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Zak van Biljon
Zak van Biljon
Zak van Biljon

Zak van Biljon

Country: South Africa
Birth: 1981

Red turf is the homeland of Zak van Biljon. The South African photographer, born 1981, spent his childhood and teenage years in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. In 2003 he graduated as best student at the National College of Photography. With a study of black & white printing – ironically, for someone who grew up under the colorful impressions of the Rainbow Nation.

In 2004 he left the country and emigrated to Europe. It was in Rome, where he discovered another sunlight and in London, where he scored himself on top of booking lists for prestigious underground labels. He continued his career as a part-time commercial photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, exerting his mastery to his fine art projects.

His work range from digital to analog with skills in contemporary advertising and modern art photography. His main focus is the directorial handling of light – as shown in his recent art work, capture the world in infrared. The world seen in red and pink colors provides a new and impressive insight to reality as we know it.
 

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Betty Press
United States
Betty Press is a documentary fine art photographer, well-known for photographs taken in Africa where she lived and traveled for many years. Now living in Mississippi she has just completed a project called “Finding Mississippi” recording "real life" in small communities throughout Mississippi with black-and-white film and toy and vintage cameras. She taught photography at University of Southern Mississippi from 2003 to 2015. She is twice the recipient of a Visual Artist Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her photographs have been widely-exhibited as well as selected for many juried competitions. In addition, her photographs have been featured in publications such as Shots, Silvershotz, South x Southeast, Lenscratch, ACurator, RfotoFolio, and Don't Take Pictures. Her work is held in a number of public collections including Beinecke Library at Yale University, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, The Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, The University of Texas, Austin, Mississippi Museum of Art and The Do Good Fund of Southern Photography. In 2011 Betty published a photobook I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb that portrayed a stunning, life-affirming portrait of the African people and culture. For this book she received a statewide award in photography, from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters and was selected for Critical Mass Top 50. Her other books/zines include La Dolce Vista, Hub City Impressions and Finding Mississippi. In August 2019 she moved to Nairobi, Kenya to photograph urban culture and social injustice, but returned to the USA in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Her most recent project They Were Us: Stories of Victims and Survivors of Police Brutality in Kenya, was selected for Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. Betty was invited by Lenscratch to curate the States Project for Mississippi. She also helped bring the Do Good Fund Exhibition of southern fine art photography to USM Art Gallery and organized several simultaneous local exhibitions. Most recently, she co-curated an online show Virtual Photography 20:20 for One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented by Panos Pictures, London; International Visions, Washington, DC; Fischer Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi; Treehouse Gallery, Oxford, Mississippi and One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. As a former educator, journalist, and avid traveler Press brings a wide-ranging perspective and appreciation of diverse photographic styles, genres and mediums. Services Offered: The African Urban landscapeEye-catching, colorful and hand-painted! Popular creative signage, found on small shops started by mostly young entrepreneurs, livens up what would otherwise be a drab environment in the poorer, densely-populated areas of third world cities like Freetown, Nairobi, or Monrovia. Services, such as hairdressing, tailoring, phone charging, food stalls and video games are advertised. The designs, drawn from traditional as well as contemporary pop culture, are bold, simple and use primary colors and funky fonts. The sign painters are mostly young and self-taught. With more mobile smart-phone usage the signage reflects the modern world on an African canvas. I have spent more than 15 years living in various African countries. In 2019 I moved back to Kenya. My main focus was to document the social justice movement in Nairobi's urban settlements (formerly called slums), resulting in They Were Us: Stories of Police Brutality in Kenya which was selected for the 2020 Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. On the side I would stop to photograph the colorful shops which I found so artful, refreshing and safer to photograph. Now back home in Mississippi, after being evacuated from Nairobi due to the pandemic, I continue working on my Mississippi projects which deal with how place, race and religion have played a part in the complicated history of the state and still affect black lives today.
