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 Mummy, St. John's, 21st Street, Brooklyn, 1980 © Larry Racioppo

 Us older British ex-pats grew up without Halloween and some of us have trouble relating to the madness that descends upon us each October. Larry Racioppo on the other hand, grew up in the thick of it. 

There are a lot of great photos on Larry's website but when you've finished here, be sure to check out some of the audio of Larry talking about his work.

"Growing up in South Brooklyn, I loved Halloween. My cousins and I didn't wear store-bought costumes, just a little face paint. We were more interested in fighting our friends with homemade chalk bags and throwing eggs than in 'trick or treating'. In 1974 I began photographing the kids in my neighborhood every Halloween."

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Girl in Bug Costume, 18th Street, Brooklyn, 1996

"The 11th Street Photo Gallery in the East Village exhibited some of my black and white Halloween prints in 1979. The Village Voice reproduced 8 of these images in its centerfold along with a story about the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Scribner's published HALLOWEEN, a book of these photographs, in 1980 and eventually the New York Public Library's Photography Collection purchased a portfolio of this work."

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Dracula, Fort Tilden, Queens, 1997

"I continued photographing on Halloween with newer and better equipment. Using a Hasselblad camera and a strobe unit, I photographed at my local Catholic church in 1980 and at the Park Slope Food Coop in 1982. In the 1990's I returned to my old neighborhood with a 6x9 Fuji camera and shot with120mm color. When I moved to Rockaway Beach, Queens in 1991, I began photographing there on Halloween too."

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Shaving Cream Fighter, 20th Street, Brooklyn, 1978

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Mugger and Victim, St. John's, 21st Street, Brooklyn, 1980

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Witch and Sea Creature, 18th Street, Brooklyn, 1996

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Angel #1, St. John's, 21st Street, Brooklyn, 1980

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Mamie and Ike Eisenhower, Union Street, Brooklyn, 1982

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Power Rangers and Leaves, 18th Street, Brooklyn, 1994

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Ninjas and Clown, Rockaway, Queens, 2016

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Gypsy and Costumed Kids, Rockaway, Queens, 2008
All images © Larry Racioppo

Read about Larry's book "Brooklyn Before", out now from Cornell University Press.

Without question, one of the highlights of 2017 was Pete Souza's talk with Michael Shaw of Reading the Pictures, which was a special presentation brought to us by the exceptional folks at Photoville. Publisher Shaw and former White House photographer Souza met at St. Anne's Warehouse in Brooklyn before the start of Souza's national tour to promote his bestselling book, "Obama: An Intimate Portrait." 

Above is the 2 minute excerpt but I strongly recommend a large glass of something and the whole 90 minutes, below.

aCurator was given the book on Christmas morning and cried till lunchtime. Here I am telling him.

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© Grayson Dantzic


New from my favorite naked photographer and his chosen bears. Mickey Aloisio shot these during a couple of months in Europe earlier this year. It seems he's as comfortable getting naked abroad as at home! Read more about Mickey in an earlier blog post "Gay Wildlife".

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All images © Mickey Aloisio


 Shahriar Nouri is a photographer living and working in Norway. In a nod to cultural diversity, Norway's Turban Day is in its ninth year and our man Shahriar was there to record it.

"The Norwegian Turban Day is an annual event in Oslo, where Sikhs in Norway happily let part of their cultural expression of identity become a novelty appropriation of sorts for a day. The people of Oslo and nearby areas, as well as tourists and visitors, get their heads wrapped in cloth and are offered vegetarian cuisine free of charge. Oslo City even has its own limited edition turban design." That's right - and this year it's Paisley!?




All images © Shahriar Nouri / Eternityfish

 © Josh Rossi

 Photographer Gives Bullied Kids Sweet Revenge!! I first saw Josh Rossi's Wonder Woman series a couple of years ago and since then he's been on my peripheral vision, making what he does look simple and fun. Well, I don't believe it's simple but I can tell that it is fun! Josh Rossi does not mess around. In the course of four months he took 15 kids who have been severely bullied, turned them into superheroes and allowed them to feel empowered. You can read about their personal stories here










Please also check out the Justice League kids and Wonder Woman.

All images © Josh Rossi

 Raymond Diaz, athlete © Michael Weschler

 I am late to the party but I love this collaboration between photographer Michael Weschler and Paralympic sled hockey player Raymond Diaz. A good story never goes cold and Michael made it easy with his account. Enjoy!

"While I've always enjoyed photographing people who've achieved great things, I'm moved by people who face and overcome adversity. So, when I met Team USA Paralympic Sled Hockey All Star, Ray Diaz, I knew he would become a portrait of inspiration."


"Our mutual friend, an art director who's also an amputee, introduced me to Ray and I was immediately captivated by his positive attitude. Meeting him reminded me of my first triathlon - I saw para-athletes getting thrown into the ocean to start the race. You're struck by their courage and tremendous motivation and think about how hard they must have worked to get through both physical therapy and intense training. It makes you reflect and feel gratitude for your own difficult months of training, which you know pales in comparison to their journey."


"When I first met Ray, I learned quickly about his extra-ability on the ice as a sled hockey player. Something about his story struck a deep chord inside me - I found myself thinking I could never match his level of intensity. Ice Hockey players often hip-check each other into the plexiglass, but sled hockey players get pummeled into the solid wall below that. Ray's tenacity pushed him to go beyond his constraints to achieve not only what we take for granted, like walking or driving, but to excel at a sport that requires great courage, skill and strength to compete.

"You get new scars from guys jousting at you with their hockey sticks, spikes up, but you just want to feel more alive, so you shake off the pain and keep going," Diaz says."


