In today's pictures, women line up at a clinic in the Central African Republic, plebes report to the U.S. Naval Academy, a train passes through a cramped space in Thailand, and more.
In today's pictures, Chinese astronauts return to Earth, a former Taliban fighter joins Afghan government forces, a farmer wears a traditional umbrella in Nepal, and more.
In today’s pictures, a worker prepares noodles in Pakistan, civilians drive cautiously through Lebanon, opening statements are given in George Zimmerman’s Florida murder trial.
Jacob A. Riis arrived in New York in 1870. As the economy slowed, the Danish American photographer found himself among the many other immigrants in the area whose daily life consisted of joblessness, hunger, homelessness, and thoughts of suicide. So when he finally found work as a police reporter in 1877, he made it his mission to reveal the crime and poverty of New York City’s East Side slum district to the world.
The resulting book, How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York, was published in 1890, and is still considered “a landmark in the annals of social reform.” Filled with pictures, sketches and graphic descriptions of the un-imaginable living conditions he found, the book forced the topic of tenement reform to the forefront of every New Yorker’s attention.
A local shop is part of an ecosystem — here in England we call it the High Street. The owner of a local shop generally has no ambition to become a Tesco or WalMart. She’d rather experience steady growth, building relationships with customers who value what she brings to the community.
People often mourn the disappearance of their “local shops.” I’m sure it is the same in many parts of the world. Large chains move in, and the small local businesses, unable to compete on price, close. As the local shops disappear, customers win on price, but they are losing on personal service.
At local shops, they know their customers by name, remember the usual order of a familiar face, are happy to go the extra mile for a customer who will come through the door every week. It’s most often the business owner who is behind the counter filling bags and taking money.
This direct and personal relationship with the people that their business serves quite naturally provides the local shop with information to meet the needs of their customers. Customers come in and ask if they stock a certain product, one that they have seen advertised on TV; or that is required for a recipe on a recent episode of a cooking show. The local shop owner remembers that three people asked for that same thing this week, and adds it to their order. We’re not dealing with the careful analysis of data collected from thousands of customers here. The shop owner could name the customers that asked for that item — she will point out the new stock to them next time they come in.
One single store is unlikely to attract much footfall, so the business of one store relies on being part of a vibrant community. Within this community the local shops and tradespeople support each other. A customer pops into a store and mentions while paying that they are having trouble with their car; the shopkeeper recommends the garage down the road — “don’t forget to tell Jim that I sent you!”
As the co-owner of a bootstrapped digital product, I often feel like we are that local shop on the web. I know many of our customers by name, I know the sort of projects they use our software for. I follow many of them from my personal account on Twitter. I love the fact that they come to speak to me at conferences; that they feel they know us, Drew and Rachel from Perch. This familiarity means they tell us their ideas for the product, and share with us their frustrations in their work. We love being able to tell someone we’ve implemented their suggestions.
We’re also part of this ecosystem of small products. Unlike the village shops we are not bound together by location, but I think we are bound together by ethos. When selecting a tool or product to use in our business, I always prefer those by similar small businesses. I feel I can trust that the founders will know us by name, will care about our individual experience with their product. When I get in touch with a query I want to feel as if my issue is truly important to them, perhaps get a personal response from the founder rather than a cheery support representative quoting from a script.
This is business. We make a thing, and we sell it at a profit. The money we make enables us to continue to create something that people want, and to support our customers as they use our product. It also enables us to support other people who are running businesses in this digital high street we are part of, from the companies who provide the software we use for our help desk and our bug tracking system, right through to the freelancers who design for us.
I am happy with my small shopkeeper status. I talk and write about bootstrapping because I want to show other developers that there is a sane and achievable route to launching a product, a route that doesn’t involve chasing funding rounds or becoming beholden to a board of investors. I love the fact that decisions for my product can be made by the two of us, based on the discussions we have with our customers. If we had investors hoping for a return on their investment, it would be a very different product by now, and I don’t think a better one.
I think it is important for those of us succeeding at this to talk about it. As an industry we make a lot of noise about the startup that has just landed a huge funding round. We then bemoan the disappearance of products that we use and love, when the founder sells out to a Yahoo!, Twitter, or Google. Yet we don’t always make the connection between the two.
