The Story Behind The Baseball Photographer Trading Cards

Back in the 1970s the photographic art world was experiencing a transformation of sorts. The rise of the celebrity photographer, especially in America set a precedent in the contemporary art market. Photographer’s work started selling for serious money. Mike Mandel, then a student of the San Francisco Art Institute noticed the change and put his mind to creating a body of work that would first satirise but later memorialise the celebrity photographer of the day.

In what would turn out to be an audacious undertaking, Mandel would spend the next Summer travelling the length and breadth of the United States on what he called a Continue reading

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The Ornitography of Xavi Bou

There are hidden creatures in our skies. Long, mysterious oscillating bodies, suspended in the air with wings marching in formation in the way a millipede’s thousand legs moves in waves. But these air bound beings aren’t visible in the decisive moment, they’re hidden within the passage of time.

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Xavi Bou (b. 1979) is a fashion and advertising photographer working from Barcelona who has developed an interest in the flight of birds. In the Continue reading

What would Blonde Hair on Donald Trump look like?…

The photographic ‘faceswap’ is by far the most surreal byproduct of evolving digital photographic technology and its usefulness has yet to be proven. Once the go to tool for the likes of National Enquirer and Daily Sport to reproduce fake celebrity nudes its prominence on apps like SnapChat and MSQRD has pushed the weird AI tech mainstream. Now Dreambit hopes to achieve a useful tool rather than photographs that’ll confuse historians decades from now.

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Imagine sitting in a hairdressers and being asked by your stylist your preferred cut, but instead of having to think on your seat, you’re presented with different options on the mirror in front of you. Curly hair, Continue reading

LEE Filters Unveils new KP9 Aurora Filter

The explosion in popularity of digital SLR cameras with low noise capability has brought forth the Aurora Borealis revolution. It appears that some camera accesory manufacturer are also tapping in to that market

In the early morning hours, LEE filters surprised photographers with the announcement of a brand new product to their range, the KP9 Aurora glass filter.

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Photograph by astrophotography expert Mike Bolan

We had the opportunity to speak to Mike Bolan, Continue reading

Is the Photography World Hiding a Dark Secret?

Sexism flourishes still today in all walks of life. If women aren’t treated as second class citizens you can be sure they’re still held in contempt. Colin Pantall, author, photographer and lecturer at University of South Wales believes that the photography world is no exception. Recently he wrote an article on his blog exploring the harassment some female photographers face in the workplace when trying to ‘make it big’. Phogotraphy reached out to Pantall and asked how we could help lift the lid on what he dubs the ‘curator’s casting couch.’ What follows is his response.


I’m rather naive, so what I thought might be a relatively isolated problem is far more widespread than I imagined – a statement which will leave half the readers of this blog snorting in derision. But everybody who got in touch told me this is exactly what large numbers of young women photographers talk about when they get together. At Arles, at Paris Photo, at Unseen, at Houston and so on.

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One woman mentioned her experience of the curator’s casting couch, something that doesn’t feature in any professional development how-to-get-a-show features that you periodically Continue reading

An American Horror Story – Client Renegues on Photographer’s Contract

No stranger to controversy, we caught up with acclaimed photographer and friend of Phogotraphy, Mariel Clayton to discuss the importance of getting buyers of your work to enter into contractual agreements before putting in the leg work out of good faith. Mariel agreed to pen her thoughts for us so our readers would not make the same mistake.
NB. We have decided to include Mariel’s client names in this article despite the author not publishing them initially. ‘East Coast clients’ refers to Paper Magazine and ‘West coast clients’ refers to FX (American Horror Story.)

My name is Mariel Clayton, and I dismember, pose, and photograph dolls in dioramas… and people seem to enjoy that.
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Consumption | Mariel Clayton

Continue reading

Featured Photographer: Emily Scaife and the Cosmic Crispies

One look around Emily Scaife’s website is all it takes to see that this photographer is full of great ideas. Scaife uses photography, film making and illustration in her work and she has an extraordinary skill in turning the seemingly mundane into a visual delight, creating optical illusions by isolating her subject matter through either a macro lens, microscope or scanner and tricking us into thinking we’re looking at something entirely different. My favourite of these series are the ‘Cosmic Crispies‘. Scaife has given them the byline ‘Meteorological breakfast’ and they certainly make a wonderful feast for the eyes:

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By photographing them in black and white against a pitch black background she makes them snap, crackle and pop in our brains as little asteroids (we’ve seen this type of imagery coming back from NASA – they’re not cheating and using Rice Crispies too are they?!). They are fascinating to look at and compare, who’d have thought each Crispie would be so different?

Here are some more from the series: Continue reading

Camera Collector Sees Red – Bizarre Photographic Exhibition of ‘Tacky Red Cameras’

Last week during a cold February evening in the Borders of Scotland, the lights of a small photographic art gallery were turned on for the first time and a new exhibition was unveiled. The walls were devoid of landscapes, portraits and the traditional visual art you’d come to expect with photographers. Instead a large, garish print hung on the far wall, unmistakably red. A small sign to the left gave it the name ‘Tacky Red Cameras.’

Tacky Red Cameras, Photographic Print - Sam Cornwell 2015.
Tacky Red Cameras, Photographic Print – Sam Cornwell 2015.

We’ve got used to seeing camera collections in many different shapes and forms, especially ones with high price tags on eBay. What makes this collection different from all those is the overwhelming abundance of the colour red. Upon further inspection, The Becher-esque style grid is filled with 81 (9×9) individually coloured red cameras.

Tacky Red Cameras Photographic Print, 70x70", Dibond.
Tacky Red Cameras Photographic Print, 70×70″, Dibond.

Tacky Red Cameras is a five year long study into mass production practises of the 20th century and how we have continued to consume in the present and beyond. A seemingly unobvious collection of red cameras all of which are still in their purchased, second hand state take place in three forms; a sculpture, a photographic print and a 3D printed object. The past, present and future.

The large print fills the white wall it is homed on and is big enough for the viewer to get up close and personal to inspect the different models on display. The actual cameras in sculpture form are presented beautifully encased in clear tubes close to the print.

Tacky Red Cameras, Sculpture – Sam Cornwell 2015.

The trifecta is completed with a much smaller exhibit, also unashamedly red. Artist Sam Cornwell collaborated with French artist Quentin Orhant to print a red camera. Yes, print. Continue reading

Artists Brings old Cameras back to Life as Anthropormorphic Sculptures

In a twist that may inspire millions to reach for their attic cupboards and pull out boxes of old camera gear, Michael Vivona shows that film photography isn’t dead just yet by bringing analogue cameras back to life.

Michael Vivona Camera Statue or Johnny 5 is still alive?
Michael Vivona Camera Statue or Johnny 5 is still alive?

Michael openly admits that he isn’t a photographer, which is evident from the Instagram filtered display photos he’s taken for his art. However, what he lacks in compositional detail for the camera frame, he more than makes up for in his artistic ability as a sculptor. And it’s not just your typical Hollywood shape that’s appearing in his collection, there’s a penchant for dogs as well.

Woof woof, whirrr, click.
Woof woof, whirrr, click.

Drawn to items built and designed in the ‘Atomic Age’ Michael poured through local thrift stores looking for items when he stumbled across his first ‘camerabot.’ With a projector as a body, security cameras as feet and an old twin lens reflex 120 film camera lending itself as eyes, his first Wall-E or Johnny-5 type character was born. Continue reading