1. Think of your favorite album. Odds are, the music conjures up some sort of mental image, right? Dark Side Of The Moon: A prism; Abbey Road: a crosswalk.

    Artist Adam Brown is interested inthat connection — “the strange space between image and sound,” he says.

    Which is why he’s gone out of his way to take a digital photo, turn it into audio waves, etch them onto a vinyl record, and “play” them back using a USB turntable and a projector.

    It sounds complicated – and the technology behind it is. But Brown says that his project (which he calls “Concentrism”) is at its core “noisy, glitchy and fun.”

    He’s using this complicated process to play around with boundaries between media, to ask “how does a photo translate into a sound?” Or “light waves into audio waves?”

    Can You Hear A Photo? See A Sound? Artist Adam Brown Thinks So

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adam Brown

  2. We’ve all heard the arguments that our lives have become irrevocably mediated by screens and camera phones — that the more we document and publish moments, the less we actually live them. So when Elise Hu over at All Tech Considered got a Narrative Clip in the mail, I was curious.

    This discreet, wearable camera (here’s what it looks like) is supposed to get you out from behind the screen and into your life — by automatically snapping a photo every 30 seconds so you don’t have to. It then saves the scenes it algorithmically deems important and trashes the rest.

    If you don’t trust the Clip’s editorial sensibility, you can also tap twice to manually take a photo. So I wore it around the office for an afternoon and let it roll. Later, I went for a run and I attempted a photo series. I wanted to document every instance of street art I passed on the trail, as well as every passerby. 

    Here Are Some Photos A Robot Decided I Should Remember

    Photo Credit: NPR

  3. The gap between how foreigners view Russia and how Russians view themselves is wide and as old as the country itself.

    Russian photographer Valeriy Klamm felt that foreign photojournalists who came to work in his country arrive with the pictures they want to send back home already in their head: Bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.

    Klamm, himself, had never photographed much outside of his home city of Novosibirsk, where nearly 2 million people live on the banks of the Ob River in the middle of Siberia.

    But in 2000, he started to visit these small towns, camera in hand. He began to ask his photographer friends, both foreign and local, to share images of simple life the rural Russian villages that dot the vast expanse from Europe to the Pacific Ocean.

    And in 2009, Klamm started “Birthmarks on the Map,” a collective photo project and website that collects these images in one place.

    Beyond Sochi: Russia By Russians

    Photo Credit: Fyodor Telkov, Yekaterinburg, Valeriy Klamm, Novosibirsk, Igor Lagunov, Magnitigorsk

  4. Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies likeTarzan the Ape Man — movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages.

    It took time to change that view. But after the war, Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.

    An exhibit of Elisofon’s work is currently on display at the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Elisofon — who helped found the museum — gave it an archive of 60,000 of his prints and negatives.

    "He redefined Africa in a new and a complex way for American audiences," says curator Amy Staples. "And he brought Africa into their living rooms, in Life magazine.”

    'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens

    Photo Credit: Eliot Elisofon/National Museum of African Art

  5. Now a humble parking lot, the Washington Coliseum has seen a lot in its days. Malcolm X once spoke there, circus lions jumped through hoops there — and on Feb. 11 1964, The Beatles played their first-ever U.S. concert there.

    In the 50 years since that day, a lot has changed. The building fell into disrepair after being sold, and for 10 years was a transfer station for Waste Management.

    Still, on any given day, beautiful shafts of light can been seen spilling through the circular windows in the vaulted ceilings onto the abandoned clusters of stadium seating lurking in dark corners along the walls.

    Long Exposures Of A Creepy Garage (Also, The Beatles!)

    Photo Credit: Jim Tuttle/NPR

  6. These days, getting an aerial shot is as simple (although maybe illegal) as strapping a camera to a drone. Back in the day, though, it wasn’t so easy.

    George R. Lawrence, a commercial photographer at the turn of the last century, was known to tinker. (His Chicago studio advertised “The hitherto impossible in photography is our specialty.”) He was often hired to photograph conventions and banquet halls with a specialized panoramic camera he had built himself. In 1901, he had a loftier idea: to lift his panoramic camera off the ground. And not just a few feet — but hundreds.

    Before Drone Cameras: Kite Cameras!

    Photo Credit: George R. Lawrence/Library of Congress 

  7. In case you missed it, we have an ongoing Instagram project with KPCC called Public Square. Each month we make a new assignment, and this month, we want to see some of your favorite things. Tell us what they are in the caption and tag the photo#PSMyFavoriteThings. You’ve got until the end of December.
Beth Nakamura, who manages The Oregonian's Instagram feed, kicks us off:

1) A bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Because it was my mother’s favorite. She died of cancer when I was 30. Usually it’s little stuff that brings her back.
2) An anonymous booking photograph. Because behind every person is something sparkly and magnificent, a story waiting to be told. I work in journalism and see it firsthand, over and over.
3) A roll of twine. Because life is, for the most part, maddeningly messy, I vacillate between wanting to stuff it all into pretty little boxes and realizing it’s just not possible.
4) A cigarette. Because sometimes I sneak them. My dirty, shameful little secret. Exposed.
5) A number sign. Although this “No.” means number, for me it will always mean: No. Period. Because my life is marked by moments that stand in defiance of that word.
6) An old snapshot holder. It’s empty. Which means it’s full of possibility. Because as a photojournalist, it’s not about the pictures you’ve taken, but the ones you’ve yet to make.
7) Home Sweet Home, cross-stitched and framed. I made it when I longed for such things. Like most deep longing, it stays hidden from sight.

