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Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo

Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo

Country: Iran
Birth: 1995

Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo (born 1995 in Tehran) is a professional photographer in the category of fine art and concept from Iran.

Afshar has been studying photography professionally for 2 years in an academy since 2014 and is currently working in Tehran. Mostly she deal with human issues by referring to inner feelings that combined them with the inanimate environment.

The starting point of her works have always been his surroundings and personal feelings. Sensitively, she tries to explore her relationship with the world around her today.

Afshar held her first group exhibition at Mojdeh Gallery.

Her most famous collection is "The light in the city", which takes a look at contemporary Tehran. Reason for popularity of this collection was due to a special technique that was done by manipulating the photo.

So far, it has received various awards from world festivals such as IPA, Monochrome photography awards, Fine Art Photography Awards, ND Photography Awards, and Spider Photography Awards.

Afshar says about her photos: “Each of my projects describes human emotions such as sadness, loneliness, confusion. I try to make viewers find their hidden feeling in my photos.

Every time I take a photo, my personal feelings affect my work and shape my inner thoughts. I want to have something in common with my audience to talk to them. "

Most of Afshar's works are presented in single black and white photos.

Her photos has been published in various Magazine such as Float Photo Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, F-stopmagazine, More Art please.

She has participated in many exhibitions in Iran, Greece and Rome.
 

