News

The Royal College of Physicians just what the doctors ordered

Regent's Park, London
Fifty years on, the complex, confident lines of Denys Lasdun's Royal College of Physicians remain an unqualified success, now celebrated in a new exhibition, The Anatomy of a Building

The Royal College of Physicians in pictures

It is still, amid the white stucco and green leaves of Regent's Park, a striking object: an inverted pale ziggurat on a dark base, with cantilevers and hanging slabs, and a determination to put elements of building where you least expect them. Pillars group in the centre, leaving unsupported corners, and narrow windows tend towards the edges. It offers blank surfaces before it shows you a way in, and seems to snub the park, where most buildings would embrace it.

It seems perverse, yet the Royal College of Physicians is a subtle and beautiful exploration in three dimensions of the interactions of old and new, artifice and nature, and living and built. It contains exceptional complexity within its confident form. It is well considered and well made. For which reason it is one of the unqualified successes of postwar British architecture. You don't have to acknowledge some gross technical malfunction, as you do with some modern monuments, before appreciating its artistic skill.

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A lost Lebanon caught on camera

When artist Ania Dabrowska started working with Diab Alkarssifi, a homeless Lebanese man in London, she made a startling discovery. He was a compulsive photographer with a hoard of unseen pictures from his homeland. Sean OHagan hears the story behind them

See a selection of the extraordinary images in our gallery

In 1971, Georgina Rizk, a model from Beirut, was crowned Miss Universe at a glitzy pageant in Miami Beach, Florida. According to Wikipedia, She made a memorable fashion statement by wearing a very revealing top and hot-pants. Six years later Rizk, who was still a much-loved celebrity in her native Lebanon, visited the historic town of Baalbek. On hand to record the visit was a local photographer who snapped Rizk, resplendent in a stylish wide-brimmed hat, belted shirt and tailored trousers, as she mixed with dignitaries, army officers and star-struck locals.

Thirty-three years later, in 2010, a Polish artist named Ania Dabrowska was working as artist-in-residence in Arlington House, a hostel for the homeless in Camden, north London. One of her sitters for a photographic portrait project she called House of Homeless was Diab Alkarssifi, a white-haired man from the Middle East. Despite his halting English, Diab managed to convey his interest in photography and, using a camera borrowed from Dabrowska, began shooting on the streets of Camden Town. The results were accomplished.

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A lost Lebanon - in pictures

When artist Ania Dabrowska started working with Diab Alkarssifi, a homeless Lebanese man in London, she made a startling discovery. He was a compulsive photographer with a hoard of unseen pictures from his homeland

To support the publication of this archive, visit

A Lebanese Archive at kickstarter.com/projects/ 723440909/a-lebanese-archive-by-ania-dabrowska

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Sport picture of the day: handball in miniature

Tilt shift lenses are a great way of making 'general view' photos a little special. The lens tilts left and right, and shifts up and down to create extreme depths of field. The miniaturisation is merely a happy side effect, however tilt shift lenses were designed to correct unwanted perspective lines in architectural photography Continue reading...
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South African 'maidens' perform annual reed dance - in pictures

Photographer Marco Longari captures the annual ceremony in Nongoma, South Africa

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Eyewitness: Umhlanga reed dance

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Original Observer photography: August 2014

From actress Liv Tyler in New York, to artists Gilbert and George in Londons east end, to the grim fight against the Ebola virus in the streets of Monrovia, we showcase the best photography commissioned by the Observer in August

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The 20 photographs of the week

The war against Islamic State, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Burning Man festival the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week Continue reading...
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United front: breasts without the airbrush

How do you feel about your breasts? One photographer asked 100 women to bare all

The shocking thing about Laura Dodsworth's pictures of 100 women's breasts isn't the flesh on show, or the many shapes and sizes, but the realisation that images of unairbrushed, non-uniform breasts seem to be so rare. "We see images of breasts everywhere," says the 41-year-old photographer, "but they're unreal. They create an unflattering comparison but also an unobtainable ideal. I wanted to rehumanise women through honest photography."

Dodsworth interviewed each woman at length, starting by asking them how they felt about their breasts. The interviews soon became more emotional than she anticipated. "I found that, while breasts are interesting in themselves, they are also catalysts for discussing relationships, body image and ageing. I realised that this had become an exploration of what it means to be a woman." She is fundraising, via Kickstarter, to make a book of the project.

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Family life: Dad fleeing the Nazis, A Whiter Shade of Pale and Eves temptation sandwich

Readers favourite photographs, songs and recipes

This is my father, Elliott, in Crete in 1941. He was a despatch rider in the British army and had sent the photograph on a postcard to my grandmother. She had not seen him since he and his brother had set off for a Territorial Army camp in the summer of 1939. He had been sent to France when the second world war broke out and was later evacuated to Crete from Athens, following Germanys invasion of Greece. He was nearly 21.