"My new series, There Are No Obstacles, helps to tell Ray's remarkable story. Sometimes, when we're looking closely enough, time stands still, reminding us to stay grounded. For the series, I wanted to create something meaningful and inspiring, so I created captions and played with typography, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. The presentation needed to be special because there are very few people I've met who are as present and in the moment as Ray. Somehow, this tragic accident that paralyzed Ray for several months empowered him to accomplish tremendous feats of incredible athletic ability.

"We are all fighting battles, but there are few heroes like Ray who raise the bar and, through their triumphs, help us to change our own perspective. Ray is a badass on the ice and much better than most. After losing his legs, it changed his center of gravity completely and he had to relearn how to walk. However, nothing holds him back. His athletic ability is incredible, so he's no longer a victim, but a heroic fighter who is thriving. His spirit and tenacity inspire you to overcome all obstacles.

"Find your ability within your disability. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but if we focus on elevating our game, we can remove all doubts and make anything possible." Michael Weschler, December, 2017.


All images © Michael Weschler


 Yasser Alaa Mobarak is an Egyptian photographer based in Delhi. Yasser sent in a selection of fabulously engaging portraits from his "Human" series. I think they speak for themselves.









Yasser Alaa Mobarak is a 24-year-old, Egyptian award-winning photographer. He has won photography prizes from National Geographic Traveler India, National Geographic Egypt, International Federation of Photographic Art, Photographic Society of America and Prix De La Photographie Paris. Yasser's works have been featured in National Geographic Magyarország, National Geographic Srbija, Digital Camera World Magazine, Amatuer Photographer Magazine, Smart Photography Magazine, Silvershotz Magazine, Adobe Blog, PBS NewsHour and Xinhua News Agency. He is holder of AFIAP distinction from the International Federation of Photographic Art and holder of Associateship from Image Colleague Society International. He was judge at Adobe Youth Voices Awards, Romania's National Creativity Contest and The Photographic Angle. He is visiting Faculty at Delhi College of Photography and Author at Digital Photography School.

Follow him on Instagram.

Yasser has a great photo of himself on his Contact page - some photographers resist even showing a simple portrait. Don't miss the opportunity to be recognized and / or make someone smile!

all images © Yasser Alaa Mobarak

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 'J' Power: Jaylynn, Jernelle, Jaison and Justin shopping for Fourth of July fireworks. After telling them that my name was Julie and that my siblings' names were Jamie and John, I said "Let's hear it for 'J' power!" and we all let out a whoop. © Julie Mihaly

 My colleagues and friends are tired of my mantra: you don't have to go far from home to make great photos. But I'm right!

"In early September 2016 I began photographing as many people within a four mile radius of my home in Poughkeepsie, NY as would let me. Although many have declined my request, many people have been willing, kind and supportive. Radius has given me the opportunity to engage with my community in a way I never have before. The fact that I end up with images, and at times, wonderful bits of information about my subjects, feels like icing on the cake. And so the project continues." Julie Mihaly.

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Dan outside Davies Hardware on Main St. Dan's been a carpenter for 35 years and said, "Frankly, I'm a little sick of it."

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John, a waiter/boxer/massage student, responded to my request to photograph him with, "With my shirt on or off?" as if those were the two options that would present themselves to anyone I might ask to shoot.

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Meg outside Stop N Shop. When I asked if there was anything interesting about her that I should know she quickly and flatly answered, "No." I laughed and said, "Well, then what would your mother say about you." She smiled, looked down and said, "That I'm wonderful."

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Lorianne preparing a batch of chocolate chip cookies in the bakery at Stop N Shop. When I asked her to tell me something interesting about herself she said, "I'm the mom of three and grandma of nine. To me that's interesting."

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Birthday girl Sophia with her brother Logan at Locust Grove. Their mom kept trying to get Logan to smile by saying, "Logan! Think about poop!"

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Shamiah and her mom Teresa outside the movie theater where they'd seen "Wonder Woman." I asked Teresa what she loved most about Shamiah and she said, "She's just love. She loves to hug people." I laughingly told Shamiah she didn't have to hug me, but lo and behold if she didn't surprise me with the most lovely embrace I've had in a long time.

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Marina on duty on Main St.. When I asked her to tell me something interesting about herself she said, "I'm obsessed with music and theater." After telling me that she'd been an EMT and cop for 16 years I asked, "If you could have your heart's desire, what would it be?" She answered, "I'd be a rock star."

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Jamal, who had a surprisingly soft voice and such kind eyes. He said, after I'd shot him, "I wish you luck with your career."

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(Clockwise from top left) Cheryl, Jenae, Timothy, Lilianna, Alisa and Leilani taking part in the weekly kids' activities fun time at Poughkeepsie Plaza.
All images © Julie Mihaly

 © Tate Smith. Frying Pan.

Tate Smith interprets the decisive moment for ridiculous results.

We met at the School at the International Center of Photography summer course called "Faces of Coney" taught by photographers Janette Beckman and Merri Cyr. I covered the class for Beckman one day, helping the students edit photographs from their visits to New York's spectacular Coney Island.

All Tate wanted was to quote Henri Cartier-Bresson:
"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression."

Beer Bong



Soccer Ball


Hand. All images © Tate Smith

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 Dylan Coulter spent summer of 2015 looking at a disappearing downtown Brooklyn. He says many of the independent stores he recorded are now gone. Lifelong New Yorker Arlene Gottfried, who died this week, photographed around the city and its parks and beaches for many years, saying recently how it was hard to find anything inspiring to capture any more. So get out there and get shooting while there's some colorful life left in your 'hood.

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All images © Dylan Coulter

P.S. Join me in the admiration of baseball player Javy Baez who Dylan just photographed sans clothing...

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