show

John Foster
Focusing on the Masters
Adam Harrison Levy
Saul Leiter: Early Black And White
John Foster
Dangerous Beauty
09.05.14

Stunning photographs of the Portuguese Man-of War.

Rick Poynor
Tracking the Locations of J.G. Ballard’s Super-Cannes
09.02.14

A photo-essay on the futuristic marina and business park in the south of France that inspired Ballard’s disquieting fantasy about corporate crime

Jessica Helfand
To Thine Own Selfie Be True
Alan Thomas
Lee Friedlander’s Mirror in the Road
Adam Harrison Levy
Coney Island of The Mind
John Foster
Book Review: The True Gospel Preached Here
08.22.14

Margaret’s Grocery: part grocery, part church. And the subject of a new photo documentary book.

Adam Harrison Levy
Hiroshima Lost and Found
John Foster
A Mississippi Delta Road Trip
Véronique Vienne
Taylor Holland’s Scenic Tour
07.29.14

A photograph is at first a document. Crop it, and it becomes a picture. Trim it further into a square and you’ve got a “sign” — a potential icon.

John Foster
Looking Down: An Interview with Photographer Bryon Darby
Adam Harrison Levy
Tracks of My Tears
07.15.14

As Rose-Lynn Fisher’s photographs make clear, your tears are yours alone and each one is different.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Unseen D-Day
Rob Walker
Danger, Nostalgia, and Playgrounds
05.26.14

Brenda Biondo's photographs of mid-century playgrounds document the classic, the dangerous, and the nostalgic.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Falling Man: An Interview with Henry Singer
05.23.14

The Falling Man is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of a controversial image. Who took it? Why was it censored? And who was the man in the photograph?

John Foster
Our Shared Past
05.18.14

Jefree Shalev and his girlfriend selected 175 film stills from his parents’ past life and dispersed these intimate family images with the Florida art community. The result is an exhibition called ‘Our Shared Past’.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Oldest Living Things In the World
Rob Walker
Object in the News: The Face Privatizer
Alex Knowlton
Miami Nice
Rick Poynor
The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard
04.17.14

J.G. Ballard’s conceptual ads anticipated the emergence of culture jamming, subvertising, design fiction and speculative design.

John Foster
The Focused Obsession of Photographer Rob Amberg
Hala Abdul Malak
Hala A. Malak on Lomo
04.10.14

Hala A. Malak is a design critic, curator, branding consultant and Middle East expert with her own particular view of the world.  

David Morris
The Public Library
Jessica Helfand
Fast Thinking
John Foster
Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker
04.06.14

For almost four decades, the artist John Stezaker has been appropriating “found” photographs and focusing on a new way of seeing.

John Foster
The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
John Foster
Blues, Baptisms, and Prison Farms: The Lomax Snapshots of 1934-1950
03.09.14

Blues, Baptisms, and Prison Farms: The Lomax Snapshots of 1934-1950

Alexandra Lange
Not Afraid of Noise: Mexico City Stories
03.06.14

A photographic tour of Mexico City, house by house, wall by wall.

John Foster
The Dreamland Motel
02.23.14

A reivew of the vanishing signage of our American landscape.

John Foster
Face Time
Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Surface Wreckage
02.14.14

Why do photographs and images of torn street posters exert such a powerful hold on the imagination and emotions?

John Foster
The Private World of Martina Kubelk
02.09.14

A photo album containing 99 pages and over 380 photographs; self-portraits of a man in women’s clothes.

John Foster
Imperfect Beauty
Observed
These Collages Blur the Lines of Reality
01.14.14

Daniel Gordon is an artist and author living and working in Brooklyn. His work is the subject of three booksand a profile this week on Wired.

Rob Walker
Mona Lisa Selfies
12.19.13

Inevitably, the famous Mona Lisa has crossed paths with the selfie — and the results are charming.

John Foster
Garry Winogrand Retrospective At National Gallery
12.15.13

Accidental Mysteries for December 15, 2013 fouses on street photographer Garry Winogrand.

John Foster
Messenger Boys, Call Girls and a Photographer
John Foster
Graphics of Authority
11.24.13

A look at the police cars that may or may not want to be seen.

Observed
Seven Score and 10 Years Ago
11.18.13

The Gettysburg Address in words and pictures.

Gordon Salchow
New Haven, November 22, 1963
11.13.13

A gallery of images taken by Gordon Salchow in New Haven on the day President John F. Kennedy, Jr. was assassinated.