Nieves Mingueza
Nieves Mingueza is a lens-based, mixed media artist working with experimental photography, collage and text. Born in Spain, based in London. The often-cinematic themes in her projects have in common her fascination with old books, film stills, vintage cameras, poetry and minimal drawings. Ultimately, Nieves' work is about the foggy relationship between fiction and reality. In addition, she is currently exploring about immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Nieves' work has been exhibited widely, including Copeland Gallery -Peckham 24-, Les rencontres de la photographie Arles, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Retina Scottish International Photography Festival, The Royal Academy of Arts, PhotoEspaña, Saatchi Gallery and Tate Britain. Publications that have featured her work include Editorial 8mm, Fisheye magazine, Der Greif magazine, Low Light Magazine, Shots magazine, Eyemazing, Sarmad Magazine, YET Magazine and L'oeil de la photographie, among others. Lens Culture also featured a selection of her works. Recently, in July 2019, her first monograph book was released by IIKKI Books Editorial. All about The malady of Suzanne by Nieves Mingueza A few months ago, I moved to my new flat in South London. Once settled in my new home, I realised that the building had previously been a mental health hospital. In this hospital, people with mental health issues were treated and helped to reintegrate into society. One night, I was relaxing, reading in my living room. There was a sepulchral silence, and suddenly I heard a noise coming from the ceiling. I was scared and I noticed that there was a small loft. The next day, a neighbour helped me open the loft. Unexpectedly, we found a suitcase that contained photos, letters and documents that had belonged to a woman named Suzanne. Reading her letters, I learned that she was a Vietnamese woman who had been a teacher in her home country. There, she fell in love with an Englishman, and finally they decided to move to London together. This happened in 70s. Apparently she began to experience signs of a rare disease: loss of speech and isolation behaviour. I also found out from her documents that she had changed her name in London, because her real name was very difficult to pronounce for English people. She called herself Suzanne in honour of Leonard Cohen's song. By combining found archives with my documentary photography work, I am exploring the story of a Vietnamese female with mental issues in 70's London. This is an on-going project about the complex relationship between memory, immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Additionally, is there any reciprocation between Suzanne and myself? We have both lived in the same space. I am an immigrant in London, I work in a school, and I have modified my name because it was difficult for my students to pronounce. I also love silence.
Frances Benjamin Johnston
United States
1864 | † 1952
Frances "Fannie" Benjamin Johnston (15 January 1864 – 16 May 1952) was an early American female photographer and photojournalist whose career lasted for almost half a century. She is most known for her portraits, images of southern architecture, and various photographic series featuring African Americans and Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century. The only surviving child of wealthy and well connected parents, she was born in Grafton, West Virginia, raised in Washington, D.C., and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and the Washington Students League following her graduation from Notre Dame of Maryland Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies in 1883 (now known as Notre Dame of Maryland University). An independent and strong-willed young woman, she wrote articles for periodicals before finding her creative outlet through photography after she was given her first camera by George Eastman, a close friend of the family, and inventor of the new, lighter, Eastman Kodak cameras. She received training in photography and dark-room techniques from Thomas Smillie, director of photography at the Smithsonian. She took portraits of friends, family and local figures before working as a freelance photographer and touring Europe in the 1890s, using her connection to Smillie to visit prominent photographers and gather items for the museum's collections. She gained further practical experience in her craft by working for the newly formed Eastman Kodak company in Washington, D.C., forwarding film for development and advising customers when cameras needed repairs. In 1894 she opened her own photographic studio in Washington, D.C., on V Street between 13th and 14th Streets, and at the time was the only woman photographer in the city. She took portraits of many famous contemporaries including Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington. Well connected among elite society, she was commissioned by magazines to do "celebrity" portraits, such as Alice Roosevelt's wedding portrait, and was dubbed the "Photographer to the American court." She photographed Admiral Dewey on the deck of the USS Olympia,[6] the Roosevelt children playing with their pet pony at the White House and the gardens of Edith Wharton's famous villa near Paris. Her mother, Frances Antoinette Johnston, had been a congressional journalist and dramatic critic for the Baltimore Sun and her daughter built on her familiarity with the Washington political scene by becoming official White House photographer for the Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, "TR" Roosevelt, and