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Joseph Szabo
United States
1944
What strikes us first in the photographs of Joseph Szabo is a quiet shock of recognition. His poignant images of the life of American teens present a nostalgic portrait of those tumultuous years between childhood and adulthood. We remember our own high school years - first loves, classic rock, hanging out. We see ourselves in his photographs. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Joseph Szabo discovered his passion for photography as a student at New York's Pratt Institute. By the early 1970s, he was teaching art and photography at Malverne High School in a working-class neighborhood on Long Island. As he struggled to connect with his students, Szabo began using his camera to bridge the gap between teacher and student. In the classroom or on school grounds, and with the neutral eye of a documentary photographer, Szabo depicted his subjects as they were - preening and posing, showing off and goofing around, kissing, smoking - without judgment. What emerges is a dignified, compassionate, and tender view of teenage life rarely seen by adults. Although Szabo's portrait of adolescence in America is specific to suburban Long Island in the 1970s and 1980s, the images are universal and timeless. They capture the bravado and vulnerability, the joy and exuberance, the angst and fear, and the blossoming self-confidence and emerging sexuality of those complex years at the cusp of adulthood. Describes as a "chronicler of teenage life," Szabo's work actually comprises several distinct series - adolescents, Rolling Stones fans, Jones Beach and hometowns - that share a common aesthetic. Wether his camera is focused on his students, the "melting pot of humanity" at Jones Beach, fans at a rock 'n' roll concert, or the suburban streets of the East Coast and Ohio, Szabo's interest is in capturing quintessential American experiences, familiar to all of us, no matter where we grew up. He taught at the International Centre of Photography (ICP). Szabo is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and his work resides in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Center of Photography and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. Szabo is most notable for his photographs of American youth taken during the 1970s and collected in the books Almost Grown and Teenage. His photograph Priscilla was featured as the cover of alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr's 1991 album Green Mind. Szabo made a body of work on Rolling Stones Fans photographed at a concert in Philadelphia in 1978. Joseph Szabo currently lives in Amityville, New York with his wife Nancy.Source: Wikipedia Joseph Szabo is a teacher, photographer and author. He taught photography and art at Malverne High School on Long Island for 27 years and for over 20 years at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan. His 1978 book, Almost Grown, featured many of his students and was acclaimed as one of the “Best Books of the Year” by the American Library Association. In the book’s forward, legendary photojournalist and Founder of the International Center of Photography Cornell Capa, wrote that “…in Szabo’s hands, the camera is magically there, the light is always available, the moment is perceived, seen, and caught.” Throughout the 80s and 90s, Almost Grown attained cult classic status in the fashion world, prompting Vogue editor Grace Coddington to notice that “all the young fashion photographers were looking at Joe’s photographs as their bible.” In 2003, Szabo released Teenage his more complete view of adolescents coming of age. His most recent book Jones Beach captures his forty year exploration of summer at New York’s most popular beach. Szabo’s evocative black and white images have won him worldwide recognition and admiration, from photographers including Bruce Weber and filmmakers Cameron Crowe and Sofia Coppola. He is the recipient of a photography fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and his images reside in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, the George Eastman House museum in Rochester, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Times, French Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily and exhibited at galleries in Paris, London, Japan, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles.Source: josephszabophotos.com Galleries Jackson Fine Art Michael Hoppen Gallery Gitterman Gallery M+B Gallery
Joseph Rafferty
United States
1976
Joseph Rafferty's projects are his artistic statements. When he was eight, his mother died. She went on vacation to Hawaii, and returned in a coffin. The boy was immediately uprooted from free and love-filled life, and forced to live with a freshly born-again Christian father, who became Joseph's newly self-appointed spiritual leader. An environmental lawyer who didn't ensure the safety of his own child's environment. Joseph's father silenced individuality, demanded polite compliance, and along with his stepmother, kept a still-grieving child tethered to linear thinking, Joseph did not develop the art of verbal expression. He quickly learned to swallow truth and hide pain. Photography became a powerful thread of connection to his emotion and spiritual ideas, laced with the harsh realities of a flawed culture, and the ironies within his family's worldview. Photography was an open window in his prison, giving fresh breath to a starving soul, and it became a pivotal foundation in his metamorphosis. It provided the theatre of the mind with a stage, creating space for growth and transformation beyond the stifling shell that threatened to entomb. Thriving on the sunshine of his bohemian mother's love. Joseph's nonlinear and free imprinting is counterculture's birthplace, San Francisco a land of a thousand languages, a thousand sexualities. This critical period of exposure deep