Flesh Font Friday (NSFW)

Full alphabet

From designboom:

a series of ethereal photographs by greek artist anastasia mastrakouli utilizes the nude human form to highlight the dialectical relationship between anatomy and visual art. each image is the product of an experimental performance, rendered as a composition of a silhouette and surface while conforming to the shape of the english alphabet. cut off from its physical nature, the corporeal becomes an abstracted imprint of a letter.

naked silhouette alphabet by anastasia mastrakouli

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Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

New York street overlay photo

By from fstoppers.com:

Photographer and historian Marc Hermann has done a beautiful job pulling historic crime scene photos from the New York Daily News archive to blend them with photographs of the same locations today. For those who live in New York now, it may be easy to forget just how rough the city was in the not-too-distant past.

Grisly violence is an undeniable part of New York’s DNA and the juxtaposition of the old, black and white images with the modern “Times Square” version of what most people expect today is incredibly fascinating – truly making ghosts walk amongst us.


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427 1/2 Hicks St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Gangster Salvatore Santoro met his end in the vestibule of 427 1/2 Hicks St. on Jan. 31, 1957. Here’s how the building looks then and now.


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Brooklyn, N.Y

The tree that stands in front of 923 44th St. in Brooklyn is the only living witness to gangster Frankie Yale’s untimely demise on July 1, 1928. Yale’s car slammed into the steps of the Brooklyn home that day as he was shot to death from a car driving by.


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Park Slope plane crash in New York City

The wreckage after the crash of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 over New York City was well documented by the Daily News back in December 1960. Over 130 people were killed aboard the planes and on the ground in Brooklyn, making it one of New York’s most tragic disasters. The crash also destroyed some buildings beyond repair. The ones that still stand can be seen in this compilation.


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Porter Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y.

Only a few scars left on the side of this building serve as a reminder of what happened here on April 4, 1959. Three-year-old Martha Cartagena was riding her tricycle when she was struck and killed on Porter Ave. in Brooklyn.


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137 Wooster St. Manhattan, N.Y.

Back in the 1950s, there were no North Face storefronts to be found on Wooster St. There was, however, a massive and fatal fire at the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Feb. 16, 1958. Six were killed by the blaze and the building was leveled, but new commercial space now stands where the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. once did.


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Downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.

Passersby of 66 Court St. probably have no idea that a massive gas explosion once blew out the windows of this building on Jan. 31, 1961. Over two dozen were injured by the flying glass and falling plaster.


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497 Dean St. Brooklyn, N.Y.

New York City’s rich photo history has been well documented by the Daily News through the years. Many of the places, stories and lives lived by New Yorkers who have come before us are still alive and well, but locked in photography archives. Marc A. Hermann, historian of the New York Press Photographers Association, has juxtaposed then and now photos of New York City, bringing back to life people and stories of the Big Apple’s past. Check out some of his amazing work … March 19, 1942 is a day well captured in the Daily News’ archive. Edna Egbert, who lived at 497 Dean St. in Brooklyn, climbed onto her ledge that day. The News captured the distraught woman fighting with the police as she wobbled on the edge. The building is currently painted red, but remains nearly identical to the way it looked 70 years ago.


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992 Southern Blvd. Bronx, N.Y.

A classic case of jealousy. In this stairwell of 992 Southern Blvd. on Sept. 25, 1961, James Linares lay bleeding in the arms of his girlfriend Josephine Dexidor after being shot by her husband. The same banister still scales the length of the hallway.


ny street overlay 10 Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sunday strolls are still popular in Prospect Park, but on Sunday July 30, 1950, this usually quiet neighborhood was shaken by the suicide of Detective Michael Dwyer, seen here.


ny street overlay fulton fish market Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

Fulton Fish Market

The Fulton Fish Market in the South Street Seaport was rocked by a fire on Feb. 26, 1961. These buildings still stand, in various states of occupancy, and minus a few floors here and there.


new york city photographers Vintage Crime Scene Photos Superimposed on Modern NY Streets (Warning: Graphic)

New York City photographers

Here, Marc A. Hermann (r.) and his colleagues of 70 years prior get caught in a rare moment on the opposite side of the camera lens. Hermann began this photo project because of his love for history and it has since blossomed into a series that reminds us all that there has been bustling life in the Big Apple for decades. “New York is constantly changing and transforming, and tragedies that affected individuals’ lives are forgotten. We may stand on what was once the site of a horrific murder and not even know it, simply because life goes on,” says Hermann. Now you can relive these historic moments in present-day.