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Western Digital launches My Passport Wireless hard drive with built-in SD card reader

DP Review News - Sat, 06/09/2014 - 06:01

Western Digital has launched a new wireless-enabled hard drive that uniquely features a built-in SD card reader. The My Passport Wireless might be coming to the market after other wireless options like the LaCie Fuel drive, but it’s the inclusion of the SD card reader that makes this product of particular interest to photographers. Read more

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Epson launches A3+ SC-P600 printer with ‘industry’s highest black density’

DP Review News - Sat, 06/09/2014 - 06:00

Epson has announced a new A3+ desktop inkjet printer aimed at the professional and semi-professional photographer that it claims is capable of producing a maximum black density of 2.8. According to Epson this beats all competitors’ A3+ machines that use 6 or more inks. The SureColor SC-P600 is part of Epson’s plan to introduce ten new professional printers to the market under the ‘Sure’ brand by 2016, and is the first SureColor model to be aimed at the photo market. Click through to read more.

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CAMS wants to change how you carry your camera with new 'Pro' camera and lens plates

DP Review News - Fri, 05/09/2014 - 23:16

Delaware-based company CAMS is raising money to create a range of mounting plates for DSLR users to carry their gear from a mount on the bottom, rather than the top of the camera. The low-profile CAMS Pro Camera Plate and Lens Plate attach to the tripod screws on the bottom of your camera (and lenses with a tripod collar) and provide a firm mounting point for the company's quick-release neoprene straps, allowing your gear to be carried comfortably at hip level, ready to be brought quickly into the shooting position. Read more

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How to shoot images of powerful women and vulnerable men | Sølve Sundsbø

Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø on creating a parallel universe full of characters he's imagined

A shoot is a collaboration. There's the stylist, make-up artist, hairdresser, assistants, set designers, clients, and input from the magazine if it's editorial.

There are usually 20 people in the room, but in the end it's about the relationship between the model and the photographer. I guess the best comparison would be like the relationship between an actress and a director.

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Should we design cities for 'collisions'?

City links: We explore the centrality of street food to Chengdus social life, the trend of parking spaces becoming parks, and a map of Portlands immorality in this weeks best city stories

The best city stories from around the web this week discover the sociable alleyways and food stalls in Chengdu, New York Citys most accessible ruins, the transformation of Birminghams streets and the immorality of Portland in 1913.

Wed love to hear your responses to these stories and any others youve read recently, both at Guardian Cities and elsewhere: share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Weekend readers' best pictures: endings

From horses to goodbyes: your best pictures on this weeks theme, endings


This is the final Weekend readers best pictures column. Thank you for all your contributions over the last eight years. Please go to witness.theguardian.com/ if you would like to stay involved in Guardian photography projects

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Picture of the week: Cape Coral, Florida, 2012, by Edward Burtynsky

Water is the latest project in Edward Burtynskys portfolio, which has been motivated by the same driving force since 1981: To continually explore how we, as an expanding human species, are reshaping the landscape

To truly capture the scale of Cape Coral, a pre-planned city in south-west Florida founded in 1957, photographer Ed Burtynsky took to the skies. For his Water project, the photographer wanted to create compelling images of the ways in which we use water and how that imposes on the landscape. Cape Coral, which has the largest canal system in the world, often polluted by urban runoff, is a prime example.

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Dicing with death: the original New York graffiti artists in pictures

New York in the late 70s and early 80s was a place of blackouts and train strikes, riots and looting ... but those dark days before the birth of CCTV gave rise to some of the worlds most pervasive subcultures. Here, notorious subway painters of the era tell their tales as Sacha Jenkins, the photographer who logged their art, opens up his archive

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Saturation 70: the Gram Parsons UFO film that never flew

Years before Star Wars, a maverick director led a crew into the desert to film a psychedelic science fiction epic starring the country singer and the five-year-old son of Rolling Stone Brian Jones. The film was lost and the story went into rock legend, but now unseen photographs will go on show to tell the bizarre story

The last thing youd think of when you hear the name Gram Parsons the heartbreakingly sensitive singer-songwriter who died aged 26 in 1973 is science fiction. But between late 1969 and early 1970, towards the close of his two-album career as leader of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Parsons was making his acting debut in a mind-boggling fantasy project that predated Star Wars by almost a decade.

Called Saturation 70, the film was the brainchild of an American writer-director named Tony Foutz, the son of a Walt Disney company executive and a friend to both Parsons and the Rolling Stones. The film was shot (but never completed) at a 1969 UFO convention at Giant Rock, near Joshua Tree in the Mojave desert, and in Los Angeles. It tapped into the spectrum of esoteric interests and outlandish ideas aliens, psychedelics, time travel of the late 60s counterculture. The whole experience of making the film was like a technological tribal throw-down, with an energy buzz off the Richter scale, Foutz says now. It took on a life of its own.

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Photo highlights of the day

The Guardians picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world including lightning in Newcastle, a giant Snoopy in China and tall ships in London

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