Rick Poynor
Exposure: Lens bookshop in Sutton by Lloyd Rich

The photographic rediscovery of lost moments

Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
The Observatory
Rick Poynor
Exposure: Luigi Russolo’s Noise Machines
Rick Poynor
Exposure: Butlin’s holiday camp by Edmund Nägele

A sixties vacation in glowing color

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Cat and I by Wanda Wulz

Modernity, femininity and the feline

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Restaurant de la Réserve by Jean Gilletta
Rick Poynor
Exposure: Berlin scene by Wolfgang Zurborn
Rick Poynor
Exposure: Mother and Child by Philip Jones Griffiths
Rick Poynor
Exposure: The Colossi of Memnon by Francis Bedford

Mysterious emanations from the desert

Rick Poynor
Exposure: The Simulator by Dora Maar
Rick Poynor
Exposure: El Paso Street by Stephen Shore
Rick Poynor
Exposure: Rise Up You Are Free by Dominic Hawgood

A post-photographic view of exorcism

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Striporama street scene by Vivian Maier

How good was the photographer nanny?

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Viktoria Modesta by Nadav Kander
John Foster
Leon Lewandowski

A lost street photographer comes to public eye after sixty years in storage

Rob Walker
Watch Where You Walk
John Foster
Focusing on the Masters

A new approach to portraiture: John Foster on the Miaz Brothers

Adam Harrison Levy
Saul Leiter: Early Black And White

On the occasion of a new exhibition Adam Harrison Levy remembers a friend and the intimacy he captured

John Foster
Dangerous Beauty

Stunning photographs of the Portuguese Man-of War.

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

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

It’s late August and your shirt sticks to your back. The only escape is….the beach.

John Foster
Book Review: The True Gospel Preached Here

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

Photographing the South on a week long journey.

Véronique Vienne
Taylor Holland’s Scenic Tour
John Foster
Looking Down: An Interview with Photographer Bryon Darby
Adam Harrison Levy
Tracks of My Tears

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
Adam Harrison Levy
The Falling Man: An Interview with Henry Singer
John Foster
Our Shared Past
Adam Harrison Levy
The Oldest Living Things In the World
Rob Walker
Object in the News: The Face Privatizer

Tabloid-press subject Vanessa Stiviano makes fascinating (mis)use of a sun visor as media-age privatizer.

Alex Knowlton
Miami Nice

Alex Knowlton reviews this year's ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design in Miami Beach.

Rick Poynor
The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard

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

Rob Amberg is an award winning a documentary photographer who lives with his wife live on a small farm in the same NC county where he makes his photographs.

Hala Abdul Malak
Hala A. Malak on Lomo

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
John Foster
The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
John Foster
Blues, Baptisms, and Prison Farms: The Lomax Snapshots of 1934-1950
Alexandra Lange
Not Afraid of Noise: Mexico City Stories
John Foster
The Dreamland Motel

A reivew of the vanishing signage of our American landscape.

John Foster
Face Time

This week, John Foster looks at the endless fascination we have with the human face and the myriad ways it can be transformed.

Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Surface Wreckage
John Foster
The Private World of Martina Kubelk

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

John Foster
Imperfect Beauty
These Collages Blur the Lines of Reality

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

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

John Foster
Garry Winogrand Retrospective At National Gallery
John Foster
Messenger Boys, Call Girls and a Photographer

Accidental Mysteries for December 1, 2013 focuses on the photography of Lewis Wickes Hine, whose photographs were instrumental in changing the child labor laws in the United States.

John Foster
Graphics of Authority

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

Seven Score and 10 Years Ago

The Gettysburg Address in words and pictures.

Gordon Salchow
New Haven, November 22, 1963

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

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?

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

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
Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Family Album of Oddities

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

John Foster
Artful Mourning

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
Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Gallery of Erotic Humor

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

The Walpole Bay Hotel: Living Museum, junk-clogged bane of hotel inspectors, or Wunderkammer?

Surfing the 38th Parallel

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

Rick Poynor
Collage Now, Part 1: Sergei Sviatchenko

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

Cut-and-paste culture is booming and collage-making is rampant: paper-based, digital, and all points between.

From Dance Hall to Design Studio to Dance Hall

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

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

Rob Walker
An Accidental Time Capsule

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

Rick Poynor
David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
John Foster
The Portrait in Snapshot Photography

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

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

The Documerica Project

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

Sprawling, evolving, accreting: a collection of recent street art photos from Portugal and Spain.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Auto Anthropology

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

John Foster
Alaska Yukon Gold Rush Era Photo Album

Accidental Mysteries for June 9, 2013 features a photo album from the Alaska Yukon gold rush era.

The Olympic City, Documenting The Remains

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

Using Google Street View Hyperlapse to revisit Ruscha’ Sunset Strip.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Are these Buildings? Or Art?

Images of architecture as art.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Tales From A Parallel Universe

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

Flickr Collection of the Week: Look Out For Pirates

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

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

The story of Theron Humphrey and his rescued Coonhound Maddie.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Blurry Fuzzy World

Sometimes images through a fog tell the clearest story.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Damaged Goods

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

Rick Poynor: Writing with Pictures

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

The Enduring Allure of Vintage Snapshots

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

Flickr Collection of the Week: Curatimus Maximus

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

2012: The Year in Construction

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.

Pantone Food Chips

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

Found: National Geographic

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

Accidental Mysteries for March 10, 2013 focuses on Fred Herzog's Kodachrome slides.

Flickr Collection of the Week: Signs of Pittsburgh

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.

Vivian Maier: The Movie

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

Rick Poynor
The Experiential Thrill of Driving in Films

A new book, Drive, shows how the car scenes in movies help us understand the experience of modernity.

Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and The Book of Numbers

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

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

Thirteen “landscape fictions,” photographs of the natural world — made distinctly unnatural.

Rob Walker
What Does ‘The Cover of Time’ Mean?

The cover of Time Magazine may not speak with authority in the nonstop news cycle. But what does?

Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and the Decisive Detail
Alexandra Lange
3rd Annual Holiday Card Review

Holiday card designs for 2012 reveal the social media preoccupations of their buyers, whether it is Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or old-fashioned (perhaps Downton Abbey-inspired?) stationery.

Rick Poynor
Robert Brownjohn: Photos at Street Level
Rob Walker
System As Photographer

System as photographer, and photographer as system.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum

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

An exhibition of Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, Shangri La, proves a “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” works as theater.

Rick Poynor
John Stezaker: Images from a Lost World

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

The image of the crash test dummy has traveled from the subcultural fringes to the pop culture mainstream.

Rick Poynor
The Never-ending Struggle against Clutter
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: André Breton’s Nadja
Merce Cunningham: The App

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

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries

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

In 2007, the discovery of an unknown street photographer named Vivian Maier changed the world of art photography forever.

Rob Walker
Observational Instruments, Observed

Peeping at the Venue project's delightful gear, and Google's Seussian Trekker

John Foster: Accidental Masterpieces

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

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Leonard Ross : Photographs of Social Change

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

Signs We Love : 02

“No Photography”, photographer and location unknown.

Rick Poynor
Jan van Toorn: The World in a Calendar

Jan van Toorn’s provocative 1972/73 calendar for the printer Mart.Spruijt has been reprinted by a Dutch design company.

Signs We Love : 01

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

In lstanbul shops like The Works: “Objects of Desire,” the novelist Orhan Pamuk found the artifacts for his newly opened Museum of Innocence.

Make a Mixel this Weekend

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

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
Rick Poynor
Typographic Stories of the City Streets
Rick Poynor
The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries

Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is Politics.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: A Classic by Berger and Mohr
Michelle Hauser
Pop Photographica: An Interview with Daile Kaplan

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

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

Rick Poynor
Saul Leiter and the Typographic Fragment
Rick Poynor
The Infinite Warehouse of Images

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?

What do violent photographs of war do to us as viewers?

Photo by Iain McKell
The New Gypsies

Photographer Iain McKell documents England's romantic travelers

Rick Poynor
Funerary Portraits: Snapshots in Stone

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

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

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

Rick Poynor
J.G. Ballard’s Terminal Documents

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

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

John Foster
DART St. Louis

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

Rick Poynor
On the Threshold of Sebald’s Room

Daniel Blaufuks is haunted by a picture of an office in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. Where did it come from and what does it show?

Rick Poynor
Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?

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

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
Rick Poynor
The Secret History of the Edgelands

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

Was this structure the idle amusement of some loggers, or an art piece by someone at the academy nearby? Gingerly testing each rung, I climbed up into it.

Magda Biernat
The Hard Sell

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

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: Nairn’s London

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
Photo by Milton Rogovin
The Poetry of Simplicity

Pablo Neruda on the photographer Milton Rogovin

Photo by Jason Orton
Built Not to Last

Photo of prefab London housting development slated for demolition.

Rick Poynor
W.G. Sebald: Writing with Pictures
Photo by Thomas Struth
Vanishing Point

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

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera Update

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

Nancy Levinson
Art Talks
Jessica Helfand
Pretty Pictures, Bad Judgment

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

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?

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

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

Photo by Andy Drewitt
Forty Angles and a Mule

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

Photo by Abelardo Morell
Getting In with the Ingot Crowd

Photo and journalistic excerpts about the soaring price of gold

Luc Sante
Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier

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

Photo by Teun Voeten
Hell Under Wheels

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

Alexandra Lange
The War at Home

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

Report on the Somali Documentary Project.

Photo by Susannah Sayler/The Canary Project
Hot Mountain

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

Photo by Greg Constantine
Nubians Then and Now

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

Photo by Pieter Hugo
Permanent Error

Photo by Pieter Hugo of Ghana's Agbogbloshie slum.

Mark Lamster
The Constructed Landscapes of Chris Berg

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

Cartoon commentary on 2010 World Cup by Patrick Chappatte.

Mike Sinclair
Midway at the Oasis

Photo of Neshoba County Fair, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Alexandra Lange

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

Julie Lasky
Protect Me from What I Want

Photo in memory of Tobias Wong.

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

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

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

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

Alexandra Lange
Reciting Modernist Architects

She hated it when Daddy made her recite modernist architects.

Jason Orton
Tinder Boxes

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

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

Adam Harrison Levy
Death’s Bloom

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

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

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

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

Mitch Epstein
Why Not in My Backyard?

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

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

Jason Orton
All That Remains

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

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

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

By Dona Ann McAdams
Milking It

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

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

Lindsay Stark

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

Owen Edwards
Irving Penn, 1917-2009

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

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

Bradford McKee
New Grub Street

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

Richard Ross
No Place Like Home

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

Teun Voeten
Under Cover

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

Teun Voeten
Hell in a Horse Cart

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

Jason Orton
Going Coastal

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

Mark Lamster
Ballparks Redux

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

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

Mark Lamster
The Photographs of Sze Tsung Leong

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

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

Mark Lamster
Sex or Biking?

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

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

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

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

Ken Worpole
Tidal Pools: Photographs by Jason Orton

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

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

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

My reviews of two new photography books.

William Drenttel
The Obama Victory

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julie Lasky
The Photography of Mark Robbins

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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?

Michael Bierut
First Person Shooter

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

Michael Bierut

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

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

Jessica Helfand
The Crisis of Intent

Rick Poynor
Stephen Gill: Behind the Billboard

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

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

Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup