photography

Butt up, legs out: the photographs of Guy Bourdin

Butt up, legs out: the photographs of Guy Bourdin

See more sexy after the jump.
Guy Bourdin (1928-91) is one of those rare fashion photographers who straddled the line between art and commerce, ultimately leaving his mark in both worlds. Bourdin got an unusual start, receiving his first formal photographic training while serving in the military in Senegal in the late 40s. A few years later, when he came back to Paris, his photographs were exhibited in a show for which Man Ray wrote the catalogue’s introduction – a helluva start for a newbie. He was quickly whisked away to French Vogue, where his love of Man Ray’s surrealism made a marked impact on his fashion editorials.

Weekly Kickstarter Picks, 8/15/11

Weekly Kickstarter Picks, 8/15/11

We’re starting off the week with our second batch of donation-worthy Kickstarter projects. What’s this all about, you ask? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you, starting right now with this week’s Kickstarter Picks.

Ezra Shaw's unique perspective on divers

Ezra Shaw's unique perspective on divers

This photo series, published in The Wall Street Journal and snapped by Getty Images photographer Ezra Shaw at the 14th FINA World Championships, would be smack in the middle of a Venn diagram charting fans of sports, photography, and “LOLs.” Shaw pointed his lens at the these graceful divers and presented viewers with a slightly different perspective on the sport with a hilarious (unintentional at least from the athletes’ perspective) result. Of course we admire their talents and poise as they slip into the water, like (bad analogy alert) a knife through butter, but I dare you to look at these photographs of them underwater and not laugh.

"The New York Times Magazine Photographs" goes beyond celebrity

"The New York Times Magazine Photographs" goes beyond celebrity

Cropped from the original
Celebrity portraiture can seem like an easy way for a photographer to make a buck, and maybe that’s what makes it so challenging – to do something new and exciting in such well-trodden territory. Kathy Ryan, the director of photography at The New York Times Magazine, is such an avid proponent of the “good” celebrity portrait that she wrote a book on the subject, “The New York Times Magazine Photographs,” a “wonderfully heavy” tome out next month, the result of six years of research poring through 1,700 issues of the magazine.

#BikeNYC photo series

#BikeNYC photo series

Flickr’s official blog highlighted Dmitry Gudkov’s photo project titled “#BikeNYC” that was inspired by his own personal transformative experience with how he engaged with New York City after he purchased a bicycle. He became curious about his fellow bicyclists and reached out to them, first through Twitter (hence the hashtag origin of the photo series’ name) and began snapping portraits of New Yorkers with their bikes along with an accompanying profile. He explains:

Passport photos and reality

Passport photos and reality

“Passport and Reality” is a photography project by Suren Manvelyan and Biayna Mahari “about how different a person can look in real life and his own passport photo.” The contrast is made all the more striking when you consider that passports often don’t expire for years. Case in point: I don’t think the guy pictured above grew into his features too early (pun totally intended). It’s probably because most of the subjects are smiling in their non-passport photo, but reality seems so much more pleasant. I finally had to renew my passport last year and gladly forked over the money to the US government because it meant I could finally update the photo of me with the buzzed look I thought was a really swell idea back in college.

Exercise makes you ugly, and other important lessons from photographer Sacha Goldberger

Exercise makes you ugly, and other important lessons from photographer Sacha Goldberger

French photographer Sacha Goldberger assembled an indoor studio at the Bois de Bologne in Paris, a park two-and-a-half times the size of Central Park, where he stopped joggers mid-workout and asked them do a sprint and then pose for a portrait immediately afterwards. The result? We look wretched when we work out, a fact anyone whose eyes have ever wandered in the gym can attest to. But that wasn’t the only point Goldberger wanted to make. After immortalizing his subjects’ blotchy, red-faced, sweat-soaked visages on film, he asked them to come to his studio the following week, where, using the same lighting, the same pose and similarly-colored clothing he took another portrait.

Wedding photos from New York's first day of legal gay marriage

Wedding photos from New York's first day of legal gay marriage

Our photographer friend David Jacobs (he took our deceptively flattering bio pic) was hired by Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, to document New York’s first day of legal gay marriage this past Monday at Manhattan’s City Hall. HRC will soon have more on their site, but for now here’s a round-up of the day’s events by their National Field Director, Marty Rouse. And below is our friend Dave’s take on events (he’s not gay, but he’s married and does rock the occasional pink shirt with flare), followed by more of his cool photos of the happy couples.

Caption this photo of a whale shark

Caption this photo of a whale shark

Photographer Mauricio Handler snapped this remarkable photograph of a whale shark feeding near Isla Mujeres, Mexico for National Geographic piece on one of the largest swarms of whale sharks ever spotted in 2009. Lucky for the diver in this picture that they only feast on plankton and tiny fish eggs.

Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut chilling

Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut chilling

I figure this photo of authors Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut sharing a lifeguard seat is apropos selfishly for the fact that I’m at the beach today and soaking in this awesome 100 degree New York heat. The other thing I find interesting about this photo is that Tom Wolfe isn’t outfitted in his trademark…

Dear Photograph

Dear Photograph

Dear Photograph is an evocative user submitted website that displays juxtaposed photographs overlaying the past and present with an often poignant impact, such as the example above.