Taft presidential administrations. Johnston also photographed the famous American heiress and literary salon socialite Natalie Barney in Paris but perhaps her most famous work, shown here, is her self-portrait of the liberated "New Woman", petticoats showing and beer stein in hand. Johnston was a constant advocate for the role of women in the burgeoning art of photography. The Ladies' Home Journal published Johnston's article "What a Woman Can Do With a Camera" in 1897[9] and she co-curated (with Zaida Ben-Yusuf) an exhibition of photographs by twenty-eight women photographers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, which afterwards travelled to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Washington, DC. She traveled widely in her thirties, taking a wide range of documentary and artistic photographs of coal miners, iron workers, women in New England's mills and sailors being tattooed on board ship as well as her society commissions. While in England she photographed the stage actress Mary Anderson, who was a friend of her mother. In 1899, she gained further notability when she was commissioned by Hollis Burke Frissell to photograph the buildings and students of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Hampton, Virginia in order to show its success. This series, documenting the ordinary life of the school, remains as some of her most telling work. It was displayed at The Exhibit of American Negroes of the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. She photographed events such as world's fairs and peace-treaty signings and took the last portrait of President William McKinley, at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 just before his assassination. With her partner, Mattie Edwards Hewitt, a successful freelance home and garden photographer in her own right, she opened a studio in New York in 1913 and moved in with her mother and aunt. Hewitt wrote Johnston love letters over the course of their relationship, which are chronicled in "The Woman Behind the Lens: The Life and Work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1864–1952." Many of the early letters focused on Hewitt's admiration for Johnston's work, but as their romance progressed, they became increasingly full of words of love: "...when I need you or you need me — [we] must hold each other all the closer and with your hand in mine, holding it tight..." She lectured at New York University on business for women and they produced a series of studies of New York architecture through the 1920s. In early 1920 her mother died in New York. In the 1920s, she became increasingly interested in photographing architecture, motivated by a desire to document buildings and gardens which were falling into disrepair or about to be redeveloped and lost. As her focus in architecture grew, she became specifically interested in documenting the architecture of the American South. Johnston was interested in preserving the everyday history of the American South through her art; she accomplished this by photographing barns, inns, and other ordinary structures. She was not interested in photographing the grand homes and estates of the American South, but rather the quickly deteriorating structures in these communities that portrayed the life of common southerners. Her photographs remain an important resource for modern architects, historians and conservationists. She exhibited a series of 247 photographs of Fredericksburg, Virginia, from the decaying mansions of the rich to the shacks of the poor, in 1928. The exhibition was entitled Pictorial Survey--Old Fredericksburg, Virginia--Old Falmouth and Nearby Places and described as "A Series of Photographic Studies of the Architecture of the Region Dating by Tradition from Colonial Times to Circa 1830" as "An Historical Record and to Preserve Something of the Atmosphere of An Old Virginia Town." Publicity from the display prompted the University of Virginia to hire her to document its buildings and the state of North Carolina to record its architectural history. Louisiana hired Johnston to document its huge inventory of rapidly deteriorating plantations and she was given a grant in 1933 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to document Virginia's early architecture. This led to a series of grants and photographs of eight other southern states, all of which were given to the Library of Congress for public use. In December 1935, she began a year long project to capture the less evolved structures of the Colonial Era in Virginia. This was effort was intended to be a one year project, but evolved into an eight year extensive project, in which she surveyed 50,000 miles and 95 counties in Virginia. Johnston was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects for her work in preserving old and endangered buildings and her collections have been purchased by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Although her relentless traveling was curtailed by petrol rationing in the Second World War the tireless Johnston continued to photograph. Johnston acquired a home in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1940, retiring there in 1945, where she died in 1952 at the age of eighty-eight.Source: Wikipedia
Myriam Boulos
Lebanon
1992
