The New York Times has put together their 2013: The Year in Pictures feature which, as always, is a powerful look at the past 12 months told through the images their photographers have taken. Featured are a number of powerful photos that show the tragedies of the year, but also the joyous moments as well. Culture editor Dana Jennings sums it up nicely:
The year, of course, wasn’t all blood and guts, and these photos reflect that, too: ballgames were played, marriages made, Shakespeare performed — whether the government shut down or not. I found myself hooked hardest by those images that seized the rare quiet moment, scenes that pirouetted away from hype and cliché, showing us at our most human, and our most vulnerable.
In Western culture we often measure our happiness by the things we own. The more stuff you have the happier you are. With that in mind, it’s quite humbling to see these photos by Huang Qingjun which show Chinese families and all of their possessions in one photo. Perhaps I’m romanticizing the plight of poor Chinese, but I feel like there’s something envious about the idea of living with so few things. Qingjun’s subjects range from all over the country, in all kinds of dwellings, which helps round out the idea.
Broken Manual is a stunning series of photographs created by Alec Soth over a four-year period between 2006 and 2010. Inspired by men who have become disillusioned by society, the series shows the lives of those who have chosen to remove themselves from civilization. Consisting of portraits, landscapes and images of their habitats, the resulting work is a strange, poignant and at times disturbing view of the mysterious lives of a handful of men. Made up of hippies, hermits, monks and survivalists, it’s an amazing look at those who choose to live off the grid.
There are, however, moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people—an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments.
This feels a lot a fuck you to Snapchat, who Instagram owner’s Facebook offered $3 billion to buy their app, only to be turned down. A feature like this would have been in the works for a while though as it’s a brand new build of Instagram. Personally, I feel like the old man who wants the kids off his lawn with this feature. At 31 I can’t find any reason to use Snapchat, and if I want to send a certain person/persons a photo I’ll simply text it to them. It’s certainly possible that I’m not the audience for this feature, but it also seems like the Instagram product is getting more diluted as time goes by.
Australian photographer Emma Summerton photographed George Clooney recently for W Magazine, and the images are quite amazing. That’s because Mr. Clooney was outfitted in a custom suit by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who also created the amazing scenes he was photographed in. I love the stark contrast of these photos, and I also love that Yayoi Kusama is getting so much love these days.
You can see the photos and read Mr. Clooney’s interview over on W Magazine’s site by clicking here.