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Posts tagged: portrait photography

Photos of a Strange and Beautiful Australian Mining Town

In 2008, French photographer Antoine Bruy spent a year in Australia. When he returned home, he planned to bring with him more than a hundred rolls of film. All of them were lost. “Since then, I kept thinking of going back, to do something about this place,” the artist says.

Powerful portraits confront the politics of race and representation

‘I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other. My reality is that I do not mimic being black; it is my skin, and the experience of being black is deeply entrenched in me. Just like our ancestors, we live as black people 365 days a year, and we should speak without fear.’  -Zanele Muholi

Photojournalists and editors know it—some consumers do too—exoticism sells. People in the west are fascinated by images that reinforce their preconceived ideas of what a culture “out to look like”, seeking poverty, isolated traditions and stereotypes such as African women adorned with cowrie shells and color. Their quest for “authenticity” is so narrow in scope that its seekers often ignore the complex, modern realities experienced by black people in different regions of the world.

Visual activist photographer Zanele Muholi has her first solo exhibition opening this month at the East London gallery Autograph ABP. For more than a decade, she has focused on documenting black LGTBQI people in South Africa. Her ongoing portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama was inspired by her experiences on the road and the socio-political events she encountered along the way. Using her body as a canvas, her psychologically driven portraits confront the politics of race and representation.

Heartfelt Photos of a Father Near the End of His Life

Dad, 84 yrs old, Omachi, Kamakura, Dec 2014

Dad, 86 yrs old, Sagamihara, May 2017

In April 2014, Japanese photographer Shin Noguchi took a picture of his father. A doctor had recently diagnosed 83-year-old with Stage IV Lung Cancer, but Noguchi hadn’t yet told his dad the news. “It was the first time I had a secret about my father that he didn’t know himself,” Noguchi remembers. Over the last three years, he has continued to photograph his father.

This Is What Dinnertime Looks Like in Different Households

Tuesday: Alex, Sophia, Kathy, David, Claudia, Eva & Ana. 2015

Wednesday: Emilio, Rhonda, Benedetto, Skylrae, and Jacomo. 2014

Wednesday: Willie Mae. 2013

“I’m super nosy about people’s habits,” Milwaukee photographer Lois Bielefeld admits. “I’ve always craved going into people’s homes- it’s inspiring, curious. It gives so many sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant insights about someone.”

Photos of a Changing Landscape, Inspired by the Western Meadowlark

In 1994, MTV’s Karen Duffy made the trip to the least-visited state in America, a snow-covered North Dakota, to find answers. When she asked then-governor about his home, he responded, “Well, I think the best reason to visit North Dakota is you can still get lost here.” He paused before adding, “Not necessarily lost on a map, but you can really get lost mentally here.”

It’s twenty-something years later, and Seattle photographer Ian C. Bates has gotten lost many times in North Dakota. He picked the state in part because of its solitude. “It is easy to feel alone there,” he tells us, “I liked that feeling, but it also overcomes you after being there for a long time.”

Haunting Images from ‘Poland’s Rust Belt’

“A shortcut across a frozen lake.” © Tomasz Liboska

“Mieczyslaw no longer works at the mine, but at least no one cares about his long hair anymore.” © Tomasz Liboska

“A mother worries about her son’s fading football club emblem. When the colors are gone, she won’t be able to revive them. Her son died of a heart attack.” © Tomasz Liboska

“In the communist era, Upper Silesia was the promised land,” Polish photographer Tomasz Liboska told us of the place he’s called home for ten years. People from all over the country came to Upper Silesia following the Second World War in search of hard work and prosperity for their families. Steel plants and coal mines flourished.

Poetry-inspired portraits in Cuban interiors

Like many, London-based photographer Gillian Hyland was initially drawn to Cuba for its nostalgic appeal. With the lack of internet and iconic 1950s cars, it can really feel like being transported back in time—bar the peeling paint on Spanish-built façades that serves as a reminder that time has passed.

