All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Michael Ernest Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet

Michael Ernest Sweet

Country: Canada

Michael Ernest Sweet is a Canadian photographer and arts writer. He is the author of two photography monographs, The Human Fragment and Michael Sweet's Coney Island, both from Brooklyn Arts Press in New York. Michael is best known for his gritty black and white images of people composed at odd angles, which often omit people's faces. His work has been praised by such master photographers as Roger Ballen, Martin Parr, and Jay Maisel. A recipient of many awards, Michael holds both a Prime Minister's Award and a Queen Elizabeth II Medal from Canada for significant contributions to education and the arts. In 2018, Michael appeared in the film, Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, and again in 2021 in the film, Fill The Frame. Michael is a senior contributing writer for Photo Life Magazine and a former writer for HuffPost. He holds several degrees including a Master of Liberal Arts from The Johns Hopkins University. Michael lives and teaches in New York City.

Statement:
My photography is about pleasing myself. I do not photograph for an audience. Quite frankly, that would be too hard for me. I make photographs of things that interest me. I like weird angles and odd compositions because they tend to tell a better story. As a writer, I look for the story, not just the image. Photographs need to be able to be read from left to right, all across the frame, just like a good book. Everything in the frame matters. Everything that is not in the frame matters. Most people don't get my work. They don't try hard enough. My photos cannot be consumed in 10 seconds on an iPhone. Those who put in the effort get to see what I saw, get to feel what I felt, and, most importantly get to enjoy the moment as I did when I made the image. For me, a photo that is easy to look at and quick to understand is a boring, pedestrian photograph. I am not here to photograph aunt Betty's Birthday party.
 

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
$10,000 Cash Prizes
All About Photo Awards 2023 - Enter Your Best Single Images
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Jeff Corwin
United States
1954
Over the years, Jeff Corwin has taken photos out of a helicopter, in jungles, on oil rigs and an aircraft carrier. Assignments included portraits of famous faces, including Bill Gates and Groucho Marx and photos for well-known corporate clients like Microsoft, Apple, Rolls-Royce and Time/Life. After 40+ years as a commercial photographer, Corwin has turned his discerning eye to fine art photography, primarily landscape vistas. He carried his same vision forward, his desire and ability to see past the clutter and create photographs grounded in design. Simplicity, graphic forms, strong lines or configurations that repeat are what personally resonate - a reaction to experience, spirit and instinct. Visual triggers are stark and isolated vistas: a black asphalt road cutting for miles through harvested wheat; an empty, snowy field with a stream creating a curve to a single tree; or a small barn, the roof barely visible above a barren hillside. Trusting his vision is important to Corwin. He has always kept the same approach, the same eye, looking for and adding to the visual qualities that arrest him. This holds true even in his non-landscape work. He cites his mentor Arnold Newman and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper as inspiration. His experience has taught him not to second guess elements like composition or content. Humble shapes, graphic lines. Eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat. His commercial work has won many prestigious awards and garnered vast international media coverage. Corwin's career shift into fine art photography is being met with the same serious attention. He is currently exhibiting in several important contemporary galleries throughout the western United States. Statement "Before I started to devote myself full time to my personal work, I spent 40 years in the world of commercial photography. The majority of my clients were ad agencies and graphic design firms. My photographic focus was on corporate offices, factories, oil refineries and aerospace companies with dark busy manufacturing facilities. I learned that my job title was not "photographer." What I really was - a problem solver. Over the first few years, I developed a style that, with the help of artificial lighting, helped me to see past the clutter and create photographs that were more design than immediately recognizable objects. I worked with whatever was there, all the mundane things that most people walk by or do not notice. I saw great imagery in graphic shapes, shapes that repeat, like patterns in ceilings from ugly fluorescent lights or rows of desks or chairs. It was a created opportunity instead of found. I became known as the photographer to send into hell-holes to bring back the goods (a blessing and a curse). Graphis Magazine once used a quote of mine: "It's amazing how much time I spend lighting, just to get things dark enough." Absolutely