Rick Poynor
Collage Culture: Nostalgia and Critique
11.11.13

An interview with David Banash, author of Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption.

Rick Poynor
Belgian Solutions: The True State of Things?
10.30.13

The foul-ups or “Belgian solutions” in a new book of street photographs are simply the way things are.

John Foster
Welcome to the Asylum
10.27.13

A selection of images that came from the days when ‘asylum’ was a noun, not a verb.

Rick Poynor
New York: City of Spectacular Doors
10.10.13

For six years, Allan Markman crisscrossed New York taking pictures of remarkable doors for a new book.

Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Family Album of Oddities
09.16.13

Bohumil Stepan’s Familienalbum presents a series of surreally equipped and irreverently modified collages of his family.

John Foster
Artful Mourning
09.15.13

The art of mourning in Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries: a look at post-mortem and memorial photographs and memorabilia.

Marvin Heiferman
Marvin Heiferman on Photography
09.13.13

On this episode of Insights Per Minute Marvin Heiferman speaks on Photography.

Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Gallery of Erotic Humor
09.07.13

Mapp Editions has released a digital version of Bohumil Stepan’s Galerie (1968), a surreal collection of collages and drawings about the relationship between the sexes.

Rick Poynor
The Hotel that Dreamed It Was a Museum
Observed
Surfing the 38th Parallel
08.23.13

Shannon Aston is a photographer and surfer who documented the beaches of the Korean DMZ.

Rick Poynor
Collage Now, Part 1: Sergei Sviatchenko
08.22.13

In a crowded field, Sergei Sviatchenko’s highly reductive photo-collages look like his own and no one else’s.

Rick Poynor
Collage Now, Part 2: Cut and Paste Culture
Observed
From Dance Hall to Design Studio to Dance Hall
08.21.13

Jeremy M. Lange photographs the inaugural dance held in the restored barn that used to be his grandfather's design studio.

Rick Poynor
Keld Helmer-Petersen: Pioneer of Color
08.15.13

An accessible edition of Keld Helmer-Petersen’s 122 Colour Photographs, a landmark 1948 photobook.

Rob Walker
An Accidental Time Capsule
08.12.13

Snapshots of late-September 2001 signage reveal a tentative American moment.

Rick Poynor
David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
08.09.13

David Maisel’s photographs are visions of the Earth as we have never seen it full of beauty and terror.

John Foster
The Portrait in Snapshot Photography
07.28.13

The following portraits represent a mere fraction of the vernacular images from the Accidental Mysteries collection, ranging from late Nineteenth to the mid-Twentieth century.

John Foster
A Street Photographer of 19th Century London
07.21.13

Selections from the work of a largely unknown Nineteenth-century photographer named John Thomson.

Observed
The Documerica Project
07.11.13

DOCUMERICA was a program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency from 1972-1977 in order to “capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities and everyday life in the 1970s”.

Rick Poynor
The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art
Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Auto Anthropology
06.13.13

Cars in their natural habitats — the Auto-Anthropology group on Flickr.

John Foster
Alaska Yukon Gold Rush Era Photo Album
Observed
The Olympic City, Documenting The Remains
05.30.13

Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit visted former Olympic host cities all over the world, documenting what remains — and what does not.

Rob Walker
The Hyperdocumented Sunset Strip
Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Are these Buildings? Or Art?
05.22.13

Images of architecture as art.

Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Tales From A Parallel Universe
05.15.13

How to describe the cryptic beauty of un-staged moments of perfection frozen in time? Welcome to “Tales From A Parallel Universe”.

Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Look Out For Pirates
05.08.13

The Flickr pool called “Look Out For Pirates” looks longingly out to sea.

Daniella Zalcman
New York + London: A Vision of Home
Observed
Maddie the Coonhound
04.23.13

The story of Theron Humphrey and his rescued Coonhound Maddie.

Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Blurry Fuzzy World
04.17.13

Sometimes images through a fog tell the clearest story.

Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Damaged Goods
04.10.13

“Damaged Goods” is a collection of photographs in which the scratches, stains and patina are critical components in the gestalt of the image.

Observed
Rick Poynor: Writing with Pictures
04.04.13

Rick Poynor is increasingly preoccupied, as a photographer, with making images himself and will speak about it at a DCrit lecture April 9, 2013.

Observed
The Enduring Allure of Vintage Snapshots
03.29.13

Collector’s Weekly has profiled John Foster about his love for, and his collection of, vernacular photography.

Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Curatimus Maximus
03.27.13

“Curatimus Maximus” is a beautifully curated group of imagery dedicated to color street photography.

Observed
2012: The Year in Construction
03.19.13

Engineering News-Record, a weekly technical magazine that traces it's roots back to 1874, has announced the winners of their "2012 The Year In Contruction" photo competition.

Observed
Pantone Food Chips
03.18.13

A series of hand-made pantone chips using everyday foods from designer David Schwen.

Observed
Found: National Geographic
03.13.13

In honor of their 125th anniversary, National Geographic is showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past.

John Foster
Kodachrome Finds New Life
Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Signs of Pittsburgh
03.08.13

Bright cursive hope and rust-covered despair, sigils of titans and corner store shingles, the quick and the decaying done for, encomiums to vanished glory and the name of an immortal beer-and-a-shot bar.

Observed
Vivian Maier: The Movie
02.22.13

A documentary is being made about John Maloofs discovery of Vivian Maier's street photographs.

Rick Poynor
The Experiential Thrill of Driving in Films
Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and The Book of Numbers
01.26.13

The Book of Numbers by Herbert and Mafalda Spencer was aimed at children, but its intriguing visual approach is more “photobook” than “schoolbook.”

Alexandra Lange
Balthazar Korab, RIP
01.21.13

Tribute to architectural photographer Balthazar Korab, and a discussion of what made him different from contemporary Ezra Stoller.

Rick Poynor
On My Screen: Shooting the Past
Rob Walker
13 Striking Landscape Fictions
Rob Walker
What Does ‘The Cover of Time’ Mean?
Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and the Decisive Detail
Alexandra Lange
3rd Annual Holiday Card Review
Rick Poynor
Robert Brownjohn: Photos at Street Level
11.18.12

The Victoria and Albert Museum has put 18 of Robert Brownjohn’s photographs on display for the first time.

Rob Walker
System As Photographer
10.26.12

System as photographer, and photographer as system.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
10.08.12

Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.

Rick Poynor
Demonstrations, Democracy and Design
Alexandra Lange
Someone Else’s Shangri La
Rick Poynor
John Stezaker: Images from a Lost World
09.09.12

John Stezaker’s collages, recipients of a major photography prize, achieve great resonance with limited means.

Rick Poynor
It’s Smart to Use a Crash Test Dummy
Rick Poynor
The Never-ending Struggle against Clutter
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: André Breton’s Nadja
08.19.12

The Livre de poche edition of André Breton’s Surrealist classic Nadja remains the best visual interpretation of the book.

Observed
Merce Cunningham: The App
08.13.12

Aperture's Merce Cunningham: 65 Years is a monograph in the form of a dynamic and interactive iPad app.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
08.12.12

Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Occupational Photographs.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rob Walker
Observational Instruments, Observed
Observed
John Foster: Accidental Masterpieces
06.19.12

John Foster profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle by Judy Walgren, Director of Photography.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
06.10.12

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is smoke.

Observed
Leonard Ross : Photographs of Social Change
05.29.12

Leonard Ross was a distinguished photographer who believed that the camera had the power to transform society.

Observed
Signs We Love : 02
05.25.12

“No Photography”, photographer and location unknown.

Rick Poynor
Jan van Toorn: The World in a Calendar
Observed
Signs We Love : 01
05.23.12

Photographed in Cape Town, South Africa by Fiona Drenttel, March 2010

Adam Harrison Levy
The Geometry of Time
Rick Poynor
The Strange Afterlife of Common Objects
Observed
Make a Mixel this Weekend
05.11.12

This weekend the folks at Mixel, an amazing collaborative collage app for the iPad, want to spread the word about how easy (and fun) it is.

Rick Poynor
Studio Culture: The Materialism of Matter
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
04.22.12

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is Superheroes.

Rick Poynor
Phil Sayer, Designer of Photo-Portraits
Alexandra Lange
Frank Lloyd Wright + Katniss Everdeen
04.05.12

On photographing architecture as sculpture and telling stories via architecture.

Rick Poynor
Typographic Stories of the City Streets
Rick Poynor
The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: A Classic by Berger and Mohr
Michelle Hauser
Pop Photographica: An Interview with Daile Kaplan
02.08.12

Daile Kaplan’s comprehensive collection all has one unifying trait: a photographic element that was not intended for viewing on the wall.

