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Misa Ato
Misa Ato
Misa Ato

Misa Ato

Country: France
Birth: 1964

The reasons that guided me to start in the field of photography are partly enigmatic. But from the moment I had a camera in my hands, I never left it. Very quickly the possibilities offered by this reflex were there to satisfy my creativity.

Architect by training, I stopped my liberal activity in 2018 to devote myself to photography. Self-taught in photography, I spend enough time documenting myself and discovering what touches me in the photographs of great photographers. The rest of the time I photograph. Despite the little perspective that I have on my work, I manage to perceive intentions, creativity, expression that allow to make visible what my feelings and my eyes perceive.
Finally, through travel, travel, meetings, the notion of sharing remains the culmination of my work.

Black and white has established itself as a reference for my projects, knowing by a pictorial approach the color, I was too wary of the impact of color on a photo which all too often attracts the eye at the expense of the subject or the background. Black and white allows me to geometrically compose my subject which is enriched with light and an infinite range of shades of gray. I often look for a model, a subject, refined, simple, often abandoned places, vacant stripped of activities and person, not to erase them, more to suggest them and strengthen their presence by their absence.
 

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Joseph-Philippe Bevillard
United States/Ireland
Born in Boston, Joseph-Philippe started drawing and painting after he lost his hearing at the age of 3. He took up photography during his senior year at a private school in Massachusetts. In 1985, he enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology to study photography where he remained there for 2 yrs before changing direction in career due to financial circumstances, In 1990 he return to photography to study at the Art Institute of Boston. It was in 1990, Joseph-Philippe developed a style for his square B&W portraitures of people he met in the nightclubs and on the street. After working for several major photo labs in Massachusetts in the last half of 1990, he moved to Ireland during the millenium to start his property management business. In 2007, he went back to photograph portraits using the same camera and style as he did in the early 90's. In 2010, he started a new project, photographing the Irish Travellers and four years later, he formed the Irish Travellers Photo Workshop. In June 2018, Joseph-Philippe started a colour project on Irish Travellers using a digital camera and continue shooting B&W film with Hasselblad. His work has been published by Amnesty International, Der Spiegel, EyeShot, Dodho, FotoNostrum, British Journal of Photography, Junge Welt, Lenswork, Life Force, Photo-Letter, Square, Shots and Vogue Italia as well as received awards from International Photography Awards, PX3 Paris, Photo Vogue Italia, FotoNostrum and Lensculture. His recent exhibitions included Les Recontres d'Arles, Espace Beaurepaire Paris, Leica Gallery Milan, Somerset House London, New Hampshire Institute of The Arts, Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin and Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC. His first monograph 'Minceirs' will be available in early May 2021 and can be pre-ordered through this link: www.skeletonkeypress.com or thru the artist. For workshop info, exhibition, publication and prints enquiry, please contact the artist through his email at: joseph-philippebevillard@hotmail.com MINCÉIRS: Mincéirs are a traditionally nomadic ethnic minority indigenous to Ireland, referred to by the Irish Government and the settled population as Irish Travellers. The Mincéir is a true name of the Irish travelling community in their own language which is called Cant or Gammon. Although the Irish Travellers speak English, the lingo they use amongst each other at times is Cant/Gammon. The name Traveller was put upon them because of their nomadic identity. Back in the 5th century the term these groups of people were called Whitesmiths because of their association and skills as tin-smithing. Over the years the Irish Travellers have been called Tinkers, Knackers, Itinerants, Gyspy and Pavee by some of the settled population which the Irish Travellers have found very offensive and racial. Any settled person who is not racist would use the term Irish Traveller or Travellers which is politically correct. Unfortunately many of the Irish Travellers are subjected to the continuous use of these offensive labels. I would like to mention a few facts and some background information on this minority group of people who live mostly in Ireland I will refer to them as Irish Travellers or Travellers for short. Approximately 35,000 Travellers live in Ireland, less than 1% of the Irish population. Most of the Irish Travellers live in halting sites which have been designated by the Irish government in 1968. The government were not happy with the Irish Travellers roadside camping, so they set up the so called temporary sites. Some families chose to stay and never moved, there are many of these halting sites which I have been privy to visit, but some are overcrowded due to large families and lack proper updated facilities. This in turn has forced some families to set up their own camps in disused fields, but because seen as illegal encampments the local councils are constantly trying to move the families on, and will not provide basic needs such as