true! Once I got past that particular hurdle, I was able to move on to subjects that had real possibilities and make them look even better. But I kept the same thought process, the same eye, looking for and adding to the graphic qualities. (A special shout out to mentor Arnold Newman and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper.) On to my current images - landscapes. While certainly not working with the same control I had in the advertising world, it provides, in some ways, more. Or perhaps I should simply different. What I have found is that I could bring the same vision I used for my commercial work into my landscape work. In fact, I do not think I really had a choice. The work I do now is 100% informed by my experience shooting for clients. I see how I see and, after 40+ years of making photographs, it seems foolish to try and change now. I trust that what I have learned works. I have even brought artificial light into the landscapes! Simple shapes, graphic lines, eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat." Galleries Courtney Collins Fine Art Stapleton Gallery Echo Arts Westward Gallery
Lola Álvarez Bravo
Mexico
1907 | † 1993
Lola Álvarez Bravo was a Mexican photographer. She was a key figure (along with Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and her husband Manuel Álvarez Bravo) in Mexico's post-revolution renaissance. She was born Dolores Martinez de Anda to wealthy parents in the state of Jalisco. She moved to Mexico City as a young child, after her mother left the family under mysterious circumstances. Her father died when she was a young teenager, and she was then sent to live with the family of her half brother, living nearby in Mexico City. It was here that she met the young Manuel Álvarez Bravo, a neighbor. They married in 1925 and moved to Oaxaca where Manuel was an accountant for the federal government. Lola Álvarez Bravo became pregnant but before she gave birth, they returned to Mexico City. Manuel had taken up photography as an adolescent; he taught Lola and they took pictures together in Oaxaca. Manuel also taught her to develop film and make prints in the darkroom. As he became more serious about pursuing a career in photography, she acted as his assistant, although she also harbored a desire to become a photographer in her own right. The Álvarez Bravo's separated in 1934 but she decided to maintain the Álvarez Bravo name. Lola Álvarez Bravo needed to support herself and taught as well as worked in a government archives. She also continued to experiment with photography and in 1936 received her first real commission photographing the colonial choir stalls of a former church. She also worked in commercial photography, including advertising and fashion. She was the director of photography at the National Institute of Fine Arts. She opened an art gallery in 1951 and was the first person to exhibit the work of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. She also taught photography at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. Inspired by such photographers as Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, Álvarez Bravo established her own independent career. For 50 years, she photographed a wide variety of subjects, making documentary images of daily life in Mexico's villages and city streets and portraits of great leaders from various countries. She also experimented with photomontage.Source: Wikipedia Born Dolores Martínez in Jalisco, Mexico, Lola Álvarez Bravo was one of Mexico’s most important photographers. Like other women artists linked with famous male counterparts, her work has often been overshadowed by that of her husband, renowned photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. They married in Mexico City in 1925 just as Manuel’s photography practice began to develop. Manuel introduced Lola to the camera, the darkroom, and photography techniques, and she assisted him with developing and printing his images. They shared equipment when Lola began taking her own photographs, although Lola recalled Manuel’s impatience when she wanted to use the camera. In 1927 their son Manuel was born and they opened a photography gallery in their Mexico City home. The couple played a vital role in the cultural circle that included artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Izquierdo, and David Alfaro Siquerios. Lola continued to take photographs but her work always came second to Manuel’s development as an artist. They separated in 1934 and Lola turned to photography to support herself and her seven-year-old son. Stubbornly independent, her camera became both her livelihood and her means of portraying what she explained as “the life I found before me.” She traveled throughout Mexico photographing people in everyday circumstances with honesty and respect. Her assured formal aesthetic, which often bordered on the abstract, included strong compositional elements, crisp details, and the play of light and shadow on surfaces. Most often Lola Álvarez Bravo eschewed posing subjects or staging situations. Instead, she moved amongst the people along cluttered streets, observing them at work, in the marketplace, and at