Simon Roberts: The Last Moment

 

Here’s an unusual series of photographs from Simon Roberts called The Last Moment. We’re not saying any more than that.

“Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing.” 
Susan Sontag, Writer, 1973

Olympic Crowd-pleasers

A quick burn to the top

 

“We set out to solve the main problem with taking pictures on a mobile phone, which is that they are often blurry or poorly composed. We fixed that.” 
Kevin Systrom, Founder and Chief Executive, Instagram, 2012

Jubilee river pagent

Spot the Queen

 

“10% of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011.” 
Fortune magazine, 2012

Royal wedding revelers

Standing start for Aung Sunn Kyi

 

“We’ve looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.” 
Jack Womack, Senior VP, CNN, 2011

Death of a dictator

The revolution will be televised

Do we ever let a happy or a newsworthy moment go by without taking an image of it?
No, not really.
And not if we could help it!
…food for Friday thought!

All images and text borrowed with thanks (c) Simon Roberts

Luke Stephenson: Foyer Fauna

 

We like photographers who make us do a double take on the things we take for granted, for the most part of our life.
And Luke Stephenson falls into just this very category.

A London based Martin Parresque photographer who cites ‘life in Britain’ and ‘the British psyche’ to be at the core of all his work, we’re fascinated by the range of projects he’s turned his lens to – from The Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds and Balloon Animals, to the World Beard and Moustache Championships and Santa in his Grotto.

But the one we found the most canny is Foyer Fauna.
A plant makes all the difference…till we forget about it of course.

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In addition to these projects, Stephenson is currently raising money to publish his next book 99x99s, an ode to the humble British 99p Flake ice cream that has graced many a summer holiday and beach walk. His fascination with ice cream earlier manifested in his series Mind That Child, but 99x99s takes this to a whole new level.

So whether you are inspired by his earnest desire to preserve bits of Britishness, whether you chuckle at him or roll your eyeballs, he’s definitely got us thinking as much about our last flake, as he has about the forgotten potted plant in our living room.

 

All images (c)Luke Stephenson
Also available on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

Martin Usborne: The Silence of Dogs in Cars

 

A dog in a car!
Why does that make interesting art?
And what’s that got to do with me?

A lot actually, when you come to consider that Martin Usborne has combined his love for dogs with a strong childhood memory of being left alone in a car, for what seemed like forever.
Not an unloved child in the least, it was just the feeling of being made to wait.
And not knowing if anyone would ever come to get him.
That’s all it was.
But like all living beings the boredom, the apprehension, the anxiety and the sadness, all followed.

So take a deeper look beyond the obvious dog.
They don’t have smart phones to escape into.
Let alone the ability to crank a window open.
At the end of the day are their emotions that different from our own?

The Silence of Dogs in Cars cover

Humans of New York

 

We don’t like fabulously fashionable things…unless they really make us think.
And though Humans of New York has been in the press a lot recently, and though we’re still more Team The Sartorialist for our regular New York buzz, Brandon Stanton has come up with some pictures and stories that have made us stop and look again.

Here are our favourites! Click on the images to join in the stories.

“Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?”
“Probably sitting at the kitchen table with my dad, an hour after my mother died, realizing we had to figure out what we were going to do for lunch.”

 

“We were smoking outside one time. And this same car kept driving by, and we thought: ‘Man! That’s weird!’ Then we got arrested.”

 

“I want to be a dog walker when I grow up.”
“What’s the hardest part about being a dog walker?”
“Holding on to the leash.”

 

“I’m going to puppet class.”
“I didn’t know there were puppet classes.”
“I didn’t either. Until I googled it.”

 

He didn’t know much English beyond: “I’m from China.” But he did pull out his iPad and showed me his brother, his toys, his drum set, and a picture of his class.

 

“I read the blog every fucking day. I just came in on a bus from Maryland. The whole time I was thinking: ‘I’m going to find a cute old couple, I’m going to park next to them, and I’m going to get on HONY!’”

 

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Fireman.”
“Why do you want to be a fireman?”
“I said Ironman!”

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration…and many more steps towards figuring out what you would like to do more than anything else in the world!

All images (c) Humans of New York and Brandon Stanton.

 

Boogie: In your face

 

We recently had the chance to hear legendary street photographer Boogie talk about his images, and we were struck by how matter-of-fact he was.
We consider him to be one of the grittiest photographers we’ve come across….not everyone can take to hanging with gangs and drug dealers, looking a gun down its barrel, and come away like it’s no big deal at all.

But Boogie does come across as relatively undamaged, although he say’s being born in Belgrade could have something to do with it.
And though he does conclude that he doesn’t find the need to put himself in difficult situations anymore to get a good image, it is his ability to assimilate and accept that makes him a credible photographer.
What you see is as much as what his subject reveals as it is the situation Boogie puts himself in.