Magical Miniature Worlds by Matthew Albanese

Matthew Albanese diorama
By Kaushik from amusingplanet.com:

Matthew Albanese creates small-scale meticulously detailed models of outdoor scenes and landscapes using everyday, simple, mundane materials and transform them into an image through the lens of his camera making them look hyper-realistic. Albanese has used ordinary household items such as spices, cotton, colored paper, ink, steel wool and glasses to create his dioramas. We have featured Matthew Albanese’s amazing work in 2010. Here are some of his more recent creations.

Matthew Albanese stumbled upon his Strange Worlds idea by accident one day while in the kitchen at work.

“The first Strange World that I created was Paprika Mars,” Matthew details. “I had spilled paprika in the kitchen and instead of cleaning it, I was playing with it. It was the color and the texture and I just had the inspiration to create Mars out of it.”

And thus began an obsession with miniature dioramas. By day, Matthew is a professional fashion photographer. By night, he’s been creating large dioramas of tiny environments and photographing them.

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Matthew Albanese began his Strange Worlds project in 2008, and since then has created more than a dozen breathtaking models. Initially, he built his creations in the back of his father’s old warehouse. Later he moved the production of his Strange Worlds to his living room. It can take him anywhere from three to seven months to build one Strange World and he takes thousands of exposures to document the process. When he is done photographing scenes, he usually destroys the dioramas because they are not really built to last. Matthew Albanese’s first book Strange Worlds will be published by Lazy Dog Press in Spring 2013.

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To achieve the lightning effect in this scene, Matthew built a large box with a Plexiglass face and painted it black. He then etched out the lighting so light could pass through

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“How to Breathe Underwater”

Diorama made out of walnuts, poured and cast candle wax, wire, glitter, peanut shells, flock, plaster, wire, dyed starfish, compressed moss, jellybeans(anemones), sponges, wax coated seashells, toothpaste, clay, figs, feathers, Q-tips, nonpareils. Surface of the water was created using vinyl shower curtain, plexiglass and clear epoxy. The reflected sunlight effect was created using a video projector through fake fog. The white balance was set for tungsten allowing the sunlight to appear bright and clear while the strobes provided a deep blue shift in the fill light regions. The lens was covered with a piece of blue stretch wrap which created subtle distortions throughout the image. A total of 11 light sources were used including the projector.

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This is a test shot for my new piece “How To Breathe Underwater.” The purpose of this is to determine how well the materials and lighting will work together. The lighting was achieved using six different strobes various filters and video projection.

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Diorama made using painted parchment paper, thread, hand dyed ostrich feathers, carved chocolate, wire, raffia, masking tape, coffee, synthetic potting moss and cotton.

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Diorama made using cotton, salt, cooked sugar, tin foil, feathers & canvas.

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via Avaxnews and Flickr

Walter Koessler project: An extensive personal look into World War I

Photograph from Walter Koessler Project

Walter Koessler Project by Dean Putney (@deanputney, deanputney.org);
Kickstarter project link:

As I was getting ready to leave home after Thanksgiving, almost two years ago, my mom said she had something to show me. She pulled out a big black photo album from under our coffee table, casually laid it out in front of me, and blindsided me with the most meaningful, wonderful project I have ever undertaken.This is my great-grandfather Walter Koessler’s photo album from when he was an officer throughout all four years of World War One. It’s incredible for many reasons:

  1. Walter was German, and he was an independent photographer. Most surviving photos from the war are from the Allies, and they tend to be propaganda or journalistic. Walter’s photos are very personal.
  2. Walter was trained as an architect. When he left Germany after the war, he moved to Los Angeles and became an art director for some of the first talkie films. His photos are beautifully composed and well-shot.
  3. Photography was going through big changes at the time, and Walter was a major early adopter. Film cameras were fairly new, and he took his in the trenches and everywhere else. WWI saw the first major use of airplanes in war, and Walter took aerial reconnaissance photos from biplanes and hot air balloons. Stereographs were also becoming more readily available at the time, and Walter made his own 3D images of life in the war.
  4. Since Walter moved to Los Angeles so soon after the war, he preserved pretty much everything. The album was made in Los Angeles, and it’s about a hundred pages long, with over 700 photos in it. Since then, the album has been tucked away in Southern California, so it has no mold and has hardly faded at all.

