Photography Archive

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    Alongside Harry Griffin, Eva O’Leary is one half of photographic duo Two States, whose war enactment project Devils Den had us stunned and delighted back in December. As we’ve just discovered though, Eva has some brilliant work of her own, too. Her portfolio is full of images which, through her lens, seem ever so slightly more extraordinary. From a man in a dressing gown and wellies sipping nonchalantly from a red mug as though the deep, mysterious blue forest he’s standing in is perfectly normal, to a pair of outstretched arms hugging the wall space between two windows; everything looks just a little bit surreal. Her photographs have an intense depth to them that’s not often found in portraiture, and frankly, we can’t stop staring.

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    When a photographer goes to assist a more established practitioner, they have an amazing up-close opportunity to learn from the best. And they don’t come much better than Nadav Kander, whom Kate Peters spent four years working with before developing her own projects and commissions.

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    Adam got in touch last week and said that he had picked up a copy of Printed Pages in his local Greenpoint coffee shop and wanted to show us his work. We’re glad that particular coffee shop has such good taste (ahem) in the magazines they put around for the enjoyment of their customers, because otherwise we would never have seen Adam’s brilliant photographs.

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    Looking at the tranquil photographs taken by Vancouver based philosophy graduate Nich Hance McElroy makes one ask oneself the age-old and head-scratching question: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Like the famous philosophical dilemma, McElroy’s photo series seeks knowledge of the unobserved, and does this through documenting undisturbed moments and spaces; places where sounds seem to cease to exist, where not even the clicking of McElroy’s shutter is able to penetrate into the hushed serenity of his compositions.

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    For centuries we have been fascinated by the architecture of power; indeed many of the world’s most visited tourist sites are structures from where religious, political and social power was once exercised. But what about the places which provide the backdrops to the decision-makers of today? Swiss photographer Luca Zanier’s ongoing project Corridors of Power takes us inside the very rooms where the contemporary power-brokers play, many of which seem straight out of central casting.

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    When your photography skills are as good as Nico’s and you’ve just married what appears to be a very wonderful and beautiful woman, why not document your honeymoon appropriately? This series that he posted on Facebook documents him and his new wife’s travels around what I can only assume is South Africa as that’s where Nico’s from. It made me think about honeymoon photos in general, are they a thing? Are couples usually so done with photographs after the wedding that they don’t bother? It’s a very special time for couples, and I’d like to see more honeymoon albums. Not the naked kind.

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    Step aside all ye pretenders of yore; it’s time to show you my new favourite website. English Heritage – the body charged with protecting, maintaining and promoting the UK’s historic buildings – has launched a new Tumblr on which they treat us to images from their incredible photographic archives. With more than seven million to choose from, the Tumblr takes a thematic approach to curation, showcasing several examples of the same thing each day (today is gravestones, yesterday was railway signal boxes).

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    Swiss photographer Marie Rime is just about to graduate from her BA in photography at ECAL. In spite of her young age she’s managed to accrue an impressive body of fine art photography that experiments with unorthodox costumes crafted from everyday materials (in this case board game pieces). They concern themselves predominantly with the theme of power, exploring the role that armour and costumes play in the amplification of status in the perception of the viewer. As a result of this coherent and highly stylised portfolio, Marie has found herself shortlisted for this year’s Hyéres photography festival – which seems like an entirely deserved honour to us.

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    I can’t stop looking at these photos by Daniel Naudé, who has spent the past two years travelling through India, Uganda and Madagascar taking beautiful portraits of cattle in communities where they are still considered sacred. I rarely think of these animals beyond their association with farming, leather and children’s books, yet here they are transformed before my eyes into majestic, heroic creatures adorning the natural landscape.

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    There is precious little information about Vitaliy Kliushkin on his website. We know he’s an artist and a designer and that he’s based in Kiev in Ukraine. The only other fact in his “About” section is that he was “Born in the future.” But never mind the misdirection really because we’re more than happy to let Vitaliy’s work speak for itself. His graphic experiments are interesting but it’s his photos that got under my skin; weird narrative suggestions and captured happenstance that confuse, beguile and challenge the viewer in equal measure. And if that plait coming out of the woman’s mouth doesn’t haunt your dreams then you’re made of stronger stuff than me.