I was born in 1992 in Lebanon, right after the end of the war, in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself. At the age of 16 I started to get closer to Beirut and used my camera to question the city, its people, and my place among them. I graduated with a master degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in 2015. Today I use photography to explore, defy and resist society. It is my way of constantly reinventing myself in the body and the city I live in. Statement The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019. Since then everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening. It all feels as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship and to finally say: No, this is not normal. When the revolution started in Lebanon, it was the most natural thing for me to take my camera and go to the streets. Photography has always been my way of participating to life as it is today my way of taking part in the revolution. In the ongoing socio-political context it felt to me like there was no choice: the subject of my photography imposed itself on me. It was more a question of need and necessity than a question of desire. The slow documentary that normally constitutes my approach was ever so naturally replaced by something else something new, and within the revolution I let myself carry by the big wave coming towards me, big wave much bigger than me. My project is about documenting the different facettes of the Lebanese revolution from a local point of view. My approach is characterized by the direct flash I use in this project but also in others. This potentially comes from my need to make things real. The direct flash also helps me work on textures, bodies and skins. In the context of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies says a lot about the situation. It is the first time that we claim our public spaces, our streets, our country. It is the first time that different social classes mix together in the streets. In our streets. In parallel to the photographic documentation, I am also documenting the evolution of my emotions during the revolution. It is sort of a diary that accompanies the pictures. Example: Monday, 20 Jan Beirut, Lebanon Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed. They say the moment of a picture is a black out. I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?
Dean West
Australia
1983
Dean West “one of the world’s best emerging photographers” (AFTER CAPTURE MAGAZINE), has a highly conceptual and thought-provoking style of contemporary portraiture. His body of work has been featured in top photography magazines, art galleries, and received numerous international awards.Born in small-town rural Australia in 1983, Dean’s love for photography began in his high school’s darkroom- one of the largest darkrooms in the country at the time- and blossomed at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. After graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Photography with majors in visual culture and advertising, Dean formed a partnership, Berg+West, which won nationwide acclaim as a high-end photography and post-production studio. Through clients like the QLD Government and SONY, Dean quickly learned to transform stick figure sketches into intricate composited photographs with immense detail and clarity.In 2008, Dean was included in Saatchi & Saatchi’s collection of the world’s top 100 emerging photographers and went on to win Advertising Photographer of the Year at the International Aperture Awards. With success in advertising and a growing list of collectors- Dean decided to dedicate more of his time to the world of art. In the following years, his series ‘Fabricate’ received worldwide recognition from top photography competitions, including: the International Colour Awards, the Lucie Awards, the Loupe Awards, and in 2009, Dean was the winner of the IV International Arte Laguna Prize, Venice, Italy. This final award being the most prestigious for emerging artists with over 5,000 applicants gunning for the top prize in photography, sculpture and painting. Zoom Magazine quickly nominated Dean in the ‘New Talent’ issue of 2010 and the Magenta Foundation awarded Dean an emerging Photographer of Canada.
Mike Magers
United States
1976
Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist based in New York City. He is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning books, "Rice Noodle Fish" and "Grape Olive Pig" (as well as contributing to the 3rd book in the series "Pasta Pane Vino") published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His images are exhibited both internationally and in the U.S. and have appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue Italia, Huck Magazine, Outside, The California Sunday Magazine, CNN's Explore Parts Unknown, Saveur, New York Times - T Magazine (Instagram Takeover), Grantland, Barron's, The Guardian.com, and L'oeil de la Photographie. Michael's work documenting craftsmanship in Japan was named a 2016 Critical Mass Finalist. About Independent Mysteries Independent Mysteries (pub. November 2019) is the first monograph from documentary photographer Michael Magers. In it, Magers exposes the persistent tension between connection and disconnection -- a feeling of "intimate distance" -- he grappled with while traveling to places like Japan, Haiti, and Cuba for various assignments and personal projects. Drawing on nearly a decade of work, each image can be viewed as a film-still, with little context other than light brushes of human contact, fleeting intimacy, solitude and vulnerability. Every one of the grainy, black-and-white photographs in this book carries with it a secret to be discovered and explored. Read more about Independent Mysteries here
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