leisure, waiting for opportunities to capture informal moments in carefully composed scenes. Her keen eye produced stirring and expressive images of Mexican life with a contemporary sensibility that places her among the renowned photographic interpreters of that country in the modern period: Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Tina Modotti, and Manual Álvarez Bravo. During her long career, Lola Álvarez Bravo worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, professional portraitist, political artist, teacher, and gallery curator. Despite her professional success, it is her personal photography that marks her most significant contribution to the history of the medium. While working professionally she culled a small, core group of photographs she would refer to as her personal work, “mis fotos, mi arte.” The photographs in the Center’s collection are among those she most valued and are in the spirit of that distinction. Her direct, uncompromising, and impassioned studies of the Mexican people offer an important chapter to the history of photography, both as creative force and indelible subject matter. The Center acquired the Lola Álvarez Bravo Archive in 1996. It includes her negatives and nearly 200 gelatin silver photographs, 100 of which were selected by Lola Álvarez Bravo in 1993. An additional 100 photographs were selected by the Center in consultation with the artist. © Artists Rights Society (ARS)Source: Center for Creative Photography
Jaromír Funke
Czech Republic
1896 | † 1945
Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) was a Modernist photographer and a leading figure in Czech photography during the 1920s and 30s. He was born in Skute? to a wealthy family. He studied medicine, law, and philosophy at the Charles University in Prague and the University of Bratislava but did not graduate and instead turned to photography. Funke was recognized for his play of “photographic games” with mirrors, lights, and insignificant objects, such as plates, bottles, or glasses, to create unique works. His still life’s created abstract forms and played with shadows looking similar to photograms. His work was thought to be logical, original and expressive in nature. A typical feature of Funke’s work would be the "dynamic diagonal." By the 1920s, Funke had become an amateur photographer and began to experiment with constructivism, surrealism, poeticism, and expressionism. He created unconventional works as a form of “pure” photography instead of the traditional reminiscing of other mediums such as painting or sculpture. During his photography profession, Funke published editorials and critiques about photography. By 1922, Funke had become a skilled freelance photographer and two years later he, Josef Sudek and Adolf Schneeberger created the Czech Photographic Society. From 1931-1935, Funke headed the photography department at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava. Soon after, Funke taught at the School of Graphic Art in Prague until 1944. Alongside Ladislav Sutha, the director of the previous school, Funke published Fotografie vidí povrch in 1935. While travelling, Funke became interested in politically engaged photography. Bad living was created during the time period of 1930-1931 and was a photographic series that dealt with the issues of poverty. Funke later became an editor of the journal Fotografický obzor (Photographic Horizons) for several years. He published a number of works including Od fotogrameuk emoci which is understood to be his manifesto. As travelling was limited during World War 2 in 1939, Funke photographed close to home in Louny, Prague and sometimes Kolin. On March 22, 1945 in Kolin, Funke required an immediate operation for intestine damage but the procedure could not be executed as it was during an air raid alarm and he died.Source: Wikipedia Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) studied medicine, law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague but did not graduate. Instead he concentrated on becoming a professional freelance photographer. By 1922 he was a leader of the young opposition movement in photography and a founder of the Czech Society of Photography (1924) whose mission was to create photography that would fulfil new social functions. In his work Funke managed to combine some of the leading trends in modernist European photography, uniting constructivism and functionalism with surrealism and social commentary, with traditional Czech aesthetics. His interest in modernist ideas led him to make clearly focused studies of simple objects. As the decade progressed, he turned to the production of carefully arranged still lifes emphasizing abstract form and the play of light and shadow. During this time he also produced several important series of photographs, including two inspired by the images of Eugène Atget: Reflexy (Reflections, 1929) and as trvá (Time Persists, 1930-34). Funke was also influential as a teacher, first at the School of Arts and Crafts, Bratislava (1931-34/35), which followed a Bauhaus-inspired curriculum, and then at the State School of Graphic Arts, Prague (1935-44). While in Bratislava, he became interested in social documentary photography and joined the leftist group Sociofoto, which was concerned with recording the living conditions of the poor. Throughout his career Funke published articles and critical reviews dealing with photography. From 1939-41 he worked with Josef Ehm to edit the magazine Fotografik obzor (Photographic Horizon).Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Abelardo Morell