Rick Poynor
Ernst Haas and the Color Underground
01.19.12

Has Ernst Haas, an early master of color photography, received the credit his ground-breaking pictures deserve?

John Foster
A New American Picture: Doug Rickard and Street Photography in the Age of Google
01.01.12

When Google launched Street View in 2007, it was just the ticket for photographer Doug Rickard.

Rick Poynor
Saul Leiter and the Typographic Fragment
12.16.11

In Saul Leiter's color photographs, the fragment is infinitely more mysterious and suggestive than the whole.

Rick Poynor
The Infinite Warehouse of Images
11.17.11

The more photos we collectively produce, the more ruthless we need to be about bestowing our attention.

Rick Poynor
Should We Look at Corrosive Images?
Photo by Iain McKell
The New Gypsies
09.16.11

Photographer Iain McKell documents England's romantic travelers

Rick Poynor
Funerary Portraits: Snapshots in Stone
08.17.11

The portrait sculptures in the Cimetière du château in Nice resuscitate their subjects with a frequently startling vividness.

Rick Poynor
Andrzej Klimowski: Transmitting the Image
07.27.11

Andrzej Klimowski, author of a new book, On Illustration, has used the medium to create a compelling alternative reality.

Photo by Jason Orton
London 2012
07.25.11

Photo of London's Olympic Park site, one in a recent series

Rick Poynor
J.G. Ballard’s Terminal Documents
07.21.11

A speculative visual interpretation of one of the surreal image lists in J.G. Ballard’s experimental novel The Atrocity Exhibition.

Daniella Zalcman
South Sudan: Birth of a Republic
07.12.11

Daniella Zalcman's photos of The Republic of South Sudan on independence day.

John Foster
DART St. Louis
06.24.11

On DART St. Louis, a charitable photo project that brings overlooked neighborhoods to life.

Rick Poynor
On the Threshold of Sebald’s Room
Rick Poynor
Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
06.06.11

A DVD cover for the classic film noir Kiss Me Deadly uses the blindingly obvious symbol that just keeps on giving.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: Stefan Lorant’s Lilliput
Adam Harrison Levy
Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs
05.23.11

Close to a decade ago, a man caught sight of a battered suitcase: inside it, he found photographs of a bombed out Hiroshima. A unique slideshow of 100 photographs.

Rick Poynor
Wim Wenders’ Strange and Quiet Places
04.21.11

The massive photographs in film director Wim Wenders’ new exhibition work best when they serve his painterly eye.

Rick Poynor
The Secret History of the Edgelands
03.04.11

These transitional zones, places of “possibility, mystery and beauty,” can be found anywhere that urban development meets open land.

Mark Lamster
Cities from the Sky
Rick Poynor
Solitude in Dark Trees
Magda Biernat
The Hard Sell
02.09.11

Images from "Betel Nut Beauties": photos by Magda Biernat.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: Nairn‘s London
01.27.11

Inside the architecture critic Ian Nairn’s classic, idiosyncratic guide to London’s buildings and spaces.

Rick Poynor
Discovered by Chance in a Paris Arcade
01.23.11

What better way to pass a couple of spare hours in Paris than to visit the covered arcades that were, for the Surrealists, some of the best places to encounter the marvellous?

Photo by Milton Rogovin
The Poetry of Simplicity
01.19.11

Pablo Neruda on the photographer Milton Rogovin

Photo by Jason Orton
Built Not to Last
01.06.11

Photo of prefab London housting development slated for demolition.

Rick Poynor
W.G. Sebald: Writing with Pictures
12.21.10

How do the great German writer's notoriously tricky visual fictions compare with reality?

Photo by Thomas Struth
Vanishing Point
12.02.10

Bukseo Dong, Pyongyang, North Korea 2007. Photo by Thomas Struth

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera Update
12.01.10

Reporting the status of an innovative children's camera in development

Nancy Levinson
Art Talks
11.29.10

Adam Lowe and Peter Greenaway at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City; Justin Partyka and Sir Terry Farrell at Eleven Spitalfields in London,

Jessica Helfand
Pretty Pictures, Bad Judgment
11.26.10

If a picture's worth a thousand words, a publically broadcast picture is amplified, multiplied and cast out into a world where it can go anywhere.

Michelle Hauser
A Fluid and Expressive Medium: Interview with Robert E. Jackson
11.24.10

In recent years, a new breed of photographer has emerged: the camera-less Photographer. This new generation — many of whom self-identify as collectors — has reinvented the process once again. Michelle Hauser interviews Robert E. Jackson, one of the country's most prolific collector of vernacular photography, who lays claim to a breadth and depth of material rivaled by few if any, in this emerging field.

