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Gilles Nicolet
Gilles Nicolet
Gilles Nicolet

Gilles Nicolet

Country: France
Birth: 1960

I am a self-taught photographer who spent 35 years living and working in Africa, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but soon switched to photography in order to follow an old passion. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Geo, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match.

I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that - I hope - has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white.

My work has received several major awards, including a World Press Photo Award and a Fuji Award. My latest project on the Swahili Coast also obtained the following recognitions:

2017 HIPA Hamdan International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, Portfolio Category
2017 Elliott Erwitt Havana Fellowship - Nominee
2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards - Winner
2017 IPA International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, People/Culture Category
2017 Meitar Award - Nominee
2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - Photojournalism/Professional - Two Honorable Mentions
2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - People/Professional - Honorable Mention
2018 CAP Contemporary African Photograph
y Prize - Finalist
2018 SIPA Contest - Honorable Mention 2019 SOPHOT Award - Winner

This work on the Swahili Coast is featured in "Swahili", a book released by Contrejour Publishers in May 2019 (available on amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk).

Six degrees south
The Zanzibar archipelago, an highly evocative name even for those who are quite unable to locate it on a map, lies six degrees south of the Equator.

It is also the exact geographical center of the Swahili Coast, a unique physical, historical and cultural entity running from Southern Somalia to Mozambique, which first grew in the 10th century through trade with the Arab world, India and China. Gold, coconut, ebony, mangrove wood, sisal, myrrh and the infamous slave trade helped make the wealth of this region, slowly shaping it and giving it its unique present character.

For a thousand years now, wooden dhows have sailed these lonely shores, with their characteristic white cotton sails, using the monsoon winds to help traders move goods between Africa and Arabia. And for a thousand years too, fishermen have ploughed these rich seas for their bounty of fish, contributing with the traders to the emergence of rich city-ports like Stone Town or Mombasa.

But all of this is changing now. A combination of overfishing by both local and foreign ships, population increase, changes in weather patterns as well as the recent discovery of huge gas fields in the region, is threatening this fragile equilibrium. The fishing communities that occupy these shores are particularly at risk, and it could be that we are now witnessing the last of fishing and sailing traditions that had remained largely unchanged since Ibn Battuta, the famous 12th Century Arab explorer, first described them in his travel memoirs.