Photo Assignment: A Few Of Your Favorite Things
Photo Credit: Beth Nakamura/Instagram

    In case you missed it, we have an ongoing Instagram project with KPCC called Public Square. Each month we make a new assignment, and this month, we want to see some of your favorite things. Tell us what they are in the caption and tag the photo#PSMyFavoriteThings. You’ve got until the end of December.

    Beth Nakamura, who manages The Oregonian's Instagram feed, kicks us off:

    1) A bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Because it was my mother’s favorite. She died of cancer when I was 30. Usually it’s little stuff that brings her back.

    2) An anonymous booking photograph. Because behind every person is something sparkly and magnificent, a story waiting to be told. I work in journalism and see it firsthand, over and over.

    3) A roll of twine. Because life is, for the most part, maddeningly messy, I vacillate between wanting to stuff it all into pretty little boxes and realizing it’s just not possible.

    4) A cigarette. Because sometimes I sneak them. My dirty, shameful little secret. Exposed.

    5) A number sign. Although this “No.” means number, for me it will always mean: No. Period. Because my life is marked by moments that stand in defiance of that word.

    6) An old snapshot holder. It’s empty. Which means it’s full of possibility. Because as a photojournalist, it’s not about the pictures you’ve taken, but the ones you’ve yet to make.

    7) Home Sweet Home, cross-stitched and framed. I made it when I longed for such things. Like most deep longing, it stays hidden from sight.

    Photo Assignment: A Few Of Your Favorite Things

    Photo Credit: Beth Nakamura/Instagram

  8. Sam Reinders is a photojournalist born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She was 13 when Nelson Mandela was freed from prison. In the days after his death, Reinders walked the streets of her hometown and sent us this personal photo essay.

    By now you’ve heard the news. Spread by undersea cable, satellites high above us, in the wind that is howling in Cape Town as I write these words: Madiba is dead.

    Iconic images are filling the airwaves: Grainy archive footage of Mandela in his boxing gloves, that triumphant fist-raised-to-the-sky walk from prison, the photo with Bill Clinton next to him, looking out from the bars that were once his prison cell.

    You’ve seen the outpouring of tears and grief as people say goodbye to the legendary leader. Chanting, singing, dancing, toy-toyi’ing — from outside his home in Johannesburg and in the streets of Soweto. The Dalai Lama has paid tribute, as has President Obama. The Vatican has shared its condolences, as have celebrities from across the globe. Madiba is trending.

    The grief has gone viral.

    But what now? I knew this day would come. Everyone did. It took me a while to realize what I was grappling with. I’m a journalist by profession. I tell stories with my camera. But unexpectedly that identity I’ve always clung to seems to have crumbled. Today I’m not a journalist. I don’t want to be. I’m a citizen. And what I show you here comes from Sam the citizen, not Sam the journalist. Personal feelings captured with my camera. No press pass between me and how I feel.

    Photo Essay: Cape Town Quietly Mourns Mandela

    Photo Credit: Sam Reinders for NPR

  9. In honor of the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, selfie, we are reposting a piece about selfies/self-portraits and what they say about the photographer.

    Last week The Getty Museum in Los Angeles announced a pretty cool thing. Its new Open Content Program makes available hundreds of thousands of digital images for free download and use. There’s a lot to sift through, and the possibilities are endless. But it doesn’t take long before interesting images jump out.

    Like, while browsing the photo collection I found myself face to face with 19th century photographer Gaspard Felix Tournachon (known as “Nadar”) and thought: “Wait, is this a … selfie!?”

    It seems silly, but it got me thinking sincerely about the origin of self-portraits. So I called up an expert, Judy Keller, senior curator of photographs at the Getty. Over the phone she talked me through the history and personalities of some of photography’s first “selfies” found in this open archive.

    In the end, we concluded that it seems like the propulsion to document ourselves is linked to a desire for immortality. But the way we go about preserving ourselves can say a lot about who we are as people.

    What Does Your ‘Selfie’ Style Say About You?

    Photo Credits:
    (top) Nadar/Courtesy of The Getty’s Open Content Program
    (left) Roger Fenton/
    Courtesy of The Getty’s Open Content Program
    (right) Lewis Hine/
    Courtesy of The Getty’s Open Content Program
    (bottom) @beckyberger/Instagram

  10. We debated whether it was too obvious, but went with it anyway: In this month’s Public Square assignment, we want to see something you’re thankful for. Nothing fancy — could be your morning walk, hot dogs or your best friend. Because sometimes it’s just nice to stop and remember. Tag it #PSThankfulFor #PublicSquare and be sure to leave a good caption!
The Deets: Public Square is NPR’s community photo project with KPCC. Tag your photo on Instagram (or Twitter) between now and Nov. 30, and it might be featured here on Instagram, KPCC’s AudioVision and NPR’s The Picture Show.
Show Us What You’re Thankful For In The #PublicSquare
Photo Credit: NPR/KPCC
Previous #PublicSquare Assignments: #PSCommute #PSThisIsWhere #PSHardWork

    We debated whether it was too obvious, but went with it anyway: In this month’s Public Square assignment, we want to see something you’re thankful for. Nothing fancy — could be your morning walk, hot dogs or your best friend. Because sometimes it’s just nice to stop and remember. Tag it #PSThankfulFor #PublicSquare and be sure to leave a good caption!

    The Deets: Public Square is NPR’s community photo project with KPCC. Tag your photo on Instagram (or Twitter) between now and Nov. 30, and it might be featured here on Instagram, KPCC’s AudioVision and NPR’s The Picture Show.

    Show Us What You’re Thankful For In The #PublicSquare

    Photo Credit: NPR/KPCC

    Previous #PublicSquare Assignments: #PSCommute #PSThisIsWhere #PSHardWork