The most expensive Olympic Games in history — for less than 3 weeks

The most expensive Olympic Games in history are about to take place in Sochi, Russia. The $51 billion price tag has done little good (and perhaps long-term harm) for the local economy and gentle culture.

LensCulture presents a photoessay © by Russian photographer Mikhail Mordasov.



Fisht Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies. Nearby, in the center of Olympic Park,
an old cemetery has been preserved. Relatives visit the graves of their loved ones on the eve of
Radonitsa, a traditional day of commemoration for the departed.
From the series “Sochi: A 100 Days Before the Olympic Games” © Mikhail Mordasov



10 New Photography Features plus HUNDREDS of New Portfolios

LensCulture is always interested in discovering and sharing the best photography from around the world — and this week we have 10 stories that you really should not miss. Enjoy!











Ponte City by Mikhael Subotzky

Like a failed science-fiction utopia, this Apartheid-era residential tower has become the city’s “focal point [of] dreams and nightmares… a lightning rod for a society’s hopes and fears…”












In/Visibility by Patrick Gries

In Tanzania, albino people are considered victims of evil — so, they are not registered at birth and they do not die — rather, they ‘vanish’.









Disappearing Greenland by Ciril Jazbec

Follow the daily life of one of the last true hunters trying to lead a traditional lifestyle in northern Greenland— subsistence hunting.












In Focus: Ara Guler’s Anatolia

A new exhibition of Ara Guler, Turkey’s best known photographer, debates photography’s status as art or documentation.












Hong Kong Trilogy by Michael Wolf

Quirky typologies of ephemeral urban phenomena from Hong Kong’s streets, back alleys and unlikely perches in the sky.









Mectoub by Scarlett Coten

What does it mean to be an Arab man today? Scarlett Coten explores in a series of intimate, open portraits of young men.












Audio interview with Russian photographer Alexander Gronsky

Listen to this short interview with the author of a great new photobook, Moscow: Pastoral Suburbs












Empire by Jon Tonks

60,000 miles, 32 days at sea, 400 rolls of film —Jon Tonks went far to capture life on four of the most isolated islands in the world, former colonies of the British Empire.












Hair Study by Tara Bogart

Portraits of young women photographed from behind allow us to imagine personalities based on peripheral details like hairstyle and tattoos.












Points of View by Margherita Crocco

Inspired by metaphoric expressions that people use in their everyday language, this series reveals the absurdities that can arise from cross-cultural interpretations.



In addition to articles we write and feature in the magazine section of LensCulture, you can browse through literally HUNDREDS of other great portfolios and stories posted directly by photographers who are specially invited by the editors of LensCulture. Explore by category, most-viewed, or our Editors’ Picks. Dig in and discover an abundance of inspiration!



40 Years of American Color by Dennis Church

American Color © Dennis Church

© Dennis Church

The super-saturated color photographs by Dennis Church were one of our most pleasant discoveries this year — even though some of them date back to the 1970s. These photographs capture color, light and an emotional vibration of American life from the 1970s to the present. Each image compresses a lot of visual information into a flattened plane. The more time you spend with any of these pictures, you may be surprised at the tiny details that break through the clutter to make each photograph especially delightful. See lots more in LensCulture.

14 Best New Photobooks You Probably Haven’t Seen



After looking through literally more than two hundred new photobooks published in 2013, here are the handful that stand out from the crowd for the editorial team at LensCulture.

The selection is quirky, subjective, untraditional, and probably not like many other lists of favorite photobooks out there. They range from super-large-format mainstream books to small hand-assembled artists books, from straightforward to obscure. But all of them are gems, in our opinion.

We hope you enjoy looking through this selection. Cheers!

— Jim Casper, Editor

Totally unique Manhattan skyline photos: Buildings Made of Sky


Installation View: Buildings Made of Sky © Peter Wegner

“There are two Manhattans. One is a city of tall buildings; the other is a city of no buildings. This city begins where the architecture leaves off. It’s a city cast in the die of Manhattan, a perfect complement to the built city, a kind of anti-Manhattan. This parallel city has an architecture all its own. It is the architecture of air, the space defined by the edges of everything else, its map redrawn by pigeons and pedestrians, barricades and scaffolding, cranes, trucks, taxis. It’s the city we assume but cannot name. In this city, the buildings are made of sky. It’s the Manhattan that isn’t – without which there could be no Manhattan.” — Peter Wegner

See and read more in LensCulture.


Detail View: Buildings Made of Sky © Peter Wegner

Nocturnal: Exploring deep into the wilderness of Nature, cocooned in an RV

Nocturnal-1 © Frank Hallam Day

From the new photobook, “Nocturnal” © Frank Hallam Day

 Nocturnal is a result of photographer Frank Hallam Day’s month-long journey through Florida. In his images, Day explores the relationship between man and the environment through the lens of the recreational vehicle (RV). These ultra-modern, high-tech, luxury homes on wheels, seemingly as anti-nature as could be, become confusingly entwined with the night-time jungle landscapes of Florida. Read more


Nocturnal-2 © Frank Hallam Day

From the new photobook, “Nocturnal” © Frank Hallam Day

Holy Cows: Photos from Hindu Festivals

Holy Cow © Toni Meneguzzo


From the series, Holy Cows © Toni Meneguzzo

“An anthropological research of the Hindu tradition to celebrate the harvest and bovine sacredness.

“Adorned with garlands of fresh flowers, with decorations of colourful shiny trinkets, the cows are prepared, and this is the most striking design element, painting their coat and horns with organic pigments that have specific references: the pink is used to reflect the color of the skin of Radharani, who is the companion of Krishna, the shepherd of the cows; the yellow of turmeric is the solar divinity that illuminates the world, and so on.”

— Toni Meneguzzo

See and read more in LensCulture.

The Reluctant Father: “Let’s not forget the baby-wipe warmer…”

The Reluctant Father © Philip ToledanoIt was like watching a wildlife documentary. She’d savage the nipple (rubber, or Carla) with a crazed animal ferocity, and then slip into a deep opiate slumber, mouth agape.


At the age of forty, photographer Phillip Toledano became a father. But as Toledano discovered in the minutes after his daughter was born, “There’s how you feel, and then there’s how you think you should feel…Was I overwhelmed in a tsunami of love? Not really.”

An honest and hilarious photobook about the realities of being a parent — The Reluctant Father. See and read more in our review.

The Reluctant Father 2 © Philip ToledanoLet’s not forget the baby industrial complex. A baby wipe warmer?

School dress codes: when religion is banned but all else seems fair game…

While France’s bans on head scarves and veils are on trial again, these portraits of teenage students throughout Europe capture common struggles to define one’s individuality through codes, labels and signs. Photographer Catherine Balet traveled to schools in Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona and Milan — exploring what passes for acceptable fashion for schools. See and read more in LensCulture.


Identity © Catherine BaletFrom the Identity series © Catherine Balet