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Watching New Yorker Susan A. Barnett build her series "Not In Your Face" into a fantastic collection over the last couple years has been a pleasure, and now her dedication to capturing T shirt messages has resulted in a really great book, from Dewi Lewis.

"With over 200 images of t-shirt 'messages', "T: A Typology of T-shirts" looks at those individuals who stand out in a crowd through their choice of the message on their back." Here are but a handful, from a request I made to Susan for more "sassy, edgy" messages. Susan's off to continue shooting abroad so stand by for some messages from other cultures.

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All images © Susan A. Barnett

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In 1971, Yousuf Karsh published a book of his portraits titled "Faces of Our Time" (University of Toronto Press). It included his iconic, intimate photographs of John F. Kennedy, Helen Keller, Albert Schweitzer, Ravi Shankar, Tennessee Williams, and many more. Anyone who is familiar with Karsh will know that the success of his portraits resulted from his respect for, and knowledge of, his subjects. When photographers have a good amount of time with their subject, so much more is revealed in the resulting portrait as a connection is made. When a photographer has to grab 2 minutes in a bland hotel room, they get nothing but a flat record of some face.

Steve Pyke is a brilliant man, wonderful photographer, still-young and -prolific veteran artist. His new book, "Faces of Our Time," will be filled with his own intimate and iconic portraits made over the last 35 years. From Quentin Crisp, to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to Hugo Chavez, Pyke has made his own mark with the luminaries of the 20th century. 

Help get this book of photos and stories published through Unbound. You get the e-book for only £10!

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Hockey player Gordie Howe, 1952 by Yousuf Karsh

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced a new crossing over the Detroit River which will connect Windsor, Ontario to Detroit will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge in honor of the 87-year-old Red Wings legend.

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I met Samantha Geballe at Photolucida last April and I was impressed with her ability to speak about her incredibly intimate photographs, at her young age. She has a wonderfully frank attitude, and both I and two of my fellow reviewers, who will be thrilled to see the work here, were knocked off our feet.


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© Bear Kirkpatrick

Our hero of the fantastical, Bear Kirkpatrick, has kindly rolled out a new set of eye-popping images in his Wall Portraits series, with a new solo exhibition of the prints opening next week at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City.

"In his studio, Kirkpatrick applies feathers, dead bugs and other assorted materials on his subject's skin and hair as he listens to their stories. They reveal their experiences and he uses his imagination to see what lies below the surface. He imagines a history and another level of consciousness that might exist beyond our own."

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All images © Bear Kirkpatrick

It is barely 18 months since I first saw this project and it has been wonderful to watch it develop, and yes, now the be-all and end-all: a solo show in NYC. Props to Daniel Cooney for knowing great stuff when he sees it. Breasts or no breasts, right Bear?

Opens at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, 508 - 526 West 26th Street, #9C, NYC, and runs May 21 - July 17, 2015.

Check out Bear's feature in aCurator magazine from last year. 

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Fantastic series from Sultan Al Rubayq, from Saudi Arabia, who is graduating from the MFA in Photography program at the New York Film Academy this spring. I am thrilled to share his images from his thesis project.

"Tafeet" is a game of car-drifting that sort of looks like fun but is obviously highly dangerous. According to Sultan, although it is illegal "It is still rampant in the public roads in my country and that means it continues to create reasons for people to die in accidents, whether the drifters or just mere spectators. My sole purpose in showing this documentary is to be a medium of exposing the dangers and threats of this to innocent victims."

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All images © Sultan Al Rubayq

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Billie Jean King © Yousuf Karsh

While looking for the photograph Karsh took of Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King, talking to John Buchan aka Lord Tweedsmuir, US President Roosevelt and his son, I discovered that Karsh had photographed Billie Jean King!

Every day with Karsh is a gift.

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Tweedsmuir, King, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt's son, Elliott, 1936 

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Berenice Abbott, 1989 by Yousuf Karsh

Berenice Abbott was one of my very first photo crushes. A story about her in today's New York Times promoted me to post Mr Karsh's late portrait of her. She is standing in front of one of her scientific images, "Van de Graaff Generator, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958"

"Berenice Abbott spent two years at MIT creating photographs that memorably document the principles of physical science - mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves. She often developed innovative techniques for capturing scientific phenomena, including one for very detailed, close-in photography that she called Super Sight."

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Photolucida would prove to be the portfolio review event everyone claims it to be when before even reaching the hotel, I was already talking to a fabulous photographer - one of the many lovely volunteers who dedicated a whole lot of time to looking after us all. Based in Portland, Oregon, Erika Plummer is a multi-talented portrait and landscape photographer, who lit up while telling me how she got into chasing the Aurora Borealis - and I lit up when she sent me the pics! 

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"I saw them the first time in 1998 while camping MI and have been in pursuit ever after. The onset of DSLR cameras and the advancement of high ISO capabilities have made it easier to capture on our sensors what we can't see with our naked eye. The colors are there, the lights are dancing and our cameras prove it."

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"These images from Montana, however, I saw very easily without my camera and that makes it more wonderful. There are a handful of us insane photographers who will drive hundreds of miles looking for clear dark skies and a chance to catch the very elusive Aurora. When she makes her appearance it's worth every failed trip."

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These images were all made in Montana on April 16th, 2015 about 100 miles north of Billings in an unincorporated area called Ingomar.  © Erika Plummer

"If you are ever in one of the United States that border Canada, and it's a clear dark night, point your camera North and see what happens." 

I plan to!

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Tabitha Soren has spent a dozen years delving into the realm of American baseball, exploring tradition, success, and failure. Using the tin type process to photograph some of the live action, she gives a nod to the history of both that process and baseball itself - coming to popularity at around the same time in US history. Embedding herself in the drafts, she uncovered the truth behind the glamour - that a small percentage ever make it to the Big League.

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"FANTASY LIFE is a series that explores the fantasies that define America: Manifest destiny, the romantic idea of the restless wanderer, the hopeful idea that failure is just a step on the road to success, the notion that the pursuit of fame and fortune is also the pursuit of happiness, the belief that to secure one's identity, one must seek to stand apart from the community."

"Out of the thousands of players that are drafted into Major League Baseball each year, only a tiny percentage - about 6% - go on to play in 'The Show,' the big-pay, high-stakes galaxy of thirty teams that we all know, love and hate."

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"Some of my subjects became well known, respected players at the highest level of the game. Some left baseball to pursue less glamorous work, such as selling insurance and coal mining. Some have struggled with poverty - even homelessness. But the common thread among them all is that they had a shot, and they literally put their bodies on the line for the sake of the game."

It is very hard to do this deep project justice online, so you can go see it now at Kopeikin Gallery in LA, through June 6, 2015. The live exhibition includes:

A mixture of C prints and Selenium toned Gelatin Silver prints;
A wall of memorabilia from the 23 players I followed for 11 years (everything from kindergarten age baseball cards to arthroscopic x rays from knee surgeries);
A wall of comparison portraits showing that only 5 of the 21 subjects made it to the major leagues;
Tintypes of action shots from games;
Two sculptural elements: a vitrine of 40 bone spurs (many taken out of the players during surgery to improve their game) and an acrylic 4 foot high tower of shelled peanuts, with 6% of the peanuts at the top painted gold.

Amazing!

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All images © Tabitha Soren

Check out Tabitha's previous entry about her series "Running."

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