i have featured images by photographer Gordon Parks many times on the blog, but have never done a post dedicated solely to his work. which is weird, considering he’s such a legend. he was the first African-American writer and staff photographer at Life, the first African-American photographer published in Vogue, and the first African-American to direct a major Hollywood film. in 1956, during his time at LIFE, he went to Alabama to shoot what would become one of the most important and influential photo essays of his career: Segregation Story.
Sounds of Two Eyes Opening is a collection of photographs taken between 1962-82 by Spot, a musician, producer and sound engineer who documented southern California beach life, skating culture and the burgeoning punk scene. he was a fan of LIFE magazine as a kid, and started taking photos while writing for Easy Reader, a newspaper in the Hermosa Beach area. you can read an interview with him about the book here.
i’m so glad to see that the National Geographic Found tumblr is still going since i first posted about it back when it launched in March. they have a ton of brilliant photos on there now (this one is especially notable). imagine being the Nat Geo staffer who gets to go through the archives and update the blog – dream job! i especially love the bright kodachrome looking shots, they make me feel like going on holiday with a film camera and snapping some of my own.
you’re probably familiar with the work of fashion & celebrity photographer Mark Shaw, who was especially well known for his collection of photographs of the Kennedys. he shot over 100 stories in his 16 year career with LIFE magazine in the 1950s & 60s, and was one of the first photographers who documented backstage fashion at couture shows like Balmain and Balenciaga. if you’re feeling flush you can buy limited edition original prints of his work from the Andrew Wilder gallery. Here are some of my favourite stories he covered.
beautiful drawings by Spencer Studio extending scenes from vintage photographs.
i’m really trying to psyche myself up for summer. if you follow my ramblings on twitter (or, of course, if you know me personally) you’ll know that i am not the hugest fan of this particular season. it’s the heat, you see. i think i might literally be allergic to heat. i can’t sit in the sun without going a lovely shade of blotchy red. i can’t even sit in a hot room without getting intensely uncomfortable. and the thing about living in south africa is that our summers are HOT. hot hot hot.
i did a little dance in my chair when i discovered the Wet Plate Collodion Portraits by Daniel Carrillo. Dan is a photographer and printmaker from Seattle who has taken close to 100 portraits of people in the Seattle area arts community using the wet collodion method – a photographic process which was invented in the mid 19th century. be sure to watch Patrick Wright’s video below to see Dan talking about the project and explaining the process behind these amazing photographs. check out Dan’s Flickr stream and also visit his blog.