Nudism in a Cold Climate Uncovers a Fascinating Story (NSFW)

“They argued, with considerable evidence, for the healing power of sun and air for the body and mind,” explains Dr. Annebella Pollen about some of the Nudist Clubs featured in her book Nudism in a Cold Climate. “Members found the practice liberating and enjoyable.” Dr. Pollen focuses the book on the history of nudism in Britain. In the 1930s, it’s was a huge movement with photographers looking to get in on it. Some found that it was also quite a profitable venture for them. We’ve featured tons of stories on sub-cultures around the world, but this one is incredibly fascinating. So we spoke more with Dr. Pollen about the photos and the movement. Nudism in a Cold Climate is available for purchase on Amazon or from Atelier if you’re interested.

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Shady William Is on a Quest to Capture Egypt’s Cultural Magic

All images by Shady William. Images used with permission.

“I am usually attracted to subjects who have incredible stories but their voices are hard to hear,” says photographer Shady William, “a man travelling hundreds of miles just to touch a shrine for a quest precious to his heart, or a farmer who is also a great horse rider.” Inspired by people and different cultures, Shady William embarked on a cultural quest near Luxor, Egypt. His series, Horses & Knights, documents one of the world’s oldest fencing competitions between local tribes living there. At the same time, it documents an important cultural tradition. In Al-Marmah, locals ride for pride and the sake of tradition, demonstrating the incredible speed and power of their fantastic horses.

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Goodbye and Good Riddance: Why I Won’t Miss Photokina

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Many of you have seen the news that Photokina is no longer going to happen for the time being. I’ll admit that I always enjoyed my time at Photokina. As an accredited member of the press, I’m not going to miss the abysmal wifi (despite the staff’s incredibly kind and helpful efforts). Nor will I miss the insanity of the show and running from one booth to another through crowds of people walking no better than toddlers teetering about. Large shows are incredibly impractical. For business, they’re nice to get everyone in one spot for face-to-face meetings. But we don’t need those anymore. In fact, we haven’t needed them for a long time. And to me, Photokina’s possible death means we can actually instead spend resources on the photo industry’s sustainability.

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HAL 9000: How This Nikon Fisheye Lens Inspired Hollywood and Culture

Did you know that HAL 9000 was powered by a famous Nikon Fisheye lens?

There are lots of great stories about the Nikon 8mm f8 fisheye lens, but perhaps one of the most famous is how it became a critical part of HAL 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The vengeful supercomputer in the film was made with this exact lens put right into it. A recent exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in NY had the exact prop used to create the movie. And getting up close and personal with it is an experience all on its own. One would think that the lens is big, but in truth, it’s relatively small. This is a testament to Nikon’s engineering, as the lens could allegedly see behind itself. And if that’s the case, what other eyes would you want a supercomputer to use?

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Skanda Gautam Reveals the Crimson Revelry of Nepal’s Sindoor Festival

All images by Skanda Gautam. Used with Creative Commons permission.

When it comes to the most visually stunning and vibrant festivals of Nepal, we can trust Kathmandu-based photojournalist Skanda Gautam to deliver some of the best photos. Aside from bringing our attention to the most pressing issues of the country, he has also showcased some of the Nepalese festivals and cultural events that every travel and documentary photographer shouldn’t miss when in the country. We’re adding to the pile the Sindoor Festival, which he encapsulates in a series called Red Dawn.

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Fascinating Portrait Project Explores Our Shared Genetic Past

“The Sum of the Some of Us” is a fascinating portrait photography project that seeks to change the way we look at cultural identity and genetic lineage.

If you’re 100% sure of your heritage, ethnicity, race, nationality, or whatever else you think makes you distinctly you, taking a DNA journey might surprise you. Who could forget that eye-opening short commercial film celebrating the (often surprising) ancestry of 67 people randomly chosen from all over the world? Well, this portrait project beautifully called The Sum of the Some of Us that is currently being funded on Kickstarter is another one like it, with the same goal of exploring, revealing, and celebrating the bits of our ancestry that we probably aren’t aware of.

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Skanda Gautam’s Fascinating Street Captures of Nepal Festivals

All photos by Skanda Gautam. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Kathmandu-based photojournalist Skanda Gautam is one of our go-to photographers whenever we get curious about life in Nepal. It’s easy to see why with some of his work we’ve previously featured. We’re adding one more to our pile of favorites of his: the beautiful Culture Series in Nepal, which showcases some fascinating scenes during festivals in Nepal in February. If the country is still on your to-visit list, we’re sure these photos will inspire you to keep an eye out for the next festivals!

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Pictures Speak a Thousand Words – A Love Letter to New York City by Photographer Andre Josselin

andre josselin

Photographer Andre Josselin writes a love letter to NYC with his Leica M (Typ 240). All Images by Andre Josselin and used with Creative Commons permission.

