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Gordon Parks, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Pictures That Changed the World

Parks, Invisible Man Retreat, Harlem, New York, 1952.

Invisible Man Retreat, Harlem, New York, 1952. Photograph by Gordon Parks. © The Gordon Parks Foundation, courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation and Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

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Untitled, Alabama, 1956. Photograph by Gordon Parks. © The Gordon Parks Foundation, courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation and Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

The words “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground” rang out from the churches of Alabama, as black Americans opened their hymnals to sing. The year was 1956, and in Montgomery a woman by the name of Rosa Parks had just refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger. Nearby in Mobile, photojournalist Gordon Parks, formerly of the Farm Security Administration, told the story of the Thornton family for Life magazine, where the American public at last were given a glimpse into the daily lives, joy, and suffering of African American men, women, and children living in the Jim Crow South.

Kurt Cobain’s Most Intimate Belongings Photographed for New Exhibition

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Endorsement – Cobain’s Converse #1 © Geoff Moore

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Heart Shaped Box #1 © Geoff Moore

In 2007, Los Angeles-based photographer Geoff Moore was commissioned by the Estate of Kurt Cobain to document the mementos left behind by the 27-year-old musician. He was given exactly one day with the items cherished by the rock star, kept enshrined within a high security storage center and transported to a studio. The pictures would appear first in the book Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross, and on February 11th, they will be unveiled large-scale at KM Fine Arts.

Photographer David McLain Discusses How the Industry Has Changed, What’s Stayed the Same, and Why Mirrorless Technology is a Real Game-Changer (Sponsored)

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Shot with the Sony a7R camera

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Shot with the Sony a7S camera

Maine-based photographer David McLain has lived amongst the eskimos of Greenland, harpooned his own food, and traversed the rugged terrain by dog sled. He’s met residents of the village of Sardinia, up in the mountains of Italy, where the people are so healthy it’s common for them to see the age of 100. Most recently, he’s teamed up with a preeminent and as-yet-unnamed healthcare professional to examine what it really means to “heal.” McLain has seen photography fads come and go, but being a photographer for him will always mean two things: passion and hard work.

Infinite loops on Instagram bring Mike Mellia’s Daily Self Portraits to Life

Mike Mellia

That one time I was an ad man.

Mike Mellia

That one time I was out of the office.

Mike Mellia is well known for his photography work in fashion and advertising, but it’s his latest personal social media project that is giving us an inside peek into this New York-based photographer’s quirky side.

Wild Animals Camouflaged within the Vast Expansive of Namibia

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Hour upon hour, Ghent-based photographer Maroesjka Lavigne traverses the vacant terrain of Namibia, taking the country’s native beasts— the giraffe, the flamingo, and the zebra, and perhaps most of all, the rhinoceros—as her silent and gently-moving guides. Here, amongst the salt pans and sand dunes, she names the nation the Land of Nothingness; behemoths roam free and unseen, hidden and enfolded by the infinite topography.

The Idyllic Life Along Tri An Lake in Vietnam

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Water is the spirit that you can only understand by being immersed in its essence. – Duy Phuong Le Nguyen

Vietnamese photographer Duy Phuong’s first encounter with Tri An Lake was wholy by chance. Overwhelmed at first by the landscape, he decided to start documenting the communities that inhabited the lake and whose daily activities revolved around the rise and ebb of the tide.

Inspired by Hopper and Hitchcock, Photographer Creates Magical Miniature Scenes at the Movies

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Two or Three Things I Know About Her © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

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Still Alice © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

As the story goes, the 1886 audience at the 50-second silent documentary The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat were so terror-stricken by the picture of a black and white train approaching that they leapt backwards for fear of certain annihilation. The fable, regardless of its veracity, speaks to the power of film to elevate even the most banal scene into the realm of preternatural.

Bathed in Blue: 17 Photographs Capture Turquoise and Cobalt Moments from Around the World (Sponsored)

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A woman in a white dress in a dark pool. © Lucia Griggi/Vault Archives

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Kolmanskop, a deserted diamond mining town being reclaimed by the Namibian sand, Namibia. © Andrei Duman/Vault Archives

“Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet) / It only gives our wish for blue a whet,” writes Robert Frost in his 1920 poem Fragmentary Blue, in which he laments the fact that the divine color appears on the ground merely from time to time, becoming an ever-elusive link tying us to the firmament above. In winter, more than any other time of year, the azure hue reigns supreme, and the earth, if just for a moment, mirrors the sky.

Intricate Photo Collage Portraits Inspired by the ‘Jua Kali’ Workers of Nairobi, Kenya

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When Brooklyn-based photographer Tahir Carl Karmali was a little boy in Nairobi, Kenya, he hand-built a television antenna using headphones and a metal hanger so that he could watch cartoons after school. He had mastered the trick simply by watching people in the workshops lining the streets of the city, where broken appliances could be torn apart, reassembled and revamped to create something useful. The people who turn seemingly unworkable objects into ingenious contraptions make up what’s known as Jua Kali, an informal economic sector that became the inspiration behind Karmali’s multimedia series by the same name.

The Vanishing Tradition of Eagle Hunting in Mongolia Captured in Timeless Photo Book

Kazakh eagle Hunters

Kazakh eagle Hunters

The moment winter descends upon the mountainous terrain of western Mongolia, the Kazakh eagle hunters leave their homes and trek high into the mountains on horseback. If you were to follow the trails of fresh prints in the snow, they’d lead you out to where the great birds stand poised on the men’s heavily swathed forearms, ready to plunge into the valleys below at the slightest movement. These men are the last generation of true Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia. On a dedicated mission to capture their story before the tradition dies out, Hong Kong-based photographer Palani Mohan braved the minus 40-degree temperatures to photograph what would be his most physically challenging work to date.

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