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Posts tagged: interior photography

Confessions from a Wild West Ghost Town (Sponsored)

Bodie, California, USA. Old haunted gold rush ghost town.

View of Bodie © Julien McRoberts / Offset

Bodie, California, USA. Old haunted gold rush ghost town.

Old car © Julien McRoberts / Offset

When New York City-based photographer and Offset artist Julien McRoberts drove around the bend and into Bodie, a ghost town in Northern California, the sight stopped her in her tracks: “I had to get my jaw off of the ground.” Before her eyes rose the remains of the Wild West, but unlike so many towns from the gold rush era, this one was preserved, trapped in the 19th century.

Breathtaking Images of Syria Before the Civil War (Sponsored)

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Azm Palace in Hama © Lisa Limer / Offset

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A rural village © Lisa Limer / Offset

In the spring of 2001, Rhode Island-based photographer Lisa Limer traveled to Syria on assignment for a leading travel magazine. When the photographs were, as she puts it, “at the printers, ready to run,” the story was abruptly shut down, and her breathtaking photographs of Syria were not published.

Looking back on the images she took in Syria, Limer can’t help but feel the ache of all that’s been lost in the last fifteen years and in the wake of civil war. “I know now that most everything that I photographed has been destroyed,” she admits, her mind whirling back fifteen years. She walked through Damascus and Aleppo, captured Homs before it was all but razed to the ground.

In 2015, close to the anniversary of her visit, the ancient city of Palmyra, which holds treasures dating back to centuries before the Common Era and was once held by the Roman Empire, was seised by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In the intervening year, ISIL would execute its prisoners at the ancient Roman Theatre at Palmyra; the 82-year-old archeologist Khaled al-Asaad would be interrogated regarding the locations of the site’s antiquities, and he would die safeguarding the information.

The Azm Palace, built during the Ottoman Empire, the Umayyad Mosque, considered one of the most holy sites in the world, and The Church of Saint Simeon Stylites, the single oldest remaining Byzantine church, still stand.

When asked if she felt nervous flying to Syria so many moons before the Civil War, Limer says simply, “I had no apprehension.” She trusted her own footing there, and although she made sure to dress according to the country’s conservative status quo—she was, in her words, “certainly aware of her womanhood”—Limer suggests that her gender was also an asset, allowing her to approach and photograph local women as they made their way throughout the cities.

Still, the photographer felt the tremors of a country in pain. “Even in 2001, you felt the sadness,” she explains, adding “In all my travels, I had never left a country feeling more depressed.” With a government guide watching over ever move she made, she witnessed the aftermath of conflicts and failed uprisings; her eyes lingered over “bullet holes and burnt out buildings.”

Limer reflects on her 2001 trip to Syria with melancholy and an inescapable longing for something that left many years ago: “This trip could now never be repeated. Regrettably, it is what makes this experience unforgettable.”

Limer’s work from Syria is represented by Offset.

A Minimalist Look at Bowling in Germany (Sponsored)

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© Robert Götzfried / Offset

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© Robert Götzfried / Offset

Munich-based photographer Robert Götzfried remembers the bowling alleys—or Kegelbahn— of his childhood, where kids could be heard laughing and shouting to the ever-present thud of a six pound ball hitting the floor. These days, the once-popular alleys are slowly disappearing, and this generation of youngsters are choosing more high-tech, less nostalgic pastimes; still, the photographer preserves their legacy.

Bowling in Germany has a nuanced history; some scholars, like historian William Pehle, say the sport began as early as 300 C.E. as a German religious activity. The pins were said to symbolize sins, and knocking them over with rocks was seen a way of purging crimes against God.

Nine-pin bowling, known as kegel in Germany, is a bit different from the American game, played with ten pins. In kegel, the pins are spaced farther apart, in the shape of a diamond rather than a pyramid. At most, the dense wooden balls have only two finger holes, not three, though the best players don’t need any holes at all.

