The Backstory
The stories behind the image from subjects and photographers.

Burned to Nothing: When Photographers Destroy Their Own Negatives

Peter Hoffman

Photographers have been bringing a flame to their film and sending it up in smoke since the inception of the medium. Their reasons — aesthetic, emotional, practical and political — are as varied as the sensibilities of the work produced through the years.

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Bill Henson—Courtesy of Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne and Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery, Sydney
The Backstory

Bill Henson and the Dark Matter of Portraiture

In this week’s issue of TIME, artist Bill Henson collaborated with actress Cate Blanchett on a portrait for a story about her role in Blue Jasmine, the latest film by Woody Allen. LightBox presents his latest work, which served as inspiration for our shoot.

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Rolling Stone Tsarvaev cover
The Backstory

War of Images: Rolling Stone, Tsarnaev and the Branding of a Tragedy

Fred Ritchin writes for LightBox on the photographic branding and rhetoric of the modern villain following the Boston bombings.

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Oklahoma Tornado
The Backstory

Moments of Hope in Oklahoma: One Photographer’s Story

In the midst of the chaos and devastation that descended on Moore, Okla., one of the first photographers to the scene recounts the heroic moments of a community banding together.

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Alexander M. Harrington
The Backstory

Photos without Cameras: Exploring Appearance

What is a photograph? What does it mean to make one without a camera? Alexander M. Harrington’s latest project explores the appearance of surface, shadow and depth.

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Taslima Akhter
The Backstory

A Final Embrace: The Most Haunting Photograph from Bangladesh

Many powerful photographs have been made in the aftermath of the devastating collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. But one photo, by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, has emerged as the most heart wrenching, capturing an entire country’s grief in a single image.

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FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects
The Backstory

The Multiplier Effect and the Role of the Photograph in Boston

David Levi Strauss writes for LightBox on how the use of images and dispersion of photographs has evolved to a critical point, as demonstrated during the bombings (and subsequent manhunt) in Boston last week.

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John Tlumacki—The Boston Globe/Getty Images
The Backstory

Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account

LightBox spoke with Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who photographed the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tlumacki, who has photographed more than 20 marathons in his 30 years at the Globe, describes the sheer chaos of the scene.

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Chris Dean narrates the short film, As I Am, which was co-produced by Alan Spearman, Mark Adams and The Commercial Appeal.
The Backstory

‘As I Am': From the Streets of South Memphis to the White House and Back Again

Christopher Dean, a twenty-year old who grew up in the projects of South Memphis and whose thoughtful speech introducing President Barack Obama at his high school graduation gained him an internship at the White House, returns to his hometown to collaborate with Alan Spearman, a talented filmmaker, to produce a short, powerful film on a wounded city.

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Alex Majoli—Magnum
The Backstory

A Decade of War in Iraq: The Images That Moved Them Most

A decade has passed since the United States invaded Iraq. To mark the anniversary, LightBox presents a selection of the most moving and iconic photography from the conflict with the first-person stories behind the images.

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