Posts by: Ellyn Kail

Behind-the-Scenes at a Hungarian Juvenile Detention Center

© Adam Urban

© Tamas Urban

It took time for the Hungarian photographer Adam Urban to earn the trust of the inmates at Aszód Juvenile Detention Center. Understandably, the young men were wary of “outsiders.” In fact, it took weeks for Urban to bring out his camera out for the first time.

A Rare and Intimate Look at the Lives of Irish Traveller Children

The Los Angeles photographer Jamie Johnson first gained access to the Irish Travellers through the children of the community. They were intrigued by the artist and her camera, and quickly, they accepted her as “the crazy American photographer.” Once the young people trusted her, the adults followed.

The Story of the Fearless Woman Who Saves Elephants

In 1996, Sangdeaun “Lek” Chailert founded Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park, a safe haven for elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industries. For the last 20-plus years, she’s adopted these once-abused animals into her family. “They can spot her from across the fields and will run up to her, trumpeting excitedly,” Kelly Guerin, the filmmaker behind the short documentary Lek Chailert: An Unbound Story, remembers. “They surround her like they do an infant, protecting her under their giant bodies.” She, in turn, greets them with bananas and Thai lullabies. “I still don’t quite have words for it,” Guerin continues. “But in that tiny woman is the soul of an elephant.”

Loss and Hope in the Unseen Photos of Arlene Gottfried


Albino Musicians, 1980’s

Gospel Singers, 1990’s

In 1968, Arlene Gottfried, then eighteen, was the only female photography student in her class at FIT. Nearly half a century later, the New York gallerist Daniel Cooney entered a storage facility filled with some 15,000 photographs–black and white, color, polaroids–and set himself the task of going through the life’s work of a trailblazer. Gottfried initially planned on putting together a retrospective exhibition with Cooney, spanning decades of NYC street work, but she passed away on August 8th, 2017, before the project came to fruition. A Lifetime Of Wandering is the first show of her work since she’s been gone.

The FENCE 2018 Is Now Open for Entries

Photo by Brooke DiDonato

The FENCE, the biggest public art exhibition in North America, is back and better than ever. This year’s outdoor photography installations are set to return to Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, and Santa Fe, and they will also make debuts in Denver, Durham, Sarasota, and Calgary (the first international edition of the FENCE!). The expected turnout for the duration of the shows is six million people, and the combined length of this year’s FENCE exhibitions is 7,000 feet.

Since 2012, The FENCE by United Photo Industries has enriched communities by sharing photography in public spaces. The touring shows, printed beautifully on vinyl mesh and presented across an actual fence, have boosted the careers of passionate journalists and artists with stories to tell. The FENCE 2018 is offering more than $25,000 in prizes, including a $5,000 Project Support Grant and a coveted solo exhibition at Photoville for one Jury’s Choice Winner. Additionally, a People’s Choice Winner will receive Leica Camera Package and Master Class. In total, 80 outstanding photographers will be selected from the pool of submissions. Photographers are welcome to submit in any of the following categories: Creatures, Food, Home, Nature, People, Play, and Streets. All applicants will be considered for all exhibitions.

This year’s all-star jury includes 40 industry leaders, including photo editors from The New York Times, National Geographic, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and other leading publications and institutions. “The FENCE is such a gift to the community,” previous exhibiting photographer Claire Rosen says, “For artists, the exposure is incredible. For the general public, it is wonderful and unexpected to have contemporary artwork so accessible. I love that my work is seen by such a diverse cross section of people.”

The final deadline for submissions to The FENCE is April 10th, 2018, though Early Birds who submit prior to March 13th pay a reduced fee of $35. Photographers are invited to submit up to five images from a series. Submit here.

Remarkable Photos of Boring Things

If you visit the Instagram page for Polina Washington’s new project Solution, you’ll see only three words: “trash and nature.” And that’s exactly what the St. Petersburg photographer has chosen to shoot. In fact, she’s gone out of her way to observe human detritus and environmental fragments– in other words, all the things she once thought we never worth her time.

Breathtaking, Emotional Photos of Rescued Elephants

Sabachi, Kenya 2009. Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. All rights reserved.

LAYONI, Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. All rights reserved.

Photographs of poached elephants are graphic and painful. In order to obtain their ivory tusks, poachers first shoot elephants with poison, and then, while the animals are still living and breathing, they rip their tusks (the equivalent of human teeth) from their skulls. Many die from hemorrhaging. They can survive for multiple days in agony. These images have been circulated widely in recent years, as elephant populations continue to be endangered by human activity.

But there’s only one such photograph in Elephants in Heaven by Joachim Schmeisser, a new photo book published by teNeues, and it’s at the volume’s conclusion. Cruelty isn’t Schmeisser’s chosen subject; instead, he tells a story of courage and kindness at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, where elephants orphaned by poaching are nurtured by human hands until they are able to lead a wild and free life with their kind.

Powerful Photos Made with the Ashes of Deceased Shelter Dogs

When I first look at Mary Shannon Johnstone’s Stardust and Ashes photographs, my husband leans over my shoulder and whispers, “Wow, is that the universe?” The pictures look like constellations–Orion, Pegasus, Leo, Canis Major. In fact, they are cyanotypes made using the ashes of cremated dogs from local animal shelters. These dogs, while living, were discarded; they were unable to find homes and families, and they were euthanized.

Honoring Animals Who Have Died, in Images

© Emma Kisiel
Sylvilagus Floridanus 6, 2012
Inkjet print

© Julia Schlosser
Syringes used in euthanasia procedure (These are the needles that were used to euthanize my cat Sebastian on 2/27/2017. Sebastian suffered from multiple health issues for many years, and finally when he had lost so much weight and stopped eating, I decided to have him euthanized. He was 17.), 2017
Archival digital pigment print from scan, 20 x 26.67 in.

Emma Kisiel
Toxostoma Rufum 2, 2012
Inkjet print

In one of her classic children’s books, the author Margaret Wise Brown tells the story of a group of kids who find a dead bird. They try to find a heartbeat, but they are unsuccessful. “The bird was dead when the children found it,” she writes. “The children were very sorry the bird was dead and could never fly again.” Like the characters in the book, most of us learn about mortality when we’re young through the death of an animal. It’s sad and frightening, and it usually marks us in some essential way.

This Is What It’s Really Like to Photograph the Olympics

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway in action during the Men’s 10km Sprint Competition at the Laura Biathlon Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. 08 February, 2014. © Hendrik Schmidt/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Bode Miller of the USA competes in the Downhill of the Men’s Super Combined Event in Whistler Creekside at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. 21 February, 2010. © Christophe Karaba/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Stories of hope, tragedy, and redemption–the Olympics has it all. From the “Nancy/Tonya affair” to the “Miracle on Ice,” moments from the Games are passed down from generation to generation, inspiring new dreams. “These are the Olympics,” the Champion Al Oerter (1936-2007) once said. “You die before you quit.” While he was speaking for himself and his fellow athletes, something similar can be said for the photojournalists, those tenacious few who stand for hours in anticipation of a single unforgettable shot. The athletes are chasing gold, and the photographers are chasing history.

Shutterstock gave us access to some of their most nail-biting and adrenaline-pumping photos from sports history and from the ongoing Winter Olympics 2018. They also shared some insight from two pioneering photographers: Javier Garcia, the Director of Sports Photography at Shutterstock, and Matt Campbell, the North America Director at EPA/Shutterstock.

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