Is that Proust playing air guitar?

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Is the late, great French novelist also the progenitor of every wannabe rock star’s favourite pastime?

Marcel Proust was a man ahead of his time. His innovative novel Remembrance of Things Past is, of course, well known. But did he also revolutionise air guitar?

This 1891 photograph suggests he deserves some of the credit. That’s the famous author, kneeling at centre, ripping off some wicked imaginary riffs on a catgut racquet.

Was Proust the first?

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Vivian Maier – one of the world’s most mysterious street photographers

image by Vivian Maier - January 9, 1957, Floridaimage by Vivian Maier (Florida, 9 January 1957)
© 2013 Maloof Collection, Ltd.

In 2007 John Maloof, a 26-year-old real estate agent involved in historic preservation of Chicago’s Northwest Side, strolled into an auction house and placed a $380 bid on a box of 30,000 prints and negatives from an unknown photographer.

Realising the street photographs of 1950s/60s era Chicago and New York were of unusually high quality, he purchased another lot of the photographer’s work, totalling some 100,000 photographic negatives, thousands of prints, 700 rolls of undeveloped colour film, home movies, audio tape interviews, and original cameras.

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A man feeding swans in the snow

Image by Marcin Ryczek Polish photographer Marcin Ryczek snapped this once-in-a-lifetime photograph of a man feeding swans and ducks from a snowy river bank in Kraków.

The trifecta juxtaposition between black/white, water/snow, and person/animals is pretty remarkable, don’t you think?

You can download a desktop sized version of the photo here, and check out more of Ryczek’s photos in his portfolio.

|  source: Colossal  |

Impeccable timing! Check out this image…

‘Other side of the world’
© Jianwei Yang

How’s this for a fortuitous capture!

Photographer Jianwei Yang explains:

I took a few shots with the boy and the girl standing on both sides and then the train just came in. I then clicked 4 times and found this.

You can see more of Juanwei’s work here.

I can’t say I’ve ever been so lucky, but have you received any happy surprises like this when reviewing your images after a shoot? Do tell!

Lombok: faces and places – a photographic essay

A selection of images from our recent holiday to the islands of Lombok, Indonesia. The photographs are best viewed large for better detail, so if any take your particular interest, please do click to evoke the bigger version!

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Is it ethical to shoot reportage images with iPhone apps?

Bomb blast, Libya
© Benjamin Lowy – Reportage by Getty Images
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Ben Lowy is an award-winning conflict photographer and photojournalist considered controversial by some because he captures his images with an iPhone.

Of his work, Ben says:

For years, I have worked with bulky digital cameras, always mindful of the technical manoeuvres from setting the shutter speed and aperture to editing and toning on a computer screen. In the last two years I have discovered that my iPhone has allowed me to capture scenes without feeling that I am once again on the job. To “point and shoot” has been a liberating experience. It has allowed me to rediscover the excitement of seeing imperfections and happy accidents rendered through the lens of my handheld device. I am able to create imagery, edit, and transmit all these images, creating a modern and efficient workflow for the most inefficient of pursuits – self expression.

Here are some more images that Ben shot while on assignment in Libya last year…

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Photographic essay – Where Children Sleep

Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal (James Mollison)

This is Indira, 7, from Kathmandu in Nepal. She lives with her parents, brother and sister in a house which has only one room, with one bed and one mattress. Indira has worked at the local granite quarry since she was 3. And this is where she sleeps

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