Articles on Photography

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After witnessing the rise and fall of many empires, the ancient site of Palmyra is under threat from Islamic State. Phillip George

Islamic State may finally efface the traces of lost empires at Palmyra

Conflict involving Islamic State has raised the prospect of the destruction of Palmyra, a World Heritage site in Syria. It's not the first time the region has been invaded, but it may well be the last.
Australian newspaper photographers have always been forbidden to show military failure or fragility. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

We censor war photography in Australia – more’s the pity

Although more than 100,000 Australians have lost their lives as a result of war service, photographs of our dead have never been published in newspapers.Perhaps we should reconsider this.
One of the major works on display in The Photograph and Australia at the Art Gallery of NSW, Tracey Moffatt’s I made a camera (2003). Photolithograph. Collection of the artist. © Tracey Moffatt, courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. Art Gallery of NSW.

The Photograph and Australia: the curator and the exhibition

A major photography retrospective opened at the Art Gallery of NSW on the weekend, but what does The Photograph and Australia tell us about our present and past?
Some of the earliest applications of photography came in the fields of archaeology and botany. Pictured is a photograph from botanist Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843).

How photography evolved from science to art

Because a photograph came from a machine – not a human hand – many were not entirely sure if it could be called art.
Husband and Wife, Sunday Morning, Detroit, Michigan, 1950. Photograph by Gordon Parks. Courtesy and © The Gordon Parks Foundation. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gordon Parks exhibit offers intimate glimpse into segregation-era life for African Americans

In the spring of 1950, Gordon Parks, the first African-American photographer for Life Magazine, returned to his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas. On assignment for the magazine, Parks photographed his middle…
I can tell this has been ‘shopped, on account of the pixels. Mmxx

Forging a photo is easy, but how do you spot a fake?

Faking photographs is not a new phenomenon. The Cottingley Fairies seemed convincing to some in 1917, just as the images recently broadcast on Russian television, purporting to be satellite images showing…
Asteroidea Electrica, first prize winner by Adrianus Indrat Aria. Cambridge University

Engineering’s unexpected and microscopic beauty

We all know engineering is useful, functional, even ingenious. But the engineering photography competition we hold each year provides us a chance to wander outside its merely utilitarian aspects into dimensions…
Immigrant faces from the early 1900s watch Ellis Island visitors pick their way through a crumbling hospital. Aimee VonBokel

Artists’ installations raise questions about abandoned buildings

This fall, French street artist JR and American cinematographer Bradford Young each installed a series of portraits in crumbling New York buildings. The two projects were not coordinated, but together…
The Chicago photographer Vivian Maier is the subject of a documentary and an exhibition at this year’s Melbourne Festival. Melbourne Festival

Desiring the author: Finding Vivian Maier at the Melbourne Festival

The Melbourne Festival is running two events dedicated to the recently-discovered American street photographer Vivian Maier. One is the exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Crossing Paths…
Horst directing fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives. Photo by Roy Stevens /Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Horst fashion photography seamlessly blends art and commerce

Fashion photography conjures together dress and body to create images that aim to seduce. On the cusp between art and commerce, this apparent dichotomy meant the genre only became a gallery staple in the…
The Wall of Death at the former Auschwitz concentration camp – a place for solemnity, not smiles. Nicole Low/AAP Image

Death tourism, Auschwitz selfies, and online souvenirs

Ouch. I think my entire body physically cringed when I came across the latest story of a misjudged tweet gone viral this week: the case of Breanna Mitchell, the naïve teenager and self-styled “Princess…

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