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    People look better under coloured lights – think nightclubs or Icelandic people smiling beneath auroras – and that’s especially true when they’re prancing around with their naughty bits flailing around all over the place. Beautiful humans lit with rainbow colours and smoke is my idea of a perfect project, which is why Maciek Jasik is a surefire new favourite. His hazy portraits of men and women of all shapes and sizes careering around in a studio evoke a strange feeling in my gut that I haven’t had since I first discovered Ryan McGinley – as if Maciek’s discovered something about humans that we weren’t previously aware of but now we have to live with.

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    I’ve had Benjamin Swanson’s portfolio bookmarked for about nine months now and I like to check back in on him every once in a while to see how he’s getting on. The BA Photography student from Nottingham Trent University has consistently showed such promise that it feels like he’s constantly on the verge of producing something really extraordinary. Looking at the list of people he’s assisted (Sam Hofman, Michael Bodiam, Thomas Brown, Sarah Parker) it seemed obvious that when the time came, that stand-out project would be a still life shoot – and indeed it is.

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    Life ain’t bad if you’re a freelance photographer as good as Thomas Prior, he just spent a few weeks roaming around Turkey and Greece taking shots of sun-drenched stairways, charcoal skies and craggy rock faces dotted with humans for travel magazine Afar. These are in no way your clichéd travel shots of old men clutching baguettes or stray cats asleep in rhododendron bushes – Thomas has managed to document fairly touristy places without making them look cheap or tacky at all. If anything he’s actually embraced the tourism and dwelt on it, mixing in images of souvenirs, tourist police and water-slides with honest shots revealing the true characteristics of the country’s landscapes and inhabitants.

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    We’re not sure why there is such an obsession with seeing everyday objects made alien and otherworldly in super close-up photography. It’s a recurring fascination for creatives too, and over the years we’ve come across various projects centred on weird and wonderful microscopic explorations.

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    There are various figures whose names I recognise – who have seeped into the contemporary cultural consciousness for some reason or other – but who I know nothing about. Think Zsa Zsa Gabor, Imelda Marcos and Evel Knievel. The latter it turns out (thanks Wikipedia) was an American “daredevil, entertainer, and international icon” who shot to fame in the 1970s and 1980s.

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    Remember shooting your first roll of film as an enthusiastic and slightly precocious six year-old on a sticky disposable camera? I do – and the film was dominated by the backs of people’s heads. I was devastated that I hadn’t created a collection of immaculate and traditional family portraits, of course, but little did I realise back then that the backs can be just as beautiful.

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    The people at It’s Nice That – including me – who aren’t really into football get reprimanded for referring to it as “the beautiful game” or “the game of two halves” or “the game of the reds and the blues.” But you know, it’s hard for someone who isn’t into football to get emotional about it. Sometimes you see footage of a screaming crowd or a kid in a stripy scarf crying in the stalls an it makes you weepy, sure. But when you see photos like this, of kids running around in the evening sun playing “the beautiful game” with a makeshift ball with some twigs as goalposts then yeah, it does seem pretty unbelievable. Well done Austen for taking this series of shots, and for making the most of his trip round the world rather than just sitting in cafes reading The Celestine Prophecy with a bunch of vest-wearing Etonians.

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    Documentary photographer Brian Finke has travelled extensively across America capturing an incredible variety of people, professions and social rituals. From construction workers and flight attendants, to hip hop honeys and cheerleaders, his fascination with the dramas played out in small towns and urban cities finds its outlet in these wonderful images. Mixing natural light with flash photography, and staged scenes with candid shots, Brian masterfully highlight the undeniable uniformity of life, whilst celebrating individual moments with honesty and humour.

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    It was in 2007 that Yusuke Miyagawa’s Funky Jamaica first came out, but we were only just starting up then, so excuse us for missing it. In the intervening seven years the Brooklyn-based, Japanese photographer has become a regular at Dazed and Confused and INDIE, repeatedly commissioned for his beautifully up-close-and-personal style of documentary photography in which he consistently confronts his subjects head on. That said, we’ve yet to see him produce a body of work as cohesive as his Jamaican masterpiece.

