Karsh_Lego.jpgThanks go to Mike Stimpson for raising a smile by including Karsh's Winston Chuchill in his Classics in Lego™ homage to the great photographs of our time.

See more on Facebook, Flickr.

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June 20th ‐ 27th, 2010. Festivals are an expression of society and the ultimate manifestation of cultural change. Join award‐winning photographer Ashok Sinha and renowned anthropologist Trinidad Ordóñez on an 8‐day workshop in Ecuador to observe, experience and document the otherwise "hard to reach" Conquistadores. There's a discount for members of ASMP and ASPP.

See EcuadorWorkshop.pdf for more info.

El Quinche festival © Ashok Sinha

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"It's hard to believe that when I began this project in 2006 the issue of gay youth was just beginning to gain national attention, most notably with a cover story in Time Magazine titled 'The Battle Over Gay Teens' (Oct. 2005). The article stated 'Kids are disclosing their homosexuality with unprecedented regularity - and they are doing so much younger. The average gay person now comes out just before or after graduating high school. In 1997 there were approximately 100 gay-straight alliances (GSAs) - clubs for gay and gay-friendly kids - on U.S. high school campuses. Today there are at least 3,000 GSAs - nearly 1 in 10 high schools has one. In the 2004-05 academic year, GSAs were established at U.S. schools at the rate of three per day.'

Since then, in just four years, the issue has become a kind of fait accompli. Americans may continue to argue about teenage sexual expression, school sanctioned GSAs and gay marriage, but clearly all are here to stay.

The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. I desperately wanted to be made valid in the eyes of my peers. Coming out (and of age) in the 80's proved to be quite difficult for me and many others. I'll never forget being beat-up by a high-school classmate as I'm sure all the other kids who suffered because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this kind of willful, painful defiance that I wanted to capture in these portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation... the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame." - M. Sharkey, Brooklyn, April 2010

So far, this project has taken Sharkey to New York, California, Colorado, Florida & Washington State.

View the feature.

See more of the project.

DeMarques © M. Sharkey

toledano_Steve_RGB_new.jpg"I'm interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves. Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?

Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon's hand?

Can we identify physical trends that vary from decade to decade, or is beauty timeless? When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity?

Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? And if so, are the results the vanguard of human-induced evolution? As a race, is this the beginning of a new direction?"

Image and text © Philip Toledano

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"I take a cultural documentary approach to my photography as a means to promote democracy."

View the feature.

When we met, Ashok Sinha had just returned from two years photographing in Asia. "While working as a photographer on an extended trip to China, I became increasingly aware of the plight of the ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities that inhabit the northwestern province of Xinjiang. As a result of the government's efforts to assimilate the Xinjiang peoples' cultural uniqueness into the 'official' mainstream of Chinese society, the local culture was increasingly under threat and I realized I needed to document the traditional lifestyle of Uyghurs before it changed forever.

Uyghurs are a Turkic-Muslim ethnicity and one of China's fifty-five nationalities. Along with other Kyrgyz, Tajik and Kazhak minorities, Uyghurs have inhabited the Xinjiang region of northwest China for centuries.

The existing body of work from my first trip is an attempt to create a visual record of the Uyghurs' traditional culture and lifestyle as a testament to their unique identity. I hope to travel to Xinjiang to continue my work and revisit the Uyghur community in the aftermath of the latest developments of the last year and a half." - Ashok Sinha.

A Xinjiang family of Kyrgyz heritage © Ashok Sinha

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The Specials played in New York last night. Janette Beckman, who last photographed the Specials on their 'Seaside Tour' in 1981, when she was terribly young, gives her review.

"The Specials played to sold out crowd at Terminal 5 in NYC last night. Quite a few sentimental old souls had a tear in their eye as the band was just as brilliant as in the old days - in spite of not having Mr Dammers. The crowd went wild - I observed some serious skanking and a few fights going on. The skinhead look has always been a good one and pork pie hats and suspenders were definitely the thing last night."

© Janette Beckman

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Dirk Anschütz, aka Knipser, is a sports, portrait, and landscape photographer - sometimes combining all three. 'Giddy Up' is a cool series which features BMX bikers Matt Beringer, Cam Wood and Tate Roskelley. Dirk felt there was a lot of images of these guys in a more urban setting, saying "Salt Lake City has quite a few top notch BMX riders. It was good fun to get them into the great Utah landscape to perform their tricks."

Dirk's launched a new blog, 'The Heavy Light', in which you can enjoy the back story on his recent film noir-ish photo story 'Louise Cypher's Suitcase'.

View the feature.

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Just off the Stephen Mallon presses is his announcement that two of his Subway Series 'Next Stop: Atlantic' prints will be on display in Grand Central Terminal, April 19-23, 2010, as part of Grand Central's Earth Day installations. Congrats Steve!

View Steve's feature in the magazine.

Read more about Earth Day.

Weeks 297, 2008, chromogenic print edition of 5 in two sizes © Stephen Mallon

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Outstanding documentary photographer Peter Turnley is collaborating with Mike Johnston of super-popular blog The Online Photographer to 'publish long form photo essays with a personal edit on a site seen by a worldwide audience'. Their latest publication is 'The Faces of Semana Santa, Seville, Spain' which Turnley photographed in conjunction with one of his student workshops this year during Holy Week.

Priest kissing statue, 2010 © Peter Turnley

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Proof: Media for Social Justice is a non-profit created to educate global citizens about the economic, political and humanitarian hardships facing post-conflict societies issuing a variety of media.

One of Proof's current initiatives is 'Child Soldiers'. Up to half a million children have been engaged in more than 85 conflicts worldwide. Proof produced the exhibition, 'Child Soldiers: Forced to be Cruel' based on the book by Leora Kahn, which features 40 photographs taken of child soldiers from all over the world, which "seeks to illustrate the story of children subjected to unspeakable violence and manipulated by war criminals."

Learn more and see how you can support the organization. Donations over $1000 receive a print. You can also buy the 'Child Soldiers' book.

Photo: Peter Mantello

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