, French photographer Antoine Bruy began volunteering and working on organic farms. There he cultivated a fascination with the self-sufficient lifestyle, and he became particularly interested in those who chose to move away from cities in order to live off the land. From 2010 – 2013, Antoine hiked across the European mountain ranges, documenting people that he describes as aspiring to gain “greater energy, food, economic, or social autonomy.” Now Antoine plans to take his ongoing series to the United States.

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    Mike Mellia tells stories with his cinematic compositions, and in his most recent series, Another Day in Paradise, he tells the story of his late father. The photographs capture New York in its moodiest light, and combined with the grizzled set of characters that appear in the shots, Mike creates an evocative atmosphere, one that is both timeless and timely.

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    Another excellent redeeming quality of all the World Cup shenanigans (aside from this morning’s psychic puppy) is that it lets sticker geeks have their moment in the limelight. For one month ever four years, rather than hiding at home in a darkened room with a Panini album and several of this foil wrapped packs they’re invited out to share their passion with the world. Panini sticker-books are a truly global obsession, and they are the reason for photographer Tom Jenkins’ trek out to São Paulo to photograph inside the factories for The Guardian.

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    There are loads of photographs of Iggy Pop flapping around all over the world, but have you ever sat back and thought how intimidating it would be to actually photograph that man? Sometimes people think that photography is just about going into a room and doing a job, which in some cases it is, but to get just the right portrait of someone as enigmatically powerful as the super force that is Iggy Pop – that takes talent.

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    My mum had this little tale that she used to tell me when I was a kid and we were walking down the street: if we saw two cars facing each other, she’d say they were having a cuddle and a kiss. It was quite a strange game, but always really sweet when we spotted two brightly coloured Volkswagen Beetles gazing into each other’s bubbly headlights.

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    Two nights ago was the first game of this World Cup at Brazil’s iconic Maracana took place between Bosnia on Argentina; on 13 July the eyes of the world will be on the stadium once again for the showpiece final. In terms of reach, anticipation and sporting significance, few events eclipse the World Cup Final and this sense of it being special feeds into Michael Donald’s football-themed project. He tracked down the 35 men still alive who have scored in this all-important game to film, photograph and interview them. Some like Pele and Sir Geoff Hurst are bona fide football legends, others include a bathroom salesman and an insurance broker.

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    While we can appreciate the man-made beauty in modern day life with the wondrous buildings put up in our cities or the machines we build to make our lives easier, sometimes nature just trumps all of that by being effortlessly amazing.