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Ken Light
Ken Light
Ken Light

Ken Light

Country: United States
Birth: 1951

Ken Light has worked as a journalist and documentary photographer, focusing on social issues facing America for over 50 years. His work has been published in eleven books, including, Midnight La Frontera, What's Going On? 1969-1974, Coal Hollow, Delta Time, To The Promised Land, With These Hands, Texas Death Row and Valley of Shadows and Dreams. He is also the author of the text Witness in Our Time: Lives of Working Documentary Photographers, now in its second edition. His new book Course of the Empire is forthcoming. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Photographers Fellowships and the Dorothea Lange Fellowship. His work has been in numerous magazines, newspapers and a variety of media (electronic & film), and presented in over 230 exhibitions worldwide including one person shows at the International Center for Photography (NYC), Oakland Museum of California, S.E. Museum of Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, Visa pour L'image Perpignan (France) and the San Jose Museum of Art. He is the Reva and David Logan Professor of Photojournalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley. He was the first photographer to become a Laventhol Visiting Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Ken Light 'What's Going On? 1969-1974'
Midnight La Frontera by Ken Light
Course Of The Empire by Ken Light
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Isaiah West Taber
United States
1830 | † 1912
Isaiah West Taber was an American daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer who took many pictures of noted Californians, which he donated to the California State Library "that the state may preserve the names and faces, and keep alive the memory of those who made it what it is." He was also a sketch artist and dentist. His studio also produced a series of stereoscopic views of west coast scenery. Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and between 1845 and 1849 he worked at sea on a whaler. He first moved to California in 1850., then returned East in 1854 and opened his first photography studio in Syracuse, New York. In 1864, Taber returned to California, where he worked in the studio of Bradley and Rulofson until 1873. In 1871, Taber opened his own studio, where he gained fame for reproducing the photos of Carleton Watkins after Watkins went bankrupt, although the reproductions were published without credit to Watkins. In 1880, Taber made a six-week photographic trip to the Hawaiian Islands where, among other subjects, he photographed the Hawaiian King Kalākaua, completing a commission for three full-length portraits. The following year Kalākaua visited Taber's studio in San Francisco. At this time the Japanese photographer Suzuki Shin'ichi (1855–1912) was studying photographic techniques with Taber; Suzuki also photographed King Kalākaua (in 1881) and may have been the source of some views of Japan included in Taber's stock. By the 1890s, Taber had expanded his operations to include studios in London, England and in elsewhere Europe. However, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his San Francisco studio, gallery, and negative collection, ending his photographic career.Source: Wikipedia Massachusetts native, he was one of the most successful 19th century photographers and photographic publishers. He worked as a gold miner, rancher, and dentist before learning the daguerreotype process and opening one of the first photographic studios in Syracuse, New York. Taber moved to San Francisco in 1864 and joined the photographic publishing firm of Bradley & Rulofson. In 1871 he opened his own studio and photographic publishing company and soon was operating a successful portrait, landscape, and urban photography business. Like photographers promoting other cities, Taber linked much of his work to the tourist trade. His landscapes and views of San Francisco appeared in publications such as Hartwell and Mitchell's souvenir city-view book and his own two-album set, California Scenery and California Scenery and Industries. The albums were part of a commercial endeavor and contained images from Taber's extensive files, surrounded by advertising text. Taber employed numerous staff photographers whose work he published under his own name. He also published under the Taber imprint, images by Carleton Watkins after acquiring negatives from the bankrupt photographer in 1876. By the 1890's Taber was internationally famous, with studios in London and on the Continent.Source: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Nan Goldin
United States
1953
Nancy "Nan" Goldin is an American photographer. As a teenager in Boston in the 1960s, then in New York starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin has taken intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs of her family, friends, and lovers. In 1979 she presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub, and her richly colored, snapshotlike photographs were soon heralded as a groundbreaking contribution to fine art photography. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—the name she gave her ever-evolving show—eventually grew into a forty-five-minute multimedia presentation of more than 900 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. Goldin first exhibited at Matthew Marks Gallery in 1992. Her work has been the subject of two major touring retrospectives: one organized in 1996 by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another, in 2001, by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include the slide and video presentation Sisters, Saints & Sybils at La Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris, and her contributions to the 40th Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2009. Goldin was admitted to the French Legion of Honor in 2006 and received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2007. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was most recently presented live in Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, in 2008, and the slideshow was installed in the exhibition Here is Every. Four Decades of Contemporary Art at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 2008 to March 2009. Her Scopophilia exhibition is currently part of Patrice Chéreau's special program at the Louvre. Goldin lives and works in Paris and New York.Source: www.matthewmarks.com