As soon as I saw this, I knew I needed to research it carefully and share it with the world. For the most part, there are no captions for the photos, so that research has been a big challenge. I’ve gone through the album many times, interviewed family members, reached out to people online, and visited one of the places in the album.

My family has also saved a box of about a hundred more stereographs that show WWI in 3D. I’ve since found that my grandma saved hundreds of the original negatives from both the album and the stereographs, and they’re practically pristine. It’s a formidable, and frankly somewhat intimidating collection. Nearly a hundred years later, it seems almost impossible that these things have been kept in such great condition, and I’m so grateful my family has let me take charge of it.

Finally, I think I’m prepared to start the process of scanning and sharing them here. I hope you’ll find it as fascinating as I do.

First scanned photos: scroll to the bottom of each page and click “<<< prev” for subsequent images.

Photographer’s Facemash Project Reveals Uncanny Genetic Resemblances

Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29

By Quenton Narcisse from Mashable.com:

One photographer has taken face-swapping to a whole new level.

In his Genetics Portraits series, French-Canadian photographer Ulric Collette photographs two family members and edits half of each face to create one portrait. Some of the portraits look so seamless, it’s hard to tell they’re even mashups at all.

While taking pictures of his then 7-year-old son, Collette had an idea: He wanted to convey the fascination behind genetics.

“I was attempting to create something totally different with another project of mine, and in the process I came up with the first picture,” Collette told Mashable. “Later, I decided to try the same process with a few family members and the project was born.”

Collette acknowledged he didn’t have a particular motive for the project — he simply wanted the pictures to look “as good as possible.”

Take a look at the gallery below. Then, watch the video (all the way at the bottom) of Collette capturing the editing process.

Daughter/Mother: Marie-Pier, 18 & N’sira, 49
Daughter/Mother: Marie-Pier, 18 & N’sira, 49

 

Sisters: Anne-Sophie, 19 & Pascale, 16
Sisters: Anne-Sophie, 19 & Pascale, 16

 

Twins: Alex & Sandrine, 20
Twins: Alex & Sandrine, 20

 

Daughter/Father: Ariane, 13 & André, 55
Daughter/Father: Ariane, 13 & André, 55

 

Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32
Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32

 

Daughter/Father: Amélie, 33 & Daniel, 60
Daughter/Father: Amélie, 33 & Daniel, 60

 

Father/Daughter: Daniel, 60 & Isabelle, 32
Father/Daughter: Daniel, 60 & Isabelle, 32

 

Mother/Daughter: Francine, 56 & Catherine, 23
Mother/Daughter: Francine, 56 & Catherine, 23

 

Brothers: Christophe, 30 & Ulric, 29
Brothers: Christophe, 30 & Ulric, 29

 

Father/Son: Denis, 60 & Mathieu, 25
Father/Son: Denis, 60 & Mathieu, 25

 

Sister/Brother: Karine, 29 & Dany, 25
Sister/Brother: Karine, 29 & Dany, 25

 

Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29
Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29

 

Twins: Laurence & Christine, 20
Twins: Laurence & Christine, 20

 

Father/Son: Laval, 56 & Vincent, 29
Father/Son: Laval, 56 & Vincent, 29

Click here for video of the mashup process.

Macro Eye Photos Zoom in on Nature’s Complexity

Long-eared Owl eye

By Jakob Schiller from Wired.com:

Long-eared Owl

For years Suren Manvelyan has been making extreme macro photos of both human and animal eyes, and he’s just released a new batch of purely animal eyes that are equally stunning.

“I don’t think many people suspect there are so many interesting structures in the eye,” Manvelyan says. “It was a surprise for me too.”

Manvelyan, an Armenian photographer, first started the project by photographing the ocular orbs of people, but made the move to animals by shooting the bright blue eye of a Husky dog. Since then he’s photographed everything from snakes to hippos, and his first round of eye photos went viral. He won’t reveal his technique, but does say that dealing with reflections on the eye is the hardest part.

At first it was a challenge to track down some of the more exotic animals. On an early visit to the zoo in Yerevan, where he lives, a friendly hyena sauntered up to the fence and held still long enough for him to get his shot, but the majority of his photos from the first batch were taken at a private zoo where he was given access to several birds, reptiles and chimpanzees.

Today things are easier. Since his photos went viral, he’s developed a relationship with the staff at the zoo in Yerevan and is allowed into some of the cages. For this most recent group of photos he was able to approach the hippo, as well as a crane and camel.

