Posts tagged: documentary photography

Nightmare-Inducing Images of Voodoo Masters in Dakar


A dark alley in Dakar lit by the high beams of a passing car, near the house of the marabout.


A boy points at the house of the marabout, a Voodoo spiritual guide.


A marabout cuts his tongue as a demonstration of his power and magic.

The dusty alleys of Dakar are almost empty at dusk. People rush home like fast shadows before the evil spirits come out at night. The city, lit by a timid moonlight, feels timeless. A common refrain here is, “During the day you’ll see Islam, but at night you’ll find Voodoo.” In predominantly Muslim Senegal, Voodoo is widespread, condemned by the Qu’ran but practiced in secret by many people. While they praise Allah everyday, many also believe in the power of black magic, potions, spells and charms.

But almost no one in Senegal would openly admit that he or she practices Voodoo. When asked directions for the house of the marabout (spiritual teacher), no one in the immediate neighborhood seems to know who he is or where he lives. A boy points at the wooden door of a small house hidden in the dark.

Arresting Photos From the Coldest Village on Earth (-58 °F!)


A local woman enters Preobrazhensky cathedral in a swirl of freezing mist.


“Road of Bones”

The Russian village of Oymyakon is widely recognized as the coldest in the world, with average winter temperatures reaching below -58 degrees fahrenheit. Making the treacherous trip from the frigid city of Yakutsk, to the village, New Zealand-based travel photographer Amos Chapple documents daily life in the remote region, where the entirety of civilization is subject to the whims of the snowy Siberian landscape.

Startling Portraits of WII Re-enactors Dressed as Nazi Soldiers


The Crevasse of the Reich, photograph by Marisha Camp, 2011


The Cossacks, 2009

For Targets Unknown, Los Angeles-based photographer Stacy Kranitz inserts herself into the world World War II reenactment, inhabiting the role of Nazi propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. In mimicking this woman, a figure for whom she feels both abhorrence and affection, she unpacks the nebulous—and often disturbing— ethical region that lies between good and evil.

A Look at Life Inside the Legal Brothels of Nevada (NSFW)


The line up. Madam Kitty’s Cathouse. Nevada.


‘Time Out’. Madam Kitty’s Cathouse. Nevada.

When London-based photographer Jane Hilton first walked into Madam Kitty’s Cathouse in 1998, she left all preconceived notions about sex work at the door. She gained access to the popular Nevada brothel through its madam, a fellow Englishwoman who took an immediate liking to the photographer. On the condition that she not interfere with workflow or with the house’s clientele, Hilton was permitted to chronicle the daily goings on in the lives of its sex workers.

Random Passerby in London Dressed In High Fashion Prove Much More Interesting To Look At Than Models


Eddjei, Ridley Road Market, wears coat from Beyond Retro


Joyce, Muswell Hill, wears Issey Miyake


Jim, Hoxton, wears JW Anderson

For The Thirty Three, London-based photographer Tom Johnson constructed makeshift studios throughout the city, inviting thirty-three complete strangers to take part in an offbeat fashion shoot, for which they were styled according to their own distinct personalities.

New Book of Vintage Photos Reveal the Magic of Woodstock

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“I had put the Woodstock files away, locked deep in the closet of my memories,” says the wistful Santa Fe-based photographer Baron Wolman of his time at Woodstock. For a new book on the historic music festival, he has brought those recollections out of the dark, sharing with the world the magic of that bygone era. Marking the 45-year anniversary of those fateful three days in August, 1969, Woodstock comprises more than seventy-five black and white prints from the original Rolling Stone photographer’s archive.

Ghost Hunting in Memphis with Photographer Elizabeth Moran


elizabethmorancherryroad12 Measuring Visual Disturbances #1

On an old plantation in Memphis, Tennessee, Elizabeth Moran investigates the spiritual history surrounding the farmhouse her family once owned. Stories of hauntings and feelings of an otherworldly presence have found their way through the family’s generations. Armed with her camera and the help of her aunt an uncle, who are both paranormal investigators, Moran sought to document the un-documentable spiritual energy in her series Record of Cherry Road.

Captivating Photographs of Tour Buses Combine Past With Present





I may not be one for organized tours, but I understand their popularity in many cities around the world. They offer an effortless way for unfamiliar tourists to see and capture the sites and learn the history of a certain location. Photographer Ross Paxton noticed one of these bus tours when he visited his hometown of Whitby, UK. As the bus load of tourists passed by the town’s landmark Abbey, as they reached for their cameras to snap pictures, he couldn’t help but notice there was something ironic at work. The past, present and future all seemed to collide into one moment. Intrigued by this idea, he has since ridden on dozens of bus tours scattered across the United Kingdom, for what would become his series, The General History of Timeless Landscapes.

Moving Photos of Christians Living in the Middle East During an Era of Extreme Violence


Egypt, near Mallawi, July 2012. The monks of the monastery of Saint Veni have been repeatedly attacked by gangs of Muslim fundamentalists from nearby villages.


Jerusalem, December 2012. In the Ethiopian Church near Damascus Gate. The guardian shows an ancient version of the Bible.

For Rifugio, Italian photojournalist Linda Dorigo spent nearly three years traveling with journalist Andrea Milluzzi across the Middle East, gathering the stories of Christians living in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Israel, and Turkey during a period of mass exodus from the region.

Photographer Christopher Payne Talks to Us About Industrial Ruins, Gothic Castles, and What Goes Into Building a Piano


Christopher Payne‘s Squarespace website


Buffalo State Hospital, Buffalo, New York

With a background in architecture, New York City-based photographer Christopher Payne is drawn to abandoned buildings, neglected structures that jointly disclose forgotten chapters of America’s storied past.

Payne’s fascination with the antiquated and disused began with his documentation of the city’s outmoded manual subway systems, to which he was afforded unlimited access. In recent years, he has chronicled spaces ranging from the pervasive and once densely populated asylums of the 1800s and early 1900s to the eroded landscape of North Brother Island, where in the latter part of the 1800s, citizens afflicted with infectious diseases were quarantined from the remainder of the city. In his shadowy, evocative frames, America’s past becomes a mythical place, one that is both acutely fantastical and undeniably real. Here, the photographer illuminates the mysterious and haunting remnants of our shared history, playing the dual part of the detective and the preservationist.

In his more recent projects, Payne has turned his gaze towards contemporary America by capturing the inner workings of Astoria’s historic Steinway piano factory as well as New England’s older textile mills as compared with North and South Carolina’s more state-of-the-art factories. We spoke with the artist about his interest in both deserted and sustained industries and why he chose Squarespace to build his site.