Most of the images below are taken in New York in the early and mid 2000′s and a few in Istanbul.

Here’s a bit of Boogie wisdom.

Barbara Anastacio: Behind the scenes

 

Tall, striking and no-nonsense! That’s what all the bouncers in Barbara Anastacio’s images have in common.

Taken behind the scenes at the recent fashion weeks, we love how these images give a different take on fashion.
It’s not all about the glitz and the glamour.
Owning the space you occupy is probably one of the most understated qualities of being powerful!

In a Q&A for Nowness Anastacio reveals that as a backstage photographer at Fashion Week, if the bouncers see you then you’re in the way.

With Paris having the most handsome bouncers, New York the biggest, Milan the toughest, and London the most polite, it was only time before someone turned their lens on these masters of ‘territorial choreography’ as she calls it.

All images (c) Barbara Anastacio

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind

 

We love exhibitions that make us want to walk slowly…
where it doesn’t matter whether you came alone or with someone, because you just forget…
where it feels like you’ve just spent an hour but then you end up with 250 photographs on your phone…how long were we here?
where you covet everything and delight in the colour and symmetry of someone else’s good taste.

Martino Gamper’s design is a state of mind at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is all of these things and more. In a deeply aesthetic way, Gamper has curated a display of shelves that range from design classics to contemporary pieces, Ikea to iconic, all of which play host to an eclectic collection of objects loaned from artists, designers and creatives we enjoy and envy.

With his own background in exhibition and interior design as well as his close ties with the furniture industry, Gamper seems like the perfect curator/designer/artist to have crafted this exhibition with just the right amount of precision, restraint and joy.

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind
Till 18 May 2014
Serpentine Sackler Gallery

http://martinogamper.com/

Duncan Raban – That Monday feeling…

 

Inspiration comes when you least expect it.
And we discovered it last evening at our local pub in the form of the images of Duncan Raban. And they made us smile and feel less grumpy about the fact that it’s Monday already.

So here are our favourite picks from his portfolio. Getting his subjects to drop their guard is what he does best, and it definitely shows in his pictures.
So big smiles everybody…it’s a new day already!

Our Veterans of World War 2

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Rememberance Day Veterans Parade - London

A day with The Rolling Stones

And just others we love!!!!

All images (c) Duncan Raban

 

Friday Inspired: A Graffiti Tour with Lauren Psyk

 

We’ve always been inspired by the grit and talent of street artists as those who make art to express themselves and never for posterity. For this week’s Friday Inspired we have photographer Lauren Psyk share her inspiration from a London East End graffiti tour.

As a photographer I am always looking for shooting opportunities and new subject matter, so I was delighted when a friend recently bought me tickets for the Graffiti Tour of London, organised by Great British Tours. The tour is based in Shoreditch and takes in well known spots such as Brick Lane, as well as some more hidden away places that I never knew were there. 

Jimmy c

Jimmy C

 

Paul Don Smith

Paul Don Smith

 

The most striking thing I learnt on the tour was how little I knew about street art!  Sure – I had heard of Banksy and I’ve always admired good graffiti, but I had no idea there were so many highly regarded street artists with a signature style and instantly recognisable work. My personal favourite from the tour is a guy called Stik, so called because he draws stick figures.  They are always made up of just six lines.  It was amazing to see how expressive and memorable simple stick figures can be – I guess it’s partly about the choice of location for the work.  Some others I discovered for the first time included Jimmy C, famous for a colourful ‘drip’ style, ROA, a Belgian artist who paints unusual looking animals all over the world, and Paul Don Smith, who uses stencilling. 

Stik

Stik

 

The other great question posed by the tour is: “what is graffiti?” We were shown some works of art that to all intents and purposes looked like graffiti. But the guide pointed out that these had been commissioned – by brands, shops, cafes etc.  Are they therefore strictly graffiti, which by definition is about vandalism, and is therefore illegal? And if works by artists such as Banksy now sell for six figure sums around the world, are they really that far removed from commissioned works of art? Can this still be said to be graffiti? I left the tour thinking through these issues, with a list of eye catching street artists to explore further.’

ROA

ROA

 

Thanks Lauren! What say we do another one of these soon?

To see more of Lauren’s work click here and follow her on @laurenpsyk

 

Uncovered / Discovered

 

We often look to art and photography for inspiration but sometimes real life works too.

We recently came across Dermablend’s Camo Confessions and though they’re not what we usually write about, we could not but share.

What we’ve learnt from this is that who you are, is not what you look like. It is how you live.

And as Lupita Nyong’o said in this thought provoking speech -
‘You can’t eat beauty… it doesn’t feed you.
You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.
What actually sustains us,
what is fundamentally beautiful
is compassion -
for yourself and for those around you.
That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.