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    Bird-spotting, Santa-papping photographer Luke Stephenson has recently turned his attentions to the documentation of a Great British culinary staple; the humble 99. For international readers allow me to explain: the 99 is Great Britain’s answer to France’s crêpe, or New York’s one dollar pizza – an article of questionable nutritional value that’s available in any number of strange locations throughout the summer. It’s a glorious swirl of vanilla ice cream spat unceremoniously into a flimsy synthetic cone and we eat them in their thousands.

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    Some photographers like to take beautiful photos of their mates hanging out in parks, or portraits of famous people standing by nice windows. Other photographers, and I have to say my personal favourite photographers, prefer to take wild, rainbow-infused images that capture your imagination and fling it into the corner of a psychedelic brain festival. Brooklyn photographer Brian Vu does that to me, his compositions of precious stones, human flesh and scenes are like slices of a history that doesn’t exist, or just a mash-up of The Holy Mountain and Topshop in 2008. Amazing.

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    It’s always a pleasure when the new Port magazine drops through our letterbox and the latest issue was no exception. But even by its own sky-high standards, one piece in particular jumped out as something very impressive. The Chateau de Bosc in the south of France was the aristocratic seat of the Toulouse-Lautrec family, and was home to Henri, the painter and printmaker who captured the wild world of 19th Century Paris with such flair.

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    Will looking into artist’s studios ever get boring? I think not, and neither do Freunde von Freunden who make this activity their profession. The Berlin collective travel to the homes and workplaces of some of the world’s most quietly spectacular people who choose to adorn their little nests with beautiful objects, and take pride in things such as ancient rugs, houseplants and hanging crystals.

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    I like to imagine that if I were to hop on a spaceship and zoom a distance away from the earth I’d be able to watch all of the inhabitants of our busy planet scuttling hurriedly around its surface like tiny ants. This is extreme, of course, and completely ridiculous, but as it turns out, if you hover at a considerably lower altitude in a plane, and dangle out of the window, you really can make out the traces of activity that we leave behind us.

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    Magdalena Wosinska has something of a reputation for creating exciting images that all the big brands want to buy into. Her photographs convey a sense of unreserved excitement and fun, strewn with gangs of achingly trendy twenty somethings with effortlessly beautiful physiques. But her style isn’t some affectation born out of a desire to be cool, Magdalena grew up photographing her friends in the skate and metal scene just doing their thing, inadvertently creating a vernacular that people want to buy into.

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    Both tattoos and secret codes may be considered cool in isolation; bring them together and it’s fair to say our heads have been well and truly turned. The latest book from Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell – aka design studio and publishing imprint FUEL – builds on the huge success of their previous books focusing on Russian tattoos.

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    It might be argued that if you were to take a selection of women whose job it is to be startlingly beautiful, and then have extremely capable photographer Alessandro Furchino photograph them, you’d have a hard time making a book of the images that was anything less than lovely. That simply isn’t true, though, and Andy Massaccesi’s excellent work in designing Sublime for the model agency Monster Management is absolutely not to be sniffed at.

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    We first fell in love with Ramon Haindl’s work about a year-and-a-half ago when he was still finding his feet as a freelance photographer. We were immediately drawn to his sensitive treatment of subjects, his extraordinary use of light and his collaborations with the likes of Haw-Lin Services and Deutsche and Japaner. Arguably one of our stand-out photographs of 2012 was his shot of a model’s beautiful auburn hair resting on the neck of her knitted jumper – it’s a truly exceptional image.

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    Historians have long appreciated the cultural necessity of gathering oral testimonies about the past from those who experienced it while we still have the chance. Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Sussman has spent 10 years applying this same principle to the natural world, and the fruits of her extraordinary labours have now been published in a stunning new book. The Oldest Living Things In The World is exactly what it sounds like; a photographic documentation of 30 of our planet’s most enduring natural phenomena; featuring lichens and shrubs, fungi, coral and Apsen trees all of which have been around for more than 2,000 years (and in the case of the Apsen trees, a mind boggling 80,000 years).