Small sustainable businesses rarely make headlines. So we, the local shopkeepers and tradespeople of the web, need to celebrate our own successes, build each other up, and support each other. I’d love there to be more ways to highlight the amazing products and services out there that are developed by individuals and tiny teams, to celebrate the local shops of the web. Let’s support those people who are crafting small, sustainable businesses—the people who know their customers and are not interested in chasing a lottery-winning dream of acquisition, but instead are happy to make a living making a good thing that other people love.
In today’s pictures, a soldier fires a grenade at the U.N. compound in Somalia’s capital, President Barack Obama speaks in Berlin, a bird drinks from a water fountain in Switzerland, and more.
Elaine Mayes might well be the most accomplished photographer and photography educator that many passionate photography aficionados have never heard of. As one of the very first women teachers of photography who learned her craft primarily in art school, Mayes has influenced generations of photographers while quietly, steadily and tenaciously pursuing her own vision as a creative artist. This summer, Mayes’ work from her seminal Autolandscapes series will go on display through January 2014 at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, alongside work by Steve Fitch and Robbert Flick.
Mayes, who defines her aesthetic, in part, as a “Walt Whitman approach” to photography — i.e., embracing influences found in “everything and in nothing” — has taught both photography and film at the University of Minnesota, Hampshire College (where she was a founding member of the faculty), Pratt, Bard and several other schools. (She’s currently Professor Emerita in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.) She studied with Minor White; was friendly with the likes of Bruce Davidson, John Szarkowski and Diane Arbus in the 1960s and beyond; has shown her work at MoMA New York, MoMa San Francisco, the Brooklyn Museum and elsewhere; and cites fellow artists like Paul Caponigro and Wynn Bullock as major influences on her photography.
Her work belongs to no “school.” Instead, across six decades, Mayes has employed a deeply individualistic sensibility — nowhere more evident than in the Autolandscapes (1971). She had just gotten a job teaching at Hampshire when, after requesting an NEA grant for $3,000, she won a grant for a mere third of that. Undeterred, she drove across country with her husband and four cats, chronicling the landscape — other automobiles, gas stations, homes, factories, road signs, cows, empty tarmac. The result is a marvelous, unadorned, understated and perfectly “of its time” document of early Seventies Americana. Focusing on the horizontal plane witnessed outside of her moving car, the photos formalize the idea of capturing movement in a way that also seems to slow, and even stop, time.
The work seen in this gallery, meanwhile, is primarily comprised of photos that are part of an ongoing series Mayes began when she moved to Minnesota to teach in the 1960s, and has continued to work on through today. With her keen interest in photos that have a mysterious quality, and images where the scene is big, but the tiniest details are still cleanly visible, Mayes characterizes her own goal as an effort to make photographs by “responding [to her environment], but not knowing why.”
This body of work will be on view as part of a group exhibition, Landscapes in Passing: Photographs by Steve Fitch, Robbert Flick and Elaine Mayes, at the American Art Museum in Washington D.C.
Liz Ronk is the photo editor of LIFE.com.
Features and Essays
Rena Effendi / National Geographic
Rena Effendi: Transylvania Hay Country (National Geographic) The old art of making hay on the grass-growing meadows of Transylvania | from the July issue of National Geographic magazine | Effendi’s agency
Ami Vitale: Montana Ranch (Photo Booth) A testament to a disappearing way of life and an ode to its endurance.