fresh water, electricity or sanitation. There is a small amount of Irish Travellers who wish to settle and have gone on the housing list. This can also be a tricky situation settled neighbours usually oppose having a travelling family living on their road, these leads to tension and racial abuse at times. So this discourages many families from settling. While education is mandatory for all children living in Ireland, the Irish Travellers usually drop out by the age of 15, a lot of this is due to the children being needed at home to tend to the younger or some just find mainstream school boring and not suited to their culture. I have heard from a home economics teacher that her class is probably the most popular subject amongst the female Travellers as cooking is necessary. There have also been some fantastic stories of Irish Travellers finishing 3rd level education and obtaining great careers such as Dr. Sindy Joyce. Dr. Joyce is the first Irish Traveller to graduate with a PhD and was recently appointed by our President as one of his advisors for council of the state in 2019. Vice-Chair of the National Traveller Mental Health Mags Casey explained that the causes of mental health issues affecting Travellers are Complex: "Clearly the issues that affect all Travellers-such as racism and exclusion matters relating to identity, sexuality, addiction, as well as unemployment, education and accommodation have a profound impact on the community's mental health". The following information is an excerpt from the National Traveller Mental Health Network officially launched in NUI Galway in 2019: 82 % of the Irish Traveller community have been affected by suicide. 90% Of Travellers agree that mental health issues are common amongst their community 56% of Travellers report poor physical and mental health restricts their normal daily activities. In March 2017, after 25 years of campaigning, finally Irish Travellers won formal recognition as a distinct ethnic group within the State. On that day the former director of the Irish Travellers Movement, Bridgid Quilligan stated: "We want every Traveller in Ireland to be proud of who they are and to say that "we are not a failed set of people. We have our own unique identity, and we shouldn't take on all the negative aspects of what people think about us. We should be able to be proud and for that to happen our State needed to acknowledge our identity and our ethnicity, and they're doing that today." What I have written is brief with some facts about these fascinating people who have made me feel utterly welcome at all times for the past 11 years. I am clearly not a writer, so I have recorded some facts and a brief synopsis into the life of Irish Travellers. I hope my photographs portray what I could not begin to write, and captured some of the Irish Travellers Lifestyle and Culture that is steeped in traditions, full of colour, celebrations, and hardships. Joseph-Philippe Bévillard, September 2020
Wolfgang Bohusch
Austria
1985
Bohusch decided to become photographer at the early age of 13. He began experimenting with old darkroom equipment of his grandmother and shooting with a 35mm camera. After studying photography for 5 years at die Graphische, Vienna he started working as freelance Production Manager, Location Scout and later Photographer or D.o.P and Director for advertising film production companies. On extensive travels he is working on his personal projects. Street- photography in India, Miami or Tokyo, landscape and aerial photography in various places as well as fashion films, music videos in London or Paris. In January 2017 Wolfgang Bohusch stayed in a tent for two weeks in Maroccos Sahara desert. Under very special conditions during his work for the series 'silicon based creatures' Bohusch experienced a period of intense meditation. Details and blurred outlines make it difficult to recognize the shape of the image at once. Pattern recognition takes place only through the perception of the seemingly random forms and structures. The viewer is encouraged to look more closely in order to get lost in the work and to let the subconscious mind wander - in order to finally be able to find his own associations. silicon based creatures With his series 'silicon based creatures' Wolfgang Bohusch invites the viewer to stand in front of his photographs, mediate, and let the mind wander into subconsciousness. Each and every work tells a different story, your own story. There are no titles, no hints for interpretation, no directions to look. Like in a Rorschach test, Bohusch wants you to find your own associations and recognize patterns that are not pregiven and therefore renders every photograph an individual experience. A millisecond is the time span for Wolfgang Bohusch's sculptures to be created but the artist allows us to ponder these millisecond sculptures calmly. The “silicone based creatures” series of 21 photographs presented at OSME Gallery is the outcome of his stay in the Sahara desert for weeks and experimenting with its elements like sand, wind, light, and chance. What you see on the photographs is thus the fusion of elements which serendipitously form into sculptures and are randomly captured on paper. The process behind these snapshots therefore resembles the behaviour patterns of bird or fish swarms. What is more, when we see them crowding together in the sky or in the water, our minds automatically associate certain forms or figures with the sudden patterns they create. As soon as we have caught one image within the crowd, it is already gone again. We get the opportunity to slowly make our own