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© Dan Eckstein

Horn please! I love Dan Eckstein's project on long-distance drivers in India. Dan covered some 2500 km - it was worth it!

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"'Horn Please' is the mantra of the Indian highway and some version of the sentiment is written on the back of practically every truck on the road. In a place where lanes are a mere suggestion, side-view mirrors are seldom used and modes of transport range from horse-drawn carts to eighteen-wheel trucks, the ever-present horn is an essential part of driving etiquette."

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"Along the highway, one unmistakable feature is the brightly decorated trucks that ply the country's roads. The men who drive these trucks spend long hours on the road and can be away from their families for weeks at a time so their trucks act as a second home and they take great pride in them. The interior and exterior of the trucks are colorfully decorated with paintings, stickers, garlands, tassels and shrines, which are not only a unique form of folk art but also an expression of individualism."

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All images © Dan Eckstein




Nice one, John! Here's a short video from Daylight Multimedia about John's Cyr's genius project on the developer trays of the famous. He terms it here a "treasure hunt," with many photographer's trays no longer around. The series was featured here in aCurator magazine in full-screen glory two years ago this month - it's wonderful to see this project go from strength to strength!

Karsh_Prince_Philip_1966.jpgQueen Elizabeth has been getting all the attention lately, but news just came in that Prince Philip has been taken to hospital during the Jubilee celebrations. As one witty Twitterer stated - he must really not want to see Cliff Richard perform tonight.












Prince Philip, 1966 © Yousuf Karsh

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The Meal Back Then, Self Portrait. Rockport, Maine, 2003 © Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey is a fellow ex-pat Brit, living in Maine. Cig's images are breathy, expansive, dreamy, and packing a colorful punch. After a personal introduction Cig posted me a copy of her new bright-red book 'You Look At Me Like An Emergency' and I consumed it like a tube of fruit gums.

'Emergency' is "A book of photographs and text about a life being lived." The storybook opens with the statement "Photography is my way of slowing the world down and creating order from chaos" and interspersed throughout are snatches from a personal diary. "He said, 'Your hair is so wonderfully disheveled.' I thought 'you should see the inside of me.'"

View the aCurator full screen magazine photography feature.



Yousuf_Karsh_Elizabeth_1951.jpgQueen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee is this weekend. This is the portrait that should have been on the cover of every magazine!















Queen Elizabeth II, 1951 © Yousuf Karsh

Perusing the 2009 book of Yousuf Karsh photographs 'Regarding Heroes' this morning I stopped at this portrait of composer Kurt Weill, taken in 1946. About 46 minutes later, I got a request for this same photograph. Not having one in the digital archives, I was rescued as I often am by my colleague in Canada, photographer and scanner-man, Charles Britt, who made this beauty.

'Regarding Heroes', like so many Karsh publications, is full of great stories, so herewith, Mr. Karsh on Mr. Weill: "...His 'Threepenny Opera', 'One Touch of Venus', and 'Lady in the Dark' were all certified triumphs when I photographed him at his country home in Rockland County outside New York, where, for the first time, he was enjoying financial success. "It is lots of fun to have a smash hit," he remarked happily. The farmhouse was near a running trout stream which we both could hear and see as this photograph was being taken. The session was sometimes boisterously interrupted by his sheep dog, Wooly."

Kurt Weill, 1946 © Yousuf Karsh

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Morrissey. Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester, September, 1983 © Kevin Cummins

I've just about stopped panting enough to write about Proud Galleries' new exhibition of The Smiths by Kevin Cummins this week. The Smiths have the biggest place in my heart that a band has ever occupied, and Kevin Cummins has a place in my heart for making my first day in the photo biz, back in 1989, mounting transparencies into cardboard and writing his name by hand, just that bit less boring.

Manchester: So Much To Answer For, opens at Proud Camden, June 1st to July 15th 2012. I trust my London pals will be sure to go see this and let me know how great it was.

Proud Galleries have been doing the 80s, and music in general, well, proud!

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Morrissey. Jones Beach, Long Island, New York, July 1991 © Kevin Cummins

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The Smiths. Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester, September 1983 © Kevin Cummins

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Smiths Fans. Salford. September 1988 © Kevin Cummins

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Get your photos ready! The International Fine Art Photography Competition is now open for submissions. The first year of this annual competition is gaining momentum - with the express purpose of celebrating fine art photography and discovering new talent. Promising emerging and mid-career photographers will receive the recognition they deserve - a path to have their work seen and appreciated by a wider audience, with a rich exhibit and publication schedule for the winners and finalists.
 
A diverse jury will review the work - a panel noted for their creativity, expertise, and support of emerging photographers. We're honored to have two of the most distinguished museum curators of their time, Jean-Claude Lemagny of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and David Travis of the Art Institute of Chicago, both making significant contributions to the appreciation of fine art photography around the world. We're also honored to have two talented and successful contemporary photographers, Michael Kenna (who had a major retrospective at the Bibliothèque Nationale last year) and Jane Evelyn Atwood (who had her retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie). And rounding out the jury panel are Alexandre Percy, owner of the Acte2 experimental gallery in Paris and Julie Grahame, publisher of aCurator magazine in New York.
 
Also called the Grand Prix de Découverte, this international competition is open to photographers around the world. The images submitted can be far reaching - any subject - as long as they fit into one (or more) of the seven categories - People/Portraits, Landscape/Seascape/Nature, Cityscape/Architecture, Street Photography/Documentary, Still Life, Abstract, Experimental.
 
What are the Paris connections? The exhibit of finalists will be presented in Paris in November at NoFound Photo Fair in the Marais (more than 10,000 visitors), in conjunction with Paris Mois de la Photo and Paris Photo 2012. The awards ceremony will take place the week-end of November 17-18, and there will be a special event at the American Library for the jurors and the Grand Prix winner on November 13.
 
The winner of the Grand Prix de Découverte (the best image in the competition) will be awarded travel to Paris and accommodations for the awards ceremony, in addition to the cash prize of $5,000. There are cash awards for the winners of each category, and winners and finalists' work will be accepted into the prestigious collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale. There will also be a catalog of the winners and finalists' images and publication in aCurator magazine (seen by curators all around the world).
 
So, take a look through your photographs (or get your camera ready) and find/make images that have the elegance, impact, or creative chutzpah to make them speak out to the jurors.
 
Bonne chance! Bon courage! Go get 'em!

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Alice Austen perches on a fencepost while Gertrude Tate watches the second photographer. 

A unique opportunity awaits!

"Thanks to a generous grant from New York Community Trust, the Austen House is able to offer two emerging photographers the opportunity to develop their technical skills and aesthetic sensibility over the course of nine months. It is our hope that the residency will launch a serious career."

The residency is for nine months, and the artist will be involved with various aspects of the museum, and will receive a stipend. You'll need to either live in Staten Island or demonstrate a strong connection thereto and eligibility marvelously includes 'Photographers who are members of groups under-served by the museum community.'

"When Alice Austen turned eleven in 1877 she received a camera from her uncle Oswald. Over the following half a century she developed into one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers. Her technical skills and strong aesthetic eye continue to fascinate us."

Contact Alice Austen House for details.

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Barbie and Ken © Jana Cruder

Jana Cruder and I met last year at NYC Fotoworks. Go see her exhibition at Barneys New York, Las Vegas, which opens on June 15th.

"The collection of new works, Great Expectations, explores sexuality, identity, and the dichotomy of the male-female relationship in the 21st Century."

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