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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

Karsh_QE2_Colour.jpg2012 is a big year for the Brits. Queen Elizabeth will be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee - here is one of the many photographs Mr Karsh took at four separate sessions across four decades.

"Official portrait of British monarch HM Queen Elizabeth II pictured at Buckingham Palace wearing the mantle and Star of the Order of the Garter. This 40th birthday picture was officially released on February 8th, 1966."

It is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens so there's probably not much else on TV this year other than stateliness and period drama.

Queen Elizabeth II birthday portrait, 1966 © Yousuf Karsh

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Bike Rack, 2010 © Danny Ghitis

In this series, Danny Ghitis explores the reality of life in the aftermath of evil.

Auschwitz had for a long time been a German name for the Polish town of Oświęcim and was made the official name by the Germans after they invaded Poland in September 1939.

"For hundreds of years before the German occupation, Jews and Christians lived harmoniously in the town of about 12,000. After the war, the leftover chemical factory was exploited by the new communist regime and the town grew to about 50,000 inhabitants. Now in its fourth political chapter since the 1930s, Oświęcim hangs in the balance between the rapidly developing Polish economy and its own uncertain future." Thanks to Danny for photos and text.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.


nopa.jpgI'm super duper honored and excited to be the juror for a new exhibition by the New Orleans Photo Alliance.

"Photography, in fact vision itself, is not possible without light. No surprise, then, that light often becomes the subject of photography itself. The play of light and shadow defines an an object, tells us what time of day it is or creates a mood. Please submit photographs in which you explore the meaning of light, its visual, sensual or emotional qualities."

Call for entries is out now and you have until January 16th to submit images that fulfill the spec. Plus, you get to use the brilliantly-named Entry Thingy to upload your submission. I look forward to seeing your work.

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Towards the end of 2011 I reviewed the portfolio of a photographer* who suggested I might like the work and personality of a young woman who had assisted him, and I was happy to be formally introduced to Jennifer Osborne. I had heard Jen speak about her work in the summer of 2010 at Aperture as part of the program around the publication of the book 'reGeneration: tomorrow's photographers today'; I was moved by her series 'Tough Blood' about the mentally ill, suicide-prone residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. However, I chose this project, Net Generation, which she photographed in July 2009, to kick off the new year.

It has been suggested that in China more than 10% of the country's 100 million teenage web surfers fall prey to excessive gaming and online activity. Jennifer Osborne visited Doctor Tao Ran's recovery program for Internet addicts, established in 2004. The young people Jen photographed are in summer video game rehab at the Beijing Region Military Hospital.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

The series was originally produced with the support of COLORS Magazine.

*Carlo Hindian

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© Zackary Canepari

This is a great idea: you chose a photo, buy a print and get to decide which of the signed-up charities your money goes to. Charity gets 50%, photographer gets 25%, The Nuru Project runs the business off the 25% they keep. There's a "back story" accompanying each photograph, which you receive in print if you buy, so you can connect a little with the photographer or at least hear her thoughts (I trust they will be adding more women in the coming year.)

Prints start at $50 and you have time to browse and order before the holidays.

Do the right thing this year: support a charity, and shop at your local small businesses.

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 © Rodney Dekker

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© Kirk Mastin

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© Christian Bobst / all images courtesy of Nuru

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Ruth Bernhard, San Francisco, 1988 © Abe Frajndlich

Abe Frajndlich gave me free reign to put together a second series from his stunning new book, 'Penelope's Hungry Eyes' which is packed with over 100 portraits of the master photographers. If your favourites are not here in my edit I'm sure you'll find them in the book.

"With a single-mindedness and tenacity which can only be compared to Penelope's faith in the return of her husband Odysseus, Abe's "hungry eyes" pursued the goal of photographing photographers for generations. In the course of over thirty years he compiled an ever-growing portrait collection of famous colleagues, 101 of which now appear in his new book."

On December 7th, 2011, the New York Public Library will be host to a discussion between Frajndlich; Henry Adams, author of the introductory text; and Duane Michals, one of the  photographers featured in the book.

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