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Birdies, prunes, cheese and whiskey: smiling (or not) for the camera

... in the Victorian era (1837-1901), a small, tightly controlled mouth was considered beautiful. They took their cues from much of Europe's fine-art portraiture. Some say photographers even suggested those posing say "prunes" to heighten the effect. Smiling was something captured on children, peasants and drunkards, hardly something you'd want for your family legacy.

Then, there was the matter of oral hygiene.
Advances in dental care and ubiquitous technology: why people started smiling for the camera, and why we say cheese, with a whistling bird, some whiskey, and a little flash game thrown in for good measure. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 19, 2014 - 10 comments

A print can last for thousands of years, emulating the age of the trees.

Beth Moon photographs trees, Ancient Trees.
A few more from the gallery "portraits of time" which has links to further galleries.
In her methodology and in an interview by Lenscratch about her collection "Between Earth and Sky" she explains her photos as a Noble Process in a digital age.
posted by adamvasco on Dec 15, 2014 - 5 comments

"This is the fairy-land; O spite of spites!"

British photographer Kirsty Mitchell's hauntingly beautiful photographs of a stylized fairy wonderland.
posted by Kitteh on Dec 15, 2014 - 9 comments

Beauty is cheap if you point a camera at a grand phenomenon of nature

The world's most expensive photograph sold for $6.5 million. But is it art?
posted by monospace on Dec 11, 2014 - 133 comments

Do you have any idea how many phone calls we'll get?

Seasoned news photographer John Harte is telling stories, naming names, and even sharing unpublished pictures from his 28-year stint at The Bakersfield Californian at a new blog, You can't have my job, but I'll tell you a story: My three decades of photojournalism in one hell of a news town. Be warned that some of these photos may be disturbing. (They include images of dead children — notably the famous, award-winning, and highly controversial Hart Park drowning photo, which generated 500 calls of protest and a bomb threat against the newspaper.) Less-upsetting highlights include the stories in these individual entries: Meet the sheriff! My first arrest, We can't upset our readers!, and The greatest sports photo in history.
posted by Mothlight on Dec 11, 2014 - 25 comments

"...like taking a Polaroid but on glass."

Photographer Jonathan Keys is taking a step back from modern techniques and using a Collodion camera (previously) that dates back to the 1880's and uses a wet plate process. Here's his Flickr gallery.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 11, 2014 - 5 comments

Consumer culture, sort of

PES makes an unconventional submarine sandwich.
posted by gilrain on Dec 10, 2014 - 14 comments

It's as if he were the wind or weather itself.

Vyacheslav Korotki is a man of extreme solitude. He is a trained polyarnik, a specialist in the polar north, a meteorologist.
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 10, 2014 - 7 comments

Oslo gets a long winter, a decent summer, and a short spring and autumn

In years past, Eirik Solheim has been interested in capturing the passing of a year, as seen in his wooded yard in Oslo. In 2010, he set up his camera to take an image every half hour, and from that, he selected 3888 photos to serve as single pixel-wide samples in a photo collage of the year. He also selected 3500 shots for a timelapse video of the year, with and without zoom. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 6, 2014 - 20 comments

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques "Iranian photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri gives us an opportunity to see the entirety of these incredible spaces all at once. His fully panoramic, expansive photographs of centuries-old mosques reveal the genius of their geometries and complexity. The effect is dizzying in a different way, like some kind of fractalized religious hallucination."
posted by dhruva on Dec 5, 2014 - 15 comments

Veteran Art Project

The Veteran Art Project is a visual experiment by 27-year-old photographer Devin Mitchell "who is exploring a part of the veteran’s experience that is sometimes difficult to articulate." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 5, 2014 - 2 comments

Orange Julius and a Hotdog

1989: America's malls. The places where nothing — and everything — has changed. In 1989, Michael Galinsky, then a 20-year-old student, took a month to traverse the U.S. Everywhere he went, he documented the same place: the shopping mall. The results are now an archive of a vanished world, simultaneously familiar and foreign, trivial and full of meaning.
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 3, 2014 - 163 comments

"Managing to serve the perfect drink and stay upright (mostly)"

1920s – 1930s: The ice-skating waiters of Switzerland. Enough said.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 1, 2014 - 8 comments

Approaching shadow

With a knife in his hand, a pig butcher said he would chop me. He wanted his spirit back.

