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This Photographer’s Travel Diary Has an Important Point to Make

When Oakland photographer Cheryl Faux told us about the lack of black female representation in travel advertising, she suggested we do a simple Google image search of the word “tourist.” I tried it. Of the first 100 image results, only three included a woman of color. 97% of the photographs and illustrations featured white people, usually white couples and white men.

Faux recently visited Rome with friends. She saw the tourist sites, ate “hipster food,” and in Milan, she attended an EDM music festival full of rave teens with incredible clothes. She also took her camera with her and came home with a series of self-portraits.

Traveling While Black is a diary of her experience, a call for change, and a ray of hope. One of my favorite photographers once told me in confidence that every female photographer must go through “a phase of self-portraiture.” It’s a part of offsetting the male gaze that has dominated the industry for more than a century. If she was right, then perhaps what Faux does here is doubly important. She’s subverting the male gaze and the white gaze at the same time, becoming both the protagonist and the author of her own story. We asked her to tell us more.

Photos of Captive Animals That Will Stay With You After You Look Away

Malayan Sun Bear, Thailand 2008 © Jo-Anne McArthur

Lions, Lithuania 2016 © Jo-Anne McArthur / Born Free Foundation

Chimpanzee, Denmark 2016 © Jo-Anne McArthur / Born Free Foundation

Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur met Mykoliukas the baboon at one of the many zoos she’s visited over the last decade. As she passed, his hands reached out and grabbed the bars of his cage. He tried to groom her, as he tries with many of the countless people who walk by. Over the course of the day, McArthur allowed him to groom her a few times, and he waited for her to return. When she left for the last time, he climbed to the top of his cage and strained his neck. He kept her in sight as long as he could.

McArthur writes about the lonesome baboon in her newest book Captive, which she created in zoos and aquaria in more than twenty countries around the world.

Coming of Age as a Girl in Gaza, in Photos

Yara and her brother waiting for their father to return with schwarma as an evening treat after a recent conflict ended.

Beauty is important everywhere. A girl shows off her Palestinian themed nails. Girls in Gaza are concerned with their appearance just like others around the world. A girl shows off her Palestinian themed nails after a recent bombing campaign.

When the Istanbul-based photojournalist Monique Jaques traveled to Gaza in 2012, she expected to see evidence of violence and war, and she did. But she also saw something else: pieces of herself as a preteen, teenager, and young woman, mirrored in the many girls who called this place their home. Over the course of five years, she came back to tell their stories, compiled in the upcoming book Gaza Girls: Growing Up in the Gaza Strip.

12 Photos That Will Make You Yearn for the American West

Rainbow in Death Valley © James Callaghan (@jimsnap), Warwickshire, UK

Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap a year ago as a way to connect photographers around the world. It’s open to everyone, and as of this moment, nearly 35,000 images have been submitted via Instagram using the hashtag #theprintswap.

Feature Shoot Founder Alison Zavos curates the images daily, and if your image wins, your print is made by the professionals at Skink Ink in Brooklyn before being mailed across the globe to another winning photographer. Prints are mailed out randomly, so we never know who gets which print until they arrive! More than 1700 have participated, and we’ll be hosting the first ever Print Swap exhibition at Photoville in Brooklyn Bridge Park this September (all new submissions will be considered for the show).

In the meantime, we’ve put together a few online group shows of some of our favorite winning Print Swap images. In the past, we’ve done a gallery of “New Topographics” photos and one about “Seascapes.” This time, we thought we’d run some of the great “American West” landscapes that have been part of the swap.

The American West is a spot on the map, but it’s also a place that exists in our imaginations. This swath of land is defined as much by our daydreams and fantasies as it is by the dirt below us and the skies above.

Anyone who chooses to photograph the American West is part of a conversation that began in the mid 19th century with people moving Westward in hopes of a more prosperous life. The National Archive still holds some of those old glass plate negatives in their collection.

From there, the legacy continued with Carlton Watkins’s photographs of Yosemite, which helped inspire the founding of the National Park. Photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams followed, paving the way for a generation of landscape photographers.

Of course, our national obsession with the West has evolved over time. The notion of Manifest Destiny becomes outdated and naive at best when we take into account the damage mankind has wrought on ground that was once lush, feral, and seemingly infinite.

Photographers have always been in many ways the guardians of this landscape. They romanticized it, and when idealism gave way to a sometimes painful reality, they documented it.

This collection is of course composed entirely of contemporary photographs, but they represent a range of ideas and feelings that can be traced throughout the last century and a half.

From James Callaghan’s untamed Death Valley to Valerio Geraci’s framed and contained Monument Valley, these images take us through the history of our relationship with this land. For this reason, I’ve tried to sequence them according to that history. As we move down the page, we’ll go from wild and feral to landscapes to those disrupted by human activity.

Apply to The Print Swap via Instagram using the hashtag #theprintswap. It’s free to apply, though winners pay a fee of $40 to participate. We cover printing and shipping costs in full. Learn more here, and follow @theprintswap on Instagram for updates.

Dogs in Bed with Humans Photographed by Lisa Strömbeck

Lisa Strömbeck

Lisa Strömbeck

Several years ago, I saw the work Uniform by Lisa Strömbeck, based in Copenhagen, Denmark and Borrby, Sweden, when it appeared on Feature Shoot. The photos are funny – they show dogs, cats, and rabbits up close in the laps of people donned in fur of the same color and texture, the humans and non-humans morphing into one mass with eyes, tongues, and fleshy hands.