Glamour of the Gods

Glamour of the Gods

Back before tabloid photography played such a major role in shaping the reputations of the Hollywood set, actors relied on real photography (i.e. the posed, carefully lit, artfully angled, softly focused studio portrait) to promote themselves. Far more than just a headshot, these portraits had a major impact on an actor’s career. Take Jean Harlow. She went from being an uncredited bit plater to a stunning leading lady opposite James Cagney in THE PUBLIC ENEMY – virtually overnight – as the result of a particularly good portrait. Harlow was just 20-years-old and fresh off the bus from Kansas City, but under the lens of master photographers like George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull, she was transformed into the blonde bombshell we know her as today.

Matthias Heiderich's Berlin

Matthias Heiderich's Berlin

I am obsessed with Matthias Heiderich’s cropped square photos of Berlin’s buildings. Using color and composition, the photographer creates patterns and abstract images that may not obviously be architecture and the city’s skylines. Having just returned from Berlin last week it’s quite remarkable just how perfectly he captures the modern feel and cool, geometric shapes of…

Photo series of people texting

Photo series of people texting

Joe Holmes snapped this amusing photo series succinctly titled “Texters,” which focuses its lens on various residents of New York City texting. [Via]

Ai Weiwei's photos of New York City

Ai Weiwei's photos of New York City

Currently on display at NYC’s Asia Society Museum are a selection of 227 photographs (curated from thousands) snapped by artist Ai Weiwei of daily life during his residency here in the Big Apple in the 1980s. This is the first exhibition of his NYC photographs outside of Beijing. “Mr. Ai worked as a street artist…

Hipster party, circa 1905

Hipster party, circa 1905

Everything about this photo suggests it could have been taken at a gathering of hipster bros just last weekend in Bushwick: mustached, skinny jeans enjoying a pig roast and drinking PBR. Even the grainy quality of the picture gives it an Instagram-esque vibe that would fit in well at such a party (and quickly shared…

Recreated covers of romance novels

Recreated covers of romance novels

With the assistance of photographer Oli Kellett behind the lens and her boyfriend Ross as a model, Alex Holder recreated a series of real life portraitures imitating the saccharine covers of romance novels published by Mills & Boon. I’m sure her boyfriend was absolutely thrilled to partake in her project. It reminds me a bit…

Photo series: Switcheroos

Photo series: Switcheroos

I’m really liking Vancouver based photographer Hana’s ongoing photo series “Switcheroos” that juxtaposes identically posed photos of two people after they’ve swapped each other’s clothing. There’s a subtext here that seems to touch upon or critique issues of normative expectations of gender lines, but really I can’t get over how hilarious the dude looks in…

Scaffolding without the building

Scaffolding without the building

Living in a city where at times it seems half the buildings are hidden under gross scaffolding, I appreciate the alternative perspective presented by Vienna-based artist Liddy Scheffknecht in this photo series where “all architectural elements except the scaffolding were removed from the photograph of a building under renovation.”

Caleb Charland's light photography

Caleb Charland's light photography

Artist Caleb Charland creates some great light photography, such as the one above with lighters. His pictures are even more impressive considering that they are are created in-camera and without any other digital manipulation or touch-up. [Via]

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

We’ve been bemoaning the lackadaisical nature of blog creation these days: theme+culled images+captions=instablog! Just as there is a site for every sexual fetish (giantesses, anyone?), there is a site for every combination of mild interests and/or hobbies and/or pet peeves. Last week it was Awesome People Hanging Out Together; this week it’s My Daguerreotype Boyfriend…

Award-winning photograph of 6 year old swimming with his pet shark

Award-winning photograph of 6 year old swimming with his pet shark

Photographer James Morgan snapped this remarkable photo of six-year-old Enal having a blast in the ocean waters below his family’s “stilted house in Wangi, Indonesia” with his PET SHARK. If that isn’t the look of pure childhood joy then I don’t know what is.

Mind-blowing Tetris gameplay

Mind-blowing Tetris gameplay

I used to think I was pretty good at Tetris, but this gameplay video of grandmaster Jin8 playing an arcade version of this classic game let me know that I’m just a mere mortal with a pea-brain sized capacity for this game.

The Best Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of

The Best Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of

As an enormous fan of candid street photography (discovering Cartier-Bresson and Weegee née Arthur Fellig years ago was a revelation for me), I was blown away by both the background story and photographs of Vivian Maier or as Mother Jones described her: “the best street photographer you’ve never heard of.” Maier lived a relatively obscure and anonymous life as a nanny in New York City and then Chicago from the 1950s through 1990s. Never married, her constant companion through her life was her Rolleiflex camera which she used frequently, but apparently she never shared her work with others. It wasn’t until 2007 when John Maloof, 26, purchased a box of Maier’s negatives at an auction house that they came to light. Taken with the quality, he sought out others and ended up collecting more than 100,000 negatives as well as a few thousand rolls of film.

Pictures by a Reuters photojournalist of a harrowing flight that nearly crashed

Pictures by a Reuters photojournalist of a harrowing flight that nearly crashed

When the flight he was on with his wife and kids from Singapore to Jakarta experienced a scary malfunction that threatened to crash the plane, this Reuters photojournalist calmly documented the ordeal and shared the photos and experience on a Reuters blog. During my many years of assignments as a Reuters photojournalist, when flying I…