Fan Ho's black and white street photography of 1950s Hong Kong
posted by KirkpatrickMac on Nov 26, 2014 - 19 comments

It pretty much landed in my lap

I’ve been watching Odell Beckham practice similar one-handed catches for the past several weeks. He caught half a dozen in practice before Sunday’s game, and had an amazing one-handed fingertip catch in practice several weeks ago. So he was definitely on my radar screen. Today I was making a point of keeping track of where Beckham lined up, so I would be ready. -- The New York Times interviews photographers about how they themselves caught this incredible catch in the Giants game last night.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 24, 2014 - 43 comments

Magical Contamination

Seashells? Distant planets? Beautiful mold.
posted by FirstMateKate on Nov 23, 2014 - 3 comments

Quite Pretty Until the Shoveling Starts

Drone footage of the snow storm aftermath in West Seneca. NY. [slyt | 4k]
posted by quin on Nov 21, 2014 - 32 comments

Nothing but a Berliner

This post contains nudity.
Photographic history is chock-full of people who were painters before they became photographers, but very few were in women's wear to begin with.
When Hitler came to power in 1933, Erwin Blumenfeld produced this premonitory photomontage which in 1943 the US Airforce dropped in their millions over Germany cities.
Possibly his most famous early work is the series Nude under wet veil reflecting Botticelli and Cranach .
From his early Dada and Surrealist photomontages to his later New York fashion shoots, Erwin Blumenfeld insistently parodied objects of desire.
Here is an illustrated lifeline and a brief bio. from weimarart blogspot.
His fashion shots were masterpieces as were some of his nudes.
73 Thumbnails and wiki.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 20, 2014 - 16 comments

Ruin Porn Ruins Chernobyl

Photographers prowl the streets of Pripyat . ...at each new location we visited, photographers were picking up dolls and books and clothes, draping them across steel-strung beds or sitting them upright on mantelpieces. However in trying to show the truth, these visitors are slowly destroying it. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Nov 20, 2014 - 26 comments

The best catwoman cosplay ever

Superheroes and other pop culture icons photographed in the style of Flemish paintings, by Sacha Goldberger (previously known for his true superhero grandmother Mamika, who is also featured in the superhero series).
posted by elgilito on Nov 18, 2014 - 16 comments

We are dreamers, sisters, fighters.

"When I began thinking about my own transition in 2008, I worried what people would think of me, and how they would see me," photographer Rhys Harper recently explained of being transgender and photographing trans subjects. "As a photographer ... I wanted to photograph people in a way that challenged the assumptions people make about transgender people, and gender non-conforming people." Cosmopolitan (!) showcases 14 photos from the show. [Trans 101 from GLAAD; Trans 101 from T-VOX]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Nov 18, 2014 - 13 comments

Hip Hop When The World Was Young

In the early 1990s, photographer and cinematographer Lisa Leone was a fixture on the New York hip hop scene. She recently uncovered a trove of old behind-the-scenes photos of iconic rappers and breakdancers, which have been collected into the book Here I Am, and are currently on exhibit at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The New York Times' Lens blog has an excellent selection of the shots.
posted by Diablevert on Nov 18, 2014 - 4 comments

“the human element was vital for this series”

“Best Before End”: Photographing Energy Drinks [The New Yorker] In “Best Before End,” Stephen Gill in processes film negatives in a variety of popular energy drinks. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Nov 17, 2014 - 3 comments

Nicholas Vreeland: Monk with a Camera

Diana Vreeland, noted fashion columnist and editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine from 1963 until 1971, once famously said, "Pink is the new black." This post is about her grandson, Nicholas Vreeland, who as a teenager worked as an assistant to legendary photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon (both friends of Grandma). Nicholas began studying Tibetan Buddhism in 1977. This (8:39) PBS Video from 6/15/2012 provides some background: "Buddhist Abbot Nicholas Vreeland". Now, the trailer to Monk with a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland", a documentary film by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara, has a North American release date of 11/21/14. A Leica Camera Blog article: Nicholas Vreeland: Capturing Photographs to Honor and Preserve His World. Perhaps you would just enjoy seeing some of what Nicholas Vreeland can do with that camera. Enjoy!
posted by spock on Nov 17, 2014 - 2 comments