interpretations, though, and to try and find a piece of ourselves in them. So, when you have invented your creatures, where do they come from? And what do they want to tell us? If you think of them as signs, maybe even add a little bit of superstition, can they be hints to the future? Like popular customs or shamanic rituals to predict the future, Bohusch's creatures could also be prophetic figures. Or do they come from the past as mythical beings? Wolfgang Bohusch confronts us with a range of topics and questions in this series which he does not want or cannot answer himself. Lastly, he gives us another little hint with which he introduces one more existential quest. Silicone, which is a constituent of sand, is also the material used for microelectronics, like computer chips, and the basis for what creates the tools for producing the photographs in the first place. Finally, this aspect could trigger another question, or rather “the mother of all questions”: what came first? www.juliahartmann.at
Ruth Orkin
United States
1921 | † 1985
Ruth Orkin was an American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker, with ties to New York City and Hollywood. Best known for her photograph An American Girl in Italy (1951), she photographed many celebrities and personalities including Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, and Alfred Hitchcock. Ruth Orkin was born on September 3, 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts to Mary Ruby and Samuel Orkin. Ruth grew up in Hollywood, due to her mother's career as a silent film actress. In 1931, she received her first camera, a 39-cent Univex, and soon began experimenting by taking photographs of her friends and teachers at school. At the age of 17, she decided to bike across America, beginning in Los Angeles, and ending in New York City for the 1939 World's Fair. She completed the trip in three weeks' time, taking photographs along the way. She briefly attended Los Angeles City College for photojournalism in 1940, prior to becoming the first messenger girl at MGM Studios in 1941, citing a desire to become a cinematographer. She left the position after discovering the union's discriminatory practices that did not allow female members. She joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps during World War II, in 1941 in an attempt to gain filmmaking skills, as advertisements promoting the group promised. The attempt was not fruitful, however, and she was discharged in 1943 without any filmmaking training. In 1943, Orkin moved to New York City in pursuit of a career as a freelance photojournalist. She began working as a nightclub photographer and received her first assignment in 1945 from The New York Times to shoot Leonard Bernstein. Shortly after, her freelance career grew as she traveled internationally on assignments and contributed photographs to Life, Look, Ladies' Home Journal, and others. Orkin is credited with breaking into a heavily male field. Orkin's most celebrated image is An American Girl in Italy (1951). The subject of the now-iconic photograph was the 23-year-old Ninalee Craig (known at that time as Jinx Allen). The photograph was part of a series originally titled Don't Be Afraid to Travel Alone. The image depicted Craig as a young woman confidently walking past a group of ogling Italian men in Florence. In recent articles written about the pair, Craig claims that the image was not staged, and was one of many taken throughout the day, aiming to show the fun of traveling alone. In 1952 Orkin married photographer, filmmaker and fellow Photo League member Morris Engel. Orkin and Engel collaborated on two major independent feature films, Little Fugitive which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953, and Lovers and Lollipops (1955). After the success of the two films, Orkin returned to photography, taking color shots of Central Park as seen through her apartment window. Ruth photographed marathons, parades, concerts, demonstrations, and the beauty of the changing seasons. These photographs were the subject of two widely acclaimed books, A World Through My Window (1978) and More Pictures from My Window (1983). Orkin taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in the late 1970s, and at the International Center of Photography in 1980. After a long struggle with cancer, Orkin passed away in her apartment, surrounded by her wonderful legacy of photographs with the view of Central Park outside her window, on January 16, 1985.Source: Wikipedia Ruth Orkin was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. Orkin was the only child of Mary Ruby, a silent-film actress, and Samuel Orkin, a manufacturer of toy boats called Orkin Craft. She grew up in Hollywood in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. At the age of 10, she received her first camera, a 39 cent Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. At 17 years old she took a monumental bicycle trip across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City to see the 1939 World’s Fair, and she photographed along the way. Orkin moved to New York in 1943, where she worked as a nightclub photographer and shot baby pictures by day to buy her first professional camera. She worked for all the major magazines in 1940s, and also went to Tanglewood during the summers to shoot rehearsals. She ended up with many of the worlds’ greatest musicians of the time including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Jascha Heifitz, Serge Koussevitzky and many others. In 1951, LIFE magazine sent her to Israel with the Israeli Philharmonic. Orkin then