John Thackara
Look — Or Connect?
11.17.10

In a photography and book project called Shelter Henk Wildschut documents found shelters. Perhaps we should not judge these images by what they make *us* feel, but by which they cause to connect, with the people they portray.

Photo by Taslima Akhter
The Raveled Sleeve of Care
10.27.10

Photo by Taslima Akhter showing living conditions for Bangladesh's garment workers.

Photo by Andy Drewitt
Forty Angles and a Mule
10.13.10

Photograph from series by Australian Andy Drewitt of donkey rescue facility.

Photo by Abelardo Morell
Getting In with the Ingot Crowd
09.23.10

Photo and journalistic excerpts about the soaring price of gold

Luc Sante
Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier
09.22.10

Rediscovered: Frederick W. Glasier. Glasier made extraordinary photographs of the American circus during its heyday.

Photo by Teun Voeten
Hell Under Wheels
09.02.10

Photo from Teun Voeten's newly reissued book on New York's Tunnel People.

Alexandra Lange
The War at Home
08.26.10

My brother Jeremy M. Lange is a photojournalist who works for the Independent, in Durham, NC, where he has been able to photograph a number of funerals, with family permission every time.

William Underhill
Somali Documentary Project
08.25.10

Report on the Somali Documentary Project.

Photo by Susannah Sayler/The Canary Project
Hot Mountain
08.17.10

Photo documenting the effects of climate change in Peru, by Susannah Sayler of The Canary Project.

Photo by Greg Constantine
Nubians Then and Now
08.05.10

Image of Nubian homes in the Kibera area of Nairobi by Greg Constantine.

Photo by Pieter Hugo
Permanent Error
07.28.10

Photo by Pieter Hugo of Ghana's Agbogbloshie slum.

Mark Lamster
The Constructed Landscapes of Chris Berg
07.22.10

With digital imaging technology so advanced and widely accessible, the photo-collage has reached a level of almost baroque absurdity.

Patrick Chappatte
Study in Contrasts
07.14.10

Cartoon commentary on 2010 World Cup by Patrick Chappatte.

Mike Sinclair
Midway at the Oasis
07.08.10

Photo of Neshoba County Fair, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Alexandra Lange
THE Bite THATS Rite
06.25.10

A photograph by John Szarkowski from Looking After Louis Sullivan at the Art Institute.

Julie Lasky
Protect Me from What I Want
06.09.10

Photo in memory of Tobias Wong.

Michelle Hauser
The Leisure of Looking: A Pedestrian View in a High-Speed Era
05.03.10


The current exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography comes from a huge private collection of vernacular group photographs.

Michael Bierut
The Bones of Francois Robert
04.22.10

Francois Robert has spent hundreds of hours arranging the bones of a single human skeleton into a series of striking iconic shapesto create a series he calls "Stop the Violence."  

Alexandra Lange
In the Family
03.31.10

Beautiful work by my brother, Jeremy M. Lange, in the New York Times Sunday.

Alexandra Lange
Reciting Modernist Architects
03.29.10

She hated it when Daddy made her recite modernist architects.

Jason Orton
Tinder Boxes
03.16.10


Mark Lamster
Double Vision: Did David Burdeny Copy Sze Tsung Leong?
02.28.10

When does inspiration cross over the line into plagiarism and copyright infringement?

Adam Harrison Levy
Death’s Bloom
02.23.10

From 1913 to 1971 five thousand one hundred and twenty one mentally ill patients were cremated. Their remains were sealed in copper canisters. In 2000 David Maisel photographed them.

Alexandra Lange
All Rubble Is Not Alike
02.02.10

I watched Manufactured Landscapes in the weeks before Christmas and it was just too depressing to post about in the run-up to gift day.

Alexandra Lange
Pay No Attention to Me
01.24.10

In one of those strange topical coincidences, this Sunday’s Arts & Leisure section has a profile of Iwan Baan, a Dutch architectural photographer who is the post-Stoller-Shulman-Molitor savior of architectural photography.

Alexandra Lange
Buildings That Aren't There
01.21.10

Photography needs to prove itself again as an interpretive medium for architecture somewhere this side of art.