Live Music Photographer Chad Wadsworth Lightens His Load with Sony Mirrorless Cameras (Sponsored)

Kehlani backstage before her set at ACL Fest 2015. Shot with the Sony RX1

Spoon photographed in Jim Eno’s studio on December 20th, 2016 – Almost 11 years to the day of Wadsworth’s first concert shoot with the band in 2005. Shot with the A7RII

Austin music photographer Chad Wadsworth is persistent. Early on in his career, he shot live events just for the joy of it– without any guarantee that his pictures would be published anywhere. If he didn’t have tickets, he’d show up anyway and hope for the best. A lot has changed over the course of his career, but one thing remains the same: rain or shine, Wadsworth is willing to go the extra mile. In fact, the last time he photographed Austin City Limits music festival (it was his tenth time shooting there), he walked thirty-three miles over the course of a single weekend.  

Music photography is a challenge anywhere, let alone in “The Live Music Capital of the World,” but Wadsworth has managed not only to break into the industry but also to stay on top of it. His pictures continue to grace the pages of magazines like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and SPIN, and he holds the title of Global Red Bull photographer.

Wadsworth has also been named a Sony Artisan of Imagery, joining an elite group of some of the world’s best photographers. In this role, he will work alongside the brand to help develop the next generation of cameras.

“Festivals are a war waged on the body,” Wadsworth has said. But since he’s teamed up with Sony and switched over to their lightweight series of mirrorless cameras, it’s all gotten much easier. He still has to be persistent– that’s the name of the game in music photography– but now, he has the freedom to move and catch the elusive moments others might miss.

“In the Park” with Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus
A young man and his girlfriend with hot dogs in the park, N.Y.C. 1971

During the late 1960s, a shift began to occur as New York City underwent the rapid effects of deindustrialization. As business left the city, a void took its place. But nature abhors a vacuum and new cultures began to emerge, one that could make something out of nothing at all.

As the counterculture took root, seeing possibility in the collapse of the middle class and the repeal of respectability politics that it used as overt measures of social control, a New York emerged from the fringe and found its way on to the city stage. The parks were the best place for those who did without, offering a place to socialize as well as to sleep.

For Diane Arbus, the park was the place where she could happen upon the most unlikely encounters with the most random of souls. She began photographing in Central Park in 1956, at the very beginning of her work as a serious artist. For the next fifteen years, she returned time and again to Central and Washington Square Parks for a fresh dose of the unexpected.

Portraits Revisit the New Romanticism Movement In the UK

Duggie Fields b.1945
The artist Duggie Fields is celebrated for his large- scale canvasses featuring bright blocks of colour and razor edged outlines. Gwinnutt photographed Fields in his Earls Court flat, in front of his painting Lakshmi, a tribute to the Hindu goddess of good fortune. Fields’s forelock of hair is neatly encased in the lines of his painting, a subtle detail that transforms the photograph into a play of shapes and tones, with a flatness that is characteristic of Fields’s work.

When Swinging London collapsed, the Pop-optics faded away. The bright cheerful colors of promise became muted, grubby, and grey as the city fell into created desperate times. The rising tide of unemployment, set against an on-going recession, brought the conservatives to fore, and through them a new leader was.

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to assume the mantle and she went hard: deregulating the financial sector, privatizing state-owned companies, and reducing the power of trade unions. She spoke for the elite and was largely unpopular until victory in the 1982 Falklands War.

During those intervening years, a new generation was coming of age, embracing the D.I.Y. ethos of punk and taking it far beyond the reaches of the known. The scene, which came to be known as the New Romantics, was centered at the Blitz, a nightclub in the Covent Garden section of London.

If ever there was a fitting name, it was this. At the Blitz, a fantastical coterie of artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, and performers came dressed to kill, wearing handmade pieces that could best be described as Ziggy Stardust on acid. The Blitz Kids, as they were known, took that art of the poseur to the next level. The donned costumes and makeup that blurred gender lines, sometimes going so far as to erase the human element in the search for an identity that spoke to the moment.

British photographer David Gwinnutt was one of the creatures of the night, getting to know the curious and compelling personalities that sparkled under the strobe lights. He had taken up photography after discovering the work of Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe in the London studio of artist Brian Clarke. David Bailey was a frequent visitor, sharing stories and scandals that enticed.

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