11/29/2010 10:32 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

New York Times' Lens Captivates With Its Photographic Selections

The line separating fine art and photo journalism can be a very fine one; when an artist manages beautifully document a scene while maintaining a journalistic practice, something incredible happens: you are captivated. With it's eye on the most enticing documentary photography, the New York Times Blog, Lens, is home to an array of different talent, featuring not only photographs, but also videos and slide shows.

Lens has recently proven itself once again, introducing us to the work of the mysterious Julio Mitchel, who, as we learn from Lens, is a bit tricky to follow; he doesn't have a blog, nor any gallery or agent representation, only thousands of beautiful photographs and 20 years worth of unseen images, ready for an audience. Last week Lens published his photographs of elderly Jewish residents of the Lower East Side of New York, as well as our favorite series so far, "South of the Border." These images are stark and beautiful, capturing the underbelly of a culture rich with tradition and plagued by poverty and violence. Check out the slide show below for photographs from "South of the Border," and read more about Julio Michel's project on Lens.