Götzfried photographed the kegelbahn without the presence of any bowlers, capturing the symmetry and geometries of their unique yet somehow repetitive designs. He visited the alleys on off-hours, relaxing as he peered over the hallowed lanes. Whereas these places were once vibrating with sound, he finds solitude and serenity in the absence of scurrying feet, rolling balls, and colliding pins.

In these meticulous and minimal photographs, Götzfried distills all the energy of the bowling alley into a single, clean frame. The action has stopped for now, and yet we can sense that in mere moments, the kegelbahn might come alive once more, rekindling the memories of long ago.

More work from Götzfried can be seen on Offset, a boutique licensing agency specializing in high-end editorial and commercial imagery from around the world.

The Bizarre ‘Kindergarten Kitsch’ Interiors of North Korea

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Kim Jong Suk Creche, Pyongyang

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Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Pyongyang

Touring the interiors of Pyongyang, North Korea, says The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, is not at all dissimilar to “walking into a life-size Polly Pocket toy.”

Inside the Kitsch Rooms of a Sex Hotel in Colombia

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When Mexico City-based photographer Kurt Hollander arrived in Cali, Colombia, he made a beeline for the elusive Motel Kiss Me, a 180-room chateau for lovers. He lived for two weeks in a resident suite, with free reign to wander the halls, where behind closed doors, couples engaged in sex acts of all sorts against the backdrop of a themed installation of their choosing.

3 Photographers, 3 Different Approaches to the Photography Website (Sponsored)

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Niki Boon’s Squarespace website

We recently introduced you to two brand new website templates by Squarespace geared specifically towards photographers. It’s always exciting to see how different kinds of photographers—ranging from big-time commercial image-makers to photojournalists to fine artists—take the sophisticated and constantly evolving portfolio templates Squarespace has built and make them their own.

We asked three photographers with diverse backgrounds to tell us a bit about why and how they have used Squarespace to create websites that are unique to their personal visions. Niki Boon, Kat Malone, and Colin Miller use three of Squarespace’s classic templates—Avenue, Bedford, and Wells— to tell vastly different stories.

These Photos of Decaying Sanctuaries Will Make You Believe in Ghosts

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Dresden-based photographer Matthias Haker keeps his forsaken sanctuaries a secret, guarded closely from meddlesome spirits and prying hands. When he asked about the aged ballrooms, power plants, hotels, and bathhouses, the artist responds evasively, “Somewhere in Europe…”

Trespassing into Forgotten Places, Stepping Back in Time

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Croatian photographer Mirna Pavlovic is pulled inexorably to the clandestine corners of the world, to the since-forgotten places where people once lived, worked, and probably died. She’s infected by a wanderlust that cuts to the bone, driven to concealed and guaranteed areas throughout the continent where few souls dare travel.

In the Norwegian Countryside, a Photographer Uncovers a Tale of Family, Grief, and Hope

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“I was commissioned by an art institution to photograph the farmer Edvard Bjelland and his farm. He is one of the last to run a traditional farm in an old-fashioned way. His lifestyle is also very rare to find in modern Norway. I understood quite soon that I wanted to take this project further and develop it in my own personal way” – Elin Høyland

After 5 Years Away from the Public Eye, Gregory Crewdson Releases Breathtaking New Body of Work

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Gregory Crewdson, Beneath the Bridge, 2014, Digital Pigment Print, 37 1/2 x 50 inches ©Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

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Gregory Crewdson, Woman at Sink, 2014, Digital Pigment Print, 37 1/2 x 50 inches ©Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

Over the last five years, Gregory Crewdson has lived in relative privacy, sequestered near his boyhood home in rural Becket, Massachusetts, where he spent his days largely alone, below the forest canopy. It’s here in the thickets, on the foundation of this place inhabited by less than 2,000 people, that the photographer builds Cathedral of the Pines, a body of 31 images named after a local trail.

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