In its new set Child Labor & Lewis Hine, the Library of Congress showcases the works of investigative photographer Lewis Hine who portrayed working and living conditions of children in the United States between 1908 and 1924.
His photography aimed at supporting the National Child Labor Committee’s efforts of promoting the “rights, awareness, dignity, well-being and education of children and youth as they relate to work and working.”
You can read more about Hine’s work in the set description, or contribute to the information available for individual photos by leaving a comment on the respective photo page.
Beautiful and rare rides of the car-collecting world converged in Carmel, California, this month for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The charitable event held at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links course displayed boldly designed, classic automobiles built from various decades along with today’s cutting-edge concept cars.
Geologists use over a dozen terms to classify rock structures formed by natural processes, with good reason. Monumental specimens of molded minerals exist literally everywhere on Earth, and the list of notable formations seems endless. These three photos highlight the balancing stones on Brimham Moor, strange pedestals named Wahweap Hoodoos jutting out of flows, and sedimentary layers of The Wave at Coyote Buttes.
Matthias Heiderich, known as Heartbeatbox on Flickr, is a photographer from Berlin. We recently came across his work at his exhibition in the Mission District of San Francisco and asked him questions about his background and photography.
Heartbeatbox, you are stating that you are a self-taught photographer. How did you get started and interested in photography?
I have yet to receive photographic training or attend photography courses. I was quite simple when I started taking pictures and eventually taught myself the technical basics. I occasionally notice that I’m unfamiliar with some photographic techniques, because they’ve never been important for my type of photography.
As for how I have come to compose my work, I’ve clearly been inspired by other photographers. I spent a lot of time exploring the work of others and gradually found the direction of my photography. My primary interest is in architecture and the many possibilities of photographically representing buildings.
I practically had no interest in photography until I turned 27. I was previously a linguistics student who focused mostly on music in my spare time. My first favorite photographers were people whose work I encountered online on sites such as Flickr, and at some point I felt the desire to do something visual aside from music.
Flickr has been a huge source of inspiration for me right from the start. It helped me find my own style and, above all, a reason why my interest in photography grew at all. On Flickr I found some of my favorite photographers, and only afterwards I discovered the big names in photography history. If I were asked today about my favorite photographers, I wouldn’t mention the big historical names. I would bring up ones from my contacts list on Flickr instead.
What was your first camera and, if you had to pick just one camera to shoot with from now until the end of time, what would that be?
The first camera that I’ve bought myself was a Pentax K20D. This camera was always with me on my first trips to Berlin and served me well always. I still take pictures with it every so often. As time went by, I added many more cameras, especially analog medium format cameras and Polaroids. If I would have to pick one, it would most likely be a Yashica Mat 124G. Considering the lifetime of certain parts of that camera, I would need more than one. In any case, the camera is really beautiful and produces amazing image quality.
Tell us your favourite photos on Flickr, and why you like them. First, a favourite from your own photo stream?
Here is one of my favorite photos that I took:
The tree in front of the painted wall in Berlin Reinickendorf was a lucky find and the reward from an extended photo-trip on a cold winter day.
What’s one tip that you would share with someone who’s just picking up a camera?
Please use the HDR effect sparingly.
Tell us more about your thoughts around your series “Spektrum Berlin”.
“Spektrum Berlin” is an ongoing project in which I photograph the colors and shapes of Berlin’s urban landscape. Basically, there isn’t a big story behind each and every photo. It’s concept photography and more or less a continuation of what I started in the Color Berlin series. The series is purely artistic, meaning that I’m taking artistic freedom to edit and design photos in the way that I like them personally. It’s not about true and realistic reproduction of objects. Instead, it’s about expressing my personal perspective through subjective idealization of subject matter in selected environments.
Your work from the series “Spektrum Berlin” is currently exhibited in San Francisco. Are there any other exhibitions plans anywhere else soon?
In addition to my exhibition at the Carte Blanche Gallery in San Francisco until September 19, I have a tentative plan for an exhibition in Berlin this fall. A 2013 exhibition in collaboration with an architectural firm is scheduled in London. Details are being discussed, and I’m immensely excited about these upcoming opportunities.
Matthias, thank you for the interview.
Find more of Matthias Heiderich, a.k.a. Heartbeatbox on Flickr, in his photostream.
Themes and theatrics fill the narrow alleys of Barcelona for the annual Festa Major. Also known as the Gracia Festival, the Catalan fiesta spans eight days in August and traditionally hosts decoration contests, human towers called castellers, and fireworks from correfoc devils.
This wildfire season has been especially severe in North America. Following the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire suffered by Colorado in June, a frightening series of blazes scorched through the American West. Meanwhile, Europe simultaneously struggled with destructive flames, including deadly fires that killed and displaced people in Spain’s mainland and Canary Islands. The photos featured here capture the massive scale of what thousands of firefighters and military forces face when battling recent wildfires fueled by lightning, record-breaking heat, and strong winds.
Environmental artist Jason deCaires Taylor installs his sculptures underwater, a peculiar process that has boosted him into high demand after he started it in 2006. Upcoming submerged-art commissions will add thousands more to his existing 500-piece collection. Mostly located in Moilinere Bay, Grenada, and off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, his sunken sculptures transform from figures and objects into artificial reefs where sea life thrives. This natural interactivity is a deliberate aspect of Taylor’s work that he hopes will raise marine-conservancy awareness.
The very first time I had tarte tatin was at a small, sort of touristy restaurant at the Old Port of La Rochelle, France. It was one of those typical French restaurants that wanted to seem upscale and chic, but really just had an overpriced menu in a good location in a little seaside town that the all of England like to holiday at. It was also the first time I had braved the traditional French meal in all its fullness: five courses of butter-rich dishes elegantly composed as though there was an Iron Chef competition being hosted in the kitchen.