went to Italy, and it was in Florence where she met Nina Lee Craig, an art student and fellow American, who became the subject of American Girl in Italy. The photograph was part of a series originally titled Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone about what they encountered as women traveling alone in Europe after the war.Source: Ruth Orkin Photo Archive Boston-born Ruth Orkin grew up in Los Angeles, and the movie industry and music were both formative influences. She attended Los Angeles City College briefly in 1940 before becoming the first female studio messenger ever hired at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the early 1940s; but with no hope for promotion, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, tempted by the promise (empty, as it turned out) that she would be taught cinematography. After completing her service in 1943, she moved to New York and worked as a nightclub photographer. Orkin honed her skills in portraiture by spending the summer of 1946 documenting the Tanglewood Music Festival; later that year, LOOK published her first major photo essay, Jimmy, the Storyteller. She sent the series to Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947, and he subsequently included her in every group photography show at the museum until his retirement, including the great 1955 exhibition, The Family of Man. Orkin married photographer Morris Engel in 1952, and the couple collaborated on a prize-winning film, Little Fugitive. Their filmmaking endeavors continued through the mid-1950s, and while Orkin continued to photograph, she admitted that still photography "held little interest" after her experience of making a film. Her views of Central Park, taken from her apartment, were published in the 1978 book A World Outside My Window. Orkin's photography is a celebration of fearlessness and vitality. While she accepted specific assignments from The New York Times and various magazines, she also had the freedom to work independently, creating photo essays and photographing famous people with the knowledge that she would be able to sell the resulting work. Like a film director, Orkin created images that appear to be private moments, and lends a Hollywood-style personality to her subjects and landscapes.Source: International Center of Photography
Moises Saman
Spain / United States
1974
Moises Saman (born 1974) is a Spanish-American photographer, based in Tokyo. He was born Lima, Peru. Saman is considered "one of the leading conflict photographers of his generation" and is a full member of Magnum Photos. He worked as a photojournalist in the Middle East from 2011 to 2014. Saman is best known for his photographs from the wars in Iraq: the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Iraqi Civil War but has also worked in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and Syria including in rebel-held areas there. He covered the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War for The New Yorker and has worked for Human Rights Watch. His book Discordia (2016) is about the revolution in Egypt and the broader Arab Spring. Saman has won multiple awards from World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2010 Saman was invited to join Magnum Photos as a nominee and became a full member in 2014.Source: Wikipedia Moises Saman was born in 1974 in Lima, Peru, but spent most of his youth in Barcelona, Spain, after his family moved there. Moises studied communications and sociology in the United States at California State University, graduating in 1998. It was during his last year in university that Moises first became interested in becoming a photographer, influenced by the work of a number of photojournalists that had been covering the wars in the Balkans. Moises interned at several small newspapers in California, and after graduating from university he moved to New York City to complete a summer internship at New York Newsday newspaper. That fall, upon completion of the internship, Moises spent a month traveling in Kosovo photographing the immediate aftermath of the last Balkan war. In 2000, Moises joined Newsday as a staff photographer, a position he held until 2007. During his seven years at Newsday, Moises’ work focused on covering the fallout of the 9/11 attacks, spending most of his time traveling between Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries. In the fall of 2007, Moises left Newsday to become a freelance photographer represented by Panos Pictures. During that time he became a regular contributor for The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, Newsweek, and Time Magazine, among other international publications.Source: World Press Photo
Madhur Dhingra
I was born an only child to my parents, in Delhi, into a family torn apart by the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition. Hailing from a affluent background in Pakistan my family was now struggling for survival in the walled city of Delhi totally penniless. Imbedded with deep insecurities and freshly bearing the scars of partition my family was now setting up trade in the walled city dealing in fabric. It is relevant for me to mention this background for these very insecurities I too inherited from my family and they remain with me till date even with the changed times and lifestyle. Things improved gradually financially, with the trade flourishing and much because of the sheer hard work of my grandfather, father& chachas(father's brothers).We settled in Delhi at the start as big joint family. I have grown up hearing tales of how we had started life selling fabric on the