Hector Acebes
United States/Spain
1921 | † 2017
Hector Acebes was an American photographer, notable for his expeditions to Africa and South America. He was born in 1921 in New York City, and spent most of his childhood in Madrid (Spain) and Bogotá (Colombia). He went on his first long-distance voyage at the age of thirteen, going 400 miles from Bogota to the city of Barranquilla when he ran from home to "sail around the world". He was trained at the New York Military Academy and would serve in the US army in World War II on the European front. He studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduated in 1947. He married Madeline Acebes in Boston, and they would have a son and two daughters. His first major photographic expedition was to North Africa in 1947. He embarked on a second trip to West Africa, specifically Timbuktu in 1949. Between 1950 and 1953, he embarked on several expeditions to the Orinoco River in Venezuela, and to other parts of South America. He went on his final, most extensive African expedition in 1953, going throughout the continent, from Dakar to Zanzibar. After this, he began a career as an industrial filmmaker for engineering projects throughout South America. In his final years Acebes lived in Bogota, and worked on creating the Hector Acebes Archive. He died in Bogota on 22 April 2017. Acebes's African photographs are often viewed as a departure from colonial anthropologists such as Casimir Zagourski, in whose footsteps he followed. He himself rejected the label of "anthropologist", seeking to distance himself from its colonial connotations. The work of many previous photographers was often in service to the European colonization of Africa, and sought to document Africans as colonial subjects, Acebes's portraits gave the subjects more agency to pose, express emotions and individuality, thus departing from this tradition to an extent. Hector Acebes thus existed in a transitional area between colonial anthropologists, and concurrently emerging native African photographers such as Seydou Keïta, in terms of the agency and depiction of Africans within his work.Source: Wikipedia Hector Acebes was born in New York City in 1921. He was raised in Madrid, Spain, and attended the Colegio del Pilar. His family moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where he attended the Gimnasio Moderno. Acebes returned to the United States for high school at the New York Military Academy. He gained much of his technical photographic skill by participating in the school’s camera club and through study and practice on his own. After graduating from the Chauncey Hall School in Boston, he entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering. While in college, he maintained his own photo studio. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany. On his return, he completed his degree at MIT and then moved with his wife to Bogotá. He has a son and two daughters. Throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s, Acebes took expeditions through Africa and South America and started his work as a professional filmmaker and lecturer. By the late 1950s, Acebes Productions had established a reputation for creating excellent documentary and industrial films. Acebes wrote, filmed, directed, and edited each of the forty-three films Acebes Productions released. Hector Acebes died at the age of 96 on April 22, 2017 in Bogotá. For the last ten years, the Hector Acebes Archives has been active in bringing Acebes' work to the attention of galleries, collectors, and museums. It is managed by Ed Marquand.Source: Hector Acebes Archives
O. Winston Link
United States
1914 | † 2001
Ogle Winston Link (December 16, 1914 – January 30, 2001), known commonly as O. Winston Link, was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photography and sound recordings of the last days of steam locomotive railroading on the Norfolk & Western in the United States in the late 1950s. A commercial photographer, Link helped establish rail photography as a hobby. He also pioneered night photography, producing several well-known examples including Hotshot Eastbound, a photograph of a steam train passing a drive-in movie theater, and Hawksbill Creek Swimming Hole showing a train crossing a bridge above children bathing. O. Winston Link and his siblings, Eleanor and Albert Jr., spent their childhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, where they lived with their parents, Albert Link, Sr. and Anne Winston Jones Link. Link's given names honor ancestors Alexander Ogle and John Winston Jones, who had served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 19th century. Al Link taught woodworking in the New York City Public School system, and encouraged his children's interest in arts and crafts, and first introduced Winston to photography. Link's early photography was created with a borrowed medium format Autographic Kodak camera. By the time he was in high school, he had built his own photographic enlarger. After completing high school, Link attended the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, receiving a degree in civil engineering. Before his graduation in 1937, he spoke at a banquet for the institute's newspaper, where he served as photo editor. An executive from Carl Byoir's public relations firm was present and was impressed by Link's speaking ability. He offered Link a job as a photographer. O. Winston Link worked for Carl Byoir and Associates for five years, learning his trade on the job. He adapted to the technique of making posed photographs looking candid, as well as creatively emphasizing a point. On his first major assignment, to photograph part of the state of Louisiana in the summer of 1937, he found himself in New Iberia, the location where Cecil B. DeMille's 1938 movie "The Buccaneer", about Jean LaFitte was being filmed. Here he met his future first wife, a former Miss Ark-La-Tex, now actress/model/body