Photography Archive

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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.

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    Jasmine Deporta’s new project is created in the spirit of those hungover Sundays when you lie in so long that you start to blend in with your soft furnishings, and not even the sound of the kettle boiling or the usually-irresistible presence of a packet of Hobnobs in the kitchen cupboard can tempt you from your cushiony couch.

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    Chris Mottalini’s poignantly titled series documents three homes designed by the controversial Modernist architect Paul Rudolph, just days prior to their demolitions. We like the project because it captures Modernism in a light that is increasingly becoming the norm; Chris’s compositions show how buildings once seen as entirely futuristic have become ghostly relics from the past. The buildings were located in Westport, CT, Watch Hill, RI, and Siesta Key, FL, and since the publication of the series by The Centre for American Places last year, the photographs have featured in a number of newspapers, from The New York Times to The LA Times. What is so intriguing about the photographs is that they capture the grace and dignity of the houses that stand in absolute defiance of their abandonment, and the series manages to beautifully address the importance of the buildings, as well as the cultural frustration over their loss.

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    Just in case you hadn’t already noticed from the number of sun and ice cream-related puns on the site of late, it’s getting quite sunny out, and if you haven’t already been out warming yourselves like bronzed penguins in parks and on beaches worldwide my guess is that you soon will be. To help get you in the mood, here are some portraits from photographer June Canedo’s brilliant portfolio, featuring sun-kissed, creamy, bikini-clad honeys and hunks populating beaches. Because why not?

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    Smoothies. Just the word alone sounds fun doesn’t it? But they do have an air of healthy superiority to them sometimes. I love how they dress themselves up as something mildly nutritious when really they’re just a jacked-up milkshake with green bits thrown in for extra super food points.

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    With the amount of press attention he’s been getting over the last couple of weeks in the run up to his debut exhibition at London’s Howard Griffin Gallery, you’d think photographer Bob Mazzer would be somewhat overwhelmed. This is not the case. Over the past 45 years he’s been taking photographs of the people he meets on the London Underground, but it wasn’t until Spitalfields Life starting posting them on their blog last year that it all kicked off.

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    The enigmatically named CCCLXXIX, also known as simply Alexandre, beautifully photographs spaces where rocky, verbose nature spectacularly collides with great, indifferent slabs of cement. Alexandre’s work, which contains just a dash of Tillmans, is primarily fixated on contrasting concrete textures and sharp angels with organic shapes and patterns. The images are very still and very silent, composed in the sun, and beautifully offset with bold shadows. Alexandre has a particular eye for twinkling car surfaces, colourful stacks in warehouses, roads and rocks, and whilst the set of selected shots featured here are spectacular and stunning, the photographs are best viewed together in abundance and in the coordinating palette sets on Alexandre’s site.

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    I cannot imagine having to think about running a country, constituency or even local authority. The day-to-day stress you must encounter, having to be authoritative yet not dictatorial, making changes to actually help people yet still having “cool” music taste.

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    Francois Prost takes pictures of french night clubs, the kind of clubs that you end up in on holiday after a day at the beach, still wearing your flip flops and carrying a cool bag full of empty Sangria cartons and sand. Francois’s discotheques are the kind of places where your drink is a neon green colour and you have no idea why, and for the first time ever everyone inexplicably seems a lot younger than you, and there are lots of paper maché sphinxes and red plastic palm trees dotted about.

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    As well as providing you with a platform upon which to lurk the new girlfriends of boyfriends past, pretend your life is better than it actually is, and make fun of old classmates who are now obese, Facebook is also a place to find corkingly good magazine content. When illustrator extraordinaire Rose Blake posted a photo of her and her dad Peter chilling out in front of one of his paintings, we asked Rose if she had any more where that came from.

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    Throughout our lives, most of us work hard to stay true to the intangible sense of self we all have. But there are times when this certainty can become rocked and we’re no longer secure in ourselves or even anything around us. These moments are often kept private, and the crisis is isolated to just the sufferer and those closest to them.

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    Summer is here, I think. I tentatively say this simply because while the sun has been brazenly showing itself more often recently, the clouds have a tendency to get jealous and rain on its parade every so often.

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    If all documentary photographers were like Jane Stockdale the world of reportage imagery would be an incredibly lucid and dynamic place, free of all the common clichés which afflict newspapers and magazines sometimes. They’re not though and the clichés still exist, but that tends just to make us appreciate her talent all the more.

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    So Maciek Pogoza, we meet again. It’s been nearly a year since we featured this guy’s work and let me tell you he is still ridiculously good and has been super busy producing even more super cool images.

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    I have only fond memories of childhood family holidays in Spain – eating more ice cream than I ever believed to be humanly possible and stubbornly poking at geckos to see if their tails would fall off – but I’m not sure if I ever really met any Spanish people on them. It was more retired Brits with deep tans and wrinkly forearms who’d gleefully moved out of their terraced houses in the Midlands as soon as they’d retired, and were duly living it up on the Costa del Sol, and that kind of only added to the charm.

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    Driving through Los Angeles one day, Thomas Alleman spotted an incongruous American Apparel ad hung above a car repair shop, an image that inspired him to photograph other posters for the infamous clothing brand around the streets and vacant lots of its home town. Thomas explains: “I found the dialogue between the simple, clean and direct presentation of a hip fashion fantasy and the urban environments that surround these ads really striking.”

