Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris
:
Photo by: James Geoffrey Nunn

To create his "Sun Machine" photo series, James Geoffrey Nunn first collected vintage nature photography. He then processed and reinterpreted the photos digitally, distorting the color and forms into far-from-natural hues, which oddly resemble analog film errors. According to the artist, the series examines the common impulse to work with visual material from the past.

See more of Nunn's work online.





At one point in time, we took them for granted. Payphones were a must—if you were running late, lost, or traveling and needed to make reservations—or perhaps didn't have a home phone. The eventual affordability and popularity of mobile phones wiped them out, destroying the market for their use and making payphones, it seems, not worth the time or money to maintain. Some still exist, sometimes in the oddest of places, and we're sure that some of us still need them in a pinch. By now, their increasing rarity makes them ripe as a photographic subject. #payphoneography is a bit like a chronicle of the last days of a connected, cheap public communication network—with the occassional shot of an exotic callbox from a far-flung locale. Particularly sad, we think, are the "carcasses" of ripped-out phones.

The latest camera from the shoot-now-look-later photographers at Lomography is meant to be a learning experience. The Konstruktor, the first build-it-yourself 35mm SLR, requires users to spend about 20 minutes assembling the lens, body, and other mechanicals, before snapping any photos. Once everything's assembled, the no-frills features make it an ideal first camera for learning how to focus and shoot manually.

Read more on Lomography's instructional page for shooting with the Konstruktor, and pick one up from their store for only $35




A few years ago Alyse Emdur found a photo of herself as a child posing in front of a mural of a beach with her two siblings. When she asked about the photo, her parents explained it was taken in a prison lobby during a family visit to see her then-incarcerated brother. After some research she found that these backdrop murals are actually a common practice for prisons, and in many cases are even painted by talented inmates.

The logic for prisons is that limiting photography to what's essentially an impromptu portrait studio protects potentially sensitive images of the prison's structure from being shared, while still allowing families to snap photos together that don't necessarily reveal that one member of the family is currently incarcerated.

When Emdur asked prisons for access to photograph a series of the backdrops for her book, almost every location denied her request. So instead of taking the photos herself, she collected images by exchanging letters directly with inmates asking if they'd share any family photos, and she eventually received 16 binders worth. 

Head over to BLDGBlog to read an interview with Alyse Emdur about the project. Alyse Emdur's book, Prison Landscapes, is available now. 






Photographer Giasco Bertoli says the image of an empty, but well-worn, tennis court possesses a "kind of eroticism, like the memory of a former lover one still feels for." While he's fascinated by the idea of the courts' histories and what he calls "the ceremonial combat" of an organized competition, his work also highlights the context and placement of the courts whether they be in cities, on rural landscapes, or within small villages. The courts are all in various states of disrepair, and the dilapidated ones in idyllic settings offer the most severe contrast.

Tennis Courts II is available from Nieves. 




Photo by: Lucian Perkins/Akashic Books | Hard Art DC 1979

All photos by Lucian Perkins from Hard Art DC 1979 (Akashic Books).

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post photographer Lucian Perkins has turned his lens on everything from the high fashion runway to the Persian Gulf War, but it so happens he also shot the heck out of D.C.'s young punk scene on one night in 1979. Akashic Books has just published Hard Art DC 1979 which features live shots of punks and punk bands (Bad Brains, Teen Idles, Slickee Boys, Untouchables, Trenchmouth) at a seminal concert at the Hard Art gallery. Young punk of the era Alec MacKaye contributes the narrative text and there's a piece by Henry Rollins, too. Call it a must for the D.C. punk historians out there. For a bit of context, the Washington Post has a great piece on the September, 1979 show documented in the book.

Hard Art is on sale at Akashic Books for $18.

Hard Art featuring Lucian Perkins, Alex MacKaye, and special guests hits Brooklyn's Word bookstore on June 19 and NYC's St. Marks Bookshop on June 20.

 

The Middle Mind Project, Gus Gavino's independent motion picture studio based in Chicago's Logan Square, takes an unusual approach to documenting artists, experimenting with the narrative format, and producing something contemporary and original. Today, we're debuting MMP's video on Debbie Carlos.

See more of the Middle Mind Project online in its archives Tumblr. 

See more of Carlos's work online at debbiecarlos.com

TFBTDC from Middle Mind Project on Vimeo.

Photo by: Kai Schaefer | Revox B790 / Kraftwerk / Autobahn, 2011

A classic vinyl record spinning on a handsome vintage turntable conjures all kinds of memories—often of the first time we heard the music itself. German photographer Kai Schäfer plays with these memories and associations in his "World Records" series. He began shooting Led Zeppelin IV a few years back, and has since shot more than a hundred records (from London Calling to Harvest) on more than 25 different vintage turntables (Dual, Braun, B&O).

Wired reports that Schäfer uses a Hasselblad camera with a Phase One digital back and a special flash, then makes enormous prints that can be six feet wide. His rules for the records? First or second pressings from the artist's native country shot on a turntable that would have been similar to one available at the time of the record's release. He often rents the vinyl or turntables for audiophiles in Düsseldorf, but has popped for collectables, such as a $650 copy of Elvis's "Mystery Train" single on Sun.

The Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles will be exhibiting a selection of the "World Records" prints from June 8 to July 13.

 

Last week we picked Richard Mosse's photo series "The Enclave" as one of the highlights for this year's Venice Biennale. The project, which is on view in the Irish Pavilion at the Biennale, depicts Mosse's time shooting the military conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo in artificial but arresting pink shades. Frieze has an interview with the photographer about the special film he used, Kodak Aerochrome, which was originally developed to detect camouflage during World War II, and the origins of his trip to photograph "the unphotographable."

Photo by: Ryan Plett

Native midwesterner Ryan Plett recently made the move to the Big Apple bringing his talent for shooting contemporary menswear, street fashion and editorial with him. His latest work is a very urban Nowhere Fast lookbook for Need Supply Co. which captures this season's enthusiasm for pattern in a wonderful light. 

See more Plett online. Visit Need Supply Co. for more info.