Several courses down with only dessert remaining, I could feel the waistband of my jeans mounting a revolt. Mutiny was imminent, but when the waitress brought out this thin, delicate slice of what seemed to me to be just a gooey, messy, French apple pie, I thought to myself, “One bite won’t hurt.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those moments where you are so overwhelmed by emotions, often contrary to each other, all battling to be king of the emotion hill. Then one comes out victorious and just sort of bursts forth from you. If you haven’t, well, it can lead to some pretty awkward moments, like bursting into laughing tears at the finale of Aida or, in this case, becoming righteously pissed off at my first bite of tarte tatin.
I was furious at it for existing, at everyone who fed me apple pie instead of this slice of warm, buttery heaven. Protests would be mounted, letters had to be written, impassioned speeches given in front of large, official-looking buildings… after I was done with my dessert, that is. Even my waistband seemed so overcome it was suddenly possessed by the spirits of every real estate agent in the world, casting aside words like “constrained” and “uncomfortable” for shinier adjectives like “snug” and “cozy”.
I was a woman possessed, convinced that if I didn’t learn to reproduce this masterpiece of caramelized-apple-tart heaven, my whole year in France would have been for naught. I scoured the Internet in search of recipes and found quite a few. I consulted cookbooks around La Rochelle – never actually buying them on my English teacher’s salary, but I treated many bookstores like libraries and endured/ignored the saleswoman’s stink eye and backhanded comments about Americans.
It was months later that the opportunity to actually make a tarte tatin presented itself: my friend and fellow teacher, Marcus, was hosting a dinner party for his mother’s visit. His aspirations where grand: twelve people, half American, half French, and yet another five course meal. I, clearly suffering from temporary insanity, volunteered to make dessert. The panic set in as I was getting all my ingredients ready and I suddenly realized I was making tarte tatin for real, live French people! If I had just been making it for my American friends, no one would know if it wasn’t perfect. The pressure was on and I became the most methodical wannabe chef ever. Everything pre-measured, pre-cut, pre-heated, pre-anything I could do ahead of time… well, almost everything.
You see, the whole charm of tarte tatin is in the anticipation: you cook the apples in an oven-ready skillet, take the crust you make out of the freezer and, while the butter in the crust is still cold, toss it over the apples and quickly put the whole mess into the oven to finish baking. When it’s done baking, you put a plate over the skillet and flip! You have no idea if the apples are burnt or sticking to the pan until that final moment.
In all of my preparation, I forgot one teeny, tiny detail: French ovens are notoriously small. My oven-safe skillet was 2 inches to big. As I layered the crust, swooped the skillet into the oven and shut the door, I was not met with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction but, instead, with a loud BANG! My heart sank. I called Marcus, instantly in full crisis-prevention mode, and had him pick me up and take me to his house. “His oven had cooked a whole turkey on Thanksgiving” was my mantra as we drove to his house, the pan in my lap, the butter in my crust melting and all aspirations of tender flakiness beginning to disappear.
Of course, his oven was also too small as well – as was his neighbor’s – so I ran through a list of Plan B’s: remake the crust, find a new skillet? Couldn’t. All my ingredients were at home and Marcus didn’t have an oven safe skillet; or serve the apples alone with ice cream for dessert? NEVER. I was determined to churn out a tarte tatin if it killed me! Eventually I scooped off the crust into a ball and stuck it in the freezer for a while, hoping it would firm up what butter hadn’t melted away and transferred the caramelized apples into a casserole dish. During the cheese course, I quickly worked out the crust by hand (no rolling pin in sight, or flour for that matter) to cover the oblong dish, tossed it in the oven and came back to dinner.
Our French guests sang their drinking songs, and we, as red-blooded Americans, sang them ours: Don’t Stop Believing and Bohemian Rhapsody, specifically. The night was a riotous culture clash. As the apples bubbled away in their own juices and the requisite mountain of butter called for in every French recipe, Marcus and I explained to all the guests the chaos that was to hopefully be our dessert course. Everyone had a good laugh, myself included. It had reached the point of seeming just ridiculous. However, when Marcus’ host father began to exclaim that he never tried to make tarte tatin because of how hard it is to get right, how it takes many times to perfect the dish, I must have gone a bit pale, as another of my friends quickly refilled my drink and gave me a comforting but discrete shoulder pat.
It seems though that fortune does favor the bold… or at least the foolhardy. When the moment of truth finally came, the grand flipping of the tart onto a serving platter – a job my nerves suggested I let Marcus do, to which I dutifully listened – the table erupted into a round of applause at the fully intact, deeply red, caramelized tart sitting before them. It was devoured within 3 minutes and, when asked where the second one was, Marcus and I just died laughing.
At the end of the evening, one of our French guests pulled me aside and told me that it was delicious… not just delicious, but that it was just like the tarte tatin his grandmother makes. I think my face could have given our then decimated dessert a run for its money in the warm and red departments. Now understand, my tarte was not perfect: some apples stuck to the dish and had to be pried out and put back in place, the crust was oddly shaped from my rushed job during the cheese course. It was not beautiful – not like the slice I had eaten at the restaurant where I first tried it – but if it made one person at that table want to go outside and call his grandmother, I like to think I nailed it.
For the rest of the year in La Rochelle, I didn’t spend another dime at the portside restaurants. I searched the narrow, cobblestone streets for small, family owned cafés and truly tasted France. It was simpler than I expected, rustic, and full of care. The meal was sacred, the time with friends, the drinks and songs, all part of the ritual. I brought that home with me, back to the States, and have made tarte tartin several times since then. I’ve gotten much better at it, my tartes more beautiful, but every time I smell that decadent combination of butter, sugar and apples, I find myself humming a Journey song and thinking of that night.
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