Vintage photos of faux decapitations

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Esteemed vernacular photography collector Robert Jackson shares his favorite 19th and 20th century photos of people who've lost their heads thanks to pre-Photoshop trickery. It's a delightful photography tradition that in 1973 inspired my late brother Mark Pescovitz to create his own "Head Photographer (self portrait)," seen at the bottom of this page!

"Head Photographer (self portrait)" by Mark Pescovitz, c. 1973:

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Coffee table book of photos of Brutalist architecture: This Brutal World

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Peter Chadwick -- he runs the @brutalhouse stream of loving photos of imposing brutalist monuments -- has teamed up with Phaedon to publish a coffee-table book of the biggest, most uncompromising hulking monsters of the bygone age of concrete futurism: This Brutal World. Read the rest

Fantastic Manfrotto 3-way head

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I am absolutely thrilled with this Manfrotto 3-way head. My last one took nearly a decade to wear out, mostly due to abuse in salt water environments, and I had to have a new one.

This head works great with some of my larger lenses on board. The Nikon AI-S 300mm F2.8 and my Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8 are both perfectly stable on this head. Friction controls are a nice addition, missing from my last head, and the collapsible levers get out us your way. Bubble levels pretty much exactly where you'd want them and a fantastic quick release system. It uses the same mount as previous pan-and-tilt Manfrotto head, so I can even use the old mounting plates.

I expect to get another 5-10 years out of this one.

Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W X-PRO 3-Way Head with Retractable Levers and Friction Controls via Amazon Read the rest

Famous landmarks shot "from the wrong direction"

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Pictured here is the Taj Mahal as seen from the Taj Mahal, by photographer Oliver Curtis. Curtis spent years creating a photo set of famous landmarks as they have never been seen—literally!

Brought up in the Cotswolds, Oliver began his photographic education studying photography at the renowned course at Filton Technical College in Bristol. He went on to study film and television at the London College of Printing and has been balancing work in stills and moving image ever since.

His first solo exhibition entitled Volte-face will premier at London's Royal Geographical Society in September 2016.

Taken over a period of four years, Volte-face is a series of images taken at the world’s most photographed historic sites, buildings and monuments - but looking away from them. To coincide with the exhibition at the RGS a book of the project, featuring an essay by Geoff Dyer, will be published by Dewi Lewis Publishing Ltd.

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Drone's eye view photos reveal the racism of South African neighbourhoods

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Johnny Miller is a Cape Town-based photographer who uses drones to capture aerial views of neighbourhoods and cities that reveal the deep, racial inequalities in architecture and city planning between black and white populations. Read the rest

Wonderful and weird collection of vintage patriotic and Independence Day photos

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In celebration of Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., Robert E. Jackson, esteemed collector of vernacular photographs, shares a selection of wonderful and odd patriotic vintage snapshots.

"I hope these photos from my collection give a brief, optimistic pause during this patriotic holiday and show a positive and somewhat humorous side to patriotism," writes Jackson.

See more at the Humble Arts Foundation blog! Read the rest

Things Organized Neatly: The Art of Arranging the Everyday

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Things Organized Neatly: The Art of Arranging the Everyday by Austin Radcliffe Universe 2016, 104 pages, 7.8 x 10 x 0.8 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon

Simply as advertised. Rows and rows of diverse things neatly organized. This process is often called knolling. The applied organizing logic varies: it can be by size, by color, by age; in rows, in grids, in fitted mosaics. The effect is always hypnotic. Seemingly meaningless collections gain intelligence and order which focuses attention on the parts. The book ranges wide and far in the type of things that are inspected. You will soon knoll your own.

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Treasure trove of royalty-free stock photo websites

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The fine folks at Small Business Web Designs in Australia put together a very helpful list of 50 Top Rated Websites for Royalty Free Stock Images, like Path to the Sea by Paul Jarvis on Life of Pix. Read the rest

Extreme closeups of animal eyes

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Photographer Suren Manvelyan continued his series of stunning closeups of eyes by focusing on non-humans. Above: Red-eared turtle. Below, a Fennec fox and a raven. Read the rest

Todd McLellan's photos of disassembled appliances

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Todd McLellan's book Things Come Apart, features photos of disassembled appliances with the parts neatly arranged into rectangles, as well as in jumbled heaps. See a photo gallery. Read the rest

Do Robot Fireflies Dream of Electric Lights?

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Rick Lieder's astounding backyard photography has inducted us into the worlds of bees, birds, and bugs, but his firefly photos (captured in his book Among a Thousand Fireflies, with a poem by Helen Frost) were astounding, even by his own high standards. In this piece, Lieder explains how he captured the intimate lives of the fireflies in his backyard to create a remarkable book.

Amazing photo of fish inside a jellyfish

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Ocean photographer Tim Samuel captured these startling photos of a fish swallowed by a jellyfish off Byron Bay, Australia's Pass Beach.

"(The fish) seemed to be struggling a little bit, as it would swim around, it would try to swim in a straight line but the jellyfish would knock it off course, would send it in little circles or loops," Samuel told CNN. "It was a tough decision, I definitely thought about setting it free, but in the end decided to just let nature run its course."

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VIDEO: 1000s of Colombians pose nude in public square for photographer Spencer Tunick

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American photographer Spencer Tunick invited thousands of Colombians to take off their clothes and pose nude in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza. Every participant will receive free print. Tunick has taken over 75 similar photos in cities around the world since 1994. Read the rest

Odd billboard that advertises blinged-out cock rings

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Roadside snapshot by my pal Rachel Demy in Twisp, Washington.

(via Rachel's Instagram) Read the rest

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 – An amazingly impressive object, even by Taschen standards

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See sample pages at Wink.

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 by Mick Rock (photographer) Taschen 2016, 300 pages, 10.8 x 15 x 1.2 inches $44 Buy a copy on Amazon

When I asked Taschen’s PR person for a review copy of the hardback edition of Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 (after sheepishly asking in vein for the $800 Limited Edition), she warned me that it was an amazingly impressive object, even by Taschen standards. Don’t laugh, but this intimidated me to the point where, after receiving the book, I waited over a week to look inside. I had damn-near passed out while first perusing the uncompromising art publisher’s recent Blake book.

Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 is about as woozying of a tome as you’re ever going to stick your nose into. And this “regular” edition, available at Amazon for the remainder-bin price of under $45, is anything but regular. Every single aspect of this book is elevated. The cover sports a lenticular panel which contains five iconic Mick Rock images of everyone’s favorite glam commander. This could have gone horribly wrong, too gimmicky or tacky, but this technology seems to have been invented to flash the ever-changing personas of David Bowie at the height of his (and Rock’s) artistic powers. There is no more perfect cover for this book.

And that’s just the cover. I was right to psych myself up. The first time I went through it, I got about 20 pages in and had to stop. Read the rest

Photo of the raddest high school math teacher in 1970s SoCal

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Math teacher at Dana Hills High School in southern California, late 1970s. Pitted. So pitted.

Posted by the engaged educator's son on r/OldSchoolCool and making the rounds again. Read the rest

Grotesque portraits of people with Play-Doh deformities

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Portugese artist Tomba Lobos sculpts bizarre facial deformities out of Play-Doh and then uses Photoshop to apply them to his subjects.

"I would like to think this project as a low budget tribute to old school Special Effects wich can be seen, for instance, on Cronenberg's movies like Videodrome and Chris Cunningham's music videos like Rubber Johnny," Lobos writes.

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