Mitch Epstein
Why Not in My Backyard?
01.21.10

Mitch Epstein's photo of Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia 2004, from his book American Power (Steidl, 2009).

Rick Landesberg
The Bleating Edge
01.05.10

Rick Landesberg's photo of an innovative design in Haiti for keeping goats in their place.

Jason Orton
All That Remains
12.18.09

Jason Orton's photograph of a tree in Dartford, Kent, one of few left over from a lush arboretum.

Mark Lamster
The City in Pictures
12.10.09

Every great city is unique. Each has its own special character, a certain cosmopolitan energy that is its own, the product of its people, its history, its culture, its physical form.

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera
12.10.09

Report on a camera that children assemble to learn about science and engineering principles.

By Dona Ann McAdams
Milking It
11.21.09

Dona Ann McAdams photograph featured in an exhibition at the Opalka Gallery in Albany, New York.

Felice C. Frankel, and George M. Whitesides
No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
11.03.09

A slideshow of images from the book, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale.

Lindsay Stark
Renewal
10.29.09

Aid worker Lindsay Stark's portrait of the ritual purification of a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

Owen Edwards
Irving Penn, 1917-2009
10.07.09

Irving Penn, who died on October 7th at the age of 92, marks the end of the great age of glamour in magazines, a remarkable period when brilliant photographers who happened to make their livings in fashion and advertising were finally recognized for the artistry of their eyes.

Justin Partyka
The East Anglians
10.06.09

Image from photographer Justin Partyka's series, The East Anglians, about the decline of rural culture in the UK.

Bradford McKee
New Grub Street
09.29.09

Interview with photorapher Jonas Bendiksen following the opening of his exhibition "The Places We Live."

Richard Ross
No Place Like Home
08.22.09

Image from photographer Richard Ross's latest project, "Suitable Placement: Juvenile Justice in America"

Teun Voeten
Under Cover
08.18.09

Teun Voeten photograph of Kabul, Afghanistan, 2007. The situation for widows in Afghanistan is desperate...

Teun Voeten
Hell in a Horse Cart
08.18.09

Photo of coal merchant in Shanxi Province, China, by Teun Voeten.

Jason Orton
Going Coastal
08.07.09

Photo of Holliwell Point, Essex County, England by Jason Orton.

Mark Lamster
Ballparks Redux
07.31.09

Metropolis has posted a slideshow of the outtake photographs by Sean Hemmerle for my story on New York's ballparks.

Owen Edwards
Remembering Julius Shulman
07.29.09

Looking back on an afternoon of chocolate, pastrami, and Scotch with modern architecture's iconic photographer.

Mark Lamster
The Photographs of Sze Tsung Leong
07.24.09

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of touring Antwerp with the photographer Sze Tsung Leong, who was there working on an ongoing project documenting cityscapes.

Mark Lamster
Ezra & Julius
07.20.09

Julius Shulman and Ezra Stoller were the alfa and omega of American architectural photography.

Mark Lamster
Sex or Biking?
07.15.09

A set of Tour de France photographs by Brent Humphreys indicates the short visual distance between agony and ecstasy.

Adam Harrison Levy
Cars R Us
07.01.09

Andrew Bush’s photographs, featured in his new book Drive, remind us just how intimate we have become with our cars.

Mark Lamster
European Holiday
06.16.09

I'm off to the Continent, which is a good excuse to dip into the family photo archive for a few reminders of a time when European travel was a bit more of a novelty.

Ars Libri Ltd
Walter Dexel Collection
06.04.09

This remarkable collection of graphic design is from the German Constructivist artist and typographer Walter Dexel.

Ken Worpole
Tidal Pools: Photographs by Jason Orton
04.15.09

Tidal pools were once common along the coast of Britain, particularly at seaside holiday resorts. Although many such pools have been destroyed or exist as ruins, others are being revived thanks to the energies of lido enthusiasts. This photo essay captures their beauty, even in decay.

Adam Harrison Levy
William Klein: Contacts
03.31.09

William Klein made a rare appearance in New York recently to promote his latest book, Contacts. American by birth, he has lived most of his life in Paris. He is now 81.

William Drenttel
Polling Place Photo Project
01.19.09

To commemorate the inauguration of President Barack Obama, please enjoy this short film by Andrew Sloat inspired by Polling Place Photo Project.

Mark Lamster
How the West Was Lost
12.20.08

My reviews of two new photography books.