pavements of the walled city where we now own several properties. My father could never get over those scars of partition. I too was repeatedly made to realize that ( for better or for worse) even though I was born much later in Delhi. At the age of five I was put to school at St.Xavier's High School, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi. That period was to become the most memorable part of my life. I remember enjoying that period thoroughly. I was always an above average student with a lot of love for extracurricular activities. In school I would love going hiking, camping, swimming & cycling with the boy scouts. From the very start I was naughty and mischievous and was a regular in getting in and out of trouble. After school I went to the Delhi University and took up English Hons as my subject. But nowhere was it in my mind to take up studies serious. Restless from the start I wanted to travel the world. I now join the Merchant Navy at the age of seventeen ,as a deck cadet leaving college in the first year itself. I loved this new experience and was good at learning navigation. Very soon I was promoted to become the navigating officer. For the first year I never came back home at all. I was fulfilling my desire to see the world thoroughly meeting different types of people and experiencing different kinds of cultures . Once while travelling in the city of Jeddah near Mecca during Ramadan I was amazed to see gold slabs and coins being sold on the pavements of the city. On the loudspeaker I then heard the azaan (prayer call) and to my utter astonishment I saw people leave all this gold unattended and enter the nearby mazjid for prayer. Such was the strictness of the prevailing law of the land that anybody caught stealing would have his hand chopped off. Nobody dared to steal. Now quite a different experience was when my ship first entered Thailand. To my utter surprise I saw hoards of women entering my ship. Their numbers must have been no less than a hundred odd. I was on duty and I objected to their entry and was immediately informed by my senior officer to back off as they were entering with the permission of the captain. These were prostitutes who stayed on my ship till the time it stayed there. Nobody was questioning the morality or the ethics. It was gala time for all officers, crew, and the Captain. This was the way of life for most sailors . One horrific incident I remember was when our Burmese radio officer died on the ship due to a liver problem. As we were still some days away from the next port,his body was put in the deep freezer of the ship, the same place where all vegetables and other eatables were stored. Life was going on as if nothing had happened and everybody was eating and drinking as any other day. In a ship life all relationships and friendships are very temporary and the moment a person gets off the ship all these are left behind and forgotten. My bag of experiences was filling up fast. The restlessness and void was again setting in fast. I was getting bored again after about five years of sailing. The novelty had worn off and my inherent nature and upbringing was not that of a sailor in any way .I finally decided to say quits and joined the family business which was waiting for me to return. My dad was overjoyed at this decision of mine. I had no problem settling into this environment as it just happened to be in my blood. I now decide to get married too. I get married and soon after become a father of two adorable children. My age at that period would have been early twenty or so. Time flew by fast earning bread and butter for my family. Nothing was more important than bringing up the kids properly and with a lot of love, something which I was deprived of badly during my childhood days. But now again the same restlessness and void was setting in. I was in a dilemma, now trying out new ways to end this emptiness . I initially tried my hands at learning sculpture at Triveni Kala Sangam Mandi House, but I soon realized that medium was not meant for me. Destiny seemed to have other plans for me and it was during this period that I was gifted a SLR by someone, a Ricoh 500 as I now try to remember. The camera body had a dial with some numbers and also some numbers on the lens of which I had no clue. There were photography classes also being held in Triveni Kala Sangam and I joined these classes with sculpture classes I was already doing. It was here I met my photography teacher and now a lifelong friend Satyasri Ukil for the first time. The Basic course was about learning the techniques of Black & White photography. Satyasri was a dedicated, honest & straightforward teacher. His likes and dislikes purely dealt with the merits of the image and not with the person who had shot the image. I was learning fast with my association with Satyasri at Triveni where he was teaching then . A few of us guys(now renowned photographers), formed a sort of a team under the guidance of Ukil (as we address Satyasri,till date).We were shooting developing and printing the whole day long. Photography was now no longer a hobby but a frenzy. I soon set up my own darkroom in my house and would develop and print negatives all night long. I now start trekking again now with a new SLR in hand going to high altitudes and to very difficult locales. I remember showing my first serious work to Ukil and found him overjoyed. Soon my ambitions grew and I start shooting product for the advertising agencies. My first breakthrough as I clearly remember had come from the agency 0& M whose creative head then was Benoy Mitra, who was one