seeded beliefs and values into the young child's subconsciousness he loved to see love. When his mom passed - her fashion colleagues & community sent words of condolences + small gifts of money. During his military enlistment Joseph would return to the photography store his mom frequented. With the small gifts of cash from letters of condolence he purchased large & medium format cameras and tripods. If I purchase cameras she's always with me. In doing so, he channels her instrumental spirit - a spirit guiding him from the pain and anger of his youth, and led to light. Through loving memory of her unconditional support, Joseph's found a peace and purpose in life, grounded in relationships with his partner and their children, mindful of certain pitfalls in our culture, and dedicated to the unedited, true expression of unique experience. Photography has been a life-line of expression during Joseph's stay on earth, feeling most grounded when his ideas materialize to visual imagery. Motivated by a passion for social justice, Joseph lives in a realm of beauty amongst pain. His visual linguistics are sculpted props and drawings, through which his visceral experiences emerge as a visual tapestry. Weaving images that provoke emotion and encourage empathy for others despite differences, Joseph's visuals are moments of "things as they are experienced psychologically, rather than things as they are scientifically" (William Mortensen). His body of work also influenced by early foundational years among the Redwood trees, his service in the United States Military, and his education at Art Center College of Design. Heavily inspired by Arnold Newman's manipulation of existing light, Joseph captures images with all formats of cameras. His photographic subjects begin with an idea explored through sketches further developed through research (literature, current events, locations, and style), and are materialized through intuitively sculpting of props. Each detail becomes a tool in building a landscape of meaning.
Zev Hoover
United States
1999
Zev Hoover, from Natick, Massachusetts, goes by the Flickr username Fiddle Oak, a play on 'little folk', which adequately describes the incredible images that make up his 'miniature world'. In his fantastical photos in which people are digitally shrunken, acorns make excellent seats, Popsicle sticks are the ideal size for building rafts, and paper airplanes are viable modes of transport. Zev told Today.com that while he takes the photos with his own camera, his older sister Nell, 18, was the brains behind the original tiny people concept. "She is sort of my partner in crime," he said, adding that she is "more of a writer". While Nell may have come up with the idea, Zev executes the images beautifully, and his unique work has attracted the attention of professional photographers and designers. The 14-year-old, who also writes a blog, explained the complicated process of how he creates his dreamlike images, many of which feature him as the main subject. The process involves capturing the background image first, shrinking photos of people in similar lighting, manipulating the images in Photoshop and editing the color scheme so that it all matches. 'It takes a long time,' he said of the resulting images, which are so otherworldly that they almost look like drawings. One image shows a boy constructing a house of playing cards, his body the same size as the cards. In another image, a 'miniature' boy and girl sit upon a raft made of Popsicle sticks, the sail of which is a single leaf. Many of Zev's images explore nature, including one in which a boy perches inside the shell of an acorn. Another nature-themed photo, which plays with and distorts size ratio, shows a miniscule-looking boy sitting on the edge of a rock, a violin in his hand. Photography and design websites have picked up on Zev's work, lauding him for being so talented and creative at such a young age.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Maia Flore
France
1988
Maia Flore was born in 1988, in France. She is currently living in Paris. Graduated from Ecole des Gobelins in 2010, she joined Agence VU' in 2011. Her approach fits into a research of coincidences between reality and her imagination. Her world is a complete fabrication in form of touching and enchanting narrations, even surrealistic. This is in Sweden she begins her first series "Sleep Elevations", a journey that indulges in childhood memories. During the summer of 2012, while her first residence in Finland, Maia Flore explores new methods of representation and narration. These researches will then continue at the Arts Center of Berkeley, California. Resulting two series (Situations and Morning Sculptures) that continue to explore the feelings of confusion in which the photographer places her characters as her audience. She is exposed for the first time in February 2011 at the festival Circulation (s) of the Young European Photography in Paris. More recently, as part of a White Card from Atout France and the French Institute, Maia Flore depicts the French heritage through her dreamy world in the series "Imagine France – Le voyage fantastique" exposed in Bercy Village until September 2014. In 2015, she wins Le prix HSBC pour la photographie. Source: Agence VU Situations (2012) In the Situations series, a girl runs through varyingly weathered landscapes donning a striking red outfit. In search of a sublime freedom, she travels to find fleeting moments of communion with nature. Draped in red, she catches the light of the sun or buries herself in the fog. As though she were attempting to rediscover this space, she roams on land-locked clouds that evaporate into the landscape upon the return of the sun as it chases away their mystery. Like a game between reality and fantasy, the clash between clairvoyance and a moment of madness, the girl is amused by her emotional confusion. Sleep Elevation (2010) "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night," Edgar Allan Poe. This is how these girls, carried away in the air by objects, let themselves travel through boundless landscapes. Flying towards dreamed lands, making real a complete attraction between the character, his ideal universe and the world they live in: that is where these girls lead us. Their contorted movements are merging with the shape of the one revealing their passion. Mix of an imaginary realism and childhood memories, these beings in levitation invite us to dream, limitlessly.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen
Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish-American photographer who works in the United States. Published and exhibited worldwide, Minkkinen's work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Finnish Museum of Photography. Seven solo monographs on his work have been published: Frostbite (1978), Waterline (1994, winner of the 25th Rencontres d'Arles Book Prize), Body Land (1999), SAGA: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, 35 Years of Photographs (2005), Homework: The Finnish Photographs (2008), Swimming in the Air (2009), and Balanced Equation (2010). The retrospective survey SAGA premiered at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, in 2005. The 120-print retrospective toured to Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Italy, China, and Canada. Minkkinen was made a Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland of the first class by the Finnish government in 1992, and awarded the Finnish State Art Prize in Photography in 2006. Minkkinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945 and emigrated to the United States in 1951. He graduated from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and began taking self-portraits in 1971, while working as an advertising copywriter on Madison Avenue in New York. He later studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Rhode Island School of Design and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography in 1974. Over the past four decades, Minkkinen has been engaged as a teacher, curator, and writer while continuing to devote his photographic research and energies to the self-portrait. Minkkinen is a Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and also serves as lecturer at Aalto University of Art & Design Helsinki. Earlier in his teaching career, he served as Assistant Professor at M.I.T., Visiting Artist at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts (Philadelphia)), the École d'Arts Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland, and as graduate faculty at Maine Media College in Rockport, Maine. Since joining UMass Lowell in 1987, Minkkinen has taken students to Finland and Russia (1988), and Czechoslovakia (1989). In 1996, in a collaborative UMass Lowell/Lahti Institute of Design (Lahti, Finland) exchange program called Spirit Level, thirty Finnish, American, and Swiss students toured through Finland, Russia, and Eastern Europe for three weeks with Minkkinen and photo department head at Lahti, Timo Laaksonen. Among the students at the time was Mark Eshbaugh who later became an adjunct professor at UMass Lowell. Seven years after the first Spirit Level, together with Timo Laaksonen and Mark Eshbaugh a professor at Umass Lowell at that time, Tuscany in Italy (2003) and Oaxaca, Mexico (2007) were added to the program. [9] Later Minkinnen organized collaborations with Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and the Foundation Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy (2010) as well as the Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo and the École Supérieure d'Arts & Medias de Caen/Cherbourg in France (2012) for an American Road Trip to the studio farmlands of American photographer Sally Mann.[10][11] The first three workshops resulted in the publication of a book commemorating those first three experiences. Minkkinen has taught workshops worldwide, particularly at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), Maine Media College (as part of the graduate faculty), the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Santa Fe Workshops in New Mexico, the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, and in Europe at the Rencontres d'Arles in Arles, France, the Toscana Photographic Workshops in Tuscany, Italy, as well as workshop programs in Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, and China. Minkkinen served a second four-year term as national board member of the Society of Photographic Education (2008 to 2016). Since 2009, Minkkinen has developed a growing interest in feature filmmaking and screenwriting. In 2010, he received a first-round of support from the Finnish Film Foundation for a screenplay he had written and will be directing. It will be shot in Finnish Karelia and Finntown, Brooklyn. The demo preview of The Rain House was screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in connection with the Dance Films Association's 41st Dance on Camera Festival (2013).Source: Wikipedia Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings for the better part of five decades. More than just existing in these scenic locations, Minkkinen fully merges his limbs and torso like a chameleon, blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins. The methods used to create these bold and uninhibited shots pre-date the use of Photoshop by decades, instead of relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows Minkkinen to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff.Source: Colossal
Wang Wusheng
China
1945 | † 2018