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    Like it or not, photographer Jamie Stoker is carving out something of a niche for himself. With his clunky camera gear and his beautifully nuanced shots both behind and in front of the stage at numerous London Fashion Weeks events, he’s showing that there’s a world of fashion photography that’s far removed from super glossy garment-focussed shots, and my, are we glad he is.

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    The imagery of Palm Springs is easy to conjure even if you’ve never been there. The name evokes sprawling golf courses and high walled estates where scarlets lounge beside kidney-shaped swimming pools; a place of Cadillacs and cocktails and white modernist villas; a true oasis amongst rocky hills and the barren Californian desert. Palm Springs seems so luxurious and fantastic that it’s hard to believe that it even exists, and I’ve always been curious to know what the city is really like, behind the touristic image and all the cinematic associations.

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    There’s been a big market for beach cover-ups for a long time, first came the kaftan, then the tasteful sarong, and now it’s time for the “face-kini” to take centre stage. Photographer Peng Yangjun has captured the latest craze to hit eastern China’s beaches in a wonderfully candid way.

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    Does anyone else remember how tricky it was at school whenever the group photographer came in to take the class picture, and without fail someone always had their eyes closed or was in the middle of a sneeze every time the camera’s shutter clicked? The organisation and coordination that must be required to compose Neal Slavin’s epic, energetic group shots is mind-boggling: there is not a single unintended wink or face contortion present.

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    Recycling, upcycling and repurposing is all the rage these days and while not everyone needs an armchair made out of a bathtub, the concept of subverting an object’s original purpose is an interesting one. Take William Miller’s latest project, Surface Tension, he’s used discarded negatives from old photography projects and turned them into sculptural objects. By crushing, folding and slicing the negatives and using a flatbed scanner to photograph them, a stunning, abstract refraction is created.

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    The stunning photographs that make up Rafal Milach’s series document various winners of Belarusian state and local competitions. Rafal photographs “the best of the best” in kolkhozes, schools, nightclubs and village discos, and his raw and compelling photographs evoke both a country bursting with national pride, but also hint to a society in the midst of an oppressive, sinister regime. In order to photograph his subjects, Rafal became a propaganda photographer, endeavoring to portray winners of various national and regional level contests. The Winners is a striking and stripped-back series, which resonates in an intriguing and thought-provoking way.

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    Italian-born Brooklyn-based photographer Gabriele Baldotto has colour-led curation down to a T. As far as subject matter goes his direction is almost ambiguous, treading the fine line between fashion editorial imagery, in which the garments his subjects wear appear to have been carefully chosen, and a still life series, with several shots of landscapes scattered throughout.

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    There’s a lot of photographers out there shooting images of inanimate objects on coloured backgrounds (we know, we’ve worked with a bunch of them for our magazine covers) but there’s only a few that manage to put such a unique twist on the genre as Wyne Veen. The Dutch photographer possesses a mastery of her medium that allows a stack of peeling lemons to appear as a sinister totem, carefully-arranged cups of coffee to become an optical illusion and cartons of ice cream to look sensual and exciting in their own right, without the faux-orgasmic posturing of a model that’s the advertising default. There’s also (wait for it) real ideas behind her work; some based on serious editorial, others on experimentation with materials and that keeps the work endlessly fresh – you never feel like Wyne’s photographs are just about the aesthetics.

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    When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be part of a club. I wanted it more than anything. The only problem was, I wasn’t good at any of the things that I needed to be good at to be part of one of the after-school societies. I tried joining the chess team for a while, but the others could tell I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should be, and the one time I tried out for the netball team it was a complete disaster. I lasted longest in golf club, which I only joined because I liked the idea of wearing golf socks, and there was a school requirement that meant I had to do some kind of physical activity. It took me a long time to realise that being part of a club wasn’t about the cool clothes or doing it because you had to, but really it was about being around like-minded people and doing something that you love. When I got to University, I joined a Film Club, and knew that I’d finally found my home.

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    When it comes to bringing babies into the world, the mother’s role is pretty well-defined. But new dads can find themselves playing any number of roles, from nervously pacing the corridor to helping out at the bedside. Photographer Dave Young has captured this uncertainty perfectly with a new series commissioned by The Book of Everyone to mark Fathers’ Day next month. Shot at the Chelsea & Westminster hospital during April, Dave has done a brilliant job capturing the anticipation and the elation, the nerves, the anxiety and even the exact moment when these men realise their worlds have just been turned upside down.

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    Phwoarr! This is good. I’m pretty sure we’ve done a post on any person who has ever done an editorial shoot for ’SUP magazine, and Leonard is our latest find. He’s most well-known for a black and white photo of Sebastien Tellier that he took a few years back, but delving further on his site proves that he’s way more than just a cool guy with a camera who hangs around with French singers. Fluoro still-lifes, gloved hands (creepy) and apples resting terrifyingly on old video games give you a weird itching sensation in your brain, like Leonard has sneakily tapped a nerve that has never been tapped before. If you prefer his music photography, make sure you drag that photo of the Emeralds singer holding two tabby cats into your favourites folder, stat.