day present at the colour lab called "MultiColour in Jhandewalan, when my portfolio prints were coming out of the lab. He saw my work and quietly handed over his card asking me to see him in the agency. I was overjoyed. This was breakthrough I needed desperately. I soon started getting assignments from most major agencies. But now I started getting bored again shooting mountains product and off and on some fashion. I still needed to express myself in a different way. I decide to work towards my first solo exhibition and I show my landscapes and mountain work to the management of INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE. After seeing my work they agree to sponsor my show fixing the date to 28th November 1998.It is pertinent to mention here that I had then "only" shown them my beautiful landscapes and mountain TP's as I had nothing more at that time in my kitty. I started a new journey, first shooting Ladakh. I found immense peace and tranquility (acting as a balm for my troubled mind )in the monasteries I visited. The filtrations of light from the windows and doors into the dark interiors of the monasteries were indeed very beautiful, tranquil and peaceful. I would sit inside these monasteries for hours at a stretch calming my taut nerves. The prayer gong would echo inside the main hall and seep deep inside my soul. I have always equated light with God and have believed that the darkness of the human soul will ultimately come alive with the play of Light (God) on it. My next visit was to Banaras. Here I found people visiting the Ghats in very colorful attires. A activity on these ancient Ghats like the Dashashwamedh Ghat would start very early in the morning. People from all over India visit Banaras to perform various religious rituals, right from the birth of a child to the cremation of the dead and also later to perform rites for their safe and comfortable passage after death. The quality of light that I found in Banaras was very warm & golden and I wouldn't hesitate a moment to call it heavenly. Now a special reference to the Manikarnika Ghat " the ghat of the dead" is needed. People from all over India come to Kashi (ancient name of Banaras)to cremate their dead at Manikarnika.It is believed by Hindus that a cremation at Manikarnika Ghat gives the human soul an unhindered passage to heaven. Pyres are being lit here continuously without getting extinguished for the last 3000 years. But it was on this BURNING GHAT that my worst nightmare was to begin. I would visit this ghat daily looking at the activities. It was not very long before I realised that whenever a body of a poor person would come in, it would be cremated in a bizarre manner. It required two mun wood at the least (mun is an Indian measure of weight equivalent to 20 kgs) to cover a human body completely for cremation. But the person accompanying the dead body did not have that much money in his pocket. So only that much wood was purchased in which only the torso could be covered by wood. The legs and head were left hanging out and the pyre lit. The head would get burnt in a horrific manner with the head and feet falling away from the torso partially burnt. Then these torn away parts were picked up and put into the pyre or thrown into the Ganges. This whole sequence was so bizarre that I decided to get it on film and show it to the world. This I did manage to photograph secretly even after a lot of objections and hindrances from the people in charge at Manikarnika. Man really "was" meeting his God in Kashi, though in a very bizarre manner. So much for Kashi, our GATEWAY TO HEAVEN.I have posted only a few of those pictures on this website just to avoid unnecessary disturbance to people's minds. In the meantime the Purn Kumbh was being held at Hardwar. This again has become a very interesting event to relate. I was aghast to see completely naked so called Naga "sadhus" storming the streets of Hardwar. It was here I came to understand from the local inhabitants of Hardwar that this whole show was a complete farce. These so called ascetics only stormed the streets during the Khumb. Neither do they live in the remoteness of the Himalayas leading a renounced life, but on the contrary live in air conditioned lavishly furnished akharas in Hardwar itself. They were a weird sight. ( I have shown some photographs of them in my Black & White section). Here I saw them fight pitched battles with the police before the procession. DOWNRIGHT CRIMINALS TO THE VERY CORE, MOST OF THEM. On the day of the procession I got up early in the morning and positioned myself on roof top of a house near the Niranjani Akhara.This was very early in the morning and I was testing the auto focusing of my telephoto 300mm Canon lens when I saw a group of nagas in the akhara compound. I was taken aback when I saw one Naga fiddling with the genitals of the other Naga, "AND I TOOK THE SHOT".