We all have certain places in the world that we want to visit. We build up the destination in our heads to such massive proportions that we then start to wonder whether the magical place can really live up to our expectations. Photographer Andre Josselin’s dream destination was New York City, and after a couple of years of things not going how he planned, he decided to visit the Big Apple. After the break check out some of the truly magical shots Andre was able to capture during his visit to his dream location. Continue reading…

Paulo Monteiro Reveals the Rituals and Soul of Azores on Kodak Tri-X

All images by Paulo Monteiro. Used with permission.

Wherever people settled and built towns and cities, they also crafted their collective spirit on myths, stories, and rituals. We can say that many street and documentary photographers have made it their mission to uncover these elements through their work. One of them is self-taught photographer Paulo Monteiro, who has been documenting his town, the autonomous region of Azores in Portugal.

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Manish Lakhani’s Ladakh Portraits Give an Intimate Peek at Life in the Indian Himalayas

All images by Manish Lakhani. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Documentary portraiture remains one of the branches or applications of portrait photography that bring out the strongest visual narratives. Those that reflect the daily life, culture, and traditions are especially interesting, and not only because they give us a slice of life in places we haven’t been. Most of them are also telling of the unique experiences and opportunities that photographers immerse themselves into to capture a compelling visual story. Case in point and today’s inspiring series of portraits taken by Manish Lakhani in the Indian Himalayas.

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Skanda Gautam Showcases the Colors of Maha Shivaratri Festival in Nepal

All images by Skanda Gautam. Used with Creative Commons permission. 

Festivals are among the events and photo opportunities sought after by photographers interested in story-driven imagery, such as documentary, travel, and street photography. It’s easy to see what makes it so captivating for both photographers and viewers alike, as we see in the vibrant festival snaps of Kathmandu-based photojournalist Skanda Gautam.

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The Psychology of a Nude Studio Portraiture Photographer (NSFW)

All images by David Kai-Piper. Used with permission.

“Creating images that have range and balance is more meaningful and to me more stimulating across all creative aspects than just a photo of a girls boobs.” says David Kai-Piper in our interview. “Saying that, I have never been the ‘boobs & ass’ photographer, I try and stay as far away from what the world now calls ‘glamor’ as I can.” David is a photographer that doesn’t care to get famous off of Instagram. Instead, he’s all about just creating good photographs. He doesn’t like glamour, he doesn’t like any of that stuff based off of what he calls the “Kardashian-esqe culture” these days. Instead, David works to create art.

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JP Stones Documents Aztec Culture in Mexico Through Stunning Portraiture

All images by JP Stones. Used with permission.

“Mexico has a deep and fascinating history,” explains photographer JP Stones in his email to us. “None more fascinating than the Aztecs meteoric rise to empire, and equally spectacular fall. Many Aztec traditions and ceremonies held such a vital place within Mexican culture that they have survived over 600 years through to today.” In the hippie Mexican beach town of Sayulita, a partnership has been forged between the local Azteca community and photographers JP Stones and Brei Barron. JP describes the result as a series of cinematic photos depicting a cultural movement thriving beneath the surface of Mexico’s everyday life.

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10 Under 10K: Emerging Black and White Street Photographers on Instagram

Some of the best are the ones we don’t know about.

I was truly impressed by what I saw while scouring Instagram to show you ten mostly monochrome street photographers to inspire you this month. The thing that excited me most was just how many people are making work like this, and how diverse and interesting street photography really is. In the tradition of the great street photographers of earlier decades, there are people all around the globe adding to the visual record of person, culture, place, and architecture and sharing it with their fellow photographers and humans. Here are some mostly black and white feeds that you’re bound to find particularly inspiring and some reasons why.



Through the Lens: A Look Back at Miroslav Tichý

One of Tichý's cameras

One of Tichý’s cameras © Roman Buxbaum

Three years ago, I walked into the International Center of Photography for the first time before I was due to meet a friend. It was a chilly February afternoon in 2010 as I was working my way down from Central Park, where I had been taking some photos. I hadn’t heard of ICP before, but given my family roots in photography (you can see a truncated version of that in my staff bio), I felt compelled to enter. The major exhibition on the main floor was that of Miroslav Tichý, a reclusive Czech photographer who, among other things I learned, made his own cameras, cut his own glass, and paid no mind to the quality of his images. There’s more to be told, and I will tell it to you as it shook the foundation of my then-nascent practice and understanding of photography.


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Behold the Magnificence of These Early 1900’s Autochromes from Paris, France

Notre Dame - 1920

Notre Dame – 1920

Going back to the early days of photography is not always enjoyable. The oldest photographs of mankind are dark, undetailed, monochrome pictures that seem to show hardly anything. Only at a fifth glance and with an explanation provided by an expert will you be able to see anything in them. However, humans’ first forays into color photography were pretty amazing from the start — like these ‘Autochrome’ color photographies from early 1900’s Paris.


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