More on those photogenic Japanese macaques, aka snow monkeys

Last February, a Japanese snow monkey got hold of someone's smart phone (as discussed on Reddit and elsewhere), and Marsel van Oosten captured a great view of that same Japanese macaque, winning accolades and awards around the 'net and globe. If you'd like to know even more, he chatted with the 500 px ISO blog, discussing these hot-tub bathing macaques and nature photography in general. If you'd like to know more about Japanese macaques in general, here's a broad overview of the photogenic monkeys, and an hour long PBS documentary to delve even deeper. (Snow Monkeys bathing in hot springs previously)
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 17, 2014 - 14 comments

The side eye that shook the world

Sophia Loren explains the famous photograph of her and Jayne Mansfield. Sophia Loren: 15 Photos of My Life
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 7, 2014 - 28 comments

singular stylings

Slavik's Street Style - over a 2-year period, Ukrainian photographer Yurko Dyachyshyn took dozens of portraits chronicling the remarkable daily stylings of a 55-year-old homeless man living in the city of Lviv.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 6, 2014 - 8 comments

When the famous start thinking of immortality, they call for Karsh

In Yousuf Karsh's 93 years, he had amassed more than 15,000 sittings to his name, capturing portraits of famous and worldly people. He rose to international prominence due to his portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. At first, it was an honor for the amateur Karsh to walk up to or invite people to photograph them. After that, it became a privilege for future subjects to be accepted into Karsh's gallery. Karsh's website is a source for great insight into the photographer's life, in his own words and through his works. You can read more in this 1988 interview Karsh gave to the Paris Voice, see a few more portraits from the Smithsonian Magazine, and view an interview in three parts. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 6, 2014 - 8 comments

jaunty jackets register at the Shah Abbas

GQ’s Persian Excursion, 1969
posted by timshel on Nov 6, 2014 - 7 comments

Vintage photo finds

Vintage Photo Finds is a site with vintage photographs. According to creator Joel Snow:
The following pictures were found as negatives at the bottom of a cardboard box at a flea market. I shot them with my SLR on a lightbox and inverted them back to positives with Photshop. I'm not sure if it was a single photographer, or many, but many of the shots show an artistic and creative eye and share a similar style.
[more inside]
posted by tykky on Nov 5, 2014 - 9 comments

Hey, remember that time it rained meat in Kentucky?

The other day Mrs. Crouch, of Olympian Springs, Ky., was employed in the open air and under a particularly clear sky, in the celebration of those mysterious rites by which the housewife transmutes scraps of meat, bones and effete overshoes into soap. Suddenly there descended upon her a gentle shower of meat. (PDF) That's right, in Bath County, Kentucky, flesh fell from an otherwise clear sky on March 3, 1876. Mentalfoss gathered a collection of old news articles about what people said the sky meat was based on taste and more scientific investigations. Theories for the localized "meat rain" ranged from meat descending from space like meteorites, star jelly, and the most likely, overly full vultures who vomited (Google books preview), but while in flight. One Hundred and Thirty Nine years later--on Sunday, March 3, 2015--Kurt Gohde will re-seed the clouds over Olympia Springs with meat. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 30, 2014 - 45 comments

Vintage Supercars Rotting away in a Forest

“Nature is stronger than technology, and that I will show here,” said Michael, who has no doubt succeeded in displaying the power of nature that triumphs over even some of the most revered examples of man-made machinery.
posted by philip-random on Oct 28, 2014 - 31 comments

Star Wars in Real Life

"A glimpse back into my mind at eight years old — a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …"
posted by chunking express on Oct 27, 2014 - 14 comments

How do astronauts take such great photos? Telescope lens!

Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how zero gravity makes it possible to take sharp, hand-held long exposures.
posted by Mike Mongo on Oct 26, 2014 - 12 comments

Car model diorama-rama

Instagram user takupon0816 is a constant stream of the most incredible model car dioramas. The weathering and lighting are so spot on that most barely give away they are in fact small scale models and not life-sized photoshoots. Weathering is a big thing in scale modeling with tools and techniques specifically made for it. There are also diorama model museums in Japan dedicated to showcasing the craft.
posted by mathowie on Oct 23, 2014 - 8 comments

Photographing Today's Solar Eclipse

This afternoon/evening, North Americans will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, making for some great photography opportunities from Chicago to LA and points northward (coverages as high as ~60% in the Northwestern US and Canada) -- even if there are some clouds! Not sure how to photograph an eclipse safely? Here are some detailed guides. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Oct 23, 2014 - 19 comments

Really, really old dogs

"Photographer Pete Thorne has discovered that, just as photographing the elderly can make for powerful portraits, the same can be said for old dogs as well. His “Old Faithful” photo series takes a warm and intimate look at man’s best friends as they live out their golden years."
posted by Jacqueline on Oct 23, 2014 - 27 comments

The Math Behind the Rolling Shutter Effect.

Here's a pair of blog posts explaining the math behind the "Rolling Shutter Effect": Playing Detective with Rolling Shutter Photos and Rolling Shutters.
posted by empath on Oct 13, 2014 - 13 comments

The only reason to not work Oktoberfest: being pregnant or a broken leg

This Beer Maid Will Work Oktoberfest Until She Dies
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Oct 12, 2014 - 16 comments

Es ist eine kleine Welt, nachdem alle

Tiny Planet is the newest short video by German photographer Jonas Ginter. His webpage [translation] [previously] shows how he can use off-the-shelf hardware, some 3d printing, and a clever use of timelapse to capture these wonderfully disproportioned short films.
posted by quin on Oct 12, 2014 - 1 comment

The Elderly Unicorn and His Girl

Beautiful story and photos of a senior horse and the little girl he shared his last year with before returning to The Secret Forest. Part of Paper Horse Photography's Senior Horse Project.
posted by Glinn on Oct 11, 2014 - 16 comments

Rise and Shine

What kids around the world eat for breakfast
posted by mbrubeck on Oct 9, 2014 - 87 comments

A body of dense ice that is moving under its own weight

I Happened To Photograph The Rupture Of The Perito Moreno Glacier.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 8, 2014 - 11 comments

The Brown Sisters, in forty portraits

Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.*
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 3, 2014 - 15 comments

"The United States is a lot more interesting than it’s given credit for"

Southern Gothic: Hunting for the peculiar soul of Georgia
posted by davidstandaford on Oct 1, 2014 - 16 comments

Ultimate mountaineering photography

Photographer Robert Bösch works with Swiss mountaineering brand Mammut and teams of climbers to produce elaborate and visually stunning Alpine works. His most recent endeavor is the 150 year commemoration of the Matterhorn's first ascent. Peta Pixel features a gallery of his works and a variety of "making of" videos. Robert Bösch
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 29, 2014 - 1 comment

Infringers really bug Alex Wild

Insect photographer Alex Wild explains the effect of copyright infringement on his business; he has decided to give up commercial photography, partly due to the time he spends going after infringers. Alex Wild previously on MetaFilter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate on Sep 25, 2014 - 46 comments

On second thought, no dessert for me. CHECK PLEASE!!!

The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
posted by Room 641-A on Sep 23, 2014 - 26 comments

From Camera As Torture Device To Camera As Restorer Of Humanity

"There is not one person in prison in Iraq who has not been subjected to some kind of abuse." "I want people to consider, what if that happened to your family member?" [more inside]
posted by blankdawn on Sep 22, 2014 - 9 comments

The Machete Project

Photographer Vanessa Ahlsborn's Machete Project "is an ongoing portrait and object archive that showcases the diversity of this blade style and the beauty of its users. Despite their fearsome reputation in western news media and popular culture, the machete is an extremely versatile and commonplace asset for many people across the world. By documenting the everyday user for whom the machete is an invaluable tool, the project seeks to question the viewer's assumptions about the machete, and by extension, the people who use it." [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash on Sep 20, 2014 - 24 comments

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