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Photographers Steven Chikosi, Sabrina Merolla, Melissa Eder, Emile Hussell, and Simas Lin Take Over Our Instagram

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Steven Chikosi [@stevenchikosi] / March 6, 7

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Sabrina Merolla [@sabrinamero] / March 8,9

We might be buried in snow, but Spring is just around the corner, and we have a fantastic lineup of Guest Instagrammers to usher in the month of March around the globe. This time around, we’ll begin with Steven Chikosi all the way over in Harare, Zimbabwe before jetting off to visit China with Sabrina Merolla, who will be working on her ongoing project “All China’s Fast Food Dreams.” From there, we’ll return to New York City with Melissa Eder and get a taste of Britain with Emile Hussell before being guided through the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius with Simas Lin.

The Best Links of the Week (February 28 – March 6)

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From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • “Vince Vaughn and Co-stars Pose for Idiotic Stock Photos You Can Have for Free” [Adweek]
  • Stirring Photos from “The Big Apple to the Big House, and Back” [Medium]
  • World Press Photo takes back first-prize award after realizing submission was partially falsified [World Press Photo]
  • “Mankind fell and was doomed to Pittsburgh”: Revisiting the photos of W. Eugene Smith [Belt Magazine]
  • JR teams up with ‘Save Ellis Island’ [Juxtapoz]
  • ‘China’s immense marketplace of colorful crap’ [Boing Boing]
  • A new worldwide database of fixers [dvafoto]
  • ‘Canadian Photogs Now Officially Own the Copyright to All of Their Photos’ [PetaPixel]
  • “Jennifer Lawrence, Steven Spielberg & Warner Bros Land Lynsey Addario’s Memoir ‘It’s What I Do’” [Deadline]

Call for Submissions: Crusade Engagement Grant

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The photography industry is competitive and at times hard to navigate, but with help from non-profits like Crusade for Art, now is most certainly an exciting time to be a photographer. Crusade for Art is all about connecting artist with collectors and buyers. Founded by gallerist Jennifer Schwartz, the organization helps to facilitate networks and introduce new audience to the work of emerging photographers.

‘Tent City': Photographer Provides a Glimpse at Life Inside a New Jersey Homeless Camp

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4 April 2014 – One of several fires in the past week has destroyed a tent. Some camp residents have died in fires over the past few years.

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4 April  2014 – Various monthly government subsidies have come through for many in the camp, and the group has purchased several hundred dollars of crack. Dawn smokes while John and Bear wait their turn.

Located in Lakewood, New Jersey, Tent City has become home for over 100 people living outside the boundaries of social norms. The camp has been a source of immense controversy since it first took form seven years ago. On one side, there are the local residents who wish to see it closed and on the other, advocacy groups demanding it remain open. Upon discovering the camp, and hearing the debates of from both sides, photographer Christopher Occhicone decided to investigate. His series Fringe provides an honest look at life inside Tent City.

Wistful Photos Capture Leisure Time in Ukraine

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Hidropark, the latest project from award-winning German photographer Freya Najade, is a recreational area in Kiev, Ukraine located on two islands in the Dnieper River. She read about the place in a guidebook and after visiting it for the first time returned the following two summers. “I was drawn to the people and activities—the fun fair, the table tennis where the elderly met and socialized, the beach life, the gym where people of all classes and ages trained.”

Introducing Montage: A New Way to Create Customized Photo Books (Sponsored)

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Even as the rest of the world has moved onto Kindles and iPads, the photography industry will always value beautiful printed books. From iconic fine art work to the family photo album, there’s something about the tactile connection with the image that makes photography all the more personal and distinct. With Montage by Mixbook, everyone from professional to amateur photographers can create customized photo books that merge the careful craftsmanship of the past with the ease, affordability, and efficiency of the future.

Photographer Michael Benson Talks Astronomy, Infinity, and Existential Crises

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The Ultraviolet Sun, Trace, July 30, 1999 [2010]

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Enceladus Geysers Water into Space, Cassini, December, 25, 2009 [2012]

I don’t have to say how much I love Michael Benson’s work. These photographs were pulled together from NASA and ESA space probes. They are composites of two or more black-and-white images that have been mosaicked through Benson’s own computer work. They are pictures of how we see the universe, not the universe itself. What I see in them is a hunger for beauty in an infinity of space. That’s the greatest mystery. No matter how violent and strange the universe, at the heart of us is beauty.

Stirring Images Capture the Men and Boys Working in the Illegal Mines of Kyrgyzstan

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In Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet satellite state, things are bleak in the countryside. Unemployment and poverty is widespread, and the government is hopelessly corrupt. Hope for personal betterment exists beneath the surface, where a number of profitable natural deposits lay. Coal is one of them. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of the mines were shut down and equipment sold or stolen. But that didn’t stop the rise of an illegal coal mining industry, a wildly popular underground enterprise that results in scores of deaths every year.

Photographer Creates Intimate Portraits of Her Gender-Bending Friends (NSFW)

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For Hymns from the Bedroom, London-based photographer Poem Baker paints intimate portraits of gender non-conforming young adults at home, capturing ephemeral and candid moments of sexual, creative, and personal discovery.

Colorful Photos Capture the Vibrant Flavors of Spanish Town, Jamaica

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For Jamaica Mi Crazy, London based photographer Stefy Pocket captures life on streets of Spanish Town, cutting against stereotypes about the former Jamaican capital—now known for its high crime rate—to reveal the threads of joy and exuberance that run through its neighborhoods.