double, Vanda Marteal Oglesby, who stood-in for lead actress Franciska Gaal. They 'took a shine' to one another and later that year she posed for some of his photographs in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They eventually married in 1942, but later divorced. Some of Link's photographs from this time included an image of a man aiming a gun at a pig wearing a bulletproof vest, and one eventually known as What Is This Girl Selling? or Girl on Ice, which was widely published in the United States and later featured in Life as a "classic publicity picture. According to Thomas Garver, a later assistant to Link, during his employment at Byoir's firm, Link "clearly defined a point of view and developed working methods that were to shape his entire career." While in Staunton, Virginia, for an industrial photography job in 1955, O. Winston Link's longstanding love of railroads became focused on the nearby Norfolk and Western Railway line. N&W was the last major (Class I) railroad to make the transition from steam to diesel motive power and had refined its use of steam locomotives, earning a reputation for "precision transportation." Link took his first night photograph of the road on January 21, 1955, in Waynesboro, Virginia. On May 29, 1955 the N&W announced its first conversion to diesel and Link's work became a documentation of the end of the steam era. He returned to Virginia for about twenty visits to continue photographing the N&W. His last night shot was taken in 1959 and the last of all in 1960, the year the road completed the transition to diesel, by which time he had accumulated 2400 negatives on the project. Although it was entirely self-financed, Link's work was encouraged and facilitated by N&W officials, from President Robert Hall Smith downwards. Besides the locomotives, he captured the people of the N&W performing their jobs on the railroad and in the trackside communities. Some of his images were of the massive Roanoke Shops, where the company had long built and maintained its own locomotives. O. Winston Link's images were always meticulously set up and posed, and he chose to take most of his railroad photographs at night. He said "I can't move the sun — and it's always in the wrong place — and I can't even move the tracks, so I had to create my own environment through lighting." Although others, including Philip Hastings and Jim Shaughnessy, had photographed locomotives at night before, Link's vision required him to develop new techniques for flash photography of such large subjects. For instance, the movie theater image Hotshot Eastbound (Iaeger, West Virginia), photographed on August 2, 1956 [negative NW1103], used 42 #2 flashbulbs and one #0 fired simultaneously. Link, with an assistant such as George Thom, had to lug all his equipment into position and wire it up: this was done in series so any failure would prevent a picture being taken at all; and in taking night shots of moving trains the right position for the subject could only be guessed at. Link used a 4 x 5 Graphic View view camera with black and white film, from which he produced silver gelatin prints. From 1960 until he retired in 1983 Link devoted himself to advertising. Among notable pictures taken during this period are those recording construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and other views of New York Harbor including the great ocean liners. In retirement, Link moved to South Salem, Westchester County, New York. In 1996, Link's second wife, Conchita, was arrested for (and later convicted of) stealing a collection of Link's photographs and attempting to sell them, claiming that Link had Alzheimer's disease and that she had power of attorney. She served six years in prison. After being released, she again attempted to sell some of Link's works that she had stolen, this time using the Internet auction site eBay. She received a three-year sentence. Conchita was also accused of imprisoning her husband. However, this allegation is disputed by some, and it never led to any criminal charges against Conchita. The story of Winston and Conchita became the subject of the documentary "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover" (2005) made by Paul Yule. Link made a cameo appearance as a steam locomotive engineer in the 1999 film October Sky. He was actively involved with the planning of a museum of his work when he suffered a heart attack near his home in South Salem. He was transported to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, NY where he died on January 30, 2001. Mr. Link was interred adjacent to his parents in Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, West Virginia.Source: Wikipedia Link's reasons for shooting at night were simple. For one, it was more romantic and dramatic. For Link the trains were comparable to Garbo and Dietrich at their most glamorous. Secondly, steam from the trains against a night sky photographed white. Against a day sky it came out a dirty grey. Whatever the circumstances, Link's pictures were an intense labor of love. Indeed, he discovered, shortly after starting the Norfolk and Western project, that no one was much interested in photographs of a fast disappearing mode of transport. This was, after all, the beginning of the era of the great American car. At first Link's photographs were appreciated for their combination of nostalgia, technical virtuosity, and – partly due to Link's famously cranky character and disposition - almost outsider artist's vision. But as photography has moved on, Link's work is increasingly seen and appreciated for the degree to which he controlled, planned, and constructed each image, prefiguring such well known contemporary artists as Gregory Crewdson and Jeff Wall, both of whom willingly acknowledge their interest in and appreciation of Link's work. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe and in Japan and is present in numerous major museum collections around the world. His rail photography is exhibited at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia, refurbished by the famous industrial designer, Raymond Loewy, which opened in 2004.Source: Danziger Gallery
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