Wang Wusheng was born in the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui Province and graduated from Anhui University's School of Physics. Beginning in 1973, Wusheng worked as a photographer for a news magazine in Anhui Province. He studied at the Art Institute of Nihon University in Japan beginning in 1983 and studied for three years at the Tokyo Arts University. Wusheng currently works as a fine art photographer in Tokyo.For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world's most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over many centuries, this mountain, with its seventy-two peaks, has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting make it appear impossible for these mountains to exist in nature. Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wusheng has sought to portray Mount Huangshan in his own way, expressing his "inner worlds" through this scenic wonder.Wusheng captures mist-shrouded granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs and weathered, oddly shaped pine trees. He records the appearance of Mount Huangshan in all seasons and at various times of day. As one critic says, "[Wusheng's] pictures are gorgeous, but their beauty does not come directly from the natural scenery. Rather, the mountain's natural wonders have been transformed into artistic spectacles through the artist's commitment to the medium of black-and-white photography, his insistent pursuit of dynamic movement and metamorphic images, and his deep emotional engagement with his subject. His mountain peaks are often densely dark-a kind of velvet darkness that seems full of color."Source: Robert Klein Gallery World-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang wrote in 2014 in his book "Photography: The Definitive Visual History" published by DK this text about Wang Wusheng's art works: Oriental perspectives The fusion of classical Chinese fine art with photography was not achieved until the 1940s. It resulted in a distinctive approach to landscape by combining classical forms with a challenge to the Western representation of space. Photography had reached China and Japan by the 1840s, but long remained an imported art form used primarily by foreigners. Fundamentally it was alien to the aesthetics of Asian fine art. The fine detail of a photograph was at odds with the eastern tradition of depicting a scene with just a few brushstrokes. And whereas Eastern art dealt with symbols-mountains representing wisdom, water standing for the flux of life and so on- photography seemed unremittingly literal and heavy-handed to Asian eyes. Eastern art was also fixedly monochrome: black was Heaven's hue, and too much considered bad for the eyes. Three dimensions in two A further element foreign to Asian minds was the handling of perspective-how three-dimensional space was represented on the flat surface of a print or painting. In Europe, 15th-century thinkers, such as the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, showed that a geometrically accurate way to represent objects in space was to depict parallel sides as if they converged toward a vanishing point on the horizon. Early photography reinforced the dominance of this linear perspective in Western art. Classical Asian art was based on different models of space. It showed space with receding planes, in which a nearer object overlaps and covers part of a further object. This was joined to aerial perspective, which exploits how contrast and clarity naturally diminish the further away things are to express receding space. Asian pictorials By the 20th century. even artists in he West were rebelling against geometrical perspective, most visibly in the Cubist movement, which spilled over to montage effects in modernist photography (see pp. 142-43 and Pp.330-31). Finally, in the 1940s, Long Chin-San (also transliterated Lang Jingshan) in Hong Kong marked the first successful fusion of Asian with European modes. Trained in Photography by a brush-and-ink artist, Long considered a traditional painting "as a composite Image of fragmentary visual memories". From this, Long derived composite photographs using subtle toning and multiple printing techniques to place traditional elements such as calligraphically expressive bamboo shoots, leafless branches, and craggy rocks against a plain ground, suspending his subjects In an indeterminate space. Relationships between elements were defined by aerial perspective and overlapping receding planes. Minimal and calligraphic expressions also came naturally to photographers such as Jiang Peng, but Long's best-known students was Don Hong Qai. Modern interpretation China's Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) is a glaciated mountain range much venerated for its exquisite scenery of 72 steep peaks, often shrouded in mist. The Huangshan inspired its own school of painting, which made extensive use of aerial perspective, Wang Wusheng is a leading modern exponent of the style. Wang was working as a news photographer when he turned his attention to the Huangshan in 1973 In his photographs, he exploited the ultrafine grain of Kodak Technical Pan film to create a modern interpretation of inky-black silhouettes are grouped against the smoothly shifting swathes of mist, their softening tones deftly defining distance. This image is part of the Celestial Realm series, published in book form in 2005. In wang's contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese black-ink painted landscapes, mist separates the deep velvety darkness of the sharply silhouetted rocks and trees in the foreground from the progressively fuzzier bands of trees and rocks.
Marcos Zegers
Chile
1987