With this recent work I have tried to testify to the unique beauty and timelessness of the Swahili Coast, and to record it for generations to come. It is a personal, melancholic, sometimes dreamy vision of a place and a culture that are very dear to my heart but which, I now realise, may soon disappear.
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United States
1934 | † 1987
Peter Hujar was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He has been recognized posthumously as "one of the major American photographers of the late twentieth century" and "among the greatest American photographers." Hujar was born October 11, 1934, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Rose Murphy, a waitress abandoned by her husband during her pregnancy. He was raised by his Ukrainian grandparents on their farm, where he spoke only Ukrainian until he started school. He remained on the farm with his grandparents until his grandmother's death in 1946. He moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband. The household was abusive, and in 1950, when Hujar was 16, he left home and began to live independently. Hujar received his first camera in 1947 and in 1953 entered the School of Industrial Art where he expressed interest in being a photographer. 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Jean-Daniel Lorieux
French artist, Jean-Daniel Lorieux, is one of the masters of photography of his generation, earning much respect in the realm of fashion photography. Jean-Daniel Lorieux, was born on January 21st 1937 in the 16e arrondissement of Paris. He is the great-grandson of Théodore-Marie Lorieux, vice-president of the Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées and Jules Goüin. He studied engineering with the Jesuits at "L'école Arts et Métiers" in Paris and then went to the "Cours Simon". (Theatre) He did his military service in Algeria alongside the spahis as a photographer/filmmaker - in charge of photographing the corpses of rebels slaughtered for identification in the region of Mostaganem. For a while he worked for the Studio Harcourt as an industrial photographer and he remembers it as being a real "photographic factory" with a Stakhanovite like tempo. He has been working as a photographer for twenty years with fashion magazines like Vogue and L'Officiel. He also worked with Andy Warhol at the Factory (Andy Warhol's New York City Studio). He launched the modeling career of Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (Future wife of Nicolas Sarkozy), who then became his assistant. Friend of Bernadette and Claude Chirac, he directed the poster campaign of Jacques Chirac, then Prime Minister, for the legislative elections of 1988. Lorieux worked for the advertising campaigns of Dior, Lanvin, Rabanne, Ricci, Céline and Cardin, among others. He photographed many personalities like Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, Mohamed V, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Charles Aznavour, David Lynch, Isabelle Adjani, Claudia Cardinale, Carla Bruni, Karen Mulder, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Milla Jovovich... In 2008, he worked on an exhibition on the theme "The Master and Marguerite" at the request of Russian billionaire Yevgeny Iakovlev, with Isabelle Adjani as Marguerite. He has also released a series of books and a documentary film, retracing the atypical path of the artist and his creative pursuits. In addition to photographic creations, Jean-Daniel Lorieux produces films and paintings that parallel his distinctive style of photography, making use of sharp lines, bold colors, and his signature highly contrasted visual compositions. His work has been exhibited worldwide but mostly in the United States and in Europe. He is also a Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters (1997), a knight of the Legion d'Honneur (2003) and decorated of the Maintien de l'ordre for spending two years in Algeria during the war.
Keiichi Tahara
Japan
1951 | † 2017
Tahara was born in Kyoto. He learned photographic techniques at an early age from his grandfather, a professional photographer. In 1972, he travelled Europe with Red Buddha Theatre as a lighting and visual technician. While in France, he encountered a sharp, harsh and piercing light that he had never experienced in Japan. Since then, he remained in Paris for next 30 years and started his career as a photographer. His first series of work "Ville (City)" (1973-1976) captured the unique light in Paris in black-and-white photography. His next series of work "Fenêtre (Windows)" (1973-1980) awarded the best new photographer by Arles International Photography Festival in 1977 and he moved into the limelight.The following year, he started the new series "Portrait" (1978), then "Eclat" (1979-1983) and "Polaroid" (1984) and received number of awards such as Ihei Kimura award (1985). His morphological approach to light has extended to sculpture, installations, and other various method crossing over the genre of photography. In 1993, in moat of the Castle of Angers (1993), the first light sculpture in France, "Fighting the Dragon" (1993) was installed. "Garden of Light" (Eniwa, Hokkaido, 1989) is a representative piece in which light sculptures are installed in a public space covered in snow for six months of the year. The light changes in response to music and presents a space of poetic dimensions. Based on the same concept, "Échos du Lumières" (2000) was installed in the Canal Saint-Martin, commissioned as a public space project by the City of Paris. The spectacle colors from the prisms illuminate the stone wall synchronizing with the sounds. The rest of his work include a permanent outdoor installation "Niwa (Garden)" (2001) at the Photography Museum in Paris (Maison Européenne de la Photographie), "Portail de Lumière", an installation created as a part of the cultural project Lille 2004, and " Light Sculpture" exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum in 2004. In 2008, Tahara lead the project of building Ginza 888, with the artistic direction of the Museum of Islamic Art. A photography book was published. He continued to produce a number of light installation projects in urban spaces. He died on 6 June 2017. Source: Wikipedia When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? It was 1972 when I am 21 years old Where did you study photography? With whom? From my grand father Do you have a mentor or role model? Trace of light. Moholy-Nagy / Man-Ray How long have you been a photographer? 40 years Do you remember your first shot? What was it? Yes, when I was 6 years old took the picture of garden of our family house What or who inspires you? So many artists which I met in my life How could you describe your style? Trace of light. Do you have a favorite photograph or series? Serie de Eclat 1979-1983 Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? Light/Observation/Notation what mistake should a young photographer avoid? Do not afraid mistake, mistake make a art An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? 1970 What are your projects? 1970
Alan Henriksen
United States
1949
Alan Henriksen was born in 1949 in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, and has lived his entire life on Long Island. He became interested in photography as a hobby in 1958, and began making contact prints in late 1959. His interest became serious following a chance discovery of the work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the local library. Henriksen holds college degrees in Psychology and Computer Science and is now retired from a long career in software engineering. Beginning in the mid-1970?s he worked for nearly ten years at Agfa-Gevaert’s photo paper manufacturing plant on Long Island as a sensitometrist and software engineer. In the late 1980?s he authored a Zone System software program named ZoneCalc, which was marketed by the Maine Photographic Resource. In 1968 he and his wife Mary made their first visit to the Maine coast, starting a photographic project that continues to this day. They now divide their time between their homes in Smithtown, Long Island and Southwest Harbor, Maine. All about Alan Henriksen:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Although I had already been photographing as a hobbyist for six years, my interest became more serious in 1964 when, during a library visit, I chanced upon Peter Pollack's book, "A Picture History of Photography," and opened it to the section devoted to the work of Edward Weston.AAP: Where did you study photography?My formal photographic education was limited to the 1970 Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP:Do you have a mentor?In 1967 I composed a letter and sent it, along with some prints, to Ansel Adams in Carmel. Toward the close of his two-page single-spaced typewritten reply he wrote, "I want to follow your work and see more of your prints." This began a correspondence, soon supplemented with phone calls, that lasted until 1970, at which time I attended his Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I began photographing in 1958, purely as a hobby, and began printing in 1959.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?The first photograph I remember taking was made in 1958. I photographed my neighbor while she was leaning into a baby carriage to tend to her child.AAP: What or who inspires you?I do not believe in inspiration; I believe in simply working, and working simply. When photographing, my ideas arise directly from my exploration of the subject matter at hand. But I cannot say why I find a certain bit of the world, seen from just such an angle, in a certain light, interesting.AAP: How could you describe your style?I do not consciously try to apply a style to my photographs. I believe in the maxim, "Style does not precede; it results." Although there is a kind of consistency to my photographs over the years, and more so during any particular period, that is presumably because I have remained roughly the same person.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I currently work with a Canon 5D Mark II and various Canon lenses.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?I take an iterative approach to image editing, generally performing several editing passes. I like to leave some time between each pass in order to help me see the image with fresh eyes during each session. I consider an image completed (for the time being) when I view the image and it seems to "work" as is. For some images the editing process is completed within a few sessions, while others take much longer.
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