Karsh_Giacometti_Alberto_02.jpg"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."

Yousuf Karsh made more than 15,000 sittings across six decades. This feature is but a small selection of the artists he photographed.

There is lots of information and images on the official Karsh website, it's great value so I recommend a long visit.


View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Alberto Giacometti, 1965 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Mubarak_Hosni_03.jpgIt's not all Audrey Hepburn and Helen Keller over here at the Karsh satellite archives - we've got plenty of controversial figures in the files. As protests in Egypt continue into their second year, here is ex-President Hosni Mubarak, photographed by Yousuf Karsh in 1983.










Hosni Mubarak © Yousuf Karsh

Dirk_Anschutz_soccer_03.jpg The ever-entertaining Dirk Anschütz has a new post on his Heavy Light blog about a shoot he did with his football mates (soccer buddies) 'Chinatown Ballers - The Miracle on Turf': "Some of the regular highlights of my New York existence are the amateur soccer games I play in Chinatown. Some fellow kickers and I started to get together quite a long time ago for a midweek pick-up game on a 7-a-side pitch at the edge of Barrio Chino. The game proved to be very robust and survived the cold winters, hot summers, stretches of low popularity, stretches of too much popularity, and many personnel changes for over a decade now. Even though soccer has its fair share of whiners, complainers, braggers, spoiled brats, bullies, people teetering dangerously close to sanity, as well as people that are all of the above, we managed to keep the game clean, competitive, friendly and fair." Read the back-story.
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All images © Dirk Anschütz

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Maloyn Chatelin © Denis Darzacq

In other series Denis Darzacq uses dancers and athletes to capture able bodies in suspension, in urban settings. In 'Act,' 2008-2011, he photographed people with physical limitations, from a variety of backgrounds, careers and locations from the south of France to the north of England and the States; the goal was for each to express their individuality through a collaborative effort with the photographer. Denis worked with institutions, dance and sports groups to find eager participants. "Everyone, from the moment he decided to play the game, took an active part in the image by choosing gestures, attitudes, clothing, a place."

This body of work was brought to my attention by friend and colleague Jerry Fielder who enjoyed Denis' exhibition in Paris at Galerie VU last November. Denis has won a World Press Photo Award, and been exhibited and collected by multiple institutions, and is a member of Agence VU. Visit Denis' website for more, in particular check out Hyper, and La Chute.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Thanks to Denis for providing his interview with Virginie Chardin.

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Masauna Kristiansen with whip, Inglefield Fjord, North Greenland 1987 © Ragnar Axelsson

A new show opens next week at Proud UK's Chelsea gallery. A little different to the usual, 'Last Days of the Arctic' features photographs by Ragnar Axelsson of the Inuit.


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Girl in a swing, Tiniteqilaaq, East Greenland 1997 © Ragnar Axelsson

"This is a moving and insightful photographic portrait of a disappearing landscape and its Inuit people. As the world turns its gaze toward the Arctic; the landscape whose inhabitants have done the least to cause climate change is where the devastating effects are most visible. Their ancient culture is set to become extinct; the probability of these communities continuing to live traditionally is becoming increasingly unlikely. In his native Iceland, Ragnar looked at the fisherman and farmers of remote villages and thought if he did not photograph them, then no one would know they ever existed. It is this thought that has led to this unique body of work captured in Greenland, with unprecedented access to a community that rarely let outsiders in."

Exhibition runs from 26th January - 11th March 2012 - not to be missed!

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Little Bent with puppy, Kap Hope (Itterajivit), East Greenland 1995 © Ragnar Axelsson

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Polar bear skin, Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland 1996 © Ragnar Axelsson
All images courtesy Proud Gallery

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Update: New exhibition opened at ICP in New York this week. There is a lot more than just photographs including a mock-up of the man's sleeping quarters and his hand-written notes. Go see. 

In a quite brilliant move, Chris George at the ICP archives created a Google map not only of all the locations where Weegee took photographs but including a clip from the newspaper. There is tons of other interesting stuff at ICP's 'Weegee's World' including photos, audio and a searchable database, but this is genius.

"Firemen William Murawski and William Miller went to the rescue of this cat when it wedged itself between the walls of the buildings at 51 and 53 Barclay St.
PM Daily, Oct. 6, 1942, p. 19"

Have fun!

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Muay Thai / Thai Boxing © Sara Rubinstein

As regular readers will realize, during the few hours I spent reviewing portfolios at NYC Fotoworks I met several great photographers. I think the vetting process serves good purpose.

Sara Rubinstein and I talked about this body of work and naturally I was thrilled when she contacted me to let me know she'd taken my advice about how to show the series. And with that, here's the story:

"Minneapolis based photographer Sara Rubinstein spent six weeks outside of Bangkok, Thailand, documenting the lives of a group of Muay Thai Boxers. Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, is the National Sport of Thailand. In a culture where it is considered bad luck for a woman to so much as touch the boxing ring, Sara enjoyed the challenges of creating this series in a foreign environment. Children as young as 5 or 6 participate in this 700-year-old martial art that includes punches, kicks, elbows and knees. In impoverished rural areas, these children stand to make money for their families or camps by winning matches. A mother of young children herself, Sara hopes to return to Thailand to continue exploring this project and publish a book on the subject of young children and Muay Thai. This project, born out of a personal passion for martial arts, was a new and inspiring challenge from the typical commercial and editorial portrait and lifestyle work that Sara photographs in the United States."

All images © Sara Rubinstein

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Karsh_Ali_Muhammad_04.jpgOn Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday, an opportunity to publish a couple more Karsh photos from their session in 1970.

And because a Karsh story is always worth repeating:

"Muhammad Ali arrived at my New York studio with a breathless young editor trailing behind. They had jogged together from the 'Look' offices, the young editor carrying Ali's heavy portable telephone which Ali said kept him in "constant contact with the world." Since the editor was a slight young man, I smiled to myself as I imagined this improbable duo and the incredulous stares of the passers-by as they made their way up Madison Avenue."


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Muhammad Ali, 1970 © Yousuf Karsh

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© Michel Leroy

Here is another great photographer I met at a portfolio review.* Michel Leroy's gritty portraits of Rally Bikers depict a microcosm of the biking world at large.

"Attending motorcycle rallies throughout the American West allows me to create portraits of riders ranging from 7-year-old kids on 90cc hill climbers, to middle age firemen on 1200cc road bikes, to sunburnt grandparents on 1800cc luxury touring marvels. The patches, leather and tattoos are trappings of a lifestyle that riders have chosen as a release from the everyday obligations of a 9 to 5 weekday existence."

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

I really appreciate photographers such as Michel who take time out of their already-burdensome digital imaging processes to write and maintain a fun and interesting blog.

*NYC Fotoworks

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Longhair Oriental

Keith Barraclough is one of the warmest photographers I've ever encountered. Never heard a bad word about him, or out of him. He photographed an awful lot of dogs last year - they are great portraits but I'm a cat person so upon seeing these that he shot for Animal Planet, I had to run some. I'd like to sic one or two of these on the incessantly yapping dogs in my building.

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Sphynx

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Siamese

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Korat

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Abyssinian

All images © Keith Barraclough

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