Abelardo (Abe) Morell (born 1948 in Havana, Cuba) is a Boston-based photographer. Morell and his family fled Cuba in 1962, moving to New York City. Morell earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College in 1977, and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art in 1981. He received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Bowdoin in 1997. Morell is well known in the photographic community for creating camera obscura images in various places around the world and photographing these. Morell was awarded the Cintas Foundation fellowship in 1992 and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1993. Morell is currently a professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art. He is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery, NYC. A documentary on elements of Morell's life and work, Shadow of the House, was released in 2007. Source: Wikipedia He has received a num­ber of awards and grants, which include a Cin­tas grant in 1992 a Guggen­heim fel­low­ship in 1994 a Rap­pa­port Prize in 2006 and an Alturas Foun­da­tion grant in 2009 to pho­to­graph the land­scape of West Texas. He was the recip­i­ent of the International Center of Photography 2011 Infin­ity award in Art. His work has been col­lected and shown in many gal­leries, insti­tu­tions and muse­ums, includ­ing the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hous­ton Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum and over sev­enty other muse­ums in the United States and abroad. A ret­ro­spec­tive of his work orga­nized jointly by the Art Insti­tute of Chicago, The J. Paul Getty Museum and the High Museum in Atlanta will be on view start­ing in the sum­mer of 2013. His pub­li­ca­tions include a pho­to­graphic illus­tra­tion of Alice’s Adven­tures in Won­der­land (1998) by Dut­ton Children’s Books, A Cam­era in a Room (1995) by Smith­son­ian Press, A Book of Books (2002) and Cam­era Obscura (2004) by Bulfinch Press and Abelardo Morell (2005), pub­lished by Phaidon Press. Recent pub­li­ca­tions include a lim­ited edi­tion book by the Museum of Mod­ern Art in New York of his Cliché Verre images with a text by Oliver Sacks. He lives with his wife, Lisa McE­laney, a film­maker, and his chil­dren Brady and Laura in Brook­line, Massachusetts. Film­maker Allie Humenuk has made a film enti­tled Shadow of the House, an in-depth doc­u­men­tary about Morell’s work and expe­ri­ence as an artist. Source: www.abelardomorell.net
Klavdij Sluban
France
1963
Winner of the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, of the Leica Prize (2004) and of the Niépce Prize (2000), main French prize in photography, Klavdij Sluban is a French photographer of Slovenian origin born in Paris in 1963. He develops a rigorous and coherent body of work, nourished by literature, never inspired by immediate and sensational current affairs, making him one of the most interesting photographers of his generation. The Balkans, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Central America, Russia, China and the Antarctic (first artistic mission in the Kerguelen islands) can be read as many successive steps of an in-depth study of a patient proximity to the encountered real. His images have been shown in such leading institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Photography of Tokyo, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Rencontres d'Arles, the Museum of Photography in Helsinki, the Fine Arts Museum in Canton, the Musée Beaubourg, the Museum of Texas Tech University… His many books include East to East (published simultaneously by Actes Sud, Dewi Lewis, Petliti, Braus, Apeiron & Lunwerg with a text by Erri de Luca), Entre Parenthèses, (Photo Poche, Actes Sud), Transverses, (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and Balkans - Transit, with a text by François Maspero (Seuil). Since 1995, Sluban has been photographing teenagers in jails. In each prison he organizes workshops with the young offenders to share his passion. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis with support from Henri Cartier-Bresson during 7 years, as well as Marc Riboud and William Klein punctually. This commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps of Eastern Europe –Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, Latvia – and in the disciplinary centres of Moscow and St Petersburg as well as in Ireland. From 2007 to 2012, Sluban has been working in Central America with imprisoned youngsters belonging to maras (gangs) in Guatemala and Salvador. In 2015, he started photogrphing imprisoned teenagers in Brazil. In 2013, the musée Niépce showed a retrospective of K.Sluban's work, After Darkness, 1995-2012. In 2015/16, he was awarded the Villa Kujoyama Residence in Kyoto, Japan.