This Skillshare Class Made Me Want to Be a Photographer (Sponsored)

An Online Skillshare Class by trashhand

Image by Trashhand

I signed up for Skillshare, an online community of more than 2 million people, back in March, when I wanted to learn more about what was going on in the photo world. Skillshare offers more than 17,000 classes on everything from drawing and painting to calligraphy and cooking, and they’re offering Feature Shoot readers two free months of unlimited Premium classes. Of course, Skillshare’s photography classes are among the most popular, and the other day, I decided to take one called Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City with Trashhand, one of their most popular instructors of all time.

Words & Pictures Collide in Teju Cole’s New Book

Teju Cole, Brienzersee, June 2014.
Archival pigment print, printed 2017.

Description:
I opened my eyes. What lay before me looked like the sound of the alphorn at the beginning of the final movement of Brahms’s First Symphony. This was the sound, this was the sound I saw.

Teju Cole, Zurich, November 2014.
Archival pigment print, printed 2017.
Description:

A length, a loop, a line. Faraway wave seen from the deck of the ship. I think the Annunciation must have happened on a day like this one. Stillness. In the interior, she reads with lowered eyes, unaware of what comes next. A presence made of absence, the crossbar, the cloth, the wound in his side.

The relationship between image and text is one of the most challenging pairings to exist. They demand complete attention and so one must choose: to look or to read—and in what order?

Perhaps it seems deceptively simple: one simply does as they are inclined. Yet regardless of preference, they inform each other, infinitely. When we read, we see the picture in our mind. When we look, we write the words ourselves. Now we are asked to forgo our imagination and focus on the given context.

Yet few can bridge the gap that exists between the linguistic and visual realms, the distinctive forms of intelligence that operate independently and interdependently at the same time. Most often, we simply opt out somewhere along the line, wanting to return to the freedom to imagine for ourselves rather than listen to what we are told.

Self Portraits by Senegalese Photographer Omar Victor Diop Recreate Historic Paintings

Omar Victor Diop, Don Miguel de Castro, Emissary of Congo (c. 1643-50)
From the series: Project Diaspora 2014
Pigment inkjet print on Harman Hahnemuhle paper 47 1/4 x 31 1/2 in. Edition of 8 + 2 APs
In 1643 or 1644, Don Miguel de Castro and two servants arrived as part of a delegation sent by the ruler of Sonho, a province of Congo, via Brazil to the Netherlands. One objective of the journey was to find a resolution to an internal conflict in Congo. Original painting attributed to Jaspar Beck or Albert Eckout.

Omar Victor Diop, A Moroccan man (1913)
From the series: Project Diaspora 2014
Pigment inkjet print on Harman Hahnemuhle paper 47 1/4 x 31 1/2 in. Edition of 8 + 2 APs
Jose Tapiro y Baro was a Catalan painter. One of his closest friends was the painter Maria? Fortuny with whom he shared an interest for Orientalism. He was a master of watercolor painting. Original Painting by Jose? Tapiro y Baro.

The great African proverb wisely observes, “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.”

The lion has arrived in the form of Omar Victor Diop, a rising star in the photography world. Born 1980, in Dakar, Senegal, Diop has inherited the great traditions of African studio photography and takes them to the next level in his new exhibition, Project Diaspora, currently on view at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, GA, through August 18, 2017.

Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement in New Photo Book by Steve Schapiro

Along the march for voting rights, Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965.

James Baldwin joined the fight for equality in the South. Mostly, he offered a passionate voice for justice and a plea for a nation’s salvation. In Mississippi in 1963, he visited the NAACP’s Medgar Evers, who was slain later that June, following President Kennedy’s landmark televised address on civil rights. This photo was recently discovered in the photographer’s contact sheets.

James Baldwin penned fire to purify truth and liberate it from the lies that have clouded United States history ever since Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence. With every sentence, Baldwin burned away the toxic stench of injustice, oppression, and pathology that so many cling to until their dying day.

One of Baldwin’s greatest works is The Fire Next Time, a collection of two essays originally published by The New Yorker and subsequently published by Dial Press in 1963 in book form. The essays, “My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,” and “Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” address the issues facing African Americans during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, as they faced down the horrors of the past and present each and every single day.

Now, Taschen introduces James Baldwin. The Fire Next Time, a collector’s edition of 1,963 copies reprinted in a letterpress edition with more than 100 photographs taken by Steve Schapiro while he was on assignment for LIFE magazine. Schapiro was on the frontlines of the movement as it marched across the South facing down the system of apartheid under Jim Crow.

Submit to the 2017 ‘It’s Amazing Out There’ Photo Contest for a Chance at $15,000 (Sponsored)

Galactic Rainbow © Michael Trofimov

Only one week left to enter! Submit your work by August 7th for a chance at $15,000 and other prizes!

In the last year, you might have encountered Greg Gulbransen’s photograph of a polar bear in Manitoba, Canada. Fire on Ice was taken during a frigid day, just as the strong sunlight was evaporating the ice. Gulbransen’s fingers froze, and he worried his camera battery wouldn’t survive the cold. It’s a breathtaking photograph, but it’s also a resonant and symbolic one in this era– a moment in time when melting sea ice is threatening polar bear populations around the world. It’s no surprise Fire on Ice took home the $15,000 Grand Prize at the 2016 It’s Amazing Out There Photo Contest, presented by The Weather Channel and Toyota.

2016 Grand Prize Winner: Fire on Ice © Greg Gulbransen

From now until August 7th, the fourth annual It’s Amazing Out There Photo Contest is open for entries. Jurors will select images based on technical excellence, creativity, and adherence to one of three main themes: nature, adventure, and weather. The “nature” category includes any and all images telling stories about flora, fauna, and landscape; “adventure” images should be about exploring the great outdoors, and of course, “weather” photographs should capture the elements.

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