William Drenttel
The Obama Victory
11.05.08

The Polling Place Photo Project, staged in partnership with The New York Times and AIGA, seeks to visualize democracy in action with photographs by citizens engaged with voting at the polls. Yesterday was Barrack Obama's day, and these photographs are dedicated to him.

William Drenttel
Polling Place Photo Project on November 4, 2008
10.12.08

We are pleased to announce that the Polling Place Photo Project is continuing into the 2008 presidential election, supported by a partnership of The New York Times, AIGA and Design Observer.

Andrew Flamm & Michelle Hauser
Folk Photos
07.08.08

The onset of the digital revolution has made the period for using film finite. Processed prints are becoming obsolete. With the immediate option of discarding an unintended image, a rich library of our unselfconscious selves will no longer be recorded. But it lives here, in these beautiful, poetic and tactile objects.

Michael Bierut
Would It Kill You To Smile?
03.11.08

Thoughts on the enduring influence of bershon, "how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture."

Rick Poynor
Lost America: The Flamingo Motor Hotel
02.17.08

I found this old photo in a box at the back of my attic. It shows a motel in Flagstaff, Arizona where I stayed for a couple of nights in May 1978. I was 20, it was my first visit to the US, and for three weeks I had been touring around on Greyhound buses.

William Drenttel
Polling Place Photo Project on Super Tuesday
02.04.08

Voting on Tuesday, February 5, in the U.S. presidential primaries? We hope you will contribute a photograph to the Polling Place Photo Project.

William Drenttel
Polling Place Photo Project 2008
01.12.08

We are pleased to announce that the Polling Place Photo Project is continuing into the 2008 presidential primaries and election, supported by a new partnership of The New York Times, AIGA and Design Observer.

Tom Vanderbilt
Discipline and Design
11.27.07

On a sweeping and fully realized scale, Richard Ross's photographs probes the disciplinary dynamics in the cruel hidden places you would expect them, and in the banal everyday places you might not have even noticed them.

William Drenttel
Burma (Myanmar), 1989
09.28.07

This slideshow of photographs from 1989 is offered in solidarity with the people of Burma — as they again confront one of the most brutal regimes in the world.

Lorraine Wild
Wallace Berman's Photographs
09.12.07

In 1961, Wallace Berman, a California-based artist, publisher of the proto-zine, Semina, gallerist, and photographer, too a picture of his landlady while he was living in Larkspur, California. We see her (the landlady!) sprawled across a bed dressed in a bra and skirt, casually holding a pistol...

Jessica Helfand
The New Manifest Destiny
04.22.07

When does a picture solidify a news story, and when does it merely sensationalize it? Decisions about words and pictures are made by editors and publishers, designers and photographers — but they are consumed by a public fully capable of an entire range of emotional responses. After this week's events at Virginia Tech, words and pictures do a poor job of communicating outrage and pain. And no amount of compositional ingenuity can reverse what happened.

Jesse Nivens
In Search of Stock(y) Photography
04.19.07

That's right: in the alternate universe of stock photography, attactive people outnumber fat people 84 to one. As a culture, have we taken the idea of "overweight" and completely blocked it out?

William Drenttel
Voting & Religion in America: A Slideshow
12.23.06

The reality, contrary to my perception, is that millions vote in religious settings all across the country, casting this important act of citizenry in distinctly non-secular environments.

DJ Stout
Remembering Ann Richards
09.19.06

To create the famous Texas Monthly cover of Governor Ann Richards astride a Harley, art director DJ Stout used a body double. "For many years, I would run into Ann Richards at my favorite Mexican food lunch spot in downtown Austin and she would always thank me for giving her such a 'sexy body.'"

Kenneth Krushel
The Face Of Oblivion
09.16.06

Faces on supermarket packaging conform to a research-based "psychographic" that hasn't essentially changed in more than two decades. What is it about our self-image that identifies, at least on a consumer basis, with such fictional, even farcical lifestyles?

Michael Bierut
My Phone Call to Arnold Newman
06.14.06

Michael Bierut remembers a 25-year-old phone conversation with the late photographer Arnold Newman.

Julie Lasky
The Photography of Mark Robbins
05.18.06

Mark Robbins'
Households is a collection of portraits in which the sitters are sometimes sitting rooms (or kitchens or bedrooms), and the people are polished, draped, and arrayed like furniture. Composed to resemble architectural plans or elevations — or in some cases the triptychs of medieval altarpieces — the images represent home dwellers and their environments. Flesh, bone, brick, stone, contoured torsos, and varnished chairs assume equal status. The message is simple: You may not be what you eat, but you most certainly are where you live.
Michael Bierut
Design by Committee
02.12.06

"Design by committee" is usually thought to be a bad thing, but it has produced one great piece of architecture, the United Nations Headquarters Building.

Julie Lasky
Edward Hopper, Village Person
01.05.06

My friend opened the door to a minimally furnished skylit room. It had a pot-bellied stove, a painter's easel, and photos framed on the wall of a grim man with long legs. The room was the studio of Edward Hopper. (Slide show by Duane Michals.)

William Drenttel
Small Town Meetings
08.05.05

Zoning regulations are how a town designs its future. They determine what kind of development is encouraged, and what kind is discouraged. In Meetings, Paul Shambroom visited 150 local government meetings in 32 states. The photographs are remarkable in presenting the physical details by which towns gather to determine how they live.

Rick Poynor
Getting Louder: Chinese Design on the March
05.05.05

The “Get it Lounder” design exhibition in Shenzhen, billed as the first of its kind in China, reflected the lifestyle aspirations of its participants. Will Chinese design be able to confront social reality in more overtly critical ways?

Jessica Helfand
Extremely Young and Incredibly Everywhere: The Public Art of Jonathan Safran Foer
04.21.05

Jonathan Safran Foer's emergent body of work includes film and video, public art installations, theatrical collaboration, expressive typography, and a fairly prolific jumpstart as a writer. Cumulatively, all of his projects — which range from collecting empty pages of famous writers, to constructing parabolas in a public park, to collecting anonymous self-portraits — seem to look for ways to formally address time and space and the human condition.

Rick Poynor
Wisconsin Death Trip: A Psychic History
04.05.05

Michael Lesy’s book Wisconsin Death Trip documented awful events in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, using a town photographer’s pictures. Years later, it remains a spellbinding piece of literary and photographic alchemy.

Jessica Helfand
Scrapbooking: The New Paste-Up
03.17.05

"Craft-born embellishments," note one supplier of scrapbooking products, "are penetrating an unexpected market: graphic design."

William Drenttel
Stop The Plant: The Failure of Rendering
02.23.05

There is no single rendering ominous enough to create public fear; no image so compelling as to create political momentum; and no symbol so memorable as to unite the opposition. Whether through artistic renderings or compelling information design, no one has made a visual case against these plants that is wholly effective. This is, I believe, a fundamental failure of design.

Kenneth Krushel
The Gates
02.19.05

Much has been written about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Gates" project in Central Park in New York City. In the past few days, though, we have received two further reports on this project which we want to share with our readers: an essay by Ken Krushel and a photographic portfolio by Adam Bartos.

Jessica Helfand
My Friend Flickr
02.18.05

Flickr is a digital photo sharing website and web services suite that was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver, Canada company founded in 2002. It's a utopian oddity — a culture enabled by a technology that in turn enables a culture — and it's a brilliant example of socially networked software because it's free, its easy, and it makes sense.
Michael Bierut
Robert Polidori's Peripheral Vision
01.08.05

Robert Polidori's photographs depict contemporary architecture in the context of a decidedly imperfect world.

William Drenttel
Bird in Hand: When Does A Copy Become Plagiarism?
01.06.05


Michael Bierut
First Person Shooter
11.13.04

News photographs from Iraq are eerily reminiscent of video game images.

Michael Bierut
Colorama
11.01.04

Grand Central Terminal's enormous Colorama displays by Kodak documented a suburban fantasy world for millions of commuters.

Jessica Helfand
An Instrument of Sufficiently Lucid Cogitation
08.05.04

The legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on Tuesday at his home in the South of France, always carried a sketchbook with him. Today's obituary in The New York Times alleges that he described drawing as meditative, while photography was intuitive: though certainly both activities might have been informed by a relentless need to observe and in a sense, preserve the world around him.

Jessica Helfand
Regarding the Photography of Others
03.05.04


Jessica Helfand
The Crisis of Intent
02.24.04


Rick Poynor
Stephen Gill: Behind the Billboard
01.11.04

Designers are battlers against entropy: a vital task, but taking the long view, often a doomed, quixotic mission. Stephen Gill’s photographs, showing the disorderly zones behind billboards, offer a reality check.

Rob Walker
Digital Tools for Making Brilliant Mistakes
11.30.03

The many options for digitally antiquing your 21st-century self-expression.


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