Rena Effendi: Spirit Lake (Institute) Located in an isolated and economically languishing area of North Dakota, Spirit Lake is a Sioux Indian reservation home to some 6,200 inhabitants
Raphaela Rosella: Teen Mothers in Australia (Feature Shoot)
Guillaume Herbaut: Unrest in Turkey (Institute)
LouLou d’Aki: Occupy Istanbul: Portraits of Turkey’s Protest Kids (NY magazine)
Enri Canaj: City of Shadows (Foto8) Athens, Greece
Lauren Greenfield: The Fast and The Fashionable (ESPN) In Monaco during F1 Grand Prix
Giovanni Cocco: The Life Of A Sibling With Disability (NPR Picture Show)
Riverboom: Giro d’Italia (Institute)
Robert Nickelsberg: Surviving Cold War (World Policy) Forces from Norway, Britain, and the Netherlands in training in the planet’s harshest climate in the Arctic Circle
Ian Willms: Following in the Mennonites’ Footsteps (LightBox)
Tomasz Lazar: In Kosovo, Bridging an Ethnic Divide (NYT)
Cathal McNaughton: Yarnbombers (Guardian) Photographer Cathal McNaughton has caught up with the Yarnbombers, the guerrilla knitters who plan to target the G8 using knitting or crochet rather than graffiti
Sebastian Liste / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME
Sebastian Liste: On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison (LightBox)
Pietro Paolini: Ecuador: Balance on the Zero (Terra Project)
Elizabeth Griffin and Amelia Coffaro: Capturing Life With Cancer At Age 28 (NPR Picture Show)
Lars Tunbjörk: Cremation: The New American Way of Death (LightBox)
Lucas Jackson: Tornado survivors of Moore (Reuters photo blog) multimedia
Andy Levin: Coney Island (NYT Lens)
Daniel Love: 200 Hours (Guardian)
Robert Herman: New York: A View of Inner Turmoil (NYT Lens)
Reed Young: The Ground Zero of Immigration: El Paso (LightBox)
Sara Lewkowicz: An unflinching look at domestic abuse (CNN photo blog)
Tony Fouhse: The Simple View of Ottawa (NYT Lens)
Justin Jin for the New York Times
Justin Jin: A Chinese Push for Urbanization (NYT)
Sean Gallagher: Climate change on the Tibetan plateau (Guardian) audio slideshow
Nic Dunlop: On the frontlines of a ‘Brave New Burma’ (CNN photo blog)
Zohra Bensemra: Pakistan’s female Top Gun (Reuters)
Paolo Marchetti: The Stains of Kerala (LightBox)
Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images
Behrouz Mehri: Life in Tehran, glimpsed through the rear window (AFP Correspondent)
Tyler Hicks: A New Strategy on One Syrian Front (NYT)
Laurent Van der Stockt: On The Damascus Front Lines (Le Monde)
Jason Larkin: Suez – Egypt’s Lifeline (Panos Pictures)
Nyani Quarmyne: Bridging Approaches to Mental Illness in Sierra Leone (NYT Lens)
Jake Naughton: Education of Girls in Kibera (Feature Shoot)
David Guttenfelder: Last Song for Migrating Birds (NGM) Across the Mediterranean, millions are killed for food, profit, and cruel amusement.
Nick Cobbing: Follow the Creatures (Photographer’s website) Antarctica
Nelli Palomäki: Portraits of Children (LightBox)
The Burning Monk 50th anniversary (AP) Malcolm Wilde Browne was 30 years old when he arrived in Saigon on Nov. 7, 1961, as AP’s first permanent correspondent there. From the start, Browne was filing the kind of big stories that would win him the Pulitzer Prize for reporting in 1964. But today, he is primarily remembered for a photograph taken 50 years ago on June 11, 1963, depicting the dignified yet horrific death by fiery suicide of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc.
Love struck: Photographs of JFK’s visit to Berlin 50 years ago reveal a nation instantly smitten (The Independent) Photographer Ulrich Mack accompanied Kennedy on the entire trip. The results, published this month as Kennedy in Berlin, have mostly never been seen before
Osman Orsal / Reuters
Images of Protest in Istanbul: The Woman in Red (No Caption Needed)
Photographer documents Istanbul ‘war zone’ in his own backyard on Facebook (NBC News photo blog)
Photographic Mood, on the Eve of Destruction (No Caption Needed)
Pixelating the reality? (Al Jazeera: Listening Post) Photography is a subjective medium, and how it is used will always depend on who is using it. | On Paul Hansen’s World Press Photo of the Year and post-processing in photojournalism in general
The Art of War – Ron Haviv (Viewpoint on Vimeo) A documentary from the public television of Greece, year 2013. Language: English | Greek Subtitles
Leading photojournalist captures the beating heart of a brutal world (Sydney Morning Herald) Forty years of covering atrocities has only reinforced James Nachtwey’s faith in humanity
Rita Leistner: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan (BagNewsNotes)
A Glance at the 2013 LOOK3 Photo Festival (LightBox)
Edouard Elias / Getty Images
Two journalists, including photographer Edouard Elias, abducted in Syria (BJP) According to Le Monde and BBC News, the two journalists, Didier François and Edouard Elias, were travelling to Aleppo in Syria when they were abducted by four armed men at a checkpoint
Syrian teacher turned war photographer (CNN) Nour Kelze describes her transition from English teacher in Aleppo to war photographer in the middle of Syria’s conflict.