I am a Chilean photographer, with a background in architecture and with a strong interest in geopolitical, territorial and migration conflicts. My work focuses on long-term documentary projects in which I illustrate urgent situations through a careful and studied proposal. My work has been exhibited in Chile (Animal, Ekho Gallery), and fairs in London, Paris, Shanghai and New York and I participated in photo festivals as PhotoEspaña (Esp), Format (UK) and FIFV (Chile). Recently my documentary project was published on The New York Times which gave me the opportunity to start working as a freelancer for the same newspaper. I teach at the University Diego Portales in Chile where I currently live. About Mining and Exodus in the Atacama Desert This visual essay is the narrative of an endless journey through the desert and the Andes Highlands in Bolivia and Chile. A paused and deep journey through places full of memory. What appears to be photographs of elements randomly dispersed throughout the territory, when consciously grouped together, are transformed into a linear narrative linked to the extractive era. Like a map that is revealed in parts, a harsh story uncovers the relationship between mining activities and cultural displacements, all united under a common element in dispute, water. Following the course of the extractive history of colonial Latin America, what was rubber in Iquitos, cane in the Caribbean, gold in Guanajuato or silver in Potosi, in Chile was the nitrate (saltpetre). For almost two centuries, the Atacama Desert has been a constant source of mineral resource extraction. The "Saltpetre Offices" have left the mark of an era of wealth and exploitation. Today the situation repeats itself as an exact cycle: what was nitrate, passed to copper, and today, it turns to lithium. Right in the middle of this extractive history are the woman and the man who inhabited the territory. On the one hand, there is the Aymara woman who walks and grazes the cattle in the Andean mountain range. She has not seen the face of the mining company. However, they critically meet in the use of the same resource: water. The excessive water consumption by mining companies has dried the soil, making livestock and agriculture unviable. Consequently, the highlands man has been forced to go down to work in the city, where possibly, the job to which he aspires, is precisely in mining. This uncovers a vicious circle which is greatly enhanced by the government's lack of attention to these isolated areas. The risk is profound. The desert has not been completely unravelled. It continues to have lots of minerals, and at the same time, it stalks a climate change that will not stop any time soon. In Chile the water is sold, the water rights belong to private. This situation has alarmed the inhabitants of this territory, amongst organizations and activists who wage real legal battles in the courts. This visual essay, far from addressing the issue on all its extents, seeks to contribute to the latent conversation about extractive practices and the current economic model in Chile. To bring back this apparently scenic desert to an urgent reality, promoting a reflection that contributes to the appreciation of rural territory and its culture.
John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
Francis Meslet
France
1963
A graduate in Design from the Fine Art School of Nancy in 1986, early in his career Francis Meslet was a designer, but soon turned to advertising when he joined several agencies as an artistic director. After 30 years spent questioning the creative concept and studying images in all his compositions, he is now a creative director. Francis does not hesitate to roam the world in his spare time, searching for abandoned sites, sanctuaries where time seems to have stopped after humans have evacuated them. He thus brings back captivating and melancholic images of his travels to the other side of the world... Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Francis Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories left behind by human inhabitation. In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling. These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten. In this power station orders were shouted in German, in this French Catholic school the cries of children resounded to the sound of the bell but who can imagine the sounds hidden behind the walls of this old psychiatric asylum in Italy or on the docks of this abandoned island off Japan? From these silences, everyone can imagine their own interpretations, ...reinterpretations.
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John Simmons is a multi-talented artist whose work has spanned across decades. Born in Chicago and coming of age during the Civil Rights Era, Simmons' photography started at the peak of political and racial tension of the 1960s, mentored by a well known Chicago Civil Rights photographer, Bobby Sengstacke.
Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
Exclusive Interview with Daniel Sackheim
Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO's True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. But he is also a talented photographer. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exlusive Interview with Tom Price Winner of All About Photo Awards 2021
Tom Price is the Photographer of the Year, winner of All About Photo Awards 2021 - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Keith Cullen, Denis Dailleux, Stefano De Luigi, Monica Denevan, Claudine Doury, Ann Jastrab, Stephan Vanfleteren, Hiroshi Watanabe, Alison Wright and myself were impressed by his work 'Porter' taken from a series of surreal portraits, featuring 'relocated' porters from Kolkata, as a reflection on the experience of migrant workers.
Interview: Jill Enfield by Jon Wollenhaupt
Alternative photography pioneer Jill Enfield comes from a long line of photographers dating back to 1875-the date when her ancestors opened up gift stores in Germany where they sold cameras and other technical equipment. In 1939, after fleeing Nazi Germany, her family opened the first camera store in Miami Beach, where as a child, Jill roamed the aisles. It is easy to imagine that she grew up always having a camera in her hands. With photography imprinted in her DNA, her career path seemed inevitable.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
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