(later to appear on the first page of THE INDIAN EXPRESS). There were hutments built for sadhus by the kumbh authorities across the river bed. I would visit those and sit with some real sanyasis and listen to their discourses and hear them sing bhajans. This was a very nice and peaceful experience. The Kumbh ended and my exhibition date also was drawing near. The IIC Gallery wanted to see the final prints that I had decided to display. Nowhere in my final selection were those beautiful landscapes to be seen. Their place had been taken by naked sadhus with Trishuls and burning ghats & corpses. The Gallery management told me in no uncertain terms that they will not allow the show to go on unless these pictures were withdrawn. My dilemma was that my photo essay "Where Man Meets God'" was a story of a man's passage of life, his wanderings, his search for God. This essay was incomplete without these pictures. I told the management that I will show my work as it is and will not remove any picture from the list. Much courage to take this right stand was coming from Satyasri Ukil who stood by me all this while withstanding this massive ONSLOUGHT . IIC Management banned my exhibition. It was during this period that me and Satyasri Ukil were introduced to Suneet Chopra a reputed Art Critic. He later introduced us to Siddharth Tagore, a gallery owner at Art Consult Hauz Khas Village. Siddharth Tagore offered to hold my preview party at his gallery inviting respected artists like B.C.Sanyal, Jatin Das and many other artists of repute. The preview was a major success with all these stalwarts in their respective art fields giving their nod to my exhibition. Mr.Khushwant Singh the famous and a very respected writer too came up with an article on me in his column "Malice Towards One And All .Now IIC started shifting its stance and a compromise was reached. "That the images will be allowed to display but only facing towards the Gallery wall, whoever who wanted to see them could do so at his own discretion". Almost everybody saw those images.. Many reputed people visited the exhibition, some of them I mention in my TESTIMONIAL column. Eight major newspapers wrote elaborately on this exhibition. There was a TV interview also held by a channel also. The exhibition was a huge success on the whole. I am now planning another exhibition with a different theme and gearing up to hold another show in Milan. Life for me as a photographer continues...
Ferdinando Scianna
Ferdinando Scianna (born 1943) is an Italian photographer. Scianna won the Prix Nadar in 1966 and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1989. He has produced numerous books. Scianna took up photography while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo in the 1960s. He moved to Milan in 1966 and started working as a photographer for L'Europeo in 1967, becoming a journalist there in 1973. Scianna wrote on politics for Le Monde diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. He first joined Magnum Photos in 1982, becoming a full member in 1989. He took up fashion photography in the late 1980s. His first work, in 1987, was to photograph Marpessa Hennink for Dolce & Gabbana's advertising campaign for their Fall/Winter collection, clothing which was inspired by Sicily.Source: Wikipedia Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically. Feste Religiose in Sicilia (1965) included an essay by the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and it was the first of many collaborations with famous writers. Scianna moved to Milan in 1966. The following year he started working for the weekly magazine L’Europeo, first as a photographer, then as a journalist from 1973. He also wrote on politics for Le Monde Diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. In 1977 he published Les Siciliens in France and La Villa Dei Mostri in Italy. During this period, Scianna met Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in 1982 he joined Magnum Photos. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s and at the end of the decade he published a retrospective, Le Forme del Caos (1989). Scianna returned to exploring the meaning of religious rituals with Viaggio a Lourdes (1995), then two years later he published a collection of images of sleepers – Dormire Forse Sognare (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream). His portraits of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges were published in 1999, and in the same year, the exhibition Niños del Mundo displayed Scianna’s images of children from around the world. In 2002 Scianna completed Quelli di Bagheria, a book on his home town in Sicily, in which he tries to reconstruct the atmosphere of his youth through writings and photographs of Bagheria and the people who live there.Source: Magnum Photos
Maja Strgar Kurecic
Maja Strgar Kurecic is a fine art photographer and an Associate Professor of photography at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has been involved in photography for over 25 years. At the beginning of her career, Maja engaged mostly in advertising and journalistic projects. The last few years she devoted to projects that fall within the field of abstract photography. She earned international recognition for her recent projects: Other Worlds, Escape Landscapes and Floating Garden that won many international awards. She exhibited photographs on over 50 group and 20 independent exhibitions, held in country and abroad. OTHER WORLDS (2018) In the intimacy of my room, I immerse myself in an unpredictable, hidden world of colors and liquids. I create abstract motives from scratch. With the camera, I approach the subject and stop the moment of the dynamic process of their interaction. What is elusive to the eye in real time becomes visible in photographs... Although these photographs look like an abstract expression of colors and shapes, for me they mean much more. They represent symbolic landscapes - places where I escape from everyday worries and the real world, symbolize my inner world. What drives me in creation is the eternal search for wider horizons, unfettered spaces that transcend the boundaries of where we are physically standing and transcend into the infinite space of the imagination. For me, creation is a journey to freedom, to an open flow of pure ideas.