A Paean to Forbearance (the Rough Draft) (NYT) The origins behind James Agee’s 1941 book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” a literary description of abject poverty in the South, accompanied by Walker Evans photographs.
The Woman in a Jim Crow Photo (NYT Lens)
Abigail Heyman, Feminist Photojournalist, Dies at 70 (NYT) Related
Nelson Mandela: a life in focus (Guardian) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich reflects on a legend of our time
Eman Mohammed in the Gaza Strip (Denver Post Plog)
Robert Capa’s vintage prints on show (BBC) To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of photographer Robert Capa, the Atlas gallery in London is holding an exhibition of his work. It comprises a wide range of prints from his time in Spain during the Civil War through World War II, and ending with the Indo China conflict where he lost his life.
Chloe Dewe Mathews
Featured photographer: Scout Tufankjian (Verve Photo)
Featured photographer: Carlo Gianferro (Verve Photo)
Featured photographer: Antonia Zennaro (Verve Photo)
American Girls: Photographs Offer Vision into American Girlhood (Daily Beast) Polish photographer Ilona Szwarc’s new exhibit captures 100 kids with their cult-classic toy, the American Girl doll.
Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography by Colin Graham – review (Guardian) This catalogue of recent Northern Irish photography shows a determination to leave the documentary style of the Troubles behind
After Lowry (FT magazine) Landscape photographer John Davies takes a series of pictures in the northwest of England inspired by the work of LS Lowry
Eric Maierson: This is what editing feels like (MediaStorm blog)
Interviews and Talks
Rodrigo Abd and Javier Manzano (C-Span)
Carolyn Drake (cestandard) An interview with Carolyn Drake, author of Two Rivers
Paul Conroy (Amanpour) The deadliest country on earth for journalists | Conroy on Marie Colvin’s last assignment
Alex Webb (LA Times Framed)
Christopher Anderson (GUP magazine)
Stuart Franklin (Vice) There’s More to Stuart Franklin Than the Most Famous Photo of the 20th Century
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Paula Bronstein (ABC Radio National Australia) Internationally acclaimed US photo journalist Paula Bronstein talks about bearing witness to human suffering through her photo essays.
John H. White (NPR Picture Show) Photo Staff Firings Won’t Shake Pulitzer Winner’s Focus
Joe McNally (NYT Lens) Photographing on Top of the World
David Guttenfelder (NGM) Photographer David Guttenfelder reflects upon why taking pictures of the slaughter of songbirds is like covering a war.
Alexandra Avakian / Contact Press Images
Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on the festival’s editorial line and the cost of covering war
Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on social media, the future of photojournalism and the need for greater cooperation
Marco Di Lauro (Image Deconstructed)
Evgenia Arbugaeva (Leica blog) Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner 2013
Jenn Ackerman (PBS NewsHours) One Photographer’s Experience Documenting Mentally Ill Inmates
Richard Misrach (PDN Pulse) Misrach on Documentary vs. Art, the Complications of Portraiture, and Digital Photography
Daniel Etter / Redux
Daniel Etter (LightBox Tumblr)
Espen Rasmussen (Panos Social)
Michael Christopher Brown (Window magazine)
Terry O’Neill (WSJ) The photographer on starlets, the Stones and Sinatra
Ewen Spencer (Vice) The Soul of UK Garage, As Photographed by Ewen Spencer
Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.
With images of boys learning to cook in the 1930s or girls fencing in 1891, an exhibition at the George Eastman House in Rochester examines depictions of gender since the 19th century.
In today's photos, Andy Murray faces Nicolas Mahut in London, a child sleeps at a brick factory in Kabul, two deer flee from the flood near Budapest, and more.