Down the road Manvelyan says there are a couple species he’d really like to photograph — an octopus, for example, due to its sophisticated eye structures. For now, however, he’s still willing to shoot any animal that will sit still.

“It’s a huge field,” he says. “I would be happy to travel to any zoo and make shots if the animals [and zoo keepers] would allow it.”

Behance portfolio here.










Going Digital: The Fourth Triennial Exhibition at the International Center of Photography

Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok

By from Slate.com:
Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, November 2011.
Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, November 2011. Courtesy of Gideon Mendel.

For their fourth triennial, titled “A Different Kind of Order” the International Center of Photography focused on the sweeping influence of digital photography on established and emerging artists.

The exhibition, featuring 28 video artists and photographers from 14 countries, will be on view through Sept. 8 and touches not only on the ever-changing landscape of the world but also the evolving ways in which artists express themselves.

Speaking to the media on May 16, ICP executive director Mark Robbins said about the show, “It throws us into the wonderful tense ambiguity that I think all good art does, where we question the assumptions about ourselves and our world.”

New York (detail), from the series "Diorama Maps," 2006, light jet print.
New York (detail), from the series “Diorama Maps,” 2006, light jet print. Courtesy of Sohei Nishino and the Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.

Proof, 2011, (detail) Individually marked silver gelatin prints, chromogenic prints, pigmented ink prints and mixed media.
Parque Jaime Duque 3, 2004-2005, c-print (l). Proof, 2011, (detail) Individually marked silver gelatin prints, chromogenic prints, pigmented ink prints, and mixed media. Courtesy of Luis Molina-Pantin (l). Courtesy of Jim Goldberg.

Sam Falls, Untitled (House, Red and Yellow, Joshua Tree, CA), 2012. Courtesy the artist and M + B Gallery.
Untitled (House, Red and Yellow, Joshua Tree, CA), 2012. Courtesy of Sam Falls and M + B Gallery.

[Full article]

Wooden Pinhole Cameras Make Old-School Techniques Cool Again

Wooden pinhole camera

Digital cameras are great, but like most electronics, they likely won’t withstand the test of time in, say, a century from now.

So Slovenian industrial designer and self-taught carpenter Elvis Halilović developed pinhole cameras that he and his brother make out of locally-harvested chestnut and maple wood. The ONDU Pinhole Cameras, as Halilović has branded them, were created in six different dimensions and sizes. The designs can accommodate everything from 35mm to 4-by-5-inch film to even larger paper.

Pinhole cameras don’t use lenses. Instead, they feature a pin-sized hole to produce an image, according to Halilović. To expose images on the film, you just open the shutter by moving it up, and then close it by moving it down.

The cameras feature a unique design with handmade wooden enclosures and no visible screws. Instead, strong magnets hold most of the camera together.

Halilović is raising funds on Kickstarter to bulk order parts and make improvements to his workshop. With 25 days still left to go in the Kickstarter campaign, backers have already surpassed the $10,000 goal by pledging more than $42,200 as of Sunday afternoon. At various pledge levels, backers can get different versions of the ONDU camera.

“One of the main reasons that drove me into carpentry in the first place was that I wanted to make durable, long-lasting — and most of all — functional cameras,” said Halilović in the project’s Kickstarter video. He adds that he’s been making pinhole cameras for the last seven years.

“Pinhole photography slows the experience … that you truly begin to appreciate the phenomena of lights.”

Sample photos taken with these cameras can be seen on the project’s Kickstarter page.

Because these ONDU pinhole cameras are wooden and don’t have any electronics, you could hypothetically pass on these timeless gadgets for generations.

Thumbnail and image courtesy of ONDU via Kickstarter page.

Nine Things The Squirrels Are Up To These Days

Squirrel pushing teddybears around in a perambulator.

From BuzzFeed.com:

Photographer Nancy Rose builds tiny sets in her back yard for squirrels to interact with. Then she lies in wait and takes hundreds of frames as they run around the sets. Anyway, this is what Nancy’s squirrels are up to these days. (Click on images for larger size.)

[Full article]

Squirrel painting picture of leaves
1. Amateur leaf-painting


2. Backyard cookouts


3. Beach trips!


4. Doing their laundry on a day off


5. High-stakes wilderness survival


6. Modeling fashionable rainwear


7. Risque photoshoots with naked box people


8. Celebrating a miniature Big Bird’s graduation


9. And OF COURSE, pushing teddybears around in a perambulator