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    It’s no huge revelation that The Gentlewoman has an eye for stylish and interesting visuals, but even by the magazine’s own sky-high standards this shoot from Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes – styled by Sam Logan – is pretty ruddy special. The idea is simple enough – to celebrate the humble pocket and the beautiful detailing which separate the best garments from the rest, but in these super-talented hands it becomes something more than the sum of its parts, thanks to the use of shadow and confidently single-minded focus, which stimulate almost lurid fixation.

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    How cool is this? Fantastic photographer Dan Martenson got asked to photograph The Yeah Yeah Yeahs for Holiday magazine and decided to make it look like a set of passport photos taken in some old photobooth. Why does this work? Because The Yeah Yeah Yeahs remind us of being teenagers and our brains being constantly infused with love, excitement, getting drunk and the possibilities of life. What does a photo booth remind you of? Travel, friendship, memories and wild times. The combination of both great band and ubiquitous image-making tool is a match made in heaven, and testament to what a great photographer Dan is.

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    You know that feeling you get when you’re sat at your desk, the sun is shining, and for a second it comes through the window, warming your arm just long enough for you to know exactly what you’re missing? If that feeling makes you fidget in your seat then Adrian Morris’ photographs will probably have you leaping over buildings.

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    Mark Gerald is something of a rare creature in that he’s both a psychoanalyst and a photographer, and has succeeded in stitching these two very different passions together. He first started the project In the Shadow of Freud’s Couch back in 2003, when he started to photograph his fellow psychoanalysts in their offices, in reaction to the archetype of Sigmund Freud’s Victorian consulting room, with its “oriental rug-draped couch.”

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    Connie Zhou’s camera lens is like a magnet drawn inexplicably towards all things enormous and awe-inspiring. Since shooting these jaw-dropping photographs of Google HQ she has turned her gaze towards incredibly futuristic architecture that’s beginning to dominate the contemporary skyline, complete with reflective surfaces, skyscraper heights and spaceship-like structures. It’s not all bad though, as some of them are really very beautiful. See for yourself below!

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    When bad things happen in far away places the easiest thing to do is ignore them, but New York photographer Mike Mellia is doing all he can to make sure you don’t. Mike is famous for using his photographs to make analytical statements (remember these guys), and his collaboration with South Sudanese refugee-turned-supermodel Nykhor Paul has made sure his latest work Our side of the story: South Sudan is no exception.

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    As the age-old saying goes: a picture’s worth a thousand words, and in the case of Brighton-based photographer Matt Henry, those thousand words come together to tell a powerful story.

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    At just 19 years old, Los Angeles-based photographer Isadora Kosofsky has a remarkable ability to capture the emotionally complex experience of growing old. For her long-term documentary project The Three she joined in with the routines of Jeanie, 82, Will, 84 and Adina, 90 who meet every day near their senior-care facilities to spend their remaining days together in a three-way relationship.

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    Nigel Shafran’s approach to photography is utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Taking often mundane aspects of every day life, Nigel captures them in a way that they’ve never been seen before, turning what we know about photography on its head and presenting something brilliantly enthralling.

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    The Grand Palais, one of Paris’ largest and most spectacular art galleries, is paying tribute to artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in a huge exhibition of his work. Famous for his incredibly stylised black and white photographs, Robert rose to fame in the late 60s and early 70s for his images of New York’s underground bondage and sadomasochism scenes, introducing a form of image-making which embraced homoeroticism in a way that very few, if any, photographers had managed to do before him. The exhibition will show 200 of these controversial and ground-breaking images, making it the most complete show of his work to date.

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    Seen this going round the internet of late? Well us too, but if you think this is just another bogus list of “things dogs do when they’re scared” or “cats that are really happy to be alive today” then think again. Gabriele Galimberti’s Toy Stories is a well-researched, totally valid project that explores the plastic glory that children of all ages and from all different backgrounds hold dear. In Toy Stories, she travelled around photographing young kids after asking them to select their most treasured possessions, with rather interesting results.