Gail Albert Halaban
United States
1970
Gail Albert Halaban (born Gail Hilary Albert, 1970, in Washington, DC) is an American fine art and commercial photographer. She is noted for her large scale, color photographs of women and urban, voyeuristic landscapes. She earned her BA from Brown University and her MFA in photography from Yale University School of Art where she studied with Gregory Crewdson, Lois Conner, Richard Benson, Nan Goldin, and Tod Papageorge. She married Boaz Halaban on 8 June 1997. Albert Halaban's work has appeared in the The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, TIME Magazine, M, World Magazine, Slate (magazine), and The Huffington Post. Her fine art photography has been internationally exhibited. Gail Albert Halaban was a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in 2019. Gail Albert Halaban received her BA from Brown University and earned her MFA in Photography from Yale University. The artist has three monographs of her work, including Out My Window (PowerHouse, 2012), Paris Views (Aperture, 2014) and Italian Views (Aperture, 2019). Her work is in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Cape Ann Museum, and Wichita Art Museum. In 2018, The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY presented a solo exhibition including Out My Window images taken all over the world, presented at Houk Gallery in 2019. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.Source: Wikipedia Gail Albert Halaban’s photographs peer through the windows of apartments and reveal the sometimes mundane, intimate, moments occurring in private life. Her urban exploration lies at the intersection of architectural photography and portraiture, presenting a holistic perspective of city life. Stylistically, the images go beyond realism, allowing the viewer to take in a full scene in focus unlike the natural ability of the human eye. This formal device emphasizes both public and private realms, balancing details of personal life with broader contexts. After moving to New York City from Los Angeles in 2007, Halaban anticipated feelings of isolation and loneliness, yet instead found an unlikely sense of community. In particular, the artist recognized the millions of windows throughout the city as a key bridge between strangers. On the day of her daughter’s first birthday party, she recalls receiving flowers and balloons — from someone she had never met, but who lived in the neighborhood and had observed the day’s celebration through her windows. This kind gesture led to Halaban’s curiosity about the anonymous proximity in which strangers coexist, prompting her to develop the series Out My Window (2007). This body of work transcends image-making as the artist works with her subjects as collaborators and establishes connections that deeply impact her work. Albert Halaban has described windows as metaphors for both boundaries and gateways. She awakens her viewers to consider the story behind each window, inserting humanity and compassion often overlooked in everyday life in dense metropolises. Out My Window indulges in the beauty of urban skylines and architecture. Although inspired by Halaban’s experiences in New York, the series has expanded to several locations beginning with a project called Paris Views (2012) commissioned by Le Monde. Halaban’s approach to this series shifts to capture the essence of each unique city she is photographing. Just as the New York series explores the distinctive neighborhoods and sights of Manhattan, Paris Views examines the quaint streets, romantic architecture, and quintessential views of Paris. Halaban chose to further develop this project, creating series in Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Venice, and other cities in Europe and the United States. Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery
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