“American Photobooth”, a book review

American Photobooth is a new illustrated history of photobooths, which first made their splash in the 1920s. Photographer Nakki Goranin became obsessed with the technology after creating a series of her own photobooth self-portraits now in the collection of the International Center for Photography in New York. She then spent nearly a decade tracing the history and culture of photobooths and collected thousands of vintage photobooth prints, like those above. The new issue of Smithsonian profiles Goranin and includes an online slideshow of images from the book.

Goranin doesn’t much care for the mall’s machine, which is digital. But, she says, there are only about 250 authentic chemical booths left in the United States…

Before the photobooth first appeared, in the 1920s, most portraits were made in studios. The new, inexpensive process made photography accessible to everyone. “For 25 cents people could go and get some memory of who they were, of a special occasion, of a first date, an anniversary, a graduation,” Goranin says. “For many people, those were the only photos of themselves that they had.”

Because there is no photographer to intimidate, photobooth subjects tend to be much less self-conscious. The result—a young boy embracing his mother or teenagers sneaking a first kiss—is often exceptionally intimate. “It’s like a theater that’s just you and the lens,” Goranin says. “And you can be anyone you want to be.”

Photobooth article (Smithsonian), Buy American Photobooth (Amazon)

[via boingboing.net ]

“Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration”, a book review


Troy Paiva is one of my favorite photographers of late. I love his choice of subjects – googie architecture, abandoned buildings, junk yards and the southwest desert. He shoots almost exclusively at night and uses a combination of colored flashes and LED lights to “paint” his subjects.

Troy published his first book of night-time photography, Lost America: The Abandoned Roadside West in 2003. His newest book,
Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration continues his explorations into abandoned scenery, night time photography, surreal coloring, and imaginative vision.

I found a full review on Epic Edits, a new (to me) photo blog.

More of Troy’s work is available on his Flickr page.

[via Epic Edits ]