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We tell powerful, inspiring stories through photography and offer a behind-the-scenes look at emerging and established photographers.

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CNN Photos

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Because of black-and-white photos and grainy newsreels, we tend to remember World War I predominantly in monochrome — uniforms of dull khaki and field gray set against mud-filled trenches, churned earth and blasted craters. Yet surprisingly, World War I was the first major conflict to be covered by color photography.

Filed Under:

Historic Photos • Photo Book • World • World War I
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Senghenydd, a small village in the south of Wales, was the site of the worst coal mining disaster in the history of the United Kingdom. It killed 439 men on October 14, 1913. Shortly after the tragedy, an unknown photographer named Benton arrived from Glasgow and documented the aftermath of the event.

Filed Under:

Black-and-white • Historic Photos • United Kingdom • Wales • World
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On May 3, 1963, escalating racial tensions came to a violent head when black activists clashed with city authorities in Birmingham, Alabama. Bruce Davidson of Magnum Photos was among the photographers on the scene. The demonstrations produced some of the most iconic images of the civil rights movement.

Filed Under:

Black History • Black-and-white • Bruce Davidson • Historic Photos • Magnum Photos • U.S.
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In the pre-paparazzi world, Hollywood studios carefully controlled the images of stars. Knowing that staged photo shoots made an actor more sympathetic with the public, studios set up their big names with pets - but not necessarily with ones they owned.

Filed Under:

Animals • Black-and-white • Entertainment • Historic Photos • Hollywood • John Kobal Foundation • U.S.
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As Hollywood films replaced the live theater scene in the 1920s, producers responded to the public’s interest in the leading actors by photographing the rising stars. Film historian and collector John Kobal was one of the first people to view the promotional images as art.

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Photographer Lillian Bassman, known for her intimate, ethereal portraits of models in the 1940s through the mid-’60s, died Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 94. Throughout her career, she developed a unique vision and style while paving the way for a generation of female fashion photographers.

Filed Under:

Black-and-white • Fashion • Historic Photos • Lillian Bassman • Obituary • U.S.
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Dawoud Bey began photographing Harlem, New York, in 1975. His interest was sparked by his family's history and connection to the neighborhood, as well as Harlem’s role as a center of black culture in America. The five-year project was completed in 1979, and a selection of the work will be published in a book in May.

Filed Under:

Black History • Black-and-white • Dawoud Bey • Historic Photos • U.S.
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Photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto passed away last week at age 90. “He was revered and influential in the way he helped mold Japanese culture with a Western influence,” said Colin Westerbeck, a photography curator who knew Ishimoto.

Filed Under:

Black-and-white • Historic Photos • Japan • Obituary • World • Yasuhiro Ishimoto
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