Advertisement
All About Photo Awards 2023
March 2023 Online Solo Exhibition
All About Photo Awards 2023

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Patrick Cariou
For more than 25 years, French photographer Patrick Cariou has traveled to places around the globe, documenting people living on the fringes of society. Whether photographing surfers, gypsies, Rastafarians or the rude boys of Kingston, Cariou celebrates those who meet the struggles of life with honor, dignity and joy. Bringing together works from his groundbreaking monographs including Surfers, Yes Rasta, Trenchtown Love and Gypsies, Patrick Cariou: Works 1985–2005 (published by Damiani) takes us on a scenic journey around the world, offering an intimate and captivating look at cultures that distance themselves from the blessings and curses of modernity.
Exclusive Interview with Niko J. Kallianiotis
Niko J. Kallianiotis' Athênai in Search of Home (published by Damiani) presents photos taken in and around Athens, the city in which he grew up. The images reflect the artist's eagerness to assimilate back into a home that feels at once foreign and familiar. Throughout the years the city and the surrounding territories have experienced their share of socio-economic struggles and topographic transformations that have altered its identity. The city of Athens in Kallianiotis' photographs is elliptically delineated as a vibrant environment that binds together luxury and social inequality. The photographer depicts a city in which the temporal and the spatial elements often clash with each other while conducting his research for a home that has changed over the years as much as he did.
Exclusive Interview with Ave Pildas
My new book STAR STRUCK focuses on the people and places of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon after I moved to Los Angeles in the '70s, I started shooting there. I was working at Capital Records, just a block and a half away, as a one of four art directors. At lunchtime, we would go out to eat at the Brown Derby, Musso, and Franks, or some other local restaurant, and I got to observe all the activity that was occurring on Hollywood Boulevard. It was amazing and it was fun, even though the location was ''on the turn''.
Exclusive Interview with Elaine Mayes
In The Haight-Ashbury Portraits, 1967-1968 (published by Damiani) during the waning days of the Summer of Love, Elaine Mayes embarked on a set of portraits of youth culture in her neighborhood. Mayes was a young photographer living in San Francisco during the 1960s. She had photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and, later that year the hippie movement had turned from euphoria to harder drugs, and the Haight had become less of a blissed-out haven for young people seeking a better way of life than a halfway house for runaway teens.
Exclusive Interview with Theophilus Donoghue
A new release, Seventy-thirty (published by Damiani) depicts humanity's various faces and expressions, from metropolitans to migrants, unseen homeless to celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Muhammad Ali, Rene Magritte, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. Steve Schapiro photographs early New York skateboarders while Theophilus Donoghue documents current Colombian breakdancers. Alternately profound and playful, father and son's photographs capture a vast range of human emotions and experiences. For this project, Schapiro selected images from the 60s civil rights movement and, with Donoghue, provided photos from today's Black Lives Matter protests and environmental rallies.
Exlusive Interview with Jessica Todd Harper about her Book Here
Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper looks for the value in everyday moments. Her third monograph Here (Published by Damiani) makes use of what is right in front of the artist, Harper shows how our unexamined or even seemingly dull surroundings can sometimes be illuminating
Exclusive Interview with Roger Ballen about his Book Boyhood
In Boyhood (published by Damiani) Roger Ballen's photographs and stories leads us across the continents of Europe, Asia and North America in search of boyhood: boyhood as it is lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, the islands of Indonesia, the provinces of China, the streets of America. Each stunning black-and-white photograph-culled from 15,000 images shot during Ballen's four-year quest-depicts the magic of adolescence revealed in their games, their adventures, their dreams, their Mischief. More of an ode than a documentary work, Ballen's first book is as powerful and current today as it was 43 years ago-a stunning series of timeless images that transcend social and cultural particularities.
Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 – October 11, 2022.
Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards 2023
Win $10,000 Cash Prizes & International Press